Robert S.'s Profile

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Berkeley, United Kingdom
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Robert S.'s activity
Robert S. commented on the post Chase Sapphire Reserve: Downgrade the Sapphire Preferred and Other Cards?
As always, thanks for the analysis Hilary! Now that I got my CSR, I was about to downgrade my CSP to another Freedom card, but stopped because I realized I have at least 1 pending referral bonus (5k UR pts) on my CSP. I'm going to wait another 1-2 billing cycles to give the referral bonus time to post, then downgrade. Just a reminder for those folks who may have a pending referral bonus out there! Also, I concur with you that a second Freedom card is the better choice, instead of a Freedom Unlimited. I rarely max out the category bonus, but want to leave the FU untouched so I can get the signup bonus if I decide to apply with a fresh app.
September 05, 2016
Robert S. commented on the post Chase 5/24 Rule and Why to Get the Ink Plus Now
Thanks for the info, Hilary. I agree, in hindsight, I should'nt have done 4 Chase cards in one day :) I may try for the Ink Plus here soon but not sure if 5 months is long enough. Looks like Chase will likely pull Experian here in CA for the Ink Plus, and I'm at 6 hard pulls in the last 2 years on Experian, two of those from Chase. I'm curious how you manage your hard pulls. You say if you are not working on a minimum spend, it's time for a new card. Do you apply every 3-4 months then? I was previously doing annual AOR's but would like to learn more about your strategy. Are you planning your applications around what bureau will be pulled from CreditBoards? What's your threshold for "too many" recent hard pulls on your report? Thanks!
February 20, 2016
Robert S. commented on the post Chase 5/24 Rule and Why to Get the Ink Plus Now
Have others reported a really hard time getting biz cards approved from Chase in the last year or so? I included two Chase biz cards (United & SWA) in my last AOR and was denied due to insufficient business history (3 years) and "low revenue" (~$30k/year). Seems to me like they are cracking down on biz cards. During that same AOR, I was approved for two other Chase cards (CSP & United). So maybe it was more the fact that I hit Chase way too hard on one day (4 apps), than the biz history. That was 5 months ago...I wonder if I can squeeze in this app before March.
February 20, 2016
Robert S. commented on the post 55K Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus Offer
Thanks so much for the heads up Hilary; I sent a SM to Chase and got the extra 10k points within the hour. Great stuff!
November 29, 2015
Robert S. commented on the post Amanpulo Beach Casita Review, Pamalican Island, Philippines
Hi Hilary! Thanks for the reply. Wish I needed your help booking, but the Amanpulo stay is all setup and paid for by the wedding party. (Lucky us!) Totally happy to provide you compensation another way, do you have a fee structure other than for booking a hotel? I would love to become a client, but just have the need to book a hotel right now :( Any other options?
July 09, 2015
Robert S. commented on the post Amanpulo Beach Casita Review, Pamalican Island, Philippines
Hi Hilary! I've been fortunate enough to be invited to a wedding held at the Amanpulo resort and can't wait, especially after reading your trip report! A few Q's: 1.) Any suggestions for a 3-4 day adventure before the wedding? I don't have an interest in exploring Manila, but prefer to get out kayaking, hiking, exploring outdoors, etc. Some quick research shows El Nido and Coron to be popular destinations. Any thoughts? 2.) I'll be flying SFO to MNL and Philippine Air has the best pricing. Would be great to fly biz or first finally! Can I transfer points and book with a Philippine Air partner? (I have AA & Chase Sapphire points.) Any tips? Thanks in advance. As always, your blog is my favorite points summary and I've recommended it to many friends! Thanks for all your spot-on advice!
