Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Review: 50k Points Worth $750 in Travel, $300 Annual Travel Credit, $550 Annual Fee, New Lyft/DoorDash Perks

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Updated with new annual fee and perks list. Chase has updated their “ultra-premium” credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, which has headline features of Visa Infinite benefits, 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, $300 annual travel credit, 3X points on travel and dining, and a $550 annual fee. Here is the long list of perks:

  • 50,000 Bonus Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. That can be redeemed for $750 of airfare, hotels, and other travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • $300 annual travel credit. Every year, the card will rebate you back up to $300 in travel purchases such as airfare and hotel nights charged on your card.
  • $100 statement credit towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Priority Pass Select membership. Provides free access to 1,000+ airport lounges in over 400 cities worldwide.
  • 3X points per $1 spent on travel & dining worldwide. The 3X points on travel kick in immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • DoorDash credits. Up to $120 in statement credits towards DoorDash purchases ($60 in 2020 and another $60 in 2021). Also get $0 delivery fee with free DashPass membership for at least 1 year.
  • Free year Lyft Pink membership + 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022. Lyft Pink usually costs $19.99 a month and includes 15% off Lyft rides, 3 complimentary bike and scooter rides a month, and priority airport pickups.
  • 1:1 points transfer to various frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Annual fee is $550, not waived the first year.

Note the following text:

This product is available to you if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.

Ultimate Rewards points. This card offers a special 50% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. That is more than any other Chase card (a 25% bonus is the most otherwise). 50,000 Ultimate Rewards = $750 in travel. Similar to Expedia or Travelocity, you can book flights on most major airlines and hotel chains. This makes it much more flexible to spend your points. You can even buy something more expensive and pay the difference.

If you have other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited, you can transfer points into this card account and take advantage of the this higher premium. In other words, your existing Ultimate Rewards points balance could be increased in value by getting this card.

Prefer airline and/or hotel points? This card also allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points into hotel and/or airline miles. Transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Southwest, Hyatt Hotels, IHG Hotels, and Marriott Hotels at a ratio of 1 Ultimate Rewards point = 1 mile/hotel point. Miles redemption continue to offer great value for savvy travelers, especially for last-minute travel and business class seats.

Cash redemptions are a simple and easy option, but the conversion is a straight 100 points = $1.

Sharing points. Ultimate Rewards points are instantly transferable to other accounts like family members, as long as they have their own Chase card with Ultimate Rewards as an authorized user (free with Chase Freedom). This way, you can pool points together for transfers and redemptions if you like.

Additional card benefits:

  • Dedicated customer service line with a live person that answers the phone 24/7. No waiting or complicated phone trees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver insurance. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad. Most other cards only offer secondary coverage that kicks in only after the deductible of your individual insurance policy is used.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement. If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket
  • Enjoy special car rental privileges from National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar when you book with your card.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

As for the $300 annual travel credit, “annually” means the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and each 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date. So it’s not exactly by calendar year, but roughly close and you can likely get this twice under the first year’s annual fee.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t need the new Lyft and DoorDash perks very much. I have also been redeeming my points for Hyatt hotel nights primarily, so I will stick to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with a lower $95 annual fee and the same 1:1 ratio for turning Ultimate Rewards points into Hyatt points. I will miss the Reserve’s 3X earning power on travel on dining, however! Your spending and point-redeeming situation may be different.

Bottom line. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has a 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, $300 annual travel credit, 3X points on Dining/Travel, Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, up to $100 Global Entry application credit, Lyft perks, DoorDash perks, and more… in exchange for a $550 annual fee. You should compare against that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which has less perks but also a lower annual fee.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Review: 100,000 Point Limited Time Offer

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Limited-time offer. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card emerged after the merger of Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott (formerly the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card). This card offers unique perks for regular Marriott customers, and right now there is a limited-time offer bump to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (a 25k increase to their previous 75k offer). Here are the highlights:

  • Limited time offer: 100,000 bonus points after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Bonvoy points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.

Keep in mind the following:

The bonus is not available to you if you:

(1) are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express);

(2) are a current or previous cardmember of either Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card), and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months; or

(3) applied and were approved for Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card) within the last 90 days.

