Blue Business Plus Card from American Express Review: 2X Points on ALL Purchases Up to $50k/Year (+ New 15,000 MR Points Offer)

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

New welcome offer. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a business rewards card that features double Membership Rewards points. Therefore, if you can redeem for more than 1 cent per point of value, this card has the potential to beat a flat 2% cash back card. This is currently my primary business credit card.

  • New welcome offer: 15,000 Membership Rewards(R) points after $3,000 in eligible purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year. 1X Points on purchases thereafter.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • No annual fee. (See rates and fees)

Better than 2% cash back? Membership Rewards points can be converted to the following airline miles (there are more, this is just a selection):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • ANA Mileage Club (partner of United Airlines)
  • Air Canada (partner of United Airlines)
  • British Airways (partner of American Airlines)
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin America

If you value any of these miles at more than 1 cent per mile, then you would be getting more value than a 2% cash back card. You also add the ability to keep all your Membership Rewards points active.

My backup redemption plan. This card can earn the equivalent of 2 Delta miles per dollar spent. Delta has a “Pay with Miles” option that lets me get 1 cent of Delta airfare for each Delta miles, I am always able to get 1 cent of value from 1 Membership Rewards point as I fly Delta regularly. Of course, I try to do better than that, but at least I have a backup plan to get 2% value back.

Unfortunately, there are many redemption options for Membership Rewards points that are worse than 1 cent per point value. Here are a few examples:

  • Shop with Membership Rewards Points (~0.5 cents per point)
  • Shop with Points at Amazon.com (~0.7 cents per point)
  • Use points at BestBuy.com (~0.7 cents per point)
  • Gift Cards (varies from 0.5 up to 1 cent per point). For example, I have redeemed 10,000 points for a $100 Home Depot gift card recently.

If you don’t expect to get at least 1 cent per mile value, then you should stick with a 2% cash back card.

Business credit card eligibility. Many people aren’t aware that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. Any individual can be a small business. Perhaps you sell items on eBay, Craiglist, or Etsy. Maybe you do some graphic design, web design, freelancing and/or consulting. If you received a 1099-MISC tax form and filled out a Schedule C, that means you have business income, you pay self-employment taxes, and you’re a sole proprietorship. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

This card will require you to personally guarantee that you’ll pay them back what you charge on the card, which means they’ll check your personal credit score like any other consumer card. However, as the card is a business card, American Express won’t have it show up on your personal credit report, so it won’t change things like your credit limits, average account age, or credit utilization ratio.

Bottom line. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a unique small business card in that it earn 2X Membership Rewards points on ALL purchases up to $50,000 per year with no annual fee. The ability to transfer to miles means that you’re effectively earning 2X miles per dollar spent with no annual fee. Finally, linking this card also allows you keep Membership Rewards points earned from other cards active while having no annual fee. (See rates and fees)

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.

American Express Blue Business Cash Card: 2% Cash Back on First $50,000 in Purchases, No Annual Fee (+ New $250 Welcome Offer)

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

New welcome offer. The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a small business rewards card that earns a solid cash back rate with no complicated categories. Here the highlights:

  • New welcome offer: $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months.
  • 2% flat cash back on the first $50,000 in purchases each year. 1X Points on purchases thereafter.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • No annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)

This is a solid offer for small business owners who want a simple-yet-competitive rewards credit card. If your business purchases don’t exceed $50,000 within each calendar year, this card provides flat 2% cash back. In addition, your cash back is automatically credited to your statement as a statement credit, so you don’t have to remember to redeem anything.

My primary small business card for day-to-day spending is the sibling Blue Business Plus Card from American Express (my review), which offers 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year. I prefer earning the double Membership Rewards points per dollar over 2% cash back because I regularly redeem each MR point for more than 1 cent per point of value. I happen to enjoy the flexibility of having some Membership Rewards in my back pocket to convert to airlines miles and hotel points, and this card also helps keep them active.

