Roundup of Chase Credit Cards Spending Bonus Promotions – Earn 4,000 to 7,500 Bonus Points

Today I received an email from Chase notifying me of a bonus spend offer on my existing Hyatt credit card which offered an additional 4,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 this summer from July 1st to September 30th. I wasn’t sure if this was a targeted offer or not but it appears via Doctor of […]

Today I received an email from Chase notifying me of a bonus spend offer on my existing Hyatt credit card which offered an additional 4,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 this summer from July 1st to September 30th. I wasn’t sure if this was a targeted offer or not but it appears via Doctor of Credit and Reddit Churning there are in fact several different targeted bonus spend offers out there on several Chase cards. Here are the known offers:

Hyatt Spend Offer

1) Hyatt Visa – Spend $4,000, Earn 4,000 Bonus Points

2) British Airways Visa – Spend $7,500, Earn 7,500 Bonus Avios

3) IHG Visa – Spend $4,000, Earn 4,000 Bonus Points

4) Marriott Visa – Spend $4,000, Earn 4,000 Bonus Points

5) Ritz Carlton Visa – Spend $7,500, Earn 7,500 Bonus Points

All of these offers are on top of the normal points you’d earn so if you spend say $4,000 on the Hyatt card at just Hyatt properties, you’d earn 12,000 points (since you earn 3x at Hyatt properties) plus an extra 4,000 points from this promotion. In short, all these offers add an 1x multiplier to your spend if you hit the minimum spend requirement. Of those, I think the Hyatt offer is the best followed by the British Airways offer.

There is no way to signup for these offers therefore I recommend checking your email, including your junk/spam folders in case you were targeted. If you really want to make sure you didn’t miss this offer and you have one the of the cards above, you could secure message Chase & see if they have any record of a bonus spend promotion on your account. In addition to these offers, there are also bonus spend offers on some non-Chase credit cards right now.

1) Barclaycard American Airlines Aviator – Earn 30% More Miles on All Spending

2) American Express Starwood Business Card – Spend $5,000 – Earn 5,000 Bonus Points. Spend $10,000 – Earn 10,000 Bonus Points

SPG Spend Offer

I have these two cards but I’ll first focus meeting on the $4,000 spend for the Hyatt card since I always seem to be running low on Hyatt points. The SPG offer is solid as well and I’ll focus on that offer next though in both cases I’ll prioritize any new signup bonus I am working on since that return will be greater than the extra point I’ll be earning per dollar.

Filed under: Promotions Tagged: Chase Hyatt Visa Bonus Spend Promotion

New Link for 90,000 Mile Signup Bonus on Bank of America Virgin Atlantic MasterCard

It seems this offer comes and goes quite a bit but I just got an email from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club advertising the 90,000 mile signup bonus on the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic MasterCard. The previous working link I was aware expired so here is the current, direct link to the offer. As a refresher, […]

It seems this offer comes and goes quite a bit but I just got an email from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club advertising the 90,000 mile signup bonus on the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic MasterCard. The previous working link I was aware expired so here is the current, direct link to the offer.

As a refresher, you don’t receive all 90,000 miles in one shot. Instead it is broken down as follows:

  • 20,000 Miles After 1st Purchase
  • 50,000 Miles After Spending $12k in 6 Months
  • 5,000 Miles for Adding 2 Authorized Users (or 2,500 Miles for adding 1 Authorized User)
  • 7,500 Miles for Spending $15k total in 1st Year of Membership
  • 7,500 Miles for Spending $25k total in 1st Year of Membership

Even though its advertised as a 90,000 mile offer, I think its better to view it as a 82,500 mile offer as it seems likely you can spend $15k on the card if you already spent $12k of that getting the bonus 50,000 miles. Additionally, you earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on this card so if you do manage to spend $15k on this card, you will end up a total of ~105,000 Virgin Atlantic Miles. The annual fee of $90 is NOT waived for the first year. This offer expires on July 10th per the email I received.

Filed under: Bank of America, Virgin Atlantic Tagged: 90k Offer on Virgin Atlantic Mastercard, Link for 90k BofA Virgin Atlantic Offer

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Poolside Cabana Review

Part 1: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort Review Part 2: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Cabana Review (this post) As highlighted in my earlier post, we enjoyed our time at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and thought it made for a perfect long weekend getaway. To maximize our long weekend, we booked the last flight back to […]

Part 1: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort Review

Part 2: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Cabana Review (this post)

As highlighted in my earlier post, we enjoyed our time at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and thought it made for a perfect long weekend getaway. To maximize our long weekend, we booked the last flight back to Long Island on a Sunday night that left Tampa at 8:45pm so we could fully enjoy our Sunday. We decided to try out the hotel’s poolside cabanas for the day which are actually “mini-rooms” of sorts whose sliding doors open to the pool area. Since we would have to checkout of our suite by 11am, we thought this was a great opportunity to still have a “room” where we could store our stuff, have a private bathroom and comfortably relax on the couch or watch TV. Yes, these cabanas come equipped with a living room and TV which came in handy for my wife who was 7 months pregnant and needed to escape the sun for a bit.

