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 cards and imposed my subjective judgment: is the card’s value trending up or down?  You’ll notice in this round-up that some trends are self-imposed (such as changes to the Amex Green card or the Amex Delta cards).  However, many more trends are caused by other cards.  Thanks to the massive devaluations to the CNB and Uber cards, for example, many other cards are trending up…

Amex Cards

Green Card

Trend Amex Green Card
Until recently, the Amex Green card had no purpose other than as a relatively cheap downgrade from the Amex Platinum card.  Now, in exchange for an increased annual fee (which has jumped from $95 to $150), Amex has thrown in solid bonus earnings (3X dining and travel) and a couple of valuable perks (most noteworthy is the annual $100 CLEAR rebate).  Read more here: Amex Green takes on Chase Sapphire Reserve with narrow miss.
American Express® Green Card

FM Mini Review: This newly-refreshed card comes with some key annual benefits and decent rewards on dining and travel spend that make it relevant again.


Annual Fee: $150

Card Type: Amex Charge Card

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X on travel & transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, and rideshares) ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. See (Rates & Fees)

Noteworthy perks: $100 CLEAR credit annually ⚬ $100 LoungeBuddy credit annually. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Platinum cards (and other high end Amex cards)

Trend Amex Platinum Cards (and other high end cards)
Amex devalued their Platinum cards (and other cards that offer Priority Pass) when they dropped Priority Pass restaurants.  On the other hand, the same cards increased in value with the addition of travel protections: trip interruption & cancellation, and trip delay.  The value of the latter was tempered by a reduction in purchase protections.  Overall, I think the changes are net negative.

Delta Cards

Trend Delta Credit Cards
Delta has announced huge changes coming to their Amex Delta card portfolio starting Jan 30, 2020.  Here’s my summary of trends:

  • Delta Blue (fee free): Trends up as Amex drops FX fees and offers 2X at restaurants worldwide.
  • Delta Gold Cards (Consumer & Business): Trend up. The Gold cards benefit from new bonus categories and a $100 flight credit with $10K spend. The biggest loss is that spend on this card no longer counts towards an MQD waiver (which you need only if you’re trying for elite status).
  • Delta Platinum Cards (Consumer & Business): Trend down. Annual fee goes up from $195 to $250.  Miles Boost is replaced with Status Boost and so we no longer earn bonus miles with high spend.  New bonus categories mean that the changes may be a net positive for some.
  • Delta Reserve Cards (Consumer & Business): Trend is mixed. On the positive side, the cards gain Centurion Lounge access, 2 SkyClub guest passes per year, additional status boost thresholds, and free upgrades for non-elites.  On the negative side, the annual fee jumps up to $550, and Miles Boost is replaced with Status Boost so we no longer earn bonus miles.

Chase Cards

Sapphire Reserve

Trend Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve card hasn’t changed, but changes to other ultra premium cards has made this one more valuable.  Chase already had the best ultra-premium travel protections, but Citi used to be a close second with their Prestige card.  That changed dramatically when Citi dropped their travel protections altogether.  Meanwhile, Amex Platinum cards may have become more interesting when Amex added modest travel protections, but Amex also devalued their Priority Pass membership.  Taken together, these changes to competitor cards has cemented the Sapphire Reserve’s place as the best all around travel card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent all-around card for frequent traveler. Best when paired with no-fee Chase Freedom, no-fee Freedom Unlimited & no-fee Chase Ink Cash


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: 3X Travel and Dining

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ $300 Annual Travel Credit ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel ⚬ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Priority Pass Select lounge access ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee credit

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Ritz

Trend Ritz Card
Following the massive devaluation of the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite card, the Ritz card is the last card standing to offer the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit ($100 off domestic round trip flights for 2) and Priority Pass with unlimited guests.  The only way to get this card today is to first have a Chase Marriott Bonvoy consumer card and to ask for an upgrade.  The Ritz card also includes the same excellent travel protections as found on the Sapphire Reserve card.
Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite

FM Mini Review: While the card is pricey, the annual free night, plus $300 in ariline fee credits, plus other perks make this card a keeper.


