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Review of American Express Blue Cash Everyday rewards Card with Tina Fey

Haven’t you always wanted to be shrimp-rich? How about high-end doggie toys? Or have enough cheesies to ride out any storm? Well, all of these desires can come true while you can earn between 1 and 3 percent cash-back on them, just likely the hilarious Tina Fey. Fey is featured in a series of ads for American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Rewards card showing how you can earn cash-back in some delightfully funny everyday ways.

AMEX Blue Cash with Tina Fey

Earning Cash Back

Although you may not be as indulgent or as quick-witted as Fey, this American Express card will also allow you to enjoy earning money back on your regular purchases. The biggest winner is at the supermarkets. You can earn 3% cash back at certain U.S. supermarkets such as Stop and Shop, Foodtown and Whole Foods. Just like Fey, you can earn 3% on your food bill up to $6,000 annually, after $6000, your earning goes down to 1%. Next up are the gas stations. Earn 2% on your gas station purchases. There’s no limit, but the stations must be on an approved list, such as Gulf and Shell. Purchases at at grocery store gas stations, like Costco don’t make the 2% cut though. The 2% also applies to certain department stores, like J.C. Penny, Sears and Saks Fifth Avenue. For anything else you put on your card, you’ll receive 1% cash-back. With these categories and the range of eligible stores, you’ll easily be able to quickly earn cash-back. Plus, all of these earnings are available for a $0 annual fee.

Spending Your Cash-Back

Once you earn $25 in cash-back, you can start spending it. You put any special item or travel you’re interested in on your Amex card, and you can pay it off using your Cash-Back account. You can apply the cash in increments of 25. There are a couple downsides of the Blue Cash Everyday Cash Back. Unlike some other cash-back systems, you cannot get cash in hand. Cash back is only applicable to purchases on your card. There’s no way to retrieve the money from your account except as credit. In addition, you can’t use this Cash-Back for your Minimum Due payment.

Sign-Up Bonus and Annual Percentage Rate

If you’re signing up for this card for the first time, you can take advantage of their welcome bonus. If you spend $1000 in the first three months of your account approval, you’ll receive 10% back in cash. And you can earn cash-back on purchases made on your card and any additional cards associated with your account. That $100 can be spent on any purchase you make. Perhaps an even better introductory offer is the 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for new purchases. This intro APR is also charged on balance transfers requested within 30 days of opening your account. You could move a balance and pay it off over those first 12 months, which saves you the interest that you would pay elsewhere. The first 12 months are a very inexpensive time to borrow money. After that, the APR will go up to somewhere between 13.24% and 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Travel Perks

American Express is generally a great travel card. The insurances that come with the card are handy, though, with the Blue Cash Everyday card you receive cash-back for everyday purchases, not for those when you’re traveling. Though you may encounter lots of points for shopping at the approved list of retailers during domestic travels, you won’t be earning 2 to 3% cash back on those purchases.

You can use your cash-back for booking trips and cruises through American Express Travel and its partners. You also receive the range of travel benefits and insurances that come along with the card. When renting a vehicle, your AMEX card covers your Loss and Damage insurance. Heaven forbid something happens on the road, but if it does, your card provides a roadside assistance hotline. Call them to organize a boost or a tow, and they’ll coordinate it. If you’re near home, it’s likely not that useful of a service, but when traveling, it can be a huge relief to let someone else take care of all those calls. But remember, you’re responsible for all charges. Worse, imagine if you’re abroad and your passport gets stolen. Or you catch a severe flu and you need to find an English-speaking doctor. The Global Assist Hotline will direct you in your emergency if you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home. You are also responsible for any fees for the services arranged. The card also includes a travel accident insurance, which I hope you will never use.

Shopping with Protection

You can do your shopping with a bit more peace of mind because of the extended warranties and purchase protection. Purchases made on your card with between 1 and 5 year warranties get an automatic additional year of coverage. If that new shiny item gets stolen or damaged within the first three months, you’re also covered. If those new kicks that arrived in the mail don’t fit and the shop wouldn’t allow you to return them, you can get up to $300 back for that mis-sized set under the Return Protection coverage. With the Blue Cash Everyday card, you also get access to ShopRunner, an online store similar to Amazon Prime, but with specific member deals and high-end brands.

