Which Premium Cards are Keepers?

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Credit card annual fees keep going up.  In recent years, Amex increased their consumer Platinum card annual fees twice.  First from $450 to $550, and more recently to $695.  Other notable increases include Chase’s Sapphire Reserve (from $450 to $550), Amex Delta Reserve (also from $450 to $550), and Citi Prestige (from $450 to $495).  All of these cards are worth getting for their initial welcome bonuses, but they can be very expensive to keep… especially if you have more than one.  How can you decide which are worth keeping?

The premium card worksheet

In order to help identify which cards to keep or cancel, I created a Google Doc spreadsheet with tabs for each of the most popular ultra-premium rewards cards (and a handful of popular premium cards).  On each tab you can enter your estimated value for each perk and then return to the summary tab to see which cards are keepers.

–> Click here to open the spreadsheet
After you open the spreadsheet, make a copy of it so that you can edit cells

The rest of this post goes into detail about how I recommend using this worksheet, but here are some quick tips for those who don’t plan to read the rest (I get it: even though there’s some really good stuff below, you’ve got other things to do):

  1. Make a copy of the spreadsheet.  You cannot edit cells on the main spreadsheet.  You must make your own copy in order to use it!
  2. Don’t double-count overlapping perks! For example, assign value to Priority Pass only to the card that you’re most likely to keep.
  3. Value perks based on how much you’d be willing to pre-pay if it was available as a subscription.  Don’t estimate based on how much you’re likely to save.
  4. If your total value of perks equals or exceeds a card’s annual fee, then its a keeper.

Background

To make up for big fees, issuers (especially Amex) have been adding “sponsored perks” where you can get rebates from spend with specific vendors (Equinox, Peloton, New York Times, DoorDash, Dell, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc.).  On paper, it looks like you can get back more money than the annual fee for these cards.  And you can, if you would actually pay for these products and services anyway.  The reality, though, is different.  Take the Business Platinum Dell credits, for example.  Each year, January through end of June and again July through end of December, you can get $200 back from Dell purchases, for a total of $400 back.  If you regularly buy $200 or more from Dell, both early in the year and late in the year, then the rebate really can be thought of as being worth nearly its face value.  But, if you find yourself scrambling twice per year to figure out what to buy, the rebate should be worth considerably less to you.  In my case, since Dell keeps rejecting my attempted purchases of XBox gift cards (which can be used for anything in the Microsoft Store), I value these Dell rebates at only half of face value.  It’s nice to get free software, microphones, earbuds, and other gadgets twice per year, but not face-value nice.

When it comes time to pay the annual renewal fee on each of your premium cards, it makes sense to evaluate whether or not the card’s perks and rebates are at least as valuable as the card’s annual fee.  If the answer is “no”, then I recommend calling to cancel the card.  If the card issuer offers a great retention bonus, great — keep the card for another year.  If not, go ahead and cancel or product change to a fee-free card if possible (note that Amex Platinum cards do not have a product change path to a free card).  Before cancelling, though, please take a look at our checklist for cancelling credit cards to avoid losing points and other rewards.

How to estimate value

When you pay a credit card’s annual fee, you are essentially pre-paying for a year of perks that this card offers.  The best way to determine what these perks are worth to you is to decide for each one, how much you’d be willing to pay if it was available independently as an annual subscription.  Consider the Amex Business Platinum card’s wireless cell phone credits, for example.  The Business Platinum card offers up to $10 back per month when you use your card to pay your cell phone bill.  On the surface, that sounds like an easy $120 back per year for most of us.  But you shouldn’t value it at the full $120.  Imagine if your phone company sold a benefit like this separately: What would you pay annually to AT&T (for example) to save $10 per month off your bill?  You wouldn’t pay $120, would you?  It wouldn’t make any sense to pay $120 up front for a total of $120 in savings spread out through the year.  Instead, you might pay $100 (for example) for a $120 in savings.

