Freedom Exclusives Changes And How It Changes What Credit Card To Use

Reminder: Just 3 more days of fun for using Freedom for small purchases like feeding the meter. :(

Originally posted on 06/21:

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I got the dreaded Freedom Exclusives letter notifying me that I will be moved from the old Exclusives program to the new one on August 1st. It seems like most people will be moved then as well, keep checking your mailbox if you haven’t gotten the letter yet.

The truth is that it’s not entirely bad news though it will definitely change my spending habits.

The old program gave 10 points per transaction and 10% bonus points on base spending monthly.  That meant 1.1 points per dollar+10 points per swipe everywhere and 5.1 points per dollar+10 points per swipe in rotating categories for up to $1,500 of spending per card.

That meant that I used my Freedom card on all smaller purchases.  I even used my Freedom card for dining purchases under $10 as that earned more points than Sapphire Preferred (which offers 2.14 points on dining) due to the 10 points per transaction Freedom bonus. And Freedom was fantastic for small library fines or meters where the transaction could actually be profitable.  No wonder it’s going away!

The new program is available to anyone that has a Freedom card and an active Chase checking by the end of the year.  On your January or February statement you will get a 10% dividend based on how many points you earned in the previous calendar year.

The bad news: The 10 points per transaction is gone and that the 10% is given annually instead of monthly.

The silver lining: The 10% annual dividend applies to the 5 point per dollar categories so that those will now be 5.5 point per dollar categories instead of 5.1 point per dollar categories if you have a checking account.  Over the course of the year with $6,000 of spending in the rotating categories you can now earn a whopping 33,000 points.  Pretty awesome for a fee-free card.

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Of course this means that you’ll have to take another look at your spending habits in case you were using Freedom on small purchases like I was.

I previously wrote a breakdown for someone who asked which cards he should use where.

Let’s go a bit broader and throw the following cards in the mix:
Consumer cards:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
-American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
-Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express
-Chase Freedom Visa
-Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard
-Chase United Explorer Visa Signature
-Chase United Club (Click on Club tab from the Explorer card)

Business cards:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
-The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN
-Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
-Chase Ink Bold Charge Card
-Chase Ink Plus Credit Card
-Chase Ink Cash Credit Card

Determine the value:
Here is where this gets arbitrary as value depends on what YOU will do with the points. Feel free to plugin your own numbers.
I will give the values that I use when I use my points. Many times I get several times that value as I just wrote about here, but if I can’t attain a minimum of these values I won’t burn the points.
Barclay Arrival gives 2.2% cash back.
Blue Cash Preferred Card gives 1-6% cash back
Starwood Starpoints 2.2 cents
Chase Ultimate Rewards points: 1.9 cents
United miles: 1.8 cents
American Express Membership Rewards points: 1.5 cents

Here’s how each card would fare for various purchases (see methodology below for how I arrived at these numbers).

The top 5 options for each category are bolded, options that require buying a gift card are italicized.

Everyday purchase:
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
Jumps to 10.89% during a sale-see methodology section below.
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
-Ink: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Amazon.com Purchase:
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New) during 2013 Q4: 10.45%
-Ink (via Amazon gift card at 5x): 9.5%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
-Ink: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Airfare:
-Ink (via Southwest gift card at 5x): 9.5%
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 5.25%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 4.5%
-United Explorer on United (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 4.32%
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-Sapphire Preferred: 4.07%
-United Club on United: 3.6%
-United Explorer on United (under $25K): 3.6%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Ink: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Car Rental:
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-Sapphire Preferred: 4.07%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Ink Plus: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Hotel:
-Ink (via Marriott gift card at 5x): 9.5%
-Starwood Business at a domestic Hyatt hotel: 7.2%
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
-Starwood at a Starwood hotel: 4.4%
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-Sapphire Preferred: 4.07%
-Ink Bold/Plus: 3.8%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Ink Cash: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Restaurant:
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New) during 2013 Q2: 10.45%
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-Sapphire Preferred: 4.07%
-Ink Cash: 3.8%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Ink Bold/Plus: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Gas:
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New) during 2013 Q3: 10.45%
-Ink (spending via gas gift card at 5x): 9.5%
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-Ink: 3.8%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 3.75%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 3%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 3%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%

