Deadline December 31! Your To-Do List Before the Last Day of 2017
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Platinum Card® from American Express, Citi Prestige, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Reserve
We’re officially in the dying days of 2017, so there’s only a short while longer for you to take advantage of deals, offers and credits that end as of December 31. Back in October we wrote about 7 points and miles tasks to complete by the end of the year, so hopefully you’re already ahead of the curve on items that need more than just a few days to accomplish, such as chasing elite status.
But there are still a number of specific credits and promotions you can take advantage of, even in these last days of the year. So here’s a list of all the key offers expiring on the final day of 2017, which can still be completed in the time remaining…
The Chase Freedom card offers 5x categories that change every quarter, which means the fourth-quarter categories will expire on December 31. This year those categories include both department stores and Walmart, so don’t forget to use your Freedom card if you’re doing any final holiday shopping at eligible stores. Also, remember that Walmart sells third-party gift cards, so if you still have any room below your $1,500 quarterly Chase Freedom cap, you might consider purchasing gift cards to your favorite restaurant or store at Walmart to lock in the 5x points now. Then you can use the gift cards yourself in 2018, with the cost effectively having been prepaid.
If you got a Chase Sapphire Reserve after May 21, 2017, then your $300 annual travel credit is based on your cardmember year, not the calendar year, so you still should have several months in 2018 to use it. However, if your CSR was opened before that date, you’re still on a calendar year travel credit. That means you need to take advantage of the $300 by the close of your December statement. Speaking of which, the $250 travel credit on the Citi Prestige works the same way, expiring with your December statement and not the last day of December.
The reverse is true of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card — that card’s $300 annual travel credit is based on calendar year and goes all the way to December 31. You have to manually request credit for travel charges on this card, but the terms and conditions of the card specifically note that you’ll be credited “for the calendar year in which the transaction posts to your account.” So just make sure your charges post before December 31, even if you call in early January to have them credited.
While the $200 airline fee credits of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are less flexible than Chase’s credits, you do have until December 31 to use them. So either make sure you put any eligible purchases on your card during the last days of 2017, or if you don’t expect to have any, buy airline gift cards in the proper denominations to trigger the credit before the end of the year.
A new perk this year exclusive to the personal Amex Platinum are monthly Uber credits. Normally you get $15 each month, but it’s a super-sized $35 in December so you definitely want to use it before the last day of the month to make sure you don’t lose it. Add your Amex Platinum card to your Uber account in order to get access to the credit, and if you don’t have any use for an Uber by December 31, remember that the credits currently work on UberEats as well.
Finally, there are some great hotel-focused Amex Offers floating around, some of which expire on December 31 or shortly thereafter, so make sure to take advantage of them before the year ends.
Bank of America
If you signed up for the brand-new Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card this year, keep in mind that the card comes with a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit that’s based on the calendar year, so you’ll want to be sure to use it before the end of the month. Taking advantage of this $100 credit is one of the easiest ways to make the card worth its $95 annual fee, since the card is effectively free when you’re able to maximize the credit (in fact, you’re actually earning $5).
Again, if you don’t think you’ll have any eligible incidental charges in the last days of 2017, check out reports of what other charges may work to trigger the credit.
Alaska and Virgin America
One frequent flyer program that isn’t going to live to see 2018 is Virgin America Elevate. The merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin means that various aspects of the two airlines are slowly being combined, and as of January 1, Alaska Mileage Plan will be the airlines’ sole unified loyalty program. So if you want to book any last flights using Virgin America’s Elevate, you only have until December 31 to do it.
But don’t worry if you won’t be able to use all your Virgin Elevate points before the turn of the year. You can still convert your Virgin points to Alaska Mileage Plan miles right now, and you’ll even get a 30% bonus for doing so. And according to Alaska, any Elevate points left in your account after January 1 will automatically be converted to Alaska miles with the same 30% bonus. So this isn’t a case of use-it-or-lose-it, but rather a deadline for booking flights on the Elevate side.
If you’re an Elevate member who hasn’t yet created an Alaska Mileage Plan account, you can still get 10,000 bonus miles for doing so as long as you do it by December 31. Make sure to register through this link in order to qualify for the offer. And if you’re neither a Virgin Elevate nor an Alaska Mileage Plan member but you’re a California resident, you can get 5,000 bonus miles for signing up for Mileage Plan and completing one flight. Don’t worry, you don’t have to fly the flight before December 31 — the deadline for that is June 30, 2018. You only have to sign up for the offer by the last day of December to be eligible for the bonus miles.
U.S. Bank also introduced its own premium travel rewards card this year, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. While the $325 annual travel credit on that card is based on cardmember year, there’s a domino effect with another one of the issuer’s products. That’s because as of January 1, U.S. Bank’s FlexPerks currency — which can be earned on cards like the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa Signature — will no longer be worth between 1 and 2 cents per point based on a tiered redemption system. Instead, FlexPerks will be valued at a flat 1.5 cents each, identical to the points earned by the Altitude card.
While FlexPerks’ tiered redemptions were always somewhat difficult to maximize, it was a popular program with some cardholders. So if you want to try and get a final 2 cents per FlexPoint, you’ll need to make sure you’ve booked your last redemptions by December 31.
There are a number of current hotel promotions that come to a conclusion on the last day of 2017, so if you’ve previously signed up for any of these, make sure you take advantage before it’s too late:
In February, Hilton announced a 500-point bonus for each reservation made through its app. The final deadline for that bonus is December 31, so make your app reservations in the next few days if you want to grab those extra points. Make sure to register here before booking your stays, and keep in mind that other Hilton promotions — such as the current “Double Up” offer, which also expires on December 31 — will stack with this offer.
While registration is already open for IHG’s spring 2018 Accelerate promotion, you still have time to complete (and even register for if you haven’t already) the chain’s current Accelerate bonus points promo.
With so little time left in the year, it’s unlikely you’d be able to complete all the various stays at this point, but even getting one or two of them done will earn you some extra points.
You still have a few days left to earn double points at Hyatt hotels through the chain’s “Double Points for Being You” promotion, as long as you registered by November 30. According to the promo’s terms and conditions, M life-eligible nights booked on or on the World of Hyatt app can also receive double points.
And finally, if you previously registered your Hyatt Credit Card to get a $50 statement credit after spending $300 or more at Hyatt Place or Hyatt House hotels in the US, you have until January 1, 2018, to complete your stay, so make sure your charge goes through in time.
Are there any other offers ending on December 31 that you think people should remember? Share them in the comments below.
Featured image by seregam/Getty Images.
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