Chase Southwest Credit Cards: 80,000 Bonus Points (2021/2022 Companion Pass)

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 80k consumer, 100k business offers. Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book either paid or award flights (including to Hawaii!). If you either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points or 100 one-way flights within calendar year 2021, you’ll earn the Companion Pass for the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022! This might be ideal timing to grab these boosted bonuses when travel is weak and you have an entire year to earn enough points for a Companion Pass through the end of 2022. You can change your designated companion up to three times each calendar year.

Points earned from credit cards count toward that 125,000 point requirement, including sign-up bonuses! You can often get very close to that magic number when you add up the potential miles from these Southwest consumer and business cards. This is on top of the value of redeeming those points for miles (75,000 points can get you $1,100+ in Wanna Get Away airfare). Right now, you can get up to 80,000 bonus points from a single consumer card and 100,000 from a single business card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in the first 9 months.
  • 3,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 5X points per $1 spent on Southwest(R) purchases, between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $69 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in the first 9 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 5X points per $1 spent on Southwest(R) purchases, between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in the first 9 months.
  • 7,500 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies.
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list status.
  • 5X points per $1 spent on Southwest(R) purchases, between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $149 annual fee.

The following are business credit cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card

  • Up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points. 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Inflight WiFi Credits (up to 365 x $8 credits per year).
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® Fee Credit in the form of a statement credit of up to $100 every four years.
  • $199 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Value of Rapid Rewards points. Redeeming Southwest points for flights varies in a narrow range, but a very reasonable approximation from my experience is 1.5 cents in Wanna Get Away airfare in per point. That works out to $600+ in Wanna Get Away airfare from 40,000 points or $900+ in Wanna Get Away airfare for 60,000 points or $1,100+ in Wanna Get Away airfare from 75,000 points (you are still liable for taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way). Importantly, Southwest does NOT have blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points. This means that Southwest points are much easier to use than a “saver award” on traditional airlines.

Now, if you manage to qualify for the the Companion Pass on every trip that you book with those points, that doubles the potential value of each award redemption. In other words, 125,000 Rapid Rewards, would usually get you $1,850 in Wanna Get Away airfare, but with the Companion Pass you’d get an extra companion ticket for every flight booked.

A backup option is gift card redemptions. You can currently redeem 6,750 points for a $50 a Amazon.com or Walmart gift certificate. That makes 60,000 points worth $444 in Amazon or Walmart gift cards. It’s something, but less than half the value you could get from redeeming for flights.

Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person. The fees on the other airlines have crept up to $30 per bag, each-way. That adds up.

Our family policy is to not try out a new credit card unless it offers us $500 in total value. Just the free award flights from the points are enough to satisfy that rule, and then you can add on the potential value of the companion tickets.

Card restrictions. All of these Southwest credit cards are 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:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

Basically, you can get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest consumer card once every 24 months. You can also get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest business card once every 24 months.

Extending your Companion Pass with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest points on a 1:1 basis. If you book an award flight with those Southwest points while you have the Companion Pass, you can double the value of your Ultimate Rewards points as well.

Bottom line. Right now, you can earn up to 100,000 Southwest points from qualifying for a single credit card sign-up, which in itself can be redeemed for a lot of free Southwest flights (including Hawaii). Earning 125,000 points overall (including from credit card rewards and bonuses) in a year will earn you the Southwest Companion pass, which provides a free companion ticket on every flight bought with cash or points for the rest of the current year and all of the next year. Finally, Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person on every flight.

Also see: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers and the 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.

American Express Platinum Card Review: 75,000 Bonus Points + 10X Points at US Gas Stations & US Supermarkets

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 a hefty annual but a long list of luxurious perks including access to Delta Skyclubs and their exclusive Centurion airport lounges. Unfortunately, these days many of us aren’t spending much time in airports. Thus, AmEx has come up with a new stack of perks along with a new limited-time offer that includes a bigger upfront bonus and 10X points on US gas stations and US supermarkets. It’s finally big enough to get my attention… The highlights:

  • 75,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 in purchases within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 10X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s up to another 150,000 points!
  • Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber/Uber Eats savings in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Up to $100 annually at Saks Fifth Avenue in the form of statement credits against purchases on your Platinum Card(R). That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.