Conclusion

The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card is a great option to earn cash-back on those everyday purchases. Since you’ll be buying groceries, gas and clothing anyway, it might as well provide a nice cash-back return to you. Although the cash-back is only eligible for card credit, you card can be used to buy almost anything, so it’s not a huge hindrance. Plus, these earnings are available for no annual fee. The travel and shopping perks are not unique to this particular American Express, but they are nice. The real benefit of this card is the cash-back for no fees and for a great introductory APR. If you use it right, this card will simply pay you back for your everyday spending. As Fey notes with her twenty bags of cheesies, you could be “Living the Dream”.

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How to Spend 100,000 American Express Reward Points

So you have 100,000 American Express Membership Reward points, but how do you spend it all? With so many ways to use reward points it’s important to understand just how to use them up in the best way possible. Terms and agreements from credit card companies can make this process seem daunting, but in reality redeeming your American Express Membership Reward points is simple and can get you that low cost vacation you deserve, or gift cards to stores you use everyday. So let’s take it one step at a time and learn the ins and outs of American Express Membership Rewards points.

 

american express points

 

First it’s important to understand that your American Express Membership Rewards points can be used on so much. It’s truly one of the most versatile point’s rewards cards there is. Just looking at the American Express Membership Reward website you can see how your points can be redeemed to things like flights, Uber rides, and events on the Ticketmaster website. Using up 100,000 points can get you a ton of thing in which can be useful for your everyday life.

If you are looking into travel with 100,000 points for example there is so much you can get! With 21 airline and hotel transfer partners America Express Members get the most bang for their points. When doing your research you have to remember that sometimes transferring your points to a partner is the best way to use up your points. One good case is British Airway’s Avios. Avios part of a flight company that is partnered with America Express and your point value there end up about 4.9¢ per point so with 100,000 points you have about 4,900$ to spend on flights that average between 500-800$ a piece.

Not that into travel? How about Apple products? On the American Express Member Rewards page you can scan through Apple products and for less than 100,000 points get some awesome Apple gear. Things like the Apple Watch Sport (79,800 points), Apple TV 4th generation, 64 GB (39,800 points), and IPhone SE (99,800 points) are all available on the website for less than 100,000 points. This makes points worth less than with some other places, but it’s still a great way to get that Apple product you’ve been eyeing.

If you don’t see a product you’d like to buy or prefer to shop in person you can swap your points for gift cards. There are hundreds of gift cards for everything, from Home Depot to movie theaters, theme park tickets, and experiences like the ski resorts in Aspen, Colorado. The gift cards conversion on points is 10,000 points equaling 100$ worth in the gift cards. This option is great for someone that wants to redeem your points, but wants to do the shopping or experience at a later time.

There’s other ways other than travel or shopping that these points can be taken advantage of. As previously mentioned theme park tickets are available for points and they are much more affordable than you think. For 11,200 points you can get a ticket worth two visits for one person at Sea World Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, or Adventure Island Tampa Bay. That means a family of 4 could visit any two parks for just under half of their 100,000 reward points (44,800 points)! Take that same family of four and take them to Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida. Even if both the children in the family qualify as adults the four tickets still clock in at under 100,000 points for admission to both Universal Studios and Universal Islands of adventure. These tickets mean that family trip to Harry Potter world you have been dying to take just got a lot more affordable.

If you want to stay in town and still spend points without actually shopping there are ways in which you can utilize your points to fit just that. As an American Express Reward Members you can use your points for tickets to that basketball game you wanted to catch via Ticketmaster and to help you get there, avoid parking, and be able to drink to your hearts content you can use your points to grab an Uber lift to the stadium. These options can make using your points in your city to do things you have been wanting to do easy and simple.

