Category Archive for 'Credit Cards'

Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit; Plus: Timing The Spending And A 2017 Spend Report

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Related:
-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


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.

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 by bank or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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

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As explained in this post, Chase calculates the year based on when your December statement closes. If your statement closes on December 15th then you must finish your 2016 travel spend before that date. Your 2017 spend will begin on December 16th.

Generally speaking your statement will print 3 days later in the month before your payment due date. If your payment due date is on January 20th then your statement will close on December 23rd. It would be wise to finish the spending a few days before December 23rd. After December 23rd you can start working on your 2017 travel spend.

 

Can you still get a 2016 travel credit if you apply now for a Sapphire Reserve card?

People have been reporting various due dates in January. If you get a due date between the 6th to the 25th then your bill will close between December 9th-28th and you will have time to spend the $300 in 2016 travel credit.

It is definitely still possible to get those due dates, but there’s no guarantee. If you do apply then be sure to call reconsideration to see if you can get approved today.

You may also be able to change your payment due date to generate a December statement if your due date is earlier than January 6 or later than January 25th.

 

There is now a DDF datapoint to verify that the system is working as promised. Member “thankyoudan” opened his Sapphire Reserve on November 8th. His first statement closed on December 1st. He got a $300 credit for 2016 on 11/27 before his December statement date and another $300 on 12/2 after his December statement date.

 

These categories have been confirmed as working for automatic travel refunds. If you know of others please post a comment!

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

Dining:
-Uber Eats

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

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

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

Were you refunded from other purchases? Hit the comments!

 

More about the card:

Signup Bonus:

Chase is currently offering an unprecedented 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4K on the Sapphire Reserve card within 3 months. You can use those points for $1,500 in travel or you can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points.

The travel spending and Global Entry fees that are refunded still count towards the $4K threshold! You’ll even get the keep the bonus points for travel spending that is refunded!

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 by bank or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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 unless you have a banking relationship like Chase Private Client. 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 fees described above.

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.

Combined with the signup bonus that means you can get $2,400 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 above. 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!

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.

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.

The 1.5 cents per dollar redemption option also means the travel and dining categories on this card earn at least 4.5% per dollar.

-The no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Having the Sapphire Reserve makes everyday spending on that card worth at least 2.25%.

-The no-fee Chase Freedom and Ink Cash cards also have 5 point category bonuses and those will be worth at least 7.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

-The new Ink Business Preferred has several 3 point categories that are worth at least 4.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

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, have very flexible routing rules, 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 a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, 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 you can find Delta saver availability you can fly to Hawaii round-trip for just 25,000 miles in coach or 45,000 miles in business.
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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, 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? Hit the comments!

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 by bank or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

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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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.

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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:

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

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…

dl2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…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!
dl1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)…

ua10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

ua11

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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Get $15 Off $300 Of Visa Gift Cards From Office Max Or Office Depot This Week

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Get $15 off $300 in Visa gift cards from Office Max or Office Depot stores through 11/26.

Use your Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash card and get 5 points per dollar spent.

Last December my local store let me buy 60 cards as I racked up the miles in record time.

There’s a limit of 1 $15 savings per transaction. Some emplyees will allow multiple transactions and others will not.

If you buy 2 $200 Visa gift card in store you’ll pay $398.90 including fees and you’ll earn 1,995 points by charging it to an Ink Plus or Ink Cash card. If you buy a $200 gift card and a $100 gift card you’ll pay $297.90 including fees and you’ll earn 1,490 points by charging it to an Ink Plus or Ink Cash card.

You can use the gift cards to buy money orders at Walmart or at various grocery stores, gas stations or 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: davidmal, via DDF and DoC

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HUCA And DROPR Lessons; Don’t Forget To Finish Your Sapphire Reserve Travel Spending Before Your December Statement Prints!

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Update: Many commenters have been asking if they can still apply now and get the 2016 travel credit.
People are reporting applying now and seeing online that their 1st bill due date will be in early January. That will mean that their 1st statement will print in late December, as the print date will be 25 days before the stated payment due date.

As long as you spend the $300 in travel before the December 2016 statement prints you will be able to also spend $300 on travel in 2017 before the December 2017 statement. You’ll even be able to spend another $300 after the December 2017 statement prints for the 2018 credit before the 2nd annual fee comes due.


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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

Related posts (Read these first):
Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!
-What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?
-On The Topic Of Chase 5/24


DDF (that’s the DansDeals Forums) is home to some rather obscure acronyms.

One of my favorites that I’m guilty of coining is HUCA (Hang up, Call again) and it’s really the first rule of DDF.

If you want to get something done it’s just a matter of finding the right rep that is willing to go the extra mile for you. And with most phone reps being fairly worthless, it can require some HUCA. I’ve utilized the power of HUCA hundreds of times, from credit card reconsideration to helping book mileage awards that won’t book online and that many reps are too lazy or incompetent to help with.

I find that empathizing with the rep works best.

DDF’ers have hundreds of HUCA success stories.

Sometimes it just takes 1 HUCA:
huca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it takes a few:
huca3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it can take 6 HUCAs:
huca1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While other times it takes 7:
huca2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One time it took a dozen HUCAs until Continental agreed to give us bulkhead seating so that we would be able to use the baby bassinet, it’s all about perseverance and finding a helpful agent.

 

A related but more obscure and less catchy acronym that I coined on DDF is DROPR (Don’t rely on phone reps, pronounced Drop-Er). I get Tweets and emails every day from readers who have been misinformed by phone reps. I’m always amazed how people take phone reps words at face value. Phone reps are typically undertrained and rarely give good info to hard questions. Posting on DDF and getting actual experiences is far more useful than asking a phone rep.

I can’t say I’m surprised that credit card phone reps don’t know about credit reporting as it’s a pretty complicated topic. But that’s why there’s DDF to correct them:

dropr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes DROPR and HUCA just go hand in hand:

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DROPR has even been called the number one thing learned on DDF:

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And then there’s a wonderful thread titled “You know you might be a DDF’er if…

dropr3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few days ago a reader Tweeted me that a rep told him that he would only get a single $300 travel credit on his Sapphire Reserve card during the first 12 months he had the card.

Of course I’ve written numerous times that you can earn the $300 travel credit twice in your first cardmembership year (in 2016 and 2017), so I answered DROPR.

 

 

 

 

To be fair, I can see why some reps would say that if they only take a quick glance at the terms:

“A statement credit will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for purchases in the travel category, up to $300 in statement credits annually (“annually” means the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and each 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date)…Maximum statement credit accumulation for the Annual Travel Credit is $300 annually. The Annual Travel Credit will be issued for the year in which the transaction posts to your account, through your December statement date. For example, if you pay for baggage fees, but the airline does not post the transaction until after your December statement date, the cost of the baggage fees will be allocated towards the following year’s Annual Travel Credit maximum of $300.”


However the correct answer is that the credit goes by the calendar year…mostly. While the AMEX airline fee credit covers charges through 12/31, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit covers travel charges in 2016 that are on your January-December statements. Once your December statement prints, any further charges will count as a 2017 charge.

Chase even clarifies that it goes by the transaction post date, so even if the charge is done before your December statement prints, if it doesn’t post until afterward it will count as 2017 travel spend.

Chase also writes that it ends with the “First” December statement, so seemingly if you miss your December statement and then change your due date to generate a second December statement, it still will only count as a 2017 travel charge.

But you can change the date your statement closes right now to later in the month if you need some extra time.

You can check how much travel credit you’ve received this year by logging in here:

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The Sapphire Reserve offers a whopping 100,000 miles for signing up that are worth a minimum of $1,500 towards travel.

There’s a $450 annual fee, but the $300 in annual travel credits means you can get $600 in travel credit in your first cardmembership year and $300 in credits in subsequent years. Chase will automatically refund you for any travel related charges including airfare, airline gift cards, baggage fees, car rentals, hotels, hotel gift cards, Airbnb, Airbnb gift cards, campgrounds, cruises, trains, buses, subways, Uber, UberEats, Groupon Getaways, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, parking, and more. Most people have had success when prepaying their E-ZPass account, though there have been reported cases where that doesn’t categorize as travel, so that’s a YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

All travel and dining spend earns 3 points per dollar.

The card also comes with the Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests, a 5 year Global Entry/Pre-Check membership, and the ability to redeem all Chase points for 1.5 cents towards travel, including on cards like Freedom Unlimited where you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere (effective 2.25% minimum rebate everywhere) or Freedom/Ink cards that can earn 5 points per dollar (effective 7.5% minimum rebate in select categories).

The $600 in travel spend and the $100 Global Entry membership fee do count towards the $4,000 spend threshold and you’ll even keep the triple points for the travel spending despite the spending being refunded!

All told, it’s quite possibly the most lucrative credit card offer of all time.

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

What did you redeem your $300 in free travel spending for this year?

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Buy $300 In Mastercard Gift Cards From Staples This Week And Get A Free $15 Staples Gift Card Via Easy Rebate

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

If you buy $300+ in Mastercard gift cards from Staples between 11/20 and 11/26 you can send in an Easy Rebate online to get a bonus $15 Staples gift card.

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

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

Use your Ink Plus or Ink Cash card to earn 5 points per dollar.

That’s 2,070 points for a $413.90 purchase. Plus you’ll get the $15 Staples card via Easy Rebate.

These Mastercards should have the PIN number in the package. They’re a bit trickier to use at WalMart, you need to hit cancel on the keypad after swiping it in order to change it to a debit payment before using it to load Bluebird, buying money orders, or using bill pay.

You can also buy money orders at various grocery stores, gas stations or at some post offices.

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

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

Or you can always use it for everyday spending.

HT: tzfas, via DDF and FM

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

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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

If you add a free additional user to your Delta Gold consumer account via the link above and spend $500 on the new additional card within 3 months you will get 2,500 bonus Delta miles. There is a limit of 1 bonus per primary Delta account.

The Delta Gold card currently is offering a limited time 50K signup bonus.

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 qualify for AMEX Offers. You can have up to 99 additional users on a primary card account, but the bonus is only for adding 1 card.

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: Einstein, via DDF

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Chase’s Highest Ink Public Signup Bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred Offering 80K Signup Points And…Cell Phone Protection

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

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 from all banks or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.

Chase has launched the Ink Business Preferred card.

If offers 80,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

It also offers 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines. You can earn 3 points per dollar on $150K in spending per cardmember year.

There is a $95 annual fee. If you apply for the card in a bank that fee may be waived, though you should be able to request via secure message that the fee be waived to match in in-branch offer. Additional cardholders are free. There are no foreign transaction fees.

One unique protection that the card comes with is cell phone protection. 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!

The Ink Plus card is now discontinued, though the no-fee Ink Cash card is still alive and offering 5 points per dollar on office supplies and telecom.

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

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

The Ink cards are subject to 5/24, though getting an Ink card doesn’t count towards your 5/24 count as AMEX/Chase/Citi business cards don’t show up on your credit report.

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

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 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.

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

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

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

Cash back:

Ink cards can be registered for Visa Savings Edge.

With that program you 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.

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 also use them with a 1.25 cents per point value on travel. If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can transfer the points to that card and get a 1.5 cents per point value, which would make the signup bonus worth at least $1,200.

Or you can transfer points into miles.

Transfer partners include:
United (Star Alliance) is an excellent currency. They never charge fuel surcharges, have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they often run discounted award promotions, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, 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 award space you can fly to Hawaii 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 and often has sales for discounted awards to London.
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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

Will you be signing up for Chase Ink Business Preferred?

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Last Chance To Apply For An Ink Plus Card

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

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


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 from all banks.

Chase will launch the new Ink Business Preferred card tomorrow which will offer 80K points for signing up and carry a $95 annual fee. It will offer 3 points per dollar on travel, telecom, shipping, and advertising on social media and search engines on up to $150K in annual spending.

With that launch Chase has confirmed that they will no longer offer the Ink Plus to new customers. Applications for it will likely disappear shortly. The Ink Plus offers a 60K signup bonus for spending $5K within 3 months. The new Ink card will have a generous signup bonus, but I strongly prefer the Ink Plus’ bonus categories.

Ink Plus has a $95 annual fee and offers 5 points per dollar on $50,000 of annual spending on telecom, TV, internet, and office supply stores. It offers 2 points per dollar on $50,000 of annual spending on gas and hotels.

The 5x office supply bonus is quite lucrative when used to purchase gift cards for stores like Amazon or generic Visa gift cards. You can even buy $300 Visa gift cards from Staples from the comfort of your home, which will earn 5 points per dollar and help meet the spending threshold.

The Ink Plus card has a $95 annual fee. There are no foreign exchange fees.

There is also an Ink Cash card with no annual fee that also offers 5 points per dollar, but caps it at $25,000 per year and charges foreign transaction fees. It may stick around longer than the Ink Plus, but my guess is that it will have a new reward structure put into place at some point. You may also want to apply for an Ink Cash card if you want to lock in 5 points per dollar without an annual fee.

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

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

The Ink cards are subject to 5/24, though getting an Ink card doesn’t count towards your 5/24 count as AMEX/Chase/Citi business cards don’t show up on your credit report.

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

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 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.

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

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

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

Cash back:

Ink cards can be registered for Visa Savings Edge.

With that program you 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.

Bonus points:

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

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

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

The Ink Plus card caps those bonuses to $50K of purchases per year while the Ink Cash card caps those bonuses to $25K of purchases per year.

The Ink Plus card also offers 2 points per dollar on gas and hotels while the Ink Cash card offers 2 points per dollar on gas and dining.

Gift card uses:

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

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

Or you can use Visa gift cards for everyday spending thereby getting 5 points per dollar on everything you buy anywhere via the Visa gift cards.

Point Currency:

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

If you have a Sapphire Reserve card you can transfer points there for 1.5 cents per point fixed value on travel.

Or you can transfer points into miles.

Transfer partners include:
United (Star Alliance) is an excellent currency. They never charge fuel surcharges, have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they often run discounted award promotions, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, 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 award space you can fly to Hawaii 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 and often has sales for discounted awards to London.
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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG.

Will you be applying for an Ink Plus card before it’s discontinued?

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Roundup Of 10 Limited Time Card Offers From American Express

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Related posts:
Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
Earn Double Points With AMEX Cards At Small Businesses For The Rest Of 2016
Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer And/Or Business Spend Bonus

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


–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.


-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.


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.


-Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

-Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Offer expired!

Regular signup bonus: 30K miles.
Limited time offer: 50K miles for spending $2,000 in 3 months.
Statement credit: $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months. There is no minimum Delta purchase required, even a $2 snack or drink on a Delta flight will trigger the credit! Sample purchases include Delta gift cards or eGift cards, food or drinks on a Delta flight, baggage fees, tickets, upgrades, change fees, club entrance fees, etc.
End date: 11/9/16 for the business card, 2/1 for the consumer card.
Annual fee: $95, waived for the first year.
Spending categories: 2 miles per dollar on Delta. Other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar.
-AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.
Other benefits:
-Free checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation.
-Zone 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation so that you won’t have to gate-check your carry-ons.
-20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets, and movies, shows and video games accessed via Delta’s seatback in-flight entertainment system, on Delta-operated flights.
-Waives the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement to reach Medallion status if you spend $25,000 on the cards in that calendar year. Eligible Purchases will be combined across multiple Delta cards of the primary cardholder if those accounts are linked to the same SkyMiles number.
-$29 per person discounted SkyClub lounge access for the cardmember and up to 2 guests.
Read more here.


-Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express:

-Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express:

Offer expired!
Regular signup bonus: 35K miles.
Limited time offer: 70K miles for spending $3,000 (consumer) or $5,000 (business) in 3 months.
Statement credit: $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months. There is no minimum Delta purchase required, even a $2 snack or drink on a Delta flight will trigger the credit! Sample purchases include Delta gift cards or eGift cards, food or drinks on a Delta flight, baggage fees, tickets, upgrades, change fees, club entrance fees, etc.
Medallion Qualifying Miles: 10K for meeting the signup bonus threshold. If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles. If you spend $50,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
Companion ticket: Receive an annual Companion Certificate that is valid for a round-trip Economy Class Companion ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees within the 48 contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI.
End date: 11/9/16 for the business card, 2/1/17 for the consumer card.
Annual fee: $195
Spending categories: 2 miles per dollar on Delta. Other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar.
-AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.
Other benefits:
-Free checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation.
-Zone 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation so that you won’t have to gate-check your carry-ons.
-20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible pre-purchased meals, in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages and audio headsets, and movies, shows and video games accessed via Delta’s seatback in-flight entertainment system, on Delta-operated flights.
-Waives the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement to reach Medallion status if you spend $25,000 on the cards in that calendar year. Eligible Purchases will be combined across multiple Delta cards of the primary cardholder if those accounts are linked to the same SkyMiles number.
-$29 per person discounted SkyClub lounge access for the cardmember and up to 2 guests.
Read more here.


SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
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 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.


The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
Regular signup bonus: 40K points.
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 gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX.
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: 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 1 point is 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.

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Save 5% At B&H Photo, Lenovo, And More With Visa Business Cards

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

If you have a Visa business card, like the Chase Ink cards, you can enroll in Visa Savings Edge.

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 from all banks.

After enrolling you’ll get automatic cash rebates on top of points.

For example:
-Get 5% back on purchases from B&H Photo in-store or online. The maximum lifetime savings at B&H is $150 per Visa business card that you enroll. In other words you can save 5% on up to $3,000 of spending per card. As business additional user cards get their own number, I would imagine that they would also qualify for their own $150 rebate, but if you try it let us know how it goes.
-Get 5% back on Lenovo purchases.
-Get 5% back on Wyndham/Ramada stays in the US.
-Get 4% back on $100+ Alamo/National rentals.
-Get 1% back at Chevron/Texaco.

HT: work-for-ur-muny, via DDF

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Are Chase’s 5x Cards Going To Be Killed Off?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

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 from all banks.


Update: Chase has confirmed that the Ink Plus card will be discontinued with the launch of the Ink Business Preferred card later this year. The exact date for that is unknown. The status of the Ink Cash card is unknown as well, but odds are that it will drop the 5x categories for new applicants even if it does stick around.

I’ve been able to rack up (and redeem) a few Chase points over the years. They add up quickly thanks to 5x categories:

chase2

 

 

 

 

Apply now for an Ink Plus or Ink Cash card if you want to be grandfathered and lock in the ability to earn 5 points per dollar!

You can open a Ink Plus and Ink Cash card and earn the signup bonus for each of your businesses.


Originally posted on 10/19:

Banks offer cards that earn 5 points per dollar in select categories as a loss leader.

Their days may be numbered at Chase.

Chase currently offers 3 Ultimate Rewards cards with 5 point categories, Freedom, Ink Plus, and Ink Cash. The Ink Bold and Ink Classic also offer 5 points per dollar but they are no longer available for new applications. Chase has been generous with grandfathered cards though, I have an Ink Bold that still earns 1.675 points per dollar everywhere and a $100/year Presidential Plus card earning United elite qualifying miles that haven’t been available to new customers for years.

The Freedom card offers 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. Chase launched the Freedom Unlimited card earlier this year with a very generous 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. When it did so the rumor was that the Freedom card would be discontinued. That hasn’t happened, but rumors of its demise for new customers continue to persist.

Bloomberg broke the news today that Chase will soon launch the Ink Business Preferred card. It will offer 80K points for signing up and carry a $95 annual fee. The bigger news is its reward structure: 3 points per dollar on travel, telecom, shipping, and advertising on social media and search engines on up to $150K in annual spending.

Currently Ink Plus has a $95 annual fee and offers 5 points per dollar on $50,000 of annual spending on telecom, TV, internet, and office supply stores. It offers 2 points per dollar on $50,000 of annual spending on gas and hotels.

Ink Cash has no annual fee and offers 5 points per dollar on $25,000 of annual spending on telecom, TV, internet, and office supply stores. It offers 2 points per dollar on $25,000 of annual spending on gas and dining.

The 5x office supply bonus is quite lucrative when used to purchase gift cards for stores like Amazon or generic Visa gift cards, so I’m not surprised that Chase isn’t going to offer that on the new card.

Will the Ink Cash and Ink Plus cards be phased out with the Ink Business Preferred launch? Will their rewards structures be changed to match that of the Ink Business Preferred card?

There are strong rumors that the 5 point categories will no longer be offered to new customers. Let’s just say if you want to take advantage of 5 point per dollar cards that you may want to apply for those cards sooner rather than later. Just remember that 5/24 guidelines apply.

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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!

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

If you signup by 2/1 you can earn:
-10K Membership Rewards 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.
Additionally you can earn an extra 1 point per dollar at small businesses (up to $250,000) through 12/31/16.
-The Blue for Business card also always earns a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases.
-The Blue for Business card also participates in Open Savings for 5% cash back at Fedex, Hertz, HP, and 800-Flowers.
-All Membership Rewards cards also earn 2 points per dollar with Uber.

The Blue for Business card has no annual fee.

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 a combination of the Everyday Card and the Blue for Business card has 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 an effective 2 cents per dollar on airfare. Combined with the earning power on this card that can become extremely lucrative!

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 signup for Blue for Business?

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Maximizing AMEX And Chase Bonus Spending And Redemption Categories

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

AMEX and Chase have come out swinging with points that are worth more when you have their premium cards.

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN now offers a 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of a domestic airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com. Be sure you are logged in to redeem points. People have had success chatting to change the airline of their choice as well, but YMMV (your mileage may vary).

If there’s a $100 airline ticket you want to book it will cost 10,000 points and you’ll get 5,000 points back. That means your points are effectively worth 2 cents each as a fixed rate redemption. And unlike with mileage tickets, you will also earn miles for these tickets. AMEX also offers insider fares that can make your points be worth even more than 2 cents each towards paid airfare, but we’ll ignore those fares for the purpose of this post. Of course the caveat here is that you have to have the full amount of points available in your account and then you must wait for the points rebate.

This post doesn’t account for AMEX bonus points for spending at small businesses.

-The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and select travel activities at a fixed rate redemption value of 1.5 cents each from the Ultimate Rewards site. There’s no waiting around for a rebate or selecting an airline, but the maximum value is 1.5 cents each.

Both of these cards also offer the ability to transfer points into real airline miles where your points can be worth far more or far less, depending on what you use them for. Miles can be worth 0.5 cents or 50 cents each depending on the exact redemption. But for determining value in this post we’ll assume a baseline of 1.5 cents each for Chase and 2 cents each for AMEX based on the fixed redemption options that the Sapphire Reserve and Business Platinum cards offer. That’s not entirely fair as the Chase redemption option offers far more flexibility, but for this post we’ll just compare the maximum potential fixed rate value even if it requires jumping through some hoops.

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.

Of course the real trick is maximizing spending categories and then using those points with the premium cards. This post assumes that you will have a Sapphire Reserve or AMEX Business Platinum in order to maximize the fixed rate redemption value.

On Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that means:

-Everyday purchases on Chase Freedom Unlimited where every purchase earns 1.5 points per dollar. You can transfer those points to Sapphire Reserve, making the effective rebate at least 2.25% everywhere thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.
The Freedom Unlimited card offers 15,000 points for spending $500 in 3 months and another 2,500 points for opening an additional user card. It has no annual fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee.

-Travel purchases on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3 points per dollar making the effective rebate at least 4.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value. This category includes airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, parking, and more.
The Sapphire Reserve card offers 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months. It has a $450 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. It comes with a $300 automatic travel credit every calendar year, a Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests, and Global Entry/Pre-Check membership.

-Dining purchases on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3 points per dollar making the effective rebate at least 4.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value. This category includes Restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, and lounges.

-Office Supply purchases (including gift cards sold at office supply stores to stores like Amazon) on Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 7.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.
The Ink Plus card offers 60,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. It has a $95 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. You can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $50,000 in spending per year.
The Ink Cash card offers 30,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It has no annual fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee. You can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $25,000 in spending per year.

