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

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

Free Go-Go Wifi on JAL, United (as incidental), and American Airline Flights

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Well happy New Year! We just has our local Okinawa churning summit and had some info exchange. I have a new buddy that suggested I look into the Business AmEx platinum, and sure enough it was one of the biggest oversights I have made going out of 2015! I would of had another $200 credit towards United if I had only met him a week earlier.

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Better late than never, Amex is offering Go-Go wireless internet onboard JAL and American Airline flights  up to 10 times per year as a benefit of the card.  This is in addition to Boingo Wireless you get with the normie and MB platinum card. So right now AmEx is offering 40K MB points for a staggering $5,000 spend in 3 months. I am still working on $20,000 spend to get my 100k Avios points so that would be hard to do in a 3 month time frame. However I already have the Business Gold which I only use for Apple and iTunes for the sweet 2x points on a 99 cent song. I was putting flights on there for 3x points that I choses as my category, but have been booking on whatever card I was churning at the moment.

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Hilton Honors Gold on TAD

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Amex just recently started offering Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status for all of its AmEx Platinum members. Which by this time you should have both the Regular Version and the Mercedes-Benz version, both have their combined $925 annual fees waived for a $400 airline credit to use annually. Plus $100 each for global entry for you and a friend.

HHonors membership was easy I called the number on the back of the card and they gave me a new HHonors number right away. You can also link an account if you already have a number. This also can be registered online if you don’t like calling anyone.

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Booking United & JAL Flights with AmEx MR points

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The two universal currencies out there (that I use) for reward points are American Express Membership Reward Points and Chase Ultimate Reward Points. More about the two can be found on many sites.

You have to learn about the hotel, airline, credit card cliques. We have two main players: American Express and, J.P. Morgan Chase. Some of the big partners with American Express are SPG, ANA, Delta and British airways. On the other side Chase has relations with Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and United airlines. So it may appear that you have to be loyal to one point system vs the other. This is not the case. For example If you wanted to fly on united from Tokyo to Guam, you have the option of booking a flight through ANA Milage Club using American express points:

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$10 Credit from AmEx

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Looks like AmEx is trying to compete with google wallet for securing online transactions. Now when you go to:

barkbox.com, us.burberry.com, laithwaiteswine.com, ledbury.com, newegg.com, sabon.com, ticketmaster.com, virginwines.com, warbyparker.com, wsj.com, or wsjwine.com,

you can check out by logging into your amex account and selecting what card you want to use. They are having a promotion now till 9/7/15 where you will get $10 per site per AmEx log in. For example My brother, wife, mother and I all have separate login accounts for the same account, each will earn $10 per vender, per log in, and you don’t even have to spend $10.

The only site that has free shipping as well as things below $10 is Newegg. I ended up buying a toy and then pay on AMEX checkout for $3.49. A few days later they will give me a statement credit of $10 effectively paying me $6.51 to buy this toy.

I did this with my wife’s login, and I did it before with my login and got myself a cat5 cable. This is what showed up on my statement a week later:

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So Amex paid me $3 to get a Cat5 cable. Please comment on what stuff you got for free using this method.

-Derp

AmEx Gold Business, pick your 3x category

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I ended up with a Business Gold card when I called Amex regarding an issue with my Amex Platinum card. I had just paid off $13,000 in charges in a month for the many flights and things for our new house here in Japan. This is unusually high balance for me to rack up, but I don’t know if this flagged me for an offer of 75,000 membership points to make $5,000 in purchases in three months. So why not? They let me get a card as a sole proprietor of my business using my SSN as the tax ID. I got the card and completed the offer and got my 75,000 points, but I also learned a lot about this card, and why it’s much better than the Amex Platinum in terms of earning points.

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Hacking the Amex Everyday Preffered

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I’m a big Liz Lemon / Tina Fey fan, so it was exciting to see her as the face of the new American Express Everyday Rewards card. However I am going to talk about the Preferred Everyday card which has an annual fee of $75 which is waved for Active Duty. This card is brilliant in the way it makes you want to use it at least 30 times a month in order to get 4.5 points on Groceries at the Commissary and 3 points per dollar on gas on any base (even overseas). Without hitting the 30 transactions you only get 3 points for groceries and 2 for gas which is just okay, but it doesn’t compete with the Blue Cash Preferred at this point with 6% and 3% cash back respectfully.

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Getting your DeCA fee back at the Commissary and then some

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pictures via www.americanexpress.com
My poor wife has 5 credit cards she must carry around and remember what each one is used for.  In the case of shopping for groceries at the on base commissary she knows to use the Amex Blue Cash Preferred which gets 6% back on groceries at the commissary. It also good to note that the Commissary is merchant coded as a American grocery store so the charge shows up in US Dollars as well as not incurring a foreign transaction fee, which is not waved for this particular card. Also the $75 annual fee is waved for active duty military members.

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