Category Archive for 'Credit Cards'

AMEX Strikes Back With An Incredible New Card: The Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Update: AMEX has confirmed to me that this card is considered a new product launch and that you will receive the signup bonus even if you have had received a signup bonus for the Blue for Business or any other cards in the past.


Originally posted on 5/25:

Related posts:
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
-4 Delta Credit Cards With Limited Time 60K-70K Signup Bonuses, Good For 10-12 Tickets From NYC To Fort Lauderdale And More
-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express

 

AMEX has launched The Blue Business Plus Credit Card and it looks like a real winner for everyday spending.

There is no annual fee. That means this is a great card to keep your Membership Rewards points alive. You can also add up to 99 authorized users for free and they each qualify for AMEX Offers.

This normal offer for this card will not have a signup bonus. However as a special offer introductory signup bonus you can get 20K Membership Rewards points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. You must use the card link in this post for the 20K signup bonus, the regular AMEX signup link for this card on their site does not come with a signup bonus!

The killer feature of the card is that it offers 2 points per dollar everywhere for up to $50,000 in purchases every calendar year! After you spend $50,000 in a calendar year the earnings drop to 1 point per dollar.

That tops the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5 points per dollar earnings, unless you spend more than $50K per calendar year.

If you have a Business Platinum card you can even redeem these points at a value of 3.08-6.51% per dollar spent, as described below.

All AMEX business cards also include Open Savings for 5% cash back at Fedex, Hertz, HP, and 800-Flowers on top of the 2 points per dollar.

Additionally all AMEX Membership Rewards cards earn an extra 1 point per dollar on Uber, so you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on Uber spending.

-The Blue Business Plus card offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

-The Blue Business Plus card is the only no-annual fee business card from any bank that can transfer points into miles. The only other no-annual fee card that can transfer points into miles is the consumer AMEX Everyday Card.

-The Blue Business Plus card is also the only card that awards 2 points per dollar everywhere that can be transferred into airline miles. That makes it far more valuable than any 2% card.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel on airlines like United with no fuel surcharges or close-in fees. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel on airlines like American with no close-in fees. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit! And you can multiply those values per dollar spent by 2 thanks to earning 2 points per dollar with this new cards. In other words if you use 15K BA Avios for a round-trip last-minute NYC-Cleveland ticket to catch a NBA Finals game that would otherwise cost $1,500, you’ll have obtained a value of 10 cents per point. Since you earn 2 points per dollar spent that’s like having received a 20% rebate on your everyday purchases!

Stack the earnings power with a higher redemption value:

If you have a Blue Business Plus card to earn 2 points per dollar everywhere and you also have an AMEX Business Platinum card you’ll be able to redeem points earned on this card for at least 1.54 cents each on airfare thanks to a 35% points rebate on paid flight redemptions. If you opened or upgraded to a Business Platinum card between 10/1/16-5/31/17 you’ll earn at least 2 cents per points on airfare thanks to a 50% points rebate on paid flight redemptions. You can read more in this post on those changes.

-Getting a 35% points rebate is like getting a 1.54% value per point for paid tickets that means you can earn 3.08% back everywhere and 4.62% back on Uber thanks to the stacked 2 points per dollar on spending and the point redemption rebate!

If you get 35% back and have a AMEX Consumer Platinum Card and a AMEX Business Platinum card and redeem points for a paid flight using your consumer Platinum you’ll get 4 points per dollar redeemed, making for an effective 1.64% rebate, meaning you’ll earn 3.28% back everywhere and 4.92% back on Uber thanks to the stacked 2 points per dollar on spending and the point redemption rebate!

-Getting a 50% points rebate is like getting a 2% value per point for paid tickets that means you can earn 4% back everywhere and 6% back on Uber thanks to the stacked 2 points per dollar on spending and the point redemption rebate!

If you get 50% back and have a AMEX Consumer Platinum Card and a AMEX Business Platinum card and redeem points for a paid flight using your consumer Platinum you’ll get 4 points per dollar redeemed, making for an effective 2.17% rebate, meaning you’ll earn 4.34% back everywhere and 6.51% back on Uber thanks to the stacked 2 points per dollar on spending and the point redemption rebate!

Those numbers will be even higher if you find insider fares that offer discounted flights for using points. You can read more in this post for those calculations.


AMEX business cards don’t appear on your personal credit report.

That’s great for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards 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 bill 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 couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX 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.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business 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. 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.

The Blue Business Plus looks like an awesome card for everyday spending, will you be signing up?

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4 Delta Credit Cards With Limited Time 60K-70K Signup Bonuses, Good For 10-12 Tickets From NYC To Fort Lauderdale And More

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

American Express has released 4 limited time offers on Delta credit cards that are valid until July 5th. Signup bonuses are valid for the first time you’ve had each type of Delta card, so you can get the bonus for each of the 4 card versions below.

1. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 
-Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first four months and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first four months.
-$0 intro annual fee, then $95.

2. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $4,000 in the first four months and a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first four months.
-If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles. If you spend $50,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
-This card includes an annual Companion Certificate that is valid for a round-trip Economy Class Companion ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees within the 48 contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI.
-$195 annual fee.

3. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first four months and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first four months.
-$0 intro annual fee, then $95.

4. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $5,000 in the first four months and a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first four months.
-If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles. If you spend $50,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
-This card includes an annual Companion Certificate that is valid for a round-trip Economy Class Companion ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees within the 48 contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI.
-$195 annual fee.


Triggering the $50 or $100 statement credit:

Any Delta purchase will trigger the statement credit. There is no minimum Delta purchase required, even a $2 snack or drink on a Delta flight will trigger the full $50 or $100 credit!

Sample purchases include Delta gift cards or eGift cards, food or drinks on a Delta flight, baggage fees, tickets, upgrades, change fees, club entrance fees, etc.


All 4 Delta cards:

-Offer a free checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation. You do not need to book tickets on your Delta card for this benefit, you only need to have your Skymiles number in the reservation. That’s critical as it allows you to still get free bags with Hybrid points or allows you to use a card like the AMEX Platinum Card to earn 5 points per dollar.
-Have no foreign transaction fees.
-Offer Zone 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation so that you won’t have to gate-check your carry-ons.
-Offer 2 Delta miles per dollar on flight purchases from Delta.
-Offer a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food,alcoholic beverages and audio headsets, and movies, shows and video games accessed via Delta’s seatback in-flight entertainment system, on Delta-operated flights.
-Waive the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement to reach Medallion status if you spend $25,000 on the cards in that calendar year. Eligible Purchases will be combined across multiple Delta cards of the primary cardholder if those accounts are linked to the same SkyMiles number.
-Offer $29 per person discounted SkyClub lounge access for the cardmember and up to 2 guests.
-Offer return protection that allows you to return items to AMEX for a full refund when a store won’t take an item back within 90 days of the date of purchase, up to $300 per item and $1,000 per card per calendar year. If AMEX requests that the item be returned they will provide a free shipping label, though in most people’s experience you don’t typically have to actually send the item back for a refund.
-Offer AMEX protections like purchase protection, extended warranty, dispute resolution, CDW car rental insurance, and more.
-Offer free Shoprunner membership for 2nd day free shipping and returns.
-Offer free additional cardholders (up to 99 per account). Additional cardholders are each eligible for American promotions like Small Business Saturday, Twitter offers, etc.


Delta Miles:

I have mixed feelings about Delta miles or “Skypesos.”

Traditionally they have had terrible saver award availability. However that has improved of late and it’s now significantly better than American’s availability, though it’s not as good as United’s.

Delta’s miles also never expire.

However Delta doesn’t publish award charts anymore as they feel than an uneducated customer is their best customer. That’s beyond frustrating. Recently they increased the miles needed for partner flights without warning.

They don’t charge a close-in award fee, but it can be tough to find saver award space available within 3 weeks.

However there are still plenty of good uses of Delta miles, especially as American’s award availability has gone down the drain.

Delta’s one-way flexible award calendar that can be set to search for 5 weeks at a time is also a marked improvement over their old buggy award calendar.

Delta has also lowered the cost of some domestic saver awards from a flat 12.5K to as low as 5K, depending on the route.

For example NYC to Fort Lauderdale is now just 6K miles:

 

Los Angeles to San Francisco is now just 5.5K miles:

 

If you actually want to collect Delta miles you’ll do better spending on the Starwood Consumer AMEX or the Starwood Business AMEX as 20,000 Starpoints transfers into 25,000 miles on dozens of airlines, including Delta or Delta partners like Air France and Alaska. Though there are better airlines that Starwood points can transfer into unless you need a specific Delta award.

However the MQM bonuses can make it worth spending on the Platinum Delta cards if you can hit the $25K or $50K spend threshold bonuses.

Additionally if you are gunning for Delta medallion status, then spending $25,000 on Delta cards in a year will waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn that status ($3,000 for Silver, $6,000 for Gold, $9,000 for Platinum, and $15,000 for Diamond if you don’t spend $25K in a year across all of your Delta cards).

But the cards are great for the signup bonus and benefits that they come with for both Delta Medallions and non-Medallions alike.

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5/24 Day: 5 Chase Cards Worth Considering That Aren’t Affected By 5/24

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Related:
-Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered

-On The Topic Of Chase 5/24: Here’s What You Need To Know About Additional User Cards


Today is 5/24 day, a sad day for mileage junkies.

For many years credit card churning was an easy sport. It wasn’t difficult to open hundreds of credit cards and rack up millions of miles and there were lots of easy ways to spend and earn miles. I’ve burned through 8 figures of miles flying around the world in first class and am still sitting on 8 figures of miles thanks in large part to the good old days.

Then the banks started cracking down.

In March of 2014 I broke the news that AMEX consumer cards went to a one signup bonus per lifetime system. In reality it’s more like once in about 7 years. In 2016 AMEX extended that to the business cards.

On about 5/24/15 Chase made a guideline to finally control credit card churning without going quite as far as AMEX did. They made it difficult to get approved for a Chase Sapphire or Freedom card if you have been approved for 5 cards from any bank within the past 24 months.

On about 5/24/16 they expanded 5/24 guidelines to include most of their credit cards.

While the policy is unofficial, it did show up on the Sapphire Reserve application very briefly, though it was quickly removed:

CSR

 

 

 

 

 

5/24 doesn’t look at card applications. It only counts the number of credit cards (on the single report that they pull) that have been opened within the past 24 months. The report that Chase pulls can vary from card to card and state to state.

You can get all 3 of your reports (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) for free on annualcreditreport.com to see how many cards you have that have been opened within the past 24 months.

Business cards from AMEX, Barclaycard, BOFA, Chase, Citi, and USBank don’t show up on your report and don’t count towards 5/24. Spending on these cards also won’t affect your credit score as they’re not on your report.  Business cards from Capital One and Discover do show up on your report and will affect 5/24.

Authorized user cards are where things get tricky. The system automatically counts them towards 5/24. Even if you call reconsideration they will turn you down for 5/24 based on having authorized user cards that were opened in the past 24 months. However if you tell the reconsideration rep that you aren’t financially responsible for the authorized user cards then they will not count them towards 5/24. If you have any issues you can ask for a reconsideration supervisor and tell them that you aren’t financially responsible for the cards. You can HUCA if you are still denied due to authorized user cards.

Store cards that are only good for use in a single store are also tricky. The system will count them, but you can explain to a reconsideration rep or supervisor that the card can’t be used anywhere but that store and shouldn’t count towards 5/24.

Even if you are at 4/24 (opened 4 cards in the past 24 months) people have had success applying for and getting approved for multiple Chase cards as the 5th approved card hasn’t appeared on their credit report yet.

Before calling reconsideration, be sure to know exactly how many cards you have opened in the past 24 months. That way when a rep tells you that you are at 9/24 you can ask for a manager and argue that authorized user cards and store cards should not count. Be sure to remember to stress that you aren’t responsible for the authorized user card!

There are 5 mileage earning credit cards that aren’t yet affected by 5/24. On the consumer side they are the IHG card, Hyatt card, British Airways card, and the Ritz-Carlton card. On the business side there is the Marriott Premier card.

That means you can get approved for these cards even if you have been approved for more than 5 cards in the past 24 months. However all approved consumer cards still add to your 5/24 count, so getting approved for them will still affect your ability to get other Chase cards.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

-The Chase Hyatt card offers 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world for signing up and spending $2,000 within 3 months plus 5K points for adding a free authorized user. You can use those free nights at luxury Park Hyatt hotels in places like NYC, Sydney, Paris, or the Maldives that normally go for over $1,000/night! You’ll also get an annual free category 1-4 hotel night every card anniversary, which can be used a hotel like the Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica that can cost up to $600/night.  The card also gives Discoverist elite status, which gives free premium internet, bonus points, and 2PM late checkout. Cardholders also qualify for annual promotions like this one for a rebate on award stays. Hyatt points will not expire for as long as you are a cardholder. The card has a $75 annual fee which is easily negated by the anniversary night.

Lazy river at the Grand Hyatt Kauai:

#GoodMorningParadise #GHK @GrandHyattKauai

A post shared by @dansdeals on

-The Chase British Airways card offers 50K bonus Avios for spending $3K in 3 months, 25K bonus Avios for spend an additional $7K in a year, and another 25K bonus Avios for spending an additional $10K in a year, for a potential 100K bonus Avios. If you spend $30K in a year you’ll also get a British Airways companion ticket when you redeem Avios for a BA flight, though it will be subject to fuel surcharges. Award tickets start from 4.5K Avios abroad or 7.5K Avios for domestic flights. First class domestic flights have been lowered from 30K Avios to 15K Avios. The caveat is that American’s award availability has gone down. You can use BA Avios for travel on Alaska, but you’ll have to call BA to book that. You can book Avios without any close-in fees and you can cancel domestic flights for just $5.60. BA Avios also allows you to bring a lap child on international flights for just 10% of the miles that an award costs instead of paying 10% of the full fare as other airlines charge. The card has a $95 annual fee.

-The Chase IHG card offers 60K points for spending $1,000 within 3 months. Cardholders get a 10% rebate on all points redeemed, making PointsBreaks hotels just 4,500 points. It offers an annual free anniversary night for use at any IHG hotel in the world, including properties like the Intercontinental Bora Bora that normally cost 60K points or $800/night. The card also offers free Platinum elite status. The $49 annual fee is waived for the first year.

