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Update: Codes have been given away to readers Paul and Ayala via a random drawing.  If I ever get more, I will likely give them away.

I have two offer codes for the Amex Business Platinum card.  I will not be using these, so I thought I would give them away.

American Express Business Platinum

  • 1st offer: 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $10,000 within 3 months
    • This offer expires May 27th, 2016
  • 2nd offer: 150,000 Membership Rewards Points for $20,000 spend in 3 months.
    • That’s 100,000 points after spending $10,000 in 3 months
    • Additional 50,000 points if you spend $10,000 more in the same 3 months
    • This offer expires April 30, 2016

With both offers, the $450 annual fee is not waived, but you get all the other benefits of the Business Platinum card including Global Entry, $250 airline credit etc.

I am happy to give them to away to two people.  Here’s how to enter:

  1. Just leave a comment below which offer you would prefer if you win.  Also, please comment on what you would do with all those points?
  2. I will pick a random winner this Friday.

This offer is transferable.  I have given away a code to a reader in the past, and he had no problems using it.  If you have already received a bonus on this card in the past, please do not enter.  In addition, I would advise that you have a true business as you are likely going to get grilled by American Express on your business details as my previous reader did.

Please don’t forget to follow @airhotelcards on twitter!

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$200 Bonus On The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Mastercard

Via Reddit, There is currently an offer on the Bank of America Cash Rewards Mastercard for $200 bonus after spending $500 in 90 days after card opening.  You can even pick your favorite baseball team as your design cover.  The normal bonus offer is $100 after $500 spend.  This may not seem like a great offer, but it may be useful to some.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Mastercard

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Mastercard highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back everywhere
  • Earn a total of 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined purchases in those categories each quarter
  • Redeem for cash back starting at $25. Plus get a 10% customer bonus when you redeem into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.

Keep in mind that this is a Mastercard.  Bank of America also has an identical Visa version that offers the same benefits.

Both the Mastercard and Visa are “Cash Rewards” cards and are eligible for significant bonuses if you are part of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program.

With the Preferred Rewards program, if you maintain the following balances with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, you will receive the following bonuses:

$20K – $50K  – Gold level25% bonus on your spending which makes the earnings

  • 1.25% on everything
  • 2.5% at grocery store
  • 3.75% on gas

$50K-$100K – Platinum level50% bonus on the credit card which makes the earnings

  • 1.5% on everything
  • 3% at grocery store
  • 4.5% on gas

> $100K – Platinum Honors75% bonus bonus on the credit card which makes the earnings

  • 1.75% on everything
  • 3.5% at grocery store
  • 5.25% on gas

The most interesting to me are the 3.5% at the grocery store and 5.25% on gas all the time if you have Platinum Honors status.  Even at the lower Platinum level, 3% at the grocery store and 4.5% on gas are pretty good.

Since there is a Mastercard and a Visa version, you could technically get both, and have justification for having both.  You would essentially double your quarterly spend to $3k a quarter or $12k for the year.

So, if you have Platinum Honors status with Bank of America, these no annual fee cash rewards cards and also the BankAmericard Travel Rewards look pretty good.

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Travel Tip: Download Google Maps Offline

Google is in a league of its own.  There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t use something made by Google.  One of my favorite apps is Google Maps.  It’s great for finding places, gps directions, train routes, walking routes and more.

Interesting fact: One of the lead developers of Google maps, Jeff Huber, is now the CEO of Grail, a company that focuses to create a blood test to detect cancer earlier.  It’s a fascinating article.

Google maps works really well if you have a data connection or wifi.   [click to continue…]

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Chase Freedom Unlimited: Should You Get It?

chase ultimate rewards

It looks like the Chase Freedom Unlimited is now available.  It offers 1.5x ultimate rewards points on every purchase.  This is equivalent to 1.5% cash back.  However, if you have a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus, those points earned from the Freedom Unlimited can be transferred to travel partners like United or Southwest.

