Just a quick bump...
First off, Wyndham just upped the bonus on their credit card
for people that like Wyndham for some reason.
This card carries an annual fee which is partially offset by the 6,000 anniversary points each year and waived the first year. Personally I'm not getting this but if you like Wyndham it's a good offer. You can always cancel or downgrade to the free Wyndham card in year two. The bonus is good for 5 free nights in one of their lower tier hotels or 3 in a mid tier.
Secondly, The Choice Visa offer is going away at the end of the month (so in a few days)
. This is the highest I've ever seen it so if you want it, get it now.
In non-hotel news, Chase just added Emirates
as a transfer partner. If anyone is eyeing that new Saudi Arabian Six Flags, start saving up now.
Finally, I want to talk about something that we haven't really talked about yet and that is that you can directly buy theme park admission tickets with points and sometimes get crazy value. We frequently use Chase Points for theme park admission and I don't think a lot of people know that you can do this (We went to Fantasy Island on points and nobody who worked at the park knew that it was a thing).
The Chase Ink cards, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve all earn Chase Ultimate Reward points. The Chase Freedom card and Chase Freedom Unlimited card can indirectly earn them if you hold one of those other cards and transfer your points (and you should, everyone needs a Chase Freedom card because it has no annual fee and you can absolutely stockpile points with their rotating category bonuses).
These points allow you to transfer to partners, but they also allow you to book through the Chase Portal for a fixed price. The Sapphire Preferred gets 1.25 cents per point, the Reserve gets 1.5 cents.
Anyway, all of this matters because the Chase Portal is powered by Expedia and a lot of theme parks sell tickets on Expedia. With a Sapphire card, you can often not only use points but (because of the multiplier) get great value on them.
For example, Fantasy Island is one of our better redemptions this year. Tickets are $30.65 through Expedia (which is cheaper than they are on the website) and on top of that, our Sapphire gets us a 1.25% multiplier so it's bookable for only 2,452 points (it would be even better with the Sapphire Reserve).
This is not a one-off thing. We also used points to visit Elitch Gardens a few weeks ago. There was no discount here, but remember that you're getting a multiplier with the Sapphire cards (and not using cash) so unless you find an awesome promo code floating around it's still smart to book through Chase.
Universal Orlando is another awesome use of points depending on your situation. You're buying an "anytime" ticket, so the base price is inflated but it also includes taxes and fees so if you're going on a $180 day you come out ahead even before the multiplier once they tack those on (if you're not, this is a bad deal and you should pay cash).
If you want to go to Universal and don't want to drop $400 to do it for one day, signing up for a Chase Sapphire Preferred and hitting the bonus is a great alternative as it will pay for a family of 4.
Chase isn't the only game in town when it comes to this, but they're probably the best. I don't want to sound like a commercial here but if you're looking to visit a park that sells tickets on Expedia, we've been getting crazy value with Chase points lately.
Everyone knows that you can use points to save on airfare and hotels, but this is a great feature that's rarely discussed so I figured we should discuss it.
One final PSA: If you have signed up for more than 5 personal credit cards in the last 2 years, do not apply for ANY chase card. You will be immediately denied regardless of credit score and calling will get you nowhere.