-The Ritz-Carlton card offers 2 nights in tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotels for spending $4,000 in 3 months. It excludes use at tier 5 hotels like the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. It offers $300 in annual airline fee credits, though you need to call to get reimbursed for free and it’s not valid for tickets. It comes with a Priority Pass membership, Global Entry fee refund, and $100 off domestic coach airfare when you purchase 2 or more round-trip tickets on the same itinerary. The card has a $450 annual fee.

-The Marriott Premier Business card offers 80K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. The card comes with an annual category 1-5 anniversary night. The card had a $99 annual fee.

Share your 5/24 experience in the comments!

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Buy $300 In Visa Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $20 Visa Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 5/21 and 5/27 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 Visa gift card.

This is valid in-store only. Officially there is a limit of 1 rebate per household.

visa

If you buy 2 $200 Visa gift card in store you’ll pay $13.90 in card fees. (A $200 gift card and a $100 gift card would have $12.90 in fees).

Use your Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold card and get 5 points per dollar spent. You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

Or you can use an AMEX SimplyCash card to earn 5% cash back.

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 Visa card via Easy Rebate.

While Staples.com now carries $300 gift cards, I haven’t seen any reports of the $300 cards being found in stores yet, so that won’t help with this rebate.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores and gas stations. Just use the last 4 digits of the card as the PIN number to cash them out.

Or you can donate the gift card to charity and get a receipt for the full $200 face value.

Or you can give away a gift card as a wedding or Bar Mitzvah gift.

Or you can always use it for everyday spending.

HT: Tzfas, via DDF

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Sapphire Reserve’s Annual Travel Credit Is Being Tweaked, Here’s What You Need To Know

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


I noted several times last year that someone who applied for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card in November could get a $300 travel credit before their December 2016 statement posted, a $300 credit before their December 2017 statement posted, and a $300 credit after their 2017 statement posted. That’s $900 in travel credits in their first cardmembership year.

Effective for applications for the card that are submitted on or after 5/21/17, the annual travel credit will switch from being based on a calendar year to a cardmembership year. In other words if someone opens a card on 5/21 and their statement closes on the 1st of the month, they will get a $300 credit for all travel spending from 5/21/17 through 6/1/18. You can still double dip on the credit in you first cardmembership year by spending $300 on travel in June 2018 as Chase gives 30 days to close a card after the statement closes with an annual fee, but a triple-dip possibility has been eliminated.

Note that if you applied for the card before 5/21/17 that you will be grandfathered into a calendar year credit. It’s important to remember that Chase’s calendar year credit ends once your December statement closes, so a calendar year can end anytime from 12/1 through 12/28. Many people missed out on their 2016 travel credit as they only did their spending after their December statement closed, which means they effectively used up their 2017 credit. That same system will be in place going forward for grandfathered accounts.

Click here to view how much of your annual travel spend has already been credited:

300
 

There’s no strongly compelling reason to apply for the card now in order to be grandfathered. The signup bonus went down from 100K to 50K in March, but hopefully we’ll see a higher bonus from the card in the future. The triple dip option only works if you apply for a card with a calendar year credit in November or December, so there’s no longer any way to apply for the card with that option. Granted that it is easier to get 2 travel credits in your first cardmembership year when you have a calendar year credit. However as explained above, even with a cardmembership year credit you can get $600 in travel credits in your first cardmembership year.

Mind you, I get enough value on the Sapphire Reserve card to make it worth keeping. The annual fee is only $150 when factoring in the $300 travel credit. And the benefits (all Chase points are worth 50% more for travel, triple points on dining and travel, lounge access with unlimited guests, global entry fee refunds, primary car rental collision insurance everywhere in the world, roadside assistance, etc) more than justify that fee.

Wondering where you can use your travel credit? These categories have been confirmed as working for automatic travel refunds. If you know of others please post a comment!

Air:
-Airline tickets from any airline
-Air Canada Gift Cards
-Alaska Airlines gift cards
-American Airlines gift cards
-Baggage fees from any airline
-Delta gift cards
Hawaiian Airlines gift cards.
-Online travel agencies (Including Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline)
-Seat selection or upgrade fees for any airline
-Southwest gift cards
-Retail travel agencies
-Taxes on award tickets for any airline
United gift registry: Register and create a goal in order to contribute travel funds to your United account for future ticket purchases

Dining:
-Uber Eats

Lodging:
Airbnb
-Airbnb gift cards
-Campgrounds
-Cruises
-Groupon Getaways
-Hotel stays
-Marriott gift cards
-Motel stays
-Norwegian Cruise Line gift cards
-Online travel agencies (Including Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and Priceline)
-Timeshares
-Retail travel agencies

Theme Parks and activities:
Disney Vacation account funding
UndercoverTourist.com (Discounted Disney, Universal, Legoland, and SeaWorld tickets)
Viator gift certifiates.

Transportation:
-Amtrak
-BART
-Bridge tolls
-Buses
-Car rentals
-Car2Go
-Eurostar
-Ferries
-Greyhound
-Jerusalem Light Rail
-Limos
-Long Island Railroad
-Lyft rides
-Megabus
-Metra Rail Chicago)
-Muni/parking meters
-NJ Transit
-NYC MetroCard
-Oyster card
-Parking garages
-Prepaid EZPass tolls loaded with the one-time payment option online or over the phone. If the system auto-loads then it may not count as travel.
-Prepaid I-Pass tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Prepaid FasTrak tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Prepaid SunPass tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Prepaid Washington DOT Good to Go tolls loaded via one-time payment
-Postpaid 407ETR Toronto tolls
-Subway travel
-Taxis
-Tolls
-Trains
-Trenitalia
-Tunnel tolls
-Uber gift cards only if they are bought from the MileagePlusX app for iOS or Android
-Uber rides
-Ventra Chicago
-Zipcar

Were you refunded from other purchases? Hit the comments!

HT: mdrills, via DDF and DoC

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Use A Chase Freedom Or Freedom Unlimited Card 5 Times At Grocery Stores With Android Pay And Get A $15 Statement Credit

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

If you add your Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card to Android Pay and use it 5 times by 6/15 you’ll get a $15 statement credit. You should see the offer in Android Pay after adding a Freedom card. You can read more about the cards here.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

You will also earn 5 points per dollar for Chase Freedom spending at grocery and drug stores this quarter.

I’ll probably go to a self-checkout line in a grocery store and make 5 quick transactions that way.

This promotion is limited to 24,000 uses.

It can take up to 8 weeks for the statement credit to post.

Officially this is limited to 1 use per customer/card account, though it’s impossible to say at this point if that will be enforced.

HT: bubbles, via DDF

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Confused About The American Express Consumer Vs. Business Platinum Card? Here Is A Comparison Chart With The Latest Benefits

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Update: The chart has been updated with the Business Platinum rebate devaluation. If you open or upgrade a card to Business Platinum by 5/31/17 you will get 1 full year of uncapped 50% point rebates.

Originally posted on 3/7:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Platinum Card® from American Express

new-platinum-card-flat
 

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

amexbusplat960x680
 

AMEX continues to add to the benefits offered on their premium Platinum cards with many new benefits going into effect on 3/30. The Priority Pass membership has been improved on both cards to offer 2 free guests which is nice, though it still doesn’t compare to the unlimited amount of guests offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Overall though the Platinum cards have a much more robust domestic lounge network due to access to Airspace, Centurion, and Delta lounges in addition to Priority Pass lounges.

If you are already a consumer Platinum cardholder and your annual fee is due before 9/1 then your fee for 2017 will be $450. If your fee is due on 9/1 or later you will be charged $550 for your next renewal.

The chart below summarizes all of the differences between the consumer and business versions of the Platinum card as of 3/30. It features the superior benefits in red font when there is a difference between the consumer and business card.

Note that the lounge benefits for additional cardholders as described below is only for additional Platinum cardholders, not for additional Gold or Green cardholders.

However several readers have reported that additional Gold and Green cardholders do qualify for Global Entry/PreCheck memberships!

Additionally if you pay for a ticket with a Consumer Platinum card and you also have a Business Platinum card, and you choose to have it rebated with points, you will still earn a bonus 4 points per dollar. More info on how that works in this post.

  Consumer Platinum Business Platinum
Annual Fee$550$450
Signup Bonus60,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months50,000 points for spending $10,000 in 3 months and another 25,000 points for spending another $10,000 in 3 months
Additional Cardholder Fee-Up to 3 additional Platinum cardholders for a $175 fee ($58.33/card with 3 cards).

-No fee for additional Gold cardholders
-$300 for each additional Platinum cardholder.

-No fee for additional Green cardholders
Annual Airline Fee Credit$200$200
Points earned on airfare5 per dollar from airlines (including online travel agencies) and on AMEXTravel.com5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com
Points earned on hotels5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com
Points earned on large purchases of $5,000+1 per dollar1.5 per dollar (Up to 1 million bonus points per year)
Uber Benefits-VIP Status

-$15 in monthly credit plus $35 credit every December

-2 points per dollar
-2 points per dollar
Rebate on points redeemed for paid airfare until 5/31/17 (Or for 1 year from the date a card was opened or upgraded between 10/1/16-5/31/17)None-50% rebate on a US airline of your choice in coach with no cap.

-50% rebate on all airlines in business or first with no cap.
Rebate on points redeemed for paid airfare after 5/31/17 (Unless card was opened or upgraded between 10/1/16-5/31/17)None-35% rebate on a US airline of your choice in coach.

-35% rebate on all airlines in business or first.

-Maximum rebate of 500K points per calendar year.
Gogo In-Flight Wi-FiNone10 Gogo flight passes per year
Card designMetalPlastic
Elite statusHilton, Marriott, and SPG Gold for primary and secondary cardholdersHilton, Marriott, and SPG Gold for primary and secondary cardholders
Centurion lounge accessPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Priority Pass membershipPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Airspace lounge accessPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Delta SkyClub accessPrimary or secondary cardholders onlyPrimary or secondary cardholders only
Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
Once every 4 years for Primary and for each secondary cardholderOnce every 4 years for Primary and for each secondary cardholder
Boingo WiFiUnlimited worldwide for Primary and secondary cardholdersUnlimited worldwide for Primary and secondary cardholders
Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits
Early check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, late checkout, and an additional special amenity.Early check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, late checkout, and an additional special amenity.
Lost/Stolen/Damaged Item Protection
Covers items up to $10,000 for losses within 90 days of purchase, up to $50,000/year.Covers items up to $10,000 for losses within 90 days of purchase, up to $50,000/year.
Return Protection
Covers items up to $300 within 90 days of purchase if the store won't take a return or charges a restocking fee, up to $1,000/year.Covers items up to $300 within 90 days of purchase if the store won't take a return or charges a restocking fee, up to $1,000/year.
Premium Roadside AssistanceFree towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.Free towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.
Extended WarrantyDoubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 additional year. Covers up to $10,000/item and up to $50,000/year.Doubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 additional year. Covers up to $10,000/item and up to $50,000/year.
Car Rental Perks-4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz.

-National Executive
-4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz.

-National Executive
Open SavingsNone5% cash back at Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 800-Flowers
Counts against Chase 5/24 guidelinesYesNo
Foreign transaction feeNoneNone

Which Platinum card do you have and which benefits do you find most valuable?

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Buy $300 In Visa Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $20 Visa Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 5/7 and 5/13 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 Visa gift card.

This is valid in-store only. Officially there is a limit of 1 rebate per household.

visa

If you buy 2 $200 Visa gift card in store you’ll pay $13.90 in card fees. (A $200 gift card and a $100 gift card would have $12.90 in fees).

Use your Chase Ink Cash, Ink Plus or Ink Bold card and get 5 points per dollar spent. You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

Or you can use an AMEX SimplyCash card to earn 5% cash back.

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 Visa card via Easy Rebate.

While Staples.com now carries $300 gift cards, I haven’t seen any reports of the $300 cards being found in stores yet, so that won’t help with this rebate.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores and gas stations. Just use the last 4 digits of the card as the PIN number to cash them out.

Or you can donate the gift card to charity and get a receipt for the full $200 face value.

Or you can give away a gift card as a wedding or Bar Mitzvah gift.

Or you can always use it for everyday spending.

HT: Iz, via DDF

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Should You Transfer AMEX Points To JetBlue With A 25% Bonus?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

It’s usually not worth transferring AMEX Membership Rewards points to JetBlue points as 250 AMEX points normally convert into 200 JetBlue points.

However until 5/31 there is a 25% bonus, which means that 250 AMEX points will convert into 250 JetBlue points.

Unfortunately AMEX charges a fee to transfer points to US airlines. That adds 60 cents for every 1,000 points transferred with a maximum fee of $99 per transaction.

 

There are a few factors at play to determine if you should transfer points to JetBlue.

-If you have a Business Platinum Card you can redeem points for at least 2 cents each. However that benefit will be reduced effective June 1st unless you have an Business Platinum card that was opened or upgraded between 10/1/16-5/31/17.

-If you have a JetBlue Plus Card you can get a 10% rebate when redeeming JetBlue points.

-If you don’t have immediate travel plans, is it worth locking points into JetBlue instead of keeping them as more flexible AMEX points that can be transferred to other airlines like Air Canada, BA, Cathay Pacific, Delta, El Al, Flying Blue, Singapore, and more?

 

Let’s take a look at the value of JetBlue points on several routes.

1. A flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas on 5/16 is $28.20 or 1,100 points+$5.60, a value of 2.05 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 990 points, a value of 2.28 cents per point.

2. A flight from LaGuardia to Boston on 5/16 is $48.20 or 2,600 points+$5.60, a value of 1.64 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 2,340 points, a value of 1.82 cents per point.

3. A flight from JFK to Chicago on 5/17 is $63.20 or 3,700 points+$5.60, a value of 1.56 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 3,330 points, a value of 1.73 cents per point.

4. A flight from JFK to Fort Lauderdale on 5/16 is $68.20 or 4,000 points+$5.60, a value of 1.57 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 3,600 points, a value of 1.74 cents per point.

5. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Havana on 5/14 is $86.10 or 2,500 points+$30.60, a value of 2.22 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 2,250 points, a value of 2.47 cents per point.

6. A flight from JFK to Bermuda on 5/23 is $93.10 or 4,900 points+$5.60, a value of 1.79 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 4,410 points, a value of 1.98 cents per point.

7. A flight from JFK to Las Vegas on 6/11 is $113.20 or 7,400 points+$5.60, a value of 1.45 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 6,660 points, a value of 1.62 cents per point.

