Honeydicked by Chase Private Client: No sympathy for the Churner


Motherf**kers at Bank One Bear Stearns Washington Mutual JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank totally honeydicked me! Can you believe a multinational banking conglomerate would use such questionable tactics to get people to open new accounts? I thought I met some cool bros that we could hang and play hacky sack with, but it turns out they just wanted my money and to open new accounts. 🙁  If you can’t trust a giant faceless bank who was a main character in Hollywood movies, then who can you really trust any more?

only for cool kids

only for cool kids who don’t churn

When Chase Sapphire Preferred hit the streets with 3x on travel, gas, and dining a month ago I was bummed because I knew about 5/24 and I would have zero chance in getting the CSR. However the smooth talking banker and his even better looking Private Client Banker buddy convinced me that Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Infinite would be in my hands no problem. They said a fresh deposit of new capital would grant me super duper special consideration for my application. They coxed the fifteen thousand dollars out of me for a $500 bank and checking bonus all under the premise that they could use special relationships to overlook my promiscuous past of having over 5 card partners in the last 24 months.

Like a sucker I handed over the $15,000 with happy thoughts of 3x UR points for  travel, restaurants, and flights in my hand only to get this letter today:


Sure I was initially unfazed because my new extra cool buddies at Chase (whom I just met for 5 mins and handed over thousands of dollars to) would take care of it. It pretty much ended up right right out the movie the big short. With a chortle they said that that old deal of “calling in one for a bud” no longer exists, and I was just shy of getting that special consideration. They even got another private banker to tell me, even if I was a Private Banker Client with $10 million in assets there would be no special consideration for slutty churners of the likes of myself. I mean 5 credit cars in 2 years? Why you have been all over town racking up bonuses!!! We don’t deal with your kind!messages-image326258594

They thanked me for my money and pushed me out the door. I believe they were counting it and laughing as I walked away. Don’t get suckered in, the golden days of churning are over. There have been past reports of special privileges for these existing client relationships, but count this as a datapoint as even a modest deposit for fifteen thousand dollars won’t help you here. This may be my churning intervention. Maybe its time to quit the Credit Card game and do the direct deposit bank bonus game.


Best of luck out there!


Unlock Gold Marriott Status with AmEx Platinum



With your military fee free AmEx Platinum you can now get Hilton Gold (and diamond) , SPG Gold, and Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Gold at least through 2018! Which means you never have to pay for Marriott/Renaissance Breakfast or Hilton Breakfast again!


The merger between SPG and Marriott is complete and now each Marriott/Ritz point is worth 1/3 of a SPG point. Effectively you can use both Ultimate reward via Marriott and Amex Points via SPG to book a hotel room of your dreams! Inevitably everything will get diluted and crappy and each brand will unfortunately become diluted much like the Eurozone where I can’t really tell any of the member nations apart. So spend these SPG points now!

This merger of points programs between SPG and Marriott means elite status matching, not sure exactly what platinum status will get you but more information on reddit here. I’m assuming that you are not a n00b and already got several platinum AmEx cards like any good military churner has.


Since you get Gold SPG with your AmEx Platinum, you now get the Marriott Gold match for free when you link accounts here. I’m just glad I didn’t do any spend on my Ritz Card to try to earn gold after my previous spend of $10k bought me gold into 2017. Besides the room upgrades and the recognition, I value the gold membership in the Marriott and Hilton world for their complementary, otherwise overpriced, breakfasts buffets:


free breakfast, lunch, dinner at Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

free breakfast, dinner at Okinawa Chatan Hilton Resort

free breakfast, dinner at Okinawa Chatan Hilton Resort

giant sausage party at St. Louis Airport Hilton

giant sausage party at St. Louis Airport Hilton


free breakfast and cocktail hour at Rockville Hilton

Never pay for breakfast again! Amex Platinum still has its shine for the elite hotel status! Some thing that not even the Chase Sapphire Reserve can come close to!


Finally A Credit Card Endorsed By Dave Ramsey? ***


***please refer to Betteridge’s Law (the answer is no) Use link to get 1.5% cash back: HTTPS://ZEROFINANCIAL.COM/EARLY4050

Zero card is a FREEKING METAL 3% cashback Debit Card for those who have joined the cult of Dave Ramsey, or those with qualms about carrying any debt. Click here to sign up for the first round of applications and get graphite status (1.5% cashback)!