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 6X Ritz & Marriott.⚬ 3X airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: $75K spend per account year for Platinum elite status

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Annual 50K hotel certificate upon renewal ⚬ 3 club level upgrades. $100 hotel credit for each 2 night or longer stay ⚬ Priority Pass Select with unlimited guests ⚬ $300 annual credit for airline incidentals ⚬ $100 discount on multi-passenger ticket purchases. ⚬ Automatic Gold Status

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Citi Cards

Prestige

Trend Citi Prestige
When Citi first announced major changes to the Prestige card, including ruining the 4th Night Free benefit, I saw more good than bad in those changes.  The ability to earn 5X transferable points for travel & dining on a card with excellent travel protections was insanely great.  But now that Citi has dropped nearly all travel & purchase protections, I can’t justify using this card for travel.  Is 5X dining enough to make this card a keeper?  Probably not.
Citi ThankYou Prestige Card

FM Mini Review: The Prestige card's best in class 5X rewards for dining, airfare, and travel agencies is hard to beat. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Annual Fee: $495

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ⚬ 3X hotels and cruise line ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: $250 travel rebate per calendar year ⚬ Free lounge access: Citi Properietary Lounges; and Priority Pass Select with free guests ⚬ $100 Global Entry application fee credit ⚬ 4th night free hotel benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Premier

Trend Citi Premier
Other than losing travel & purchase protections, the Citi Premier card hasn’t changed much.  It still offers solid bonus categories: 3X for travel and at gas stations; and 2X for dining and entertainment.  The $95 Premier card benefits from the falling fortunes of the $495 Prestige card and the rising fortunes of the fee-free Citi Double Cash.  You still need the Premier or Prestige card to retain the ability to transfer ThankYou points to airline partners and the Premier card is a much cheaper option for doing so.  Also, while the Prestige lost its ability to buy airfare at better than 1 cent per point value, the Premier retains its ability to purchase any travel booked through the ThankYou portal at 1.25 cents per point value.
Citi Premier Card

FM Mini Review: Very strong earnings for spend. Excellent bonus categories. Points transferable to select airlines. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Other

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X travel and gas ⚬ 2X dining and entertainment

Noteworthy perks: With this card, ThankYou points become worth 1.25 cents each towards travel; or transfer points to airline partners

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Double Cash

Trend Citi Double Cash

The fee-free Double Cash card’s stock went up, way up, when it gained the ability to transfer cash back to ThankYou points. Now, you can earn 2X points per dollar, uncapped.  And as long as you or a trusted friend or family member has a Prestige or Premier card, you can transfer those points to valuable airline programs.  Of course, adding to the rising value here is the fact that Citi ThankYou points are transferable to Turkish Miles & Smiles which can be used to book flights to Hawaii for only 7.5K points one-way!

See our Double Cash Complete Guide for more.

Citi Double Cash Card

FM Mini Review: 2X rewards for all spend with no annual fee makes this card a winner. Earn 2X everywhere and redeem for the equivalent of 2% cash back or 2X ThankYou points. Pair with the Premier or Prestige card to make points transferrable to airlines.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Noteworthy perks: 1X when you make a purchase + 1X when you pay for those purchases

Costco Anywhere Visa

Trend Costco Anywhere Visa
The Costco Anywhere Visa hasn’t changed.  It was already an excellent cash back card.  What has changed is that the Uber Visa card is now practically useless.
Costco Anywhere Visa

Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
3%
Gas
4%

Earning rate: ⚬ 4% gas (up to $7K spend / year) ⚬ 3% restaurant & travel; 2% Costco ⚬ 1% everywhere else

Other Issuers

CNB Crystal Visa Infinite

Trend CNB Crystal Visa Infinite
This was a great card.  As of Jan 1 2020, it’s not.  See: CNB Crystal Visa Infinite loses valuable perks as of Jan 1 2020

US Bank Altitude Reserve

Trend US Bank Altitude Reserve
This was already one of my favorite cards.  And now, thanks to the fall of the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite card, I value the Altitude Reserve card’s free Gogo passes more than ever before (since I plan to cancel my CNB card).
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

FM Mini Review: With points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel, this card offers an excellent signup bonus. For ongoing use, this card is a winner for those who spend a lot on mobile payments (at 3X, rewards are worth 4.5%)


