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1. 40,000 Points Citi Thank You Preferred. I’ve been informed that the 40,000 point Citi Thank You Preferred will end today. You get 20,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 6 months and another 20,000 points after spending $3,000 more within the next 6 months. This is a personal card, so you could either get 2 of these at the same time or one personal and one 50,000 point Citi Business Thank You card (which ends on December 20, 2012).
Each Thank You point is worth at least 1 cent when you redeem for gift cards or travel from the Citi Thank You portal, so that’s $400 in gift cards or travel.
If you have the Citi Thank You Premier, you can redeem for 1.33 cents towards airfare, so 40,000 points are worth $532.
You can use these points to buy flights up to any value, just as you would if you pay cash. This is great for those occasions where you can’t use miles and points (inter-island flights in French Polynesia) or where you have no flexibility with your travel plans.
This card has no annual fee and you earn 1 Thank You point per $1 spent. However, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. You also get a (miniscule) membership bonus for keeping the card just like with the Citi Business Thank You card above.
2. Q4 Chase Freedom Registration. Today’s the last day to activate the 5% quarterly bonus by using your Chase Freedom credit card.
Activating the quarterly bonus on the Chase Freedom is retroactive meaning that you will earn 5% (up to $1,500 or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points) for combined purchases in all categories each quarter (in this case, purchases made in October, November, and December).
I wrote earlier that you may be able to get the 5% cash back or 5X Ultimate Rewards points by buying *some* hotel and airline gift cards.
I love the Chase Freedom Visa because it makes it really easy to earn 5 times the number of Ultimate Rewards points (up to $1,500 or 7,500 points a quarter) for purchases which Emily and I would make in any case.
The Chase Freedom is a fee-free card, so it is a good Chase card to keep for a long time. You can either redeem the points earned for cash back (5% cash back isn’t too shabby and some folks prefer cash back). Or you can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus or the JP Morgan Select card and from there to airline or hotel partners such as Hyatt or United.
The main benefit of the Chase Freedom credit card is being able to take advantage of the quarterly bonus categories which offer a 5% bonus up to $1,500 or an extra 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points per quarter for spending in those categories.
PS: I’m on vacation so I won’t be able to get to the comments and email soon!