Another way to look at redeeming your points is swapping them out for Plenti points. Plenti points are a reward system put in place with American Express that lets you use the points like money at Exxon/Mobil, AT&T, Nationwide Insurance, Direct Energy, RiteAid, Hulu, Macy’s and car rental companies including National, Alamo, and Enterprise. America Express is working on adding in large restaurant and grocery store chains to expand their list. Plenti points are earned with you spend money and are usually 1 point per dollar spent. While this may seem like a waste to redeem your points to Plenti points there are a few reason it can be a smart way to use your points. When you first sign up to Plenti there are offers you’ll get to help you gain Plenti points like crazy. Ones like 100 points for your first fill up at Exxon or 100 points for spending 80$ at Macy’s can make it worth while if you already shop at their partner stores. Plenti offers better deals than coupons and the deals are constantly changing giving you different options all the time.

With your American Express Reward Member points it’s easy to see just how far 100,000 points can go. With so many options out there you can get a ton of bang for you points using this versatile rewards program. The points can be used for anything from airplane tickets, to Uber rides so no matter what type of lifestyle you may have your American Express Reward Membership points have you covered. The American Express Reward Member points are one of the best in the game and with its easy to use rewards program it is worth getting into.

 

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Transferring American Express MR Points to Travel Partners

With American Express Rewards Membership Rewards points being one of the biggest and pest rewards systems out there it’s no wonder it can cube confusing to figure out how exactly you can use your points to get the most out of them. American Express Rewards Members literally have hundreds of ways and thing they can spend their points which can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because the American Express points are easy to spend on things you want, and a curse because the points have very smart ways in which the points can be sent, and very well, less than desired ways to spend them.

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The hard part is that most consumers don’t even know where to begin to research what is the best way to use your points and get the most out of them. If you are looking to travel and have American Express Reward point there is good news for you! American Express offers a very exciting, and overall some of the best value, way to use your points and if you have 100,000 point to spend you can get very far. The process in which I am talking about is of course, point swapping.

What exactly is point swapping? Well it is simply put that you take your points, transfer them to a American Express partner and get to use them to buy things such as airline tickets and hotels for travel along with them actually being worth more money per point in a lot of cases! This point swapping or transferring is a simple process worth looking into if you plan to travel with your points. The points you have could very well be your ticket to a free or low cost vacation and who doesn’t love that?

American Express has 17 airline and 4 hotel partners that will allow you to transfer points to big names like American Airlines, Delta, and Hilton. These partners along with their others cover so much of the world I would be surprised if you could find a place it didn’t cover. America Express has one of the most ambitious and best rewards program recently offering a 100,000 point offer for signing up with them and their offers, while constantly changing, are always good. With 100,000 points to transfer to 21 different partners you have options.

One of the best transfer partners to use points to is British Airways. This partner has a program called Avios which are for short hauls flights. British Airways is the most frequent point transfer partner with American Express. They offer great deals like 40% extra points when you transfer your points and overall are the best bang for your points. They are also a partner in Oneworld. This means you can take your Avios points you got from transferring 100,000 over to them and use them on more airlines that may not be partners with American Express. Also, in addition to more airlines, British Airways Avios is priced on distance with the shortest flights costing about 4,500 points each way. This can be a huge help for usually expensive short flights like ones to Montreal from New York. You can also buy a normal ticket on British Airlines and use your Avios points for that expensive upgrade. A good example to show you exactly how much this can save you is a flight from JFK to London. The premium economy seating is 30,000 Avios points each way, while business is 40,000 Avios points. That means you spend 20,000 Avios points for a way more comfortable flight and a saving on average of 3,000$. Avios conversion is 1:1 with Amex points normally. But wait for deals on transferring points for better bang for your points.

While there are many other airlines you can transfer your 100,000 points to, looking at hotels for your future destination is just as important and that’s the great thing about American Express, it is partnered with a hotel chain like Hilton. Hilton is all over the world and is one of the largest hotel chains in the world. The one down side to transferring your points to Hilton is the conversion rates. They depend on what country you are going to. Some countries are great to transfer points over, the UK being the best conversion rate at 1,000 American Express points for 2,000 Hilton’s HHonor points and one of the worse being Hong Kong at 8,000 American Express points for 1,250 HHonor points. Checking out the rates in the country and the conversion rate in which you will get for your points is the. It’s important thing here if you are going out of country for your trip. A lot of places have a 1:1 ration for their point conversions like Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, and Germany, but their prices in hotels can greatly differ what is considered a good place to use your points.

