Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

Honest Review: Chase Freedom (With Any Sign-Up Offer)

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Let (Chase) Freedom ring!

I love this card. 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on up to $1,5000 in spending per quarter – 7,500 bonus points – in rotating categories? And useful ones to boot? OK!

That’s why I called it the best card for shopping this holiday season

Chase Freedom review

2016 was another strong year for Chase Freedom quarterly bonus categories

This card has been a bastion in my arsenal for years by now. 

And why not? It’s free to keep forever. In fact, it’s my oldest card – I’ve had this account since 2002. So it’s been almost 15 years!

Chase Freedom provides an easy way to rack up an extra 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per year. That’s worth $300 on its own, which is awesome for a card with no annual fee.

Its power lies in pairing though, so be aware. However, 5% cash back – on its own – is nothing to sniff at, either.

The short

If you spend a lot in the rotating bonus categories, this card is an ace in hand. 

The long

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The 4 Best Credit Cards for Holiday Season 2016

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It’s nearly mid-November, how’d that happen?

I’m gearing up for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, as I’m sure many of you are, too.

holiday 2016 best credit cards

Dear everyone I know, you might get a kitchen appliance. Love, H.

Here are my top picks for cards to use for gift shopping and travel this holiday season.

Holiday 2016 best credit cards

1. Chase Freedom

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One Month Left: 3X SPG Points on Plastiq Payments With Starwood Amex Biz Card

New Orleans, here I come?

Y’all know I love a good opportunity to stack!

Well shiver me timbers and ’tis the season, but I’ve been putting most of my spending these days on… Amex cards?! Yup, even though I recently product changed to the precious Chase Sapphire Reserve.

For regular spending, I’m meeting the minimum requirement on the Hilton Amex (no fee version). And for everything else, I’ve been using my Starwood Amex business card to run payments through Plastiq. It’s just too good of a deal right now.

Here’s why.

Get 3X SPG points on Plastiq payments

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Honest Review: Citi Hilton Visa 75,000 Point Offer

Entrance to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu

Also see: 

It’s no secret I’m a Hilton fanboy. I lurve them because they make earning points a breeze. And they actually give you a healthy amount of points for staying at their hotels, unlike Hyatt and Starwood (!).

Are Hilton points inflated? Hell yeah. But so are the earning rates.

Entrance to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu

I loved using my Hilton points at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu last month

I’ve found good deals with Hilton points, and not because I looked a long time. They’re out there – as with any type of hotel points.

I love the 5th night free perk on award stays when you have any type of status.

And 75,000 Hilton points can be worth over $1,000, as we’ve seen before.

At a bare minimum, there’s no reason why you can’t get $400+ of value from 75,000 Hilton points. Considering the card has no annual fee (and is therefore free to keep), that’s a great deal – and a decent sign-up bonus.

The short

A handy little card with a decent sign-up bonus, if you have a Hilton stay in mind.

The long

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Honest Review: Citi Prestige 40,000 Point Offer

Goodbye

Oh, Citi Prestige. How prestigious you once made me feel. You’re probably still my favorite card overall, but your shine has tarnished since I fell for you in November 2015.

Since then, you’ve returned well over $2,000 in value for me. And you’re still giving.

citi prestige review

My lagan love, Citi Prestige

But, cruel winter awaits. As of July 23rd, 2017, you can’t have my heart any more. I’ll have to take it back. You’re going to change.

Like a trojan horse, Chase unleashed the Chase Sapphire Reserve which now blows you out of the water.

Citi, you were competing so well. What happened? (My guess is they were losing too much dinero.)

The short

A once-great card that’s now only worth it if you have a lot of paid hotel stays of 4+ nights.

The long

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Why I Product Changed to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

I do love this card

Also see: 

I caved. And called Chase. Asked if they’d let me change my Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. And thankfully, they did.

I’m happy to report I’m now the owner of a shiny new Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

chase sapphire reserve product change

Got itttt

Here’s why I did it.

My Chase Sapphire Reserve Product Change

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[EXPIRED] Hurry! ~$500 Moneymaker on Kitchen Appliances at Kohl’s With Discover It or Freedom

Lots of appliances for $17

Update 10/4/16: It looks like Kohl’s gift card purchases from the MPX app are NOT coding as department store as expected. Peeps in the comments say it didn’t work with their Chase Freedom cards.

No dice here, either

No dice here, either 🙁

It looks to also be true with Discover It. My purchase coded as “Misc. General Merchandise.” So I lost the 10% cashback and will get 2% cashback instead.

I haven’t heard of this happening before now, so I will gather new data points before I recommend this moving forward. Thanks to all who let me know!

I’m bummed about this, but at least we got the 1,500 United miles (worth ~$30) as consolation. Though I would’ve preferred the cashback.

Update 10/3/16: This deal has expired. I plan on writing about my experience with it – here’s how to keep up with the blog so you’ll get the updates!