If you don’t expect to get at least 1 cent per mile value by converting to airline miles or hotel points, then this card is better. Many people will prefer the simplicity of cash.

Business credit card eligibility. Many people aren’t aware that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. Any individual can be a small business. Perhaps you sell items on eBay, Craiglist, or Etsy. Maybe you do some graphic design, web design, freelancing and/or consulting. If you received a 1099-MISC tax form and filled out a Schedule C, that means you have business income, you pay self-employment taxes, and you’re a sole proprietorship. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

This card will require you to personally guarantee that you’ll pay them back what you charge on the card, which means they’ll check your personal credit score like any other consumer card. However, as the card is a business card, American Express won’t have it show up on your personal credit report, so it won’t change things like your credit limits, average account age, or credit utilization ratio.

Bottom line. The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a small business rewards card that earns a flat 2% cash back on ALL purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year with no annual fee. This is a high cash back percentage, and your rewards are automatically credited on the next monthly statement, so you don’t have to remember to redeem anything. (See Rates and Fees)

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.

Hilton American Express Cards: 100,000 Bonus Points + $100 Hilton Statement Credit on No Annual Fee Card

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

New limited-time offers. Hilton Hotels and American Express have co-branded credit cards with special perks for Hilton customers. Each person can only get one welcome offer, per card in your entire lifetime, so it’s best to apply during a temporary bump-ups. Right now, the sweet spot might be this no annual fee card that can easily get you over $500 of value towards Hilton hotel stays.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Limited Time Offer: 100,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family of hotels in the first 12 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021.
  • 7X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5X Hilton Honors points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Honors Silver status (5th standard reward night free, 2 bottles of water in your room).
  • Spend $20,000 in a calendar year on this card and get Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • Limited Time Offer: 130,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family of hotels in the first 12 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward certificate after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases in the same calendar year.
  • 12X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Hilton Honors points on Select Business & Travel Purchases (ex. U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines)
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free upgrade to Honors Gold status (free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, 5th standard reward night free).
  • $95 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)

What are Hilton Honor points worth? The best value is from booking free hotel nights or using their “Points & Money” option where you pay with a combination of Hilton points and cash. Hilton has some really nice properties, but the value varies from hotel to hotel. I just ran a search and for the same 60,000 Hilton points, I could book rooms that cost $320 or $532 cash. I’ve seen some valuations around 0.6 cents per point, which I think is fair on average, but I would be more conservative at 0.5 cents a point. That would make 150,000 points = $750 value and 100,000 points = $500 value towards Hilton hotel stays.

The good part of Hilton points is that they have so many different hotel brands, from business-class DoubleTree to luxury Waldorf Astoria. Hilton also lets you transfer and pool points with other with other family or household members. As long as you keep them active (once every 12 months), I do like to keep some around. These credit cards are good at creating activity, but here’s another tip on how to keep Hilton points active.

Bottom line. Hilton American Express cards offer regular Hilton customers a good opportunity to earn additional points towards free Hilton hotel stays as well as additional perks like status upgrades. The best time to apply for a Hilton co-branded American Express card is during a limited-time increase to their welcome offers. This is because American Express has changed their policy to only allow each person to get a welcome bonus once per card per lifetime.

Due to this excellent limited-time offer, I will be adding this to my 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.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 2X Miles + 60,000 Miles Offer

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

The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is their premium travel rewards card with unlimited 2x miles per dollars on all purchases. 60,000 miles can be redeemed as a $600 credit towards any travel purchase made with the card (any airline, any hotel, AirBNB stays, Uber rides, no blackout dates). Here are the highlights:

  • 60,000 bonus miles (equal to $600 in travel including vacation rentals) once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • Flat 2X miles on ALL purchases.
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Redeem on travel-from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs.
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

Redemption details. Capital One “miles” can be redeemed directly for a cash statement credit on a 1 mile = $0.01 basis when offsetting any travel purchase made on the card within the past 90 days. In other words, 50,000 miles = $500 toward travel. That means you can fly on any airline or stay at any hotel, pay with this card, and then “erase” that purchase using your miles balance later. This even includes AirBNB vacation rentals, car rentals, and Uber rides.

