With a credit card, you can carry a balance and accrue interest if necessary. Note this is not advised by me. The points game does not work well, if you are carrying a balance and accruing interest. See #4 in Let’s Get Started To Earning Free Travel.
Earn Ultimate Rewards with the card. Learn about the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program here.
1. Earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points You earn 3 points total for each $1 of the first $150,000 spent each account anniversary year on combined purchases in the following rewards categories: shipping; advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; travel; internet, cable, and phone services.
2. You also earn 1X point on all other purchases.
Earn extra rewards points from partner merchants when you shop online through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Pay no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside the United States.
Transfer points to participating frequent travel programs with no transfer fees and at full 1:1 value – that means 1000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1000 partner miles/points. Read about how to transfer points to travel programs here.
Get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Ultimate Rewards. For example, a $500 flight requires just 40,000 points. Read about how to redeem points through Ultimate Rewards here.
I received this offer with my American Express Business Platinum card. You can get up to $100 statement credit on a rental with Hertz.
To be eligible to get this limited time offer of a 10% statement credit with Hertz, you must log on to americanexpress.com/hertz10 using your americanexpress.com username and password or call 1-800-794-1308. You must then enter promotion code 303031301 and enroll your card identified at americanexpress.com/hertz10 in the offer.
After enrolling the Card, you can use that Card to spend up to $1,000 in one or more transactions now through 12/31/2016. You will get a 10% statement credit, so up to $100 credit.
There is currently a bonus offer for the American Express Business Platinum card where you can earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 on purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. That is a total of 100,000! Membership Rewards points. (The standard offer is 40,000 points). The offer is available until 1/25/2017. You can access the offer here.
The card has a a hefty $450 annual fee which is really not $450 because of the $200 airline fee credit. As I indicated in a prior post, The Dog Ate My Timberlands, I happily pay the fee for my Amex Platinum because of all of the benefits and perks that I receive for the $450 fee.
With the card, you earn 1x Membership Rewards point for every dollar you spend on most purchases. You earn 2x Membership Rewards points for each dollar of eligible purchases made when you book on the American Express Travel website. Also starting today, you can earn 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on ANY purchase of $5,000 or more.
As for redeeming points, as a Business Platinum Card Member, you can now earn 50% points back (instead of the prior 30%) when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points through American Express Travel to book a flight with their selected airline. You can also receive this benefit when booking a first or business class ticket with ANY airline. In addition, you can transfer points to over 20 frequent traveler programs
There are no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside the United States. In addition, there is also a $200 Airline Fee Credit and a fee credit for TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry.
The card comes with complimentary airport lounge access to The Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Airspace Lounges and you can enroll in Priority Pass Select at no additional cost. These programs provide you access to numerous domestic and international airport lounges.
You enjoy complimentary benefits and competitive rates at FINE HOTELS & RESORTS. There is a concierge staff available to you day or night as a personal resource.
Also, as a Platinum Card Member, you can upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status without meeting any stay requirements. Also you are eligible to enroll in complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold status.
As an American Express Business Platinum Card Member, you can earn 7,500 HHonors Bonus Points (in addition to your base points) when you stay 2 nights or more at any of Hilton’s 13 hotel brands and pay with your Platinum Card now through November 15, 2016.
Note, to be eligible for the Bonus Point offer, you must be enrolled in the Hilton HHonors Gold Status Platinum Card Member program prior to your stay. Please visit americanexpress.com/hiltongold to enroll.
Now that I got the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, that carries a hefty $450 fee, I have started to wonder whether it makes sense to carry two cards with $450 annual fees. That is, I have started wondering (and I can’t believe I am about to type this!), should I downgrade my American Express Business Platinum ($450 annual fee) for an American Express Business Gold Rewards card ($175 annual fee)?
The Reserve card has many of the same features as an Amex Platinum and the features are actually a little bit better. Let’s look at some of them in detail…
Reserve-Automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for ANYTHING travel-related.
Platinum (Regular and Business)– Select a qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits when incidental fees, such as checked bags and airport lounge day-passes, are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card Account.
Platinum (Regular And Business)-Earn 1 point per $1 on ALL purchases
Reserve-each point you redeem for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards is worth $.0150 (one and a half cents). A $750 flight (OR OTHER TRAVEL PURCHASE booked on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site) requires 50,000 points.
