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Review of the no annual fee Capital One Venture Card

Finding the right travel rewards credit card fit for your specific needs and spending habits can be a challenge, especially given the onslaught of advertisements flooding the television and online. Capital One is arguably the leader in terms marketing efforts pushed out to the masses, with notable celebrity endorsements and amusing commercial spots. But all the pomp and circumstance surrounding a credit card does not always mean it is the best option for spenders. To help you determine if the Capital One VentureOne credit card is the one for you, we’ve cut through the fluff to bring you the clear upsides and downsides to the card. Here is our review of the no annual fee Capital One VentureOne credit card.

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VentureOne Card Basics

The VentureOne credit card offered by Capital One is a flat-rate travel rewards card. Card members earn 1.25 miles on every dollar spent, regardless of the category of purchase. Each rewards mile through Capital One is worth $0.01, and there is no cap on how many miles can be earned. Also, miles don’t expire, making this an attractive travel card for those who do some heavy spending.

Currently, Capital One is offering a bonus to new card members of the VentureOne card. A one-time 20,000 bonus – or $200 worth of miles – is credited to the card member’s account if at least $1,000 in purchases is made within the first three months after account opening. The combination of miles earned on everyday spending and the initial bonus potential makes the VentureOne card stand out among some of its travel credit card peers.

As a true travel rewards credit card, VentureOne card members are restricted in terms of how miles are redeemed. For now, accumulated miles can only be used as a statement credit toward travel-related purchases. As an example, a card member who purchases airfare on her Capital One VentureOne credit card could use her accumulated 20,000 miles – or $200 – to offset the total cost of her flight. What makes the VentureOne card unique is that there is no need to redeem miles through a dedicated travel site; instead, card members can book their travel how they see fit, directly through the provider or through a partner site. That means no blackout dates and no other pesky restrictions as seen with other travel rewards cards.

Miles cannot be exchanged for cash back or gift cards, nor can a statement credit be applied for anything other than a travel purchase. If you’re seeking out a travel credit card with more flexibility in terms of how miles can be redeemed, the VentureOne card may not be the best choice for you.

Capital One Perks

In addition to the rewards program, Capital One VentureOne card members have a slew of perks at their fingertips. The most notable is the Credit Tracker app, which provides access to the individual’s credit score and activity at no cost. Through Credit Tracker, card members can also gain valuable information regarding what implications changes to their credit profile will have on their score, for better or worse.

Card members also have access to online banking through Capital One, as well as mobile and tablet apps that are helpful for checking balances and payments on the go. In terms of enhanced security, VentureOne card members receive real-time alerts regarding suspicious or fraudulent activity on their account, either through phone, e-mail or text. On top of that, lost or stolen cards are covered by a $0 fraud liability protection program.

One of the unique features of the Capital One VentureOne credit card is the Second Look program, through which Capital One keeps an eye out for duplicate or unusual charges. Should a questionable charge post to the card member’s account, the bank automatically sends an e-mail alerting them to the issue. Capital One also offers Apply Pay for card members who are comfortable using mobile payment applications, as well as personalized payment due dates and various ways to establish payments. Card members have access to 24-hour travel assistance services, auto rental insurance, and travel accident insurance with the VentureOne credit card.

What the Card Costs

Capital One states that the VentureOne credit card is for individuals with excellent credit, typically meaning a credit score of 720 or higher is required for approval. Once approved, the interest rate for purchases starts at 0% and remains there for the first 12 months after accounting opening. Currently there are no promotional APR offers for balance transfers. After the promotional period ends, both purchases and balance transfer rates are based on individual creditworthiness, and will be 12.24%, 17.24% or 22.24%. Cash advance transactions carry a standard APR of 23.24%.

The VentureOne credit card does not assess an annual fee, nor does it carry any foreign transactions fees. From this perspective, the travel rewards card is relatively inexpensive. However, other fees are charged for specific transactions. Card members who initiate a cash advance pay a fee of either $10 or 3% of the amount advanced, whichever is greater. Late payment costs $35, although there are no fees for exceeding the credit limit.

The Final Word

The Capital One VentureOne credit card is a great choice for individuals seeking a travel rewards card that is simple to understand and easy to use. The VentureOne card comes with a flat-rate rewards program, meaning there are no special categories to keep track of over time. Additionally, card members have the ability to redeem rewards through statement credits for travel purchases, without the need to book travel directly through CapitalOne. The introductory APR for purchases, the additional card member perks, no annual fee and potential for bonus miles within the first three months come together to make this a solid travel rewards credit card.

