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Category Archive for 'Credit Cards'

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

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!

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.

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-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.

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

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

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

Read more about these limited time card offers offering 40% more points than normal in this post.

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.

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View all of the redemption possibilities after the jump:

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

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Related posts:
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 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

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.


There are also Marriott elite benefits, stay tuned for another post on that, 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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Get 20K-25K AMEX Points For Spending $1,000 On Air France With AMEX Offers

Monday, February 13th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

All of my AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points are targeted for an excellent offer: 20K bonus points for spending $1,000 on Air France on their US site by 4/14/17.

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You are allowed to make multiple purchases to reach $1,000.

If you have multiple targeted primary and secondary cards and have more than $2,000 to spend with Air France you should split up the itineraries to earn more bonus points. In other words if you have 6 $500 tickets to buy and you have 3 targeted cards then you can make 3 reservations of $1,000 each on each card to earn 60K bonus points from this offer.

With a $1,000 purchase you can earn up to 25K AMEX points depending on which AMEX card you use. For example a Premier Rewards Gold Card would earn 23K points (3K base points+20K bonus) and a Platinum Card would earn 25K points (5K base points+20K bonus). That’s on top of Flying Blue miles that you’ll earn for the flight.

If you have a Business Platinum Card you’ll be able to use 25K points for at least $500 of paid airfare in the future!


You can use this link to access the old AMEX Offers interface, which many people find easier to save multiple offers with the multi-tab method.

To see if you have this offer in your account just login to your AMEX account, click on any of your cards to go the activity page, click on “AMEX Offers For You,” and save the offer to your account.

If you also have multiple cards with the offer don’t rush to save the offer to your account!  Open up the Offers page for each card in a separate tab in the same browser.  Then go between the tabs to save the offer to each of your targeted cards.  Otherwise once you save the offer to one card it disappears from your other cards.

Always check all primary and secondary card offers, as secondary cards will often have offers that the primary card does not. You can add secondary cards in your own name to your primary login or you can create a new login for other secondary cards.

Note that you only have to worry about an offer disappearing from other cards when they are registered to the same account. Saving an offer won’t affect cards that have their own login.

If you mess up and don’t save the offer to a card you can always remove a card from one login and make a dedicated login for it to register it. Alternatively you can remove the card that has an offer saved to it and the offer will reappear for the rest of the cards registered to that account. Once you properly save the offer to all cards on that account you can re-register the deleted card back to the same account.


Targeted cards for this offer include:

Platinum Card® from American Express (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. Free Starwood and Hilton gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 cash back in refunds during first cardmembership year). Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.  Free insurance for any items bought on credit card and lost within 90 days. No foreign exchange fees. $450 annual fee. 3 additional cardholders for a flat $175 fee ($58.33/year each) which includes full lounge access and free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.)

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (25K AMEX MR points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar on airfare and 2 points per dollar on restaurants, US gas stations, US supermarkets, and Uber. $100 annual airline fee credit. No foreign transaction fees. $195 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express (15K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  50% point bonus for making 30 transactions per month for an effective 4.5 points per dollar on groceries, 3 points per dollar on gas, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. $95 annual fee.)

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express (10K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  20% point bonus for making 20 transactions per month for an effective 2.4 points per dollar on groceries, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere. No annual fee.)

The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (25K AMEX MR points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar in your choice of one of the following categories and 2 points in the other categories: Airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or hardware+software+cloud computing. 2 points per dollar on Uber. $175 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. 10 free annual Gogo in-flight internet passes. Free Hilton and Starwood gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 in refunds during first cardmembership year). Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.  Free insurance for any items bought on credit card and lost within 90 days. No foreign exchange fees. $450 annual fee.)

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN (Limited time offer through 2/22/17: 10K MR points after making any purchase within 3 months. 10 points per dollar at restaurants (up to $2,000) within 6 months. 2 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000) within 12 months. 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases. No annual fee.)


Join the 80,100+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

HT: SearchGuy, via DDF

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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:

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Starwood 2017 Annual Category Changes

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Read about previous category changes:
Starwood 2016 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2014 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2013 Category Changes
Starwood 2012 Category Changes
2011 Starwood Category Adjustments
-2010 had no Starwood category changes
2009 Starwood Category Adjustments
2008 Starwood Category Adjustments
Starwood 2007 Changes: Launch Of Worldwide Cash+Points Awards (The good old days of Starwood in Israel)
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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Starwood 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes (Click all to view all hotel changes)

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer American Express and on the Starwood Business American Express.

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

325 SPG hotels are changing category this year. 63% of those will go down in category.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

View the key hotels changing in category 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, Barclays, 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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Maximizing The Incredible Sam’s Club AMEX Offer!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Update, 1/31: Today is the last day to take advantage of this offer. It’s no longer available if you haven’t already saved it to your account.

My local Sam’s Club closed a lane for me and stayed open for an extra hour to complete the spending on all of my additional user cards! All of those cards now have a $250 statement credit.

A few tips:
-Stay organized by keeping every 2 AMEX cards with 5 of the $500 Mastercard gift cards. Each $500 Mastercard gift card requires a separate transaction, so make 2 $500 transactions on your 1st AMEX, split the 3rd transaction with $250 on the first AMEX and the remainder on the 2nd AMEX, and then make 2 $500 transactions on your 2nd AMEX.

-Don’t insert your AMEX until after you click OK to confirm the $500 load amount or else the payment will be cancelled.

-Make sure to check your credit limit. You can request a temporarily higher credit limit by logging onto your AMEX account, locating the available credit on your card, and clicking on “Check spending power.”
Alternatively if you prepay funds from your bank account to a credit card it will be added to your credit limit.

-If a transaction is declined then the $500 Mastercard might no longer be able to be activated. After calling AMEX to clear my account from a fraud alert, the Sam’s Club point of sale system continued to reject the transaction until I told the cashier to try another $500 Mastercard gift card. You may want to bring an extra gift card to the checkout line just in case this happens to you.


Update, 1/19: This offer is now full if you haven’t saved it to your account already.


Update, 1/12: 5 of the $500 Mastercards split among 2 targeted cards for $2,024.70 after $500 off:

sam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Originally posted on 1/10:

AMEX Offers are a great way to save money.

There is currently an offer on primary and secondary AMEX Business cards to get 20% back from Sam’s Club. You can get up to $250 back with this offer per targeted card! The offer runs through 1/31 and is only valid in-club.

If you aren’t a member you can join here for $45 and get a free $25 Sam’s Club gift card.

Previously many of my cards were not targeted, but yesterday dozens more of my secondary AMEX business cards were targeted for the offer.

To see if you have this offer in your account just login to your AMEX account, click on any of your cards to go the activity page, click on “AMEX Offers For You,” and save the offer to your account.

If you also have multiple cards with the offer don’t rush to save the offer to your account!  Open up the Offers page for each card in a separate tab in the same browser.  Then go between the tabs to save the offer to each of your targeted cards.  Otherwise once you save the offer to one card it disappears from your other cards.

You can use this link to access the old AMEX Offers interface, which some people find easier to save multiple offers with the multi-tab method.

Always check all primary and secondary card offers, as secondary cards will often have offers that the primary card does not. You can add secondary cards in your own name to your primary login or you can create a new login for other secondary cards.

Note that you only have to worry about an offer disappearing from other cards when they are registered to the same account. Saving an offer won’t affect cards that have their own login.

If you mess up and don’t save the offer to a card you can always remove a card from one login and make a dedicated login for it to register it. Alternatively you can remove the card that has an offer saved to it and the offer will reappear for the rest of the cards registered to that account. Once you properly save the offer to all cards on that account you can re-register the deleted card back to the same account.

