Tag Archives: Credit Cards

Why I Redeemed 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back Feature

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I recently had a change of heart and decided to redeem 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back feature.  Chase introduced the Pay Yourself Back feature on May 31 and I wrote How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points via Pay Yourself Back (1.5 Cents Per Point for Restaurants, Grocery Stores & Home Improvement).  Initially, I was not very excited about the new feature, since I convinced myself that I could use my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in other ways and get more than 1.5 cents per point.

After realizing that I had no concrete travel plans remaining in 2020 (I recently cancelled trips to Boston & New York along with a big trip to Africa), I figured that my stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points would probably not be used much this year.  Before redeeming 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, I looked at Chase’s travel partners to see if there were any major reasons to keep my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  Chase has 13 airline and hotel partners, but only has 4 exclusive partners (Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, IHG, and Hyatt), the remaining 9 travel partners are accessible with American Express Membership Rewards Points, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles.

My wife and I have ~58,000 Southwest Airlines points and ~$150 in travel credit, so I would not need to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest Airlines.  I am not a huge fan of United Airlines and can usually book Star Alliance flights with other travel programs, plus I have ~$178 travel credit from a cancelled United flight.  IHG points are worth ~0.5 cents per point and I have ~222,000 IHG points in my account.  Last but not least, Hyatt is the only travel partner that stands out from the list.  I decided to save at least 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points just in case we stay at a Hyatt later this year).

I figured that normal spending on our Chase Ink Cash Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Credit Card this year would replenish our Chase Ultimate Rewards Points balance by the end of 2020.

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Anatomy and Timeline of 2 Cancelled Air Canada Aeroplan Award Tickets

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  Long story short, I planned an awesome award trip to Africa (Victoria Falls, South Africa, and Madagascar) for August 2020, but due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we decided to cancel the trip and try again next year.  I planned / booked this award trip in October 2019 and part of the award booking process involved transferring 77,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Air Canada Aeroplan account.  I recently wrote about my Anatomy and Timeline of a Cancelled American Airlines Award Ticket, so I decided I would write something similar for my experience cancelling 2 Air Canada Aeroplan award tickets.

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American Express Automatically Issued Missing Membership Rewards Points from AMEX Business Platinum 35% Rebate

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Yesterday morning, I received an email from AMEX with the subject line “Important Notice About Your American Express Account.”  That subject line could mean many things (my mind automatically assumes the worst when receiving these type of emails), but I was very happy to see that American Express gave me Membership Rewards Points due to an issue with the Pay with Points feature available on my American Express Business Platinum Card.  I have only used the Pay with Points feature once in May 2019 and wrote about My Disappointing Experience with AMEX Business Platinum 35% Membership Rewards Point Rebate in August 2019, so I don’t have any immediate plans to use the feature again.  There were 2 strange things about this email.

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American Express Waiving Membership Rewards Points Transfer Excise Tax Through 12/31 & Refunding Previous 2020 Charges

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I was checking my American Express online account and I saw a credit balance of $1.80 on my American Express Everyday Credit Card.  I never use this card, so I was surprised to see that the credit was a Membership Rewards Airline Tax Offset Fee Credit.  I did some digging and learned that this refund is related to a $1.80 charge from February that I paid to transfer 3,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Delta account to book an award ticket.  I also learned that American Express is waiving the excise tax fee for domestic airlines through December 31, 2020 (including Delta, JetBlue, and Hawaiian).

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Work from Home Diary 12: Eating in Restaurants & Sunburns at the Beach (SoCal Update)

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  I apologize that it’s been more than a month since my last update in early May titled Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today.  For today’s update, it’s not about work, but about my roadtrip from Northern California down to Southern California to visit my parents.  I haven’t seen my parents since the end of February and I had to cancel my last trip down to visit for Mother’s Day Weekend (read PSA: Don’t Cancel Airline Reservations through Citi ThankYou Portal; Cancel Directly with the Airline).  Laura and I have been staying safe the last few months and so have my parents, so we felt like now was a good time to visit.

I’m not sure about the state you live in, but in California, every county has different rules regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic and which businesses can open.  In Sonoma County (where we live), restaurants have only been open for takeout and delivery, but in Orange County (where my parents live), restaurants are open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.  It’s probably been 3+ months since I last sat in a restaurant and I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much (I got used to eating every meal at home and cooking dinner most nights of the week), but boy was I wrong.

Image source: https://atlanta.eater.com/2020/4/23/21232907/atlanta-georgia-restaurants-opening-dining-room-april27-2020-covid019

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