Annual Fee: $400

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Shop

Earning rate: 3X travel and mobile wallet payments

Noteworthy perks: $325 in travel credits per membership year ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel ⚬ Priority Pass Select airport lounge access (4 per year) ⚬ 12 free Gogo Wifi passes per year ⚬ Primary car rental coverage ⚬ No foreign transaction fees

See also: US Bank Altitude Reserve Complete Guide

Uber Visa

Trend Uber Visa
This used to be one of the best fee-free cash back cards on the market.  Following a massive devaluation, though, I can no longer recommend it.
Uber Visa Card

FM Mini Review: The refreshed version of this card (as of 10/28/19) no longer earns cash back. Instead, it earns Uber Cash. This card only makes sense for the most die-hard of Uber fans.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Platinum or Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: 5% Uber Cash for Uber spend (including UberEATS) ⚬ 3% Uber Cash for dining, hotels, and airfare ⚬ 1% Uber Cash everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Annual $50 subscription credit when you spend $5,000 in a year (good for things like Netflix, HBO NOW, Amazon Prime, etc) — note that this benefit kicks in during the second year if you spend $5K in year 1) ⚬ Up to $600 mobile phone insurance against theft or damage when you charge your total monthly bill to the card ($25 deductible) ⚬ No foreign transaction fees

Capital One Savor

Trend Capital One Savor
The Capital One Savor cards haven’t changed, but now that we can no longer get 4% cash back at restaurants with the Uber Visa, the Savor card is the place to go if you want lots of cash back from restaurant spend.
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

FM Mini Review: The combination of 3% cash back on dining and no foreign transaction fees would be attractive for a no annual fee card, but the Barclaycard Uber card eclipses this one by offering 4% cash back for dining.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard

Base
1%
Dine
3%
Grocery
2%

Earning rate: ⚬ 3% on dining ⚬ 2% on purchases at grocery stores ⚬ 1% everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: No foreign transaction fees

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent cash back card for dining and entertainment spend.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Mastercard

Base
1%
Dine
4%
Grocery
2%
Other
4%

Earning rate: 4% cash back on dining and entertainment ⚬ 2% at grocery stores ⚬ 8% back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020 ⚬ 1% everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: No foreign transaction fees

 

Last updated on December 9th, 2019

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Anthony
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Anthony

I would say that the Capital One Venture and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards also have been impacted by Double Cash. Now, Citi Double cash offers 2% cashback or 2 miles per dollar. In comparison, Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back, up to 2.25% in travel credit cash or 1.5 miles per dollar. Capital One Venture offers 2% travel credit cash per dollar or 1.5 miles per dollar. I will still keep CFU and Capital One, but I will definitely add Double Cash now as well.

Yuri
Guest
Yuri

Not that I used FU card, since there was Amex BBP, and I had Priceline 2x (3.33% cashback) for ages, but after Double Cash 2x became available, I think I’ll switch FU to another Freedom card (this will be our 6th Freedom card).

Byron
Guest
Byron

Those Citi TY points are worth alot more than 2 cents in my opinion since you get the outsized rewards with the Citi TY points and not the Capital One Venture points.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

I just got the Green and I’m hoping for a GOOD transfer bonus . Which was pointed out to me to get more then 45K out of the $150 card. Look on DOC today’s email he said u can call up AMEX and ask for a bonus every 90 days . No need to wait 12 months as in $$$ .
CHEERs

usernamechuck
Guest
usernamechuck

Re gogo I’ve found fewer and fewer airlines that are still using gogo. I still love altitude but it’s been a no brainer for me because they’ve offered 10k retention, which makes it a money maker.

As an aside, I’m not sure why Dan deals is so impressed with fu when you can get 2x mr and typ for free. bb+ Is a good fee free way to keep points alive and transferable. I don’t understand why so much excitement about double cash, but at least it’s as good as bb+ instead of being weaker.

Money
Guest
Money

Dan is probably bankrolled by Chase. And u cant say anything negative there, he sensors you

Pam
Guest
Pam

Arrival of the AMEX Green allows a clear separation for me. Both are similar in the point accumulation phase, albeit different currencies. For me, CSR’s 4.5x (after conversion) is used towards hotel & car rental purchases on their travel portal, & AMEX 3x transferred to air partners.