Groceries:
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 6%
-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 3.75%
-Premier Rewards Gold Card 3%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
-Ink: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Business Gold Card: 1.5%

Gift Cards from Office Supply Stores or Internet/Phone/Cable/TV:
-Ink: 9.5%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card: 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Fedex Shipping:
-Business Gold Card: 8%
-Starwood Business: 7.2%
-United Club: 2.7%
-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
-Starwood: 2.2%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
-Ink: 1.9%
-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
-Premier Rewards Card: 1.5%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%

Things to bear in mind:

-If you might need return protection, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, or dispute resolution on an item you’ll want to use an American Express card like the Starwood card as their protections are pain-free and amazing. If you have a problem with a merchant you can file an easy dispute online and they almost always side with you. If you buy a final sale item they will take it back without a fuss. If your computer breaks in the extended warranty year they will refund it.

-If you are renting a car remember that the United cards offer free primary insurance so that if you damage the rental car it will be covered and won’t need to be reported to your own personal insurance. This doesn’t work in Israel though so use a Sapphire Preferred Mastercard when renting there.

-When buying gift cards for spending you will lose the protections that a credit card offers like dispute resolution. You also have to factor in the “pain” factor of getting the gift card and the fact that you can cash out the gift card at Walmart for free or for a nominal fee.

-The Freedom and Ink Cash cards can’t transfer directly into real miles. You or your spouse will need an active Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus when you want to make that transfer.

Foreign Exchange Fees:
-Ink Plus: None.
-United Club: None.
-United Explorer: None.
-Barclaycard Arrival: None.
-Sapphire Preferred: None.
-Starwood: 2.7%
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card: 2.7%
-Blue Cash Preferred: 2.7%
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 3%
-Ink Cash: 3%

Annual Fees:
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): None.
-Ink Cash: None.
-Starwood: Free for 12 months then $65
-Blue Cash Preferred: $75
-Barclaycard Arrival: Free for 12 months then $89
-Ink Plus: Free for 12 months then $95
-United Explorer: Free for 12 months then $95
-Sapphire Preferred: Free for 12 months then $95
-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card: Free for 12 months then $175
-United Club: $395 (Including club membership and 2 free checked bags)

Signup Bonus:
-Ink Bold/Plus: 50,000 (~$950) for spending $5,000 in 3 months.
-Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 (~$950) for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
-Business Rewards Gold: 50,000 (~$750) for spending $5,000 in 3 months. Or 80,000 (~$1,200)
-United Explorer: 35,000 (~$630) for spending $1,000 in 3 months.
-Starwood Consumer/Business: 10,000 (~$220) for spending $1 or 25,000 (~$550) for spending $5,000 in 6 months
-Barclaycard Arrival: 40,000 (~$440) for spending $1,000 in 3 months.
-Ink Cash: 20,000 (~$380) for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
-Premier Rewards Gold: 25,000 (~$375) for spending $2,000 in 3 months.
-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 10,000 (~$190) for spending $500 in 3 months
-Blue Cash Preferred: $150 for spending $1,000 in 3 months.

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Methodology:

If case you are wondering how I came to the value per dollar spent here is an example:

Everyday purchase:
-Ink (spending via $200 gift card costing $6.95 at 5x): 6.36%
If you buy a $200 gift card for $206.95 you’ll earn 1,035 points which is worth $19.67 at 1.9 cents each. Subtract the $6.95 fee and you have a gain of $12.72. Divide that by $200 to see earnings of 6.36%.
Of course when these gift cards are on sale as they are this week at Office Max the earnings number will be much higher.  I have bought a couple dozen $200 gift cards on sale over the past couple weeks.  Each gift card costs $196.95 and earns 985 points, 985 points at 1.9 cents each is $18.72 plus the $3.05 profit per card is $21.77. Divide that by $200 to see earnings of 10.89% wherever you use the card.