There are many ways to maximize this offer:

Officially the 20% back offer is only valid for one transaction per card, but many DDF users report receiving 20% back on all transactions made on the same day. Of course this is a YMMV (Your mileage may vary) situation and you might only get 20% back on the first transaction made on a targeted card.

-If you shop at WalMart or Sam’s Club you can buy Sam’s Club gift cards that also work at WalMart. $1,250 of gift cards will effectively cost you $1,000. You can also sell the gift cards to sites like CardPool or CardCash.

-You can buy Disney gift cards that can be used for Disney theme park tickets, resorts, water parks, cruises, adventure vacations, hotels, annual passes, merchandise, dining, shows like Cirque du Soleil, activities, and more.. Sam’s Club sells $150 of these gift cards for $143.88. You can buy 9 of these for $1,294.92 less $250. That’s $1,350 of Disney credit for $1,044.92, an effective 22.6% discount.

-You can buy Southwest gift cards. Sam’s Club sells $150 of these gift cards for $142.98. You can buy 9 of these for $1,286.82 less $250. That’s $1,350 of Southwest credit for $1,036.82, an effective 23.2% discount.

-Other discounted gift cards include iTunes, Regal Cinemas, and more.

-A variable load $500 Mastercard costs $504.94 with fees. You can only buy 1 variable card per transaction. If you have 2 targeted cards you purchase 5 Mastercards in 5 transactions. Charge 2 of the Mastercards to each card. On the 5th transaction ask to split the payment between your 2 targeted cards. In total you’ll get $2,500 of Mastercards for $2,524.70 less $500=$2,024.70. Effectively you’re buying $2,500 of gift cards with a 19% discount. You can use the Vanilla branded $500 Mastercard to buy money orders from select post offices and grocery stores, though that is always YMMV. You can use any 4 numbers as the PIN for the card. Or you can always use the card for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation with an effective 19% discount. I used this method yesterday and will update the post with the results.

-A fixed $200 Mastercard costs $206.48 with fees. You can buy multiple of these per transaction. If you buy 6 of the $200 cards you’ll pay $1,238.88 for $1,200 of Mastercards and you’ll get 20% back, or $247.78, for a total of $991.10. Effectively you’re buying $1,200 of gift cards with a 17.4% discount. You’ll have some leftover rebate with this method, so you can also purchase a Sams Club/WalMart gift card of $11.12 in the same transaction for $8.90 to finish off the $250 maximum cash back per card.

You can split a transaction with up to 5 targeted AMEX cards, so you can buy more than 6 of the $200 Mastercards at a time if you want.

You can use the Vanilla branded $200 Mastercard to buy money orders from select post offices and grocery stores. You can use any 4 numbers as the PIN for the card. Or you can always use the card for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation with an effective 17.4% discount.

-A variable load $500 AMEX costs $504.48 with fees. I haven’t tested these yet, but I’d assume that these are also only 1 card per transaction. If you have 2 targeted cards you purchase 5 AMEX gift cards in 5 transactions. Charge 2 of the AMEX gift cards to each targeted card. On the 5th transaction ask to split the payment between your 2 targeted cards. In total you’ll get $2,500 of AMEX gift cards for $2,522.40 less $500=$2,022.40. Effectively you’re buying $2,500 of gift cards with a 19.1% discount. Note that these cards have no PIN, so your only option with these will be to sell them or use them for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation.

Are you targeted for the Sam’s Club offer? Which strategy will you use? Hit the comments!


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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Don’t want to miss out on AMEX Offers?

Consumer cards include:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (25K Starpoints for spending $3K in 3 months, free Boingo worldwide hotspot access, free premium wifi in SPG hotels, 25% point bonus for transfers to airlines in 20K increments. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express (10K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  20% point bonus for making 20 transactions per month for an effective 2.4 points per dollar on groceries, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere. No annual fee.)

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express (15K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  50% point bonus for making 30 transactions per month for an effective 4.5 points per dollar on groceries, 3 points per dollar on gas, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. $95 annual fee.)

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (25K AMEX MR points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar on airfare and 2 points per dollar on restaurants, US gas stations, US supermarkets, and Uber. $100 annual airline fee credit. No foreign transaction fees. $195 annual fee waived for first year.)

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (30K Delta miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $50 cash back for making a purchase with Delta within 3 months. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express 50K points for spending $750 within 3 months. Earn 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. Silver elite status for as long as you are a cardmember that gets you the ability to get the 5th night free on Hilton award stays. If you spend $20K on the card you’ll also get Hilton Gold status. No annual fee)

Platinum Card® from American Express (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. 5 points per dollar on airfare. Free Starwood and Hilton gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 in refunds during first cardmembership year). Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.  Free insurance for any items bought on credit card and lost within 90 days. No foreign exchange fees. $450 annual fee. 3 additional cardholders for a flat $175 fee ($58.33/year each) which includes full lounge access and free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership)

Business cards:

All business cards give automatic OPEN Savings rebates on top of points.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (25K Starpoints for spending $5K in 3 months, free Sheraton lounge access, free Boingo worldwide hotspot access, free premium wifi in SPG hotels, 25% point bonus for transfers to airlines in 20K increments. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN(Limited time offer: 50K AMEX MR points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar in your choice of one of the following categories and 2 points in the other categories: Airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or hardware+software+cloud computing. 2 points per dollar on Uber. $175 annual fee waived for first year.)

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (30K Delta miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $50 cash back for making a purchase with Delta within 3 months. Free checked bag and zone 1 priority boarding. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN (Limited time offer: 10K MR points after making any purchase within 3 months. 10 points per dollar at restaurants (up to $2,000) within 6 months. 2 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000) within 12 months. 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases. No annual fee.)

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (5K AMEX MR points for spending $1 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

HT: Mountain Man, via DDF

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

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

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 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.

Update: 100K Offer Expired! If you open the Business Platinum card during the 100K limited time offer that’s ending on 1/25 and spend $15,000 on taxes you will pay $280.50 in fees. You will earn the 100K signup bonus plus 22,922 points for spending, for a total of 122,922 points that are worth at least $2,458.44 towards airfare.

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 Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN has no annual fee and offers 2.3 points per dollar during the first year the card is open on up to $50,000 in purchases.  A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 11,716 points. After the first year you’ll earn 1.3 points per dollar or 6,623 points. You’ll need an AMEX Everyday, Gold, or Platinum card to transfer those points into 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.

Mimi and I flew to NYC last month on a last-minute ticket that would have cost $1,100. Not a bad deal for 15K Avios.

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

57.3K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt.

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

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Update, 1/12: This offer is set to expire at about noon, EST. As long as the landing page shows the 100,000 point bonus you can still signup for the card!


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.


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
-Final Hours To 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

Currently the card offers 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months. Effective 1/12 that will go down to 50K points for spending $4,000. This offer will go offline sometime on the 11th, so try to apply by 1/10 to lock in the 100K bonus. The 100K bonus should be available in branch until 3/12.

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

The $300 in travel spend and $100 Global Entry fees that are refunded count towards the $4K threshold. You’ll even get the keep the bonus points for travel spending that is refunded. The annual fee does not count towards the spend threshold.

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.

Travel credit:

The Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 automatic travel credit to offset the annual fee.

The credit is good for any kind of travel related spending including airfare, car rentals, hotels, Disney tickets, Cruises, subways, taxis, and much more. Read a list of confirmed transactions that will trigger a credit here.

As the credit is per calendar year that means you’ll get $600 of travel refunds in your first cardmembership year with a $300 credit in 2017 and a $300 credit in 2018.

You must finish 2017 travel spending before your December 2017 statement closes and you you can start 2018 travel spending in December 2017 after your December statement closes.

Combined with the signup bonus that means you can get $2,100 in travel in your first cardmembership year.