8. A flight from JFK to Burbank on 12/3 is $141.20 or 9,500 points+$5.60, a value of 1.43 cents per point. JetBlue Plus Cardholders will effectively pay 8,550 points, a value of 1.59 cents per point.

 

On average, you should be able to get a value of at least 1.5 cents per JetBlue point or 1.7 cents cents per JetBlue points if you have a JetBlue Plus Card.

For the flight from JFK to FLL above you’ll get a value of 1.57-1.74 cents per JetBlue point, but when transferring from AMEX you’ll also pay $2.40 in AMEX domestic airline transfer fees. To calculate the value per AMEX point you’ll take the cost of the ticket ($68.20), subtract the 9/11 fee ($5.60), subtract the AMEX fee ($2.40), and divide by the points required (4,000 or 3,600). That imputes a value of 1.51 cents per AMEX point or 1.67 cents per point if you have a JetBlue Plus Card.

It’s not a mind-blowing redemption like I’ve received when flying from JFK to Europe in a $10,000 Singapore suite for 57K miles or when booking a last-minute Cleveland-NYC flight for 7.5K points instead of paying $500, but it’s a decent deal for your AMEX points if you don’t have a Business Platinum card.

The deal is definitely sweetened if you have a JetBlue card thanks to the 10% points rebate and the other benefits that the card offers like free checked baggage for up to 4 passengers, a 50% rebate for in-flight purchases, 5,000 points upon every card anniversary, and more.

 

Will you transfer AMEX points to JetBlue?

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Hilton: Pool Your Points, Buy Discounted Points At 1PM, And Take Advantage Of 100K Signup Offers

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Update 5/3: If you missed out on yesterday’s Daily Getaway sale, you can still buy Hilton points for 0.5 cents each until 11:59pm tonight. There is a limit of 160,000 points, but you can buy from other accounts and pool the points together.

As always, it’s only worth buying points for a specific redemption (to get enough points for a 5 night stay, etc), not just to hold onto speculatively if you don’t need a hotel stay.


Originally posted on 5/2:

1. Hilton now allows you to pool your points together between friends and family. Once the pool is set up each member can transfer up to 500,000 points into the pool and each member can receive up to 2,000,000 points per calendar year. Each member can transfer and pool points up to 6 times per calendar year.


2. At 1pm you will be able to buy Hilton points for .48 cents each:
-30,000 Hilton points for $144
-100,000 Hilton points for $480
-250,000 Hilton points for $1,200

If you have a Hilton credit card or elite status and make a 5 night stay at a top-tier property like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem or Conrad Maldives you can stay 5 nights for 76K points per night thanks to every 5th night being free. That’s like paying $364.48/night at .48 cents/point. If you stay less than 5 nights it costs 95K points per night for a top-tier Hilton, which is like paying $456/night at .48 cents/point.

That can make sense to buy, but only if you have a specific redemption in mind or if you need more points to have enough to redeem for a 5 night stay, but I wouldn’t buy points speculatively due to the risk of devaluation and hotels being able to leave the Hilton brand.

 

A 5 night stay at the Conrad Maldives can be a good deal if you use points:

conrad

 

conrad

 

A 5 night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem can be a good deal if you use points:

waldorf1

 

waldorf

 

 


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

3.  Until 5/31, The Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express is offering 100,000 points for spending $3,000 within 3 months. Additionally you’ll get a free weekend night at any participating Hilton after your first card anniversary. It offers 12 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 6 points per dollar at US supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

12886432-1490278730376
 

It has a $75 annual fee and gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast, including the most over-the-top breakfast I’ve had in my life at the Waldorf Jerusalem.  If you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status, which gets confirmed room upgrades and space available suite upgrade at hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. You’ll also get the 5th night free on award stays.


-Until 5/31, The Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express is offering 80K points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.  It offers 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

12634204-1490274613205
It has no annual fee and offers Silver status for as long as you are a cardmember. You’ll also get the 5th night free on award stays. If you spend $20K on the card you’ll get Hilton Gold status.

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Limited Time Signup Offers For The American Express Blue Cash Everyday And Preferred Cards

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Update: Offer expired!


Originally posted on 2/23:

Related posts:
Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

-The Blue Cash Everyday card normally offers $100 cash back for spending $1,000 within 3 months of card approval.  If you apply for the card by 5/3 you can also earn 10% cash back on up to $2,000 of spending at US restaurants within 6 months of card approval. That’s 10% bonus cash back on top of the normal 1% cash back. In other words if you open the card and spend $2,000 on restaurants you’ll get $320 cash back.

The card has no annual fee and always earns 3% cash back on up to $6,000 of annual spending at US supermarkets and 2% cash back at US gas stations and department stores. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

amexbluecasheveryday1920x1216
 

-The Blue Cash Preferred card normally offers $150 cash back for spending $1,000 within 3 months of card approval.  If you apply for the card by 5/3 you can also earn 10% cash back on up to $2,000 of spending at US restaurants within 6 months of card approval. That’s 10% bonus cash back on top of the normal 1% cash back.  In other words if you open the card and spend $2,000 on restaurants you’ll get $370 cash back.

The card has a $95 annual fee and always earns 6% cash back on up to $6,000 of annual spending at US supermarkets and 3% cash back at US gas stations and department stores. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

amexbluecashpreferred1920x1216
 

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The “Too Generous” AMEX Business Platinum 50% Points Rebate Is Being Devalued

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Update: If you have opened or will open an AMEX Business Platinum Card between 10/1/16-5/31/17 you will get 50% airfare rebates with no cap until 1 full year has passed from when your account was opened!

That means you can still open a card through the end of May and take advantage of a full year of unlimited 50% airfare point rebates!


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

It’s not only your airline miles that are being devalued. Step up to the plate, bank points.

In October AMEX attacked the Chase Sapphire Reserve by offering a 50% rebate on paid airfare redemptions if you have a AMEX Business Platinum Card.

A few days ago I wrote about AMEX ending marketing on their Everyday Preferred card and posited that it was too generous to market the 50% bonus spending on that card while having a 50% points rebate on the AMEX Business Platinum Card.

I also wrote about AMEX slowing down the 50% rebate from posting within a day to taking much longer to post, though some DDFers have been able to get manually credited for the 50% by calling and asking or by redeeming points over the phone and asking for an instant rebate posting.

Plus AMEX has been awarding an extra 4 points per dollar even on point redemptions when you use an AMEX Consumer Platinum Card. It may even offer those 4 bonus points on the Business Platinum card after 3/30 when the 5x category for airfare bookings on AMEXTravel.com was added, but it’s too early for reports of that yet.

Clearly this benefit was costing AMEX more than that anticipated, as it’s being devalued after just 8 months.

-Effective June 1st, the Business Platinum airfare redemption rebate will drop from 50% to 35%. 

-Additionally, effective June 1st the rebate will be capped at 500,000 rebated points per calendar year.

Let’s take the example from Miami to Tel Aviv via Newark from that post. The ticket was $623.18 round-trip. That is 31,159 points round-trip after 50% back (a value of 2 cents per point) but it will be 40,506 points after 35% back (a value of 1.54 cents point) when that goes into effect on June 1st. If you book the ticket with a Consumer Platinum card you would also get an additional 2,493 points back, making the out of pocket cost 28,666 points with the 50% rebate (a value of 2.17 cents per point) or 38,013 points with the 35% rebate (a value of 1.64 cents per point).

With a Sapphire Reserve card you would need 41,545 points for the ticket ( a value of 1.5 cents per point).

And of course you earn miles for the flight, in this case you’ll earn 13,555 miles round-trip if you credit your flight to United’s Star Alliance partner, Singapore.

tlv

Of course you can supercharge your spending with a Chase Freedom Unlimited card where you can also earn 1.5 points per dollar or with an AMEX Everyday Preferred card you can earn 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere.

If AMEX offers insider fares for your desired ticket then the difference between AMEX and Sapphire Reserve will be more pronounced, but otherwise this is a boon Sapphire Reserve. Sapphire Reserve doesn’t make you wait for a rebate and offers a 1.5 cents per points value on hotels, car rentals, and activities. That’s still less value per point than AMEX (especially if you also have a Consumer Platinum card), but the additional categories and not having to wait for a rebate makes it more flexible.

File this under the too generous to last category. It’s still a lot better than using airline miles for inexpensive coach tickets, but it won’t be nearly as lucrative as it is now.

Will you start burning points by 5/31 to take advantage of the 50% rebate while it lasts?

HT: mochjas, via DDF and TPG

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Are The Everyday Preferred Card’s Spending Benefits Too Generous To Market?

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

I’ve been notified that the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card will no longer be marketed through their affiliate channels as of 12pm EDT tomorrow.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card was generous when it launched in 2014. It offers 50% point bonus for making 30 transactions per month, which make for an effective 4.5 points per dollar on US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar on gas, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere.

The points are transferable to over a dozen mileage programs.

But it was the launch of the 50% rebate on airfare redemptions with the AMEX Business Platinum Card that really made the Everyday Preferred card an extremely valuable tool for mileage collectors. That rebate makes each point worth at least 2% towards airfare.

AMEX also offers insider fares that mean you can get a value of 2.1-2.3 cents per point on select flights.

Additionally, if you also have an AMEX Consumer Platinum Card you can get 5 points per dollar on airfare from airlines or on AMEXTravel.com and that includes when you redeem points for airfare. You will only “lose” 1 point per dollar when your account is credited for the redemption, but that leaves you with an effective additional bonus of 4 points per dollar spent on airfare redemptions.

To illustrate, a flight from JFK to Bermuda on 5/3 is $126.10 but is just 11,610 points with insider fares. With a 50% rebate you’ll get back 5,805 points. When using points for flights you’ll actually be charged $116.10 for this flight and get that amount credited back. If you pay using a Consumer Platinum card you’ll also earn 581 points due earning 5 points per dollar on the $116.10 charge, though you’ll lose 116 points due to the $116.10 credit, leaving you 465 points ahead. The AMEX Business Platinum card also earns 5 points per dollar on airfare from AMEXTravel.com as of 3/30, though it’s too soon for reports on whether that also will earn the 5 points per dollar on airfare redemptions as the consumer card does.

That’s a value of 2.17 cents per point ($126.10/5,805) or 2.36 cents per point ($126.10/5,340) if you also get the extra 4 points per dollar spent. And of course you’ll also earn miles for the flight itself.

mr

 

By putting your spending on an EveryDay Preferred Card and making 30 transactions/month you’ll effectively have earned 9.77%-10.62% on US supermarkets, 6.51%-7.08% on gas, 5.43%-5.9% on Uber, and 3.26%-3.54% per dollar elsewhere else towards a flight like that.

And that’s not even counting for the miles earned on the flight itself.

Flights to Israel can be a true bargain with the 50% rebate. Plus you don’t have to hunt for award availability like you do with traditional miles, which can be very tough for flights to Israel.

For example a flight from Miami to Tel Aviv via Newark is just 31,159 points round-trip after 50% back (you can get an additional 2,493 points back with the bonus effective 4 points per dollar). And of course you earn miles for the flight, in this case you’ll earn 13,555 miles round-trip if you credit your flight to United’s Star Alliance partner, Singapore. And with Everyday Preferred you can earn 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere, making it even easier to earn the miles.

tlv

 

 

Or a business class flight nonstop on United’s brand new 77W Polaris layout from Newark to Tel Aviv is 167,429 points round-trip after 50% back (you’ll get an additional 13,394 points back with the 4 points per dollar). And of course you earn miles for the flight, 16,310 round-trip if credited to United. And with Everyday Preferred you can earn 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere.

tlv1

 

Is it all too generous? Perhaps.

The 50% rebate isn’t posting as fast as it once did, but DDFers have been able to get manually credited for the 50% by calling and asking.

Spending on Everyday Preferred and getting a 50% points rebate with a Business Platinum card is an excellent strategy in the days of miles that continue to be devalued by the airlines.

I’m not sure what this marketing move means for the future of the card, but you may want to signup for it sooner rather than later…

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Is It Worth Paying 1.87% To Pay Your Taxes Via Credit Card?

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Update: Tax day is on 4/18 this year. Will you use a credit card to pay your taxes?

Originally posted on 1/22/17:

On the IRS website you can find a processor that charges 1.87% to process your tax payment via credit card.

It can definitely make sense to pay your taxes via credit card if you are signing up for a card and are trying to reach a spend threshold that you won’t be able to reach without some help.

But what about if you don’t have any spend thresholds to meet?

-If you pay at least $5,000 in taxes on your AMEX Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent. Those points are “hybrid” points. You can transfer them into real airline miles from any alliance. Or you can redeem them for paid travel. Thanks to the 50% points rebate those points will be worth at least 2% each, meaning you’ll be earning at least 3% back for the spending.

The $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points worth at least $152.82.

That tax payment fee may be tax-deductible, you should speak to your tax preparer about that. If you can deduct the fee that changes the math based on your marginal tax rate.

You can also request a refund for any overpayment when you file your taxes and the IRS will cut cut you a check or a direct deposit into your checking account.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card offers 1.5 points per dollar everywhere if you have 30 total transactions that billing period. The card also offers up to 4.5 points per dollar in categories like groceries, gas, and Uber. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into airline miles.  It offers 1.2 miles per dollar spent. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 6,112 points transferable to airline miles.  If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

-The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. If you have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or Ink Bold/Plus/Preferred you can transfer those points into airline miles or hotel points. If you have a Sapphire Reserve you can also redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles if you or an additional user have one of the aforementioned card or useable for $114.62 towards travel with a Sapphire Reserve.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX have the ability to transfer points into dozens of different airlines at a 20K:25K ratio, effectively 1.25 miles per dollar spent everywhere. If you owe $20,000 in taxes and pay for it on your Starwood card you’ll pay $374 and you’ll get 20,374 Starpoints which can be transferred into 25,374 miles. If you spend $30K/year you qualify for SPG and Marriott Gold status.

-The Discover it Miles card gives 3 “miles” per dollar everywhere for the first year that you have the card.  They’re worth 1 cent each, so you’ll come out 1.13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives 2 points per dollar plus a 5% rebate on redemptions, so you’ll come out .18% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Citi Double Cash card gives 2% cash back, so you’ll come out .13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

Other cards offer benefits for hitting annual spend thresholds.

-The JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard offers mosaic status for spending $50K annually. Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-The Delta Platinum and Reserve consumer cards and Delta Platinum and Reserve business cards offer elite qualifying miles for meeting annual spend thresholds. If you spend $25K/year you’ll also waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn elite status.

