The (Bank of America) Alaska Airlines VISA Signature Card has very recently shot up in value. It’s now one of THE cards to get for residents of Hawaii. The reason is because of the recent merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America in combination with the annual $121 companion fare ($99 + taxes and fees) when traveling with another passenger on a paid published coach airfare on the same itinerary, booked at the same time via the Alaska Airlines website. By contrast, the Hawaiian Airlines credit card gives just a $100 discount on a companion flight. Yes, you’ll be paying full freight on one fare, but the overall savings are substantial and the miles earned have a great deal of utility.
Club Carlson is the loyalty program for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, including the Country Inn and Radisson brands. While they have a moderate presence in the U.S., their real sweet spot is in Europe. T and I got these cards for a Euro trip we have yet to plan. One of these days, I guess. Meanwhile, the points will keep on accumulating (as we continue to pay for the annual fees).
Hyatt has some nice hotels. I mean, super nice. The chain has a fairly small footprint, with only 679 properties as of late 2016, but I’m fairly confidant you can find an aspirational hotel to stay at if you tried hard enough. And this credit card gets you two free nights at any Hyatt property in the world (we’re talking $500+ a night). Sound good? Read on.
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”