May I share some news that fellow points-and-miles enthusiasts will understand?
My four-year-old daughter goes back to pre-school in less than two months. She’s been home with my wife and me since mid-March 2020.
I’ll miss her random bursts into my office, screaming “HI, DADDY!” and jumping into my lap for a hug. Or her sitting in an office chair watching Wolfoo and Peppa Pig on television while I tend to the blog. (Those are the fun parts. Of course, any parent or child caretaker who’s spent lots of time at home knows there are plenty of other I’m-losing-my-damn-mind! moments.)
But here’s something for us to look forward to: the school now accepts American Express cards!
Let Me Explain
During our daughter’s first pre-school stint, the Montessori accepted only two credit card flavors: Visa and MasterCard. This was a great way to meet minimum spending requirements for a new Visa or MasterCard’s welcome bonus.
After that, we’d buy Visa or MasterCard debit cards at the grocery store and use our Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It awards 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to the first $6,000 spent each year. (Cash back is earned as Amex Reward Dollars which can be redeemed for a statement credit.) We then used those debit cards to pay tuition. So that saved us some money.
But school (like most things kid-related) is expensive. So between that and actual groceries, we blew through the $6,000 purchase cap pretty quickly.
Not long after that, though, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and we pulled her out of school.
My wife re-enrolled our daughter a few weeks ago. When she arrived home, Mrs. C threw open the door and said, “Guess what?! Her school accepts Amex now!”
So What’s the Big Deal?
This is a wonderful way to chip away at Mrs. Carley’s Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card‘s $25,000 MQD waiver. We try to limit Delta Reserve spending to traditionally non-bonused/1X categories. When we absolutely have to, then we use them elsewhere.
(But we’re pretty much done using our Delta Amexes until 2022. I’ll explain more in another post. So, we’ll probably use The Platinum Card® from American Express and earn some Membership Rewards points — and take advantage of the 35% rebate offered by The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.)
Now, I know people will pile on in the Comments section about why they think our strategy is a horrible idea. That’s fine. Each person and family is unique — and so are their respective budgets and travel goals. (As are their respective Chase 5/24 and Amex five-card limit statuses.) We’ll still probably go the Blue Cash Preferred-to-gift card route for at least some of her tuition. We could keep that practice going with the American Express® Gold Card (4X Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in annual purchases). But charging tuition is just such an easy way to kill some of our Delta Amex MQD Waiver.
It’s bittersweet that our daughter is going back to school. It’s been exhausting having her home while we try to work. That’s not her fault. She’s four. But she’s the source of so much happiness and joy in our lives. I’ll miss her daily afternoon performances of the Frozen saga’s soundtrack.
But we’re excited to have another credit card option at our daughter’s school. It only makes the earning potential and redemptions all the more exciting.
- To see rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- To see rates and fees for the American Express® Gold Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- To see rates and fees for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- To see rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this link. Terms apply.
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