FAQ Basics

How to Get a Credit Card Retention Offer

One of the most commonly asked questions this week is how to get retention offers. In case you're not familiar with what a retention offer is, the idea is you call in, and the credit issuer gives you an offer for you to keep the card.

Why do retention offers exist?

For example, let's say you have the Platinum Card from American Express and you came out ahead in Year 1. In Year 2 and onwards, the effective annual fee is usually $150 if you can take advantage of all of the travel credits and benefits.

Credit card companies make money off transaction fees every time you use the card. This also means that retention offers are based on how much you spend on your card, meaning if you only hit the minimum spend, you'll have a smaller retention offer (if any). On their end, it's a math equation to see if they can get positive expected value from your spend.

When you call into the retention department, the typical offer is $50-$200 for the Amex Platinum. My goal is to get an offer that is worth at least $150 to break even from the annual fee or come out ahead.

If you don't break even, then you can either downgrade or cancel the card. If you don't have any other premium cards, then it may be worth keeping, depending on how much you enjoy lounge access at airports, status at hotels, and benefits.

To illustrate another example of why companies have retention offers,  let's look at internet/cable companies. In the SF Bay Area, there's Xfinity and AT&T. When you signup, the contract is usually a year long contract.

In the first year, there's usually a promotional offer, let's say $50/month. After the first year, the price goes up to the regular $80/month. When the first contract is up, you have a decision to make:

1. Cancel the contract and go with another provider
2. Negotiate another offer

Retention offers with credit cards is the same idea. Instead of being a service you're paying for, it's based on how much spend you put on the credit card.

How to get a retention offer

Most banks have a retention department. When you call the number on the back of your card, tell them you're thinking about canceling, and you want to talk to someone about retention offers.

Once you're in the retentions department, you'll need to explain your story again. Depending on who you're calling, you want them to bid against each other. For example, if you're calling American Express, you ought to mention you're spending most of your money on the Citi Prestige (or another competitor), which is why you want to cancel the Amex card. YMMV.

Important: be sure to call when the retention department is open during regular business hours. For most credit issuers, the retention department is by phone only and not chat or email. It's worth a call, especially if you use the card often.

  • American Express Retention Department Direct Number: 1-800-452-3945
  • Hours of operation: 9:00am -10:30pm EST

One thing to consider is retention offers are based on the credit issuer and the card. Some issuers like Bank of America don't have retention offers at all.

My Retention Offer Script

It’s important that you don’t start the phone call with “I want to cancel my credit card,” unless that’s what you actually want to do. Some customer service agents won’t even bother to try keeping you and cancel the card because that’s what you wanted.

Here’s my exact script that I use when I call in for a retention offer:

Agent: Hello, thanks for calling [ credit issuer here ]. How can we help you today?

Me: Hi there, I’m thinking about canceling my [ card name here ]; just wanted to see if any retention offers are available or associated with my account.

Agent: What makes you want to cancel?

Me: It’s mainly the annual fee.

Agent: Did you know about x,y,z benefit?

Me: Yes, I have used the benefits, but I just wanted to see if it makes sense to keep the card or not since I also have [ insert competing card here ]. Do you see any retention offers in the system for me?

Agent: You can use points to pay the annual fee…

Me: I have a low point balance that wouldn’t even cover the annual fee [ or insert any other excuse here ]

Agent: Will [offer ] convince you to keep the card?

Me: Yes, the bonus [offer ] would be great!

Agent: Anything else we can help with today?

[ Get a reference # here if you want it ]

Me: Is there a reference number I can have in case the [offer ] doesn’t post?

Agent: [ reference info ]

Me: Great, thank you for your help! :)

Bottom line

The main takeaway is that if you have a credit card with an annual fee coming up, and you won't get positive expected value in Year 2, it doesn't hurt to call the retention line.

A lot of people are scared to call in because they're afraid of getting rejected, but there's not a downside. Worst case, nothing happens.

Want to help the community? We're gathering data points to keep track of retention offers people receive from different credit issuers. Feel free to tell us about your experience in the survey below. Responses will be made public here.


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How to Get the More Flights from Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
American Express

One of the most commonly asked questions I get is how to get the most value from points. It took me awhile to realize this, but when people asked that question, they meant the number of flights and not cash value.

Normally, my answer would be transfer partners to get first class flights using points because most people would never pay the cash rate. Here's how to get more flights from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Reserve.

