American Express Increases 35% Business Platinum Rebate Cap (To 1,000,000 From 500,000)

In 2017 American Express reduced the 50% rebate on business class airfare or even economy airfare on your selected airline to 35% on the Business Platinum card and introduced a 500,000 points cap as well. That cap is now increasing to 1,000,000 points. In 2018 American Express did experiment with offering an increased cap when reaching spending requirements. This obviously won’t affect most cardholders.

Hat tip to DDG

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Huge Retention Offers On American Express Business Platinum Cards

Update 1/17/22: Reports of generous retention offers again, including $595 and $695 statement credit offers.

In May we reported that American Express was offering some juicy retention offers on most credit cards. In the last week there has been some reports of a huge retention offer on the American Express Business Platinum card. Some cardholders are being offered 30,000 Membership Rewards points on renewal and then an additional 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $40,000 in spend within three months. Obviously the spend requirement of $40,000 will be difficult for a lot of people to meet.

Keep in mind this card is also offering a $200 appreciation credit on renewal currently as well. The American Express Business Platinum card also offers a $20 per month credit for both wireless and shipping purchases until December 31, 2020 as well. Obviously there is no guarantee you’ll get such an offer, but it is worth making the call.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Does your income affect your credit score?

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

No, your income doesn’t directly impact your credit score. But your income does play a role in the loan approval process, so you should understand why your income matters to help you prepare for your next loan application. 

What affects your credit score?

Your credit score is based on your credit report. So, naturally, only the things on your credit report can—and should—affect your credit score. And income isn’t one of the things included on a credit report. Additionally, other factors, such as your marital status, race, employment status and how much you have in savings, aren’t included in your credit report. Your credit report is only supposed to summarize your past behavior when borrowing credit, so factors like income and savings aren’t applicable.  

The credit bureaus collect consumer data from lenders and creditors. This data is run through a credit scoring model, such as the FICO® or VantageScore® models, to give each individual a credit score. Your credit score tells creditors how risky you are as a borrower based on your past patterns with other lenders. The higher your credit score, the more reliable a borrower you probably are. 

So, if your credit score doesn’t look at income, what exactly does it look at? Your credit score is made up of five factors that are weighted differently in importance:

  • Payment history (35 percent): Your payment history is a record of whether payments are made on time and in full. This is the most significant factor in your credit score, so making even one late payment or missing a payment can drop your score by several points. On the other hand, a good track record of paying lenders on time can improve your overall credit.  
  • Amounts owed (30 percent): Amounts owed represents your credit usage, also known as your credit utilization ratio. This ratio is the amount of credit available to you versus the amount you spend every month. If you have a single credit card with a limit of $10,000 and spend $1,500 monthly, your ratio is 15 percent. A credit utilization above 30 percent is more likely to negatively affect your credit score. 
  • Credit history length (15 percent): Your credit age is the average age of all your credit accounts. This will naturally improve with time as your accounts get older. However, you can keep your credit age as high as possible by not closing your oldest account. 
  • Credit mix (10 percent): Your credit mix is all the different types of credit that make up your profile. Having a diverse credit portfolio shows that you can be responsible with all sorts of lenders. A combination of installment loans (car loans, student loans, mortgage) and revolving accounts (credit cards) is optimal. 
  • New credit (10 percent): The number of new credit accounts you’ve opened recently—and the associated hard inquiries—can impact your score. It’s not recommended that you open several new accounts in a short period, as it can significantly lower your credit score. 

Your income can indirectly affect your credit score

As we’ve illustrated, your income isn’t one of the factors considered for your credit score.  But your income can impact your ability to make your payments on time and in full, and payment history is the largest factor of your credit score. 

But perhaps more importantly, your income will typically have a direct effect on your loan approval odds. For example, when applying for a mortgage, both your income and credit score will be used to evaluate you as a borrower. How much you make combined with your credit score will determine how much you’re approved to borrow and at what loan terms. 

