And in the blink of an eye, we’re already well into the first week of September. Time goes by so quickly! Anyway, here are our most popular posts for August 2019. Some of them were actually written before August (heads up that rules and offers change and we can’t guarantee that those older posts are still accurate), so take a look to make sure you didn’t miss any of the good stuff:
When it comes to applying for new credit cards, you need to play by the rules. Each bank needs to balance its ability to extend new lines of credit against the expense of giving miles or points to every person applying for a new card (or cards). Therefore they all have their own set of rules in place to try and accomplish this goal. Whether these restrictions are successful or not, only the banks know for sure, but for the time being, as points and miles collectors, this is the environment we’re in, so we need to adapt or die.
When writing about cards issued by American Express and Chase, I thought to myself, “Which one of these rules do I hate the least?” Neither of their rules are perfect, but if you know what you’re doing, you can learn to live with both banks. I’ve come to the decision that while both banks are opaque with their restrictions, I’d rather deal with one bank more than the other.
It used to be easy to sign up for travel cards. When you hear stories from just a few years ago, they seem unbelievable today. That’s because the banks figured out what we were up to, basically signing up for a bunch of cards to get the signup bonuses and canceling them before we’d ever had to pay an annual fee. FREE POINTS! As you could imagine, the banks didn’t like that very much, but it wasn’t until the price of giving away all these rewards points was high enough that they did anything about it.
Their response was to put in some rules on new card applications. These rules vary for each bank and are continually changing. One of the most hated restrictions is Chase’s 5/24 rule.
At face value, it seems to be an easy rule to understand, but I still see constant questions online where people get confused about the details. What counts? What doesn’t? Why’d I get denied for a card? I’ll try to go over some of the most misunderstood parts of the 5/24 rule and explain what it means to you and if you should even care.
I realize it’s a total #firstworldproblem to be complaining about having too many hotel free night certificates. But I just can’t ignore the fact that by the end of the year, Sharon and I will be getting seven free nights from the various hotel credit cards that we have. When we had one, two or even three of these certificates a year, it was easy to burn them on a quick weekend getaway, like when I used one during my visit New Jersey for my class reunion.
So I’m starting to wonder if I need to pare back my hotel credit cards. I mean, if the only reason I’m keeping a card is for a free night and I can’t use the free night, the card isn’t worth it anymore. Not to mention that if I’m limiting myself to a specific hotel chain to use a free night certificate, I might be missing out on staying at a better location because I don’t want to waste a free night. That’s the reason I don’t care about loyalty – I don’t want to be hooked to a specific brand because of a credit card certificate.
Here’s a list of the cards I have that provide a yearly free night certificate as a benefit: