Tips, Tricks & Tactics: Why I Product Changed to a Discontinued Credit Card with No Initial Bonus

I just executed what is known as a product change, where you exchange one credit card for another from the same issuer. Specifically, I product changed from a Citi Double Cash Card to a Citi AT&T Access More Card, a discontinued card that I cannot receive an initial bonus from (which PREVIOUSLY was a $650 credit towards a new AT&T cell phone). Why? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Citi AT&T Access More (Master)Card. Image Credit: courtesy of Citi, mastercard and AT&T.

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Review: Citi Prestige Card (World Elite MasterCard)

The Citi Prestige Card is the heavy hitter in the Citi ThankYou Points card lineup. It was specifically designed to benefit frequent travelers that PAY for frequent medium length hotel stays. And you’ll see exactly how lucrative this card can be.

Citi Prestige Card (World Elite MasterCard)

Citi Prestige Card (World Elite MasterCard). Image Credit: courtesy of Citi.

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Review: Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express

Hilton is an interesting hotel chain for travel hackers because of the array of cards they have available: 2 from Amex and 2 from Citi, and because Hilton hands out points (and free nights) like candy. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this oversupply: Hilton HHonors points are amongst the most devalued loyalty programs out there; category 1 rooms can cost 5,000 points for a standard room (which, when available, is a bargain), but top category 10 rooms can cost 75,000 to 90,000 points, and based upon some arcane, unknowable formula, the cost can shoot up to 210,000 per night or more. Read to the end of the post so I can tell you the story about how I got the (elevated) 75,000 bonus on the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express not once, but twice.

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express 

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express. Image Credit: courtesy of Hilton and American Express.

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The Basics: an Introduction to the Major Credit Card Players

 

Credit cards have had a short but vital life in the US (and world) economic landscape. Not until 1958, with Bank of America’s Bankamericard, was a revolving credit financial system issued by a third-party bank finally established (to later become VISA in 1976). Things really took off from there. MasterCards’ early ancestor, Master Charge, popped up in 1966. Then Discover was introduced by Sears in 1986. And American Express introduced their first credit card in 1987 (after many years of being a charge card issuer where balances have to be paid in full every month). While I’m probably skipping over various important points in credit card history (which you’re not here for), here’s where the industry currently stands: Continue reading “The Basics: an Introduction to the Major Credit Card Players”