Lenders often ask you to list your income on loan applications so they can understand how much you can afford to borrow. If you don’t have enough income to pay for or handle the credit you’re applying for, that can prevent you from being approved. 

Understand your debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio will be examined when you apply for credit and will play a role in your approval or denial. The debt-to-income ratio is how much of your income goes to debt versus how much you have left over. So, if you have a monthly income of $4,000 and spend $1,200 on your monthly bills, your debt-to-income ratio is 30 percent. 

If your debt-to-income ratio is very high, it indicates that you probably don’t have the income room to take on new, additional debt. Generally speaking, lenders want to see a debt-to-income ratio of less than 36 percent to give approval for new credit or loans, with a DTI maximum of 43 percent for mortgages.

Note that it’s your income—not your salary—used in the DTI ratio. Your salary is the annual amount of money you receive from an employer. In comparison, your income includes your salary and any additional monetary sources, such as rental payments, stock profits, alimony and more. Income is the criteria used when you’re applying for a loan or credit product because all these additional sources of revenue can help you pay your debts. 

Work to improve your DTI ratio and credit 

You might not be able to drastically improve your income right away, but you can try to focus on your DTI. Start by determining what your current debt-to-income ratio is. Next, do what you can to lower it. Pay off existing debts and reduce your monthly spending where possible. 

Additionally, focus on the main credit factors so you can improve your overall credit. Make all your payments on time by signing up for auto-payments. Keep your credit utilization low, minimize hard inquiries and keep old accounts open. If you have a strong credit score and a healthy DTI, it’s entirely possible to qualify for a good loan with excellent terms on a modest income. 

If you think you’ve made a misstep with your credit and you’re not sure how to fix it, consider working with a professional credit repair service. The credit repair consultants at Lexington Law Firm will review your credit reports with you and offer credit education resources. You don’t have to go through this complicated process on your own—get help today. 


Reviewed by Anna Grozdanov, Associate Attorney at Lexington Law Firm. Written by Lexington Law.

Anna Grozdanov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, but moved to Arizona with her family. Ms. Grozdanov grew up in Arizona and went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in both Philosophy and Psychology. Ms. Grozdanov finished her first year of law school at Pepperdine University School of Law in California, but returned to Arizona where she graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Since graduating from law school, Ms. Grozdanov has worked in Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Probate, and Personal Injury. She has extensive experience advising and working closely with clients and applies these skills at Lexington by helping clients achieve their credit repair goals. Ms. Grozdanov is licensed to practice law in Arizona. She is located in the Phoenix office.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.

Source: lexingtonlaw.com

Here’s How to Boost Your Credit after a Big Purchase Impacts Your Score

Before you make a major purchase, like a home or car, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into the process. You might have worked to make sure your credit is in the best shape possible before you apply for a loan. Perhaps you’ve shopped around and compared interest rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal available on financing. 

Yet there’s one factor that many borrowers forget to consider before taking out a large loan–the impact it will have on your credit score.

Why a Big Purchase Might Harm Your Credit Score

A recent study found that in the six months after getting a mortgage, credit scores may fall by about 20 points on average across the nation’s 50 largest metros. However, most borrowers also saw their credit scores rebound to their pre-loan starting points in less than a year.

According to Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst for LendingTree, the credit score change occurs because adding a new account with a large balance to your credit report increases your credit risk.

“Taking out a new mortgage usually causes a person’s score to decrease as it adds a large new balance to their credit report that they haven’t yet proven their ability to pay off,” says Channel. He adds that the combination of a larger debt and lack of evidence that the consumer can manage the new account may lead to more risk in the eyes of lenders and, in turn, lower credit scores as a result.

According to credit scoring firm FICO®, even refinancing a large loan could potentially impact your credit score in a negative way (though that’s not always the case).

