Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

Capital One Venture: A Solid 2X Card for Simple Rewards With No BS

I get it. Not everyone spends their Friday nights taking epsom salt baths and pondering the workings of various points programs.

Lots of peeps directly asked about the Capital One Venture Rewards card: is it worth getting?

My answer’s always been: yeah, if you don’t want to deal with points programs.

capital one venture review

The $500 sign-up bonus covers 5 years of the annual fee and is worth ~302,000 Chilean pesos (I drew that bull)

It has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year. But the ease of redemption and earning might be worth it if you like the Capital One ecosystem.

Capital One Venture Review

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The Best 2X Card for Non-Bonus Spending Now Has a 10,000 Point Welcome Offer

To start, the Blue Business Plus Amex is a small business card. But Amex is known to be generous with small business card approvals, so long as you have a for-profit venture, or are aiming to make a profit.

This card got instant “workhorse” classification. And it’s been a stalwart companion in my wallet since the day I got it.

amex blue business plus 10,000

MVP status, this one

When it launched in Summer 2017, there was a brief welcome offer for 20,000 Amex Membership Rewards points. But when that faded, it went to nothing.

Now a welcome offer of 10,000 Amex Membership Rewards points is available. But I think this card is good enough to get even without a bonus!

About the Blue Business Plus Amex Read More

Plastiq for Mortgage Payments Is Dead, Mostly 😿

Also see: 

Thanks to readers Frank, Amar, and Ken for sharing experiences with their Citi AT&T Access More cards only earning 1X points for mortgage payments via Plastiq this month.

My statement just closed, too. And I can confirm: I only got 1X for last month’s mortgage payment. 😿

plastiq mortgage payments

Boo hiss! What’ll we do about you, Citi?

As of now, you can only use MasterCard and Discover cards to make mortgage payments through Plastiq. But you can still use any credit card to make rent or HOA payments.

So are there any good options left for paying mortgages through Plastiq? Or is it just… dead? 

What could be worth it for Plastiq mortgage payments?

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What’s the Break Even Point for Chase Sapphire Cards?

How much do you have to spend each year for a Chase Sapphire annual fee to be worth it? The answer depends on:

  • Whether you spend in the bonus categories often
  • How much you value Chase Ultimate Rewards points
chase sapphire annual fee

It depends on your spending habits, but let’s take a looky-loo

I’ll break down spending in 3 scenarios:

  • Half bonus/half non-bonus spending with points worth their base rate for each card
  • Half bonus/half non-bonus spending with points worth 2 cents each
  • All bonus spending with points worth 2 cents each


1. Chase Sapphire Preferred

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My $100 Haul of Free Mercedes-Benz Gear (The Card With This Perk Is Going Away!)

I’ve been meaning to write about this year’s edition of $100 in free Mercedes-Benz stuff (last year’s haul is here). I still have my glasses and water bottle, but lost the coffee cup to the TSA gods at LaGuardia. :/ (I now use a HydroFlask to transport coffee to the airport.)

I dusted off my certificate and headed to my local Mercedes-Benz dealership.

amex mercedes benz certificate

Thanks for the free jacket, water bottle, and keychain, Amex!

I ended up getting a nice fleece-lined windbreaker worth $89, a water bottle, and a keychain. Total cost: $0!

You get one of these $100 certificates every year with the Amex Platinum Mercedes-Benz card. But, as I just found out from Nick at Frequent Miler, it’s going away in January 2019. If you’ve never had it, get it while you can!

This year’s $100 Amex Mercedes Benz Certificate

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, New Mexico

New Mexico is pure magic. It’s one of my favorite places on earth.

Every time I’m there, I feel deep soul-healing. Those high desert landscapes are what my soul looks like, I think. I’m so completely at peace with the mountains and wind and all of it.

So I was definitely looking forward to staying at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya, nestled 25 minutes north of Albuquerque and 45 minutes south of Santa Fe in northern New Mexico.

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Review

This little sign is where the magic began

Two friends and I drove here non-stop from Dallas – a solid 10-hour drive. We left at 4am, stopping only in Amarillo for an early lunch. A few hours later, we drove through the cute town of Bernalillo and into the 550 acres of the resort, technically located in Santa Ana Pueblo.

This is a wonderful, special resort. I highly recommend staying here if you ever get the opportunity. Here’s my experience and how I stayed for completely free! 