Regular Platinum-When you use points to redeem for cash, each point is worth $.01 (one cent). A $750 flight requires 75,000 points.
Business Platinum-You can get 30% Membership Rewards points back when you use the Pay with Points feature for all or part OF A FLIGHT WITH THE AIRLINE YOU SELECT (the same airline you selected for the $200 airline fee credit above). A $750 flight requires 75,000 points but you get 22,500 points back. So it really requires 52,500 points. But note, you only get this on the one airline you select!
Reserve-Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card for Global Entry or TSA Pre√
Platinum-Receive one Global Entry ($100) statement credit or one TSA Pre√ ($85) statement credit every 5 years for an application fee charged to your Platinum Card.
In terms of the amount of the credit, the cards tie. (TSA Pre√ is only $85 anyway) but the Reserve gives you the credit every 4 years and the Platinum every 5.
Reserve-You can enroll in Priority Pass Select at no additional cost. This program gives you access to numerous airport lounges that are part of the Priority Pass Select Program.
Platinum-Complimentary airport lounge access to The Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Airspace Lounges and you can enroll in Priority Pass Select at no additional cost. These programs provide you access to numerous domestic and international airport lounges.
Reserve-You get special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties that
may include complimentary room upgrades, complimentary meals, early check-in and late check-out, special discounts and credits and extra amenities.
Platinum-You get complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels And Resorts such as noon check-in when available, room upgrade upon arrival when available, daily breakfast for 2 people, guaranteed 4pm late check-out and a unique property benefit-this benefit varies by property and may be a $100 food and beverage credit or a massage for two or a round of golf, etc.
In the rare occasion that we pay for a hotel, these benefits are helpful. BUT, as I recently learned this past summer, if the Chase property or the Amex property also happens to be a Virtuoso property, any Virtuoso travel agent can book you the hotel with the SAME benefits. Back in July, my friend, Abby Kastin, a Virtuoso travel agent, got me the same rate and benefits at the Nines Hotel in Portland, Oregon that I was getting with my Platinum AND she got me a better room. (On the Club Level!)
As you can see, the Platinum only wins in one category that I mentioned above. My renewal for the Platinum comes due in December of this year, and at that time, I think that I will downgrade. When I called (and got my 10,000 FREE AMEX POINTS just for considering canceling), the Amex rep assured me that I can always re upgrade to the Platinum whenever I want. I will give you all an update in December if I make a move.
Remember back in early July, I posted about wanting to go to the Amalfi Coast for Rob’s 50th birthday next summer? I told you back then, how I took advantage of a limited time offer and got us each an American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card with a 60,000 Delta SkyMiles sign-up bonus. This was in anticipation of booking flights to Naples on Delta when they became available. (Note, the bonus is now back at the standard offer of 35,000 SkyMiles)
The flights became available yesterday (331 days prior). The miles required were the same as when I looked a few months ago and I do not anticipate a decrease. (I actually won’t even check anymore). So I booked them yesterday! We are going!
Delta flights from New York to Naples (actually the flights are booked on Air France through Delta SkyMiles) in coach were 60,000 Delta SkyMiles round trip. Um, that is the bonus offer that both Rob and I got with our new cards back in July. So for merely getting the cards and meeting the spending criteria I scored some free flights to Italy!
But Rob is turning 50 after all. I decided this may be a good time for us to use some of our American Express Membership Reward points (“Amex points”) for some better seats. (We usually have a lot of Amex points because Rob pays for his firm’s advertising with his American Express Business Gold Rewards card). Better seats, being Business Class seats, were 125,000 SkyMiles per flight……you can transfer Amex points to your Delta SkyMiles account at a 1:1 ratio.
Well, we both had some miles to start before the 60K influx. To my SkyMiles account, I needed to transfer 45,000 Amex points to get to the 125,000 required and to Rob’s SkyMiles account, I needed to transfer 50,000 Amex points. Note, when you transfer Amex points into a U.S. airline frequent flyer program, you will be charged an excise tax offset fee of $0.0006 per point (with a maximum fee of $99). So the fee for my transfer was $27 and the fee for Rob’s was $30. We also needed to pay about $80 per flight in airline taxes and fees.