Additional Credit Score Factors

Credit reporting agency Experian explains two additional reasons why a new mortgage might lower your credit score:

  • A new loan will decrease your average age of credit (a factor, among others, that influences 15% of your FICO® Score). 
  • The new hard credit inquiry from the mortgage might have a negative credit score impact as well, though this typically isn’t significant. 

Credit Score Recovery Can Take Time

Seeing your credit score drop after a major purchase can be frustrating, especially if you have plans to apply for other financing. Unfortunately, the credit score recovery cycle takes around 339 days on average.

Channel says that borrowers need time to prove to lenders that they’re able to handle their new debt, noting that “one of the main ways to do this is to make multiple, one-time payments, which is a time-consuming process.” 

It’s also important to consider the fact that there are delays between when a borrower makes a payment and when that payment actually shows up on their credit report. Because of this phenomenon, credit scores might remain low for a while even after the borrower has made several on-time loan payments.

As Experian points out, your credit score will only change when information on your credit report updates. 

How to Rebuild Your Credit Score after a Decline

Smart credit moves after taking out a new mortgage have the potential to help you rebuild your credit score–perhaps even faster than average. 

Channel notes that the best step you can take toward better credit after a mortgage is to pay your credit obligations on time. That advice applies not just to your new mortgage loan, but to your other debts as well. 

“The more payments a borrower makes on time, the less risky they’ll appear to lenders and the higher their score will be,” he says. 

In addition to on-time payments, you might consider paying down any outstanding credit card balances you owe. Credit utilization–the connection between your credit card limits and balances–can have a significant impact on your credit score.

As you pay down your credit card debt, your utilization rate should go down. That reduction can have a positive impact on your credit score.

Debt consolidation is one strategy that some people use to lower their credit utilization levels when they can’t pay off all of their credit card debt at once. The approach can be helpful in many situations, as long as you can avoid running up new balances on your original credit cards after you pay them off with a consolidation loan or balance transfer.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to make a major purchase, it’s in your best interest to make sure your credit is in good shape. The higher your credit score, the better your approval odds may be, and you could even secure better interest rates and terms, too. 

Channel adds that good credit can also work in your favor after you close on a new loan. 

“The stronger a borrower’s initial credit score, the less damage something like a new mortgage is likely to do,” he says. “As a result, borrowers who work hard to boost their scores before they get a mortgage can usually better avoid some of the drawbacks a drop in their credit score could bring.” 

Source: credit.com

Chase Freedom Flex & Unlimited: $200 Bonus + 5% Back On Gas First Year (Up To $6k Spend)

The Offer

Direct link to offer

Chase is offering an additional bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards:

  • Get the standard $200 sign up bonus after $500 in spend; in addition, the card will earn 5% cashback on Gas purchases in the first year, up to $6,000 in spend.

Card Details

Freedom Flex

  • No annual fee
  • Card earns the following points rates:
    • 5% on rotating Quarterly Categories on up to $1,500 in total purchases (e.g. Q4 2020 will be PayPal and Walmart)
    • 5% on Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • 3% on Dining 
    • 3% on Drugstore 
    • 5% on Lyft through March 2022
    • 1% unlimited cash back 

Freedom Unlimited

  • No annual fee
  • Card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Our Verdict

Keep in mind while these cards talk about cash back you actually earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This means if you have an annual fee card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Preferred then you can transfer these points to travel partners. You could also use these points for the Chase Pay Yourself back feature to make them worth 1.5¢ each.

As noted, the standard bonus on these cards is $200, and the 5% back on Gas is an additional bonus. Until recently there was a similar offer for 5x back on Grocery Stores (up to $12,000), but that has now been discontinued. We mentioned this Gas offer version floating around in the past, and it now looks to be the standard new offer on Chase and on referral links so I thought it worth a dedicated post. There’s also an alternate offer for the Freedom Unlimited card, specifically, to get an extra 1.5x per dollar spent anywhere during the first year, up to $20,000 in spend. Which offer you choose will depend on your spend patterns and on what other cards you have.