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.

Adding up the perks. Let’s a take a quick look and valuation of each the many perks on the card.

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.

75,000 Membership Rewards points, worth an estimated $750. Some folks value these points much more highly, but I prefer to stick to a simple and conservative 1 cent per point.

10X points on US gas stations and US supermarkets. Even at a conservative 1 cent per point estimate, 10X points means that I would put every single US gas station and US supermarket purchase on this card during those first 6 months. You can also buy gift cards like Amazon, Target, and Apple gift cards at many grocery stores. I would buy as many as I could expect to spend in the next 6 months. If you spent $1,000 a month on gas and groceries (and gift cards) for 6 months, that’s still another 60,000 Membership Rewards points. Maxing it out would get you 150,000 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.

Saks Fifth Avenue, worth up to $100 annually. You get $50 in statement credit credits towards purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com semi-annually (once January to June and another July to December), for a total of $100. Even if you don’t regularly shop there, you can buy gifts for others, or simply buy gift cards at Saks.com.

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.

Rough bonus math. I’m going to be conservative and value the 75,000 Membership Rewards points at $750. Including gift cards bought at US grocery stores, I estimate I could make $5,000 in purchases within 6 months to get me another 50,000 MR points or $500 estimated value. $200 in Uber Eats food is easily used up at my house. $100 for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck membership (every member of my household has this). Even if I assign zero value to the $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credit and $200 airline fee credits and zero value to the premium airline lounge access, that’s still already $1,550 of value against a $550 annual fee for a net first-year value of $1,000+. If I expected to fly in 2021, this would be an even bigger deal.

Bottom line. The The Platinum Card from American Express has added a bunch of new perks that aren’t dependent on airline travel, while also adding a limited-offer with a boosted bonus and lots of potential bonus points on purchases at US grocery stores and US gas stations. As you can only get the bonus once, the best time to apply is during a limited-time offer (like now).

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.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card Review: $750 Cash Bonus, 5% Back 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.

inkcash2018Highest bonus ever. Got a small business? The Ink Business Cash Card has improved their sign-up promotion to a $750 cash bonus (75,000 Ultimate Rewards points) for new cardholders, along with 5% cash back and 2% cash back on select small business categories, all with no annual fee. Here are the details:

  • $750 cash bonus (75,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases.
  • Free additional cards for employees.
  • No annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. The cash sign-up bonus actually comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points at 1 point = 1 cent in cash. 75,000 points = $750 cash. This is similar to the situation with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

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 either use the airline/hotel transfer partners or redeem using the new “Pay Yourself Back” tool for a 25% to 50% boost in value. For example, with the Sapphire Reserve, 75,000 UR points can be redeemed for $1,125 of grocery store, dining, and home improvement store purchases through April 2021.

Leveraging the 5% back bonus categories. Putting all of your small business cell phone, landline, and internet bills on the card and getting 5% back is pretty handy. For example, even just $200 a month x 12 months x 5% back is $120 back a year without changing your spending habits. Now let’s take the office supply store category and the fact that you can buy gifts cards to Amazon.com and other retailers at such office supply stores like Staples and OfficeMax… now you can effectively discount many of your other purchasing needs by 5% as well. Putting those purchases on such gift cards upfront can also help you meet the spending requirement for the bonus.

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, 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 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.

Bottom line. The Ink Business Cash Card has a large sign-up bonus and ongoing features of 5X/2X categories with no annual fee. This card is best if you have significant expenses in the special 5% and 2% categories above. If you have certain other Chase credit cards, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points over to those cards and increase your value. Right now, the sign-up bonus is the highest ever at $750 cash (75,000 Ultimate Rewards points).