A trip can already be stressful to plan and cost a ton to take but with your American Express Member Rewards Points it can really take that stress down. There is so many ways you can use your points to get that trip and while understanding how to use them knowing that there are plenty of options definitely makes the process at least seem so much better. While planning your trip with 100,000 American Express Points not only is it prudent you look into all your options, it’s important you look at prices as well for the places once you get there, especially if you are using your points to transfer to a hotel chain. With 21 partners and some of those partners have their own partners it is impossible to run out of ideas or places to go to. 100,000 points on the American Express Member Rewards program is your ticket to your next free or low cost vacation and if you spend them wisely and do your research you’ll see that those 100,000 can truly go a long way.

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American Express Premier Rewards Gold Review

Amex PRG Perks

You just landed back in your home city, and you’re rushing to the grocery store to pick up the weeks essentials. You’re too tired to cook tonight though, so you’ve stopped off at your favorite Thai place to pick up some dinner — and you paid for it all on your American Express Premier Rewards Gold card, earning triple and double the points along the way.

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card gets you 3x the points for flights booked directly through airlines, and 2x the points for gas, groceries and restaurants here in the U.S. This card is perfect for the frequent traveler but also gives you points on the everyday essentials you need — whether you’re traveling or not. This card is made for non-stop rewards.

 

What you need to know

The first year of the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card is free, but after that you will need to pay a $195 yearly membership fee. You also get access to other first year perks like the opportunity to receive 25,000 membership rewards points after you spent $2,000 during the first 3 months with your American Express Premier Rewards Gold  card.

There’s no intro APR for the With the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card because it’s a charge card. All you need to do is pay your balance in full every month and you’ll be debt and high interest free. However, if you are late you can be charged up to $37. And, if your account doesn’t have the pay over time feature and you miss two payments, you’ll be charged 2.99% or $37 — whichever is greater. So you need to be sure to pay off the balance in full each month.

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card also has big perks like: extended warranty on items you purchase here in the US, return protection, no transaction fees abroad, a $75 hotel credit on qualifying hotels, and even a baggage insurance plan.

Finally, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card gives you access to a whopping 24 membership benefits including: airline fee credit, no foreign transaction fees, hotel collection, personalized travel services, the membership rewards program, purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty, relationship care, membership rewards pay with points, use points for charges, transfer points to frequent traveler programs, 2x membership rewards points at amextravel.com, membership experiences, amex offers, shoprunner, car rental loss and damage insurance, premium roadside assistance, global assist hotline, baggage insurance plan, travel accident insurance, year end summary, and dispute resolution.

 

Here’s how the points work
With the American Express Premier Rewards Gold membership you get access a generous point system where you can earn merchandise, dining and entertainment, travel, and gift card benefits. This card really gives you the opportunity to earn real rewards easily.

Amex PRG Perks

 

American Express Premier Rewards Gold card points system:

  • 3x the points for every $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2x the points for every $1 spent at US supermarkets and gas stations
  • 2x the points for every $1 spent on US restaurants
  • 1x points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

 

You can use these points to book your next flight, hotel, vacation, or cruise through amextravel.com. You can also rent a car, pay for theme parks and concerts, and you can use your points to go out to dinner at some great restaurants. With the American Express Premier Rewards Gold membership you can also use the generous points system to pay for your charges, and purchase gift cards to some of your favorite shops. The flexibility of the points and the rewards you have to choose from gives you a ton of freedom.

 

What are the downsides to the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card?

The major downside to this card, and most American Express cards, is that it isn’t widely accepted abroad. So while you won’t have international fees, you may have trouble using the card at all.

While you can use your points to pay off your balance, the ratio here isn’t great. You’re only going to get $.06 per point, so there’s definitely other cards to consider if this is a big perk for you.

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card offers a lot of travel benefits, but for the frequent fliers who appreciate some of the finer things — this card doesn’t offer the perk of having access to airport lounge memberships.

Another downside may not be a downside for everyone. The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card requires you to purchase tickets directly from the airline to use points — so if that’s not something you normally like to do, this card probably isn’t for you.

Finally, this is a charge card not a credit card. So you’re not going to earn credit, and you need to have a super credit score to even get considered for it.

 

Who should apply?

