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$3,000 or 225,000 Airline Miles From ONE Sign-Up Bonus – But They’re Not for Everyone

Capital One shook things up this week when they announced mondo 200,000-mile sign-up offers on their Spark Miles and Spark Cash cards. And on the Spark Miles card, those rewards will become transferable to 12 airlines starting December 2018, which is stellar. It’s always good to have more options – especially with flexible rewards programs.

In fact, peeps looking for a single-card solution to most points dilemmas finally found their match. You can redeem the points for 1 cent each, and with the Spark miles card, transfer them at a 2:1.5 ratio to useful airlines like Air Canada, Etihad, and Qantas.

They’re excellent deals if you want a rewarding small business card without hassle.  You’ll end up with $3,000 or 225,000 airline miles after the minimum spending is complete.

capital one spark miles

The required spending and opportunity cost are high with this one

But they’re NOT for everyone. I’ll explain why.

$3,000 or 225,000 Airline Miles After a Boatload of Spending

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’Tis the Season for New Credit Cards – and Price Protection!

November is here, and in a couple of short weeks, it’ll be Black Friday. Peeps tend to naturally spend more during the holiday season for presents, travel, and organizing parties.

While there’s a moment of calm, consider you can turn all your holiday spending into 1,000s of points & miles by opening a new credit card and using it to meet minimum spending requirements over the next month or so. If you apply now, it’ll arrive in time for the biggest shopping season of the year.

Plus, with all the sales and deals going on, consider a card with 60- or 90-day price protection – and automate it – to save even more money.

Credit Card Price Protection

Turn those Amazon purchases into award travel! Now’s the time to jump on a new card offer

Here are a few worthwhile sign-up offers, and how to set alerts for price drops.

Holiday time now = an award trip in 2019

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The Best Offer With the Most Miles for Those Over 5/24 (70,000 AA Miles, Small Biz Card)

Lord help me, I just got another new credit card. This one’s too good to pass up if you’re over 5/24 and have small business income.

You can earn 70,000 American Airlines miles with the CitiBusiness American Airlines Platinum Select card after meeting reasonable minimum spending requirements. I just signed up and got instant approval!

70,000 American Airlines miles is enough to visit:

  • 4 countries in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea)
  • Northern South America
  • Literally anywhere in Europe
  • The Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America

And it’s nearly enough for 2 round-trip coach award flights to Hawaii!

citi aa 70k

That fateful moment when you open yet another new credit card

I was running low on AA miles. But now that you can book Air Tahiti Nui and Qatar flights on the AA website (along with other partners), it’s easier than ever to use your miles. You do NOT have to fly on American Airlines – use your miles for partner flights instead!

I’m so close to an around-the-world trip on Cathay Pacific with Alaska miles, and Qatar with American Airlines miles, that I can taste it.

Plus, you can make mortgage payments via Plastiq with this card because it’s a MasterCard, so it’s easy to meet the minimum spending in no time! (That’s how I plan to complete the spending requirements.)

Citi AA 70K miles with the CitiBusiness American Airlines Platinum Select card

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10 Easiest Signup Bonuses to Earn (7 Under $500, 3 With a Single Purchase!)

This one’s for peeps who think they can’t earn signup bonuses because the minimum spending requirements are too dang high.

When you think about, spending $3,000 (the usual spending requirement) is, of course, $1,000 per month for 3 months – or $250 per week. These cards tend to have the highest bonuses.

The problem with bank marketing is they throw out huge numbers and scare people off. But when you break it down, it appears way more manageable.

In any regard, there are plenty of cards with much lower minimum spending requirements. And some of them are genuine keepers!

cards with low spending requirements

Or rather, they look high – but most of them aren’t that bad once you break it down

Let’s look at 10 of the easiest signup bonuses you can earn.

10 cards with low spending requirements

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10 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards – All With a 2% or Better Return

Everyone should have at least 1 credit card without an annual fee. When a card is free to keep forever, you never have to second-guess it. And the card works its powers on your credit report to increase available limits, decrease utilization, and help boost the average age of all your accounts.

My oldest credit card is from 2002 and has no annual fee. No matter how many new cards I open, I’ll always have a 16-year-old card to raise the average age of my accounts higher and therefore, my credit score.

When a card has a fee, it’s harder to justify keeping it – unless you get outsized value.

But having a card without an annual fee doesn’t mean you have to give up solid returns. All of the cards on this list can get you 2% back or better.

best no annual fee credit cards

Discover It is one of the best no annual fee cards – up to 10% cashback the first year. I’ll share my top 10 faves!

Here’s my list.