After the first year, the annual travel credit effectively lowers the annual fee of the card to $150 per year. That’s only $55 per year more than Sapphire Preferred and it comes with a lot of valuable benefits that make the card a keeper:

Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar on all of the travel items listed in this post. It also offers triple points on dining including restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, and cafes.

There are no foreign transaction fees.

You’ll be able to access over 900 clubs worldwide with Priority Pass and you can bring unlimited guests with you into the lounge for free! That includes lounges with kosher food and wine in Newark and Tel Aviv. You can call Chase to enroll in Priority Pass or you can enroll online here. You can even pay to access Priority Pass lounges before you get your membership card and you can call Chase to refund those lounge entries!

The Newark Art & Lounge in Terminal B is located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass, so you can stop in for free kosher food and wine at any time!

Every 4 years you can get a $100 credit for a 5 year Global Entry membership which also includes TSA pre-check. That means you can skip the lines and forms when flying back from abroad and you can leave your shoes on, laptops in their bags, and go through metal detectors when flying from the US. It makes flying so much easier!

Additional cardholders cost $75/year and include a Priority Pass membership with free guesting privileges as well.

Increased cash back or miles:
The Sapphire Reserve allows you to use all your Chase points for 1.5 cents each per dollar towards travel.

The ability to choose between 1.5 cents per dollar or mileage transfers make Sapphire Reserve an incredibly versatile credit card. Thanks to their ability to be used at a high value as miles or when redeemed directly from Chase for travel, I called them “Hybrid points.”

You can choose to hunt for award tickets bargains and then transfer them into real airline miles instantly. The value of airline miles can be extremely high for one-way tickets, last-minute tickets, and first class tickets.

Or you can just use them for paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, or activities at a value of 1.5 cents each.

You can earn even more by spending on other Chase cards and transferring those points to Sapphire Reserve:
-If you have a Freedom Unlimited card you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 2.25% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have a Freedom card you earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have Ink Plus or Ink Cash card you earn 5 points per dollar on office supplies, gift cards from office supply stores to hundreds of other stores, and telecom that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve. Gas, hotel, and dining purchases also have double point bonuses worth 3% towards travel.
-If you have Ink Business Preferred card you earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.that are worth 4.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can be earning between 2.25%-7.5% back everywhere.

If you already have a Sapphire Preferred card you can downgrade it to Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to take advantage of their spending benefits and you can always transfer those points to Sapphire Reserve to make them 50% more valuable.

As a Visa Infinite card, it also comes with some benefits like discounts on car rentals, including 30% off at Silvercar.

Sapphire Reserve comes with primary rental car CDW insurance in every country in the world. Most other cards only have secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage. Even additional cardholders get primary coverage when they rent.

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

Plus you get triple points on car rentals, meaning there is no better card out there for car rentals!

-Roadside Assistance: Coverage for up to 4 incidents per year. The battery in my 2011 Altima died on me twice in the past month and Chase sent out assistance with ease. And yes, I did finally buy a new car battery.

-Trip cancellation insurance is free.
Trip cancellation reimburses up to $10,000 per person, up to $20,000 per trip, and up to $40,000 per year if you need to cancel for injury, death, or sickness experienced by you, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member of you or your traveling companion. Other covered reasons include severe weather, military orders, terrorism, jury duty, home dwelling becoming inhabitable, quarantine, or financial insolvency of the travel agency or operator of your trip.

Other card benefits include:
-Price protection. Find a lower price in a store or online on a non-auction site within 90 days and get back up to $500/item and $2,500/year.
-Return protection. Return an item to a store that won’t take back an item for up to 90 days ($500/item, $1,000/year)
-Purchase protection: 120 days of protection in case of damage or theft on items you buy ($10,000/item, $50K/year)
-Warranty protection: An extra year of warranty coverage on purchases ($10K/item, $50K/account)
-Lost Luggage Protection: If your checked or carry-on bags are lost you can be reimbursed by up to $3,000 per person.
-Trip Delay Protection: If you are delayed that either requires an overnight stay or is more than 6 hours you can be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses per person.
-Baggage Delay Protection: If your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours you can be reimbursed for up to $100 in expenses per person per day, for up to $500 per person.
-Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage if you are injured or killed on a trip.
-Visa Infinite Concierge is included free of charge.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns Ultimate Rewards points and has the ability to transfer points into miles.  It also gives you the ability to transfer points from fantastic no annual fee cards like Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash into miles as well, as those cards can’t transfer points directly into miles without having the Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Plus card.

You can also transfer points at an equal ratio to your own or to one authorized user’s airline and hotel programs:
-United (Star Alliance)
-Singapore (Star Alliance)
-British Airways (OneWorld)
-Korean (Skyteam)
-Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam)
-Southwest
-Virgin Atlantic
-Hyatt
-Marriott
-Ritz Carlton
-IHG

Point Currency:

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

You can transfer points to a household member’s Chase card or to an authorized user’s airline/hotel programs.

You can also transfer points to Chase business Ink cards like Ink Plus and Ink Cash where you can transfer from there to other business owner’s cards and/or programs.

Transfer partners include:
United (Star Alliance) is an excellent currency. They never charge fuel surcharges, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they often run discounted award promotions, they allow for an “excursionist perk“, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, though partner American has been stingy with award space of late. Awards start from just 4.5K miles. Flights to Israel on Air Berlin are just 60,000 miles round-trip with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in or expedite fees. You can cancel an award for as little as $5.60. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on American within the western hemisphere, on Qantas from or within Australia, on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
You can read more in this post on everything you need to know about BA Avios. And you can see 110 places you can go to nonstop from NYC with Avios.
Korean (Skyteam) offers unbeatable first class availability (A380 First Class Trip Report here) and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first. And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska! If there is Delta saver availability you can even fly to Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands round-trip for just 25,000 miles in coach or 45,000 miles in business. 
Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam) offers promo awards from rotating North American cities to Europe, Israel, and Russia from just 12,500 miles each way. Regular awards to Israel are just 25K miles each way, though some fuel surcharges apply on most airlines except for Delta.
Singapore (Star Alliance) offers private walled-in first class suites that can only be booked with their miles. A suite one-way from JFK to Europe is 57,375 miles. Travel to the US48, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and Israel can all be had on the cheap. There are no close-in booking fees and changes and cancellations are very cheap. Fuel surcharges apply when flying on most airlines besides United. More info here.
Southwest offers a value of about 1.7 cents per point towards award travel, though that rate can now vary. Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes or flight cancellations. and you can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down.
Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses with awards on Delta.
Hyatt is a very powerful hotel currency. They have a cash and points option that offers some excellent values and more importantly those stays earn points, elite stay credits, promo credits, and you can use suite upgrades on cash and point stays as well. It remains far less expensive for high-end hotel stays than any other hotel program.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

-Generally speaking you’ll want to use the 1.5 cents per point option when redeeming for round-trip coach tickets booked in advance. You’ll generally want to transfer to miles for business class, first class, last minute and one-way coach awards. You’ll be better off with 1.5 cents per points for IHG and Marriott hotels, but Hyatt points can often be worth more than 1.5 cents each, so you’ll want to transfer points to Hyatt in those cases.

Will you be signing up for Sapphire Reserve before the 100K bonus goes away? Hit the comments!

HT: 12HRS, via DDF and TPG

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

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

You can help support this site when you apply for credit cards through links to our advertisers.

Here’s how to find them.

At the top of this site you can find tabs for AMEX Consumer cards, AMEX Business cards, Barclays+Capital One cards, and other credit card offers:

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For card offers from other banks you can click on the tab for Credit Cards and locate the following banner on the top of that page to view cards from all banks:

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From there you can click on a bank’s logo to view their card offers:

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You can also read credit card and mileage posts by clicking on the tab for Credit Card+Mileage Posts

Thanks for your support!

