Tag Archives: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

How Right (or Wrong) were my 2021 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions?

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  A year ago, I wrote My Rock Solid 2021 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions.  It is now time to review my 2021 predictions and see how right (or wrong) I was.  My original predictions are in black, I will comment in green if my prediction was right, and comment in red if my prediction was wrong.  Let’s see how I did…

My 2021 Airline Predictions (1 for 3)

  • Alaska Airlines or Southwest Airlines will make their “convert travel funds to airline miles” feature a permanent feature on their site.  Wrong – sadly this was a temporary feature that each airline introduced in 2020 but they did not make this a permanent feature in 2021.
  • American Airlines will finally become a Citi ThankYou Points airline transfer partner.  Right – but only for a few months.  I hope American Airlines comes back as a Citi ThankYou Point airline transfer partner in 2022.
  • 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).  Wrong – neither Delta nor United introduced a “Cash and Miles” payment option.

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I Paid $3,009 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021 – Was it Worth it?

Updated at 1pm PT on 12/16/21: I forgot to include the value of my Hilton Free Night Certificate from my American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card.  That increased the total another $200 and the info is updated below.


Good morning everyone.  If you haven’t already, please read my post from yesterday (How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021?).  In today’s post, I will share how much value I received from each credit card in 2021.  Today’s post is also a sequel to my 2020 post (I Paid $3,820 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020 – Was it Worth it?) and my 2019 post (I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?).

These 26 credit cards were opened before January 1, 2021, with the exception of my Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card which I opened in July 2021.  For simplicity, I did not include the value of miles or points earned from credit card spend, since that is somewhat subjective.  I counted all credits, reimbursements, retention offers, and referral bonuses at dollar face value (with airline miles and hotel points at conservative values between 0.5 CPP and 1 CPP).  For hotel free night certificates, I used a standard value of $100, with the exception of the Marriott 50K Free Night Certificate which I valued at $200.

I went through all of my credit card statements and online accounts to see which Credit Card Benefits I used in 2021 and those values are summed up in the CCB $ column.  If I received a retention offer, that is listed in the RO $ column.  I listed the credit card annual fees in the AF $ column.  Lastly, I used this formula to calculate the Profit or Loss (P / L column) for each credit card: CCB $ + RO $ – AF $ = P / L

I grouped the credit cards by issuer, sorted them by highest profit at the top, and then split them up into 3 smaller groups (LT = Laura’s card).  Here are my thoughts from the first group:

  • The retention offer on my American Express Business Platinum Card propelled that card to the top of the charts.  It was already a money maker, but the retention offer was the icing on the cake.
  • I was very diligent about using all Airline, CLEAR, Dell, Hilton Resort, Restaurant, Uber, and Wireless credits on all my AMEX cards this year.
  • I can easily get more than $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fares with trips to Hawaii or New York, or expensive last minute travel.
  • I’ve gotten so much value out of the Barclays Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Credit Card thanks to Vacasa vacation rentals.
  • Laura loves her Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card so much, I don’t think she could ever give it up (even though I tell her the card is not worth the $59 annual fee).
Credit Card Name Credit Card Benefits CCB $ RO $ AF $ P / L
AMEX Business Platinum $300 Dell credit, $200 Airline Fee credit, $169 CLEAR credit, $30 Wireless credit, and $25 Staples AMEX Offer $724 $595 $595 $724
AMEX Hilton Honors Aspire $250 Hilton Resort credit, $250 Airline Fee credit, $200 Restaurant credit, and $200 value from Hilton Free Night Certificate $900 $0 $450 $450
AMEX Delta Gold Business $90 Wireless credit and I closed this credit card to avoid paying the $99 annual fee $90 $0 $99 $90
AMEX Gold $100 Airline Fee credit, $100 Dining credit, $100 Uber credit, and $25 1-800-FLOWERS AMEX Offer $325 $0 $250 $75
Bank of America Alaska Airlines (LT) $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare $100 $0 $75 $25
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare $100 $0 $75 $25
Barclays Wyndham Rewards Earner Business 15,000 Wyndham Rewards anniversary points ($150) and 13,500 points from the 10% cardmember discount on award stays ($135) $285 $0 $95 $190
Capital One Venture Rewards (LT) None (Laura’s go to credit card for everyday spending) $0 $0 $59 -$59

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How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021?

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Last year, I wrote How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020?  I wanted to create a similar post for 2021, so I listed all of our credit cards that have annual fees and sorted them by when the annual fee posted.  Whenever I see an annual fee post, I always call the credit card company to see if there are any retention offers available.  At the bottom of this post, I will also share what retention offers I received this year, which credit cards I closed, and which credit cards I converted.  As a starting point, if I kept every single credit card with an annual fee this year, I would have 26 credit cards and paid a total of $4,468 in annual fees.  Here are our credit cards and annual fees (LT = Laura’s cards):

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PSA: Price Match In-Store Items with Online Items from Staples and Office Depot & Stack with Rewards

Good evening everyone, happy Friday.  A few weeks ago, my wife and I received emails regarding our Staples Rewards and Office Depot Rewards.  Somehow, I had $29 in Staples Rewards and my wife had $8.59 in Office Depot Rewards.  This afternoon, I printed out my $29 Staples Reward coupon and went to my local Staples Store to buy some ink for my printer.  Strangely, the price for the ink was more expensive at the Staples Store than on Staples.com.  When I went to check out, I asked the cashier if she would price match to the price on Staples.com and she said yes.  It seemed like a fairly common request to the cashier.  She looked at the price of the ink cartridge on Staples.com on my phone and matched the price.  I was then able to use my Staples Rewards to pay for the item.  In this post, I will show you more information regarding the price match process and show a similar process for Office Depot items.

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I Converted my Chase Sapphire Reserve to Freedom Flex – Here’s Why & What Happened Next

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  I had a fun time watching the latest FTU Virtual Seminar on Saturday (April 10) and am looking forward to attending the next FTU Virtual Seminar on May 22.  In other news, I officially redeemed all my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points last week.  Yes, you read that correctly, I now have 0 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points across all my Chase credit cards.  Every month when our credit card statements would close, I would transfer the points from my Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, and Laura’s Chase Freedom to my Chase Sapphire Reserve.  I would then redeem the points via Pay Yourself Back toward recent grocery and restaurant purchases.

Since it has been more than 4 years since I last got a sign up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, I plan on applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred soon to get the increased sign up bonus.  Before I apply for the CSP, I redeemed all my points and converted my CSR to a Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card.  In this post, I will show you what happened next.

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