Category Archive for 'Chase'

Chase App Now Allowing Point Transfers To Airlines

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Chase has updated their Android and iOS app to allow you to transfer points into miles.  Previously you had to be at a computer or call Chase to make a transfer.

Of course you’ll need a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus to make a points to miles transfer.

What can you do with your Chase points? Here are 30 awesome ideas!

HT: meshugener, via DDF

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Chase British Airways Visa Now Free For The First Year For A Limited Time Only!

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

-Want to learn more about the BA Avios program? Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips (always book one-way awards!).  If you have a question about Avios it’s probably already been answered there!
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 29 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
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Chase British Airways Visa Signature Linky

Signup bonus:
-50,000 British Airways (BA) Avios for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

-With this limited time offer the annual fee is waived on this card for the first year. It is $95 thereafter.  This is the first time this year that the fee has been waived for the first year on this card.

-You will earn 1.25 Avios per dollar spent everywhere and 2.5 Avios per dollar spent on BA tickets. There are no foreign transaction fees and the card includes a chip to use when abroad.

-BA Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, especially for one-way flights, last-minute flights, stopover flights, or flights in business or first class.  But most programs are not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program and for the past 3 years it has continued to provide an incredible value for short-haul flights.  I’ve booked dozens of short-haul tickets using Avios for travel on American.  A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute.  But BA allows me to use just 9,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile.  I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.
-50,000 Avios has gotten me flights that would have otherwise cost over $6,500. Or those same exact flights would run some 140K American miles not even accounting for the $75 expedite fees and $150 cancellation fees that American would charge with their own miles compared to $0 expedite and $5.60 cancellation when booking an American flight with Avios!

And how many other programs can say that they offer a flight to the Caribbean in coach for just 4,500 miles or in first class with 3 free checked bags for 9,000 miles?   A flight from the west coast to Hawaii on American, Alaska, or USAirways is just 12.5K Avios each way.

-Cardholders get 10% off paid BA tickets with promo code: CARDOFFERU

-You can earn a free companion award ticket every year that you spend $30K though it’s only valid for travel on BA or Open Skies.  The companion travels in the same class of service, so if you redeem Avios for a first class ticket your companion flies in first as well for 0 Avios but taxes and fees will be owed.

-Avoiding fuel surcharges:
-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American or USAirways within the Western Hemisphere. Flights start at 4,500 Avios plus $5.60.
-Air Berlin flights still have no fuel surcharges systemwide and remain the cheapest way to get to Israel. They have flights to Israel from Berlin, Dusseldorf, or Munich for 10K Avios. Flights to several US cities cost just 20K Avios.

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-Niki flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. They fly from Israel to Vienna for 10K Avios.
-Aer Lingus flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. A flight from Boston to Dublin or Shannon is just 12,500 Avios. From there you can fly elsewhere within Europe without paying fuel surcharges.  Plus you can fly to Boston from cities like Buffalo, NYC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Washington DC for just 4.5K Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Alaska flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide with flight starting at just 4,500 Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-LAN and TAM flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. Some of their flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Flights within Australia, Europe, Japan, and many other countries and regions have little to no fuel surcharges.
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within Australia.
-Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also pretty low and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver which I reviewed in this trip report.
-You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios
-British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.

Advantages of BA Avios over most traditional mileage programs:

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles of a round-trip!

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $40 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $5.60 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and it’s part of the reason why I always book domestic flights as one-ways).

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.  When flying domestic you should just add the infant at the airport for free.

-It’s easy to top-off your BA Avios account thanks to their partnerships with all of the transferable points programs. You can transfer Starpoints to BA at a 20K:25K ratio with the built-in 25% transfer bonus or American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to BA at a 1:1 ratio:

-With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios.

Award bands include:
Band 1: Flights that are 1-650 miles cost 4,500 Avios.
Sample routes: LGA-Cleveland, LGA-Detroit, LGA-Montreal, LGA-Toronto, Miami-Cancun, Miami-Key West, Miami-Nassau, London-Paris, Melbourne-Sydney, Los Angeles-Las Vegas
Band 2: Flights that are 651-1,151 miles cost 7,500 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-Bermuda, Los Angeles-Cabo San Lucas, LGA-Chicago, LGA-Miami, LGA-West Palm Beach, Philadelphia-Miami.
Band 3: Flights that are 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-S. Maarten, JFK-Cancun, JFK-S. Juan, Los Angeles-Chicago, Berlin-Tel Aviv, Hong Kong-Singapore
Band 4: Flights that are 2,001-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios.
Sample routes: Boston-Dublin, JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-Vancouver, Los Angeles-Maui, JFK-Costa Rica, Pittsburgh-Los Angeles
Band 5: Flights that are 3,001-4,000 miles cost 20,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-London, NYC-Berlin, Chicago-Dublin, Dallas-Maui
Band 6: Flights that are 4,001-5,500 miles cost 25,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-Buenos Aires, NYC-Rio de Janeiro, London-Johannesburg
Band 7: Flights that are 5,501-6,500 miles cost 30,000 Avios.
Sample route: NYC-Amman
Band 8: Flights that are 6,501-7,000 miles cost 35,000 Avios.
Sample route: S. Francisco-Hong Kong, JFK-Hong Kong
Band 9: Flights that are 7,001 miles or more cost 50,000 Avios.
Sample route: Los Angeles-Sydney, JFK-Sydney

Be sure to read the BA knowledgebase for tips and tricks to make some flights cheaper.

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Other Chase cards you can apply for at the same time include the Chase United Explorer (30K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, and it gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more), the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, plus 2-2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), the Chase Marriott (with 50K signup points plus a free night upon signup and a free night every subsequent year upon renewal), the Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and 10% bonus points through 2015 if you have a Chase checking account), the Chase Ink Plus (50K signup points, 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies, 2 points per dollar on hotels and gas) and the Chase Ink Cash (which has no annual fee and gives 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies and 2 points per dollar on dining and gas).

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Chase Ink Plus 70,000 Point Signup Bonus Ending This Sunday!

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Related posts:
-30 Awesome Things You Can You Do With 75K-95K Ultimate Rewards Points
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered

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Chase Ink Plus 70K Limited Time Offer Linky

Offer Details:

Spend $5,000 in 3 months on a new Chase Ink Plus card and get a whopping 70,000 point signup bonus. The Chase Ink Plus business cards is one of the best credit cards out there and this is the highest ever public online offer.  Some people have been able to get this offer in-branch, but now it’s available online for everyone.

It’s not difficult at all to get a value of 1.75 cents per point when using Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel by transferring them into airline miles or hotel points. That would make this signup bonus worth over $1,200!

You’ll also earn between 5,000 and 25,000 bonus points for the base spending depending on whether you spend in 1, 2, or 5 point per dollar categories.  So after spending $5,000 you’ll have between 75,000-95,000 Ultimate Rewards points at your disposal.

There is a $95 annual fee. There are no foreign exchange fees on the Ink Plus card. Insurance coverage on car rentals in every country outside of the US is primary on leisure or business rentals. Within the US coverage is primary for business rentals and secondary on leisure rentals.

Applying for a business card and the benefits of business card spending:

The Ink cards are business cards. But you may be already running a business that qualifies for a business card and there are several huge advantages that business cards have over consumer cards as you can read here.

For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business/hobby and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field as well as in the social security number field.

If you’re like me and you run more than one business you can signup for multiple of the same card for each business to manage each businesses expenses separately.

A great thing about these business cards is that they don’t report your spending on your personal credit report.

On personal cards if you spend money on your card your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a few dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month.

On a business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score. Plus if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

Lounge Club:

You’ll also getive 2 free lounge visits per user, even on free additional user cards. Here is a link to find valid lounges worldwide. Lounges include the Dan Lounge in Tel Aviv and the Art & Lounge in Newark which both have kosher food.

Cash back:

Ink cards are now all issued as Visa cards, so you can register them for Visa Savings Edge.

With that program you earn cash back on top of points.  You’ll earn 1% cash back at Staples on $200+ purchases, 1% cash back at Chevron, and Texaco, 2% cash back at TigerDirect, 4% cash back at Alamo and National, 5% cash back at Lenovo, Sony, and several hotel brands, etc.

Bonus points:

Ink cards offer 5 points per dollar on internet/cable service and telecom purchases, so that’s a nice rebate when you purchase a new cell phone and off your cable bill.

They also earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores. There are hundreds of gift cards sold by office supply stores.

-Upgrading at your local carrier’s store to an iPhone or Galaxy? 5 points per dollar.
-Buying gift cards for gas? 5 points per dollar plus you’ll pay the lower cash rates at the pump.
-Buying gift cards for Amazon, Gap, Groupon, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, TJMaxx, etc? 5 points per dollar.

Points plus cash back:

At Staples of course you would earn 5 points per dollar plus 1% cash back on $200+ purchases.

You’ll also earn 2 points per dollar for spending directly on gas and hotels (plus 1%-5% cash back with Visa Savings Edge)

Gift card uses:

Your local school or other charity will be more than happy to accept donations of Amazon gift cards for supplies or any other useful gift cards for chinese auctions, raffles, fundraisers, etc.

They will give you a tax deductible receipt for the full face value-the price you paid for the gift cards. And at the same time you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. So while doing good you can still get a nice chunk of points and you’ll save on your taxes.

You can buy $200 Visa gift cards (now sold online from Staples) that earn 1,000 points and can be used to pay bills with EvolveMoney, uploaded to Bluebird or used for cash back, bill pay, money orders, etc.

Or you can use Visa gift cards for everyday spending thereby getting 5 points per dollar on everything you buy anywhere via the Visa gift cards.  You can read how lucrative that can be in this post on where you should be using each of your cards.

Point Currency:

Chase Ultimate Rewards offer instant and fee-free transfers to top-notch mileage and points programs at a 1:1 ratio.

Transfer partners include:
-United (Star Alliance) is still an excellent currency, even after their devaluation earlier this year.  They never charge fuel surcharges, have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
-British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards. Just 9,000 miles for a round-trip zone 1 or 15,000 miles for zone 2 short-haul award. The zone 3 award for 25,000 miles round-trip can also be a bargain, for example a flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands or between Boston and Ireland is just 25K miles round-trip with no fuel surcharges. Flights to Israel on Air Berlin are just 60,000 miles with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in or expedite fees. You can cancel an award for as little as $5.60. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on AA/USAirways within the western hemisphere, on Qantas within Australia, on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
You can read more in the BA knowledgebase. And you can see 102 places you can go to nonstop from NYC with Avios.
-Korean (Skyteam) offers unbeatable first class availability (A380 First Class Trip Report here) and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first. And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska! If you can find Delta saver availability you can fly to Hawaii round-trip for just 25,000 miles in coach or 45,000 miles in business.
-Singapore (Star Alliance) offers private walled-in first class suites that can only be booked with their miles. A suite one-way from JFK to Europe is 57,375 miles. Travel to the US48, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and Israel can all be had on the cheap. There are no close-in booking fees and changes and cancellations are very cheap. Fuel surcharges apply when flying on most airlines besides United. More info here.
-Southwest offers a value of about 1.7 cents per point towards award travel.  Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes or flight cancellations. and you can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down. You can also transfer points to Airtran for flat-rate awards like business class upgrades or free tickets at a flat rate instead of a rate that corresponds to the ticket price. From Airtran they can even be converted back into the old Southwest program that also offers flat rate awards.
-Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses with awards on Delta and Cyprus Air.  For example a round-trip from Tel Aviv to Cyprus is just 5,000 miles!
-Hyatt is a very powerful hotel currency. They have finally added a cash and points option that offers some excellent values and more importantly those stays earn points, elite stay credits, promo credits, and you can use suite upgrades on cash and point stays as well.  It remains far less expensive for high-end hotel stays than any other hotel program, a $1,500/night villa at the Park Hyatt Maldives would run just 25,000 points or 12,500 points+$150.
You can also funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak. I’ve never been on an Amtrak in my life, but some people have reported getting some really nice bargains on Amtrak travel via their program.

