PSA -Sapphire Reserve with 100K points bonus, LAST CHANCE is Saturday 3/11 at branch...

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rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
Spent some time thinking about this and I think we'll probably keep the CSR, even though the new perks don't do a whole lot for us.

The biggest factor for us is the $300 travel credit and PriorityPass lounge access. Even though you can theoretically get more in credits with the Amex Platinum, they're going to be really hard for us to earn. We never really pay any kind of airline fee, don't take an Uber ride every month, and I don't need my wife starting to shop at Saks. Although Amex has PriorityPass too, the fact that they don't have the restaurant portion of PriorityPass is a big hit for us. One of the airports we travel to ~3x/year has a PriorityPass restaurant and we get a lot of value out of it. Plus, we'll still get the 1.5x points value and the synergy from our Freedom cards.

Thought briefly about the Amex Delta Reserve, but the perks of that card just do not justify the cost. The companion ticket is nice, but I get one with my Amex Delta Platinum, and I don't ever fly 1st class so a 1st class companion ticket does nothing for me. I find the fact that only ONE person can access the SkyClub/Centurion lounges to be an absolute joke...I'm almost always traveling with my family, and if they can't all join (or I have to pay) there's not much point. Same issue with the Amex Platinum SkyClub/Centurion access.

I wanted to open a 3rd Delta Amex Platinum with the recent benefits overhaul and the good signup bonuses that are currently available, but I guess I've applied for too many cards recently because I'm DQ'd from the welcome bonus. Wonder how long it will take to be eligible again.
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,207
2,184
126
Just got my wife's SW business premiere card in the mail today. This one should give us a 60k bonus points. Then going to get a normal priority one that will net us 75k points.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
100,060
3,107
126
Seems like everyone and their mother does rewards for airline miles. Are you tied to any particular airline? We do want to travel but it's costly for 4. How much do you have to use your card to get a completely free trip to somewhere like Aruba? Our monthly credit card bill is like $4-5k.

I've only ever played it safe and done the 2% citi card, and 5% amazon card. So in a year we'll get back maybe $1300, cash in hand rather than banked airline miles we're not sure will add up to anything worthwhile... need enlightenment from your experiences.
i have the united card because it makes basic economy into regularish economy (card allows a carry on and a checked bag, and with boarding in group 2 you can actually find a spot for your carry on). otherwise i'd probably get rid of it. i have a ton of united miles from the sign up bonus for that card + travel i've done, but i've never spent them. the way i travel i find cheap airfare first (slickdeals) and then figure out everything else. this works because i'm really flexible on when and where i go. (chase) points get spent on hotel bookings.
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
i have the united card because it makes basic economy into regularish economy (card allows a carry on and a checked bag, and with boarding in group 2 you can actually find a spot for your carry on). otherwise i'd probably get rid of it. i have a ton of united miles from the sign up bonus for that card + travel i've done, but i've never spent them. the way i travel i find cheap airfare first (slickdeals) and then figure out everything else. this works because i'm really flexible on when and where i go. (chase) points get spent on hotel bookings.
Why...why wouldn't you just use them? Free is better than cheap.
 
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Reactions: Brainonska511
Dec 10, 2005
20,256
1,484
126
Why...why wouldn't you just use them? Free is better than cheap.
Yep. I just used a bunch of miles I accumulated through work to get the equivalent of 1 round trip ticket and 1 one-way ticket for a trip we're taking to Seattle in the spring. It's wasn't necessarily the cheapest flights overall, but the combination of miles + money blew away anything else.
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,207
2,184
126
So I realized today that I lost some CUR points. I have no clue how many I had but if I had to guess I had at least 20k. I was going to use it to partial pay for flights.

When it said the points don't expire as long as the account is open, I was thinking it meant your chase login account, not a credit card account. I have 2 "chase" accounts but each one only has an active SW card open right now. When I closed my Ink a while back, I didn't realize I would lose the points because I still had a SW card on there.

Oh well...
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,709
324
126
So I realized today that I lost some CUR points. I have no clue how many I had but if I had to guess I had at least 20k. I was going to use it to partial pay for flights.