-Telecom, Cable, and internet service on Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 7.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.

-Gas on Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 3% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value.

-Rotating category purchases on Freedom to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 7.5% thanks to the 1.5 cents per point value. In 2016 these categories included Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation. Q2: Grocery stores and Wholesale clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sams Club. Q3: Restaurants and Wholesale clubs. Q4: Department stores, Drug stores, Wholesale clubs.
The Freedom card offers 15,000 points for spending $500 in 3 months and another 2,500 points for opening an additional user card. It has no annual fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee.

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.


On AMEX Membership Rewards cards that means:

-Everyday purchases on AMEX Everyday Preferred where every purchase earns at least 1.5 points per dollar if you make at least 30 transactions per month. You can transfer those points to the Business Platinum card, making the effective rebate at least 3% everywhere thanks to the 2 cents per point value.
The AMEX Everyday Preferred card offers 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. It has a $95 annual fee and a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

-Everyday purchases on AMEX Everyday card (if you want to avoid paying additional annual fees) where every purchase earns at least 1.2 points per dollar if you make at least 20 transactions per month. That’s an effective rebate at least 2.4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value.
The AMEX Everyday card offers 10,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. It has no annual fee and a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

-Everyday purchases on AMEX Blue for Business card (if you want to avoid paying minimum transactions per month) where every purchase earns at least 1.3 points per dollar after a 30% annual points dividend. That’s an effective rebate at least 2.6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value.
The AMEX Blue for Business card offers 10,000 points for spending $1 in 3 months. It has no annual fee and a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

-Large everyday purchases of $5,000 or more on the Business Platinum card to earn 1.5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 3% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at 1,000,000 points per year.
The AMEX Business Platinum card offers 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months and another 50,000 points for spending another $10,000 in 3 months. It has a $450 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. It offers a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year that can also be used for gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX. It offers a 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of an airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com. It provides 10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes, Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood Gold elite status, Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, Priority Pass lounge access, Global Entry/Pre-Check membership. Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi, and Lost item protection.

-Airfare purchases on the Platinum card to earn 5 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 10% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.
The AMEX Platinum card offers 40,000 points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It has a $450 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. It offers a $200 airline fee credit per calendar year that can also be used for gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX. It provides Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood Gold elite status, Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, Priority Pass lounge access, Global Entry/Pre-Check membership. Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi, and Lost item protection. You can also add 3 additional cardholders for a flat $175 fee ($58.33/year each) which each include elite benefits, lounge access benefits, and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.

-Airfare purchases on the Premier Rewards Gold card to earn 3 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.
The Premier Rewards Gold card offers 25,000 points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. It has a $195 annual fee which is waived for the first year and no foreign exchange fees. It offers a $100 airline fee credit per calendar year that can also be used for gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX.

-Shipping on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year.  If you spend on Fedex you can also get a 5% rebate, for a total of 11% back.
The AMEX Business Gold card offers 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months for a limited time only. It offers 3 points per dollar in the category of your choice and 2 pints per dollar on other categories. It has a $175 annual fee which is waived for the first year and no foreign exchange fees.

-Groceries on AMEX Everyday Preferred to earn 4.5 points per dollar with 30 total transactions/month. That’s an effective rebate at least 9% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $6,000 in spending per year.

-Groceries on AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Gas on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year.

-Gas on AMEX Everyday Preferred to earn 3 points per dollar with 30 total transactions/month. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Gas on AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Restaurants on AMEX Premier Rewards Gold to earn 2 points per dollar. That’s an effective rebate at least 4% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is not capped.

-Uber on AMEX Everyday Preferred to earn 2.5 points per dollar with 30 total transactions/month. That’s an effective rebate at least 5% thanks to the 2 cents per point value.

-Advertising on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year.

-Computer hardware, software, and cloud computing on AMEX Business Gold to earn 3 points per dollar as your preferred category or 2 points per dollar otherwise. That’s an effective rebate at least 6% thanks to the 2 cents per point value. This benefit is capped at $100,000 per year. If you spend on HP you can also get a 5% rebate, for a total of 11% back.

-Car rentals on AMEX Blue for Business to earn 1.3 points per dollar plus 5% cash back if you rent with Hertz. That’s an effective rebate at least 2.6% (or 7.6% for Hertz) thanks to the 2 cents per point value.

Summary:

CategoryAMEXChase  
Advertising-6% Business Gold-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Airfare-10% Platinum
-6% Premier Rewards Gold

-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Car rentals-2.6-7.6% Blue for Business-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Everyday Purchases-3% Everyday Preferred-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Gas -6% Everyday Preferred
-6% Business Gold
-4% Premier Rewards Gold
-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-3% Ink Plus
-3% Ink Cash
Groceries -9% Everyday Preferred
-4% Premier Rewards Gold
-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Hotels-3% Everyday Preferred-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Restaurants-4% Premier Rewards Gold-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Rotating categoriesN/A-7.5% Freedom
Office Supplies-3% Everyday Preferred-7.5% Ink Plus
-7.5% Ink Cash
Telecom-3% Everyday Preferred-7.5% Ink Plus
-7.5% Ink Cash
Uber-5% Everyday Preferred-7.5% Freedom during rotating category.
-4.5% Sapphire Reserve
Shipping-6-11% Business Gold-2.25% Freedom Unlimited
Computer Hardware/Software-6-11% Business Gold-2.25% Freedom Unlimited

Do you maximize your spending? Have another strategy you use? Hit the comments!

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AMEX Upgrades Platinum Card Benefits; Business Platinum Card 100,000 Point Signup Bonus And New Game Changing Benefits!

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Chase stole the show in August and September with Sapphire Reserve mania. It’s truly an excellent card thanks to a 100K signup bonus, $300 in ultra-easy to obtain annual travel credits, Priority Pass lounge access with unlimited guests, triple points on all traveling and dining, Global Entry fee credit, and points that are transferable to excellent mileage currencies or that are worth 1.5 cents per dollar everywhere for travel. As Chase also offers a Freedom Unlimited card that earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, that means you earn 2.25 cents per dollar everywhere or 4.5 cents per dollar on travel purchases.

Now AMEX is striking back in a big way.

The consumer Platinum Card® from American Express now offers 5 points per dollar on airfare. By itself that isn’t a game changer, though it’s an excellent new benefit.

The game changing news comes with The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. It now offers a 50% rebate when you redeem coach airfare with your choice of an airline and a 50% rebate when you redeem for business or first class airfare with any airline on amextravel.com. Be sure you are logged in to redeem points.

If there’s a $100 airline ticket you want to book it will cost 10,000 points and you’ll get 5,000 points back. That means your points are effectively worth 2 cents each. And unlike with mileage tickets, you will also earn miles for these tickets. AMEX also offers insider fares that can make your points be worth even more than 2 cents each towards paid airfare.

Until 1/25/17 the Business Platinum Card is offering 50K points for spending $5,000 and another 50K points for spending an additional $10,000 within 3 months for first time Business Platinum cardholders.

The Business Platinum card now also earns 1.5 points per dollar on large purchases of $5,000 of more. You can earn up to 1 million points annually with that bonus.

But there’s a much easier way to earn at least 1.5 points per dollar everywhere:

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 4.5 miles 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 if you make 30 transactions per month. It has a $95 annual fee.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere. It’s the only no-fee card that allows you to transfer points into miles.

The points all combine, so thanks to points being worth 2 cents each on the Business Platinum card for airfare, you can earn an effective 9% rebate at US supermarkets, 6% at US gas stations, 5% on Uber, and 3% everywhere else by spending on the Everyday Preferred card and redeeming with the Business Platinum card.

If you also have a Consumer Platinum card you’ll earn an effective 10% rebate at all airfare (5 points per dollar spent) by redeeming them with the Business Platinum card at a value of 2 cents each.

If you have an American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card you can earn an effective 6% rebate on flights, 4% rebate at US gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, and Uber by spending on the Premier Gold card and redeeming with the Business Platinum card.

For example:

A nonstop flight round-trip from JFK to Tel Aviv on Delta is $870 or 86.979 points. If you have a Business Platinum card and select Delta as the airline for your $200 airline fee credit and 2 cents per point on coach tickets you’ll get a rebate of about 43,490 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 43,490 points for this round-trip flight to Israel:

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You can also use cash plus any amount of points that you choose to redeem and you’ll still get a 50% rebate of all the points that you used!

A nonstop flight round-trip from JFK to Tel Aviv in business class on Delta for those dates is $2,998 or 283,179 points thanks to an insider fare discount that drops the mileage requirements from 299,779 to 283,179. If you have a Business Platinum card you get a 50% rebate on all airlines when you book business or first class travel, so no matter which airline you select for the $200 airline fee credit you’ll get a rebate of about 141,590 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 141,590 points for this round-trip flight to Israel, a value of 2.12 cents per points. There’s no need to hunt for saver award travel, this works on any paid fare.

 

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A one-way flight from NYC to Miami on 11/1 is $53 or 5,210 points. If you have a Business Platinum card and select American or United as the airline for your $200 airline fee credit and 2 cents per point on coach tickets you’ll get a rebate of about 2,605 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 2,605 points for this flight to Miami:

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A nonstop one-way flight from LAX to JFK in business class on JetBlue is $549 or 54,810 points. If you have a Business Platinum card you get a 50% rebate on all airlines when you book business or first class travel, so no matter which airline you select for the $200 airline fee credit you’ll get a rebate of about 27,405 points within 6-10 weeks. Effectively you’ll have paid just 27,405 points for this flight. There’s no need to hunt for saver award travel, this works on any paid fare. JetBlue business class offers lie-flat seating and amenity kits. Single mint suites have doors that close for privacy in the sky, so grab single suites in rows 2 and 4 if you’re traveling alone. JetBlue also offers the best business class kosher meals in the contiguous US. Here is the JetBlue Mint kosher menu.

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Annual fee:

Both Platinum cards come with a hefty $450 annual fee. Besides for the new improvements mentioned above, here’s what else they offer to make that fee worthwhile:

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.

Airline fee refunds:

You can register here for $200 in annual fee credits for the airline of your choice. Officially you can only change the airline in January, but I’ve been able to chat and change the airline in other months as well.

If you get a Platinum card now you’ll get $400 of refunds in your first cardmembership year, $200 in 2016 and $200 in 2017.

Officially these are intended to be used 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 gift cards purchased for stores like Amazon via United MileagePlusX.

If you have multiple primary Consume or Business Platinum cards they can each take advantage of this annual benefit.

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.

Additional cardholders:

You can add 3 additional cardholders onto a consumer Platinum card for $175 ($58.33 per additional cardholder per year).

Additional cardholders on a business Platinum card are $300 each, though you can add additional Green cardholders with no annual fee to a business Platinum card.

Additional Platinum cardholders do get full lounge access so they will have access to Delta and Priority Pass lounges for themselves and they will be able to guest others into Airspace and Centurion lounges. They also get the Global Entry credit.

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 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

So, is it all worthwhile?

The lounge and other benefits are great, but the 50% rebate on the Business Platinum card really shines.

However you’ll better off spending on cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express to earn more points per dollar than the Platinum card.  The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is a charge card like the Platinum card but earns more points on airfare, gas, and groceries than the Business Platinum card.

But having those cards and a Business Platinum card seems like a winning strategy. You’ll get lots of benefits and a great redemption rate without having to hunt for saver award space.

Will these new benefits change your mileage earning strategy?

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On Additional Sapphire Reserve Cards Without A Fee And Keeping Sapphire Reserve For Additional Years; Earning $4,250 In Travel Credit

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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.

Related posts (Read these first):
Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!
-What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?
-On The Topic Of Chase 5/24

-Expedite Your 100,000 Point Sapphire Reserve Signup Bonus; Can You Get The Signup Bonus With Only $3,700 In Spending?

Sapphire Reserve mania is everywhere. I still get Bloomberg Businessweek for free thanks to combining a few magazine subscriptions from this deal and there it is on this week’s front cover. When dollar coins from the Mint made the front page of the WSJ we all knew that it would come to an end, so I’m not sure how I feel about the cover story…

At any rate, I’d like to tackle a couple of common questions with the Sapphire Reserve.

