Turkey Day Takes 2022 – What I’m Thankful For This Year

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Thanksgiving is upon us.  Like last year, I figure I should step back, look around, and appreciate a few parts of our shared hobby.  I doubt anyone will have a list too similar to mine, and that’s a good thing!  Indeed, our hobby provides a wealth of developments and opportunities, and we can optimally customize strategies for our individual situations.  What I particularly enjoy about this year’s list are a few surprises.  This time last year, I couldn’t have dreamt some of this stuff would be a possibility.  So then, here are the credit card trends and angles I’m most grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Amex Platinum Benefit Deep Cuts

We can’t fairly consider the $695 annual fees of the Platinum and Business Platinum cards without taking into account the benefits from each card.  Many of those benefits, especially the newer ones, have gotten a lot of flak.  Many simply have no need or time for them, or both.  But I was pleased with my results after I put in a bit of the latter.  Here’s how that worked out:

  • 95% off wireless service with patient use of the Business Platinum’s wireless credit
  • NBA League Pass covered with a convoluted use of the Business Platinum’s Dell credit
  • 87% off HBO Max with the Platinum’s Dell credit via Hulu

Like many of you, I’m using many of the other benefits and credits more traditionally, but I think you get the point.

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My Capital One Banker

This is probably the biggest of all surprises so far this year.  I never thought I’d be lauding praise on Capital One.  I’ve been a Capital One 360 customer since the ING Direct switchover, but they’ve declined my card applications for years.  I’d pretty much given up on them.  Working with a Capital One banker completely changed my view.  This is the biggest 180 I’ve done on any entity in recent memory.  My banker answered all my questions about various products and facilitated multiple applications.  Best of all, each was approved.  I’ve enjoyed interacting with my banker, something I don’t recall ever experiencing.

A Smooth Banana Republic Card Transition

The transition of the Gap family of credit cards, including my beloved Banana Republic card, from Synchrony to Barclays finally completed earlier this year.  Initially, I was anxious about how things would unfold.  Would spend offers continue?  Yes, it turns out.  Was there any major shakeup in the rewards program due to the move?  No, not really.  How generous would Barclays be with new welcome offers?  Very – Barclays provided maybe the best welcome offer for big spenders/avid shoppers in recent memory.

I’m currently loving my targeted spend offer providing 10x on all grocery store, gas, and dining purchases for the entire 4th quarter.  And thanks to their generous policy for moving credit limits, Barclays has enabled more spend capacity than I ever had with Synchrony.

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Continuous Amex No Lifetime Language Offers

Of course, my favorite card issuer has to make another appearance on this list.  Amex keeps delivering the no lifetime language goods with many of their welcome offers.  The Business Platinum offers have probably been my favorite version.  While cashout cent per point value may be higher with Chase, I’m happy earning more Membership Rewards at scale with less effort.  These offers may eventually sunset, but I’ll ride the wave until then.

You

I’m grateful for you this Thanksgiving.  Whether you’re a reader/commenter, Diamond member, a local grinder, or close friend I’ve made along the way, I appreciate what I’ve learned from you.  You’ve opened my eyes to what else is possible in our silly, outlandish hobby.  I look forward to interacting with you more and the enlightenment which comes along with it.

Conclusion

As I sit down with my way-too-large helping of green bean casserole, I’m excited to see what comes next, with our hobby and everything else.  I try to stay curious in all facets and challenge you to do so, as well.  Take a beat and reflect on all that you’re thankful for, preferably before my Cowboys choke away another holiday game.  But in the meantime, what credit card trends are you specifically grateful for this year?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA for close to free. He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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