Citi Premier Adds Cash Out Option at One Cent-Per-Point

Citi Premier cardholders can now cash out ThankYou points at one cent per point using the Cash Rewards or Statement Credit options. (More Ways to Redeem > Cash Rewards or Statement Credit)

Back in 2017, Citi added the option for Prestige cardholders to cash out ThankYou points at 1-cent-per-point, and now they seem to be implementing the same for Premier cardholders. Other Citi cards get just .5 cents per point when cashing out ThankYou points. There were always creative ways of the getting the 1 CPP with mortgage payments, but this makes everything easier, and only requires the $95 Premier card.

Perhaps this is to make up for the negative change of losing the 25% travel center bonus which was just implemented. It is odd that we haven’t heard anything yet from Citi directly about the change.

Hat tip to philonous03 and TheFascination

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Citi Premier To Lose 25% Benefit, New Earning Categories

Update 4/8/21: Reminder that the 25% bonus ends on April 10, 2021. Hat tip to MtM for the reminder.

[Update 6/4/20: The 3x supermarkets/restaurants enhancement has gone live early since June 2nd, instead of August 23rd.]

Citi is making a number of changes to the Citi Premier. The changes are as follows:

  • Card will no longer offer a 25% bonus when points are used through the travel center. This goes into effect on April 10th, 2021 for existing customers and August 23rd, 2020 for new customers
  • Card will earn 3x ThankYou points per $1 spent on supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout) starting August 23rd for both new & existing customers
  • Cardmembers will continue to earn 3X ThankYou points on every $1 spent on air travel, hotels and gas stations
  • 3X ThankYou point benefit on all other travel such as cruises, toll, and parking and 2X ThankYou point benefit on entertainment will change to 1X ThankYou points on other travel and 1X ThankYou points on entertainment, respectively
  • New travel benefit: $100 off on a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) once per calendar year through Thankyou.com.

I think the new earning categories are definitely an improvement, 3x TYP with no cap is definitely one of the better cards for grocery purchases. Main downgrade is the loss of the 25% bonus when redeeming through the travel center.

The website is still showing the August 23rd date, but apparently information of this change was sent out to media contacts. I expect they’ll notify cardholders soon or release it with some sort press release.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

3 Credit Cards That Help Music Fans See the Coolest Shows

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Concerts let you experience your favorite musical artists with a community of like-minded fans in a live setting. Live music fanatics know the thrill of the concert experience, and they’re constantly watching to secure tickets for the best shows.

Whether you prefer bombastic arena events or intimate venues, you could benefit from a credit card that helps connect you with tickets. Some cards can help you hit shows from your favorite artists and earn rewards for everyday spending.

1. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers and then 15.24% – 25.24% (Variable) ongoing APR.
Why We Picked It: Dining and entertainment purchases earn double points, and cardholders get access to presale tickets and VIP concert packages.
Benefits: This card earns two points for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment, which includes live concerts, record store purchases and music streaming services. Other purchases earn one point per dollar. Points can be redeemed for dining, entertainment, retail goods and more. Plus, with Citi Private Pass, cardholders get access to tickets for thousands of annual events, including concert presales and VIP packages.
Drawbacks: If you tend to prefer cheaper shows and don’t dine out often, you won’t be taking full advantage of the double points. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

Rewards: 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Signup Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 15.99% – 22.99% Variable
Why We Picked It: Cardholders can get presale tickets and exclusive access to many live music events in New York City.
Benefits: Cardholders earn double points for every dollar spent on dining and travel and one point per dollar spent on everything else. Points can be redeemed in many ways, but the greatest value is reserved for travel redemptions made through Chase’s booking platform. Chase Inside Access grants VIP access and presales to exclusive events at venues including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater.
Drawbacks: When it comes to concerts, Chase is primarily focused on New York City venues, so if you aren’t an NYC local (or reasonably nearby) you may want to look elsewhere. The card’s greatest value is also reserved for frequent travelers.

