Sunday, April 17, 2011

American Express Platinum and Other Amex Cards

Update 04/27: The Platinum signup bonus went down to 25,000.
Update 04/26:
Amex just announced that the Amex Platinum signup bonus will go down from 50,000 to 25,000 from tomorrow, 04/27.

Did you sign up for the Amex Platinum yet? If you are a traveler, you should! Amex is piling on the perks lately, almost on a weekly basis, making it just about the best credit card offer around. The current signup bonus is also way more than usual. See bottom of post for all the reasons to get the card.

First of all, a quick reminder: Everyone should have an Amex card. Here are some of the reasons why:

Click links for details.

- Disputing Charges - When you need to dispute a charge, it's much simpler and more successful with Amex.
- Extended Warranty - When something stops working after a year (and the manufacturers warranty is over), Amex will reimburse. A breeze to use.
- Damage and Theft - If something is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, Amex will reimburse the full purchase amount.
- Return Protection - Change your mind within 90 days of purchase? Just return the item to Amex for a full refund.
- Rental Car Insurance -If your rental car gets damaged, Amex will cover it. Other cards have this too, but it's much simpler with Amex.

So, which Amex should you get?
That depends on you. Do you travel often? Do you mind annual fee? Are you interested in taking advantage of a big signup bonus with no-annual-fee for the first year (and maybe changing cards or cancelling after the first year)?

Here are four great Amex cards, with their signup bonuses. If you're unsure which to get, email me, and I'll try to help.

1) Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Credit Card from American Express
Amex Starwood
  • Starpoints(R) Bonus: 10K with your first purchase and another 15K when you spend $5k within 6 months - enough for up to 6 free nights at a Category 1 or 2 hotel
  • Free nights, free flights: Redeem Starpoints with over 350 airlines and more than 1,000 hotels and resorts worldwide. No blackout dates
  • 2011 SmarterTravel(R) Award for "Best Travel Rewards Card"
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
  • APR 15.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
My own two cents:
The best points program around. Decent signup bonus, and no fee for the first year. Afterwards, $65/year. If you spend enough and travel often, this can be a great card to keep.
10,000 points after first purchase, 15,000 after spending $15,000 during first six months.


2) Blue Sky from American Express
Amex Blue Sky
  • No annual fee
  • Travel rewards with no blackout dates or travel restrictions. Redeem with any airline, any car rental, any hotel - anytime
  • Pay your bill all at once, or over time. It's up to you.
  • Blue Savings Program: big deals on big brands, all the time
  • Rated "Best Airline Credit Card" by Card Ratings Consumer's Choice Awards in 2010
  • Get approved in 60-seconds
  • Intro APR: 0% on Purchases for 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 17.24%-22.24% Variable
My own two cents:
The only no-annual-fee card from this list.
In my opinion this is the best Amex card that doesn't have an annual fee. Doesn't come with a signup bonus. This card doesn't cost you anything, now or ever, and gives you very nice cash back - 1.3% of all spending (One point per dollar spent. You can use 7,500 points to take off up to $100 from any single travel related charge.)


3) American Express(R) Premier Rewards Gold
Amex Premier Rewards
  • Membership Rewards(R) bonus: 15K points, redeemable for select gift cards valued at $150, when you spend $1,000 in your first three months of card membership
  • Membership Rewards(R) points multiply fast! Earn 3X points on airfare, 2X points on gas and groceries, 1X points on everything else
  • Exclusive access to Gold Card Destinations and events - Enjoy special travel packages and amenities at hotels worldwide, as well as select concerts, shows, major sporting events, and more, nationwide
  • Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175
  • Get approved in 60-seconds.
My own two cents:
15,000 Points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
No fee the first year. Afterwards, $175/year. (This card also comes with roadside assistance.)

