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Credit Card Wishlist for Chase & Amex | 12 Things I’d Like to See Changed or Improved!


When I think about the flexible points programs
from Chase and American Express, I’m generally excited and optimistic about it. I know partnerships change all the time and
point programs get devalued. However, these two programs have proved to
be extremely valuable for a lot of travelers in the points and miles hobby. Though, there’s always room to improve. Hey everyone, how’s it going? It’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, I want to review some wishlist
items that I would love to see implemented by both Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and American
Express Membership Rewards program. I’m hoping today’s video doesn’t come
across as a rant. Instead, I just wanted to share some thoughts
on ways that I think both Chase and American Express can improve their respective flexible
points programs. If you want to see how I rate the two programs,
check out our previous video on the topic. In fact, I would consider this video as almost
a part two or retrospective video on both programs, which hopefully helps if you’re
trying to figure out which one might best serve your needs. My goal is to dig in a bit deeper on some
of the issues that I mention in that previous video. Before we jump in, if you’re new here, welcome
to our channel. Trip Astute is a travel channel that is focused
on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and expensive,
so we’re looking for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points
and miles, and innovative gear. If that sounds interesting to you, please
consider subscribing. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll cover six
improvements that I want to see from Chase, and then another six that I want to see from
American Express. So, let’s start with Chase. 1. Bonus category for groceries and fuel: This
is one area that I wish Chase would address in their cards. Chase doesn’t have any Ultimate Rewards
earning cards that earn a bonus for groceries other than the Chase Freedom, which has a
5% rotating bonus categories every quarter. Since this can be a huge expense category
for a lot of folks, I think Chase is missing a big opportunity. For example, I probably would not have applied
for the American Express Gold Card last year if Chase had an equivalent card for grocery
spending, and I suspect a lot of you are in the same boat. In fact, I’m still on the fence on whether
I’ll keep my Gold card. Right now, I’m leaning toward canceling
it and reinstating my old grocery and fuel card, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I’m also mentioning fuel since Chase doesn’t
have a personal Ultimate Rewards earning card that has a fuel bonus, unless you count the
Freedom’s rotating bonus category. They do have 2X bonus on the Ink Business
Cash card, but I know a lot of folks may not qualify or be interested in getting a business
credit card. 2. Apple Pay for Ink Business credit cards: This
is one that completely baffles me. I don’t know why Chase seems reluctant to
enable Apple Pay on their Ink Business cards. I actually posted this question on Quora a
few months ago to see if anyone had an answer, and someone mentioned that they thought it
might be because business accounts tend to be multi-user. Though American Express seems willing to do
it, so I can’t imagine why couldn’t be done for Chase as well. I’ve had a few occasions where I forgot
my Ink Business Cash card at home and wanted to make an office supply store purchase. If it was available on Apple Pay, I could
have easily used the card. Instead, I missed out on the bonus. 3. A premium “Ink Business Reserve” card:
I did an April’s Fools post on a new Ink Business Reserve card with all sorts of crazy
benefits, and I know I was able to trick a few folks. But I do think that Chase is missing an opportunity
to capture a specific segment … particularly business travelers and road warriors. I would love to see a premium business card
from Chase that could compete against the American Express Business Platinum card. Perhaps with more lounge options, CLEAR program
reimbursement, wifi, and other business-related benefits. I’m hoping one is in the works. Though since Chase did report an initial loss
due to the Sapphire Reserve, I’m wondering if they are hesitant to release a card with
so many benefits. I guess we’ll have to see! 4. More flat-rate cash back offers: I’ve mentioned
in a few videos how I much I love the way that American Express does their offers. We’ve used them many times, and I’ve been
surprised by how much we’ve saved on purchases by earning cash back or points. Combine it with a shopping portal, and you’re
often able to double dip in rewards. While I appreciate that Chase has entered
the offers game, I’m not crazy about the way they structure them. Most of the offers are for a percentage back. The majority of American Express offers tend
to a flat-rate cash back deal, which I find to be a lot more enticing. If I could advise Chase, I would say focus
on these types of offers as I think they are a lot more compelling. 5. Additional lounge options: I know that the
Priority Pass lounges that are offered through the Sapphire Reserve are a bit hit or miss,
depending on the location. With all the reports of lounges getting overcrowded,
it would be valuable to have more options. And obviously, Chase can’t compete with
American Express’ Centurion lounges, which is a compelling reason to get the American
Express Platinum card if you often travel through airports that have them. However, Chase does have airline relationships,
and I’d love to see them integrate lounges from United, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways,
and Air France. Or even adding other private lounge networks
to their list of lounges would be great. 6. Less restrictive rules: It does seem like