Individuals who want to maximize on a sign-up bonus or who want to earn more miles with purchases may be better off with a different travel credit card. Capital One offers a travel credit card (Venture) that earns higher rewards and provides a sign-up bonus that is double that of the VentureOne card; however, card members who hold the Venture credit card are assessed an annual fee for access to greater rewards.

 

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Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Review

When it comes to travel rewards cards, account holders have more to consider than simply the potential miles they can earn over time. Additional benefits like trip insurance, purchase protection, rewards redemption flexibility and unique card member perks should be weighed in marriage with how rewards are earned and at what rate. Card members also want to pay close attention to the fees associated with travel credit cards to ensure they are getting the most cost effective credit card to suit their specific buying needs. The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa encompasses a wide range of card member benefits that may be attractive to frequent flyers. Let’s take a look at the rewards program first.

 

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Card Basics

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card offers card members the ability to earn up to five miles for each dollar spent when utilizing the Mileage Plan program. Under the Mileage Plan, card members can earn on every day purchases, including miles for spending at over 10,000 partner restaurants under the dining tier, through the online shopping mall offered exclusively to Mileage Plan members, or through other purchases made with every day partners such as Safeway, e-Miles, Diners Club International and Vinesse Wine Clubs. Miles vary for each partner but can add up quickly for card members who fully utilize the Mileage Plan partner sites.

In addition to the Mileage Plan partners, Alaska Airlines Visa card members earn three miles for every dollar spent on Alaska Airlines plane tickets, vacation packages, cargo and inflight purchases. All other purchases made with the credit card earn card members one mile per dollar spent. Card members have the benefit of no mileage cap on earnings, and no expiration date on earned miles as long as the account remains open.

Flexibility in miles redemption is a feature the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card does well. Card members have the option to redeem earned miles for flights on the following partner airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Frane
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • Ravn Alaska
  • Fiji Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • PenAir
  • Emirate Airlines
  • Qantas Airlines

Card members should be aware that reward flights must be booked through the Alaska Airlines website to qualify, and some restrictions and blackout dates may apply depending on the partner selected.

Additional Card Perks

In addition to the everyday rewards program offered by Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa, new card members have the opportunity to boost miles earned under a current promotion. An additional 30,000 miles are credited to card members’ accounts if $1,000 or more in purchases is made within the first 90 days of account opening. Bonus rewards can be redeemed as soon as they are credited, making this sign-up bonus incredibly attractive to frequent flyers.

The mileage rewards program made available through the Alaska Airlines Visa is not the only perk of being an account holder. Card members also receive a coach companion fare after $1,000 is spent on the card within the first 90 days after account opening. No blackout dates apply to the companion fare, but the cost must exceed $121 including taxes and fees. Also, all card members have the extra perk of a free checked bag for themselves as well as up to six other passengers on the same reservation.

Bank of America does a great job of offering additional benefits and security to card members, including the following features:

  • A $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions
  • ShopSafe service that generates a temporary credit card number for online shopping, protecting the card members true card details
  • Chip technology that offers enhanced security and global acceptance
  • Overdraft protection that works to prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other excessive spending when a Bank of America checking account is linked to the credit card
  • Account alerts to assist with money management including payment due dates and postings
  • Digital wallet technology that allows card members to pay via mobile devices

Each additional feature offered with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card comes with full disclosures and program restrictions, each available within the card member agreement.

The Cost

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card has a strong rewards program, and when coupled with the supplemental benefits presents a strong option for frequent travelers. However, there are fees associated with the travel credit card that card members should understand and consider prior to applying. First, an annual fee of $50 applies to all card members, and unlike some current promotions with similar travel credit cards, the fee is not waived for the first year of membership.

Card members must also be aware of the inherent costs associated with the Alaska Airlines Visa that come into play when a balance is carried over from billing cycle to billing cycle. The purchase interest rate for the travel credit card ranges from 12.49% up to 19.49% and may fluctuate over time based on broad interest rate market movements. Compared to other travel credit cards, the Alaska Airlines Visa offers a relatively low purchase APR for well-qualified applicants.

Fees also come into play with balance transfers and cash advance transactions. The interest rate associated with balance transfers is the same as the assigned rate for purchases. However, a 3% balance transfer fee is added to each transaction. Cash advance interest rates range from 15.29% up to 22.49%, depending on the applicant’s credit history at the time the card is opened. Fortunately, card members are not assessed any foreign transactions fees for purchases made outside the United States.

