Yay! A Huge 89-Point Jump for an Authorized User’s Credit Score!

Or, Lighting Strikes Twice!

I shared how my brother’s credit score jumped 100+ points in a month after I added him to one of my credit cards. He had literally nothing on his credit report.

Last month, I added an authorized user to a 5-year old (no annual fee!) credit card with a $13,000 credit limit. The statement closed on July 3rd. And on July 11th (a week later), we pulled his credit report.

add authorized user

My AU’s credit score went up 89 points in under a month

His new score (according to Credit Sesame) is now 732 – 89 points more than it was this time last month! (FWIW, it was the same on Credit Karma, too.)

After adding my brother, and now with this new experience, I’m convinced how beneficial it can be to add authorized users to old cards with a high limit. And why it’s so important to have a couple of cards with NO annual fees in your wallet.

This AU had one negative mark, but all my info transferred

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3 Days in Iceland: What You Should Know About Your Stopover Trip

It’s easier than ever to spend three days in Iceland:

  • WOW! Air frequently has $99 one-way sales to Iceland (and around $200 coming home)
  • Icelandair lets you add a free stopover – up to 7 days – on your way to mainland Europe
  • American, Delta, and United all fly there seasonally from their hubs

Of course, with all this competition, fares are rock bottom. I’ve seen them as low as $287 round-trip to visit the Land of Fire & Ice.

three days in iceland

Planning a visit to Iceland? You should – it’s easier than ever

I say Iceland deserves a full week to appreciate. The weather is unpredictable and if you hit a rainy patch, that’ll be unfortch. That said, if you’ve never been it’s beyond worthwhile to add a bonus side trip to Iceland. A friend asked what to do with 3 days in Iceland, to which I said…

Even three days in Iceland is expensive

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Does Your Biz Spend $8,000+ a Month? Get 125,000 Points, $700+ in Credits, Lounge Access, Elite Status…

Who’s never had the small business version of the Amex Platinum Card? *raises hand*

This card doesn’t count against your Chase 5/24 status. But I didn’t include it on my list of 7 best cards if you’re over 5/24 because:

  • It will only appeal to a small segment of people
  • The minimum spending requirement to earn the welcome offer is $25,000 (!) in the first 3 months of account opening

But there are several huge reasons to get this card, namely 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points as a welcome bonus. Plus it comes with a long list of benefits – and the annual fee is only $450, a full $100 less than the personal versions! To get the deal, you must apply by August 8th, 2018 (about a month away!).

amex platinum business 100k

I always make sure to eat full meals and enjoy a couple free cocktails at Amex Centurion Lounges

The annual fee is NOT waived the 1st year. But man, if you make good use of the lounge access and annual statement credits… it’s a total GOAT.

Amex Platinum business 100K card offer

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7 Cards to Consider If You’re LOL/24 (No Chase on This List!)

There’s zero doubt Chase cards are the best to get first. Their products have high sign-up offers, excellent ongoing benefits, and strong category bonuses.

But… Chase shutdowns are increasing – even if you haven’t opened a Chase card in recent past. And, they have aspirations to use their 5/24 rule for ALL their cards. (Which is ridiculous, especially for the co-branded cards because you want people to actually get them, right?)

best cards over 5/24

I’ll have to accept this was the last Chase card I might ever get 🙁

I just earned 100,000 British Airways Avios points on the Chase British Airways card. But between shutdowns and 5/24… I might be done with Chase for a while.

I regret not ever having the Chase Freedom Unlimited for everyday non-bonus spending. Although with my current cards, I should be good for lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards with organic spending.

Anyhoo, I’ve been thinking of card options if you’re helplessly over 5/24, or just don’t want to mess with Chase any more.

Here are the 7 best!

Best cards over 5/24 and/or done with Chase

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Tomorrow: I’m Chatting Live With The Credit Card Nerd on YouTube @ 3pm CT!

Set a reminder! There’s a new podcast in town. The Credit Card Nerd hosts a weekly discussion of points & miles news every Saturday at 3pm CT.

And tomorrow, I’m the featured guest on the fourth episode!

credit card nerd podcast

Watch me and Chase talk shop on Saturday, June 30th @ 3pm CT

We’ll go over lots of recent news, my latest trip to the Faroe Islands, and take your questions – live!

Out and Out on Credit Card Nerd Podcast

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Koks Restaurant Review: Dining Experience of a Lifetime in the Faroe Islands

My first day in the Faroe Islands was packed:

  • Got to airport in Vagar at 11am
  • Checkin at Havgrim Hotel shortly after 12pm
  • New Norse-inspired tattoo at 4pm
  • And by 6pm, off to Koks for dinner at 6:30pm!