That’s a lot of long card names, but note the different 30-day, 90-day, and 24-month waiting periods that may now include Marriott business cards. (See my Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Review.) This is why you should be looking to get the best possible bonus (like a limited-time offer) if you do apply.

The Marriott and Starwood merger is now complete, and you can use these points at either Marriott properties (Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites) or former Starwood Properties (Westin, Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, Aloft).

Here’s the new award chart information:

You could use 70,000 points on two free nights at a Category 5 hotel like the Courtyard Waikiki Beach in Hawaii on a standard date, or you could get 4 free nights at a Category 3 hotel like the Residence Inn Austin Arboretum.

You can still turn your points into airline miles with a bonus. 60,000 Marriott points = 25,000 airline miles. Similar to the old Starwood bonus structure, they will add 15,000 points for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles.

Finally, Marriott points are also convertible to gift cards, but it takes 60,000 points to redeem for a $200 gift card for Marriott or retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot, or Nordstrom. That ratio isn’t all that great so you’ll definitely get the most value via hotel night redemptions or airline miles transfer.

Free Night Award. At your card anniversary (when you pay the annual fee), you will receive a Free Night Award that is good for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. This excludes the very top properties, but for regular travelers it will be very easy to get your $95 value. Many W Hotels, Westin, and even some Ritz-Carltons worldwide are included. Here are some sample hotels that qualify under the 35,000 point limit:

  • Sheraton Kona Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Westin Hapuna Beach Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Courtyard Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Oahu)
  • Sheraton Kauai Resort (Kauai, Hawaii)
  • W Atlanta
  • New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
  • W Chicago
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, China
  • The S. Regis Bangkok, Thailand

Bottom line. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (formerly the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card) has been refreshed with a new limited-time offer of 100,000 bonus Marriott points. Previously the standard offer was 75,000 points, so you may consider this a good time to apply. As with all hotel cards, the value is dependent on your unique travel preferences. If you stay at Marriott/Starwood properties regularly, the free annual night award should easily cover the annual fee.

During the limited-time offer, I have added this to my list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – January 2020

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Updated January 2020. Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? You are eligible to open a small business credit card, which keeps your personal and business expenses separate. If you are not a corporation or LLC, you can apply as a sole proprietorship, with your name as the business name and your Social Security number as the Tax ID number. I did this for years successfully before incorporating my business.

Small business credit cards are offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to try out a new card. Below are the top 10 credit card offers that I would apply for (or have applied for already). Recent changes:

  • United Biz 100k – limited-time offer.
  • Citi/Barclays AA Biz 75k x 2 – limited-time offers.
  • CapOne Spark limited-time offer ended.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for personal cards. Notice that small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 towards flexible travel) after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card

United Explorer Business Card

  • 100,000 United miles after $10,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip).
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $99 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Card

  • Up to 75,000 American Airlines miles. 65,000 miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. Additional 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $95 annual fee.

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

  • 75,000 American Airlines miles after $5,000 in purchases in first the 5 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

American Express Plum Card

  • $600 cash back. Earn a $200 statement credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases, up to $30,000, within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 1.5% early pay discount on all purchases which stacks on top of the bonus above.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $250.

Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard (Barclaycard)

  • Up to 70,000 Hawaiian miles. Earn 60,000 miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles after a purchase is made on an employee card. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

JetBlue Business Mastercard (Barclaycard)

  • Up to 60,000 JetBlue True Blue miles. Earn 50,000 miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles after a purchase is made on an employee card. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to book JetBlue-operated flights.
  • $99 annual fee.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Card

  • $500 cash bonus after $4,500 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

American Express Business Platinum Card

  • Up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points (worth over $1,000 towards airfare). 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 within your first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Largest airline lounge access network. Includes Delta Sky Club membership + their own Centurion lounges.
  • Free year of WeWork co-working membership.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a calendar year in baggage fees and more at one airline that you pick.
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.
  • $595 annual fee.