The card offers 15000 points after $500 spend in 3 months and additional 2500 points after adding an authorized user who then makes a purchase within the same time period.

Currently, you can apply for the card in branch or on the phone.  One other option is that you can product change to the card.  Many folks have had success product changing their Slate card  to the new Freedom Unlimited by simply sending Chase a secure message.

There are a few things to consider before getting this card.

Should you apply for this card?

The true value in the Freedom Unlimited lies in the ability to transfer those points to transfer partners.  In order to do that, you must have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus.  Thus, in a way, Chase is forcing you to have one of these cards to get maximum value out of your Freedom Unlimited.

If you don’t plan on transferring to travel partners, then it’s not worth getting the Freedom Unlimited as you are only earning 1.5% cash back.  You’d be better off with a 2% cash back card.

Are you eligible to apply for this card with respect to the 5/24 rule?

The rule says that if you’ve had 5 or more credit card applications in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve you for a new ultimate rewards earning card.

If you are eligible, then it may make sense to wait for a better signup offer.  The highest offer I’ve seen on a normal Chase Freedom is $300.   So, perhaps in the future, we might see something like that, but I’m just speculating.

If you are not eligible with this 5/24 rule, then your best bet would be a product change.

Do you really need another ultimate rewards earning card?

If you already have a massive stash of ultimate rewards points that you have acquired with the normal Chase Freedom with its quarterly 5x categories, Chase Sapphire Preferred with its 2x dining and travel, and Chase Ink with its 5x on office and cable categories, you probably don’t really need another ultimate rewards earning card.

Should you product change to the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

You can product change to the Freedom Unlimited from a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire, or Slate.  If you do a product change, you would forgo the sign up bonus.

One question to ask is if you are going to do a product change, would you get more benefit out of product changing to a regular Freedom card (if you don’t have one) or a 2nd Freedom card.  If you can maximize the 5x quarterly categories, you can get 30000 points a year by spending $6000.  If you have 2 Freedom cards, you could get 60000 points by spending $12000.

Earning 30000 points on the Freedom Unlimited would require $20,000 worth of spending a year.

Of course, if you wouldn’t get approved for this card because you don’t meet the 5/24 rule, product change is the only way to go.

Conclusion

It’s only worth applying for the Freedom Unlimited card if you also plan to have a premium card like the Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus and plan on transferring those points to travel partners.

If you want the card, consider waiting for a better offer in the future.

If you are going to product change, consider what your annual spending on the card will be to see if it’s worth it to you.  If you are good at maximizing the normal Freedom’s 5x quarterly categories, it might be worth product changing to that instead.

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Via Doctor of Credit, there is an excellent Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Amex 35000 points offer.  This is the highest offer that’s been available on this card.  This is available on both the personal and the business card.

SPG Amex 35000 points

SPG Amex 35000 Points

Highlights

  • Personal Card
    • 35,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
    • Receive free in-room, premium Internet access. Booking requirements apply.
    • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
    • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Business Card
    • 35,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • Free access to the Sheraton Club Lounge. Booking requirements apply.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
    • Receive free in-room, premium Internet access.  Booking requirements apply.  Free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
    • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Analysis

The SPG Amex 35000 point offer is the highest point offer that has been offered by American Express.  The bonus is valid on both the personal and the business card.  The only difference seems to be that there is a higher spending requirement of $5k on the business card.  There is no annual fee the first year, and $95 thereafter.  The business card gives you free access to the Sheraton Club Lounge and free wifi.  Both cards have no foreign transaction fees.

Perhaps this highest offer is in preparation for an upcoming devaluation of SPG points with the Starwood and Marriott merger.  Although the Starwood CEO told its members that “you will be ok,” no one can really be sure about that.

Keep in mind that American Express only allows one bonus per lifetime on personal and business cards, so if you’ve never had this card before, this might be a good time to get one.  It’s also unclear what will happen to the SPG card once the Marriott and Starwood merger does go through.  If the SPG card somehow disappears in the future, then that makes this bonus even better.

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