-Ink (spending via $100 gift card costing $5.95 at 5x): 4.12%
If you buy a $100 gift card for $105.95 you’ll earn 530 points which is worth $10.07 at 1.9 cents each. Subtract the $5.95 fee and you have a gain of $4.12. Divide that by $100 to see earnings of 4.12%.
Of course when these are on sale as they are this week at Office Max the earnings number will be much higher.

-United Club: 2.7%
You earn 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere at a value of 1.8 cents per mile=2.7% earnings.

-United Explorer (assuming you can spend exactly $25K): 2.52%
You earn 1 miles per dollar everywhere plus a 10K bonus for spending $25K in a year which means you will earn an effective 1.4 miles per dollar everywhere at a value of 1.8 cents per mile=2.52% earnings.

-Premier Rewards Gold (assuming you can spend exactly $30K) 2.25%
You earn 1 point per dollar everywhere plus a 15K bonus for spending $30K in a year which means you will earn an effective 1.5 points per dollar everywhere at a value of 1.5 cents per point=2.25% earnings.

-Barclaycard Arrival: 2.2%
You earn 2 points per dollar everywhere plus a .2 points when you redeem those points at a value of 1 cent per point=2.2% earnings.

-Starwood: 2.2%
You earn 1 point per dollar everywhere at a value of 2.2 cents per point=2.2% earnings.

-Chase Freedom Visa Exclusives (New): 2.09%
You earn 1 point per dollar everywhere plus a 10% annual dividend at a value of 1.9 cents per point=2.09% earnings.

-Sapphire Preferred: 2.03%
You earn 1 point per dollar everywhere plus a 7% annual dividend at a value of 1.9 cents per point=2.03% earnings.

-Ink: 1.9%
You earn 1 point per dollar everywhere at a value of 1.9 cents per point=2.03% earnings.

-United Explorer (under $25K): 1.8%
You earn 1 mile per dollar everywhere at a value of 1.8 cents per mile=1.8% earnings.

-Premier Rewards/Business Gold Card 1.5%
You earn 1 point per dollar everywhere at a value of 1.5 cents per point=1.5% earnings.

-Blue Cash Preferred: 1%
Straight 1% cash back.

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52 Responses to “Freedom Exclusives Changes And How It Changes What Credit Card To Use”

  1. BB Says:
    1

    Wow! thanks for such detailed instructions.

    ReplyReply
  2. Carlo M Says:
    2

    Officemax gift cards are on sale???

    ReplyReply
  3. mosheg Says:
    3

    great post dan. very useful information all put together. thanks loads

    ReplyReply
  4. bud Says:
    4

    @Dan, You dont use any citibank cards?

    ReplyReply
  5. Pesy Says:
    5

    Don’t forget the Amex Blue Cash Preferred for groceries! 6% on groceries (3% on gas). That would put in at #2 on the list.

    ReplyReply
  6. dovid Says:
    6

    Hi, is the american express blue sky points worth anything?

    ReplyReply
  7. Dani aka @YeahThatsKosher Says:
    7

    Dan, 2 questions:
    1) If I just got a new Freedom card and already have Chase checking, do I automatically get Freedom Exclusives? Is that something I need to sign up for separately?

    2) How did you calculate the bonus for Starwood spends on Hyatt and FedEx?

    Thanks for this post.

    ReplyReply
  8. Dani aka @YeahThatsKosher Says:
    8

    I realize the Exclusives question is silly since you wrote last year that they are discontinuing it, but you’re blogging with that assumption that everyone has it, which isn’t the case.

    ReplyReply
  9. Joe s Says:
    9

    Dan, You never mention Discover. No points or miles but, they offer cashback on every purchase with rotating 5% categories and sometimes (like now for month of June) double cashback bonus. you can also apply cashback to giftcards at discount and there are no fees! Also, no foreign transaction fee and they claim to cover car rental insurance worldwide. True, last time I checked, no one in Israel was taking Discover but they claimed they were working on that. Do you have something against Discover or is just too many cards already?

    ReplyReply
  10. Joe s Says:
    10

    Also, I want to apply for a business card but I fear that I will be declined because of a few questionable items on my credit report, from 2 years ago, and not long enough in business (about 6 months). Can you suggest which card might give me the best chance of success or should I not bother?