Other examples:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credits: This is a really easy credit to earn since all travel purchases count.  But how much would you pay in advance to get $300 back?  Keep in mind, too, that the Sapphire Reserve doesn’t give you points for that $300 in spend.  That’s almost $15 in rewards lost to that spend.  I’d argue that you shouldn’t value this perk at more than $285 and it would be reasonable to value it less.
  • Amex Platinum $200 Prepaid Hotel Credit: Consumer Platinum cards offer $200 back per calendar year towards prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings.  That’s great, but how much would you pre-pay for this rebate?  Keep in mind that unless you habitually book through Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection, you might end up not using this perk at all.  Personally, I wouldn’t value this at more than $100 per year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 50K free night certificate: You might save $300, $400, $500, $600 or more off a hotel night when you use this certificate, but there’s no way you should pay that much in advance.  The only reason to pay in advance for a free night certificate (especially one that expires after a year) is if you expect to get way more value than you put it.  So, for example, you might be willing to pre-pay $200 for the chance of saving $300 or more.

Overlapping perks

One and done perks

There are lots of valuable perks that have no incremental value if you have the same perk from multiple cards.  For example, getting Hilton Gold status from one credit card is great, but getting it from a second card has no incremental value.  Here are some more examples where you might value a perk from one card, but having on multiple cards doesn’t make it any more valuable:

  • Free checked bags
  • Elite status with a specific hotel, airline, or car rental service
  • Lounge access to a specific type of lounge

Diminishing return perks

Some perks have diminishing value with each extra card that offers the perk.  For example, each of the Amex Platinum consumer cards (the regular consumer Platinum card, and the one’s from Schwab and Morgan Stanley) offer $240 per year in Digital Entertainment Credits: Up to $20 per month in credits for subscriptions to Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.  In my case, I subscribed to the New York Times e-edition anyway, and so value this perk on my generic Platinum card pretty highly.  I pay about $17 per month, or $204 per year and so I value these savings at about $180 (i.e. I would be willing to prepay $180 for those savings).  But I also have the Schwab Platinum card which I have used to subscribe to Audible for $14.95 per month.  I wouldn’t pay that much for Audible without those savings, though, so here I value the perk at about $100.  My wife has a Platinum card too, so with her card we subscribed to the ad-free version of Peacock.  We wouldn’t pay the going rate for that ($9.99 per month), but it is worth something to me.  I decided that I’d pay $25 per year.

How to value overlapping perks

The trick to doing this right is to first figure out which of your cards are the most likely “keepers” and assign perk values to those cards first.  Then go to your next most likely to keep cards, and only assign incremental value (if any) to perks that overlap with your keeper cards.  And repeat with the next most likely to keep cards, and so on.

If you have a bunch of premium cards, this is not easy!  For example, many premium cards offer Priority Pass memberships.  If you have more than one, then it’s a good idea to figure out which card is the most likely “keeper”, but keep in mind that the value of Priority Pass varies by card.  Priority Pass from Amex doesn’t include free meals at Priority Pass restaurants.  And, with other cards, details vary about how many guests you can bring in and what it would cost (if anything) to add authorized users with their own Priority Pass membership.  One of the best options overall is with the Chase Ritz card which offers Priority Pass with unlimited guests, and free authorized users, each of which can get their own Priority Pass with unlimited guests.  But the Ritz card isn’t easy to get (you have to start with a Chase Marriott consumer card and upgrade) and its perks aren’t ideal for everyone.  Still, if you have the card and value its benefits (as I do), it makes sense for this to be your first-in-line keeper card.  Estimate the value of Priority Pass on that card, but not on any others.  If the Ritz card isn’t for you, a fantastic new alternative is Capital One’s Venture X card which also offers Priority Pass to your free authorized users.  Having a single “keeper” card with Priority Pass solves another problem: you’ll never have to wonder which of your many Priority Pass cards is the right one to use at any given time.  Get the one that comes with your keeper card and never request another.

Here’s another example: I have two variations of consumer Platinum cards and the Business Platinum card from American Express.  All 3 have many overlapping benefits, and picking which one is the most likely “keeper” of the three is hard.  I really like the Business Platinum card’s 35% airline bonus, but the personal cards have more useful (to me) annual rebates.  And I like that the Schwab Platinum card offers statement credits thanks to my having retirement funds with Schwab, but I hate that it doesn’t get the amazing refer-a-friend offers that are often available to other cards that earn Membership Rewards (the Schwab card gets cash back for referrals instead of earning Membership Rewards points).  Ultimately, I decided that the generic Platinum card was my most likely “keeper” of the three due to having both more useful rebates and great refer-a-friend offers (some of which were available only to this card in the past).  I put the Business Platinum second, and the Schwab Platinum third.  This ordering had a huge effect on my total estimated value of each card.  The generic Platinum came out as a definite keeper, the Business Platinum will just barely be on the chopping block when the annual fee goes to $695 next year and so a simple retention phone call should mean that I keep it another year, and the Schwab Platinum card went more fully onto the chopping block.