4)The Platinum Card(R) from American Express!
Amex Platinum
  • 25,000 Membership Rewards(R) points bonus, redeemable for one domestic round-trip Coach-Class airline ticket, when you spend $1,000 during your first three months of Card membership
  • New GLOBAL Travel benefits: Priority Pass select airport club access, No Foreign Transaction Fees, Global Entry expedited U.S. immigration pass
  • Up to $200 in Airline Fee Credits annually to cover incidental charges on your airline of choice, including checked-baggage fees
  • Complimentary Companion Airfare with purchase of qualifying First- or Business-Class international ticket
  • 24/7 Platinum Card(R) Concierge service for assistance with reservations, travel, gifts, and more
  • FINE HOTELS & RESORTS Program: exclusive upgrades and amenities at over 700 boutique, resort, and luxury hotels worldwide
My own two cents:
This card is absolutely amazing for people who travel. Most definitely worth to get it for the first year, as besides for all the benefits, you also get the 50,000 signup bonus. Yes, it costs $450/year, and $175 for up to four additional cardmembers, but if you do cancel the card during the year, Amex will prorate the annual fee, and refund the rest. And if you cancel within 60 days of getting the card, Amex will refund the full $450 (and let you keep the signup points as well!).

These benefits are besides for all the standard Amex benefits mentioned above!
  • $200 airline credit per calendar year for incidental airline fees (charges like overweight baggage, flight change, basically as long as it's not an actual ticket). You must choose an airline first, then use the card at that airline, and Amex will reimburse your card the amount you spend, up to $200 a year.
    You could even purchase four $50 AA gift cards (or Continental), to use for future flights and get reimbursed! That's $200 for 2011, and another $200 in 2012.
  • Lounge Access: You and your family, or two guests can join you to enter AA, Continential (Continental access is only until 9/30/11), Delta, US Airways airline lounges, providing you are flying that airline. You just need to have your Amex card with you in order to enter.
    People report that you can use the card to access the lounges even after the card expires.
  • Priority Pass: Access to even more lounges - 600 lounges worldwide. You can enter even if not flying that airline, but entrance is only for cardholder, guests cost $27.
    Enroll here, and you will be sent a seperate Priority Pass card. Search for a lounge in your airport, or just download the entire list.
  • Loss Insurance: Buy something and lose it within 90 days of purchase and get reimburse, up to $10,000 per item.
  • Travel - Baggage Insurance : $3,000 in insurance to cover damaged baggage or hand luggage. More details.
  • Roadside Assistance: If your car breaks down, that is any car you happen to be in, just call Amex and they will send someone to help, for free! (Sort of like AAA, just free).
  • Regus Worldwide Access - Sort of like lounge access, in cities all over the world. If you have a Blackberry or Iphone, you can supposedly get Tripit Pro for free, which gets you free Regus enrollemt. I Haven't done it myself, as I have Regus access from the free Virgin Gold offer, but I have heard that it works.
  • Global Entry - EZpass for US Immigration. Amex will reimburse the $100 fee that it costs to join.
    From Amex's website:
    Save time and bypass arrival lines at most major U.S. airports when you return from international travel. Global Entry is a U.S. government program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved travelers. When you use your Platinum Card to apply for Global Entry membership, we'll credit the fee, and if approved your membership will be valid for 5 years.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees - Use your Platinum card abroad and you won't be charged the standard 2.7% fee that other Amex cards charge. Most other credit cards also charge approximately 3%.
  • Concierge Service - Need to acquire a hard to find product? Amex will help.
  • StarWood Gold Status - If you stay at a StarWood hotel, it helps to be elite. Enroll here.
  • Premium Car Rentals - Become low-level elite at Avis, Hertz and National with some perks. Enroll here.
Plus, a whopping 50k Amex points for your signup bonus after spending $1,000 during the first three months.

If you don't see the 50k offer, then just clear you cookies and try again, or just try a different browser. If spending the $1,000 in three months is a problem for you, you can always purchase Amex gift cards instead. (Click through BigCrumbs.com to get 1.6% cashback - $16)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amex Platinum Update - New Free Fico Trial - Free 100 Continental Miles

AMEX PLATINUM UPDATE
I purchased four $50 American Airline gift cards, and got the $200 reimbursed as part of the $200 incidental charges from the Amex Platinum! So, basically I got $200 worth of AA gift cards for free!!

That was for 2010. I will try it again now that we are in 2011. (The $200 credit is once per year).

