Posts Tagged With: Credit Cards

Q4 Bonus Categories Announced

As happens each quarter, three card issuers offer bonus categories for the following quarter.  As of today you can finally register for all three.

Discover Card

Discover is offering 5% cash back at Amazon.com and at Target.  Just log into to your account at Discover.com to register.  You must register before you’ll receive the 5% cash back. Continue reading

Advertisements
Categories: Cash Plus, Chase, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, Discover, Freedom, US Bank | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Changes coming to Citi Prestige this Sunday

While we’ve known changes were coming to the Citi Prestige, we hadn’t known the exact details. Citi recently released this information and, in my opinion, they’re mostly negative.

1. The new card will be metal. This is to compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum, I assume. Change Rating: Neutral

2. Changes to the Fourth Night Free Benefit
a. Today when a booking a hotel for the fourth night free benefit, it must be done by calling or emailing the specified travel agency. Starting next week booking the hotel can be done online.  Change Rating: Positive
b. Today when booking for four nights or more, the fourth night’s stay is refunded, even if it’s the most expensive night of the stay. Starting next week, the average cost of the room for one night will be refunded and taxes will not be refunded. Change rating: Negative

3. When redeeming ThankYou Points for cash, they can be redeemed at a rate of .5 cents per point, so redeeming 50,000 points nets you $250. Next week you’ll be able to redeem points at the rate of a penny per point, so that same 50,000-point redemption will earn you $500. Change rating: Positive

4. Lounge Access: while you’ll still have access to Priority Pass lounges, you’ll no longer have access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs when traveling on AA. Change rating: Negative

5. Redeeming points for flights: Today you may redeem points at the rate of 1.6 cents per point for flights on American Airlines or 1.33 cents per point on other airlines. Effective next week the rate will be 1.25 cents per point on any airline. Change rating: Negative

6. Today the Citi Prestige allows for three complimentary rounds of golf at over 2000 courses worldwide. That benefit ends next week. Change rating: Negative

For people like me who want to use ThankYou Points for travel, these are mostly negative changes. If there’s any good news it’s that there will be a new sign-up bonus of 75K points starting next week. But card holders who have opened or closed the Prestige or Premier card in the last 24 months are not eligible for the bonus. My plan for now is to apply for the Premier card and once I have it then I’ll close my Prestige card. I’ll miss the $250 Air Travel Credit but the Premier is much cheaper than the $450 annual fee for the Prestige.

In the meantime I recently redeemed most of my ThankYou Points for a flight for a ski trip next year.

What are your plans for your ThankYou Points?

Categories: Citi Prestige, Citibank, Credit Cards | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Register for Q2 Bonus Categories

Today is the 15th of the third month of the quarter and that means it’s time to register your Discover Card and Chase Freedom card for the next quarter’s bonus categories.  You can earn 5% back (Discover) or 5x points (Freedom) on purchases of up to $1500 on each card.  And if you haven’t already registered for your US Bank Cash+ card, here’s a reminder to do that now.

Discover Cards

Discover’s bonus categories this quarter are Home Improvement stores and Wholesale Clubs.  Home improvement stores often sell retail gift cards and perhaps in your area they sell Visa or MasterCard gift cards as well.  While you can’t use Discover at Costco, I know it’s accepted at Sam’s Club and they often sell Visa/MC gift cards too.  That would make it very easy to max out this quarter’s promo.  To register, click on the link in the email you receive – it is tied to your account which makes it super easy – or go to the registration page and log into your account.

Note: You must register for this promo BEFORE any purchases will receive the bonus.  So register now, before the quarter even starts.

 

Chase Freedom

For the Freedom card, this is one of my favorite quarters.  It’s so easy to max out this promo at grocery stores and drug stores as they both sell Visa gift cards as well as other useful items. (Hey, ya gotta eat!)  You must register for this promo by June 14th.

 

US Bank Cash+

US Bank opens up their registration much earlier that Discover or Freedom.  Selection for Q2 bonus categories has been available since mid-February.  As I mentioned in this post in February, the Charity category has gone away which was a great disappointment to me.  These are the US Bank Cash+ categories for Q2:

To register just click on this link and log into your US Bank account and make your selections.

