Updated 10/7/2020 at 12pm PT: El Al Israel Airlines just sent out this email to their members letting them know that their American Express Membership Rewards partnership is ending on December 31, 2020. A screenshot of the email is included below.
Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well. 2 months ago, I wrote Changes to American Express Credit Card Terms (Bye Ameriprise, Third Party Purchases, Foreign Currency & Cash Advances). Like clockwork, American Express likes to make regular monthly updates to their credit card terms. I was reviewing my recent American Express credit card statements this morning and spotted a few changes that I thought you might like to know about. Some of these changes raise some questions or do not provide exact answers, but I will do my best to decipher and interpret the changes. If you have differing thoughts / opinions about how to interpret these changes, please let me know in the comments section.
To get started, I reviewed all the recent credit card statements on all my AMEX cards and decided to use screenshots from my American Express Gold Card since it covered all the changes. Most of these changes affect several other AMEX cards. Here is a brief overview of the upcoming changes (AMEX Send Account, cash advances & additional card annual membership fees), but I will go into more detail on subsequent screenshots.
First off, Laura and I are very fortunate that our families have stayed healthy and safe throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic and that we are both still employed (*knock on wood*). Even before I first became aware of COVID-19, I worked from home 2-3 days a week. Since March 1, I transitioned to working from home 5 days a week. The transition process was pretty easy since my home office was already set up. As long as a I have an internet connection and power to charge my laptop, I can work literally anywhere in the world. Thunder and lightning storms, power outages, and smoke from multiple nearby fires has made me feel a little uneasy the last few months. Every time I think to myself, “Oh 2020, how can things get worse?” something undoubtedly new pops up to remind me that life is truly unpredictable.
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.
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).
Earn 10x Marriott Bonvoy Points at restaurants and gas stations through September 30, 2020
Use the $300 annual travel credit to reimburse purchases made at grocery stores and restaurants though December 31, 2020
Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, I used $84.67 of my $300 annual travel credit, so I still had $215.33 remaining that I needed to use by December 31, 2020. With the above information in mind, I decided to use my Ritz Carlton Credit Card for purchases at grocery stores and restaurants until I spent at least $215.33. I made the necessary purchases and clicked the pie chart icon to confirm that the purchases fell into the right categories.
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.