This means that earning 2 miles on on every $1 in purchases essentially makes this a 2% back card when applied towards travel. You can also book travel through their travel portal (powered by Orbtiz), similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you are not required to do so. You just charge travel directly on your card, which is more flexible.

New: Miles transfer options. Capital One now allows you to transfer your “miles” into select airline miles programs as well, on a 2:1.5 ratio (ex. 20,000 Capital One miles = 15,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles) except where indicated. Here are the transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • ALL Accor Live Limitless
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates (2:1)
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1)
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (2:1)
  • Wyndham Rewards

The bolded ones are my favorite. I would use these to top off an account to reach a specific award level. If you know how to leverage one of these international airline miles programs, this can be a good option, but it’s still nice to have the worst-case scenario of effectively earning 2% back towards travel.

Bottom line. The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card earns 2x miles on all purchases, which you can either redeem against any travel purchase or transfer to one of their airline/hotel partners. Right now, there is an offer of 60,000 bonus miles, worth $600 towards travel.

Due to the $500+ first-year value, I will be adding this card 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.

American Express Platinum Card Review: 100,000 MR Points + 10X Points Offer, New $200 Hotel Credits, $240 Streaming Credits, $200 Airline Fee Credits, $200 Uber Cash, $179 CLEAR Credit, and More!

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

The Platinum Card from American Express is the classic premium travel card, with an extended list of luxurious perks along with a hefty annual fee. It’s time for another look as they have improved their welcome offer, added many new perks, and increased their annual fee. The highlights:

  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points after $6,000 in purchases within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts(R) or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card(R).
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card(R) at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Uber Eats Pass offer: Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21. Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at then-current monthly rate. Uber Eats Pass offer details.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR(R) Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR(R) membership.
  • Expanded airport lounge network. American Express has expanded The Centurion(R) Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card(R) can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Terms Apply.
  • $695 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)

Note the following language:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Not sure about your history? The application will tell you if they detect that you are not eligible for the bonus based on their records. Given that you can only get the welcome offer once time per lifetime, it is best to apply during a limited-time offer. The previous offer was 60,000 bonus points with no 10X bonus.

Membership Rewards points can be converted to the following airline and hotel programs (there are more, this is just a selection):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • ANA Mileage Club (partner of United Airlines)
  • Air Canada (partner of United Airlines)
  • British Airways (partner of American Airlines)
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Rewards (Starwood)

They also run limited-time 25% to 40% bonuses on points transfers. You can also transfer to gift cards many retailers at varying rates, but many available at the rate of 10,000 MR points = $100 gift card. My most recent redemption was a $100 Home Depot card for 10,000 points, sometimes less when they run special discount. However, don’t expect the cash-equivalent prepaid credit cards at that rate, it’s usually closer to a 0.6 cent/point ratio.

100,000 Membership Rewards points, worth an estimated $1,000. Some folks value these points much more highly, but I prefer to stick to a simple and conservative 1 cent per point.

10X points offer. Even at a conservative 1 cent per point estimate, 10X points means that I would put every single restaurant and Shop Small-eligible small business purchase on this card during those first 6 months. If you spent $1,000 a month the 10X categories for 6 months, that’s still another 60,000 Membership Rewards points. Maxing it out would get you 250,000 bonus MR points.

Uber and Uber Eats credits worth up to $200 annually. You get $15 in Uber Cash every month, which can be used for Uber rides or Uber Eats food orders. There is a $20 bonus in December, making it a total of $200 annually. You also get free Uber VIP status, which doesn’t save you any money but gets you higher-rated drivers and nicer vehicles at no extra charge.

