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

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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.

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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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 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:








Sometimes it takes a few:











Sometimes it can take 6 HUCAs:















While other times it takes 7:









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:










Sometimes DROPR and HUCA just go hand in hand:














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










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









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:














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 banners on the side of this site.

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

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

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


if i have not yet signed up for this card, how much more time do i have to do so, in order to get the $300 credit for 2016???


You should be able to signup now and still get the 2016 credit, but YMMV.
Depending on billing timing, you might even get 2016, 2017, and 2018 credits in your first cardmembership year!

Deal guy

You get the credit a few days later anyway. It shouldn’t have any reflection on the statement date as long as you do it maybe a week or so before the end of the year.


@Deal guy:
That’s not what the terms say.

If you do the spending after your December 2016 statement then you wouldn’t be eligible for another credit until after your December 2017 statement prints.

If you spend before your December 2016 statement prints then you should be eligible again after the December 2016 statement prints.


If you want to spend the 300 on travel before December, can you but Uber gift cards?

Ddf fan

If i apply for the reserve today is there enough time to get the 300 credit this year?


If I apply now for the card is it to late to get the credit if I use it right away to boom a flight or will it be to late


Update: It appears that Uber gift cards don’t count as travel:
Regular Uber rides do count though.

@Ddf fan:
There should be enough time, see comment 2.
Just be sure to spend the $300 on travel as soon as you get the card.


Does anyone have clarity about ezpass counting as travel? I had one charged as travel and second didn’t credit as travel.


Hi Dan, I’m not sure where to post this question, but if you can please respond or guide me where to look it up…., If I make minimum payments on a business chase credit card would it affect my credit score? Or is it like utilization ratio which to my understanding should not affect my score on a Business card


That’s why I wrote it’s YMMV in this post.
Were they both prepaid EZPass? Or was one prepaid and one charged to you after the toll?

As long as you pay the minimum payment on a Chase business card there will be no effect on your personal credit score.


Any confirmation that either Marriott or AA gift cards are sold by them and not by a third party therefore not coding as travel?


Some online 3rd parties still pass on the travel coding, YMMV.

I know people said AA GCs work. Not sure about Marriott, but if you try let us know.


@Dan I believe first that counted as travel was auto replenishment second was that my account fell below threshold.


If you preload your account it seems to have the best odds of posting as travel.

not nice dan

dan “most phone reps worthless”thats a mean thing to say especially since many people are reading this blog from google employees to phone reps im a phone rep and i find it quite hurtful


@dan, thank you for your quick response and all you do for us!! Btw I asked and you responded about chase, would amex be any different?


As a weekly united flyer I’ve learned the value of HUCA! Last week tho while trying to get a fair difference waived on try #6 I had the bad luck of getting the same rep!! Did not fly to well….

On A positive the note I’ve successfully got refunded on non refundable fairs countless times using this rule!!


@not nice dan:
Hopefully you’re a good phone rep, but in my experience the vast majority are clueless and give out bad info.

Though some companies are definitely better than others.

AMEX is the same as Chase.
Capital One and some other banks do report business card utilization on personal reports though.

Yup, I’ll often jot down the reps name so that I don’t have that issue when I HUCA.


plan on applying for this card today (so far am at 4/24). any suggestions what 2 other cards i should apply for using 3BM???


What Chase cards do you currently have open?


If I apply in two weeks will I be able to get a credit in 2018 also since I can downgrade the card within 60 and be refunded the fee? Also how long does ur first statement close after applying for the card?


The 1st statement can take anywhere from 1-6 weeks. The sooner you apply the better odds for a 2016 credit.


@ dan: freedom, freedom unlimited, sapphire preferred and united airlines. no amex cc. thank you


Nice collection of cards!

Hyatt? BA? Ink Cash? Ink Business Preferred? Marriott?


Dan, I just got approved for the chase sapphire reserve. Thanks!
I am now waiting for it in the mail.
How would I know If i can get the 2016,17,18 credit in my first membership year. When does my closing date have to be by in order to ensure that? Tia


@dan — none of the above.
thought to do ink business but got turned off bec of annual fee.


Dan, Any good ideas where to prepay Travel spend now? I already have a $100 Ezpass prepay credit for which I was, by the way reimbursed.



As long as your statement prints in December you are good to go for 2016.

Go for another Chase card today and the pulls will probably merge.

Turned off of 80K points/$1,200 in travel spend because of a $95 fee?

More EZPass?
Airline or hotel gift cards?
Prepaid hotel stay?


Hi Dan,
I accidentally found a loophole. I booked a hotel through chase ultimate rewards,and only used $292 on the card and the rest I used points. I ended up not needing the hotel so a week later I canceled it, which is still a month before the reservation. Chase gave me the credit in that week, then gave me my money back for the rservation as well.

I just spoke to a rep, they said once the credit posts, they don’t take it back. So I just got 300 free rather than a refund.


Would an AIRBNB gift card work though? any ways of cashing out the $300?


Yes, Airbnb gift cards bought online from them work.


