1. An update to the PSA about Google Pay and US Bank Altitude Reserve 3x mobile wallet earning: I heard from a few readers that Google Pay works for them at 3x, and Nick at FM said the same. At this point I think the criteria for whether or not it works is a combination of whether you’re on mobile or desktop, and when your Google Pay wallet was created, which probably dictates which technology stack it uses.

    I’ve also heard from several readers that Apple Pay doesn’t earn 3x for them either, but removing the card from your wallet and then re-adding it fixes the issue. What a mess!
  2. Starlux Airlines opened its schedule for travel between Seattle and Taipei, and business class is currently bookable for 75,000 Alaska miles. Award availability is currently better than average. Flights start on August 16.
  3. The American Express Hilton Business card was enhanced to a lower overall value proposition. The highlights:

    – Increased annual fee to $195 after July 1
    – No more free night certificates at $15,000 spend or $60,000 spend after July 1
    – Quarterly $60 Hilton credit
    – Base earning goes from 3x to 5x immediately
    – Bonus 6x categories are gone after July 1

    I usually have 2-3 of these in my rotation at any time, specifically for the free night certificate spending. Post this change, I’ll have between zero and 0 of these. #bonvoyed
  4. Priority Pass cards issued by Chase are losing access to restaurants on July 1. If you value this benefit, chat with Cookie Monster about your business card needs or become a Bank of America Elite.
  5. RobinHood is the new cool kid on the block with a co-branded card issued by Coastal Community Bank. It has no sign-up bonus and an effective annual fee of $60 because you’ll need a RobinHood Gold membership and that’s the current 12 month cost. The card earns 3% cash back everywhere and obviously will be huge in the right hands, which hopefully includes a lot of you.

    When a new product comes out there’s always a trade-off between hitting it as hard as possible in a short time on the assumption that it’ll be cut quickly, and being moderate to take advantage of the product over years because the long-term value will be huge. This one almost certainly falls into the former category.
  6. Staples has fee free $200 Visa gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction.

    These are Pathward gift cards. (Thanks to GCG)

Have a nice weekend!

A black cat walking under a ladder near your wallet is another potential fix for US Bank 3x earning.