Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

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

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

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

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Booking Hawaii: Part 3 – Hilton Hawaiian Village and Tending Reservations

Just, yeah, gimme that!

Also see: 

I’ll go ahead and tell you the moral of this story: tend to your reservations.

After booking 4 flights to Honolulu, then adding my little brother into the mix, the final piece of the puzzle was to book the hotel rooms.

Step 1: The paid stay

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Get an Extra 3X on Gift Cards at Staples (So 8X If You Have a 5X Office Supply Card)

Update: Wow, instant response! Chuck from Doctor of Credit let me know this may or may not work. So for now, I think the best thing to do is start slow at your local Staples (like try $5 and see if it works) and go from there, should you decide to try this. Thanks all for any info you want to add!

I was poking around as I am wont to do and assembled an 8X combination that I think will work.

Now, I haven’t done this myself, but it seems totally do-able.

What you’ll need to get started is:

  • The MileagePlus X app (which I’ve written about) AND
  • If you want 8X points, a Visa or MasterCard that earns 5X at office supply stores

Such as:

You can also get 5X on top of what you’ll earn from any other card with the exception of a couple of Amex cards.

Or, if you’re trying to meet a minimum spending requirement and want to get an extra 3X at office supply stores, this should work nicely.

Stack 3X through MileagePlus X with 5X on another card

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

The Top Card for Beginners? Yeah, the Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Also see: 

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. A friend asks, “How do you do it?” Take all these trips to places like Hawaii, Tokyo and Osaka, Dublin, Barcelona, and more. How do you get free hotel rooms that cost hundreds of dollars a night?

“I want to travel like you do,” they say. “Where do I start?”

Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

And you have that moment where you’re thinking inside, “Well for starters, using that debit card for everything you buy isn’t helping anything.” *cough* Kierstin *cough*

You ask about their spending habits. “Do you shop online?” Definitely use a shopping portalget free miles for clicking a link.

And sign up for dining rewards while you’re at it because you never know when you’ll get some extra miles in your account – especially if you live in a mid-sized to large city.

As far as cards go… where to begin?

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Coming Soon: The Doubling (of Discover Cash Rewards Earned This Year)

Not this Dublin - but close!

Also see: 

Or, “The Month Discover Pays My Mortgage

Or, “The Dublin

  • Link: Discover It (with $50 bonus after 1st purchase)

An event so anticipated. It only happens once per year. The month Discover is nice enough to pay my mortgage – THE DUBLIN.

Not this Dublin - but close!

Not this Dublin – but close!

If you don’t have a no annual fee card, or if you staunchly refuse to pay an annual fee on a card for whatever reason, you definitely have a lot of options.

Without making an exhaustive list, I can think of the Citi Hilton Visa, Chase Freedom, Citi Costco, Amex EveryDay, and the Chase Ink Cash and Amex SimplyCash Plus for small businesses.

And, if you want a cashback card with no annual fee, the best ones are:

  • Discover It (5% bonus categories and 1% cash back on other purchases, doubled after the 12th billing cycle for new cardmembers)
  • Discover It Miles (1.5% cashback on all purchases, ditto for the double cash back)
  • Fidelity Visa (straight 2% cashback, but you have to have a Fidelity account – all free to have and open)
  • Citi Double Cash (2% cashback, but you earn 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off)

I tend to like bonus categories because I make the most of ’em, but you might prefer straight cashback with no categories to think about.

You can find all the cards that aren’t linked above by clicking through here.

History of The Dublin

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Should You Use a 0% APR Card to Pay Off Debt?

asd

Also see: 

NOTE: The card APRs in this post are current at the time of writing (July 28th, 2016). Be sure to check the offers for more details.

So here’s an idea I’ve been tossing around.

It absolutely burns me up that I’m still dealing with student loan debt. And it should. Mr. Money Mustache said it best:

YOUR DEBT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU “WORK ON”. IT IS A HUGE, FLAMING EMERGENCY!!!