When it said the points don't expire as long as the account is open, I was thinking it meant your chase login account, not a credit card account. I have 2 "chase" accounts but each one only has an active SW card open right now. When I closed my Ink a while back, I didn't realize I would lose the points because I still had a SW card on there.

Oh well...
Worth a call into Chase I reckon, unless you've done that already...
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
18,609
1,605
126
So I realized today that I lost some CUR points. I have no clue how many I had but if I had to guess I had at least 20k. I was going to use it to partial pay for flights.

When it said the points don't expire as long as the account is open, I was thinking it meant your chase login account, not a credit card account. I have 2 "chase" accounts but each one only has an active SW card open right now. When I closed my Ink a while back, I didn't realize I would lose the points because I still had a SW card on there.

Oh well...
It's by reward earning family. So if you have an UR earning card the UR points stay but once you get rid of that last UR card in that account the points go away (Unless you use, consolidate to an account with an UR card, or convert to airline\hotel\etc). Closing cards that are tied to a non-credit card reward program doesn't affect the points as those are subject to that 'currency's' expiration policy
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,207
2,184
126
It's by reward earning family. So if you have an UR earning card the UR points stay but once you get rid of that last UR card in that account the points go away (Unless you use, consolidate to an account with an UR card, or convert to airline\hotel\etc). Closing cards that are tied to a non-credit card reward program doesn't affect the points as those are subject to that 'currency's' expiration policy
Yeah I f'd up and thought it was tied to my login account versus my credit card account.
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
Well, we booked! 54,000 Skymikes + $55 apiece nonstop into Beijing, back through Tokyo for 11 nights. Couldn’t resist. We’re thinking of adding Vietnam, and might get some friends to join us.

Thanks to the signup bonuses from our Delta Platinum cards earlier this year :cool:
Well! This has been quite the experience in cancelling flights/hotels booked with miles. A few learnings:
  • Delta was great to deal with. Especially since we booked with SkyMiles, everything was seamless. We got full SkyMiles refunds with no cancellation fees when we cancelled our Beijing flight as well as our South Korea flight (...which we had booked to replace the Beijing flight). They even waived our cancellation fees for our return flight from Japan since it was associated with the same trip.
  • Air France was also great to deal with -- no issues getting refunds for flights purchased with Flying Blue miles. Unfortunately, though, now I have 118,000 Flying Blue miles that are stranded in two different Air France accounts (they had been transferred from Chase/Citi). Fortunately, they don't expire for two years. Slight inconvenience, but we'll find a way to use them. I'll probably think twice before I go the route of transferring points again, though, if there's another option that is only slightly more expensive.
  • Refundable hotels are very easy to cancel online through Chase UR. We were even able to get a full refund for the one non-refundable hotel that we booked (in South Korea) -- the hotel was very accommodating considering the circumstances.
All in all, we'll only be out $250 or so in Vietnam Air cancellation fees. Will try to get that recovered through my CSR travel insurance -- I'm hoping the combination of coronavirus and my pregnant wife is enough to justify that, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
17,425
1,436
126
Well! This has been quite the experience in cancelling flights/hotels booked with miles. A few learnings:
  • Delta was great to deal with. Especially since we booked with SkyMiles, everything was seamless. We got full SkyMiles refunds with no cancellation fees when we cancelled our Beijing flight as well as our South Korea flight (...which we had booked to replace the Beijing flight). They even waived our cancellation fees for our return flight from Japan since it was associated with the same trip.
  • Air France was also great to deal with -- no issues getting refunds for flights purchased with Flying Blue miles. Unfortunately, though, now I have 118,000 Flying Blue miles that are stranded in two different Air France accounts (they had been transferred from Chase/Citi). Fortunately, they don't expire for two years. Slight inconvenience, but we'll find a way to use them. I'll probably think twice before I go the route of transferring points again, though, if there's another option that is only slightly more expensive.
  • Refundable hotels are very easy to cancel online through Chase UR. We were even able to get a full refund for the one non-refundable hotel that we booked (in South Korea) -- the hotel was very accommodating considering the circumstances.
All in all, we'll only be out $250 or so in Vietnam Air cancellation fees. Will try to get that recovered through my CSR travel insurance -- I'm hoping the combination of coronavirus and my pregnant wife is enough to justify that, but I'm not holding my breath.
Good to hear. In grand scheme of things, being out only $250 is not bad. Thanks for the report on who were easy to deal with and accommodating.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
17,425
1,436
126
I was just thinking today about this card. What was once one of the best travel credit card has become pretty much worthless due to Covid-19. I'm wondering how am I even going to spend the $300 travel credit. Before it was so easy. Now that I'm stuck at home, I don't see how I'm going to be able to use it.
 
