Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

Amex ratchets up their war on gaming with wave of shutdowns

Last week, Reddit was aflame with reports of Amex shutting down accounts.  While account shutdowns have long been common with other issuers, this hasn’t been Amex’s primary approach in the past.  For many years, they temporarily froze accounts in order to put them through financial review.  If the cardholder came out of the financial review successfully, their accounts were fully restored.  More recently, we’ve seen Amex clawing back points that they decided were earned through…

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5% back everywhere through 3/31/20 w/ Citizens Bank Mastercard (limited states)

Money Tree

I can’t imagine that this will work out as well as it sounds for a heavy hitter, but for the gamblers among us who also happen to live near a Citizens Bank branch, the Citizens Bank Mastercard is offering 5% back everywhere through March 31, 2020. That’s not a typo — 5% back on all purchases everywhere for more than 4 months (if you get the card now). Catch #1 is that the “bonus” cash back doesn’t…

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Credit card changing fortunes

One of the things that has long fascinated me about rewards credit cards is the way in which changes to other things (other cards, rewards programs, airport lounges, etc.) can effect the perceived value of a card.  OK, so yes, that proves that I’m a credit card nerd.  Still, even if you’re not a credit card nerd, I think you’ll find this interesting too… I took a look at a number of popular rewards credit…

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[Expired] Aspire w/ first-year fee waived!

It’s dead, Jim. The waived fee offer is gone. A reader in our Frequent Miler Insiders group has shared with us an offer for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card that has the standard welcome bonus but waives the annual fee for the first year. That’s huge since the benefits on this card already outweigh the annual fee. Saving $450 in year 1 is icing on the cake. Note the caution section below for a couple…

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Manufacturing Delta elite status in 2020 and beyond

Reconsidering my Delta elite future For many years now, I’ve manufactured high level Delta elite status for myself and my wife using techniques to increase credit card spend and get most of it back.  For simplicity, we often refer to these techniques as “manufactured spending” but in reality many techniques are simply ways to pay big bills (taxes, rent, etc.) with a credit card for as small of a fee as possible. There are significant…

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Which Ultra Premium Cards are Keepers? Version 3.1

UPDATE 11/4/2019 Version 3.1: That was fast!  I last published this post 5 days ago with Version 3.0 of the spreadsheet.  Since then, we learned of the CNB card’s massive devaluation (click here for details).  So, I’ve updated the spreadsheet to version 3.1 with the new CNB info.  Personally, this meant that the CNB card is no longer a keeper for me.  As a result, my valuations of other cards increased. I’ll now be leaning…

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CNB Crystal Visa Infinite loses valuable perks as of Jan 1 2020

On the heels of their point devaluation, CNB has announced severe cuts to the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite card’s benefits.  CNB has published a document “Change in Terms to Your City National Bank Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card Guide to Benefits.”  Rumors had already circulated about some of this (found here), but now we have concrete changes to react to.  It ain’t pretty. Here’s what’s changing on January 1 2020: Airline incidental fees capped at…

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A student credit card plan: 825,000 points by graduation

I’ve previously written a few posts with recommendations for teenagers and students who are interested in getting into the credit cards rewards game: Building (and viewing) teenage credit Planning a teen’s first credit card My teen’s first credit card, and his next steps towards rewards Chase Business Ink as a student starter card I can boil down the advice from those posts to a few bullet points: Preparation (before age 18):  Parents who are responsible…

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Rakuten (formerly Ebates): now change from cash back to Membership Rewards points

Rakuten is now offering users the chance to switch from earning cash back to earning Membership Rewards points. If you have an account earning cash back, you can now choose to earn Membership Rewards points instead. That’s huge for people with long-established accounts (from before Ebates added Membership Rewards earning as an option and changed the name of the site to Rakuten). If you are currently earning cash back and would like to earn Membership Rewards…

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