There are three main ways to book flights:

  1. Transfer partners
  2. Chase travel portal
  3. Cash rate

Let's dive into the different flight scenarios and rank the cheapest to most expensive ways to book flights for each one.

Last Minute Flights

  1. Transfer partners
  2. Chase travel portal
  3. Cash rate

Last minute flights are usually the most expensive to book. To save money, transfer UR points to transfer partners to redeem points up to 2 cents per point. The benefit of transfer partners is the price doesn't change based on timing. Reward flights are a set number depending on the route.

The second method is to book the last minute flight using the Chase travel portal. Redeem UR points at 1.25x or 1.5x with the Preferred and the Reserve, respectively. The travel portal will obviously be cheaper than buying tickets at the cash price.

Normal Flights

  1. Transfer partners
  2. Chase travel portal
  3. Cash rate

Normal flights depend on the specific route, but transfer partners are usually the best bet. Each airline partner is different, so depending on if you're taking a domestic or international flight, transfer partners could potentially cost more than the travel portal. Be sure to research which route makes the most sense for you.


  1. Chase travel portal
  2. Cash rate
  3. Transfer partners

The reason why the travel portal is the best value for deal tickets is that the prices are discounted, and you're stacking the travel portal discount on top of it (25% or 50%). If you don't want to use UR points to book, then the cash rate would be the next best bet.

Transfer partners are rarely a good redemption when there's a deal because they have set rates. More likely than not, the deal will be cheaper than the transfer partner rate.

How to find cheap flights

There are two ways to find deals:

  1. Leverage a community or deals newsletter
  2. Check yourself (manually or build something)

Option 2 is a lot of work, so I recommend going with option 1, leveraging an existing community or deals newsletter. Be sure to find one that's focused on your city. For example, if you're based out of Houston, subscribe to Escape Houston.

My personal favorite is Scott's Cheap Flights because he sends out a newsletter every 1-3 days with cheap fares. The best deal I've seen from Scott was a $500 roundtrip ticket to Tokyo during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Scott's Cheap Flights does have two tiers, a free version and a paid version. I think the free version is great, but if you want more frequent notifications and locations, then go for the paid version.

What's your favorite way to find flight deals? Let us know in the comments below!

Credit Card Product Change and Upgrade FAQ

Can you upgrade a credit card within the first year?

No, you typically can’t upgrade a credit card within the first year, especially if there is a difference in annual fee due to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act  (CARD Act of 2009).

The CARD Act was passed by the United States Congress in 2009 to protect consumers from unfair practices from credit card issuers, which include changing the annual fee within the first card membership year.  

For example, if you apply for the Chase Freedom card today, you can’t product change it to a Chase Sapphire Preferred a few months later since there would be a change in annual fee ($95). Banks are not allowed to charge you more than what you agreed upon the first year.

Do I get the bonus for product changing?

Unless you accept a product change offer, you will not get a bonus when you upgrade or downgrade your card.

This means that if you product change a Chase Freedom card to a Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), you will not receive the 60,000 points welcome bonus that’s usually associated with the CSP.

Again, you won’t receive a welcome bonus for the respective credit card when you do product change.

However, upgrade offers do exist with some card issuers like Chase and American Express.

We typically see an upgrade offer from Chase when they want you to product change to the newest version of a credit card.

For example, the “old” grandfathered Hyatt credit card has a targeted upgrade offer of ~5,000 points when you product change to the “new” World of Hyatt card.

Grandfathered card =
1) Card that was previously publicly available
2) Can’t be applied for
3) Potentially can’t be product changed to

Chase Hyatt (discontinued) ($75 Annual Fee)
- anniversary night = Category 1-4
- 3x at Hyatt
- status = Discoverist (Explorist if $50k spend cal. year)

Chase World of Hyatt ($95 Annual Fee)

- anniversary night = Category 1-4
- additional anniversary night = Category 1-4 ($15,000 spend, card year)
- 4x at Hyatt
- status = Discoverist
- 2 nights towards status (not free nights) per $5k spend

Since the Chase Hyatt card isn’t my only hotel credit card, it wouldn’t make sense to pay an increased annual fee when I’m keeping the card for the free anniversary night. I’m grandfathered into the $75 annual fee as long as I don’t accept the upgrade offer.

What happens to the annual fee when you product change a credit card?

It depends on the credit issuer, but the general rule is that they prorate a refund based on the months you have the card.

This is an interesting strategy for people who missed downgrading the card on the anniversary date. You’ll receive a prorated refund based on how many months are left in the cardmember year.