    ReplyReply
  11. Ari f Says:
    11

    Dan, phenomenal post

    ReplyReply
  12. ari2955 Says:
    12

    “Of course when these are on sale as they are this week at Office Max the earnings number will be much higher”
    Where do you see that they’re on sale?
    I can’t find it in the weekly ad

    ReplyReply
  13. Shkoaich Says:
    13

    Great Post!TY.

    ReplyReply
  14. sam Says:
    14

    can you please explain this one
    -Ink (via Southwest gift card at 5x): 9.5%?

    ReplyReply
  15. mike Says:
    15

    the amout of time one puts on figuring this whole point game out he can make more money working

    ReplyReply
  16. David R Says:
    16

    @sam: When you want to fly via Southwest, buy Southwest gift cards from an office supply store and pay with your Ink card. Suppose your flight costs $100 and you buy a $100 gift card at Office Max and pay with Ink. You will earn 500 UR points. If UR points are worth $.019 each, you earned a value of $9.50 per $100, or 9.5%.

    ReplyReply
  17. Petzel Says:
    17

    hi Dan, great post I’m just wondering if I activated the the bonus categories on the freedom card for the next quarter do I still earn the bonus categories of this quarter till July?

    ReplyReply
  18. milhouse trabajo Says:
    18

    for premier rewards gold, dont u get 2x points for supermarkets, so groceries would be at 3%?

    ReplyReply
  19. Andy F. Says:
    19

    Hi Dan, just wondering can I move credit limit from a biz card to a personal card? and.. how? Thanks!

    And I heard Chase place a cap on credit limit one could get, is the cap total of all personal & biz cards, or calculated separated for personal cards and biz card?

    ReplyReply
  20. Deal lover Says:
    20

    Wow Dan! your number crunching skills are phenomenal!I’m getting dizzy just reading it.

    ReplyReply
  21. color Says:
    21

    I think capital one has no foreign exchange fees.

    Amex preferred has 6% cash back on the first $6000 for groceries. There is an annual fee but it might be waved for the first year and might pay anyways with the cash back.

    ReplyReply
  22. Dan Says:
    22

    @BB:
    YW :)

    @Carlo M:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/31633

    @bud:
    Nope.
    The AA card for example is fine for a signup bonus but you’ll always do better spending on other cards:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/go/AA40

    @Pesy:
    Added.

    @dovid:
    Not much.

    @Dani aka @YeahThatsKosher:
    1. Automatic.
    2. http://www.americanexpress.com/opensavings/
    That gives 5% cash back plus the 2.2 cent Starpoint=7.2%

    @Dani aka @YeahThatsKosher:
    The old program is gone, but the new program is alive and well and that’s the one I used in the calculations in this post.

    @Joe s:
    I have a Discover and even a link for it:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/go/DiscoverIt1/

    Their 5% categories seem to overlap with Freedom (In Q3 Discover has gas as does Freedom but Freedom’s points can be used as cashback or transferred to far more valuable miles.

    @Joe s:
    The Ink card offers this week are pretty sweet. Worse case scenario is a wasted pull, hardly the end of the world as those fall off soon enough.

    @ari2955:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/31633

    @mike:
    You don’t need to maximize every purchase but there’s no reason not to have a couple good cards in your wallet.

    @Petzel:
    If you didn’t activate it for Q2 then you won’t get it unless you call and get an exception.

    @milhouse trabajo:
    Isn’t that what I wrote?

    @Andy F.:
    Call credit reallocation.

    @Deal lover:
    :D

    @color:
    True, but Cap1 points stink and they do 3 pulls to get 1 card.

    ReplyReply
  23. d89 Says:
    23

    Aren’t you overstating the benefit of using Ink to purchase gift cards at OfficeMax then using those for spend? You’re giving up the points you could be earning by doing that “second” spend on a points-earning card…

    ReplyReply
  24. Dan Says:
    24

    @d89:
    As I noted, it is an extra step but there’s no way to account for that time spent in numbers.

