New Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card with $500 Signup Bonus ($95 Annual Fee)

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Key Benefits

  • 50,000 points (worth $500) after $3,000 spend in 90 days
  • $95 annual fee (not waived the first year)
  • $100 airline incidental statement credit (baggage fees, etc.)
  • $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ credit every four years
  • 2% back on travel and 1.5% back elsewhere
  • No foreign transaction fees

My Take

The signup bonus is good, clearly, but subtracting the annual fee leaves you with a net $405. On the other hand, depending on how easy the $100 airline incidental credit is to redeem, this might bump the card back up to near $505 in value.

2% back on travel and 1.5% back everywhere is only interesting if you have $50,000+ on deposit with Bank of America or Merrill Edge. I’ve covered this on this blog before, but with that much in assets, you can qualify for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Tiers (link), boosting your credit card rewards by 50% (for $50,000 to $99,999) or 75% (for $100,000+). This would bring your total cash back to:

  • Platinum ($50,000 to $99,999 in assets): 3% cash back on travel and 2.25% cash back everywhere else
  • Platinum Honors ($100,000+ in assets): 3.5% cash back on travel and 2.625% cash back everywhere else

There is a no annual fee version of this card (link). The main differences are:

  • Smaller ($200) signup bonus
  • No $100 airline incidental credit
  • No bonus earnings on travel purchases (1.5% cash back everywhere, boosted to 2.25% or 2.625% with Platinum or Platinum Honors)
  • Points redeemed only as statement credit against travel expenses (not that difficult, but still an extra step)

Lots of cards have Global Entry credits and no foreign transaction fees nowadays, so I don’t care about those.

Overall, this card is worth getting for the bonus. It’s worth keeping if you have $50,000+ on deposit with Merrill Edge or Bank of America and the $100 airline incidental credit is easy for you to redeem. If you have $50,000+ on deposit but have trouble redeeming the airline incidental credit, you can consider downgrading to the no annual fee version of this card when your annual fee comes due. Anyone else should cancel.

Chase Adds New Restrictions to Sapphire Credit Card Applications

Via Doctor of Credit, Chase has added a pair of new restrictions to the Sapphire card lineup, which includes the Sapphire, the Sapphire Preferred, and the Sapphire Reserve credit cards.

  • You will no longer be approved for any Sapphire product if you currently hold another Sapphire product of any type.
  • You will no longer be eligible for the signup bonus on any Sapphire product if you have received a signup bonus on any Sapphire product within the past 24 months.

The 24-month rule is similar to their current rule, except it normally only applies for cards of the exact same type, i.e. if you received a signup bonus on the Sapphire Preferred, you were only prevented from getting the signup bonus on another Sapphire Preferred within 24 months of the date you received the bonus. Now with this updated rule, all Sapphire cards are being lumped together, such that receiving a signup bonus on one type of Sapphire card makes you ineligible for a bonus on any of the other Sapphire products as well, for a period of 24 months.

In short, if you are looking for a Sapphire card signup bonus, make sure you a) cancel or convert any existing cards you have and b) haven’t received a Sapphire card signup bonus in the past 24 months. If you satisfy both of those, you’re good to go. Obviously, the 5/24 rule still applies as well.

Citi Prestige Card Signup Bonus Increased to 75,000 ThankYou Points

Direct Link (may require incognito mode)

Via Doctor of Credit and The Points Guy, the signup bonus on the Citi Prestige Card has increased to 75,000 ThankYou points after $7,500 spend in 3 months.

Quick Summary

  • Annual fee of $450 is not waived
  • Points are worth 1.25 cents each toward airfare or can be transferred to travel partners
  • $250 annual air travel credit
  • 4th night free hotel benefit (based on average cost per night over four nights and does not include taxes or fees)
  • $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓
  • Priority Pass select membership
  • No foreign transaction fees

While the annual fee is not waived, it is effectively $200 after the air travel credit, and you can technically get two credits your first year (the credit goes by calendar year, sort of — it resets after your December statement) for a net profit of $50. $100 fee credits for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, Priority Pass memberships, and no foreign transaction fees are dime-a-dozen these days, so I don’t value those benefits very much at all.

This card is certainly worthwhile for the signup bonus, but it is only worth keeping long-term if you can get a lot of use from the 4th night free hotel benefit.