Unfortunately a lot of readers won’t be eligible for these cards/bonus due to the Chase 5/24 rule. We will still be adding this to our list of the best credit card bonuses.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

The cards TPG staffers are keeping, canceling and downgrading – The Points Guy


The cards TPG staffers are keeping, canceling or downgrading – The Points Guy


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Source: thepointsguy.com

[Update] American Express Will No Longer Offer Free Guest Access To Centurion Lounges (Starting Feb 2023), Fee Reduced

Update 1/15/22: There is now a spend tracker showing your progress toward the $75,000 spend threshold for guest access. Hat tip to Parts_Unknown-

Update 7/1/21: Cardholders will be able to bring two guests aged 2 through 17 for $30 per person, rather than the previously announced $50.

Update 4/9/21: American Express has officially confirmed this, not sure it was needed considering the terms were updated on their own site (now removed) but good to know for sure.

Original post: American Express has updated the terms for Centurion lounges and beginning February 1, 2023 you’ll no longer get to guests access for free (terms have now been updated again and don’t show these terms, but you can view a screenshot below). Instead a fee of $50 will be charged per guest. If cardholders spend $75,000 within the prior calendar year (or current calendar year) the $50 fee will be waived.

This is an interesting change as for some people it’ll actually be a positive as it should help to reduce overcrowding. For others this will be a huge negative as Centurion Lounge access with guest access is the main perk of the card. This seems to favor business travelers rather than leisure travelers. This was also one of the rumors surrounding the annual fee increase on the personal Platinum card.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Chase Sapphire Reserve 70,000 Points Bonus – Online Offer

The Offer

Direct Link to offer (login required)

  • Signup for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and get 70,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first three months.

Card Details

  • $550 annual fee
  • Card earns at the following standard rates per $1 spent:
    • 3x points on travel & restaurants
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Visa infinite benefits

Full review on Chase Sapphire Reserve can be found here.

Our Verdict

The standard bonus for Sapphire Reserve is 50,000, though we recently saw 60,000 or even 70,000 in-branch. Nice to see here a public 70,000 online offer. I’m not sure where the link originated. It does require a Chase login so it won’t work for someone with no Chase login.

We’ve seen Sapphire Preferred as high as 100,000, but I don’t think any of those offers are currently available. See these 26 Things Everybody Should Know About Chase Credit Cards before applying for a Chase card.

Hat tip again to JonLuca

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Marcus By Goldman Sachs Announces Three New GM Cards, Transition For Existing Cardholder

In late 2020 it was announced that Goldman Sachs had outbid Barclays for the GM portfolio of credit cards. It was reported Goldman Sachs purchased the portfolio from Capital One for $2.5 billion. Marcus By Goldman Sachs has now launched three new GM cards and provided information for existing users.

Existing Cardholders

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs will begin servicing GM your account on February 22
  • You can use your old card until your new one arrives. Cards will begin arriving beginning February 22 and card deliveries will be happening through the first week of April.
  • You’ll keep the value of your unused Earnings even after the transition.
  • You’ll manage your account at marcus.com after the transition.

New Cards

Marcus by Goldman Sachs are offering three cards:

  • My GM Rewards Card.
    • No annual fee
    • 10,000 points after $1,000 in your first 3 months
    • Card earns:
      • 7x points on GM purchases
      • 4x points on all other purchases
  • GM Business Card (accepts applications 2/18/22)
    • Get $250 to redeem at GM towards the purchase or lease of eligible new GM vehicles after you spend $2,500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • No annual fee
    • Card earns:
      • 5% back on dealership parts or service
      • 3% back on Gas, restaurants office supply stores
      • 1% everywhere else
  • GM Extended Family (accepts applications 2/18/22)
    • No annual fee
    • $100 after $1,000 in your first 3 months
    • Earn 1% back on everyday purchases from gas and groceries to travel and tickets

Source: doctorofcredit.com