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 – Up to 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.

New limited-time 70k offer. Travel-related credit cards aren’t as popular right now, so they’ve been increasing the bonuses to try and catch your interest. 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 have a limited-time offer of up to 70,000 bonus miles with the annual fee waived during the first year. Here are the highlights:

  • Up to 70,000 bonus miles. 60,000 bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 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 Club one-time passes every year for your anniversary.
  • 2X miles at restaurants, 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. Right now is a good time to apply as there is a boosted limited-time offer.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 60,000 Bonus Points = $750 In Travel

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 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a premium travel rewards credit card that has gotten very popular due to its rewards structure and valuable Ultimate Rewards points. The card earns points that can be redeemed for cash, travel credits, or transferred to airline miles. Here are the highlights:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. No blackout dates. As long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out. 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • New: 2X points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
  • Free year of DoorDash DashPass. Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21. If you are new customer to DoorDash and sign up via my DoorDash referral link, you will get $10 off your first 3 DoorDash orders over $20 ($30 total savings). I will get food credits as well. Thanks if you use it!
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • New: $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through 12/31/2021.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • $95 annual fee.

COVID-19 Note: Chase has added a number of new flexible benefits to this card on a temporary basis to compensate for the effects of COVID-19. This includes the ability to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points towards grocery store, dining out, and home improvement purchases through April 2021. Look for the “Pay Yourself Back” tool in your online account and/or Chase app.

Note the following text:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months.

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.

Ultimate Rewards points. This card offers a special 25% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. For example, 60,000 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 Flex, 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.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is the “ultra-premium” rewards card that offers a bigger 50% bonus on travel redemptions, along with more perks and a higher annual fee.

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. I personally use the transfers to “top off” my account to reach a free coach ticket or free hotel night when I don’t have enough points otherwise. My favorite options are United miles, Southwest miles, and Hyatt hotel points. In this manner, I can often get close to 2 cents per point value.

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. This way, you can pool points together for transfers and redemptions if you like.

Additional card benefits:

  • Premium, dedicated customer service line with a live person, 24/7. A real person picks up after a couple rings, no phone trees or typing those darn 16 digits over and over. You can use this feature to redeem cash rewards over the phone for free, although booking rewards tickets over the phone costs $20 (doing so online is free).
  • 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

Bottom line. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a popular premium travel rewards card. The sign-up bonus is currently 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points worth 60,000 United miles, 60,000 Hyatt points, or $750 towards travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. The 2X points on travel and dining out is attractive (although the new Freedom Flex now offers 3X on dining out).

You can only get one Sapphire bonus every 48 months, so compare with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, which offers a bigger 50% bonus on travel redemptions, along with more perks and a higher annual fee.

See also: 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.

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. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

(Update: Chase has added new flexible 3X grocery store benefits and $120 in Peloton statement credits.)

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.
  • Up to $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. If you are new customer to DoorDash and sign up via my DoorDash referral link, you will get $10 off your first 3 DoorDash orders over $20 ($30 total savings). I will get food credits as well. Thanks if you use it!
  • 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.
  • Free Grubhub+ membership is now included with the Lyft Pink membership above. Added 10/6/2020. Details here. If you have not joined Grubhub yet, you can also get $10 off your first Grubhub order if you join via my referral link. I will get food credits as well. Thanks if you use it!
  • $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through 12/31/2021.
  • 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 Card Review: 75,000 Bonus Points

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 Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card arose from the merger of Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott (formerly the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card). Here are the highlights:

  • 75,000 bonus points after you $3,000 in purchases within 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:

50,000 points will get you a free night at a Category 5 hotel (any time including peak), Category 6 hotel (off-peak or standard), or Category 7 (off-peak). A sample Category 5 hotel is the Courtyard Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. A sample Category 6 hotel is the Sheraton Kauai Resort or Residence Inn Maui Wailea. A sample Category 7 hotel is the Westin Moana Surfrider in Waikiki, Honolulu or the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas.