July 07, 2015
Robert S. commented on the post AMEX Offers: Staples, Virgin America and Sony
Hilary, thanks for the heads up, I usually don't remember to check my AMEX offers! Sadly I didn't get the VA credit but did see this offer from AT&T on my AMEX Biz card. Seems like a great deal but I don't have AT&T. Thinking about reaching out to my friends but wanted to see if anyone else has used this one yet and if they really got a $150 credit for simply paying their AT&T Wireless bill. Sounds too good to be true! $150 back AT&T WIRELESSBUSINESS EXPENSES//Spend $ 150 or more, get $ 150 back EXPIRES04/15/2015 OFFER DETAILS Now get an exclusive business offer with AT&T wireless on your Business Card from American Express OPEN! Enroll your eligible Card & pay your AT&T wireless bill of $150+ online or by phone by 4/15/15 & get a one-time $150 statement credit. TERMS Offer valid for wireless bill pay for AT&T AutoPay or one-time payment only. Must add offer to Business Card from American Express OPEN (“Card”) and use same Card to redeem. Limit one $150 statement credit per American Express online account. Statement credit will appear on your American Express billing statement within 90 days after April 15, 2015, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying transaction. Enrollment limited. Offer is non-transferable. In order to be eligible for the offer, you must enroll your Card and use that Card to pay your wireless bill or other service charges online directly with AT&T at or by phone at 1800-331-0500. Purchases for equipment or prepaid, U-verse, web hosting, or wireline services that do not appear on your AT&T wireless bill are excluded from this offer. Your payment must be in the amount of $150 or more in a single transaction and completed by April 15, 2015. Payments at retail locations or via third party resellers do not qualify. Note that American Express may not receive information about your qualifying transaction from the merchant until that qualifying transaction has been fully processed. Statement credit may be reversed if qualifying transaction is returned/cancelled. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the statement credit. For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you will not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party. POID: BKMX:0001
January 10, 2015
Robert S. commented on the post Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards Bonus Offers - April 2017
Thanks so much for all the answers Hilary, great stuff! I'll give everything a shot this week and let you know how it works out, and I'll be sure to use your links in case you get a referral. Also found a JetBlue AMEX w/ 20k true blue points I might toss in the mix, we'll see. Thanks again!
August 04, 2014
Robert S. commented on the post Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards Bonus Offers - April 2017
Hi Hilary, as always, thx for the great summary! Getting ready for my next round of applications and had a few Q's: 1.) I have two Chase cards from my AOR last year that just charged the annual fee (United Plus and Sapphire Preferred.) Always better to leave these open when applying, right? Then offer to give them up during reconsideration if need be, right? (I called and i have between 60 days to 180 days to reverse the annual fee.) 2.) I have a balance of about 35k UR Points with my CSP that I would prefer to leave in UR, as opposed to transferring to Southwest or United miles yet. Can I leave these there and "transfer" them over to my new Chase card (say I get approved for the Ink Plus 70k offer)? Or, should I first transfer them to a partner and then apply? (Or maybe I can transfer them to my Freedom Card and then right back to UR in a few months?) 3.) I should be okay with 1 Chase personal card and 1 business card, right? My luck with Chase has always been a max of two. (I currently have 4 active Chase cards, and willing to close 2.) 4.) Was going to do 2 Chase (Ink Plus, Southwest Biz), 1 Citi (AA Mastercard biz 50k). Any others I should jump on? Especially any AMEX ones if I wasn't targeted? (I did USAir and WorldElite with Barclays, a few AA Citis, and Alaska BofA, AMEX SPG, all last year, so I can't churn those yet.) 5.) Sorry for all the Q's! You rock :-)
August 04, 2014
Robert S. commented on the post Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Review: 40K Offer Worth It?
Hi Hilary! Just wanted to share my experience with this card after signing up. In short, I love it! I used it as my primary card during my last international trip, taking advantage of the 0% FT fees. (I had already met my minimum spend on the card but continued to use it, because the only other cards I had yet to meet my minimum spend all charged a pesky 3% FT fee.) Love the 2x (2.2x considering the bonus) earning power and also love the ease of redemption. With a few clicks you have a credit posted to your account! Just curious on why you say it might not be a good card for everyday spend? After meeting all my min spends I plan on using this one for my everyday spend. (I don't have an AMEX 3x for airfare). I do have a Sapphire Preferred though. Do you feel that say United Miles via the Sapphire Preferred are more valuable than the 2.2 effective rebate from this card? As always, thanks for all the great info and deals!
