The Blue Business® Plus Credit 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 from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 17.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
  • No annual fee. (See rates and fees)
  • Terms Apply.

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.

The Platinum Card® from American Express Review: 100,000 MR Points, New $200 Hotel Credits, $240 Streaming Credits, $200 Airline Fee Credits, $200 Uber Cash, $189 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:

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards(R) points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card(R), Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts(R) or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through 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: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card(R).
  • $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.
  • Equinox fitness benefit. Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. See offer terms for details. Note: Starting in 2023, statement credits for the $300 Equinox credit benefit will be provided on an annual basis of up to $300 per year and will no longer be provided on a monthly basis of up to $25 back per month
  • CLEAR(R) airport security benefit. Breeze through security with CLEAR(R) lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • Expanded airport lounge network. American Express has expanded The Centurion(R) Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. 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.

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.

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.

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 fitness credit, $100 Shop Saks credit, and $189 CLEAR(R) airport security 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 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.

Chase United Explorer Card Review – 50,000 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.

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. Here are the highlights:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 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(SM) one-time passes every year for your anniversary.
  • 2X miles on dining, on hotel stays, and on United(R) purchases.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible delivery services including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless and DoorDash.
  • 25% Back on United(R) 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.
  • $0 introductory annual fee 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 – 70,000 Miles Limited-Time 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 offer. The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express can be a useful credit card if you fly on Delta even once or twice per year due to the free first checked baggage perk. Right now, they are running a limited-time offer. Highlights:

  • Limited Time Offer: 70,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 4/13/2022.
  • 70,000 Skymiles is worth at least $700 in Delta airfare. With this card, you get a minimum value out of your Skymiles via the “Pay with Miles” option. 70,000 Skymiles can reduce the price of your Delta ticket by $700 at the very least. (5,000 mile = $50 minimum redemption.) You can still book traditional award tickets and possibly get better value.
  • $$100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
  • 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.

It is best to apply for this card during a limited-time offer, as you can only get the welcome bonus one per card version:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this or previous versions of 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.

I will be adding this limited-time offer to the 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.

New United Quest Card Review: 60,000 Bonus Miles + 500 Premier Qualifying 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 newly-launched United Quest Card is a new premium travel card that offers a lot of added perks on United Airlines for a higher annual fee. Here are the highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • First AND second checked bags are free for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket.
  • Each year, receive up to a $125 United(R) purchase credit and two 5K-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
  • Earn 500 Premier qualifying points for every $12K you spend on purchases, up to 6,000 PQP in a calendar year.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
  • Priority boarding.
  • Expanded award availability and free upgrades. Having this card makes it easier to find that saver award economy ticket.
  • $250 annual fee.

Here are the ongoing rewards on purchases:

  • 3X miles on United(R) purchases
  • 2X miles on all other travel.
  • 2X miles on dining.
  • 2X miles on select streaming services.
  • 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 25% Back on United inflight purchases (Wi-Fi, Food and Drinks).

The United Quest card is considered a new product, which means you can get this new bonus even if you’ve had other United card flavors in the past 24 months:

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 card is very focused on making it a better experience for regular United customers. You have the first and second checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The bag fees are $35 + $45 per person, each way, so that adds up to $320 each roundtrip. After each card anniversary, you get $125 back on your United purchases, which already covers half the $250 annual fee. You save another 5,000 points (up to twice a year) when you book an award ticket with miles. You also get Priority Boarding, and while onboard, you get 25% back on your inflight purchases of WiFi, food, and drinks.

If you are trying to make Premier status on United, this card offers the ability to earn up to 3,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) per year by just spending on your card.

Expanded award seat availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases, 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.

If you are a Premier® status member and traveling on an award ticket, with this card you can take advantage of Premier Upgrades on United-operated flights.

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 Quest Card offers a long list of special perks for folks that fly United on a regular basis. For the right person, the benefits can be worth much more than the annual fee.

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.

American Express® Business Gold Card Card Review: Up to 70,000 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.

New limited-time offer. The American Express® Business Gold Card Card is a premium credit card for small businesses with excellent perks like purchase price protection, travel accident insurance, car rental coverage, and the famous AMEX extended warranty that actually pays out. Here are the highlights:

  • 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after $10,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • 4X Membership Rewards points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. Here are the possible categories:
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
    • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases at restaurants
    • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • Airfare rebate. Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $295 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month-or pay over time with interest.*
  • Terms and limitations apply.

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)

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. Sole proprietors are a small business. 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 purchase with 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 new American Express® Business Gold Card is a premium credit card for small business that includes the classic American Express features like excellent customer service and customer-friendly protections. The card now offers the ability to earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. There is also a welcome offer for new applicants.

I will add this card to my list of Top 10 Best Business Card Offers.

(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® Gold Card: 60,000 Point Bonus, $120 Uber Cash, $120 Dining 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.