If you have a low credit score, you won’t qualify for this card. Because the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card is actually a charge card — meaning the balance must be fully paid each month — only people with really solid and high credit scores will be considered. On that note, this card doesn’t help build your credit score because it’s a charge card.

This card also puts a big emphasis on the points associated with booking flights, so if you’re not a frequent flyer this card probably isn’t for you. Because while the points system for the supermarket, gas stations and restaurants is high (2x points for every $1 spent) if you’re not flying often this card isn’t going to help you maximize the point system earning potential. Plus, if you don’t book flights directly through the airline this card won’t help you out at all.

 

What we think overall

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card is perfect for someone with high, established credit who is a frequent flier looking for a charge card that will help them maximize their points earning potential. With a generous points system that covers flights (3x), gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants (2x), and everything else in between (1x) you can really use this card for everything and redeem some pretty useful perks.

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The Best American Express Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

 I’ll admit it, I’m a pretty big American Express fan.  My first credit card was a Starwood Preferred Guest credit card by American Express, and I now proudly hold a American Express Platinum card in my wallet.  So, yes, I’m happy with the company and their suite of credit cards.  But, which ones are the best for travel rewards?  Let’s dig in with this post and see which cards are available, shall we?

Platinum Card from American Express

The ‘granddaddy’ of travel rewards credit cards, the Platinum Card from American Express has seen some competition as of late.  However, the benefits of this card are massive (and should be that way, with the $450 annual fee).  For one, you have access to the Membership Rewards partners, one of the most diverse group of transfer partners in the travel market.  And, most are available to transfer to at a 1:1 ratio.

Many of those same partners offer ‘transfer bonuses,’ sometimes up to 50% for a limited time.  You’ll receive two points per dollar spent on travel purchases on their booking engine, and one point per dollar on every other purchase.  Furthermore, you’ll receive $200 in statement credits for airline fees annually, and free Boingo internet for as long as you have the card.  A 40,000 point sign-up bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership isn’t half bad, either!

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

I’m in love with SPG.  For one, their hotels, from the hip W Hotels, to luxurious St. Regis properties, to the ubiquitous Westins, are some of the best properties in their respective cities.  I love the SPG Card from American Express especially because of the value of SPG points: the program allows for the most transfers to airline partners in the business.

And, when you transfer more than 20,000 at a time, you’ll earn a 5,000 mile bonus.  If you like sign-up bonuses, I would apply now: you’ll receive 30,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $5,000 in the first six months of cardmembership (20,000 for the spend, 10,000 on first purchase).  The annual fee is a reasonable $65 a year.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

The little brother of the Platinum card, the Premier Rewards Gold Card is worth a mention because of its bonus categories.  You’ll earn three points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline, and two points per dollar on gas and grocery stores.  This can really add up for those making purchases regularly in these areas.

Conclusion

There are many American Express cards out there, but I believe these three to be the strongest out there.  The combination of transfer partners, either with SPG or Membership Rewards, combined with the backing of American Express makes these all winners in my book.  I love American Express’ purchase protection, and have had great experiences working with their customer service department.  So, what do you think?  Did I recommend your favorite cards, or do you have your own favorites?  Let us know in the comments.

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SPG Card by Amex Increases Sign-Up Bonus

Everyone loves an ‘offer boost’ for that credit card they’ve been watching.  Boy, have the past two months been full of those!  The latest to offer up a little more to ‘sweeten the points pot’ is the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express.  Usually, the sign-up bonus is 25,000 points, but now, for a limited time, it is 30,000 Starpoints, and that’s for both the personal and business credit cards!

And, as a bonus for those of you that hold the card already, you can receive 5,000 points for referring people!  Receive 5,000 points for every card approval (up to 55,000 Starpoints per year).  Let’s dig into the details below, and check out some other features of the card!

 

 

Sign-up Bonus

Starwood points are some of the most valuable out there in the points and miles world.  The transfer partners in the airline space and the great hotels that Starwood has around the world makes this so.  With this credit card now, you’ll earn 10,000 SPG points on first purchase.  After that, you’ll receive 20,000 more points for spending $5,000 in the first six months of cardmembership.  These offers are identical for the personal and the business credit cards.

