The Type of Credit Card Revolution Brim Financial Wants Us to Join

Brim World Elite MasterCard

I just received my Brim World Elite MasterCard after a long wait and a lot of anticipation. I applied for this card 5 months ago in February and so much has happened in between.

Some people thought Brim was a scam collecting applicants’ information, some thought they would never be able to issue any credit cards, some were even asked by Brim to provide identity verification by a doctor or a lawyer – which I have never heard before.

And then we heard Brim was blocking some of the applicants on social media for asking about the status of their applications. It is hard to believe that a credit card company would block people asking legitimate questions.

A few other things raised questions about what type of revolution Brim wants us to join. Some of them are:

- Increasing annual fee from $120 to $199 for the World Elite even before issuing credit cards.

- Unlimited & Uncapped rewards have a cap at $25,000, after which earn rates get lower.

- Using its own foreign exchange rate for foreign transactions, instead of MasterCard’s published exchange rate.

- 0% interest install plan seems to exceed usual credit card 20% interest rate when you factor in Brim’s 7% admin fee + $4.75 monthly fee per $1000 of installment financing.

After looking at all these factors, I am going to have to say: thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want to join Brim’s twisted credit card revolution. I am not going to pay a $199 annual fee for my card beyond its 1st year.

I would rather pay an annual fee for cards that offer me value year after year, such as free lounge passes, free hotel night, or anything else offsetting the annual fee.

I have a full Brim Credit Card Unboxing and Review on my YouTube channel and I hope write a review on Ahmed Dawn Dot Com as well in the future.

Companion Flies to Hawaii only for $121 |Cheap Flight to Hawaii

Alaska Airlines MBNA World Elite MasterCard Annual Fee Goes Up

Alaska Airlines recently increased its World Elite MasterCard and Platinum Plus MasterCard annual fees to $75 and $99. However, these cards still provide a lot more value than their annual fees.

These cards come with a bonus 20,000 and 30,000 Mileage Plan miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months. 30,000 miles are good enough to fly one-way business class (for example, Vancouver to New York) short distance or one-way economy class long distance (for example, Toronto to Iceland) on Alaska Airlines partner members.

And then Alaska Airlines MBNA World Elite and Platinum Plus MasterCard let your companion fly for $121 US only when you pay full fare for yourself.

You can fly anywhere Alaska Airlines flies and one popular destination is Hawaii, which could cost around $1000 to $1200 for your companion. The only drawback is that companion fare can be used only on Alaska Airlines and they serve only Western Canadian cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Fly Companion to Hawaii for $121 | Alaska Airlines

Companion fare can easily pay off the cost of the annual fees for these cards: $75 and $99 for Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus & World Elite Mastercard every year.

In the first year, you will have to meet the minimum $1000 spent requirement within the first three months and then the companion fare will be awarded to the primary account holder’s Mileage Plan account after two billing cycles.

Starting the 2nd year, companion fare will be awarded after the anniversary date + within 2 billing cycles.

The anniversary date is not the date when you opened your account, but when you opened the account + an additional 6 to 8 weeks.

As you can see, these two Alaska Airlines cards still provide value if you use them tactically.

Why You Should Avoid American Express Use Points for Purchases

How Amex Wants You to Lose Big Time

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Published Date : September 27, 2016

American Express Canada recently launched a new option, letting card members fall for instant gratification by letting them redeem daily purchases for small amounts. According to Amex, this option will provide ultimate flexibility and make daily life seamless. However, what Amex is not saying is that clients lose big time when they redeem points for daily purchases instead of converting to miles.

American Express points provide the best bang for your buck when you transfer them to airline miles, such as with Aeroplan or Avios. The transfer rate is 1:1, meaning you will receive 1 airline mile for each point. Now, if you are knowledgeable about airline rewards programs you should be easily able to extract 5 to 6 percent return per dollar flying business or first class. Sometimes the return can be astronomically high like 30 percent flying business or first class on airline miles. If you fly economy class using miles, your extraction rate will be a poor 1 to 2 percent.