Shown above are my estimated values for each of my Amex Platinum card variations. Since these cards have many overlapping perks, the order in which I placed the cards before doing the estimates had a huge impact on the outcome.

A real world example

I used the latest version of this spreadsheet myself the other day to estimate values for 10 different premium cards that I have.  I found that five are keepers and 5 should be cancelled or downgraded if I don’t receive a good retention offer when the next annual fee comes due.  Here’s what I found:

Ritz: Keep

I started with my Ritz card because I consider it to be my ultimate “keeper” card.  This is the card where I assign value to Priority Pass.  For all of my other cards that offer Priority Pass, I assigned zero value to that perk.  See the section on overlapping perks, above, for a discussion about this.

My total estimated value for this card came to $740.  That’s well above the card’s $450 annual fee and so this confirmed what I already knew: this card is a keeper.

Bonvoy Brilliant: Keep

The Bonvoy Brilliant card has some overlapping perks with the Ritz card so I thought that this one might be chopped.  For example, the Brilliant card comes with an inferior version of Priority Pass as well as non-additive 15 elite qualifying nights.  I assigned $0 to these perks.  That said, I decided that I value the Brilliant card’s $300 in Marriott rebates at $270 and the annual 50K free night at $200.  Taken together, the $470 estimate exceeds the card’s $450 annual fee so I’ll keep it.

Amex Platinum Cards: Keep 1, Drop 2 (Maybe)

I described my Platinum card situation above in the section titled “How to value overlapping perks.”  The end result is that the generic Platinum card came out as a definite keeper, but the other two (the Platinum Card from Schwab and the Business Plastinum Card) should be dropped when annual fees come due in 2022.  That said, in both cases I’m likely to get very good retention offers for these cards and so I’ll probably keep them if that happens.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Drop (Maybe)

My estimated value for my $550 Sapphire Reserve card came to only $415.  I find that I’m rarely using the card beyond transferring points to Hyatt and so I could do almost as well with the $95 Sapphire Preferred card or $95 Ink Business Preferred card, either of which offers the same ability to transfer points.  Last year, not only did Chase lower the Sapphire Reserve fee to $450 during the pandemic, but they also gave me $250 back simply for asking (see: My $575 phone call).  I doubt they’ll be that generous this year, but when the annual fee comes due I’ll call again to ask.

Amex Gold Card: Keep

I was actually surprised to see that this $250 card came out as a keeper.  I estimated the value at $265 even though I’ve rarely used the card in the past year due to big grocery and dining bonuses available on other cards.  Still, there’s just enough there for me to keep paying the fee: Uber credits, dining credits, and especially big potential with refer-a-friend offers.

Amex Green Card: Drop

I signed up for this card just for the welcome bonus and for the hope of getting upgrade offers.  The first happened, the second has not (yet).  I don’t value any of this card’s perks at all and so it will definitely be on the chopping block if a good upgrade or retention offer doesn’t appear.

Citi Prestige: Drop

The $495 Prestige card has lost most of its prestige over the years as Citi dropped one benefit after another, including travel protections.  I still value the ability to earn 5x on dining with no foreign transaction fees, but there are other options that are close enough so that I don’t value this highly enough to keep the card.

Altitude Reserve: Keep

The $400 Altitude Reserve card comes with $325 in travel & dining credits which I valued at $300.  So, I only needed to justify $100 more to deem this card a keeper.  Between earning 3x for mobile wallet payments & travel, Real Time Mobile Rewards (a super cool feature!), and Gogo in-flight wifi, this card is staying in my Apple Pay wallet for the long-term.

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Chris Allen

Greg, you still value the Ritz priority the same with Venture X? I have a Chase Marriott and have been considering getting rid of it would it be with upgrading to the Ritz instead ?

Yuri

United Club no longer have 1.5x on everything, it’s now 1x.

Alex King

Is there something to be said for better Amex offers on a Platinum than a Gold? Or is everyone getting identical offers?

Andy

You owe me a new keyboard. My ‘0’ key broke while I was filling out the Amex Platinum tab.