See this post for more on the Amex Platinum card.

FREE FICO SCORE
Free Fico Score and Equifax credit report with 10 day trial. You can get the free trial even if you had one in the past.

You need to cancel within 10 days, or get charged $45 (for three months of membership). It's easy to cancel on-line. Click here, then select “I would like to cancel my product subscription” and then select “Score Watch® - Free Trial

Click here for more places to check your credit reports and scores (many of them totally free).

100 FREE CONTINENTAL MILES
Only if you have a Continental credit or debit card.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

150 Free AA Miles and 100 Continental Miles

Watch a two minute video, or just answer the question ("All of the above") to get 150 free AA miles.
This will also extend the life of your miles by 18 months.
My miles posted within a day.

100 Free Miles for Continental Debit or Credit card holders.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Free $25, Free $20, 50,000 Points Credit Card Signup Bonus and 100 Free Miles

As I've written in a previous post, I am not regularly updating this blog, but will sporadically post when I see or hear about offers and promotions that I want to share.

Here are some nice offers for free money and miles. Some of them have been around for a while already, but just in case you haven't seem them yet, they are still available.

  • FREE $25 or more!
    Amex is running a promotion: Get a free $25 credit per Amex card just for spending $25! The only catch is that the $25 needs to be spent at a small business (not a national chain).

    You need to register each Amex card separately, then spend $25 at a small business store by 12/31/2010 and you will get a $25 statement credit per card that you spend $25.

    Purchases made online, at large, national chains, at franchised business locations and at government agencies are not eligible.

    Should work with any Amex credit card. (Including Citi Amex, Starwood etc.) So, if you have a number of Amex cards, you can really save some money, or get free items.
    More on Flyertalk and DansDeals

  • FREE $20!
    Amex is running a promotion where you get $20 statement credit just for spending $20 with any of their charge cards before 12/31/2010 at:

    - Brookstone, at: JFK, Newark, LGA & IAH
    - Dunkin' Donuts, at: JFK, Newark, & LGA
    - Hudson News, at: JFK, Newark, LGA & CLE
    - GOGO Inflight Internet, on any flight.

    No registration necessary
    . Just use your card, and you will get a statement credit for whatever you spend, up to $20.

    If you are not planning on traveling before the end of the year, here's an option: Call an actual Brookstone store (LGA: 718-505-1040 or IAH: 281-821-4641) and ask to make phone order through their store, and have it shipped to your house.
    More on Flyertalk and FrugalTravelGuy.

  • 50,000 MEMBERSHIP REWARDS POINTS SIGNUP BONUS - AMEX PLATINUM
    LINK

    If you don't see the 50,000 offer, try a different browser.

    American Express is offering their Platinum Charge Card with with a 50,000 points signup bonus after spending $1,000 during the first three months. Amex points can be transferred to many airlines, or you can get gift cards instead.

    The Platinum is the best publicly available, feature rich, Amex card. The only d
    ownside, and it's a big one, is the annual fee of $450, which applies even for the first year.

    The card comes with many really amazing benefits, in addition to the ones that come with most Amex cards. Some examples are: Lounge access at Continental, American, US Airways and Delta; Lose something within 90 days of purchase and Amex will reimburse you for it! (most other Amex cards only cover damage and theft).

    Plus get up to $200 credit per year for incidental charges from an airline. Charges like baggage fees, flight change fees, in-flight food all qualify.

    If you don't travel often, then you can cancel the card as soon as you get the points and still get most if not all of the $450 back (Amex should prorate the annual fee and refund the rest).

    Some people report that you can even enter the lounge with a cancelled card...

    Bottom line, if you travel often this is for sure a great card to sign up for. If you don't travel, then just check the benefits, and see if it's worth the extra money or the hassle.
    More on Flyertalk and DansDeals

  • 100 FREE CONTINENTAL MILES
    LINK
    You will probably only get the miles if you have a Continental debit or credit card.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

500 Free Continental Miles

  • Free 250 Miles (for learning about their OnePass Online Auction.)
  • Free 250 Miles (for learning about onboard discounts.)
    You will probably only get the miles if you have a Continental debit or credit card.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

400 Free Priority Club Points

Download their toolbar to receive 300 points (Hint: You don't actually have to download the toolbar to get the points).