 

Annual Fee 

The regular annual fee for this SPG credit card is $65, but for the first year, the fee is waived.  So, the cost of cardmembership could be $0 during the first year!

 

Earning Starpoints 

As a co-branded credit card, you’ll receive bonus Starpoints for spend at Starwood hotels.  For all purchases at Starwood’s brands, including spend charged to the room, you’ll receive two points per dollar.  All other purchases will receive one point per dollar.

 

Gold Status with Spend

One major benefit for the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card is the ability to earn automatic Starwood Gold Status when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.  Gold status nets you upgraded rooms, late checkout at 4 p.m., and a choice of free Starpoints, wifi, or a free beverage at check-in.

You’ll also receive three points per dollar spent during your Starwood stays, instead of two.

 

Two Stay credits 

For those that can’t spend $30,000 per year on a credit card, the credit card does offer you two stays and five nights credited toward elite status.  That means, you’ll only have to have 8 stays or 20 nights to receive gold status.   And, if you have both the personal and business card versions, you’ll only have 6 stays or 15 nights to receive gold status.

 

Benefits of Starpoints 

Starpoints are particularly useful for the frequent traveler because they can be transferred to a number of airline partners across multiple alliances.  And, when you transfer in 20,000 mile increments, you’ll receive a 5,000 mile bonus in whatever program you transfer to.

 

The Nitty Gritty

APR is between 15.24% and 19.24%, with APR for cash advances at 21.24%.  Penalty APR is 27.24%.  Foreign transaction fees are 2.7%, and for cash advances, you’ll also pay a fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.  If you miss a payment, you’ll also pay a $35 fee.

 

Conclusion 

The new bonus of 30,000 Starpoints at sign up is an excellent offer, and the new referrals make life a little better for loyal cardmembers.  Has this post convinced you that now is the time to apply?  Let us know below!

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Amex Hilton HHonors Credit Card Review

Many other cards from Hilton have been covered on this site.  It seems a little ridiculous that there are four Hilton credit cards spread over two different credit card issuing banks, but this is the world we live in.  This article is aimed at reviewing the most basic of Hilton credit cards issued by American Express, the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express (clever name, right?).  Let’s dig into the details and see if this card earns a spot in your wallet!

 

Benefits

The first thing that most people want to know when they are applying for a credit card is “What’s the sign-up bonus?”  Well, the sign up bonus for this credit card is 40,000 Hilton HHonors points, which can be used for any Category 1-8 hotel in the Hilton lineup (hotels like the Arizona Biltmore, Conrad Chicago, and Conrad Miami are some examples).  These points are granted to you when you make $750 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership.

Furthermore, you’ll earn a ton of bonus points when you use this credit card, especially if you are using it on Hilton purchases.  For all Hilton HHonors purchases you make, you’ll earn seven points per dollar spent.  This includes any money spent on reservations, onsite spend, and other purchases on the Hilton website.  Furthermore, you’ll receive five points for every dollar you spend at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets.  Finally, you’ll receive three points per dollar spent on everything else.

A great feature of the card is all of these benefits come with an annual fee of zero dollars.  That’s right.  This card has no annual fee!  Furthermore, you’ll receive HHonors Silver Status as long as you are a cardmember.  This comes with a 15% bonus on all base points earned.  And, if you are a big spender (I’m talking $20,000 per calendar year), you’ll receive HHonors Gold Status, which comes with room upgrades and free breakfast.  It’s a great mid-level status to have (I’ve been upgraded to suites in the past!).

Finally, there are some other miscellaneous benefits that come with most American Express credit cards, including rental car protection, great customer service, and purchase protection.  Your APR depends on your credit score, and will be either 15.24, 17.24, or 19.24 percent.  APR for cash advances is 25.24%.

 

Conclusion

As a frequent guest of Hilton, you have many options when it comes to credit cards.  One of the biggest factors for this card is that it offers a similar sign up bonus as the other cards, but with no annual fee.  The opportunity to earn Gold status for $20,000 in spend in a year is attractive, since that is less than $2,000 in spend in month (easy for a family of four to hit!).

Furthermore, the sign up bonus gets you in the door of a seriously aspirational Hilton property, available worldwide!  Or, if you’d prefer, you can split the points over multiple nights at a lower category hotel.  The possibilities are endless.  So, is this card a fit for your wallet?  If so, apply away!

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Wells Fargo Propel World Amex Credit Card Review

Although Wells Fargo is not usually among the major banks to offer great rewards and points with their credit cards, it seems that they want in on the action and that they are aiming to get a portion of the target market of people who look for the best rewards and points deals that are out there.

They are issuing a new card, the Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Card, and offering a sign up bonus of 40,000 points. Let’s spend a few minutes going over the major points!

 

 

Benefits

Annual Fee Waived for the First Year

Although the annual fee for the Wells Fargo Propel World Amex card is a hefty $175, this fee is waived for the first year that you have the card.

Big Sign On Points Bonus!

After receiving the Wells Fargo Propel World Amex card, all you have to do is spend $3000 (not too hard for many people) within the first 3 months. This is a huge bonus, one that is worth up to $500 in your pocket when you go to redeem your rewards.

Great Everyday Rewards

This card offers great ways to earn reward points. First, you can earn one point for every dollar that you spend using this card. But, here’s the real bonus—you earn 3 points for every dollar spent on airline purchases and 2 points for every dollar you spend on any hotel costs. The catch is that you can’t get these rewards using online travel agencies, you do have to take care of the airline and hotel reservations yourself, but it is definitely worth it when you see those rewards building up quickly.

Statement Credits for Airline Charges

Every time you travel, you can get up to $100 statement credit on any incidental purchases made through the airline. This includes things like your baggage fees (we all get tired of paying those!), in-flight drinks and food, and any spending that you do in the lounge areas for the airline.

0% APR For the First Year

Enjoy interest free spending for the first year that you have this card. This includes balance transfers, too. After the introductory period ends, the APR will range from 13.99-21.99%, depending on your credit and the prime rate.

High Level of Security

The Wells Fargo Propel World Amex offers a high level of security, as it is chip encrypted. This is considered to be some of the latest and greatest technology when it comes to credit card safety and security.

Bonus Points if You Have Wells Fargo Banking

For those customers who have not only the Wells Fargo Propel World Amex but a Wells Fargo checking account, too, you will receive a bonus of 10% points at the end of the year. Have an investment account with Wells Fargo? This annual bonus could be even higher! Talk about really building up the points!

Traditional Protection and Amex Perks

As with any Amex cards, you will benefit from great customer service, emergency travel assistance, full fraud protection and purchase protections or extended warranties.

The Nitty Gritty

The Wells Fargo Propel World Amex card has an annual fee of $175, which is waived for the first year. The APR for this card is 13.99-21.99%, depending on your credit. Balance transfer fees are 3% for the first year, then 5% after that. Cash advance fees are 5%, and the APR for cash advances is 23.99%. Late payment fees of $35 apply to any account when the minimum payment is not received by the due date. Foreign travelers will enjoy no currency exchange fees.

Conclusion

For those who are avid travelers, the Wells Fargo Propel World Amex card has a lot to offer. Building up points happens quickly, and the redemption of these points can save you hundreds of dollars when you travel. For Wells Fargo banking and investment customers, the combination of points accrued through spending and travel, combined with the annual bonus, can definitely make it worth paying the higher annual fee.

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Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. American Express Membership Rewards

There are several travel rewards programs out there attached to credit card products.  American Express Membership Rewards are perhaps the most famous- they certainly pioneered the ‘transfer partner.’  But now, there’s a new(-ish) kid in town: Chase Ultimate Rewards.  Let’s compare the two programs below!

 

Similarities

Option to transfer points

One obvious similarity between the two programs is their option of transfer partners.  Many other credit cards, like a Southwest or a JetBlue credit card, are tied to one singular travel program.  The points you earn with those cards are only able to be used with those programs.  Not so with Chase and American Express’ programs.  They have transfer partners, a varied grouping of airlines and hotels that you can use your points towards.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to use each of the points in these programs toward booking travel directly, through either Chase’s or American Express’ dedicated flight booking engine.

Shopping portal

Each has their own shopping portals that you can earn a large swatch of bonus points by buying through that point of purchase.  You’ll use each one of the credit cards on these purchases just like any other online store.  You can also use the points for cash back or gift cards (but usually an awful deal).

