[Update] United TravelBank Is Back

Update 1/14/22: From reader Kyle: For those experiencing issues with payment not going through, add the card to your united account as a payment method and then use the saved payment card to pay for the travel bank purchase. That work around is working at the moment.

Update 1/8/22: Travel credits now posting as well.

The United Airlines TravelBank feature was down for a few days, but has now returned.

United TravelBank link

Lots of people like using their AmEx incidental airline credit to load their United TravelBank account with funds which can be used for the next 5 years. Anecdotally, these purchases have worked to trigger the airline credit; hopefully that lasts.

Just be sure to select United as your Amex airline option first. Also be sure not to leave the TravelBank account dormant for more than 18 months. (Update: some speculate that the 18-month dormancy does not apply to the newer TravelBank loads. Regardless, if you load your TravelBank once every 18 months, or you use up some of your TravelBank balance within the 18 months, that resets your 18-month clock.)

Hat tip to FM and to reader Mike

Source: doctorofcredit.com

United TravelBank Is Back

The United Airlines TravelBank feature was down for a few days, but has now returned.

United TravelBank link

Lots of people like using their AmEx incidental airline credit to load their United TravelBank account with funds which can be used for the next 5 years. Anecdotally, these purchases have worked to trigger the airline credit; hopefully that lasts.

Just be sure to select United as your Amex airline option first. Also be sure not to leave the TravelBank account dormant for more than 18 months. (Update: some speculate that the 18-month dormancy does not apply to the newer TravelBank loads. Regardless, if you load your TravelBank once every 18 months, or you use up some of your TravelBank balance within the 18 months, that resets your 18-month clock.)

Hat tip to FM and to reader Mike

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Credit score needed for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the premium travel credit card offered by the popular credit card issuer. This card comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, but it more than makes up for it if you take advantage of its large sign-up bonus, rewards and other travel perks.

Given the impressive rewards available with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it’s no surprise that it’s not available to just anyone. Chase requires a certain credit score along with other qualifications to be approved. Keep reading to learn what credit score you’ll need to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and how to boost your score to qualify.

What credit score do I need to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

To qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll need an excellent credit score. An excellent FICO score is considered anything 740 or higher.

But for this card, your credit score isn’t the only factor that Chase will consider. Chase has a well-known 5/24 rule that prevents someone from being approved for one of its cards if they have opened five or more credit cards within the past 24 months. Under the 5/24 rule, it doesn’t matter which issuer the card is from – any five credit cards will disqualify you.

In addition to your credit score and the 5/24 rule, Chase, like many issuers, generally considers your income and credit report data.

How can I improve my score to get this card?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular luxury credit cards on the market. It offers some incredible rewards and travel perks that can more than make up for its large annual fee.

The bad news is it’s only available to borrowers with excellent credit. However, if you’ve been in the good credit range — meaning a score between 670 and 739 — you can take a few steps to boost your score up into the excellent range.

If you have a good credit score, it likely means you’re already doing a lot of things right for your credit. Below are a few additional strategies to help you boost your score a little higher.

Request a credit limit increase

Credit utilization is an important factor in determining your credit score. It makes up 30% of your FICO score, and it’s best to keep your utilization ratio below 30%.

One of the most effective ways to reduce your credit utilization is to increase the amount of credit available to you. With most credit card companies, you can request a credit limit increase in your online account or by calling the issuer.

Time your monthly payments

One of the best things you can do for your score is pay your full credit card balance each month. But if you’ve been making your payment on the due date each month, consider doing that a bit earlier.

Each month, credit card issuers report your card activity to the three credit bureaus. If your activity is reported before you’ve made your payment, then your credit report will show a balance, even if you don’t typically carry one past your due date. By paying your card off before your activity is reported to the credit bureaus, your credit report will show a lower balance and, therefore, lower credit utilization.

Become an authorized user

Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit score can provide a huge boost to your credit score. First, adding another credit card to your credit report increases the amount of credit available to you. And assuming there isn’t a large balance being carried on that card, you’ll see your credit utilization go down.

Another benefit of becoming an authorized user is that you’ll get credit for the payment history of that card. Assuming the primary cardholder has made all of their payments on time, those payments will benefit your credit score as well.

Monitor your credit regularly

Staying on top of your credit situation is critical when it comes to boosting your credit score. Monitoring your credit will alert you right away if anything appears on your credit report that shouldn’t be there. Many credit monitoring services also give you insight into your credit and show you what factors on your credit report may be holding your score down.

What if I have bad credit?

If you currently have bad credit or fair credit, then applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve may not be the best choice for a while. Work on improving your credit with responsible credit use, and over time you’ll see your score climb up. While not a flashy travel card, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a rewards card that you can typically qualify for with fair credit. You can use this or a similar card to build your credit history and score.

What can I do if Chase declines my application?

Even with a credit score above 740, you may still be denied the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Luckily, Chase – like most major card issuers – has a reconsideration line, meaning you can call 1-888-270-2127  and ask the representative to take another look at your application.

