What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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nolapepper
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by nolapepper » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:54 am

Received CSR card by expedited mail. The card is thick and heavy! Seems to have a metal layer.

The global entry credit is only one time and for one user, right? For my husband to get his credit, he will need to have a card, right ? Or only one credit for one account?

I called CSR benefit specialist and she has no clue. Transferring me to a third party Chase. I thought I was calling Chase! They are not clear either

guitarguy
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Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:07 am

nolapepper wrote:Received CSR card by expedited mail. The card is thick and heavy! Seems to have a metal layer.

The global entry credit is only one time and for one user, right? For my husband to get his credit, he will need to have a card, right ? Or only one credit for one account?

I called CSR benefit specialist and she has no clue. Transferring me to a third party Chase. I thought I was calling Chase! They are not clear either


Only 1 global entry credit. Authorized users don't get it either. They need to have their own card.

SRenaeP
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:25 pm

guitarguy wrote:
nolapepper wrote:Received CSR card by expedited mail. The card is thick and heavy! Seems to have a metal layer.

The global entry credit is only one time and for one user, right? For my husband to get his credit, he will need to have a card, right ? Or only one credit for one account?

I called CSR benefit specialist and she has no clue. Transferring me to a third party Chase. I thought I was calling Chase! They are not clear either


Only 1 global entry credit. Authorized users don't get it either. They need to have their own card.


Are you saying the GE credit can only be used for the cardholder (meaning that individual) or only charged/reimbursed on the primary card? Both DH and I have GE already but were thinking about 'gifting' the GE fee (meaning pay for it on the CSR then get reimbursed) to a family member so it doesn't go to waste.

-Steph

guitarguy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:04 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
nolapepper wrote:Received CSR card by expedited mail. The card is thick and heavy! Seems to have a metal layer.

The global entry credit is only one time and for one user, right? For my husband to get his credit, he will need to have a card, right ? Or only one credit for one account?

I called CSR benefit specialist and she has no clue. Transferring me to a third party Chase. I thought I was calling Chase! They are not clear either


Only 1 global entry credit. Authorized users don't get it either. They need to have their own card.


Are you saying the GE credit can only be used for the cardholder (meaning that individual) or only charged/reimbursed on the primary card? Both DH and I have GE already but were thinking about 'gifting' the GE fee (meaning pay for it on the CSR then get reimbursed) to a family member so it doesn't go to waste.

-Steph


Yes I read that you can gift it, but I meant you only get one credit per cardholder. I'd have to search for the source, but I'm 99% sure that's how I read it.

mpsz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by mpsz » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:52 pm

For those of you who have gotten your new CSR, don't forget to downgrade your CSP. I got a prorated annual fee refund today.

It was only about $40... but hey, that's 1% of the minimum spend on the new card :mrgreen:

Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:00 pm

guitarguy wrote:I've yet to transfer to United...but may be considering a big transfer soon if my friend decides to get married in Europe. What are your thoughts on how easy it us to book reward flights with United? Are there a lot of hoops to jump through? Are the reward charts complicated?


Award travel is best when you don't have to be picky. Best of luck with your redemption.

giesen5
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Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:09 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:I've yet to transfer to United...but may be considering a big transfer soon if my friend decides to get married in Europe. What are your thoughts on how easy it us to book reward flights with United? Are there a lot of hoops to jump through? Are the reward charts complicated?


Award travel is best when you don't have to be picky. Best of luck with your redemption.


I just completed booking a reward flight with United. It was super easy. I booked 331 days out, there were quite a few options for Europe.

lostdog
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lostdog » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:03 pm

We just have ONE credit card and use the 1.5% cash back. We pay it off every month.
Financial Independence is the best revenge. | "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." -Thoreau

fareastwarriors
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fareastwarriors » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:47 pm

lostdog wrote:We just have ONE credit card and use the 1.5% cash back. We pay it off every month.


Why not get a 2% cash back card for everything?

gvsucavie03
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:47 am

fareastwarriors wrote:
lostdog wrote:We just have ONE credit card and use the 1.5% cash back. We pay it off every month.


Why not get a 2% cash back card for everything?


Don't forget the 5% gas.... In tandem, the Citi Double Cash and Penfed Gas cards are as simple and straight-forward as it gets.

Da5id
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:50 am

lostdog wrote:We just have ONE credit card and use the 1.5% cash back. We pay it off every month.