August 25, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post United MileagePlus Explorer 65000 Bonus Miles Offer Tips
Hi Hilary! I earned all my miles and am about to redeem 80k United MIles for an SFO to SYD and return trip in Feb. I was planning on booking them as two one-ways, in case I need to change or cancel one segment. Is there anything else I should know about booking United award tickets? Is the fee $150 if I need to cancel and do I get all my miles back? Also, do you happen to know how long it takes to transfer Chase UR points to United Miles? Thanks so much!
August 23, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post United MileagePlus Explorer 65000 Bonus Miles Offer Tips
Got my Chase United MP Visa and met my minimum spend, now just waiting for the authorized user card to appear and for my miles to post! Thanks Hilary. Also, as described above, after your first purchase posts, send a Secure Message to Chase asking for a $50 statement credit. I just got approved for that today as well! What a great deal! Now on the hitting the min spend on my Sapphire Preferred...
July 26, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post Citi AAdvantage: 100K AA Miles from 2 Citi Platinum Visas in 8 Days?
Thought I'd provide another data point: I applied for Citi AA Platnium Visa #1 on 7/15 and was instantly approved (albeit with only a 2k CL). Applied and approved (via chat) for Citi AA Platnium Visa #2 (same exact product) on 7/23 (8 days later). Ironically, I was given a large 15k CL on the second app. So far it seems like everything is on track. Also FYI, app 1 was part of an 8 card AOR and that didn't seem to matter for app #2. Also, I had two other active Citi cards when I applied (TY & an AMEX AAvantage.) Good luck to those that apply for two cards! Thanks Hilary for all the great info!
July 24, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post Meet Minimum Spend on Credit Cards: Top 20 Tips
Hilary, a few questions about Bluebird: 1.) I'm reading that people are using it to pay their mortgage or rent (after funding their accounts with gift cards/VR). I'm assuming we can't simply ETF the money from Bluebird back into our checking account, or send ourselves a check? Just confused on why people would pay their rent with Bluebird when they could just ETF the money back into their previous checking account? 2.) I've read that you can buy Visa gift cards with PIN # at Walmart (say $4.95 fee) and then go to their money center and use those gift cards to buy a Money Order for <$1. We could make the money order out to ourselves and just deposit, right? I can make one trip to WM and load $1000 to Bluebird and another $1000 via money order. My minimum spend would be reached in a few days! Am I missing anything?
July 18, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post How Many Chase Cards Can You Have?
I completed my AOR with 7 approvals today and wanted to share my experience with Chase, in case others find it helpful. Prior to my AOR, I had two chase cards (Freedom & MarriottVisa) with a combined generous CL of $42,500. First I applied for the UnitedMP and it went pending. I called reconsideration (following all of Hilary's tips in her post) and the rep was EXTREMELY helpful and nice. He was practically falling all over me thanking me for my business with Chase, being such a valuable and loyal customer, etc etc. (I have my mortgage with them, a business checking, savings, credit card, a personal checking account, and two credit cards. I'm not sure how much the rep can see but in any case, he was thankful for my business with Chase and I think that made a difference.) Right away after looking up my app the rep said it was pending because of "Chase's total exposure with me right now." I offered to reduce/shift some of my Marriott CL and he said that would do it. I suggested moving $5,000 over. Rep approved $1,500 in new CL, netting a total of 6,500 on my new UnitedMP card. He did say I have excellent credit and I politely asked him if he could tell me my score. He did (848) and said he was looking at Equifax. Card was approved and I moved on to my next one: Chase Sapphire Preferred. This too went into pending after I applied online and I called reconsideration after 2-3 mins. The rep wasn't quite as helpful or polite, but was able to approve me after I offered up another $5k CL from my Marriott. He asked why I was applying for two cards in the same day and why I wanted this card. I gave my reasons which seemed to satisfy him and he approved. I asked again for my credit score but he said Chase's agreement w/ the bureaus doesn't allow them to reveal our scores. I then applied for a Chase SW Biz card and that too went into pending. After calling BIZ reconsideration, I was told that since this was the 3rd card I was applying for in the day, there would be no way to get approved. She said she could've taken away one of my other two personal approvals to make this one work, but that there was no way to get 3 in one day (Chase Policy). I still think there is a way to get that done, because others have reported it, plus she asked me questions about why I needed 3 new cards, what I was going to do with them, etc etc. I even offered to close out my MarriottVisa but she said no that wouldn't help, that is was the problem of 3 new accounts in the same day. She suggested I try back in 31 days. Bottom line, which reinforces Hilary's post above: sounds like Chase is concerned about total outstanding CL and not # of accounts. 2 seems to be the max accounts I could get in one day, regardless of biz/personal mix. Thanks again Hilary!
