Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer decision for any frequent traveler to sign up for this program. The $100 non-refundable application fee is a small price to pay in order to blow past the long immigration lines when returning to the United States. Your Global Entry status is then good for five years. So that’s $20 a year. Where else can you buy VIP treatment for twenty bucks?
What makes this an even better deal is when you’re approved for Global Entry, you also get a Known Traveler Number (KTN), giving you access to TSA Pre✓® lanes at domestic airports. This program charges an $85 membership fee if you apply for it separately, so it only costs an extra $15 to get expedited entry when entering the U.S. on international flights (as well as some cruise ports and land crossings). You could just apply for TSA Pre-Check instead of Global Entry but the process is similar and if you’re getting reimbursed, why not go for the better deal?
Continue reading “The Credit Cards That Will Pay For Your Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Application Fee (Updated July 2019)”
On September 1, 2019, Citi is going to change the fourth-night free benefit on the Citi Prestige to make reservations only bookable through the ThankYou portal or by calling a Thank You representative. Then on September 22, 2019, Citi will remove most of their travel insurance and shopping protections from almost all of their card portfolio.
These changes made me rethink our Citi card portfolio and one of the possibilities was canceling our Citi Prestige card. With Citi’s rules, if I cancel a card the points associated with that card expire in 60 days, even if you’ve transferred those points to another Citi ThankYou card which you are keeping open.
If I’m going to need to cash these points out, I better explore my options.
Continue reading “What Should I Do With My Citi ThankYou Points?”
Citi apparently feels that for their credit card portfolio, less is more. And when I say less, I mean cutting most insurance coverages for all their cards as well as less frequent sign-up bonuses for the American Airlines co-brand cards (now increased from 24 months to 48 months). Citi apparently wasn’t done, as it looks like they’ve now reduced the sign-up bonus on their Citi Rewards+ card.
What happened? Continue reading “Citi Cuts Sign Up Bonus on Rewards+ Card By 25%”
Change is inevitable. There’s no avoiding it. In the points and miles universe, you have to know that programs will devalue redemptions, sweet spots are going to disappear and some companies will just cease to exist. You just look at what’s left and make the best of it. Maybe the changes will open up some possibilities that weren’t there before. Hopefully, there’s some silver lining to the storm clouds of program “enhancements.”
So when you see an email that says a program is going to announce some changes that their members have been asking for, do you duck and cover, expecting the worst possible scenario? I can understand why, after some programs have seemingly blown up their programs over the years but you need to have hope because it’s possible that not all changes are 100% negative. Before you get all riled up, hear me out.
Continue reading “Are All Program Changes Negative? Maybe Not”
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”