Categories: Cash Plus, Chase, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, Discover, Freedom, US Bank | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My Experience Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Though I’ve not mentioned it here, the top bloggers in the world of points & miles have all let us know about Chase’s new offering that’s meant to compete with the Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum.

2016-09-04 CSR Intro

The card comes with a $450 annual fee – not waived the first year – which is similar to those cards.  But whereas the Platinum comes with an annual $200 airline credit (and you must specify which airline) and the Prestige has an annual $250 airline credit, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 annual credit good on any type of travel.  Since these credits are valid for a calendar year, that means that in the first year you have the card you can get $600 in travel credits which totally offsets the annual fee.  In future years it knocks the annual fee down to $150, which is quite reasonable for a card like this.

Like the Freedom cards and the Sapphire Preferred, this new Sapphire Reserve card earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that can be transferred to a number of airlines and hotels:

  • Air France/KLM
  • British Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott
  • Ritz-Carlton

I don’t know if people are applying for this card at record rates or not but they’ve actually run out of card stock for it!  It was supposed to be issued on a metal card, similar to the Sapphire Preferred but apparently the demand has far exceeded Chase’s expectations so people are receiving temporary plastic cards until the metal cards can be issued.
Continue reading

Categories: Chase, Credit Cards, Sapphire Reserve, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Register Now for Discover Q4 Bonus

The Discover family of cards have rotating bonus categories each quarter.  During a given 3-month span purchases in these categories will earn 5% cash back, for up to $1500 in purchases during the quarter.

2016-09-03 Discover Q4 Registration

Registration is now open for the fourth quarter of 2016.  The bonus categories are amazon.com, department stores and Sam’s Club. These are terrific categories for holiday shopping and if you play the manufactured spending game, some Sam’s Clubs sell Visa and MasterCard gift cards.

Go ahead and register your card today so that you don’t forget to do so next month.  You can find the registration link HERE.

Categories: Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, Discover, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

First Friday Reminder

Today is the first Friday of the month so here’s your monthly reminder to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to pay for your meals today since they’ll offer 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar instead of the usual 2 points.

CSPUltimate Rewards are one of my favorite currencies since they can be transferred to so many partner airlines and hotels.  Several times I’ve transferred them to Hyatt and then booked rooms that would have cost well over $400 USD per night.  Recently a friend transferred her UR points to Virgin Atlantic and then booked a flight to Australia on Virgin Australia for $28 in taxes.  That same flight costs just over $1000 right now!

The Sapphire Preferred card also earns 2 points per dollar on all travel expenses so that $28 charge for airline taxes will earn my friend 56 Ultimate Rewards points.  Plus, the Sapphire Preferred has no foreign transaction fees and it does have chip + signature technology.  Sign up now and get 45,000 points after spending $4000 in the first three months.  You can get an additional 5000 points for adding an authorized user.  The annual fee is $95 but it’s waived for the first year.

(Note: I have no affiliation with Chase and receive no compensation though using this link will help a fellow blogger maintain his excellent site.)

Categories: Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, Sapphire Preferred | Tags: | Leave a comment

Earn 3x AA Miles at Hilton

2015-02-28 AA Hilton PromoAmerican Airlines is running a promotion where you can earn 3 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent at Hilton properties between now and May 31, 2015. It’s a targeted offer and I received it for one of my AAdvantage Executive Platinum cards. I went ahead and registered my card, even though I don’t currently have plans for a Hilton stay before the promotion period ends because as the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe that sorry.

Hilton brands include the flagship Hilton brand, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites and Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs. If you’re not staying at one of these hotels, if you dine there and put the charge on your card it may qualify for the 3x points.

Categories: American Airlines, Citibank, Credit Card Promos, Hilton | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Activate Chase Freedom Q1 Bonus Categories

2014-12-31 Freedom Q1 ActivationHere’s a reminder to activate your Chase Freedom card so that you can get 5x points (or 5% cash back) on select categories for the first quarter (January – March) of 2015. Q1 categories are: grocery stores, movie theaters and Starbucks. Note that Wal-Mart, Target and warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s do NOT qualify for the bonus.  You can get the 5x/5% bonus on up to $1500 in purchases.

