[PSA] Customer-Unfriendly Annual Fee Refund Policy for City National Bank Crystal Visa Infinite Card

Update: Reposting because this post is particularly relevant today.


Quick Summary

Per their terms, City National Bank will not refund nor prorate the annual fee on the Crystal Visa Infinite Card once it has posted to your account. If you do not intend to renew the card and to pay the annual fee, you must cancel your card before the annual fee posts.


This is an addendum to the Crystal Visa Infinite Card credit card agreement that was sent out to cardholders in 2016.

Here is the pertinent part of the addendum:

Annual Fee – There is no annual fee for the first year your Account is opened. Thereafter, we will assess you an Annual Fee of $400.00. The Annual Fee is non-refundable except as indicated below. The Annual Fee will be posted to your Account each year in the same month in which your Account was originally opened. Subject to applicable law, we are entitled to collect the Annual Fee once it is posted to your Account even if you do not use your Account or if your Account is subsequently suspended, closed or terminated for any reason.

There’s no way of knowing yet how strict they are planning to be with this; however, on the reverse side is language for New York Residents Only mentioning that they may be able to receive a prorated refund and listing instructions on doing so. This makes me speculate that they might be enforcing this rule in every state to the extent that they can, but we can’t know for sure.

In any case, if you’re not planning on renewing your account, I recommend you cancel it before the annual fee posts. You’ve been warned.

Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card Bonus Increased to 60,000 ThankYou Points

Direct Link

HT: Doctor of Credit

60,000 ThankYou points after $4,000 spend in 3 months. Annual fee is waived the first year. Previous bonus was 50,000 ThankYou points. This is a good offer if you are eligible.

Note from the application page: Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

New Credit Card: Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Priority Card

Direct Link

Quick Summary

  • Signup bonus of 40,000 miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months
  • Additional bonus of 25,000 miles after $15,000 total spend in 12 months (i.e. $14,000 additional spend after earning the main bonus)
  • 2x miles on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies
  • $149 annual fee

First of all, you can’t get this card if you’re a cardholder of any other Southwest personal cards (business cards are okay), or if you’ve received the signup bonus from any Southwest personal cards within the past 24 months.

Assuming you can get approved, though, the signup bonus is not that great. 40,000 miles after $1,000 spend is decent, but we’ve seen higher bonuses in the past with other Southwest cards. Spending $15,000 in a year to get another 25,000 miles is something I technically consider to be worth doing; however, there are plenty of other credit cards that provide similar value without having to do so much spend. So while this bonus is decent on the surface, I don’t really recommend applying for this card because much of the competition is simply better.

For a frequent Southwest flyer, the 7,500 anniversary points + $75 annual Southwest travel credit are worth more than the $149 annual fee, but only by about $20 or so. Combine that with the four upgraded boardings per year, and this card does provide some ongoing value for people who fly Southwest regularly. With that said, you would only be considering this card’s ongoing value if you were a cardholder in the first place, and, as mentioned above, I don’t really think this card is worth getting right now. Let’s wait and see if a better bonus comes along.

P.S. Note that the 2x miles on hotel and car rental purchases requires that you book through Southwest’s website, and 2x miles isn’t that much anyway. If I had this card, I would put zero spend on it after earning the bonus.

New Credit Card: Chase World of Hyatt Card


Direct Link

Quick Summary

  • Signup bonus of 40,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months
  • Additional bonus of 20,000 points after $6,000 total spend in 6 months (i.e. $3,000 additional spend after earning the main bonus)
  • 4x points on Hyatt purchases
  • 2x points on local transit and commuting (including taxis, mass transit, tolls, and ride-share services)
  • 2x points on restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops
  • 2x points on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
  • 2x points on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1 free Category 1-4 night annually if you renew the card + 1 additional free night if you spend $15,000 during your anniversary year
  • Automatic Discoverist status + 5 qualifying nights toward next status tier every year + 2 additional qualifying nights for every $5,000 spend
  • $95 annual fee

First of all, you can’t get this card if you’re a cardholder of the previous version of this card, the Chase Hyatt Card, or if you’ve received the signup bonus from the old card within the past 24 months. This bonus is decent but not amazing due to the high spend ($6,000) requirement and $95 annual fee, which is not waived the first year. Still, 60,000 points can get you two nights at any Hyatt in the world. The annual free night can be good if you know you’re going to use it, but it’s not worth spending $15,000 on this card to get a second one. Likewise, Discoverist status is okay, but not that great, and it’s not worth spending on this card for the extra qualifying nights.

In short, sign up for this bonus if you have plans to stay at an expensive Hyatt hotel in the near future, and only keep the card if you know you can consistently get good value from the annual free night certificate. Otherwise, you should cancel the card after you get the bonus.

