Travel Credit Cards Updates and More



My best travel credit cards lists are updated.

Best Travel Credit Cards for Miles — Free Flights

Best Credit Cards for Points — Free Stays

Sorry for the radio silence. Been swamped with some paid jobs since my return from Sweden that kept me from getting to this labor of love and bundle of joy. I have so much in the pipeline, really, it’s not even funny. There are more in-depth program reviews, tips and tricks, awesome trip reports — don’t give up on me.

Citi Prestige Done What??? 

Of course, the biggest development in our hobby is the demise devaluation of the Citi ThankYou Prestige. If you ever decide to introduce a new credit card to the public (and if you have wads of cash), do what Citi did. Come out with a great, almost too-good-to-be-true product, pull in as many suckers as you can, then abruptly remove (Citi Premier and AT&T) or drastically reduce (Citi Prestige) the most important benefits. This is not the first time Citi has pulled a disappearing act on us, but … that’s the game, right? You get us today, we’ll get your tomorrow. Or is it the other way around where they always get us? I’m confused.

For some mysterious reason, most bloggers have focused on something that will happen in July 2017. Yeah, well, that’s news, too, I guess. On a slow day. Seriously, do I really care that they’re going to remove the Admiral Club access and who-gives-a-shit free rounds of golf? Am I devastated that one year from now I’ll have to pay taxes on my fourth free night hotel stay? Hell, no! What concerns me (well, it doesn’t, but it would if I didn’t have this card) is that they have already turned the best credit card in America into a lame piece of plastic. Reduced bonus, increased spending requirement, removal of the awesome 1:1.6 AA redemption ratio — this is happening now. As opposed to one year from now.

But anyway, why did I even bother with this diatribe? Oh, yes! Because the old link with the old bonus and the old bennies is still available!!! It is going to die within days, minutes or hours, and if you’re still on the fence due to the $450 fee — all I can say is, you don’t see the forest for the trees. Get it now, or I will personally come knocking on your door and take away your travel license!

Amex Ameriprise Gold Card 25K Offer

I know what you’re thinking. I’ve always said my threshold for applying for a card is a $400 bonus or the equivalent. I’ve always said, I wouldn’t bother if it were less than that.

But then — when was this “always?” Was it before or after the “once per lifetime” policy? I have 1,800 MR points in my AMEX account right now, and I’m kinda missing the days when all my problems were choosing between the transfer partners. When I get my 150K points from my two Platinum Mercedes Benz applications (wife helped), I’m sure I’ll feel better. But if I got another 50K (wife’ll help) that would feel even sweeter. Well, I don’t know, I’m on the fence, but it might not be such a bad deal, especially if you have a spartner. And before you ask, yes, it is a different product, so you should be getting the bonus. Here is the link.

Chase Super-Duper Elite Card?

I love it when people are speculating about upcoming credit card products, for the reason that these speculations often materialize. There were speculations before new Club Carlson cards came out, there were rumors about Citi new transfer partners before there were transfer partners. According to this FT thread, a new elite Chase credit card with a $400+ AF is going to hit the market soon. It makes an interesting reading, if anything, as you begin to understand what people are craving.

I wonder if they would be making the 5/24 rule exception for the new card if it came true. Actually, I bet they would, at least for the initial push.

New IHG PointBreaks

Beirut anyone? ‘Nough said.

Hyatt Category Changes

There are hotel programs that devalue their properties with a cavalier attitude, and then there are others, like SPG and Hyatt. Hyatt always takes great care, doing whatever it can to avoid pissing off the members. The latest devaluation is no exception, I believe. I would call it almost net positive, but I know I would be wrong in terms of domestic redemptions.  Here is the full list.

08/01 Hyatt Devaluation

Here are the redemption tables.


Notable Devaluations (ALL IMHO!)

Grand Hyatt Chengdu 2->3

Grand Hyatt Santiago 2->3

Hyatt House Atlanta/Downtown 2->3

Hyatt House Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area 2->3

Hyatt House San Diego/Sorrento Mesa 2->3

Hyatt House San Juan 2->3

Hyatt Place San Juan/City Center 2->3

Hyatt Regency Dallas 2->3

Grand Hyatt Amman 2->3

Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown 3->4

Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago 4->5

Hyatt Regency San Francisco 4->5

Hyatt Centric Park City 4->5

Notable Improvements

Hyatt Hyderabad 2-> 1

Hyatt Place La Paz 2-> 1

Hyatt Place Los Cabos 2-> 1

Hyatt Regency Chennai 2-> 1

Hyatt Regency Dulles 2-> 1

Park Hyatt Chennai 2-> 1

Hyatt Place Secaucus/Meadowlands (Close to Manhattan) 3->2

Hyatt Regency Belgrade 3->2

Hyatt Regency Delhi 3->2

Hyatt Regency Mumbai 3->2

Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki 3->2

Park Hyatt Hyderabad 3->2

Hyatt Regency Perth 4->3

Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami 6->4

It’s never good when rooms in touristy cities go up, as is the case with Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco or San Juan, but, on the other hand, Centric South Beach dropped two categories, from 6 to 4, which is beyond terrific. Other interesting places that went down include several Hyatt Regency hotels — in Thessaloniki, Delhi, and Perth. From international prospective it’s pretty much a wash.

If only all devaluations were like it.


5 Responses to Travel Credit Cards Updates and More

  1. Raj says:

    Did you not have the Amex Mercedes Plat before? I saw a lot of folks got it, but I’m surprised most hadn’t had it before.

  2. Boris Minevich says:

    Andy, does Amex Ameriprise come with airline fee credits?
    Thank you

    • Andy Shuman says:

      Boris, I’ve never had it, but I’m pretty sure it does. “Pretty sure” as in not 100%, though. 🙂 I believe they have same benefits as regular Plat. sans the bonus.

  3. Boris Minevich says:

    So, I guess it should be $200/calendar year then.
    Thank you Andy

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