Tag Archives: American Express Membership Rewards Points

How Many Transferrable Points Did I Earn & Spend with AMEX, Chase and Citi in 2020?

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I don’t know about you, but 2020 was the year I earned a lot more transferrable points than I spent.  I am hoping that in 2021, I will be able to spend a lot more points than I did in 2020.  For this post, I looked at my 3 favorite transferrable points programs (American Express Membership Rewards Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, and Citi ThankYou Points).  I looked at my starting balances on January 1, the number of points I earned in 2020, miscellaneous point transfers in/out, the number of points I redeemed in 2020, and the ending balance on December 31 (I don’t have any plans on redeeming any points in the next few days).  For a quick calculation, I earned 350K points across the 3 programs and spent a total of 211K points (most were with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature).

American Express Membership Rewards Points

  • Starting Balance on Jan 1: 240K
  • Points Earned in 2020: 201K
  • Points Redeemed in 2020: 4K
  • Ending Balance on Dec 31: 438K

With American Express, I earned 201K AMEX MRs with 3 cards (American Express Business Platinum Card, American Express Gold Card, and American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card).  The Biz Plat had many pandemic bonus categories like wireless phones, shipping charges, and Dell purchases.  The Gold Card had bonus categories for restaurants and grocery stores, along with high referral bonuses.  And the Blue Biz Plus offered 2x everywhere and was my go to card when I wasn’t working on meeting minimum spending requirements on new CCs.  Across all 3 CCs, I received a total of 65K AMEX MRs from referral bonuses.  To view your points summary, click here.  To view your redemption history, click the View Redemption History link.

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My Rock Solid 2021 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions

Good morning everyone, I hope you got a good laugh out of my post from yesterday: Reviewing my Embarrassingly Wrong 2020 Travel Predictions.  Long story short, my 2020 predictions were terrible (I had 3 correct and 12 wrong predictions).  I am hoping to redeem myself today with my super-solid, 100% guaranteed-to-happen predictions for 2021.  My crystal ball just got back from the crystal ball repair store and here are my airline, hotel, and credit card predictions for 2021.

My 2021 Airline Predictions

  • Alaska Airlines or Southwest Airlines will make their “convert travel funds to airline miles” feature a permanent feature on their site.
  • American Airlines will finally become a Citi ThankYou Points airline transfer partner.
  • Delta Airlines or United Airlines will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets (pay 10,000 miles or pay 8,000 miles + $40).

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My December Credit Card Retention Calls: 2 out of 4 Successes ($300 Statement Credits Total)

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  I called about retention offers on a few different credit cards today and wanted to share my results.  Please make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post and read my tips on making retention calls.  I took a page out of Frequent Miler’s playbook (My $575 phone call (complete in 20 minutes)) and called about these 4 credit cards:

  • Chase Hyatt Credit Card ($75 annual fee posted December 1)
  • JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite Credit Card ($450 annual fee posted July 1)
  • Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card ($99 annual fee posted May 1)
  • American Express Business Platinum Charge Card ($595 annual fee posted December 2)

Since the old Chase Hyatt Credit Card is product changing to the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card on January 11, 2021, I decided to call Chase and ask about a retention offer.  This is a huge ask that I knew was never going to fly, but I tried anyways.  I told the Chase rep that I was planning on closing my old Hyatt credit card and was going to apply for the new World of Hyatt credit card in a few weeks since I could earn up to 50,000 World of Hyatt Points with the new sign up bonus.  Instead of going through the process of closing one card and applying for the other card, I asked if Chase could provide some bonus World of Hyatt Points to forgo the sign up bonus.  Nope, that was not possible.  At that point, I asked the rep to close that credit card and transfer the credit limit over to another Chase personal call.  I am 0 for 1 at this point, onto the next call.

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Changes to American Express Credit Card Terms (AMEX Send Account, Cash Advances, AU AF Refunds, Bye El Al & More)

Updated 10/7/2020 at 12pm PT: El Al Israel Airlines just sent out this email to their members letting them know that their American Express Membership Rewards partnership is ending on December 31, 2020.  A screenshot of the email is included below.

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  2 months ago, I wrote Changes to American Express Credit Card Terms (Bye Ameriprise, Third Party Purchases, Foreign Currency & Cash Advances).  Like clockwork, American Express likes to make regular monthly updates to their credit card terms.  I was reviewing my recent American Express credit card statements this morning and spotted a few changes that I thought you might like to know about.  Some of these changes raise some questions or do not provide exact answers, but I will do my best to decipher and interpret the changes.  If you have differing thoughts / opinions about how to interpret these changes, please let me know in the comments section.

To get started, I reviewed all the recent credit card statements on all my AMEX cards and decided to use screenshots from my American Express Gold Card since it covered all the changes.  Most of these changes affect several other AMEX cards.  Here is a brief overview of the upcoming changes (AMEX Send Account, cash advances & additional card annual membership fees), but I will go into more detail on subsequent screenshots.

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Changes to American Express Credit Card Terms (Bye Ameriprise, Third Party Purchases, Foreign Currency & Cash Advances)

Good evening everyone.  Earlier this week, I reviewed my Wells Fargo credit card statements and spotted some changes to the terms.  I wrote about those changes here: Changes to Wells Fargo Credit Card Go Far Rewards Terms (eGC, Forfeiture at Death, Misuse / Gaming & ATM Limits).  For today’s post, I reviewed my recent American Express statements and compiled all the changes I saw on my cards.  Nothing super interesting stood out to me, but I did see mentions of Ameriprise, third party purchases, paying in foreign currency, cash advances, and a few other things.  Here is my attempt to provide some insight about these changes.  Just a heads up that American Express likes to repeat the same information in different places.  This first section covers Ameriprise cards, earning points with third party purchases, and the arbitration process.

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