Category Archives: Hotels + Points

The Story of My Wife’s New Chase Credit Card

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.  My wife and I have a few large expenses coming up in the next few months, so we decided to get a new credit card.  Since Laura is under 5/24, we decided that she should apply for a new Chase credit card.  She currently has a Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card, a Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card, and a Chase Freedom Credit Card (converted from a Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card last year).

Laura doesn’t have a business, so we didn’t look at any business credit cards.  It’s too soon to apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve, she didn’t want any more Southwest Airlines credit cards, she didn’t want an international airline credit card (Aer Lingus, British Airways, or Iberia), and she wanted a decent sign up bonus.  After whittling down the list of possible Chase credit cards, we were left with 4 options.

After calculating the value of the sign up bonus and subtracting the first year annual fee, the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card had the highest net value.  Coincidentally, I wanted Laura to get this credit card because I also have a Chase IHG Premier Credit Card.  My annual fee will post next month, so I wanted to have 2 credit cards that would renew around the same time so that the free night certificates would be valid for the same date range.

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Why I Redeemed 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back Feature

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I recently had a change of heart and decided to redeem 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back feature.  Chase introduced the Pay Yourself Back feature on May 31 and I wrote How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points via Pay Yourself Back (1.5 Cents Per Point for Restaurants, Grocery Stores & Home Improvement).  Initially, I was not very excited about the new feature, since I convinced myself that I could use my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in other ways and get more than 1.5 cents per point.

After realizing that I had no concrete travel plans remaining in 2020 (I recently cancelled trips to Boston & New York along with a big trip to Africa), I figured that my stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points would probably not be used much this year.  Before redeeming 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, I looked at Chase’s travel partners to see if there were any major reasons to keep my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  Chase has 13 airline and hotel partners, but only has 4 exclusive partners (Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, IHG, and Hyatt), the remaining 9 travel partners are accessible with American Express Membership Rewards Points, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles.

My wife and I have ~58,000 Southwest Airlines points and ~$150 in travel credit, so I would not need to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest Airlines.  I am not a huge fan of United Airlines and can usually book Star Alliance flights with other travel programs, plus I have ~$178 travel credit from a cancelled United flight.  IHG points are worth ~0.5 cents per point and I have ~222,000 IHG points in my account.  Last but not least, Hyatt is the only travel partner that stands out from the list.  I decided to save at least 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points just in case we stay at a Hyatt later this year).

I figured that normal spending on our Chase Ink Cash Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Credit Card this year would replenish our Chase Ultimate Rewards Points balance by the end of 2020.

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American Express Hilton Aspire Resort Credit Applied Toward Restaurant Purchase in 3 Days

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday.  From June 1 through August 31, American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card members can now use their $250 resort credit toward restaurant purchases.  To test this out, I made a small restaurant purchase at Panera Bread (through their app) on June 1.  On June 4, the statement credit posted as HILTON RESORT CREDIT.  A 3 day turnaround time for statement credits is pretty standard for American Express.  The one downside with the $250 Hilton Resort Credit is that there is no tracker that shows how much you have spent or redeemed toward the $250 cap.

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Hilton Grand Vacations (Timeshare) Package Extended Expiration Date & Free Change to Other US Resorts

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  This summer, Laura and I were supposed to go to Boston and New York City for a week.  Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit.  We recently cancelled our entire trip, including our JetBlue award flight from SFO-BOS, our Hilton free night stay in Boston, our Amtrak trip from Boston to NYC, our hotel stays in NYC, and our American Airlines award flight from LGA-DFW-SNA.  Part of our stay in NYC was at a Hilton Grand Vacations resort with the purchase of a timeshare package (and mandatory timeshare presentation).  Fun read: Profiting from 2 Timeshare Presentations in Hawaii (Secret: Attend, but do not Buy!)

Long story short, I originally bought the timeshare package in November 2018 and have extended / renewed it a few times over the years.  After cancelling my NYC timeshare package, I learned about the extended expiration date and the ability to change to another Hilton resort in the US for free.  More details at the bottom of the post.  My original timeshare package was $286 and gave us 2 nights in NYC (choice of 4-5 properties), $100 Spend a Night on Us voucher (hopefully no headaches like last time), $100 Elevated Rewards Dollars (Hilton resort credit during our stay), and 5,000 Hilton Honors Points (worth ~$25).  The original timeshare package expiration date was November 15, 2019.

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Sweet Retention Offer on Chase Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card ($99 Annual Fee)

Good afternoon everyone.  A few weeks ago, I wrote Reconsideration Strategy for Credit Card Annual Fees During Coronavirus Pandemic.  In that post, I shared all of my credit cards with annual fees that were coming due soon and my plan for retention offers.  While I struck out with American Express regarding my American Express Gold Card and American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card, I did score a sweet retention offer on my Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card.

I don’t believe this credit card is still available for new applications, but if you have another Chase Marriott business credit card, you should be able to product change to this card.  According to the card benefits, there is really nothing very special about this credit card except for the fact that you get a free night certificate every year that is valid at Marriott properties that cost up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.  If you spend $60,000 on this credit card, you will earn a second free night certificate.  The credit card has a $99 annual fee.  The annual fee just posted to my account, so I decided to call Chase to see what kind of retention offers were available.

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