For example, if you have an Amex Platinum card that just renewed, but you want the Gold card instead, Amex would refund the prorated amount for the Platinum and then charge the Gold card annual fee. This assumes that you did NOT receive a retention offer for the Amex Platinum card.

If you received a retention offer, keep the Amex Platinum for the year to avoid getting blacklisted. It’s in the terms of the offer that closing a card shortly after accepting a retention offer can qualify as “abuse.”

Can I product change from [a] to [b]?

It depends. The general rule is that you can only product change within a family of cards (same point system).

For example, the Chase Freedom can only be product changed to a Chase Slate, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Student, Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

You cannot product change the Chase Freedom to a World of Hyatt or United Explorer card, vice versa.

A few items to keep in mind:

  • Personal credit cards cannot be product changed to business credit cards, vice versa
  • Charge cards cannot be product changed to credit cards, vice versa

Can I product change from Chase to American Express?

No, they are completely separate credit issuers. You cannot product change across different credit issuers.

Can I change my international American Express credit card to a U.S. Amex?

No, you can’t product change international products across the same credit issuer. American Express Hong Kong, Amex Canada, Amex UK, etc. are all separate entities that have different regulations.

International organizations have different…

  • laws/regulations
  • interact fees
  • competitive landscape
  • risk/income models
  • credit models

However, if you are an international and looking to gain U.S. credit, American Express has a Global Transfer Program.

Can I upgrade for a bonus and then downgrade right afterward?

You might be able to do this, but I don’t advise it. American Express explicitly has terms that say they can close your account for “gaming” the upgrade bonus.

“ If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse,  misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or  that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more  cards to obtain a welcome offer (s) that we did not intend for you; if  you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring  it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold  Amount), we may not credit Hilton Honors Bonus Points to your account.  We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may  have with us.  “

Source: Offer terms https://online.americanexpress.com/dapply/partner/preacq/hil/hhas-upg-51/cmupgrade/carddetails#/cshop

If you accept an upgrade bonus, I recommend keeping the respective card open for at least 12 months.

How to Get into the Capital One Lounge
Airport Lounges

How to Get into the Capital One Lounge

Capital One has become more involved in the travel industry in recent years. In 2018, the issuer introduced airline and hotel transfer partners to its credit card rewards program, and more recently, it upgraded its partner transfer ratios and expanded its travel site to drive reservations and establish itself as a serious contender in travel and loyalty programs.

Now, the issuer is venturing into airport lounges for the first time. As of Nov. 4 2021, Capital One has formally opened the doors to its first-ever lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. 

The lounge provides passengers with a variety of amenities that they won't find at other lounges in the United States, helping to establish Capital One from its legacy lounge rivals in a number of ways.

Where to Find Capital One Lounges?

As mentioned, there’s one Capital One Lounge open in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at the moment. According to Capital One Travel, two more lounges will open in major airports in 2022, at Denver, Colorado and Washington, DC. 

Here are the details of what we know so far.

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Airport, Texas

Opened November 4, 2021

Location: Terminal D Near Gate D22

Size: 10,000 sq. ft.

Source: Capital One Travel Terminal Map

What Type of Lounge Amenities Are There?

Capital One has adopted a deliberate design approach to the lounge experience, using technology, consumer data, and industry trends. 

While all airport lounges vary, the issuer tells us to expect the following amenities–all accessible for free for eligible cardholders and are categorized into three themes.


  • High-Speed Wi-Fi
  • Luggage Lockers
  • Quiet Work Zones with Charge-Up Areas


  • Relaxation Rooms
  • Cycling and Yoga Rooms
  • Shower Suites
  • Multi-Faith Rooms
  • Family-Friendly Environment
  • Parent’s Rooms
  • Nursing Room


  • Grab-and-Go Food
  • Dining Stations
  • Fully Stocked Bars
  • Coffee Bars

Capital One Lounge Menus

If you want to learn more about the new DFW premium in-lounge dining menus, see screenshots below.

Source: Capital One Travel Food and Drink Menu
Source: Capital One Travel Food and Drink Menu
Source: Capital One Travel Food and Drink Menu

What Cards Can Get You In Capital One Lounges?

Capital One airport lounge admission is free or discounted for travelers who have qualified Capital One credit cards. The chart below shows which Capital One credit cards entitle you to its lounge access, including the guest policy and how much it will cost per visit.