Nov 8, 2012
15,928
2,741
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Gift Cards if possible... It's what I do with my AMEX Platinums a lot of years because most of my travel is business.

For once I'm ready to start gaming the credit card game again and am continuing to hope that this card goes back up to 100k points =/

Sadly I don't think that will happen...
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,207
2,184
126
I was just thinking today about this card. What was once one of the best travel credit card has become pretty much worthless due to Covid-19. I'm wondering how am I even going to spend the $300 travel credit. Before it was so easy. Now that I'm stuck at home, I don't see how I'm going to be able to use it.
I did get an email from Southwest that the companion pass that was supposed to end this year is being extended to June 2021. That is nice of them.
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
Wasn't sure where to post this, but wanted to share a good AmEx offer.

AmEx is offering a promotion when you finance or refinance a mortgage with better.com. You get a $2,500 AmEx statement credit as well as waived appraisal fees (up to $550 value). This is labeled as a targeted offer, but you can find the offer online (link), and there are lots of reports of people having success even when they weren't targeted.

I did receive an email for one of my AmEx Delta cards and applied for the promo. I was looking at refinancing (rates are really low right now), and I had already been looking at better.com before I found the promo. Their rates were very competitive. We'll basically be walking away from this refinance paying nothing in closing costs (when considering the statement credit) and getting a nice discount to our mortgage payment each month. Their website is really awesome...everything is very seamless and integrated, and they move quick. I put an application in on Saturday, locked the rate on Sunday, was pre-approved yesterday (Tuesday), and appraisal scheduled and everything moving forward.

Would recommend giving it a shot if you're in the business for a refinance. A few months left on this one -- apply by 7/25 and close by 10/28. I'll let y'all know how mine goes.
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,216
504
126
Wasn't sure where to post this, but wanted to share a good AmEx offer.

AmEx is offering a promotion when you finance or refinance a mortgage with better.com. You get a $2,500 AmEx statement credit as well as waived appraisal fees (up to $550 value). This is labeled as a targeted offer, but you can find the offer online (link), and there are lots of reports of people having success even when they weren't targeted.

I did receive an email for one of my AmEx Delta cards and applied for the promo. I was looking at refinancing (rates are really low right now), and I had already been looking at better.com before I found the promo. Their rates were very competitive. We'll basically be walking away from this refinance paying nothing in closing costs (when considering the statement credit) and getting a nice discount to our mortgage payment each month. Their website is really awesome...everything is very seamless and integrated, and they move quick. I put an application in on Saturday, locked the rate on Sunday, was pre-approved yesterday (Tuesday), and appraisal scheduled and everything moving forward.

Would recommend giving it a shot if you're in the business for a refinance. A few months left on this one -- apply by 7/25 and close by 10/28. I'll let y'all know how mine goes.
Here is a huge thread on this in SlickDeals.net with a lot of good info, especially on how to get Better.com to price match other lenders... They have a $1000 offer to beat other offers (read thread for more info)...
 
Nov 8, 2012
15,928
2,741
126
Wasn't sure where to post this, but wanted to share a good AmEx offer.

AmEx is offering a promotion when you finance or refinance a mortgage with better.com. You get a $2,500 AmEx statement credit as well as waived appraisal fees (up to $550 value). This is labeled as a targeted offer, but you can find the offer online (link), and there are lots of reports of people having success even when they weren't targeted.

I did receive an email for one of my AmEx Delta cards and applied for the promo. I was looking at refinancing (rates are really low right now), and I had already been looking at better.com before I found the promo. Their rates were very competitive. We'll basically be walking away from this refinance paying nothing in closing costs (when considering the statement credit) and getting a nice discount to our mortgage payment each month. Their website is really awesome...everything is very seamless and integrated, and they move quick. I put an application in on Saturday, locked the rate on Sunday, was pre-approved yesterday (Tuesday), and appraisal scheduled and everything moving forward.