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card

  • $500 cash back bonus after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent, OR earn 1 point on every $1 spent + 1,000 bonus points when company spend is $1,000+ in any monthly billing period.
  • No annual fee.
My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Best Interest Rates on Cash – January 2020

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Here’s my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash for January 2020, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. I track these rates because I keep 12 months of expenses as a cash cushion and also invest in longer-term CDs (often at lesser-known credit unions) when they yield more than bonds. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to see how much extra interest you’d earn by moving money between accounts. Rates listed are available to everyone nationwide. Rates checked as of 1/9/2020.

High-yield savings accounts
While the huge megabanks like to get away with 0.01% APY, it’s easy to open a new “piggy-back” savings account and simply move some funds over from your existing checking account. The interest rates on savings accounts can drop at any time, so I list the top rates as well as competitive rates from banks with a history of competitive rates. Some banks will bait you with a temporary top rate and then lower the rates in the hopes that you are too lazy to leave.

Short-term guaranteed rates (1 year and under)
A common question is what to do with a big pile of cash that you’re waiting to deploy shortly (just sold your house, just sold your business, legal settlement, inheritance). My usual advice is to keep things simple and take your time. If not a savings account, then put it in a flexible short-term CD under the FDIC limits until you have a plan.

  • No Penalty CDs offer a fixed interest rate that can never go down, but you can still take out your money (once) without any fees if you want to use it elsewhere. Marcus Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 2.00% APY with a $500 minimum deposit. My eBanc has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 2.00% APY with a $100,000 minimum deposit. Ally Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 1.85% APY with a $25,000 minimum deposit. CIT Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 1.75% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit. You may wish to open multiple CDs in smaller increments for more flexibility.
  • Quontic Bank has a 12-month CD at 2.20% APY ($1,000 minimum).

Money market mutual funds + Ultra-short bond ETFs
If you like to keep cash in a brokerage account, beware that many brokers pay out very little interest on their default cash sweep funds (and keep the difference for themselves). The following money market and ultra-short bond funds are not FDIC-insured, but may be a good option if you have idle cash and cheap/free commissions.

  • Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund currently pays an 1.69% SEC yield. The default sweep option is the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund which has an SEC yield of 1.54%. You can manually move the money over to Prime if you meet the $3,000 minimum investment.
  • Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund currently pays 2.00% SEC yield ($3,000 min) and 2.16% SEC Yield ($50,000 min). The average duration is ~1 year, so there is more interest rate risk.
  • The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Bond ETF (MINT) has a 1.97% SEC yield and the iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR) has a 2.25% SEC yield while holding a portfolio of investment-grade bonds with an average duration of ~6 months.

Treasury Bills and Ultra-short Treasury ETFs
Another option is to buy individual Treasury bills which come in a variety of maturities from 4-weeks to 52-weeks. You can also invest in ETFs that hold a rotating basket of short-term Treasury Bills for you, while charging a small management fee for doing so. T-bill interest is exempt from state and local income taxes.

  • You can build your own T-Bill ladder at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a brokerage account with a bond desk like Vanguard and Fidelity. Here are the current Treasury Bill rates. As of 1/9/2020, a 4-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 1.53% annualized interest and a 52-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 1.54% annualized interest.
  • The Goldman Sachs Access Treasury 0-1 Year ETF (GBIL) has a 1.83% SEC yield and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) has a 1.38% SEC yield. GBIL appears to have a slightly longer average maturity than BIL.

US Savings Bonds
Series I Savings Bonds offer rates that are linked to inflation and backed by the US government. You must hold them for at least a year. There are annual purchase limits. If you redeem them within 5 years there is a penalty of the last 3 months of interest.

  • “I Bonds” bought between November 2019 and April 2020 will earn a 2.22% rate for the first six months. The rate of the subsequent 6-month period will be based on inflation again. More info here.
  • In mid-April 2020, the CPI will be announced and you will have a short period where you will have a very close estimate of the rate for the next 12 months. I will have another post up at that time.

Prepaid Cards with Attached Savings Accounts
A small subset of prepaid debit cards have an “attached” FDIC-insured savings account with exceptionally high interest rates. The negatives are that balances are capped, and there are many fees that you must be careful to avoid (lest they eat up your interest). Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. There is a long list of previous offers that have already disappeared with little notice. I don’t personally recommend nor use any of these anymore.