This was also the Summer Solstice in the Land of the Midnight Sun. I didn’t know what to expect from Koks. That I’d be there 4+ hours. And that it wouldn’t just be a (very decadent) meal – but truly the experience of a lifetime.

koks restaurant review

Koks is in an old turf house on an isolated bay in the Faroe Islands

Here’s my experience (the only word to describe it!) at Koks, complete with #foodporn pics of the 20+ courses served that night.

My Koks restaurant review

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Visit to the Faroe Islands: Rugged Cliffs, Endless Waterfalls, & Modern Refinement

I crossed off a huge bucket list item. Last week, I spent 4 days in the wild and rugged Faroe Islands.

The country is made of 18 islands. Of those, I got to visit 3. What I saw reminded me of the ruggedness of Iceland and the brilliant green cliffs of Ireland.

But the Faroe Islands are a unique place in the world. And, it’s challenging to get there.

Based on my short time, I can already say it’s one of my favorite places on earth. And can’t wait to go back.

visit faroe islands

The Faroe Islands were unlike any place I’ve been, and crazy gorgeous

Here’s more about my visit to the Faroe Islands. And photos of the stunning landscapes that make this place so deeply special.

Visit Faroe Islands – My experience

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Review: Icelandair Saga Lounge, Keflavik (KEF)

Hello from Iceland! Specifically, the Icelandair Saga Lounge in the center of Keflavik Airport.

One reason I wanted to fly in Business Class home (instead of inbound) was access to this lounge. It’s Icelandair’s single lounge – and the only lounge in Keflavik airport.

Icelandair Saga Lounge Review

Entrance to the Icelandair Saga Lounge in Keflavik

Sitting here now, it’s one of the most spacious and calm airport lounges I’ve ever been to.

You can’t buy day passes to this lounge. But I’ll share how you can get in!

My Icelandair Saga Lounge Review

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6 Ways to Save Big on Dining: Find Faves, Get Points + Cashback With Every Visit

Eating out is probably my biggest weakness. I give myself a couple of things to spend relentlessly on. And beyond that, I save like a madman.

My 2 things are: eating out and travel. I do well stocking up at Costco and cooking at home most nights. But my god if a good happy hour deal doesn’t get me.

I pay pennies on the dollar when I travel. Dining is easy, too. By enrolling my cards once and having a few go-to places, I get discounts close to 20% off in the form of points, miles, and cashback – and the savings add up!

save on dining

I love happy hours at this cantina. Plus, I get points, miles, and cashback every time I visit

It’s not hard. Here’s how to do it.

Dining programs + cashback app + points card = big dining discounts

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Why I’m Switching Spend to SPG Cards the Next 2 Months (And a Useful Tip!)

Welp, the Marriott-Starwood merger looms nigh. On August 1st, 2018, we’ll all wake up and have a new program – with excellent deals through the end of 2018.

Also on that day is an event I’ve dubbed in my mind as “The Triplin’” – because everyone’s Starwood balance will increase by 3X!

So now’s the time to earn as much as possible to take advantage of redemption opportunities later this year.

spg card spending

Marriott’s award chart as of August 1st

In 2019, the new program will be dead to me. I’ve never liked Marriott hotels, and occasionally stay with Starwood. At that point, I’ll go back into my Hilton/Hyatt hole for as long as the water’s nice.

Ah, to be a fairweather traveler free agent.

5 months of great deals – under 2 months to earn with SPG card spending!

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This Month: Save 10+% on Shell & Exxon Gas With These Cards

There are a couple of good offers to save at the pump these next few weeks. I’ve been using them to fill up – and found it’s cheaper than buying gas at Costco, where I usually get gas in conjunction with a shopping trip.

You can get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Pay with the Chase Freedom card (compare it here) on up to $1,500 in spending through June 30th, 2018 – and Shell is a Chase Pay merchant. Chase Freedom cardholders also get free Gold Status with Shell Fuel Rewards, which saves 6 cents per gallon through the end of 2018.

And Amex has an offer to get 10% cashback at Exxon through the end of November. Plus, when you pay through their Speedpass app, you can save 10 cents a gallon. And when you add your Amex card in the Dosh app, you’ll get another 2% cashback through July 10th, 2018.

save on gas

Combine apps and offers to save on Shell and Exxon gas

Either offer also gets you savings for most of 2018. And for the next few weeks, you can combine offers to save over 10% at Shell or Exxon.

Here’s how they work!

Stack credit card offers to save on gas

1. Chase Freedom + Chase Pay at Shell

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