Right now, AmEx Platinum cardholders can also get Uber Eats Pass free for 12 months.

Airline fee credit, worth up to $200 annually. You pick an airline, and they will refund you up to $200 in incidential airline fees (baggage, in-flight food and entertainment, ticket fees, etc). This may not be very useful this year to many folks and I’ll estimate the value as nothing to me in 2020, but it’s still worth noting for the future.

American Express Global Lounge Collection. Some other travel cards give you Priority Pass Select, which is nice but not as inclusive as the Platinum card’s list of 1,200+ airport lounges across 130 countries. Domestically, you get Delta Skyclub access (an individual Skyclub membership costs $545 from Delta alone) as well as the new Centurion Lounge network built specifically for American Express cardholders.

  • The Centurion® Lounges
  • The International American Express Lounges
  • Delta SkyClub®
  • Priority Pass
  • Airspace Lounge
  • Escape Lounges

Up to $100 statement credit towards Global Entry (includes TSA PreCheck) every 4 years.

Other benefits:

  • Automatic Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott) Gold status.
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

Adding in the new $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $300 Equinox credit, $100 Shop Saks credit, and $179 CLEAR membership credits, you can instantly see that the perks can easily add up to much more than the $695 annual fee. The question is whether you can take advantage of those perks and how much value you personally get out of them.

Bottom line. The The Platinum Card from American Express has added an impressively large list of new perks while also adding an improved welcome offer. You’ll have to see if your lifestyle matches up to the perks that this card offers. (See Rates and Fees)

I will be adding this improved offer on 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.

American Express Business Platinum Card Review: 100,000 Bonus Points, New $179 CLEAR Membership Credit

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

Added CLEAR membership credit. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is the ultra-premium AmEx business card with a very long list of perks, including the best airline lounge access program (Delta Sky Club + their own Centurion lounges) and several new perks in response to the pandemic. Here are the details:

  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card in the first 3 months.
  • 5X points on eligible U.S. purchases on shipping, wireless telephone services, advertising in select media, office supplies and gas stations, with the Card in the first 3 months, up to 80,000 bonus points per category.
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • 1.5X points per dollar on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. (Up to 1 million additional points per year.) 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Get 35% back when you redeem points for flights. Use their “Pay with Points” option for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year. See details below.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Get a statement credit available every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100), which includes TSA PreCheck®.
  • $179 CLEAR membership credit. Breeze through security with CLEAR(R) where available and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card.
  • $595 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)

Note the following language: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” You can only get the welcome offer on the Platinum Business AmEx once time per lifetime, so it is best to apply during a limited-time offer.

American Express Global Lounge Collection. Some other travel cards give you Priority Pass Select, which is nice but not as inclusive as the Platinum card’s list of 1,200+ airport lounges across 130 countries. Domestically, you get Delta Skyclub access (an individual Skyclub membership costs $495 from Delta alone) as well as the new Centurion Lounge network built specifically for American Express cardholders.

  • The Centurion® Lounge
  • The International American Express Lounges
  • Delta SkyClub®
  • Priority Pass Select
  • Airspace Lounge
  • Escape Lounges

35% Airline Bonus details. Let’s say your selected airline is Delta, and you want to buy a couple economy Delta tickets for $1,000 using their Pay with Points features. This means that $1,000 ticket booked through AmEx Travel will only cost you 65,000 Membership Rewards points net (100,000 points and then 35,000 point rebated back). This improves the 1 cent per point value to 1.54 cents per point value. This means that 75,000 Membership Rewards points can be worth $1,155 in airfare on your selected airline.

Transfer partners. You can transfer Membership Rewards points to 16 airline and 3 hotel partners including Delta, British Airways, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Air Canada, Hilton, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Choice Hotels. If you’re good at snagging award tickets, you can get even better value this way.

Bottom line. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is the ultra-premium AmEx business card that tries to make your air travel more pleasant in a variety of ways. (See Rates and Fees)

Also see: Top 10 Best Business Card 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.

