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High End credit Card Fees

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Valued Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@Janus wrote:

Amex Gold also offers $100 Hotel credit on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities.
• Room upgrade upon arrival, when available. 

When booked through their Hotel Collection.


Yep, other things as well.  I was trying to just list the ones relevant to me otherwise I would have been typing all day!  Smiley LOL  I'd rather have my usual elite night credits and perks, so no Amex Travel hotel bookings for me, unfortunately.  (Note: Fine Hotels and Resorts is not considered an OTA, so that would be fine.)  But yeah, prior to me having status on my own, I put a huge value on the Platinum card's SPG Gold that was matched by Marriott - so whichever perks people use will certainly help add value!  True Visa Infinite cards (not CSR, Altitude Reserve) also have that $100 off 2 or more airline tickets purchased through the VI portal so for the right person, that could be huge as well.


You can get around that quite easily. While you might not get the point credit for the night without a little negotiating with Marriott's desk (I have successfully gotten an Amextravel booking to give me the usual credit as if I booked directly, though not 100% of the time), I have quite easily received my PP benefits at check-in with simply providing my member number at check-in. Elite night credits only require you didn't spend $0 that night - a bottle of water or some snacks will do:

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 3.17.30 PM.png

 

Got 2 nights credit for $20 in spend at the above hotel. Same basic principle why award nights also count as nights.

Message 21 of 51
Frequent Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@K-in-Boston wrote:


True Visa Infinite cards (not CSR, Altitude Reserve) also have that $100 off 2 or more airline tickets purchased through the VI portal so for the right person, that could be huge as well.


Which cards are still available with this?  I know the Chase Ritz-Carlton has it, but not open to new apps and I think the City National Bank Crystal card, but pretty tough to get, are there others?

Message 22 of 51
New Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees

Thank you for the time and effort you put in to lay this out. I found it very helpful myself!



Message 23 of 51
Moderator

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@digitek wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:


True Visa Infinite cards (not CSR, Altitude Reserve) also have that $100 off 2 or more airline tickets purchased through the VI portal so for the right person, that could be huge as well.


Which cards are still available with this?  I know the Chase Ritz-Carlton has it, but not open to new apps and I think the City National Bank Crystal card, but pretty tough to get, are there others?


The only other one I can think of is the UBS Visa Infinite which is not going to be easy to get for most, either.  Ritz-Carlton was certainly the most "attainable" of the cards with that feature.  I'll likely give City National a shot soonish; if anything, getting a relationship with them now would be beneficial if I found myself needing to deal with their parent company, RBC.

 

Edit: What was I thinking?  J.P. Morgan Reserve also has it, but you do need a minimum $10,000,000 with Private Bank.

Message 24 of 51
Moderator

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@digitek wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:


True Visa Infinite cards (not CSR, Altitude Reserve) also have that $100 off 2 or more airline tickets purchased through the VI portal so for the right person, that could be huge as well.


Which cards are still available with this?  I know the Chase Ritz-Carlton has it, but not open to new apps and I think the City National Bank Crystal card, but pretty tough to get, are there others?


UBS Visa Infinite, available to high net worth individuals (also fairly tough to obtain) - AF $495.  Among some of the many benefits it does include:

 

  • $250 airline fee credit
  • 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi sessions
  • Premium set of benefits with the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, VIP amenities at select Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont Hotel and Resorts and Park Hyatt properties and enhanced benefits with Relais & Châteaux.
  • $100 Global Entry application fee statement credit, which includes TSA Pre✓®
  • $500 Any Airport Club statement credit for any airport lounges worldwide upon reaching qualified spending threshold
  • Unlimited, complimentary access to 1,000+ Priority PassTM Select lounges
  • No foreign purchase transaction fees
  • 24/7 U.S.-based UBS Concierge
  • 50,000 bonus points upon $3,000 in spend in the first 3 months for new clients
  • 3x points on commercial air travel, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1 point on all other eligible purchases.
  • Up to a $700 service credit at Villas of Distinction properties
  • Le Bas International Benefits: Up to $300 total credit per flight toward chauffeured transportation transfers, and Up to $300 total credit per flight toward premium in-flight catering
  • $100 discount on the purchase of between 2 and 5 qualifying round-trip, domestic coach airline tickets on the same itinerary when purchased on the Visa Infinite Discount Air website

ETA - @K-in-Boston beat me to it.

Message 25 of 51
Senior Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@sladesurfer wrote:
Just Curious, I see multiple high end cards in members signature. Do you guys really pay and keep all those multiple $450 plus dollar cards?

It's a mix. Banks change the features they offer on them, introduce new cards, and get rid of others. A card I get for the bonus can improve so it's worth keeping, or one I intend to keep can deteriorate to the point I get rid of it.

Major spend: CSR, BBP, Costco
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, CFU, Discover, ED, BCE, Arrival, DoubleCash
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75
Bonus chasing: Aviator Red, SPG Luxury, Savor
Message 26 of 51
Regular Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees

I think that members here with cards that have ANY fees tend to scrutinize the cost versus benefit of retaining each account.  In the last year and a half I have opened accounts with AF < $100, tracked my spending on each card and tried to take advantage of any purchase/travel offsets that came with the card.  If my benefits exceeded the AF, then I still have the card as at the time of initial application.  If the benefits did not exceed the cost for Year 2, then the card was downgraded.  It all depends on what your needs are at the time.  I can certainly upgrade my cards back for additional benefits (for example Delta Blue back to Delta Gold for the priority boarding/free checked bag) when the time arises.  

