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Because my family already maxes out the $6k limit, I'd make $17.40 per $1k in gift cards I scam. That means I'd have to buy 115 gift cards to make $1000... a 1.7% ROI for quite a few trips to HEB/Walmart. Hell, I'd have a higher chance of getting robbed walking into Walmart and losing the giftcards in those weekly trips. I'll stick to eating leftovers.

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try giving them your real name instead of your BODN moniker...might help them locate your account.

Some of the best advice I ever heard Dave Ramsey give: "I've never talked to any millionaires that got rich by racking up reward points using a credit card."

Here's what I do, I find a card with a great deal (like $400 or $500 for spending $3,000 in 3 months) and I use that card exclusively until I reach the target dollar amount. Once I reach the target do

Since learning about the American Express SCRA benefits I've signed up for several cards. It's also worth noting that Capital One offers waived fees and a max APR of 4% as well. USAA will cap your APRs at 4% for one year every time you pcs or deploy. Here are the cards I have and what I use them for:

Amex Platinum- I use this card once a year for the $200 airline credit. It also got me free gold status with starwood which is my preferred hotel chain since they are pet friendly. I haven't had the occasion to take advantage of the lounge access yet, but intend to in the future.

Amex blue preferred-my card for gas and groceries. 3 and 6% back respectively.

Starwood preferred guest amex- my card for everything else. Earns 1 starpoint per dollar, which I typically try to use on Starwood tier 2 or 3 hotels to maximize the relative value of the points.

Capital One Venture- my card for places that don't take Amex. 2 points per dollar spent, redeemable for travel

Delta platinum Amex- free companion pass every year. Free checked bag for the wife. I mostly got the card for the sign up bonus.

I previously had a gold delta Amex business card and Amex gold, which yielded good sign up bonuses, but have cancelled them due to redundancy.

In all in sign up bonuses I've gotten 75k Amex rewards points, 100k delta sky miles, 40k capital one venture points, 30k Starwood points and $150 statement credit. Also I've gotten $600 in united gift cards for free from the platinum. If you're responsible, you can get a lot by signing up for these cards.

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  • 4 weeks later...

What do most folks do when they're stationed OCONUS? Just get a US visa card tied to a US bank account that has no foreign transaction fees? Or do you get a card in the local currency and a local bank account? I've heard that can do bad things for your security clearance though?

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In the UK I got a Barclays account because most utilities require direct debit and you must have a pound account. Foreign financial interests must be reported on your security clearance investigation but a five minute explanation during my interview was all it took and the investigator moved on as if it was no big deal.

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I second the security clearance info above. It took a short explanation about why I had an account at a foreign bank. Had an account in Germany...better exchange rate than on base and used it to pay all my local bills like rent and utilities.

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FYSA, Barclaycard reduces your APR to 0% under the SCRA (debt does not have to be prior to entering service). The Arrival+ card effectively gives 2.2% back that can be redeemed for travel and is definitely worth a look. I'm told Citi does 0% as well, but can't personally confirm that yet.

Edit: Citi responded to my SCRA request stating that only accounts opened prior to military service are eligible for relief.

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Edited by Guest
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FYSA, Barclaycard reduces your APR to 0% under the SCRA (debt does not have to be prior to entering service). The Arrival+ card effectively gives 2.2% back that can be redeemed for travel and is definitely worth a look. I'm told Citi does 0% as well, but can't personally confirm that yet.

Edit: Citi responded to my SCRA request stating that only accounts opened prior to military service are eligible for relief.

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2

Barclaycard will reduce APR to 0% for length of service, remove annual fee ($90ish), and waive any other kind of fee (cash advance, foreign transaction, etc)

That coupled with the 2x miles and 40,000 bonus miles for spending $3000 in the first 90 days is why the Arrival+ is my new favorite card.

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So if I go buy the wife a new Apple computer through barclaycard I can effectively get a 0% interest rate till I pay it off?

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Check out Citi's new AT&T Access More card that just came out this week. $95/yr fee, but may be waived with a phone call.

Card gives you 3x points for purchases made online (including Amazon) & 3x points on AT&T service/purchases.

Their sign up bonus is pretty sweet too: spend $2000 the first 3 months, and they will give you a $650 credit for a new phone with AT&T. Pretty good deal if you are looking to buy a new phone. The $650 you spend on the phone counts for the $2000, so you only need to put $1350 on the card to get a free $650 phone with AT&T (that is if they waive the annual fee).

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/detail.do?ID=citi-att-access-more-credit-card&category=view-all-credit-cards&afc=14Z

Anyone actually have luck with Citi waiving the fee for AD Mil?