Biggie F

Me too! Covered it with my Amex Business Platinum Dell credit….

robertw

Good article. Today I got into a chat with AMEX with my business partner’s Reserve card. Nothing of value was offered so we closed it. Had he brought ti to me a yr ago we could at least have gotten some bonus miles for 2021. He still has the voucher from Delta he cal use for a flight in 2022. I used to let the card fees slide, but now I am really turning the screw on them. Dumping AMEX Delta Plat in Jan usles I get a compelling offer. Its a $250 fee. When I used it to leverage Delta Diamond, that was one thing. But now with 250K in spend also needed I dont want to spend that much on those cards. Over the yrs I have not been as aggressive as I should be. Especially with the rising fees on some of the AMEX cards.

Alex

I notice that the Amegy Reserve is seldom mentioned

Winnie

I love this spreadsheet. Thank you Greg!

For me Chase Ritz, Amex Aspire, Amex Brilliant are keepers, in this order.

The most valuable Amex Platinum card for me (consume+biz) is the Amex Schwab Platinum.

Curious in SD

P2 has the CSR and we used it to book airline tickets to Costa Rica in April. If we downgrade the card to the CSP in December does anyone know if we will still get the travel protection benefits of the CSP even though we booked the tickets with the CSR? I’m wondering if I should just keep the CSR open until after our trip is over?

John Young

In version 5.0, it said that you removed your own comments. Is there an archived copy with them? Would be interested to read your detailed thought process.

Adam

Google Tip: Post the spreadsheet with /copy at the end, anyone who clicks it will automatically have their own copy created. I’m sure you’ve probably gotten tons of “request access” emails already.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1M5ggGg-I3bMheSNMt46NGJxhmGN5QxvyaIYPVTzjKdg/edit#gid=0
vs
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1M5ggGg-I3bMheSNMt46NGJxhmGN5QxvyaIYPVTzjKdg/copy

Jan W

It will soon be time for me to evaluate my family’s premium cards (including two consumer Amex Plat, one Amex Schwab, and two Amex Gold). As we age and reitre, I’ve begun considering whether I should assign a dollar value to Amex’s Emergency Medical Transport and Evacuation, which also includes repartriation of remains. Once we’re both eligible for Medicare (which includes international coverage) and supplements, I’m wondering if that combo will replace needing to buy a travel insurance policy. Still thinking at this point, but that perk might be more valuable as one ages…

Biggie F

Once we’re both eligible for Medicare (which includes international coverage) and supplements, I’m wondering if that combo will replace needing to buy a travel insurance policy.

Careful!

Medicare does not include international coverage:

https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11037-Medicare-Coverage-Outside-United-States.pdf

“[S]upplements” (so-called Medigap policies) may, up to 60 days, with certain restrictions, e.g.,

https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-qa-tool/does-medicare-cover-me-outside-the-us/

Jan W

Thanks for this, Biggie F. Looks like I’m a bit confused about Medicare vs MediGap. These links are good places for me to start figuring it out.

Jane

Great think piece. One question though.
“ so with her card we subscribed to the ad-free version of Peacock. We wouldn’t pay for that at all without this perk, so I ascribe a value here of only about $25 “.
So you wouldn’t pay at all but you value at $25? This seems to go against the theme of the article. For something I wouldn’t pay at all for I personally ascribe a value of $0.

Cubby

please stop with the photos of you guys mugging for the camera, it’s old and a big turn off

WR2

Says the guy mugging it in his profile pic

HADLEY V. BAXENDALE

The Hilton AMEX Aspire already had paid for itself with respect to the $250 airline credit (which you could turn into $$ for airfare on Southwest, JetBlue, and United) and it was also relatively easy to use the $250 resort credit, as well, therefore, giving you $500 back for an annual fee of $450.00

Note, the above does not even take into consideration the year-long Hilton Diamond status, nor the uncapped free night that has been expanded from just weekend use to any day of the week during the pandemic, and looks likely to stay any day of the week post-pandemic.

If the above were not enough, AMEX/Hilton shot another $200+ this year in the form of a $20 monthly dining credit, as well.

Even if the last offer does not survive in the new year, I hope I have demonstrated the relatively easy way of attaining real value from the Aspire Card — not to mention the AMEX offers that go along being a cardholder.

Hands down, the best premium card on the market for $$ returned to your pocket.

Oliver

I have a lot of priority passes. I have found priority passes internationally useful. However, if you are primarily using points to fly business class, you are usually better off at one of the business class lounge that your ticket gives you access to.

PM1

Awesome post Greg! And the spreadsheet is very helpful.

