Tag Archives: Credit Cards

Keep, Cancel, or Convert: Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card ($450 Annual Fee)

Buenos días everyone! I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me – I’ve got a couple of things in the works, but for now, I thought I’d hop on to Grant’s Keep, Cancel, or Convert? Series with my thoughts on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.

The CSR has had a spot in my wallet since it was first released, but over time, it’s been losing its luster for me as other cards have caught up with it. When Chase announced that the annual fee would be rising to $550, I knew its days in my wallet were numbered. Here’s why:

  • I opened the JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card right before Chase stopped offering the card to new applicants, which offers the same travel protections as the CSR and a better Priority Pass membership.
  • Late last year, I opened a Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which earns 3x on travel and allows me to transfer my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to airline and hotel partners.
  • Earlier this year, I opened a Citi Premier Credit Card, which earns 3x Citi ThankYou Points on restaurants and most travel purchases.
  • My Chase Freedom Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card now earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at restaurants (though both cards have foreign transaction fees, so I won’t be using them in Mexico).

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Listen to Grant on the Miles to Memories Podcast

Good morning everyone.  Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of being a guest / co-host on the Miles to Memories Podcast.  I spoke with Shawn Coomer (MtM Founder) and Mark Ostermann (MtM Managing Editor), while Joe Cheung took the day/night off.  We talked about my British Airways / Match.com love story, our pre-honeymoon to Moorea, and our upcoming road trip to Carmel / Monterey.  Subscribe to the podcast here or click the play button below to stream the podcast.  Have a great day everyone.

P.S. If you want to listen to more podcasts where I was a guest / co-host, check out my new Podcasts & Interviews page.

My 12 Month Experiment to Open an Installment Loan to Increase my Credit Score

Full Disclosure: I don’t recommend taking out an installment loan unless you understand the costs and how the process works.  I did my best to explain the process, but I apologize if it is still confusing.

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well. 12 months ago, I started a journey to increase my credit score by opening an installment loan called a Credit Builder Account with Self (Self was previously named Self Lender).  Before I started this experiment, the Account Mix portion of my credit score was very 1 sided.  I had 30+ credit cards, but no auto loans, home loans, student loans, or installment loans.  As of September 2020, my Credit Sesame account shows that I now have 2 types of accounts (30+ credit cards and 1 installment loan).  This information can be found at the 3 credit bureaus and on Credit Karma, but the screen on Credit Sesame was the prettiest and easy to understand.

As a reminder, the Account Mix portion of your credit score only makes up 10% of your overall credit score, so it is not as important as your Payment History (35%) and your Credit Usage (30%).  In this post, I will show you how the Credit Builder Account works and how much it costs to take out the installment loan.

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How to Redeem Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards Points to Pay for Purchases

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Earlier this month, the $175 annual fee posted to my Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Credit Card.  I made sure to max out the $50 statement credit from the Small Business AMEX Offer and used up the $100 airline reimbursement.  I was hoping to downgrade my credit card to the no annual fee Wells Fargo Propel American Express, but when I called Wells Fargo, I was told that the department that handles product changes is closed temporarily due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Since I couldn’t product change to a no annual fee and I didn’t want to pay the $175 annual fee, I asked the rep to close my account.  During the closure process, the rep said I had 365 Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards Points in my account and asked me if I wanted to redeem the points for purchases before they closed the account.  In this post, I will show you how to redeem your Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards Points to pay for purchases.  Sign into your Wells Fargo online account and click on your credit card, not your Go Far Rewards account.

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125K Chase IHG Premier Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Posts 2 Days After Other Points

Good morning everyone.  Last month, Laura applied for the Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and was approved around July 10 (after her application was reviewed by Chase).  The sign up bonus was for 125,000 IHG Points after spending $3,000 in 3 months.  Laura’s credit card statement closed a few days ago and I saw on her statement that the 125,000 “New Cardmember Bonus” Points were listed.  I then checked her IHG account balance but did not see the 125,000 IHG Points.  I was a little nervous and confused, but 2 days later, the 125,000 IHG Points posted to her account.  Phew!

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