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View of the pool area…the cabanas are located around the pool along the back wall

There are two sizes of cabanas which surround the pool on the 8th floor of the hotel – small cabanas (holding 4-6 people) which cost $99 and larger ones (holding 8-10 people) for $149. Unless you a hosting a large party in the cabana for the day, the small one should be sufficient for most with enough indoor & outdoor seating for all. To access these cabanas, you go up to the 8th floor and look for your cabana room marked with “C” followed by the cabana number. Upon entering the private half bathroom is immediately to your left – if there is a downside, it would be the lack of a shower in the bathroom.

IMG_2553 IMG_2551

To the right when you walk in is a sink which I didn’t find useful considering there is a sink in the bathroom already. Straight ahead in the room is the living room of the cabana with a sofa and TV (and nice cold AC to escape the Florida heat). Additionally, there is also a safe for those that are wondering if you wanted to store any valuables.

IMG_2547 IMG_2546

At the end of the room, there is a sliding glass door that leads out to a covered area with a table and 4 chairs plus two loungers. All of this seating is only for your cabana and there is small sign in front telling others these are reserved.

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Our last trip before baby

Our last trip before baby

I forgot to take a picture of it but there was a special menu available for cabana rentals that offer packages of various food/drinks for what seemed to be rather reasonable prices. I remember one package that offered offered soda, beer, & snacks and thought it was good deal if you have a larger group. One other perk of the cabanas was that you could order anything from any passing waitress (or go up to the pool bar yourself of course) and have it delivered to your cabana.

Overall, I though having the cabana really enhanced our last day since we didn’t have to leave the hotel till 6pm to catch our 8:45pm flight. While I know the hotel would have held our luggage, I’m not a fan of having to keep going back to the front desk if I need something from my bag and then having to figure out where to change or refresh before leaving. It was especially nice to have the private bathroom and a cozy little “room” to sit inside when we needed a break from the sun. For $99, I wouldn’t hesitate to do this again as it really did make our last day much more enjoyable.

Filed under: Hyatt Tagged: Hyatt Clearwater Beach Cabana Photos, Hyatt Clearwater Beach Cabana Review

My App-O-Rama Results: 175,000 Points/Miles + $300 in Airline/Statement Credits

Last month, I applied for several new credit cards and decided to apply for them all on the same day in one “app-o-rama”. While it’s true some people are shifting away from the app-o-rama idea and applying for cards as needed, I stuck to it as historically it’s worked very well for my wife and I. Now before […]

Last month, I applied for several new credit cards and decided to apply for them all on the same day in one “app-o-rama”. While it’s true some people are shifting away from the app-o-rama idea and applying for cards as needed, I stuck to it as historically it’s worked very well for my wife and I.

Now before I get into the detailed results, please note I post about my credit card dealings as these posts are always popular with readers but remember just because I apply for a card (or 4) doesn’t mean you should. In fact, you probably shouldn’t as I know what I am doing and the risks associated with these financial decisions. We are at different places in the miles/points game and probably have different travel goals/needs. With that disclaimer out of the way, here is what I applied for and why.

1) American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card – 50,000 Membership Rewards Points + $200 in Airline Gift Cards

PRG Offer

Update (6/18): Some people might see an offer for 40k points the first year + 25k points the second year by clicking this link. Personally, I like the 50k offer below better since I never have to pay an annual fee but some people might appreciate the extra points.

I find it interesting that while I’ve had 47 credit cards (yes that’s the actual number though many of them are now closed) over the past 4 years, I never had the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card which is a fairly popular card. The normal signup bonus is just 25,000 points but I was able to get a 50,000 point offer to appear by opening this link in a Chrome incognito window.  This offer required spending spending only $1,000 in 3 months and the annual fee of $195 was waived for the first year. I was not approved right away but instead of calling reconsideration right away, I waited a day and found out I was approved when I checked my application status online.

Delta Gift Cards Amex

In addition to the 50,000 points, this card offers a $100 airline credit annually based on the calendar year so in the first year of card membership I will be able to utilize this credit twice. I have already used this year’s credit to buy 2x $50 Delta gift cards and I plan to repeat it in early January 2017.

Currently, when I click the link for the card above (remember not everyone will see this offer right away or at all), it shows a 50,000 point offer but with a $2,000 spend requirement – still a great offer in my opinion especially as Amex limits you to a card once a lifetime so you want to maximize the signup bonus. There are reports of very targeted 60k or 75k offers but they are quite rare so I think 50k is the realistic highest signup bonus for most people.