  • The only notable card left in this category is Mango Money at 6% APY on up to $2,500, but there are many hoops to jump through. Requirements include $1,500+ in “signature” purchases and a minimum balance of $25.00 at the end of the month.

Rewards checking accounts
These unique checking accounts pay above-average interest rates, but with unique risks. You have to jump through certain hoops, and if you make a mistake you won’t earn any interest for that month. Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. Rates can also drop to near-zero quickly, leaving a “bait-and-switch” feeling. I don’t use any of these anymore.

  • Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking (my review) has up to 5.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 if you make $500+ in ACH deposits, 12 debit card “signature” purchases, and spend $1,000 on their credit card each month. TAB Bank Kasasa Cash Checking has 4.00% APY on balances up to $50,000 if you make 1 ACH transfer and 15+ debit card purchases of $5+ each month, but read their vague fine print first. Find a locally-restricted rewards checking account at DepositAccounts.
  • If you’re looking for a high-interest checking account without debit card transaction requirements, the rate won’t be nearly as high, but take a look at MemoryBank at 0.90% APY.

Certificates of deposit (greater than 1 year)
CDs offer higher rates, but come with an early withdrawal penalty. By finding a bank CD with a reasonable early withdrawal penalty, you can enjoy higher rates but maintain access in a true emergency. Alternatively, consider building a CD ladder of different maturity lengths (ex. 1/2/3/4/5-years) such that you have access to part of the ladder each year, but your blended interest rate is higher than a savings account. When one CD matures, use that money to buy another 5-year CD to keep the ladder going. Some CDs also offer “add-ons” where you can deposit more funds if rates drop.

  • Financial Partners Credit Union (LFCU) has a 5-year Jumbo certificate at 3.00% APY ($100k minimum) and 2.85% APY with a $1,000 minimum. As with many credit union specials, this likely won’t last long. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization American Consumer Council ($8 one-time fee).
  • Navy Federal Credit Union has a special 37-month IRA CD at 3.00% APY ($50 minimum + add-on feature), but you must have a military affiliation to join (includes being a relative of a veteran).
  • Andrews FCU still has their special 84-month certificate at 3.05% APY. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization.
  • You can buy certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. You may need an account to see the rates. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance and easy laddering, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. The rates are not competitive right now. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs listed by Fidelity.

Longer-term Instruments
I’d use these with caution due to increased interest rate risk, but I still track them to see the rest of the current yield curve.

  • Willing to lock up your money for 10+ years? You can buy long-term certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. I don’t see anything noteworthy. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs from Fidelity.
  • How about two decades? Series EE Savings Bonds are not indexed to inflation, but they have a unique guarantee that the value will double in value in 20 years, which equals a guaranteed return of 3.5% a year. However, if you don’t hold for that long, you’ll be stuck with the normal rate which is quite low (currently a sad 0.10% rate). I view this as a huge early withdrawal penalty. You could also view it as a hedge against prolonged deflation, but only if you can hold on for 20 years. As of 1/9/2020, the 20-year Treasury Bond rate was 2.17%.

All rates were checked as of 1/9/2020.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Chase Sapphire Cardholders: Free DashPass Membership (Up to 2 Years)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Chase has partnered with food delivery service DoorDash to offer free DashPass membership to select Chase credit cards for up to 2 years. DashPass is a subscription service that offers a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees for subscribers when ordering $12 or more from any DashPass-eligible restaurant (look for the checkmark). The regular price is $9.99/month.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred credit card, you can get free DashPass benefits on eligible orders for at least 12 months (and a maximum of 24 months) after activation. If you add it now, your DashPass will last until 12/31/2021.

If you have a Chase Freedom or Slate credit card, you can free DashPass benefits on eligible orders for 3 months after activation. After the first 3 months, the user will be auto-enrolled for the next 9 months in DashPass with a 50% discount applied to the then current membership rate. You can always cancel at any time.

If you are new customer to DoorDash and sign up via my DoorDash referral link, you will get $5 off your first 3 DoorDash orders over $12 ($15 off total). I will get $7 in food credits. Thanks if you use it!

