Don’t Forget Your Annual Benefits

Now that we are in a new decade and year its time to remember the annual benefits we get from some of our current credit cards. And to keep those benefits in mind when considering applying for a new card. Here are a few examples of annual benefits from various cards we hold.

Hilton Aspire Card $250 annual resort credit Remember you can only use this credit at Hiltons determined to be “resorts”. We have two concurrent two-day reservations at the Hilton Palm Springs which somehow qualifies; The first two-day reservation is in my name and will check in with my Hilton Aspire card. We’ll check out and be rechecking in for Katy’s two-day reservation and use her Hilton Aspire card for another $250 credit. With $500 worth of credit in four days, I’m guessing she’ll be spending lots of time in the spa and most of our meals will also be covered. Freebie award tickets as well on that trip.

American Express Platinum Card carries a big annual fee ($550) but we recoup $200 of the fee by using Uber each month for a $15 credit and $25 in December. We also get a $100 credit from Saks where Katy likes go buy a certain brand of cosmetics. It’s $50 in the first half of the year and $50 from July 1 till the end of December. In addition, we get a $200 airline credit from our designated airline. It used to be easy to buy gift cards with the credit but now it appears it needs to be used for baggage fees, seat upgrades, and onboard purchases. We will pay the big fee as my Platinum card is the Schwab variety which allows me to convert my earned Membership Rewards points into cash with a 25% bonus when I convert the points to cash and deposit them in my Schwab account.

American Express Gold card offers $100 airline credit and $10 per month with Grubhub/Seamless which covers most of the $250 annual fee for this card. But the BIG PLUS for us is the 4X MR on up to $25K of grocery spend each year and unlimited 4X on restaurants. We do very, very well with this card.

And don’t forget to look at some of your lower annual fee cards as well for annual benefits. Katy’s new Expedia Voyager card with a $95 annual fee and offers a $100 airline credit.

And I actually found a $100 airline credit on a no annual fee card from either Navy Federal or Pentagon Federal Credit Union Which reminds me I’d better check my cards again to see which card it is.

Some of you can just wing it and remember all the benefits you get on an annual basis. We have found it works best for us to write them down on the kitchen calendar. Others will use their phone calendars as reminders. I’m a fan of getting back as much, if not all my annual fee in benefits and credits. It hurts when I forget and it hurts even more when I can’t take advantage of an offered benefit for one reason or another. Don’t let your freebies go to waste.

Source: frugal travel guy

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