• Credit Cards,  Travel Rewards

    Primer on Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit

    Update: Due to the lack of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chase has extended the ability to apply the travel credit to purchases at grocery stores and gas stations through June 30, 2021. 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…

  • 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…

  • Priority Pass Card Image

    New Restriction at Some Priority Pass Lounges

    A new restriction has been added to all “The Club” airport lounges in the Priority Pass network. Beginning September 1, 2019, access is permitted 3 hours prior to scheduled flight departure. A similar restriction was recently implemented by American Express at its Centurion Lounges. This was done in an effort to reduce over-crowding. It would appear the reason is the same for “The Club”. The Club has locations at the following U.S. airports: ATL – Atlanta BOS – Boston BWI – Baltimore CHS – Charleston CVG – Cincinnati DFW – Dallas JAX – Jacksonville LAS – Las Vegas MCO – Orlando PIT – Pittsburgh SEA – Seattle SJC – San…

  • LAX Point the Way Cafe

    Priority Pass Adds New Restaurant at LAX

    Priority Pass continues to add restaurants to it’s airport locations. The newest addition is Point the Way Cafe at LAX International Airport. Point the Way Cafe is located in Terminal 6 between Gates 65A and 65B. Cardholders can use their lounge visit entitlement to receive US$28 per person off the bill. The cafe features flatbreads, sandwiches, and craft beers. You can see a complete list of Priority Pass restaurant locations here. If you like the information in this article, please consider supporting this blog by shopping with my Amazon Referral link.

  • Equifax Settlement Chart
    Credit Scores

    Equifax Settlement Payouts Will Be “Nowhere Near $125”

    A few days ago, I wrote about the Equifax Data Breach Settlement. Those affected by the breach could file a claim for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation for up to $125. The Federal Trade Commission now says that due to overwhelming public response, “up to $125” will actually be nowhere near $125. The FTC has had millions of claimants visit their site in the first week. Because the total amount available for the Alternative Reimbursement Compensation is $31 million, each person who takes the money option is going to get a very small, disappointing amount. The FTC is encouraging claimants to choose the free credit monitoring instead, which they say provides a “much…

  • Amtrak World MasterCard Image
    Credit Cards

    Amtrak Doubles World Mastercard Signup Bonus for Limited Time

    Update: If you start to book a fare on, 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…

  • Equifax Settlement Chart
    Credit Scores

    Equifax Data Breach Settlement Info

    In September, 2017, Equifax Inc. announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. The company has filed a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Equifax has agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million to those affected. You might be eligible for a piece of the settlement. To start, you can see if you were affected by the breach at this link. You can also call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-833-759-2982. If you were affected, you are eligible for compensation. Settlement Class Members may submit a claim to enroll in at least four (4) years of three-bureau credit monitoring…

  • 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…

  • Priority Pass Card Image

    Amex Removing Priority Pass Restaurant Credit Benefit

    Effective August 1, 2019, American Express is removing access to non-lounge airport experiences from its credit cards that offer the Priority Pass benefit. “Non-lounge” airport experiences refer to certain restaurants/bars/cafes that participate in the Priority Pass program. So far, no other bank that offers credit cards with the Priority Pass benefit has followed suit. Hopefully, Amex is taking this leap alone. This is clearly a cost-cutting move by American Express. I don’t think each “non-lounge” visit costs Amex any more than a traditional lounge visit, but it’s more easily abused. For instance, restaurant staff may be less likely to check boarding passes, making it easy for a Priority Pass membership…