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).
Good morning everyone, happy Friday! I just finished listening to the Miles to Memories podcast (latest episode) and enjoyed listening to them talk about
Disney when they redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights. I don’t have a hard and fast rule that I live by, so I thought it would be fun to share my travel philosophy of when I redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights. I specifically mention flights because I plan to write a similar article about hotels and didn’t want to make this article too long. Lastly, when I use the word cash, that could mean paying for the flight with a credit card, or paying with an airline gift card, or using credit card rewards to pay for the flight – basically anything other than booking an award ticket with airline miles.
I also think it is important to share how many credit card reward points I have, since my thinking would be much different if I had 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points vs. 1 million Chase Ultimate Reward Points. With that said, here are my transferable points balances, as of March 2020, from smallest to largest:
- 8K US Bank FlexPoints (worth ~$120 in travel, assuming 1.5 CPP with my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card)
- 37K Capital One Reward Miles (Laura’s account) (worth ~$370 in travel, assuming 1 CPP)
- 115K Chase Ultimate Reward Points (worth ~$1,725 in travel, assuming 1.5 CPP with my Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card)
- 206K Citi Thank You Points (worth ~$2,575 in travel, assuming 1.25 CPP with my Citi Premier Credit Card)
- 290K American Express Membership Reward Points (worth ~$4,466 in travel, assuming 1.54 CPP with the 35% rebate from my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card)
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.
Good afternoon everyone. Generally, at the end of the year, I like to review my travel predictions for the past year and make new predictions for the coming year. After a long streak of poor prediction performance (2018 prediction results, 2017 prediction results, and 2016 prediction results), I decided not to make any travel predictions for 2019. But my predictions are coming our of retirement / hibernation today. I really recommend reading the travel predictions that Stephen at Frequent Miler made, especially his top 5 predictions:
- Capital One To Add Virgin Atlantic As Travel Partner
- Amex Membership Rewards To Transfer To JetBlue On A 1:1 Basis
- Free Breakfast For IHG Spire Elite Members
- Citi To Allow Card Referrals
- Chase And/Or Amex To Increase Referral Limits
I am going to piggy back on his predictions and add a few of my own. So without further ado, here are my travel predictions for 2020
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.
- Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who.
Good morning everyone. As we approach the end of the year, I decided to take a look at my credit card spreadsheet and see how much my wife and I paid in annual fees this year. I removed all the no annual fee credit cards and here are the 26 credit cards that have annual fees (sorted alphabetically). I will break down this list into cards that I am 99% sure that I will cancel, 99% sure that I will keep, and the 50/50 cards that I might keep or cancel. Read through this post and let me know if you agree or disagree with my thinking.