Final Thoughts

Frequent travelers who fly on Alaska Airlines or its partner airlines on a consistent basis are the best fit for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card. The sign-up bonus currently offered is an added perk that all but makes up for the annual fee, and the free checked bags and companion airfare add up to substantial savings for frequent flyers. Prior to adding the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa to your wallet, it is important to understand the total fees associated with the card by way of purchase, balance transfer and cash advance interest rates. Similarly, card members need to be aware of how miles are earned and credited to the account, as well as restrictions associated with redemption.

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Hyatt Visa Hotel Card from Chase Bank

For those who travel with a degree of frequency, having the right travel rewards credit card is a must. Watching frequent flyer miles, free or discounted hotel stays and travel necessity discounts rack up is part of the fun of hitting the road or the skies, but not all travel cards offer the same benefits. Some travel cards focus on a specific airline or hotel group alone, while others have partners that allow more robust rewards redemption options. The Hyatt Visa Hotel card offered through Chase Bank is a smart choice for travelers with a penchant for staying at the Hyatt when they get away.

 

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Card Basics

The Hyatt Visa Hotel card from Chase Bank is a premiere travel card that gives the most bang for each buck in terms of rewards. For every dollar spent on purchases at Hyatt properties with the card, account holders earn three rewards points; for every dollar spent on purchases at restaurants, airline tickets bought directly from the airline or car rental agencies, two rewards points are earned. All other purchases made with the Hyatt Visa Hotel card earn account holders one rewards point per dollar spent. Like most rewards credit cards, one point is equal to $0.01, meaning 1,000 points translates to $10 in rewards.

For individuals new the Hyatt Visa Hotel card from Chase Bank, meaning they have no held the card in the previous 24 months, bonus offers are available for a limited time. First, account holders who spend no less than $1,000 on purchases within the first three months after account opening receive two free nights at participating Hyatt properties. On top of the bonus nights, cardholders who add an authorized user to the account within the first three months earn an additional 5,000 points. The added user must make a purchase during that time frame, however.

Rewards points earned by utilizing the Hyatt Visa Hotel credit card can only be redeemed for free nights at Hyatt properties. Cardholders must have accumulated a minimum of 5,000 rewards points before a free night can be obtained.

Additional Card Benefits

In addition to the rewards program built in to the Hyatt Visa Hotel card, cardholders have unique perks that come with card ownership. First and foremost, one free night at any Hyatt property that falls within the category range of 1 through 4 is obtained every year after the cardholder’s anniversary. Also, cardholders earn different statuses through the Hyatt Passport program which equates to even more perks. Accountholders in good standing can upgrade to the Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum membership category, and are able to maintain that status for as long as the card remains open. The Platinum status under the Hyatt rewards program includes a 15% rewards point bonus on eligible purchases, not to mention complimentary in-room Internet access, and late checkout upon request. All the benefits available through the Hyatt Passport program are detailed within the program’s membership agreement.

Card members can also move up the status ranks by utilizing the Hyatt Visa Hotel credit card on a consistent basis. Account holders receive two stay credits and five night credits toward the Elite Diamond status when $20,000 or more is spent in each calendar year. An additional three stay credits and five night credits can be earned when $40,000 or more is spent throughout the year. These added credits lead to free nights quickly, making the card an attractive solution for those who regularly stay with Hyatt properties when traveling.

Card Member Costs

As with most travel rewards credit cards, the Hyatt Visa Hotel card comes with card member fees that should be reviewed prior to applying for and subsequently utilizing the card. First, an annual fee of $75 is charged each card member anniversary, although for new card members, the annual fee is waived for the first year. The Hyatt Visa is reserved for applicants with exemplary credit, as only one purchase APR is assigned at the time the card is opened to qualified borrowers. The initial interest rate is 16.24% for purchases, but it is tied to the Prime Rate and may fluctuate over time. Balance transfers receive the same APR as purchases, and no promotional interest rate is available at this time.

Cash advances cost card members more than purchases or balance transfers, with a standing APR of 25.24%. Currently, fees associated with cash advances or balance transfers are not available, nor are charges assessed for late payments or returned payments. International travelers or shoppers do not have to worry about additional charges with the Hyatt Visa Hotel credit card, as no foreign transaction fees are imposed.

Final Thoughts

As a travel rewards credit card, the Hyatt Visa Hotel card is a smart choice for individuals who plan to stay in Hyatt properties either domestically or during international travel. The bonus nights earned through the current promotion are available at a relatively low spending barrier within the first three months, and the bump to Diamond status through the Hyatt Passport rewards program is attractive to frequent travelers. The authorized user bonus rewards offer and the anniversary free night stay also adds to the overall benefit of carrying the card.

