Travel The cards TPG staffers are keeping, canceling and downgrading
When can you downgrade your credit card?
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. If the annual fee just came due for one of your travel rewards cards, you may find it difficult to justify the expense if you’re not getting enough value in return. If you find you aren’t able to maximize the card’s benefits, earning rates or …If the annual fee just came due for one of your travel rewards cards, you may find it difficult to justify the expense if you’re not getting enough value in return. If you find you aren’t able to maximize the card’s benefits, earning rates or redemption opportunities, there may be an option besides paying the annual fee, canceling your card or calling to see if you can snag a reconsideration offer.
As we enter our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, some credit card issuers continue to adapt their products to fit the needs of their customers. But sometimes, it’s not enough.
The Points Guy staff is not immune from this. In the new year, we’re all taking a hard look at the cards in our wallets. We originally did this last spring, but a lot has changed since then, so I polled my colleagues to see what changes they’ve made with their credit card strategies. Here’s what they had to say, in their own words.
Incredible stories of how priceless stolen treasures were found
From the painting that stars in The Duke to a Roman statue of Bacchus recovered early this year, discover the incredible stories behind the return of stolen treasures.
New to The Points Guy? Sign up forand check out .
In This Post
Brian Kelly, The Points Guy
It’s no secret that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card isbecause it gives 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. I can use those miles and transfer them to partners, but I can also “wipe” travel-related charges off my balance (such as Uber, Blade and taxes and fees on award tickets).
However, the new Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is like the Venture on steroids, with so many new features (such as travel insurance and lounge access) [that] the perks pay for themselves many times over. Not to mention, a cool 100,000-mile bonus after spending $10,000 in the first six months from account opening, never hurts! I will apply new and downgrade my Venture card to the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which has no annual fee and earns 3% back on entertainment and select streaming services.
Sahara dust in Europe and other shocking weather events throughout history
No matter where we live, we are ultimately all affected by the weather. Over the last 100 years, the world has witnessed some extraordinary elements, from bone-chilling blizzards and hurricane-force winds, to devastating droughts and biblical-style floods. As dust from the Sahara turned European skies orange, we take a look back at some of the most deadly, rare and wonderful weather events that hit the world, and the news, between 1900 and now.
Katie Genter, senior points and miles writer
I currently have 17 open cards. Of them, four arethat I plan to keep for the foreseeable future, since they aren’t costing me anything and they boost my available credit. However, I have to think harder each year about the cards that charge an annual fee.
Here’s where these cards currently s:tand in my book:
- Citi Premier® Card: Keep. This card earns 3 points per dollar spent at gas stations, which is extremely valuable .
- Capital One Venture Rewards Card: Keep. Since this card earns 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, it’s a good card when I’m not working toward a sign-up bonus on a new card.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Keep. I love using this card for flights and general travel expenses. After all, I earn 3 points per dollar spent on these purchases (on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year). Plus, the Ink Preferred has , including .
- : Keep for now. I’ll eventually downgrade it to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve if it offers an elevated sign-up bonus and I’m otherwise eligible.
- Citi Prestige® Card: Unsure. This card has over the years, but I do love earning 5 points per dollar on dining. I’ll likely call to see if I can get a retention bonus when my $495 annual fee comes due, as I am tempted to close or downgrade this card.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Probably keep. I am an on The Platinum Card® from American Express, so having the Business Platinum is somewhat redundant. I expect I’ll keep my Business Platinum for a few more years, though, as I write about it and get value from the . Enrollment required for select benefits.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: Keep. This is my oldest account, so I plan to keep it open for the foreseeable future. Best of all, it gives me 6,000 points each account anniversary, which helps justify the card’s $99 annual fee.
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Keep. I expect this card may come in handy as I work to earn Loyalty Points in 2022.
Additionally, I have five cobranded hotel credit cards, including the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. I won’t consider closing these cards as long as they continue to providethat I can redeem for more value than the annual fee.
Travel lessons we’ve learned in the year since vaccines became widely available
As we reach the end of March, we’re hitting a milestone in the pandemic: It’s been approximately one year since COVID-19 vaccines became widely available and people began to venture out. Of course, the vaccine rollout varied from state to state, and the entire process was a months-long endeavor that continues to this day. But …Of course, the vaccine rollout varied from state to state, and the entire process was a months-long endeavor that continues to this day. But broadly speaking, it was around this time last year that we began to really see states loosening vaccine eligibility restrictions, allowing the vast majority of adults who wanted a shot to get one.
The information for the Citi Prestige and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Juan Ruiz, credit cards editor
This is my final year as an Amex Platinum cardmember. Amex’sabout cardholders losing complimentary Centurion Lounge guest access starting February 2023 means I would have to cough up $30 per child to access their swanky lounges with my family. While I could unlock free Centurion lounge guest access if I spend $75,000 per calendar year, I do not plan on doing that since these new changes make the $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) less absorbable after 2022.