@bsimcha @dan
spoke with rep today who told me that my first ezpass charge was coded by EZpass as bridges and tunnels (bonus category) while the 2nd one was coded as governmental services (non bonus). Rep said that if they don’t code properly chase doesn’t usually change it. Is there anyone at ezpass to speak with?


where can i see how much credit iv gotten already from my 300?
i wan to buy a gift card wth the rest


It seems to depend on whether you prepay it manually.
Most reports say that if you do it that way then it posts as travel.

There’s a link and image in the post.


@ dan — ok, u convinced me 😃.
any others to get @ the same time i’m applying for the sapphire reserve & ink preferred?


I had two prepaid ezpass charges credited and one not 🤔


Dan, i understand that if my statement prints in December I am good for the 2016 credit. But how do I know if I am Good for the 2018 credit!?!


if i pay my statement balance and not my current balance on a personal credit card does that effect my credit score?


Any of the others I mentioned above.

That’s the definition of YMMV…

You can do it as soon as your December 2017 statement prints.



Does that apply for meeting min spend also?




Got accepted for the sapphire reserve last night. When I look at the billing online it says payment due on January 13th. Does this mean I can’t get the 300$ for 2016?




Payment due date of Jan 13 means that the bill will print around December 20th, so you are good to go!


@Bsimcha: I reloaded my prepaid ezpass and i got the creidt.


One more question. What about Uber gift cards for the $300?


Does delta gift cards work toward the $300


@Dan: I was got credit for ezpass both prepaid and autorecharge. I use EzpassNY. maybe NJ is different?



Won’t work.


Definitely possible.


Would be nice if you can update the post with data points on which gift cards code as travel.Thanks.


Asked in the forums but will ask here. I cannot get approved for CSR. Do i upgrade CSP or Freedom? bills just printed on both.


@tjak which post was that?

Still waiting

Applied for sapphire reserve and they said they have to think about it?! Anyone have the same experience?


Do you know if one can do the “great big mehalech” on this card?


Amazon 300.00 works ?


When’s the last day to tripple dip?


@Dan: how many reps do you think they have on each shift?


Can’t get CPC status?

@Still waiting:
Try calling.


The sooner the better.

Depends on the department.


Hey @Dan,
Can you see my comment, number 30, what do you think?


Realize this isn’t the place but I’ll try my luck. Got accepted for a platinum Amex card 100k spending bonus last February.dont want to pay the 450$ again this coming year. Which card do I apply for to keep my 100K points so I don’t lose them?


I think loose lips sink ships.

Everyday or Everyday Preferred:

Or Blue for Business:


Can I get the 2017 & 2018 credit as well?


Read the post and post update.


if i apply today and get accepted do i get the card number right away so i can put money into my ez pass account?


I settled with chase (credit card settlement) in October 2009, do you think I will get approved or am I on the blacklist? My credit score is back up to mid to upper 700s


They will send you the card overnight, so you’ll have plenty of time to make the charge.

I think that after 7 years it gets cleared, but try and let us know.

Jack out of the box

@Dan: I got approved on Friday and I asked about quick delivery. The rep told me that they aren’t doing overnights. Would you say DROPR? And at this point still HUCA? Any chance for delivery to oversees?


Is a site like,Priceline’ etc. considered as travel


@Jack out of the box:
You should have it by Tuesday, don’t sweat it.


Jack out of the box

@Dan: Thanks for that quick answer. And extra thanks for the point about the annual spending deadline. You probably saved me $300 which I might have put off till the very end of December but I’ll make sure to do sooner now.


@Jack out of the box:
Happy to help.


See elsewhere online that manually loading ez-pass will count as travel, while automatic charges won’t. Anyone have that experience?


Does united Mileage x Plus app work for chase travel like it does for platinum?


is this card better than the amex platnum? i just got that one and it gives 200 credit. Is there a gift card that works as travel for amex?


@Charlie: NO, see Dan’s answer to #59


Many have said that, but there are exceptions.


Airline gift cards work for that card.
The credit on this card is far more broad.

Both cards have their pluses and minuses.


@torboy: Amex Plat gives you a 50% rebate on points used to buy airline tickets. Essentially half off an airline ticket. This is extremely useful for off season travel in coach, when transferring to frequent flyer programs aren’t cost effective.


Only Biz Plat.


Can you put Uber purchases through and get reimbursed through this travel credit?


Uber rides and Uber Eats do count for travel credit.

Help please

Hey @Dan,
I applied for the card. Called reconsideration, it was denied because lots of secondary cards – I did just what you said, and it worked great.

BUT, they reconsidered and still denied it. They said, the minimum is 10K line of credit, and I don’t have anything comparable, just a bunch of 1 – 3K cards.

Any thoughts??!

Thanks! 🙂


@Help please:
Did you offer to close one of them and move over the credit line to help get approved?

Definitely HUCA.


@Charlie: no. I tested it


The reply for Charlie that you said no, does the united MileagePlus x app still work for the platinum card?



I’m confused about what the December statement means. If my statements are from the 16th to the 15th of the month, it means that I will have two upcoming statements that include some December 2016 dates on the: November 16-December 15th and then December 16th-January 15th.