Before I compute my savings, I want to remind you that we each paid a $195 annual fee when we got the new Amex Delta cards. (I will likely cancel these cards when the annual fee is due next year as I do not plan on us using these cards again-I just got us the cards for the bonus!)
Based on the above, my outlay for these 2 flights to Naples was roughly $607. (195 + 195 +80 +80 +30 +27). Let’s round that to an even $600.
Now let’s see how I got to a $7,200 savings booking these flights to Naples using Delta SkyMiles.
Well, THE FLIGHTS, HAD WE PAID FOR THEM, WOULD HAVE BEEN $3,900 EACH (inclusive of taxes and fees)! So for both flights, the cost would have been $7,800. $7,800 less $600 is $7,200. Yes, I saved $7,200 on our BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHTS to Italy for next summer! I wish I had as good of a plan for our hotels…
American Express has a few referral incentives out there right now. Specifically, I received this offer with my Business Platinum.
If I refer people to the American Express Business Platinum Card, I can receive 15,000 Membership Rewards points (“Referral Bonus”) for each new Business Platinum Card application resulting in an approved account, up to a maximum of 55,000 Membership Rewards points per calendar year.
I need to submit the referrals by 7/26/17 and my referral must apply to the specific offer online through the e-mailed link provided by American Express and be approved by 07/26/2017.
The usual sign-up offer for the CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard is to earn 30,000 bonus Aadvantage miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. However, I got an offer in the regular mail with an increased bonus offer. Till August 31, 2016, this initial sign-up bonus has increased to 50,000 bonus miles after your spend $3,000 within the fist 3 months. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year.
Don’t forget, with the card, you earn 2x miles on all American Airlines purchases, 2x miles on or every $1 you spend on purchases at certain telecommunications, and car rental merchants and gas stations. You earn 1X miles on all other purchases
There are no foreign transaction fees on purchases. You get your first bag checked free on eligible bags for you and up to 4 companions. Also, you earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate each year of cardmembership in which you spend $30,000 or more in purchases and renew your cardmembership. Redeeming the certificate for round-trip companion travel costs $120.60 to $142.20 ($99 ticketing fee plus $21.60 to $43.20 in government taxes based on itinerary).
As much as I would like 50,000 American AAdvantage Miles, I would not get them even if I got approved for the card. Recall, back in March, 2016, I canceled my CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard and got a CitiBusiness ThankYou Card in it’s place. It has only been 3 months since I canceled the card. The terms state that bonus Advantage miles are not available if I the card in the past 24 months. Citibank, please resend me this offer in about 21 months.
SPG has a very flexible transfer policy in that you can transfer Starpoints to any person that shares your home address for a minimum of 30 days prior to requesting the transfer. You can transfer any amount of points to that other person and there are no transfer fees.
On June 1, 2016, I requested online a transfer of SPG points from Rob’s SPG account to my SPG account. I needed some extra points to complete our booking for our upcoming trip to LA this December. SPG tented the reservation while I was waiting for the points to come in. Soon after I requested the transfer, I received this email from SPG…
The transfer came through today, June 7, 2016, the fifth business day. However, the fact that Starwood is willing to tent your reservation till you get the points, makes this time lag irrelevant anyway. You just need to make sure you “re tent” if you do not have the points in your account on the date that the reservation is set to expire.
For a limited time, there is an 100,000! Marriott Rewards bonus offer when you get the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. You earn the 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This 100,000 bonus point offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months.
Don’t forget, with the cards, you earn 5 points for every $1 spent at thousands of Marriott locations, including Marriott’s luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton. You earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, at car rental agencies and at office supply stores, and for Internet, cable and phone services purchases. You earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases made with your card.
You receive 1 free night every year after your anniversary at any Category 1-5 property. In addition, there are no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside the United States.
Lastly, with the cards, you’ll receive 15 Elite Night Credits after account opening and every year after your account anniversary, giving you guaranteed Marriott Rewards Silver Elite status every year. In addition, every $3,000 you spend on purchases with the card earns you 1 additional night credit toward Elite status – with no limit to the number of credits you can earn. Also a new benefit with the card is attaining Gold Status when you spend $50,000 on purchases each account year.
Note, unlike with some other bonus offers for this card, the $99 annual fee is not waived the first year, but $99 is worth it for 100,000 points! Remember, I recently wrote about what you could do with 90,000 Marriott Rewards points.