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: 0% APR For 21 Months on Balance Transfers (Until October 2021)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to pay down debt. Rewards-earning credit cards may not be optimal for those carrying balances and thus more impacted by 18% interest rates than a relatively puny 2% back on purchases. Consider the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, which doesn’t offer a fancy rewards structure but has brought back their longest 0% APR intro balance transfer period. The highlights:

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No annual fee.

The strong part of this card is the long 21 month period, so you can spread out payments over 1.75 years and ideally pay it all off by the end. If you make a transfer in January 2020, that means 0% APR until October 2021. There is a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 min). However, if you’re currently paying 18% APR, then 5% works out to 3 months of interest over a 21 month period. Once the intro period on all 0% cards expire, the rates will go right back up. You’ll either need to pay it off or transfer your balance again if you need more time. This card lets you spread your payments out over 21 months instead of 6 or 12.

If you are certain that you can pay it off within a shorter time period, look for a card with no balance transfer fee. Compare with other low fee 0% APR balance transfer offers.

Bottom line. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® is a card targeted that for those serious about paying down their balances. The 0% introductory period of 21 months on balance transfers is the longest they offer, with a one-time 5% balance transfer fee ($5 min). No annual fee.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Free National Emerald Club Executive Elite Upgrade Sign-Up Link

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

The loyalty program for National Car Rental is called Emerald Club, which has a unique feature in that they maintain an “Emerald Aisle” where you can show and pick any car in that aisle based on your tier. The base Emerald tier (anyone can sign up and join this for free) may only mean picking between a Nissan Altima or a Hyundai Elantra, but it’s still a bit of fun as I like cars. When spending my own money, my preferred car company is National. As a member, you’ll also be able to book a full-size car at the mid-size price (“free upgrade”).

American Express has brought back a promotion with a free upgrade to Emerald Executive Elite status, which is the highest tier – one above Emerald Executive and two tiers above plain Emerald Club. The “Executive Emerald Aisle” includes a wider choice of nicer cars including SUVs and large sedans (while still paying only the midsize rate) and faster rewards accrual (1 free rental day after 5 rental credits). You may have to sign up for a fresh new account. The form doesn’t appear to ask for an American Express number. They will change your Contract ID, but you can change it back if you want.

In addition, if you enroll through the promotion and also pay for your first rental with any American Express, they will credit you with five Emerald Club Credits. Remember, 5 credits is enough for a free car rental already with Executive Elite status. Essentially, you get a free rental day after your first rental if paid with AmEx.

*Offer valid for new members only enrolled via this promotion between 12/16/19-2/29/20. Get five Emerald Club Credits you can use toward a future rental day after you enroll in the Emerald Club at (http://nationalcar.com/amexee) between 12/16/19-2/29/20, rent one time from National and pay with any American Express Credit or Charge Card.

Status match. Once you obtain your status and/or membership kit, you can also ask for a status match with Hertz, Avis (request via email), or Enterprise. For example, based on the qualification criteria, it appears at Emerald Club Executive lines up with Hertz Five Star, while Emerald Club Executive Elite lines up with Hertz President’s Circle.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

5% Cash Back Cards: Gas Stations, Internet/Phone/Streaming, Grocery Stores – January thru March 2020

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

5percentbackActivation reminder for 1st Quarter 2020. The credit cards below offer up to 5% cash back on specific categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but it can add up to hundreds of dollars in additional rewards per year without changing your spending habits. You can also buy gift cards with the 5% back now but spend the gift cards later. New cardmembers may also get an upfront sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom VisaChase Freedom – $150 Bonus

From January 1st through March 31st, 2020 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Gas Stations
  • Internet, Cable & Phone Services. Internet, cable, satellite television and radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services will qualify.
  • Select Streaming Services. The full list is Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV, and ESPN+.

Enroll each quarter at ChaseBonus.com. As long as you activate by the end of the quarter the rewards are retroactive. All other purchases earn 1% back, with no tiers or expiration of rewards. Technically, you earn Ultimate Rewards points which can also be converted to airline miles or hotel points instead of cash if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Currently, the Chase Freedom card is offering $150 bonus cash back if you sign up and make $500 in purchases in your first three months. No annual fee.

