Semi-Monthly Update (October 3, 2017)

I love to start my day with a cup of coffee and an online credit card application.  Here’s the lovely sight I was greeted with this morning:
BoAPremiumRewards approved
Ah, the thrill of instant approvals!  It never gets old.  Nicoleen, on the other hand, got the always loathsome “pending” on her application last night for the Chase Ink Preferred.  🙁

This round of new card applications is just the jump start I need to get the website rolling again.  (If you want to hear the rest of my whiny excuses for the recent lack of new material, I put a list at the bottom of this post.)  In this update:  our household points and miles activity for September, a look at the current good credit card deals, some details on our upcoming trip, and another free travel pic!

Here’s our September household activity totals.  Pretty average month with no bonuses and no points spending:

  • earned 456 hotel points
  • earned 5,786 Chase Ultimate Rewards

Credit Card News

  • The Chase Southwest personal card currently has the 60k elevated bonus.
  • The Citi Thank-You Prestige bonus is now at 75k Thank-You points  (permanently or temporarily, no one knows), but with a $7.5k minimum spend and a $450 annual fee.
  • Bank of America just busted on to the scene with a new premium travel card: the Premium Rewards card.  The points can only be redeemed for cash, but with the 50k point bonus and some other benefits I estimate the card is worth $600-750.

The Chase Southwest card is a great deal at 60k, but personally I am waiting on the Southwest cards until I can get the companion pass by earning more than $110k points in a year.  I would be all over the Citi Prestige, but Citi’s newest restriction says that I can’t earn any Thank-You points bonuses until 24 months have passed since my last Thank-You point bonus.  I’m currently at around 22 months.  My new Bank of America Premium Rewards card from this morning should be in the mail soon!

I’ve had several people recently ask me what the best single card is right now.  I’m sticking with the Chase Ink Preferred if you can make the case you have a business.  If not, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still at or near the top of the list due to the generous 50k sign-up bonus of the highly versatile Ultimate Rewards points.  If Southwest Rapid Rewards are valuable to you, the Chase SW card (see link above) is an easy way to earn a lot of those points.

Travel News

nicoleenfloridawarmupWe’re mere days away from revealing our fall Florida trip to the kids!  Nicoleen is incidentally in Orlando this week for work, and she’s getting the place ready for us.  🙂

Free Travel Photo

Big caption

A selfie I took in front of the dolphin pool at Hilton’s Grand Wailea just over a year ago.  I chose this photo because I realized that the two cards we used to get the free hotel stays on our amazing Hawaiian get-away last fall are no longer available.  The bonus on the Chase Hyatt is no longer 2 free nights, and the Citi Hilton Reserve doesn’t exist anymore.  Yet another lesson to take advantage of these deals while they’re around!!  Anything else would be a tactical error.

Excuses for only writing one blog post last month and for not launching the long-promised YouTube channel:

  • We have 3.5 kids who just started the school year (one is 2-day pre-K).
  • I was working on a tile job (my previous profession) for 2 weeks every day after my day job.
  • Fall cleaning around the house and my own bathroom tile project.
  • A lull in enthusiasm for value tactics due to no new vacations on the horizon and no new credit card bonuses.  It happens to everyone once in a while!
  • Solo parenting this week while Nicoleen is in Florida.
  • General lack of focus and a hearty dose of writer’s block.

We’re back at it now though!  The recent credit card apps have fueled my enthusiasm once again.  Our upcoming value-filled trip to Florida should keep me motivated as well.

Now you’re updated. Go employ some Value Tactics!

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