Tag Archives: Travel Credit Cards

Keep, Cancel or Convert? US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card ($400 Annual Fee)

Good morning 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 week, I reviewed my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.  In today’s post, I will review my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card, which could be my favorite credit card that I never carry (it is my default credit card in my ApplePay wallet though).

Even though the $400 annual fee for this credit card won’t post until March, I have been mentally thinking over my premium credit cards and seeing if there are ways to save some money on annual fees (read I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 & Was it Worth it?).  My December credit card statement closed a few weeks ago and I wondered if I get enough value out of this credit card to justify the annual fee.  In 2019, I earned 66,492 FlexPoints (50,000 FlexPoints came from the sign up bonus) and I only spent $8,229 ($4,500 were required to complete the minimum spending requirement).  I will review the credit card benefits and tell you why I think this credit card is a keeper.

Continue reading

Caution: Marriott Bonvoy App Used My Points Instead of My Free Night Certificate

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  Yesterday, I was trying to use my Free Night Certificate from my JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite Credit Card to book a hotel in New York City and experienced some issues booking through the Marriott Bonvoy app.  My Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate is good at Marriott properties that cost up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points and the property I wanted to stay at cost 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.

When I used the Marriott Bonvoy app to book the hotel, I assumed the app would use my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate to pay for the 50,000 point redemption.  Unfortunately, the app used 50,000 points and I only realized it when I refreshed AwardWallet and saw that my account balance decreased by 50,000 points, but my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate was not used.  I immediately canceled the points booking and went through the Marriott website on my iPhone.  I repeated the same steps and when I got to the payment option, it defaulted to selecting my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate (the 50,000 point option was also shown).  I completed the booking on the website and refreshed AwardWallet to make sure my point balance did not change, but that my Ritz Carlton Free Night Certificate was used.

Continue reading

What is the Best Hotel Credit Card Free Night Certificate?

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I was listening to the Frequent Miler On The Air podcast recently and they were discussing free night certificates.  As I mentioned in my Ask Me Anything (AMA): Hotel Edition post, I have quite a few hotel credit cards that come with free night certificates.  I wanted to compare the free night certificates and separate the standouts from the duds.  I used Frequent Miler’s Reasonable Redemption Values (RRV) for the hotel point values.  Some of these credit cards are available for new members, while some are no longer available (NLA), but you may be able to convert to them if you have the correct credit card.

I looked at the credit card’s annual fee and the category cap that the free night certificate is good for.  I also included Radisson Rewards anniversary points, even though they are points and not free night certificates.  I did not take into account any addition benefits other than the free night certificate (like elite status or the ability to earn an extra free night certificate).

This is how I read the chart: the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card (NLA) has an $85 annual fee and comes with a free night certificate worth up to 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.  Each Marriott Bonvoy Point is worth 0.72 cents per point (CPP), so the free night certificate has a value of $180.  When I subtract the $95 annual fee, the credit card provides $95 in value on top of the annual fee.

Hotel Credit Card Name
(NLA = No Longer Available)
Annual
Fee
Category
Cap
RRV
CPP
Free Night Value True Value
(FNV – AF)
Marriott Credit Cards
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier (NLA) $85.00 25,000 0.72 $180.00 $95.00
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless $99.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $153.00
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Biz (NLA) $99.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $153.00
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Biz $125.00 35,000 0.72 $252.00 $127.00
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $450.00 50,000 0.72 $360.00 -$90.00
JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton (NLA) $450.00 50,000 0.72 $360.00 -$90.00
Radisson Rewards Credit Cards
US Bank Radisson Rewards (NLA) $50.00 25,000 0.38 $95.00 $45.00
US Bank Radisson Rewards Biz (NLA) $60.00 40,000 0.38 $152.00 $92.00
US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier $75.00 40,000 0.38 $152.00 $77.00
Hyatt Credit Cards
Chase Hyatt Hotels (NLA) $75.00 15,000 1.50 $225.00 $150.00
Chase World of Hyatt $95.00 15,000 1.50 $225.00 $130.00
IHG Credit Cards
Chase IHG Rewards Select (NLA) $49.00 40,000 0.57 $228.00 $179.00
Chase IHG Rewards Premier $89.00 40,000 0.57 $228.00 $139.00
Hilton Credit Cards
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire $450.00 95,000 0.45 $427.50 -$22.50
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire $450.00 120,000 0.45 $540.00 $90.00

Continue reading

Keep, Cancel or Convert? American Express Business Platinum Charge Card ($595 Annual Fee)

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.

Continue reading

My Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Plan for 2020

Good morning everyone.  As you all probably know by now, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card will be adding 2 new benefits (Lyft Pink Membership & DoorDash’s DashPass with a $60 yearly credit) along with raising the annual fee from $450 to $550, beginning on January 12.  Doctor of Credit has all the details on the key dates:

  • Annual fee will increase to $550 for new users on January 12, 2020
  • Annual fee will increase to $550 for existing users in April 2020
  • Not possible to product change to the card until after January 12, 2020 (new $550 annual fee will be charged)
  • Complimentary Lyft pink membership to be added on January 12, 2020
  • $60 DoorDash credit to be added for 2020 and 2021 (this is is an annual credit that is valid from 1/12 – 12/31 each year)

The first thing I wanted to do was take a look at my 2019 credit card statements and see when the $450 annual fee posted to my Chase Sapphire Reserve.  It looks like my annual fee posted on April 1, 2019.  The new $550 annual fee will increase in April 2020, but no specific date is listed.  If I am really unlucky, the $550 annual fee will post on my April 2020 statement, but if I am really lucky, the $550 annual fee will post next year on my April 2021 statement.  I should have my answer in 3 months…

Continue reading