What’s “on” your wallet? Filling it with the cards you want and the rewards you need.


With the coming launch of the Altitude Reserve card, US Bank has us re-thinking not what’s in our wallets, but what”s on our phones. Of course, for those of us still carrying the old-fashioned wallet around, we need to fill it with the right stuff. This week, we bring you more of how to get the cards you want and the rewards you need — whether with the established favorites or the new kid on the block.

Dodging 5/24. What works, what doesn’t, April 2017

Dodging 5/24

Last week, Greg asked if the upcoming US Bank Altitude Reserve card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve killer. But let’s be honest: for many of us, the true Sapphire Reserve killer has been clicking that “submit” button one time too many in the past 24 months. Or maybe two or ten or eighteen times too many. The Chase 5/24 rule has shut many people out of some of the most popular Chase cards. But there are some ways around the rule, and here Greg explores which ones still work this month.

Amassing Membership Rewards

Membership Rewards Totals

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Membership Rewards has been the dark horse that has ridden out of the shadows to become my unexpected favorite rewards currency of 2017. One of the main reasons I have become such a fan: these points are so easy to accumulate en masse. Whether through signup bonuses, referral bonuses, or bonused spend — you can build up your balances fast. Here, we review how to do just that — so when the next business class fare sale to Europe or South America for less than $1900 round trip comes around, you can redeem your membership rewards for paid business class and earn a haul of miles to go with your cushy flight up front.

Spending those amassed Membership Rewards

TAP Portgal Business Class Seat

You know what they say: You can’t take it with you. Half the fun of amassing the points is spending them. This month alone, I’ve both redeemed Membership Rewards for business class flights (to take advantage of the Business Platinum pay-with-points 50% rebate This offer has expired. Beginning June 1st, 2017, the rebate has been reduced to 35% and a cab of 500,000 rebated points per year has been instituted.) and transferred points to redeem an award. Here, I shared why and how I used Membership Rewards and a full description of the process.

Surprising details about the US Bank Altitude Reserve

US Bank Altitude Reserve Featured Image Small

The rumors of 3X mobile payments have not been exaggerated: The US Bank Altitude Reserve has been confirmed and Greg has the scoop on all of the key features and benefits — as well as a Complete Guide to the US Bank Altitude Reserve. A week ago, I called this card DOA. I’m still not sure whether this card has what it takes to step into the ring with the heavyweights, but it will surely shake things up by becoming not top-of-wallet, but default-in-app for paying on-the-go.

Four minute video: How to use Android Pay

mobile wallet 2

Speaking of paying on-the-go….have you ever paid with a mobile wallet before? I suspect that there are likely a fair number of readers who haven’t used Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay before. If the thought of earning 3X at places like Best Buy, Babies R Us, or BevMo! appeals to you, now may be the time to familiarize yourself in preparation of the Altitude Reserve launch. This very brief video tutorial will show you how Android Pay works for making an in-store purchase. We’ll add an Apple Pay video and a video about using these mobile wallets to pay in-app in the coming days for those who like a more visual explanation.

Inside Randy Petersen’s huge Altitude Reserve interview

US Bank Altitude Reserve Big Version with Randy.jpg

The man, the myth, the legend: Randy Petersen interviewed a US Bank executive and got answers to some of the questions about this new player in the premium-card market. Read here to find out what US Bank thinks about Frequent Miler dubbing it the Sapphire Reserve Killer, why they think 3X mobile payments will be a sustainable benefit, and what they had to say about adding transfer partners to the program.

Stacking Citi Prestige for “3 nights free” with SPG (sort of)

Sheraton Park Lane Pic

While Quick Deals aren’t typically part of our week in review, this post is part limited-time deal and part benefit-maximization. It may be especially interesting for those considering the Starwood Platinum Challenge. This could be a cheap way to rack up the 18 nights required if your travels take you to Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

Melbourne and Sydney: “An awful lot of magic”

Downtown Sydney as Seen From East of the City
Downtown Sydney as Seen From East of the City

J.M. Hoffman is back at it — you’ve gotta see his latest post on Melbourne and Sydney! During my trip around the world earlier this year, I visited these places and was very excited to relive the magic through J.M.’s eyes. With a number of Australian cities under my belt (and a lot of miles of driving in between), I’m not sure I can pick a favorite. But one thing is for sure: I agree with J.M.’s final assessment as to where the magic of Australia truly lies. I’ll leave you to read all about it.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Next up: our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.


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