    But you’re not giving up points as with a regular purchase there’s just 1 spend. Same goes if you purchase GCs for your regular spend, you get the points just once, but you get more points thanks to the 5x bonus.

    ReplyReply
  25. d89 Says:
    25

    I get that it’s an extra step, but it seems like you are giving up points. Let’s say you have a $100 restaurant bill. There are 2 ways you could use your Ink:

    1. Buy $100 GC @ OM for $105.95. Earn 530 UR. Spend $100 on GC at restaurant. Total = 9.5% back if you value UR at 1.9 (530*.019/105.95)

    2. Buy $100 GC @ OM for $105.95. Earn 530 UR. Liquidate GC through BB or AP. Spend $100 on Sapphire at restaurant, earning 214 UR. Total = 744 UR = 13.34%.

    Same for any other spend. Of course it’s an extra step and maybe not worth the hassle for some.

    ReplyReply
  26. Dan Says:
    26

    @d89:
    Your equation only makes sense if you are maxing out the 50K limit on the 5x categories.

    Otherwise just buy more Visa GCs to do both the Restaurant spend and for BB/AP and your earnings will be even higher.

    ReplyReply
  27. Kugel Says:
    27

    DAN, ONE WORD:

    E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  28. bruce Says:
    28

    you should put out a book called “The Spending Bible”….by Dan

    ReplyReply
  29. d89 Says:
    29

    @Dan: True enough! Thanks for walking that out for me. One question I have for you: what’s your preferred way of liquidating the OM MC GCs? Mine only has $100 GCs. I normally would do BB @ WM but my understanding is that you can’t split a transaction among several cards. The WM MC ATM will give out after 3 or 4 transactions (meaning I can only get $400 at a time onto BB) and I doubt the WM MC employees are going to do 10 transactions for me. Advice?

    ReplyReply
  30. Dan Says:
    30

    @Kugel:
    :)

    @bruce:
    Lol.

    @d89:
    No problem. You just have to wrap your head around some of this stuff.

    I never have a problem getting a cashier to do multiple transactions, just go to any checkout line.

    Also you can load 3 GCs in 1 transaction to BB with a cashier, just say you want to load $300 and make sure they notate $100 before you slide each one.

    ReplyReply
  31. Greatest fan Says:
    31

    Great post Dan!!!
    I also just got my Freedom exclusives letter :-(
    I don’t spend 30k on my premier rewards gold, so that’s out of my calculation.
    I use the business gold Amex for 1point categories only, so what is it worth downgrading to to save the $175?

    ReplyReply
  32. d89 Says:
    32

    @Dan: Thanks again! I thought you can only load BB at the money center or ATM? You can do it at any old register? If so that makes it easier to get a bunch of transactions done at once…

    ReplyReply
  33. Dan Says:
    33

    @Greatest fan:
    Just cancel the Gold card if you’re just using the 1 point categories.

    @d89:
    You sure can, I do it like that all the time!
    Easier than the ATM IMHO.

    ReplyReply
  34. newdanfan Says:
    34

    This is huge news to me – so I just want to clarify. Are you now recommending that for purchases that don’t require warranty or purchase protection, it’s always worth it (points-wise) to purchase $200 gift cards with an Ink card??

    ReplyReply
  35. Dani aka @YeahThatsKosher Says:
    35

    Thanks @Dan.
    If it’s automatic, why do I not get any sort of notification from Chase that I’m in the exclusives program. I don’t see anything from Chase on the web on this on my account.

    ReplyReply
  36. Mendel Says:
    36

    1. If I pay my phone bill with the ink card do I get 5x? Or only for equipment like a new phone?

    2. Besides going in to walmart and loading visa gift cards, any other options how to cash out these gift cards?

    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  37. tim Says:
    37

    “And Freedom was fantastic for small library fines or meters where the transaction could actually be profitable”

    God doesn’t it feel good to bend those libraries over and shove it straight up their a@#?

    ReplyReply
  38. Dan Says:
    38

    @Mendel:
    1. Yes!
    2. There are other stores where you can get cash back and get money orders.

