Is It Possible To Have Too Many Free Hotel Nights?

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.

But seven?

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:

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The JetBlue Plus Card Saved Us $120 On A Single Trip

We’re returning from a trip to New York where we flew with JetBlue, one of our favorite domestic airlines. They have a number of non stop flights from Orlando, and all their flights have seat back entertainment as well as free WiFi that works reasonably well. That ticks off many of the boxes for what we want when we travel. One of the negatives about JetBlue is that they joined with the other airlines (except Southwest) in raising checked baggage fees in the fall of 2018. So now the fee for your first checked bag is $30.  That is unless you have the JetBlue Plus credit card

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Why You Should Keep Your Sapphire Preferred Card

The $95 annual fee was due for Sharon’s Chase Sapphire Preferred card. That’s the time each year when I think about the card’s benefits vs. the cost and if I should keep, downgrade or cancel it. After giving it some thought, I decided that we’d keep the card but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t try to get a retention offer from Chase.

I had Sharon call (she hates these calls so I try to not to make her do them often) and she was told by a representative that there were no offers available for us right now. As per the notes I gave Sharon, she thanked them for looking and said that we could keep the card for now.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Sapphire Preferred is a good card for $95 but we hardly use it anymore now that I have the Sapphire Reserve. I was updating the annual fee spreadsheet and gave one more look at deciding if I wanted to keep the card or not. Continue reading “Why You Should Keep Your Sapphire Preferred Card”

Stop Falling In Love With Travel Credit Cards!!

I’m finally willing to admit I’ve had an irrational attachment to certain travel credit cards. You know, the cards that I’ve had for a while and kept paying the annual fee even though the benefits aren’t worth what the card cost me every year. I tried to rationalize why paying for the card made sense. My arguments were convincing but eventually I took a step back and gave a long and hard look at the money I was spending. I realized that I was giving way too much value to the “possible uses” for the card instead of looking at the actual value I was getting.

I give the credit card companies credit; they were able to make me think I was winning at this game. I had all these perks, got statement credits for expenses and my out of pocket cost whittled down to almost nothing. It’s like they were paying me to keep the card. Wait, I know that’s not true. No bank is going to pay you to keep a card for the long term. They’d eventually go out of business.

So how’d the person who is so proud of not being loyal to any airline, hotel or rental car company end up in a unhealthy relationship with some credit cards? Here are just a few of the traps that I fell into that lead to making irrational decisions.

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When To Keep, Downgrade Or Cancel A Credit Card That Has An Annual Fee

When you have a credit card with an annual fee, you should evaluate every year whether or not the benefits of keeping the card are greater than the cost of keeping the card. This would seem to be an easy thing to do but there are many variables that need to be taken into consideration. A card that has great value to one person may be useless to another and therefore when reading posts about if a card is worth it, remember that Your Mileage May Vary. 

So what should you think about when deciding if you should keep a card?

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