Category Archives: Credit Cards

How to Use Pay Yourself Back for Shipping Purchases with Chase Ink Plus Credit Card (1.25 CPP)

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your Friday is going well.  4 months ago, I wrote How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points via Pay Yourself Back (1.5 Cents Per Point for Restaurants, Grocery Stores & Home Improvement).  In that post, I showed how to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for 1.5 cents per point (CPP) on your Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card toward qualifying purchases.  Over the last few months, Chase recently added support for other Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards like the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card and Chase Ink Plus Credit Card.

The Chase Ink Plus is no longer available for new applications, but for existing cardholders, Chase targeted some cardholders with the ability to earn 5x points on qualifying shipping and advertising purchases from August 1 through October 31, up to $10,000 in qualifying purchases.  You can see if you are targeted by navigating to the Featured Benefits section of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal.  In today’s post, I will show you how to redeem eligible shipping purchases made on your Chase Ink Plus for 1.25 CPP with the Pay Yourself Back feature.

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Keep, Cancel, or Convert: Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card ($450 Annual Fee)

Buenos días everyone! I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me – I’ve got a couple of things in the works, but for now, I thought I’d hop on to Grant’s Keep, Cancel, or Convert? Series with my thoughts on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.

The CSR has had a spot in my wallet since it was first released, but over time, it’s been losing its luster for me as other cards have caught up with it. When Chase announced that the annual fee would be rising to $550, I knew its days in my wallet were numbered. Here’s why:

  • I opened the JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card right before Chase stopped offering the card to new applicants, which offers the same travel protections as the CSR and a better Priority Pass membership.
  • Late last year, I opened a Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which earns 3x on travel and allows me to transfer my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to airline and hotel partners.
  • Earlier this year, I opened a Citi Premier Credit Card, which earns 3x Citi ThankYou Points on restaurants and most travel purchases.
  • My Chase Freedom Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card now earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at restaurants (though both cards have foreign transaction fees, so I won’t be using them in Mexico).

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JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card: Redeem $300 Travel Credit for Restaurants & Grocery Stores via Secure Message

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  Earlier this month, Frequent Miler wrote Ritz card: Double Dip Restaurants 10X + $300. In that post, Greg covered 2 overlapping promotions available on the JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite Credit Card:

  • Earn 10x Marriott Bonvoy Points at restaurants and gas stations through September 30, 2020
  • Use the $300 annual travel credit to reimburse purchases made at grocery stores and restaurants though December 31, 2020

Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, I used $84.67 of my $300 annual travel credit, so I still had $215.33 remaining that I needed to use by December 31, 2020.  With the above information in mind, I decided to use my Ritz Carlton Credit Card for purchases at grocery stores and restaurants until I spent at least $215.33.  I made the necessary purchases and clicked the pie chart icon to confirm that the purchases fell into the right categories.

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Listen to Grant on the Miles to Memories Podcast

Good morning everyone.  Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of being a guest / co-host on the Miles to Memories Podcast.  I spoke with Shawn Coomer (MtM Founder) and Mark Ostermann (MtM Managing Editor), while Joe Cheung took the day/night off.  We talked about my British Airways / Match.com love story, our pre-honeymoon to Moorea, and our upcoming road trip to Carmel / Monterey.  Subscribe to the podcast here or click the play button below to stream the podcast.  Have a great day everyone.

P.S. If you want to listen to more podcasts where I was a guest / co-host, check out my new Podcasts & Interviews page.

My 12 Month Experiment to Open an Installment Loan to Increase my Credit Score

Full Disclosure: I don’t recommend taking out an installment loan unless you understand the costs and how the process works.  I did my best to explain the process, but I apologize if it is still confusing.

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well. 12 months ago, I started a journey to increase my credit score by opening an installment loan called a Credit Builder Account with Self (Self was previously named Self Lender).  Before I started this experiment, the Account Mix portion of my credit score was very 1 sided.  I had 30+ credit cards, but no auto loans, home loans, student loans, or installment loans.  As of September 2020, my Credit Sesame account shows that I now have 2 types of accounts (30+ credit cards and 1 installment loan).  This information can be found at the 3 credit bureaus and on Credit Karma, but the screen on Credit Sesame was the prettiest and easy to understand.

As a reminder, the Account Mix portion of your credit score only makes up 10% of your overall credit score, so it is not as important as your Payment History (35%) and your Credit Usage (30%).  In this post, I will show you how the Credit Builder Account works and how much it costs to take out the installment loan.

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