Tag Archives: Credit cards

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30% Bonus on Amex Membership Reward Transfers to Etihad Through June 15: Fly To Israel for 26,000 Points!

American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 30% bonus on transfers to Etihad Guest through June 15. American Express only added Etihad as a transfer partner two weeks ago so it’s great to see them bonusing transfers. They are probably trying to boost this partner so they are offering this promotion. In the past we have seen promotions on other partners like british Airways and El Al.

That means the points from your Amex Everyday Preferred, Premier Rewards Gold, Business Gold, Business Platinum and other Membership Rewards earning cards carry more weight. One third times more weight!

American Express    View all American Express Credit Cards

Etihad has a very good first and business class product, and because availability has been generally excellent. Now to be sure the single best first class product in the sky — the Etihad First Apartment, which is scheduled for Abu Dhabi – New York JFK< London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Mumbai — can be tough to get.

Availability goes in cycles (and for awhile has been much easier to get Abu Dhabi – US than US – Abu Dhabi). I’ve flown it several times this year on the New York JFK – Abu Dhabi route but availability for that flight isn’t a gimme.

Nonetheless, Etihad offers first class service with other aircraft to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington Dulles. They offer service that features business class as the top cabin to Chicago and Toronto.

Award prices aren’t cheap. For instance,

  • New York JFK – Abu Dhabi first class is 117,560 miles one-way
  • London – Abu Dhabi first class is 87,732 miles one-way

Business class is somewhat cheaper, for instance 88,391 one-way for New York – Abu Dhabi.

Etihad also adds surcharges to awards: $50 per segment for economy, $100 per segment for business, and $150 per segment for first class.

Etihad has several airline partners, which have to be booked by phone. Etihad agents are often unfamiliar with their partners, and with how to book them.

What’s more, the cost of awards on partner airlines can be high. Nonetheless, they can also be strategically useful. For instance, Etihad partners with Philippine Airlines and they almost always have business class award space between the US and Asia. And they partner with American. Etihad partners with carriers like Virgin Australia, Royal Air Maroc, Garuda Indonesia, Oman Air, and Hainan Airlines as well as a variety of others.

Partner award charts can be found here and are much more lucrative,but partner awards are not bookable online, which means you have to play call center roulette. You also need to book partner awards 14 days in advance.

Every airline has their own award chart. For example:

The Brussels award chart can be found here.

There are no fuel surcharges.

-You can fly from JFK-Brussels in coach for 21,972 miles or about or about 16,902 AMEX points round-trip.
-You can fly from JFK-Brussels in business for 36,620 miles or about or about 28,169 AMEX points round-trip.
-You can fly from Brussels-Tel Aviv in coach for 12,096 miles or about or about 9,304 AMEX points round-trip.
-You can fly from Brussels-Tel Aviv in business for 20,160 miles or about or about 15,508 AMEX points round-trip.

To summarize that is 26,206 points to fly round trip JFK-BRU-TLV in coach or 43,677 miles to fly in business. Judging a normal business class ticket to Israel would run you around $6,000 this is a $.13 redemption per mile. That is ten times the normal redemption.

HT: View from the Wing and DansDeals

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Top 10 Credit Card Picks for July 2015

Credit card offers are in! there are so many choices, I’m not sure where to start. The Marriott seems like a pretty good choice. The free anniversary night covers the annual fee perfectly. Scoot on over to the Amex gold if you never had it yet and apply incognito to get a 50k offer instead of a 25k offer. There are some other great choices here today as well. Don’t see a card you want hit up the comments!

80k Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card – expires 8/31/2015

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card Application

  • Limited Time! Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
  • For every $1 spent, earn 5 points at 3,800 Marriott locations, 2 points on airline ticket purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards points towards free nights
  • No limit to how many points you can earn
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees and enjoy wider acceptance when you travel with your embedded chip card and you make purchases at chip-enabled card readers
  • All for an $85 Annual Fee
  • See complete Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card details

50k Premier Rewards Gold Card

Must apply in Incognito

  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • New: 2X points at U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 3X points for flights booked with airlines, Earn 2X points at US supermarkets and US gas stations. Earn 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • New: There are no foreign transaction fees with your Premier Rewards Gold Card.
  • New: $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year for incidental fees with your selected airline.
  • With The Hotel Collection, you can get up to a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges any time you use your Card to book a stay of at least two consecutive nights.
  • $0 Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See complete American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card details

 Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature® Card

Citi® Hilton HHonors<sup>TM</sup> Visa Signature® Card

  • Limited Time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No annual fee.*
  • See complete Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature® Card details

50k – Chase Ink PlusInk Plus Business Credit Card Application

  • After you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, you will receive 50,000 bonus points. That’s $925 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No interest charges as you pay your balance in full each month
  • Receive 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, cellular phone or landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Direct access to a live service advisor anytime
  • No transfer fees when 1:1 point is transferred to leading frequent travel programs
  • Annual Fee $95

Read more here

85K Club Carlson SM Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card 

  • Receive 10 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases at Carlson Rezidor hotels
  • Receive 5 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else
  • Receive up to 85,000 Bonus Gold Points- 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase and plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days
  • Bonus Award Nights for exclusive card members – When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free
  • When you renew your card each year, you get 40,000 renewal bonus points
  • As your Gold Elite Status upgrade is automatic, your Club Carlson membership will reflect your Gold Elite status after you activate and use your card
  • Already reached Gold or Concierge Elite Status? You will receive 15 qualifying nights toward obtaining or maintaining Concierge Elite status after you activate and use your new card.