Amex Hilton Upgrade Offers: Should You Accept? (Hilton Honors, Ascend, Aspire)
American Express

American Express recently sent out targeted 100,000-150,000 point upgrade offers to Hilton cardholders. Although the offers are tempting, don’t jump to accept them yet. You could potentially miss out on a welcome offer if you accept. Consider the following scenarios in this post before upgrading your Amex card.

Welcome Offer Terms

The main reason why you should think twice before accepting an upgrade offer is that once you product change the card, you will no longer be eligible for the respective welcome offer.

“Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.”

For example, if you currently have the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card and you accept an upgrade offer to product change to the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, you’ll automatically be disqualified for an Ascend welcome offer since you have the card (assuming you never had the card before).

One common misconception is that you can only get either an upgrade offer or a welcome offer, but not both. However, if you plan the applications correctly, you can earn both, resulting in double the amount of points.


Even though you can get both upgrade and welcome offers, there are a few exceptions for who shouldn’t do this.

  1. Someone who doesn’t want to add another credit card.
  2. People who are at the maximum credit card limit for American Express - could be 4,5, or 6 credit cards (not charge cards).
  3. Someone who has already have had the respective credit card, so they are not eligible for the welcome offer.

Optimal Strategy

With American Express credit cards, the optimal strategy is to apply for the higher tier credit card first, and then accept the upgrade offer. If you’re someone who can handle the minimum spend requirements for both cards, you can accept the upgrade offer a few days after applying for the credit card.

The idea is that you apply for the credit card first, that way you can earn a welcome offer, in addition to the upgrade offer.

1) Simple Example (2 credit cards)

SITUATION 1: Hilton Honors + Hilton Ascend


  • 2018 = Apply for Hilton Honors (welcome offer)

Route 1: Upgrade

  • 2019 = Upgrade to Hilton Ascend (upgrade offer)
  • Result = 1 add’l bonus

Route 2: Apply + Upgrade

  • 2019.1 = Apply for Hilton Ascend (welcome offer)
  • 2019.2 = Upgrade to Hilton Ascend (upgrade offer)
  • Result = 2 add’l bonuses

In the situation above, you applied for the Hilton Honors card 12 months ago, and there’s an upgrade offer for the Hilton Ascend card.

There are 2 routes you can take, either take only the upgrade or apply for a new Hilton Ascend and then accept the upgrade offer later.

If you take the latter route, you’ll receive two bonuses: the welcome offer and the upgrade offer. Yes, you can have two of the same credit cards at the same time.

For people who don’t want two Hilton Ascend cards, you can always product change one the no annual fee Hilton Honors card after 12 months.

2) Complicated Example (3 cards)

SITUATION 1: Hilton Honors + Hilton Ascend + Hilton Aspire


  • 2018 = Apply for Hilton Honors (welcome offer)

Route 1: Upgrades

  • 2019 = Upgrade Hilton Honors to Hilton Ascend (upgrade offer)
  • 2020 = Upgrade Hilton Ascend to Hilton Aspire (upgrade offer)
  • Result = 2 additional bonuses

In the first situation for the complicated example, if you want to stick with just one account/credit card, you can apply for the no annual fee Hilton Honors card and accept a new upgrade offer each year.

When you stick to one account, you’ll earn the welcome offer from the initial card, and then two additional bonuses for each Hilton tier you upgrade.

On the other hand, if you want to maximize the number of points potential, consider the plan below.

SITUATION 2: Hilton Honors + Hilton Ascend + Hilton Aspire

  • 2018 = Apply for Hilton Honors (A) (welcome offer)

Route 2: Apply + Upgrade

  • 2019 = Apply for Hilton Aspire (B) (welcome offer)

  • 2019 = Apply for Hilton Ascend (C) (welcome offer)
  • 2020 = Upgrade (C) to Hilton Aspire (#2) (upgrade offer)

  • 2019 = Upgrade (A) to Hilton Ascend (#2) (upgrade offer)
  • 2020 = Upgrade (A) to Hilton Aspire (#3) (upgrade offer)
  • Result = 5 additional bonuses

By adding the next tiered card before accepting the upgrade offer, you’ll earn the welcome offer for the respective card AND the upgrade offer, resulting in 5 additional bonuses.

The difference between the two scenarios above is two bonuses vs. five bonuses. If each bonus is about 100k to 125k Hilton Honors points, then you’re potentially missing out on an additional ~350,000 points by not playing your cards right.

American Express Rewards Abuse Team (RAT) and Knowing the Rules of the Game
American Express

Customer service representatives can be useful at times, but there are often behind the scene factors that you don't see. Even though if you talk to a frontline rep, the information may not be accurate.