Rewards: 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
Welcome Offer: Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. (See rates and fees here.)
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases then 13.99%-23.99% Variable
Why We Picked It: Card Members have exclusive access to tickets before the general public during a specific sales window – just use your card to pay for the purchase.
Benefits: Cardholders earn 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. and 1% cash back on other purchases. American Express customers often get access to presale tickets and special events when buying tickets through the Membership Experiences website. Plus, points can easily be redeemed directly with Ticketmaster for ticket purchases.
Drawbacks: The card’s points system is only valuable to those who spend a lot on groceries.

How to Choose a Card for Live Music

Credit cards for music lovers should reward cardholders as they spend and grant special access to tickets and events.

When evaluating cards for your live music habit, look at the purchase types that earn the most rewards. You’ll want to choose a card that incentivizes the type of purchases you already make.

You’ll also want to look at the types of events and tickets your card can help you access before you take the plunge and apply. The events should reflect your live music preferences. If they don’t, you probably won’t get much use out of them.

One last thing to keep in mind is that most “exclusive” ticket programs are available through all or many of the credit cards offered by the issuer. If the main appeal is access to these programs, look at all available cards from the issuer. Chances are, they’ll have a card that fits your lifestyle.

What Is Required to Get a Card for Concerts?

Cards that provide live music rewards often require good to excellent credit. You should be aware of where your credit stands before you apply. A hard inquiry from a credit card application can cause your credit score to dip a few points. If you aren’t sure where your credit stands, you can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: PeopleImages 

At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card and Amex EveryDay Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Source: credit.com

[Public & Referral Offer] American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 125,000 Point Sign Up Bonus + $200 Restaurant Credit

Update 4/8/21: This increased 125k + $200 offer is now showing via referral links as well. Hat tip to pfdpfd

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card and earn 125,000 bonus points and up to $200 back at U.S. Restaurants:
    • Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases made on your new Card at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Offer Ends 5/12/2021.

Card Details

  • $450 annual fee
  • $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at Marriott properties
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 6x points per $1 spent at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels
    • 3x points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
    • 2x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free night award every year after your card account anniversary (can be used at any property that costs under 50,000 points per night)
  • Complimentary gold elite status
  • Platinum elite status after you spend $75,000 or more on the card in a calendar year
  • 15 nights towards elite status (you’re restricted to getting this benefit once per Marriott Loyalty program number)
  • Unlimited complimentary priority pass lounge access for you and up to two accompanying guests
  • Statement credit for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every four years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access
  • Free in-room premium internet access at SPG & Marriott participating hotels
  • Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card from JPMorgan or the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.

Our Verdict

Previous best bonus was 100,000 points + 25,000 anniversary points + elite status. This offer is the best we’ve ever seen with 125,000 points + $200 credit. Unfortunately, this offer is not available via referral, so no double dipping with a friend.

This can be a good offer for some people, but just keep in mind the massive annual fee. I’d make sure you have a good plan for the Marriott points and resort credit before signing up. We will add this to our best credit card bonus post. There is also an increased offer on the Marriott business card from American Express.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

[Targeted] Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card 80,000 Mile Offer

The Offer

No direct link to offer, sent out via snail mail

  • Earn up to 80,000 miles on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card. Broken down as follows:
    • 40,000 miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
    • Extra 40,000 miles after spending a total of $12,000 or more on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening

The Fine Print

Our Verdict

Previous best offer has been 50,000 miles or 40,000 miles + $100. In the past Alaska has sent out these targeted offers before an offer was made public, I doubt that will be the case this time. Would be added to the best credit card bonus page if it was a public offer.

Hat tip to clumsynuts

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Tips for Paying off Student Loans Quickly

Paying off Student LoansPaying off Student LoansThe thought of graduating can bring forth a myriad of feelings. While some worry about being able to get the right job, others are excited about finally having an opportunity to leave the kind of life that they always wanted. It is also common to constantly worry about the uncertainties that an independent life will bring.