2) Chase British Airways Avios – 75,000 British Airways Avios

BA Avios Offer

My general focus for this round of applications was to accumulate transferable points (like Chase UR or Amex Membership Rewards) or airline miles as I have plenty of hotel points right now (over 1.3 million across all programs between my wife & I) so I went for one of the highest signup bonuses with this card. I did unfortunately miss the 100,000 Avios offer earlier this year but I wasn’t confident it would return anytime soon so I pulled the trigger on the 75,000 Avios signup bonus offer. Technically, the offer is split with 50,000 Avios being awarded after $2,000 in spending in 3 months and the other 25,000 Avios being award for spending $15,000 total in the first year. Additionally, the annual fee of $95 is NOT waived for the first year.

Chase is known for the lack of instant approvals and this was no different as I was notified my application was pending. I decided to not call reconsideration as I already had 5 Chase cards open (4 personal, 1 business) and I was worried about having another set of eyes on this application/all my Chase cards and have an overeager agent possible deny my application under the 5/24 rule even though 5/24 does not appear to apply to this card. After waiting it out for about 25! days, this is how I found out I was approved – I got a thick envelope in the mail from Chase.

BA in Mail

This is how I found out I was approved…thanks Chase!

Going back to the offer, I’ll easily reach the $2,000 spend threshold in 2 months and I have a year to tackle the remaining $13,000 in spend required for the other 25,000 Avios. This won’t be an issue as I will put all non-bonus category spend on this card and I’m sure there will be several reselling deals or smaller manufactured spending deals to help complete this spend. With these Avios, I will plan to exclusively use them on short haul American Airlines flight domestically and to the Caribbean.

3) Bank of American Alaska Airlines (Personal) – 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles + $100 Statement Credit

Alaska Personal Offer

Before I go into this offer, note the offer on this card has increased now to 30,000 miles + $100 statement credit and you can apply directly via this link. Back when I applied the best offer was 25,000 miles + $100 and even though I knew the 30,000 mile offer was coming at some point this year, I chose not to wait for it. I won’t describe my thoughts on churning these cards in this post as that deserves its own post (which I will write someday) but at a bare minimum I like to signup for at least 2-3 of these cards a year (and some people do much more than this). The timing made sense to get this application in now and I was happily instantly approved.

Anyway back to offer which was 25,000 miles for getting approved for the card (no spend requirement) plus a $100 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in 3 months. There is also a free companion ticket though I have never used mine as I’ve never actually flown Alaska Airlines. The annual fee of $75 was NOT waived for the first year but with the statement credit offer, Bank of America was paying me $25 to acquire 25,000 Alaska miles. Even with the demise of Emirates first class awards (yet another post I need to write – my review of Emirates first class), Alaska miles are still valuable for awards to Asia on Cathay Pacific/Hainan Airlines, awards to the South Pacific with Fiji Airways and great in general for awards on Delta, American or Alaska themselves. In short, I will have no problem spending these miles.

4) Bank of American Alaska Airlines (Business) – 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Bofa Alaska Business

Update (6/18): This card now offers a 30,000 mile signup bonus.

The offer for the Alaska Airlines business card is quite similar to the personal card except it does not include the $100 statement credit to help offset the $75 annual fee which is NOT waived for the first year. Currently, the offer is still 25,000 miles but I’ve heard it will be increasing to 30,000 miles relatively soon to more closely align with the personal card. Just like the personal card, this card is indeed churnable and one that I like to acquire 2 or 3 of in a year to help augment my Alaska Mileage Plan balance. Additionally, if you apply for the the personal Alaska card at the same time, the credit inquiries will be combined thus creating almost no downside to adding a business card application. For this application, I was instantly approved.

For this offer, the 25,000 miles are awarded after first purchase so I tend to think of this offer as a way to buy 25,000 Alaska miles for $75 – an obvious good deal. Even if you don’t have plans to redeem Alaska miles for a luxurious flight aboard Cathay Pacific or Emirates, at the very worst you can think of this offer as buying a domestic flight for $75 since those 25,000 miles will cover domestic round-trips on American, Delta or Alaska. 

Summary:

This was yet another successful round of credit card applications especially when you consider I did not have to call reconsideration on any of these cards and there were no denials. For a total cost of $145 in annual fees the first year (after factoring in the $100 statement credit on the Alaska Personal card), I earned 175,000 points/miles and $200 in Delta Gift cards. That’s a pretty solid haul in return for 3 credit inquiries and shows that even after 47 cards, there is still much value to be earned by chasing the right signup bonuses.

*As always, there are no affiliate links included in this post. All links lead to the best available offer I am aware of.

