🤔 What is a "keeper card?"

Plus, there's an arbitrage opportunity available right now that could save you hundreds of dollars on your next hotel stay.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 8 seconds

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Good morning from the luscious jungles of Ubud, Bali. This is a truly beautiful place, and I’m already sad to leave in a couple of days…

But the beauty of Bali pales in comparison to the beauty of these stunning travel hacks I’m about to share with you:

💳 What is a “keeper card?”

There’s a term I toss around fairly frequently here in Daily Drop. And no, I’m not talking about the term “tasty bonus,” which many of you have keenly pointed out I use a lot… 🙄

I’m talking about the term “keeper card.”

A blue and purple ombre background with a white credit card and blue stamp that says "keeper"

I just ran a quick search and realized that I’ve tossed this term around in at least a dozen Daily Drops but have never taken the time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with you all about what it actually means.

A “keeper card” is a credit card that offers easy-to-use benefits that outweigh the annual fee of the card, every year.

For example, there are MANY co-branded hotel credit cards that offer annual free night awards just for paying the annual fee.

An email from Marriott informing me of a Free Night Award

Most of the time, the value you can get from these free night awards far outweighs the annual fee, making them “keeper cards,” or cards you can hold forever without worrying about how to justify the annual fee.

Another example of a keeper card is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

Although it carries a hefty $395 annual fee, it makes up for it with its annual travel credit and stack of anniversary bonus miles.

So, without doing any work every year, you’re already coming out a few bucks ahead, as long as you spend $300 on travel every year… which, if you’re reading this newsletter, I suspect you do. 😉

Throw in the other perks like transfer partners, lounge access, and solid earning rates, and it’s easy to justify holding this card forever.

A screenshot from Capital One's website showing the lounge access perk of the Venture X

But sometimes, keeper cards can be more complicated… Sometimes the annual fee can be justified many times over, but in a less straightforward way that requires some hard number-crunching.

Thankfully, we have an in-house math wiz (Brendan) who kindly made a YouTube video showing us how he justifies the annual fee of one of his favorite cards every year. 👇

The thumbnai from this wek's Daily Drop Youtube Video

So check it out if you want to learn more about how to value your own cards, and be sure to check out this page if you want inspiration for other keeper cards you can pick up for yourself.

🏨 Arbitrage: Heavily discounted Hyatt stays

Last week, we told you about how you can save money on Hilton hotels by BUYING points thanks to their 100% bonus right now.

Well, I’m excited to tell you that you can also buy Hyatt points right now…. With a 20% bonus!!! Wooh!!!

Screenshot from Hyatt's website, showing the current 20% discount on purchased points

At this point, you’re probably thinking two things:

Thought #1:

“Mike, why on earth would I buy points with a 20% bonus when I could buy them with a 100% bonus…?”

Thought #2:

“There’s probably a reason Mike is talking about this, and my mind is probably about to be blown, so I’ll just keep reading…”

Thought #2 is the correct thought, FYI. And I’ll tell you why… obviously.

Hyatt points are worth WAY more than Hilton points, to begin with… Hilton points are generally valued at around 0.5 cents each, while Hyatt points are valued at around 2 cents each, sometimes more.

That’s because Hyatt uses a chart that provides fixed (and very reasonable) award rates for all of their properties.

A sample of Hyatt's award chart

So how can you use this points sale to your advantage?

Let’s say you want to take a trip to Berlin in April, which, let’s be honest, you do.

You’re searching for hotels, and you find this lovely Hyatt property. 👇

An example of a Hyatt hotel in Berlin

You proceed through the checkout process, select your room, and get to this page, showing you the total cost of $686.

Not too shabby for a 5-night stay in a major European destination.

A sample booking at the aforementioned hotel for 5 nights

But here’s where the hacking comes in…

If you were to run the same search with points instead of cash, you’d see that the same hotel on the same nights only costs a total of 19,000 Hyatt points.

The same example os previously shown, but paying with points instead of cash

But even if you don’t have ANY Hyatt points, you’re in luck.

Thanks to this 20% discount on points, you can simply BUY 19,000 Hyatt points for a total of just $365, or pretty close to HALF the cost of paying for the exact same room with cash.

An example of how you can currently purchase 19,000 Hyatt points for $365

To be clear, you don’t need elite status, you don’t need a credit card, you don’t need anything other than simply having a free World of Hyatt account (and a little bit of strategy) to save $321 on this hotel stay.

So here’s the bottom line:

Despite the underwhelming-sounding number of 20%, this points sale can still have you hundreds of dollars on hotel stays if you play your cards right.

So I encourage you to crunch the numbers for yourself to see if you can take advantage.

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…or you can just buy these prizes from our website if you want to keep us all to yourself. 😉

That’s all for today, kiddos. I hope you enjoyed our newsletter and YouTube video this week, and are inspired to stack your wallet with some dope keeper cards.

But for now, I’ll let you go. Love you, mean it. 😘❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

8.5069° S, 115.2625° E