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Yes, Sapphire Reserve Has Primary Car Rental CDW Coverage In Israel; DROPR Applies In Writing Just As It Does Over The Phone…

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

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


In November I wrote about HUCA (Hang up, Call again) and DROPR (Don’t rely on phone reps, pronounced Drop-Er) after a rep told a DD reader bad information about the timing of the Sapphire Reserve travel credit.

Phone reps are typically the worst offenders. I’ve gotten more than enough comically bad information from phone reps of banks, airlines, hotels, and other companies to fill a book.

Sometimes companies will honor what their phone reps say. I had a Chase Continental Presidential Plus credit card with a grandfathered $100 annual fee. When they launched the Chase United Club card a rep agreed to switch the card over and honor the $100 annual fee. I wrote down the rep’s name and the time of the conversation. When the year was up I was billed $395 but when I referenced the rep’s name and the time of the conversation Chase was able to listen to the recording and honor the $100 annual fee along with a $60 annual 1K bill credit. That was my go-to card for general spending until Chase came out with the Freedom Unlimited card.

But many times companies won’t honor erroneous information, so it helps to double check information received on places like the DansDeals Forums where people with experience can verify what you were told.

Even written information can be bad.

When the Sapphire Reserve came out 2 Chase SM reps told me that additional users get their own Global Entry fee credit, which turned out to be bad information:

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That turned out to be false. Additional users don’t get Global Entry reimbursement.

Recently another case of bad information received in writing came up on the DansDeals Forums.

I received a letter from Chase stating that the Sapphire Reserve card gives primary rental car CDW insurance in every country in the world and shared that in my posts on the card.

When I rented from Hertz in Israel that asked for proof of coverage and they accepted that letter.

DDF member “saul” called Chase about renting in Israel and received this written response stating that the card didn’t provide coverage in Israel:

 

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He shared on DDF,

“I am traveling at the end of the week, and following Dan’s rules, I asked for written confirmation that my new Chase Sapphire Reserve card covers the CDW in Israel. So the document that they sent me specifically excludes Israel. I called the benifits department and they said that the documents for chase sapphire reserve specifically exclude Israel.
I switched back to the chase sapphire preferred-it should arrive in 2 days.”

 

He did indeed follow the rule of getting it in writing. But even in writing DROPR and HUCA still apply.

I told him to call again and the rep told him that the previous rep was mistaken.
He got the correct letter on the 2nd call stating that the card does actually provide primary coverage worldwide, including Israel:

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Have your own DROPR or HUCA story? Hit the comments!

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Should You Buy Starpoints To Earn Southwest Companion Pass Status?

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points And Get 2 Years Of Southwest Companion Pass Status Plus 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months


You can transfer 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points.

With 270K Marriott points you can get 7 nights in a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and a Southwest Companion Pass. With that pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass. The pass will expire 12/31/18. Hotel points must be transferred by 3/31/17 in order to earn companion pass status. You can read more about this limited time offer here.

120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay.

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. Starpoints were on sale, but that ended on 12/31 and points are currently 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

30K Starpoints would set you back $1,050. If you have a Starwood AMEX you would earn 2.1K Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll have paid $1,050 for 32.1K Starpoints or 3.27 cents per Starpoint.

If you already have most of the Starpoints and will utilize the companion pass then buying some points is a no-brainer.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

If you have no Starpoints you can open a Starwood consumer AMEX and Starwood business AMEX to rack up points. The signup bonus will post within a few days of completing the $3K or $5K spend threshold.

Otherwise you can purchase 30K Starpoints from 3 accounts to accumulate the required 90K Starpoints. It would set you back some $3,150, but if you’ll use the 7 free nights and take full advantage of the 120K Southwest points and the companion pass it can make sense. If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to use those 120K points with the companion pass then it likely doesn’t make sense unless you already have some Starpoints.

Of course there are other ways to get to 110K companion pass qualifying Southwest points besides buying Starpoints. Those include:
-You can open Chase Southwest or Marriott credit cards.
-You can transfer Marriott points between members for a specific award and then redeem 270K points for the 7 nights+120K points package.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio and then redeem 270K points for the 7 nights+120K points package.
-You can transfer AMEX points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio and from Starwood to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then redeem 270K points for the 7 nights+120K points package.
-You can transfer Chase points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio and Hyatt points to Southwest at a 50K:30K ratio.

Will you go for Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

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Chase Freedom Q1 Bonus Spending: Save On Gas, Uber, Subway Rides, And More!

Friday, January 6th, 2017

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.

You can click here to activate this quarter’s Chase Freedom 5% categories.

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

Q1 bonus spending:

You can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in spending at gas stations between 1/1-3/31. You can buy gift cards to other stores at gas stations as well.

Visa seems to count all 7-Eleven’s as gas stations, even if they don’t sell gas!

You’ll also get 5 points per dollar on local commuter transportation which includes:
-Local and suburban passenger commuter train (NJ Transit, LIRR, BART, etc), subway, buses, metro, and ferry tickets.
-Taxis
-Uber
-Lyft

Freedom alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline/hotel/train currencies, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Business Preferred card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite airline miles or hotel point currency. The Freedom card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those cards. As airline miles the value of the points will be based on where you use them. 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!

If you have a Sapphire Reserve card you can also use the points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards airfare, car rentals, hotel, and activities.

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No, Starwood Hasn’t Eliminated Transfers To Virgin America; Should You Transfer Your Starpoints Now?

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Update, 1/6: Today is final day to make transfers from Starwood to Virgin America. Those points transfer at a 20K:25K ratio. Starting on 1/9 you can transfer points from Virgin America to Alaska at a 1:1.3 ratio, making the effective SPG: Alaska ratio 20K:32.5K.

Update, 12/28: SPG has announced that 1/6/17 will be the last day to transfer points to Virgin America. Will you transfer points from SPG to Alaska via Virgin America at a 1:1.625 ratio before then?


Originally posted on 12/21:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.


On Monday I wrote about an incredible use of Starpoints. You can transfer 20K SPG points into 25K Virgin America Elevate points. Effective 1/9/17 you’ll be able to transfer Virgin America points into Alaska miles at a 1:1.3 ratio, so those 20K Starpoints will become 32,500 Alaska miles.

That’s an effective 1.625 Alaska miles per Starpoint, an awesome transfer option considering:
The breadth of partners that Alaska has. They include American, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Korean, JAL, and Qantas.

-The very generous stopover and routing policies that Alaska has. You can get a free stopover on a one-way award. You can route from the US to Israel via Asia or from Hawaii to Asia via the US48, etc.

-The very generous award change and cancel policies. You can redeposit an award 60 days before a flight without any fees.

The very generous award charts that Alaska has.

A one-way flight to Europe or South America on American is just 20K coach off-peak, 30K coach peak, 50K business, or 62.5K first with no fuel surcharges.

One-way Flights to Asia on award-winning Cathay Pacific are just 30K coach, 35K premium economy, 50K business, or 70K first with no fuel surcharges.

One-way Flights to Israel on Cathay Pacific are 50K coach, 55K premium economy, 62.5K business, or 70K first with no fuel surcharges and a free stopover in Hong Kong if you want one. Cathay starts flying to Israel on March 26. You must call Alaska to book travel on Cathay Pacific.

You’ll effectively get 1.625 Alaska miles for each Starpoints, so just divide Alaska’s award rates by 1.625 to see how many effective Starpoints those routes will cost.

In other words a one-way business class flight to Israel would cost 62,500/1.625=about 38,461 Starpoints thanks to the 25% transfer bonus from Starwood to Virgin America and 30% transfer bonus from Virgin America to Alaska! A 40K Starpoints transfer would net 65K Alaska miles via Virgin America, more than enough for that award.