American Express Rewards Abuse Team (RAT)

The Rewards Abuse Team (RAT) is a division within American Express that looks into accounts who try to game or abuse the rewards system.

Often, people will tell me that they called into the American Express customer service line and talked to an agent, and cleared everything with them. However, what they don't realize is that there is a secondary team, RAT, that will review the account.

For example, a handful of people messaged me recently telling me that their plan is to open the new Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, acquire the welcome bonus, and use the $300 Marriott credit, all within 30 days. They plan to close the credit card within 30 days to avoid paying the hefty $450 annual fee.

Their rationale is that they cleared this with a frontline representative, but they don't realize that the RAT team will audit the account later. Closing a card within 30 days of opening and acquiring the welcome bonus is one of the easiest ways to get your account blacklisted.

Chase 5/24

Another example is with Chase. People often tell me that they walked into a physical Chase branch and the banker told them that the Chase 5/24 rule doesn't exist.

A few reasons for this:

  • Chase 5/24 could be a proprietary part of their algorithm
  • Bankers aren't allowed to talk about it or acknowledge it
  • They genuinely don't know

We know that the Chase 5/24 rule exists because people online have been the data point they would like to see. By having enough data points, you can infer some rules.

The main takeaway from this post is always to do your own research, and to look at data points online to see if what the consequences are for each action.

What is CLEAR?
American Express

What is CLEAR?

CLEAR is a tech company that operates a biometric travel document verification system at some major airports and stadiums. 

Offering a stress-free airport experience nationwide, CLEAR streamlines the process of getting through security, making air travel and stadium events more efficient and enjoyable. 

How to Sign Up for CLEAR and How CLEAR Works

  1. CLEAR Membership: When you become a CLEAR member, you can access a streamlined and quick security process. Think of it like having a VIP pass at the airport, allowing you to bypass long security lines and reach your gate faster.
  2. Signup for CLEAR via a CLEAR Pod: Setting up your account at a CLEAR pod is your next step. You can complete this one-time signup at any airport or stadium that offers CLEAR services or online. “Setting up a CLEAR pod,” means creating a unique profile for yourself at a CLEAR booth. Instead of a username or password, you add unique personal traits–your eyes or fingerprints–to this profile. This ensures a safe and secure verification process each time you fly.
  3. Using the CLEAR Lane: Once you reach airport or stadium security, you’ll find a separate lane for CLEAR members. In this lane, a small device (the CLEAR pod) scans your boarding pass or one will be pre-loaded based on airport data. 
  4. Fingerprint or Eye Verification: After scanning your boarding pass, the CLEAR pod verifies your identity using your fingerprint or face recognition. It also verifies that you are indeed the person associated with the boarding pass.
  5. Assistance from a CLEAR Ambassador: Following successful verification, a CLEAR Ambassador, a staff member trained to assist CLEAR members, guides you to the front of the physical security line. 

With CLEAR, every trip to the airport and select stadiums can be a stress-free experience, helping you manage your time more efficiently and making your travels more enjoyable. It’s like having a personal guide to help you navigate the security process, ensuring a more predictable and less time-consuming airport experience. 

CLEAR vs. TSA PreCheck®: Worth It?

While CLEAR and TSA PreCheck® enhance the airport security experience, they offer unique benefits. CLEAR provides a swift identity verification process. You can breeze through security by using a CLEAR pod and verify your identity using your eyes or fingerprint.

Conversely, TSA PreCheck® is a program run by the U.S. government. It aims to pre-identify travelers who pose a minimal risk based on an evaluation by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

Approved travelers experience expedited security screening at U.S. airports nationwide without removing shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, or light jackets. 

Many travelers find that CLEAR and TSA PreCheck® complement each other, providing the fastest and most reliable route through the airport.

When you combine CLEAR with TSA PreCheck®, you can jump to the front of the TSA PreCheck® line. Depending on the time of day you travel, this may save a ton of time.

Cards Offering CLEAR Statement Credit

Several cards from American Express offer up to a $189 CLEAR Plus statement credit per year, including:


Expanded Uses of CLEAR

The versatility of CLEAR extends beyond airports, making it a handy tool in various aspects of daily life. CLEAR’s applications are vast, from facilitating quick entry at sports arenas to offering a Health Pass & Digital Vaccine Card. 

The service is also helpful for sports events and comes with a CLEAR Plus option where you can add up to three people to your CLEAR account for just $60 each– saving you $380!