Leaving money on the table for simplicity is a fine choice (not the one I make, but I totally understand it). But really, is having one card a good idea? When travelling, what if that one gets locked/compromised/etc? Seems like having a minimum of two is a good idea, and having ones that are not linked is also nice so that if a spouses wallet is stolen you still have an active card...

lostdog
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lostdog » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:00 pm

I value simplicity more. If we lose the card we'll have a debit card and cash to get us by until the issue is resolved.
Financial Independence is the best revenge. | "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." -Thoreau

guitarguy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:24 pm

lostdog wrote:I value simplicity more. If we lose the card we'll have a debit card and cash to get us by until the issue is resolved.


True. But the suggestion as to getting a fee-free flat 2% card for everything is still a good one either way! :beer

lostdog
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lostdog » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:39 pm

guitarguy wrote:
lostdog wrote:I value simplicity more. If we lose the card we'll have a debit card and cash to get us by until the issue is resolved.


True. But the suggestion as to getting a fee-free flat 2% card for everything is still a good one either way! :beer


I agree. :happy
Financial Independence is the best revenge. | "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." -Thoreau


BeneIRA
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:08 pm

madbrain wrote:EDITED.

BeneIRA wrote:I have read some of your posts and it seems like you are the resident expert on traveler's insurance. If I may, I wanted to inquire as to your thoughts on the enhanced traveler's insurance that the Chase Sapphire Reserved provides. Do you think another traveler's insurance policy is needed with it? Is the coverage the CSR provides sufficient? Any insight you can provide would be great.


Well, I certainly have had to actually make claims on travel insurance policies (standalone, not from Chase) more often than I ever want to, but I'm not sure if that qualifies me as the resident expert. To be honest, I have not read the full terms for the CSR travel insurance policy yet. My understanding is that this coverage is the same as with the CSP, but I could be wrong. I have not actually booked travel with my CSP or CSR yet, as I got those cards recently, and am not a frequent traveler - I typically take one large vacation annual trip. And hopefully, even when I do, I won't have to make a claim on the policy, but I know the probability is high that I will, probably 50/50.

I have read about both positive and negative experiences with the trip cancellation part of the travel insurance with Chase. There is a thread on Flyertalk about this currently in the Chase forum (I chimed in at the end).

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase-ul ... ments.html

From I read, it seems there are issues with travel booked through Chase that is refundable. It appears that someone got their flight refunded, but then got a separate cancellation fee charged by the airline. Which is exactly the same that you would have ended up with if you had booked that flight with another card that did not offer travel insurance, and not booked it through Chase. Ie., zero coverage appears to have applied in this situation. In my experience, it is very common for flights to Asia to actually be refundable minus a cancellation fee, even though they are marketed and sold as "non refundable" flights.

Based on this one experience, one might want to book only flights/hotels through Chase that are truly completely non refundable using the CSP/CSR. I'm guessing the Chase policy would have to refund in full in that situation.

From this point of view, as far as I can tell, the Chase coverage is inferior to a standalone travel insurance policy. However, a standalone travel insurance policy on even just one large annual trip will normally cost more than the $95 annual fee of the CSP, or the $150 (net) annual fee of the CSR. So unless you have a high likelihood of cancellation (like me, based on past experience), or you are booking mainly travel that is refundable with change fees, the Chase travel insurance might be good enough for you. It may not be good enough for me, though. Based on what I'm reading, unless Chase clarifies the terms, I will likely close both my CSP before the 1 yr is up.

I'm still not quite sure about the CSR. I have to do more math to see if it makes sense. Let me take a quick shot at it. The net rewards rate with the CSR is 4.5% on travel and dining purchases if you redeem for travel booked through Chase (3 points for every 100 dollars, 1.5 cent per point). With $8000, that is $360 in rewards, less than $150 annual fee - net of $210.

Let me compare with using a cash back card. About $4000 would be domestic purchases (booked from a US travel site) and I would use my Fidelity VISA 2% and earn $80. The other $4000 would be foreign purchases, and I would use the Capitalone Quickilver MC to avoid foreign transaction fees. So, I would earn 1.5% cash back back on those $4000 or $60.

So with the CSR, I have $210 in rewards less $160 annual fee which is a net $50.
And with the Fidelity VISA and Capone MC, $140 with zero annual fee which is a net $140.

If I assign as value of 0 the chase Chase trip cancellation coverage, then the combo of the other cards comes out ahead.
Ie. I would purchase a separate $200 travel insurance policy. So with CSR the net would be $50 - $200 or -$150 with the separate coverage.
And with the combo, $150 - $200 or -$50 with the separate coverage.

It's probably not fair to assign a value of $0 to the Chase travel insurance coverage. It's clearly worth more than $0. But it appears to still not be as good as a separate policy.