Credit Card options

By far the best personal rewards card in either program is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Both Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and American Express’ Membership Rewards have several different cards in each program, geared to both personal and business customers.

Cards in Chase’s arsenal are:

  • the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire cards
  • the Ink Bold and Ink Plus business credit cards, and
  • the Chase Freedom card (which can be used in the program only if you have one of the other cards).

American Express has:

  • the Platinum Card
  • the Premier Rewards Gold Card
  • the Gold Card
  • the Green Card, and
  • the Amex EveryDay Credit card.

Most of these products have business versions of the card.

 

Differences

Different Transfer Partners

Each program has different transfer partners.

Membership Rewards has: AeroMexico, Air Canada, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, British Airways, Delta, El Al Airlines, Emirates, Air France, Frontier, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore, Virgin America, and Virgin Atlantic, as well as Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton and SPG. The option to transfer points to SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) is an added benefit, since it has many transfer partners of its own.

Chase Ultimate Rewards has: Southwest, United, British Airways, Korean Air, Amtrak, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, and Virgin Atlantic.

Redeeming points

With American Express, the points for each partner can vary (like 1:1.5 for Hilton).  Chase stays constant at 1:1.  Furthermore, you can use Membership Rewards right on Amazon.com.  In addition, there seems to be more ‘bonus’ transfer point opportunities in the Membership Rewards program each year (currently a 30% bonus on points transferred to Virgin Atlantic).

 

Conclusion

I don’t think that there’s one ‘better program’ out there, but I do recommend having a card that earns points in each of these programs.  The power of having so many transfer partners at your disposal will make travel planning easier (or more complicated, if that’s the way you choose to look at it!).  So, which one do you feel is the best for you?  Let us know in the comments below, and tell us about your experiences with either the Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards programs!

 

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New Benefits for Platinum American Express Cardmembers

Nobody likes a retraction of benefits.  But, owners of the American Express Platinum credit card have seen a lot of that over the past few years.  The biggest one came recently, when American Airlines and US Airways announced that cardmembers will no longer have access to their lounges, and Delta dictating that only the primary cardholder (no guests) are allowed in for free to theirs.

Well, things have a way of coming around, and American Express has announced some new benefits for their Platinum cardmembers.  Let’s take a look and see what they are, exactly!

New Benefits

For starters, American Express has partnered with Boingo Wireless (you know, that company you see everywhere, but can never use their wifi for free) to offer its members free wifi at over 700,000 WiFi hotspots.  These are not only in airports, but also hotels and coffee shops worldwide.  This offering is a very, very big deal, as this benefit alone would cost you $59 a month if you bought through Boingo.  This will definitely come in handy for me in airports, as I am constantly searching for free wifi!

Next up, American Express has decided to allow for its members to have a statement credit for TSA PreCheck application fees (an $85 value).  This is great news, since some cardmembers may not qualify for the larger Global Entry program (it has stricter rules and a background check) and miss out on the free PreCheck that the Global Entry program comes with.   This ability to sing up for just PreCheck is a new development, and should help people skip the hassle at the airport in a big way!

So, what does this mean for people who have the American Express Platinum credit card?  These new benefits do deliver solid value to them.  I would say that the free wifi from Boingo could be used every day, not just by those who travel.  It’ll certainly cut down on the hassle in people’s lives in a big, big way.  However, I see the PreCheck as just ‘another add on’ that really doesn’t add solid value to the Platinum card the way that the Boingo offering does.  If you already were using their Global Entry benefit, then you already had PreCheck, so this doesn’t add anything for you, really.

[Check out our full review of the American Express Platinum credit card.]

 

Conclusion

What I would like to see is a furthering of lounge benefits for the card.  I see what American Express is starting to do- offer up their own branded lounges with superior offerings than the legacy carriers have in theirs.  Opening up a network of lounges takes time, for sure (right now there are only ones in Dallas and Las Vegas), but I like the way that American Express wants to control their benefits offered internally rather than be at the mercy of other companies.

So, what do you think?  Do you think that this credit card got a whole lot more valuable with the new benefits offered up?  Or, do you think that the $450 annual fee is just too expensive for you still?