10 best no annual fee credit cards

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Only Days Left for Citi ThankYou Premier’s Incredible 60,000 Point Bonus (Easy $800 for Travel)

If you haven’t jumped on this offer yet, time’s almost up. Citi will pull the chance to earn 60,000 Citi ThankYou points with the Citi ThankYou Premier card on October 11th, 2018. Each point is worth 1.25 cents toward travel (including airfare, hotel stays, cruises, and excursions), which makes this offer easily worth $800 after meeting the minimum spending requirement.

Even better, the annual fee is waived the first year. So you can see if you like the card for 12 full months before paying. Even then, Citi is excellent about retention offers for bonus points upon card renewal. I get them regularly.

This is also one of the few cards to earn 3X points on gas (and travel).

citi thankyou premier

Citi ThankYou points helped me get to Prague. 60K is the best offer there’s been for the ThankYou Premier

I wish I could get this offer. You’re not eligible if you’ve opened or closed another ThankYou card in the last 24 months. Otherwise, there would be zero hesitation. This is the highest offer ever for this card.

Citi ThankYou Premier Bonus = $800

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For Advanced Players: The Citi ThankYou Premier 60,000 Point Offer Is Easily Worth $900

Dang, I just checked my credit file, and it looks like I closed my last Citi ThankYou Premier card in June 2017. I still have my Citi Prestige card open (and can’t wait to see how they refresh it this month).

According to Citi’s rules, I’m not eligible to earn another bonus on a ThankYou card because I’ve opened OR closed a ThankYou card within the last 24 months. But man, if you’re eligible to apply for this offer, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t hop all over it – especially if you’re over 5/24.

I have some FOMO about this offer. Because this offer is an easy $900 toward travel.

citi thankyou premier 60000

I use Citi ThankYou points all the time – including for flights to Belgium to stroll the gorgeous river that runs through Bruges

Here’s my expert analysis. 🧐

Dat Citi ThankYou Premier 60,000 point offer tho

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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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Bottom of the Barrel: Have I Gotten All the Points & Miles Cards I Possibly Can?

I wanna type out loud for a sec to assess which card offers I can still earn. Before I begin, I know there aren’t many.

After all, I currently have about 30 cards and have rotated through many others since I started the points & miles game in 2012 (and heavily in 2013).

which cards are left

My first award trip was to Hawaii in 2013, with Delta miles and Hilton points

So what’s left for me? I know it’s not much.

Let’s take a deep dive.

Which cards are left that I can even get?

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Electric Tokyo: A $15,000 Week in Japan for $58 (With Business Class Flights and Free Hotels!)

Oh my purness, I cannot wait to get back to Japan right meow. 😻

I’ll be back in early April – just in time to catch the end of cherry blossom season (!) according to the forecast.

I went during the same time 2 years ago and fell completely in love with Tokyo (and Osaka). But this trip will be a whole week in Tokyo.

I’ll fly there and back in American Airlines Business Class, Dallas nonstop to Tokyo. (I reviewed the First Class cabin last time).

I’ll be at the Hilton Tokyo again for 3 nights (here’s my review). And at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo for 4. Was hoping to stay at the Conrad Tokyo for at least 2 nights. But demand was too crazy, obvi.

tokyo with points 2018

I also used 54,000 American miles, 50,000 Alaska miles, 180,000 Hilton points, and 200,000 IHG points

Still, I paid ~$58 out-of-pocket for a trip that retails for nearly $15,000. My only expenses when I get there will be train fares, food food food, and admission to art museums.

Here’s how I booked it!

To Tokyo with points, 2018 edition

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Plastiq for Mortgage Payments Is Dead, Mostly 😿

Also see: 

Thanks to readers Frank, Amar, and Ken for sharing experiences with their Citi AT&T Access More cards only earning 1X points for mortgage payments via Plastiq this month.

My statement just closed, too. And I can confirm: I only got 1X for last month’s mortgage payment. 😿

plastiq mortgage payments

Boo hiss! What’ll we do about you, Citi?

As of now, you can only use MasterCard and Discover cards to make mortgage payments through Plastiq. But you can still use any credit card to make rent or HOA payments.

So are there any good options left for paying mortgages through Plastiq? Or is it just… dead? 

What could be worth it for Plastiq mortgage payments?

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Use Earny for Automated Visa and MasterCard Price Protection

I wrote about Trim and Paribus to track price changes and get a refund from merchants. Now there’s Earny, which tracks price changes and uses price protection from many bank Visa and MasterCard credit cards – and files the claims for you automatically. In return, they take 25% of the bounty.

earny app

Earny automates price protection with several bank Visas and MasterCards

I shop online a lot with my Citi AT&T Access More card (no longer available although you can still product change to it). All Citi personal cards come with Citi Price Rewind, which puts the onus on you to file a claim if you find a lower price. But now Earny automates the work. After you link your cards, nothing else is required to file a claim when Earny finds a lower price.

If you shop online a lot, this could save you big bucks!

What’s Earny?

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