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:

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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

Derp Report Goes Domestic

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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.

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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.

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$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.

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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.

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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.

-Derp

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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!

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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!

-Derp

Everyone who paid attention gets a $135 Pen! AU don’t get serifs.

Congrats to the most loyal of Derp Report readers who finally received their 23k gold pens in the 2nd batch sent June 01, 2015. It has been a whole month of shipping via UPS Mail Innovations, and if you got your card after February 2016, but before April 2016 you should receive it today. So thank you for your not asking for advice and not acting on it. Thank you kindly for not wasting my time to explain something to you, and you just let the deal expire, good for you! You all finally got rewarded with a very loud pen that you would never buy in your right mind. Thank you for taking time to read and jump on this post I made months ago.

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Now my Authorized User (pictured above) has her pen engraved in a modern Sans Serif font. Meanwhile mine pictured below is in collegiate font. Could this be a way to distinguish the $995 primary user from the $295 AU? Does $700 buy you serifs? Or does it mean I have too much free time? If I see you out there with your ostentatious pen, I’m going to check the font and ask Primary User or lame AU.

I think I need a better hobby.

-Derp

March on the AmEx Cards! Game Over for AmEx and Me

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no one has time to use this 30 times a month to make it worth it

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still the best for 6% back at commissary

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once Marriott merges, this one is gone for me!

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by far the most nickel and dime card out there, just throw out the priority pass once you get it, and a 3% foreign transaction fee makes the 12x points questionable at a Hilton Overseas!

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oh delta, I wish your sky pesos would buy me something some day

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gives you the lounge access you already have, but ill take the 10k MQM on 50 cent spend any day!

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finally a decent product from AmEx! It pays you $100 a year just to have it, going to focus on 3x on airline tickets, some day

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this one pays you $200 as well as $100 on MB merch at the dealership!

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ah, the card that started it all, felt pretty cool to have this one, but the lack of categories make it just wallet candy and a de facto centurion lounge pass

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ah, tons of GoGo wireless passes that don’t work on any airline I fly, but ill take your $200 any day!

Behold! my collection is complete! Yes, the 5 card rule is sadly in full effect! I just got this letter once I applied to the Platinum Delta Card (my 7th credit card):

IMG_4679In the march of the cards above, you can see I have 6 Credit Cards from AmEx and only 4 charge cards! This is because the Everyday Rewards is actually an AU card on my wife’s account, it looks like the AU cards do not count towards your total. I do have room for infinitely more charge cards, I’m thinking the branded Platinum Cards as described by Dr. Credit Card:

As for the special versions, it depends on what you are looking for.  Let’s assuming you qualify for all four special versions.  If you look for signup bonus, the Morgan Stanley version is probably the best since it also comes with a free additional card while the Mercedes-Benz version is pretty good too.  If you like annual fee waiver and spend less than $100K a year, the Ameriprise version is very attractive.  If you want to put $100K spending on the card, the Goldman Sachs version is hard to beat with that 40K point booster.

Since these cards are not a product I already have this would mean I would be eligible for the bonus! As for now, time to get back on the cashback only wagon and take it easy! I might actuality close off some of these accounts that are approaching 24 months in age. For those of you out there that are just starting out, keep in mind there is a war going on between Chase and AmEx, and I feel there will be some great offers in the next few months!

Happy trails,

-Derp

AmEx Desperate: 120K miles and 20K MQM offer

Messages Image(2017901328)This offer expires today. I already have the AmEx Gold Delta card so I went ahead and applied for the other 2 because they booked me on Delta on the way out of Oki. I got approved for the Reserve card  and did my 50 cent minimum spend on Amazon gift card to myself for a sweet 10k miles and 10k MQMs.

I went into review for the Platinum for the 60k miles, so who knows if I hit my AmEx limit of 5 charge and 5 credit cards. Anyways, this will be my year I try to be wooed away from United to Delta because these three cards alone will get me the 115,000 points to upgrade to Delta First Class from Tokyo to Minneapolis which may be extinct in a year since its internationally know that Minneapolis is pretty lame, yes this is the only route in existence from Asia to Minnesota which was a hold over from Northwest Orient’s route created in 1947, and I am pretty sure for the same purpose that I am taking now, shuttling worn out GIs back to the grand old midwest.

Delta One looks pretty nice and for a whopping 115,000 sky pesos you can upgrade a H class basic bitch ticket to first class! Even if I fall short I plan on using some AmEx points to make up the difference. Otherwise it looks like some pretty terrible redemption if you had to earn these miles with spend.

The icing on the cake would be making it to silver medallion without flying Delta more than once. I get 20k MQM with the Platinum and Reserve Cards alone, then 5,950 MQM from the actual flight:

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Start off with my referral for the first 50k with gold, then go on with the platinum and reserve, this is your last day!

-Derp

 

$100 on PRG for United Gift Registry, still works!

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Folks, good news, PRG still giving out 65,000 MR points using this one weird trick… Just had a success story from a certain o-5 in Florida. Better yet, I just charged $100 using my PRG into my United Gift registry and it was reimbursed no questions asked (see above). You kids should be banking $700 a year on United this way with 3 platinums @ $200 a piece (MB, Biz, Reg) and the $100 on PRG. You should also get your spouse involved in the same way because they extend the SCRA benefit to the spouse for AD members. So quit bitching on how you have no money to travel when you essentially get paid $1,400 a year for your membership.

Since your saving money on that front, you can spend it on a nice trip to China. I recommend this company: Zhangjiajie tour their info can be found here.

Happy travels!

-Derp

Recursive Status Matching Works!

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Confirmed! My recursive status match to Diamond from Amex Platinum worked! Even though I blew my chance using the status match website to Marriott Gold, I called and they allowed me to match to Diamond!

I outlined my plan here, and I just got the match today! This means a suite upgrade for my PCS move out. Oh by the way the Hilton in Okinawa gives the government rate, you just got to check daily!

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So we might get a suite upgrade, free breakfast and snacks in the executive all day for a mere $350. If we were booking with points we would also get the 5th night free! I’m finally seeing the fruits of my ridiculous status matching labor!

Derp

Large Premature Withdrawals from NRL Checking result in charge back!

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Be warned! Any transfer of funds from your NRL checking over $5k results in an immediate chargeback to your funding credit card. Other data points are small transfers out are alright, but not anything over $5K. It immediately went to review, now I don’t know what will happen to my precious points!! 🙁

I just wish they gave me a choice, oh well, learn form my mistake, let the funds sit there earning 0.05% while Barclays lends it to you at 0.0000000% Just be wary of the utilization when you carry a balance over.

-Derp