Points can also be transferred to 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) is currently offering 75,000 bonus points for new cardholders. 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.

S 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 Gold Card: 60,000 Bonus Point Limited-Time 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.

Update: AmEx is also adding a free Uber Eat Pass membership ($10 a month, available immediately) and Uber Cash credits ($10 a month, starting in early 2021).

New limited-time offer. The refreshed American Express Gold Card is trying to get back to its former glory as a status card with some new perks. Right, there is a limited-time offer boost. Here are the highlights:

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. (Previous bonus was 35k.)
  • Up to $120 in annual dining credit at Grubhub, Seamless, and more. Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • $100 airline fee credit. Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits towards incidental fees charged by the airline to your AmEx Gold card. Examples are checked baggage fees and inflight meals.
  • 4X points at at restaurants worldwide.
  • 4X points at US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year.
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $250 annual fee. Additional cards (authorized users) are free.

Note the following:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or the Premier Rewards Gold 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.

The application will tell you if they detect that you are not eligible for the bonus based on their records.

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)

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 common redemption is 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.

Rough bonus math. I’m going to be conservative and value the 60,000 Membership Rewards points at $600. (There are a lot of mileage transfer bonuses so you could value them much higher.) The $120 food delivery credits at Grubhub/Seamless are easy to use in the current environment. The $100 airline fee credit will depend on how much you travel, but remember you can get it once per calendar year. Minus the $250 annual fee. If you can take full advantage of the credits, the net first year value is $570 without taking into account the 4X and 3X bonus categories.

Bottom line. The new American Express Gold Card has a bunch of new features more targeted at the young, urban traveler including up to $120 in Grubhub and Seamless credits and $100 in airline fee credits. As you can only get the bonus once, the best time to apply is during a limited-time offer (like now) at 60,000 membership rewards points.

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 Business American Express Card Review – 100,000 Bonus Miles + Platinum Elite Status Perk

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 offer. The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is the re-branded business credit card of the Marriott Bonvoy program (formed after the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest). This card offers unique perks for Marriott customers. Right now, there is a limited-time offer. Here are the highlights:

  • Limited-time offer: 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. (Previous bonus was only 75k with no $150 advertising credit and no Platinum Elite status.)
  • Limited-time offer: Up to $150 in statement credits on U.S. Advertising in select Media, towards eligible purchases within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Limited-time offer: free Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022). Platinum Elite status includes a 50% bonus points on stays, enhanced room/suite upgrades, a points or breakfast Welcome Gift each stay, lounge access, 4pm late checkout, and more. Offer ends 1/13/21.
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. service providers.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Earn an additional Free Night Award after spending $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel.
  • Elite Night Credit. Each calendar year you can receive credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
  • Annual fee is $125.

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. 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.

Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards® Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus offer in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase.

This is more specific than before, note the different 30-day, 90-day, and 24-month waiting periods that may now include consumer cards. American Express usually gives you a pop-up warning during the application process if you are ineligible based on their records. This is why you should be looking to get the best possible bonus (like a limited-time offer and waived annual fee) when you do apply.

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.

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 or even $125 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 Business American Express Card is the co-branded business card between Marriott hotels and American Express. Right now, there is a limited-time offer boost which is usually te best time to grab this card. You also get a Free Night Award at card anniversary, which can be worth much more than the annual fee.

Also see: 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.