-Spending $25K/year on the United Explorer card earns 10K bonus miles and waives the requirement to spend a minimum amount on United flights to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite status. The United Club card offers 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere. Both United cards give access to expanded saver award availability, priority boarding, and keep your miles from expiring for as long as you’re a cardholder.

-Lots of other cards have threshold bonuses. The Chase Hyatt card gives elite night credits if you spend $20K or $40K, though that ends in February. The Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott and SPG Gold status for spend $10K/year and Platinum status for spending $75K/year. The Chase Marriott gives an elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The AMEX Hilton and Citi Hilton cards award Gold status for spending $20K/yead and the AMEX Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve award diamond status for spending $40K/year. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gives a free hotel night for spending $10K/year. The Chase Southwest cards give companion pass status if you earn 110K points in a year. The Chase Fairmont gives a free night for $12K/year. The Citi AA Executive card awards 10K elite qualifying miles for spending $40K/year. My grandfathered Ink Bold Exclusives card gives 167,500 miles if you spend $100K/year, etc, etc.

Is it worth it? It all depends on what you do with your miles.

The value of airline miles is huge if you fly last-minute, one-way, or in business or first class internationally.

When I fly from Akron or Cleveland to NYC on a last-minute ticket it cost just 15K Avios instead of $1,200 round-trip.

76K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt with no fuel surcharges.

With hybrid points you can always get a great value by using the points directly for paid tickets or you can transfer them into airline miles so that you are always be a step ahead of the airline’s game. Transfer points when outsized award values are available or redeem directly for paid flights when they are not.

Of course there are much cheaper ways of manufacturing spend to buy miles for less, but considering that this takes zero effort, it’s not a bad deal.

You can make 2 payments per credit card processor for each quarterly estimate or for your year end bill. You can make another 2 payments each time by using a spouses name to pay.

You can also pay with a debit card for a $2.25 or $2.59 flat fee in case you have a mileage earning debit card or gift cards to cash out.

Do you pay your taxes with a credit or debit card? Or is it too pricey of a method to buy miles? Sound off in the comments!

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Is This The Final Opportunity Ever For An Increased Starwood AMEX Signup Bonus?

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Update: Offer expired!


Related posts:
-Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!
-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the  Starwood Business AMEX are offering 35K Starpoints each if you signup up by 2:59pm tomorrow and meet the spend threshold. That’s 40% more points than normal and is the highest SPG signup bonus ever offered.

#OverwaterVilla #Maldives #Paradise #Drone #Mavic Bonus points if you spy me 😉

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In 2018 the Starwood program will be combined with Marriott. Most, though not all, loyalty programs typically go with one bank to issue a co-brand credit card. Chase currently offers the Marriott card, so the odds are that either AMEX or Chase will win the deal for a combined Marriott-Starwood program.

Marriott values 1 Starwood point at 3 Marriott points and allows you to convert points back and forth, making 35K Starpoints convertible into 105,000 Marriott points. That’s a very generous valuation and creates lots of highly lucrative opportunities. But more importantly it shows that Marriott really does value Starwood loyalists and will do right by them in this merger.

The increased Starwood bonus typically only comes around once per year, so it’s definitely possibly that this may be the final increased offer ever for the Starwood AMEX.

One thing we’ve learned from the loss of Airtran, America West, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways is that the number of co-brand credit card options out there continue to decrease, so it’s important to take advantage of the signup offers while you can.

There are lots of possibilities for the future of the Starwood card. AMEX and Chase may continue to each offer their own co-brand Marriott card. One bank may wind up being able to service previous grandfathered accounts but not being able to take new signups. One bank may wind up taking over all of the cards and loans.

Currently the Starwood AMEX offers more points per dollar in every category than the Chase Marriott card due to the 1:3 conversion ratio from SPG to Marriott. It remains to be seen how that will be reconciled in a combined program.

It’s hard to say at this point what exactly will happen, but one thing is for sure. If you are on the fence, now is definitely the time to signup for both a consumer and a business Starwood card due to what is possibly the final limited time offer expiring tomorrow afternoon.

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SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Update: Offer expired!


Originally posted on 2/19:

Related posts:
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

By signing up for both cards and meeting the spend thresholds you can earn at least 83K Starpoints that can be used for hotel stays, experiences, or transferred into over 100,000 airline miles.

 

View all of the redemption possibilities after the jump:

 

(more…)

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Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Business Spend Bonus

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Several DDF members have posted that they were targeted for a spend bonus on their Starwood business card.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted.

If you are targeted and spend $10,000 on your SPG card you’ll get 20,000 total Starpoints. You need to enroll by 5/31 and complete the spending by 6/30.

My cards aren’t targeted this time, are yours?

HT: luckyluck, via DDF

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Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Update: Offer expired!


With the Marriott and Starwood programs set to combine next year this may be your last chance to apply for a Starwood AMEX with an increased signup bonus!

Originally posted on 2/16:

Related posts:
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards
-Is This The Final Opportunity Ever For An Increased Starwood AMEX Signup Bonus?
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

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This is a limited time offer scheduled to run until 4/5/17.  It offers 40% more points than the standard offer!

Typically there is only one limited time offer on the SPG card per calendar year, so there’s no better time to apply than now.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both cards.

For the consumer card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $2,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 40K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the consumer card before you will not get the bonus for the consumer card again.

For the business card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $3,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 43K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the business card before you will not get the bonus for the business card again.

You can apply for and get the bonus for each of these cards if you haven’t had them before.

If you have only had a consumer card you can get the points for business card and if you have only had the business card you can get the points for the consumer card.


Spending on the Starwood card:

The Starwood card remains a very good card for general spending.

While there are other cards with better bonus categories, the Starwood card is strong for general spending as Starpoints continue to be the most valuable mileage currency thanks to excellent uses at hotels and the 25% bonus for transfers into dozens of airlines.

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Starwood cards.

Starwood also allows members at the same address to transfer points between their accounts for free. Best of all making a transfer like that extends the life of your points by another 18 months.

There are thousands of uses for Starpoints, some of which have been over 50 cents each for me at hotels, but I aim for a minimum value of about 2.2 cents per point and am happy when I’m able to exceed that level. It’s not hard to reach a value of that level at hotels and you can transfer 20K miles into 25K valuable miles from airlines like Aegean, Alaska, American, and dozens of other programs. If you are able to obtain a value of 1.75 cents from those airlines then that imputes a 2.2 cent value for Starpoints as well. The miles won’t sell on the grey market for that price, but miles are always more valuable when you use them yourself for travel.

The Starwood card earns 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood hotels, or a 4.4% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint. It also earns double points on SPG hotel bedding and when you buy Starpoints. It earns 1 Starpoint per dollar everywhere else, or a 2.2% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint.


More valuable than ever thanks to the Marriott merger:

Marriott completed their purchase of Starwood last year and they treated Starwood members better than anyone could have hoped for thanks to a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoints:3 Marriott points.

I’ll write more about the best Marriott uses in a separate post.


American Express benefits and the annual fee:

There’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Aside from the valuable points you’ll earn from signing up and spending you’ll also have access to awesome AMEX benefits:

The card also carries American Express’ awesome top-notch protections that are light-years better than any other banks. Most other banks always look for a way to get out, but that’s not the case with American Express.

-If you need to return an item up to $300 and a store won’t take it back due to a time limited or final sale policy, AMEX will gladly refund you thanks to return protection. The vast majority of the time you’ll even be able to keep the item, but if you do need to send it back the return shipping will be free. That’s a far more generous policy than any other bank offers. This benefit is valid for $1,000 of returns per card per calendar year.
–If a store charged a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover it, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
-You get an additional year of warranty coverage and if you have any issue in the extended warranty year they’ll pay to have it fixed or refund your entire purchase price without a hassle. This benefit is far more valuable than warranty benefits offered by other banks.
-If you need to dispute a charge there’s nobody who makes it easier or as pain-free as American Express does. It’s the easiest dispute resolution process in the industry by leaps and bounds and you can do it all online.
-If your item is stolen or broken within 90 days you’ll be covered.

See this post to see just how amazing AMEX benefits can be.


Spend Threshold

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee. The Starpoints are worth more than 1.87 cents each, so that’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to meet a spend threshold to earn the signup bonus points.

If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.

My local gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay. I used to prepay 5 months of rent on a my credit card (it’s easier in Cleveland where that’s just $800/month) for a $19 flat fee. You’d be surprised to see what you can charge to your credit card!


Sheraton Club Lounge Access:

The Starwood business card gives free club lounge access when staying at Sheraton hotels.

There have been rave reviews of the Sheraton Club lounge in Tel Aviv for example.  If you have a Starwood business card you’ll get free access to it and its free food, beverages, and sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea. A free night at the Sheraton Tel Aviv is 12K points, 6K points+$110, or 9.6K points per night on a 5 night stay.


Premium Internet Access:

With either Starwood card you now get free premium in-room internet at Starwood hotels. All SPG guests get free internet, but cardholders will now get the faster version for free.


Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Starwood card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.


Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

In addition to the Starwood business card offering Sheraton Lounge access, the business card also offers Starpoints plus Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards 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 bill 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 couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX 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.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business 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. 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


Elite Status and Crossover benefits with Delta and Uber:

Just by having a Starwood card you earn Preferred Plus status.  This status earns you the right to checkout at 4pm at Starwood hotels and get upgraded to preferred rooms.

If you spend $30,000 in a year on either Starwood card you earn Gold status.  Gold status gets you more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points.  You can also get gold status for free with no spending requirement by opening The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

When you have the Starwood card you also get 5 elite qualifying nights and 2 stays for each Starwood card that you have that count towards earning Gold or Platinum status!

Starwood Gold and Platinum elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

And all members can earn bonus Starpoints for Uber rides as well after making a single SPG stay.


Read this post for more about Marriott elite benefits, the best ways to use your Starpoints, and more about the best ways to use the Marriott program!

Where do you like using your Starpoints? Hit the comments!

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Bloomberg Confirms That Airlines Exist To Support The Credit Card Industry

Friday, March 31st, 2017

One of the themes I’ve written about during my 13 years of blogging here is that the mileage game continues to exist due to it being a win-win-win situation.

-The banks need the airlines to lure valuable customers to their products and make massive profits from their credit card divisions.
-The airlines need the banks to buy their miles by the billions to keep afloat and rescue them from bankruptcy.
-Consumers benefit from the banks largesse and the airlines ability to provide aspirational awards at attainable pricing when there is distressed inventory.

Commenters over the years have taken issue with my right to complain about things going wrong when using miles. Even after we were marooned in JFK for a day, there will always be the commenters that say I’m taking advantage of the airlines by using miles.

But Bloomberg today writes what I’ve been saying for years. The airlines need the mileage game in order for the aviation industry to exist and thrive. They make more money selling miles than they do actually selling seats on their planes. That’s why mileage earning for paid flights has been devalued while mileage earning from credit cards continues to be enhanced.

They also have incredible leverage over the banks. If a bank loses a co-branded airline card it would be devastating to the bank. That means the airlines can demand high rates for their miles. It’s how Costco was able to squeeze Citi to offer free credit card processing in exchange for switching over their co-brand relationship from AMEX. That’s an incredible amount of leverage.

The Bloomberg article says that the banks pay 1.5-2.5 cents for each mile. Some DDFers say they would be shocked if they even pay a third of that. However it corroborates what a former Citi employee and DansDeals reader once wrote that Citi pays American 1.8 cents for each mile and I’m inclined to believe that banks do pay very high rates for miles in order to keep their co-brand business. That’s what makes me angry when American not only devalued their award chart, but wipes out the vast majority of their award inventory. Predictably, there were comments saying I had no right to complain. But at the end of the day it’s a 2 way street. I’ll focus my accumulation strategy on other airlines and in the end, the unfair programs will lose out on that revenue.

In November 2014 I ripped into El Al Matmid changes. The next day I got an email from Gal Egozi, Matmid’s business development manager and the face of the Matmid changes. We spoke for 90 minutes on a broad and fascinating range of topics, perhaps one day I’ll share a transcript of it. He tried to spin the changes as positive, but I wasn’t buying into any of that. The real eye opener is that El Al had no idea that the US airlines were doing so well specifically because of their mileage programs. El Al looks at Matmid as a cost center, which is why it’s such a poor program. With a little help it could be transformed into the same profit center that it is for the US carriers.

At the end of the day, there’s a reason you can still book a $30,000 first class suite for 100,000 miles, an outstanding value of 30 cents per mile. The airlines want to keep selling miles to the banks and if they switched to a flat 1 cent or even 1.5 cents per mile program, people would abandon ship in droves. Part of the lure is also the thrill of the hunt and the ability to come ahead.

Over the years the game has gotten tougher as banks and airlines crack down on the loopholes and the more lucrative parts of their programs.

At the same time we have seen new outsized value from hybrid cards like Sapphire Reserve and Business Platinum that give the ability to redeem points for a value of 1.5-2.5 cents each or the ability to transfer points into miles. By smartly using other cards from AMEX or Chase you can even earn 2-5x the points per dollar spent on top of those redemption values. In some ways that’s better than we’ve ever had it.

And so the game lives on and luckily for us, it’s quite sustainable. It evolves. It’s not as lucrative as it once was. But the ride goes on.

Long live the mileage game.

HT: ExGingi, via DDF

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Chase Marriott Visa Highest Bonus Ever: Earn 107,500 Rewards Points!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. 

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

For a limited time, Chase is offering 100,000 bonus rewards points for signing up for a Chase Marriott card and spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll get 7,500 bonus rewards points for adding a free additional user card, making for a 107,500 point signup bonus.

You’ll also get a free Marriott category 1-5 every year upon your account anniversary.

There is an $85 annual fee.

Chase’s 5/24 guidelines apply to this card. You can get this bonus if you haven’t received a bonus on this card in the past 24 months.

3 Marriott points transfer into 1 Starpoint, so if you want you can convert the 112,500 points you’ll have for signing up for the card and spending $5,000 into 37,500 Starwood Starpoints.

This card offers 5 points per dollar at Marriott and SPG hotels, 2 points per dollar on airfare, car rentals, and restaurant, and 1 point per dollar elsewhere.

Note that aside from the signup bonus, you’ll be better off spending on the Starwood AMEX card as 1 Starpoint can be converted into 3 Marriott points. The Starwood AMEX offers 2 Starpoints per dollar at Marriott and SPG hotels, which can be converted into 6 Marriott points. Other purchases can be converted into 3 Marriott points per dollar.