The refreshed American Express® Gold Card is trying to get back to its former glory as a status card with some new perks including $120 in Uber Cash and another $120 in additional Dining Credits. There is also a limited-time offer boost. Here are the highlights:

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards(R) points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. (Previous bonus was 35k.)
  • $120 in Uber Cash annually. Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 in dining credit annually. Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express(R) Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • 4X Membership Rewards(R) points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Membership Rewards(R) points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • 3X Membership Rewards(R) points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Terms apply.
  • $250 annual fee. Additional cards (authorized users) are free. (See Rates and Fees)

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 options and 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 $120 in Uber Cash is also flexibly, use towards Uber Eats food delivery or Uber rides. Minus the $250 annual fee. If you can take full advantage of the credits, the net first year value is $590 without taking into account the excellent 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 $120 in Uber/Uber Eats Cash. 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.

(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.

HSBC Bank Promo: 3% Cash Bonus on New Deposits, Up to $600 Total

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.

Interest rates on liquid savings accounts keep dropping, making bank bonuses more attractive on a relative basis. Opening new accounts are more hassle, so I usually want at least double the interest rates I could get by doing nothing. This $240/$600 HSBC bank bonus satisfies that requirement at over 12% APY. This bonus is not as simple as I’d like, so let’s unpack the details a bit.

Premier Checking (up to $600) bonus details.

  • Open by 9/30/2020. Customers who held an HSBC consumer deposit or investment account from June 29, 2017 through and including June 29, 2020 are not eligible for this offer.
  • 3% cash bonus on qualifying direct deposits, up to $100 per calendar months for 6 months ($600 total). The 6 calendar months begin with the first full calendar month after account opening.
  • Qualifying Direct Deposits are electronic deposits of regular periodic payments (such as salary, pension, Government Benefits or other monthly income) made into your HSBC Premier checking account from third parties at least once per calendar month.
  • Bonus arrives 8 weeks after qualifying activity. To be eligible for the offer, your HSBC Premier checking account must be open without being changed to a product with lower balance requirements, and in good standing at the time of fulfillment.
  • Limit one 3% Promotional Offer or New Consumer Deposit Offer per customer, including all individual and joint accounts — the first line name on the joint account is considered the customer for gift purposes.

HSBC Premier checking has a $50 monthly maintenance fee, unless you have one of the following:

  • Balances of $75,000 in combined U.S. consumer and qualifying commercial U.S. Dollar deposit and investment* accounts; OR
  • Monthly recurring direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to an HSBC Premier checking account(s); OR
  • HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan with an original loan amount of at least $500,000, not an aggregate of multiple mortgages. Home Equity products are not included.

This is not official, but to me the wording suggests that a regularly scheduled monthly ACH transfer pushed from an external bank can count as a direct deposit. The comments under this Doctor of Credit post support this. Obviously, you may want to switch over a payroll if that is an option for you. HSBC doesn’t have any high-interest bank accounts where it would be beneficial to park $75,000 (even if you had this large amount available), so this leaves the best move as making an ACH transfer of $5,000 per month into the account during those 6 months (wait to start until the next new month after opening). This triggers the full bonus and you can then withdraw the funds as you wish, as you have already done the deposits and waived the monthly fee. Limit one per customer, so you and a spouse/partner can each get a bonus, but as usual I would make two individual accounts instead of joint accounts.

The fact that you don’t keep those $5,000 monthly deposits in the account is what I missed initially, and what makes this bonus worth a second look. You can just cycle it: deposit $5k, spend/transfer out $5k, and then deposit $5k again. Now you’re earning a $600 bonus on $5,000 instead of $30,000 or $75,000 in committed cash. Even if you were loose with the math and assumed you had to keep $5,000 in the account for 12 months, a $600 bonus would be 12% annualized. Don’t downgrade your account until get the bonus!

Advance Checking (up to $240) bonus details.

  • Open by 9/30/2020. Customers who held an HSBC consumer deposit or investment account from June 29, 2017 through and including June 29, 2020 are not eligible for this offer.
  • 3% cash bonus on qualifying direct deposits, up to $40 per calendar months for 6 months ($240 total). The 6 calendar months begin with the first full calendar month after account opening.
  • Qualifying Direct Deposits are electronic deposits of regular periodic payments (such as salary, pension, Government Benefits or other monthly income) made into your HSBC Advance checking account from third parties at least once per calendar month.
  • Bonus arrives 8 weeks after qualifying activity. To be eligible for the offer, your HSBC Advance checking account must be open without being changed to a product with lower balance requirements, and in good standing at the time of fulfillment.
  • Limit one 3% Promotional Offer or New Consumer Deposit Offer per customer, including all individual and joint accounts — the first line name on the joint account is considered the customer for gift purposes.

HSBC Advance checking has a $25 monthly maintenance fee, unless you have one of the following:

  • Balances of $5,000 in combined U.S. consumer and qualifying commercial U.S. Dollar deposit and investment* accounts; OR
  • Monthly recurring direct deposits (of any amount) from a third party to an HSBC Advance checking account(s); OR
  • HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan (of any amount). Home Equity products are not included.