The beauty of miles over points or cash-back:
The great thing about being able to transfer points into airlines or hotels are the incredible values you can attain.
-A coach ticket to Hawaii can cost $1,000 and a first class ticket to Hawaii can cost $3,000 but you can use 25K or 45K miles for that same ticket. If you were using Capital One points you would need 100,000-300,000 points per ticket.
-A last minute ticket or a ticket where you don’t stay for 3 nights from New York to Detroit costs $1,500 in coach but just 9,000 miles. That’s a value of 16.7 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 150,000 points per ticket.
-A first class ticket to Asia can cost $27,000 but you can use 135,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 20 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 2,700,000 points per ticket.
-A night at a Park Hyatt in Paris, Sydney, or the Maldives can run $1,500 with tax but you can use 25K-30K points for that room, a value of 5-6 cents per point. Or you can use less points and get even better values with cash and points. If you were using Capital One points you would need 150,000 points per night.
And that’s all besides for the fact that getting a Capital One card costs a minimum of 3 credit pulls whereas you can get several Chase cards with just 1 credit pull.

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Other Chase cards you can apply for at the same time include the Chase British Airways (50K signup points, 1.25 Avios per dollar, and an annual companion award ticket if you spend $30K+ in a  year), and the Chase United Explorer (30K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, and it gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more), the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, plus 2-2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), the Chase Marriott (with 50K signup points plus a free night upon signup and a free night every subsequent year upon renewal), the Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and 10% bonus points through 2015 if you have a Chase checking account), and the Chase Ink Cash (which also has no annual fee and gives 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies and 2 points per dollar on dining and gas)

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Chase United Explorer: 50,000 Miles For Spending $2,000 Plus 5,000 More Miles For Adding An Additional User

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Update: This 50K+5K increased bonus offer will expire at some point in middle of the day today, 09/02. Afterward the bonus will return to 30K+5K.
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Originally posted on 08/01:

Chase United Explorer Linky

This has long been a targeted offer but is now available publicly. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

You’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 within 3 months and an additional 5,000 miles for adding a free additional user card and making a purchase within 3 months.

Spend $2,000 on a new card and add an additional user and you’ll have 57,000 miles.

A short-haul United domestic award under 700 miles in distance is just 10,000 miles.  That’s a lot more than the BA 4.5K short-haul, but it allow for a longer distance and you are allowed to have connections for the same rate, something that BA doesn’t allow.

A round-trip ticket to 2 European or South American cities is just 60,000 miles round-trip thanks to a free stopover.  You’re even allowed a free open jaw on the same itinerary as a free stopover to really maximize your travel.

Best of all United never charges any fuel surcharges. Other airlines like American and USAirways collect massive fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways. Delta charges fuel surcharges to fly on some partners and if you originate in Europe and other regions. United will never collect a fuel surcharge and they have access to awards on 36 partner airlines which means better availability on more awards.

The United card is easily my favorite of all of the airline cards:

-It is the only card that gives expanded award ticket availability. Cardholders have access to expanded saver coach award availability (XN class), last seat standard coach award availability (YN class), and last seat standard business/first class award availability (JN class).

-You can read about examples of expanded availability in this post.
-You can learn more about searching for those classes in expert mode in this post.

-As you have better access to saver coach awards you’ll also have better ability to do Plan B awards. Plan B allows you to redeem for saver business and first class awards when there’s only saver coach available. Based on DDF reports and my own experience people have better than 95% odds of being seated in business class on a Plan B redemption.
-Read more about Plan B in this post.

No airline besides United offers a Plan B redemption.

-The United and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards are among the only cards that come with primary rental car CDW insurance. Almost every other card only has secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage. Even additional cardholders get primary coverage when they rent.

With primary rental car CDW insurance you will not have to file anything with your own insurance company. Chase will cover the entire bill for any damage to your rental car. Just be sure to decline the rental agency’s CDW coverage.  This primary coverage applies in every country in the world.

No airline card besides United offers primary CDW insurance.

-The United Explorer card gives 2 free United Club passes every year for being a cardmember.

-The United Explorer card gives a 10K mileage bonus every year in which you spend $25K.  That means you’ll earn at least 1.4 miles per dollar spent everywhere if you spend $25K in a year. Spending $25K in a year also waives the requirement to spend $2.5K on United flights to get Silver status, $5K on United flights to get Gold status, and $7.5K on United flights to get Platinum status. You only need to fly the 25K, 50K, or 75K miles like in the good old days.

-Your miles will never expire as long as you are a United cardholder even if you don’t have any activity.

-A massive benefit for United elite members is that they can get free upgrades on coach award tickets on upgrade eligible routes if they have a United card.

Plus United is the only airline that assigns elite benefits to people that you redeem awards for.  That means people you book for have access to benefits like Economy Plus, lounge access, and more.

Last Friday morning I flew with my family from Los Angeles to Cleveland on 12.5K saver award tickets and all 4 of us were upgraded thanks to my elite status and having a United card!

Other card benefits:
-No foreign exchange fees
-Double miles on United purchases.
-Priority boarding so that you’ll have space for your carry-ons.
-First checked bag is free.

United has 36 partner airlines which means lots of award opportunities. However not all of them are currently bookable online, you’ll have to call (or use the Aeroplan or ANA sites) to get the full picture:

United partners that currently must be booked over the phone:
-Air India
-Brussels Airlines
-Cape Air
-Copa Airlines
-Great Lakes Airlines
-Jet Airways
-LOT Polish
-Shenzhen
-Singapore

LOT and Brussels are excellent options for Israel flights with great award availability, but you usually won’t find those flights on United.com.

And here’s the list of partners currently bookable on United.com:
-Adria Airlines
-Aegean Airlines
-Aer Lingus
-Air Canada
-Air China
-Air New Zealand
-ANA
-Asiana Airlines
-Austrian Airlines
-Avianca Airlines
-Azul Brazilian Airlines
-Croatia Airlines
-Egyptair
-Ethiopian Airlines
-EVA Air
-Germanwings
-Hawaiian Airlines
-Island Air
-Lufthansa
-Scandinavian Airlines
-Shenzhen Airlines
-Silver Airways
-South African Airways
-Swiss International Airlines
-TAP Portugal
-THAI
-Turkish Airlines
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Other Chase consumer cards you can simultaneously include the Chase British Airways (50K signup points, 1.25 Avios per dollar, and an annual companion award ticket if you spend $30K+ in a  year), the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, plus 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), and the Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and through 12/31/15, 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account increasing earnings up to 5.5 points per dollar).

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Goodbye Chase Trifecta

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Years ago I called having a Chase Freedom card, a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, and a Chase checking account the Chase Trifecta.

Back then by having all 3 you could
-Earn 10 points every time you used your Freedom card
-Earn a 10% bonus on Freedom base spending
-Earn 5 points per dollar in rotating Freedom categories.
-Earn 2.14 points per dollar on airfare, dining, car rentals, hotels, and more with Sapphire Preferred.
-Transfer the Freedom points to your Sapphire card to allow those points to be used for lucrative airline and hotel currencies.

I guess that was all too generous. The Freedom card first got rid of the 10+10% program (though some people still have it until today) though they actually improved the 10% by allowing it to count on bonus points. That made the quarterly rotating 5 point categories actually worth 5.5 points per dollar.
However now they announced the 10% will be going away altogether with the final annual bonus posting in 2016 for 2015 spending.  The same applies to Sapphire Preferred with the 7% annual bonus ending at the same time.

The good news is that the 10% language is still on the Freedom application, so you can apply now and still take advantage of that for 2014 and 2015 spending before its phased out.

I always thought it was a clever way to get people to bank with Chase, but the problem for Chase is that it was a hard benefit to communicate.

For now my old Ink Bold card still has its incredible exclusives benefits. Anyone care to guess when that will be phased out?

At any rate, Freedom and Sapphire remain a killer combo thanks to the 2 and 5 point bonus categories and Sapphire’s ability to transfer Freedom points to airlines and hotels (though Ink Plus and Ink Bold can do that as well). Come 2016 and it won’t be as lucrative as it once was.

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Sapphire Preferred Phasing Out 7% Annual Dividend, Adding Primary Rental Car CDW Insurance Worldwide

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an excellent all-around card thanks to its generous double point categories that include airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, restaurants, catering, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, cafes, taxis, Uber, parking, limos, buses, trains, EZPass, bridges, ferries, timeshares, etc.  On the first Friday of each month the dining/catering category is bumped up to triple points.  The card is made from metal and a real live human being answers the phone when you call customer service without having to navigate a phone-tree maze.

The card offers 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $3,000 in 3 months and an additional 5,000 points for adding a free additional user card. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.  There are no foreign exchange fees with Sapphire Preferred.

Unfortunately the 7% annual point dividend on top of all earning is being phased out.  Existing customers will still earn the 7% points dividend in February 2015 for 2014 purchases and one final time in February 2016 for 2015 purchases.

On the plus side though, effective today Chase is adding free primary car rental CDW insurance for every country in the world to the Sapphire Preferred card.  Almost every other credit card out there (besides for Chase United cards) only offers secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country.

The difference between primary and secondary coverage is huge.  Secondary coverage requires that you file a damage claim with your own car insurance company and only if your personal car insurance denies the claim will the credit card pay out.  You would have to be crazy to file a claim with your personal insurance for a scratch on your rental car. With primary coverage the credit card will cover all damage done to your rental car and your personal car insurance will never have to find out-so you won’t have to file a claim with your personal car insurance and your premiums won’t go up.

Most credit cards also exclude countries like Israel from coverage, however all Chase cards cover you worldwide, including in Israel.  And they will give you a letter of coverage stating that you are covered in Israel so that you don’t have to argue at the rental car counter that your Chase Visa does give CDW coverage.

With primary worldwide coverage on top of 2 points per dollar for car rentals, there is no better card today to rent a car on than Sapphire Preferred.

Chase also announced that effective today trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance on the Sapphire Preferred card will go up from $5,000 per trip to $10,000.  Other card benefits include:
-Lost luggage protection ($3,000 per person)
-Trip delay protection ($500 per person for trips delayed by 12+ hours or that require an overnight stay)
-Baggage delay protection (If delayed 6+ hours: $100 per day per person up to 5 days)
-Travel accident insurance
-Price protection ($500 per item that drops in price within 90 days of purchase)
-Return protection ($500 per item for 90 days)
-Purchase protection ($500 per item damaged or stolen for 120 days)
-Extended warranty protection ($10,000 per item for an extra year on original warranties of 3 years or less)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns Ultimate Rewards points and has the ability to transfer points into miles.  It also gives you the ability to transfer points from fantastic cards like Chase Freedom and Ink Cash into miles as well, as those cards can’t transfer points directly into miles without having the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card.

Points transfer at an equal ratio to:
-United (Star Alliance)
-Singapore (Star Alliance)
-British Airways (OneWorld)
-Korean (Skyteam)
-Southwest
-Virgin Atlantic
-Hyatt
-Marriott
-Ritz Carlton
-Priority Club
-Amtrak

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Last Days To Register For Freedom Q2 Bonus Spending

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The Chase Freedom Visa currently has a 20,000 point signup bonus. That bonus is marketed as $200 cash back as points can be used for cash back, though you would be wiser not to.  This is double the previous signup bonus and is available for a limited time only.

Additionally it also offers another 2,500 bonus points (marketed as $25 cash back) for adding a free additional user.  You’ll have 23,000 points for opening a new card, adding an additional user, and spending $500.  That’s enough points for 5 free short-haul flights.

Tomorrow, 06/14, is the last day to activate your Q2 Chase Freedom 5% categories. Although they are called “5% categories” you really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be cashed out for 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending you will earn at least 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points. If you or your spouse has a Sapphire PreferredInk Plus, or Ink Bold card you can transfer Freedom points over to one of those cards and then transfer them at a 1:1 ratio into much more valuable airline miles (United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, Singapore, etc) or hotel points (Hyatt, etc).  The $1,500 quarterly limit is per Freedom card.

If you have a Chase checking account you will also earn a 10% bonus on all points earned during 2014 on your January or February 2015 statement.  That means you’ll earn a whopping 5.5 points per dollar in these categories or 8,250 points each quarter.

The 5 point categories for the rest of 2014 are as follows:
Q2: Restaurants and Lowe’s.
Q3: Gas stations and Kohl’s.
Q4: Amazon.com, Zappos.com, and Department stores.

So go out to eat from now until June 30th and you’ll earn a whopping 5-5.5 per dollar spent.  Buy a gift card from your favorite eatery to lock in savings.

Or buy gift cards from Lowe’s.  See this post for gift cards that they sell for all kinds of other stores where you’ll be able to earn 5 or 5.5 points per dollar.

Of course if you have an Ink Plus, Ink Bold, or Ink Cash card you will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent all year round on telecom, cable, internet, as well as everything from office supply stores, which includes gift cards to other stores and prepaid cash cards that can be used anywhere.With the Bold/Plus cards that’s capped at $50,000 per year and with the Cash card that’s capped at $25,000 per year. Plus the Ink Visa cards earn 1% cash back on top of 5 points per dollar for $200+ purchases at Staples and other stores with Visa Savings Edge.  The cards also earn 2 points per dollar year-round at gas stations and either hotels (Bold/Plus) or dining (Cash).