Hyatt Visa Hotel credit card members have the added benefit of earning rewards on more than just hotel stays. Enhanced rewards points earning potential with certain categories helps account holders earn more nights quickly, as does the standard one rewards point for all other purchases that fall outside the confines of bonus categories. Having the ability to utilize the card for everyday purchases without foreign transaction fees, and the ability to redeem rewards with as few as 1,000 points accumulated help make this card a strong contender in the travel category. The waived annual fee for the first year and comparably low annual fee of $75 thereafter doesn’t hurt either.

Individuals who do not travel often, or those who prefer to stay at hotels ore resorts not associated with Hyatt property management will want to select a different travel rewards card for their wallets. The Hyatt Visa Hotel credit card is best suited for travelers who spend quite a bit on hotel stays with Hyatt throughout the year.

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United MileagePlus Rewards Card Review

Over the last few decades, air travel has become less of a luxury reserved for the wealthy and their companions. Jetting away to a different city for work or personal time is not nearly as restricted as it used to be, thanks in part to more reasonable airfare and a growing number of competing airlines. Oh, and the bevy of rewards programs readily available to those who travel on a frequent basis doesn’t hurt, either.

Experienced travelers know that using a travel rewards credit card that is designed for racking up frequent flyer miles is a smart way to enhance the travel experience. Whether it is working toward a free flight, or using cardholder status as a means to get additional perks before, during or after a trip, travel rewards credit cards are the perfect addition to a traveler’s wallet. The United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card made available through Chase Bank is worth a second look for frequent flyers with a penchant for flying United.

 

Card Basics

The Mileage Plus Explorer credit card comes with a strong rewards program for cardholders which has the potential to pay off in a big way over time. Let’s start with the current promotions. New card members have the opportunity to earn up to 30,000 bonus miles when the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card is used to make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first three months after the account is opened. Additionally, a 5,000 bonus miles credit can be earned when an authorized user is added to the account and that user makes a purchase within the first three months after account opening. When the cardholder spends $25,000 in net purchases throughout the year, an additional 10,000 bonus miles can be credited to the account each and every year.

The bonus offers made available through the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card are incredibly attractive to card members who plan to spend big within the first three months, or have a tendency to spend big throughout the year. Fortunately, for less frequent spenders, the rewards miles still have the potential to add up. Cardholders earn two miles for each $1 spent on purchases directly through United airlines, with all other purchases earning one mile per $1 spent. The great news for all card members is that miles never expire and there is no limit on earning potential. Any miles earned through the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card can be redeemed for any seat, any time, on flights operated by United airlines.

Unique Cardholder Perks

Not having to worry about blackout dates or caps on mile earnings are the strongest benefits of the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card. However, additional perks exist for cardholders that make the card that much more rewarding. Cardholders are not required to pay a baggage fee on the first checked bag for themselves and one companion flyer, which could add up to $100 in savings per each round trip flight. Additionally, priority boarding is available for primary card members and their companions which allows travelers to board before the general boarding group.

The United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card also comes with no foreign transaction fees when purchases are made outside the United States. All United credit cards are chip-enabled, not only providing additional security but also allowing for a more acceptance within the U.S. and abroad. Cardholders also have the benefit of added comfort with United Club passes. Card members receive two United Club passes each year the account is open, providing access to the airline club with complimentary drinks, snacks, workspace and Wi-Fi.

Travelers also have additional protection when utilizing the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card for purchases through the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver program and the Purchase Protection program available directly through Chase Bank. Extra perks come by way of room upgrades and certain amenities are more than 700 luxury hotels and resorts around the world. Also, card members gain access to special events, private experiences and discounts through Chase’s Inside Access programs.

The Fine Print

Most travel cards come with some restrictions, either by way of rewards limitations or ongoing fees. The United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card does not impose earning restrictions on miles, but an annual fee of $95 is assessed. Currently, though, new card members have the annual fee waived for the first year.

Chase Bank offers some insight into who is best qualified for the United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card, explaining that individuals with exemplary credit are encouraged to apply. A high credit score and strong credit history will help in getting potential card members approved for the travel card. For those who qualify, the interest rate on purchases ranges from 16.24% up to 23.24%, and the actual rate charged varies depending on broad market movement. Cash advances comes with a standard APR of 25.24%, and balance transfer fees are the same as the initial APR for purchases.

