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COVID-19: AMEX is Adapting

AMEX card holders like to travel. While there are exceptions to everything, the cards offered by American Express, especially their top-tier cards, offer incentives and perks to those who travel often. You know what people are not doing during COVID-19? Traveling often. In response, American Express has been the front runner in adaptation. The shared goal here is to provide value where it may not otherwise exist without travel. If you can make use of the credits below, you'll stand to earn over $1,000 in statement credits this quarter. Platinum Card AMEX has introduced a pair of statement credits beginning May 1 and lasting through December 2020. First, a $20 monthly statement credit on streaming services (think Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) as well as an additional $20 month...

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Announces Changes

In January, Chase announced the first-ever changes to its Sapphire Reserve (CSR) card since it premiered a few years ago. The CSR is the most competitive alternative to American Express' premium cards offering similar benefits for travelers who seek a mix between luxury travel and dining perks. The Original Benefits The Chase Sapphire Reserve card generally offers: $300 in travel reimbursement (airlines, hotels, etc.)6% back on dining and travelPriority Pass Membership (airport lounges)Primary Rental Car Insurance (the only card that offers this) This, in exchange for a $450 annual fee. I've told you before that the only reason we carry this card is for the rental car insurance which (at a rate of $12.50/month after credits), is a policy I'm happy to pay for. The Added Bene...

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Apple’s New Credit Card

After teasing it earlier this year, Apple officially entered the credit card market in August by partnering with Goldman Sachs to release the new Apple Credit Card. What makes this card unique is that it is primarily a digital card, designed to live in your iPhone's Wallet rather than the one in your pocket or purse. The card has no card number, and instead initiates a different encrypted transaction code with each purchase. This is the first card on the market that's number cannot be stolen from you. The application process for this card is unique and innovative in many ways: First, you apply through your phone's Wallet App rather than on the bank's website. The application itself is one of the most visually pleasing applications out there, and only requires the last four of your ...

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The AMEX Power Couple

If you're like me, you have a credit card for each facet of your annual budget because the value is just too good to pass up. That said, for many of my accounts, the physical cards themselves have been locked in the safe for years since they are simply on record with my merchant of choice. That's because when it comes to what cards you carry with you in your wallet each day, it is important to keep it simple. So today, I'm here to tell you why two, yes two, premium credit cards may be the perfect arsenal for your daily spending: The AMEX Power Couple - Gold and Platinum cards. Costs Incurred Let's get this out of the way because it is the hardest to stomach. The annual fee on the Gold card is $250; the Platinum is $550. Yes, that's $800 in annual fees. But keep reading: There are th...

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The Perfect Airport Experience

My entire life, my family has been involved with Air Force, commercial or government aviation. Fast forward to today, nothing has changed. I love flying out of SeaTac International Airport, and doing so is a major part of my life since my wife and I work in different states. Often times I talk to folks who ask how I can put up with the frequency of an airport, and it reminds me that perfecting my experience has been a longtime coming. Before mobile boarding passes, priority service, dedicated waiting areas or ride services, getting to and navigating the airport was a chore. For those who may not fly often, many of these innovations may still be unfamiliar and we resort to standing in lines, lines and more lines before finally waiting in a herd to board our flight. Here are my tips and tr...

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Platinum or CSR? Why You May Choose Both.

Choices The American Express Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Reserve: These two cards are the power couple of the premium credit card world. Deciding which one is right for you can be tricky; so why not choose both? I'm Not Crazy While applying for not one, but two premium metal credit cards with a combined $1,000 annual fee may seem absurd to you, I'm here to provide you with the alternate narrative and tell you why we've decided to hold both cards in our wallet in 2018. Read on, and I will explain how $25/month will unlock a plethora of travel benefits for you and your loved ones this year. Sign Up Bonuses With the sign up bonuses offered by both cards, the rewards more than compensate you for the annual fees you incur in that first year. At the laziest redemption level, using points to...

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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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Why the AMEX Platinum is Worth $550

I've been a happy holder of the American Express Platinum card since the beginning of the year, and despite my original intent to churn the card, I've been surprised to realize its value and I expect to renew it annually. To tell you more about my perceived value of this card, I've developed a Q&A below. What is a quick summary of the top benefits provided to the cardholder?  $200/year in Uber Credits $200/year in Airline Fee reimbursements Gold status with hotels: Marriott, SPG and Hilton Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check $100/year in Saks credits Airport lounge access with Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Club and Preferred Pass which grants access to the Alaska Airline lounges among others I'm worried I won't get the value of $550 I put into the card, should I s

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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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What’s in my wallet?

If you know me, you know I appreciate The Art And Science Of Rewards Credit Card Churning and the value it produces when done well. But having been asked a few times recently, I wanted to take a brief moment to advocate for the cards I have kept (or plan to keep) despite their annual fees; one of the biggest scare-factors of credit cards for novice users. Today, I’ll tell you about three of the credit cards I keep, how I justify the fees each year, and why you should consider one or more of them. Card The American Express Platinum Card Annual Fee $550 Welcome Offer 60,000 points worth $1,200 in travel Perks 10% back on travel*, $200 airline credit, $200 Uber credit, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PRE✓, Boingo Internet Preferred Plan, airport lounge access inc

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