Also, the $8000 number is really on the low end - we often spend far more than that - $8000 on flights and hotel alone, and $4000 on meals and other things (not all of which can be charged to credit cards, though). For the longest and most expensive trips, we have probably spent $20k total. With higher travel spending, the CSR probably still makes sense vs the combo of other cards.

Either way, I will have one year to decide whether to renew the CSR or not. If my husband gets approved for his own CSR, we will probably only keep one, though.


There was an error in this part - the net apples to apples is really $210 for the CSR vs $140 for the combo of the other 2 cards. So the CSR appears to make sense as long as we travel at least once a year, regardless of how good or bad the Chase travel insurance benefit may be.

I can add one more comparison - the CSP. CSP gets 2 points per dollar on travel and dining categories.
And points are redeemed at 1.25 cents each.
$8000 in travel and dining purchases would amount to 16000 points, which would be worth $200 in rewards.
Net of the $95 annual fee that is due after the first year, that is a total of $105.

In this case, the combo of Fidelity 2% VISA and CapitalOne 1.5% MC gets much better net cashback - twice as much, at $210.
But only if the CSP travel insurance coverage is valued at $0, which is probably not fair, even though it's not as good as a standalone policy.

So for our patterns, the CSR appears to be a fairly clear winner long-term, even if we only use the card for our typical once a year foreign vacation of $8k+.


Hi Madbrain,

You are an expert in my book! Thank you so much for this post. It had a ton of valuable and actionable information. Much appreciated.

BeneIRA
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:09 pm



Reading the comments section of that honestly hurt, but thank you for the link. Too many people think that everyone who spends the $4,000 will automatically be paying interest. Obviously, only put on a credit card what you can pay off when the bill comes due.

Bfwolf
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:09 pm

guitarguy wrote:
I've yet to transfer to United...but may be considering a big transfer soon if my friend decides to get married in Europe. What are your thoughts on how easy it us to book reward flights with United? Are there a lot of hoops to jump through? Are the reward charts complicated?


I've found United to be relatively straightforward. I have not used their points to get to Europe, but I have used Air Canada's Aeroplan points which is also Star Alliance so has the same availability, which was pretty respectable. It helps that I live in Chicago. The nice thing with United is there are several partners like Lufthansa and SAS who can help you get to Europe which increases availability. My recollection is that they may charge a few more miles for partner flights.

Bfwolf
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:10 pm

guitarguy wrote:
SRenaeP wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
nolapepper wrote:Received CSR card by expedited mail. The card is thick and heavy! Seems to have a metal layer.

The global entry credit is only one time and for one user, right? For my husband to get his credit, he will need to have a card, right ? Or only one credit for one account?

I called CSR benefit specialist and she has no clue. Transferring me to a third party Chase. I thought I was calling Chase! They are not clear either


Only 1 global entry credit. Authorized users don't get it either. They need to have their own card.


Are you saying the GE credit can only be used for the cardholder (meaning that individual) or only charged/reimbursed on the primary card? Both DH and I have GE already but were thinking about 'gifting' the GE fee (meaning pay for it on the CSR then get reimbursed) to a family member so it doesn't go to waste.

-Steph


Yes I read that you can gift it, but I meant you only get one credit per cardholder. I'd have to search for the source, but I'm 99% sure that's how I read it.


This is correct. Chase has no idea who it was used for, so you can gift it. You'll get a GE credit every 4 years if you keep the card that long.

madbrain
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:49 am

BeneIRA wrote:You are an expert in my book! Thank you so much for this post. It had a ton of valuable and actionable information. Much appreciated.


Glad I was able to help. I sure have been doing a lot of reading on Doctorofcredit, Flyertalk and a couple other forums lately to learn about these cards. Having all my spending data in Quicken for the last 9 years helps figure out which card(s) works best. In previous years, I was using only cashback cards. It looks like the redemption for travel instead of cash can get me more, especially with the signup bonuses involved, but in the case of the CSR, even afterwards. I have been wary of the non-cash programs in the past, such as airline miles, because of the possibility of devaluation, which happens sometimes, because award flights become unavailable, a carrier stops flying a route you're interested in, etc. Certainly, a devaluation could happen with the UR points too. Redeeming the UR points soon after they're earned would lower the risk, but wouldn't eliminate it.

madbrain
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:58 am



Which is really a net $150 annual fee after the $300/year travel credit, if you are spending at least $300/year on travel (airfare, hotels, taxi, car rental). Also, the credit is per calendar year, so if you get the card now and travel in 2016 and 2017, you will get the $300/year credit twice, ie. a -$150 fee if you cancel before 12 months.

madbrain
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:02 am

nolapepper wrote:Received CSR card by expedited mail. The card is thick and heavy! Seems to have a metal layer.