    @tim:
    Feels great actually.
    After paying $600 a year in taxes for a library that I rarely use I don’t mind paying additional fines in small charges as long as they allow me to do so.

    ReplyReply
  39. Rivka Says:
    39

    Has anyone had success in loading Bluebird cards with gift cards at a regular checkout line? In North Orlando we were able to have it done ONCE, after a manager was called. In Orlando, between Orlando & Miami, in Middletown, NY & in Monticello, NY the checkers look at me like I have 2 heads & direct me to the money center. Thursday evening in Middletown, the money center personnel were not only rude but they claimed they do not accept gift cards to load a BB card. A manager was called & claimed the same thing. After waiting in line for a long time (waste of time!) we went to the Monticello Walmart money center. They did not accept the Mastercard $200 giftcards but they did accept $200 VISA vanilla giftcards with last 4 digits as PIN. BUT, their system only let me do 4 cards per transaction so I had to do $600 & then $400 as 2 separate transactions. Very weird. Has anyone experienced this?

    ReplyReply
  40. ohsleepy1 Says:
    40

    tried to buy a soda & get $100 cash back from a $200 master card with a pin # at walmart & it didn’t work. Dan, i thought you said we could do this at walmart! is it only with visa gift cards?

    ReplyReply
  41. Daniel Says:
    41

    What about Penfed credit card? It is a free card and they claim to give you 5% cash back for gas and 3% cash back for groceries? It sounds legit.

    ReplyReply
  42. Cook Says:
    42

    @rivka. Tried loading a few visa gc’s at Walmart Middleton, cashier wasn’t familiar with process, she called the manager who immediately said that Gc’s cannot be loaded onto BB. She chased after me and when I tried doing bill pay at the CS counter later, she jumped at me before she even knew what funding source I’d be using and said that gift cards cannot be used. Btw afaik, walmart Middleton doesn’t have a money center, is that right?

    ReplyReply
  43. cheshbon Says:
    43

    you calc is that 1000 points on ink is 19+ USD.
    Based on that, value of 25,000 points in your calc is approx $500.

    I buy domestic flights more in the range of $300, have more choices etc.

    so based on this I would say value of 40% less than your calc, and gain on ink purchase for everyday spending would be around 4%?

    can anyone review my math?

    ReplyReply
  44. hevel Says:
    44

    SIZZLING us airways currently running promotion
    50% more miles when gifted to someone else!

    ReplyReply
  45. hevel Says:
    45

    https://www.usairways.com/en-US/dividendmiles/programdetails/purchasemiles/default.html

    ReplyReply
  46. a1yoel11211@gmail.com Says:
    46

    So I have 250,000 chase ultimate rewards. but i don’t find anyone who would pay 1.9 per point. where can I find this?
    Also 60,000 Amex points…

    ReplyReply
  47. Joe s Says:
    47

    Dan you’re awesome. Any suggestions for what to do with Marriott Award points?

    ReplyReply
  48. Me Says:
    48

    Thanks dan for a great post!
    Can anyone advise a way to get the annual fee waived on my AMEX premier gold ($175) i only use for the grocery (2pt) category? Or is there another option for this category and i should downgrade my card to a free one.
    Which free card should I downgrade to?

    ReplyReply
  49. Josh Says:
    49

    Dan, under the “old program”, if you spend say $4.63 in 1 purchase, would you get 14, 15 or 16 points? In other words are purchases rounded up or down, and do you have to spend at least $10 to get the 10% bonus?

    ReplyReply
  50. Patricia Says:
    50

    Dan, if I use my United Explorer card to rent an auto through Costco Travel, will I still get primary auto insurance coverage, or do I have to rent directly through Avis, Enterprise, etc?
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  51. chase Says:
    51

    never got the letter does that mean will still get 10 points per swipe?

    ReplyReply
  52. Yosef Says:
    52

    Dan –
    Thanks for all of your hard work and effort on our behalf!
    Wrt the savings through buying 200 GC w/Ink – is there any reason not to load them onto BB just for the convenience of walking around with one card instead of a bunch of 200′s?

    Thanks!

    ReplyReply

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