So the Chase Ritz Carlton Card stopped accepting new applications. Doctor of Credit even tried to bribe his followers to find a working link, but alas, no soup. That’s a huge blow – to everyone who doesn’t care about the upcoming SPG Luxury card (you won’t be eligible for the SPG Luxury card if you carry the Ritz). For a few weeks I’d been torn between applying for the Ritz Carlton card and waiting to apply for the SPG Luxury.
Last week I finally decided to apply for the Ritz Carlton card
Why? For the 2 free Ritz Carlton nights, that I (supposedly) would be able to use at any Marriott in the world. But also, in large part, because the old Marriott Gold status which would turn into new Platinum on August 18, had been good to me so far. Got “pending.”
Yesterday called to inquire about the status – denied for too many applications in the last 2 years. You don’t say! Of course, this was only the first call out of three that I usually make when I’m denied; you know how much I like taking “no” for an answer.
But now I’m thinking.
- Should I call again?
- Do I really need the Ritz Carlton card?
- Am I so pathetically hooked on Marriott free breakfasts?
- Wouldn’t the SPG Luxury be a better card than Ritz?
- Is it troubling that I keep talking to myself?
Read on. If you want funny I’ve got more.
My sweet Citi Prestige retention offer
Due to the Citi Prestige [formerly] great travel protection benefits I’ve put all my travel expenses on it up until now. Unfortunately, for bookings made on and after July 29th, the most important of these and other benefits get the knife. Not the axe, mind you, but the cuts are deep and painful.
Trip Delay: from 3 hours to 6
Damage and Theft: from 120 days to 90 days and from Primary to Secondary
Car Rental: from covering a scam-charge called “loss of use” to not covering “loss of use.”
Citi Prestige latest offers
Citi has retention offers for many of its cards. All you need to do is call and ask. The Flyertalk Citi retention list reveals the following Citi Prestige offers:
Option 1: $50 statement credit per billing cycle when spending over $1500 for the next 7 billing cycles.
Option 2: 1 addition points[ “1” and “points” don’t agree in number; “addition” makes no sense to me here] up to 50k in 6 months.
Option 3: 10k points for 3k spend in 3 months.
None of them are ideal, but it’s better than nothing. Since I’ve already booked a few trips on the card and since I’m going to book at least 2 4-night hotel stays in the near future, canceling the card would be like cutting off my nose to spite my face. In addition, I’ve been paying $350 instead of $450 for this card for the last 2 years (a discount for the Citibank account I’d never finished setting up).
Last year, when I called for a retention bonus, I also got “$50 statement credit per billing cycle when spending over $1500 for the next 7 billing cycles.” That worked fabulously – I spent $1,500 for the first 2 months and failed on the 3rd month, but the $50 credits kept coming. I finally got all $350 back without any additional spend.
I didn’t think I could pull it off for the second year in a row…
So when I called and complained about the reduced benefits on Friday, I was hoping to get a more straightforward deal not tied to a new spending requirement. The agent asked what I was especially upset about and I explained that I have put all my travel expenses on this card because of the travel protection it affords, and – most importantly for the best Trip Delay reimbursement in the industry. To my surprise, I was immediately offered a $100 statement credit and 5,000 points with no spend required. A nice surprise indeed because this offer has not been listed among the Citi retention offers on Flyertalk.
Two and a half failures
My latest app-o-Rama has included the following cards.
- American Express Hilton Honors Business 125,000 points
- First Bank Best Western Business: 48,000 (+32,000 after a crazy spend – not gonna happen) points
- First Bank Best Western Personal: 50,000 + 20,000 points
- Synchrony Cathay Pacific 35,000 + 30,000 points (targeted)
- Barclays Wyndham Rewards: 45,000 points
- Chase Ritz Carlton: 2 free nights plus Gold status
It wasn’t like an actual app-o-Rama where I would apply for a bunch of cards on the same day – because, well, it doesn’t make sense anymore. I did apply for them in the course of a couple of weeks.
End result? No issue with the Best Western cards and Hilton cards, denials for Wyndham and Ritz Carlton – both due to the number of new accounts opened in the last 2 years. As to Cathay Pacific, get this.
Wow, just wow!
After hundreds of credit cards and hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit, it is kind of amusing to get a card with a credit limit that “generous.” My first ever student credit card 25 years ago was for $500, I think. And how exactly do the good people of Synchrony expect me to meet the $5,000 spend?
This is too funny. Should I call them? I’ve read enough about this bank to know that they don’t usually increase credit lines. On the other hand, how can I not even try? Anyway, this card is a goner, most likely.
How to lose your email subscribers
First, by neglecting them. Second, by trusting your email marketing service to do things right.
In my quest to automate things and reduce the amount of manual labor, I connected my feed to MailChimp, set the dates, and sent it over. I thought it would be easy and automatic, but my subscribers received their emails with nothing to click on. I have no idea why; according to feed validators, my RSS feed seems to be OK (despite containing some errors that I don’t understand).
Many of my subscribers got pissed and unsubscribed. I totally get it. I’d be pissed off, too. No excuses!
I simply don’t know why it didn’t work. So until I do, I will send newsletters manually at least once a week, or more often, if and when I have something to say.
Please, please, please – come back!