The global entry credit is only one time and for one user, right? For my husband to get his credit, he will need to have a card, right ? Or only one credit for one account?

I called CSR benefit specialist and she has no clue. Transferring me to a third party Chase. I thought I was calling Chase! They are not clear either


The CSR CSR you spoke to may have been clueless, but the terms are fairly clear :

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/sapphire/reserve/offer-details wrote:Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Application Fee Statement Credit
To be eligible for this statement credit you must use your Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card to either complete the Global Entry application and pay the $100 application fee, or complete the TSA Pre✔® application and pay the $85 application fee. A statement credit will be processed after the Global Entry program application fee OR TSA Pre✔® application fee (whichever program is applied for first) is charged to your Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card. You are entitled to either: one (1) $100 statement credit per account, OR one (1) $85 statement credit per account, every 4 years in connection with the Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® program application fee. The statement credit will be posted to your account within 24 hours of the Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® program application fee being charged to your card. You are responsible for payment of all charges until the statement credit posts to the account. Global Entry is a U.S. Government program, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). TSA Pre✔® is a U.S. Government program, operated by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Chase has no control over either program including, but not limited to, applications, approval process or enrollment, or fees charged by CBP or TSA, and no liability regarding the Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® programs. For complete details on the Global Entry program, including full terms and conditions, go to globalentry.gov. For complete details on the TSA Pre✔® program, including full terms and conditions, go to tsa.gov. Websites and other information provided by government agencies are not within Chase’s control and may not be available in Spanish. To be eligible for this benefit, your account must be open and not in default at the time of statement credit fulfillment.


Ie. one $100 GE credit per account every 4 years. Or one $85 TSA Pre credit every 4 years. No additional credit for authorized users.

ChiefIlliniwek
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ChiefIlliniwek » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:56 am

madbrain wrote:


Which is really a net $150 annual fee after the $300/year travel credit, if you are spending at least $300/year on travel (airfare, hotels, taxi, car rental). Also, the credit is per calendar year, so if you get the card now and travel in 2016 and 2017, you will get the $300/year credit twice, ie. a -$150 fee if you cancel before 12 months.


Also some transit codes as travel, so train passes or tolls might work. I would think most people on this site would have this much in travel spending a year, especially with it being as broad it is.

Gretchen
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Location: Southern CA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Gretchen » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:58 am

1) Chase Marriott Visa and Barclaycards Choice Hotels Visa. Hotel rewards are worth more to us than airline rewards, because we travel by road far more often than we travel by air. Hotel cards have been much easier to use than airline miles, with only infrequent blackouts. We use the branded cards at their properties and for some other spending. Most of my work travel involved staying in a Marriott, and we still have a lot of points to use up. Most of DH's photography travel is to small obscure towns that typically have an Econolodge or a Rodeway (the low end of the Choice family), but nothing more upscale.

Also, I've noticed that airline flights using rewards still require you to pay cash for the fees and taxes. Hotel cards calculate the fees and taxes as a percent of money charged, so there are no fees on a reward night. And Marriotts usually give me a choice of points or a welcome gift on arrival, so I typically get 500 points even though the dollar cost is zero.

2) AmEx Blue Cash. This is a very low-income year, post work but before claiming Social Security. DH will claim in either January 2017 or November 2017 (his 70th birthday), and I'll take spousal in February 2017 when I turn 66. (Yes, we knew to have him file and suspend last spring before the deadline, thanks to Bogleheads, so I can claim spousal even if he waits!) We got the AmEx Blue Cash this spring with 0% interest until May 2017, so we're putting everything we can on it. I'm Roth-converting as much as possible this year within the 15% tax bracket, and letting the AmEx cover a lot of our spending. Once we have Social Security coming in next year, we'll pay the card down to zero before May. And yes, we could pay it off in full today if we chose.

Beside the long 0% interest period, we also got a $100 bonus for spending enough in the first three months. We put the cell phone bill on the AmEx, and they are refunding 10% of that bill direct to the card each month. We also seem to get at least $25 in reward dollars every month, and I apply them to the bill the instant we've accumulated $25.

3) Amazon Visa and Amazon Store Card. I need to figure out how to get our Amazon purchases back onto the store card, since it rebates 5% instead of 3%.

4) Other miscellaneous cards for historical reasons. I'm not closing anything old as long as it has no annual fee.

BeneIRA
Posts: 316
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:29 pm

madbrain wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:You are an expert in my book! Thank you so much for this post. It had a ton of valuable and actionable information. Much appreciated.