Chase Freedom Flex Review: $200 Bonus, 5% Back on Groceries For First Year, 5% Rotating Categories, No Annual Fee

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

Improved offer. The Chase Freedom Flex Card application is the new 5% cash back rotating category card for Chase, including the notable addition of 3% cash back on dining out and drugstore purchases. All of the popular features from the old Freedom remain as well: Up to 5% cash back on select categories throughout the year, no annual fee, and the ability to earn Ultimate Rewards points (useful in combination with Chase Sapphire cards). Highlights:

  • $200 cash bonus (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $500 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Intro offer: 5X points (5% cash back) on grocery store purchases (not including Target(R) or Walmart(R) purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases.

Here are the ongoing features of the Freedom Flex:

  • 5X points (5% cash back) on rotating quarterly categories.
  • 5X points (5% cash back) on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 3X points on dining out, take-out, and eligible delivery services.
  • 3X points on drugstore purchases.
  • 1X points on all other purchases.
  • Cell phone insurance is one of the noteworthy World Elite Mastercard benefits. “Up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bill.”
  • 5% total cash back on all Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass for the first three months*, followed by a 50% discount price at the current rate for the next nine months.
  • No annual fee.

From July 1st through September 30th, 2021 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores (excludes Target and Walmart)
  • Select Streaming Services (includes Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify YouTube TV)

Activate each quarter in your online account or at ChaseBonus.com. As long as you activate by the end of each quarterly window, the rewards apply retroactively.

Remember that these cards earn Ultimate Rewards (UR) points, which can then be redeemed for cash at 1 UR point = $0.01. Therefore, you can either view a category as 3X points per dollar points, or 3% cash back. When UR points are transferred to a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, they can become much more valuable when converted to frequent flier miles or hotel points. For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, 5x points = 5 United miles per dollar spent, 5 Hyatt points per dollar spent, or 7.5% value back towards travel redeemed at the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

This is a new card (different than the regular Chase Freedom Visa), so everyone should be eligible for the bonus, but Chase does have 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.

If you have an existing Chase card like the original Freedom card, you may be able to convert to this card by calling them directly. You won’t get the sign-up offer, but you will get the new ongoing features.

Bottom line. The Chase Freedom Flex Card application is a unique rewards card that lets you earn 5% cash back on select categories each quarter, in addition to a constant 3% cash back on dining out and drugstore purchases. If you have a Chase Sapphire card, the “flexibility” is even greater.

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 Freedom Unlimited Review – $200 Cash Bonus + 5% Back on Groceries in First Year, 1.5% Minimum Cash Back

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

Improved offer. The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a no-annual-fee rewards card which earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases (or a possibly more valuable 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent). This is a different card from the new Chase Freedom Flex, which has 5% cash back on rotating categories, on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter. Here are the highlights:

  • $200 cash bonus (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $500 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Intro offer: 5X points (5% cash back) on grocery store purchases (not including Target(R) or Walmart(R) purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 5X points (5% cash back) on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 3X points (5% cash back) on dining out, take-out, and eligible delivery services.
  • 3X points (3% cash back) on drugstore purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Redeem for cash – any amount, anytime.
  • Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3.5% cash back in addition to the 1.5% cash back you already earn.
  • Cash back does not expire as long as your card is open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases.
  • No annual fee.

1.5% cash back on all purchases is better than the 1% cash back you see from a lot of cards, but there are competitors with higher effective cash back rates.

But wait, you actually get Ultimate Rewards Points! The lesser-known perk of this card is that you actually earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are in turn redeemable for cash back at a rate of 100 points = $1 in cash back, or 1 cent per point. But you don’t have to do that. Ultimate Rewards points are worth collecting because of their flexibility. (I hope Chase doesn’t forget this fact.) This is important because there are many ways in which Ultimate Rewards points can be worth much more than 1 cent per point.

