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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Just posting for completeness’ sake, but this has already been widely reported on other blogs. This card is not subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.
The bonus is 50,000 Avios after $3,000 in spend within 3 months, with an additional 25,000 Avios after $10,000 total spend within the first year. The $95 annual fee is not waived. There is also a $1,000 discount voucher you receive after $30,000 spend in a calendar year, but I don’t think it is that great of a benefit, so I won’t get into any detail for now.
Iberia Avios can be converted back-and-forth to British Airways Avios, which I find useful in various situations. I recently used Avios to book intra-Australia flights for 4,500 Avios per passenger plus taxes and fees.
Overall, this is a decent card, especially since it is not subject to 5/24; however, I’m not applying right now and am waiting to see if they increase the offer later on.
Bonus has been increased to 35,000 Starpoints after $7,000 spend in 3 months. This is about as good as this bonus ever gets. I’ve provided a referral link above (you get the same bonus for a referral link vs. a direct link). Offer ends March 28, 2018.
Last month, City National Bank updated the benefits of their Crystal Visa card to include a $30 credit to GroundLink. I decided to figure out how this all worked, and in doing so, I stumbled across these links:
GroundLink Visa Signature
GroundLink Visa Infinite
Once you enter your Visa Signature/Infinite card details into the corresponding link above, you then log into your GroundLink account, and the respective credit ($20 or $30 depending on card type) will be added to your balance. What I figured out but did not expect is that you can do this for every Visa Signature/Infinite card you have and load them all into the same account. I was able to do this 25 times before I ran out of credit cards and now have over $500 of GroundLink credit. All of my personal Visa Signature and Infinite cards worked (i.e. not business). All authorized user cards worked as long as they had unique card numbers. It did not matter that their cardholder names did not match the name on my GroundLink account.
GroundLink does have a referral program by which both the referrer and referee receive a $25 credit, so you will want to do this too.
GroundLink Referral Link
You can of course choose to use someone else’s referral if you don’t want to use mine.
The terms for these credits seem to indicate various restrictions such as not being to combine credits, having to use the specific credit card that the credit came from, etc., but as far as I can tell, none of this is actually enforced, and I have a single combined GroundLink credit in my account. I tried a test booking of over $100 on the website, and it allowed me to pay for my entire reservation with my credit balance.
For completeness’ sake, here is the full list of credit cards that I was able to confirm do work, but I’d be fairly surprised if anyone finds a personal Visa Signature/Infinite card that doesn’t:
- Alliant Cashback
- Bank of America Premium Rewards
- Bank of America Travel Rewards
- CapitalOne VentureOne Rewards
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Hyatt
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
- Chase United MileagePlus Explorer
- Citi Costco Anywhere
- City National Crystal
- Club Carlson Premier Rewards
- Fidelity Rewards
- Priceline.com Rewards
- U.S. Bank Cash+
I tried three business cards that did not work: Chase Ink Cash, Chase Ink Plus, and Club Carlson Business Rewards.
Points can be redeemed for cash back. Other redemption options are not worth considering.
The signup bonus is $100 after spending $500 in 90 days.
- 4% cash back on dining
- 3% cash back on airfare, hotels, travel agencies, and vacation home rentals including AirBnB
- 2% cash back on online shopping
Among this card’s other benefits, two main highlights are a $600 cell phone insurance benefit ($25 deductible) and a $50 subscription credit (i.e. Netflix), but the latter requires spending $5,000 in a year to activate. Also, there are no annual or foreign transaction fees.
Should You Get This Card?
It is fairly easy to find a credit card with a $400+ signup bonus either with no annual fee or the first year’s annual fee waived. Keeping that in mind, this card’s bonus is a mere $100, so I would rather apply for another card unless I felt that the benefits of this card were worth $300+. Also note that credit cards giving 2% cash back on all purchases with no annual fee are pretty easy to find too. I’ll spare a lengthier analysis and say the following:
- If you travel and dine a lot, especially internationally, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- If you dine a lot (>$400/month) but don’t travel, and have $100,000 to put on deposit with Bank of America or Merrill Edge, consider the Bank of America Premium Rewards card.
- If you dine a lot (>$400/month) but don’t travel, and the $100,000 requirement in #2 is an issue, consider the Uber card… Unless you already have the Citi Costco Visa card (3% cash back on travel & dining, also 4% cash back on gas), in which case the incremental upgrade on dining purchases probably isn’t worth it.
- If you dine out a bit but less than $400/month and don’t travel much, or if you already have the Citi Costco Visa card, consider any number of other cards that just have a large signup bonus ($400+) and cancel those cards later if they have annual fees you don’t want to pay.
- If #4 sounds like too much work, or if you break your phone a lot, then fine, get this card.
Personally, I won’t be signing up for this.
What the title says. This promotion applies to all three Southwest cards but is for residents of California only. If you take part in this offer, you are still eligible for the current signup bonuses for all three cards, which are as follows:
A few important points to consider:
- The Companion Pass earned from this promotion will be valid through 12/31/18, regardless of when the first purchase is made. This is in contrast to earning a Companion Pass the “normal” way (see here), which, if timed properly, can get you a Companion Pass valid for nearly two years.
- The signup bonus on the personal cards has been as high as 60,000 points in the past, so even though you get a Companion Pass, you do give up a potential 20,000 points if you are signing up for one of the personal cards.
- You are not eligible for this offer if you currently hold any Southwest Rapid Rewards card or if you’ve earned a signup bonus from any one of them within the past 24 months.
- All of these cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so if you’ve opened 5 or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for any of them.
Overall though, this is still a pretty good offer and potentially worth doing if you live in California. Note the promotion ends 11/30/17, so sign up before then if you are interested.