Wells Fargo Propel Re-launch and Go Far Rewards Program Review

WF Visa Signature Card Final



Today we cover Wells Fargo (WF), a sometimes overlooked player in the credit card miles hobby. A ‘too-big-to-fail’ financial institution that is renowned for cross-selling products (e.g. signing up customers for multiple types of accounts and relationships), Wells Fargo has recently been in the news with less-than-positive coverage. Aiming for a fresh start, the bank has been on a recent PR blitz and has just revamped its’ Propel card product, making it much more attractive and competitive with other cards. Find out more about this card as well as their other products, participating in Go Far Rewards (GFR), and see if any of them are a good fit for your wallet.

Continue reading “Wells Fargo Propel Re-launch and Go Far Rewards Program Review”

AMEX Platinum adds new non-travel 100$ credit

American Express Platinum Card



Contrary to many other issuers recently cutting their card benefits (as can be seen here, here, and here), American Express just announced an expansion to the perks offered by the Platinum card. Now, as of July 1st, cardholders of personal Platinum-family cards will be able to utilize a 100$ shopping credit with Saks Fifth Avenue.

Continue reading “AMEX Platinum adds new non-travel 100$ credit”

Premium Card Travel Credit Battle: Which One Reigns Supreme?

Premium Cards Final



Today we’ll be taking a look at the specifics of travel credits, which are a part of all issuers’ premium card offerings. As none of these credits roll over, the ability to utilize them fully is the key to extracting maximum value from each card, and plays an enormous role in determining if the high annual fees are worth applying or keeping a given card. Although these credits are frequently advertised as general travel benefits, the ability to actually apply them to offset purchases ranges from very restricted, such as AMEX’s offerings, to very generous, as is the case with Chase’s and USBank’s top tier products.

Continue reading “Premium Card Travel Credit Battle: Which One Reigns Supreme?”

Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 4: CapitalOne vs Bank of America vs USBank vs Barclays

Capital One Venture Card Final



Our fourth and final installment in this series covers Capital One (CO), which is the smallest bank we have featured, just trailing USBank in size, but which has an impressively large credit card operation. Even if you do not hold any of their cards, you probably are aware of them from their mass direct mail credit card ads in the 90s and early 2000s. As their banking footprint is relatively small, it is not surprising that they do not reward you for having this type of account with them. They are also relatively new to the credit card miles game with only two cards in this category. As before, please keep in mind that I am covering each of these bank programs as unified systems, but the reality is that most of these rewards are tied to a particular card and cannot be pooled or transferred between accounts save for a few exceptions, which I will indicate when appropriate.

Continue reading “Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 4: CapitalOne vs Bank of America vs USBank vs Barclays”

American Express updates tracking of earned Membership Rewards

American Express PRG Card



Good news: it seems AMEX has quietly updated the way they are reporting earned Membership Rewards (MR) points. We recently covered their miles program in detail – Battle of the Big Three – Part 3: Membership Rewards – and I pointed out that their system for tracking pending and earned points was somewhat lacking, especially compared to the ease of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards. Well, apparently, they must’ve read my critique and updated their system to make it more user-friendly! Logging into my account today, this is what I saw in my statement review for one of my cards:

Continue reading “American Express updates tracking of earned Membership Rewards”

Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 3: Bank of America vs USBank vs CapitalOne vs Barclays

BoA Travel Rewards Card Final



Our third installment in this series covers Bank of America (BoA), which is actually ranked second in size among all US banking institutions, just trailing Chase. Despite this and having multiple cobranded airline and cruise products, BoA is relatively new to the convertible credit card miles business and has surprisingly few qualifying products. This is offset by the fact that, similar to Citi, BoA is one of the few institutions that rewards you for having a banking or investment relationship with them by offering a significant and enticing boost to potential earnings.

Continue reading “Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 3: Bank of America vs USBank vs CapitalOne vs Barclays”

Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 2: USBank vs Bank of America vs CapitalOne vs Barclays

USBank Altitude Rewards Card



Our second installment in this series covers USBank. Starting out as a regional bank in Minnesota, this is currently the 7th largest bank in the US. Although it still does not have a presence in all states, USBank offers a large portfolio of enticing credit cards, many of which featuring competitive rewards programs, which will be covered in this post. As before, please keep in mind that I am covering each of these bank programs as unified systems, but the reality is that most of these rewards are tied to a particular card and cannot be pooled or transferred between accounts save for a few exceptions, which I will indicate when appropriate.

Continue reading “Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 2: USBank vs Bank of America vs CapitalOne vs Barclays”

Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 1: Barclays vs USBank vs Bank of America vs Capital One

Barclays Arrival Card Final



Note: This post was updated on 6/21/2018 to reflect the following new changes:

  • Air Canada’s Aeroplan was just added as an additional transfer partner to the Arrival Premier card;
  • The Arrival Plus card is being re-introduced to new applicants on 7/1/2018 with a 60,000 point sign up bonus!

Now that we’ve covered the big three bank miles programs, we now move on to the next 4 alternatives. Although not as well known, there is certainly no reason to ignore any of these as each of them is highly competitive in their own right and the right mix of cards can still offer you a competitive if not superior return on your spending. Keep in mind that I am covering each of these programs as unified systems, but the reality is that most of these rewards are tied to a particular card and cannot be pooled or transferred between accounts save for a few exceptions, which I will indicate when appropriate.

Continue reading “Alternate Bank Program Showdown Part 1: Barclays vs USBank vs Bank of America vs Capital One”

Battle of the Big Three – Part 3: Membership Rewards vs Ultimate Rewards vs ThankYou Points

American Express PRG Card



Note: This article was updated on 6/27/2018 to include the new 100$ Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credit, added as a benefit for personal Platinum card products. For more details, see this post.

Our final article in this series will cover the AMEX Membership Rewards (MR) program, which started all the way back in 1991 and boasts the largest number of transfer partners of the big three. Compared to Citi’s and Chase’s programs, the MR program is in the middle in terms of tracking points earning, checking on pending points, and redemption options.  Read on to find out if the MR-earning cards are a good fit to maximize the return on your credit card spending.

Continue reading “Battle of the Big Three – Part 3: Membership Rewards vs Ultimate Rewards vs ThankYou Points”

Battle of the Big Three – Part 2: Ultimate Rewards vs Membership Rewards vs ThankYou Points

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card



Note: this post was updated on 6/11/2018 to add the Ink Business Unlimited card that Chase launched in the end of May. This product is identical on the earning and spending sides to the Freedom Unlimited personal card in that you earn 1.5 UR points on every dollar of spending. While the business version does have some minor added benefits, such as primary car rental coverage for business purposes, given its’ similarities, we are not going to cover it in much depth apart from including it in all the comparison charts.

Today, we are continuing our review of the three major transferrable points currencies: Chase’s Ultimate Rewards (UR), Citibank’s ThankYou Points (TYP), and American Express’ Membership Rewards (MR). Our second article in this series covers the Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) program, which I think is the most user-friendly of the big three. Read on to find out if the UR-earning cards are a good fit to maximize the return on your credit card spending.

Continue reading “Battle of the Big Three – Part 2: Ultimate Rewards vs Membership Rewards vs ThankYou Points”