Although interest rates are a substantial part of the total cost of carrying debt on a credit card, additional feels may come in to play affecting the card holder. Late payments or returned payments due to insufficient funds result in a fee ranging from $15 up to $37, depending on the total balance due. Any balance transfers are assessed a fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater, of the total amount transferred to the credit card. Similarly, cash advances cost card holders $10 or 5% of the advanced amount, whichever is greater. The combination of these fees and the interest rate charged on carried over balance can add up quickly for cardholders.

The Verdict

The United Mileage Plus Explorer credit card is a smart choice for frequent flyers who prefer to travel via United flights. However, because the card offers no other way to redeem rewards aside from United airfare and their partners, this travel credit card is not recommended for individuals who are seeking a robust rewards program or cash-back options. The annual fee, the purchase APR and the cost for cash advances or balance transfers may make this card unattractive to frequent flyers who are cost-conscious or those who do not utilize the card enough to reap its benefits.

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Reviewing the Citi ThankYou Prestige Benefits

Traveling used to be reserved only for those with ample money and a taste for luxury. Thanks to a healthy dose of competition among airlines and an increased desire to travel among the less than wealthy crowd, booking a flight for business or pleasure is far less expensive and less elite than it used to be. Still, we’ve all experienced first-class envy when running through the airport – a desire to take it easy in the members-only lounge, longing to be at the front of the boarding herd, or sitting in preferred seats with a decent amount of legroom once on board. Without paying the hefty price for airport and in-flight amenities, most travelers are forced to be content with the coach experience. However, for some frequent flyers, the ability to achieve first-class status in some aspects of traveling is made easier simply by being a Citi ThankYou Prestige credit cardholder.

 

Citi Prestige

 

The Citi ThankYou Prestige credit card is not just a travel rewards card; it is a true experience. With unmatched benefits, this first-class card is worth taking a closer look.

The Basics

First and foremost, the Citi Prestige credit card offers a robust rewards program, as do the other ThankYou rewards cards offered through CitiBank. Cardholders earn three rewards points for each dollar spent on airfare and hotels, and two rewards points for each dollar spent on entertainment and dining out. All other purchases receive the standard one point per dollar spent. Cardholders are not limited to the number of rewards points they can receive while maintaining the card, nor are rewards set to expire after a certain time frame. As a promotional bonus, any cardholders who qualify for and receive a new Citi Prestige credit card are eligible for a 50,000 rewards bonus when $3,000 in purchases are made within the first three months after account opening. The rewards accumulation system and potential bonus make the travel card attractive to those who fly often, but there’s more!

Cardholders are not limited to how rewards can be redeemed, as may be the case with comparable travel credit cards. The Citi Prestige credit card offers the most bang for the proverbial buck when rewards are used to purchase airfare with American Airlines, followed by other airfare purchased through Citi’s partner airlines. For example, 50,000 rewards points can be redeemed for a $800 American Airlines flight, or a $665 flight with any partner airline. Not too shabby, right? Rewards may also be used for non-travel redemption, such as hotels stays or rental cars. That same 50,000 rewards balance is the equivalent of a $500 hotel stay, for instance.

Rewards may also be transferred to other direct airline or hotel points programs, but a minimum of 1,000 points must be used when taking advantage of this option. There is no fee to transfer points from Citi to another loyalty program, and there is no restriction on the number of times that can be done. Cardholders also have the option of redeeming rewards for merchandise, gift cards, tickets through LiveNation.com or travel getaways. Citi has partnered with ThankYou.com to offer an impressive spread of items that can be purchased in exchange for earned points from the Citi Prestige credit card.

Unique Perks

While the travel rewards available through the Citi Prestige card are attractive, the first-class travel experience is just around the corner for cardholders. One of unique perks that sets Citi Prestige apart from other travel cards is the once-per-year $250 air travel credit applied to any flight-related expenses charge to the card, such as airfare, baggage fees or seat upgrades. Additionally, cardholders have the opportunity to extend a qualifying hotel stay for a fourth night at no cost when the Citi Prestige credit card is used. More benefits come by way of the following:

  • 24/7 access to the Citi Prestige Global Concierge
  • Access to Citi ThankYou Events and Citi Private Pass Beyond events
  • Access to elite travel perks, such as private jets and car services
  • Unlimited access to airport lounges

Finally, Citi Prestige cardholders who also fall under the category of Citigold or Global banking members through CitiBank have the opportunity to ramp up rewards even faster. An annual 15% bonus is applied to the rewards points earned throughout the year for Citigold or Global banking members, while private bank clients receive a 25% rewards bump.