#HelloBeautiful #GoodMorning from #Paradise #StRegisMaldives #Mavic #Drone

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To read about using these points and converting between Marriott points and Starpoints and more, please see these posts:

-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!

-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered

The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition

Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!

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JetBlue Raises Checked Bag Fees And How You Should Be Avoiding Them

Monday, March 27th, 2017

JetBlue has quietly gotten rid of the discount for paying for a checked bag online or at a kiosk for new tickets. Previously checked bags paid for online or at a kiosk were just $20, but now the first checked bag is $25.

Additionally they have increased the cost of Blue Plus fares that include a free bag from $15 to a range from $23-$50 each way.

Still with free WiFi, TV, and snacks, JetBlue is a great airline to fly.

Plus those bag fees can be avoided if you have a JetBlue Plus Card.

The reasons listed below show why it makes for even a casual JetBlue flyer to be a cardholder.

the-jetblue-plus-card
Here is what the card offers:

-A free checked bag for the cardholder and up to 3 passengers on the same reservation. That’s a value of up to $200 in waived checked bag fees per round-trip.

-30,000 JetBlue points for signing up and spending $1,000. JetBlue points vary in value, but that will be good for about $450 of free flights.

-10% points rebate every time you redeem your points. The rebate will post within 1 business day of using points. That effectively makes your points about 10% more valuable and bumps up the signup bonus value of the card to about $500 of flights.

-5,000 points upon every card anniversary. Combined with the 10% rebate that’s 5,500 points that are worth about $83 towards JetBlue flights. That drops the effective annual fee from $99 down to just $16.

-$100 annual statement credit when you book a $100+ JetBlue vacation package.

-If you spend $50K in a calendar year on the Plus card then you’ll get JetBlue Mosaic status for the remainder of the calendar year and for the following calendar year.
Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-2 points per dollar on groceries and restaurants and 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases on top of the 3-11 points per dollar that you earn for the flight itself, which makes for a very nice rebate on JetBlue flights.

-50% rebate for in-flight purchases of cocktails, food, JetBlue movies and other eligible purchases.

-No foreign transaction fees.

-JetBlue points never expire.

JetBlue also allows families to pool their points together.

 The JetBlue Plus Card’s signup bonus makes it well worth the initial $99 annual fee and the anniversary bonus makes it worth keeping the card despite the $99 annual fee. The free checked bags and the 10% rebate on award tickets seal the deal on a very solid card offering. And the very generous bonus points offered on JetBlue purchases is icing on the cake.

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Hilton American Express 100K, 80K, And Other Limited Time Hilton Offers

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Until 5/31, The Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express is offering 100K points for spending $3,000 within 3 months. Additionally you’ll get a free weekend night at any participating Hilton after your first card anniversary. It offers 12 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 6 points per dollar at US supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

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It has a $75 annual fee and gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast, including the most over-the-top breakfast I’ve had in my life at the Waldorf Jerusalem.  If you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status, which gets confirmed room upgrades and space available suite upgrade at hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. You’ll also get the 5th night free on award stays.


-Until 5/31, The Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express is offering 80K points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.  It offers 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. The bonus is valid if you haven’t had this particular Hilton AMEX before.

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It has no annual fee and offers Silver status for as long as you are a cardmember. You’ll also get the 5th night free on award stays. If you spend $20K on the card you’ll get Hilton Gold status.


-The Citi Hilton HHonors card is offering 75K Hilton points for spending $2K in 3 months for a limited time only.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

There’s no annual fee. You’ll also get Silver elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which allows access to 5th night free awards and other benefits. If you spend $20K/year you’ll get Gold status. This card has no annual fee.

You can get a Citi Hilton consumer signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an Hilton consumer card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open Hilton consumer card.

There’s no limited time offer for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, but it’s a great card as it which gives 2 free nights (officially for use on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays) at any Hilton in the world (including the excellent Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, the Conrad Maldives, the Grand Wailea Maui, or the Conrad  Bora Bora Nui.). It also gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast.

At the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

Gold and Diamond members get upgrades, food and drink amenities, late checkout, and other great benefits. Their Friday night Shabbos meals are pricey, but are well worth the expense (DDFers agree with that take as well), and the in-house restaurants are excellent as well.

It has a $95 annual fee and gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder. You’ll get the 5th night free on award stays.  You’ll also get an additional free night for spending $10K in a calendar year. This card has a $95 annual fee.


Hilton is a tough currency to love due to the high point requirements and lack of a fixed award chart, but we absolutely loved our stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year and hope to stay there again. These limited time offers are all some of the richest that have ever been offered for these cards.

At the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

Gold and Diamond members get upgrades, food and drink amenities, late checkout, and other great benefits. Their Friday night Shabbos meals are pricey, but are well worth the expense (DDFers agree with that take as well), and the in-house restaurants are excellent as well.

With a breakfast like this, you may not even be hungry for dinner…

 

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Many, many more pictures when I get around to writing the trip report 😉


If you need more points for a discounted 5 night award stay you can also buy Hilton points at half price through June 3rd here.

You can purchase anywhere from 10K points for $50 to 160K points for $800, effectively 0.5 cents per point. If you need more points you can open additional Hilton accounts in your name and then combine the accounts by clicking here.

Hilton hotels top out at 95K points/night for a standard room, so a hotel like the highly rated Conrad Maldives that goes for $700-$1,100 per night costs 95K points per night or 380K points for 5 nights for Hilton elites/cardholders. That’s just $380/night with this points sale.


Do you have any Hilton cards or do you have plans to take advantage of these limited time offers? Which aspirational hotel do you have your eyes set on? Hit the comments!

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2 Days Left To Join The Chase Class Action Settlement If You Lost Points When Your Account Was Closed

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Chase Class Action Settlement

After a rash of Chase shutdowns several years ago I wrote a post called “What Not To Do: How To Avoid Having Your Account Closed

Chase used to confiscate points after a shutdown, though they generally stopped doing that a while ago. Some people did have success getting compensation for lost points via small claims court, though you don’t typically hear about those cases as the settlement includes a non-disclosure agreement.

However if Chase did shut down your account between June 2009 and today and you were never compensated, you can file a claim via the link above no later than this Friday, 3/17 in order to get compensation for lost points.

The exact compensation will vary based on the number of claims.

HT: JTZ, via DDF

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Final Day To Register For Chase Freedom Q1 Spending, Q2 Registration Begins Tomorrow

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Today is the final day to activate this quarter’s Chase Freedom 5% categories.

You must register for Q1 bonus spending at Gas stations and local commuter transportation by today and complete spending by 3/31.

Tomorrow you’ll be able to register for 2017 Q2 spending at grocery and drug stores from 4/1-6/30.

Chase Freedom is an excellent no annual fee card thanks to its quarterly 5% categories. While they call it 5% cash back, you’ll really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be worth much more than 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points over the course of a year (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent).

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

While Chase Freedom is a great card for the bonus categories, it’s not a great card for everyday spending. However the Chase Freedom Unlimited card also has no annual fee and is excellent for everyday spending.

You can also earn 10 points per dollar on up to $2,500 in hotel and car rental spending on the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards this month with no registration required.

Freedom or Freedom Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Preferred card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this post on great uses of Chase mileage transfers. The Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.

The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on those “5 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them!

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Last Chance For Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Signup Bonus; Get $2,100 In Travel!

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Update, 3/10: The 100K Sapphire Reserve offer available in Chase banking branches will end tomorrow.

Originally posted on 1/3/17


Related:
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
-Earn 100K+ Chase Points On 1 Card; Here Are 22 Ways You Can Use Those Points!


The Chase Sapphire Reserve took the mileage world by storm last year by offering 100,000 signup points and a boatload of other benefits. Chase took a $200-$300MM loss just in the 2016 Q4 on the card, so it’s no surprise that the massive signup bonus is coming to an end.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

Effective 1/12 the 100K online offer will go down to 50K for spending $4,000. The 100K bonus will still be available in branch through 3/11.

You can use the 100K points for $1,500 in travel or you can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points.

Note that if you have opened up 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 2 years it can be difficult to get approved for most cards from Chase. Read more about 5/24 here.

Annual fee:

The card has a $450 annual fee which is not waived for the first year. The effective annual fee though is much lower thanks to the travel credit.

View more about the card after the jump:

 

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Revisiting Sungame And Credit Card Signup Farms; What Is Your Social Security Number Worth?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

A few years ago I wrote about 2 “deals” that weren’t deals at all.

MosheP helped expose Sungame on DDF which led to the first half of that post.

After the post, a woman who invested in Sungame left a voicemail saying that it was a real deal and threatened that the article would “come back to haunt me” as there were “very very expensive and high class lawyers” who were going to “close down my whole page” as it was “costing them a lot of money.”

Well Neil Chandran, the CEO of that company, was indicted last week for fraud and bilking “investors” (suckers?) from hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And another get rich quick MLM bites the dust.


For the past several years since that post there have continued to be ads on various websites and Twitter accounts promising up to $10,000 for handing over your social security number and letting a faceless company have their way with your credit. On DDF we call them credit card signup farms.

Based on the number of ads they target it seems that they’re wildly successful in luring people in, but personally I’m flabbergasted that anyone would ever hand over their social security number to anyone other than their spouse or their financial institution. If anything goes wrong it’s you who will be on the hook and that can affect everything from future car and home purchases to even job applications. When I’m asked for a social security number at the doctor’s office, school, insurance agent, or anyone else, I just leave it blank. They don’t need that information and it can lead to endless months of torture if it falls into the wrong hands.

Not only that, but these farms also require your mother’s maiden name and literally everything else to take control of your life.

 

DDF member Mutty91 shares that he was promised $7,200 by a farm in exchange for handing over his and his wife’s social security numbers, mothers’ maiden names, and other personal information and letting them apply for cards.

Last year the farm then proceeded to apply for credit cards using the information. Afterward they told him that he didn’t qualify for the full payout as he was “only” approved for 5 cards, so they could only pay him $1,600.

The farm promised to use acceptable spending methods and that he would be able to open cards in the future, but they proceeded to spend money using very shady tactics that have been known to cause banks and airlines to shut down the accounts of violators. After the fake spending they proceeded to quickly close down all the cards opened in order to avoid the annual fees.

The farm promised to cut him a $1,600 check but never did. Eventually the farm just stopped answering his emails and calls, so he posted on DDF asking if he was scammed.

After I took a look at the emails and his statements, the farm clarified to him that a mileage broker bought the farm’s miles and didn’t pay up some $90,000 of bills, hence the non-payment of his funds. They said that they hope to have a check for him in 30 days.

He’s not holding his breath.

 

-It seems to be a common practice for some of the farms to promise to use only regular spending but then proceed to generate fake spending to earn signup bonuses. The farms are not accurately representing the potential risks and fraud involved that are being committed in the victim’s name. That is simply irresponsible and inexcusable.

One DDF member sent me information about farms using even more nefarious methods to multiply the points balances of their victims before cashing out and leaving victims with massive negative balances that can affect their ability to get credit cards in the future. One of the farmers even bragged to him about how much he abuses his victims accounts as if it’s all just one big game. If the account holder knew the level of fraud that was being committed in their name they would likely have never allowed it, but they’re simply not informed of what’s actually going on.

 

-DDF member Saulius writes that he knows a teacher in Lakewood, NJ who gave his social security number to a farm for a lump payment. He also knows the broker that bought $4,000 of miles from the farm that opened credit cards in the teacher’s name. The broker was told that no shady tactics were used to generate the miles. The broker booked award tickets and paid more than $1,000 in taxes from miles from the account but the tickets were voided and the mileage account was closed as it turned out the farm did use shady spending tactics to generate the miles. The farm has refused to reimburse the broker for his losses.

 

DDF member Aaaron shares that his friend gave his personal information to a farm that also promised to pay him some $7,000. The farm applied for 14 credit cards and managed to get him shut down by the bank. No surprise that they didn’t like seeing 14 applications come in like that. He didn’t get paid.

 

There are countless more stories like these in this 1,300+ post DDF thread. Even when people are approved for all the cards that a farm applied for they still report not getting paid what was advertised.

 

I’m sure some people will comment that they deserved what is coming to them for acting out of laziness to apply for their own cards and do things the legitimate way without handing over their personal information to a farm.

But I understand where the victims are coming from. I’m sure many see a promise of a $10,000 windfall as a lifeboat that can change their lives and they act out of desperation. Still, the naivete of handing over all of your personal information is a bit shocking.

Even if you do get paid something from one of these farms, it most likely won’t be what was advertised and promised. Plus you’ll have to live with the risks of whatever may happen to your credit history and your relationships with the banks and airlines. Even a rogue employee at a farm can do a world of harm with all of your personal information.

 

Are bad things guaranteed to happen to you if you sell your social security number for this? No. But I do think that people should be properly informed of the risks and potential fraud involved and hopefully this article helps with that.

 

Did you or someone you know give over the keys to their credit to a signup farm? Share your story in the comments.

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Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Several DDF members have posted that they were targeted for a spend bonus on their Starwood consumer card.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted.

If you are targeted and spend $5,000 on your SPG card you’ll get 10,000 total Starpoints. You need to enroll by 3/31 and complete the spending by 5/31.

My cards aren’t targeted this time, are yours?

HT: coralsnake, via DDF

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Here Are The Changes Coming This Month To The AMEX Platinum Card; Comparison Of Consumer Vs. Business Card Benefits

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX will be making changes to their consumer Platinum Card effective 3/30.

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New benefits exclusive to the consumer card include:

$15 in monthly Uber credits:
Starting 3/30 a monthly $15 Uber credit will be added to your account. The monthly credit must be used by the last day of the month at 11:59pm local time.

You must have your AMEX Platinum consumer card listed as a payment method in your Uber account, but you don’t need to use the card in order to use the credit.

Every December you’ll get a $35 credit, making this benefit worth up to $200 per calendar year.

All AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points already earn double points on Uber spending.

Uber credits typically work for food delivery from Uber Eats, so I’d imagine that this credit will work for Uber Eats as well, but we’ll have to wait until 3/30 to confirm if it will work for that.

The Uber credits are only valid for use in the US.

Uber VIP status:
AMEX Platinum consumer cardholders will be upgraded to VIP status, which prioritizes your rides to better cars and drivers with more experience and higher ratings in select locations.