WR2

For me, it’s none. Monthly $10-20 perks are valued at 50% face value max to me, since they are annoying to track, and force me to buy food/stuff I otherwise wouldn’t. PP is worth zero to me, bc I can always easily get a card in the rare case I needed it (intl Im flying F/J, so I rarely need PP), but I almost always have a card with it anyway. BTW, I don’t understand your Ritz logic, it should be valued at $0 across all cards, it’s the marginal value of this cards PP benefit when choosing to keep/cancel. Unless you would otherwise be left with no PP, the value is 0.

Bottom line is that even if I could theoretically get a mental gymnastics profit from a card, I still can do much better with new card SUBs, and using the benefits on the new cards.

TimM

Completely agree and will be canceling as well. I only use the platinum and gold card credits because they are there. I ordinarily wouldn’t order Uber eats and Grubhub nearly as much.

A guy named Mike

I did the math using high rated restaurants in my area and comparing UE/GH to ordering from the restaurant website. I was able to get an average of about 2/3 face if I kept the order small. The worst part about the higher prices and services fees is that they can push the credit value into negative territory if you aren’t watching. Given the inconvenience, maxing out at half of face sounds right.

A guy named Mike

I am constantly mystified why the more casual cc crowd would value the Gold credits at or near face. I have never had an issue with my cash expiring in 30 days and the hoops you have to jump through to not lose your shirt to delivery fees aren’t insurmountable, but need to be considered.

Pam

I signed up 2 yrs ago for the AMEX Green really for the SUB & $100 Away credit but found myself using the 3x travel quite a bit because of the great hotel AMEX Offers tied to it. I wouldnt have earned nearly as many MRs with other AMEX cards (I also have the CSR).

I recently upgraded to the Plat w a 100k offer but will either downgrade back to the Green in a yr or open a new acct to get it again.

I opened the Green 2 yrs ago w a 45k bonus, upgraded briefly this past July to Gold for 40k points, then upgraded in Sept to Plat for 100k! Crazy earning 185k points on the same acct in 2 yrs!

Brutus

I got a Business Gold with an 80k bonus in April and then received a 140k upgrade offer for the Business Platinum in October.

Retired Gambler

Good evaluation and I appreciate the spreadsheet. I realize you are being conservative discounting the annual benefit of monthly credits but, for me, I value them a little higher. For example, I have Sirius/XM in 3 cars. In the past Sirius/XM discounted the price if you bought 1, 2 or 3 year subscriptions. However, I found when I renewed earlier this year on 2 cars that monthly price was the same as longer term so just signed up for monthly payments since $40 a month is not noticed but $400-$500 one time would be (at least for me). That being said I was very happy my Amex Platinum added the $20 a month credit on something I was already paying monthly so I value this at full $240 since I would pay that without any credit from Amex.

As for cards, I have the Platinium, CSR, Amex Gold, Delta Platinum Amex and Marriott Amex. Definitely keeping Amex Platinum and Gold plus Marriott Amex (I’m retired, travel a lot and lifetime Titanium so easily use the $300 credit plus 50K room certificate without even trying). Planning to downgrade the CSR to Preferred (really disappointed Chase didn’t do anything to improve CSR-and I don’t consider bonuses for using their OTA an improvement) and may downgrade Delta Platinum to Gold (lifetime elite on DL but in AA captive city so really only get companion ticket as a benefit on that card).

One question for you or anyone else – if I downgrade CSR to Preferred I know I would only be able to pay for travel at 1.25 cent/point versus 1.5 (which is something I never do since I just pay for it with cash). With respect to transferring points to airline or hotel programs is it the same transfer rate and value CSR and Preferred? I think that is the case but wanted to confirm. In that case I don’t lose anything really by downgrading – please correct me if I’m wrong.

Thanks!

robertw

Ill tell you a secret. If you call to cancel those Sirus subscriptions they will play lets make a deal and cut those fees way down. Trust me on that. They will do anything via retention. Make the call. Hang tough.

anonymous

Know any secret to getting them to stop spamming my mail box in the hope that I might, somehow, after all these years, reactivate a subscription to their annoyingly repetitive only-well-known-hits-at-poor-audio-quality-with-annoying-DJs-and-cleverly-disguised-ads service?

Might be willing to pay you for this information.

VIS

I am able to get more value just from AMEX offers than annual fee on Bonvoy Brilliant and Hilton Aspire. I think both cards are keepers.