But in some cases, it may simply be that your credit score isn’t high enough or you don’t meet one of Chase’s other requirements, such as the 5/24 rule. In that case, spend a bit more time improving your credit score to increase your chances of being approved the next time around.

Bottom line

As is the case with many premium credit cards, Chase requires an excellent credit score to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Given all the benefits the card comes with, it’s probably worth the effort. But if your credit score hasn’t reached 740 or higher yet, then you may need to take some additional steps to boost your score to ensure your application is approved.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Source: creditcards.com

Chase Sending Some Sapphire Reserve Cardholders Champagne & Luggage-Themed Thank You Package

Update 11/4/21: Champagne gift sets are also being sent out. Hat tip to reader Bruce

Chase is sending some travel-related items from Away to some of their Sapphire Reserve cardholders. It includes various Away branded items including a toiletry case and some travel items like a face mask, packing cubes, luggage tags, passport holder.

Reader the lounge lizard sent this in and a couple of friends just got this as well.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Best Cities to Buy a Vacation Home for Post-pandemic Retreats

The coronavirus pandemic has made it tough to buy a home, including vacation homes. Homebuyer sentiment is at a ten-year low, and millions of families are struggling with unemployment or small businesses that are in trouble. They are forgoing their traditional week or two at the beach or mountains this year and staying home. Short term rentals built a whole new economy in popular vacation spots and many vacation homeowners count on revenues from short-term rentals to pay their mortgages.

Perhaps the only good thing about these hard times for vacation owners are the bargains that are opening up in vacation destinations nationwide. Home sellers have been in control for years, especially in the hottest short-term rental markets. If you are fortunate enough to be immune from the economic crisis that is sweeping the nation, now is the time to buy that vacation home you’ve been considering.

beach town vacation home post-pandemic buyingbeach town vacation home post-pandemic buying

Here are five of the nation’s most popular summer vacation destinations where bargains can be found.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida

Sales are 20% lower than last spring, and new listings are growing at a rate of 24 listings per 1000 households in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers market. Plenty of good deals are attracting a wave of buyers from Northern states despite the pandemic.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers real estate market is rapidly growing, yet it still retains its small-town charm. Its quality of life, miles of Gulf Coast beaches, islands, and the economy continues to attract people. Homes.com lists more than 80,000 homes for sale in the Cape Coral area and about 9,000 in and around Fort Myers.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida

Through April, sales were down 20% from April 2019, creating buyers’ market conditions in Lakeland-Winter Haven offer a dense suburban feel, and most residents own their homes. Located 25 miles inland from the Tampa Bay area. November, April, and March are the most pleasant months in the Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area. Click here to see available listings in Lakeland and in Winter Haven.

Santa Barbara, California

The California coast forms a crescent north of Los Angeles that connects breathtaking beaches, mountains, and vineyards. The Channel Islands National Park offers scuba diving, hiking, and whale watching. Santa Barbara’s downtown offers world-class shopping and dining.

Its real estate offerings feature a sizeable luxury home market and affordable houses as well. The pandemic is taking its toll. According to the local MLS, closings have declined from 142 closings between March 15, 2019, and April 15, 2019, but only 95 closings during the period this year. The drop in sales gives buyers an advantage in a market that features “Access Hollywood” quality listings. To see for yourself, check out Santa Barbara’s available local listings on Homes.com.

Saugatuck, Michigan

Not all excellent beach resorts are on an ocean. If you live in the Midwest, there’s a great one on the east coast of Lake Michigan. With sun, sand, and freshwater to offer, try Saugatuck. Saugatuck is a 150-old former logging town that became a local resort a century ago. Now Southwest Michigan ranks as one of Conde Nast’s 25 best places to go in 2020. Oval Beach on Lake Michigan, sand dune rides, a beach that is litter-less, a chain ferry across the Kalamazoo River, and hammocks on every porch make Saugatuck a great place for families to relax. Homes.com lists some beachfront properties that are more affordable than either coast. Best of all, it is an easy drive from Chicago and Detroit.

Ocean City, Maryland

This Mid-Atlantic shore town is straight from the 1980s with boardwalk, putt-putt golf, beach parties, and famous french fries. In fact, it’s one of the best boardwalk beaches in the US, according to National Geographic’s Traveler. Its real estate market is also more proletarian, featuring high rise condos and bungalows. The pandemic drove away sellers this year, and new listings fell 27% in April, a multi-year low, leaving fewer than 800 listings as the summer season opens. The pandemic also drove down asking prices, and the median new listing price is only $290,000, far below the median for the year, $352,000. Looking to buy? Browse available listings in Ocean City on Homes.com.

America is starting to open up just as the summer begins. As restrictions relax and more beaches open, 2020 might become a great year to get a deal on a beach property.


Steve Cook is the editor of the Down Payment Report and provides public relations consulting services to leading companies and non-profits in residential real estate and housing finance. He has been vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide and press secretary to two members of Congress.

Source: homes.com