Glad I was able to help. I sure have been doing a lot of reading on Doctorofcredit, Flyertalk and a couple other forums lately to learn about these cards. Having all my spending data in Quicken for the last 9 years helps figure out which card(s) works best. In previous years, I was using only cashback cards. It looks like the redemption for travel instead of cash can get me more, especially with the signup bonuses involved, but in the case of the CSR, even afterwards. I have been wary of the non-cash programs in the past, such as airline miles, because of the possibility of devaluation, which happens sometimes, because award flights become unavailable, a carrier stops flying a route you're interested in, etc. Certainly, a devaluation could happen with the UR points too. Redeeming the UR points soon after they're earned would lower the risk, but wouldn't eliminate it.


I did the calculations as well. Not as thorough as you, but my significant other and I calculated our spending using receipts and categories from credit card tracking to determine how much we spent for a couple of quarters of the year to determine what was best for us. I was always right there with you on the cash back bandwagon, but then I realized that one or two trips could be greatly helped by the Ultimate Reward points more so than straight cash back. I have been able to take trips I never would have been able to without the use of the cards for the bonuses. And the spend was all for expenditures I had anyway.

I think we are on the same page that Chase probably won't offer this exact deal forever. I can't imagine them keeping the 100,000 point bonus indefinitely. It might be targeted going forward and have, say, an 80,000 point bonus or so, but maybe those Chase Bank customers will be targeted. I think back to the devaluations that happened with the Chase Freedom when he 10% bonus was eliminated and the Chase Sapphire Preferred's dividend. Something is going to get taken away, but for right now, may as well enjoy the ride.

Gemini
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Gemini » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:35 pm

Thanks for all the discussion.

Just had my spouse apply for CSR as well - got the same notice as me - waiting and hoping it goes through. I also downgraded my CSP to chase Freedom. She also has a CSP - should we downgrade to Freedom or Freedom Unlimited? For all the categories that net you points in Freedom Unlimited, can't one just use CSR and get the same points?

Off topic, but does a hotel spa count as "travel" category?

lakpr
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lakpr » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:06 pm

Gemini,

I suggest that, between you and your spouse, one of you downgrade to Freedom and the other downgrade to Freedom Unlimited. Then make each other authorized users on the respective cards.

At the time of redeeming the points transfer between your cards. Transfer of UR points between cards held by people living at the same address is allowed.

Then for all non-travel non-dining charges use the Freedom Unlimited. Use the Freedom for the promotional categories.

This will essentially make the Freedom Unlimited a 2.25% card, the Freedom a 7.5% card and the CSR a 3% card, owing to the 50% bonus on UR redemption through Chase portal. That assumes only a 1cent per point redemption rate. More than likely you will get a 1.3 cents per point that should essentially make the "cashback" rates 2.8% / 9.7% / 4.5% respectively.

Fantastic deal, even without the signup bonus and worth the 450$ fee.

madbrain
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:54 pm

Gemini wrote:Off topic, but does a hotel spa count as "travel" category?


That really depends on the merchant coding and is unpredictable. If you are able to bill it to the hotel room and pay at the front desk when you check out, most likely yes.

madbrain
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:01 pm

lakpr wrote:Gemini,

I suggest that, between you and your spouse, one of you downgrade to Freedom and the other downgrade to Freedom Unlimited. Then make each other authorized users on the respective cards.


I tried to do this, but Chase wouldn't allow me to downgrade my CSP to Freedom Unlimited because the account is too recent. They told me to wait until the first year is up.

This will essentially make the Freedom Unlimited a 2.25% card, the Freedom a 7.5% card and the CSR a 3% card, owing to the 50% bonus on UR redemption through Chase portal.


I think you meant 2.25% / 7.5% / 4.5% when redeeming through the Chase portal.
The CSR earns 3 points per dollar on travel & dining categories, and you redeem at 1.5 cent per point, so it is 4.5%.

That assumes only a 1cent per point redemption rate. More than likely you will get a 1.3 cents per point that should essentially make the "cashback" rates 2.8% / 9.7% / 4.5% respectively.


If you redeem for cash back, the rate is 1 cent per point for all those cards, and there is no need to transfer your UR points between them.
The cashback rate would be 1.5% / 5% / 3% in that case.

I'm not sure how you are coming up with a 1.3 cent per point or with 2.8% / 9.7% / 4.5% redemption rates.

Gemini
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Gemini » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:09 pm

I have a large bill coming up - estimated taxes . Wondering if it would be wise to pay with the new CSR credit card(s). Federal taxes have an additional 1.8% fee. I don't have a Fido 2% cashback, but that card would be nice to recoup some of the monies charged as fees. Thoughts?