Additionally, Reserve powered by CLEAR provides a seamless dining experience at selected locations. 

Overall Thoughts

CLEAR s revolutionizing the airport experience and beyond with its state-of-the-art biometric technology. Offering safe, efficient, and stress-free navigation through security checks, CLEAR is the future of travel. Whether you frequent airports or attend stadium games, CLEAR ensures your identity verification process is a breeze. 

A CLEAR membership has saved us a ton of time and let us enjoy more time in the airport lounge vs. standing in the airport security line. 

Chase Sapphire Lounges: Access Rules
Airport Lounges

Chase recently launched Sapphire Lounge by The Club, exclusively available to Sapphire Reserve cardmembers. Cardmembers can enjoy curated environments and luxurious facilities that embody each captivating city's unique essence and vibrant atmosphere.

Here's everything you need to know about who can access the Sapphire Lounges.

Who has complimentary access to Sapphire Lounge by The Club?

Primary cardmembers and authorized users of the following cards have complimentary access to Sapphire Lounges:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • J.P. Morgan Reserve
  • The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card

Cardmembers' Complimentary Priority Pass™ membership must be activated.

Guest Policies

  • Cardmembers of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the J.P. Morgan Reserve can bring up to two guests per Priority Pass membership card, per visit, for free.
  • Additional guests are allowed for a fee of $27.
  • The Ritz-Carlton cardmembers may bring unlimited guests at no charge. 
  • No additional charge for children under two.


  1. Priority Pass via Chase Sapphire Reserve = unlimited visits + 2 free guests
  2. Priority Pass via J.P. Morgan Reserve = unlimited visits + 2 guests
  3. Priority Pass via Ritz-Carlton = unlimited visits + unlimited guests

What if I don't have complimentary access to Sapphire Lounge through any of the credit cards mentioned?

Other Priority Pass members are eligible for one free visit to a Sapphire Lounge by The Club annually. 

This means for all other Priority Pass cards outside of Chase, it's ONE visit across ALL lounges, not per lounge, and guests aren't complimentary. 

For example, if you have a Priority Pass membership from the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, then you can get complimentary access to one Sapphire Lounge per year.

You can find more information about this by checking the lounge location listings or FAQs on the Priority Pass website.

What are the requirements to enter Sapphire Lounge by The Club?

If you already have a Priority Pass membership and a same-day boarding pass, you can enter the Sapphire Lounge by The Club within three hours of your flight. Show your physical or digital membership card at the lounge to enter.

Note that if you are a Sapphire Reserve, J.P. Morgan Reserve, or Ritz-Carlton cardmember and still need to enroll in your complimentary Priority Pass membership, you can activate it by logging in to your Chase account or calling the number on the back of your card.

You must enroll to activate the Priority Pass benefit.

How can I find a Sapphire Lounge by The Club?

You can check the locations of Sapphire Lounge by The Club by visiting the page where you found this information or searching on the Priority Pass website or app.

Sapphire Reserve, J.P. Morgan Reserve, and Ritz-Carlton cardmembers can also look for lounge locations in the Explore Lounges section under Benefits › Travel in the Chase Mobile app.

Can Sapphire Preferred cardmembers enter Sapphire Lounge by The Club?

No, complimentary access to the lounge is not available for Chase Sapphire Preferred cardmembers.

If you're interested in accessing the lounge, consider upgrading to the Sapphire Reserve card by calling the number on the back of your card.

You can read our Chase Sapphire Reserve review here.


Amex Platinum Authorized User Gold Card Benefits
American Express

Note: Some of the offers/products mentioned  below are no longer available.

Important: the Gold authorized user cards from the Amex Platinum are NOT the same as the (old) Amex Premier Rewards (PRG) cards and (new) Amex Gold Card.

As an American Express Platinum cardholder, you can add two types of authorized users:

1) Amex Platinum authorized user cards

  • Normal (vanilla) Amex Platinum is $175 for the first three authorized users
  • Includes many Platinum benefits

2) Gold authorized user cards

  • $0 for up to 99 authorized users
  • Includes only a few perks
  • NOT the same card as the “new” Amex Gold Card. You will NOT get the same perks (4X at U.S. restaurants, U.S. grocery stores, etc.). Confusing, I know.

Perks of Adding Gold Authorized User Cards (for Amex Platinum)

There are a few main benefits of adding Gold authorized user cards to your account.

