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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?

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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?

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

Still the best high I've found

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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!

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Earn Points for Rent and Mortgage Payments With Plastiq (2% Fee With MasterCards)

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I’ve long enjoyed using RadPad despite its 2% fee because I’ve been earning 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent on rent with my Citi AT&T Access More card, which far outweighs it, especially when paired with Citi Prestige.

But on June 1st, 2016, RadPad is increasing its rent bill payment fee to 3.49%, which makes the service much less appealing.

Byeee

Byeee

But, Plastiq easily takes its place – and charges a 2% fee on MasterCard payments. Even better, you can earn 3X Citi ThankYou points with the Citi AT&T Access More card. And, it works on mortgage payments, too.

Plastiq is the new sheriff in town

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MileagePlus X App: Earn Bonus United Miles at Amazon, eBay, & More

Some of the "in-store" merchants

So I just got the Mileage Plus X app and am kicking myself, because it’s been available for points-earning potential since 2014.

But better late than never. And I’m discovering all these cool uses for it.

mileageplus x app

MileagePlus X – oldie but goodie

If you have the Citi AT&T Access More card, you can use it as a payment method on the app to earn a total of 5X miles on Amazon and eBay.

And, a step beyond, you can use it as a defacto shopping portal to get a better payout either in-person OR online.

I got some ‘splainin’ to do!

What’s MileagePlus X?

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My Experience Getting the $650 Phone Credit With Citi AT&T Access More Card

Pick a phone, any phone

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Here’s my experience to add to the mix.

Getting the Card and Buying an iPhone

I applied for the Citi AT&T Access More card in late January, and received the card on February 2nd, 2016. That same day, I bought an iPhone.

Here’s the link Citi gives you to shop for a new phone – it won’t work unless you click through from your Citi account because it tracks your purchase, much like a shopping portal. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to turn off your ad blockers so the purchase is tracked correctly.

Pick a phone, any phone

Pick a phone, any phone

The selection of phones is the exact same as if you navigate to AT&T’s cell phone shop.

I sprang for an iPhone 6S with 128 GB of memory. The taxes for New York were ~$75. After the phone credit, that’s like paying ~$275 for a brand new phone with a lot of memory to burn through.

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Net $200 + taxes for a new 128 GB iPhone

I had an iPhone 5 with 16 GB and was tired of deleting apps/pictures/the entire phone every time it needed an update.

I sold it on eBay for ~$134.

Boo ya

Boo ya

There’s a FedEx ship center 2 blocks away. So I popped in and sent it. It took maybe 10 minutes to list and 10 minutes to ship.

Plus, the sale brought my out-of-pocket cost for the new iPhone down to ~$141 after taxes, which is a screaming good deal.

Do you HAVE TO HAVE AT&T service?

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Bye to RadPad, Hello to Plastiq for 2% Bill Payment Fees With MasterCard (Including Mortgages and Utilities)

Another one bites the dust-ah

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RadPad has been a sweet deal these past few months thanks to their 1.99% fee for paying with a MasterCard.

You could earn 3X Citi ThankYou points by paying with the Citi AT&T Access More card (and still can until June 1st, 2016). Because I have 3 Airbnbs, it’s been a points-generating machine for me.

Even better, when you pair it with Citi Prestige, the 3X points are worth nearly 5% back when you redeem for American Airlines flights. Even with the fee considered, you still come out ahead.

Another one bites the dust-ah

Another one bites the dust-ah

RadPad increases to 3.49%

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Imagining a New Premium Chase Card

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There were rumors on Reddit that Chase is putting together a new premium credit card with a high annual fee a la AMEX Platinum and Citi Prestige.

Moreover, on that same link, there’s another rumor that Chase is planning an overhaul to its Ultimate Rewards program to make it less lucrative.

While I don’t believe Chase would mess with Ultimate Rewards any time soon (because they need to compete with AMEX and Citi’s transferable points programs), I do think Chase is ripe for a new ultra-premium credit card offering.

I thought it’d be fun to imagine what that card might look like. And what features it would need to have for Chase to remain a viable competitor in the premium credit card space.

A new Chase card?

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United Miles Versus Singapore Miles: Which Star Alliance Partner Awards Are Cheaper With Each Program

I’m getting more into Citi’s ThankYou program recently (because Citi ThankYou points are so easy to earn).

And while I can’t totally abandon Ultimate Rewards (for access to United Airlines, British Airways, and Hyatt), I’ve been thinking of award flights where collecting Citi ThankYou points instead of Ultimate Rewards might actually make more sense.

Why Singapore Airlines miles?

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Loving Citi More Than Ever – Time to Cancel Other Cards?

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The credit card landscape is shifting fast:

  • Chase will apply the 5/24 to all its cards starting in April 2016, including co-branded and business cards
  • Citi has been shutting peeps down for usage they don’t like (multiples of any 1 card, money order payments, etc.)
  • Barclays had a good product with the Arrival Plus card, then butchered it. That was pretty much the only good card they had
  • US Bank is useless
  • Bank of America is only good for the Alaska Visa
  • Wells Fargo is a cantankerous little beast
  • There are a few other niche cards, like the Fidelity Visa and BBVA NBA card, worth looking into, but not many

Card offers come and go. Benefits change. Mergers happen and shake things up. Revenue-based elite status throws a wrench into points-earning calculations.

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Could ThankYou become the go-to?

Lately, I’ve been using my Citi cards for most of big purchases. And my trusty Chase Sapphire Preferred for dining.

Non-bonused spend goes on the Fidelity AMEX (I still have the AMEX version). And that’s pretty much it. All the other cards I have are for niche benefits or very specific spending (Chase Hyatt Visa, for example).

Recently, I went ahead and canceled the Chase British Airways Visa.

RIP

Bye, you useless thing

And downgraded my US Bank Club Carlson Visa Signature to the no annual fee version just to keep the credit line and history intact (here’s my recent offer to increase my credit line in exchange for 250 Club Carlson Gold points).

Poor AMEX

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The best card for shopping at Costco is… Citi AT&T Access More?

You can buy Costco Cash Cards in amounts from $25 to $1,000 online

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In my wanderings with the Citi AT&T Access More card, I learned you’ll earn 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent at Costco.com – including gift cards.

ad

This $300 Costco cash card earned 900 Citi ThankYou points with the Citi AT&T Access More card

It got me thinking… is the Citi AT&T Access More card the best card to use for shopping at Costco?

Buy Costco Cash Cards online

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Confirmed: RadPad Earns 3X ThankYou Points With Citi AT&T Access More Card

2016-02-09_22-24-55

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Hello from sunny and HOT Martinique! I’m at Hotel La Pagerie (which I booked with the 4th night free through Citi Prestige).

Quick update because I just received my first statement on my brand new Citi AT&T Access More card.

I didn’t go for the Citi ThankYou Premier to get the full 3X on all travel including gas. Instead, I hedged my bets and got the Citi AT&T Access More card.

The main draw for me was paying rent through RadPad and earning 3X Citi ThankYou points.

And because I also have Citi Prestige, each point is worth 1.6 cents toward American Airlines flights (including codeshares). So even with RadPad’s 1.99% fee, I’d still get close to 3% back of value (4.8% – 1.99% = 2.81%).

Which is awesome – and better than a 2% cash back card obvi.

I outlined the numbers in detail here. And commenters on both Doctor of Credit and Reddit said RadPad earns 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1.

But I just had to confirm it for myself. It really does!

My 3X Citi ThankYou points experience

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