Credit Cards

Tag Archives for Credit Cards.

Why I Am Not Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

chase sapphire reserve

As you likely know, a brand new credit card product just arrived on the scene. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card may be the best credit card product of all time if you travel frequently. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why. 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 3X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining purchases, and 1X points on all others. A $300 annual travel credit. Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. ($100 value every 4 years) Airport lounge access through the Priority Pass Select program. Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Primary auto rental collision damage waiver. Emergency evacuation & transportation coverage.…

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My Fidelity Visa Arrived: Now What?

fidelity 2% cash back card

I’ve had an on again, off again relationship with one of the most popular cash back credit cards in the business, the Fidelity Amex card. I’ve had the card for years, but only used it in fits and starts. While I believe that it is one of, if not the best cash back card for many people, the card as it once was had its quirks. It was an American Express card issued by Bank of America’s FIA Card Services subsidiary, an outfit that had an odd little website (IMHO) and did not participate in digital wallets like Apple Pay (at least with the Fidelity card). Further, you could only take advantage of the cash back benefits if you had…

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Home Depot and Your Rewards Card?

chase sapphire reserve, travel finance

Not too long ago, I quoted a snippet from a Joe Brancatelli article here. As one bank executive told me recently, airline credit cards are at a tipping point because banks now pay upwards of two cents each to buy those miles. “That’s close to unprofitable for us and very close to the point where banks may walk away” from the frequent flier game. My piece was about the general direction of the airline loyalty space in 2016, and not about credit cards per se. But they are a key part of the loyalty pie being that more miles are earned from cards than actually flying on airplanes. So let’s talk about rewards credit cards for a second. Yes, they still…

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Just One Credit Card: One Month In

using one credit card, credit cards, personal finance

In late February I wrote about culling my credit card inventory, a project I had begun weeks before. As I was settling my bills this weekend, a now weekly activity of mine, it occurred to me that I’d been exclusively using one credit card for all my non-cash spending for a month. That’s a statement I haven’t made for well over a decade as I first started hitting the bonus points game in roughly 2003. The Verdict I am surprisingly at peace with the fact that I haven’t gotten every last little point I could have if I were actively targeting spend towards certain cards. The ease of tracking just one credit card for spending is a bonus point that can’t be…

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Opinion: Not Sad About Amex Bonus Changes

amex bonus changes

Those of us in the miles and points space that have been known to apply for a credit card from time to time are no doubt familiar with the latest change from American Express. Now, you can normally get a new account bonus for a product just once in a lifetime for Amex business cards. Amex personal cards went this route a while ago, but the biz cards were still churnable (as long as you were applying 12 months after account closure)……until this week. There are apparently some exceptions for particular targeted offers, but for the most part, churning is going to be less lucrative for now. There has been a predictable amount of teeth-gnashing, and frankly, I understand why.…

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Closing a Chase Card is a Little Too Easy Lately

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Chase has some of the most popular rewards cards out there. MileagePlus, Rapid Rewards, Marriott, etc. Then there are the ever-popular Ultimate Rewards cards. Lately, I’ve been a lot more focused on increasing my bank account balance than my points accounts, and have been thinning out my credit card portfolio. Earlier this year, I parted ways with my Marriott Rewards card. Recently, I decided it was time to close my Rapid Rewards Visa and an Ink card too, even with Chase’s 5/24 rule likely slowing my roll on any near term new applications. What a Difference a Few Years Makes Unlike my Marriott Rewards closure experience, the reps did not even make an attempt to remind me of the benefits of…

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Fidelity Amex Going Away – New Visa Coming

fidelity 2% cash back card

One of the most enduring cash back cards in the business, the Fidelity 2% cash back card (Amex) is no longer available for new accounts. Instead, Fidelity will offer a new cash back Visa in partnership with Elan Financial Services, a US Bank company. (Feature image credit: Fidelity) The new product will be a Visa card, which is generally better accepted worldwide than the American Express card it replaces. The card will continue to offer 2% cash back rewards, and will finally include compatibility with services like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, a major weakness of the prior card. What About My Current Card? According to Fidelity’s FAQ’s on the new card, we’ll still be able to enjoy all its…

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Chip and Signature Experiences in Europe

chip and pin, chip and signature, emv cards

Those who travel outside the country semi-often are well aware of chipped credit cards. Frankly, getting your magstripe card accepted outside of the most touristy areas has been a challenge for years. Finally, EMV Chip and Signature (and a few Chip and PIN) cards are coming to the USA. The vaunted “liability shift” that was meant to encourage merchants to upgrade their equipment to accept chip cards came and went on October 1 without much of a change. Retailing giant Wal-Mart made the switch to EMV well in advance of the deadline, and Target was ready prior to October 1 as well. If you were expecting mass acceptance effective October 1, you’ll likely be disappointed. While the liability shift date has…

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Closing Arrival Plus and My Retention Non-Offer

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My Barclaycard Arrival+ has been on the ropes with me for a while given the changes they made to the card most recently. It’s not the worst card in the world, but the redemption changes coupled with the removal of the TripIt Pro subscription that came with it made paying the $89 annual fee a challenge for me. When my AAdvantage Aviator Red card matched the Arrival+’s redeeming quality, Chip and PIN capability at unattended terminals, it’s fate was sealed. I gave Barclays a call and told them I wanted to cancel. They of course asked why, and I gave them all the reasons listed here. The agent advised that my account was “eligible” to downgrade to the no annual fee…

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Chipping and Dipping But Where Is My PIN?

chip and pin, chip and signature, emv cards

October 1 came and went, and the world did not spin off its axis. What am I talking about? The EMV liability shift, of course. Huh? October 1 was the day the fine folks at the card companies declared that the USA would finally move to the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) standard for credit card payments and incentivized merchants by transferring the liability for fraudulent transactions to the merchants, not the banks. What does that mean? Basically, as of October 1, if a customer presents an EMV capable card for payment, and the merchant swipes the card because they don’t have EMV equipment, the merchant is responsible for covering the charges if they turn out to be fraudulent. What is…

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