Showing posts with label Membership Rewards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Membership Rewards. Show all posts

September 11, 2016

American Express Business Gold Upgrade to Platinum Offer

Emily's had the American Express Business Gold card for nearly a year.  She met the minimum spend to earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in 90 days.  While the annual fee was waived for the first year, her card anniversary is coming up later this month.

I logged in to her Amex account over the weekend to see if the fee had posted yet.  I found this offer below in the "Offers" section.

The offer provided 50,000 Membership Rewards points after upgrading to the Business Platinum card and spending $10,000 in the first 5 months.  While $10K in 5 months is a lot, it's doable.  So we basically have three options.

1)  Cancel the Business Gold card to avoid the upcoming $175 fee
2)  Call Amex for a fee waiver (or some other MR point earning offer)
3)  Upgrade to Business Platinum and work towards meeting the $10K minimum spend

Yes, $450 is not an insignificant annual fee.  But for that fee, we'd earn a $200 airline credit in 2016 and in 2017.  So that would reduce the out of pocket (valuing airline credit as cash) to $50.  And after spending $10,000 over the next 5 months, we'd have an additional 60,000 Membership Rewards points.

I value the bonus at near $1,000 so I'm leaning towards upgrading her account and working on the minimum spend.  What do you guys think?

June 1, 2016

Easy 1,500 Amex Membership Rewards Points

Amex is out with a great new Amex offer which provides 1,500 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $100 at a "Supermarket."  While this may be a targeted offer, both Emily and I had it on our accounts (just one account each)

I'm assuming that buying a gift card will work.  I've purchased one Whole Foods $100 physical gift card to see if it triggers the points.  Amex clearly states that an online purchase will trigger the bonus so we'll see.  I'll report back if that is indeed the case.

I value 1,500 MR points around $30 so think of this as a 30% discount on groceries.  Not bad.  You can check your Amex offers on the mobile app by clicking on "offers" or in your card account online by scrolling to the bottom of the page and looking at your available offers.

May 8, 2016

Getting Started With Credit Card Signup Bonuses

This is an update to a post I wrote back in 2014.  While the specifics have changed a bit, the strategy remains the same.

The last few years of traveling have been unreal.  We've taken trips to Hong Kong, Maldives, Dubai, London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Paris and Bangkok!

Hong Kong!
Many of you have asked us how we afford to go on all these trips.  The answer is pretty simple…we pay less per trip than the price of an economy ticket from the US to Europe.

Etihad First Class Apartments

April 24, 2016

How to Book Singapore Airlines Award Tickets

Last week I posted on how to book Cathay Pacific First Class award tickets.  Today we're going to focus on booking award tickets on another of my favorite Asian carries.

As I eluded to this morning, I'm going to Asia later in the year.  While I had a couple of days to play with, my schedule isn't that flexible.  I generally want to fly home on Saturday or Sunday and for my specific dates, that left with only a couple of options.

Singapore Airlines offers non-stop service from Tokyo to Los Angeles as a continuation of their flight from Singapore.  This would give me another opportunity to fly the flagship Suites Class on the A380.  You can read more about previous Suites Class flights here and here.

Singapore Airlines Lobster Thermidor
The best place to search and book Singapore Airlines awards is on their own website.  For purposes of this post, I'm going to assume you have a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account.  If you don't already have an account, sign-up for one here.

June 15, 2014

Is Earning 2 Membership Rewards Points/Dollar on Uber Rides a Good Deal?

Last week, American Express and Uber rolled out a new partnership that essentially gives Amex card members (with a MR earning card product) the ability to earn 2x points on Uber rides.  They also launched the ability to redeem Membership Rewards points for Uber rides which is definitely NOT a good deal.

Earn 2x Amex points for Uber Rides

Membership Rewards points are pretty valuable thanks to great partners (i.e. Singapore Airlines, British Airways, etc...) and easy to rack up thanks to monster (i.e. 100,000) sign-up bonuses and a variety of consumer and business card products.  I value you them on par with Chase Ultimate Rewards points (about 2 cents each).

I personally have my Uber account linked to my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.  Because Uber is coded as "travel" I will earn 2x points per dollar spent and also earn a 7% annual divided on that spend.  The dividend effectively makes my earnings 2.14x so while the new partnership with Uber is really cool, I will stick to my current setup!

If you don't have the CSP card, definitely link your Uber account to a Membership Rewards earning Amex card.

June 9, 2014

My Latest Round of Credit Card Applications

As I discussed in this post, I apply for a new round of credit cards every 90 days.  Remember, this is not for you if you are a) working on improving your credit b) planning on applying for a loan such as a mortgage in the near future or c) if you periodically carry a balance on your cards.  The rewards that you'll gain in these cases will be heavily offset by either not being able to qualify for the lowest lending rate (due to recent inquiries on your credit report) or actually paying interest if you carry a balance.  Each application will typically ding your credit 2-5 points (those inquiries fall off over time and your score will go back up) thus the reasoning for applying for cards every 90 days on the same day.  The inquiries fall off roughly at the same time and on the day you apply, the other banks don't see that you applied for a card earlier in the day.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way...Here's an overview of my most recent card application including what I applied for and why.

1)  American Express Everyday Preferred

This is a new card from Amex that offers 15,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.  The annual fee (not waived for the first year) is $95.  Even though this sign-up bonus kind of sucks, I needed a quick way to rack up some Membership Rewards points to top off my account for an award and wanted to try out the new offering from Amex.  I value MR points at $.02 teach so this bonus is worth $300.

Result:  Instantly approved

2)  Chase United Explorer Business

This card offers 50,000 United miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days after approval.  The annual fee is normally $95 but is waived for the first year.  It is essentially the same version as the consumer card which I have had a couple of times in the past.  I wanted to pick up a couple of cards for my business and also need to work on replenishing my United mileage balance.  I value United miles at $.02 each so this bonus is worth $1,000.

Result:  Application pended but was approved without a call after a couple of days

Chase MileagePlus Explorer Business Card Welcome Email

3)  Citi AA Advantage Business

This card offers 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days after approval.  The annual fee is $95 and is not waived for the first year.  I value American miles at $.02 each so this bonus is worth $1,000.

Result:  Approved after a quick 10 minute call to Citi


So I went 3/3 on this round.  After spending $6,000 (should be a slam dunk thanks to Amazon Payments) in 90 days and paying $190 in annual fees, I'll earn 115,000 points/miles that I value at $2,300 which will be put to good use towards future airline and hotel awards.