People often ask me about the $75 additional cardholder fee. And it’s true, this is indeed a disadvantage compared to Sapphire Preferred which has free additional cardholders.

Both myself and my wife signed up for our own Sapphire Reserve cards, so we have no need for an additional user card. It was a no-brainer for both of us to signup. In our first cardmebership year (August 2016-2017) we’ll pay $900 in annual fees, but we’ll get a total of 200,000 bonus points that are worth at least $3,000 of travel credit (though likely much more than that by transferring those points into miles). Additionally we’ll get $1,200 in automatic travel refunds for airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, parking, and more. You can even buy airline or hotel gift cards or just prepay your E-ZPass account to trigger the credit. The $1,200 is made up of $300 in credits on each of cards in 2016 and then another $300 of credits on each card in 2017.

Chase even awards 900 points for that $300 in spending despite it being refunded. That’s another 3,600 in bonus points on free spending between our 2 cards, good for at least $54 in free flights.

Between our 2 cards that’s a minimum of $4,250 in travel credit in our first cardmembership year. That’s well worth paying $900 in annual fees. And that’s not even counting the triple points on travel and dining, the Priority Pass lounge membership, the 5 year Global Entry membership, and the ability to redeem all Chase points for 1.5 cents towards travel, including on cards like Freedom Unlimited where you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere (effective 2.25% minimum rebate everywhere) or Freedom/Ink cards that can earn 5 points per dollar (effective 7.5% minimum rebate in select categories).

The reason that Sapphire Reserve has a $75 additional cardholder fee is to cover the primary Priority Pass membership that each additional cardholder receives. With Chase’s Priority Pass membership you can bring unlimited guests with you into the lounge for free.

If your additional cardholder travels with you then it’s not worth paying the $75 as they can enter as your guest. But if they travel by themselves it can make sense to pay the $75.

Previously 2 Chase online SM reps and a phone rep told me that additional cardholders would also qualify for Global Entry credits, but it turns out that is not the case.

If you just need an extra Sapphire Reserve card for travel and dining spending you can get a duplicate card by just calling Chase and asking for an extra metal or plastic version of the card.

Or if you still have the old Chase.com interface you can request a replacement card online. I have 2 Chase logins, 1 only has my personal accounts and has been upgraded to the new interface. The other login has both my personal and business accounts and still uses the old interface. After logging in to an account with the old interface just click on “Customer Center” and then “Card replacement:”

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I haven’t been able to find that option in the new Chase.com interface.

I now have 2 identical Sapphire Reserve cards in my name that both work, no $75 fee required. Even if a store asks for ID, Visa does not allow a store to refuse to swipe your credit card if you refuse to show it…

Another common question is whether it’s worth keeping the Sapphire Reserve for subsequent years.

Chase has done a good job making a strong value proposition to keep the card despite its $450 annual fee.

My 2nd cardmembership year will run from August 2017-2018. In 2018 I’ll get another $300 in travel credits. Chase also awards 900 points for that $300 in spending, so that’s $313.50 of annual credit.

The credit will apply in every subsequent cardmembership year and it makes the effective annual fee just $136.50 per year. That’s only $41.50 per year more than Sapphire Preferred and is a bargain considering what you get for that.

If you spend $233 per month on travel and dining you’ll already pay for that difference in the annual fee thanks to the 3 points per dollar awarded with Sapphire Reserve compared to 2 points per dollar with Sapphire Preferred. That level of spending means an extra 2,800 annual points that are worth at least $42 thanks to the minimum 1.5 cents per point travel redemption value if you have a Sapphire Reserve card.

Of course the additional benefits are much more than just the extra point per dollar. You also get the lounge membership with unlimited guesting, the Global Entry credit every 4 years, and the ability to use all of your Chase points for 1.5 cents each towards travel.

Other Sapphire Reserve benefits include roadside assistance, free trip cancellation insurance, primary CDW insurance, rental car discounts, price protection, return protection, purchase protection, warranty protection, lost luggage Protection, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, travel accident insurance, and Visa Infinite Concierge. You can read more about those here.

As always you can transfer points to someone else in your household, so if one person in the household uses cards like Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink to earn between 1.5-5 points per dollar everywhere they can transfer those points to the another person in the household who has a Sapphire Reserve to transfer into miles or use at a value of 1.5 cents each. And you even can get extra Sapphire Reserve cards to earn 3 points per dollar for travel and dining purchases without paying the $75 annual fee as shown above.

I’m just hoping that these levels of benefits will be sustainable despite the mainstream media coverage…

Have you signed up for a Sapphire Reserve yet?

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Expedite Your 100,000 Point Sapphire Reserve Signup Bonus; Can You Get The Signup Bonus With Only $3,700 In Spending?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

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.

Related posts:
Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!
-What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?
-On The Topic Of Chase 5/24


Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve card 4 weeks ago and it’s been a wildly successful card launch. Within a week they ran out of the metal that the cards were supposed to be made out of and started sending out temporary plastic cards to new signups.

The card offers 100,000 points for spending $4,000 as well as $300 in automatic travel refunds every calendar year. 100,000 points is worth a minimum of $1,500 towards travel with this card.

The first year’s annual fee is $450, but the actual out of pocket fee for the first year is negative $150 due to $300 of refunds in 2016 and $300 of refunds in 2017. Purchases that can be refunded include any charges for airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, or transportation which includes trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, and parking. Every time you charge one of those items to your card you’ll get an automatic credit until you’ve used $300 in credits that calendar year.

A common question has been whether you will get the signup bonus if you spend $4,000 but it falls to just $3,700 in charges due to the automatic travel refunds. People were also wondering if you will receive the 3 points per dollar on travel spending that is refunded.

I just received my 100,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 including $300 of travel spending and can confirm that you will get the bonus even if you spend falls to $3,700 after the $300 is refunded. You also will earn 900 points from the $300 of travel spending even though Chase refunds it. That’s another $13.50 of free travel just for using the $300 annual free travel benefit!

Chase awards the 100,000 points either on the statement on which you complete the spending or on the following statement if you complete the spending requirement too close to the statement close date.

You can check if your next statement will include the 100,000 bonus by going to the Sapphire Reserve’s Ultimate Rewards page:

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I was also able to get those points added to my account within a few days by just changing my bill’s due date. To do that from the old Chase.com interface click on “See more information” under the Sapphire Reserve and then “Change bill due date.” To do that from the new Chase.com interface click on “things you can do,” then “Update settings and preferences” and then “Payment due date.” Or you can just call the number on the back of your card.

I got a statement on September 3rd for my Sapphire Reserve with a bill due date of the 28th of the month. On 9/16 I noticed that my 100,000 points were pending. I changed my due date to the 16th of the month and the bill printed yesterday along with the 100,000 points:

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-I was able to help a friend apply for and get approved for a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Plus via 3BM for over 200K signup points!

-If you haven’t yet applied for Sapphire Reserve you should read the post on 5/24. It contains important information about what you should do about additional user cards that may hinder an approval.

Dozens of DDF’ers have been able to get approved after becoming Chase Private Clients by requesting that status from a Chase banker.

Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar on:
-Airfare, including tickets bought from travel agents and online agencies.
-Timeshares (just in case you’re a real sucker)
-Car rentals.
-Hotels, Airbnb, and campgrounds.
-Restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, and lounges.
-Cruises
-Transportation including trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, and parking.

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.

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.

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. You can transfer points from any Chase card to Sapphire Reserve to make them more valuable.
Previously it’s always been worth transferring Chase points into real airline miles and hotel points.
But at about 1.5 cents per dollar it can start making sense to consider redeeming points directly for paid travel without transferring them into miles. That’s especially true as those fares, as opposed to traditional mileage tickets, also earn additional miles. You can still do much better with miles when hunting for last minute tickets or for premium class tickets, but for regular coach tickets this will be hard to beat.

The ability to choose between 1.5 cents per dollar or mileage transfers make Sapphire Reserve an incredibly versatile credit card.

The 1.5 cents per dollar redemption option also means the travel and dining categories on this card earn at least 4.5% per dollar.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Having the Sapphire Reserve makes everyday spending on that card worth at least 2.25%. I downgraded my old Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited and use it for everyday purchases.

Chase Freedom and Ink cards also have 5 point category bonuses and those will be worth at least 7.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

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

-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.
-Roadside Assistance: Coverage for up to 4 incidents per year.

-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, have very flexible routing rules, 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 a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, 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 award space you can fly to Hawaii 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 and often has sales for discounted awards to London.
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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, 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.

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2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Update: This offer ends today!


Originally posted on 7/25:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.
-Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood Spend Bonus
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition
Starwood’s 35th Transfer Partner Increases The Value Of Your Starpoints; Fly Roundtrip JFK-Los Angeles For Less Than 10K Or JFK-Europe For Less Than 20K SPG!


2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card

If you add a free additional user to your Starwood account via the link above by 9/19 you will get 2,500 bonus Starpoints. There is a limit of 1 bonus per primary Starwood account.

This deal was posted to the DansDeals Forums on Friday and members that added a card on that day are already reporting that the bonus points are in their account despite the terms saying that it will take 8-12 weeks!

Additional AMEX cards qualify for AMEX Offers and promotions like Small Business Saturday. You can have up to 99 additional users on a primary card account, but the bonus is only for adding 1 card.

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 all 3 credit bureaus.

You can read more about the SPG cards in this post.

HT: Baruch, via DDF

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Limited Time Offer: 50K Points For Spending $3,000 On The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard!

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Related: You can also apply for other Barclay cards the same day with 1 credit pull, such as the JetBlue World Mastercard, the JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard, or the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard. You can read more about the JetBlue cards here.


Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard 50K Limited Time Offer

For a limited time the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is offering a 50K signup bonus for spending $3,000 in 3 months. That’s 25% higher than the previous 40K bonus.

The $89 annual fee is waived for the first year and people have reported being able to get it waived for subsequent years as well.

You can receive the bonus even if you have received it in the past.

The card gives 2 “miles” for every dollar you spend on anything plus a 5% refund when you redeem miles so that you effectively earn 2.11 “miles” per dollar spent.  The 5% refund means that the 50,000 points signup bonus is really more valuable as you’ll get 2,500 of those points back after you redeem the points for a cash refund.  Of course when you redeem those points you’ll also get a refund, etc. The 5% refund posts within 1-2 weeks of making a redemption.

Miles is a misnomer, really they just mean cents with each mile being worth 1 cent. The way it works is you book travel via any booking site and then you can just go online to your Barclays account and request that the purchase be refunded using your points. You can refund any purchase that is categorized as “Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies.”

There are no foreign transaction fees.

This card will only require 1 hard pull as opposed to cards from Capital One which cost 3 hard pulls. Best of all Barclay will typically pull from your Transunion credit report.  Most banks pull from Experian though this does vary by state.  If you are NJ or NY based you shouldn’t have almost any credit pulls on your Transunion report if you don’t have Barclays bank cards. If you are denied you can call reconsideration at 866-408-4064.

If you want to convert your points into cash you could just book a refundable ticket like a Southwest Anytime airfare, select to redeem points to give you a check equal to that purchase, and then just refund the Southwest ticket.  All of your points can be redeemed for cash back that way.

After spending $3,000 on a new card you’ll have 56,000 points. If you then spend $560 on a plane ticket you can redeem points to have the full purchase price refunded and you’ll also get back 2,800 points.

Personally I prefer real airline miles over bank miles due to their versatility. Having a combination of Freedom Unlimited plus Sapphire Reserve gives you the ability to choose between 2.25%-4.5% cash back everywhere or 1.5-3 real airline miles per dollar spend everywhere. However the Arrival Plus card has no annual fee the first year and a much lower annual fee than that combo in subsequent years and it now has a lucrative signup bonus that makes it well worth the signup.

You can also apply for other Barclay cards the same day with 1 credit pull, such as the JetBlue World Mastercard, the JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard, or the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard.

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Limited Time Offer: 50,000 Point Signup Bonus On The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Signup bonus:
For a limited time only you can earn 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. The normal bonus is 25K. The end date for this promotion is not yet known.

You can get this signup bonus if you haven’t had a business gold charge card in the past.

Annual fee:
The $175 annual fee is 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.

AMEX business cards offer a 5% automatic statement credit in addition to points earned for purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 1-800-Flowers.

AMEX charge cards also offer 2 points per dollar on Uber.

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.

American Express Benefits:
-American Express offers excellent online dispute resolution.
-With return protection you can return items up to $300 to AMEX for 90 days if the merchant won’t accept the return due to an item being final sale or the return policy being shorter than 90 days. Return protection will also refund any restocking fees that a merchant charges. Typically you won’t have to send the item back, but if you do AMEX will give you a prepaid return label for it.
-With purchase protection your items are covered if they break or are stolen within 90 days.
-With extended warranty you will have double the manufacturers warranty, up to one additional year, for free. Plus the AMEX warranty year is incredible as they will refund your purchase price if you have problems with your item!

Membership Rewards points transfer to:
Transfers are at 1K:1K ratios or are otherwise listed.
Airlines:
Aeromexico (Skyteam)
Air Canada (Star Alliance)
Alitalia (Skyteam)
ANA (Star Alliance)
Asia Miles, Cathay Pacific (OneWorld)
Avios, British Airways and Iberia (OneWorld, (1K MR:800 BA ratio, currently 1K:1.2K ratio through 10/10)
Delta (Skyteam)
El Al (1,000 MR:20 El Al ratio)
Emirates
Etihad
Flying Blue, Air France/KLM (Skyteam)
Hawaiian
Jetblue (250 MR:200 Jetblue ratio)
Singapore (Star Alliance)
Virgin America (200 MR:100 Virgin ratio, currently 200:125 ratio through 10/10)
Virgin Atlantic

Hotels:
Choice
Hilton: (1,000 MR:1,500 Hilton ratio)
Starwood: (1,000 MR:333 Starwood ratio)

Other programs:
Plenti (1K:1.5K ratio through 12/31)


You can apply for both consumer and business American Express cards on the same day with just 1 credit pull. Other cards from American Express include:

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. 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.)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express ($100 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months. 3% cash back on groceries, 2% cash back on gas and department stores, no annual fee.)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express ($150 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months. 6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas and department stores, $95 annual fee or $75 annual fee if you apply by 8/3/16.)

Business cards:

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 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.)

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. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express ($250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months. 5% cash back at office supply stores and telecom. 3% cash back on your choice of Airfare, Hotels, Car rentals, Computer hardware/software/cloud computing, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, or shipping. 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.)

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Final Day To Register For Chase Freedom Q3 Spending, Q4 Registration Begins Tomorrow

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

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.


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

You must register for Q3 bonus spending at restaurants and wholesale clubs by today and complete spending by September 30th.

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.

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

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Chase Quietly Removes 3 Dining Bonus Categories

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

I was surprised when I noticed that I didn’t get triple points on my Chase Sapphire Reserve for a recent dinner at Chef Dave’s Catering in Cleveland. Chef Dave’s runs upscale restaurant nights several nights per month and I had been used to getting double points on my old Sapphire Preferred card. Did that card have an advantage over Sapphire Reserve?

I sent Chase a secure message and first they responded with this nonsense,

“Thank you for contacting Chase to inquire about the reward points on your account.
Let me share that the rewards adjustment on your Sapphire Reserve card you requested cannot be made because the merchant is not in an eligible category.

Visa and MasterCard systems assign a category code to each merchant, based on the kinds of products and services they sell. Sometimes the system places merchants in a generalized category, like “superstores” instead of “grocery stores” or “gas stations.”
Since the merchant in question did not assigned an appropriate category for your purchase, your purchase did not qualify for this reward.”

 

I confirmed that the charge was categorized as catering on Chase’s site. The front-line SM agents aren’t very good, so I replied asking that they have their supervisor read my original question and get back to me.

A senior agent then replied,

“Thank you for contacting Chase about rewards points earned on your Chase Sapphire Reserve account.
I have researched the account and determined that the charge of $147.50 from Chef Dave’s Catering bills as “Caterers”.

I would like to explain that as of 8/30/2016 transactions billed as Bakeries, Caterers, & Dairy product stores will no longer qualify as accelerated rewards earnings. This is for all Chase products to remain fair and consistent.

I have added 443 points to your rewards balance for this purchase. These points are available for immediate use and will appear on the next billing statement for review.

Please keep in mind that going forward, transactions billed as Caterers will only qualify to earn 1 reward per $1 spent.”

 

Bummer. I’m quite surprised that they didn’t send out a notice about this, though because of that if you do have any charges in those categories you should be able to send a secure message or call to get triple points for it.

For those keeping score at home, triple point categories for Sapphire Reserve now include:
Dining:
Restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, and bars.
Travel (Valid for $300 in annual automatic refunds and triple points):
-Airfare, including tickets bought from travel agents and online agencies.
-Car rentals.
-Hotels, Airbnb, and campgrounds.
-Timeshares (just in case you’re a real sucker)
-Cruises
-Transportation including trains, buses, subways, taxis, Uber, Lyft, Gett, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, and parking.

 

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On The Topic Of Chase 5/24

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

In May 2015 Chase started making it more difficult to get approved for Freedom or Sapphire cards if you have been approved for 5 credit cards in the past 24 months. It was dubbed the “5/24 rule.”

In May 2016 “5/24” started applying to more cards, including Ink and United, though others like British Airways, Hyatt, and IHG aren’t affected.

2 weeks ago Chase won the internets with the launch of the incredible Sapphire Reserve card. The card was so wildly popular that they ran out of metal cards and started sending out plastic cards temporarily.

This past weekend this language appeared on the Sapphire Reserve application page. It was the first time Chase has ever acknowledged the 5/24 “rule”:

CSR

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then suddenly the application page was taken down for several hours and when it returned the “5/24” language was gone.

I’m not surprised that the language was removed.

For starters, it made it sound that there was a 5/24 “rule.” In fact it’s more of a guideline. Thousands of people that were above 5/24 have indeed been approved for the card. Then again, thousands of people were also rejected due to 5/24.

5/24 itself is misunderstood by many. It has nothing to do with how many hard pulls you have for card applications. It only counts the number of credit cards (on the single report that they pull) that have been opened within the past 24 months. The report that Chase pulls can vary from card to card and state to state.

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

You’ll notice that business cards from AMEX, Chase, and Citi don’t show up on your report. Spending on these cards don’t affect your credit as they’re not on your report. They also don’t affect 5/24. Business cards from Barclays, Capital One, and Discover do show up on your report and will affect 5/24.

Store cards that only work at that store reportedly don’t count for 5/24, though if they can be used everywhere it would count towards 5/24.

Authorized user cards do show up on your report and can cause the system or a reconsideration rep to deny you for a card as they do count towards 5/24 by default.

The key with authorized user cards is that reconsideration reps want to know if you are liable for payment on authorized user cards. They can tell which cards are primary and which are authorized user cards. Some people have answered that they share responsibility for payment and have been denied due to 5/24, while others have answered that they are not responsible and have been approved despite being over 5/24 with authorized user cards.

For example, DDF member ae123 indicated that he and his wife pay the bill for his authorized user card, so the reconsideration rep noted in his file that the authorized user card was his responsibility and counted for 5/24. He tried to HUCA, but every rep told him that the previous rep noted that he was responsible for the authorized user card.

In the end he closed the authorized user card and was approved. The reconsideration rep even noted his account that he would be approved for the Sapphire Reserve after closing that authorized user card and calling back in.

You should be able to ask for a reconsideration manager and explain that you aren’t responsible for payment on your authorized user cards and have them excluded from 5/24.

Some reconsideration reps will consider authorized user cards part of 5/24 if they are used frequently. If you let them know that you don’t spend on them then you’ll have better odds of them not counting towards 5/24.

If you run into a brick wall you can call the bank to have your authorized user cards closed and then call Experian, Equifax, and Transunion to have the cards removed from your report.

Having more than $10,000 credit on other cards than can be shifted to a new card can help get approved for Sapphire Reserve.

If you have Chase Private Client (CPC) then you can get approved even if you are over 5/24. Officially CPC is intended for people with $250K with Chase, but a banker can give anyone Private Client status, especially if you promise to move funds from another bank to Chase. You can also share CPC status with family members.

Reconsideration is generally willing to overlook 5/24 for CPC. Private Client bankers can also call reconsideration to push for an approval.

People have also had luck by going into a branch to check if they are pre-approved for card offers despite being over 5/24.

Then again there have been CPC and/or who have been “pre-approved” in the bank who have been denied. And there are regular people over 5/24 who have been approved. The only sure rule here is that there is no hard and fast rule, everything else is YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

Share your 5/24 experience in the comments!

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What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?

Monday, August 29th, 2016

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.


Related posts (Read these first!):
Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!
-Chase Sapphire Reserve Additional User Benefits And Lounge Guesting Policy Are Awesome, Plus Application And Spending Strategies!


Chase took the mileage world by storm last week with the launch of the Sapphire Reserve card.

With an unprecedented 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points signup bonus, $300 in automatic annual credits and triple points at an extremely broad swath of travel categories, a lounge membership that allows for unlimited free guests, free Global Entry/PreCheck, primary car rental insurance for every country in the world, no foreign transaction fees, and a redemption system that allows all Chase points to be used as real airline/hotel miles or as a travel credit with a generous 50% bonus, the Sapphire Reserve really can be called the ultimate travel credit card.

Of course many people previously had a $95/year Sapphire Preferred card. That card becomes redundant once you have a Sapphire Reserve card. Sapphire Reserve costs an extra $55/year after the $300 annual travel credit, but the benefits are worth far more than that.

Many people have asked if they should be cancelling their Sapphire Preferred card.

A better idea is to downgrade the card to a no annual fee Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card. You can downgrade it once you have had it for 12 months. You don’t get a signup bonus when you upgrade or downgrade a card, but you’re better off applying for cards that have higher signup bonuses anyway.

-With Freedom Unlimited you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. You can then transfer points earned on that card to Sapphire Reserve in order to transfer those points into real airline/hotel miles or to use with Sapphire Reserve’s 50% bonus for redeeming points for travel. In fact all of your everyday purchases should be made on Freedom Unlimited and only dining/travel purchases or purchases made outside of the USA should be made on Sapphire Reserve. By doing that you’ll earn at least 2.25% off everyday purchases and at least 4.5% off dining/travel purchases.

You can pay your taxes for a 1.87% fee and still come out ahead thanks to the guaranteed minimum value of 2.25% due to earning 1.5 points per dollar on Freedom Unlimited multiplied by the minimum travel redemption value of 1.5 cents per point for Sapphire Reserve cardholders.

-With Freedom you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. Maxing out those $6,000 in category bonuses will net 30,000 points per year. This year those categories included:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and wholesale clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sams Club.
Q3: Restaurants and wholesale clubs.
Q4: Wholesale clubs, Holiday shopping (Likely Amazon.com) and more to be announced.

In July there was even a bonus 10 points per dollar category for Freedom and Freedom Unlimited.

Last year there was also a “Q5” bonus that earned 10 points per dollar on Freedom.

If you have multiple Freedom cards you can earn the 5x bonus for spending $1,500 per quarter on each of them.

Which Freedom card should you downgrade to?

It really depends on how much you spend on everyday purchases and how likely you are to maximize the Freedom’s rotating category spending.

The true advantage of Freedom over Freedom Unlimited is the extra 3.5 points per dollar on those rotating categories. In other words spending $6,000 on Freedom bonus categories per year would net 30K points on Freedom versus 9K points on Freedom Unlimited or a potential 21K bonus points. You would have to spend more than $42,000 per year for Freedom Unlimited to come out ahead of Freedom.

However not everyone will max out their Freedom bonus category spending, which makes the math much cloudier. Limited time 10 points per dollar bonuses also cloud the math. Tax payments that will make sense on Freedom Unlimited won’t make sense on Freedom.