Looks like the same idea as RobinHood we have brought simple app banking to unbanked otaku millennials. Zero Card is an app based bank that has a linked “hybrid metallic credit card” that acts as a debit card linked to an interest bearing account. This is not new as we normal folks have always known such a tool as a secured credit card, made for people with terrible credit and no self control. You load an amount on there and then you get to spend only the amount you load in hopes of one day having a real credit card. If your in this position you have most likely lost your military security clearance and this blog doesn’t really appeal to you.

The card is pretty much catered to those that suffer from Ramsey’s dysphasia where you feel you have lost all control of you life, and must turn to a higher power for some semblance of financial control. The Zero Card is the perfect tool for those that have pledged to a rigorous lifestyle of cutting up all credit cards, entering a complete budget to the cent, and carry around cash in multiple category envelopes.


try to act normal carrying your paycheck around in envelopes stuffed with cash

When you feel weird about carrying stacks of cold hard cash in envelopes with rubber bands around them and paying for your tinder date, you may feel you need a card to better blend into society that has a de facto ban on carrying around cash. This is your shabbatt elevator to satisfy your devotion to an ultra orthodox lifestyle But want to be practical and baller with a metal credit card in our modern world.

What I find unique with Zero Card is the cash back is you get cashback at 1% and then get a boost the more you spend according to the FAQ:

There are four levels of Zerocard, which vary in terms of the cash back rewards percentages they earn. The entry-level Zerocard Quartz earns 1.0%, Zerocard Graphite earns 1.5%, Zerocard Magnesium earns 2.0% and Zerocard Carbon earns 3.0% cash back. Moving up to a higher level Zerocard allows you to earn more cash back for purchases.

Current minimum annual spending requirements are $25,000 for Zerocard Graphite, $50,000 for Zerocard Magnesium, and $100,000 for Zerocard Carbon.

Notice the appeal to new wacky material names and metallic base much like the Barclay Gold, Black, Titanium line up. Its almost like they are cramming this branding down our gullets. We get it, only basic bitches have plastic cards now, eww…. Ever worse are those posers at chase that have a laminated metal cards. As explained in this scathing article in the wash post, whic says you truly are not a whole person until your card is 24kt gold plate.

You can finally get 3% rewards on a “debit card” that  looks and feels like an AmEx Centurion Card to the cute but shallow Subway Sandwich Cashier (of which you end up swiping the card yourself anyways). Best feature yet is the pre-loading of money making it not a credit card by function, so it is a loophole you have been waiting for.

Since there is no new debt your not violating the key Ramsey rule, and 3% Cashback (after $100,000.00 spend) on all categories is even better than my $995 Barclay Gold Card Master Card. I doubt I will ever do anything higher than graphite which you can get by a simple referral made by this link here, you don’t even need to spend the $25k. Looks like there is some Ramsey millionaire out there that will go for the 3% cashback carbon card after he buys $100,000 in official Ramsey gear, most likely the man himself.

Looks like there are a lot of doubters on reddit in this new technology, but hey DoC has an open mind about it so I’m going for it, at least for my salaryman allowance.


Checking Account Bonus Season!


My daily commute brings me past about 5 different banks which opens up a whole new world of churning. One place I passed is PNC bank which is offering $300 for a new virtual wallet, 10 transactions on the card. Which seemed like a lot of work. The chase down the street was offering $250 for a checking and savings, so stupidly I went for this deal thinking it was pretty good.

Turns out I screwed myself out of $300 by not reading the Hustler Money Blog which is currently showing $300 bonus to open a Chase Premier Plus Checking account with Chase with direct deposit. Best part of this deal is that military members get the free safe deposit box as well as a waiver of the $25 monthly account fees even when the direct deposit is no longer maintained. I ended up opening an account for their $150 for checking and $100 for a saving account with $10,000 deposit. Don’t do what I did, and go for the $300 deal by 15 October 2016. I guess the $250 isn’t bad but it just locks up more money in savings for 90 days at least.