The big winners were those who already transferred Starpoints to Virgin America for the JetBlue Pointsmatch promo.

Several bloggers and DD readers have noted that Virgin America no longer appears on the SPG transfer page.

I reached out to Starwood and they confirmed that it’s merely a glitch and it will be restored:

 

I chatted with SPG and the agent confirmed that he would be able to transfer my Starpoints to Virgin America, despite the website glitch.

Of course eventually the transfer option will be eliminated as the Virgin America program is merged into Alaska’s. But until then, you can funnel Starpoints into Alaska miles at a great rate.

The only reason I haven’t done so yet is that I’m not sure how much I trust Alaska. They devalued their Emirates award chart without notice. They say they’ll never do that again, but if their American or Cathay Pacific redemption costs grow too high, do I really expect them to give fair notice?

It’s hard to say.

Alaska is also notorious for having a nasty audit department that heavily frowns on booking awards for others and credit card churning.

So I won’t proactively transfer Starpoints at this rate. But if you’re ready to book an award in the near future, it’s an awesome transfer ratio.

Then again, with new opportunities made possible by the Marriott merger such as new hotels, Southwest companion pass, and the recent United transfer bonus, there are more amazing uses for Starpoints than ever.

Will you transfer Starpoints into Alaska miles at a 1:1.625 ratio while the opportunity lasts?

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Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points And Get 2 Years Of Southwest Companion Pass Status Plus 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points
-Mileage Expiration And Points Transfer Chart For 54 Loyalty Programs, How To Keep Your Points From Expiring, And How To Bring Them Back To Life After They’ve Expired


On Sunday, Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account.

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status.

After 3/31/17 only points from the Southwest credit cards, from flying on Southwest, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners will count. However hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

Note:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can earn Companion status from signup up and spending on Southwest credit cards.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However it’s a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get yourself into a higher hotel category or you can save points if you already earned Southwest points this year and don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.

You can buy Starpoints here if you need some extra points to top off your account.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
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.

Will you go for Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

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Get Up To $30 MTA eTix Credit With Chase And Apple Pay

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Update 1/1: This offer ends tonight.

If you have a Chase Freedom card you can earn 5 points per dollar if you are registered for this quarter’s bonus on gas stations and local commuter transportation and you will get a $30 refund for the promotion.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve you can earn 3 points per dollar for travel, $30 back for travel, and a $30 refund for the promotion.

 

Update, 12/26: DDF member zagguru reports that he spent $31.25 on his Sapphire Reserve card on MTA tickets with Apple Pay. He was reimbursed $31.25 as a Sapphire Reserve travel credit after 2 days and was reimbursed another $30 after 5 days for the promo below!


Originally posted on 12/4:

Get Up To $30 MTA eTix Credit With Chase And Apple Pay

1. Add your eligible Chase Visa card to Apple Pay.
2. Download the MTA eTix app from the Apple App Store.
3. Purchase any ticket type or monthly pass using the MTA eTix app between 12/1/16 and 1/1/17 using your Chase Visa card in Apple Pay.
4. Receive a statement credit for the value of your first MTA eTix ticket purchase, up to $30, within 4-6 weeks.

-This offer is only valid for customers who purchase their Metro North or LIRR ticket in the MTA eTix app using an eligible Chase or J.P. Morgan Visa debit or credit card enrolled in Apple Pay.
-Ticket must be purchased between 12:01 AM on 12/1/2016 and 11:59 PM on 1/1/2017.
-Any ticket type is eligible, including one way, round trip, CityTicket, weekly, ten trip and monthly.
-Customers who pay with an eligible Chase or J.P. Morgan Visa debit or credit card using Apple Pay will receive a single statement credit of up to $30 for the value of their first eTix purchase during the promotional period.
-Tickets refunded within 5 minutes of the ticket purchase are ineligible for the statement credit.
-Tickets refunded after 5 minutes and charged a $10 refund fee by the MTA are ineligible for the statement credit.
-Please allow 4 to 6 weeks after the qualifying purchase posts to your account for the statement credit to post to your account.
-Purchases are when you, or an authorized user, use a card to make purchases of products and services, minus returns or refunds.

HT: Mplace, via DDF

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Check To See Your Targeted Offer To Buy Starpoints

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Update: Commenter “mw” notes that you are now able to purchase more Starpoints even if you already purchased the maximum 30K Starpoints for your account earlier this year.

If your account is targeted for a discount you can also purchase Starpoints for other accounts with the same discount, just select “Give Starpoints.”

The discounted point offer ends tonight!


Originally posted on 11/3:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months


Starwood allows you to buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year. They are normally 3.5 cents each, but through 12/31 you can save between 25%-50% off Starpoints here.

Just login to your SPG account to find your offer. With the discount you can pay as little as 1.75 cents per Starpoint, a record low price for Starpoints if you have that offer. If you pay with a Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 points per dollar, so if you buy 30K points for $525 you’ll also be earning 1,050 Starpoints for the credit card purchase. In total you will have paid $525 for 31,050 Starpoints or 1.69 cents per Starpoint.

As Starpoints can convert to airline miles at a 20K:25K ratio, the cost per mile can be as low as 1.4 cents.  Starpoints can also convert to Marriott points at a 1K:3K ratio, so the cost per Marriott points can be as low as 0.58 cents each.

If you use your Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 Starpoints per dollar spent, so you’re effective cost per points will be just 1.69 cents as you’ll get an extra 1,050 Starpoints for a $525 purchase of 30,000 Starpoints.

Your account needs to be 14 days old to buy Starpoints. While there is a limit of 30K Starpoints per person, people living in the same household can transfer Starpoints between each other for free. It even extends the life of their Starpoints by another 18 months.

There are tons of great uses for Starpoints:

You can use them to stay in Starwood or Marriott hotels.

-You can transfer Starpoints to Alaska via Virgin America with a 62.5% bonus through 1/6/17. A flight from the US to Europe or South America will start at 12.3K Starpoints, business class on Cathay to Asia will be 30.7K Starpoints, and business class on Cathay to Israel will be 38.4K Starpoints after an effective 38.5% transfer discount.

90K Starpoints is currently enough for 132K United miles and a 7 night hotel stay via Marriott.

90K Starpoints is also enough for 7 nights in a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and a Southwest companion pass via Marriott that is valid for the remainder of the year and the entire following year. You can make the transfer in January of 2017 and you would be able to fly with a companion for free through December of 2018!

-Or you can start saving up to play softball in Wrigley, cruise to Antarctica, or throw out the first pitch of the 2017 World Series with SPG Moments.

What offer are you targeted for and will you be buying Starpoints?

HT: davidmal, via DDF

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Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your AMEX Airline Fee Credit

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Update: AMEX will credit you for 2016 spend as long as you make the charge during 2016, even if it doesn’t post in 2016.

You can now use this link to check how much of your AMEX airline fee credit has been used. Just login and click on your eligible card.

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Originally posted on 12/6:


Related:
-Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit; Plus: Timing The Spending And A 2017 Spend Report
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-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.

The AMEX airline fee credit works on a calendar basis. If you apply for a card now you can use the 2016 credit by 12/31/16, the 2017 credit anytime in 2017 and the 2018 credit all in your first cardmembership year.

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.

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. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

The following items have been reported to work for airline fee credit:
-Alaska Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Alaska.
-American Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for American (AA gift cards not available with NJ billing address).
-Award redeposit and change fees from airline of your choice.
-Baggage fees from airline of your choice.
-Delta gift cards of $50 per transaction if registered for Delta
-Flight change fees from airline of your choice.
-Food and drinks from airline of your choice.
Hawaiian Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Hawaiian
-Lounge access fees from airline of your choice.
-Phone reservation fees from airline of your choice.
-Seat selection or upgrade fees from airline of your choice.
-Standby fees from airline of your choice.
-Southwest gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Southwest
United gift registry of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for United: Register for a gift registry and create a goal in order to contribute travel funds to your United account for future ticket purchases

Note that gift cards purchases from United’s MileagePlusX app have not been working for fee refunds for the past couple of weeks.