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Final Day For Increased Signup Bonuses On Chase Ink Cards

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Update: DEAD!

Related: Ink Is Beautiful: 12 Reasons You Should Have A Chase Ink Card
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Originally posted on 05/01:

-Chase Ink Plus Credit Card 60K Limited Time Offer
-Chase Ink Bold Charge Card 60K Limited Time Offer
-Chase Ink Cash Credit Card 30K Limited Time Offer

The Chase Ink business cards are some of the best credit cards out there.

For a limited time only you can earn additional bonus points for signing up for them.
Last week the limited time increased bonus for these cards lasted just 1 week, though I don’t have any information on when it will end this year.

The bonus for the Ink Plus and Ink Bold cards is temporarily increased from 50,000 to 60,000 points for spending $5,000 within 3 months.
The bonus for the Ink Cash card is temporarily increased from 20,000 to 30,000 points (they advertise this as $300, but it comes in the form of 30,000 points which can be far more valuable than cash) for spending $3,000 within 3 months

Typically if you got a Chase card within the past couple months and the offer increases they will match the better offer for you. Just send a secure message to request that when logged in at Chase.com.

Here is a chart with the differences between these cards.

 Ink BoldInk PlusInk Cash
Signup Bonus50,00050,00020,000
Spend Threshold$5,000 in 3 months.$5,000 in 3 months.$3,000 in 3 months.
Type of cardCharge Card: Must be paid off in full every month.Credit Card: Can be paid back over time. Credit Card: Can be paid back over time.
Annual FeeNone for the first year, then $95None for the first year, then $95None
Points transfer into miles?YesYesNo, but they can be transferred if you or your spouse also has a Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred
Annual limit for 5 point per dollar categories$50,000 of spending.$50,000 of spending.$25,000 of spending.
Double point categoriesGas and HotelsGas and HotelsGas and Dining
Foreign Transaction Fee0%0%3%
APR for purchases and balance transfer.N/A15.24%0% intro APR for 12 months then 13.24%

As you can see, there’s no major difference between Ink Bold and Ink Plus other than charge versus credit.  One advantage of Ink Plus would be that you can shift credit lines to that card to get it approved and if you ever decide to close it, you’ll be able to shift the credit line elsewhere.

A great thing about these business cards is that they don’t report your spending on your personal credit report.

On personal cards if you spend money on your card your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a few dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month.

On a business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score. Plus if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

On a card like Ink Cash with 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months you can owe money without having any negative effect on your credit score.

Benefits on all Ink cards:

All Ink cards give 2 free lounge visits per user, even on free additional user cards. Here is a link to find valid lounges worldwide. Lounges include the Dan Lounge in Tel Aviv and the Art & Lounge in Newark which both have kosher food.

Ink cards are now all issued as Visa cards, so you can register them for Visa Savings Edge.

With that program you earn cash back on top of points.  You’ll earn 1% cash back at Staples, Chevron, and Texaco, 2% cash back at TigerDirect, 4% cash back at Alamo and National, 5% cash back at Lenovo, Sony, and several hotel brands, etc.

Plus all of the Ink cards offer 5 points per dollar on internet/cable service and telecom purchases, so that’s a nice rebate when you purchase a new cell phone and off your cable bill.

They also earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores. There are hundreds of gift cards sold by office supply stores.

-Upgrading at your local carrier’s store to an iPhone or Galaxy? 5 points per dollar.
-Buying gift cards for gas? 5 points per dollar plus you’ll pay the lower cash rates at the pump.
-Buying gift cards for Amazon, Gap, Groupon, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, TJMaxx, etc? 5 points per dollar.

At Staples of course you would earn 1% cash back plus 5 points per dollar.

Your local school or other charity will be more than happy to accept donations of Amazon gift cards for supplies or any other useful gift cards for chinese auctions, raffles, fundraisers, etc.

They will give you a tax deductible receipt for the full face value-the price you paid for the gift cards. And at the same time you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. So while doing good you can still get a nice chunk of points and you’ll save on your taxes.

You can buy $200 Visa gift cards (now sold online from Staples) that earn 1,000 points and can be used to pay bills with EvolveMoney, uploaded to Bluebird or used for cash back, bill pay, money orders, etc. Or you can use them for everyday spending thereby getting 5 points per dollat on everything you buy anywhere via the Visa gift cards.

The Bold and Plus cards offer 2 points per dollar for spending on gas and hotels (plus 1%-5% cash back with Visa Savings Edge)
The Cash card offers 2 points per per dollar for spending on gas (plus 1% cash back with Visa Savings Edgeand dining.

Point Currency:

Chase Ultimate Rewards offer instant and fee-free transfers to top-notch mileage and points programs at a 1:1 ratio.

Transfer partners include:
-Singapore (Star Alliance) offers private walled-in first class suites that can only be booked with their miles. A suite one-way from JFK to Europe is 57,375 miles. Travel to the US48, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and Israel can all be had on the cheap. There are no close-in booking fees and changes and cancellations are very cheap. Fuel surcharges apply when flying on most airlines besides United. More info here.
-United (Star Alliance) is still an excellent currency, even after their devaluation a few months ago.  They never charge fuel surcharges, have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
-British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards. Just 9,000 miles for a round-trip zone 1 or 15,000 miles for zone 2 short-haul award. The zone 3 award for 25,000 miles round-trip can also be a bargain, for example for flights between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands or between Boston and Ireland with no fuel surcharges. Flights to Israel on USAirways or Air Berlin are just 60,000 miles with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in or expedite fees. You can cancel an award for as little as $2.50. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on AA within the western hemisphere, on Qantas within Australia, on USAirways, Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
You can read more in the BA knowledgebase. And you can see 102 places you can go to nonstop from NYC with Avios.
-Korean (Skyteam) offers unbeatable first class availability (A380 First Class Trip Report here) and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first. And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska!
-Southwest offers a value of about 1.7 cents per point towards award travel.  Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes or flight cancellations. and you can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down. You can also transfer points to Airtran for flat-rate awards like business class upgrades or free tickets at a flat rate instead of a rate that corresponds to the ticket price. From Airtran they can even be converted back into the old Southwest program that also offers flat rate awards.
-Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses with awards on Delta and Cyprus Air.  For example a round-trip from Tel Aviv to Cyprus is just 5,000 miles!
-Hyatt is a powerful hotel currency. They have added a new cash and points option that offers some excellent values and more importantly those stays earn points, elite stay credits, promo credits, and you can use suite upgrades on cash and point stays as well.  It remains far less expensive for high-end hotel stays than any other hotel program, a $1,500/night villa at the Park Hyatt Maldives would run just 25,000 points or 12,500 points+$150.
You can also funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak. I’ve never been on an Amtrak in my life, but some people have reported getting some really nice bargains on Amtrak travel via their program.

The beauty of miles over points or cash-back:
The great thing about being able to transfer points into airlines or hotels are the incredible values you can attain.
-A first class ticket to Hawaii can cost $3,000 but you can use 60,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 6.7 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 300,000 points per ticket.
-A last minute ticket or a ticket where you don’t stay for 3 nights from New York to Detroit costs $1,500 in coach but just 9,000 miles. That’s a value of 16.7 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 150,000 points per ticket.
-A first class ticket to Asia can cost $27,000 but you can use 135,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 20 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 2,700,000 points per ticket.
-A night at a Park Hyatt in Paris, Sydney, or the Maldives can run $1,500 with tax but you can use 25K-30K points for that room, a value of 5-6 cents per point. Or you can use less points and get even better values with cash and points. If you were using Capital One points you would need 150,000 points per night.
And that’s all besides for the fact that getting a Capital One card costs a minimum of 3 credit pulls whereas you can get several Chase cards with just 1 credit pull.

Yes, the Ink cards are business cards. But you may be already running a business that qualifies for a business cardand there are several huge advantages that business cards have over consumer cards as you can read here.

For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business/hobby and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field as well as in the social security number field.

If you’re like me and you run more than one business you can get the same type of card for each business to manage each businesses expenses separately.

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Other Chase consumer cards you can apply for simultaneously include the Chase British Airways (50K signup points, 1.25 Avios per dollar, and an annual companion award ticket if you spend $30K+ in a  year), and the Chase United Explorer (30K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, and it gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance including in the US, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more), the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, plus 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), the Chase Southwest (50K signup points, 2 free checked bags, no award expedite fees, and no award cancellation fees), and the Chase Freedom (which has a limited time offer for 20,000 point for spending $500 plus 2,500 points for adding a free additional user, it also gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account).

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Chase Adds Singapore As 11th Transfer Partner; When You Should Transfer Your Points To Each Chase Partner

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

This news broke yesterday as I was in middle of traveling all day, but hey better late than never, right ;)

Even as AMEX Membership Rewards has lost valuable transfer partners over the years seemingly without any effort to replace them, Chase has continued to beef up their Ultimate Rewards transfer options.

The latest addition is Singapore Airlines, one of the finest airlines in the world.  You can now transfer points from AMEX Membership Rewards, Starwood, or Chase Ultimate Rewards to Singapore.

The current Chase transfer lineup includes:
Airlines: United (Star Alliance), Singapore (Star Alliance), British Airways (OneWorld), Korean (Skyteam), Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic.
Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Priority Club.
Trains: Amtrak.

I flew Singapore in Suites class on an A380 to Frankfurt (from where I connected to get to Paris) in 2012 and it was a flight that dreams are made of:

 

But even their business class is awesomeI flew it nonstop from Newark to Singapore on the way to the Maldives on an 18.5 flight that is now discontinued. The service is the best in the air, even better than first class on most airlines.  Even Singapore coach is great, with amenity kits for adults and toys for kids.

Some things to keep in mind:
-Singapore charges fuel surcharges for travel on Singapore and most partner airlines besides United.
-You can generally only book Singapore first class with Singapore miles.
-Availability in Singapore business class is much better with Singapore miles than with partner miles.
-Seats often open up as the flight gets closer if the cabin isn’t selling. I’ve even seen 6 suites available for saver award redemption from JFK to Frankfurt within a week of the flight.
-There is a 15% discount when redeeming for Singapore flights online.
-There are no close-in/expedite fees.
-Award flight changes are only $20 ($12 if they can be done online)
-Award flight cancellations and redeposits are only $30.
-Singapore allows for one-way award redemption at half the miles of a round-trip.

Here are some sample first/suites class one-way saver award rates and fuel surcharges from the US:
Only A380 flights have private suites, but their “regular” first class is nothing to sneeze at either, it’s among the very best in the world!
JFK-Frankfurt: 57,375+$218.50
JFK-Frankfurt-Singapore Direct flight: 93,500+$353.80
JFK-Frankfurt-Singapore Stopover flight: 93,500+$471.81
Houston-Moscow: 57,375+$226.90
Houston-Moscow-Singapore: 93,500+$333.90
Los Angeles-Tokyo: 74,375+$172.80
Los Angeles-Tokyo-Singapore Direct flight: 91,375+$340.96
Los Angeles-Tokyo-Singapore Stopover flight: 91,375+$323.81
S. Francisco-Hong Kong: 70,125+$112.40
S. Francisco-Hong Kong-Singapore Direct flight: 91,375+$325.50
S. Francisco-Hong Kong-Singapore Stopover flight: 91,375+$154.60
S. Francisco-Seoul: 74,375+$216.50
S. Francisco-Seoul-Singapore: 91,375+$325.50

People flying in suites class have had success requesting kosher wine and even kosher champagne on-board.  At JFK, suites passengers have access to the Virgin Clubhouse where there are complimentary kosher meals that are much better than typical airline food.

Personally we had double wrapped food from nearby Carlos & Gabby’s and our personal Singapore flight attendant was more than happy to heat it all up for us and serve it next to some fine scotch.

In Singapore first class passengers have access to the “private Room” where you can order kosher meals as well.

Partner rates are also very good, here is their partner award chart.
-Domestic business class is just 40K round-trip. A flight from NYC to the west coast in lie-flat seats is just 40K with no fuel surcharges. United charges 50K.
-Coach to Alaska is 25K and business class is 40K round-trip. United charges 35K coach and 60K business to Alaska.
-Coach to Hawaii is just 35K and Business class to Hawaii is just 60K. That’s an incredible deal for a lie-flat seat on a long flight to Hawaii. United charges 45K coach and 80K business.
-Coach to Israel is 75K and business class is 115K. United charges 85K coach and 140K-160K in business.
-Coach to Europe is 55K, business is 130K, and first is 160K. United charges 60K coach, 115-140K in business, and 160K-220K in first.