Jags

I stuck with the Morgan Stanley Platinum over Vanilla. Free Platinum AU + engagement bonus is worth more to me than referral bonuses…there’s just a limit to how many of those a regular person can get. Additionally, for me at least, the Gold card (usually 30k/referral) got better referral offers than the Platinum cards (usually 15k/referral).

Always tough to value AMEX Platinum cards — there’s opportunities every year for Platinum specific offers that aren’t guaranteed, but seem to happen every year in some form. For example, I don’t think the $200 hotel benefit is that great, but there’s also a $150 off $800 offer FHR/HC offer that stacks. You can get a really nice hotel stay for $450 plus the FHR benefits. And of course there’s opportunities for big retention offers (60k+ offers), 20k POT offers, AMEX offer spend bonuses, etc.

Josh

People want to bash on Amex Plat for being a “coupon” card, but realistically it has saved me enough to offset the annual fee.
Plus Amex is constantly adding more benefits, while it may be useless for some but it’s certainly a lot better than nothing vs what they are doing for CSR

Jags

More value =/= a bad thing. Yes, there’s some work involved to extract value but find me any card from any issuer that offers anything remotely close to the value proposition AMEX Platinum offers.

Josh

Agreed! My friend had the Plat and cancelled it then got the CSR, now he’s starting to regret it 🙂

Jim

Great Article Greg. We needed something like this as the cards have so many overlapping benefits. Trying to justify keeping the Amex consumer platinum or the CSR and which mid level cards to keep especially the ones with No AF. This will help but I cannot seem to download it.

Kevin Gibbs

My best combination is the Amex Gold and the CSR. Between the two they cover everything I need!

EricF

I was surprised that you value the vanilla Platinum above the Schwab Platinum (with relationship statement credit) because of better refer-a-friend offers. I’ve seen equal offers on the vanilla and on various other AmEx cards, including the current +4MR from the vanilla which is also available on the personal Gold and on the BBP. Which refer-a-friend offers have you seen which are unique to the vanilla?

Aloha808

Great analysis.

Gene

@ Greg — For AMEX cards, I value freeing up the opportunity to obtain the sign up bonus for a card again in seven years, so I generally start at “drop and can be persuaded to “keep” with a sufficient retention offer. Usually this results in an AMEX card being closed two years after opening, although there are exceptions, such as preferring to keep at least one Plat and one Biz Plat open in the household, and generally keeping our Hilton Aspire and Delta Reserve cards open regardless of retention bonus.

Tyler

True, although the more quickly you close Amex cards, the more likely you are to end up in pop up jail, unable to earn other cards’ sign up bonuses, let alone the same one again.

As someone who has gone in and out of jail for P1 and P2 for a few years (and have been unable to get the consumer platinum since offers got crazy), I’m trying to pay more annual fees if it’s close to breakeven, when in general always trying to cancel to limit extra work for marginal benefit.

Captain Greg

Are you going to do your own evaluation of the new cap one card?

chris

I am interesting in the new X card, I love our CSR but…….with the annual fee going up so much and not other cards offering similar perks its losing its value.

Scott

Let’s everybody relax about the venture x. It hasn’t been launched yet, I haven’t seen anything officially from capitol one about it(only the blogs/advertisers), and we don’t even know the FULL benefits. People are getting so hyped for a card that likely will be decent but not revolutionary.

TimM

Thanks for the post and appreciate the insights.

I have a generic platinum, Schwab platinum, and Amex Gold card. I plan on canceling the generic platinum and Amex gold card in December. This will save me almost 1K in annual fees. I will likely cancel the Schwab card in May 2022. I’ve also received retention offers on the gold card and Schwab card in 2021.

I am switching to a cashback and hotel credit card strategy since most of my travel is family roadtrips (with 2 toddlers) within the U.S. In a few years, as my travel patterns might change I will reevaluate membership rewards to see if they fit into my travel patterns.

NK3

If you received a retention offer on the Gold in 2021, you would have agreed to keep it open for 12 more months. So closing it in December might be an issue.

TimM

I know the date the retention bonus was received and will cancel 1 day after that. I’m not particularly worried about that. Thanks though.

elk

Great post!
I’m trying to decide if to drop the CSR myself and get the X and keep the Amex Plat. I don’t get many of the Plat credits and travel has obviously still been thin.

Last edited 6 months ago by elk