Chase has the most restrictive unofficial application rules of all the issuers. Between 5/24, 2/30, and the four-year bonus
restriction for Sapphire cards, it’s really complicated and intimidating for those of
you who are new to credit card rewards. I know that lending and underwriting is a
complicated business and they need to manage their risk profile, but I wish they wouldn’t
make it so difficult to get their cards Ok, so maybe I am being too critical. However, I just think that Chase could really
increase the value proposition by making some of these changes. To be honest, the Chase Sapphire Reserve does
feel a bit dated nowadays, especially next to the American Express Platinum and Citi
Prestige which seem to get their benefits refreshed more often. I honestly think that Chase could really boost
their top premium cards by adding some extra valuable benefits. So what about American Express? Yeah, I have a whole list for things that
I would like to see on their cards too. Let’s review the list. 1. No fees to transfer Membership Rewards points:
American Express charges a percentage when transferring points to domestic carriers. I feel like this prevents a lot of people
from even trying it. Sure, you can calculate how much it’s worth,
and in some cases, it’s probably worth the cost. However, I just don’t like the principle
around it. It’s like being charged a convenience fee
when you know it’s something straightforward and relatively simple (like buying an event
ticket from Ticketmaster), or even worse a resort fee at a hotel. It just seems like an excessive fee and extra
hurdle. 2. More high-value redemption options: One of
the big selling points to me about Chase is the fact that you can use the travel portal
to book independent hotels, tours, and experiences using your Chase points at either 1.25 or
1.5 cents, depending on the Sapphire or Ink card that you have. The American Express’ travel portal offers
hotel bookings at around 0.7 cents per point, which is very low. I think if they increased the rate to 1.25
cents per point, they would see a lot more usage of their portal. Also, American Express could more valuable
redemption options. For most people, you’re restricted to point
transfers to airlines in order to maximize your per point value. I’d love to see American Express offer more
lucrative hotel transfers and additional redemption options like experiences and tours. Speaking from my personal experience, I really
struggle with finding ways to redeem Membership Rewards points for most trips. So far, it’s primarily long-distance business
and first class flights where I am able to get decent value from the points. 3. Travel bonus category on their Gold and Platinum
card: American Express is the original travel credit card company. Though ironically, they don’t offer a general
bonus category for travel on their two biggest cards. The Platinum card does earn a bonus for purchased
flights, but when you consider how much qualifies as a travel expense with Chase, it feels like
a lost opportunity. And since American Express is trying to convey
a brand image of luxury and travel, I think they should cater to customers who are spending
money on travel. Also, a common travel scenario is eating at
a restaurant that might be part of a hotel or resort. In those cases, you’re often not sure how
the charge will encode on the card. It might show as dining out or hotel. Having a travel bonus category along with
dining out eliminates that hassle. 4. Less restrictive credits and bonus categories:
This is probably my biggest pet peeve with American Express. While Chase makes it very easy to redeem the
travel credit on the Sapphire Reserve, American Express seems to make it a lot more difficult
to redeem their credits. That’s not to say that I don’t use them
or value them, but I just wish they weren’t so difficult to use. The dining credit can’t be used at once
and the airline incidental credits can only be used for specific charges. While people will use workarounds to redeem
them, like buying airline gift cards for the airline incidental credit, I think it would
be a welcome change to have more options when redeeming the credit. Also, I dislike that the Gold card bonus categories
only apply to US restaurants and grocery stores. Again, for a company that has such a strong
heritage in travel rewards, it seems like the policy is not aligned with the brand image. 5. No annual fee charge card option: If you want
to downgrade an American Express charge card, you’re limited in your choices. In fact, most people are stuck downgrading
to the Green card, which has an annual fee, or canceling the card, which can negatively
affect your credit. I think American Express needs to have a no-annual-fee
charge card option so you can downgrade easily and not lose your points or take a hit on
your credit score. Maybe a Bronze card? I know there are rumors that the Green card
is going to be revamped soon, so I’m hoping we’ll see a charge card from them that doesn’t
have an annual fee. 6. Ability to earn welcome offers again: While
Chase still has the most restrictive rules, American Express does have one rule that most
points and miles collectors hate. It’s their one welcome offer per lifetime
of a card rule. This rule means that you can only earn the
welcome offer once for any card. That means that if you were to get the American
Expres Gold card and earn the welcome offer, you would no longer be able to earn it again
if you canceled the card and reapplied in the future. Now there are some exceptions, like when a
card dramatically changes or rebrands. However, for the most part, you can only earn
a welcome offer once for a specific American Express card. What are your wishlist items for Chase and
American Express? Am I missing anything in my list. Let me know if the comment section below. If you’re interested in applying for a new
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