-Partner awards must be booked over the phone. That means if you want to fly to Tel Aviv (on a route like JFK-Frankfurt in Singapore suites and then from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv on Lufthansa) you will have to call.
-Awards with Singapore and partner flights will price out using the partner award chart, not the Singapore award chart.
-In addition to dozens of Star Alliance partner there are also 6 non-alliance partners that you can fly on with Singapore miles.

So where should you transfer your Chase points to?
-Singapore miles are excellent if you want to fly in Singapore business or first/suites class. You’ll pay some fuel surcharges, but they’re not as high as other airlines like British Airways and the product/service is top-in-class.
Singapore miles are also great for travel on United as many routes require fewer miles and there are no fuel surcharges for United flights. Plus change/cancellation fees are much lower with Singapore and Singapore will allow you to hold awards if you have miles in your account.
Transfers to Singapore aren’t instant, they can take a day or 2. Miles expire after 36 months regardless of activity.

-The advantage of United miles is that you will never pay fuel surcharges. That makes it an excellent all-around program. Now here’s the trade-off, United charges more miles than Singapore for most routes, so if you want to fly on a United partner airline you’ll have to decide whether you want to use more miles to redeem a United ticket without fuel surcharges or whether you want to save miles and use Singapore but pay fuel surcharges. Fuel surcharges vary greatly based on the airline and route so unfortunately there’s no one-size fits all answer. You’ll just have to compare the mileage requirements between United and Singapore and weigh them against fuel surcharges that Singapore will collect.
Transfers to United are instant. Miles don’t expire as long as you have any activity every 18 months. Miles never expire if you have a Chase United card.

-British Airways Avios are unbeatable for short-haul nonstop flights which start at just 4,500 miles each way.
However they stink for flying long-haul internationally on BA and most of their partners because you pay more miles for every flight leg and you pay heavy fuel surcharges.
Use BA miles on airlines where you don’t pay fuel surcharges, like Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, USAirways, and TAM. You also won’t pay fuel surcharges on American within the Western Hemisphere or on Qantas within Austrlia. Fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific and on intra-Europe flights are relatively low. Transfers to BA are instant. Miles don’t expire as long as you have any activity every 36 months.

-Southwest points are very good for domestic flights. Southwest has no award cancellation fees and gives 2 free bags. If you get a free companion pass from opening Southwest cards or tranfers from Hyatt you’ll double the value of your points! Transfers to Southwest are instant. Miles don’t expire as long as you have any activity every 24 months.

-Korean is excellent for awards on Alaska to Alaska or Hawaii or on Hawaiian to Hawaii. They’re also great for first class awards on Korean. Transfers to Korean are instant. Miles expire after 10 years regardless of activity.

-Hyatt points are incredibly valuable and you can get a ton of value from new point options like cash and points which are also eligible for promotions and upgrades. Transfers to Hyatt are instant. Miles don’t expire as long as you have any activity every 24 months.

-Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses with awards on Delta and Cyprus Air. For example a round-trip from Tel Aviv to Cyprus is just 5,000 miles! Miles don’t expire as long as you have any activity every 36 months. Transfers to Virgin Atlantic are instant.

-I’ve never been on an Amtrak in my life, but people have reported getting some amazing bargains on Amtrak travel from regular short-trips to longhaul sleeper cars. Transfers to Amtrak are instant.

-Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Priority Club are generally weaker hotel currencies and you’ll probably find better uses of your Chase points elsewhere.

Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
Business cards:
You can earn up to 5 points per dollar plus get cash back on Chase Ink Visa cards:

-Chase Ink Plus Credit Card has a 60K bonus for spending $5K. This limited time increased offer ends 06/01.

-Chase Ink Bold Charge Card has a 60K bonus for spending $5K. This limited time increased offer ends 06/01.

-Chase Ink Cash Card Linky has a 30K bonus for spending $3K. This limited time increased offer ends 06/01. Note that while you can earn points on this card, you or your spouse needs an Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred card to actually transfer points into miles, otherwise you will only get 1% cash back.

Consumer cards:
-Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 40K bonus for spending $3K and another 5K bonus for adding a free additional user card. You can earn 2.14 points per dollar on all travel and dining charges and 1.07 points per dollar elsewhere.

-Chase Freedom has a 10K bonus for spending $500 and another 2.5K bonus for adding a free additional user card. You can earn up to 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. If you have a Chase checking account you’ll earn 5.5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 1.1 points per dollar elsewhere. Note that while you can earn points on this card, you or your spouse needs an Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred card to actually transfer points into miles, otherwise you will only get 1% cash back.

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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card: Get 50,000 Points

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

From the Southwest blog:
-More international Airtran flights switch to Southwest-which makes them eligible for redemption and companion pass usage.  And the international expansion is only just beginning.
A companion pass lowers the cost of a nonstop flight from NYC/Islip to Fort Lauderdale for example from under 11,000 points round-trip per person to under 5,500 points round-trip per person. (Sample date 03/31-04/07)
-You can now book flights through October. You can always redeem points now and rebook if the price drops or cancel if your plans change, all without paying any fees.
-Yisrael LUVs Southwest and catches their attention.
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Originally posted on 01/09/14:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Chase Visa Signature Card

Signup offer and anniversary bonus:

You can get 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 within 3 months of getting the card. They’re marketing this as 2 roundtrip flights but in fact it is enough for up to $970 of flights on Southwest.

For example a one-way Los Angeles-Las Vegas flight on 05/07/14 is $62 with tax.
It can also be bought for 3,060 points plus $2.50 tax.
So 3,060 points gets you a value of $59.50 ($59.50 airfare less the $2.50 tax required on the points ticket)
So each point is worth 1.94 cents (59.50/3,060), valid for redemption on all flights. so you can stretch out those 50K points points for as many as 16 flights with Southwest’s low prices or 32 flights if you earn a companion pass.

Note that effective for booking made on or after 03/31 the value of Southwest points will be going down.  For the flight in the example above you will need 3,570 points.  For that route the value per point will be 1.67 cents (59.50/3,570).  However you can still transfer points into the old program which isn’t being devalued-see below for more.

Free changes and cancellations. Lock in low fares with no penalty:

While other mileage currencies now charge $200 to cancel an award ticket, Southwest continues to allow you to cancel an award flight and redeposit the points in your account for future use without any penalties! Coupled with 2 free bags per person and that’s a lot of added value. A family of 4 needing to cancel award tickets on another airline would set you back $800 versus it being a free change on Southwest. A family of 4 checking 2 bags each would run $480 round-trip on another airline versus paying nothing on Southwest.

Thinking of taking a trip but not 100% sure about it? With Southwest points you can lock in a good rate and just cancel the trip free of charge at any point before the flight if you can’t make it!

You can use the points for yourself or book award tickets for anyone else you want to give a ticket to.

Airtran flights:

You can also use your points for Airtran flights as well! Plus because you will be booking the Airtran flights via Southwest.com you will get 2 free bags and free changes and flight cancellations as well!

Don’t fly?

You can also use 50,000 points to get $500 worth of gift cards to places like Alamo, Amazon, Avis, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Brooks Brothers, Budget, Carnival Cruises, Children’s Place, Express, Fairmont, Gap, Hertz, Hyatt, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Marriott, Motherhood Maternity, National, Nike, Office Depot, Saks, Sea World, Sears, Shutterfly, Staples, Starbucks, Toys R Us, TJMaxx, Walmart, Zappos and many others.

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With Southwest’s Rapid Rewards “2.0” program you can redeem points for any seat on any flight. There are no blackout dates or capacity controls.

The value per point will depend on your route, but points always seem to be worth more than 1.8 cents each for discounted fares.

When Southwest has a fare sale the amount of points go on sale as well as it tracks to the price of the ticket. Best of all Southwest will refund your points if the price of your award ticket falls!  Just rebook your trip online for the same dates or give them a call for the credit.

You get 1 point per dollar on regular purchases and 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, including hotel and car rentals via Southwest.

Companion pass:

Plus you get a free companion pass if you earn 110,000 points in a year from most sources, including earnings from credit card signups and credit card spending! If you earn 110,000 Southwest points in 2014 the pass will be good until 12/31/15. The pass allows you to bring a companion with you for free whenever you fly Southwest, even if you are flying on a free ticket! There is no limit to the number of free companion flights that you can take.

Points transferred from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest don’t qualify towards companion pass status, but points transferred from Ultimate Rewards into Hyatt and then into Southwest do qualify. So you can transfer 50K Ultimate Rewards points into 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt transfers into 30K Southwest.

In other words if you get 50K points from signing up for this credit card you can transfer 100K Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and then into 60K Southwest points, worth about $1,170 towards Southwest travel. Plus then you’ll have a companion pass so that you can bring your companion for free whenever you fly Southwest, so that $1,170 toward Southwest is really doubled to $2,340 because of the free companion ticket. Not a bad value for a 100K Ultimate Rewards transfer.

See this post for more info on the Ultimate Rewards program and associated credit cards.

Transfers to Airtran and Rapid Rewards “1.0”:

You can transfer increments of 1,200 Southwest points into 1 Airtran credit. Here is Airtran’s award chart, which does not price awards according to the cost of the flight. Thus you can get an international round-trip award ticket for just 19,200 Southwest points. These awards are capacity controlled however. A business class upgrade on Airtran is just 4,800 Southwest points.

Once they are in Airtran you can also transfer them back into Southwest’s old Rapid Rewards 1.0 program. In this program awards are just 16 credits (19,200 points) round-trip, no matter how expensive the flight is. These are also capacity controlled, but for some flights you will come out far ahead with this old program.

And as always, Southwest:
-Gives 2 free checked bags per passenger.
-Does not charge change fees to switch your flight. Whether you are on a paid or an award flight you can change without penalty!
-Does not charge a cancellation fee to cancel your flight (you will get Southwest credit for the full amount paid, even on non-refundable wanna get away fares) or to cancel and redeposit your award flight.
-Refunds the fare or point difference if the price of your flight goes down after you buy it, just call to get the credit at any time before your flight!

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Other Chase consumer cards you can get at the time as the Southwest card include the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, plus 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), Chase British Airways , Chase Freedom (which gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account), and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more).

The Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold business cards both give 50,000 signup points and offer 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and office supply stores, 2 points per dollar for gas and lodging, no foreign exchange fees, free lounge visits, and a waived annual fee for the first year.

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Current Mega Signup Bonuses From Chase

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

A quick roundup of mega signup bonus offers from Chase. Did you know that all Chase cards give free car rental CDW insurance in Israel?

-Chase Sapphire Preferred
Signup bonus: 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending $3,000 within 3 months plus 5,000 points for adding a free additional user. The annual fee is waived for the first year.

The Sapphire card is a great all-around card thanks to no foreign exchange fees and a 7% annual points dividend which means that you’ll earn at least 1.07 points per dollar spent. You will also earn 2.14 points per dollar spent on restaurants, airfare, hotels, car rentals, charges in airports, travel agencies, caterers, timeshares, trains, buses, taxis/limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking. On the first Friday of every month this year you earn 3.21 points per dollar on dining.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are extremely flexible.  They can be transferred instantly to several great airline and hotel programs like United (Star Alliance), British Airways (OneWorld), Korean (Skyteam but they also have a great Alaska and Hawaiian Air chart partner chart), Southwest, Hyatt, and more. You can even transfer points to Amtrak if that’s your thing.

Those program each have their niches where your points can be worth a ton.  A $1,300 last minute ticket can be had for as little as 9,000 points, a $6,000 business class ticket for 115,000 points, or a $1,500 hotel room/villa for 25,000 points or just 12,500 points plus $150 with points and cash.

Read more about the Chase Ultimate Rewards program in this post.

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-Chase Southwest Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

There are no foreign exchange fees.

Southwest charges a variable amount of points based on the airfare. Starting 03/31 this will get a bit pricier.  For example a flight from Los Angeles to S. Francisco from 03/12-03/18 is currently $116. Or it’s points it’s 5,358 points plus $5.  So 5,358 points saves you $111 or a value of 2.07 cents per point.  On other tickets you may only get a value of 1.8 cents, but it will stay within that range.  On 03/31 that ticket will cost 6,252 points for a value of 1.78 cents per point.

If you don’t fly you can also get $500 in gift cards to dozens of stores for the 50,000 points.