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express Review: 6% Cash Back at US Supermarkets ($6,000/Year), $300 + First Year Annual Fee Waived

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 offer, best ever. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has been in heavy rotation recently: 6% cash back at US stand-alone supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases. If you spend $100 a week at supermarkets, that alone will earn you over $300 a year in rewards. They just started a new limited-time offer with a big cash bonus and the annual fee waived for the first year, the best combo that I can remember. The highlights:

  • $300 statement credit after you $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • No annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Max out your benefit by buying gift cards at US supermarkets. I use this card to buy gift cards at a standalone US supermarket to use up the annual limit and get 6% back. My local Safeway has an entire wall of options, but I usually go with Amazon, Apple, or Starbucks (gifts). You can easily confirm that your purchase still gets 6% cash back on your account online:

Supermarkets details. “US stand-alone supermarkets” means that superstores, convenience stores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets. This means no Super Wal-Mart, no Super Target, no Costco. Examples of merchants that do count (and this is not a complete list!) are Safeway, Whole Foods, Meijer, Vons, Winn-Dixie, Gristedes, Shoprite, Stop and Shop, and online supermarkets such as FreshDirect.

Gasoline details. “US stand-alone gas stations” means that superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations. This means no Target, no Costco, no Sam’s Club. Examples of merchants that count (and this is not a complete list!) are Exxon, Mobil, Hess, Shell, Gulf, Murphy USA, Murphy Express.

US Streaming Subscriptions details. These are all included:

• Amazon Music
• Apple Music
• Audible
• CBS All Access
• Direct TV Now
• ESPN+
• Fubo TV
• HBO Now
• Hulu
• iHeartRadio
• Kindle Unlimited
• MLB.TV
• NBA League Pass
• Netflix
• NHL.TV
• Pandora
• Prime Video Unlimited
• Showtime
• Sling TV
• SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
• Spotify
• YouTube Music Premium
• YouTube Premium
• YouTube TV

Annual fee. (Update: During the limited-time offer, the annual fee is waived for the first year.) There is usually a $95 annual fee, so you’ll want to utilize that 6% cash back on groceries to maximize your value. If you spend the max cap of $500 a month at supermarkets, at 6% back that would net you $360 cash back in a year vs. $60 at 1% cash back. Note that simply spending $31 per week at supermarkets at 6% cash back will result in over $95 Reward Dollars per year to cover the annual fee.

If you don’t like the idea of paying an annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases with no annual fee. It currently offers a $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months, plus 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card in the first 6 months, up to $200 back.

Cash back is officially given in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit, gift cards, and merchandise. I always just stick with statements credit to directly pay down my monthly bill.

Bottom line. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has the key feature of 6% cash back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year). You can now also get 6% cash back on Netflix/Spotify/HBO Now as well as 3% cash back at US gas stations and transit (Uber/Lyft/train). This has been a “keeper” card for me for many years now. I treat it like one of my 5% cash back cards, except there are no rotating categories or activations to worry about. Right now, there is a new limited-time offer that is the highest that I can recall.

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 IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card Review: 75,000 Bonus Points, 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 100k offer. The Chase IHG Rewards Club Traveler card is the IHG hotel card that includes a sign-up bonus and special IHG perks but with no annual fee. They just improved the sign-up bonus to 100k points (standard is 60k). Here are the highlights:

  • 100,000 bonus IHG points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 15X points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel.
  • Earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Fourth Reward Night Free when you redeem points for any 4+ night stay.
  • No annual fee.

This is a new card, but please note the following:

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.

This offer is for the new “IHG Club Traveler” card, so this language means that if you have the older and different “Premier” or “Select” card, you can still apply for this card and get the sign-up bonus.

What can you get with IHG points? The best redemption value for IHG points is for free hotel nights. The other options offer significantly less value. While the points don’t translate directly to a dollar value, but overall you should expect around 0.60 cents of value per point, which would make 60,000 IHG points worth an estimated $360 value. Not bad for a no annual fee card. You can perform the calculations for hotels that fit your needs. I tried a bunch of other various combinations and got between 0.5 cents and 0.8 cents per point equivalent value.

IHG stands for Intercontinental Hotel Group which has over 5,000 hotels including the following brands:

  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Kimpton
  • Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Hotel Indigo
  • EVEN Hotels

IHG points expire after 24 months of inactivity, which is relatively long so with occasional activity you can easily save up these free nights for later. Chase Ultimate Rewards points also convert to IHG points.

