Tag Archives: Membership Rewards

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Easily Track Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses & Bank Account Bonuses with these 2 Spreadsheets

Hat tip to my friends Bodie and Ramzi for the reminder.

Good afternoon everyone.  2 weekends ago, I was at FTU (Frequent Traveler University) Advanced in Seattle and, naturally, the topic of credit card sign up bonuses and bank account bonuses came up.  Call me old fashioned, but I have a spreadsheet for just about everything – including credit card sign up bonuses and bank account bonuses.  If you are just getting into the credit card or bank account bonus game (I made $2,850 last year from bank account bonuses), it is very important to be detail-oriented and organized.  I have used these 2 spreadsheets since day 1 (I’ve made some modifications along the way), but I think they can definitely keep you organized.  Up first, I have my Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Template.xlsx.  Let me explain this spreadsheet.  Please ask me a question if I miss anything or if anything is unclear:

  • Credit card name, merchant type, credit card number, CVV (3 digit code on the back or 4 digit code on the front of AMEX cards) and expiration date are pretty self explanatory.  I use real data and password protect the spreadsheet, but you can use the last 4 digits of your cards if you feel more comfortable.  I use real data so I can purchase anything online, wherever I am, without having to carry every single card with me.
  • Phone numbers are great for calling customer service without having the card in front of you and come in handy if your card is lost or stolen (most of these numbers are saved into my phone as well).
  • Credit limit is not super useful, but if I need to make a large purchase, I know exactly which cards have big credit limits.  It can also be helpful if you need to make a reconsideration call and move some credit around from existing credit cards.
  • I also track all of my debit cards and authorized user cards so all the info is in one place.

Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Template 1

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My Outrageous 2017 Travel Predictions + Reader Ideas Needed

Good morning everyone, I’m sorry for the delay, but I have been diligently thinking about my 2017 travel predictions.  I am going to channel my inner Nostradamus to come up with some outrageous travel predictions for 2017.  Doctor of Credit has a good resource for all other 2017 travel predictions.

Disclaimer: I have made some travel predictions in previous years and I am more often wrong than right, but that losing streak has not dampered my prediction spirit.  To see how bad I am at making predictions, please read A Look Back at my 2016 Predictions (Airlines, Hotels, Credit Cards & MS).  I consider myself an optimistic pessimist (I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best), so these travel predictions will sound depressing.

Airlines

  • Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week.  I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.
  • Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).

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A Travel Hacker Wish List for Santa (Reader Ideas Needed)

Good afternoon everyone, here is the filler post of the weekend. Enjoy!

Usually this time of year, we look back at the predictions we made at the end of 2015 or early 2016 and see how many things we got right and how many things we got wrong. It is usually a little depressing to look back and see how much has changed (for the worse) over the last 12 months. I wanted to put a positive spin on the predictions this year and turn it into a Christmas wish list for Santa. If Santa had the power to make travel hacker lives better, what would you wish for?

Grant’s wish list (in no particular order):

  • I want Chase to create a “no 5/24 rule day” so everyone can be approved for the Chase credit card they really want (I have my eye on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card).
  • I want the JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card to change the $300 travel credit (incidentals only) to match the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card $300 travel credit (paid airfare and hotels).

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AMEX Business Platinum Large Purchase Bonus Points Post Fast + Detailed Benefits Guide

Good afternoon everyone, happy TGI Friday!  During my recent App-O-Rama, I was instantly approved for the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card that offered 100,000 AMEX Membership Reward Points after spending $15,000 in 3 months (50,000 points after spending the first $5,000 and another 50,000 points after spending another $10,000).  I also wrote about my experience expediting my new card here: Need to Expedite a New AMEX Card? Add Yourself as an Authorized User / Employee.  On December 10, I made a large purchase of $8,390.71 with my new card.

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Striking out on Citi Prestige and AMEX Platinum Retention Offers

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.  By the time you read this post, I should be in Washington, D.C. for the Boarding Area Conference (BACON for short).  I am a big fan of retention offers and have written about them several times in the past (1, 2, 3, etc).  My most recent retention offer attempts were met with mostly rejection, but I have some data points worth sharing.

I haven’t used my Citi Prestige Credit Card much over the last few months and only value the ability to book AA and AA codeshare flights with Citi Thank You Points at 1.6 CPP.  I decided to call Citi and see if there were any retention offers available.  My opening line was, “I am considering applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and can’t afford to pay $400 annual fees for both cards.  Is there any offer on my Citi Prestige to keep me as a customer?”  I was immediately transferred to the retention department and repeated my opening line.  The retention specialist was very nice and helpful, but she didn’t have any retention offers available.  She said that retention offers can only be accepted once per cardmember year and I already accepted an offer on my Citi Prestige in May.  While on the phone, I asked if she could check for retention offers on my other Citi credit cards.  We went through my Citi Forward, Citi Premier, Citi Double Cash, and Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit cards and struck out every time (I was only eligible for 0% balance transfer and 0% APR offers which don’t interest me at all).  Last but not least, I asked if there were any offers on my new(ish) Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card.  Jackpot!  There was an offer for 5,000 bonus Citi Thank You Points after spending $1,000 over the next 3 months.  I gladly accepted the offer and thanked the rep for all her help.


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