The great thing about Southwest is that you can cancel award travel tickets and have the points redeposited into your account for free.  That means during a fare sale you can speculatively book a ticket and not worry if your plans don’t work out.  Or if the paid fare goes down just rebook your ticket and get back points.

And everyone gets 2 free checked bags.
If you collect 110,000 Southwest points in a year from select sources (including all points from Southwest credit cards and transfers from hotel programs like Hyatt) you can to bring along a companion for free on all of your Southwest flights for the remainder of the year and for the entire following year. That’s good on paid flights and on award flights, so you can effectively get twice the value out of your points .
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-Chase British Airways Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 BA Avios for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

There are no foreign exchange fees.
With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a TON of free travel from your Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on American within the Western Hemisphere, Qantas within Australia, or worldwide on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, or LAN, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award online.

This program has great one-way bargains like 4.5K miles from Miami to the Caribbean, 7.5K miles from JFK to Bermuda, 12.5K miles from the west coast to any of the Hawaiian islands, and 12.5K miles from Boston to Ireland, all without fuel surcharges.

In just a month from now you’ll also be able to book all USAirways flights with Avios.
Cardholders also get 10% off paid BA tickets and can earn a companion award ticket if they spend $30K.

Want to learn more about the BA Avios program? I’ve written up an entire knowledgebase of facts that you can peruse.

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-Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold business cards.
Signup bonus: Both of these cards give 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points each for spending $5,000 within 3 months.  The Ink Plus is a credit card and Ink Bold is a charge card.

They both have no annual fees for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, and 2 free lounge visits per year.

But even more importantly you earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, where you can find hundreds of gift cards to other online and retail stores. And that’s besides for 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and internet as well as 2 points per dollar on gas and hotels.  Plus you also get cash back on top of points with Visa Savings Program and Mastercard Easy Savings

50,000 signup points and 5 points per dollar earning makes the Ink cards a must-have for any mileage junkies.

Read more about getting business cards and the credit benefits of using business cards in this post.

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Other awesome Chase cards with lesser published signup bonuses that you can add onto a “3BM” (using 3 different internet browsers to apply for 3 different cards from the same bank at the same time) include the Chase Ink Cash (which has no annual fee and has 5 point per dollar and 2 point per dollar categories along with free lounge passes), Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account making it 5.5 points per dollar), the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more). There is also a business version of the United Explorer (click on “are you a business owner” on the Explorer application) and a Club version of the United card (click on the Club tab on the Explorer application) that gives 1.5 miles per dollar spent, 2 free checked bags per person, a United Club membership with unlimited free lounge and airport terminal access for you and your family, and waived expedite fees on United awards.

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Chase Freedom Reminders And News

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Update:
-If you want to get in the limited time Freedom offer with double the normal signup bonus then you should do that soon…
-Plus don’t forget that you have less than a week left to get 5 or 5.5 points per dollar in this quarter’s rotating categories.
-There’s also less than a week to open a Chase checking account to get the 10% bonus on top of 2013 earnings.
-You can also now register for 2014 Q1 5x  categories!

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Originally posted on 12/03:

Chase Freedom is probably the best no annual fee consumer card that exists.  It’s a easy card to get approved for and for a limited time only it comes with a 20,000 point signup bonus instead of the normal 10,000 point bonus.

2 things make the card so lucrative:
-Every quarter you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in quarterly spending in rotating categories.  Currently that includes department stores as well as Amazon.com. That’s up to 30,000 points per year.
-If you have a Chase checking account you will get a 10% bonus on top of all points earned during the previous year. That means you’ll earn 1.1 points per dollar everywhere and 5.5 points per dollar in the rotating categories.  That bumps the bonus category earnings to 33,000 points per year.

Those points can be cashed out for a penny a piece though that’s borderline criminal as the points can be worth so much more when transferred to miles.  If you or your spouse has or will get a Sapphire PreferredInk Plus, or Ink Bold card in the future you can transfer Freedom points over to one of those cards and then transfer them at a 1:1 ratio into much more valuable airline miles (United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, or Virgin America), hotel points (Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Priority Club), or Amtrak points.  You can read more about the Chase Trifecta and why miles are better than cash back in this post.

At any rate:

1. You must register for the Q4 category bonus by 12/14 and complete spending by 12/31.  Registering now will retroactively credit you for any bonus category purchases made since October.

2. The bonus category list for 2014 will be:
Q1: Gas stations, Movie theaters, Starbucks (Activate starting 12/15)
Q2: Restaurants and Lowe’s (Activate starting 03/15)
Q3: Gas stations and Kohl’s (Activate starting 06/15)
Q4: Amazon.com, Zappos.com, and Department stores (Activate starting 09/15)
With $6,000 of spending that’s 30K points or 33K points with a Chase checking account.

There are 2 quarters with gas stations and that includes items bought in gas station stores as well.  Last time I maximized that by buying One Vanilla gift cards at 7-Eleven on my Freedom cards.  Most 7/11s are categorized as gas stations, you can confirm each one on the Visa merchant categorization site. Then I went next door to Walmart to load them onto Bluebird cards using the last 4 digits of the card as the pin number without even needing to register the card. You can read more about Bluebird in this post.

That’s 8,250 points (per Freedom card) for $14.85 in total fees or 0.18 cents per point. In more practical terms that’s like buying a nonstop one-way business class ticket to Israel on United for $108 or a one-way short-haul flight on American for $8.10.

Lowe’s also sells gift cards to other stores and gas stations.  And your favorite restaurant will always be happy to lock in your money as well.

Department stores like Sears also sell gift cards to other stores.  You effectively you can spend all $6,000 on gift cards to other stores.

Of course if you have an Ink Plus, Ink Bold, or Ink Cash card you will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent all year round on telecom, cable, internet, as well as everything from office supply stores, which includes gift cards to other stores and prepaid cash cards that can be used anywhere. With the Bold/Plus cards that’s capped at $50,000 per year and with the Cash card that’s capped at $25,000 per year. The cards also earn 2 points per dollar year-round at gas stations and either hotels (Bold/Plus) or dining (Cash).  More about Ink benefits and how you can get an Ink card in this post.

3. As long as you have an open Chase Freedom and Chase checking account on 12/31 you will get the 10% bonus for everything in 2013.  Now is the time to open those accounts if you don’t have one yet!

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Reminder: Earn 3.21 Points Per Dollar With Sapphire Preferred At Restaurants Today

Friday, October 4th, 2013

You will earn triple points today with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card on all dining purchases.  This promotion runs on every first Friday of the month at least through the end of the year.  Normally you earn 2.14 points per dollar on dining, airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals.

Together with the 7% annual dividend that means 3.21 points per dollar.  Spend $100 in any restaurant and you’ll get 300 points on your next statement plus 21 additional points as part of your annual dividend.

Dining on the Sapphire Preferred card includes all sit-down restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, catering, bars, lounges, and more.

Don’t want to eat out today? Ask your favorite eatery if they sell gift cards and lock in 3.21 points per dollar by purchasing them today!

Are you outside of the USA? Not to worry, the Sapphire Preferred card does not charge any foreign transaction fees.

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Reminder: Earn 3.21 Points Per Dollar With Sapphire Preferred At Restaurants Today

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

You will earn triple points today with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card on all dining purchases.  This promotion runs on every first Friday of the month at least through the end of the year.

Together with the 7% annual dividend that means 3.21 points per dollar.  Spend $100 in any restaurant and you’ll get 300 points on your next statement plus 21 additional points as part of your annual dividend.

Dining on the Sapphire Preferred card includes all sit-down restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, catering, bars, lounges, and more.

Don’t want to eat out today? Ask your favorite eatery if they sell gift cards and lock in 3.21 points per dollar by purchasing them today!

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Current Mega Signup Bonuses From Chase

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Chase has really stepped up their credit card offers in recent years. The signup bonuses, point transfer partners, and credit card spending bonus categories have really stolen much of the thunder of one-time wundercards like the Starwood American Express.

Besides for the mega signup bonuses and earning 2, 2.07, 3.21, 5, or even 5.5 points per dollar in different categories on various cards, the Chase UR points themselves are much more valuable than points from most other banks that are worth only a penny each.
How so? Here are just a few examples of redemptions that I have made:
-A United business flight to Israel for 120,000 miles instead of $5,000, a value of over 4 cents each.
-A last minute United mid-haul coach flight cost me 20,000 miles instead of $850, a value of over 4 cents each.
-A Park Hyatt hotel in Paris, Sydney, Zurich, or the Maldives is $1,000 a night or 22,000 points, a value of over 4 cents each.
-A last-minute BA flight that I took was 9,000 points or $1,200, a value of over 13 cents each.
-2 first class Korean flights I took cost a total of 95,000 points instead of $13,000, a value of over 13 cents each.
-A regular old Southwest flight in coach will be worth 1.9 cents per point or 3.8 cents if you earn a companion pass.
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Here’s a quick roundup of the current offers:

-Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business cards.
Signup bonus: Both of these cards give 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points each for spending $5,000 within 3 months. You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.9 cents for your Ultimate Rewards points, making the signup bonus worth $950. The Ink Plus is a credit card and Ink Bold is a charge card.

They both have no annual fees for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, and 2 free lounge visits per year (even for free additional user cards!)

But even more importantly you earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, where you can find hundreds of gift cards to other online and retail stores. And that’s besides for 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and internet as well as 2 points per dollar on gas and hotels.

50,000 signup points and 5 points per dollar earning makes the Ink cards a must-have for any mileage junkies.

If you need some help to meet the spend threshold you’ll want to signup for a free Bluebird card from where you can pay any of your bills or write checks. Chase is still selling gift cards with no fees and free shipping that can be loaded onto Bluebird. Plus there’s Amazon Payments, Vanilla Reloads, Vanilla MVDs, or even buying Visa gift cards (which work on Amazon Payments and Bluebird as well) or store gift cards from office supply stores with 5x points, it’s really not all that difficult. Even if you pay your federal taxes via a credit card for a 1.88% fee, you’ll be coming out way ahead thanks to the generous signup bonus.

Read more about getting business cards and the credit benefits of using business cards in this post.

Read more about the awesome Chase Ultimate Rewards program in this post. Points transfer to some of the best airlines and hotel programs out there.

-Chase Sapphire Preferred
Signup bonus: 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending $3,000 within 3 months. The annual fee is waived for the first year.
You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.9 cents for your Ultimate Rewards points, making the signup bonus worth $760.

Sapphire Preferred offers a 7% points dividend every February for the previous year’s purchases, effectively making the card earn at least 1.07 points per dollar spent. You will also earn 2.14 points per dollar spent on restaurants, airfare, hotels, car rentals, charges in airports, travel agencies, caterers, timeshares, trains, buses, taxis/limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking. On the first Friday of every month you earn 3.21 points per dollar on dining. There are no foreign exchange fee.

-Chase Southwest Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.
This offer is scheduled to end on August 6th.
There are 4 versions of this card, each giving 50,000 points that are accessible via the link above under the “Additional Southwest Airlines Credit Cards.” They include a consumer and business premier card with a $99 annual fee that have higher annual bonuses and no foreign exchange fees and a consumer and business plus card with a $69 annual fee that have lower annual bonuses and charge foreign exchange fees.
When used for flights points are worth roughly 1.9 cents each and when used for gift cards points are worth 1 cent each, making making the signup bonus worth anywhere between $500 and $950.
If you collect 110,000 Southwest points in a year from select sources, including all points from Southwest credit cards, you can to bring along a companion for free on all of your Southwest (and Southwest coded Airtran) flights for the remainder of the year and for the entire following year. That’s good on paid flights and on award flights, so you can effectively get twice the value out of your points earned.
The best part about Southwest? Award changes and cancellations are free and everyone gets 2 free checked bags.
Read this post for more info on the Southwest program and various options for the points for non-flyers, such as $500 in gift cards to various stores.

-Chase British Airways Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 BA Avios for spending $1,000 within 3 months.
You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.3 cents for your Avios, making the signup bonus worth $650.
With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on AA within the Western Hemisphere or on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, LAN worldwide, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award.
Cardholders also get 10% off paid BA tickets and can earn a companion award ticket if they spend $30K.
Want to learn more about the BA Avios program. I’ve written up an entire knowledgebase of facts that you can peruse.

