Keep or Cancel our American Express Hilton Aspire credit card?

The American Express Hilton Aspire card comes with a strong set of benefits.  This includes:  Diamond status with HiltonA $250 resort credit at select Hilton propertiesA $250 Airline creditAn annual free night at Hilton Properties It also comes with a $450 fee.    We’ve had the card for over a year, and got great value for the $450 annual fee.  This card easily paid for itself during our trip to the Conrad Maldives in February of this year. This week the annual fee once again hit our account.  With travel on hold, we couldn’t justify paying $450.   So what to do? Options included: Cancelling the cardDowngrading…

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Saving Our Trip to Paris – Why We Applied for an Air France Credit Card

As the saying goes, “Paris always a good idea”. We love visiting Paris and had a trip planned for May 2020.   The flight was booked with Air France Miles.  The trip was cancelled due to Covid 19. We called Air France, cancelled the flight, and the Air France miles were redeposited into our frequent flyer account. So far so good.  The problem is, these miles, along with our existing balance, resulted in over 300,000 Air France miles that were set to expire in May 2021.  This is over $3000 worth of travel that would evaporate unless we took action. Air France miles expire…

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Giftcardmall no longer offering $500 Visa Gift Cards?

Giftcardmall recently took two negative steps for those who earn points and miles via Visa gift cards. This includes: 1) Eliminating free shipping. 2) Limiting portal payouts to $2000 of purchases a month. Has Giftcardmall taken another limiting step? The website currently shows that the maximum value for a Visa Gift card is $250. The fee stays the same at $5.95. Is this a glitch, or a permanent change? We'll keep our eyes out regarding this development. P.S. Thanks to Chris K for pointing this out.

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Earn Points Through Credit Card Sign Ups – Part 2: Ten Steps to Follow

Do you want to earn a large number of points and miles for travel? Here are ten steps to earn points and miles through credit card sign ups. When it comes to earning points and miles, the biggest bang for the buck is usually the welcome bonuses offered by credit card companies.  It’s common to see offers of 50,000 – 100,000 points for signing up for a single card.  In this article we’ll share ten steps to consider when you sign up for a credit card.  This article is part of a series in which we lay out steps to save money…

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Poker, Points and Miles

The following are three recent posts which take a mathematical look at points and miles. Placing Our Bet What’s better, a cashback card, or a card that earns transferable, yet cashable points?  To help make the decision, we take an approach more likely to appear at a poker game, than a flyertalk forum.  Read more at https://cafesandalleyways.com/placing-our-bet Is the Discover It Miles Card Really a 3% Card? The Discover It Miles card is touted as a 3% Cashback card. But the first-year value of the Discover it Miles Card needs to be evaluated in terms of how the 3% is delivered: As a…

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How to Value Points and Miles

How much is an American Airline mile worth? What about a Chase Ultimate Reward Point? In this article we’ll layout a simple process for how to value points and miles. Specifically, on how to value points and miles based on your unique travel habits. Travel blogs might value a Citi ThankYou Point between 1.6-1.7 cents a point.  But how much is a Citi Thankyou point worth to you? In this article we share four simple steps on how to value a point or mile.  Without further ado.  Here we go:  Step 1 - Create a List of Ways in Which You Will Potentially…

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Exploring The Discover it Miles Card as a “3%” Card

If you’re someone in the points and miles community, you’ve heard of earning 3% with the Discover Miles It card. But if you go to Discover.com and search for their Discover it Miles “3%” card, you’ll come up empty.  And a reason you won’t find a “3%” card leads to the topic I want to explore.  In what way is this a 3% card? First a quick overview of the card.  When you go to Discover.com, you’ll “discover” that the Discover it Miles Card earns 1.5% cashback on all spending (they call it miles).  So how does a card that earns 1.5% turn into…

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Adding to the Mix – Four Credit Cards to Consider In a Points Earning Strategy

We recently wrote in article in which we compared a cash back card to a card that earns transferable, but cashable points.  For the cashback card we used an imaginary 2% card.  For transferable points we used the Chase Freedom Unlimited.  The article prompted some good discussion.  People brought up cards such as… The Discover it Miles Card at 3%The Amex Blue Business Plus which has the potential to cash out at 2.5%The Citi Double Cash at 2%The Bank of America card at 2.625% Those are four great cards.  Each offers an appealing overall value to the cardholder.  We personally use all four of the above-mentioned cards.  Any of…

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Placing Our Bet: Deciding Between Cash back or Transferable (But Cashable) Points in Today’s Uncertain Environment

In light of current circumstances we’re looking at shifting credit card spending away from cards which earn program-specific points, and aiming them towards either… Cards which earn cashbackCards which earn transferable currencies that can be converted to cash.   The common theme being the ability to go to cash.    With non-essential travel on hold, cash is an appealing option.  But we also like premium travel, and normally get outsized value with transferable currencies.  So, as someone who prioritizes travel, but wants the fallback option of cash, which of the two above options is the best path forward, transferable but cashable points, or…

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Earn Points Through Credit Card Sign Ups- Part 1: Count the Cost

Do you want to earn a large number of points and miles for travel?  If so, the single best piece of advice may be to sign up for a credit card with a big welcome bonus. To learn more, read on! Welcome to the world of points and miles! We’re sharing how ordinary people can travel to extraordinary places with the use of airline miles and hotel points. This post is part of a series on “Getting Started with Points and Miles”. Here are the topics: Getting Started with Points and MilesLook and Learn Before You LeapDecide What Type of Reward Points…

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