Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

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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Yasss: Just Got My 3rd Discover it® Cashback Match™ Card (And New Application Rules!)

Also see:

When last we spoke of my beloved Discover it® Cashback Match™ card, I’d been rejected from getting my 3rd card for a 3rd year in a row. And encouraged to apply again “at a later time.” 🙄

On a hot October morning, and on a lark, I rang Discover to reconsider me one more time. The phone agent explained the application had expired even though it had been under a month. Then repeated that ingratiating little line: “You are welcome to apply again any time.”

I noticed Discover did NOT pull my credit last time I applied. So reasoned even if they did, it was hit I was planning to take anyway. I asked if I could apply with her on the phone, just in case.

I selected the rainbow design again. Entered all in my info. Pressed “Submit Application,” and got my little high. And then…

third discover it

Squeeee

I was approved for my 3rd Discover it® Cashback Match™ card! Visions of The Dublin danced in my head. And I learned why my previous application was auto-denied…

Discover’s new application rules

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Is the Chase British Airways Card Worth It for 50,000 Points? Maybe.

Also see:

The tiered sign-up bonus for the Chase British Airways card ends on October 5th, 2017 – in one week! Until then, you can earn:

  • 50,000 British Airways Avios points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • An additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
  • A further 25,000 British Airways Avios points after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios

Committing to spend $20,000 on a single card is a lot to ask. And it’s certainly not for most peeps.

chase british airways card

Fly to Amsterdam with British Airways Avios points and ride a bike

But it can be worth it to see this as a 50,000 point sign-up offer to spend $3,000 within the first 3 months – that’s much more reasonable. And forget about the other tiers.

50,000 points for that amount of spending it a respectable sign-up bonus. Especially because this card is NOT subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.

And a thank you to Ben for helping to unravel the numbers of this deal even more!

Pick up 50,000 British Airways Avios points

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Should You Dump Your Car If You Have Premium Card Travel Credits?

It occurred to me I only drive for a handful of reasons:

  • To go to the gym
  • To drop the dog off before I travel
  • Costco runs every ~6 weeks
  • To visit nearby places, like Fort Worth

Most of the time I walk or use Uber/Lyft. Because if I intend to drink, I don’t want to deal with parking (and possibly having to pay for it) or of course driving back unsafely. And I live so close to many of the places I frequent that I can walk.

I realized, surprisingly, there are lots of peeps in Dallas who don’t have cars. And I I was shocked by how extremely walkable certain parts of the city really are.

dump car uber lyft

Lookit all my Lyft credits

I’ve also been using the $325 travel credit from my US Bank Altitude Reserve card for Lyft rides lately (I prefer Lyft for many reasons). Then it hit me that I could subsidize $825 in Uber and Lyft rides thanks to travel credits of 3 of my premium cards. It got me thinking – are those credits enough to consider getting rid of my car?

$825 in Uber and Lyft rides from 3 cards

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Lower Plastiq Fees With Drop + 5,000 Drop Points for Out and Out Readers! 💸

Spencer from Straight to the Points is back to talk about a new Plastiq promotion… and an exclusive offer for Out and Out readers to earn 5,000 points with Drop! 

Update 9/25/17: The Plastiq offer from Drop may possibly be targeted. We are checking to see what we can do. If anything, you still get $5 just for downloading the Drop app with promotion code “outandout“!

Save on Plastiq Fees (Plus a Special Offer from Drop for Out and Out Readers)

A few months ago, Drop launched in the US to much fanfare in the miles and points world as the hot new shopping portal. You just needed to attach your credit or debit card (or cards) and shop as usual.

drop plastiq promotion

You can easily earn and redeem Drop points at lots of merchants

Redeem the points you earn for merchant gift cards like Hotels.com, Amazon, American Airlines, and Starbucks to help offset future expenses.

The launch was rough.  But Drop is starting to get a handle on the US market. Shortly after launching, they limited the number of points you could earn with their ongoing offers to 5,000 points per week. That definitely put the brakes on some people, but there are still one-time offers to help boost your rebates!

That brings us to today.

A New Drop Plastiq Promotion!

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DENIED! No 3rd Discover it® Cashback Match™ Card for Me 😿

Also see:

Right after I got a 2nd Chase British Airways card, I trotted over to the Discover website hoping to pick up a 3rd Discover it® – Cashback Match™ card.

Last week, I had 2 Discover It cards. So I closed Discover It #1. With Discover It #2, I’m expecting a sweet $800+ cashback match next month:

discover it 3rd year

#ReadyForIt

Last year, I got back $1,100 in cashback match. So Discover has been generous to me, doubtlessly.

But, you can only have 2 Discover cards at once, so if I wanted #3, that meant #1 had to go.

I checked to make sure over a year had passed since I opened #2.

Good to go?

I waited until September 8th passed, and then a few extra days to be on the safe side. Then, with zeal in my little eye, I prepared my grubby mitts for a new Discover It – and a new year of that sweet cashback match.

PWND! No Discover it® – Cashback Match™ for you!

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Get 6X British Airways Avios Points Everywhere on $20K in Spend – Why I Caved

You might’ve heard a version of the infamous British Airways 100,000 points deal is back.

It’s a beast of a deal – there’s no doubt about that. And I mean that in a good way AND a bad way.

chase british airways 100,000

Maybe I’ll use my British Airways Avios to visit these ragtag streets in Barcelona again

There are many cons to accept with this deal: the minimum spending, the materiality of the points themselves, and a gigantic black hole of opportunity cost. But let’s call a spade a spade here: at this point I’m taking what I can get.

I hated this card. Now I’m crawling back on hands and knees. My, how the winds have shifted

And 100,000 of any kind of points is nothing to sniff at. So I got the Chase British Airways card again – even after I brutally dumped it a little over 2 years ago.

A hard look at this 100K offer, OK

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Some Plastiq Mortgage Payments With Visa Cards Working Again!

Update: Some readers let me know not all mortgage payments are working, but many are!

Here’s an example from my account:

A mortgage payment you can still pay with Plastiq

As long as the “Submit Payment” button isn’t grayed out, you should be good to go! Let me know if it works for you!


More data points slash adventures with Plastiq.

So I just got a new Bank of America Alaska Airlines card – I get a new one every 45 days for a quick injection of 30,000 Alaska miles. Those are, of course, Visa cards, which Plastiq said would no longer work.

Well today, I paid the rent for one of my Airbnbs with this card on Plastiq.

plastiq visa payments

This Plastiq payment is clearly marked as rent

And it went through without a hitch:

Boom

Considering the minimum spending on this card is only $1,000, I was able to knock most of it out with a single rent payment. Then I sent $50 to my utility company to trigger the sign-up bonus. Minimum spending done in under a minute. AWESOME!

This isn’t a fluke. My friend Angie used her Chase Fairmont card to pay her mortgage via Plastiq recently, too – that’s also a Visa card. And I’ve heard others have had success, too.

Plastiq Visa payments

While I think 3X with the Chase Sapphire Reserve is long gone, using Plastiq to meet minimum spending on Visa cards is extremely easy. Even with the 2.5% fee considered, having it done in seconds sure beats having to monitor it for a few months. Especially if you need to spend a few thousand.

I also just confirmed 3X still works with the Citi AT&T Access More card. And wrote about why you’d even consider using the new Blue Business Plus Amex for Plastiq payments, too.

But given that I can still get 3X, the gravy train is still on – at least for now.

And moreover, it seems you can use your Visa cards again. So if you have a Visa and want to make some Plastiq payments for rent, mortgage, or HOA, they should go through just fine. 🙂

Have you had recent success using a Visa card for a rent payment through Plastiq?