Other awesome Chase cards with lesser published signup bonuses that you can add onto a “3BM” with just 1 credit pull include the Chase Ink Cash (which has no annual fee and has 5 point per dollar and 2 point per dollar categories along with free lounge passes), Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account) and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance worldwide except Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, a 10K bonus for spending $2%K in a year, and more). There is also a business version of the United Explorer (click on “are you a business owner” on the Explorer application) and a Club version of the United card (click on the Club tab on the Explorer application) that gives 1.5 miles per dollar spent, 2 free checked bags per person, a United Club membership with unlimited free lounge and airport terminal access for you and your family, and waived expedite fees on United awards.

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Earn 3.21 Points Per Dollar With Sapphire Preferred At Restaurants Today…Or 5 Points Per Dollar With Freedom

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

You can now automatically earn triple points with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card on all dining on every first Friday of the month at least through the end of the year.  Together with the 7% annual dividend that means 3.21 points per dollar.  Spend $100 in a restaurant and you’ll get 300 points on your next statement plus 21 points in your annual dividend.

That’s nice, but at least for today and the first Friday in June (the 7th) you’ll be better off using your Chase Freedom card which is offering 5 points per dollar on all dining from now through June 30.  Spend $100 in a restaurant and you’ll get 500 points on your next statement (though sometimes the 5% doesn’t post until the 2nd statement).  Registration is required for the Freedom 5 point categories which include dining, movie theaters, and Lowe’s purchases through June 30. Spending is limited to $1,500 per Freedom card per quarter.

Plus if your card is linked for Chase Exclusives with a Chase checking account you’ll either earn an extra 10 points per transaction plus a 0.1 points per dollar monthly bonus.  Spend $100 in a restaurant with the old Exclusives program and you’ll have 520 points on your next statement.  Or you will get a 0.5 points per dollar annual bonus with the new Exclusives program.  Spend $100 with the new Exclusives program in a restaurant and you’ll get 500 points on your next statement plus 50 points in your annual dividend.

Personally I’m still in the old Exclusives program, but Chase said they will send me a letter when I am transitioned to the new program.

Bear in mind that if you are outside of the US that you would do better with Sapphire Preferred as that has no foreign exchange fees while Freedom will sock you with a 3% fee.  Also you or your wife need a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card to transfer points earned on the Freedom card into airlines or hotels.

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Current Mega Signup Bonuses From Chase

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Related post: Reconsideration For Those Without The Gift Of Gab (Don’t just give up after you are denied!)
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Chase has really stepped up their credit card offers in recent years.  The signup bonuses and credit card spending multiples have really stolen the thunder of one-time wundercards like the Starwood American Express that couldn’t be matched.

Here’s a quick roundup:

-Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business cards.
Signup bonus: Both of these cards give a whopping 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each for spending $5,000 within 3 months. You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.9 cents for your Ultimate Rewards points, making the signup bonus worth $950. Ink Plus is a credit card and Ink Bold is a charge card. I’ve been able to get both approved due to that with one call to Reconsideration.

They both have no annual fees for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, and 2 free lounge visits per year (even for free additional user cards!)

But even more importantly you earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, where you can find hundreds of gift cards to other online and retail stores. And that’s besides for 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and internet as well as 2 points per dollar on gas and hotels.

50,000 signup points and 5 points per dollar earning makes the Ink cards a must-have for any mileage junkies.  While the $5,000 spend in 3 months may sound daunting for some, between Amazon Payments, Vanilla Reloads, or even buying Visa gift cards (which work on Amazon Payments as well) or store gift cards from office supply stores with 5x points, it’s really not all that difficult.  Even if you pay your federal taxes via a credit card for a 1.88% fee, you’ll be coming out way ahead thanks to the generous signup bonus.

Read more about getting business cards and the credit benefits of using business cards in this post.

Read more about the awesome Chase Ultimate Rewards program in this post. Points transfer to some of the best airlines and hotel programs out there.

-Chase Sapphire Preferred
Signup bonus: 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending $3,000 within 3 months. The annual fee is waived for the first year.
You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.9 cents for your Ultimate Rewards points, making the signup bonus worth $760.

Sapphire Preferred offers a 7% points dividend every February for the previous year’s purchases, effectively making the card earn at least 1.07 points per dollar spent. You will also earn 2.14 points per dollar spent on restaurants, airfare, hotels, car rentals, charges in airports, travel agencies, caterers, timeshares, trains, buses, taxis/limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking. There are no foreign exchange fee.

-Chase Southwest Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.
There are 4 versions of this card, each giving 50,000 points that are accessible under the “Additional Southwest Airlines Credit Cards.” They include a consumer and business premier card with a $99 annual fee that have higher annual bonuses and no foreign exchange fees and a consumer and business plus card with a $69 annual fee that have lower annual bonuses and charge foreign exchange fees.
When used for flights points are worth roughly 1.9 cents each and when used for gift cards points are worth 1 cent each, making making the signup bonus worth anywhere between $500 and $950.
If you collect 110,000 Southwest points in a year from select sources, including all points from Southwest credit cards, you can to bring along a companion for free on all of your Southwest (and Southwest coded Airtran) flights for the remainder of the year and for the entire following year. That’s good on paid flights and on award flights, so you can effectively get twice the value out of your points earned.  And award changes and cancellations are free, as are your checked luggage.
Read this post for more info on the Southwest program and various options for the points for non-flyers, such as store gift cards.

-Chase British Airways Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 BA Avios for spending $1,000 within 3 months.
You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.3 cents for your Avios, making the signup bonus worth $650.
With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on AA within the Western Hemisphere or on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, LAN worldwide, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award.

Other awesome Chase cards with lesser published signup bonuses that you can add onto a “3BM” with just 1 credit pull include the Chase Freedom (which gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account) and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more). There is also a business version of the United Explorer (click on “are you a business owner” on the Explorer application) and a Club version of the United card (click on the Club tab on the Explorer application) that gives 1.5 miles per dollar spent, 2 free checked bags per person, a United Club membership with unlimited free lounge and airport terminal access for you and your family, and waived expedite fees on United awards.

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2013 Freedom Bonus Categories Released!

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Update: Just a reminder than tomorrow, 12/14, is the final day to register for the Freedom Q4 categories!  You have until 12/31 to finish spending.
Registration for Q1 opens on 12/15 and I don’t know about you but I’m going to blow through $3,000 of “spending” on 2 Freedom cards for 15.5K UR points at CVS on New Year’s day pretty easily :D

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Originally posted on 11/28:

-Chase Freedom Mastercard-Earn $100 cash back (in the form of 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $500 in 3 months.
-Chase Freedom Visa-Earn $100 cash back (in the form of 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $500 in 3 months.
There is no annual fee for Freedom!
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The 5 point categories for 2013 have been announced and are as follows:

Q1, January – March: Gas stations, Drugstores & Starbucks
Q2, April – June: Restaurants & Movie theaters
Q3, July – September: Gas stations, Theme parks & Kohl’s
Q4, October – December: Select department stores & Amazon.com

Don’t forget that at gas stations and drug stores you can buy gift cards for other stores so that you earn 5 points per dollar there as well.

Plus many drug stores and gas stations carry Vanilla Reload cards, so that means 5 points per dollar and you can cash out the cards with Bluebird!

Of course if you have an Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink Cash, or Ink Classic card you will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent all year round on telecom, cable, internet, as well as everything from office supply stores, which includes gift cards to other stores and prepaid cash cards.  With the Bold/Plus cards that’s capped at $50,000 per year and with the Classic/Cash cards that’s capped at $25,000 per year.  The cards also earn 2 points per dollar year round at gas stations and either hotels (Bold/Plus/Classic) or dining (Cash)

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Don’t forget to activate your Q4 2012 Chase Freedom 5% categories by 12/14 and finish spending for hotels, airlines, Best Buy, and Kohl’s by 12/31.

You can also buy Amazon Kindle gift cards at Best Buy stores to earn 5 points per dollar.  Kindle gift cards work for everything sold on Amazon.com

Or you can buy gift cards from airlines or hotels that will lock in 5 points per dollar for future travel.

Here is a link that explains where you will and won’t earn the 5 points per dollar this quarter.

You earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 of spending per quarter.

Although they are called “5% categories” you really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be cashed out for 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending you will earn at least 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points.

However if you have a Sapphire PreferredInk Bold, or Ink Plus card then you can transfer the points over to one of those cards and then transfer them at a 1:1 ratio into much more valuable airline miles (United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, etc) or hotel points (Hyatt, etc)

If you are grandfathered for Freedom Exclusives you also get 10 points per transaction and a 10% bonus on base spend points.

HT: bubbles, via DDF

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Chase.com Gets A New Feature

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Related: Loving Chase Right Now…

Not a deal, but I figured that this is worth pointing out.

American Express has long allowed payments made from their site to instantly increase your available credit line.  With Chase it has always taken several days for your credit line to be increased once again.

I just noticed a couple days ago that Chase.com now immediately increases your credit line when you make a payment on Chase.com.  Love it!

Next improvement: Please allow people to make more than 1 payment to the same credit card on Chase.com within 3 days of the last one.

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Loving Chase Right Now…

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I’ve had 4 positive recent dealings with the Chase secure message team for myself and my family just for asking to be matched to the following better offers “that I had heard about from a colleague.”

You can send a secure message by logging into your Chase.com account and click on the secure message center at the top-right part of the site.

Related links:

United Explorer Visa (You can also use this link to signup for a club card by using the Club card tab or for a business card by clicking on “Are you a business owner” on the top-right of the page)

Ink Plus Mastercard

1. Matched from 30,000 miles to 55,000 miles plus a $50 statement credit on the United Explorer consumer card after spending $1,000 and adding a free additional user.

2. Matched from 30,000 miles to 50,000 miles plus a $50 statement credit on the United Explorer business card after spending $1,000.

United Explorer’s benefits include a free checked bag for you and a companion on United, expended saver award availability, guaranteed standard award availability, primary CDW coverage that almost no other cards besides United has, priority boarding, all United miles will never expire, 2 annual United club passes, and upgrades for elites on award tickets.

3. Matched to a waived annual fee for the first year on the United Club card.

United Club’s benefits include 1.5 miles per dollar spent worldwide, no foreign transaction fees, 2 free checked bags for you and a companion (and for free authorized users and their companion) on United, a full United Club membership with access to Star Alliance lounges worldwide, access to United and USAirways clubs even without a plane ticket, gate passes for you and all companions to the secured section of the airport terminal if it has a United or USAirways club, waived award expedite/close-in fees, primary CDW coverage that almost no other cards besides United has, expended saver award availability, guaranteed standard award availability, premier silver boarding zone, premier baggage handling, premier security line access, all United miles will never expire, 2 annual United club passes, upgrades for elites on award tickets, Avis President’s Club with guaranteed 2 class upgrades often to luxury cars from an intermediate, and Hyatt Platinum status for free internet on ann Hyatt stays and 2 free suite upgrades when you apply for the Hyatt card.

4. Matched from the old $10K spend requirement to a $5K spend requirement on the Ink Plus.

Ink Plus’ benefits include 5 points per dollar on internet, cable, wireless, and telecom. Plus 5 points per dollar at Office Supply stores which sell all kinds of gift cards to hundreds of other stores. Plus 2 points per dollar at gas stations and hotels. And there are no foreign transaction fees. This card also allows you to transfer all Chase points you or your spouse may have to airlines like BA or United or hotels like Hyatt.

With my successful 3BM this month for the Ink Plus, Ink Cash, and United Business cards (even got approved for the 2 Ink cards on the same phone call to Recon) I now have 13 active Chase cards on which I am the primary cardholder, making up about 30% of my currently active credit cards.
Best of all thanks to Staples’ recent promotion and CVS stocking Vanilla reload cards I was able to already meet the spend thresholds buying Vanilla cards, transferring those funds over to Bluebird and paying off my Chase cards electronically via Bluebird. Of course you can also pay off other bills, like your rent or mortgage, via Bluebird as well.

My current lineup is:
Chase Consumer (8):
United Explorer
United Club
Southwest Premier
Hyatt
Freedom Exclusives
Sapphire Preferred Visa
Sapphire Preferred Mastercard
United Awards Visa

Chase Business (5):
Ink Bold Exclusives Mastercard
Ink Plus Mastercard
Ink Classic Mastercard
Ink Cash Mastercard
United Explorer Business Visa

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Updated Chase Ink Offers

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Related posts:
-Want To Boost Your Credit Score? Spend On Business Cards Instead Of Consumer Cards.
-A Rundown Of The Chase Ultimate Rewards Program And Ultimate Rewards Cards
-Chase Ink Offers Being Updated

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It’s Tuesday and as promised here are the new offer links for the Chase Ink cards.  If any of the links below aren’t working you can try opening them in a different browser, or browsing incognito.  This is always a good strategy when a card offer says expired or unavailable as often it’s just a browser cookie issue. In IE and Firefox you can access this mode by holding down Ctrl, Shift, and P buttons on your keyboard. In Chrome you can access this mode by holding down Ctrl, Shift, and N. Then just return to DansDeals.com and click on the card offer you want and it should work for you.

-Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus now give 50,000 points each for spending just $5,000 in 3 months.  This is down from $10,000.

-Chase Ink Classic and Chase Ink Cash now give 20,000 points each for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

After my most recent business 3BM and I now have all 4 of these cards and they are still fully churnable in my experience.  I was even able to get 2 Ink cards approved on the same reconsideration call by moving credit around from other cards.

You can read more about these cards and their perks (lounge passes, etc) in the related links at the top of this post.  Bonus point categories include 5 points per dollar on telecom/cell phones, cable, internet, and office supply stores and 2 points per dollar on gas and lodging or dining on the Ink Cash card.

Getting a business card is quite simple.  You don’t need to be a traditional “business owner.”

For example if Joe Smith sells items on Ebay or on Amazon, or has any other side business/hobby and wants a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures he can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name.  You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field as well as in the social security number field.

I’ve had business cards since I turned 18 as a Sole Proprietor and never had a problem getting approved with reconsideration if needed.
You can reach Chase business reconsideration at 800-453-9719.  You can offer to move over part or all of the credit line from a consumer or business card to get a business card approved.

Need help meeting a spend hurdle? Don’t forget that you send $1,000/month via your credit card to anyone for free via Amazon Payments.  And they can send it back to you via their credit card or via a 3rd party who can put $1,000 on their card and send it back to you.

And of course you can stock up on gift cards to stores like Amazon or just a prepaid credit card (prepaid credit cards carry a fee of about 1%) at office supply stores on Ink cards and earn 5 miles for every dollar you spend.  At a value of about 1.9 cents per Ultimate Rewards point that’s like a 9.5% rebate.  Office supply stores like Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples all have large gift card sections and they even have occasional weekly promotions to buy gift cards, so check your Sunday circulars as they make it a cinch to meet a spending threshold.

When you buy $5,000 worth of gift cards or prepaid credit cards from an office supply store on a new Ink Bold or Ink Plus card you’ll have a whopping 75,00 points (50,000 points from the signup bonus and 25,000 points from the office spending.)  Coupled with bonus rebates on gift cards and finding ways to liquidate them for free like with Amazon or Bluebird it can all get pretty addictive.

Don’t have the money right now to pay off all those gift cards that you’re stocking up on to meet a spending threshold? Obviously don’t spend more than your needs, but all of the Ink cards besides the Bold card have 6 months of 0% interest on purchases (and balance transfers) and as a business card that balance won’t even show up on your credit report, so it won’t hurt you like it would on a consumer card! Just be sure that you’ll have the funds to cover your purchases in 6 months before they start charging interest. And of course you will have to make the minimum payments as well.

Also bear in mind that places like Plastic Jungle and CardPool will buy gift cards off of you.  People also buy and sell gift cards on the DDF Goods For Sale board.

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Chase Has A Great New British Airways Visa Offer, Though It’s Not Quite As Sweet As Last Year’s.

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Originally posted on 04/11/12:

Related posts:
-Save $400 On Fuel Surcharges To Israel By Booking Avios Rewards Via Iberia Instead Of British Airways!
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios…
-Booking With Avios? Check Those Surrounding Airports!
-Using BA Avios To Fly In Business Class For An 80 Minute Flight Can Make Sense.
-Short-Haul Flights: BA Avios Versus LAN Lanpass.
-BA Miles Are Now Avios…For Better Or For Worse.

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Chase British Airways Visa Linky

Offer Details:
-You will get 50,000 bonus Avios after your first purchase
-You can get another 25,000 bonus Avios after you make $10,000 in purchases within the first year of account opening.
-You can get another 25,000 bonus Avios after you make an additional $10,000 in purchases also within the first year of account opening.
-Every year that you spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a free companion ticket good for travel on British Airways for two years. That means with 80,000 miles you’ll have enough to fly 2 people in British Airway’s award winning lie-flat business class to London or with 120,000 miles you can fly 2 people to London in BA’s top-notch first class, though you do get hit with fuel surcharges. You’ll be able to “pay for those” by eating awesome Hermolis kosher meals in the London lounges (if only Hermolis catered all kosher meals!!!) as well as in the air and by taking advantage of a free massage and great scotch in the lounge as well!

Last year they ran an offer for a month offering 100,000 miles for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

This time they will give you 50,000 miles right off the bat, so for some people this may work out better for them as there’s no need for any major spending to get that. However to get 75,000 bonus miles or 100,000 bonus miles you’ll have to do some serious spending on the card in the first year.

It’s unknown how long this offer will run for.

Even at 50,000 miles though, that’s more than enough for:

-11 one-way short-haul tickets (4,500 x 11 tickets = 49,500 Avios required) between New York and places like Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, or Toronto.  It’s also enough between Miami and places like Cancun or Grand Cayman, all on OneWorld partner American.

-6 one-way tickets (7,500 x 6 tickets = 45,000 Avios required) between New York and Chicago or Florida or from LA to Cabo.

-5 one-way tickets (10,000 x 5 tickets = 50,000 Avios required) between Chicago and LA or between New York and Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

-4 one-way tickets (12,500 x 4 tickets = 50,000 Avios required) between the west coast and Hawaii, New York and the west coast, or New York and Costa Rica.  Hard to beat that value of just 25,000 miles for a round-trip between Los Angeles and any of the Hawaiian Islands with no fuel surcharges!

-2 one-way tickets (20,000 x 2 tickets = 40,000 Avios required) between Dallas and Hawaii or New York and London (though you’ll be hit with fuel surcharges for crossing the Atlantic)

-2 one-way tickets (25,000 x 2 tickets = 50,000 Avios required) between New York and Brazil or Argentina.

If you can spend $10,000 in a year you’ll have at least 87,500 miles (75,000 bonus miles plus 12,500 miles for the spending) and if you can spend $20,000 in a year you’ll have at least 125,000 miles (100,000 bonus miles plus 25,000 miles for the spending).  That’s enough for more than 27 short haul one-way tickets.

Card features:
-Earn 2.5 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases
-Earn 1.25 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
-Every year you spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a free companion ticket good for travel on British Airways for two years.
-Smart Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home
-Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad

About BA Avios:

-There are currently no fuel surcharges for flights wholly within the western hemisphere. These include flights on American (AA), Alaska, and LAN.  Fuel surcharges make flights that across the Atlantic Ocean prohibitively expensive.

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for booking last minute award tickets with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the cost of round-trip tickets.

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles and no extra money for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA.  AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare.

-British Airways charges double miles for business class and triple miles for first class. Beware that when flying domestically on AA’s 2 class planes they charge first class rates for what is really just a poor excuse for business class.

-You can search AA and Alaska award availability on AA.com and looking for sAAver awards. BA can’t book AAnytime awards. BA.com does not display all available awards, so you will have to call if you see a sAAver award on AA.com that’s not showing on BA.com.  It can also help to book each segment separately on BA.com

-You can pool together miles from everyone in your household!

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Yet Another Incredible Use Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: Transfer To Korean For Flights On Alaska, Hawaiian, Or Emirates!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Chase Ultimate Rewards has some great transfer partners that they transfer to at a 1:1 ratio:
Airlines: United (Star Alliance), British Airways (Oneworld), Korean (Skyteam), and Southwest (which can in turn transfer to Airtran).
Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, and Ritz Carlton.
Trains: Amtrak.

The most valuable partners in my opinion are United (which never charges fuel surcharges, allows free date changes, has flexible routing rules, allows one-way awards, and has dozens of partners to fly on) and Hyatt (where you can stay in incredible hotels that charge $1,000 per night with awards as low as 5K and up to a maximum of only 22K points per night).

Most foreign carriers tack on huge fuel surcharges on award tickets, however Korean is worth taking a 2nd look at.  They are partners with some airlines outside of the Skyteam Alliance that they don’t collect a fuel surcharge on.
These include Alaska, Emirates, and Hawaiian. Here is a link to their non-alliance partner award chart.

These are some amazing values here.

Hawaiian Airlines Route Map Linky

Seeing this I looked on AA.com for a first class flight from JFK to Honolulu.  By limiting the search on the calendar page to non-stop flights only I was able to narrow the calendar down to only show dates with Hawaiian availability as they have the only nonstop flight in that market (starting in June).  On AA.com the first class Hawaiian flight can be found by clicking on the business/first option.

I then called up Korean’s Skypass office in Los Angeles at 800-438-5000 (and then prompts 2, 4, and 0) to confirm the rate.  They saw the same availability as I had found on AA.com and confirmed that the round-trip ticket in coach from JFK to Honolulu would be just 30,000 miles and in first would be just 60,000 miles plus $5 tax!  Using AA miles it costs 35K to fly coach on Hawaiian off-peak, 45K to fly coach during peak season (which is 03/09-08/21 and 12/16-01/11 annually), and 75K to fly in first, so it’s quite the bargain using Korean miles!

Note that on Hawaiian you pay per segment, so if you want to add an inter-island round-trip to your mainland trip that will add 10,000 miles.  If you want to fly from the US to Tahiti or Pago Pago it will be 60,000 in coach or 120,000 in first.

Alaska Airlines Route Map Linky

You can also search for Alaska award flights on AA.com using the same method as with Hawaiian.  You can fly anywhere in the US, including to Alaska for just 20,000 Korean miles in coach or 40,000 Korean miles in first with no fuel surcharges!  That’s 5,000 miles less than AA charges in coach and 10,000 less than AA charges in first!

Plus you are allowed a free stopover when using Korean miles for Alaska.  Does this mean you can fly from Los Angeles to Anchorage, stopover there, and then fly to Hawaii?  I didn’t try that kind of extreme routing over the phone yet, but if you do then post a comment!  At any rate you’ll definitely be able to fly from JFK to Anchorage and stopover in Seattle for as long as you want.

For Mexico the rate is 30,000 Korean miles in coach or 60,000 Korean miles in first with no fuel surcharges. That’s 5,000 miles less than AA charges for the coach flight.

For Hawaii, Alaska flies from all over the west coast and Alaska to Hawaii and it costs just 30,000 Korean miles in coach or 60,000 Korean miles in first with no fuel surcharges.   That’s 5,000 miles less than AA charges in coach during off-peak, 15,000 miles less than what AA charges during peak season, and 15,000 less than AA charges in first!

Now it is worth pointing out that for short haul flights like from the west coast to Hawaii or to Mexico on AA or on Alaska you will be better off transferring points to British Airways instead of to Korean. With British Airways there are no fuel surcharges within the western hemisphere and a flight like LAX to Cabo will be just 15,000 miles and a flight from the west coast to any of the Hawaiian islands will be just 25,000 miles. Bear in mind that BA however is not partners with Hawaiian, despite the fact that AA and Korean are partners with them.

Emirates Route Map Linky

Emirates partners with just a small handful of airlines. If you’ve dreamed of flying in an incredible First class suite on the A380 with the ability to even take a shower on the plane than Emirates has the best availability for your dream. You can transfer Starpoints to Emirates, but other than that if you are flush with Ultimate Rewards points you can transfer to Korean to book you on Emirates with no fuel surcharges.  To fly round-trip from Toronto or JFK for example to Dubai in a first class suite on the A380 would be 210,000 miles.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards:

Cards that can transfer points into miles:
-Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature
-Chase Ink Bold

Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, but requires one of the 3 previous cards to transfer the points into miles.
-Chase Freedom Mastercard,
-Chase Freedom Visa
-Chase Sapphire Non-Preferred
-Chase Sapphire Non-Preferred Visa Signature
-Chase Ink Classic
-Chase Ink Cash

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SMOKING HOT!!! Signup For The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Spend $3K In 3 Months, And Get 50,000 Points! Good For 50,000 Continental Miles, British Airways Miles, Hyatt Points, A Ticket Worth Up To $625, Or A $500 Account Credit Or Gift Card!!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Chase Sapphire Preferred 50K Signup Bonus Linky

Need To Meet A Spending Threshold Deadline? Get Waived Fees On AMEX Gift Cards!

You get 50,000 points after spending $3,000 on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card! (Actually you’ll have over 53,000 points with the 3K points for spending and the 7% annual bonus on spending)

There is no annual fee for this card for the first year, but it’s $95 after the first year. Chase allows you to downgrade to the “non-preferred” version of the Sapphire card which has no annual fee. However be sure to transfer your points into miles before downgrading as the “non-preferred” version does not allow transfers into miles!