-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 5 points per dollar on airfare and allows you to add 3 cardmembers for $175/year ($58.33/each) that each get full lounge memberships and Global Entry memberships.

-The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN offers 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. Plus it won’t count against your Chase 5/24 count.


Last month I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum.

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.

Airline fee credits:

AMEX gives you until 12/31 each year to get spend and get refunded for airline fee refunds.

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.

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”

The 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.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere 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 and Los Angeles.

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 offers kosher food, wine, and Israeli art. 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 inexpensive additional 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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Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit; Plus: Timing The Spending And A 2017 Spend Report

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Update: If you changed your due date to the 25th of the month then your statement should close on December 28th. You should make your travel charge by today to make sure that it posts by the 28th for a 2016 travel credit.


Originally posted on 12/4:

Related:
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
-Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your AMEX Airline Fee Credit
-Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”

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


You can spend $300 per year on travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You’ll receive an automatic refund for transaction in any of these categories until you reach $300 in refunds per year. The credit will post within a few days of the spend.

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

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
View the full list of valid travel charges after the jump:

(more…)

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Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Game-Changing AMEX Business Platinum Card; Which Cards To Use To Supercharge Your Earnings!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Update: Now is the last chance to apply and get your card on time to get a 2016 airline credit. You will also be able to get the 2017 and 2018 airline credit in your first cardmembership year.


Originally posted on 12/18:

-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.


Last month I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum.

Due to how Chase calculates the annual spend credit, it’s likely too late to apply for a Sapphire Reserve now and take advantage of 3 travel refunds in your first cardmembership year.

Signup bonus: 100K Offer Expired

Airline fee credits:

AMEX gives you until 12/31 each year to get spend and get refunded for airline fee refunds, so it’s an excellent time to apply for the Business Platinum card. If you apply for a card now you can use the 2016 credit by 12/31/16, the 2017 credit anytime in 2017, and the 2018 credit all in your first cardmembership year. That’s $600 in airline fee refunds!

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.

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.

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

“Hybrid Points”

The 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 have the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere 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 and Los Angeles.

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 offers kosher food, wine, and Israeli art. 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 inexpensive additional 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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Final Day To Register For Chase Freedom Q4 Spending, Q1 Registration Begins Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

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

You must register for Q4 bonus spending at wholesale clubs, department stores, and drug stores by today and complete spending by 12/31.

You can even earn 5x at stores like Brooklyn’s Bingo Wholesale as it’s registered as a wholesale club. (HT: Joseph F)

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). If you or your spouse also has a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you’ll actually be earning 7.5% cash back towards travel expenses or real airline/hotel miles for spending on Freedom bonus categories.

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 is excellent for everyday spending.

Tomorrow you’ll be able to register for 2017 Q1 spending.

2017 Chase Freedom bonus categories:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and drug stores.
Q3: TBA
Q4: TBA

2016 Chase Freedom bonus categories:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and Wholesale clubs.
Q3: Restaurants and Wholesale clubs.
Q4: Department stores, Drug stores, Wholesale clubs.

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Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Mileage Expiration And Points Transfer Chart For 54 Loyalty Programs, How To Keep Your Points From Expiring, And How To Bring Them Back To Life After They’ve Expired


A few months ago Marriott completed their buyout of Starwood and starting allowing members to transfer points back and forth at a surprisingly fair ratio of 1 Starpoint to 3 Marriott Rewards Points.

I noted in this post that transferring Marriott points to Starwood extends the life of your Starpoints, but transferring Starpoints to Marriott points does not extend the life of your Marriott points.

Marriott has a 24 month expiration policy. Here is a list of activity that Marriott considers as qualifying to extend the life of your points.
FT member “Astrophsx” notes that his last qualifying Marriott activity was on 10/6/14. He transferred Starpoints to Marriott on 10/15/16. On 11/23/16 Marriott expired those points.

After several hours of work he was able to get those points reinstated, but there are lessons worth learning here. If you have a Marriott account that had points expire, don’t transfer Starpoints there and let them sit or else they will be lost. In fact there’s no reason to leave any points sitting in a Marriott account as Starwood’s expiration extension policy is far friendlier.

There are plenty of good reasons to transfer Starpoints to Marriott such as during the recent lucrative United+7 nights transfer promo or for a Southwest companion pass, though you should wait until 2017 to transfer points to Southwest. But I don’t recommend keeping any points in the Marriott program until you’re ready to redeem them.

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Chase Private Client Arts & Culture Card: Roundup Of Free Museum Benefits And 2017 Changes

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Chase Private Client and JP Morgan Private Banking are the banking versions of elite status.

Chase Private Client is officially intended for people with $250K in assets with Chase, but there are other ways to obtain private client status. If you have an existing relationship with a Chase banker they can give you private client status regardless of whether you have any significant assets with Chase. Some bankers claim there is a minimum, but they have the ability to make anyone Private Client if they want to. You may also have luck by promising to move funds to Chase in the future or by moving a business account to Chase. If you have any immediate family with a Private client account you can also get upgraded to Private Client status. If you are added as a joint user on an account (even a safety deposit box) of a Private Client you can also get Private Client status.

JP Morgan Private Banking is intended for people with $10MM in assets with Chase, but there are also easier ways to obtain that status as well, including knowing a Private Banker or working at certain institutions. It offers access to unique credit cards like the JP Morgan Reserve card. That card is essentially a Sapphire Reserve but it also offers a United Club membership, doesn’t have any late fees, doesn’t report spending on your credit report, and it’s made out of a heavier metal.

Being a Private Client can help you get approved for Chase cards if you are over 5/24.

Private Client also waives fees on bank accounts, wire transfers, ATM fees+refunds at other bank’s ATMs, safety deposit boxes, checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, foreign exchange fees on debit usage and withdrawals abroad, and more.

Private Clients also have higher ATM withdrawal limits, higher mobile deposit limits, and higher QuickPay limits.

Finally, Chase Private Clients can also request a Chase Private Client Arts & Culture Card. It’s linked to a specific region and the physical card will only specify the museums in that region, but the card will be accepted nationwide.

I was able to get Private Client status earlier this year and it helped me get approved for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card after applying online and calling reconsideration, despite being over 5/24.

I got a NYC based Private Client Arts & Culture Card, but had no problem using it at the awesome Exploratorium when I took Rafi to San Francisco earlier this year. We both had a great time there and thanks to Chase I saved the $30/person admission fee:

#TooMuchFun all in a 36 hour #FatherSonTrip to #SanFrancisco

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

Below is a full list of institution nationwide that offer benefits for Chase Private Client Arts & Culture Cardholders. In addition to the benefits listed below, most places also offer discounts at gift shops and dining facilities.

New York:
-American Museum of Natural History: Complimentary general admission for cardholder and three guests.
-Brooklyn Children’s Museum: Complimentary admission for cardholder and spouse and kids.
-Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Complimentary admission for cardholder and one guest.
-The New Museum: Complimentary admission for cardholder and three guests.
-The New York Botanical Garden: Complimentary admission for cardholder and one guest to grounds and three seasons of exhibitions.

Ending 2016:
-Liberty Science Center: Complimentary admission for cardholder and two guests

New for 2017:
-Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Complimentary admission for cardholder and two guests.


View all of the free museums in other cities after the jump:

(more…)

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On The Topic Of Chase Due Dates And Statement Close Dates; Sapphire Reserve Is Costing Chase How Much?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Related:
-Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit; Plus: Timing The Spending And A 2017 Spend Report
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”
-30 Awesome Things You Can You Do With Ultimate Rewards Points
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered


The Chase Sapphire Reserve easily wins the best new credit card of the year. Between the 100,000 signup points and the plethora of other benefits it offers it’s pretty much a must have.

