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I got a notification from AmEx that my SPG Bix card will be automatically "upgraded" to the new card come August. Will the new card be considered a separate product, making me eligible to apply for it in the future if I cancel my current card now? Or will they auto-enroll me even if I do cancel now? (*As happened when Costco AmEx switched to Citi--I canceled the AmEx months before the changeover, but I was still issued a new Citi card.) Thanks for your thoughts. Cynthia.

I just wanted to comment on something that happened to me that I was unaware could happen and haven't seen it addressed in the blogs I read. Doesn't mean it hasn't been, just that I haven't seen it.

I recently got my first Chase Freedom Unlimited card to pair with my Chase Sapphire Reserve. I made a payment to GM Financial with the CFU, who uses Western Union to process credit card payments. To my utter shock, Chase charged me a $21.42 "Cash Advance Transaction Fee" for this charge! Not only that, they said because in their view it is a cash advance, I would be charged interest from the date the charge posted!!!! After many secure messages and phone calls to Chase protesting the charge to no avail, I went on the Western Union Bill Pay site and right there on the very bottom of the page in extremely tiny print it says some banks may charge an additional fee for using Western Union (I didn't have a problem with their $9.99 fee because it was less than Plastiq)! I have used this service for a long time with other cards and was never charged a cash advance transaction fee and charged interest on top of that!

I feel this might be something readers need to be made aware of before using services like Western Union Bill Pay to pay bills with a Chase card. It has been my experience that Citibank and Barclays do not view this as a cash advance transaction and therefore no outrageous fees and interest.

Ed, thank you sharing. This is good to know.

I would recommend calling the banks and setting the cash advance limit to $0 (or as low as you can set it) on all of your cards. That way if you're unexpectedly charged for a cash advance it will decline the transaction.

Jason, I just can't win. After the debacle with Western Union I decided to use Plastiq to pay an account shortage to my bank because I am in the process of meeting a new card signup requirement. I learned this morning that because Plastiq did a wire transfer instead of sending a check as I assumed they would, my bank is charging me a wire fee! As with the Western Union transaction, I had used Plastiq before and never been charged on the receiver's end, so I didn't even consider that a possibility. These two situations have REALLY made me weary of using third party services like Plastiq and Western Union Bill Pay.

That's annoying! Was that fee in addition to the 2.5% fee Plastiq normally charges?

Yes. It. Was.

Thanks Jason.

I did hear back from Chase that it is VISA that charges the fee. I checked my records, and I made a payment last month to GM Financial through WU with a Mastercard and was not charged a cash advance fee. Also, confirmed with Plastiq that they do not get coded as cash advance if using a VISA through them.

Going to Mykonos in September. I am using AA points and AA operated flight to avoid the BA taxes across the pond (DFW-LHR). However, I have a 20hr connnection in London before jumping on the BA (LHR-JMK) the following day. Is there any way of paying a small fee to extend the connection in LHR (i.e. make it a stopover)?

Love your site!

Unfortunately, American Airlines doesn't allow stopovers on award tickets (even for a fee). So if you want to stay longer than 24 hours, you'll have to book a separate award.

Have you heard anything about the Hyatt aruba suddenly not having nights available for WOH points?

Hi Stacy,
I haven't heard anything about that. Is it only on certain dates? Or just in general? Because if there are no "Standard Rate" rooms available, then you can't book with points. And depending on how many rooms the hotel defines as "Standard Rate" those can sell out quickly.

Hey, Hope you are doing great!

I came across your blog ( and got impressed with the regular and frequent updates on it. I was wondering if you allow sponsored post on your blog?

I will provide you unique, non-promotional, well informative and niche-oriented content for every blog post order.

Kindly let me know price per post & also in-content text link Price (placement of a text link on an existing blog post).

Looking forward hearing from you soon 🙂

Tara Berelc

Tara, thanks for reaching out, but we don't do any sponsored content.

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