I’ve put off paying down this debt because there have been other opportunities to earn more: I bought a house, maxed out my IRA, started Airbnbs, and now I’m looking at buying a duplex in the DFW area.

All of these things either appreciate or earn more than the interest I pay on my student loans.

But I’ll be damned if carrying that balance doesn’t give me a red rump.

The idea

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

New Changes to Citi Prestige, Complete With Typo of Points Worth 2 Cents Each for AA Flights

Oooh, pretty

Also see: 

Update: The old 50K offer is still available! I’d apply sooner rather than later if you want it. It also says you’ll get AA lounge access still.

Update: Peeps on Reddit are reporting the 2 cent valuation, too. Who knows if Citi will honor this – it does seem like a careless typo after all, which is honestly inexcusable for a bank of their size.

Welp, the dreaded changes to Citi Prestige are in:

  • 40,000 Citi ThankYou points as a sign-up bonus
  • Minimum spending increased to $4,000 in 3 months
  • Dropping American Airlines Admirals Club access (but here’s an easy way to get in anyway)
  • No changes to 2X dining category (or any other bonus categories)

I’m guessing they had to axe the AA lounge access because of upcoming arrangements between Citi and Barclays with AA cards. That is fine. They could’ve been much worse.

Citi being Citi?

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Citi AT&T Access More Card Earns 3X for Student Loan Payments on Plastiq

Also see: 

I made a test payment to my student loan company through Plastiq and earned 3X Citi ThankYou points with the Citi AT&T Access More card.

I’ve written how easy it is to boost your ThankYou points balance by paying rent and mortgages via Plastiq with that card.

Literally the devil

Literally the devil

And now, there’s another way to earn Citi ThankYou points if you need to make student loan payments.

About Plastiq + Citi AT&T Access More

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Best Cards to Use for Amazon Prime Day

Prime Day

It’s here – Amazon Prime Day. I was excited to see what Amazon would do today (July 12th, 2016) after the disappointing selection last year.

Prime Day

Prime Day is here, and it’s worth it this year

It looks good – there are many worthwhile deals for items like TVs, tablets, portable readers, clothes, even cleaning supplies.

Discounts are around 25%, with some items even more reduced. So it might be worth it to stock up – or at least see if something catches your eye today.

What’s Prime Day?

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

Is Citi Planning Changes to the Prestige Card?

A box in a box in a box

I got an email from Citi asking me to take a survey put together by ISG Research (Insight Strategy Group).

Citi's

Citi’s rather vague email

The subject was, “We want your feedback on the best credit card rewards programs.”

But once I got into it, I realized they were asking about the Citi Prestige card.

The email even said, “Cardmember since 2015,” which was the year I got my Citi Prestige card.

In the survey, they ask the respondent to consider several mash-ups of card features and select the best option.

They throw around current Citi Prestige features like the 4th night free, annual fee, transfer partners, and ancillary benefits like the 3 free rounds of golf.

What is Citi considering?

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

App-O-Rama: 4 New Cards and ~200,000 Points

Still the best high I've found

Also see: 

Oh man, looking back on my first AOR 3 years ago is such a stroll down memory lane.

Still the best high I've found

Still the best high I’ve found

I was still newish to points and miles, new to blogging, still finding my voice and figuring out my travel goals.

I mentioned them at the time:

My travel goals for this round of apps are Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Dublin, Seattle, Alaska, and eventually, Australia. I’d also LOVE to fit in Vienna/Prague sometime this summer.

I made it to all of those places with the exception of Prague (which I mentioned recently as a possibility with Hilton points, so it’s still on my radar):

It goes to show the power of setting a goal.

But I should take a little wisdom “Three Years Ago Harlan” because my recent round of applications were rather scattershot. After I get settled in Dallas, I’m gonna need to plan a lot of trips with all the points and miles I’ll earn from this newest AOR.

4 new cards!

Read More

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!