1) Same Multipliers as the Amex Platinum

  • 5x on airfare (direct or via Amex Travel)
  • 5x on hotels via Amex Travel

If you're an employer and your team travels often, then you can earn 5x back on airfare when you issue employee authorized user cards.

2) More Amex Offers

  • Double dip relevant offers/deals
  • Access to deals for family members

If your family members don't have an American Express card, you can add them as an authorized user, and they can access deals.

3) Global Entry / TSA PreCheck®

  • Each authorized user card gets a $100 credit applied towards GE/TSA PreCheck® charges
  • It's a "credit" you get after a completed charge making it a net $0 effect; no charge = no credit

A handful of new cards are offering the $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit benefit. With the Gold authorized user card, there's not a need to get a new card solely for the $100 credit anymore. You can simply add authorized users to take advantage of the credits.

Gold Card Authorized User FAQ

Will Gold card authorized users be issued their own $200 Uber credits?

  • No

Do Gold card authorized users get their own travel incidental credits?

  • No

Do Gold card authorized users have access to airport lounges (Priority Pass, Centurion Lounge, Delta Lounge)?

  • No

Do Gold card authorized users have access to hotel status ((Hilton Gold, Marriott/SPG Gold)?

  • No

If the authorized user would like to have any of the above benefits, it might be worth issuing them an Amex Platinum authorized user card. The fee is $175 for up to three authorized users, so if you add one, you might want to add up to three since it's the same price. Obviously, only add people you can trust.

How to Use the Chase Ink Business Preferred Cell Phone Protection

To maximize my cell phone protection, I product changed my Ink Business Cash® Credit Card to a Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. Even though the  Chase Ink Preferred has a $95 annual fee, it's a no-brainer card because of the cell phone insurance.

There are a few other card that have cell phone protection, but they're either cards I don't have, ones that I don't want, or ones that I can't get. To me, it doesn't make sense to apply for a card solely for cell phone protection.

Other cards that have cell phone protection are the Wells Fargo personal cards, US Bank Platinum Visa, and the FNBO Absolute Rewards card. The cards I can't get are the ones for the Navy Federal Credit Union.

What is cell phone protection?

Cell phone protection will reimburse the eligible cardholder for:

  • damage
  • theft
  • or involuntary and accidental parting of the eligible cell phone

With the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you're covered for damage and theft, but only for phones that are purchased brand new. This means that refurbished or used phones do not qualify. You're covered up to $600 per claim, with up to 3 claims per 12 months; this comes out to $1,800 (maximum) for 3 claims in 12 months. There's a $100 deductible for each claim.

Depending on the type of phone you purchase, it might make sense to go through the manufacture's insurance. For example, if you purchase an iPhone, Apple Care is a great option.

On the other hand, if you purchase a cheaper Android phone that's ~$600, then credit card protection might be the optimal route.

How it works

  1. Pay your full phone bill with the  Chase Ink Preferred card
  2. Coverage begins the day after you make the phone bill payment
  3. As long as you keep paying your cell phone bill with the  Chase Ink card, you're covered

One thing to consider is the cell phone insurance is supplemental, so if you have homeowners insurance, renter's insurance, or employer's insurance, those have to be used first.

Once the primary insurance is exhausted, the  Chase Ink Preferred's cell phone protection will cover the damage to, theft of, or involuntary accidentally parting with the cell phone up to $600 per claim. You'll be responsible for the $100 deductible.

What is not covered?

  • Cell phone accessories other than standard battery and/or standard antenna provided by the manufacturer
  • Cell phone purChased for resale
  • A cell phone that is lost or “mysteriously disappears.” “Mysterious disappearance” means the vanishing of an item in an unexplained manner where there is an absence of evidence of a wrongful act by a person or persons.
  • Cell phone under the care and control of a common carrier (including, but not limited to, U.S. Postal Service, airplanes, or delivery service).
  • A cell phone was stolen from baggage unless hand-carried and under Your personal supervision, or under the supervision of Your traveling companion who is previously known to You.
  • A cell phone which has been rented, leased, borrowed or cell phone that is received as part of a pre-paid wireless service plan or “pay as you go” type service plans.
  • Cosmetic damage to the cell phone or damage that does not impact the cellular wireless telephone’s capabilities and functionalities of the phone.
  • Damage or theft resulting from abuse, intentional acts, fraud, hostilities of any kind (including, but not limited to, war, invasion, rebellion, or insurrection), confiscation by the authorities, risks of contraband, illegal activities, normal wear and tear, flood, earthquake, radioactive contamination, or damage from inherent product defects.
  • Damage or theft resulting from misdelivery or voluntary parting with the cell phone.
  • Replacement cell phone not purChased from a cellular service provider’s retail or Internet store, (for example: Verizon Wireless, Sprint Wireless, etc.) or from an authorized cellular phone retailer.
  • Taxes, delivery and transportation charges, and any fees associated with the cellular service provider.