Would recommend giving it a shot if you're in the business for a refinance. A few months left on this one -- apply by 7/25 and close by 10/28. I'll let y'all know how mine goes.
I just did this and completed the refinance... From what I hear, you have to wait 6-8 weeks or some shit before you MIGHT see it.

I'm really hoping that it just shows up in a reasonable amount of time of a few weeks instead of me having to call both better and AMEX to work it out.
 
Nov 8, 2012
15,928
2,741
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Here is a huge thread on this in SlickDeals.net with a lot of good info, especially on how to get Better.com to price match other lenders... They have a $1000 offer to beat other offers (read thread for more info)...
I'll definitely echo this as well - Better.com's rates that they advertised to me... were... subpar... Go shop around from places like bankrate or lendingtree where it shows you a bunch of different options. Check your local credit union... Find the best one from 10+ sources and then have Better match/beat it.
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
Yeah, for sure check out the slickdeals and flyertalk threads before you start. Plenty of good info in there.

I found the better.com rates to be good, but I think I may have just gotten lucky. Was able to get 3.00% with a few hundred dollars in credits included, but when I checked out the site again the next few days rates were nearly a half point higher. But the rate/closing cost match definitely seems helpful.

I don't care how long it takes to get the credit as long as it comes. I haven't seen many reports of people not getting their credits, but it does seem like it takes a full 6-12 weeks.
 

manly

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
8,178
120
106
I was just thinking today about this card. What was once one of the best travel credit card has become pretty much worthless due to Covid-19. I'm wondering how am I even going to spend the $300 travel credit. Before it was so easy. Now that I'm stuck at home, I don't see how I'm going to be able to use it.
I was one of the very last to get 100k bonus points (March 2017 sign-up), so one of the first to get the boosted annual fee on April 1st. So I instead did a product change to Freedom Unlimited, literally days before Chase decided to give a $100 statement credit to offset the annual fee hike. Before the pandemic, I would have been fine with $450 annual fee less $300 travel credit but right now I'm perfectly happy with my Chase UR points parked indefinitely. I suspect eventually I will sign up for a new Chase Sapphire card (most likely Preferred), get 50k bonus points, and find out some way to spend my points on the travel portal.

More to your point, I'm told Chase is temporarily including grocery stores and gas towards the $300 annual travel credit, due to Covid-19. So at least you don't have to manufacture travel expenses for this year.
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the CSR temporary changes. Only $450 renewal fee on the Reserve for the rest of the year, 5x points on grocery through June (hope they extend it), $300 travel credit now also triggered by gas and grocery (June through year-end), and 1.5x point redemption for statement credits that offset grocery, home improvement, and dining from June through Sept.
 
Nov 8, 2012
15,928
2,741
126
Really wish those fuckers would up the sign-on bonus back to 100k. I was over 5/24 at the time, but now I'm able to :(
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
101,129
15,275
136
Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the CSR temporary changes. Only $450 renewal fee on the Reserve for the rest of the year, 5x points on grocery through June (hope they extend it), $300 travel credit now also triggered by gas and grocery (June through year-end), and 1.5x point redemption for statement credits that offset grocery, home improvement, and dining from June through Sept.
hmm, I haven't seen these adjustments on statement yet. Did that just happen?

Anyway, I've been using my Freedom card for groceries, anyway, because they are at 5x UR points this quarter. I did purchase some gas the other day, though.

ah, starts only after June 1st. bastards!
 

manlymatt83

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,945
20
81
Is anyone else who was saving up points going to be doing statement credits instead? I have so many points ... a statement credit now vs an awesome trip later at potentially similar value... shrug
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
10,426
105
116
Ah fuck, I didn't even realize Freedom's category for Q2 was groceries. That does kind of water down the value in adding that to CSR.

I'm probably just going to be savings my points unless I have a need for cash for some reason. More fun to spend them on travel, and you can get more than 1.5x value sometimes by transferring points. But it's nice that they are giving us flexibility by increasing the rate on statement credits.
 

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