I was pretty bummed about not getting the deal so I went back to the bank with the new $300 checking offer and they said I had up to 21 days to switch coupons! Unfortunately the emailed coupon could not be backdated to my open dated, just to the coupon request date. I went ahead and looked around for a coupon code, even got desperate enough to look on ebay for some coupons. However I came across a post in r/churning that mentioned the movers package by USPS gives a $500 coupon ($300 for checking and $200 for $15,000 in savings for 90 days). I logged in and switched from my old FPO address to my new address and sure enough I got a $500 chase coupon code without backdate. I dont think I even had to finish the address change!


I went back today and sure enough, they honored the new coupon and will give me $500 for the new checking with direct deposit and $15k in savings for 90 days, so about 3.3% return on investment.

Great Lakes Commissary Coded as “General Store”, but Soyent = Groceries!


Sadly my plan of using the AmEx Blue for 6% cashback has been foiled as some genius decided that a grocery store is actually a General Retail store. This is unique to only this Commissary as I had enjoyed 3 years of 6% cashback in Okinawa at all four of their commissaries: Courtney, Kadena, Kinser, and Foster. So back up plan is using my Gold Luxury for a general 2% cashback.

Naturally this made me explore my shopping choices, and I found an amazing deal for the Costco across town at the intersection of I-94 and route 60. Costco is offering $50 worth of coupons when you buy a $55 membership for military here. So I might start shopping at one of these big box like every suburban dad is destined to do. The $1.50 hotdogs with drink are legit, but sadly this place doesn’t even take AmEx or Master Card! Tempted to get the Citibank Costco card, but that would violate my personal hatred for all things Citibank. Looks like its going on the Sapphire Preferred.


Of course there is one last option which is a liquid food replacement called soylent, this surprisingly is coded as a grocery store that takes AmEx Blue Cash Preferred, giving me back 6%! Just a fair warning, its not for everyone, but it sure makes feeding quick and easy (think adult food formula). Use this link for 50% off your first order of course you get 6% off on top of that if you use Blue Cash, which if you use this link you get another $150 when you spend $1k! You don’t have to spend it all of some bland drink, and remember the card fee of $95 is waived for military.



I have had the AmEx blue since 2006 in some form or another and its generally a good cashback card. You will start to see my blog shifting to maximizing cashback and less points for travel as I slowly transition to my final form of a typical American Suburban Salaryman, taking a single vacation once a year. Next step for me is buying golf clubs at costco, going to bed at 9 pm after drinking a warm glass of milk.


Avios AmExit: Good way to burn your points


Thanks to an O-5 reader of the blog who informed me of the ongoing bonus transfer of 250 MR points into 300 Avios Miles that is going on right now until October 10. This is a 50% increase to the usual 200 Miles for the same amount of points.

avios miles

As you already know Davey and I had huge redemption for using 12,500 Avios miles at 13.6 cents per mile for a $1,700 flight from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh city with the Japanese salarymen at 2 am arriving at 6 am on JAL. This deal can potentially make a single AmEx MR point worth 16.32 cents, which is a hell of a lot more than taking the cash back like some sucker.

I’m seriously considering cashing out the whole bulk of points to top off my Avios account to half a million miles! The power of Avios is using them to book on other One World partner airlines. I have never set foot on a BA plane yet I have a lot of uses for their miles. I earned 100k when they offered it for $20k spend back in the day on the Chase Avios Card.

Since I’m back in the states some great uses for Avios is on American Airlines. For 7,500 Avios miles you can fly a short haul segment on American Airlines in coach. This means the distance is in account for the cost of miles, for example LGA is 733.2 miles they charge 7.5k. An airport that is 1,846 miles such as SFO is running about 10,000 miles. You can plug and chug with their calculator here.

What does that mean in terms of redemption? I casually looked at the direct flight from ORD to LGA for $343.20 round trip in coach.

Messages Image(83888541)

I then looked at the same flight using Avios to book, be sure you use the avios site as the BA site says they don’t fly that route (it’s true) but the avios reward search will allow you to use the Avios for AA flights. I could not find the same days but I made it work for other days:

Messages Image(2034202064)

I’m calculating 2.2 cents per Avios mile or 2.64 cents per MR point with this bonus. So might not transfer all my MR points, but certainly a good bulk. If you have been reading this blog you should have 240,000 MR points with you 65k PRG card offer, 75k MB Plat offer, and 100k Regular Plat offer (all expired). Cashing them in with this bonus time will give you 288k Avios worth $7,603.20 in domestic short haul flights on American Airlines.