I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited. That wasn’t a major decision for me though as I already have 3 Freedom cards.

Have you been approved for Sapphire Reserve? What will you do with your Sapphire Preferred card?

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Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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 or view offers via the CreditCards.com banners on the side of this site.


Update: My Sapphire Reserve came in the mail today and it’s a great looking card with even better benefits, have you received yours yet?

Originally posted on 08/22:


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


Signup Bonus:

For a limited time only, Chase is offering an unprecedented 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4K on the brand new Sapphire Reserve card within 3 months. You can use those points for $1,500 in travel or you can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points.

Note that if you have opened up 5 or more cards in the past 2 years it can be difficult to get approved for most cards from Chase unless you have a banking relationship like Chase Private Client. If you have opened additional user cards in the past 2 years you can request from the bank or credit bureaus to have those removed from your credit report so that it doesn’t negatively impact your ability to get approved for a new credit card.

Annual fee:

The card has a $450 annual fee which is not waived for the first year. The effective annual fee though is just a third of that thanks to the travel credit.

Travel credit:

The Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 automatic travel credit to offset the annual fee. The first $300 of any travel charged to your card each calendar year will be refunded. That includes any charges for airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, or transportation which includes trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, and parking.

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 2016 and a $300 credit in 2017. That’s far more generous than other travel refunds that only officially refund things like airline change and baggage fees.

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

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:
-Airfare, including tickets bought from travel agents and online agencies.
-Timeshares (just in case you’re a real sucker)
-Car rentals.
-Hotels, Airbnb, and campgrounds.
-Restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, and cafes.
-Catering
-Cruises
-Transportation including trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, and parking.

That’s 50% more points than the Sapphire Preferred offers in these categories.

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.

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.

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.
Previously it’s always been worth transferring Chase points into real airline miles and hotel points.
But at about 1.5 cents per dollar it can start making sense to consider redeeming points directly for paid travel without transferring them into miles. That’s especially true as those fares, as opposed to traditional mileage tickets, also earn additional miles. You can still do much better with miles when hunting for last minute tickets or for premium class tickets, but for regular coach tickets this will be hard to beat.

The ability to choose between 1.5 cents per dollar or mileage transfers make Sapphire Reserve an incredibly versatile credit card.

The 1.5 cents per dollar redemption option also means the travel and dining categories on this card earn at least 4.5% per dollar.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Having the Sapphire Reserve makes everyday spending on that card worth at least 2.25%.

Chase Freedom and Ink cards also have 5 point category bonuses and those will be worth at least 7.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

As a Visa Infinite card, it also comes with some benefits like discounts on car rentals (including Silvercar), though apparently the card won’t have the Visa Infinite benefit of $100 off companion airfare.

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!

-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.
-Roadside Assistance: Coverage for up to 4 incidents per year.

-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, have very flexible routing rules, 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 a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards, 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 you can find Delta saver availability you can fly to Hawaii round-trip for just 25,000 miles in coach or 45,000 miles in business.
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 funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, 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? Hit the comments!

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1 More Day For Citi Applications Under The Old Rules?

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Earlier this month Citi updated their applications to say that if you have opened or closed a card within a brand family (like American consumer cards, Hilton cards, or ThankYou cards) that you can’t get a bonus on another card within that family for 24 months.

DoC notes that Citi’s media team confirmed that these new rules actually go into place effective Sunday, 8/28, so you can still apply today under the old rules.

Additionally the Citi Prestige card is ending several benefits on 7/23/17, but if you apply by 8/30 you can still get AA club access until 7/23/17. Applications made afterward won’t get club access.

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.

What cards should you get before Sunday?

The Hilton cards are part of one card family, so effective Sunday you won’t be able to get a bonus for either if you have either opened a new Hilton card or closed a Hilton card within 24 months:

-The Citi Hilton HHonors card is offering 75K Hilton points for spending $2K in 3 months for a limited time only.  There’s no annual fee. You’ll also get Silver elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder. If you spend $20K/year you’ll get Gold status.

There’s no limited time offer for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, but it’s a great card as it which gives 2 free nights at any Hilton in the world (including the excellent Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem). It also gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast, including the most over-the-top breakfast I’ve had in my life at the Waldorf Jerusalem.  If you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status, which confirmed room upgrades and space available suite upgrade at hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. This card has a $95 annual fee.


The American consumer cards are part of one card family, so effective Sunday you won’t be able to get a bonus for either if you have either opened a new AA consumer card or closed a AA consumer card within 24 months:

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.

-The Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard is offering 60K AA miles for spending $5K in 3 months for a limited time only.

Cardholders can save up to 7.5K off round-trip awards to rotating destinations. With the card, discounted short-haul awards are just 6.5K miles one-way. After spending $5,000 on the card you’ll have 65K miles, or enough for up to 10 short-haul flights.

The card carries a whopping $450 annual fee, though it’s refundable if you close it within 37 days of that being billed. Sometimes the fee is billed on the first statement, sometimes its on the second statement.

Cardholders receive a full Admirals Club membership which allows you to bring your entire immediate family or 2 guests into the lounge. Up to 10 additional cardholders are free and they can also can access AA lounges and bring in their own guests or families for free as well. Membership alone is normally $550/year and this is the only card that gives a full Admirals Club membership that works for access even when you’re not flying on American (The Citi Prestige card doesn’t give access if you’re not flying American and Prestige cardholders will lose access to AA clubs effective 7/23/17).

Admirals Club members can also access partner lounges from Alaska, Qantas, and other airlines.

There are no foreign transaction fees with the card. You and 8 companions get a free bag when flying on American as well as priority checkin, security, and boarding. You’ll also get 25% off in-flight food, beverages, and headsets.

If you spend $40K on the card in a calendar year you’ll get 10,000 bonus elite qualifying miles.

The card also offers free Global Entry or Pre-Check membership, which are amazing time savers for even infrequent flyers.


The Citi ThankYou cards are part of one card family, so effective Sunday you won’t be able to get a bonus for either if you have either opened a new ThankYou card or closed a ThankYou card within 24 months.

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.

-The Citi Prestige card offers 40K ThankYou points for spending $4,000 in 3 months.  The points are transferable to several airlines and hotels or 40K points can be used for a $400 gift card, $532 of airline purchases at a value of 1.33 cents per point (this will be lowered to 1.25 cents per point or $500 on 7/23/17), or $640 of travel on American (this will be lowered to 1.25 cents per point or $500 on 7/23/17).

The Prestige card offers 3 points per dollar on airfare, hotels, and travel agencies, and double points on dining and entertainment.

There is a $450 annual fee. However the Prestige card comes packed with awesome benefits:

1. $250 annual air travel credit. No need to pick an airline. Just a straight credit for up to $250 of whatever you spend from any airline including tickets, bag fees, seat fees, etc. In your first cardmembership year you can get $250 back in 2016 and $250 back in 2017, which more than covers the annual fee.

2. Free American Admirals Club lounge access for you and your family or you and 2 guests when flying American. This applies for cards that are applied for by 8/30. AA club access is ending for all cardholders on 7/23/17.

3. Priority Pass lounge membership with free guest access for your family or 2 guests when flying any airline. Additional Prestige cardmembers are just $50 and they also get their own Priority Club lounge membership with free guest privileges. Click here to search for lounges in airports across the world.

4. Global Entry or Pre-Check reimbursement. A 5 year Global Entry membership is normally $100 but will be free when paid with the Prestige card. Skip the lines when returning to the US and get Pre-Check included as well. Pre-Check allows you to keep your shoes and jacket on, skip the nude-o-scope, and leave your laptop in the bag.  It makes traveling a whole lot easier.

5. A 4th night free on all paid hotel stays. When you make a hotel reservation of 4 or more nights you’ll get the 4th night of the reservation rebated back to your for free. The rates will be the same as on the hotel website and the rates do qualify for hotel elite status and points. Note that the 4th night of the stay will be the rebated night. In some cases the 4th night may cost significantly more or less than the rest of the nights, so always check to see the actual rate for each night. There is no limit to how many times you can take advantage of this offer. You need to use your Prestige card, but you get triple points for hotel spending, so that’s not a bad thing. Effective 7/23/17 the average nightly rate excluding taxes will be refunded on 4+ night stays.

6. 3 free rounds of golf per calendar year. You can search for courses here and make reservations here. That’s 6 free rounds of golf in your first cardmembership year. This benefit will end 7/23/17.

Getting more than one Citi card and repeat bonuses:

Citibank doesn’t generally allow 2BMs anymore, though some people have reported success. You can apply for one card, wait 8 days, and then apply for another Citi card. You would have to wait 60 days from the date of your first card application before you can apply for a 3rd Citi card and 60 days from the date of your second card application before you can apply for a 4th Citi card.

Most Citi card applications now require an 24 month waiting period from when you last had that exact card before you can get the signup bonus again.

Citi phone reconsideration (888-201-4523) can be tough if denied, but many people (myself included) have had great luck reconsidering via snail mail! Just write a short letter explaining why you want the card to: Mr. Ken Stork, Office of the President, PO Box 6000, Sioux Falls, SD 57117

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Additional User Benefits And Lounge Guesting Policy Are Awesome!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

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.


I wrote about the incredible Chase Sapphire Reserve on Monday and I’ve answered hundreds of questions in that post, so if you have questions I’d recommend reading through the comments there first.

The card offers 100,000 points for spending $4,000 as well as $300 in automatic cash back for the first $300 that you spend each calendar year on triple point categories like airfare, car rentals, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, cruises, or transportation which includes trains, buses, subways, Uber, Lyft, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, E-ZPass, and parking. It also gives you the option to transfer your points to miles or use your points at a value of 1.5 cents per point, which means in your first cardmembership year you’ll get $2,100 in travel credit.

-I confirmed over the phone and via secure message that the Priority Pass Select lounge membership that comes with this card includes unlimited free guests that can accompany the member into the lounge! That includes access to over 900 clubs worldwide including 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.

-Additional users cost $75/year and they also get their own Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests.

-I confirmed over the phone and via secure message that each additional user also gets their own $100 Global Entry credit every 4 years.

-There are numerous posters in the comments here and on DDF who have been approved for this card despite opening more than 5 cards in the past 24 months but there are also many who have been denied. Many were able to call reconsideration and move over credit lines for the minimum $10,000 line required for this card, while many others have hit brick walls. Some people had luck checking in-branch to see if they were pre-approved while others were denied even when pre-approved. As always, YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

-If you have authorized user cards on your report, some reps will allow you to be reconsidered without counting them as part of the 5 cards, just say that you are not financially responsible for the card. You can always HUCA if a rep insists on counting those or you can work with the bank or credit bureaus to have them removed from your report.

-People with Chase Private Client (CPC) status have reported having much better luck with approvals via calling Chase and by having their banker call for them. Officially CPC is for people with $250K in assets with Chase, however if you have a relationship with a banker they can give you CPC status regardless of the assets that you keep with Chase. If you have a family member with CPC they can also make your account have CPC status. If you share an account or a safety deposit box with a CPC member you’ll also get CPC status.

-I recently got CPC from a banker and was able to get approved via 3BM for a Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, and United card, bringing my current total primary Chase cards to 13. I only had to shift my credit lines around to get approvals for those cards.

-With my Sapphire Preferred card rendered redundant by the superior Sapphire Reserve, I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred card to Freedom Unlimited. That means I’ll get 1.5 points per dollar on regular spending with my Freedom Unlimited card, 2 points per dollar on gas with my Ink Plus card, 3 points per dollar on travel and dining spend with my Sapphire Reserve card, 5 points per dollar on rotating categories with my Freedom card, 5 points per dollar on Cell Phones/Internet with my Ink Plus card, and 5 points per dollar on office supplies and gift cards with my Ink Plus card. I’ll still use AMEX for groceries, possibly for gas (though right now I’m using Costco Cash bought on Freedom for 5 points per dollar), and for any items that might need warranty or return protection.