So what’s the rate you are getting from American Express if you redeem points for purchases? Not even 1 percent. On the Amex Gold Card, the redemption rate is $7 for redeeming 1000 points. What this means is you get $0.007 per point, which is even less than 1 cent per point, making it a 0.7 percent return – not even 1 percent return. If you use Amex TripFlex option to redeem points for travel, you will get a 1 percent return or 1000 points for $10.

The best value Amex rewards points generate is when you redeem them to convert into miles. Of course you need to know how airline miles work and if you don’t want to follow that path, you should not have this card in the first place. There are other credit cards that offer higher return for redeeming points for groceries and other purchases. There is no point in having American Express credit cards, paying hefty annual fees and redeeming points at such a horribly low rate. Also don’t forget that although American Express is charging a hefty $150 on its popular card Amex Gold Rewards, it’s not providing many common benefits that another premium card would provide for a $120 annual fee such as Trip Cancellation Insurance, Concierge Service, etc.

MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard Devalues

Brutal Devaluation Coming to MBNA Rewards WE

A popular MBNA cash back credit card is going through a two-fold massive devaluation. Not only is the annual fee is increasing, but also its point redemption rates are being axed by TD.

Starting September 6, 2018, MBNA Rewards WE’s annual fee will be $120, up from $89. If that’s not bad enough, MBNA is decreasing the rewards rate of return on this card from a flat 2 percent to 1.67 percent starting February 1, 2019.

Currently each 100 points generates $1 cash back, giving the card a 2 percent flat return on all purchases because it earns 2 points per dollar spent. After the devaluation to generate $1 you would require 120 points.

However, for travel redemptions only, the devaluation does not kick in because you will still get 2 percent return or $1 for in that category.

Most MBNA Rewards cardholders use this card for the cash back feature, so after devaluation MBNA will lose a lot of its clients. MBNA is aware of that because it’s lowering its minimum points requirement to redeem points from 5,000 to 1,000 from September 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019.

Even if you use this card solely for travel redemptions, you should take a hard look after the devaluation because of the annual fee increase and this card has minimal insurances.

There are other cash back credit cards available that can replace MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard and even provides better benefits. I have discussed these cards and the MBNA devaluation in this video: Brutal Devaluation | MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard |

Since TD took over MBNA, they keep slashing rewards and benefits for most of that MBNA cards one by one, even including TD’s own travel rewards cards.

Because there are better options available, always look for something better to get the most out of your credit cards.

 

8 Free Lounge Passes from BMO World Elite MasterCard

8 Free Lounge Passes This Year

The BMO World Elite MasterCard is changing their lounge access program from Priority Pass to LoungeKey. I wrote about this here a few days ago: BMO  World Elite Switching Lounge Program. Today, I will provide you with further details on how you have 8 free lounge passes this year.

The lounge program change takes place on August 8, 2018. Until then, you will have 4 free passes from Priority Pass, which are given each year. Once the switch takes place, meaning after August 4, 2018, BMO will throw in another 4 free lounge passes for the rest of the months until December 31, 2018.

What it means that you will get these 4 extra free lounge passes from LoungeKey in addition to the free lounge passes you had from Priority Pass from Jan 1 to Aug 8. It is recommended you finish using up Priority Pass passes before August 8 because the Priority Pass program (through BMO WE MasterCard) will no longer be valid after Aug 8.

And then finish using up the other 4 LoungeKey passes by December 31. Because the LoungeKey program will reset on Jan 1 with 4 new free passes and each subsequent year, there will be 4 free passes from LoungeKey.

If you are doing a lot of traveling this year, these 8 passes will come in handy. For myself, most of these passes will be wasted because my trip to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore starts in late November and I will get free lounge access from my business class tickets.

BMO definitely deserves credit for giving 4 extra passes, as they had the option to not provide any free LoungeKey passes for the rest of 2018.

Watch my video on this here:  BMO World Elite MasterCard Gives 8 Free Lounge Passes This Year  and subscribe to my YouTube channel, as I bring you travel and credit card videos to enhance your travel experiences.