This can further be compounded by an outstanding student loan. Luckily, you don’t have to wait until you are up to your neck in debt to start acting; you can actually adopt strategies that can see your debt go away faster. Below are tips for paying off student loans quickly.

Pay More than the Minimum Amount

You don’t have to pay just the minimum amount if you can afford more. This is a sure way of reducing your debt. You can go ahead and automate the payment with the extra amount included so that you don’t give room to the possibility of changing your mind. However little it is, it will be worthwhile in the long run.

Start Paying while still in School

If you have a part-time job or any other source of income while in school, you don’t have to wait until you graduate to start paying off your loan. The more you pay, the less you will have to pay later, in fact you may end-up clearing it all depending on how much you owe.

When you do, check with your loan servicer to ensure that your payments go towards the principle and not the interest. Federal loans have provisions for making payments while in school but private loans may require additional fees, be sure to check this before making your payments.

Take Advantage of Cash Windfalls

Have you come to some huge cash by any chance? Whether it is winning the lottery, getting an inheritance, a bonus at work or a financial gift among others, use it as a sum payment of your loan. This is bound to make a significant reduction in your loan balance.

Research and enroll for Student Loan forgiveness programs

Certain programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program help with forgiveness, determent or funding of loans. The programs are facilitated by government agencies, non-profit and other authorized organizations.

Such include Peace Corps which give you determent of Stafford, Perkins or consolidation loans, Americorps which give you $4,725 for working for them for a year, and Volunteers in Service to America which gives also gives you $4,725 for volunteering with them for 1700 hours.

Be Prepared to Sacrifice A Little Comfort

If you are going to make any significant progress, you must be prepared to do away with a little luxury and channel the savings towards your loan repayments. Some of the sacrifices that you can make include giving up or reducing your alcohol intake, cooking own food instead of eating out, cancelling cable TV, jogging instead of paying for gym etc.

When it comes to foregoing luxury, there is no limit to how creative and resourceful you can become, after all you know yourself best.

Avoid Repayment Programs

As appealing as repayment programs like Pay-As-You-Earn may sound, you might want to keep off them unless you have no choice. This is because by decreasing payments, they extend the repayment period.

Direct Loan Consolidation can also hamper your efforts to pay faster. Ideally, any extra payments should be targeted towards loans with higher interest to avoid capitalization. When loans with different interests are consolidated, you cannot make these targets.

Final Thought

Repaying student loans can be unsettling especially if you don’t have the right plan in place. On the other hand, you can pay it off sooner than you can imagine by adopting several tried and tested tactics. This requires discipline and commitment on your part and of course, being on the lookout for any other strategies that are known to work.

Source: creditabsolute.com

SoFi Credit Card Full Details Released (4% Referral Bonus For 30 Days)

Update 4/8/21: There is now a referral bonus for double points earned for the first 30 days (please don’t share your referrals in the comments).Hat tip to reader V K

Update 3/15/21: Card is now available publicly. Sign up bonus is $20-$10,000 (they are giving away 50 million points (worth $500,000)) in total).

Update 12/16/20: Some people are targeted for a $100 bonus after $1,000 in spend. E-mail subject line is ‘Get $100 with the new SoFi Credit Card’

Update 10/28/20: Card has now started to be offered to SoFi customers via e-mail. Hat tip to reader Platypus

Original post: In January it was announced that SoFi would launch a credit card, in June we  got some additional details about what the card might offer. Today the card was briefly available on the SoFi app but it was not possible to apply for. The details shown when the card was live are as follows:

  • No annual fee
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Full mastercard world elite benefits (including up to $1,000 cell phone insurance)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No sign up bonus

The previous rumor was that it would come with two 5% categories but also a $99 annual fee. For people interested in more details somebody saved the full terms & conditions here. Obviously it’s possible that the details surrounding this card could change again, but seems unlikely given the level of detail leaked here. In all likelihood we could see the official launch this coming week.

Hat tip to /r/creditcards

Source: doctorofcredit.com