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Review – Arrival and check-in

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Use Earny for Automated Visa and MasterCard Price Protection

I wrote about Trim and Paribus to track price changes and get a refund from merchants. Now there’s Earny, which tracks price changes and uses price protection from many bank Visa and MasterCard credit cards – and files the claims for you automatically. In return, they take 25% of the bounty.

earny app

Earny automates price protection with several bank Visas and MasterCards

I shop online a lot with my Citi AT&T Access More card (no longer available although you can still product change to it). All Citi personal cards come with Citi Price Rewind, which puts the onus on you to file a claim if you find a lower price. But now Earny automates the work. After you link your cards, nothing else is required to file a claim when Earny finds a lower price.

If you shop online a lot, this could save you big bucks!

What’s Earny?

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New Credit Card Checklist: What to Do When You Receive Your New Card

Getting a new credit card is a big step for lots of peeps. It’s a new account, new financial history, and something else to track.

New Credit Card Checklist

Did you know your new credit card came with a checklist? It does. Sorry 

Some of you might be like “Ugh,” but I’m like “Yay!” Even though I have 33 credit cards right now (yep!).

Here are the steps I take with each new card. And you should, too. It’ll help maximize your benefits, earn more rewards, and keep track of what’s what!

So ya got a new card, eh?

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My Free Anniversary Night in Downtown Austin – Thanks to the Chase Hyatt Card!

Say what you will about Chase, but their hotel cards that come with a free anniversary night are worth every penny.

And fortunately, some of them are still accessible even if you’re over 5/24, including:

I wrote how I got $500 in value from the Chase IHG card earlier this year. And I’ve used my Chase Hyatt free night certificate at the Hyatt Centric in New Orleans and the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. I also wrote about 5 worthwhile Category 4 hotels where you can get lot of bang for your Hyatt free night cert.

hyatt anniversary night

A view of Texas hill country – paid for with my Hyatt free night certificate

And this past weekend, I got a stay worth ~$284 at the Hyatt Place Austin Downtown (full review soon!) in exchange for my $75 annual fee.

With values like this, a card with a valuable free night each cardmember year is a no-brainer to keep year after year. Especially when you can get outsized value in popular areas like downtown Austin.

A cute lil weekend trip

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Hacking Uber: Earn Points, Cashback, and Credits Every Time You Ride 🚙

To disclaim up front, I have a difficult relationship with Uber. I don’t like how they treat their drivers, women in particular, and their company culture seems… toxic. For the longest time, you couldn’t even tip your driver, which is why I preferred Lyft.

However, I’ve been riding Uber more lately because they make it so easy to stack multiple offers when you ride.

earn points with uber

Oh, Uber. I am “getting there”

And, I’m hopeful they’re slowly but surely turning things around.

With Lyft, you can only earn 3X Delta miles – and 30 JetBlue points on airport trips. Which, meh.

I’d rather earn cashback and Drop points, use travel credits, and get Uber credits for shopping around town. And many times you can stack these deals. You know I love a good stack!

1. Easy win: $1 from Ibotta every time you ride

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The Dublin 2017: $2,000+ Cashback This Year From a No Annual Fee Card 💸

Oh my word, I am in love with the Discover it® Cashback Match™ card. I just got my third one and am already busy earning that sweet cashback.

After the first year with my first card, I earned ~$1,184 in matched cashback (~$2,368 in cashback for the year). And after the first year with the second card – this year – I earned ~$1,113 in matched cashback. Or ~$2,226 for the year. All this from a card with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

discover it cashback match

Incredible – look at that sweet cashback

It’s easy to get $600 in cashback if you make the most of the bonus categories. And you can get a sometimes staggering 30% cashback by stacking the Discover Deals shopping portal with the rotating quarterly bonus categories. When I say “it adds up” I mean it REALLY adds up!

I wasn’t sure if I could get the same card 3 years in a row. But I’m living proof that you can. And even at the low end, $600 back from a no annual fee card is still worth it. I think everyone (especially those over 5/24) should get this card!

Why now is an amazing time to get a Discover it® Cashback Match™ card

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I Had to Use (My Chase Visa’s) Primary Rental Car Insurance – and Saved $692!

It finally happened – I had to file a claim to use my card’s collision damage waiver benefit. I knew the day would arrive sooner or later.

After I hiked down from Granite Park Chalet, I found my rental car had a little *DING* on the front passenger side door. The parking lot was packed, and it was obvious someone parked too close and opened their door too hard into my rental car. It was nearly imperceptible to the point where I thought about not saying anything about it.

Primary Rental Car Insurance

See that little dent? Yeah, I nearly didn’t either… *grumble*

But, I was responsible and filed a proper report when I returned the car. I wasn’t expecting to ever hear anything about it again. Until one day, I got a random call saying they filed a claim against me. In a near-panic, I filed my own claim online through Chase in just a few minutes.

THANK GODS I waived the CDW and put the charge on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Taking those small steps saved me nearly $700 – for a little ding on a car door.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Primary Rental Car Insurance

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