5 points per dollar on hotel and airfare:
In October AMEX added 5 points per dollar for airfare spending on their consumer Platinum Card.

Effective 3/30 you’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on hotels, but with a caveat. You’ll only get the bonus points if you book hotels at AMEXTravel.com

Metal card design:
Until now AMEX has only provided their Centurion “Black card” cardholders with a metal card, but AMEX will now provide Platinum cardholders with a metal card.
Existing cardmembers can request a metal card effective 3/30.

Free additional Gold cardholders:
Previously additional Gold cards have been charged at a rate of $45/year, but effective 3/30 those will be free.

Annual fee increase:
Effective for new Platinum Card applications made on 3/30, the annual fee will go up from $450/year to $550/year.

If you apply before 3/30 you will pay only $450 for your first year, but you’ll still get the new benefits on 3/30.

If you are already a cardholder and your annual fee is due before 9/1 then your fee for 2017 will be $450. If your fee is due on 9/1 or later than you will be charged $550 for your next renewal.

Fee for additional Platinum cardholders will remain the same:
You will continue to be able to add up to 3 additional Platinum cardholders at a rate of 3 cards for a flat $175 per year. They will each receive their own lounge access capabilities, elite status, and Global Entry fee refunds, but won’t get annual airline fee or monthly Uber credits.


The Business Platinum Card will remain at $450/year.

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Benefits exclusive to the business card include:

-A game changing 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of an airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com.. Having the Business Platinum Card effectively turns all of your AMEX points earned on all Membership Rewards cards into “Hybrid” points by allowing you to redeem points for a value of 2 cents or more each for paid tickets or transferring them into real airline miles. The 50% rebate posts to your account within a day of redemption. You can get the 50% rebate whether you pay for the whole ticket or just part of the ticket with points.

-1.5 points per dollar on large purchases of $5,000 or more on the Business Platinum Card. You can earn up to 1 million points annually with this bonus. For example a $5K+ IRS tax payment will cost 1.87% (tax deductible for businesses) and will earn 1.5 points per dollar that are worth at least 3% towards travel with this card.

-Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:
With the Business Platinum Card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet. You can enroll here for your free passes.


Read about the benefits that both cards offer and a comparison between the 2 cards after the jump:

 

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Chase Freedom/Freedom Unlimited 10x Bonus Categories Added For March!

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site


Chase is offering 10 points per dollar on up to $2,500 in hotel and car rental spending on the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards this month.

Registration for this offer isn’t required. Booking must be made via ChaseUltimateRewards.com

You must use cash and not redeem points for the hotel stay or car rental in order to earn 10 points per dollar. This 10x promotion is only valid for travel booked in March, though travel can take place at any time. That’s a potential 25K points per card.

I maxed out this promotion last July on 3 Freedom cards and got 75K points. Since then I downgraded a Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Unlimited, so potentially I can make 100,000 points off of this promotion. It’s all about playing your cards right 😉

They advertise the bonus as 10% cash back, but you’ll really get 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent, which can be worth much more than 10% cash. For example they can be transferred to a Sapphire Reserve card where they’ll be worth a minimum of 1.5 cents each towards travel or they can be transferred into airline/hotel miles. If you earn 25K points on Freedom/Freedom Unlimited and transfer them to Sapphire Reserve they’ll be worth a minimum of $375 towards travel and your effective rebate will be at least 15%.


Both the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited are excellent no annual fee credit cards.

The Freedom card earns 5 points per dollar on $1,500 in quarterly spending. You can click here to activate this quarter’s Chase Freedom 5% categories. With $1,500 in spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points over the course of a year (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent).

2017 bonus categories:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and drugstores

The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere with no cap, an excellent card for everyday spending.

Freedom or Freedom Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Preferred card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this post on great uses of Chase mileage transfers. The Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.

The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on those “5 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them!

HT: stooges44, via DDF

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Roundup Of Citi Limited Time And Expiring 50K-75K Credit Card Offers

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

-Until the offer is pulled today or tomorrow, the Citi AAdvantage Consumer Mastercard and Citi AAdvantage Business Mastercard are each offering 50,000 AA miles for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

Both cards have their $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

-They both offer priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and 4 companions.

-The consumer card also offers a 10% rebate of miles spent on award tickets, up to 10K miles rebated per year.

Both cards qualify for 7.5K off discounted awards to rotating destinations. For example a round-trip flight from NYC to Palm Springs would be 17.5K miles after the discount. Short-haul flights are discounted by 2K miles, so a round-trip flight from NYC to Montreal would be 13K miles after the discount.

-Both cards have no foreign transaction fees.

You can get a Citi American consumer signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an American consumer card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open American consumer card.

You can get a Citi American business signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an American business card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open American consumer card.

American’s award availability got significantly worse last year, but as of late it’s been on the upswing, especially close-in:

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-The Citi Hilton HHonors card is offering 75K Hilton points for spending $2K in 3 months for a limited time only.  There’s no annual fee. You’ll also get Silver elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which allows access to 5th night free awards and other benefits. If you spend $20K/year you’ll get Gold status. This card has no annual fee.

You can get a Citi Hilton consumer signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an Hilton consumer card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open Hilton consumer card.

There’s no limited time offer for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, but it’s a great card as it which gives 2 free nights (officially for use on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays) at any Hilton in the world (including the excellent Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, the Conrad Maldives, the Grand Wailea Maui, or the Conrad  Bora Bora Nui.). It also gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast.

At the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

Gold and Diamond members get upgrades, food and drink amenities, late checkout, and other great benefits. Their Friday night Shabbos meals are pricey, but are well worth the expense (DDFers agree with that take as well), and the in-house restaurants are excellent as well.

With a breakfast like this, you may not even be hungry for dinner…

 

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If you spend $10K/year on the Hilton Reserve card you’ll get a free anniversary night (officially for use on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays) at any Hilton and if you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status, which confirmed room upgrades and space available suite upgrade at hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. This card has a $95 annual fee.

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A New Limited Time Signup Bonus For The No Annual Fee AMEX Blue For Business Card

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Related posts:
Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

Limited Time Signup Offers For The American Express Blue Cash Everyday And Preferred Cards

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

The Blue for Business card is an excellent no annual fee card.

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AMEX is back with another special limited time offer for this card.

You’ll earn 10K bonus Membership Rewards points after making any purchase within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn another 15K bonus Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 within 6 months.

The Blue for Business card also always earns a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases, so you’ll earn an effective 1.3 points per dollar spent everywhere.

Additionally all AMEX Membership Rewards cards earn 2 points per dollar on Uber. Thanks to the 30% annual points bonus that means you’ll earn 2.3 points per dollar on Uber.

All AMEX business cards also include Open Savings for 5% cash back at Fedex, Hertz, HP, and 800-Flowers on top of the regular 1.3 points per dollar earnings.

While the Blue for Business card can’t transfer points directly into miles, the points can be transferred into miles if you have a card like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card, The Amex EveryDay Cardthe Premier Rewards Gold Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

That means if you hold a combination of the Everyday Card and the Blue for Business card you will have no annual fees, but can earn at least 1.3 real airline miles per dollar everywhere (and more on groceries and Uber).

If you have a Business Platinum card you’ll be able to redeem points earned on this card for at least 2 cents each on airfare. That means you can earn 2.6% back everywhere and 4.6% back on Uber.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s great for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards 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 bill 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 couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX 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.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business 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. 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.

Will you signup for Blue for Business?

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AMEX Blue For Business Limited Time Offer: Earn More Than 2 Points Per Dollar Everywhere And 10 Points Per Dollar On Restaurants With No Annual Fee!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Update: Offer expired!

Related posts:
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Originally posted on 10/27/16:

Offer expired!

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

The Blue for Business card is an excellent no annual fee card.

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If you signup by 2/22 you can earn:
-10K Membership Rewards points after making any purchase within 3 months.
10.3 points per dollar at restaurants (up to $2,000) within 6 months.
3.3 points per dollar on Uber (up to $50,000) within 12 months.
2.3 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000) within 12 months.
2.3 points per dollar on Uber after the first 12 months.
-The Blue for Business card also always earns a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases, so you’ll earn 1.3 points per dollar spent everywhere after the first 12 months.
-The Blue for Business card also participates in Open Savings for 5% cash back at Fedex, Hertz, HP, and 800-Flowers on top of the regular 1.3 points per dollar earnings.

 

While the Blue for Business card can’t transfer points directly into miles, the points can be transferred into miles if you have a card like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card, The Amex EveryDay Cardthe Premier Rewards Gold Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

That means if you hold a combination of the Everyday Card and the Blue for Business card you will have no annual fees, but can earn at least 1.3 real airline miles per dollar everywhere (and more on groceries and Uber). And you’ll earn significantly more than that with the current limited time promotions.

If you have a Business Platinum card you’ll be able to redeem points earned on this card for at least 2 cents each on airfare. Combined with the earning power on this card that can become extremely lucrative. Everyday purchases in the first year would earn 4.6% towards airfare and restaurant purchases would 20.6% towards airfare!

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s great for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards 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 bill 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 couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX 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.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business 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. 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.

Will you signup for Blue for Business?

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55K Miles For Signing Up For A United Explorer Card; On Expanded Awards, Excursionist Perks, And Why The United Card Is My Favorite Airline Mileage Card

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Related:
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
-On The Topic Of Chase 5/24: Here’s What You Need To Know About Additional User Cards


You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

For a limited time only you can earn 50,000 bonus miles for opening a Chase United Explorer card and spending $3,000 within 3 months. The normal bonus is 30,000 miles. Plus you’ll earn an additional 5,000 miles for adding a free additional user card and making a purchase within 3 months. There is a $95 annual fee.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

This offer is available on the consumer and business card.  For the business card just click on the consumer link and then click on  the link under “Are you a business owner?”

It can be difficult to get approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer cards in the past 24 months.

Spend $3,000 on a new card and add an additional user and you’ll have at least 58,000 miles.

A short-haul United domestic award under 700 miles in distance is just 10,000 miles.  That’s more than the BA 7.5K short-haul, but availability is much better, it allows for a longer flight distance, and you are allowed to have connections for the same rate, something that BA doesn’t allow.

 

Best of all United never charges any fuel surcharges. Other airlines like American 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. Here’s why:
View all the reasons why after the jump:

(more…)

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5% Back On Amazon Is Nice, But 6-10% Back Is Nicer

Monday, February 6th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

The Chase Amazon Prime Visa offers 5% cash back for Prime members and a $70 Amazon gift card for signing up. There is no annual fee for Prime members.

But with a little more effort you can do better. That’s a very weak signup bonus for a card. In a 5/24 world you should work on maximizing the signup bonuses earned from cards with more lucrative signup bonuses.

But besides for that, you can do better than 5% cash back at Amazon.

-The Chase Ink Cash card offers $300 cash back (in the form of 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points) for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It offers 5% cash back (in the form of 5 Ultimate Rewards points) per dollar for up to $25,000 in annual spending at office supply stores and on telecom and cable. It also offers 2% cash back (in the form of 2 Ultimate Rewards points) per dollar for up to $25,000 in annual spending at gas stations and restaurants. There is no annual fee.

Office supply stores like Office Depot and Staples sell gift cards to hundreds of other stores, including Amazon.

If you, your spouse, or your additional user have an Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve card those points can be transferred into airline miles or hotel points where the value per point can range anywhere from 0.5 cents to 15 cents each. The sky is the limit based on the redemption, but it is not hard to use 5 points for a value of 7.5-10% or more.

If you, your spouse, or your additional user have a Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, and activities. That makes your effective rebate on Amazon purchases at least 7.5%.

-The Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back (in the form of 5 Ultimate Rewards points) for up to $1,500 of spending per quarter in rotating categories. This quarter you can earn that bonus by spending at gas stations and local commuter transportation. Next quarter you can earn the bonus at grocery stores and drug stores.  There is no annual fee.

Many gas stations, grocery stores, and drug stores sell gift cards to hundreds of other stores, including Amazon. My local grocery store also offers free gas for buying gift cards, which sweetens the pot even more.

If you, your spouse, or your additional user have an Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve card those points can be transferred into airline miles or hotel points where the value per point can range anywhere from 0.5 cents to 15 cents each. The sky is the limit based on the redemption, but it is not hard to use 5 points for a value of 7.5-10% or more.

If you, your spouse, or your additional user have a Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, and activities. That makes your effective rebate on Amazon purchases at least 7.5%.

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers 4.5 points per dollar on up to $6,000 in annual grocery spending if you make 30 transactions per month.  There is a $95 annual fee.

Many grocery stores sell gift cards to hundreds of other stores, including Amazon. My local grocery store also offers free gas for buying gift cards, which sweetens the pot even more.

This card allows you to transfer points into airline miles or hotel points where the value per point can range anywhere from 0.5 cents to 15 cents each. The sky is the limit based on the redemption, but it is not hard to use 4.5 points for a value of 7-9% or more.

If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use the points with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare, meaning 4.5 points is worth a minimum of 9-10% towards paid airfare.

-The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual grocery spending. There is a $95 annual fee.

Many grocery stores sell gift cards to hundreds of other stores, including Amazon. My local grocery store also offers free gas for buying gift cards, which sweetens the pot even more.

Of course you do lose protections when you use gift cards. But if you are looking to have 90 day return protection and an extra year of warranty on specific products then you should use an AMEX that offers more than 1 mile per dollar spent like the Starwood Consumer AMEX, Starwood Business AMEX, AMEX EveryDay, AMEX EveryDay Preferred, or the Blue for Business AMEX. AMEX cards have by far the best purchase protections.

But if you don’t need purchase protection, you’ll do best by purchasing Amazon gift cards on a card that earns better than 5% back.

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On The Topic Of Chase 5/24: Here’s What You Need To Know About Additional User Cards

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Related:
-Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered


I’ve written about the Chase 5/24 guideline several times, including this post when Chase first officially acknowledged its existence in writing.

In short, if you have been approved for 5 or more cards from any bank in the past 24 months it can be tough to get approved for most (though not all) Chase credit cards. There are exceptions, such as pre-approvals online or in-branch. Having a Chase private client checking account used to work to get around 5/24 but as of December that has gotten much tougher.

You can check all 3 of your reports (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) for free on annualcreditreport.com to see how many cards you have that have been opened within the past 24 months.

Business cards from AMEX, Barclaycard, BOFA, Chase, Citi, and USBank don’t show up on your report and don’t count towards 5/24. Spending on these cards also won’t affect your credit score as they’re not on your report.  Business cards from Capital One and Discover do show up on your report and will affect 5/24.

