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4 things that feel illegal to know about credit cards
We would never lead you down the road of high crimes and misdemeanors, so even though these four things may feel illegal to know about credit cards, they’re actually essential pieces of knowledge that will help you get the best deal, lower your fees, keep your credit as high as possible, and get you flying like this:
#1 Credit Card websites and Bloggers gate-keep the best offers
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. We aren’t naming names, but most credit card websites and bloggers aren’t giving you the best credit cards offers that are available!
It’s simple…because they make more money advertising offers that make an affiliate commission vs the offers that are actually the best for their readers.
But that’s just not our style. So….
We do our absolute best to keep an up to date list of the best credit card offers currently available whether we make a commission off them or not, but we also do our best to keep an ongoing list of the all time best offers those cards have ever had. Here’s a few examples of what we mean:
Let’s look at Amex Gold. 60k is the commissionable link, but Resy has a 75k link and reader referrals populate up to 90k!
We keep an ongoing spreadsheet with the best current offers as well as the best ever – found here
If you see one that is better – shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update.
#2 If you apply for a credit card and are denied, you can request reconsideration
You’ve applied for a credit card and then received that dreaded denial letter. Game over, right? Wrong. You can ask for reconsideration.
Reconsideration is one of the most powerful tools we have when acquiring a new credit card, and often times a bank’s algorithm has rejected you without a single set of human eyes taking a look at your application. Reconsideration is putting you in front of humanity and asking them to take another look at your application.
How do you go about making a reconsideration call?
Depending on a the bank there are special numbers to call. Here are a few that have been compiled. Numbers change…please let me know if any of these aren’t working.
- American Express
- New accounts: 877-399-3083
- Existing Accounts: 866-314-0237
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- (800) 625-7866
- U.S. Bank
Ok, I have my number. Now what?
You’d better get your charm offensive prepped because you’re going to have to rock this call. Be the nicest, sweetest, funniest version of your point grubbing self 😉 Why do you think Miles has that perma-smile? He’s made so many retention calls it’s there permanently. Here’s few tips
- Talk to them like a person. There are a lot of jerks out there. Be nice!
- Never bring up the sign up bonus.
- Know all the perks of the card
- Know all of the cards you have with the bank
- An easy way to do this is to log in to your online account and keep it open during the call.
- Ask why you were rejected.
- If it’s because you already have too much credit, ask if you can rotate credit.
- If it’s because of 5/24…you may not get this one resolved.
#3 Oops, You paid your bill late? You can get credit card late fees and interest reversed
No way Brosé you can just private message the bank or call the customer service number on the back of your card. Make sure you make a payment, preferably the full statement balance prior to calling. This way the bank sees that you’ve paid it off and you aren’t a credit risk.
You’d then say something like this:
“I’m so sorry, I completely forgot to pay my card by the due date. I’ve gone ahead and paid off the balance and I’d really appreciate it if you could consider waiving my late fees and interest charges as a show of good will. Thank you for the consideration.”
Usually, this is something the bank will extend to you once or twice a year. This is a screenshot of when I made this mistake the last time and they reversed the charges.
#4 Don’t cancel your credit cards, downgrade them to no fee or lower fee versions
We’ve all been there. You get hit with an annual fee and you’re like, “Holy crap I ain’t paying this no more!”
My internal voice is similar to that of an old miner prospector in case you’re wondering. Instead of knee jerk canceling your card…you should heavily consider downgrading it.
One of the most important factors of your credit score is credit utilization = the amount of credit that you use / the total amount of credit extended to you. When you cancel your credit cards you lose the entire line of credit associated with that card.
Instead of canceling you can often downgrade the card to one with a lower annual fee, or even one without any annual fee. You’ll keep that credit line open, and the account will continue to age which helps your credit score as well!
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great example. You could downgrade it to a Chase Sapphire Preferred which has a $95 annual fee, or even to a Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited which have $0 annual fees. Just remember that you need at least one card that earns Chase premium Ultimate Rewards in order to transfer to partners ( but that could be a Chase Ink Business Preferred as well ).
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.