End of year credit card checklist

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Gooood morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the Elf of newsletters. Day after day and year after year, you'll never get tired of us, we’ll always make you laugh, and sometimes – we're even quotable.

Here's what today holds:

😎 Maldives Giveaway Winner Announced

As you all know, Christmas is right around the corner. And because we love you so much, we got one of you the gift of a lifetime.

I’m talking about an all-expenses-paid trip to the MALDIVES that we announced last month.

One lucky reader is going to win:

  • A 6-night stay for two at the Villa Nautica in the Maldives in a one-bedroom overwater ocean suite

  • All food and drinks that are a part of the all-inclusive package

  • Complimentary transfer to the island

  • Private beach dinner

  • Signature spa treatment

  • Dolphin sunset excursion

  • $3,000 to cover flights and other expenses

It’s the ultimate chance to experience the trip of a lifetime, and I couldn’t be more excited for whoever wins this.

So, without further ado, the official winner of the giveaway is…

Chonterrika S!!! CONGRATS!!! By now, you’ll have received an email from us with more information.

And I know I always say this, but if you need a plus one… I know a guy who could solve that problem for you (it’s me. I’m that guy).

But seriously - Congratulations and enjoy your AMAZING trip.

💳 End of year credit card checklist

Y’all… it is December 22nd 😳

That means you have UNDER 10 DAYS to do all your important end of year tasks.

And I’m not talking about scheduling in your cat’s final glamour shots for their 2024 calendar debut. Or finishing that “dad joke master class.” Or something else super weird and unrelated to travel…

You need to start thinking about your end of year credit card checklist 👇

✅ Do my cards have annual, quarterly, or monthly credits?

✅ Which of those credits haven’t I used?

✅ Which ones need to be used before January 1st to not be wasted?

And because this is Daily Drop… I’m gonna give you some reminders 😎

Many cards come with “use it or lose it” credits meaning they’ll reset for 2024 once the big ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

Keep in mind there are other cards that will have expiring credits based on cardmember year (like this card) and not December 31st…

I’m focusing on the time-sensitive, end of year ones specifically.

And, no doubt, tons of different credits exist, but let’s take a look at some of our favorites to be aware of.

  • Annually: Up to $200 in credits for airline incidental fees, a similar credit for prepaid hotels, as well as reimbursement for a Clear Plus membership

  • Semi-annually: Saks Fifth credits (last-minute Christmas gift anyone?)

  • Monthly: Online streaming and Uber Cash credits (plus a bonus Uber credit in December!)

  • Annually: Also up to $200 in airline incidental fee statement credits and reimbursement for a Clear Plus membership

  • Annually: Clear Plus credit

  • Semi-annually: Several hundred dollars in Hilton resort statement credits

  • Quarterly: $50 flight statement credits (up to $200 annually)

  • Quarterly: $50 credit for Hilton purchases (up to $200 annually)

  • Monthly: Up to $10 each for Uber Cash and various dining statement credits

  • Semi-annually: $25 United Travel cash ($50 annually). You can read how I recently used this credit!

  • Annually: Up to $120 statement credit on eligible car rentals

  • Monthly: Lyft and Grubhub statement credits

HOLY SMOKES, that’s kind of a lot to keep track of.

But I hope by mentioning some of these, you’ll do a thorough inventory of your own card stash and not let a super tasty, extremely useful credit go to waste as we close out 2023!

🏨 New IHG Double Points Promo

IHG has decided to kick off the new year in the best way possible: With an awesome promo to help us all rack up HEAPS of points.

During the month of January 2024, you can earn double points on IHG stays, plus an opportunity to earn 2,000 additional points.

Here are the deets:

  • You must register for the offer

  • Earn double base points on all paid stays

  • Valid for paid stays only between January 1 and January 31, 2024

  • Earn 2,000 bonus points for staying at two different IHG brands

Since IHG members earn 10x points per dollar on stays, this promo ups that number to 20x points per dollar.

That’s already pretty good… but I’m excited about this promo for another reason.

If you own this credit card, you’ll earn 10x MORE points and get automatic Platinum Elite status… which earns you 6x MORE points.

So if you have that card (which is one of my favorites), you’ll now earn:

  • 10x points for being a member

  • 10x points from the promo

  • 10x points from the credit card

  • 6x points from Platinum status

So for every dollar you spend, you’ll earn… wait for it… 36 points per dollar.

So let’s say you’re eyeing a warm winter getaway in January. You could book a 5-night stay at this property in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for just $163 per night.

The 5-night stay would run you a total of $815. A little pricey, but not bad for a beach getaway.

Plus, you’d earn a whopping 29,340 IHG points if you own the aforementioned credit card and register for the promo.

That’s not bad at ALL, and could actually book you another multi-night stay.

For example, I’ll be in Jakarta in January. If you also wanted to travel to Jakarta, those 30,000 points you just earned could book you EIGHT MORE NIGHTS at another IHG hotel like this one.

So let’s get this clear…

By booking a modestly-priced 5-night stay in Mexico, you could earn enough rewards for a separate EIGHT-NIGHT stay elsewhere in the world…

And THAT’S why I get excited about these promos.

So here’s the bottom line:

If you play your cards right (and play your card right 😏), you could stack rewards and get an amazing return on your spending at IHG hotels in January.

One of my favorite ways to learn about new travel hacks is in our very own Daily Drop Lounge, an online community of DD fans and travel hackers.

Here’s a look at a post from this past week if you want a taste of what you’re missing:

That’s all for this week, folks!

Just so you know, we’ll be taking the 25th and 26th off from Daily Drop. Don’t worry, I’ll miss you all dearly and will be back next Wednesday to finish off the year strong.

Have a great holiday weekend, take care, and I’ll see you next time. ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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