I need to replace my MacBook Pro (and soon). Because most Apple products are pretty expensive (at least, I think so), I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to get a new travel credit card and knock out its minimum spending requirement! (I wish I could wait until January and buy it with my Delta Reserve Amex; that’d help with the bonus MQM and MQD waiver! But this rig is on its last legs.)
But there was a hitch: my photo editing work has been non-existent since June. My clients are in the entertainment industry. Both the Writer’s Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes have been brutal to many show business people’s income. (It’s not just the writers and actors who aren’t working. Many of us don’t have a choice in the matter.)
So, I wanted a card with a 0% introductory APR for at least 12 months. Don’t get me wrong: I could easily buy the new laptop and pay it off immediately. But I’d rather be more conservative with my money — we don’t know how long the strikes will last.
And its welcome offer is pretty great: earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cashback. (My only gripe: it’s limited to 30,000 points/$300 cash back.) The card’s standard awards are 5% back (actually 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards®) on each eligible dollar spent on Chase travel purchases through Ultimate Rewards, 5% on Lyft rides through March 2025, 3% on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 3% at drugstores, and 1.5% on all other eligible purchases.
But the extra 1.5% cranks everything up to
6.5X for each eligible dollar spent on Chase travel purchases through Ultimate Rewards
6.5X on Lyft rides through March 2025
4.5X on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
4.5X at drugstores
3X on all other eligible purchases
4.5X on restaurants is pretty great.
Unless I could find a restaurant or drugstore that sells MacBook Pros, my new laptop purchase would fall under the 3X category. Plus, I could transfer those points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve®; that card allows cardholders to redeem points at a 50% bonus when applying them toward travel purchased through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel site. Those 3X points are then potentially worth 4.5X!
So, I applied.
And was promptly denied. My being added as an authorized user to Mrs. Carley’s new Capital One Venture X card probably pushed me over Chase’s 5/24 limit.
Another credit card issuer came to my rescue the next day — and I’ll detail that in an upcoming post.
But really wish I could’ve taken advantage of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®‘s welcome offer!
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