There is no foreign exchange or foreign transaction fee on when you use this card overseas!

You also get a 7% bonus on spending every year, so you actually get 1.07 miles per dollar spent on this card, which is very good if you want Continental miles.  You get this 7% bonus at the end of the year, regardless of whether you have already redeemed the points.

Chase Sapphire points convert into BA miles, Continental miles, or Hyatt points at a 1:1 ratio and they transfer over instantly whenever you want. You can also transfer your Continental miles into United miles. Continental and United do not charge fuel surcharges on award redemptions like British Airways does.

You can transfer the points to anyone’s mileage or hotel account-it does not need to be in your name!

50,000 points is enough points for 2 US48/Canada airline tickets on American via BA miles (OneWorld partners) or on Air Canada, Continental, United, or USAirways via Continental miles (Star Alliance partners).  It’s more than enough points for 2-5 nights at any Hyatt in the world (Hyatt nights with no blackout dates or capacity controls go from 5,000 to 22,000 points per night)  including Park Hyatt properties that can go for $1,000 a night!

Or save up for a bigger trip. Here are the current Continental rates for other destinations from the US:
-Hawaii: 40,000 coach, 80,000 business/businessfirst
-Europe: 60,000 coach, 100,000 business/businessfirst
-Asia: 65,000 coach, 120,000 business/businessfirst
-Israel: 80,000 coach, 120,000 business/businessfirst
-Australia: 80,000 coach, 135,000 business/businessfirst
-Round-the-world: 180,000 coach, 260,000 business/businessfirst

You can also use the points to book paid tickets directly from the airline through the Chase airfare tool. With 50,000 points you can book a ticket worth up to $625 and you’ll even earn miles on the ticket.  Personally I’d still go for the highly valued Continental miles, but if a domestic redemption is what you’re looking for it’s not a bad usage.

Or you can always just use the 50,000 points for a $500 gift card or a $500 account credit for spending on whatever you would like!

Points can also transfer to Amtrak, Priority Club, or Marriott, but those transfer options are less lucrative than the others.

If you have a Chase Freedom card, a Chase Checking account, and a Sapphire Preferred account you can earn 10 points for every transaction (even for transaction of just a penny!) made on the Freedom card and up to 5 points per dollar by spending in rotating categories on the Freedom card. You can then transfer those points to your Sapphire Preferred card and change then into valuable miles from BA, Continental, or Hyatt points at a 1 point:1 mile ratio!

The Chase Sapphire Card also offers return protection of up to $500 per item.  If you buy something you don’t like you can just return it to Chase within 3 months of the purchase and get a full refund!  I wanted to return a $340 item a few months after I bought it and got a refund check in the mail within 2 weeks of returning the item to Chase!  There are also a number of items that you can’t return with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express that you can return with the Chase Sapphire (and vice versa).  You can read about them in this post.

Whenever you call Chase Sapphire customer service a real live US-based human being always answers the phone immediately without going through any touch-tone systems or having to push “0″ repeatedly.  If only all companies offered this!

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Signed Up For The Continental OnePass Plus Card For 30,000 Miles And $50 Cash Back? Here’s How To Get Another 25,000 Miles!!!

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Read all about the OnePass Plus card and the dozens of benefits and ultra-premium protections (free checked luggage, free primary rental car CDW, baggage and trip delay coverage, roadside assistance, price, purchase, and return protection, and much more.) that come with it in this post.

If you recently applied for the Continental OnePass Plus card within the past 60 days to get 30,000 miles and $50 you can get another 25,000 miles!!
That card gave 25,000 miles and $50 cash for signing up and making your first purchase and 5,000 more miles for adding a 2nd cardholder.

Numerous posters on the DansDeals Forums have reported that they have been able to get an extra 25,000 miles added to their accounts by following this method.

Here’s how to do it!

Step 1: Go to chase.com and login to your online account.

Step 2: After logging in look on the left side of the page and locate the “contact us” link and click it.

Step 3: Click on the link “To contact us by e-mail, send us a message.”

Step 4: Click on “Compose Message.”

Step 5: Next to the “Credit Card” tab select “Rewards Inquiry” and click “Go”

Step 6: Select the account number of your Continental OnePass Plus card.

Step 7:
Select “Other Rewards Program Inquiry.”

Step 8: Write something to the following effect in a message:
“I recently applied for the Continental OnePass Plus card and received 25,000 miles for making my first purchase. However I just received an offer to signup for the same card and receive 50,000 miles here: http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/products/chase/continental.aspx?&offer=OPP50
As a loyal Chase customer who just applied for this card I would appreciate if you would credit the additional 25,000 miles from this offer.”

Step 9: You should get an email when Chase posts a response. Just login to your account again and click on “You have a new message” in the left-hand side of your account center to read the message.

Step 10: Post a comment here letting us know what Chase said!

The 50,000 mile offer doesn’t come with the 5,000 mile offer for adding an additional cardholder or the $50 bonus, so you’ll actually get a total of 55,000 miles and $50 by applying for the 30,000 mile offer and then using this method to write to Chase!

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Chase Freedom Visa: Get $100 Cash Back After Spending $799 And Get 1%-5% Cash Back On Purchases!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Chase Freedom Visa Linky

If you are looking for cashback instead of a mileage card this one looks pretty good.

You get $100 cash back for opening the card after spending $799 within 3 months.

You also get 1% cash back on all purchases, 2% cash back on airfare booked through the Chase airfare tool, and 5% cash back on rotating categories of purchases.

Here are the categories that earn 5% cash back for the rest of this year:

July-September 2010
Gas
Airlines
Auto Rentals
Hotels

October-December 2010
Grocery Stores
Department Stores
Movies

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Coming Soon: Hyatt Visa Signature Card By Chase!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Hyatt is finally going to be offering a credit card.

It will be issued by Chase bank as a Visa Signature card.

What excites me are the rumored signup bonuses. One possibility is 1,000 points for every time you’ve stayed in a Hyatt over the past 2 years.  With their insanely generous promotions (Last October they gave 14,000 miles+a free night worldwide for $120 worth of stays) I’ve had dozens and dozens of stays that would qualify.  Another rumored signup bonus is a couple of free nights at any Hyatt worldwide.  Plus there will be benefits such as a number of confirmed upgrades to suites even on award nights.

The only problem is I just applied for a United chase card last week (hey 30K miles with no fee seemed worthwhile at the time) and Chase now only permits one card application every 6 months…

I haven’t seen any estimated launch dates for the Hyatt card yet, but stay tuned!

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Get 25,000 Continental Miles For Opening Up A Chase Checking Account With A Continental Debit Card!

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Consumer Offer Linky

Business Offer Linky

With the consumer offer you get 10,000 miles after opening the checking account and making 5 debit card transactions within 60 days of opening the account.

You get another 15,000 miles after your first purchase on a Continental debit card.  The cheapest Continental debit card has a $25 annual fee.

If you have a Continental Airlines debit card, you and all of your traveling companions will get to check a free bag when flying on Continental regardless of which credit card is used to purchase the ticket.

With the business offer you get 10,000 miles after opening the checking account and depositing $500 within 30 days of opening the account, and another 15,000 miles for making a purchase on a Continental debit card.

HT: FT

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HOT!!! Continental Airlines World Business And Consumer Mastercards: Open Up Either One And Transfer The 20,000 Signup Miles To Get $2,000 In Hotel Stays Or 3 Round-Trip Tickets On ATA Or Southwest!!!

Plus New Benefits For The Continental Business Card!

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Update: There’s been some interesting discussion in the comments about whether you will be able cancel the card once you get the miles and have them prorate the annual fee, or if you will be able to switch this card into a no annual fee card and get the miles for free. The bottom line is that YMMV (Your mileage may vary) you might get a great rep who will help you out and you can wind up with this whole deal for free, or you might not.

Is the deal hot? Yes, and it’s simple why. Even if you can’t get Chase to prorate or waive the $85 it is worth it because of the value of a mile.

In essence you are buying 20,000 miles for $85, a cost of about 4/10ths of a penny per mile.

As far as the uses go:

-Coach ticket to Israel on Continental is about $1,000 for 70,000 miles= 1.42 cents per mile value

-BusinessFirst ticket to Israel is about $5,000 for 100,000 miles= 5 cents per mile value.

-3 systemwide RT Tickets on Southwest/ATA is about $1,000 for 20,000 miles=5 cents per mile value.

-12 systemwide RT tickets on Southwest with a companion pass is worth at least $5,000 for 50,000 miles=10 cents per mile value.

-5 nights of $400 hotel rooms is worth $2,000 at a cost of 20,000 miles=10 cents per mile.

As you can see, buying miles for under half a cent each is a hot deal, and can be extremely hot if you make good use of the miles, or if you get the fee prorated or waived and pay nothing!


Related Links:

Transfer Amex/Amtrak/Continental/Starwood Into Choice Points And Southwest Credits Post!

Chase Amtrak Mastercard Post



Continental Business World Mastercard Linky

Continental Consumer World Mastercard Linky

Chase bank offers 2 Continental Mastercards, a consumer and a business version.

They both now offer 20,000 Continental mile upon signup.

They can be applied for at the same time without any problem.

Best of all-both cards are churnable, so even if you’ve gotten a bonus from Continental in the past you can earn it again!

Unfortunately both cards have $85 annual fees, which are not waved for the 1st year. But the value you can now get out of Continental miles far outweighs the fee for a year.

What you can do with just 20,000 Continental miles:

Boring:

-Use all of it for a short-haul domestic flight on Continental.

More interesting uses:

-Transfer it into 100,000 Choice Privileges points, enough for 5 stays at normally $400/night Manhattan hotels.

-Save up for a 70,000 coach(3.5 card churns) /100,000 businessfirst ticket (5 card churns) to Israel.

-Transfer it into 40 Southwest credits. Assuming you took my advice and signed up for the 8 free credits, you now have a couple options:

-3 Sytemwide Round-Trips on Southwest Or 3 Systemwide Round-Trips besides Hawaii on ATA.

-1.5 Round-trips to Hawaii on ATA (32 credits/Hawaii ticket)


Chase has just upgraded the Continental Airlines Business Card to “World For Business” status.

World Mastercards are the only US issued credit cards that offer free CDW insurance when renting a car in Israel.

Both Continental cards have “World” status.

Additionally both cards will let you save 5% on all Continental.com tickets by using the code: ONEPASS
Other benefits for the business card include:
-Earn 5,000 more bonus miles once you spend $25,000 on the card.

-Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Continental tickets.

-Earn 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, and at office supplies stores!

-Earn 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere.

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Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard From Chase…

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Correction: This article originally indicated that the Amtrak World Mastercard included car rental liability insurance everywhere in the world. It does not have that protection. Generally, anyone who has an auto insurance policy is covered for liability (3rd party injury/death coverage). I could not find any credit card that does have liability protection for car rentals.

The card does have car rental CDW insurance everywhere in the world. This includes coverage in case your rental car is damaged or stolen.

Amtrak Credit Card Linky

This card has no annual fee, and points can be transferred to Continental at a 1:1 basis or to Choice Privileges at a 1:5 basis!

Because this (surprisingly for a no-fee card) is a premium “World Matercard”, it includes car rental CDW (Collision/Damage Waiver) insurance even in places like Israel where no Visa/AMEX/Regular Mastercard covers you!

The signup bonus is 5,000 points, which isn’t bad for a no annual fee card.

Even if you don’t use the card for spending you can transfer those points into 25,000 Choice points.

Once the points are in Choice they can be used for

-Choice hotel stays

-Luxury hotel stays

-Transfered to Southwest credits at 5,000:2

-Transferred at a 5:1 basis to 9 different airlines including every major U.S. based carrier.

Spending on the card earns 1 point per dollar spent.

Remember that you cannot transfer more than 25,000 Amtrak points out of an Amtrak account within a calender year!

Special bonus: The first person to prove whether or not this card is churnable (able to earn the signup bonus more than once) wins a $50 GC to Amazon.com!

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Get Continental Miles For Opening Up A Chase Free Checking Account!

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Offer Linky 

-10,000 miles for opening up the checking account.

-7,500 miles for opening a Continental/Chase debit card. ($25 annual fee)

-7,500 miles for adding 3 additional cardholders.

When you’re done you’ll have enough miles for either:

-A free domestic ticket.

-36% of a ticket to Israel in coach

-25% of a ticket to Israel in businessfirst

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