Tag Archive for 'credit-card'

APR on my credit card is now 2,599% (Mint says)

Just received this email from Mint, the online tool I use to track my expenses. This is clearly a glitch on their part but I really find it funny in the light of all the talks about banks jacking up fees anticipating the new credit card regulations.


Register your Amex card for 5% BP gas cashback

I logged into my American Express account to check the balance and upon logging off noticed an ad on the right hand side (see the screen shot below) which claimed I could register my credit card to earn 5 cent cash back from each dollar I spend at PB gas stations. Here are more details about the offer and the sign up link:

To be eligible for the offer, you must register your American Express Card at and complete all qualifying transactions by December 31, 2009. You may register more than one Card for this offer, but only those Cards you register individually for the offer will be eligible to earn statement credits. Certain American Express Cards, including prepaid, OPEN(R), and Corporate Cards, as well as additional Cards with a different Card account number, are not eligible. Statement credits will generally be issued within 5 days after each qualifying purchase, but may take up to 2 billing cycles to post to your account. Additional terms apply. See registration website for details.

You will need to enter your name and CC number upon registration. There is no fee for signing up and the CC number is needed to verify eligibility (according to the message that pops up).

Sure enough my American Express from Costco qualified for the promotion which is terrific news since any additional discount is good in the touch financial times like these


Sign up bonus from American Express (worth $150)

GoldPremCredit card sign up bonuses are rare these days and this deal looks unusually hot, almost like the old times. The card is called Premier Rewards Gold Card and when you sign up you will receive 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months of membership. You can convert these to 15,000 frequent flier miles or buy $150 in gift cards to stores like Old Navy, Home Depot or Barnes & Noble.

This card overall is pretty good for frequent travelers since it offers 3X points on airfare in addition to 2X points on gas and groceries and 1X points on everything else.

If you spend $30,000 per calendar year you will earns additional 15,000 bonus points (yes, another $150 gift card!) however by the time you get these points you will be hit by the $175 annual fee (which is waved in the first year) so the value of this additional reward is questionable.

How would I personally use this card? I would apply for it if I knew I had some major vacation coming in the next several months. For example, we are planning a trip to Ukraine next summer to visit our family and friends. This by itself is over $5000 in airfare or over 15,000 in rewards points. If I signed up and bought the tickets now I would both satisfy the $1000 in purchases requirement to get the bonus points and also would get the 3X rewards points on the airfare to Ukraine, a total of over 30,000 points or $300 in gift cards!

Remember to remove late fee on your credit card

This is really a reminder to myself and anyone else who happened to miss a payment on a credit card. The typical fee is around $40 and many banks will readily remove it unless you are a repeat offender. This just happened to me last week with my Chase Freedom Plus and I was able to reverse the fee in one short phone call.

Steps to take if you missed a payment

1. Pay off the overdue balance as soon as possible
2. Wait for a few days till your payment is through
3. Call the service center and explain your situation
4. The officer will usually reverse the fee unless your are repeat offender

Now, since I always pay my balance in full I was also hit with an unusual for me finance charge (the interest on the balance). So far I have not been lucky to reverse that one… :-(

Did you have a recent late fee charge on your credit card? Did you try to remove it? Please share your experience in the comments!

Over $500 in credit card sign up bonuses

Credit card sign up bonus offers are the kind of deals I rarely pass on. They are usually easy to get on, and just as easy to get off when you no longer need the card. I have participated in most of the promotions below and still use one of these credit cards because of its good daily cash rewards.

All of the cards below have no annual fee, or have it waived for the first year. Should you apply just because of the sign up bonus? You will have to decide it for yourself. My answer to this question tends to vary depending on the bonus amount and on how badly I am in a need of cash at the time I see the offer.

Credit cards with sign up bonuses

citi professional credit card Citi Professional with Thank You network - (offer page)

10,000 ThankYou points ($100 equivalent) after $250 in purchases. The card also offers decent rewards when you use it at restaurants, gas stations, on auto rentals and certain office supply merchants. (this promotion has expired)

citi business credit card Citi Business with Thank You network (offer page)

10,000 ThankYou points ($100 equivalent) after $250 in purchases. The card also offers decent rewards when you use it at office supply merchants and on professional services (this promotion has expired)

amex rewards gold card American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (offer page)

10,000 membership rewards bonus points after your first purchase (redeemable for a $100 gift card). The membership program tied with this card also offers certain travel and entertainment related perks.

discover business card Discover Business (offer page)

$100 cashback bonus after $1000 in purchases. This card also offers 5% on your first $2000 in office supply purchases and 2% on your first $2000 in gas purchases in a year, plus other benefits

amex business freedom card American Express Platinum Business FreedomPass (offer page)

5000 bonus points with first purchase (redeem for $100 when you accumulate a total 7500 points). This card offers one point for each dollar spent on travel. 7500 points are redeemable for $100 (effective cashback rate 1.33%). (this promotion has expired)

chase freedom card Chase Freedom (offer page)

$50 in bonus rebates after your first purchase. 3% cashback in 3 top categories by spending (capped at $18 per month) and 1% in the rest. Also check out Chase Freedom Plus card, my primary credit card at the moment (this promotion has expired)

amex one card American Express One (offer page)

$50 bonus is deposited into a linked savings account after first purchase. This card also offers 1% cashback on eligible purchases - this is a norm for most cash rewards credit cards. The distinct part is the FDIC-insured savings account that comes with the card. (this promotion has expired)

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