If you have also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Card, then you can pool all of your Ultimate Rewards points together (even with your spouse/partner as an authorized user) and thus utilize all of the same transfer partners with the following results:

  • Earn 1.5 United Mileageplus miles per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 Hyatt points per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 British Airways Avios per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on ALL purchases.

Notice that you are earning more miles and points on ALL purchases than even the specific co-branded cards from United or Hyatt themselves! Most of them just offer 1 point/mile per dollar spent on all purchases.

If you placed a perceived value of 1.5 cents on each United Airlines mile or Hyatt hotel point, then you’d receive 2.25 cents of perceived value per dollar spent with this card. Your actual numbers will depend on your own specific redemption choices, but you can see that you can definitely exceed 2% cash back value on an ongoing basis with the Sapphire Preferred/Freedom Unlimited combo.

With the Sapphire Reserve, you can also redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal at 1.5 cents per point value, which means 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points = $300 towards airfare, hotel, car rentals booked through Ultimate Rewards. 5% cash back on groceries turns into 7.5% potential value back, and so on.

If you would like the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories each quarter, compare with the Chase Freedom Flex card. You can have both a Freedom and a Freedom Unlimited card, but you’ll have to apply for each card separately. I think this is actually a great combo if you plan to keep a Sapphire Preferred/Sapphire Reserve/Ink Preferred cards as well.

Restrictions. This card is subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

Bottom line. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a unique card that works best in combination with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Preferred Business cards. The combination of earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases plus the unique redemption options from those other cards can create a value exceeding that of 2% cash back. You also get 3X points on dining out and drugstore purchases. Right now, there is a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months as a new customer.

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.

United Business Card Review: 150,000 Bonus Miles Offer

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

Limited-time offer boost. The UnitedSM Business Card offers unique perks for regular United customers including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming miles. Here are the highlights:

  • Up to 150,000 bonus United miles. Earn 75,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Earn an additional 75,000 miles after you spend $20,000 total in the first 6 months.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket.
  • Priority boarding for you and companions on the same reservation on United-operated flights.
  • Two one-time United ClubSM passes each year ($100+ value)
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • $100 annual United travel credit after 7 flight purchases of $100 or more.
  • 5,000 miles annual bonus miles when you have both the UnitedSM Business Card and a personal Chase United credit card.
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases.
  • 2X miles per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including train tickets, taxi cabs, mass transit, tolls and ride share services.
  • 2X miles on dining, gas stations and office supply stores.
  • 2X miles on United purchases and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s membership service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • $99 annual fee.

This card is considered a “new” card, differ from the old Business Explorer card:

This product is available to you if you do not have this Card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this Card in the past 24 months.

In addition, you can get this card and bonus if you had the consumer version of the United Explorer in the past 24 months (or have one now).

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, Uber/Lyft drivers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will most likely 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.

The good news is that small business cards from Chase hardly ever show up on personal credit reports, so getting this card in itself won’t affect your future 5/24 eligibility. This it makes a “free” application if you are already eligible.

This card is very focused on rewarding you for being a United customer. Before you board, you might use one of your free United Club lounge passes. You have the first checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The fee is usually $30 per person, each way, so that this how they get the value of $120 each roundtrip. You also get Priority Boarding, which helps you find space for your carry-on.

Expanded award availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases (double miles on restaurants and hotel stays), but then they also make it easier for you to redeem those miles on Saver level tickets with no blackout dates. Expanded award seat availability is another of the top perks from this card, and it is actually a significant difference. Saver Award ticket redemptions start at 12,500 miles one-way within the continental U.S. and Canada.

Another unique feature of this card is that it offers primary coverage on the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. On many other cards, this coverage is offered as secondary coverage, meaning it only kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been exhausted.

Bottom line. The United Business card offers valuable perks for folks that fly United even just once or twice a year. The card provides lounge passes, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and inflight discounts. There are bonus categories to earn more miles, and special expanded award seat inventory for credit card holders to make it easier to actually redeem those miles for flights. Right now, there is a boosted 150k bonus.