The Freedom card is a favorite of mine because it has no annual fee and it earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. If you only have the Freedom card you can use URs like cash to buy airline tickets, hotel rooms and even merchandise (but please, don’t buy merchandise) at the rate of 1 UR = 1 cent. Or, if you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card like the Sapphire Preferred or one of the Ink cards, you can transfer URs to one of the associate frequent flyer or hotel programs get more than 1 cent per point in value.

Here are the current transfer partners:

Ultimate Rewards Transfer PartnersKorean Air is not currently on the list but is rumored to be returning as a partner in the new year. When they do, that means the three major airline alliances will each have a representative airline. And Virgin Atlantic miles can be used on Virgin America and Virgin Australia too!

So be sure to activate your Freedom Q1 bonuses by March 14, 2015 to ensure you’re maxing out all the points you can.

Categories: Chase, Credit Card Promos, Freedom | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

2014-12-13 SPG Referral

What’s better for airline points than the credit card tied to a particular airline? The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. While it doesn’t have bonus categories for everyday purchases (though you do get 2x points at SPG hotels) the great thing about SPG points are their versatility.

For some airlines you can transfer SPG points to the airline at a 1:1 ratio. BUT, if you transfer 20,000 points they’ll give you a 5,000 point bonus and you’ll end up with 25,000 airline points! There’s a huge list of airlines including: AeroMexico, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Air Berlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alaska, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways (ANA), American, Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), Asiana, British Airways, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Gol, Hainan, Hawaiian, Japan (JAL), Miles & More (Lufthansa/SWISS), Qatar, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Singapore, Thai Airways, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

They also transfer to LAN Airlines at a rate of 1:1.5. Do not transfer to United (2:1) or Air New Zealand (65:1) as they have bad (UA) or horrible (NZ) transfer rates.

Of course since Starpoints are the currnecy of SPG hotels, they can also be used for free or discounted rooms. Category 1 hotels are just 3,000 points per night, meaning this card could get you a free room for 8 nights just with the signup bonus! SPG properties include: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton, aloft, element and Four Points. Don’t have enough points to cover your stay? No problem with the cash + points option where you can use points to discount the cost of the room. You can also use points to upgrade to larger rooms or suites, or even for nights at Caesars Entertainment hotels like Caesar’s Palace, Harrah’s, Bally’s, Flamingo, Harvey’s, Nobu Hotel, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, The Quad and Rio hotels.

If you’ll allow me to refer you for this credit card you’ll get 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase and 15,000 Starpoints when you spend $5000 in the first 6 months of owning the card. (As always, if you do not pay off your credit card bills each month, DO NOT apply for a new card!) In addition, I will receive a bonus of 5,000 Starpoints.

To do the referral I’ll need your first and last names and your email address. You can email them to me at 2btraveling@gmail.com. I appreciate your support!

Categories: Credit Cards, SPG Amex, Starwood | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Discover and Freedom Bonus Categories for 2015

Both the Discover card and the Chase Freedom card offer rotating quarterly bonus categories where you can earn 5% cash back (Discover) or 5x points (Freedom).  The categories for 2015 have been released.

Discover

Discover’s categories for the first quarter of 2015 are Gas and Ground Transportation.  That’s great for those who have to fill up often!  Also included are rental cars, public transportation like buses and trains, charter and tour buses and limos.  You can go ahead and sign up HERE and you’ll be all set come January.

2014-12-08 Discover 2015 Bonus

Chase Freedom

The Freedom categories are Grocery Stores, Movie Theaters and Starbucks.  Note that the Grocery Store category does not include Wal-Mart or Target.  The 5x bonus is limited to $1500 per quarter.  Sign up will be available on December 15th.

2014-12-08 Freedom 2015 Bonus

 

Categories: Credit Cards, Discover, Freedom | Tags: | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.