You’re welcome!


Visa Infinite Already in My Pocket

Looks like Chase is revamping a bunch of their cards in preparation for their new Sapphire Reserve card.  One notable move is charging $450 a year (formally $375) and adding an extra night and Visa infinite to their already awesome Ritz Carlton Card.

Not sure what this means to current card holders, but the 3rd free night should get all you fence sitters to jump on this deal. I’m just hoping retention offers will be better, at least I get a new designed card:


Yes Visa Infinite! What does it even mean? All I know is on this page here, I will have to let you know once the upgrade happens.


Derp Report Goes Domestic


Proper Midwestern Breakfast at Hilton St. Louis Airport (free with HHonors Diamond status (also free))

You don’t appreciate how awesome exploring America is until you spend 1096 days on a tiny island where there is no potential of a road trip to drive to another prefecture/state. I just did my first road trip from St. Louis to Springfield, Illinois going a whopping 100 km/h! The vastness of the land and the endless non-tolled infrastructure is appreciated, the $2 gas is awesome as well.


Additionally the lack of bowing and taking off my shoes every location has saved me countless hours in pointless pleasantries. A simple “thanks” has replaced “arigatou gozaimasu” and “morin'” has replaced “Ohayō gozaimasu”. Out of the 26,304 hours spent in Japan I estimate I spend at least 1,000 hours avoiding eye contact and bowing. Yes very novel at first but only for the first 16,000 hours.

hilton wifi

$15 Wifi! Waived at checkout with HHonors Diamond (gold as well?)

The best part is much better redemption for points. As in hotels you can drive to, staycations abound, no more reliance in airplanes just to change the scene. In the past 76 hours I have already started my redemption process towards my goal of spending all my points before the end of 2017.

First staycation to empty my Marriott Account. The Ritz Carlton Chicago which was under the Four Seasons Group until it recently reverted back to an actual Ritz. I had 45,000 points left in my Marriott account which I topped off with some UR points to redeem for a single night at 50k points for a tier 3 hotel.


The Ritz at Water Tower Place, Chicago

at $400 a night for 50k points we are getting 8/10 of a cent per point. Which is slightly better than the 0.7 cents the points guys says they are worth.

Second redemption is for a wedding I am going to in Florida. I had earned 50k IHG points by playing their Priceless Surprises sweepstakes. I was able to book the Melburne Oceanfront where the wedding will be for a mere 30k points for a single night.


Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront

At a cost of $120 a night the redemption of  30K points gets you only 4/10 of a cent per point. Terrible redemption, but been sitting on these points for too long. In the past I was able to get a $400 room for 50k points at the Inter-Contential Tokyo for twice the redemption value of 8/10 of one cent, but don’t forget where the points came from, a free mail in sweepstakes.

Now the flights from ORD to MLB usually run $210 a piece on Delta. Now that Delta status matched me to our United Silver and Gold for Silver and Gold Medallion I get to sample the good life. I went ahead and used 30k Delta Sky Pesos for 2 tickets at a redemption of 1.4 cents per mile. This is better than the 1.2 the points guy gets. I moved 5k points from my AmEx MR points to top off my account and then instantly redeem for the trip. Do not for any reason transfer points without the intent to redeem them right away as devaluations happen randomly and you don’t want to convert a reserve currency into a worthless one.

More to come as I explore this vast country.


Chase Sapphire Reserve, another $400+ AF Credit Card

I feel us bloggers have become a shill for this viral marketing machine that is being milked via random “insider” posting leaked info internally, generating buzz via seeded posts on geeky social media. So hello marketing guru, let’s get this done like the good chatterboxes we are. Here is my “buzz generating” preview for some product that doesn’t yet exist, and that you probably never heard of.


Not to be outdone, Chase appears to have registered the trademark “Sapphire Reserve”  According to this reddit post by Whubwhub its going to be a card in the same caliber as the Gold Luxury Card and the AmEx Platinum. Unfortunately that comes with the $400+ annual fee as well as Chase Bank’s commitment to only waiving fees for cards obtained prior to active duty. I don’t foresee getting this card due to the chase 5/24 rule as well as no military fee waiver. I never went for Citibank’s Prestige for the same reason of not waiving for military for accounts opened after the active duty date. Which is a shame since in the credit card world, we are the product that is being sold to retailers for taking their respective cards.