Filed under: Alaska Airlines, American Express, Bank of America, British Airways, Chase Tagged: Alaska Airlines 30k + $100 Statement Credit Link, Amex 50k PRG Offer, Chase British Airways Avios 75k Offer

Did You Know Active Military Members Get Free American Airlines Lounge Access?

I like to think I know quite a bit about points/miles/frequent flyer programs etc. but even after 2.5 years of blogging, I’m still learning new things and this tip is a good one for our active military members. This weekend I learned that American Airlines offers active military members complimentary lounge access to their Admirals Club […]

I like to think I know quite a bit about points/miles/frequent flyer programs etc. but even after 2.5 years of blogging, I’m still learning new things and this tip is a good one for our active military members. This weekend I learned that American Airlines offers active military members complimentary lounge access to their Admirals Club when flying on American Airlines just for being active military! They even have the policy documented on their website.

AA Lounge Access for Military Members

My friend, Navy Lieutenant Jon S., shared this with me as he was returning from a weekend trip to Gulfport. He lives in Rhode Island and always has a connection through Charlotte when flying on American Airlines which is a hub for American after the US Airways-American Airlines merger. While waiting out his connection in Charlotte, he simply showed the agent at the front desk of the Admirals Club his military ID and was admitted access. This generous policy also allows access for immediate family or two guests. Per the documented policy, you need to show both a military ID and working orders but in Jon’s case he was never asked for his orders (which he did have on him).

I took a look at some airlines to see if they had a similar policy and only United comes close, though it is much more restrictive. If a military member is on Rest & Recuperation (R&R) leave, then he/she will be admitted to United clubs but unfortunately no guests are allowed. Additionally, some airports have USO centers which military members have access to. 

I’d like to commend American Airlines for offering this perk to those who bravely serve our country. Its been a weekend of learning for me – between learning another flaw in Marriott’s program to finding out about this free lounge access policy for military members. I only wish I knew about this sooner so I could have shared this with those traveling for the military.

Filed under: American Airlines Tagged: American Airlines Admiral’s Club Access for Military Members, Free Lounge Access for Active Military

One More Reminder Why I Hate The Marriott Rewards Program

Earlier this year, my wife & I spent the long Presidents Day weekend (which happened to coincide with Valentine’s Day), at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel to escape the cold weather in NY. We could not have timed the trip better – it was record cold in NY that weekend (0 degrees on Long Island) […]

Earlier this year, my wife & I spent the long Presidents Day weekend (which happened to coincide with Valentine’s Day), at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel to escape the cold weather in NY. We could not have timed the trip better – it was record cold in NY that weekend (0 degrees on Long Island) and record highs in Laguna at 82 degrees! It was a fantastic use of 60,000 Marriott Rewards Points per night as room rates were over $700/night for the holiday weekend and I’ll talk about the hotel in a separate post (spoiler alert – we loved it!).

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the Marriott Rewards program as I think among the major hotel programs, Marriott’s hotels are overpriced from a points perspective, lack aspirational properties that I want to stay at (excluding Ritz Carltons),  and earning points in this program is not as rewarding as their competitors. Many run of the mill Courtyards and Marriott hotels price from 30k to 40k points a night but for 25k or 30k points at Hyatt (remember Chase UR transfer to both Hyatt and Marriott at a 1:1 ratio), I’ve stayed at some truly excellent hotels including the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome and Park Hyatt Maldives.

I'll choose this over a Courtyard for 25k points

I’ll choose this over a Courtyard for 25k points

Anyway getting back to the point of this post, while checking my points balances a few weeks ago, I noticed I never earned any points for my incidental charges at the Ritz including our Valentine’s Day dinner at Raya in the hotel. I finally contacted Marriott Rewards to ask about my missing points and was told that incidental charges don’t earn points at Ritz Carlton hotels.

No Points for Ritz Carlton Stays

That’s right you earn zip, zero, zlich, nada, nil etc. for any incidentals charged to your room not only at just Ritz Carltons but also many other Marriott chains including Courtyard, Fairfield Inns, Edition, SpringHill Suites and several others. To Marriott’s credit, they do make this pretty clear on their website.

Truthfully, this was something I should have known about Marriott’s program before going but since I tend to shy away from this program, I didn’t know all the ins and outs of the program. It seems kind of crazy to me that Marriott doesn’t want to incentive their guests, especially ones staying at Ritz Carltons where food/drink options are generally a bit more expensive, to stay on property and earn additional points for spending money at the hotel. It’s not hard to imagine a family of four spending a week at a Ritz Carlton resort spending over $1,000 (probably more) on incidentals but getting nothing to show for it. The policy seems kind of petty to me and is just another reason for me to stay away from this program.

Filed under: Marriott Tagged: Earning Marriott Points at Ritz Carlton Hotels, Why You Dont Earn Points at Ritz Carlton Hotels