The Fine Print

Although the Citi Prestige card has a great deal of allure for frequent flyers who don’t mind a little luxury now and again, the credit card comes with a big price tag. The annual fee is $450 and is not waived for the first anniversary, making the benefits not necessarily worth the expense for travelers who aren’t out and about often. If you happen to have an authorized user associated with the Citi Prestige card, you can tack on an additional $50 per year, per user to the standard annual fee.

In addition to a hefty cost compared to other travel rewards credit card, the Citi Prestige card comes with a few challenges from the start. According to Citi, an applicant must have an exemplary credit history and score to qualify for the Prestige credit card, meaning a high level of current income, no past due accounts, and low balances on all other revolving credit accounts. If you’re lucky enough to get approved for the Prestige card, be prepared for an annual percentage rate ranging between 15.49% and 25.49% that fluctuates in line with the broad interest rate market. No low introductory rate is offered at this time, nor are there any promotions for balance transfers.

The Verdict

If you prefer to feel like an A-lister when you travel, the Citi Prestige credit card may be the best fit for your needs. The perks included with the card seem endless, ranging from access to private jets and special events to airport lounges and ’round the clock concierge access, and the potential for rewards on travel and non-travel purchases is relatively high compared to other credit cards for travel. However, the Citi ThankYou Prestige card is not a great choice for individuals who aren’t a fan of a high annual fee, or those who simply don’t travel enough to justify that fee. Also, the travel rewards card isn’t meant for individuals with less than perfect credit, no matter how much they long for a stepped up travel experience.

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Barclays Makes Changes to Arrival Credit Cards

The Barclays Arrival credit cards have already been offering great benefits to card holders, and they have recently announced a few changes that are sure to impress current customers and lure plenty more people to the Barclays camp. Here are the changes that have been made to both versions of the Barclaycard Arrival.

Links to Apply:

Arrival Plus

New Name!

The first change that will be noticed is the name of the card. Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard will now be known as Barclaycard Arrival Plus. There will be a new card introduced soon, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite, available to those cardholders with the highest level of creditworthiness. The Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard—No Annual Fee will now simply be called the Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard. Also, the cards will feature an updated, slick looking design!

New Technology

While the name change will not affect most people in any significant way, the added security features are very important and desirable. Chip technology will be added as a layer of security to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. This will be a chip-plus-pin technology, but can be used as pin-only if that is the available technology. This helps protect cardholders from unauthorized use of their card and will also help to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Longer Redemption Period

Currently, you have 90 days to submit any travel expenses for redemption against your mileage account. The new policies will allow you to redeem your miles for up to 120 days, extending the time frame by a full month. This allows you a little more time to get organized and take care of the necessary submissions. The process is still very simple and seamless, you just have more time to get the job done!

Enjoy a Wider Range of Travel Redemption Options

Why limit yourself to only airline and hotel exchanges for points? The Barclaycard now includes bus, taxi, timeshare, limo, campgrounds, and many tourist attractions in their category of “travel expenses,” which allows you greater flexibility when redeeming your miles!

Many Great Features Remain the Same!

These new features are just that—new features. Cardholders will still be enjoying the many great benefits of the Barclays cards, including huge sign on bonuses of 40,000 or 20,000 miles, depending on which version of the card you have (the Plus version or regular version). You will have easy access to your FICO score at any time when you access your online account. There are no foreign transaction fees.

And, you will get your annual 10% bonus of mileage points added to your account each year based on your yearly travel mileage accruals. Enjoy anytime access to an online shopping portal which offers you great deals and discounts, as well as even more bonus points.

Conclusion

The new additions to the Barclays card are great ones, particularly the security features like the chip and pin technology. With the easy access to self checkouts, credit card fraud is on the rise. No signature is verified at these kiosk stations, so requiring the use of a pin will help protect card holders on another level. Also, Barclays used to offer an introductory 0% APR, but this is not currently available.

The added features help to offset this little drawback. All in all, this card offers huge opportunities to accumulate and use mileage points, with a redemption rate of 2.22% after you figure in all of the bonuses you will receive for travel redemption. That is certainly one of the highest in the industry, currently. Even if you keep this card for the short term and pay no annual fee for the first year, the bonuses that you get can make it worth your while!

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Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex Credit Card Review

The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express card does just as promised—propel your points earnings into a new level, and very quickly. As one of the biggest banks, Wells Fargo does not always offer rewards cards, so this is a pretty special thing happening. Let’s take a look at the finer points so you can see for yourself and decide if this is the card for you.

 

 

Benefits

No Annual Fee!

The Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express card has no annual fee for the first year, and it’s only $45 annually after that. Not bad.

