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How a $6 Charge Made My Credit Score Drop 100 Points

Considering all the things I’m juggling all the time, my accuracy rate is pretty high. But more to keep track of means more things fall through the cracks.

Before I moved to Dallas ~7 months ago, I changed all my addresses to my new address. During this, I paused the shipping on my Dollar Shave Club account.

And somewhere along the line, I canceled my Amex EveryDay Preferred card because I wasn’t making 30 transactions on it per month. To help with the transactions, and because it was so low, I made it my primary card for Dollar Shave Club’s recurring $6 monthly charge.

You can guess what happened. Somewhere in the middle of everything, the shipping resumed.

my credit score dropped

$6 messed up my credit score

And somehow, the charge cleared. Usually, when a card is closed, you’ll get an email from the merchant saying the payment failed so that you can protect your credit score. Not so with this one.

Amex cleared the charge. And I never got an email from or letter from them. Until one day, I saw my credit score dropped from 803 to 702 – because of non-payment of the $6 charge.

Amex has no idea what’s going on

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$130 in Free Uber Airport Rides (2 up to $65 each) for Amex Cardholders (Select Cities)!

This is gonna be a fast one so you can add this code ASAP.

Add code "AMEXAIRPORT" to your Uber account

Add code “AMEXAIRPORT” to your Uber account

The code is “AMEXAIRPORT” and you can get 2 free rides, up to $65 each, through December 31st, 2016 from these airports:

  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

You need to set an Amex card as your payment method.

Here are the full terms of this offer.

Looks like there are plenty left

Looks like there are plenty left

I just added this to my account and it went through right away. So hopefully there are plenty left.

This is another great move from Amex, after the 2X small business points promotion, cheap Hamilton tickets, and recent great Amex Offers.

They are doing good things and I’m really pleased to see this!

Get it while you can!

50% Off at Boxed for New Accounts + Amex Offer

Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday. Here’s a good deal alert!

NEW Boxed users can get ~$67 worth of stuff for ~$31 by stacking a new account bonus, cash reward, Amex Offer, and clicking through a shopping portal. The discount works out to be slightly above 50%, assuming you can hit the target right around $67.

50% off at boxed

Stock up on household basics with over half off

I love a good stack! But keep in mind the math only works for new accounts. So you can either make a new account. Or just use the Amex Offer with a portal bonus and still do well.

Stack to get 50% off at Boxed

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Yes! Hamilton Tickets in Chicago for $120+, Many Dates Still Open

Earlier today, The Points Guy broke the news (which they found via Reddit) of Hamilton tickets in Chicago starting at $85 for peeps with an Amex Platinum (or Centurion) card.

My friend Jas actually got 4 tickets to the January 21st performance for $65 each. January in Chicago didn’t sound so hot (literally), but I was interested when I saw a date in March opened up.

However, when I called, there were actually LOTS of days with plenty of tickets. So I’d encourage you to call Amex concierge and ask!

I had them check:

  • March 11th (2pm and 8pm show)
  • March 12th (2pm show)
  • March 14th (7:30pm show)
  • March 18th (2pm and 8pm show)

It seemed laborious for my poor phone agent to check all 6 in a row, especially because I kept comparing the seats against the seat map I had open during our call.

hamilton tickets chicago

Over an hour of lovely hold music before I got a rep

However, every single show had tickets available. So if you’re still looking for – or if you want a crack at – these tickets, I’d say call immediately and have them check the date and time you want.

Some seats were for $120, but others were $180, depending on location and view.

Incredible savings for Hamilton tickets in Chicago

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Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card Has No Fee the First Year, Plus $400 in Travel Credit (and Free Lounge Access!)

My friend Angie passed this tip along today, and I must say I was very tempted.

You can pick up the Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card with no annual fee the first year.

Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card

Good deal alert!

For those of you who can’t earn the sign-up bonus on an Amex card, the good news here is there isn’t one – so you’re not missing out on anything.

Plus, now is a good time to apply because the $200 annual travel credit will reset in January 2017.

So you essentially get the card free for a year, plus $400 in statement credits ($200 in 2016 and $200 in 2017).

Why the Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card?

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

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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PSA: Use Your $100 Mercedes-Benz Certificate (and What I Got With Mine)

Lots of folks got the 75,000 Amex Membership Rewards point offer on the Amex Mercedes-Benz card earlier this year (including me).

If that’s you, you should’ve received a certificate in the mail for $100 toward “genuine Mercedes-Benz parts and accessories.”

I frequently pass a M-B dealership in Dallas, and one weekend afternoon, I decided to pop in and see what I could get.

So here goes!