Has anyone paid estimated taxes with credit cards? Can multiple cards be used?

ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:21 pm

I pay my estimated taxes every quarter (and those of my son) using the BofA Travel Rewards at 2.625%. I don't just recoup SOME of the fees, but ALL and more. The bigger my shortfall on April 15, the better off I am the rest of the year (while the IRS does charge penalties for under-withholding, it seems to be miniscule.)

sco
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by sco » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:21 pm

Gemini wrote:I have a large bill coming up - estimated taxes . Wondering if it would be wise to pay with the new CSR credit card(s). Federal taxes have an additional 1.8% fee. I don't have a Fido 2% cashback, but that card would be nice to recoup some of the monies charged as fees. Thoughts?

Has anyone paid estimated taxes with credit cards? Can multiple cards be used?


When is it due, and when can that card be in your hand? :)

otinkyad
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by otinkyad » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:08 am

Gemini wrote:I have a large bill coming up - estimated taxes . Wondering if it would be wise to pay with the new CSR credit card(s). Federal taxes have an additional 1.8% fee. I don't have a Fido 2% cashback, but that card would be nice to recoup some of the monies charged as fees. Thoughts?

Has anyone paid estimated taxes with credit cards? Can multiple cards be used?

Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog has said that he pays his estimated taxes by credit card. I've thought about paying our property taxes by credit car, but the fee is 2.8%.

madbrain
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:41 am

otinkyad wrote:Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog has said that he pays his estimated taxes by credit card. I've thought about paying our property taxes by credit car, but the fee is 2.8%.


In my county, property taxes can be paid by credit card for a 2.38% fee, or 1% fee for debit.
You can use a credit card to purchase prepaid VISA or MC debit cards for $500, typically with a $3.95 activation fee, ie. under 1%. And then using my county's 1% fee for debit, it would be under 2% and still earn a very small amount of net rewards - but it may still be worth doing to satisfy minimum spending to earn bonuses on new cards.

Of course, unless your property taxes are very low, you would have to purchase and use multiple prepaid cards.

The problem for me is that I also have an escrow account which pays the property taxes, and I don't think the county will send a refund for overpayment unless the property is sold. Thus, the credit card bill would come due with no extra funds to pay it. Ie. I would be giving an interest-free loan to the county by doing so. I know rates are very low, but this still doesn't sound like a great idea to me.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lakpr » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:44 am

madbrain,

Plastiq.com has a promotion currently to pay either rent or mortgage for a 1.75% fee, which is less than the cumulative 2% you outlined for paying property taxes through prepaid credit cards. They "guarantee" that the transaction will post as a purchase and not as a cash advance ...

https://www.plastiq.com/blog/2016/08/pr ... -mortgage/

You will have to commit for 6 mortgage payments though.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:05 am

My credit card reward strategy is evolving. When I was working, I did not want to bother with the complexities of credit cards, frequent flyer programs, and their combinations. Shortly after retiring, I started attending frequent flyer events, reading blogs, and applying new techniques to my credit card strategies and to my travel. The effort has paid off pretty quickly, but I found that I was spending too much time reading, analyzing, verifying, applying, reconciling, and otherwise managing the process.

Now, I seem to be converging on an optimal for me strategy. My travel patterns are as follows:
1. I fly only economy and don't need too many miles to get reward flights to anywhere in the world.
2. In the U.S., I usually get good cash rates to my frequent destinations.
3. I like staying at no-star small hotels and hostels, especially if I can get a private room.
4. Several times a year, I attend events in the U.S. and abroad, where I stay at event hotels. While I usually pay negotiated low rates, it makes sense to be accumulating points.
5. Occasionally, I need to stay at an international airport hotel, and Ibis is a reasonable option at 60 to 80 Euros per night.

And so my current strategy is as follows:
01. Maintain about 100k to 200k in each of American Airlines and United Airlines (including Chase UR) accounts to use for international flights.
02. Pay cash for domestic flights and Amtrak.
03. Participate in the SPG, IHG, Marriott, Hilton and Accor hotel programs for the reasons listed below.
04. Use SPG points for transfer to airlines when my mile balance gets low.
05. Use IHG points for an upcoming stay at an event.
06. Use the Hilton status to get some perqs at an upcoming event for which I will pay out of pocket.
07. Use Marriott points for a future stay.
08. Accumulate Accor points by staying in Ibis, and possibly use them for a future free stay or an Internet discount.
09. Open 2 to 4 new credit cards every year, especially, when they offer high opening bonuses for American or United.
10. Schedule my ongoing expenses to qualify for new card sign-up bonuses.
11. When I don't have enough expenses, pay estimated taxes with the balance.
12. Close old credit cards when annual fees are due, with some exceptions listed below.
13. Keep a Citi-AAdvantage card to have priority boarding and free checked-in luggage.
14. Keep Chase United Explorer to have priority boarding, free check-in luggage, and access to the United lodge.
15. Keep CSP to store UR.
16. Have a list of the best use of various cards. For example, I use Chase-Freedom for its quarterly category spending, CSP for travel expenses, and IHG for groceries.

