Tag Archives: AMEX

What’s in Grant’s (iPhone) Wallet?

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great Super Bowl weekend.  I was down in Orange County enjoying the warm weather, but now I am back up in the chilly Bay Area.  I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while, but my final motivation was reading 2 Frequent Miler articles: What’s in Nick’s wallet? and What’s in Greg’s wallet?  The first thing you should know about me (if you already didn’t know) is that I am a millennial and I live in the Bay Area, so I can go weeks without using cash.  For that reason, my wallet is built into my iPhone XS case.  I use the Urban Armor Gear (UAG) iPhone Case ($30 on Amazon) that has room for 4 cards: my drivers license and 3 credit cards.  Which 3 credit cards do I carry with me on a daily basis and which credit cards do I have in my ApplePay Wallet?

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If I Could Only Keep 5 Credit Cards with Annual Fees…

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  A few weeks ago, I wrote these 2 posts:

In those posts, I listed all the credit cards that Laura and I have.  I also justified why I paid $4,588 in credit card annual fees in 2019.  Since that post, there have been a few credit card changes (JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card lost the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit and the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card added Lyft and DoorDash benefits).  A few readers commented and other bloggers linked to the top post and shared which credit cards they keep every year.  As part of my 2020 travel resolutions, I said I wanted to reduce the amount I paid in credit card annual fees.  In this theoretical post, here are the 5 credit cards with annual fees that I would keep…

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Keep, Cancel or Convert? US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card ($400 Annual Fee)

Good morning everyone.  As part of my “Keep, Cancel or Convert?” series, I like to evaluate and reevaluate credit (and charge) cards to make sure they still deserve a spot in my wallet.  Last week, I reviewed my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.  In today’s post, I will review my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card, which could be my favorite credit card that I never carry (it is my default credit card in my ApplePay wallet though).

Even though the $400 annual fee for this credit card won’t post until March, I have been mentally thinking over my premium credit cards and seeing if there are ways to save some money on annual fees (read I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 & Was it Worth it?).  My December credit card statement closed a few weeks ago and I wondered if I get enough value out of this credit card to justify the annual fee.  In 2019, I earned 66,492 FlexPoints (50,000 FlexPoints came from the sign up bonus) and I only spent $8,229 ($4,500 were required to complete the minimum spending requirement).  I will review the credit card benefits and tell you why I think this credit card is a keeper.

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What is the Best Hotel Credit Card Free Night Certificate?

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I was listening to the Frequent Miler On The Air podcast recently and they were discussing free night certificates.  As I mentioned in my Ask Me Anything (AMA): Hotel Edition post, I have quite a few hotel credit cards that come with free night certificates.  I wanted to compare the free night certificates and separate the standouts from the duds.  I used Frequent Miler’s Reasonable Redemption Values (RRV) for the hotel point values.  Some of these credit cards are available for new members, while some are no longer available (NLA), but you may be able to convert to them if you have the correct credit card.

I looked at the credit card’s annual fee and the category cap that the free night certificate is good for.  I also included Radisson Rewards anniversary points, even though they are points and not free night certificates.  I did not take into account any addition benefits other than the free night certificate (like elite status or the ability to earn an extra free night certificate).

This is how I read the chart: the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card (NLA) has an $85 annual fee and comes with a free night certificate worth up to 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.  Each Marriott Bonvoy Point is worth 0.72 cents per point (CPP), so the free night certificate has a value of $180.  When I subtract the $95 annual fee, the credit card provides $95 in value on top of the annual fee.

Hotel Credit Card Name
(NLA = No Longer Available)
Annual
Fee
Category
Cap
RRV
CPP
Free Night Value True Value
(FNV – AF)
Marriott Credit Cards
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier (NLA) $85.00 25,000 0.72 $180.00 $95.00
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless $99.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $153.00
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Biz (NLA) $99.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $153.00
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Biz $125.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $127.00
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $450.00 50,000 0.72 $360.00 -$90.00
JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton (NLA) $450.00 50,000 0.72 $360.00 -$90.00
Radisson Rewards Credit Cards
US Bank Radisson Rewards (NLA) $50.00 25,000 0.38 $95.00 $45.00
US Bank Radisson Rewards Biz (NLA) $60.00 40,000 0.38 $152.00 $92.00
US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier $75.00 40,000 0.38 $152.00 $77.00
Hyatt Credit Cards
Chase Hyatt Hotels (NLA) $75.00 15,000 1.50 $225.00 $150.00
Chase World of Hyatt $95.00 15,000 1.50 $225.00 $130.00
IHG Credit Cards
Chase IHG Rewards Select (NLA) $49.00 40,000 0.57 $228.00 $179.00
Chase IHG Rewards Premier $89.00 40,000 0.57 $228.00 $139.00
Hilton Credit Cards
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire $450.00 95,000 0.45 $427.50 -$22.50
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire $450.00 120,000 0.45 $540.00 $90.00

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Keep, Cancel or Convert? American Express Business Platinum Charge Card ($595 Annual Fee)

Good afternoon everyone.  As part of my “Keep, Cancel or Convert?” series, I like to evaluate and reevaluate credit (and charge) cards to make sure they still deserve a spot in my wallet.  Last month, the $595 annual fee posted on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card.  I have read a few recent blog posts about whether to keep or cancel the AMEX Platinum Card (from Frequent Miler and Your Mileage May Vary), so I wanted to share my view on this card.

First things first, I added my brother as an authorized user so he could access the Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Priority Pass Lounges (no more restaurants).  He used the card a few times, but he decided that the $300 annual fee was not worth it to him.  My statement closed on December 2, I called AMEX on December 2 or 3, and said I would like to downgrade my brother’s AMEX Business Platinum to a no annual fee AMEX Business Green (which comes with no perks, other than the $100 Global Entry credit).  AMEX processed the downgrade request right away, but did not provide a full refund (I was charged $1.64 for those 2 days).  Seems kind of petty to me, but let’s see if I decided to keep, cancel, or convert my AMEX Business Platinum.

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