RECENT POSTS
  • confusing math formulas on a blackboard
    Credit Cards

    9 Things to know about the Chase 5/24 rule

    I had a recent exchange with someone claiming to have been approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited despite being at 5/24. As it turns out, he was only 4/24, and that’s why he wasn’t declined. How could it be so hard to count to 5? Well, Chase’s 5/24 rule is not so straightforward. In fact, it’s downright confusing. It can make a reasonably intelligent person have trouble counting to 5. In this post, I will explain 9 of the most confusing concepts of the 5/24 rule, including the reason that the Freedom Unlimited application I mentioned above was approved. What is the Chase 5/24 Rule? If you want a full…

  • Credit Cards,  Travel Rewards

    Primer on Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit

    The annual $300 Travel Credit is easily the most lucrative benefit of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Questions about what it covers and when it resets have been plentiful. It’s important to understand the benefit to know if and/or when you should apply. Fully monetizing the credit each year will effectively reduce the annual fee of the Sapphire Reserve from $550 to a net $250. You can receive this benefit twice in the first year of holding the card. Get the card now and use your initial $300 credit. And in a year you’ll have a fresh $300 credit to make use of before the due date of your second…

  • Cruise Ship view from beach
    Travel Rewards

    Booking Cruises with Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

    Chase Ultimate Rewards points are a versatile currency. Much has been written about transferring them to travel partners and redeeming them for flights and hotels. Another great choice is to redeem them for a cruise. I freely admit that cruises aren’t for everyone. If you’re still reading, I suspect you might enjoy them. For those that do, it’s a great way to redeem a stash of Ultimate Rewards points. Since cruise fares include meals and entertainment, and many packages include drinks, gratuities and credit to use on board, you’re effectively using points to pay for your entire all-inclusive vacation. The Value of Ultimate Rewards Points There are currently 7 available…

  • Amtrak World MasterCard Image
    Credit Cards

    Amtrak Doubles World Mastercard Signup Bonus for Limited Time

    Update: If you start to book a fare on Amtrak.com, when you get to the payment page, there is a better offer: 40,000 bonus points PLUS $100 statement credit. You don’t need to go through with the booking. H/T to DoC. For a limited time, Amtrak is offering 40,000 Guest Rewards points as a signup for its World Mastercard. This is double the usual 20,000 points, though the spending requirement is $2,500 (instead of $1,000) in the first 3 months. It’s a great deal for those who travel using Amtrak. Each Guest Rewards point is generally worth 2 to 2.5 cents. That makes the increased signup bonus worth around $800 to $1,000…

  • Hilton Hotel Image
    Credit Cards

    Limited Time Offer: 130k Honors Bonus Points with Amex Hilton Surpass Card

    For a limited time, earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Signup Bonus Points and a Free Weekend Night Reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 4 months on a new Hilton Surpass Card. This offer ends 8/28/2019. Normally, the card offers 100,000 Bonus Points for new accounts: 75,000 after you spend $2,000 or more in the first 3 months and another 25,000 after you spend an additional $1,000 in the first 6 months. The regular Free Weekend Night Reward is still a benefit of the card after $15,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year. Now you receive an additional reward night as part of the signup…

  • Close Platinum Card - Yes or No
    Credit Cards

    Rethinking My American Express Platinum Card

    I’ve held some version of the Platinum Card from American Express for longer than I’d care to share. I have been consistently getting much more value in benefits than what I paid in annual fees. Now, I’m not so sure. Cost Lets start with the cost. For the last 3 years, I’ve paid no annual fees for the card. I’ve been cycling through the Ameriprise version which waived annual fees for the first year. That included up to 3 additional cardholders, which I took advantage of. Achieving value is easy when the cost is $0. Prior to that, I had a regular Platinum card but, due to some glitch, I…

  • Travel Rewards

    American Airlines and Hyatt Benefit Partnership

    American Airlines and World of Hyatt have partnered up to offer some reciprocal benefits to their elite members. The relationship was announced last month but has now gone live. Elite members in both the American Airlines AAdvantage and World of Hyatt loyalty programs will earn both WoH points and AA miles on qualifying American flights and Hyatt hotel stays. New Ways to Earn Points AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum and ConciergeKey members will be able to earn one AAdvantage bonus mile for every eligible dollar spent at qualifying Hyatt properties. In addition, AA’s ConciergeKey members will receive World of Hyatt Globalist status. World of Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist…

  • American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
    Credit Cards

    Amex Refreshes Blue Cash Preferred

    American Express has refreshed it’s Blue Cash Preferred cash back credit card with new bonus earning categories. They’ve also left the annual fee unchanged at $95 per year. Blue Cash Preferred has earned 6% cash back on the first $6,000 of eligible purchases each calendar year at supermarkets . Now you can also earn 6% on U.S. streaming subscriptions like Netflix and Spotify. A full list can be found here. In addition to earning 3% cash back at gas stations, you can now earn 3% on transit. This includes trains, taxicabs, ride share services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways (airfare, car rental and cruises are not considered transit). The…

  • Ameriprise Amex No Longer Available
    Credit Cards

    Ameriprise Amex Platinum No Longer Waiving Annual Fee

    UPDATE: The waived annual fee is no longer offered, but the card lives on, with a 60,000 Membership Rewards welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in the first months. As of this morning, The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial is no longer available for new applications. The card was a favorite due to its waived annual fee for the first year. The Amerprise Platinum card had all same benefits that the standard Platinum card–Centurion Lounge and Delta SkyClub access, $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit to name a few. While the card didn’t offer any Membership Rewards signup bonus, it had been offered with a $0 introductory annual…

  • Credit Cards

    Marriott and SPG Credit Card Eligiblity Confusion

    Marriott’s new combined rewards program has been named Marriott Bonvoy and will go live in February. This consolidates the Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG programs under one unified brand. What’s still confusing are the credit card and bonus eligibility requirements of each card. Can you get the Amex SPG Luxury card if you have the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card? The answer isn’t always apparent. And if you read the Offer Terms, you’re left even more confused. I’ve written a questionnaire to cut through the eligibility legalese in each card’s offer terms. Simply choose the card you intend to apply for, answer the ensuing questions, and I’ll tell you if…