How to file a claim

  1. Call the Benefits Administrator (call the number on the back of your card, and they'll transfer you) within 60 days of damage, theft, or involuntary and accidental parting.
  2. Submit the completed and signed claim form
  3. Send copies of your cell phone statement that shows you paid with the  Chase Ink Preferred
  4. Send a proof that your phone statement is connected to your cell phone device
  5. If your phone was stolen, you'll need a police report that was filed within 48 hours of occurrence
  6. If the claim was due to damage, you'll need to get a repair quote from a local cell phone repair shop
  7. Send any other documentation deemed necessary to help your claim

How will I be reimbursed for a claim?

The Benefits Administrator will choose to repair or replace the cell phone for the lesser amount up to $600.

Under normal circumstances, you'll be reimbursed within 10 business days of receipt and approval of the claim form and all required documents.

How to Get Approved for the Capital One Venture X Card?
Credit Cards 101

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a great option for those looking to earn rewards on their spending and enjoy travel benefits.

With the card, you'll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on most purchases and a generous welcome bonus. You'll also be eligible for travel credits and airport lounge access. 

However, applicants must meet specific credit requirements to qualify for the intro offer, so it's best to understand what is needed before applying. 

If you're considering the Venture X card for your credit card setup, what's the best way to get approved? 

We'll explain how to increase your chances of getting approved for the Venture X card and provide specific details you should know about Capital One's top travel reward cards.

What are the Benefits of Capital One Venture X Credit Card?

There are plenty of benefits associated with the Venture X card. Although there is a hefty annual fee, there are benefits that can offset the fee if you can utilize them:

A $300 Annual Travel Credit

The $300 annual travel credit will automatically be applied to your statement when you use your card on eligible travel-related purchases from Capital One Travel, such as hotel stays, transportation, car rentals, etc.

10,000 Bonus Miles for the Cardholder's Anniversary

With travel miles worth an estimated 1 CPP and up to 3 CPP when redeemed with credit partners, this annual benefit can be worth up to $300.

Plaza Premium, Capital One Lounge, and Priority Pass Membership 

It's no surprise that Capita One's best travel reward card provides exceptional travel perks for the cardholder and up to four authorized users. With complimentary access to the Plaza Premium, Capital One Lounge, and Priority Pass networks of airport lounges, the Venture X card can provide a comfortable experience for business and leisure travelers. 

A same-day boarding pass is required to enter the lounge. 

Important note: you need to activate the Priority Pass benefit by enrolling. 

Hertz President's Circle Status

If Hertz is your rental company of choice, the Venture X's benefit of Hertz President's Circle Status will be useful. This status provides special discounts and upgrades at participating locations, making it a valuable perk for frequent travelers.

Note: you must enroll in the benefit. Terms apply.


How to Get Approved for the Venture X Card: Optimal Strategy

Here's what you need to know about getting approved for Capital One Venture X.

While many of Capital One's cards target subprime borrowers, the Venture X requires excellent credit. However, there are other considerations when accepting or rejecting an application. 

Here are some tips to help improve your odds of getting accepted:

Reduce your recent application velocity before applying. 

Capital One examines how many credit applications you've made in the past two years. If it's too high, they may reject your application. Before applying for the Venture X card, limit your credit inquiries to one or two within the last six months. 

Consider how many open revolving lines you have.

The Venture X is an early to mid-game credit card that most people should focus on after applying for Chase cards. Suppose you're searching for cards that fit a late-game setup and have several revolving lines. 

In that case, consider applying for a different card since Capital One often rejects applicants with several open revolving lines. Your milage may vary.

Should You Apply for Capital One Venture X Card?

The Capital One Venture X card is a great choice for frequent travelers looking to utilize travel benefits.

You can offset the annual fee by utilizing benefits and the $300 travel credit. The 10,000-mile anniversary bonus is also a nice touch. 

Before applying for this credit card, ensure your credit score is excellent, and you haven't applied for too many cards in the last two years. 

With these considerations, you can increase your chances of approval for the Capital One Venture X card. 

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