Money
Guest
Money

If you do ton of travel and earn 3x then maybe you can justify the fee of 150. Plus for having one card is not enough as it does not have PP despite the fee

Pam
Guest
Pam

Yup – dining & travel are by far my largest spend areas. Earning both URs & MRs with the same strategy optimizes those categories for me.

Money
Guest
Money

You must be traveling for consulting 🙂

rich
Guest
rich

Any reason why you don’t list the American Express Blue Preferred card? While the cash back isn’t what most here are after, you do list some other cash back cards and for $95, you get 6% on groceries and streaming and 3% on gas and transit services with a limit ($6K on groceries). And the $300 bonus is easy to get ($1K charge in 3 months) which covers 3 years of fees if you keep it that long.

tro
Guest
tro

I see why Citi Premier could be up for some with the Double Cash and transfer partners, but for me it’s way down due to loss of shopping benefits on the one hand and the increased competetiveness of the Altitude Reserve’s real-time redemptions on the other.

Shopping benefits: A lot of the cards have cut back on shopping benefits, but Citi used to have the best all-around shopping benefits IMO (due to the proactive Price Rewind search that didn’t require submitting an ad yourself). So it was the one whose shopping benefits actually got me to use the card (or the Access More).

Portal hassles: Most of my redemptions were not transfers but through the portal, so the 1.25 value always had to be discounted for slight price inflation, loss of loyalty benefits, and the fact that the portal itself was always time-consuming at best and sometimes downright infuriating. By comparison, the Altitude Reserve has the same 3x travel bonus, and the points are pretty much straight up worth 1.5, since I don’t have to go through a portal.

So, for me the domino effect of multiple changes over the past couple years has been to push me out of the Citi ecosystem, which at one point I was pretty happy with. I would like to hang on a little longer to see if they make any improvements (and as a hedge against negative changes to the Altitude Reserve), but the annual fee on my Premier is due, and since they didn’t offer me any retention, I’m planning on going through with the cancellation after I move my points out.

Biggie F
Guest
Biggie F

Re: Premier. A year or so ago, did not get any offer and decided to get rid of it. Downgraded to no-fee Preferred. About 8 months later, Citi was practically banging at the door offering first year with no AF if upgrading the Preferred to Premier. So did that.

What is their thinking? Don’t ask me. But do think about downgrading to Preferred rather than canceling.

tro
Guest
tro

Thx, that’s a good suggestion and data point, the Preferred didn’t occur to me. For some reason I was thinking it had been replaced by the Rewards. I had considered converting to the Double Cash since I don’t have a 2% card, but I think I like the Preferred idea better. In addition to potential upgrade offers, I think this might not reset the 24 month TY family bonus clock?

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

USB AR w/mobile wallet is 3X at Costco (RTR 4.5%) and stack with Exec Membership 2% (if spend justifies it) IMHO is better than Pers. Costco Visa (Biz different story) – some promo are amazingly better if you pay with a Citi Costco card.

Agree the CSR rules the roost paying for award tickets fees taxes (split payment DL/GC/Aspire or Pt) as well with superior PP options depending on home and transit hubs). Amex has better FF transfer partners depending on travel.

Yeah seems like the card benefits were slaughtered this year.

Eventually would like to add a Chase Marriott to PC to Ritz -kicking myself for no app’ng 2018.

USB AR card is a no brainer for Mobile wallet and everywhere else card with ??? categories.

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

I’m in the same boat, trying to figure out a way to get a Marriott consumer card and still get a bonus so i can PC to a RC. that’s because I got the SPG Biz back in October 2018 so supposedly I’m still barred from getting the bonus.

Money
Guest
Money

Why would you want Ritz? Getting 300 travel credit involves calling and lying

Byron
Guest
Byron

I secure message them with the date, charge, and explanation of what charge was for. Being doing this for several years without issue.

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

Greg you mention that the Ritz Carlton card is the last card standing to offer the Visa infinite airline discount…i thought that the UBS and Suntrust cards offer that as well? Or did they also discontinue that benefit?