This 16-point strategy is my 80-20 solution.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:30 am

VictoriaF wrote:My credit card reward strategy is evolving. When I was working, I did not want to bother with the complexities of credit cards, frequent flyer programs, and their combinations. Shortly after retiring, I started attending frequent flyer events, reading blogs, and applying new techniques to my credit card strategies and to my travel. The effort has paid off pretty quickly, but I found that I was spending too much time reading, analyzing, verifying, applying, reconciling, and otherwise managing the process.

Now, I seem to be converging on an optimal for me strategy. My travel patterns are as follows:
1. I fly only economy and don't need too many miles to get reward flights to anywhere in the world.
2. In the U.S., I usually get good cash rates to my frequent destinations.
3. I like staying at no-star small hotels and hostels, especially if I can get a private room.
4. Several times a year, I attend events in the U.S. and abroad, where I stay at event hotels. While I usually pay negotiated low rates, it makes sense to be accumulating points.
5. Occasionally, I need to stay at an international airport hotel, and Ibis is a reasonable option at 60 to 80 Euros per night.

And so my current strategy is as follows:
01. Maintain about 100k to 200k in each of American Airlines and United Airlines (including Chase UR) accounts to use for international flights.
02. Pay cash for domestic flights and Amtrak.
03. Participate in the SPG, IHG, Marriott, Hilton and Accor hotel programs for the reasons listed below.
04. Use SPG points for transfer to airlines when my mile balance gets low.
05. Use IHG points for an upcoming stay at an event.
06. Use the Hilton status to get some perqs at an upcoming event for which I will pay out of pocket.
07. Use Marriott points for a future stay.
08. Accumulate Accor points by staying in Ibis, and possibly use them for a future free stay or an Internet discount.
09. Open 2 to 4 new credit cards every year, especially, when they offer high opening bonuses for American or United.
10. Schedule my ongoing expenses to qualify for new card sign-up bonuses.
11. When I don't have enough expenses, pay estimated taxes with the balance.
12. Close old credit cards when annual fees are due, with some exceptions listed below.
13. Keep a Citi-AAdvantage card to have priority boarding and free checked-in luggage.
14. Keep Chase United Explorer to have priority boarding, free check-in luggage, and access to the United lodge.
15. Keep CSP to store UR.
16. Have a list of the best use of various cards. For example, I use Chase-Freedom for its quarterly category spending, CSP for travel expenses, and IHG for groceries.

This 16-point strategy is my 80-20 solution.

Victoria


(curious)....Have you considered applying for Chase Sapphire Reserve and dumping Preferred?

The promotion is fantastic. Moreover, the annual fee after the first year (which, practically, comes to $55 more than CSP when you factor in the $300 travel bonus, and effectively $245 less than CSP first year factoring a travel bonus of $600) may be worth it to you. 3x points on travel and dining (which are my major CC expenses) is quite loosely defined and there are several other benefits as well- I took advantage of the free Global Entry ($100 value) with another card last year and it makes traveling internationally much easier. Also I had my car towed 4 times last year for free. etc etc...... for me I think that is prob. worth $55/year more going forward. And if the lounge access is similar to what I got last year with Citi Prestige (which I just downgraded to the free version), it was def. better than what you get with specific airline cards- you might reconsider your need to pay annually for your United card.
Last edited by protagonist on Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:34 am

protagonist wrote:(curious)....Have you considered applying for Chase Sapphire Reserve and dumping Preferred?

The promotion is fantastic. Moreover, the annual fee after the first year (which, practically, comes to $55 more than CSP when you factor in the $300 travel bonus, and effectively $245 less than CSP first year factoring a travel bonus of $600) may be worth it to you. 3x points on travel and dining (which are my major CC expenses) is quite loosely defined and there are several other benefits as well- I took advantage of the free Global Entry ($100 value) with another card last year and it makes traveling internationally much easier. Also I had my car towed 4 times last year for free. etc etc...... for me I think that is prob. worth $55/year more going forward.


I will be above the 24/5 level until winter 2018. Thus I am not applying for Chase cards now. Do you know if the 24/5 rule has been relaxed? If I could, I'd consider CSR.