0% Introductory APR for 12 Months

You will pay no interest on purchases or balance transfers for the first 12 months that you have the card. After the introductory period ends, you will pay 13.99-21.99%, depending on your credit history.

Huge Points Earning Potential

Earn triple points on all spending at gas stations, double points for all restaurant spending, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. There is no limit to the number of points that you can earn each year.

Special Airline Benefit

As a Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express card holder, you will be eligible for one $100 airline benefit each year. You can use this benefit toward the purchase of any air travel or to pay any associated fees, such as baggage fees.

Get a 40,000 Point Bonus

When you spend at least $3,000 in the first three months that you have this credit card, you will get a huge bonus of 40,000 points added to your account.

Earn a Relationship Bonus

Wells Fargo is one of the few banks that offers you a relationship bonus. If you have other accounts at Wells Fargo, in addition to the Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express card, such as a checking, savings or investment account, you will earn a 10%, 25% or 50% bonus on your yearly points, depending on the number, types and amounts of the accounts that you hold.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

For those who travel frequently, foreign transaction fees can really add up, so having no foreign transaction fees can be a big deal! Enjoy no fees with this card.

Simple and Flexible Redemption Process

Start redeeming your points quickly, as you only need to accumulate 2,500 to get a $25 gift card. Options include cash back in the form of a check, direct deposit to Wells Fargo account or statement credit. Or, choose from gift cards and merchandise. If you prefer, there are plenty of options to redeem your points for travel rewards, including air travel, hotels, and more. The travel benefits are nice, with great hotel and air travel discounts available.

Great Travel Benefits

Not only can you get great travel discounts, you get great travel protection, too. Cardholders get the benefits of lost luggage insurance, auto rental collision coverage, emergency services while traveling, and a complimentary 24/7 concierge service.

 

The Nitty Gritty

To sum it up, there is no annual fee for this card for the first year. After the first year, you will pay an annual fee of $45. There is a 12-month introductory APR of 0% for purchases and balance transfers after which you will pay 13.99-21.99%, depending on your credit. Balance transfer fees are 3%, and cash advance fees are 5%. Cash advance APR is 23.99%. Late payment fees are $35.

 

Conclusion

Although this card comes with a hefty annual fee after the first year (free for the first year is nice!), it does present with some great ways to earn tons of points, and the redemption process is quite flexible. If you are already a Wells Fargo customer, then you stand to really gain a ton of points, and would most likely make up the cost of the annual fee and more.

Choose carefully, because there are certainly some other great cards that are out there that offer nearly the same benefits with no annual fee. But, this is one worth considering.

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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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U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa Card

U.S. Bank has a number of new options for credit cards, and one of the best that has come out is the FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa card. This card offers tons of perks for business travelers, and the opportunity to rack up serious points very quickly.

This card is perfect for small businesses, and you can add your employees as authorized users—pooling your points into one account to use how you please and when you please for travel at a later date. Use your business travel to cover your next vacation! Let’s take a look at some of the major highlights for this card.

Earn 20,000 Bonus FlexPoints Fast

Once you use your U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa card to make $3,500 worth of purchases in the first four months that you have the card, you will be rewarded with 20,000 bonus FlexPoints in your account. These 20,000 points can earn you an airline ticket worth up to $400—so this one perk earns you a solid $400 pretty quickly.

0% Intro APR for the First Year

You won’t pay any interest on purchases or balance transfers for the first twelve months when you use the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa card. After the promotional period ends, the APR will be 11.99-17.99%, based on your credit, which is a pretty competitive rate these days for any card.

Great Ways to Earn Points Quickly

With this card, you will earn one point for every dollar spent, pretty standard for the industry. What’s really great is that you will earn double miles in the categories that YOU spend the most in—whether that is gas, office supplies and equipment, or travel. This makes the rewards points system very personalized, and you don’t have to wait for rotating categories or not earn in certain categories because that’s not where you spend your money. You will earn your rewards based on how your spending patterns evolve. Bonus points are awarded monthly, based on your spending, for the category that you spent the most in.

Not only will you earn double points on your main categories, but also earn double points if you pay your cell phone bill with the card. This goes not only for your cell phone bill, but also your internet bill and any cell phone accessories that you purchase.

No Annual Fee for the First Year

You will pay no annual fee for the first year that you have the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa card. After that, you may still pay no annual fee—depending on the spending for the account. If your company uses the card to make more than $24,000 (that’s a mere $2,000 per month, not hard to accumulate for business spending!), then you will not pay any annual fee. If you do not spend quite that much yearly, then you will pay an annual fee of $55 for the owner and $10 additional for every other employee added as an authorized user. You do have to pay the annual fee up front after the first year, but it will be credited if you spend the $24,000 during the course of the year.