New American Express Platinum Benefit: $50 Biannual Credit @ Saks Fifth Avenue (Personal Cards Only)

Direct Link (starting July 1, 2018)

Via The Points Guy, on July 1st, American Express is adding a $100/year benefit for cardholders of all versions of their personal Platinum Cards. This benefit comes in the form of two $50 statement credits for purchases made at Saks Fifth Avenue either in-store or online. You will receive up to a $50 statement credit to offset purchases from January to June and again from July to December.

It’s likely that this credit will work similarly to the current airline credits in that the it should automatically be applied after charging a purchase to your card, there probably won’t be any minimum purchase requirement (i.e. if you only spend $5, you’ll get a credit for that and still have $45 remaining), and we can also expect it to cover any sales tax.

This benefit is being added to all variations of the Platinum Card (Ameriprise Financial, Charles Schwab, Goldman Sachs, Mercedes-Benz, and Morgan Stanley, in addition to the regular Platinum Card).

You’ll need to enroll at the link above to receive this benefit. It’s not clear at this point whether you’ll need to register once or twice a year, or, more importantly, if the credit will work on gift card purchases. July 1 is only a few days away, however, so we should know soon.

Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard Signup Bonus Increased to 50,000 Miles

Direct Link

Via Doctor of Credit, the signup bonus for the Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard has increased from 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles after your first purchase. The $95 annual fee is not waived the first year.

This card is not worth keeping long-term unless you fly American Airlines enough that the free checked bag makes up for the annual fee. Otherwise, just get the bonus and then cancel.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: 3x Ultimate Rewards Points on All Purchases for 12 Months

Direct Link

Via Doctor of Credit, Chase has a new bonus for the Freedom Unlimited credit card offering 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases for your first year. Note that there is no other signup bonus associated with this offer and that this card is subject to the 5/24 rule.

Also note that if you have a premium Chase card (e.g. Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, etc.), you can transfer the points from your Freedom Unlimited card to your premium card, which would allow you to then transfer those points to airline and hotel programs. Also note that if you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder, you can use these points to pay for travel at a rate of 1.5 cents per point.

Personally, I don’t like to sign up for a new credit card unless it’s bonus is worth around $500. Let’s compare this card to an offer like that using the following assumptions:

  • Comparison card offers $500 back after $5,000 spend in 3 months.
  • Comparison card earns the equivalent of 1% cash back, so after completing minimum spend, you will have $550.
  • You use a 2% cash back card for any other spend.
  • Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each (this is fairly conservative).

With those assumptions in mind, the break-even point for this credit card is $18,000 of spend in a year ($810 rewards assuming 4.5% in value back vs. $550 from the comparison card signup + $260 from $13,000 additional spend on a 2% cash back card). Essentially, you would be coming out ahead if you spent over $1,500 per month. I don’t think that’s that difficult for most people to do, so this offer may be well worth it if you are under 5/24.

Chase Launches Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card; Increases Bonuses for British Airways and Iberia Credit Cards

Direct Link

The bonus is tiered as follows:

  • 50,000 Avios after $3,000 spend within first 3 months
  • 25,000 Avios after $10,000 total spend within your first year
  • 25,000 Avios after $20,000 total spend within your first year

The amounts are cumulative, meaning if you spend exactly $20,000 in your first year, you’ll have 100,000 Avios from the bonus + 20,000 Avios (i.e. one Avios per dollar of normal spend) for a total of 120,000 Avios. The $95 annual fee is not waived the first year.

The bonuses on the British Airways and Iberia credit cards have also been increased to match. All three cards are roughly the same, at least as far as worthwhile benefits are concerned (imo).

100,000 miles for $20,000 spend in a year is a nice bonus that we’ve seen quite a few times from Chase. It’s a good time to apply if you want more Avios right now, but you can also feel free to wait, as this offer will likely come around again in the future.

HT: Doctor of Credit

IHG Anniversary Free Night Being Devalued

Via One Mile at a Time, the IHG anniversary free night is being devalued. Where it previously could be used at any IHG property worldwide, it will now be limited to properties that normally cost up to 40,000 points when redeeming an award. This change will go into effect for any certificates issued May 1, 2018 or later.

This drastically lowers the ongoing value of the IHG credit card. Personally, I will probably still keep mine open because there are still a few 40,000 point hotels in driving distance that could make a nice weekend getaway for me; however, it would not surprise me if many others are not in this situation and just end up canceling the card.

Last Chance: Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Card

Direct Link to Current Offer

As reported by Doctor of Credit, the current version of the Chase IHG card is being discontinued and is expected to be replaced by two new flavors of IHG card. I won’t post much about the new cards until they are officially confirmed, but there is quite a bit of information about them already at Frequent Miler which I’ll link to here.

Regarding the current version of the IHG card, I find the annual free night to be well worth the $49 annual fee, so I recommend applying for the card while you still can if you do not have it already.

It is unknown at this point whether current cardholders will be converted to one of the new cards or if it will be possible to hold both the current card and the new version (and perhaps to even receive two annual free night certificates). We’ll just have to wait and see.