Due to the increased bonus offer, I will be adding this to the Top 10 Best Small Business 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.

Chase United Explorer Card Review – 70,000 Miles Offer + Annual Fee Waived First Year

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

Limited-time offer boost. The United Explorer Card is a Chase-issued credit card that offers unique perks on United Airlines including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming miles. Right now, they are offering 40,000 bonus miles with the annual fee waived during the first year. Here are the highlights:

  • 60,000 bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months.
  • Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket.
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to find that saver award economy ticket.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
  • Priority boarding + 2 United ClubSM one-time passes every year for your anniversary.
  • 2X miles on dining, on hotel stays, and on United purchases.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible delivery services including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless and DoorDash.
  • 25% Back on United inflight purchases (Wi-Fi, Food and Drinks).
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight.
  • Annual fee waived for the first year, then $95.

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

This product is available to you if you do not have this Card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this Card in the past 24 months.

This card is very focused on making it a better experience to fly on United. You have the first checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The bag fee is usually $35 per person, each way, so that adds up to $140 each roundtrip. Before you board, you might use one of your free United Club lounge passes. You also get Priority Boarding, which helps you find space for your carry-on. While onboard, you get 25% back on your inflight purchases of WiFi, food, and drinks.

Expanded award seat availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases (double miles on restaurants and hotel stays), but then they also make it easier for you to redeem those miles on Saver level tickets with no blackout dates. Expanded award seat availability is another of the top perks from this card, and I’ve found a very significant difference when searching. If you’re constantly trying to find economy tickets for the entire family like me, this is a big deal. Saver Award ticket redemptions start at 12,500 miles one-way within the continental U.S. and Canada.

Another unique feature of this card is that it offers primary coverage on the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. On most other consumer cards, this coverage is offered as secondary coverage, meaning it only kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been exhausted.

Bottom line. The United Explorer Card offers great perks for folks that fly United even just once or twice a year. The card provides lounge passes, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and inflight discounts. There are bonus categories to earn more miles, and special expanded award seat inventory for credit card holders to make it easier to actually redeem those miles for flights.

Also see: 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.

Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express – 40,000 Mile Offer, Annual Fee Waived First Year

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

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express. Highlights:

  • 40,000 bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • 40,000 Skymiles is worth at least $400 in Delta airfare. With this card, you get a minimum value out of your Skymiles via the “Pay with Miles” option. 40,000 Skymiles can reduce the price of your Delta ticket by $400 at the very least. (5,000 mile = $50 minimum redemption.) You can still book traditional award tickets and possibly get better value.
  • New feature – $100 Delta flight credit after $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • First checked bag free. Delta now charges $30 for the first checked bag, each way. That means this perk is worth $60 per person each roundtrip. For a family of four, this perk is worth $240 per person each roundtrip.
  • Annual fee is waived for the first year, then $99. (See Rates and Fees)

Here is the new rewards structure on card spend:

  • 2X miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • 2X miles at U.S. supermarkets.
  • 2X miles on Delta purchases. 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
  • 1 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Also see: 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.

Hotels.com Rewards Visa Card Review: 2 Free Reward Nights (Worth up to $250)

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

The Hotels.com Rewards Visa credit card is a no-annual-fee travel rewards credit card for folks who don’t have loyalty to a specific hotel chain. Instead, you earn free nights from the Hotels.com loyalty program (detail below). Right now, they are running a limited-time offer for new cardholders – 2 free rewards nights worth $250 total ($125 max value each). Here are the highlights:

  • Limited Time Offer: Get 2 reward nights worth $250 total (max $125 per night)*, when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. *Excludes taxes and fees. If a night costs less than $125, you won’t get the difference.
  • Collect 1 stamp each time you spend $500 on purchases with your card. You also get 1 stamp for every night you stay at any eligible property booked on Hotels.com. When you collect 10 stamps, you’ll get 1 reward night to redeem on future bookings through Hotels.com. Choose from over 500,000 properties in 200+ countries around the world.
  • Free Hotels.com Reward Silver tier status for the first 12 months, including perks such as free breakfast, airport transfers, free WiFi and more at select properties.
  • Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card and get up to $600 protection against damage or theft (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • No annual fee.