My experience redeeming the $100 certificate

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Last Chance for AMEX SPG 35,000 Point Offers (and Why I Got Both Cards)

Update: One or more card offers below are NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Please check here for the latest deals!

OMG, cringe. Did I just write that headline? Me, Mr. “I Don’t Care About Starpoints?”

I did. A lot has changed since that proclamation nearly 3 years ago. Devaluations, tougher approval rules, and a vastly different landscape for points and miles.

In particular, you can only get an AMEX sign-up bonus once per lifetime on all their cards.

This is the highest bonus there’s ever been – and likely will ever be – on the AMEX SPG cards. I took the bait.

Last days to lock in the bonus

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Is AMEX Hilton Surpass Card Increasing to 100K Offer Soon?

File this under #hypothesis and #gumshoe. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened soon.

Redditors are claiming they’ve seen offers to earn 100,000 Hilton points on the AMEX Hilton Surpass card. 

AYFKM?

AYFKM? Photo source: Reddit

If the offer is indeed real, if will run through May 4th, 2016. And you’ll earn 100,000 Hilton points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Like previous offers, the $75 annual fee probably won’t be waived. And you’ll get Hilton Gold status just for having the card.

If you have a few breakfasts at Hilton in a year, that covers the annual fee.

This week?

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I Got the SPG AMEX with 35,000 SPG Points – Here’s Why

Update: One or more card offers below are NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Please check here for the latest deals!

Yep, I caved. Because I figured now or never.

I wrote about how I didn’t care about SPG points. But I also used to love Club Carlson. And cozied up to Hyatt.

I also used to be “meh” about Hilton, but I’m enjoying being Hilton Diamond this year.

So, things change. And if anything’s changing, it’s definitely the loyalty industry. And it is an industry.

Why now?

I navigated over to the application page, and looked at it for a little while. (How’s that for an image?)

asd

Hook, line, and sinker

And then, I thought, well, 40,000 Starpoints is worth at least 50,000 Alaska Airlines or American Airlines miles.

It’s true. You get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer (if the airline has a 1:1 transfer ratio with SPG).

I figured I’ll have at least 40,000 Starpoints after meeting the minimum spending requirements. Plus, I have to pay taxes this year and, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), I can complete it in one go.

That’s worth it for 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles.

Although, Cash & Points is looking mad attractive the more I dig into it.

Plus, you get the 5th night free on award stays at Category 3 and up hotels.

Nights & Flights looks pretty interesting, too.

Suffice it to say: there are a lot of ways to start using 40,000 Starwood points.

Getting the SPG AMEX

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16 Points & Miles Predictions for 2016

Happy New Year! I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon with the predictions. So here’s my effort.

"Everyone else is doing it, so why can't we?"

“Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t we?”

2015 was a crazy year

A portrait of the Fidelity AMEX card

A portrait of the Fidelity AMEX card

Out and Out’s Points and Miles Predictions for 2016

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Taking Another Look at Hilton, Hyatt, and Diamond Elite Status

Also see: 

To begin, I must say I’m disappointed I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to receive Hyatt Diamond status. Although I did luck out with Hilton Diamond status.

I realize I’ll likely sound like a spoiled brat whining about something I didn’t get for free. Especially when others have spent much more time and money to actually earn the status. That said, the way Hyatt handled the Diamond status match – from free-for-all to the later restriction to only match SPG Platinum members, and all the missteps in between- was very mishandled.

Booooo

Booooo

Hyatt had an opportunity to capitalize on the SPG/Marriott merger and they blew it – unless you got the match, then you win. I likely would’ve gone out of my way to stay with Hyatt more in 2016 and beyond. This whole thing has left such a bad taste behind that it makes me want to actively avoid Hyatt, and only use them for free award night stays.

Although I think what Hilton is doing is genius, at least from a marketing perspective. And, let’s face it: Hilton has a much larger footprint than Hyatt (4,100+ hotels compared to ~600). And Hilton is in every place there’s a Hyatt with few exceptions.

For example, there are NO Hyatt hotels in Barcelona (where I’ll be in a few weeks). But there were 4 Hilton options:

Furthermore, the next time Hyatt has a Diamond status challenge to stay 12 nights, I won’t even consider doing it (even though you can complete it with only 9 nights if you have Citi Prestige). Why would I spend $1,000 on something so many others got for free?

Anyway, that’s my preamble – just wanted to clear the air here. Again, I completely understand I don’t “deserve” the status in way. It just sucks to see so many get it for free, even though my credentials where enough – at one point – to get me in, too. A case of “early bird gets the worm” if there ever was one.

But now, I’m taking another look at Hilton, as I expect to have more paid stays there, at least for now. And, it’s not as bad as you’d think.

Hilton Diamond Vs Hyatt Diamond

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