Edited by Techsan
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Isn't there some kind of "soldiers and sailors relief act" or some such thing that says credit card companies can't charge active duty personnel annual fees? I thought it was too good to be true but I remember AMEX refunded me 18 years worth of annual dues (somewhere around $750?) when I applied for it. My jaw hit the floor when I saw the refund on my statement but it was real.

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The SCRA does not force companies to waive annual fees, just many do out of their own prerogative. The biggest thing it forces is low interest rates for those who incurred debt prior to entering military service.

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I recently used my free ($100 fee for five year membership reimbursed) Global Entry to inprocess US Immigration. It took about two minutes to get through the line. Another plus for the AMEX platinum.

Yup. Same here. They even did my interview at the Frankfurt Airport on my way. Haven't had any luck with the Priority Pass Select into the airline lounges. I'm a United kinda guy so I never fly Delta. Anyone have luck with that?

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You need to download the priority pass app. Then you can easily view all available lounges while traveling. Domestic options are somewhat limited (ATL and LAX have good PP eligible lounges), so I usually head for the USO. OCONUS airports typically have at least 2-3 lounges that take priority pass and are really nice.

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FYSA, Barclaycard reduces your APR to 0% under the SCRA (debt does not have to be prior to entering service). The Arrival+ card effectively gives 2.2% back that can be redeemed for travel and is definitely worth a look. I'm told Citi does 0% as well, but can't personally confirm that yet.

Edit: Citi responded to my SCRA request stating that only accounts opened prior to military service are eligible for relief.

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What card do you have and how did you get them to waive?

I have the USAirways card (Now changing to AA Arrivals or some BS) and sent them a message last year asking about SCRA and this is what I got back:

"Dear The G-Man:

Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard. We can certainly address your inquiry regarding the benefits on your account.

Service Members who are called to active duty may be eligible for the following benefits:

• 6% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) while on active duty only. The rate will cover any balances you have at the time you went into active duty; however, subsequent debt will not be covered and will reflect the nominal rate.

• Exempt from administrative fees, such as late fees, etc.

A letter will be sent 45 days prior to your APR changing back to the previous APR before going on active duty.

If you have any other questions and concerns, please reply to this message.

Sincerely,

Customer Care"

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Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways Dividend Miles World MasterCard. We would also like to take the time to say thank you for serving our country. We can certainly address your inquiry regarding the SCRA benefits.

Servicemembers who are called to active duty may be eligible for the following from Barclays:

- An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 0% will apply to the existing balance incurred prior to military active duty deployment and to new transactions made on the account while the servicemember is on active duty.

- All fees including late fees, annual fees, NSF fees, foreign country fees, and Balance Transfer Fees, will be waived while the servicemember is on active duty.

- No collection efforts will be imposed on the account during active duty.

- Upon return from active duty, a notification letter will be sent 45 days in advance of removing SCRA protection regarding fees.

To apply, we ask that the request be made through our Customer Care Department. Please contact us at 1-866-419-0881. Our agents are available Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET and Sunday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to provide you with our most individualized service. We apologize we are unable to assist you through the secure message center regarding this concern. This is to ensure that you are connected to an Account Specialist that will be able to fully assist you. We hope you find this information helpful.

If you have any other questions and concerns, please reply to this message.

Sincerely,

Customer Care

And:

Thank you for contacting us regarding your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. We would also like to take the time to say thank you for serving our country. We can certainly address your inquiry regarding the SCRA benefits.

Service members who are called to active duty may be eligible for the following from Barclays:

- An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 0% will apply to the existing balance incurred prior to military active duty deployment and to new transactions made on the account while the service member is on active duty.

- All fees including late fees, annual fees, NSF fees, foreign country fees, and Balance Transfer Fees, will be waived while the service member is on active duty.

- No collection efforts will be imposed on the account during active duty.

- Upon return from active duty, a notification letter will be sent 45 days in advance of removing SCRA protection regarding fees.

To apply, we ask that the request be made through our Customer Care Department. Please contact us at 1-866-558-1107. Our agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide you with our most individualized service. We apologize we are unable to assist you through the secure message center regarding this matter. This is to ensure that you are connected to an Account Specialist that will be able to assist you fully. We hope you find this information helpful.

If you have any other questions and concerns, please reply to this message.

Sincerely,

Customer Care

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Sounds like I have a call to make.

EDIT:

Made the call, and after a conversation they are going to waive all fees and put the interest to 0% and refund all fees and interest paid. Snail mailed them a copy of my EAD orders so we will see how long that takes. Email would have been much better...

Edited by the g-man
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I've heard from several others, myself included, that you don't need to actually send Barclay your orders. They tell you to in the phone call, but then immediately apply the change regardless of seeing them.

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