After spending four months in a hotel this year already, staying in another one was not necessarily at the top of my list. After all, I needed to get my house back together after the fire. But I have mostly accomplished that and after having to cancel my fall vacation to Hawaii I really wanted to go somewhere. I normally would have been to Nashville in May and June for Mothers Day and Fathers Day but was told by my parents not to visit then. But now, as things are starting to get better in our part of the country, we all felt it was fine for me to come up for a long weekend. I decided to stay long enough to visit my ski club friends at the monthly membership meeting on Tuesday night. (Side note: the Nashville Ski Club generally meets the first Tuesday of each month. Check out the website if you’re interested!) Continue reading
Monthly Archives: September 2020
It’s the 15th of the 3rd month of the quarter so it’s time to activate bonus categories for card that have quarterly bonuses for next quarter. All of these cards offer bonus points or cash back on up to $2000 in purchases during the quarter.
US Bank Cash+
If you’re not already getting 5x Ultimate Rewards points by using a Chase Ink card (and even if you are!) you may want to switch the card you’re using for payment for TV/Internet/Streaming Services and Cell Phones. You must register your card before December 25th to get the bonus cash-back in the categories you select. As a reminder, you choose two 5% categories and one 2% category. To register, click on the link in the email you received from US Bank or visit this link. I’m choosing Home Utilities (as usual) and Gyms (as usual).
Discover has already given us the full calendar for 2020. For Q4 the categories are:
Pretty good categories for your holiday shopping.
Chase Freedom’s Q4 categories are Walmart and PayPal. I expect this to be very popular for holiday shopping.
To register you can go to this link to look at the calendar, then click on the Activate Now button as seen above.
In the end
Always register for the bonus categories even if you don’t think you’re going to use them. You’ll never know when they might come in handy!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) is already a pretty great card. It has no annual fee and offers 1.5 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points on each purchase. Those URs can be exchanged for 1 cent per point (cpp) on your credit card statement or, if you have one of Chase’s premium UR-earning cards, the Sapphire Preferred (CSP) or the Sapphire Reserve (CSR), the UR points can be transferred to one of Chase’s hotel or airline partners or redeemed for travel purchases through the Chase portal at the rate of 1.25 cpp (CSP) or 1.5 cpp (CSR).
When you purchase travel products through the Chase portal and pay with your CFU card you’ll now receive 5x UR points! This is a fantastic rate though you’ll need to be aware of two things. First, the CFU *does* impose foreign transaction fees of 3% so you’d only want to use this card for purchases on US-based airlines. Second, your purchase will be made through Expedia, on online travel agency, so that’s another layer between you and the airline should your travel plans change. Hopefully that will never be an issue but I always want to point that out.
Next, the CFU will now earn 3x UR points for Dining, which includes not only restaurants but take out delivery services. In addition, you’ll get complimentary 3 months of DashPass which is DoorDash’s subscription service that offers $0 delivery fee on orders over $12. After your 3 months are up you’re automatically enrolled in DashPass for the remaining 9 months at 50% off.
The third upgraded category is drugstores where you’ll now earn 3x UR points per purchase.
Additionally if you use your CFU for Lyft you’ll earn 5x UR points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
If you don’t have the Freedom Unlimited the current signup offer is an easy one to meet. Once you’re approved and spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months after approval you’ll earn 20,000 UR points (equivalent to $200 cash back). If you are approved via this link I will also earn a small commission.
More to Come?
The Dining category on this free card is now better than the $95-per-year Sapphire Preferred and equivalent to the $550-per-year Sapphire Reserve so the general consensus is that there will be upgrades coming to those cards soon. Personally I use the Discover Card and the Chase Freedom card during quarters they offer 5%/5x points and the American Express Gold Card which offers 4x points on Dining but as a fall back I’ve used the CSR. It would be great to see upgrades to the points categories for the CSP and CSR soon.