Bonus Rewards Nights details. The redemption value of each bonus reward night as part of this sign-up bonus is limited to $125 per night. If the night costs less than $125, you don’t get any refund. If the night costs more than $125, you just pay any difference. Note the following fine print about how it doesn’t cover taxes and fees. The limited-time offer is for 2 free nights, but the standard offer is only 1 free night.

If you choose a reward night room, apartment, or other equivalent accommodation that costs more than $125, you pay the difference and you are responsible for taxes, fees, and other charges. If you choose a room, apartment, or other equivalent accommodation that costs less than $125, the redemption value of the bonus reward night is limited to the cost of the accommodation before taxes, fees, and other charges. You cannot combine the bonus rewards nights’ values or apply the difference to any other reward night. There will be no cash refunds for any residual amounts.

Hotels.com Rewards program overview. This hotel program tries to make it more straightforward to get a free hotel night. Each night you book through Hotels.com at an eligible property, you get a “stamp”. Collect 10 stamps and you get a free night. The value of that reward night is based on the average cost of the nights you booked. So if you booked all $100 per night hotels, then the free night would be worth $100. If you booked all $500 per night hotels, then the free night would be worth $500. Fair enough.

The rewards from this credit card are meant to mix in seamlessly with your paid hotel nights. Every $500 you spend on this card, you will get another “stamp”, as if you stayed a night at a $110 per night hotel. So if you charged $5,000 on this card over time, via credit card spending alone you would have collected 10 stamps at $110/night and earned a free Reward Night worth $110. That works out to 2.2% back on purchases (110 divided by 5,000) when redeemed for a hotel night reward at full value or higher (just pay any difference).

The stamps also help you get “VIP status” with Hotels.com. Their Silver tier is free for the first year with this card, but otherwise requires 10 stamps in a year and includes perks like price matching, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi at participating VIP Access properties. Their Gold tier requires 30 stamps in a year and includes free room upgrades at VIP Access properties.

Pros: Hotel room flexibility and no annual fee. An important factor is that this free night applies at at any of 500,000 hotel rooms worldwide, not just restricted to a specific chain and whatever inventory they decide to release. As long as there is a hotel room that is being sold for $110 and you have a $110 Reward night, you can book it, even if it is not a “standard room”. This card also has no annual fee. Wells Fargo is the issuer, which may make it easier to qualify for if you already have cards from the other major issuers like Chase and American Express.

Cons: Not enough premium over cash. Even though this card offers the equivalent of 2.2% back in value towards a very flexible hotel room, it is still not as easy to redeem as cash back. So you have to compare with straightforward 2% cash back, or possibly getting better than 2.2% value from a specific co-branded hotel credit cards like Hyatt or Hilton. If I was already a Hotels.com Rewards program user, then I might take the 2.2% value as it is even better than a 2% cash back card. If I was a Hyatt loyalist or didn’t stay at hotels frequently, then it wouldn’t be worth the added complications. When you book a hotel through Hotels.com (or similar site like Priceline or Expedia), you don’t earn chain-specific loyalty points on the stay.

Bottom line. The Hotels.com Rewards Visa credit card is a great fit if you already use the Hotels.com Rewards program instead of being loyal to a specific chain. You can earn 1 stamp per $500 spent on the card, which will help you get free hotel nights at a solid rate (2.2% value back) and also help you reach the next tier of VIP Rewards status. The limited-time sign-up bonus of 2 free nights worth up to $250 value is relatively strong for a card with 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.