Discover it 14 ImageDiscover it Card

From January 1st through March 31st, 2020 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores. Does NOT include Walmart nor Target.
  • Walgreens
  • CVS

Enroll after logging into your online account (look on the right-hand side). 5% rewards won’t apply until after you activate your rewards, so it is best to activate now before you forget. No annual fee.

New cardmember bonus details. If you are a new applicant and sign up via my Discover Card referral link, you will get a $50 Cashback Bonus after your first purchase within 3 months of being approved. You will also get Cashback Match for an entire year – a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. During those 12 months, your $50 Cashback Bonus becomes $100, your 5% cash back rewards becomes 10% cash back, and your 1% cash back rewards become 2% cash back. You can verify this on the application by clicking on “See rates, rewards and other info” and searching for “cashback match” and “statement credit offer”:

Cashback Match: No purchase minimums. After the first 12 consecutive billing periods that your new account is open, we will match all of the cash back rewards you’ve earned and apply them to your account in the following one or two billing periods. If your account is closed or no longer in the cash back reward program at the time we calculate your potential award, your cash back will not be matched. You’ve earned cash back rewards when they have posted to your account by the end of the 12th consecutive billing period. This promotional offer may not be offered in the future. This exclusive offer is available only to new cardmembers.

TERMS OF STATEMENT CREDIT OFFER: Get a $50 Statement Credit after you make your first purchase within 3 months of being approved. Promotional award will be applied within 8 weeks. The promotional award is in addition to the Cashback Bonus earned on all purchases.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card – $150 Statement Credit Offer

From January 1st through March 31st, 2020 you can earn 5X rewards on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Monthly Bills, including qualifying utilities, cell, cable, Amazon Prime and streaming subscription services purchases. They list the eligible MCC codes, including those of utilities, cell phones, cable, streaming, and subscription services.

You must register each quarter at ABOCRewards.com or in your online account. Currently, the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard is offering a $150 statement credit if you sign up and make $1,200 in purchases in your first 90 days. No foreign transaction fees. No annual fee.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. You get to choose the two 5% cash back categories every quarter, out of a preset selection of specific categories:

  • Fast Food
  • Cell Phone Providers
  • Home Utilities
  • Ground Transportation
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Car Rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie Theaters
  • TV, Internet, and Streaming Services

Unfortunately, you can’t pick a broad category like gas stations, restaurants, or grocery stores. Make sure to choose your categories each quarter, even if you want them to stay the same. If you do not choose your categories, all purchases revert to only earning 1% cash back for that quarter.

Currently, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa card is offering $150 bonus cash back if you sign up and make $500 in eligible net purchases in your first 90 days. No annual fee.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. This card earns 6% cash back at US supermarkets all year long (on up to $6,000 per year) and. 3% cash back at US gas stations. New: 3% cash back on transit and 6% cash back on Netflix/Spotify/Hulu. I use this card all year long for groceries, and then in December use up the $6k annual limit on gift cards bought in the supermarket aisle. New cardholders are also eligible for a $250 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $95 annual fee. See details in link.

Amazon Prime Rewards Card. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods all year long. Prime membership required. 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores (yawn… see below). New cardholder bonus varies by person. No annual fee.

Citi Dividend Card. This card is no longer available to new applicants, but if you still have the grandfathered card you can view and activate your quarterly 5% category here. Limit of $300 cash back for the calendar year.

Don’t settle for the “1% on everything else” that these cards offer. Get 2% cash back or higher. Check out the card-specific reviews for details.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Domino’s Pizza Gift Cards: 25% Cash Back

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

MyGiftCardsPlus has a promotion with 25% cash back on Domino’s Pizza gift cards for a limited time. For example, buy a $100 gift card and get $25 cash back. The gift card has no expiration. Limit $1,000 per household. While supplies last. I do enjoy the pure convenience of the Domino’s app!

There are also promos from Delta Airlines (10% cash back), Jersey Mike’s (10% back), Bed Bath and Beyond (10% back), and Fanatics (20% back).