Answer all three questions to this quiz for another 100 points (Hint: 15, All of the Above and Silver)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Amazing Citi AA Signup Bonuses - 75,000 or 100,000 AA Miles!

This offer has been around for a few weeks now, so this may be old news to many, but I have been quite busy with other projects, and just signed up for them:

Citi is offering amazing signup bonuses for their AAdvantage cards. They all seem to come with first year free.

I know that a while back Citi effectively stopped churning, but it would seem that there are still exceptions, especially with the Business card. Myself and my wife both had Citi AA Business cards in the past (more than 90 days ago), and they are both currently closed. We both signed up for business cards the other day, (one from each of the offers below) and we were both approved!

Here are the current amazing offers from Citi (Both officially expire October 31st):
  • 75,000 Miles Signup Bonus
    Offer Link
    75,000 Miles after spending $1,500 within the first six months. This offer is for the Personal Visa, Personal Amex and Business Visa.

  • 100,000 Miles Signup Bonus
    This one doesn't seem to have an offer page, but I signed up for it, and then confirmed with the representative over the phone, that this is the offer.
    You get 50,000 after speding $750 during the first four months, and another 50,000 for spending $10,000 during the first year, So this one is great if you can do the spending.
    Personal Visa
    Personal Amex
    Business Visa
Good luck!

Some notes on Citi:
  • Citi charges 3% on all foreign charges (charges not made in the US). The 3% is even if the charge is in US dollars.
  • The Citi Amex is not a real Amex. If you are getting an Amex in order to take advantage of Amex's benefits, try one of these.

Blog Update

Blog Update:

As you most probably have noticed, there hasn't been any new posts for a month and half.
I apologize for that. I have been out of the country for a while now, and extremely busy. The truth is, I'm not sure if and when I'll be posting regularly again.

I am going to leave the blog up and running,
as there is lots of valuable information on it, and will post updates whenever I have a chance, or whenever I hear or see something that's too good to pass up. Perhaps I will put up an option to be notified of future posts.We'll see what happens.

Friday, July 2, 2010

250 Free Continental Miles

Here's another 250 free Continental miles. Will probably only work if you have a Continental debit or credit card.
In the past some of these free miles offers have posted while others haven't. It only takes a few seconds, so why not try.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Amex Starwood 30,000 Points Signup Bonus!

American Express is now offering 30,000 points signup bonus after spending $1,000 during the first three months! This is the best offer from the Starwood Amex that I've seen.
The offer is for both the Personal and the Business cards, and the first year is free.

If you haven't gotten one of them in the past, get it now! Or better yet, get them both for 60,000 points (120,000 if your spouse get's them too). The offer expires July 6th 2010.

The Starwood Amex is a great card to keep long term, and is one of my two main cards, together with Charles Schwab, that I use on a regular basis.

Some benefits of this card:

- It's an Amex - Great benefits and security and Ages your credit history!
- Reports your credit line to the CRA's - which helps keep your score high. Not all cards report it.
-
Best points/mileage program - more on OneMileAtATime and DansDeals.
- Hotel nights start at just 2,000 points
- Points transfer to miles in over 30 airlines
- Transfer 20,000 Starwood points into 25,000 miles - Often there are promotions for more.
- Low annual fee - First year free, after that it's $45/year

More on ViewFromTheWing

Chase Freedom 5% Cashback on Travel During Summer Months

Chase Freedom is offering 5% cashback on Gas, Airline tickets, car rentals and hotels, from July 1st - September 30th 2010.

The 5% is on up to $1,500 in spending. Totaling $75 cashback (1% standard cashback + 4% bonus).

Registration required

If you are looking for a cashback card, Charles Schwab is the best, but they aren't accepting new cardmembers now. Fidelity Amex also has 2% cashback. For a non-Amex, Chase Freedom is a decent card, but if you are applying for a new Chase card, there are way better signup bonuses out there, so I'm not sure I would 'waste' an application on a card that only has a $100 signup bonus.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Three Months Amazon Prime, Syms Bash & $0.99 for 250 labels

Amazon Prime - Cheap Diapers
After ordering the amazingly priced pampers from Amazon the other day, I got an email today giving me a free three month trial to Amazon prime. Whether or not you get the prime, the pampers are really cheap.

