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otc

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I don't want to do anything major but I did make a tweak today.

I turned on the tax loss harvesting feature on my WiseBanyan account. My 401k and IRA contributions are done for the year, so I shouldn't have any wash sale issues as long as I remember to turn it off 30 days prior to my first paycheck of 2020.

Not sure if this dip is going to be enough to harvest much, but we'll see. Might defer some tax liability.
 

ter1413

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What's going on with GE?
 

patrickBOOTH

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Some hedge funders paid an accounting firm to cook up a story so their short sale and repurchase thereafter was extremely profitable.
 

otc

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Cancelled my old starwood amex since it has now turned into the marriot "bonvoy" card and I didn't want to pay another annual fee for that crap.

Instead sprung for the Amex Platinum. We'll see if I keep it for more than a year, but with the signup bonus and all of the other perks, I'm gonna come out way ahead on the $550 membership fee in the first year.

-Global Entry reimbursement (my precheck renewal is due soon) pays $100
-Uber credits pay $200 and I should have no problem dealing with the fact that they come in monthly chunks.
-$200 airline incidental credit is a little tricky since you have to pick an airline in advance. I usually fly United or Southwest...United spend goes through my united credit card which waives checked bags and southwest doesn't charge. Luckily I have an upcoming trip on AA where I know I need to check bags both ways so that's $60 + any food or drink I can now buy for "free". Can change the airline in January and reset the $200 amount.
-Lounge access is a joke in Chicago--only option is in the international terminal--but it will be usable for sure on my next trip. Generally I'd rather get to the airport on time rather than show up early and wait in a lounge, but might come in handy for delays or the rare layover.
-$100 (2x50) credit at Saks is...weird?...but I need some new socks.
-Hotel status is high enough to actually claim some real value. What is maddening is that it grants a higher status at Marriot/Starwood than branded starwood card did...

Have to hit 5k spend by mid-November for the signup bonus. Shouldn't be too hard, although I kind of wish I had applied a week or two earlier as I just bought a bunch of stuff and paid for a 4-person vacation rental. If it is looking close, I think I can drum up some car expenses...

We'll see if the other perks/service/concierge end up being worthwhile.
 

Piobaire

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I actually ended my Amex Plat a couple of years ago as the Chase Ritz card was superior. They apparently ended the Ritz program with the aforementioned merger but are keeping current holders grandfathered in. The only thing I miss about the Amex is their concierge service as it's second to none for things like hard to get restaurant reservations.
 

patrickBOOTH

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I got the platinum a couple years ago and have not regretted it. Uber and raiding the booze at lounges more than makes up the $550 cost.
 

jcman311

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Cancelled my old starwood amex since it has now turned into the marriot "bonvoy" card and I didn't want to pay another annual fee for that crap.

Instead sprung for the Amex Platinum. We'll see if I keep it for more than a year, but with the signup bonus and all of the other perks, I'm gonna come out way ahead on the $550 membership fee in the first year.

-Global Entry reimbursement (my precheck renewal is due soon) pays $100
-Uber credits pay $200 and I should have no problem dealing with the fact that they come in monthly chunks.
-$200 airline incidental credit is a little tricky since you have to pick an airline in advance. I usually fly United or Southwest...United spend goes through my united credit card which waives checked bags and southwest doesn't charge. Luckily I have an upcoming trip on AA where I know I need to check bags both ways so that's $60 + any food or drink I can now buy for "free". Can change the airline in January and reset the $200 amount.
-Lounge access is a joke in Chicago--only option is in the international terminal--but it will be usable for sure on my next trip. Generally I'd rather get to the airport on time rather than show up early and wait in a lounge, but might come in handy for delays or the rare layover.
-$100 (2x50) credit at Saks is...weird?...but I need some new socks.
-Hotel status is high enough to actually claim some real value. What is maddening is that it grants a higher status at Marriot/Starwood than branded starwood card did...

Have to hit 5k spend by mid-November for the signup bonus. Shouldn't be too hard, although I kind of wish I had applied a week or two earlier as I just bought a bunch of stuff and paid for a 4-person vacation rental. If it is looking close, I think I can drum up some car expenses...

We'll see if the other perks/service/concierge end up being worthwhile.
I opted for the Gold early last year to help with the new home furnishings and other big expenses that come. Made out pretty well with the points offsetting the fee. They keep spamming me to upgrade to platinum but I don't travel so there aren't a whole lot of perks for me.
Instead, we opened an Amazon visa which is real nice if you shop Amazon a lot. Our budget review found that we would have saved something like $500-$1k if we would have had it a year ago. Plus it saves at Whole Foods too.
 

otc

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Will be interesting to see how it compares.

Visa signature's has worked for me and the amex plat is supposed to be better. Not something I use often, but they got me in at Alice Waters' place when I had a spare day in SF a little while back. Even if it is useful one time a year or less, it is real nice to have.
 

Piobaire

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We have done much more flying the last couple of years and the Ritz card got us in more lounges than the Amex did. Then again, if you get a first class ticket, that gets you in the lounge of the airline...just not every airport will have that particular airline's lounge which is where a good card helps.

Where we really make out on the yearly is hotel pricing. For instance, when we stayed at the Ritz in Cancun, I got a 5.4k discount on a one bedroom suite on the club floor. This card also gives you three upgrades per year from a regular room to an equivalent club floor room and five free nights in a standard room, standard floor at RCs. If it's a non-club floor room you automatically get upgraded to the best available room from the standard.
 

otc

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I opted for the Gold early last year to help with the new home furnishings and other big expenses that come. Made out pretty well with the points offsetting the fee. They keep spamming me to upgrade to platinum but I don't travel so there aren't a whole lot of perks for me.
Instead, we opened an Amazon visa which is real nice if you shop Amazon a lot. Our budget review found that we would have saved something like $500-$1k if we would have had it a year ago. Plus it saves at Whole Foods too.
Yeah, Amazon wouldn't have been real good for me although I kind of like rewards more than cash back... A couple percent here and there just gets lost in the mix. More fun to get a treat of a nice hotel or the ability to make a miles booking when a flight is distastefully expensive... Even if the total value is about the same.

We'll see if I actually do enough travel for this to matter. I travel a decent amount, but not for work, and now that I have a car, I will probably be driving home for the holidays which cuts out a few round trips.
 

otc

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I'm too poor to stay at the Ritz.

I never even paid for any Starwood properties. I think my only stays were points.
 

patrickBOOTH

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The platnium also gets you the priority pass card, which gives access to more lounges.
 

otc

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The platnium also gets you the priority pass card, which gives access to more lounges.
Chicago gets screwed. Only priority pass lounge is in the international terminal, and half of the time, international flights don't even use the international terminal for departures. Those lounges have got to be the worst two in the airport and they supposedly reject priority pass guests when they are busy.

The only domestic option with Amex is Delta, but they require you to have a Delta boarding pass and nobody flies Delta at ORD. United killed their agreement with priority pass a while back and there are no third-party lounges.
 

jbarwick

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We do Citi Double Cash for 2% on everything. Amazon card for only Amazon purchases. We have an Amex plat as an authorized user on my inlaws account so we don't pay the fee and get free global entry.

When we travel we end up using AirBnb for those few times we do. When we see my parents, there is a Home2 by Hilton which is decent for the price and we hardly hang out at the hotel anyway.
 

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