Video: 'Don't weigh me' cards aim to limit doctor's office anxiety (NBC News)
Marriott Bonvoy Bold vs. Hilton Honors American Express Card
Many top rewards credit cards include annual fees. In exchange for this up-front cost, you can unlock higher earning rates, additional travel perks and annual rewards. That said, many issuers (and their cobranded loyalty program partners) offer no-annual-fee products that can still be decent options for more casual travelers. And if you’re looking for a …That said, many issuers (and their cobranded loyalty program partners) offer no-annual-fee products that can still be decent options for more casual travelers.
Stella Shon, credit cards writer
I’m keeping my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. With the, I’ll just need to meet my goal of spending $25,000 on the card in 2022 to keep my Delta SkyMiles Platinum status for 2023.
Madison Blancaflor, travel editor
I’m planning to keep my entire lineup of cards this year (and definitely adding more). My American Express® Gold Card,and Capital One Venture cards are all staying at the forefront of my wallet as my big three for 2022. They complement each other well, cover all of my major spending categories and help me keep my points stash diversified.
Tom Grahsler, director of video
I’m dropping my Amex Platinum card since the renewal is up in February 2022. I don’t want to get hit with its now-higher $695 annual fee, especially since I barely used it last year. I only kept itbut found that [the lounges] were always packed, so I’m no longer inclined to pay up for this benefit. Instead, I’ll use my new Capital One Venture X card — which also comes with lounge access — to fill that slot.
The best family-friendly hotel in every state
Traveling with kids can often mean making compromises, though the best family-friendly hotels and resorts ensure that everyone is catered for – offering fun, relaxation and perhaps a little adventure for all ages. We’ve selected the best places to stay across the USA for families traveling with kids, from properties with special rates and bigger rooms to resorts that come with access to onsite waterparks. It’s best to check the latest state travel advisories and individual hotel websites when planning a trip.
David Slotnick, senior aviation business reporter
I tried to drop my Amex Platinum card this past year, but they offered such a good retention bonus — 40,000 points for $3,000 spend within three months — that I decided to keep it. However, unless they offer a similar bonus this year, I’ll be closing it.
Even if I could make up the $695 annual fee by maximizing all the various credits, I don’t have the patience to basically use up a coupon book in order to justify paying such a high fee. The card has gotten too complex and scattered. I need SkyClub access, though, so I’ll stick with the Delta Reserve, a card that can pay for itself each year with just the.
Steve Romain, TPG engineer manager
I’m canceling my Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card after applying for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card to try and get thefor 2022-2023. I’m downgrading my Chase Sapphire Reserve to the Preferred now that I’ve dumped most of my Chase points into a bunch of Hyatt stays in Europe this summer. In addition to these changes, I’m considering adding the Amex Gold to my wallet so I can take advantage of its benefits when I travel internationally.
This is how many Loyalty Points TPG staffers have earned so far
Loyalty Points earned in January and February have finally posted to accounts, and the new metric has finally replaced elite qualifying miles, segments and dollars as the only way to earn elite status with American Airlines. Many TPG staffers have already earned a sizable amount of Loyalty Points by flying, spending on cobranded credit cards …Many TPG staffers have already earned a sizable amount of Loyalty Points by flying, spending on cobranded credit cards and other various earning methods. Remember, you can earn Loyalty Points through a variety of the same ways you’ve earned AAdvantage miles over the years.
Katharine Leitch, senior associate
I’m keeping my Amex Platinum card solely because of the. It’s easy to justify the $695 annual fee with three of the card’s larger annual statement credits: up to , up to toward rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S., and up to $300 toward Equinox membership fees or the Equinox+ app. Without Equinox, I’d probably drop it pretty quick. To Tom Grashler’s point above, I’ve only really used this card for lounges, and those have become largely overcrowded and unenjoyable. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Jermaine Lecky, associate engineer
I plan on keeping my. Even though I don’t use my Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, I’ll probably still keep it just to keep my credit availability up.
The information for the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Featured photo by Olleg/Shutterstock.
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use aand potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
One of my favorite promos is back: Earn a $50 gas card for every two hotel stays .
Whether you’re looking to take a national park vacation or travel to Europe, there’s likely a Choice Hotels property where you’re going. And you can maximize your stays with Choice during the next few months with a new Choice Privileges promotion. Specifically, you’ll earn at least 8,000 Choice points for every two stays with arrival …Specifically, you’ll earn at least 8,000 Choice points for every two stays with arrival between Jan. 18, 2022, and March 12, 2022. Based on TPG’s valuations, 8,000 Choice points are worth about $48. But, you can also redeem Choice points earned through this promotion for select gas gift cards at a rate of 8,000 points per $50 gift card through March 12, 2022.