Simple and Flexible Redemption Process

U.S. Bank makes it easy for you to redeem your FlexPerks points. With as little as 5,000 points, you can redeem for rewards like gift cards, statement credits and merchandise. With 20,000 points, you can redeem for airline tickets with no blackout dates and no redemption fees—on over 150 different airlines. Use the points for hotels and vacation packages, if you wish!

With each ticket you redeem points for, you will also receive a $25 credit toward your baggage fees or even in-flight purchases like food or entertainment. As an added bonus, you will be able to also earn frequent flyer miles for the airline you are traveling on, if you are a member of their particular frequent flyer program.

The Nitty Gritty

To summarize, this card offers a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, with a variable rate of 11.99-17.99% thereafter, depending on your creditworthiness. Annual fees are waived for the first year, and will be refunded yearly if your company spends more than $24,000 in a year. If you spend less, you will pay $55 for the first card, and $10 for every additional card as an annual fee.

Balance transfer fees are 3%, and cash advance fees are 4%. Cash advances are not eligible for the 0% APR and you will pay an APR of 23.99%.

Foreign transaction fees of 2-3% apply (2% in USD, 3% for foreign currency), if you use the card outside of the United States.

Conclusion

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Rewards Travel Visa card is a great option for small business owners who want to consolidate spending and pool the points for the owner and employees. There are great ways to earn points, and the redemption process is simple and flexible. With so many airlines to choose from, and alternative options for redemption including hotels, vacation packages and more, this card has plenty to offer!

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Priceline Rewards Visa Card Review

Travelers have many options when it comes to credit cards.  Between all the various programs that have cobranded credit cards, there are dozens of them.  One that may be overlooked is The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card, which is managed by Barclays.  With an interesting way of earning rewards for credit card spending, let’s dive into the details of the Priceline Rewards Visa Card!

 

Benefits 

  • Annual Fee

To use the Priceline Rewards Visa Credit Card, one does not have to pay a single dime to get in on the rewards.  There is no annual fee at all.

  • Sign-Up Bonus

With the Priceline Rewards Visa Card, after your first purchase, you’ll receive 5,000 points, which is the equivalent of a $50 statement credit.  While that does not seem like a lot, typically “no-fee” credit cards have smaller sign-up bonuses.  In addition, Priceline offers an additional 5,000 points to use as $50 statement credit after spending $1,000 on qualifying transactions in the first 90 days of account opening.  While this is a lot of spend for 5% back, if you’ll be using the credit card for Priceline purchases, there’s certainly nothing wrong with receiving $50 back.

  • Priceline Purchase Bonus Points

This credit card, being cobranded with Priceline, will obviously earn bonus points on all Priceline purchases.  For every dollar spent on Priceline.com, you’ll receive five points.  Purchases that aren’t eligible on Priceline.com include cruise bookings, Name-Your-Price car reservations, and hotel reservations that are defined as “Pay-When-You-Stay.”

  • All Other Purchases Earn One Point

As with other co-branded credit cards, other non-qualifying purchases earn one point per dollar spent.  This is in line with other credit cards, though at one cent per dollar valuation, it’s nothing special.

  • Redeeming Points

To redeem points for statement credit, users have to have at least $25 worth of points (2,500 points) in their account.  Then, one must redeem for a purchase of $25 or more on their statement to receive credit.  So, for a purchase that cost $100, one must have 10,000 points.

 

The Nitty Gritty

  • Average Credit Score

Accourding to CreditKarma, the average Credit Score approved for this card is 732, and the lowest credit score approved for this card is 655, so good credit is required to receive this.

  • Introductory APR

For the first twelve months of card membership, users will not be charged interest.  After that introductory period, however, regular APR fluctuates between 14.99% or 21.99%.

  • Balance Transfer APR

Balance Transfer APRs also fluctuate between 14.99% and 21.99%, and the transfer fee is 4%, or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater.

  • Cash Advance Rate

A cash advance rate of 25.24% exists with the Priceline Rewards Visa Credit Card.  The fees involved are 5%, or $10, whichever is greater.

 

Conclusion 

The Priceline Rewards Visa Credit Card is a simple card, with not a great earning potential for those who don’t make regular Priceline purchases.  If you’re a road warrior who is intent on using Priceline nearly every night for a place to rest your head, then I would highly recommend this card.  For others, I would analyze other credit card offers out there; there are better cards with no annual fees and better sign-up bonuses and benefits.