AirlinesAMEX Gold CardAMEX Green CardAMEX Hilton AspireAMEX PlatinumBarclay Uber VisaBoA Alaska Air VisaChase Hyatt VisaChase Sapphire ReserveCredit Cards

2019 Rewards in Review

Another Year Gone Now completing our third full year of credit card reward management, the hobby continues to be a lucrative one for us. As always, the tricks to success are as follows: Always pay your balance in full each month and never carry debt on your cards month to monthUse cards that provide the highest rewards on spending you do alreadyTake advantage of sign up bonuses and promotions throughout the year 7X Return on Investment By budgeting $206/month for travel, and using it to pay for the annual fees on our credit cards in 2019, our monthly vacation budget became worth seven-times that: $1,459/month. From an annual standpoint, we redeemed rewards valued at over $17,511 in 2019! AMEX Membership Rewards (above) are earned by the AMEX Platinum, Gold and Green car...

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Why Have the Alaska Card?

If you have taken a flight with Alaska Airlines recently, you have heard about the Alaska Airlines Signature Visa card from Bank of America. Flight attendants, who receive a commission if you apply on-board, will tell you about the exclusive and remarkable benefits available to cardholders, and their inflight entertainment systems even now include commercials advertising the card too. What is the Card? The card itself is one of the most basic on the market. The annual fee is $75.00/year, it earns 3x Alaska Miles on money spent with Alaska and one mile for everything else. Notably however, the card offers a Companion Fare benefit that permits you to add a second ticket to your Alaska reservation for just $121 (taxes and fees) once a year. Should I Use It Everywhere? No!! It ca...

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Making the Switch to T-Mobile

I'm No Loyalist I've said it before, but I'm no loyalist. As a consumer, life is too short to stick with a company that isn't at the top of their game. When it comes to phone plans, I've had them all. Having grown up with Sprint, I opened a Verizon account in college because they had the most competitive plan; only to move to AT&T six years ago to improve my monthly bill. This week, I made the move to T-Mobile. Why? T-Mobile offers several companies their new Amplified plan that offers unlimited data, talk and text (even internationally.) I was fortunate that my employer is on that list, and if yours is too, here's what you can expect: The unlimited talk, text and data in the US, Canada and Mexico may be worth the switch alone, but they just kept sweetening the deal. Notably, this pla

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Dining with Uber

Negative changes took place for the Uber card on November 1, 2019 including the removal of the subscription credit and changes to the cell phone insurance. Learn more here. You knew Uber could take you to dinner, or bring it to you, but did you know it could also earn you 4% back when you dined out anywhere? Since acquiring the Uber credit card on its release date, it has become my exclusive card for dining out, and with that representing our largest monthly expense, we've quickly noticed the benefits! The Uber card is great for anyone who uses Uber for ride-share or food delivery; but it also serves as a cash-back card for those who don't. Regardless of your relationship with the company, if you dine out frequently, you need this card. In addition to receiving 4% on dining, this card a

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AMEX PlatinumBarclay Uber VisaBoA Alaska Air VisaChase Hyatt VisaChase IHG MasterCardCredit CardsDiningFree NightsTravelUpgrades

2017 Rewards in Review

Annual Fees In 2017, we spent almost $800 on annual fees for five credit cards. That number may seem staggering, but we used the rewards associated with those cards to redeem nearly $6,000 in travel! Often times, cards that carry an annual fee also carry several benefits that, when used appropriately, can make for quite the lucrative hobby. By budgeting $66.50/month for travel (used entirely on annual fees), our monthly vacation budget became worth $497.48/month thanks to the reward redemption and associated benefits.   Return on Investment We tracked every dollar spent and earned through this process using Mint, and as you will see from the charts, we netted $5,171.78 in 2017. The largest return was from our AMEX Platinum Card which originated a whopping 36 redemption this year; but th...

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Get Your Cash Back

I heard on the radio this morning that today is "Dump Day" which signifies the last day to break off your relationship with your significant other before the holidays roll around. Since my wife and I are solid, I decided I would use dump day to finish closing out any cards that had served their purpose in 2017 and who I didn't care to spend the holidays with this season. You may have noticed my new Uber card that arrived this week. I'm very excited about it: A no annual fee card that provides 4% cash back on dining and 3% on hotels in addition to its other perks. It's the latest no-fee cash back card in my wallet, and one that I expect will stay for a while. Most cash back cards don't carry an annual fee, and allow you to use your earned rewards directly on your next statement. Whether...

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