Tag Archives: Bank of America

How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020?

Updated at 9:20am PT on 1/4/21: I went through my credit card statements and found 2 more retention offers, so I updated the second table below.


Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  In December 2019, I wrote I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?  In that post, I listed all of our credit cards that had annual fees and I attempted to justify why paying over $4,500 in annual fees was worth it.  Unfortunately, 2020 made it very difficult to get a ton of value out of our travel reward credit cards, so in March 2020, I wrote Reconsideration Strategy for Credit Card Annual Fees During Coronavirus Pandemic.  I decided to list all of our credit cards that have annual fees, sort them by when the annual fee posted / will post, and called for retention offers every time a new annual fee posted.  At the beginning of 2020, we had 25 credit cards with annual fees and would pay $4,845 in annual fees if we made no changes or retention offer calls.  In this post, I will share what retention offers we received, which credit cards we closed, and which credit cards we product changed.

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My Top 10 Most Read Blog Posts of 2020

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Every year, I like to check out my stats from Google Analytics to see which blog posts were the most popular.  I created 2 lists by looking at all blog posts written in 2020 and then I looked at which posts were read the most in 2020, but written in a previous year (#stayingpower).  I will list the blog posts from top to bottom based on pageviews, share the original published date, and provide a short summary of each blog post.  If you are curious, here were the most popular posts from 2019, 20182017, and 2016.

2020’s Most Read Posts (Written in 2020)

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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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Reviewing my Embarrassingly Wrong 2020 Travel Predictions

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend and a Merry Christmas (if you celebrated the holiday).  Since 2020 is almost over (thank goodness!), let’s review My Wildly Ambitious 2020 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions.  To be honest, I totally forgot that I wrote this post and I haven’t looked at it since it was published on December 30, 2019.  Here is what I wrote last year for my predictions and my thoughts on each prediction (correct in green and wrong in red):

My 2020 Airline Predictions

  • Alaska, American, Delta, or United will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets. Clarification: This is not to be confused with Delta’s “Pay with Points” option where you get 1 CPP for each Delta SkyMiles for paid flights. I’m thinking more along the lines of the way British Airways and Avianca do it for award tickets.  No?  I haven’t booked any airline tickets in 9+ months, but I don’t think this prediction came true.
  • Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who.  No, there were no airline mergers in 2020 among these airlines, but I expect to see some mergers of domestic and international airlines next year.

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My Best Practices for New Credit Cards and Sign Up Bonuses

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I recently completed the minimum spending requirement for 4 different credit cards (My October 2020 Credit Card App-O-Rama Results) and wanted to share my best practices for new credit cards and sign up bonuses.  I currently have 32 credit and charge cards open and have had 90 other cards since I started travel hacking in 2011.  To the best of my knowledge, I have never missed a credit card sign up bonus by not completing the minimum spending requirement.  Feel free to use all, some, or none of my best practices with your next credit card.  For this post, I am going to use a fictitious credit card as an example to illustrate some of the pitfalls to avoid.

ABC Credit Card has a sign up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months with a $95 annual fee.  You apply for the credit card on January 1 and your application is pending.  Your application gets approved on January 5 and your new credit card arrives on January 15.  You activate your new credit card on January 18.

Credit Card Tidying and Organization

When your new credit card arrives, I recommend activating it immediately.  Then set up online access to view and track your purchases.  If you get paid monthly, you may want to change the bill due date to a date that is more convenient for you (unfortunately, this may not be possible until after the first statement closes).  For simplicity, I like to have all my credit card statements close around the same date, so that I do not need to remember several different credit card due dates or statement closing dates.

If you are concerned about accidentally making a cash advance purchase, call the credit card company and ask to lower your cash advance limit to $0.  If you were approved with a small credit limit and have other credit cards from the same credit card company, ask if they can transfer some of your credit limit over to your new credit card.  If you want to receive your statements electronically, sign up for electronic statements (I will explain why below). Continue reading