Need a little rush this weekend? How about buying $600+ worth of appliances at Kohl’s? 

Last year they had a similar appliance deal I didn’t take part in. But this year I did.

Now before you think I’m crazy (although it may be waaay too late for that), let me explain.

This is a moneymaker if you do it right!

Hat tip to Jill Cataldo for blogging about this and my friend Jas for turning me on to this deal!

Build the deal

I feel like I say this every time I write about Kohl’s, but… it’s no secret I freaking love Kohl’s.

Right now, they have a lot of appliances on sale for $17, including:

Lots of appliances for $17

Lots of appliances for $17

In total, there are 8 kitchen appliances at the $17 price. 

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All of the items have a $12 Visa gift card rebate

And, all of the items linked above are eligible for a $12 mail-in rebate. You get a Visa gift card with a limit of 5 per product.

That means if you buy 5 of all 8 items, you can get 40 X $12 back, or $480.

Right now, there’s also a 15% promo code: SMS1871. And it does work for these items.

When you add all of them to your cart and add the promotion code, the total is ~$625. You also get $110 in Kohl’s cash to spend next week.

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I paid ~$625 for all 40 appliances

Note that taxes in your state might be different than mine! In Texas, the taxes came to ~$48.

And, you must purchase the items by tomorrow, October 2nd, 2016, to qualify for the rebate (here’s the rebate form). Cheers to the weekend!

Stack stack stack

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Honest Review: Amex Starwood Business Card 2 Free Nights Offer

There are a few instances where this deal might be worth it, like 2 nights at the new Westin Nashville, but you'll have to be selective

Note: The offer for 2 free nights expires October 19th, 2016, but is valid at the time of publication. 

Well color me surprised. I wasn’t expecting to see any type of limited-time offer on the Amex Starwood cards again. But now we have one, although it’s only on the business version of the card.

And, it’s dumb. Geez, Amex, it’s like you’re on the Titanic, and about halfway across the Atlantic right now…

The short

The most restrictive offer ever on an otherwise so-so card. Either Amex is desperate or thinks we’re stupid… or both. Not worth it for most. 

The long

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Yes! Just Got My $1,100+ Discover It Cashback Match (The Dublin)!

Gee thanks, Discover!

Also see: 

Well, I woke up this morning to find a smooth $1,100+ in raw cash in my Discover It account. Talk about something nice to wake up to!

And just last week, I got a second Discover It card – so I can have another Dublin around this time next year!

Um, what’s The Dublin?

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Honest Review: Barclaycard Arrival Plus 50,000 Mile Offer

The new limited-time 50,000 mile offer on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Also see: 

Interesting offer from Barclaycard.

They’ve had a so-so year with their cards, with a limited-time increase to 50,000 miles on the Miles & More card, the release of 2 decent JetBlue cards, and now this.

The typical sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is 40,000 Arrival miles, so this offer adds an extra $100+ of incentive.

Perhaps Barclaycard is rethinking their strategy with this card, as they should. It used to have a lot more features and benefits – but those have been cut, leaving behind a product that’s unremarkably ordinary.

The new limited-time 50,000 mile offer on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The new limited-time 50,000 mile offer on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

With a ~$500+ sign-up bonus, it might be worth a look.

The short

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Honest Review: Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Offer

Good job cooking this one up in those headquarters of yours, Chase

For my first Honest Review, I’ll come to a card I haven’t written about yet: the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Make that THE Chase Sapphire Reserve.

I’ve avoided mentioning it because, well, most of us can’t get it because of Chase’s prohibitive 5/24 rule. But, if you’re new to the points & miles world, wow. What a great place to start.

Or, if you can manage to get yourself a pre-approval in-branch (no dice here!), definitely pick it up.

You can tell if you’re really pre-approved is if Chase gives you a definite APR. If they give you a range, you’re pre-qualified, not pre-approved. You want that definite number.

chase sapphire reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is in here, or at least you’d think judging from the publicity

Another strategy would be to say screw it and apply anyway. If you’re denied, have another Chase card waiting in the wings that isn’t covered by 5/24, which are at the time of writing:

  • Chase British Airways
  • Chase Hyatt
  • Chase IHG
  • Chase Fairmont
  • Chase Marriott Business
  • Chase Ritz-Carlton

That way the inquiries will hopefully combine and hey, at least you’ll have something.

The short

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Introducing Honest Reviews

Yay for Honest Reviews!

Hidey ho from gorgeous and sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, where I’ve spent the last week doing absolutely nothing!

Well, not entirely nothing. I worked on a new column for Out and Out and wanted to introduce it.

I like applying for new credit cards to boost my points and miles balances (as I’m sure most of us do). And I already write about various offers from time to time.

So I thought it would be a fun exercise to make a format out of it that’s easier to read and follow – and one that’s standardized. So here’s Honest Reviews – my honest take on credit card offers.

How Honest Reviews will work

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