I will be making more of an effort going forward to share updates as credit card offers go up or down. Normally I don’t bother. I’m not an affiliate for most cards, and it’s annoying to see the same offer repeated ad nauseum. But it’s become clear that not all blogs have the same audience. So I’ll share them once as a public service. Here are a few recent items that should be mentioned before I discuss anything new:
Get 5,000 Ultimate Rewards Points for Referring Friends
Chase is now allowing existing cardholders who have a Sapphire Preferred or Freedom card to refer family and friends to their best public offers (40K points for Sapphire Preferred and 10K points for Freedom). The referrer gets 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points, worth about $100, and can earn a total of 50,000 points through the duration of this promotion early next year.
The two links below take you to the offer pages, where you can enter your card information to confirm that you are a cardholder and send an referral email to someone else. They are NOT my own affiliate or referral links.
Even if you see a better offer out there, it might still be worth using one of these referral offers. Chase has a good track record of retroactively increasing your sign-up bonus if there is a better offer announced about within about 60 days of the date you signed up.
Up to 50K Miles for Gold Delta Amex
I received a targeted email offering me, an “active member of the SkyMiles program,” a special offer of 50,000 bonus SkyMiles if I applied for a Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex card and spent $1,000 in three months. The usual offer for this card is only 30,000 miles after spending $500.
Either Delta is having serious customer retention issues or someone’s been using my account because I haven’t taken a Delta flight since February 12, 2009 (shortly after I met Megan) — and I’ve never credited any miles to them for anything else.
Get 50K Points for Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
The Southwest credit cards’ primary value to me are for (1) the ability to buy those cheap domestic flights where United or Alaska is charging a bundle and (2) the ability to apply for a personal and a business card to earn 100,000 of the 110,000 points needed for an annual Companion Pass.
Recently, Chase was only offering 25,000 points for all four Southwest cards (two personal and two business cards). But now that it’s offering 50,000 points for the personal Premier version of the card, it might be worth getting if you only care about item (1) above. I certainly wish I had more Rapid Rewards points this summer when I was buying tickets for friends and family to help them get to my bachelor party. And the Premier version is the only card that you might be justified in keeping after the sign-up bonus. The 6,000-point anniversary bonus is worth about the same as the annual fee.
But I don’t recommend you apply now because, if you think you might be able to apply for a business card, you would be better off with the Companion Pass, which lets a companion fly with you for free — even on award tickets! — for an entire year. It effectively doubles the value of your points. Hold off until a 50K business card offer comes along.
Downgrade to Hyatt Visa?
I searched and couldn’t find any references to this elsewhere — I know I was out of the loop a bit this summer — but it appears that the sign-up offer for Hyatt’s credit card no longer offers suite upgrades. The card comes with Platinum status, and those who already had Platinum status would receive two additional suite upgrades plus the two free nights at any Hyatt hotel. If you already had Diamond status, you would get just two free nights, but they would be in a suite (suite upgrades can’t normally be applied to an award stay).
All the offers I see now for the Hyatt card only mention the two free nights. If this is a downgrade, it’s just about the only way to implement one. Hyatt offers free nights, not bonus points. A suite upgrade or a free night in a suite was effectively more points than the standard offer. Hyatt can’t as easily offer people 30K points vs. 50K points, and Chase has been lowballing its offers lately, e.g., 40K points for Sapphire Preferred and 30K miles for United MileagePlus Explorer.
(Remember, don’t use my link. Some people may be offered $50-100 as a statement credit if you apply while making a new reservation on Hyatt.com.)
Updated Credit Card Pages
A few weeks ago I held a contest asking for ideas to improve this blog. A few people wrote in with complaints that I had combined all the credit card information into one page and made it harder to find. They wanted Airlines, Hotels, Bank Points, etc. broken up like I had them before.
I still like the system I’m using now. I have one page that lists every credit card offer I share on this website. They’re divided into tabs according to the issuing bank. Most of them do not earn me any kind of affiliate fee, although I’ve indicated where you might be able to help me out if you send me an email and I’ll direct you to to the offer.
But I’ve added back separate pages on Airline Credit Cards and Hotel Credit Cards (Bank Points are coming next when I have time). The first is organized by the airline’s alliance, so if you like to fly United you can apply for United’s own credit cards as well as cards for other airlines that will let you book Star Alliance partner awards. I like this idea. The hotel cards are organized by whether it’s a personal or business credit card. There aren’t many business credit cards for hotels, but it made more sense than anything else. Update: It turns out people didn’t find this new format all that useful, so now I have just one page with a few cards that I think are the best for most travelers.
It is a tremendous amount of work to update this information since I have to go check every link and find new offers on a regular basis. Affiliates get these updates emailed to them. I’m not an affiliate for the big banks like Chase and American Express, so I don’t get that help. If you ever notice a better offer or an expired link, I would appreciate your help if you would send me an email about it.