You can either park $5,000 there for about 8 months, or you can make a small direct deposit of any amount each month to waive the monthly fee. However, you will need to deposit at least $1,334 each month to max out the bonus at $40 per month. Even if you were loose with the math and assumed you had to keep $1,500 in the account for 12 months, a $240 bonus would be 16% annualized. Don’t downgrade your account until get the bonus!

Which one? If you have $5,000 that you can cycle, then the $600 Premier bonus is a better use of your time as this bonus will require you to set up multiple transfers and take 8-9 months to complete. If you only have $1,500 to cycle, getting a $240 bonus is still pretty good. Bank bonuses require attention to detail, a tracking/reminder system, and patience. It helps to have that quirk where getting the equivalent of guaranteed 12% annual return on your money is “fun”. 🙂

Thanks to reader Brian M for the tip.

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.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® Review

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.

Updated. The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is a solid business travel card from Citi and American Airlines. They have recently boosted their sign-up bonus with a limited-time offer. I am still busy accumulating miles as I fully believe that we will be traveling once again. Here are the details:

  • 65,000 American Airlines bonus miles after $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months.
  • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 4 travel companions.
  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible mile earned from purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee $99, waived for the first 12 months.

Note the following fine print:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months.

To clarify, you can have both one of the consumer version of this card AND one of this business card version under your name. The bonuses are also separate.

Baggage fee value. Currently, American Airlines recently joined the other airlines and now charges $30 one-way for the first checked bag and $40 one-way for the second checked bag in Economy. That’s $60 roundtrip for a single checked bag, per person. With this card, your first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation.

Redemption tips. American Airlines MileSAAver awards are still 25,000 miles for a round-trip ticket within the contiguous 48 states. Their online system is pretty good for looking for domestic AA awards. If the trip is less than 500 miles, then it is only 15,000 miles round-trip within the contiguous 48 states. Under-500 miles routes include Las Vegas to/from Los Angeles, Charleston to/from Miami, New York to/from Washington DC, Philadelphia to Boston, and many others.

Companion Certificate perk. I don’t see this available on the consumer version of this card: Earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate for domestic main cabin travel after you spend $30,000 or more in purchases each cardmembership year and cardmembership is renewed. Redeeming the certificate costs $99 for the ticketing fee plus $21.60 to $43.20 in government taxes and fees, based on itinerary.

Business 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.

Bottom line. The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® offers a lot of potential value when you regularly fly on American and use the early boarding and free first checked bag benefit (now $60 per person, roundtrip). Right now, there is a limited-time sign-up bonus and the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Please note this a business card, designed specifically for businesses. Click here for the consumer version.

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 Preferred Card Review: 100,000 Point Bonus worth $1,250 Towards 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.

Updated with new 100k offer. Business credit cards can be used by self-employed or side-gig workers with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Uber/Lyft, Adsense or other 1099 income that make you a sole proprietorship. The Ink Business Preferred(R) Card has a new 100,000 point bonus for new cardholders, worth at least $1,250 towards travel when redeemed through Chase and potentially more via points transfer to Hyatt hotels, etc. This is their premium travel card with 3X points on travel purchases and the ability to transfer points to airline miles or redeem at a 25% premium through their travel portal. Here are the details:

  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. That’s worth $1,250 toward any airfare or hotels booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (works like Expedia or Travelocity).
  • 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • 1X point per $1 on all other purchases with no limit.
  • Ability to transfer points directly to airline mile partners.
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Free additional cards for employees.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. This card offers a 25% bonus on travel bookings made through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. 100,000 Ultimate Rewards = $1,250 in travel. Similar to Expedia or Travelocity, you can book flights on most major airlines, hotel chains, and car rental companies. 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 Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited, you can transfer points into this card account and take advantage of the 25% premium. However, if you happen to have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you could transfer your points over to that card and grab the better 50% premium.

You could think of this card as the small business version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred 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.

For example, I could definitely get more than $1,250 in value by converting into 100,000 World of Hyatt points.

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 don’t 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 otherwise eligible.

Bottom line. The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card has a new, bigger 100,000 point sign-up bonus worth at least $1,250 towards travel, along with premium travel features included with the $95 annual fee. You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points from other Chase cards to increase your value. If you’d rather have a more simple cash-focused rewards structure and no annual fee, be sure to compare with the Ink Business Unlimited and Ink Business Cash.

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

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: 0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers

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.

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

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.24% – 27.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • No annual fee.

The strong part of this card is the long 21 month period, so you can spread out payments over 1.75 years and ideally pay it all off by the end. There is a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 min). However, if you’re currently paying 18% APR, then a 5% fee is the equivalent of paying 3.33 months of interest at that previous rate, and then you’ll still be left with 17.7 months at 0% interest.

Once the intro period on all 0% cards expire, the rates will go right back up. You’ll either need to pay it off or transfer your balance again if you need more time. This card lets you spread your payments out over 21 months instead of 6 or 12.

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

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

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