Total of 15x points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG. Here’s how this breaks down: Earn 5X points per $1 spent as an IHG® Rewards Club Traveler credit cardmember + 10X points per $1 spent from IHG® for being an IHG® Rewards Club Member, for a total of 15X points total at any of their 5,400+ IHG® hotels & resorts.

Given my 0.6 cent per IHG point valuation, I would book my IHG nights on this card, but not my everyday purchases on an ongoing basis.

  • 2 IHG points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • 1 IHG point per $1 spent on all other card purchases

Upgrade to Premier? Downgrade to Traveler? If you can reliably use a anniversary night certificate (40,000 point maximum value) and get $89 value out of it, you should consider going with the IHG Rewards Premier credit card mentioned on the same application page. The Premier card also adds some other small perks like Platinum Elite status and a TSA Precheck fee credit.

If you already have the Premier card and don’t want to pay for those added perks, you may consider asking if you can downgrade to this Traveler now without any annual fee.

Bottom line. The Chase IHG Rewards Club Traveler credit card now comes with no annual fee and an improved sign-up bonus boost of 100,000 IHG points. As with most of these co-branded cards, the best value is obtained if you can redeem for IHG hotel nights.

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.

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card Review: 140,000 Points + First Year Annual Fee Waiver (Highest Ever)

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.

Highest offer ever. The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is the IHG hotel co-branded card that includes special IHG perks like a free night award every year you keep the card. The current limited-time offer is the best offer ever, with 140k points and the annual fee waived for the first year. (I just applied for this card earlier this year, at 140k but no annual fee waiver.) Here are the highlights:

  • 140,000 bonus IHG points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Free Night award after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Valid at IHG Hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less. An additional free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights.
  • 25X points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel.
  • 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Platinum Elite status included as a Premier card member. IHG points also don’t expire when you are an Elite member.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $89

Please note the following:

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.

This offer is for the new “IHG Club Premier” card, so this language means that if you have the older and different “IHG Club Select” card, you can still apply for this card and get the sign-up bonus.

What can you get with IHG points? The best redemption value for IHG points is for free hotel nights. The other options offer significantly less value. While the points don’t translate directly to a dollar value, but overall you should expect around 0.60 cents of value per point, which would make 140,000 IHG points worth an estimated $840 value. You can perform the calculations for hotels that fit your needs. I tried a bunch of other various combinations and got between 0.5 cents and 0.8 cents per point equivalent value.

(IHG points are worth less than other points like Hyatt or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but you get a lot more of them with this bonus!)

IHG stands for Intercontinental Hotel Group which has over 5,000 hotels including the following brands:

  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Kimpton
  • Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Hotel Indigo
  • EVEN Hotels

IHG points expire after 24 months of inactivity, so if you keep up your activity then you can save up these free nights for later. Chase Ultimate Rewards points also convert to IHG points.

Total of 25x points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG. Here’s how this breaks down: Earn 10X points per $1 spent as an IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Cardmember + 10X points per $1 spent from IHG® for being an IHG® Rewards Club Member + 5X points per $1 spent from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of this card = total of 25X points total at 5,400+ IHG® hotels & resorts.

I would book my IHG nights on this card, but not my everyday purchases on an ongoing basis.

  • 2 IHG points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • 1 IHG point per $1 spent on all other card purchases

I would keep this card if you can use the anniversary night certificate with the 40,000 point maximum value. You should be able to get $89 value out of it as long as you need a hotel night. Stay must be completed within 12 months from date of issue.

Don’t want a card with an annual fee? The no-annual fee Traveler version is now offering 100,000 IHG points.

Bottom line. The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card has a current sign-up bonus boost of 140,000 IHG points with no annual fee the first year ($89 normally). This is a limited-time offer and the highest bonus size ever. If you’ve been thinking about this card, now is the time to apply. As with most of these co-branded cards, the best value is obtained if you can redeem for IHG hotel nights.

I will be adding 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.