Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wallet Status Update - Cut/Waived

Earlier this week, we discussed:

A. Credit Card Starters
B. Credit Card Reserve Bench

Unfortunately, getting a shot at the big show doesn't guarantee you stay there. Some credit cards had a great season last year, but aren't really in the plans for this season, so they get cut from the roster. Here's our list of cuts so far this 2015 season.

Cut / Waived
1. Chase British Airways Visa - This card had an amazing 100,000 British Airways Avios sign up bonus after spending $20,000 in the first year. Through the help of some clever "spending," we were able to secure the entire bonus earning 125,000 Avios (100k bonus + 25k from spending). We used some of these Avios for some of our trips on American Airlines (a OneWorld Alliance partner of British Airways).

However, after the promotion finished, we didn't need yet another premium card to sit on the bench - especially since it would have cost $95 a year to keep it on our inactive roster. So we called Chase, transferred over most of the available credit limit to other keeper cards (Chase Freedom) and closed the British Airways Visa.

2. Barclays Arrival+ Mastercard - This was a darling of the points/miles blogosphere last year. It had a lot going for it including (a) a sign up offer of $440 in travel credits, (b) earning 2x on everything and (c) no foreign transaction fees, there are a lot of other cards that offer just as compelling of a value proposition without the $89 annual fee.

So when the fee was about to hit after the first free year, we made sure to use up all our Arrival miles in our account and downgraded to the no-fee version called Barclays Arrival (without the "+"). The no-fee version still has the no foreign transaction fees, but earns at a lower rate (1x on most spending, except 2x on travel/dining).

Since we earn 5x on dining this quarter (Freedom & Discover), 3x on United purchases (United Select) and use SPG points for hotels (Starwood), and 3x on non-bonus purchases (Citi Thank You), we don't ever plan to use this Barclays Arrival card to be honest. But it's always good to have some form of relationship with the major card issuer banks.

3. US Bank Club Carlson - My mother signed up for this card because we thought we could benefit from the great "2nd Night Free" bonus on all Club Carlson hotel award redemptions. While we don't stay at Radisson hotels at all, they do have some high end properties in Europe where cash rates are very expensive. For a $75 annual fee, we were likely to save more than that each year from just a single award redemption. Plus, we'd receive 40,000 points each anniversary.

However, they just announced they're eliminating this benefit, which makes the card worthless to our travel patterns. After all, unlike bank points, we keep all our Club Carlson points with the hotel's loyalty program even if we cancel the US Bank credit card.

No comments:

Post a Comment