An update: According to Will at Doctorofcredit, you may not be able to change the statement closing date till the following month. Obviously, it does depend on a customer rep, so it may very well be possible. I can’t vouch for this option, so it’s something to keep in mind.
Can you believe that year 2016 is almost over? Time for a post on ways you can pull off a triple dip. First things first. What am I talking about? In short, the idea of a triple dip involves paying an annual fee only once, while taking advantage of calendar year perks three times. There are currently two credit card offers that are the best candidates for a triple dip. They are: Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige.
The sign-up bonuses on both are as high as they get, unless you count targeted and in-branch offers on Prestige, which may or may not work. Let me highlight a triple dip strategy:
1) Citi Prestige
The best non-targeted, direct offer on this card comes with 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. Here is application link (doesn’t pay me squat). Sure, minimum spending requirements are quite high, so be careful. If you are new to this hobby, I recommend you read my post on ways you can prepay things ahead. Also, see my review of Citi Prestige
Here is how you do a triple dip:
1) Apply for Citi Prestige now. When you get it, set the statement closing date for the end of the month. You can call or do it via your online profile. Make sure it’s done because this part is critical. So, let’s say the statement is supposed to close on December 25th. Here is what to do next.
2) Make sure to utilize your $250 airline credit as soon as you get the card so you don’t forget about it. Obviously, the easiest way to do it is to just buy plane tickets directly from airline’s website. If you don’t need to do it now, consider buying airline gift cards instead. Warning! Some are processed by third-party websites like Points.com You may want to buy a small denomination gift card first and see how it codes. I can vouch for Southwest gift cards working to trigger this credit.
3) Rinse and repeat this process in 2017, the date doesn’t matter as long as you do it before December statement closes. Your next $450 annual fee will also be billed in December of 2017.
4) Utilize your $250 airline credit in the beginning of January of 2018. It’s important that you don’t wait till the end of the month because it may go on February statement.
5) After your statement closes, call Citi to cancel Citi Prestige and ask for a refund of your annual fee. They should give it to you, besides, Citi currently pro-rates annual fees. So, worst case scenario is that you’ll lose $40.
Few issues with this strategy:
1) Citi may change the way they handle refunds of annual fees. When it comes to this bank, it’s hard to count on anything 100%.
2) Since Citi pro-rates annual fees, a better strategy may be to just cancel the card in April or May of 2017 after utilizing two airline credits.
Who should consider triple dip on Citi Prestige: Those who like the perks that come with the card, specifically airline lounge access and “4th night free” benefit. The longer you hold on to this card, the longer you’ll be able to utilize all the benefits. Also, the card will become less lucrative next summer with some perks being eliminated or neutered. So, might as well get it while it’s HOT.
2) Chase Sapphire Reserve
The best offer on this card also happens to pay us commission, so I appreciate your support if you choose to use our link. I won’t repeat myself, I think I’ve written enough about CSR already. All I can say is that it’s a smoking deal no matter how you look at it. Of course, not everyone will be able to get it due to 5/24 rule. But assuming you qualify, here is how you can pull off a triple dip.
First, follow steps 1-3 outlined in analysis of triple dip strategy on Citi Prestige. The $300 travel credit works a bit differently because you can use it for a variety of charges. I recommend this post on DoC blog that contains data points on what works and what doesn’t. Once again, purchase of Southwest gift cards on Southwest.com should trigger the credit. If you buy hotel gift cards on-property, they should be fine also.
4) Utilize travel credit as close to the beginning of 2018 as possible. It should post instantly.
5) Call Chase, ask to cancel the card and request a refund of the annual fee. Under current rules, you should have 30 days after it posts. So, if the second fee is billed on December 15th of 2017, you should have till February 15th of 2018 to get it refunded. You may be able to downgrade CSR to Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited, so ask for that option first.
Since Chase doesn’t do pro-rated refunds, this is the best way to take advantage of the perks on CSR while minimizing the overall cost.
Some issues to be aware of
Unless you are super duper organized, this deal can easily turn sour. Banks may change their policies down the line, too. You may also be blacklisted if you pull a stunt I’ve described above. So, definitely proceed with caution and do this one at your own risk. Don’t blame me if things don’t work out! I recommend you hope for the best, but plan for the worst, just in case. Regardless, both offers are worth getting, and triple dip strategy just makes them potentially sweeter. But they are plenty sweet already.
So, in short, if you are looking to take advantage of a triple dip (or even a double dip) on these cards, you need to make a move now. Assuming you get approved within a week, you should get it in the mail by December 20th. That will give you just enough time to change your statement closing date and take advantage of travel credit for year 2016. Seriously, limited time offer, get it now, ends soon! No, I’m not embarrassed to say it because it happens to be true.
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.