-I was able to transfer points from Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Cash, Ink Plus, and Ink Bold cards to Sapphire Reserve and immediately my points were able to be used for 1.5 cents each towards travel, or 1 cent each as cash back (please don’t try this at home!), or transferable to miles.

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Pay Your Rent With A Credit Card Without Fees Via RadPad And Android Pay

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Update 2: RadPad is backing out of their free rent payment through 2016 offer.


Update: I’ve been able to use my United Club card with RadPad as it was grandfathered in with Google Wallet, but others haven’t been able to add their Chase cards to Android Pay. However Android Pay will support Chase cards effective September 7th.

That means you’ll be able to pay your rent to meet the spend threshold for Sapphire Reserve without fees!

HT: Aerial Dag, via DDF and Android Police.


Originally posted on 8/9:
Pay Your Rent With A Credit Card Without Fees Via RadPad And Android Pay

Download RadPad for Android and Android Pay and you can pay your rent with a credit card without paying any fees for the rest of 2016.

You’ll need to setup Android Pay with your credit card of choice before trying to pay your rent in the RadPad app. Then just enter your rent, type in your landlord’s address, and select Android Pay as your method of payment. At the final payment page you should only see your rent and not the normal 3.49% fee. RadPad will mail your landlord a check.

RadPad has been known to verify that they’re sending money to a real landlord and they may require your rental agreement.

HT: doctorofcredit, via DDF

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DDFB Question Of The Day: Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck?

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

In 2008 the DansDeals Forums (DDF) was launched for people to be able to discuss deals, miles, and destinations at length and the DansDeals Facebook group (DDFB) was founded to provide email alerts about hot deals. Facebook took away the ability to send out email alerts, so Twitter took over that feature and the Facebook group has remained as an alternate, far messier version of DDF. Eventually I also made a Facebook page for people looking for Facebook notifications of new deals and finally opened an Instagram account where I post some pictures from my travels.

I spend hours every day browsing DDF and DDFB looking for tips and trying to help people out. I’ve occasionally featured questions here that are relevant to a wide audience, and perhaps I should do that more often.

Today this question on DDFB caught my eye,

“Should I get the global entry or the TSA pre? I could either one for free with my platinum AMEX”

TSA PreCheck is the best thing since sliced bread. It makes flying bearable once again and I can’t imagine not having it.

Without a doubt, it’s better than having low-tier elite status on an airline.

After an in-person interview you are assigned a known travel number. You just enter that number into your reservation and PreCheck will appear on your boarding passes when flying on domestic airlines (except for Frontier and Spirit currently).

PreCheck lines are significantly shorter than regular lines. I’ve walked right through security when the regular lines have been over an hour long. Without a doubt I’ve made flights that I would have otherwise missed thanks to PreCheck.

In San Francisco, after watching the Cavs win their first NBA Finals, the PreCheck line seemed significantly longer than the already long regular line. I had never seen that before and was almost tempted to join the regular line with my brother JJ who didn’t have Pre-Check. I stuck with Pre-Check though and finished a full half an hour before he came through security.

But aside from that, PreCheck allows you to keep your shoes, belt, and jacket on. You can keep your laptop in your bag. And you get to go through the old style metal detectors rather than assuming the position for a nude-o-scope.

Adults that have PreCheck can also bring their kids with them even if their kids don’t have PreCheck.

PreCheck costs $85 for a 5 year membership. Many premium credit cards, including the AMEX Platinum Consumer Card, AMEX Platinum Business Card, Citi PrestigeCiti Executive AAdvantage, Chase Ritz Carlton, and the upcoming Chase Sapphire Reserve will refund that fee.

But you shouldn’t use that credit to signup for PreCheck.

Global Entry offers everything that PreCheck offers and it also allows you to skip the lines when you return from abroad.

With Global Entry you don’t need to fill out the blue form when you return to the US, you skip the long line and go right to special Global Entry kiosks where you just scan your passport.

You also get a Global Entry card, though you don’t need that when you fly, it only helps when you drive into the US as it allows you to use the Nexus lane when returning from Canada to the US or Sentri lanes from Mexico to the US.

I still carry the card with me when I fly and it came in handy earlier this month when flying on Cathay Pacific from Vancouver to JFK. That flight has customs and immigration after you land in JFK, but the regular security line in Vancouver airport had a 30 minute wait. There was a no first class line, but there was a Nexus line with no waiting and they accepted our Global Entry cards to use the Nexus line.

Kids of any age are required to have their own Global Entry membership in order to use the kiosks when returning from abroad. However you can still bring kids that don’t have their own memberships with you in the PreCheck security line even if you have a Global Entry membership rather than a PreCheck membership.

Global Entry costs $100 for 5 years and is also refunded by those premium credit cards.

You can even add 3 additional users to your AMEX Platinum Consumer Card for $175 total ($58.33 each) and each of those cards will also get a Global Entry/PreCheck fee refund in addition to full Airspace, Centurion, Delta, and Priority Pass lounge access.

The only advantage to PreCheck over Global Entry is if you are paying for them out of pocket to save $15 over 5 years. But that savins will only be worthwhile if you never leave the country. Aside from that, PreCheck also allows walk-in applications while Global Entry applications must be scheduled in advance.

Finally there’s also Nexus. Nexus allows expedited entry into Canada in addition to full Global Entry and PreCheck privileges.

And get this, despite offering the most benefits of all 3 memberships, it only costs $50 every 5 years!

However for whatever reason, the credit cards don’t officially refund Nexus membership fees.

I originally enrolled in Nexus on my AMEX Platinum card. Of course it didn’t automatically credit the $50, however a chat agent was able to manually refund the $50 fee.

The main caveat of Nexus is that you must apply for it at the Canadian border. I had planned to apply in Detroit or Buffalo, but in the end I wasn’t able to make it up there. I wound up applying for Global Entry for myself, my wife, and our 2 kids as we were able to apply for it locally in Cleveland and those fees were automatically refunded.

It’s the best money I never spent.

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Chase Is About To Launch The Sapphire Reserve Card, Do The Card’s Benefits Outweigh The Fee?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

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.


Chase will soon be launching the Sapphire Reserve card and it’s shaping up to be a very solid card.

1. It will offer a whopping 100,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 within 3 months.

2. It will have a $450 fee, however it offers a $300 automatic travel credit to offset that. The first $300 of of any travel charged to your card each calendar year will be refunded. That includes charges for airfare, car rentals, hotels, or transportation which includes trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking.

As the credit is per calendar year that means you’ll get $600 of travel refunds in your first cardmembership year. That’s far more generous than other travel refunds that only officially refund things like airline change and baggage fees.

If you travel at all, it effectively lowers the annual fee to $150 per year.

3. It offers 3 points per dollar on:
-Airfare, including tickets bought from travel agents and online agencies.
-Timeshares (just in case you’re a real sucker)
-Car rentals.
-Hotels.
-Restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, and cafes.
-Catering
-Transportation including trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking.

That’s 50% more points than the Sapphire Preferred offers in these categories, though the value of this will depend on how much much you spend in these categories per year, whether you have a card like the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card that also offers generous travel and dining spend bonuses, and how you value each currency.

4. It allows you to use all your Chase points for 1.5 cents each per dollar towards travel.
Previously it’s always been worth transferring Chase points into real airline miles and hotel points.
But at about 1.5 cents per dollar it can start making sense to consider redeeming points directly for paid travel without transferring them into miles. That’s especially true as those fares, as opposed to traditional mileage tickets, also earn additional miles. You can still do much better when hunting for last minute tickets or for premium class tickets, but for regular coach tickets this will be hard to beat.

This also means the travel and dining categories earn at least 4.5% per dollar.

The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Having the Sapphire Reserve makes everyday spending on that card worth at least 2.25%.

Freedom and Ink cards also have 5 point category bonuses and those will be worth at least 7.5% if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

5. Priority Pass Select Membership.

You’ll be able to access over 900 clubs worldwide, though it’s not yet known if you’ll be able to bring guests into lounges as well and it’s unknown if the $75 annual fee for additional users will include their own membership.

Unfortunately the lounge selection in the USA isn’t comparable to what the AMEX Platinum offers and it’s too bad that Chase couldn’t leverage some sort of United Club access for Sapphire Reserve cardholders. Of course United would not want this card to sabotage the Chase United Club card, but surely there could have been ways to mitigate that risk by only allowing Sapphire Reserve cardholders access when flying United or by not allowing guest access.

6. Global Entry credit.
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.

And of course it comes with the other benefits of the Sapphire Preferred card like no foreign transaction fees, primary rental car insurance, and other travel and purchase protections.

As a Visa Infinite card, it also comes with some benefits like discounts on car rentals (including Silvercar), though apparently the card won’t have the Visa Infinite benefit of $100 off companion airfare.

For an effective $55 annual premium over the Sapphire Preferred I plan on applying for and keeping the Sapphire Reserve in my wallet. Do you plan on adding it to yours?

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Are We Nearing The End Of The Road? A Brief History Of The Game We Play, Changes To AMEX+Chase+Citi Card Rules

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Update, 8/11: I wrote this “pre-obituary” back in February. Since then the new Chase rules went into effect on most of their cards making it far more difficult to signup for new cards if you don’t have Private Client status.

Tonight DoC shares that Citi cards now have harsh new rules.

From his post on DDF,

“American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles not available if you have had any Citi / AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.”
“Expedia+ Points Bonus Offer is not available if you have had any Expedia+ or Expedia+ Voyager card opened or closed in the past 24 months.”
“Bonus Hilton HHonors points are not available if you have had any Citi®Hilton HHonors™ card opened or closed in the past 24 months.”
“Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige cards opened or closed in the past 24 months.”

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was 3BMing Citi American cards every 30 days racking up lifetime elite status and millions upon millions of miles.

With the new rules you can’t alternate between types of American cards or types of cards that earn ThankYou points for example. Once you’ve opened a card you’ll need to wait 24 months from that point or from when you close it to get another bonus within that brand.

For now business cards and consumer cards are not considered within the same brand, so you can still get a bonus for a Citi American business card despite having opened or closed a consumer card within 24 months.

Like I said, it’s been a fun ride. I still cashed out $5,000 of gift cards today for a quick 25K miles, but the game gets harder with each passing month. Enjoy the rest of it while it lasts!


Originally posted on 2/25/16:

It’s been a really fun run since I started blogging in 2004.

Even before I was blogging I was using eBay to flip beanie babies as a 13 year old at big profits and generated 7 figures of miles for free.

I pioneered credit card application techniques like the 2BM which became 3BM and eventually got as high as a 24BM. I typically kept the specifics limited to the 15 seminars that I ran from 2012-2015. Over the years we’ve been able to travel the world while burning over 10 million miles and banking tens of millions more along with lifetime elite statuses and other perks. Like I said in an interview last month, my problem is finding the time to burn them, not earn them. With G-ds grace, that’s an amazing problem to have and it’s one of things that I was so thankful for.

Alas, other bloggers that attended some of those seminars have taken the stories for their own. They often dumbed them down in scale and strategy, I suppose as a way to not outright break a promise to keep their lips sealed. But in the process they wound up killing many of those methods in random posts of selfishness. There’s such a fine line when deciding what things are safe to write about and what things aren’t and I’ve been guilty of poor judgement at times. But there have been posts that are so misguided that they sting. #CestLaVie

There’s no doubt that this game is on the downward slope of the bell-curve here.

It used to be easy as pie to keep applying for the same cards again and again with bonuses that just kept on growing with each passing year. It used to be really easy to meet the minimum spending requirement (Back in the day most cards only required $1 in spending) and manufacture spend by buying dollar coins or sending your spouse payments with Amazon Payments. Now those things have become increasingly difficult to do so.

Banks have gotten stricter with approvals and have policies that limit how often you can signup for the same card. And while there have always been loopholes for those in the know, those too are winnowing down.

There are still ways to manufacture spend, but in places like NYC it can be tough, especially if your Serve card was shut down.