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

Yeah, I’m at 4/24 till next Oct, also picked up SpG biz 10/18 so- will revisit next fall –

I just learned from a reply on DOC that you can get Swiss Bank UBS Visa Infinite – but you have to ask them to mail you an App (SUB is 50k pts good for $900 airline tix) – think its like CNB card and targeted to similar clientele –

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Greg
Is ur BOA Amtrak Guest Rewards World MC 40K+$100 credit link DEAD ??
Could work for a nice LONG cabin train ride .
CHEERs

AlexL
Guest
AlexL

The offer was expired on 10/22/19 according to DoC.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Alexl
THX but rats I figured out how to do the train in a cabin for cheap skiing in Jan. But I guess I’ll have to wait for the 40k deal.
CHEERs

Omer
Guest
Omer

I am a bit perplexed about why you put so much emphasis on the “travel protections” features in credit cards. Even credit cards that offer the best “travel protection” features do not cover one major protection that you have to purchase separately and that is medical insurance coverage for your trip (if it is outside USA). Since you already have to purchase medical insurance, most of them also include as integral part (and without additional premium) all the other “travel protections” that credit cards offer (like lost baggage, delayed baggage, delayed flight etc), most of the time with better coverage than credit cards, and with the added merit that you are purchasing them directly from an insurer. That is why I do not see the removal of those “protections” from the Prestige, for instance, as such a big evil, as described by you…unless I am missing here something…would be glad for clarifications

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Omer
Me too with the travel ins. I use AIG ins. out of the USA like $500k for med back to USA . I keep the trip cost low so the ins is cheap for the medical . I could careless about the travel side I book with the Prestige card . I’ve been in a Tram & Bus accident and have met 2 who had to be flown home to be SAVED ..
Be Careful
CHEERs

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

Hey Cave D,
Platinum has/had Global medical repatriation – but it’s not a listed guaranteed benefit. How is AIG compared to Nomad? Been mulling it for So. Africa.

Spending about 3 weeks in SA in December – had a few recent health issues past 12 months. -we spent 3 weeks out of Country earlier this year but not as worried on that trip with access to world class medical on trip. ZA is a little more concerning out in bush/safari.

TIA,
Yoni

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

YoniPDX
I took tests to check myself out before going to SYD I’m fine . I have never used any medical ins. but I have a 10 year history with AIG . I hope that will help me but I don’t know for sure . Why don’t u contact the camp and or hotel and see what they recommend .
CHEERs

Nick Reyes
Editor

Setting aside the arguments on the merit of buying medical insurance for a trip, I think most people don’t do it. If you do, and it is bundled with trip cancellation/interruption/delay protection, then you are absolutely right that it wouldn’t matter much to you.

While over the years I have occasionally bought travel insurance for a trip for medical coverage, this year was the first time I bought an annual plan. So in any other year of my life, the travel protections of a credit card were valuable to me. And that’s not to say I haven’t been to the doctor — on the contrary, over the years we’ve been to the doctors with acute illnesses, injuries, ear infections, had a tooth pulled at a dentist overseas, and more. It’s just usually cheap. My wife had double ear infections in South Africa a couple of years ago and the hospital bill for an emergency room visit in Cape Town was around $100. Obviously a catastrophic incident like a car accident would be a different story, but things like illness or even minor injuries to even broken bones likely won’t bankrupt us in most countries we visit. The Amex Platinum card covers emergency medical evacuation (you just need to be a cardholder, you don’t need to have paid for the trip with it), so we’ve long had that as the way we’d get back to the US (where our health insurance would cover us) in the case of something catastrophic that required that sort of thing.

Additionally, I’d never bought travel insurance for domestic trips as my health insurance would cover me within the US. However, one time when my flight arrived late and I missed my connection and hotels were mostly booked up, leaving the last few options at over $400 per night, I was happy to have had trip delay protection that reimbursed me $500 for my room, food, and transportation to/from the airport. I appreciate having that protection so that if I get stuck in an expensive city for a night, I won’t have to worry about paying for the room or have to sleep in the airport.

I’m further not sure what your travel insurance covers in terms of trip delay coverage. The ultra-premium credit cards cover up to $500 per person on delays of 6 hours or more. Like I said, I had no problem putting in a claim for room, dinner (room service), and Ubers. You’d have to look at your travel insurance to see if it offers something comparable.

Again, you may be buying better coverage, in which case the credit card coverage shouldn’t matter to you. I’m not sure I agree with you that there is any “added merit” derived by purchasing coverage directly from the insurer. My one experience with trip delay coverage was very simple. Stephen’s experience with the CSR’s CDW coverage when his rental got caught in a hail storm was also very positive. Obviously some will have had negative experiences as well, but I don’t think that’s tied to how you buy it.