The cash back is in the form of Swagbucks, which you can cash out via PayPal or Visa Prepaid card. Not a member? Join via my Swagbucks referral link and earn a $3 referral bonus + an additional $10 bonus if you spend at least $25 through their shopping portal within 30 days of registration. (Unfortunately, MyGiftCardsPlus purchases do not qualify.)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Dunkin Donuts Gift Card Promotion: Buy $50, Get $30 Promo Credit

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Update: This promo has also been sold out.

Here’s another caffeine promo from Dunkin Donuts: Buy $50 worth of Dunkin gift cards, get $30 in promo gift cards. There is a banner at the top and you must use buy via this specific page, but you can use any credit card. You can buy physical gift cards with free USPS First Class shipping, but the free promo gift cards are digital-only. You can also explicitly buy it for yourself. Here is the fine print:

Minimum purchase of $50 in total Dunkin’ Gift Cards during one transaction on www.giftcards.dunkindonuts.com only. Excludes Dunkin’ Gift Card purchases in Dunkin’ restaurants, app, bulk, and 3rd Party locations. Limit $30 in bonus eGift Cards per customer from 12/18/19 – 12/25/19 or while supplies last. The $10 promo eGift Card must be enrolled on the Dunkin’ App, dunkindonuts.com or redeemed at a participating Dunkin’ locations by 1/31/20 to receive promotional $10 value.

You will get three (3) $10 promo eGift card codes. The terms are a bit vague, but as long as you load the codes into a Dunkin app by 1/31/20, you will have $30 in Dunkin credit that does not expire.

(The Starbucks promo from yesterday appears to be expired, but you can now get discounted gift cards from Amazon, including from Starbucks right now.)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Starbucks Mastercard Promo: Buy $10 Gift Card, Get $10 Free

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

(Update: This promotion appears to have ended as they have stopped issuing the promo gift cards. Check out these discounted gift cards at Amazon, which right now includes $5 credit back on a $30 Starbucks gift card.)

Original post:

sbux_cupHere’s another Starbucks promo. Buy a $10+ Starbucks eGift using a Mastercard, Get a free $10 Starbucks eGift Card. Surprise a friend or trade the wonderful gift of caffeine. 🙂 If you’re interested I’d take advantage of this offer as soon as possible. There is only a limited number of free gift cards.

Starbucks will give away up to 56,250 Promotional Gifts between 12/17/19 and 12/22/19. Limit one Promotional Gift per person.

I remember Mastercards used to be everywhere, but right now the only Mastercard in my wallet is the Double Cash card with 2% cash back.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Navy Federal IRA Certificate Special: 37-Month at 3.00% APY + $50 Bonus

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navyfed0

Udpated. Navy Federal Credit Union is the nation’s largest credit union, but is primary limited to those with a military relationship. However, their membership now includes veterans and family members of veterans. They just released a few new special offers for December 2019:

  • 37-Month IRA/ESA Certificate at 3.00% APY. $50 minimum. Add-on deposits are allowed at any time, up to $150,000. IRA/ESA only.
  • $50 New IRA Bonus. Deposit $50 or more to your first IRA within 45 days of account opening and get a $50 bonus.
  • EasyStart Certificate at 3.50% APY. Open with as little as $50. Make additional deposits anytime (up to $3,000). 12-month term. Certificate owner(s) age 18 and older must have Direct Deposit of Net Pay or payroll allotment and a Navy Federal checking account within 90 days of the certificate issue date.

If you wanted a conservative investment for your IRA, compare this NCUA-insured certificate at 3% against a 3-year US Treasury that is only yielding 1.62% as of this writing. You can also just open with $50 and add more each month.

This 3-month certificate rate would be a top rate in my Best Interest Rates on Cash – December 2019 post. Too bad it is not available outside of an IRA/ESA.

Navy Federal Credit Union has solid bank and loan products, including checking accounts with ATM rebates, competitive mortgage rates, and limited-time 0% balance transfer promotions. Readers have commented on their excellent customer service and the fact that they often keep and service the mortgages and other loans they originate.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.