But did you know that Chase will take a $200-$300 million hit to their 4th quarter profit due to handing out all of those goodies?. I’d say to take advantage of the 100,000 point signup bonus while you still can…

Lots of the comments on the post I made a few days ago on the ways to spend the $300 Sapphire Reserve travel credit were about statement timing, as 2016 travel spend needs to be completed before your December statement closes. Once your December statement closes it starts counting for your $300 in 2017 travel spend.

Here’s how Chase’s statement timing system works.

If you see that your payment due date is the 1st of the month then your statement will always close on the 4th of the month beforehand. The same formula works through the 25th of the month, just add 3 days to the month beforehand. If the payment is due on the 12th then the statement will always close on the 15th of the month beforehand. If the payment is due on the 25th then the statement will always close on the 28th of the month beforehand.

Any payment due date of the 1st-25th will have up to 28 days before the payment due date (though to improve your credit score on consumer cards, you should always try to pay off your whole bill except for a dollar or 2 before the statement even closes).

Payment due dates on the 26-28th get a bit trickier. If you have the 26th then your statement will close on the 1st of that month. If you have the 27th then your statement will close on the 2nd of that month. If you have the 28th then your statement will close on the 3rd of that month. There are no payment due dates from the 29-31st.

These dates only have 25 days before the payment due date.

You can always call Chase to change your payment due date. Just tell the rep that you want to align all of your payment due dates on the same day.

As for people applying now or who want more time to spend the $300 travel credit in 2016, some people who applied today got a due date of 1/25 while others have a later date. The 25th is perfect as it allows you to spend until 12/28, though you should try to finish spending a few days before the statement closes. You can always try calling to change your due date to the 25th as well to maximize the time you have to spend the 2016 credit. That’s not guaranteed to go through for the first cycle, though often times it does.

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Roundup Of New Targeted And Non-Targeted AMEX Offers; Save On Broadway Tickets, Lowes, Sams Club, Sears, And More

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

AMEX has lots of great new AMEX offers available.

1. Double points promotions:

Enroll in Double AMEX points for spending at small businesses here.

Enroll In Double AMEX Points At Select Stores here

2. AMEX Twitter (non-targeted) offers:

Signup for Twitter and you can save money with AMEX.

All you have to do is sync your American Express card with your twitter account to save money at rotating stores.

Then tweet the codes listed below to enroll, so for example just write #AmexSears and then click tweet. Then wait a minute and you should have a message in your notifications bar that you have successfully enrolled along with the offer terms.

In the image below you can see where to write the tweet and where to check for the confirmation.

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View all the offers after the jump:

(more…)

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Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Offer expired!

Earlier this week I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum.

Each of those cards offer 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend requirements.

The game changing aspect is that you can choose to transfer them into airline miles when tickets are expensive, or you can use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive. Combined with other cards you are looking at a value for travel of 2.25% back on everyday spend and up to 7.5% in specific spending categories on Sapphire Reserve for paid tickets (potentially more with transfers to miles). Or combined with other cards you’ll get a value of value for travel of 3% on everyday spend and up to 20% on Business Platinum (potentially more with transfers to miles). Yesterday’s post explains the nuances involved with those calculations.

The hybrid cards aren’t cheap, they cost $450/year each. But they come laden with benefits like lounge memberships (4 different varieties with AMEX Platinum or with unlimited free guests on Sapphire Reserve), elite status (3 with AMEX Platinum), 10 annual free in-flight WiFi with AMEX Platinum, bonus spend points (triple points on ravel and dining with Sapphire Reserve, Global Entry/Pre-Check fee refunds on both cards, and most importantly, the ability to increase the value of all of your AMEX or Chase points when redeeming for travel.

The annual travel credit that each card offers help reduce the effective annual fee.

-The Sapphire Reserve offers a very generous automatic $300 credit for anything that is travel related. All travel related transactions will be automatically refunded until you reach $300.

Unlike what some Chase reps may claim, you can earn that credit once per calendar year, not per cardmember year. But the key is that the spending needs to be completed before your December billing statement prints.

Right now you can apply for the card and take advantage of $900 in travel credits in your first cardmembership year. You can get $300 in travel credit before your December 2016 statement prints. You can get $300 in travel credit anytime after that point until your December 2017 statement prints, and you can get $300 in travel credit in December 2017 right after your December statement prints. Your first annual fee will be due in January 2017 and your next annual fee won’t be due until January 2018.

People that have been approved for the card now are reporting that their first due date will be between January 15-23. If you have a due date of January 15 that means your statement end date is December 18. If you have a due date of January 22 that means your statement end date is December 26. Try to spend a couple of days before then and you will be good to go.

-The AMEX Business Platinum offers a $200 credit for fees related to an airline of your choice. This credit goes strictly by calendar year, but the same concept applies here. If you apply now you can spend $200 in December 2016, $200 in 2017, and $200 on 1/1/18. Your first annual fee will be due in mid-January 2017 and your next annual fee won’t be due until mid-January 2018.

I’ll make another post shortly with a list of items that qualify for credits on both cards.

With either card you should be able take full advantage of a triple-dip now. That’s 3 travel credits in your first cardmembership year. Of course you’ll also get another travel credit credit in each subsequent cardmembership year that will help take most of the sting out of their $450 annual fees so that you can enjoy the cards other amazing benefits at an affordable cost.

There’s no better time to apply for either card than right now.

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Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

I’ve always been an advocate of using airline miles over proprietary points from banks.

However the hits keep coming for airlines and the value of their miles.

After gobbling up airlines like Airtran, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways, the remaining airlines have made it increasingly expensive to earn elite status, while reducing benefits at the same time. They have reduced hub service and capacity in order to raise airfares. They have stopped awarding miles for flights based on distance flown. Their cheapest fares will no longer include free carry-ons.

They have all devalued their award charts, nearly doubling the cost of many awards:

-United massively devalued their award chart in February 2014.
-Delta removed their award charts from public view in February 2015. They have been stealthily making monthly devaluations since then, though their award availability has improved somewhat.
-Southwest has made a number of devaluations to their points value, despite having a fixed value that shouldn’t need devaluation like traditional award charts do when airline tickets get more expensive.
-American forced British Airways to charge 7.5K for their awards on AA instead of 4.5K in February of this year.
-American made huge devaluations to their own award chart in March of this year.

American, which once had the best saver award availability, has made it nearly impossible to redeem for saver awards. They have also increased the cost of their anytime award to eye-watering levels.

That’s not to say you can’t get some amazing values from airline miles. But it’s become increasingly difficult.

In the meantime there is still healthy competition in the credit card industry.

Non-convertible point cards:

-A 2% cash back card, like Citi Double Cash becomes increasingly compelling in the face of mileage devaluations, though that card has no signup bonus.

-The Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a $500 bonus for spending $4,500 and 2% cash back.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is offering 50K points for signing up for a limited time. It offers 2 miles per dollar everywhere and a 5% refund when you redeem points for travel.

The problem with non-convertible cards is that they can’t transfer points into real miles. There are hundreds of times that I’ve redeemed points for tickets that would have been prohibitively expensive without miles. Accumulating straight cash back or points that can’t be converted into miles leaves you at risk when airfare is expensive.

Convertible point cards:

Convertible cards traditionally offer a poor value for paid airfare. They allow you to transfer points into miles, but when tickets are inexpensive it’s not worth using miles. Devaluations and increasingly tight capacity controls have also hurt the value of miles.

But just in the past few months we now have 2 credit cards that offer the best of both worlds.

Let’s call them Hybrid cards.

