It used to be that just one or two of my credit cards offered any type of coverage for cell phones. When phones were less expensive and U.S. mobile providers were subsidizing the full cost, having insurance on your phone wasn’t viewed as being important. Now that more popular phones cost around or over the $1,000 range, and repair prices vary from $100 for a cracked screen to several hundred dollars for more severe damage, having a policy where you only need to pay a $50 deductible is an appealing option.
Customers were paying for their own coverage but the banks saw an opportunity to differentiate their product by offering Cell Phone Protection as a perk of their cards. Offering this benefit requires paying your cell phone bill with that card, so for the bank this is an excellent way for them to get you to put your recurring cell phone bill onto their card for month after month.
Continue reading “Credit Cards Are Adding Cell Phone Coverage But Benefits Aren’t All The Same”
If there’s a bank that’s giving Citi a run for its money about not knowing where they want to take their credit card business, it’s Barclays. While they have co-brand credit cards with many airlines, including American, JetBlue, Hawaiian and Frontier, their proprietary card line has been inconsistent. It was just in June 2018 when they launched the Arrival Premier with points that could be transferred to airlines. However the lack of partners that customers in the U.S. were familiar with and a confusing transfer ratio system caused the card to be closed to new applicants in October, just three months after its launch.
The Barclays Arrival+ (plus) card has been around since 2014 and has gone through several refreshes. New applications were closed for a while in 2018 when the Arrival Premier was launched but applications were opened up again, with a 70,000 point sign up bonus, when the Premier fizzled out.
So what were we to think when Barclays, again, closed new applications for the Arrival+ in June of 2019?
Continue reading “I Fell For The Barclays Survey Email About Their Arrival+ Card”
No matter if it’s planned or unplanned, no one likes being faced with a large bill that you need to pay. It could be something you know is coming, like your tax payment. You could also be planning some renovations that’ll cost a pretty penny. There are also unplanned expenses like car repairs or emergency medical bills. Needless to say, there is any number of these things that you’ll need to pay. One thing you want to happen is that they’ll accept a credit card for the amount due.
Hopefully, you’ll have enough money stashed away to pay these bills. You don’t want to carry a balance on your card and pay the interest charges. However, if you can put the charge on a card, you can earn a bunch of points and miles for these expenses, if you’re prepared.
Here are some of the ways you use large expenses to your advantage to maximize travel rewards.
Continue reading “How To Maximize Your Points Earned With A Large Expense”
It’s now the second half of 2019. Besides being a good time to look at how we’re doing on our New Year’s Resolutions (I’ve joined a gym but I’m not going as much as I’d like), it’s as good of a time as any to look at our points and miles situation.
Some bloggers are looking at their progression on qualifying for status with airlines or hotels (Ben from One Mile at a Time wrote about his progression, and congrats to him for figuring out it doesn’t pay to be loyal). Since I couldn’t care less how many nights I’ve stayed at a hotel chain or how many miles I’ve flown with an airline, what can I look at?
After sign up bonuses for credit cards, ongoing spend is the next most important way I accumulate points and miles. Looking into where I’m putting that spend and if it fits the plan I have for our points earning is a smart thing to do.
Thanks to Quicken and some scrap paper, here’s a breakdown of our spending for the first six months of 2019.
Continue reading “How I Spread Out Our Credit Card Spending For The First Half Of 2019”
Signing up for credit cards is one of the best ways to build up your points and miles balances. But this isn’t the Wild West anymore. You just can’t sign up for credit cards indiscriminately. The banks are on to us. They know what we’re doing. Lucky for us that they’re willing to let us continue in our credit card ways as long as they can balance the money we cost them against the money they make from everyone else.
In order to do that, banks have placed restrictions on signing up for credit cards. Name a bank and I bet they have some sort of term associated with their specific rule. 5/24, Once a lifetime + 4 max , 2/3/4, 1/6 + 6/24. All of these are unwritten rules the banks have put in place to keep you and me from signing up for every card under the sun.
To make things worse, American Express is now denying cards to people they feel are gaming the system to their advantage. What do they consider gaming?
We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.
So now when you sign up for a card with American Express, they actually expect you to keep it open. For how long, who knows. But don’t open it and then close it before that first annual fee hits.
Collecting miles and points has always been like a game of cat and mouse. The banks are constantly changing the rules and we find new ways to play under those rules. Until the rules change again. Back and forth and back and forth.
So in the current environment, how has my approach to signups changed? I think the styles of signing up for cards can be divided into two camps:
Continue reading “My Current Credit Card Strategy”