Why I’m Smarter Than President Obama

a group of credit cards on a counter
a group of credit cards on a counter

As Gary wrote about earlier this afternoon, President Obama’s credit card was declined when he tried to use it at Estela, an upscale a restaurant in downtown Manhattan in New York City. Luckily, the First Lady came to the rescue and picked up the check.

It remains unclear if the decline was related to the Chase data breach, but Chase claims to have sent him an email and text to verify the charges. I guess he wasn’t able to get back to them, since he was busy dealing with other small issues, like ISIS and Ebola.

So why am I smarter than the President, at least on the topic of points and miles? He clearly has no interest in points, since he was using the wrong card to begin with. What a rookie mistake!

While the Palladium card offers 2x points on travel, it only offers 1x points on dining and thus, has no place being used in a restaurant. Instead, he could have used the Chase Sapphire card for 2x points on his meal, or perhaps even 3x if it was the first Friday of the month. Even the Chase Hyatt credit card would have been a better option, as it also provides 2x points on dining.

Also, it’s pretty risky to only have one credit card on-hand. Luckily, if I run into the same situation as him I have a backup plan in the event my Palladium card is declined. On a typical day, and even when traveling internationally, I always make sure to have at least 3-5 cards on-hand across all the credit card issuers just in case I run into a situation like this.

I’ll have to cut the President some slack, since due to security concerns he probably doesn’t have the option of carrying multiple cards. Since Michelle’s wasn’t denied, she presumably used a different card than the Palladium card – maybe she’s the smarter one in the family and broke out the Chase Sapphire!


  1. I bet he’s among the few who travel around the world for work but accumulate no miles or points in the process. Or does Air Force One have a frequent flyer program??

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