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  1. The CSR get a $300 travel credit (which is easy to use) so that helped to offset the original $450 annual fee to $150. Now with the increased annual fee the offset brings the annual cost down to $250 and I don't know if its still worth it. I'll have to do some math later to see if its worth keeping or downgrading to the CSP.
  2. Unfortunately selling the house isn't an option for family reasons. I could move but don't think the savings would be enough of an offset to make it worthwhile.
  3. I am trying to wrap my arms around some debt and I am wondering if I have a chance of getting approved for a refinance with cash out? Or alternately would it be easier to get a home equity loan? I would like to help consolidate this and make it more manageable. Mortgage: $422,520 Principal (maybe 2 years old) 401k Loan: $40,100 Credit Cards: $92,550 (at approx. 18% interest) Other: $27,500 at 0% interest and $500 month payments. Total debt, excluding mortgage is $160,143 Income is approx. 155k which includes renting out the upstairs apartment. House is approx. 860k in value. My 401k value is around 320k and I can take out $87,000 before penalties and taxes. I have $7,900 in stock bought in July 2017 for $3,171. Thank you
  4. Hi folks I have about 300k Chase UR points. I’m looking into flights from New York (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS). Trying to maximize value for redemption! If I book a flight through the Chase UR site, the redemption value is 1.5 centers per point however the flights seem to be about $60 higher plus baggage fees. Would I be better off transferring the points to an airline for direct use? What has your experience been? I will be returning to JFK from Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH).
  5. Any hoops to jump through for proving you have a business account?
  6. I usually try to stay at AirBnB's when possible as they are often the most affordable option -- in some cases, I end up staying in really awesome locations for a 1/4 of the price of a modest hotel in the area. As for payment, it all goes on my CSR. I have an Amex SPG card which I am thinking of converting or cancelling. I like Starwood/Marriot but I just don't see the value in it for me anymore.
  7. Are you using it to eat out? That would be a good area to look at.
  8. The price increase seems steeped in comparison to the benefits.
  9. One other issues -- AMEX classifies specialty shops (i.e. liquor stores, cheese stores, etc) as Grocery however they only give you one point per dollar. Very disappointed by that actually.
  10. I have found a lot of exclusions to the "grocery store" category. Best think you can do is make a purchase then check the rewards statement -- not the itemized list that details the charge as grocery. When I asked Amex, they specifically exclude specialty stores (i.e. wine stores, cheese shops) and are looking more for your typical WholeFoods type of place that sell multiple items.
  11. I flew from Amsterdam to NYC on first class. I paid a lot for that ticket but it was only seat left and I had to be home.
  12. Are the rewards even worth it after the initial bonus?
  13. When I would watch late night TV and see those commercials for the payday loans, I thought it would be cheaper to go to your local mobster as they would charge you less interest and maybe even give you more favorable payment terms.... of course they know they can collect. Anyway - I think California is nuts. If they want to change the law, then change the law. Stop doing it from the bench.

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