Are both of these considered December statements? According to these dates, does that mean that I can spend the travel credit on up until January 15th and it is still counted as a 2016 credit?

I’d really appreciate if you can answer this specific question. Thanks!


In the para beginning “however” I think you mean “November-December ” and not “January-December”



No. Only charges through the 15th count for 2016 if your statement prints on the 15th.



What day of the month should one set their pay date to extend as long as possible in December?

Groupon travel

What about Groupon travel deals would that count as $300 for travel expenses.


23rd would make it close at the end of December.

@Groupon travel:


pggm works!


Dan, the $300 refund on travel will deduct 300 UR points which means that after the refund you remain with two points per dollar on the recredited travel spending. Look at your points activity to see what I’m saying.


Was disappointed to see my Aeroplan charge did not code as travel.
Do you call in to change statement closing date or can it be done via SM?


Is there a business card option. seems to link only to the personal Sapphire Reserve card.


D93? Haven’t seen him in ages.


Can do either or find the option in your account online.

There is not.
There is a brand new Ink Business Preferred, but that’s a completely different card.

I hope he’s OK.


If I book a ticket for someone else would I get a credit ?



Deal Guy

How many days do i have left to apply and still be eligible for the credit this year?
Does the card automatically come overnight, or you need to call them?


Dan, I’m at 6/24 and 3 of them were opened on 11/18/14, 11/18/14, 11/30/14. But they show “Reported since 12/2014” in Experian. Do you think I’ll be 4/24 in Chase’s system in a few days?


Does the PGGM method work for this card?

Deal Guy

Another question, i never did 2BM before. If i have great credit and do 2 applications,will they both be instantly approved,or once you do more then one application,they aren’t approved on the spot and you need to call?
The reason why this is important is because i don’t have much time to wait to still get the credit in 2016,and if by doing 2bm it will delay getting approved,i wouldn’t do so.


Thanks for this post, I almost didn’t use my $300. Gonna buy a couple Island Air transfers… Could use points but the redemption value isn’t great… I wonder if helicopter tours qualify as “travel”


Prepaid e-Zpass worked for me on 2 different cards.


Oh yeah. Thanks for the idea Dan!


Hey @Dan, do you know if Air Canada Gift cards work towards the $300 travel credit?



Can the charge of $300 be to a travel agency or do they have to charge it directly to the airline?

Is the global entry for the card member only?
Thank you


When I called reconsideration they wanted to send me a text for verification I have a kosher phone with no text. any suggestions what I should of told them they didn’t believe me that I cant receive text.I asked for a different question but I was already suspicious for them.


I called ezpass NY and they said that if I did it would not be travel but they are trying to change it…


@Dan: Dan please help me.
Does PPGM work?


@dan I just checked my rewards page but didn’t see any info regarding a travel credit. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?


I’m a little confused. My last statement closed on 11/02. Does that mean I have till 12/02 or 1/02 to finish travel spending?


@dan, if I am getting two November statements, would you think I can get the credit till my December statement prints?

Joe G

Would CHEAPOAIR get me 3 points per dollar and $300 credit?

loves dan

any one got MPX from united credited to the reserve ??? TIA


Hi Dans, can you please post a list of travel gift cards available I have a hard time finding one that I can use for multiple airlines and hotels, so far I found for cheapoair and which I’m not sure if they’re good. Thanks much.


it might help anybody with a Zipcar account:I used my 300 travel credit today @ Zipcar, where you can buy yourself gift certificates, as I usedthem allot during the year. it never expires


Marriott gift card coded as travel.


Applied last night got approved today and payment due date is Jan 19 so I should be good!


there will be a charge for each guest of $27 for each entry in priority pass lounges with the chase sapphire reserve card???
at priority pass i didn’t find any membership with unlimited guest for free?
with amex platinum it is a charge of $27 for each guest




@Joe G:

It’s a special arrangement they have for this card. No charge for guests.


Do they instantly approve cards on Thanksgiving? Am i still good applying today for the 2016 credit?


If my statement is till nov. 3
that means i have to spend the $300 before dec. 3, when my next statment prints?


Does delta gift cards work for the $300 spending?






Can you confirm that delta gift cards work for the credit bec i did gift card and it did not poost as travel




@Dan: I also bought a gift card only to find out it doesn’t post as travel… what did you do with the gift card? according to you can not get a refund, any idea?


can I still get the 2016 300 credit if I apply today?

Sapphire preferred

Will we still get double miles for Ez-pass with Sapphire Preferred?


My girlfriend applied for the CSR on 11/28/16. Approved via recon on 11/29.

I had her send a SM to Chase to clarify statement close date. For some reason, the statement close date is January 14th, 2017. We asked to move the statement close into December 2016 to make sure we got the 2016 travel credit, but they said it would take 1-2 months and would not work.

I had her call Chase directly and ask about the payment due date, and it was 1/11/16. I thought we were at a loss for the 2016 credit.

According to your replies, it looks like we would have until 12/11/16 to use the 2016 credit? Is this correct?

Thanks for your time.