Omer
Guest
Omer

Thank you for the detailed response. Not buying a medical insurance for a trip abroad is in my humble opinion, taking on yourself an unnecessary risk, especially considering that most of the medical insurance plans on the market (for trips abroad) are not expensive, not to say cheap, like around 2 dollars per day, and can save you a lot of hassle and a lot of money, should something serious happens. But to each his own, and each one will act according to their own discretion of course.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Call ur Ins. company and ask but my ins covers me anywhere on earth but I pay first then they pay me . It’s a lot of paper work but they pay the US rate . Once ur on Medicare it doesn’t pay outside the US . So I will be down one ins but will look into that @ 65 .
CHEERs

Pam
Guest
Pam

Hi CD, once you are on Medicare, you will want to choose a supplemental plan that includes coverage outside the US. Most don’t but some do (for more premium). And as you already mention, pre-65 foreign medical coverage varies by the insurer & plan selected.

Pam
Guest
Pam

(orgot to mention, CD, that Medigap plans limit coverage to emergencies with a $50k limit, Plan G gets it done)

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Thanks World traveler Lady !! I got Super Retired Ins. better then my GI’s and I don’t want to lose that if I can afford it @ 65.
CHEERs

YoniPDX
Guest
YoniPDX

What is it with Travel bloggers and ER visits in Cape Town? LOL, what even got me thinking was reading Jeff at Million Mile Guy and his shark diving diving in SA, He ended up getting food poisoning in Cape town and ended up in the ER, I think that Greg’s train mates headed to CP, who stayed on the train – ended up with a bout of FP. Thinking I’m going to pack activated charcoal and take extra probotics.

Jeff’s ER visit was $250 – CSR offers $2,500 for Medical/Dental – so outside of catastrophic accident – I think it should be fine – I forget that that the USD- ZA Rand is to our benefit – as well that Medical care is far cheaper outside the US $2.5K might cover the ambulance here. – We have KP with a good plan – but doesn’t cover much out of network and doubtful out of US.

Been healthy most of my life and super active and eat healthy – and not had much of any health issue’s but this past year ended up on four RXs for HBP after at trip, so never thought much of it until after a flight (which I think plane wasn’t pressurized to 8k’ ) O2 sats dropped below 90 (Note 9 measurement) and got super dizzy and thought I was going to pass out – gave me Oxygen with a mask O2 sat hit 99 and felt fine – (a little embarrassing – but we did get priority landing at HON).

I think that Medical coverage is far more important in the US – as it can literally bankrupt you.

Nick Reyes
Editor

LOL about Cape Town. I don’t know what it is :-). Actually, my wife’s ears were bothering her before we got to Cape Town, so she suspected she might have an ear infection brewing before we got there (we were abroad for a while before getting to South Africa). We had intended to go cage diving with Great Whites and she was hugely disappointed about not doing it (my wife is a major shark enthusiast and has been since before it was cool). Fortunately, we returned to Cape Town a couple of years ago and did the cage diving — no further medical issues in Cape Town :-). But we’ve had plenty of other doctor’s visits abroad for random stuff and never spent more than $200 that I can recall. I’m sure that can vary with location and type of problem though, so I”m not faulting anyone who opts for more coverage.

Byron
Guest
Byron

I have an annual policy with Allianz for $500 that seems pretty good and covers all our trips for 1 year. This is cruises, going to Africa, or just going to Nashville.

Byron
Guest
Byron

Greg, I think the Amex Gold card is also a keeper with its $10/mos for Grubhub, Boxed, etc. and its travel rebates I also think this is a keeper. I am not sure long term if the Gold Card and the Green Card would both be needed.

On separate strange note, I got a mailer from Amex to get the Bus. Plat. card. I only get 50K points by spending $10K in 3 mos. Could get 75K but that is another 10K spend in the 1st 3 mos. and that is just a tad steep for me. I figure 50K membership rewards points for $595 is just marginally OK. After benefits, the real cost is about $200 for those 50K points, ~0.4 cpp. Strange thing is I cancelled a Bus. Plat. card 7 mos. ago. I did not see any liftetime language and was approved immediately.