Hybrid card #1: Chase Sapphire Reserve:

Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve in August and it has been wildly successful. It costs $450/year, but there are many intriguing benefits that make up for that including:
-100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-$300 in travel spending per calendar year that is refunded back automatically
-Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests
-3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund

But often times overlooked is that cardholders can use all of their Chase points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards airfare, hotels, car rentals, and vacation activities.
That means you can use 44K points today for a round-trip to Israel that would cost 80-170K miles from the airlines. Plus when you use the credit card points it covers the tax and you earn miles for the flight as if you had paid for it.

You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here.

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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That means you effectively get back 4.5% on travel and dining spending on the Sapphire Reserve card.

You can earn even more by spending on other Chase cards
-If you have a Freedom Unlimited card you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 2.25% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have a Freedom card you earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have Ink Plus or Ink Cash card you earn 5 points per dollar on office supplies, gift cards from office supply stores to hundreds of other stores, and telecom that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve. Gas, hotel, and dining purchases also have double point bonuses worth 3% towards travel.
-If you have Ink Business Preferred card you earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.that are worth 4.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can be earning between 2.25%-7.5% back everywhere.

The great thing about a Hybrid card like Sapphire Reserve is that if you need a one-way ticket, a last minute ticket, or a business/first class ticket you can transfer them instantly into real airline miles, assuming the value is better there. But if it’s not you can still get a great value from your points by redeeming them directly for a ticket without transferring them into miles.

That means you can use 53,375 Singapore miles (transferable from AMEX or Chase) to fly in Singapore Suites class:

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Instead of paying $5.3K or using 353K Chase points:

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Hybrid card #2: AMEX Business Platinum:

In October, AMEX responded to Sapphire Reserve by greatly increasing the value of The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

It also has nice benefits that also make its $450 annual fee worthwile:
-Up to 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes
-Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi access
-$200 in airline fee credits per calendar year to spend on the airline of your choice.
-Lost item insurance
-Priority Pass lounge membership
-Centurion lounge access
-Delta lounge access
-Airspace lounge access
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund
-Hilton, SPG, and Marriott elite status

AMEX then added:
-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
-50% bonus points on $5K+ purchases

Thanks to the 50% rebate your points are worth at least 2 cents each. The rebate typically posts the day after redeeming points.

Having other AMEX cards increases the value proposition further:
-If you have The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 3% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. You’ll also earn 4.5 points per dollar on groceries that are worth 9% towards travel and 3 points per dollar on gas that are worth 6% towards travel.
-If you have the consumer AMEX Platinum card you earn 5 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 10% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the AMEX Blue for Business card you earn 1.3 points per dollar after the 30% annual dividend that are worth 2.6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Plus you’ll earn double points everywhere and 10 points per dollar at restaurants for a limited time that are worth more than 20% towards travel after the annual dividend when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the consumer Premier Rewards Gold card you earn 3 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Groceries and gas will earn 2 points per dollar worth 4% towards airfare.
-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you earn 2 or 3 points per dollar on categories of your choice that are worth 4-6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

If you redeem 74,879 points for a ticket you’ll get 37,440 of them refunded back to you within a couple days. That’s a value of 2 cents per point.

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That’s an amazing value per point, though it comes with the annoyances of having to lock in one airline per year for coach travel and it requires waiting for the 50% rebate to come. You may have luck switching your airline of choice online via chat or over the phone, especially if you haven’t yet used your $200 in annual fee credit on that airline.

The 50% rebate for business or first class is for all airlines.

Instead of using 450K Delta miles plus $52 for business class…

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…you can use 113,319 AMEX points for business class after the 50% rebate. You’ll pay no tax and you’ll even earn miles for the flight!
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Of course having these hybrid cards gives you the flexibility to use your points at a 1.5-2 cent fixed value or to transfer into airline miles when they prove more valuable:

For example this flight tomorrow would cost just 10K United miles (which can be transferred instantly from Chase)…

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…instead of paying $573 or using 38K Chase points:

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The flexibility that hybrid cards like Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum offer put you one step ahead of the airlines. And it hinders their ability to devalue your points in the future.

Have you taken advantage of the benefits of these hybrid cards? Share your experience in the comments!

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Enroll In Double AMEX Membership Rewards Points At Select Stores

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Enroll In Double AMEX Membership Rewards Points At Select Stores

This offer is only for Membership Rewards cards.

Note that you can only enroll one card per login, though you can always make a new login for a card.

You can also enroll in double points for spending at small businesses here. And you can check if you are targeted for a Starwood spending bonus here.

HT: cashasap, via DDF

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Buy 3 Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 Downloads For Negative $25 After Rebate Or Negative $45 With AMEX Offers From Staples

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Update: The Staples $25 Visa Checkout offer is now dead.


Staples has the downloadable Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 and the boxed version of Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 on sale for $45.01 with a limit of 3.
There is also an Easy Rebate you can file online to receive a $45 Visa gift card on up to 3 copies purchased per household. You can open the rebate page in an Incognito/Private browser if you get an error message.

If you use Visa Checkout you’ll get $25 off instantly, so you’ll pay $110.03 and you’ll get back $135 in Visa gift cards, making the total after rebate negative $24.97.

If you previously registered for $20 off $100 with AMEX you’ll get back another $20, making the total after rebate negative $44.97.

Alternatively you can also use an Ink Cash/Plus card to earn 5 points per dollar.

There is sales tax in some states, though Staples is showing tax even in states that don’t have sales tax for downloaded software. In these states the final price will drop after you checkout and will be reflected in the amount paid.

There are reports from NY shoppers that it shows sales tax before you checkout for the downloadable version but then isn’t charging sales tax on the final receipt. Share your experience in the comments!

HT: Iz, via DDF and DoC

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5,000 Bonus AMEX Points For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Premier Rewards Gold Card And Spending $500

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Related: 2,500 Bonus Delta Miles For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Delta Gold Consumer Card And Spending $500


5.000 Bonus AMEX Points For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Premier Rewards Gold Card And Spending $500

If you add a free additional user to your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express via the link above and spend $500 on the new additional card within 3 months you will get 5,000 bonus AMEX point.

You can add up to 5 additional users onto this card for free. There is a limit of 1 5K point bonus per primary card account.

The terms state that the bonus points can take 8-12 weeks to post, though typically they post much quicker than that.

Additional AMEX cards also qualify for AMEX Offers.

Additional Card Members must be at least 15 years of age. You are able to add yourself, a family member, or a friend as an additional user.

A social security number is required for this offer. There is no hard credit pull for adding an additional user.

However the account will show up on their credit report, which means that spending on the card can help or hurt their credit score depending on your credit utilization and payments.

An additional user card will also count against the user with Chase, which limits approvals for many of their cards if you have had more than 5 new accounts in the past 24 months. It is possible to appeal that decision based on it being an authorized user account if you say that you don’t use it and aren’t responsible for payment on the card, but some have been turned down because of that approval guideline. It is possible to have the additional user account removed from the credit report by closing it and requesting removal from the bank and/or all 3 credit bureaus.

HT: yitzyul, via DDF

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Samsung Pay: Earn $5 For Signing Up Plus Earn $15 For Using A Chase Card 3 Times

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Active, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, or S7 Active devices have Samsung Pay.

-If you haven’t made any purchases yet, you can open the app, click on “promotions”, scroll down to enter a referral code, and enter my referral code for $5 in rewards: 715B46

-If you click on “promotions” you can also opt in to earn $15 in rewards if you use a Chase card to make 3 purchases by 12/31 at 8pm EST. This is valid for the first 100K people who opt-in, so you’ll want to opt in now. The 3 purchases must be at least 3 minutes or more apart from each other. The $15 reward will come in the form of a Visa gift card that will be added to your Samsung Pay wallet.

HT: nafnaf12, via DDF

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