Now Amazon is offering 30% off diaper products when using Subscribe and Save. You can click here after ordering to cancel subscription.

Syms Bash

Syms is having their bash, where prices are cut approx. 25%, until July 5th. Nice store with good prices.

$0.99 for 250 Customized Labels - Today only
Link
Use coupon code 854758859 to bring price down to $0.99 with free shipping.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google Voice Open to All - No Invitation Needed

Google Voice used to be open by invite only. It wasn't too hard to acquire an invite, but now Google made it easier by making it open to the public.

Google Voice is a great way to have a totally free US phone line anywhere in the world. I have been using Google Voice with an old Voip box (from Sunrocket) for the past couple of years, and love it.

In short:
Google Voice gives you a free US phone number. You can either choose by area code, or see if they have a word available. They don't give you a phone, just a phone number. So, you need to have another component to actually let you make and receive phone calls. Any phone will do the trick. If you want the whole thing to be totally free, then use one of the free programs out there, that can either be used as a soft-phone on the computer (you would then use a mic and headset to talk), or can be installed on an old voip box, you would then connect any land line phone to the voip box (this way would be much clearer).

I set it up my Google Voice with Gizmo Project, but now Gizmo Project is not accepting new sign-ups, so try Sipgate. I'll write up an updated post on the best ways to use Google Voice sometime when I have a chance.

You can also use Google Voice as a voicemail service, and for sending free text messages. Google Voice has unlimited free calls to anywhere in the US and Canada, free texts to anywhere in the world (I think) along with decent prices to the rest of the world.

Previous Posts
Review: Grand Central - Free virtual phone line!
GrandCentral Upgrades To Google Voice!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Great Sale on Pampers at Amazon - $27.89 For Big Box - Now $26.85!

Update 2: The Subscribe and save discount went up to 30%, making the total $26.84!
Update: Price dropped to $40.49, making the total $26.85!

Amazon currently has an amazing sale on diapers. They are offering 30% off most of their diaper products using Subscribe and Save. You cancel the subscription straight after ordering. Plus you can use a coupon for another $1.50 off.

I got the Pampers Economy Plus Pack for $27.89 after discounts, with free two day shipping. The regular price is $41.99. Usually the discounts are only for the smaller boxes, not on the big Economy Plus packs. So this came out very, very cheap.
  1. Click here, then click the coupon that says 'Save $1.50 on any ONE Pampers Diapers or Pants'. You may need to refresh the page a few times to get the coupon to show up. Once you click the coupon, come back here to #2.
  2. Pick the size you need:
    Size 1 (252 count)

    Size 2 (228 count)

    Size 3 (204 count)
    Size 4 (176 count)

    Size 5 (156 count)

    Size 6 (128 count)
  3. On the right side of the page, click 'Subscribe Now' for 15% off (Now 30% off).
  4. By checkout, use coupon code PMPLUVJN for another 15% off
  5. Once your order ships, you can cancel your 'Subscribe ans Save' in a second. Just click here, and cancel your subscription.
Total price is $41.99 -15% -15% -$1.50 coupon = $27.89.
Without the $1.50 coupon it's $29.39, which is still a great price.

$25 From American Express Pass, Free Pedometer and Miles

  • Free Pedometer

  • 5,000 Free Spirit Airlines Miles

  • $25 for reloading American Express Pass

    Update: The maximum amount you can take out of an ATM each week is $200

    It's basically a prepaid credit card that you purchase from American Express. Each time you add money to the prepaid card, the minimum amount is $25. When you add on $25 a second time, before August 15th 2010, you get a $25 bonus. Starting October 1st there will be a $3.95 monthly fee, until then it's free. So, if you don't want the fee, cancel before then. You can take out the money at an ATM for a $1.50 charge.
    More on Fatwallet

  • Kindle price drop to $189