On average every transaction made with a credit card costs a retailer around 3% which over the $10,000 spend would earn the credit card company $300 worth of fees. I don’t think the revenue for these banks is only in the annual fee of which AmEx and Barclays generously waives for military.

Why shouldn’t they waive for active duty? We have consistent employment, general to low little risk of default. We also have much greater risk in loosing our security clearance if we ruin our credit. The best part is, even if we were in a POW prison or the hospital we (or our auto debit credit card bills) will still get that sweet paycheck to cover our spend. What other job in the world can offer that. I can see why AmEx and Barclay see this is an excellent product to sell to retailers.

Citi and Chase on the other hand are simply the most restrictive in attracting the Active Duty Crowd. They simply don’t need our business, we account for less than 1% of the working population, and they simply feel that their product will speak for itself. Of which I am guilty of having the sapphire preferred and happy to pay the annual fee. However in the already crowded market of $400 annual fee cards, there will be very little interest from the AD population without some sort of fee waiver, since these benefits are offered by AmEx and Barclays for no annual fee.


So lets go ahead and see what they are up against. For starters the big boys have a Robb Report style magazine of things you will never ever buy in your right mind. Even if I had a net worth of over a million I don’t think I would ever spend any money on a private submarine for my yacht. However LUXURY magazine from Luxury Card will make you think that you are the only new money sucker who hasn’t even thought of a submarine, you are so basic. Departures from AmEx is at least somewhat down to earth in the sense that their suggested purchases are within the reach of any $100,000 billionaire.


Next is really shiny gifts of which AmEx, even after 10 years of loyal membership of 11 of their products, they haven’t sent me anything! However after 4 months of dating Barclay, they sent me a customized gold pen, I can’t tell if they are desperate or generous. Everyone loves random shiny crap, especially when it has been engraved.


Next is sweet elite status for hotels such as Diamond Status with Hilton (via gold backmatch with Best Western) which has given me an upgrade to the executive level (unfortunately no suites in Oki)  and free breakfast and WiFi at the Hilton. Also SPG gold as well as some car rental stuff I never use. This is where the Luxury Card is lacking as it has no transfer partners or elite status of any type.


All the baller cards have the $100 credit for global entry. Don’t be a sucker and pay the $100 for it, you have a friend somewhere out there that has a credit card that will waive it, and there is no provision on who it needs to be used for. Hell, if you ask me real nice, buy me a beer, I will freeking buy you global entry on my many cards.


All $400+ AF cards are made of exotic materials, this new chase card better be made out of milled zirconia, not some laminated metal crap like the Marriott card and the normie basic Sapphire Preferred Card. What is impressive is the Amex Centurion, still surprised the Platinum is plastic. I hope they make the new Sapphire Reserve out of something like the Chase Ritz Carlton Card, solid 1 oz of brass. Depleted uranium or tungsten would make it weigh well over one ounce!


My Chase Sapphire is falling apart after only two years, first world problems Amirite? I noticed the other day that the new versions of the Gold Luxury Card have much deeper engraving for the numbers than version 1.0 (early 2016) seen below:


Finally some sort of lounge access seems to be the thing now. AmEx has its priority pass, and everyone else has its Lounge Club. Then shady marketing at AmEx Hilton has also made a identical Priority Pass that secretly charges you $27 for your normally free visit to the lounge. Be sure to cut this one up!


So there you go Chase! You know what you are up against here with just two contenders, rumor has it you get the 100k UR points which may be worth it for the United Airlines transfers alone, but since you read this blog you sure as hell have more than 5 new accounts on any other card company in the past 24 months, so this means auto deny for any new Chase Product.

Chase always had a uber baller product called the JP Morgan Chase Palladium Card. This was a competitor to  AmEx Centurion and other ridiculous cards that you could never get because you needed to be a client of Chase’s personal bank (1 million dollar net worth). I don’t know why they would be slumming it with the likes of AmEx platinum people. With the millennials obsessed about status and FOMO, it will be hard to compete with the three other cards out there: AmEx Platinum, AULCWEMC (Gold Luxury Card World Elite Master Card from Barclays), and Citi Prestige.

17u0e5Good luck Chase Bank!