Am I being a bit dramatic here? After all there are hundreds of avid DDF users who maximize the system, rack up millions of miles, and fly around the world in first class at a greater frequency than I do. If law school student CS91 can go from mileage newbie to racking up and burning 1.7 million miles this year, then surely all hope is not yet lost in this game. But there’s no denying that things are getting more difficult and require more time to master.

This blog has always been an odd convergence of bargain, travel/miles deals and information. It’s funny to see them come together as more and more people move into reselling as a method of manufacturing spend. That’s when people buy bargains on their credit cards and try to sell them on places like Amazon or eBay at a profit or at least break-even in order to earn miles in the process. Perhaps this will be the only way forward to keep manufacturing miles on the cheap? It’s funny to see it come full circle from the old days when I sold beanie babies and generated Cathay Pacific miles via eBay.

The airlines themselves have tried to take the gaming aspect out of the earning side of the equation as they move to reward flying based on revenue instead of flying distance. While in the past you could fly on a mileage run and earn miles worth more than the cost of the flight, those opportunities and few and far between these days. In 2004 we earned 8 tickets valid anywhere in the world on American by flying on a couple flights between NYC and California or Florida.   In 2006 I flew on a dozen AA flights in Texas and for a couple hundred bucks I had elite status and 6 figures of miles. Those days aren’t returning, though there are still ways to earn miles based on distance by crediting flights to partner airlines.

Airline consolidation has made lucrative promotions fewer and farther between as there is less need to compete. In 2005 Airtran ran a promotion to earn miles for Wendy’s cups. I sent in thousands of cups and they bought me tickets on Continental that I’m still using for free flights on United. Those were the golden days. Now airlines and hubs have been eliminated and loyalty is taken for granted.

Same goes for hotels. Not long ago I was earning 13,500 United miles+6,000 Hyatt points+1 free night at any Hyatt in the world for every 2 stays that I made. That was extremely lucrative thanks to $60 Hyatt Place stays that I was able to checkin to over the phone for every day of the promotion. Those Faster Free Nights promotions ran from about 2002 through 2010 but are gone for good. Even Starwood got in on the action and that allowed me to stay at the S. Regis Princeville in Kauai for dirt cheap in 2011. If airline mergers were the big story of the past 15 years, the ongoing hotel mergers will be the big thing. We’ll see what Marriott does with Starwood and what Accor does with my precious Fairmont, but I’m not very hopeful.

Heck, even Starbucks is moving from a “gameable” frequent user rewards based system (use their mobile app to make separate orders for every item you buy to quickly rack up free drinks) to a non-gameable revenue based system in April. The rewards landscape is changing as blogs proliferate and people maximize the benefits farther than the programs intended.

The redemption side has also become tougher with unprecedented devaluations from the likes of Hilton and United. Delta went so far as to delete their award charts and now American is poised to copy United’s devaluation in a month.

The good news from that end is that the major airlines know if they switch from an opaque system where savvy customers can game it and win to a non-gameable revenue based system, that they will lose billions of dollars in revenue as consumers switch from earning airline miles to earning cash back. The banks and their steady revenue stream won’t let that happen anytime soon.

In March of 2014 I broke the news that AMEX consumer cards would be much harder to churn. Officially most offers are once per lifetime now, though some don’t have that language and others have reported that after a number of years they’ve been able to get a signup bonus again on the same card. It’s hard to say exactly how many years it takes for that though.

Effective today AMEX Business card applications now have this language as well.

Citi started cracking down later in 2014 as I first reported here as well.

Bank of America went from one of the easiest to one of the hardest banks for multiple applications thanks to some blogs.

Chase’s approval guidelines on their Freedom and Sapphire cards got much more rigid last May when they started giving a tough time to people who have been approved for more than 5 credit cards within the previous 24 months. Some people have had success with reconsideration, others with $10K+ in a Chase checking account or with Private Client status have had luck by asking a banker to fill out a special reconsideration form for them, but it’s much tougher than it used to be.

Chuck from DoC has an inside source that says those same guidelines will begin to apply to Ink cards sometime in March and to all Chase cards sometime in April. With the way things have been heading that doesn’t surprise me at all.

 

What are you thoughts on where things are heading? Sound off in the comments!

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Small Business Saturday Will Coincide With This Site’s 12th Anniversary, But What Will Be This Year’s Offer?

Monday, August 8th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX has announced that Small Business Saturday will be back on 11/26/16.

If you signup as a “Neighborhood Champion” to rally local businesses to participate you can also receive AMEX branded merchandise.

That date coincides with the 12th anniversary of the day I started blogging here, back on 11/26/04 in Sao Paulo, on my 20th birthday. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine what the site and the next 12 years of my life would turn into…

For those keeping score at home, here is a history of when Small Business Saturday offers were announced and held:

2010, Launch year: $25 off $25 offer announced on 11/8. Registration form opened 11/8. Spending valid 11/27-12/31.
2011: $25 off $25 offer announced on 10/6. Registration form opened 11/1. Spending valid 11/26.
2012: $25 off $25 offer announced on 9/24. Registration form opened 11/17. Spending valid 11/24.
2013: $10 off $10 offer announced on 10/1. Registration form opened 11/24. Spending valid 11/30.
2014: $10 off $10 valid 3 times per card announced on 09/27. Registration form opened 11/16. Spending valid 11/29.
2015: On 9/30 it was announced that there would be no credit for Small Business Saturday. However on 11/1 people started finding that most primary personal cards were targeted for $10 off $10 in their AMEX Offers and most business primary and secondary cards were targeted for $20 off $100. Spending was valid anytime from 11/1-11/28.

I’ll be sure to update this post as soon as there is news about the 2016 offer.


Don’t want to miss out on SBS and 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.)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Special offer: Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200. Plus, earn $100 cash back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.  3% cash back on groceries, 2% cash back on gas and department stores, no annual fee.)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Special offer: Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200. Plus, earn $150 cash back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. 6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas and department stores, $95 annual fee or $75 annual fee if you apply by 8/3/16.)

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. 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.)

 

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 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.)

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. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express ($250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months. 5% cash back at office supply stores and telecom. 3% cash back on your choice of Airfare, Hotels, Car rentals, Computer hardware/software/cloud computing, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, or shipping. 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.)

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Final Day To Lock In A Lower Annual Fee On A 6% Cash Back Grocery Card And For An Increased Signup Bonus On The No Annual Fee Simply Cash Card

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Today is the final day to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and pay a $75 annual fee. After today the annual fee for new applicants will be $95.

The card offers 6% cash back on US grocery stores and 3% cash back on US gas and department stores. You’ll also get $150 cash back for spending $1,000 in 3 months.


-Today is the final day to apply for the no-annual fee SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express and earn a $250 signup bonus for spending $5,000 in 6 months.

The card also offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and telecom and 3% cash back on your choice of Airfare, Hotels, Car rentals, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, shipping, or computer hardware/software/cloud services.

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Freedom Q3 Bonus Spending Now Live, Plus A 10x Freedom+Freedom Unlimited Category Announced!

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Update: The 10 points per dollar for car rentals and hotels ends 7/31. It can take a couple of days for charges to post, so take advantage of it now rather than waiting for Sunday. 


Originally posted on 7/1:

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.

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

For Q3 you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in spending at restaurants (which includes caterers, cafes, etc) and at wholesale clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sam’s Club. That’s 7,500 potential points this quarter.

Gas stations at these clubs won’t earn 5 points per dollar, but you can buy gift cards from the clubs that will earn 5 points per dollar and then use the gift cards to pay for gas. For example you can buy Costco Cash cards online to earn 5 points per dollar that are useable online, in-store, or at Costco gas stations.

Additionally you can earn 10 points per dollar on up to $2,500 in spending on hotels and car rentals that are booked through Chase on your Freedom card. This 10x promotion also applies to the Freedom Unlimited card. You must use cash and not redeem points for the hotel stay or car rental in order to earn 10 points per dollar. This 10x promotion is only valid for travel booked in July, though travel can take place at any time. That’s another 25,000 potential points this quarter.

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).

While Chase Freedom is a great card for the bonus categories, it’s not a great card for everyday spending. However the brand new Chase Freedom Unlimited card is excellent for everyday spending.

2016 Chase Freedom bonus categories:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and wholesale clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sams Club.
Q3: Restaurants and wholesale clubs.
Q4: Wholesale clubs, Holiday shopping (Likely Amazon.com) and more to be announced.

Freedom alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this postwhich currencies they can transfer to and why those points are much more valuable than just taking cash back. The Freedom card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those cards.

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

HT: coralsnake, via DDF

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Here’s How To Pro-Rate The Annual Fees On AMEX Cards After September 1st, Besides For Moving To Boston

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX is making changes to their annual fee policy on September 1st:

amex

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently you can cancel a card for up to 60 days from the date the fee was billed. That will switch to 30 days from the closing date of the statement on which the fee appears.

But the bigger deal is that annual fees will no longer be pro-rated if you cancel a card after that 30 day period. Currently annual fees are pro-rated, so if for example you cancel a card after 5 months of paying an annual fee you would receive a a refund for 7/12ths of the annual fee.

Apparently these new rules don’t apply if you live in MA, so there’s always the option of moving to Beantown. (I don’t think day-tripping to Bahston for more than 300,000 miles will count even if it is wicked smaht 😉 )

Otherwise, I reached out to AMEX and confirmed that you will still be able to downgrade your card and receive a pro-rated refund after these new rules go into effect.

That mean if you have a $450/year Platinum card for example, you’ll still be able to downgrade to a $195/year Premier Rewards Gold card or $95/year Green card and receive a pro-rated refund for the higher priced card.

You just won’t receive any refund if you cancel the card. Unless you Pahk the Caa in Hahvahd Yahd.

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4 Delta Credit Cards With Limited Time 50K-60K Signup Bonuses!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Update: Offer expired!

Related: A Comparison Of AA, Delta, And United Saver Award Space: Is AAdvantage The New SkyPesos?

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Originally posted on 6/2:

American Express has released 4 limited time offers on Delta credit cards that are valid until July 6th. Signup bonuses are valid for the first time you’ve had each type of Delta card, so you can get the bonus for each of the 4 card versions below.

1. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 
-Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
-$0 intro annual fee, then $95.

2. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months and a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
-If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles. If you spend $50,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
-This card includes an annual Companion Certificate that is valid for a round-trip Economy Class Companion ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees within the 48 contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI.
-$195 annual fee.

3. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
-Eligible for Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.
-$0 intro annual fee, then $95.

4. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months and a $100 statement creditafter making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
-If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles. If you spend $50,000 in a calendar year you’ll receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
-This card includes an annual Companion Certificate that is valid for a round-trip Economy Class Companion ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees within the 48 contiguous United States. Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI.
-Eligible for Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.
-$195 annual fee.

-There are several huge advantages that business cards have over consumer cards as you can read here.  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 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.

AMEX business cards don’t report your spending on your personal credit report. On personal cards if you spend money on your card your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month.

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

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All 4 Delta cards:

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

Delta’s miles aren’t my favorite, but they do have their uses. Their one-way flexible award calendar that can be set to search for 5 weeks at a time is a marked improvement over their old buggy award calendar. And award space has markedly improved from what it’s been in the past. It’s now significantly better than AA award space.

They got rid of their award charts, though I saved screenshots of them here.

However since then they’ve changed some rates since then for the better and the worse. The biggest improvement has been their short-haul award, which now can be found for 5K, 7.5K, or 10K miles for a one-way. I’ve found tickets selling for $500 for 10K miles one-way, so there are still deals to be found.

However they are very stingy with saver international business class awards, though their partners are somewhat better and partners always price at saver rates versus the high rates often charged for Delta flights.

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

Alternatively you can earn 1.5 miles per dollar (transferable to Delta) everywhere by making 30 transactions per month with The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express. Purchases like gas, Uber, and groceries will earn 3-4.5 miles per dollar.

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and earns 1.2 miles per dollar (transferable to Delta) by making 20 transactions per month. Purchases like groceries and Uber and will earn 2.2-2.4 miles per dollar.

For Delta purchases you can earn 3 points per dollar on the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card versus 2 per dollar on the Delta card.

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

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

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

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