The most under rated credit card. Read our full review here.

50k - Chase British Airways

For a limited time (3/31/2015) the annual fee is waived for the first year

  • After you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, you will receive 50,000 bonus Avios
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will receive 2.5 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1.25 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Card every calendar year, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years
  • Smart Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & other countries, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home

45k – Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
  • After you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening, you will receive arn 5,000 additional bonus points
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer for participating frequent travel programs at full value that is 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal to 1,000 partner miles/points
  • 24/7 available for direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

40k – American Express Platinum

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Receive up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bags fees, flight-change fees, and snacks.
  • Enroll and select a qualifying airline to receive the statement credit
  • No foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card.
  • Platinum Card Concierge is your personal resource to help secure a last minute restaurant reservation, or shop for a hard-to-find gift.
  • Terms & restrictions apply.

Read our review here

25K – Starwood Prefered Guest

 

  • Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points i.e. 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Card membership which is enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel
  • Free Hotel Nights: redeem Starpoints at over 1,100 hotels in nearly 100 countries worldwide with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
  • Free Flights: redeem Starpoints on over 350 airlines with SPG Flights with no blackout dates
  • No limits on the number of Starpoints you can earn
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
  • Terms and restrictions apply

For number 10 you tell us what you think it should be!

Read these other hot topics!

3BM and App-O-Rama, How To Do It Properly

Application Status: How to Check If You Got Approved

View our home buying series here: Mortgages, Home Loans, Refinance, and Interest

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to be entered into our $50 Giveaway!

In Summary

Apply now for the best credit card offes to date.

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Breakdown Of Your Monthly Mortgage Payments

We discussed PITI Payments are. In short it is the total payments due on your mortgage.  To recap:

PITI Payments is the components of a mortgage payment.

PPrincipal is the money used to pay down the balance of the loan

IInterest is the charge you pay to the lender for the privilege of borrowing the money

TTaxes refer to the property taxes you pay as a homeowner

I – Insurance refers to both your property insurance and your private mortgage insurance  and homeowners association fees if applicable.

Just bought your house?

What does my mortgage bill look like?

Your mortgage bill will include all of these numbers. You will be making one payment to your bank and they will make the Taxes and Insurance payments for you.

How does that work?

What happens is your bank opens an escrow account for you. Every time that you make your monthly payments, it goes into escrow. Lets make up some numbers.

Mortgage $400,000 @ 4% will equal monthly to ~ $1,900 ($1,909.66, based off of $576.33 in principle and $1,333.33 in interest)

Taxes $12,000 will equal monthly to $1,000

Insurance $1,200 will equal monthly to $100

When your bill arrives all of these charges will be consolidated into one charge of $3,000. When you pay the bill the bank will keep $1,900 of the money and put the other $1,100 into your escrow account. Then would then pay the property taxes quarterly. so after 3 months of collecting your $1,000 taxes they would then ship off $3,000 to your county to cover the property taxes on your home.

The same is true with the insurance on the house. The bank collects the insurance payments from you, and then pays the insurance company the monthly premiums. This setup is great in my opinion. instead of needing to worry about every payment on the house, the bank takes care of it for you.

So, when you hear your friend saying he has a $3,000 mortgage you know that only $575 is actually going to pay off his house and building equity. Pretty depressing if you think about it!

View our home buying series here: Mortgages, Home Loans, Refinance, and Interest

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to be entered into our $50 Giveaway!

In Summary

PITI Payments is all the payments lumped together into one monthly obligation.

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Mortgages, Home Loans, Refinance, and Interest

We will begin a new series today on Home loans. We will cover many topics from what to look for in buying a house through the home buying experience all the way to refinancing years later.

Here are some of the topics we will discuss. Bookmark this page as we will link back to all these topics once they are written.


And many more topics. Stay tuned!

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to be entered into our $50 Giveaway!

In Summary

Stay tuned to learn more about buying a home.

 

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Why You Should Have More Then One Credit Card

Having credit cards is very important. I hate when people tell me they don’t have credit cards because all it does is make them debt. There is an easy solution, apply for the card and cut it up. Having a credit card is important even if you don’t use it. As a matter of fact your credit score likes when you have a low credit utilization. Get those credit cards!

Why is having credit cards so important?

Credit cards build a health relationship with your bank. Did you ever call a bank? They always say thank you for being with us. True, that is what their customer service department told them to say, but the bank knows you as a customer if you were to need their services at a later date.

Why should I get more then one?

I have 1 credit card, do I need more? The answer is yes. I was looking into mortgage options the other day, seeing the rates, costs and other factors that may affect home buying. One of the loan officers asked me if I have 3 lines of credit. He wanted to make sure that I had more then one credit card under my name. This is very important for getting a mortgage. You will need more then one credit card. (Too much utilization is no good, but credit is good). Besides, credit cards without annual fees are free. Why wouldn’t you get more then one?

Meeting with a Loan Officer

Image HT: The Nest

Read these other great topics!

Business Card Benefits: How A Business Card Impacts Your Credit Score

Credit Score: How To Fix A Poor Credit Score

FACO Credit Score FICO Score: What’s The Difference?

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to be entered into our $50 Giveaway!

In Summary:

Have more then one credit card in you pocket, it will help you get a mortgage.

 

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