Monday, November 16, 2015

New Cards - Citi Thank You Prestige and Chase Ink Plus

This month, we decided to open up a few more credit cards as our rewards balances started running low.

Citi Thank You Prestige
First, my father signed up for the Citi Thank You Prestige Mastercard. The regular offer is as follows:

A. 50,000 Thank You points after spending $3,000 in 3 months.
B. $450 annual fee (not waived)

However, instead of applying online, my father went to a physical Citi branch office and applied with a real life banker. Why? Because the sign up offer he was given was as follows:

A. 30,000 Thank You points after spending $3,000 in 3 months.
B. Additional 30,000 Thank You points after spending a total of $15,000 in 12 months (so $12k more after spending the first $3k)
C. $350 annual fee (forever)

But even $350 just to have the card in our wallet is a lot of money. There's been tons of other websites that sell explain the benefits, but here's why my father signed up.
  • $250 each calendar year of Airline Reimbursement. So for 2015 and 2016, we can get back $500 of total airfare spend (which in my family, is as good as cash) before our first card member year comes.
  • $100 Global Entry Application reimbursement. My parents and I already have Global Entry, but my grandmother does not. Since Citi doesn't really know or care WHO specifically applied for Global Entry, we can use our Prestige card to pay for my grandmother's application fee. 
  • 4th Night Free Hotel Benefit. We haven't yet used this feature, but given how much we travel, it's a safe bet that we'll have an opportunity over the next 12 months. But even if all of 2016 comes and goes without us using this perk, we'll still have done better than the $350 fee.
  • Free American Airlines Club Lounge Access. We don't often fly American Airlines, but if we ever did, I'm sure we'd prefer stopping at the lounge before our flight.
Chase Ink Plus
The second card we opened was the Chase Ink Plus card which comes with $95 annual fee, but also with a 60,000 Ultimate Rewards point bonus (after spending $5,000 in 3 months).

This card, however, is for small businesses. Luckily for us, my father had an eligible small business that needed a new business card. 

While this offer did not waive the $95 annual fee the first year, it did come with an extra 10,000 bonus points more than the standard 50k offer, which we value at $200 (2 cents/pt). 

So it was a good trade off, especially since we just redeemed 150,000 Chase UR points for 2 rooms at the Andaz Papagayo for 5 nights each at our upcoming Costa Rica vacation. That redemption gave us a value of 2.4 cents/point.

So now, we have to spend approximately $8,000 in November, December and January and another $12,000 through October 2016. Of course, the entire point of this game is to NOT spend more than we would otherwise in our regular lives, so it will be a matter of shifting our everyday spend onto these cards (groceries, gas, bills, restaurants, etc).

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