 

My vacation planning for the year is done in the first quarter.  I have researched and looked at my options and gone ahead to get my first premium card, the SPG Luxury.  I could've waited until February 13 for the Bonvoy Brilliant, but in terms of spend/SUB differential (i.e. 3K now vs 5K and 75K vs 100K), I had to determine what was the best way of spending 2K and whether or not it was beneficial and also if I really needed the additional 25K points.  The annual fee is $450.  I've already taken advantage of the $300 SPG/credit and $100 Global Entry credit, which leaves me at a net $50 annual fee.  For me the unlimited Priority Pass access with 2 free guests, 1 visit will wipe away the net fee for a family trip.  If I take advantage of the $100 property credit after March 28, then I've just added more value to this card for travel I'm already doing this year.  When Year 2 hits (should I choose to continue with the card, and barring any drastic changes, I will keep it) I will be able to take advantage of all the credits except Global Entry, but have the free reward stay - and again I'll exceed the $450 annual fee.

Message 27 of 51
Mega Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@banquier wrote:

 If my benefits exceeded the AF, then I still have the card as at the time of initial application.  If the benefits did not exceed the cost for Year 2, then the card was downgraded.  It all depends on what your needs are at the time. 


You also need to ask if there is a card that does better, even if benefits exceed AF on the current card.   And this is, IME, can be even more dynamic that changing needs.    

Message 28 of 51
Valued Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@Janus wrote:

Amex Gold also offers $100 Hotel credit on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities.
• Room upgrade upon arrival, when available. 

When booked through their Hotel Collection.


Yep, other things as well.  I was trying to just list the ones relevant to me otherwise I would have been typing all day!  Smiley LOL  I'd rather have my usual elite night credits and perks, so no Amex Travel hotel bookings for me, unfortunately.  (Note: Fine Hotels and Resorts is not considered an OTA, so that would be fine.)  But yeah, prior to me having status on my own, I put a huge value on the Platinum card's SPG Gold that was matched by Marriott - so whichever perks people use will certainly help add value!  True Visa Infinite cards (not CSR, Altitude Reserve) also have that $100 off 2 or more airline tickets purchased through the VI portal so for the right person, that could be huge as well.


You can book The Hotel Collection  hotels over the phone with American Express and still retain the elite benefits for stays and earn the $100 credit, room upgrade etc. You won’t earn 5X points because it’s not prepaid. 

 

 You can use ANY Amex card at the hotel. So if you put the deposit on the gold/platinum card and then get to the hotel and use a co-branded card at checkout it can be better then 5X MR depending on which co-branded card you have. 

 

Ive done this several times on short weekend stays at Hilton’s. 



Total Revolving Limits $123,700

FICO 8 scores 04/2019
EX-778
TU-714
EQ-716
Message 29 of 51
Super Contributor

Re: High End credit Card Fees


@sladesurfer wrote:
Just Curious, I see multiple high end cards in members signature. Do you guys really pay and keep all those multiple $450 plus dollar cards?

Hmm I'm going to do the math now and I feel like this is going to make me feel bad.

CSR $450

Amex biz plat $450 going up to $595

Amex hilton aspire $450

Amex Hilton Ascend $95

Amex gold card $250

Barclay AA card $95 I think

Chase Hyatt card $95

 

So in total I think I have around $1885 in AFs. Yes that is an absurd amount. However, some of these cards are in my first year of membership so I got a SUB. Other cards have various travel credits or free night awards or resort credits that offset the AFs.

 

Out of these cards the amex business plat is probably going to go (although I will likely pick up a personal plat for the SUB so it will be just replacing one AF with another).

 

The ascend card will get downgraded to a no AF card the only reason I paid the AF was because they gave me an upgrade offer that was worthwhile.

 

The barclay AA card I'm just keeping until the AF hits then I will likely dump it. Dont see a reason to get rid of it now in case I fly on AA I could use the perks.

 

The chase hyatt card I kept because of the free night and also I used to do a lot of hyatt redemptions and it would give me a discount on awards, which made it worthwhile. I will probably close it and then reapply for another hyatt card in the future. 

 

The CSR I have had for more than a year and I have kept it because its my only card left that transfer to travel partners for chase and it provides a $300 travel credit, gives me extra points on spending in travel category and provides decent travel protections. Once I get the CIP I will likely get rid of the CSR (unless i decide to ditch my amex plats and aspire).

 

The Amex Aspire is still in its first year. Honestly its easily offset the AF and I am turning a profit on it already. Whether or not I will keep it beyond the first year I have not decided but I may if the benefits stay strong and if I get something in return for diamond status.

 

The amex gold card I got for the signup and also get the airline credit as well as bonus category spending. I use this card quite a bit and quite like it in its current form so I will most likely keep using it going forward since I utlize many of the benefits. 

 

All of the above is subject to change but when I do the math I come out ahead (sometimes way ahead on every card). It seems like a lot in AFs (and it certainly is) but a lot of that comes back in airline credits ($550 from amex alone), travel credits ($300 from the CSR alone), $120 on ordering out from the amex gold)  and then a couple hundred in other credits, not to mention the free weekend hilton night which can save me $500+ on a one night stay and then all the different benefits etc. For me it is worth it but I reassess every six months to see what is going on with my cards and what I will do when the AF hits. It does take effort to effectively utilize all these cards though and not be caught paying money for something you can't use. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 30 of 51