|Back to Back Issues Page|
Credit Card Tips and Strategies, Issue #002 -- Citi Dividend Card has a new competitor
August 17, 2005
|Credit Card Tips and Strategies Newsletter 002
Date : 16th August 2005
Due to house moving, I was unable to send out the July Newsletter. There have been lots of new credit card offers by credit card companies during the last month. This issue will focus primarily on some of these new offers. We will focus on the remaining ones in the next newsletter.
Table of Contents
1. Chase makes major changes to its credit card portfolio - by discontinuing 5 credit cards and instead promoting more of the former Bank One's credit cards.
2. Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card has a worthy competitor in the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa.
3. Chase Ultimate Rewards and Travel Rewards cards are discontinued. Chase is now offering the Flexible Rewards card.
4. Two new Airline credit cards on offer - the Mexicana Airlines Visa from Bank of America and Jet Blue Card from American Express. We take a brief look at these.
As of 31st July 2005, Chase has discontinued the following five credit cards.
Two of the discontinued cash rebate credit cards, the Chase Cashbuilder and Chase Ultimate Cash Award Card (both tiered rebate cards) have been replaced by the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa (an "everyday purchase" cash rebate card similar to the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card). We will now explore how it stacks up against the Citi Dividend card.
The Chase Cash Plus like the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card gives cardholders 5% cash rebates on "everyday purchases" and 1% on other purchases. For both cards, you can get up to $300 in annual rebates. (You will not find this on Chase Website or terms and conditions - it took a phone call to the credit card application center for this information). Both also offer a 0% apr on balance transfers for 12 months. While both are almost identical, there are subtle differences that will affect consumers' choice of either cards.
Firstly, in addition to cash rebates, the Chase Cash Plus Rewards allow cardholders to exchange their cash rebates for gift certificates - giving cardholders extra flexibility in using their cash rebates.
Secondly, while you do not have to pay any balance transfer fees for the Citi Dividend Card for the introductory 0% apr offer, Chase requires you to pay a balance transfer fee even during the introductory offer.
Thirdly, the Citi Dividend balance transfer deal is more flexible in that the balance transfer starts from the date of transfer (not account opening) and you have 12 months to do the first balance transfer.
Lastly, the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa uses the two-cycle average daily balance method (including new purchase) to calculate the monthly balance. The Citi Dividend on the hand, use the more conventional average daily balance method (including new purchases).
For those who do not carry a balance, both these cards are essentially identical in their cash rebate formula. The Chase card gives you the option to exchange your cash rebates for gift certificates. If you want to transfer your balance or if you carry a balance, the Citi Dividend may be a better choice.
Either way, both are very good cards and those looking for a cash rebate credit card should get either one or even both of these cards.
Find out more about the Chase Cash Plus Rewards here :
One of the things consumers will miss about the Chase Travel Rewards Platinum Mastercard is that though it is only a travel reward card (no shopping benefits), this was perhaps the only reward program card (excluding airline credit cards) that only require 22,000 miles (points) for a roundtrip restricted economy domestic flight. Most require 25,000 points. It was also one of the few cards that allows you to get a companion ticket for 15,000 points. In addition, you can redeem either a $75, $100 or $150 travel discount certificates if your airline ticket cost less than $220 (you save points rather than using all 22,000 points). Furthermore, the Chase Travel Rewards card allowed cardholders to exchange points for Continental OnePass miles (at a 1 for 1 ratio). Because there was no annual fee, this was essentially a no-annual fee Continental Airlines card!.
The Chase Flexible Rewards Platinum Visa is actually a former Bank One card, which is now owned by Chase. It is a basic reward progam card that allows you to earn points for travel and merchandise items, gift cards and cash rebates (slightly less than 1%). Depending on your credit profile, you may get a 0% apr on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
Find out more about the Chase Flexible Rewards Card here:
Bank of America has introduced the Mexicana Airlines Visa Platinum Card. This card will please Mexicana Airlines frequent flyers and its features are much better than most other airline credit cards.
Firstly, the annual fee is only $45.00. Secondly, you can also earn double miles and also unlimited miles. Every year, you will get a comapanion ticket certificate worth $99.00. Mexicana Airline miles never expire. This is one of the best value airline cards out there. Most airline cards of the big carriers have an annual fee of between $75.00 and $85.00 if they allow you to earn double miles.
Find out more about the Mexicana Airlines Visa Platinum here :
The Jet Blue Card is the latest airline card from American Express. Like the Mexicana Airlines card, the annual fee is very reasonable at $40.00. You can earn double points and also unlimited points. The only thing one has to be aware of is that once you have earned a certain amount of points, it gets automatically transferred to your TrueBlue account. TrueBlue Miles are only valid for one year. Hence, you need to be a truly frequent flyer to make this card worthwhile.
Find out more about the Jet Blue Card here.
We will update you on the remaining new credit card offers that came out during last month in our next newsletter. Among the cards that we will touch on are the Bank of America Make-a-Wish visa, the Effectiva Visa, the Centra Gold and Platinum catalog cards.
Until the next time, enjoy what's left of the summer
|Back to Back Issues Page|