Earlier I wrote about how some major changes are being made to one of my favorite benefits of The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express. A 50% rebate on select Pay With Points redemptions was introduced as a perk as of last October, and it allows you to get up to two cents of…
Wow, this is disappointing. Last October, American Express announced some major changes to both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Specifically:
— The Amex Personal Platinum Card offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines or through Amex Travel.
— The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a 50% refund on Pay With Points redemptions, when redeeming on your designated airline in economy, or on any airline in first or business class. Pay With Points ordinarily gets you one cent of value per point, meaning that you’re getting two cents of value after the refund.
On top of that, even more changes were recently made to the personal Amex Platinum Card.
When airline mergers happen, it’s almost inevitable that changes will also happen with their partnerships. Many airlines have exclusivity agreements with some of their partners, so that’s a detail that has to be hashed out when two airlines join forces.
Typically this comes in the form of the company taking over keeping their agreement, and the company being taken over discontinuing their agreement. However, that’s not always the case. For example, when American took over US Airways, they maintained relationships with both Barclaycard and Citi.
With Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America having closed late last year, and with Alaska recently sharing their vision for the combined airline, it’s clear that not much of the Virgin America brand will survive. I think a lot of us assumed this would be the fate of their co-branded credit card as well, and it looks like that happened sooner rather than later.
There are many reasons to consider picking up a credit card, including a great sign-up bonus, a lucrative return on everyday spend, and also valuable ongoing perks. Hotel credit cards are among the best when it comes to offering perks just for holding onto cards and paying the annual fee. There are even three hotel credit cards that offer an annual free night certificate just for paying your annual fee every year. There’s no spend requirement, and a vast majority of people should be able to get outsized value out of this perk.
In this post I wanted to look at the three credit cards that offer an annual free night certificate each year without any sort of spend requirement, and compare them.
Every month I make a post with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month.
While there are several excellent long standing credit card offers, the specifics of the best offers are constantly changing (be it the annual fee, minimum spend requirement, or even amount of the sign-up bonus).
If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but for me it’s a useful, “current” place to refer people who ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get on a daily basis.
A few days ago I applied for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. At the moment the card has a nice limited time sign-up bonus offering additional Avios for reaching certain spending threshold — at most you can earn 100,000 bonus Avios after spending $20,000 within a year. Even if you don’t want to spend all the way to that threshold, there’s still a ton of value to be had — you can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending just $3,000 within three months.
Keep in mind that this is one of the few remaining Chase cards that isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, so you’re eligible for this card even if you’ve opened more than five accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, you’re eligible for the card as long as you don’t have the card right now, and haven’t earned the new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.
I had this card years ago back when it was first introduced, though decided to pick it up again, especially as I might find it worthwhile to try and earn the travel together certificate.
One of my favorite new uses of transferrable points is Amex’s 50% refund on “Pay With Points” bookings. Last October we learned about some major changes being made to both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Specifically:
— The Personal Amex Platinum Card now offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines
— The Business Amex Platinum Card now offers up to a 50% points refund when using the “Pay With Points” option, which is essentially an opportunity to redeem your Amex points for two cents each towards the cost of airfare
Historically I’ve considered the best use of Amex points to be for airline mileage transfers, though with this change, I think redeeming them for two cents each towards the cost of an airline ticket can represent a great deal. You’d still earn miles for the tickets as you usually would, so it’s especially good for those looking to requalify for status.
Last year Chase expanded what’s commonly referred to as the “5/24 rule.” I’ve received quite a few requests from readers asking for an updated list of which cards aren’t subjected to this rule, so that’s what this post is about.
With Chase’s 5/24 policy, you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months. This is more of a general guideline than a strict rule, though. Here’s what you should know about 5/24:
The fourth night free offered with the Citi Prestige Card is my single favorite benefit offered by any credit card. This benefit has saved me thousands of dollars. For example, in my first year of card membership, the benefit saved me over $2,000, and it has saved me even more since then.
What makes this benefit so great is that you it’s valid on a vast majority of publicly available rates, including pre-paid rates, AAA rates, promotional rates, etc. Also, the reimbursement by Citi happens on the back end, which means that you earn elite qualifying nights, hotel points, etc., based on the rate of all four nights, rather than only based on three nights.
As was first announced last year, the Citi Prestige Card is making two changes to this benefit later this year:
For years the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been one of the most popular rewards credit cards out there. The card is incredibly well rounded, as it offers double points on dining and travel, great travel protection, and the ability to transfer points to a bunch of valuable transfer partners.
However, there’s no denying that over the past several months the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card has been stealing the spotlight, given that it was just introduced last August. The card is fantastically rewarding, as it offers triple points on dining and travel, a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass membership, etc. The card has apparently outperformed Chase’s expectations by a long shot.
While most people lately seem to be signing up for the Sapphire Reserve, in this post I wanted to look at six reasons you might want to consider the Sapphire Preferred instead (again, I’m not suggesting one is better than the other, just encouraging some thought on the topic, given the recent popularity of the Sapphire Reserve):
There are a lot of misconceptions about how credit scores are calculated. This causes a lot of people to believe that applying for or canceling credit cards is horrible for their credit score, when in reality that’s typically not the case.
I’ve written about this in the past, so in this post I’ll simply mention that you should have a good credit score as long as you keep some cards open for a long time (to build a good credit history), make your payments on time, and also don’t utilize too much of your credit (since it looks risky if you’re using too much of your credit). Compared to the above factors, the impact of new applications is minimal, and in many ways, applying for new cards can help your score (since it can increase your total available credit, and improve your payment history and credit history).
The Associated Press is reporting that huge changes are going to be made to how credit scores are calculated, and they could impact all of us.
At the moment there’s an increased sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000-100,000 Avios, depending on how much you want to spend. The breakdown of the bonus is as follows:
— 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
— 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
— 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
In other words, you can spend just $3,000 within three months and get 50,000 bonus Avios, or if you’re willing to spend an additional $7,000 or $17,000, you can get an additional 25,000 or 50,000 Avios, respectively. Even if you only plan on getting to the 50,000 Avios spend threshold, I think the bonus is still very much worthwhile. You don’t really see bigger bonuses on this card without bigger spend thresholds.
Earlier I wrote a review of The Hyatt Credit Card, which is one of my all around favorite hotel credit cards. The card offers a big sign-up bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt in the world upon completing minimum spend, plus an annual free night certificate on your account anniversary.
While there are lots of other perks for the card, in this post I wanted to focus on the annual free night certificate that it offers:
On your credit card account anniversary each year you’ll be issued a free night certificate, which is valid for a stay at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel globally. The certificate should be issued shortly after your account anniversary, and is valid for a stay within a year of when it’s issued.
There are lots of reasons to apply for credit cards. Some are worth getting for their great sign-up bonuses, others are worth getting for the return they offer on everyday spend, and others are worth getting for the great long term perks they offer. Some cards even excel in a couple or all of those categories.
One of the all around best hotel credit cards is The Hyatt Credit Card, which is a card I’ve had had for years, and highly recommend. In this post I wanted to look at some of the benefits of the card in more details.
The Hyatt Credit Card offers a fantastic sign-up bonus, as follows: