New Bonvoy Card and AA Gift Cards
We Now Have a No Annual Fee Downgrade Option Bonvoy Card
These are the weeks we hope for. To start, Chase launched a new Bonvoy Bold card that is not worth using a 5/24 slot for since it’s nowhere near the benefits of the Bonvoy Boundless/Ritz Carlton duo. It’s important for the military churner, however, because its a no annual fee Bonvoy card. One of the eventualities of military card churning is deciding what to do with cards once you hang up the uniform and return to civilian life. Your waived annual fee cards will slowly start to introduce the fees again about a year after your active duty departure, depending on when the banks re-check your SCRA/MLA status. I, personally, do not want to be on the hook for $14,784 in annual fees every year. At that point you have three choices: downgrade the card to a no annual fee version to maintain account longevity (no change to credit report), cancel the card if a no annual fee version doesn’t exist (loss of account on credit report but not on the hook for $450-ish), or simply decide the card is worth the fee and keep it going (thinking Amex Plat would be a keeper for me). Well, Chase just gave you the downgrade option for your Ritz and Bonvoy Boundless needs. One less card to cancel.
American Airlines Gift Cards Now Working for Amex Platinum Again?
(UPDATE: As of 16 June 19 this seems to be dead and reverted to gift card coding.) Even better news is the return of American Airlines gift cards coding as Misc Fees when charged to a credit card. This is important because of the Amex airline incidental fee credit that comes with the Platinum, Gold, and Hilton Aspire cards. Now, per the card terms and conditions, gift cards are not eligible for reimbursement with the incidental credit. However, some gift cards trigger the reimbursement anyways, and it has to do with how they are coded when the purchase is made. At the beginning of 2019, three airlines had gift cards coding in such a way as to trigger the automatic incidental reimbursement: American, Southwest, and Delta (United has yet to get their head out of their 4th point of contact and offer some sort of gift card option at all). For American and Southwest, you could purchase any gift card at any amount, and it would reimburse up to the incidental limit ($250 for Aspire, $200 for Platinum, $100 for Gold). Delta was and is tricky in that you are limited to $50 gift card denominations and only then from a desktop computer (no mobile purchasing). Well, mid-Feb AA started coding their gift cards as gift cards instead of Misc Fees and that killed the automatic reimbursement. Having not quite liquidated my incidental credits yet (still sitting on a cool $1650) I was disappointed in having to decide on Southwest (gross, I’ll choose my seat thankyouverymuch) and painfully buying 33 $50 Delta cards, which can only be redeemed 3 at a time. Thankfully, AA decided to revert to the old gift card coding method of Misc Fees, and all is right with the world again. I made a test purchase at $50 yesterday; fingers are crossed it triggers reimbursement.
And finally, I redesigned the card referral link page to make it less confusing. Let me know what you think!