Premium Travel Cards Pivot Benefits in a Coronavirus World

In an attempt to keep you as a customer in a world where travel is severely limited, banks have been changing the benefit profiles of their credit cards that previously rewarded behavior centered primarily around travel.

Those of you most concerned with what to do with your travel cards are likely those paying big annual fees for the premium transferrable point cards--the Chase Sapphire Reserve, The Platinum Card from American Express, and the Citi Prestige--so let's compare those changes.

Amex Extends Minimum Spending Requirement Window for Bonuses to Six Months

In response to the economic downturn, American Express is now allowing six months instead of the usual three months to meet minimum spending requirements for sign up bonuses on their credit cards.

The following are Amex's words:

"Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible Card accounts approved from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible Cards are U.S.

Award Booking Sale & Assistance with Changes and Cancellations

COVID-19 is changing daily life, pretty drastically, for everyone right now. At MileValue we are trying to adapt to the current climate by discounting our already existing services as well as offering a new one: assistance changing and canceling your upcoming flight.

Award Booking Service 30% OFF

MileValue is offering our Award Booking Service 30% off for all requests made by April 15.

Right now is not the time to travel unless it is absolutely essential. We all must play our part by social distancing at the very least and staying home when possible.

Airline Change & Cancellation Policies due to COVID-19

UPDATED 5/28/20

I hope all of you and your loved ones are coping during this trying time. Whether you're hunkering down at home with work or study, or are still needed in public as a healthcare professional or otherwise essential employee, I wish you all good health and peace of mind.

Below I will go into detail on the current policies for the top five US airlines (defined by passengers carried).

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 100k Offer Expires March 4

Update: This offer has changed to 75,000 bonus Marriott Rewards after spending $3,000 on your new card within three months. 

The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card has a higher than usual sign up bonus right now: 100,000 Marriott Rewards for spending $5,000 within three months of opening the card. Before this limited time offer came out, the bonus was 75,000 Marriott points.

Whether or not you patron Marriott, this is a good card to pick up for its large bonus.

Big Airbnb Savings on a Trip to Patagonia

I am currently staying about 20 minutes north of a town called San Martin de Los Andes, which is located in the lake region of Argentine Patagonia. San Martin, as locals refer to it, is a fly fishing hub nestled alongside Lácar Lake, surrounded by the Andes and not far from Argentina's border with Chile. Hiking and backpacking options are plentiful with Argentina's version of the Appalachian trail, the Huella Andina, spreading out in either direction north and south.

Podcast Interview With Hack Your Wealth

Andrew Chen and I recently talked ins and outs of the miles and points world on his podcast, Hack Your Wealth. The recording was published today. Listen to it on his site, linked above, or directly from MileValue via Spotify, below.

100k & 125K Targeted Bonuses for Amex Platinum

There is a targeted offer available through creditcards.com’s CardMatch Tool for 100,000 Membership Rewards for spending $5,000 on your new Platinum within three months of account opening. This 100k offer resurfaces periodically. It is worth checking again if you weren’t targeted the last time as they target different rounds of customers each time.

Even more exciting is word of a new, bigger targeted sign up bonus of 125,000 Membership Rewards for spending $5,000 within three months on the Amex Platinum.

B&B Santa Isabel: La Pedrera, Uruguay

Uruguay is a gem of a country that's under the radar for the typical American. My attention was drawn to it years ago when I relocated to Buenos Aires, as Uruguay and Argentina share a border and river delta.

My History with UruguayReacquaintance with an Old FlameA Quick Aside About Safety for Solo Female TravelersB&B Santa IsabelLocationGetting To UruguayWhen to GoSurfingThoughts About the Value of my Stay

My History with Uruguay

I spent a few summers along it's coast between 2012 and 2015, in an area half an hour driving past Punta del Este.

Two big offers ending soon. Who are they good for?

Update: The Chase United Explorer Card offer is now 60,000 miles for spending $3,000 within three months.

Sign up bonuses are, by far, the easiest and fastest way to earn big stacks of rewards. Many of the most lucrative sign up bonuses are only available for a limited time to encourage customers to sign up. In other words, scarcity marketing.