Authorized user cards are where things get tricky. The system automatically counts them towards 5/24. Even if you call reconsideration they will turn you down for 5/24 based on having authorized user cards that were opened in the past 24 months. However if you tell the reconsideration rep that you aren’t financially responsible for the authorized user cards then they will not count them towards 5/24. If you have any issues you can ask for a reconsideration supervisor and tell them that you aren’t financially responsible for the cards. You can HUCA if you are still denied due to authorized user cards.

Store cards that are only good for use in a single store are also tricky. The system will count them, but you can explain to a reconsideration rep or supervisor that the card can’t be used anywhere but that store and shouldn’t count towards 5/24. This may require some HUCA and may be more difficult than having a rep disregard authorized user cards.

Even if you are at 4/24 (opened 4 cards in past 24 months) people have had success applying for and getting approved for multiple Chase cards as the 5th approved card hasn’t appeared on their credit report yet.

It’s always helpful to know beforehand exactly how many primary, secondary, and store cards are on your report before you call reconsideration.

DD commenter JF shares his experience,

“Applied online (For the Chase Sapphire Reserve) on Jan 8, got the rejection letter in the mail yesterday.

I called last night and spoke to a Recon Rep who told me I was at 9/24 but would not tell me anything else and suggested that I re-apply at a later date.
I knew I was at 8/24 but with 2 store cards and 2 authorized users. I stated this to the Recon Rep but he refused to reconsider the denial.

At that point I took Dan’s advice and asked for a Recon Supervisor. I explained my case for reconsideration stating that there were 4 cards that should not count, which would put me at 4/24.

After taking some time to re-review my application, she approved me with shifting some credit from my Chase British Airways card. All in all took about 1 hour on the phone with Chase but was worth it.

Do yourself a favor and follow Dan’s advice step by step! If I didn’t ask for a supervisor, I would not have been approved.”

 

DDF user ranhan429 shares his experience as well,

“My father is well over 5/24 with AUs and under 5/24 without.

Applied (for the Chase Sapphire Reserve), had him called and told him exactly what to say.
The rep said “sorry due to number of cards open in past 2 yrs we are unable to approve you”.

So he reads his part of the script, after a bit of stumbling he finally says the line I told him to say: “But I am not financially responsible for the authorized user accounts”.

Then the rep goes “OK that’s gonna change everything then”.

Basically, it sounds like all others here, where it sounds like it’s going be approved but needs to go thru an additional phase.”

 

DDF user NYHeel writes that his wife had the same experience as ranhan29,

“The same thing happened with my wife, minus the stumbling. Once she said she wasn’t responsible for the AU cards she got approved.”

 

Share your experience in the comments!

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Today Is The Last Day To Change Your Airline For The AMEX Fee Credit, Sort Of…

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Today is officially the last day to change the airline selected for your AMEX airline fee credit.

-The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers a $100 annual airline fee credit. You can register for an airline here.

-The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN each offer a $200 annual airline fee credit. You can register for an airline here.

I say officially as in the past AMEX has allowed people to change the airline at anytime, as long as they haven’t received any airline fee credit that calendar year. Just call or chat with AMEX to have it changed. Sometimes they will even allow changes if you have spent part of the airline fee credit.

The AMEX airline fee credit works on a calendar basis, so you can get the 2017 credit anytime in 2017 and the 2018 credit in your first cardmembership year. You need to register with a specific airline before spending.

Note that if you have a Business Platinum card the airline you choose will also be the airline that you can 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year.

You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline, which will make for some great bargains when redeeming for premium class travel without any capacity controls like traditional award tickets.

Best of all you also earn miles for the ticket, and on premium class travel those miles will add up very quickly.

It typically takes less than a day to get the 50% points rebate.

You can read this post for sample airline fees that have worked for the $200 fee credit.

-The Premier Rewards Gold Card offers triple points on airfare and double points on restaurants. gas stations, and supermarkets in addition to the $100 annual airline fee credit. The card’s $195 annual fee is waived for the first year.

-The Platinum Card® from American Express offers $200 in annual airline fee credits, 5 points per dollar on airfare, Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood gold elite status, Centurion, Airspace, Delta, and Priority Pass lounge membership, lost item protection, Boingo WiFi, and allows you to add 3 cardmembers for $175/year ($58.33/each) that each get their own full lounge memberships and Global Entry+Pre-Check memberships.

-The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN offers $200 in annual airline fee credits, 10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes, a 50% rebate on points used for coach tickets on the airline of your choice, a 50% rebate on points used for business/first class tickets on all airlines, and 50% bonus points on $5K+ purchases. It also offers Global Entry+Pre-Check membership, Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood gold elite status, Centurion, Airspace, Delta, and Priority Pass lounge membership, lost item protection, and Boingo WiFi. Plus it won’t count against your Chase 5/24 count. It will also turn all of your AMEX points into “hybrid points.”

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Last Chance To Earn 100,000 Points With The Game-Changing Business Platinum Card

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Update: Offer expired!


-Find more posts like this by clicking on the Credit Card+Mileage Posts tab above of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Signup bonus:

Until 1/25/17 the Business Platinum card is offering 50K bonus points for spending $5K and another 50K bonus points for spending another $10K within 3 months.

A tax payment can help you reach those spend thresholds and you can earn 50% bonus points with this card, read more here.

Airline fee credits:

In your first cardmembership you can get a $200 credit in 2017 and a $200 credit in 2018.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

You can view sample items that qualify for a airline fee refund here.

Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

“Hybrid Points”

A couple months ago I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like AMEX Business Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Business Platinum card is truly game changing thanks to the ability to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an whopping 2 cents (or higher) value per point. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!

AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth as much as 2.5 cents toward paid airfare!

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.

This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable.

When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.

Supercharge your spending:

-If you spend more than $5,000 on the Business Platinum card you’ll also get 1.5 points per dollar, worth at least 3% back.

However other purchases only earn 1 point each. Rather than doing that you can spend on these other AMEX cards that will supercharge your earnings. And you can then redeem points earned on other AMEX cards with your Business Platinum card so that the points can be transferred into miles or used at a value of at least 2 cents each towards paid tickets!

You can apply for other AMEX cards on the same day and only have 1 credit pull.

-If you have the $95/year AMEX Everyday Preferred and make 30 transactions per month you will earn 4.5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at US gas stations, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 9% back at US supermarkets, 6% back at US gas stations, 5% back on Uber, and 3% back everywhere else.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Everyday card and make 20 transactions per month you will earn 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.8% back at US supermarkets, 4.4% back on Uber, and 2.4% back everywhere else.

Offer expired! -If you apply for the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card during its current limited time promotion you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 3.3 points per dollar on Uber within 12 months, 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere (2.3 for Uber) afterward thanks to the 30% annual points dividend. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 20.6% back at US restaurants for 6 months, 4.6% back everywhere for 12 months, and 2.6% back everywhere afterward.

-If you have the consumer Platinum Card you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 10% back

-If you have the Premier Rewards Gold card you will earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 6% back on airfare, and 4% back at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.

-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you will earn 3 points per dollar on your choice of 1 category and 2 points per dollar in the other categories consisting of: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware+software+cloud computing. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4-6% back. Plus with Open Savings you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on Fedex, Hertz, or HP, for a total of up to 11% back from Fedex or HP.

Annual fee:

The Business Platinum card costs $450/year. But AMEX has now made that fee a very good value thanks to the ability to make all of your AMEX points worth at least 2 cents each.

The airline fee refunds also help take the sting out of the fee.

Plus there are a plethora of other benefits:

Charge card benefits:

Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.

Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:

Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.

You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.

You need to call 800-525-3355 and select option 3 for Starwood Gold status.

Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status.

Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well.

Starwood Gold status gets you late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

-Centurion lounge access:

American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time.  Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and more to come such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airlines like Continental and USAirways but now is down to just Delta.

But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges due to exclusivity with other banks AMEX opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.

-Priority Pass membership.

You can enroll here for a Priority Pass membership.

Unfortunately this membership doesn’t include any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority Pass membership.

Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It’s located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass, so you can stop in for free kosher food and wine at any time! In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.

See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges.

Priority Pass gives access to the full network of “The Club” with 8 domestic lounges and growing.

Airspace lounges:

Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.

Delta SkyClub:

You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta.  You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.

The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!

Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund

It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

You can read more more about the differences in this post.

Additional cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.

My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!

Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.

Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:

With the Business Platinum card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.

You can enroll here for your free passes.

Lost Item Protection:

If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.

Car Rental Perks:

A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.

The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.

Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

-The consumer card’s advantages are now the 5 points per dollar on airfare and the bargain additional Platinum user fees.

-The business card’s advantages are now the 50% bonus points for spending $5,000+, the GoGo WiFi passes, Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more. But the main advantage is the 50% rebate for using points for airfare.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards 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 bill 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 couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX 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.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business 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. 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

 

Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card?

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Buy $300 In Visa Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $20 Visa Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

If you buy $300+ in Visa gift cards from Staples between 1/22 and 1/28 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $20 Visa gift card.

This is valid in-store only. Officially there is a limit of 1 rebate per household.

If you buy 2 $200 Visa gift card in store you’ll pay $13.90 in card fees. (A $200 gift card and a $100 gift card would have $12.90 in fees).

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $20 Visa card via Easy Rebate.

While Staples.com now carries $300 gift cards, I haven’t seen any reports of the $300 cards being found in stores yet.

Use your Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash card and get 5 points per dollar spent. You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores, gas stations or at some post offices. Just use the last 4 digits of the card as the PIN number to cash them out.

Or you can donate the gift card to charity and get a receipt for the full $200 face value.

Or you can give away a gift card as a wedding or Bar Mitzvah gift.

Or you can always use it for everyday spending.

HT: Aerial Dag, via DDF

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10 Credit Cards With Limited Time Signup Bonuses Including 6 Card Offers Ending Within 3 Weeks

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Related posts:
Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Offer expired!

–Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Regular signup bonus: 
$100 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months.
Limited time offer: $100 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months plus 10% cash back (up to additional $200) on purchases from Amazon.com within 6 months.
End date: 1/11/17.
Annual fee: None.
Spending categories: 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), 2% cash back at US gas stations and department stores, 1% cash back elsewhere. Effective 11% cash back (10% promo rate plus 1% base cash back) on up to $2,000 of purchases from Amazon within 6 months.


Offer expired!

-Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Regular signup bonus: $150 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months.
Limited time offer: $150 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months plus 10% cash back (up to additional $200 cash back) on purchases from Amazon.com within 6 months.
End date: 1/11/17.
Annual fee: $95.
Spending categories: 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), 3% cash back at US gas stations and department stores, 1% cash back elsewhere. Effective 11% cash back (10% promo rate plus 1% base cash back) on up to $2,000 of purchases from Amazon within 6 months.


-Chase Sapphire Reserve
Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site
Regular signup bonus: 50K points for spending $4,000 in 3 months.
Limited time offer: 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months.
End date: 1/11/17.
Annual fee: $450
Travel credit: $300 annual credit travel credit every calendar year (effectively $600 back in your first cardmembership year of 2017 and 2018 which drops the actual out of pocket annual fee to negative $150 in your first year and $150 for subsequent years. Officially these are for bag fees, seat upgrades, and lounge passes/memberships. The credit is good for any kind of travel related spending including airfare, car rentals, hotels, Disney tickets, Cruises, subways, taxis, EZPass, and much more. Read a list of confirmed transactions that will trigger a credit here.
Spending categories: 3 points per dollar on all of the travel items listed in this post. Plus 3 points per dollar on dining including restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, and cafes.
Redemption rebate: Hybrid points. Increases the value of all of your Chase points to 1.5 cents each towards airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more and allows all Chase points to be transferred to airline miles or hotel points.
Other benefits:
-Priority pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests.
-Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
-Roadside assistance
-Trip cancellation insurance
-30% off Silvercar
-Primary car rental CDW worldwide


–SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

Offer expired!
Regular signup bonus: $250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months.
Limited time offer: $250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months plus an additional $250 signup bonus for spending an additional $10,000 in 12 months.
End date: 1/25/17.
Annual fee: None
Spending categories:
5% cash back at US office supply stores and on wireless telephone services
Choose to earn 3% cash back in one of the following categories:
-Airfare purchased directly from airlines (Tickets bought from sites like Orbitz and Priceline are processed directly by the airline and also qualify).
-U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
-U.S. purchases at gas stations
-U.S. purchases for shipping
-U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can get 3% and 5% back on up to $50,000 of spending in each category per year.
Other purchases earn 1% back.
-AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.


-The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
Regular signup bonus: 40K points.

Offer expired!
Limited time offer: 50K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months and another 50K points for spending an additional $10,000 within 3 months.
End date: 1/25/17
Annual fee: $450
Airline fee credit: $200 annual credit every calendar year for the airline of your choice (effectively $400 back in your first cardmembership year of 2016 and 2017 which drops the actual out of pocket fee to $50 in your first year. Plus get an $200 back every subsequent cardmembership year.) Officially these are for bag fees, seat upgrades, and lounge passes/memberships. However they also work for items like $100 American Airlines gift cards, $100 United gift registry contributions, and more items found here.
Spending categories: 50% bonus points for $5,000+ purchases up to 1 million bonus points per year. 1 points per dollar for other purchases.
Redemption rebate: Hybrid points. Receive half your points back for business and first class redemptions with all airline plus receive half your points back for coach redemptions with the airline of your choice. Effectively each AMEX point you have will be worth 2 cents towards airfare and you will earn additional miles from the airline for the paid flight.
Other benefits:
-Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood Gold elite status.
-Centurion lounge access
-Delta lounge access
-Airspace lounge access
-Priority Pass lounge access
-Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
-Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi
-10 annual Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi passes
-Lost item protection
Read more here.

Business charge card:

As this is a business card it won’t show up on your personal credit report.That means it won’t against you for Chase’s 5/24 guideline. It also means that spending on the card won’t hurt your credit score like it would on a consumer card.

As it’s a charge card without a defined credit line it’s not subject the limit of 5 American Express credit cards per person.

You don’t need to be a traditional “business owner” as you might think of one to get a business card.

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.


