2019 has been a great year for PYCR! It was my first full year as a blogger for Travel Update and I am so grateful to contribute to their blog. This post is my last for the year, making now a better time than ever to present the 10 most popular PYCR posts of 2019.
I usually post a Weekly Review every Sunday. These posts give a synopsis and some extra information about the posts from the week before. Similarly, this post can be viewed as an “Annual Review” for 2019. What’s different is that I wrote over 200 posts this year and I cannot feature them all. That’s why the best of the best is being featured today.
Posts are arranged by number of all-time views. All of the top 10 posts were written in the year 2019 because PYCR is relatively new.
10) American Express Announces Dates for Centurion Lounge Openings
Kicking off PYCR’s most popular posts of 2019 is a post about some popular airport lounges opening in 2020. American Express announced the dates for new Centurion Lounge openings in late August. This was a huge deal for Platinum and Centurion cardholders because they will have more lounges to go to in certain airports. Most of the lounges mentioned will open in 2020.
9) (Debunked Rumor): Changes Coming to Chase Freedom Cards
In early March, there was a Reddit post that rumored some possible changes coming to Chase Freedom Cards. Therefore, I decided to write about it.
However, this rumor was debunked about two days after this post was written. Looking back, I’m glad that it didn’t come true because the Chase Freedom cards are solid as they are. I think that Chase should focus on revamping the Sapphire Preferred (and not the Freedom cards) in 2020.
8) The American Express Business Green Card Has a 150,000-Point Offer
American Express decided to offer 150,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points for the Business Green Card in September. At first glance, this was a huge deal because the Business Green Card was useless at the time (and still is). But the minimum spend requirement to get this offer was terrible. Nonetheless, this offer was worth writing about because of the possibility of earning so many MR points.
7) Five Credit Card Tiers
I am surprised that my Five Credit Card Tiers post got as much traffic as it did (even though it took a while to reach the Top 10). It’s one of my original “Explanations” posts.
The inspiration for this post came from Credit Shifu and Ask Sebby, two excellent YouTube channels that discuss points, miles, and travel. Both Ben (Credit Shifu) and Sebastian (Ask Sebby) made videos about putting credit cards into five tiers based on annual fees, perks, and earning opportunities. Early on, I decided to write a post with my take on the five credit card tiers. And this is it.
6) Review: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card was a huge deal when it was released in February. Plus, February was also when Marriott revamped their entire credit card lineup after their merger with SPG. The business and personal premium cards are issued by American Express while the rest are issued by Chase. This post reviews the personal premium card from American Express.
Overall, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is the best personal Marriott card on the market. But there are better options for non-Marriott loyalists and those who prefer other hotel chains.
5) Why You Should Not Collect Amex Membership Rewards Points
The title of this post was enough to shock the points and miles world into reading it. Writing from a contrarian point of view on a popular points and miles topic served as the inspiration for this post. In this case, the topic was collecting Amex Membership Rewards points.
This was a huge post for PYCR when it was published in September. It was most-viewed post at the time and its one of the five most popular posts of 2019. Plus, I received a lot of comments that sparked discussion about MR points and American Express in general.
4) More American Express Green Card Details Leaked
One of the biggest points and miles events of 2019 was the revamp of the Amex Green Card! This card has been around since 1958, making it the oldest continuously available credit card in the industry. However, it earned just one MR point per dollar from 1992 (when MR points were invented) to the spring of 2019.
This post presented some leaked details about the Green Card shortly before its re-release. It also compared some of my own predictions for the Green Card to the leaked details. Some of my predictions came true, but not all of them. However, it’s still interesting to re-read this post a few months after the Green Card was re-released in October.
3) How I Was Clawed Back By American Express
The inspiration for this post came from an unlikely place: the US Postal Service. I received an unexpected bill in the mail in early December from an Amex card that I closed months before.
Furthermore, American Express’ Rewards Abuse Team (RAT) has been on a war path throughout 2019. They have been closing people’s accounts and clawing back bonuses that they felt were not warranted. I was a victim of a small claw back from an Amex offer. While it cost me about $10, I got to write this excellent post and tell my story about how I was clawed back by American Express.
2) Why You Should Not Collect Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
2019’s second-most read post is another contrarian point of view post. However, this one was twice as shocking (and popular) than my post about not collecting Amex MR points. It’s also ironic because I wrote this post while holding four Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) point-earning card in my wallet. Nonetheless, this post discussed some of the downsides of UR points and why they are not for everyone.
This post was Travel Update’s most-read post for October 2019!
1) Imagining an Ultra-Premium American Express Card
Finally, the most popular post of 2019 was a very creative one. I heard some rumors online about a new card Amex card being developed in November. This card would lie in between the Platinum and Centurion Cards. Therefore, I decided to imagine such an ultra-premium American Express Card.
This was a fun post to write because it felt like creating a new card from scratch. Many of the ideas that were used to imagine this card were inspired from other cards. However, the final result was something new and innovative. I just hope it actually comes out in 2020.
Furthermore, this post was a sleeper because it took eight days to become my most-read post. Most of the other Top 5 posts gained a lot of views very quickly.
This has been PYCR’s Top 10 most popular posts of 2019. It’s very interesting to look back at 2019 from a more analytical perspective given how much traffic these posts have generated. Lucky from One Mile At A Time (H/T) wrote a similar post to this one a few days ago. However, I have been thinking about writing a post like this one since before the holidays.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as it was a blast to write. 2019 has been a great year for PYCR and huge year of changes for points and miles. Have a happy and healthy new year!