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Credit Card Pro 2018 Year in Review

A summary of our key stories from 2018

A summary of our key stories from 2018
A summary of our key stories from 2018
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We’ve spent a lot of time this year at Credit Card Pro analyzing the rewards and benefits of our core premium credit cards plus providing strategies and tips on how to travel smarter. In case you missed an article or two (or three), here are some of the major takeaways from 2018.

Detailed Credit Card Reviews

Each of our core cards offers a competitive advantage and overall level of excellence. We completed meticulous reviews of our ultra-premium cards—Luxury Card Mastercard®Gold Card™, The Platinum Card®from American Express, Chase Sapphire®Reserve, and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite®Card—detailing where each card fared comparatively as “Best in Class” all the way to “Worst in Class.”

Simplifying the Fine Print

We combed over the fine print of credit card agreements and guides to benefits to simplify the implicit-yet-complicated protections of our core credit cards: auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, trip delay protection from inclement weather, return protection (when a merchant won’t accept the return of a personal item), purchase protection (when purchased items are lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged), and price protection (insurance against price drops).

Card-Specific News and Benefits

We reported on news as it happened regarding changes in cardholder benefits for our core cards and industry news such as JP Morgan’s $330 million dollar loss from reward redemptions. We also demystified some excellent and under-utilized card benefits like Amex offers, Luxury Card’s Hotel and Travel Program and Luxury Card Experiences, and Chase’s 24-Hour Travel Accident Insurance.

Chronicles of the Citi Prestige Card and the American Express Gold Card

We chronicled the ups and downs of Citi’s top-end card over the year. The card first slashed a number of cardholder benefits, then released its more restrictive guide to benefits, then disappeared from the Web, and then finally resurfaced at year’s end with news of a 2019 reboot. Huzzah!

Additionally, we examined the American Express relaunch of its gold card with a new look and perks, comparing it to older iterations.

Maximizing Elite Credit Card Concierge Services

We detailed how to take full advantage of the best credit card service you never knew about. Then, we put a number of elite credit card concierges to the test.

Airport Lounge News

We all love us a good lounge here at Credit Card Pro, and we know you do too! So we’ve kept you up to date with the rapid expansion of the American Express Centurion Lounge®Network and all the new Priority Pass™lounges that have come into the fold over the past year.

Trusted Traveler Programs

We’ve continued to report on the expansion of the TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry programs, reporting on milestones for both programs, including the additions of new enrollment centers at select airports, and how to enroll in these trusted traveler programs for free.

Using Frequent Flyer Miles Wisely

We’ve alerted you to some of the best deals on the sale of frequent flyer miles—the best sales in recent history—and how to be slick with these sales and score first- or business- class seats for a fraction of the retail price. We also taught you how to unlock a wealth of airline award tickets with the powerful Avios currency, the easily accessible frequent flyer currency of British Airways, and alerted you to the best points transfers for business-class air ticketsand how to book Singapore Airlines’ new first-class suites with points and miles.

Marriott-Starwood Merger

We chronicled the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Marriott-Starwood merger and helped alert readers to major changes for award redemptions, credit card affiliations, and elite status changes.

Traveling Smarter

We gave you all kinds of tips for traveling smarter including how to maximize tools on Google Flights and Wikipedia and how to travel to 210 countries without paying any roaming fees.

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of credit cards and rewards programs in 2018. We look forward to keeping you in the credit card know throughout 2019. Happy New Year!

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 132 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Florida Design, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Robb Report.