July 16, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards Bonus Offers - April 2017
Thanks so much Hilary, this info and links were invaluable today during my AOR. I applied for 8 cards and was approved for 7! I picked up 2 more Chase cards, 1 more Citi, 1 AMEX, 2 Barclays, and 1 BofA. My advice to others is to follow all of Hilary's steps and tips, and also keep a spreadsheet to track all your notes. Start in the AM early in the week because some of the calls can take a while. If I wasn't instantly approved for a card, I waited 2-3 minutes (used time to make notes and prep for reconsideration call) then called in. As long as I can meet my minimum spend, today's efforts should net me ~275k miles and save well over $3k! Thanks again, Hilary!! Oh, other blogs I used were extrapackofpeanuts, flyertalk, fatwallet, and frugal travel guy. But Hilary's was my go-to site and was the most comprehensive and up to date.
July 16, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post Credit Card Denied? Call These Reconsideration Phone Numbers
Great info Hilary, thanks so much! I completed my AOR today and called on each card that I wasn't instantly approved for. Used your tips and all calls were successful. It's very important to know the features of the card you applied for (I made notes before my calls). My first Barclays app was approved instantly online, but I had to call in after my second app. Rep asked why I was applying for two in the same day and why I wanted the ArrivalWorld MC. I didn't mention the sign up bonuses at all, but rather keyed in on the no FT fees, 10% redemption bonus, and all around good card for my upcoming uptick in work and personal travel ;-) As a point of reference, the rep started off the call with further questions for me (Annual Income, length of employment, job description, etc.) I was confident and very polite, using the reps name and was very clear why I wanted both cards. I felt like it was a song and dance, or sales pitch! Also called Chase to get approval on my two apps, but I'll post those notes in the "how many chase cards..." thread. Thanks again Hilary, great stuff! (and I used your links for all my apps today, hope that helps you!)
July 16, 2013
Robert S. commented on the post United MileagePlus Explorer 65000 Bonus Miles Offer Tips
Hilary, thanks so much for this extremely helpful post! I want to earn 80k United miles for an upcoming trip so I am planning on taking advantage of the 55k Chase Explorer deal and also the Chase Sapphire Preferred 40k UR deal. I'm passing on the Ink Bold deal because I don't think I can hit the $5k spend in time. Three questions for you: 1.) I already have 2 chase cards, from your experience, do you think I can get 2 more personal cards? 2.) I've always heard to apply as quickly as possibly with the two applications, but just today I gave my brother that advice and he applied for 1 Chase SW card and 1 Chase SW biz card and his biz card app was flagged and denied because the rep said it was too close to his personal card application. Have you ever heard of that? 3.) I have a Freedom card that I use for everyday spend and I tried transferring my UR points to United but the rep said I cannot do that from Freedrom, but only Sapphire. I see that in your instructions above. BUT, can I convert my Freedom points to my new Sapphire account, and then over to United? Thanks again, great info!!
July 12, 2013