The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

Regular signup bonus: 10K points after making any purchase within 3 months.
Limited time offer: 10 points per dollar at restaurants (up to $2,000) within 6 months and 2 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000) within 12 months. The Blue for Business card also always earns a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases.
End date: 2/1/17
Annual fee: None
Spending categories: Limited time categories listed above. Normally 1.3 points per dollar everywhere with 3% annual bonus.
-AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.
Note: While the Blue for Business card can’t transfer points directly into miles, the points can be transferred into miles if you have a card like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card, The Amex EveryDay Cardthe Premier Rewards Gold Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, or The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.


-Chase Ink Business Preferred
Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site
Limited time offer: 80,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.
End date: Unknown
Annual fee: $95
Spending categories: 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.
Redemption: Allows all Chase points to be transferred to airline miles or hotel points.
Cell phone insurance: If you pay your cell phone bill with the card you’ll get $600 per claim against theft or damage to your cell phone with a $100 deductible, valid for 3 claims within 12 months. You can make a claim for any cell phone that’s listed on the bill!
Visa Savings Edge: Enroll and earn cash back on top of points. For example you’ll earn 1% cash back at Chevron, and Texaco, 2% cash back at TigerDirect, 4% cash back at Alamo and National, 5% cash back at B&H Photo, Lenovo, and several hotel brands.


-Chase Southwest Premier Business Visa
Limited time offer: 60,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
Regular signup bonus: 50K points.
End date: Unknown
Annual fee: $99
Spending categories: 2 points per dollar on Southwest
Anniversary bonus: 6K points.
Companion pass: Points earned on Southwest card signups and spending count towards the 110K points needed for a companion pass.


-Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Limited time offer: 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
End date: Unknown
Annual fee: $89, waived for first year.
Spending categories: 2 points per dollar everywhere.
Redemption rebate: 5% rebate every time you redeem points.
Read more here.


The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Regular signup bonus: 25K points.
Limited time offer: 50K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.
End date: Unknown.
Annual fee: $175, waived for the first year.
Spending categories: Choose to earn 3 points per dollar in one of the following categories and 2 points per dollar in the other categories:
-Airfare purchased directly from airlines (Tickets bought from sites like Orbitz and Priceline are processed directly by the airline and also qualify).
-U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
-U.S. purchases at gas stations
-U.S. purchases for shipping
-U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can earn 2 or 3 points per dollar on up to $100,000 of spending in each category per year.
Other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.
-All AMEX charge cards also offer 2 points per dollar on Uber.
-AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.
Read more here.

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Final Hours To Earn 100K+ Chase Ultimate Rewards Points On 1 Card; Here Are 22 Ways You Can Use Those Points!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s whopping 100,000 point bonus ends this afternoon for online applications.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

You need to spend $4,000 to get the bonus within 3 months, though the card counts the $300 in refunded travel expenses and $100 in refunded Global Entry/Pre-Check fees towards the $4K. If you visit Priority Pass lounges before you get your physical membership card you can get those charges refunded and they will also count towards the $4K. The Newark Art & Lounge used by El Al is located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass. You can stop in there for free kosher food and wine at any time!

When you’re done spending $4,000 you’ll have between 104K-112K points depending on your spending categories.

If you and your spouse each signup you can quickly have double that. I helped a friend apply and get approved for a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and an Ink Business Preferred card via 3BM and now he has a quarter million points!

What can you do with the 104K-112K points you’ll have after opening a Sapphire Reserve and meeting the spend threshold?

There are endless possibilities, but here are 20 in no particular order.

Point transfers to all airline and hotel partners are at a 1:1 ratio.

1. You can redeem them for $1,100 in cash.

I hope you don’t, but the option is available if you just want to take the cash and run.

2. You can redeem 110K points for $1,650 in travel.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you redeem for travel at a value at 1.5 cents per point, a 50% bonus from cards like Chase Freedom. (Or course you can still spend on Freedom to earn 5 points per dollar and then transfer them to Sapphire Reserve to make them worth 1.5 cents each).

You can transfer points from your other cards and from cards belonging to your spouse or additional cardholders to your Sapphire Reserve as well to redeem them for 1.5 cents each.

That includes airfare, hotels, car rentals, or travel activities redeemed via the Chase travel portal.

You can also call to book awards not found on the portal, like to book Southwest flights.

You can save tons of miles this way when redeeming for inexpensive coach flights.

The same United flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 170K United miles+$46:

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The same Delta flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 140K Delta miles+$46:

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3. You can transfer points to United to book 11 short-haul one-way awards (10K each) or 8 long-haul domestic one-way awards (12.5K each).

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Even last-minute flights are just 10K-12.5K miles. I’ve redeemed for last-minute flights that would have otherwise cost more than $1,000 for 10K miles, talk about a good use of miles!

4. You can transfer points to Korean to book 4 round-trips to Hawaii (25K miles) on Delta or 5 round-trips to Alaska on Alaska Airlines (20K miles).

There are no fuel surcharges.

JFK-Honolulu nonstop for 25K miles round-trip:

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The 25K coach award and 45K first class award within North America applies for any travel within “Mexico, United States (including Hawaii), US Virgin Islands, Canada, and Puerto Rico” Read more about this option here.

5. You can transfer points to Korean to book a first class suite from JFK to Asia or Asia to Tel Aviv for 80K miles:

You can fly in a Kosmo 2.0 walled-in suite on a brand new 747-8 from JFK to Seoul for just 80K miles+$104. If you were paying cash for the flight it would set you back over $10,000, so this is a value greater than 12 cents per mile:

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80K miles plus $23 is enough to fly in first class from Seoul to Tel Aviv. Or fly from Asia to Tel Aviv for 35K in coach or 62.5K in business.

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6. You can transfer to British Airways for 24 one-way international short-haul awards (4.5K each) or 14 domestic short-haul awards (7.5K each).

You can fly short hauls like London-Milan, Iguazu Falls-Sao Paulo, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, Hong Kong to Taiwan, Melbourne to Sydney, and between most cities within Europe for 4.5K Avios.

You can fly between New York and places like Bermuda, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, Montreal, Pittsburgh, or Toronto, or between Miami and the Bahamas or Cancun, or between LA and Cabo on OneWorld partner American.for 7.5K Avios.

7. You can transfer to British Airways for 7 one-way domestic first class short-haul awards (15K each).

These used to cost 30K Avios as American coded their domestic first class flights as true first class, costing 4 times the price of coach. Now they have been reclassified as business class which means it only costs twice the price coach.

There are no fuel surcharges.

If you find nonstop MileSAAver award space on AA.com then BA can book it. For example NYC-Miami in business class is 25K AA miles or just 15K BA Avios. Plus BA only charges $5.60 to refund your award versus $150 to refund an AA award.

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8. You can transfer to Singapore for 5 one-way flights on United in a lie-flat business class bed between Newark and Los Angeles or San Francisco (20K miles each).

Singapore only charges 20K miles each way for domestic business or first class on United. The same rates apply for United’s premium service between Newark and Los Angeles or San Francisco!

There are no fuel surcharges.

9. You can transfer to Singapore for 2 one-way flights in a couples suite between JFK and Frankfurt.

You can fly in Singapore suites class from JFK to Frankfurt for just 57,375 miles one-way with the 15% online booking discount that is applied after selecting a flight.  This is truly an aspirational award and Singapore service is second to none.  You’ll even have access to the Virgin Clubhouse in JFK with good kosher meals as well.

Fuel surcharges are about $200.

You can read my trip report on flying Singapore to Paris here.

There are single and double suites available. This is the double:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. You can transfer miles to British Airways for 9 one-way nonstop from the West Coast to any Hawaiian Island.

You can fly from the west coast nonstop to Hawaii on AA or Alaska for just 12.5K Avios each way.

Note that you must call BA to book awards on Alaska.

There are no fuel surcharges.

11. You can transfer to Hyatt for 4-9 nights in resorts like the Park Hyatt Maldives.

The Hyatt award chart is great for high-end hotels.  It caps out at 30K points for real gems like the Park Hyatt Sydney, the Park Hyatt Paris, and the Park Hyatt Zurich that can go for $1,500 per night.  Other hotel chains charge double, triple, or quadruple that amount of points for their high-end properties and they’re not nearly as good as the Park Hyatt chain.

Park Hyatt Sydney

A real sweet spot for Hyatt points are cash and points for category 6 hotels. These include real gems like the Park Hyatt Maldives, Grand Hyatt Kauai, the Andaz Maui, the Confidante Miami Beach, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, and the Andaz 5th Avenue.

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Andaz Maui

The Park Hyatt Maldives can also go for $1,500 per night but it’s just 25K points!

 

You can stretch your points even farther by using just 12,500 points plus $150 per night for a category 6 hotel.  Best of all it’s considered a paid stay, so you qualify for promotions and can use suite upgrade certificates.

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There are also incredible uses for lower categories.

Category 3 hotels include the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach Honolulu, the Hyatt Place LaGuardia, the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo, the Hyatt Palm Springs, CA.

You can stay in a category 4 property for just 15K points or 7.5K points+$100 in hotels like the highly rated Andaz Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica, the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, the Park Hyatt Toronto, the Hyatt Regency Kowloon, Hong Kong, the Park Hyatt Seoul, or the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile.

Category 5 hotels include the Andaz West Hollywood in LA, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort an hour south of LA, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort just north of San Diego, the Hyatt Regency Maui, the Hyatt Place NYC, and 2 of my favorite Hyatt hotels, the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, and the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

12. You can transfer points for 2 or 3 one-ways from Bangkok to Sydney.

Want to get to the Park Hyatt Sydney and see the opera house from your bed?

When Mimi and I flew around the world in 2010 we started off in Thailand and then flew down under to tour Australia for a few weeks.

It’s just 40K miles for a 10 hour flight in Thai first class from Thailand to Australia. You’ll even get an hour long massage for free in the Bangkok first class lounge.

There are no fuel surcharges.

13. You can transfer points to Korean to fly round-trip from Australia to New Zealand in an Emirates First Class A380…with a shower spa onboard.

While you’re down under, hop from Australia to New Zealand in gilded style on Emirates and brag about taking a shower 39,000 feet in the air.

An A380 first class flight from the US to Dubai would run 210K Korean miles.  There are cheaper ways of doing that with miles from JAL, though you’ll need Starpoints to transfer to JAL.

14. Transfer to Hyatt to help earn a Southwest companion pass.

Until 3/31 you can transfer hotel points to Southwest and they will count towards the 110K points needed to earn a companion pass valid for unlimited uses 12/31/18.

While transfers from Chase don’t count for companion pass, transfers from Hyatt do.

50K Chase points transfers into 50K Hyatt points. 50K Hyatt points transfers into 30K Southwest points and those points will count towards the 110K requirement.

If you transfer 100K Chase points to Southwest via Hyatt you’ll have 60K points towards the 110K requirement.

If you don’t have any Starpoints or Marriott points to transfer to Southwest you would need 200K Chase points which would become 120K Southwest points via Hyatt and you would have the companion pass.

Points earned from the Southwest credit cards also count towards the 110K requirement.

15. Transfer to Southwest points.
There are no aspirational awards with Southwest, but you will get a decent value per point towards award travel.
Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes and flight cancellations. You can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down. There are no fuel surcharges.

A flight from Long Beach to Vegas is just 987 points+$5.60 one-way, a value of 2.4 cents per point. And it can be cancelled at any time with no penalty!

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16. Transfers points to Singapore and fly round-trip on United between the US48 and Alaska for 25K miles in coach or 40K in business class.

United charges 35K miles to get to stunning Alaska in coach and 60K in business.  Transfer miles to Singapore and they’ll book those same flights for just 25K or 40K.

There are no fuel surcharges.

Never thought of going to Alaska?  Read Something Fishy’s epic trip report with his trademark stunning pictures and you’ll want to start planning a trip.


Photo credit, Something Fishy, Trip Report part 2.

 

17. Transfer points to Singapore to fly round-trip on United between the US49 and Hawaii for 35K miles in coach or 60K in business class.

United charges 45K miles to get to the paradise also known as Hawaii in coach and 80K in business.  Transfer miles to Singapore and they’ll book those same flights for just 35K or 60K.

There are no fuel surcharges.

Need some inspiration for a Hawaii trip? This should keep you busy for a while:

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
Part 3: Maui
Part 4: Kauai

Trip reports and posts on Hawaii:
-Trip Notes: Maui No Ka ‘Oi (2014)
-Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth (2014)
-The Hawaiian Islands. (2011)
-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)

DDF forum threads:
Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread
Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Links to trip reports from other DDF members.
-Something Fishy’s Maui trip report.

18. Transfer points to Singapore and fly one-way on United between the US and Israel for 37.5K miles in coach or 57.5K in business class.

Singapore charges fuel surcharges on most airlines, but not on United.

While you may be better off redeeming points for a round-trip, one-way tickets are notoriously expensive and can be a great use of a mileage redemption.

Note that if you want to travel on other airlines you may do better transferring to United, where fuel surcharges are never collected.

You’ll need to call Singapore to book.

19. Transfer points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue to book travel to Israel for 12.5K-18,750 miles each way.

Air France and KLM have monthly promo awards where you can book travel to/from the US and Europe, Israel, or Russia for just 12.5K or 18,750 miles each way in coach or 46,875 miles in business class.

You can view this month’s promo awards here.

Fuel surcharges can add $90 in coach or $220 in business.

20. Transfer to United for the excursionist perk.

Sure you can use 85K miles to fly from Tel Aviv to NYC.

But why not make life more interesting and fly to NYC and Alaska for the same amount of miles thanks to the excursionist perk.

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21. Transfer to British Airways and fly from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific business class for 37.5K Avios or first class for 50K Avios.

Cathay Pacific has the most comfortable seat, bed, and first class Pajamas in the sky.

You can fly in business class nonstop from JFK to Vancouver for 37.5K Avios in business class or 50K Avios in first class each way.

I’ve flown this route in 2011 and 2016 and it’s by the far the best flight within North America. Vancouver is also a fantastic city with amazing sights and great kosher food. I keep finding myself wanting to return and I’ll do just that for Pesach this year where I’ll talk more about some great redemption options.

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22. Bid on United exclusive experiences.

United auctions off some incredible experience with their miles.

Until I tossed the first pitch before game 7 of last year’s World Series I thought that my coolest use of miles when redeeming 25K United miles to steal 2nd base in middle of the 7th inning.

Another reader then bought their son a Bar Mitzvah present that he’ll never forget with their United miles.

Have you used United miles to bid on experiences yet?

 

Points can also be transferred to Virgin Atlantic, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

What is your favorite use of Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Hit the comments!

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