While this card does earn 3x points on Air Travel & Hotel and 2x points on Dining & Entertainment, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is better. So, meh, as far as earning more points is concerned.

Increased 80,000 Point Offer for Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Card

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80,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months.

Annual fee of $49 is waived the first year.

I have and keep this card because of the free anniversary night every year you pay the annual fee.

Update: Via Doctor of Credit, after you are approved, you may be able to match to this targeted higher offer if you send Chase a secure message via their website.

United MileagePlus Devaluation Coming November 1, 2017

Effective November 1, 2017, many United MileagePlus Saver awards will be going up in price (listed below, prices all one-way). Recall that there is separate pricing for United-only vs. partner awards.

Business Class – United Flights

  • U.S. (premium only): 25k to 35k
  • Hawaii (premium only): 40k to 50k
  • Southern South America: 55k to 60k
  • Europe: 57.5k to 60k
  • Middle East and Central Asia: 70k to 75k
  • South Asia: 70k to 75k
  • Japan and Oceania: 65k to 70k
  • Australia/New Zealand: 70k to 80k

Business Class – Partner Flights

  • Southern South America: 55k to 60k
  • Middle East and Central Asia: 80k to 85k
  • South Asia: 80k to 90k
  • Japan and Oceania: 75k to 80k
  • Australia/New Zealand: 80k to 90k

First Class – United Flights

  • Southern South America: 70k to 80k
  • Central/Southern Africa: 85k to 90k
  • South Asia: 80k to 95k
  • North Asia: 80k to 90k
  • Japan and Oceania: 80k to 90k
  • Australia/New Zealand: 80k to 100k

First Class – Partner Flights

  • Southern South America: 70k to 80k
  • South Asia: 130k to 140k

Many Saver prices for flights that do not originate in the United States are increasing as well, but there are too many to list. The new award chart can be viewed here.

Short-Haul Economy Saver Awards

Nonstop partner flights of 800 miles or less will cost 8,000 miles in Economy class in all regions outside of the U.S.

Intra-island flights within Hawaii will be increasing from 6,000 miles to 7,000 miles one-way.

No-Show Fee

$125. Don’t no-show on awards.

Everyday Awards

Standard awards are becoming Everyday awards, with different pricing, but… who cares? Book Saver awards.

Chase Hyatt Card Signup Bonus Changing to 40,000 Points on June 29, 2017

Via OMaaT, the Chase Hyatt Card’s signup bonus will be changing from two free nights anywhere to 40,000 World of Hyatt points on June 29, 2017.

40,000 WoH points is equivalent to two nights in a Category 5 property.

Pros:

Points won’t expire as long as you have activity in your account. The two free night certificates from the current signup bonus need to be used within a year.

Cons:

Two free nights are more valuable if you are redeeming for a Category 6 or 7 property.

[Amex Offers] Get 2,000 Membership Rewards Points for $50+ Purchase @ Amazon (Targeted)

The easiest way to redeem this offer is to load $50 into your gift card balance (link). I have confirmed that it does trigger the success email.

This offer is targeted. Look for it by logging into your American Express account and checking your Amex Offers at the bottom. Make sure you open each account in a separate tab before adding this offer if you want it on multiple cards.

Increased Signup Bonus for All Three Southwest Cards and Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red Card

All of these offers are the highest ever. Note that none of these annual fees are waived the first year. Easy companion pass if you are approved for two of the Southwest cards.

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card – 60,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months; $69 annual fee

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card – 60,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months; $99 annual fee

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card – 60,000 points after $3,000 in spend 3 months; $99 annual fee

Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard – 50,000 miles after first purchase; $95 annual fee

[PSA] Don’t Use American Airlines’ Homepage to Search for Awards — Use Advanced Search Instead

HT: Milecards

This was reported by Milecards a little while ago, but I haven’t seen any coverage on other blogs. It looks like there is a bug with American Airlines’ homepage whereby if you start an award search there, you will potentially see less availability than if you started from the Advanced Search page. This is particularly common if you are looking for Alaska availability.

In the image at the top of this post, the search on the left was started from the homepage, while the search on the right was started from the Advanced Search page. As you can see, there is no MileSAAver availability on the left, while there are six dates with availability on the right.

Long story short, start all of your American Airlines award searches from the Advanced Search page.