fbpx

2021 year-end Credit Card Checklist

Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings and MileValue may receive a commission from card issuers. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer available. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. You can view our current offers here.

The countdown to 2022 is on which is a big deal in the points and miles hobby. Many of the Top Credit Cards include a variety of credits, spending offers, and promotions. Typically, many of these reset at the end of each calendar year which means we are running out of time. As they say, use it or lose it. Use our 2021 year-end Credit Card checklist to ensure you don’t miss out!

In this Basic Breakdown

  • Quarterly Spending Categories (Oct-Dec)
  • Calendar Year Resets
  • Calendar Year Credits
  • Bonus – Southwest Companion Pass Strategy
  • Basic Breakdown
$200
Bonus
after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

$0 Annual Fee

$200
Bonus
after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

$0 Annual Fee

Quarterly Spending Categories (Oct-Dec)

Chase Freedom & Freedom Flex – 5% up to $1,500 spent at Walmart or through PayPal

Discover It Cashback – 5% up to $1,500 spent at Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and Target.com

US Bank Cash+ – 5% up to $2,000 spent on your chosen categories.

Citi Dividend – 5% on purchases at Best Buy and Restaurants. This is capped at $300 total earned throughout the whole calendar year.

Calendar Year Resets

American Express® Gold Card – 4X Membership Rewards Points earned on Groceries on first $25,000 spent

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – 6% Cashback up to $6,000 spent on Groceries

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card – Earn a free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 each calendar year.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Earn a free weekend night certificate after spending $60,000 each calendar year. All information about Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by basictravelcouple.com

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card– Earn a free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 and a second night after spending $60,000 per calendar year.

165,000
Hilton Honors Bonus Points
once you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Offer ends 4/5/2023

$95 Annual Fee. (Rates & Fees).

165,000
Hilton Honors Bonus Points
once you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Offer ends 4/5/2023

$95 Annual Fee. (Rates & Fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card– Earn 15,000 MQM’s and 15,000 SkyMiles after spending $30,000 annually. Earn an additional 15,000 of each after spending an additional $30,000 ($60,000 total).

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card – Earn 10,000 MQM’s and 10,000 SkyMiles after spending $25,000. Earn an additional 10,000 of each after spending an additional $25,000 ($50,000 total).

JetBlue Barclay Card – Earn Mosaic Elite Status after spending $50,000.

Calendar Year Credits

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • $200 Airline Incidental Fee
  • $200 Hotel Credit (Booked through Fine Hotel & Resorts or The Hotel Collection)
  • Uber/UberEats Monthly Credits – $35 in December. $15 all other months.
  • Saks Credits – $50 twice per year. January through June and July through December.
  • $20 Monthly Credit for Digital Entertainment (Peacock, Sirius Radio, NY Times, Audible)
  • $25 Monthly Credit for Equinox Membership
  • $12.95 Monthly Credit for Walmart+ Membership

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

  • $200 Airline Incidental Fee
  • Dell Credits – $200 twice per year. January through June and July through December.
  • $10 Monthly Credit for Cell Phone Service
  • $90 Credit towards Indeed per quarter ($360 Annually)
  • $150 Adobe Credit

American Express® Gold Card

  • $10 Uber/Uber Eats Credit Per Month ($120 Annually)
  • $10 Dining Credit per Month ($120 Annyally)
    • Good at Grubhub, Seamless, Cheesecake Factory, Ruth Chris’s, Boxed, and Shakeshack.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • $250 Airline Incidental Fee
  • $250 Resort Credit

American Express® Green Card

  • $100 Clear Credit
  • $100 Loungebuddy Credit

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

  • $60 Doordash Credit

Chase Ritz-Carlton

  • $300 Airline Incidental Fee

Citi Prestige

  • $250 Travel Credit

Citi Rewards +

  • 10% Rebate on up to 100,000 points redeemed per calendar year.

Bank of America Premium Rewards

  • $100 Airline Incidental Fee

Barclays JetBlue Plus

  • $100 Credit towards JetBlue Vacations

Bonus Round 1 – Southwest Companion Pass

The end of the calendar year is typically the best time to open a new Southwest Co-branded credit card with the intention of earning the points required early on during the following year. There are two factors at play here. First, the Southwest Companion Pass is valid for the rest of the year in which it is earned and the following year. Second, all points must be earned within the same calendar year in order to qualify for earning the Southwest Companion Pass.

Southwest Companion Pass

Learn more about the Southwest Companion Pass and Buy-one-get-one free flights in the Basic Guide by clicking here!

Bonus Round 2 – Special Amex Promotions

A couple of other things to consider going into 2022.

  • +4 Referral Offer – If you referred anyone to an American Express card to earn +4 Membership Rewards up to $25,000 in spend be sure to notate the final date of the promotion to maximize earnings. The offer is good three months from when the referral was approved.
  • Shop Small/Dining Offer – If you opened any American Express Cards that offered a Shop Small or Dining bonus notate when the offers are set to expire. Most of them were only good for six months from the date the card was approved.
  • Dining/Wireless Credits – If you opened specific American Express Cards prior to 2021, you should have been able to add dining & wireless credits to your account. These varied from $5-$20 per month depending on the card. Click here for the full list!

Basic Breakdown

Don’t let your credits slip away – now is the time to use them so you don’t lose them!

When it comes to spending offers, it’s certainly worth it to take a look at where you stand in meeting the offer. For example, if you’re close to meeting the $15,000 spending requirement for the Amex Hilton Surpass free weekend night certificate, it might make sense to use that card for the remainder of the year. It’s important to not spend more than usual to meet the offer if that would result in accumulating debt or purchasing items that you wouldn’t necessarily purchase otherwise. I wish you the best as this year comes to a close and as always ~ may the points & miles be with you!

Let us know!

What is your favorite or least favorite annual credit? 

I’d love to hear in the comments below or over in our 7,800+ Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!

More Basic Reading

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

The comments section below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Basic Travel Strategies

Need-to-know tricks for cheap travel.

Top Credit Card Offers

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Citi Premier Credit Card

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

American Express® Gold Card

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

credit-card

We're Dave & Lisa

An easy-going, fun-loving couple who have a passion for adventure and exploring the world! Our strategies have saved us over $100,000 in travel over the last four years, and our goal is to help you do the same.

Keep Exploring