Thank you, protagonist!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:37 am

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:(curious)....Have you considered applying for Chase Sapphire Reserve and dumping Preferred?

The promotion is fantastic. Moreover, the annual fee after the first year (which, practically, comes to $55 more than CSP when you factor in the $300 travel bonus, and effectively $245 less than CSP first year factoring a travel bonus of $600) may be worth it to you. 3x points on travel and dining (which are my major CC expenses) is quite loosely defined and there are several other benefits as well- I took advantage of the free Global Entry ($100 value) with another card last year and it makes traveling internationally much easier. Also I had my car towed 4 times last year for free. etc etc...... for me I think that is prob. worth $55/year more going forward.


I will be above the 24/5 level until winter 2018. Thus I am not applying for Chase cards now. Do you know if the 24/5 rule has been relaxed? If I could, I'd consider CSR.

Thank you, protagonist!

Victoria


Stay tuned. I think I may have found a way around 5/24. I should know for sure, hopefully, after this weekend, and if so, I will post my workaround. I don't want to do so until I find out if it really worked. My guess is that the 100K promotion will be short-lived, but who knows?

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:48 am

protagonist wrote:
Stay tuned. I think I may have found a way around 5/24. I should know for sure, hopefully, after this weekend, and if so, I will post my workaround. I don't want to do so until I find out if it really worked. My guess is that the 100K promotion will be short-lived, but who knows?


I love the intrigue!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:50 am

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Stay tuned. I think I may have found a way around 5/24. I should know for sure, hopefully, after this weekend, and if so, I will post my workaround. I don't want to do so until I find out if it really worked. My guess is that the 100K promotion will be short-lived, but who knows?


I love the intrigue!

Victoria


haha.

I shouldn't have said anything...... don't get your hopes up too high.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by mikep » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:59 am

I just upgraded my CSP to the CSR after I was declined for the CSR. I miss the 100,000 bonus, but I'll be able to collect $600 in travel credits over the next 6 months for $450, and then my plan is to downgrade back to another card and apply for CSR again when I'm out of 5/24 to collect the bonus and $600 travel credits again. I have a business trip for work next week which I'll use for this years $300 credit and get reimbursed by my employer as well.

I could continue to hold my CSP and pay $95, or switch to this card for -$150 which makes it worth it for at least the first year or partial year if the AF is prorated. Also the extra 3x vs 2x earning, and 1.5x vs 1.25x redemption is gravy.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ChiefIlliniwek » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:22 am

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Stay tuned. I think I may have found a way around 5/24. I should know for sure, hopefully, after this weekend, and if so, I will post my workaround. I don't want to do so until I find out if it really worked. My guess is that the 100K promotion will be short-lived, but who knows?


I love the intrigue!

Victoria


haha.

I shouldn't have said anything...... don't get your hopes up too high.


You should be able to go into a branch and ask if you are pre-approved for the CSR. If you are apply in the branch. There are many reports that this gets around the 5/24 rule.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:53 pm

Make sure you are preapproved. I went into the branch, found out I was not approved, but still applied. Denied.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:55 pm

giesen5 wrote:Make sure you are preapproved. I went into the branch, found out I was not approved, but still applied. Denied.


My nearest Chase branch is over 100 miles away, not a walking distance.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:44 pm

lakpr wrote:madbrain,

Plastiq.com has a promotion currently to pay either rent or mortgage for a 1.75% fee, which is less than the cumulative 2% you outlined for paying property taxes through prepaid credit cards. They "guarantee" that the transaction will post as a purchase and not as a cash advance ...

https://www.plastiq.com/blog/2016/08/pr ... -mortgage/

You will have to commit for 6 mortgage payments though.


I'm aware of the promotion. My experience with Plastiq has been extremely spotty . Only one of the 4 mortgage payments I made with it ever posted to the mortgage account. That was the very first $20 payment I made, on which I paid the fee to earn the $200 fee-free dollars. The three subsequent payments never made it. I gave them plenty of time too, a couple weeks for each one. Enough time passed while waiting that the credit card bill became due, even though the recipient never got the funds. Plastiq refunded my card, but in the meantime they were sitting on the funds, so I basically gave Plastiq an interest-free loan with nothing to show for it. If they could "guarantee" the payment would actually ever post, now that would be something.

lakpr
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lakpr » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:42 pm

madbrain wrote:I'm aware of the promotion. My experience with Plastiq has been extremely spotty .


Ouch, but thanks for sharing your experience. I was actually planning on using Plastiq to meet my spend requirement for the bonus, but your experience makes me pause. I still can meet the spend requirement through other means, it will take longer and perhaps to the wire of the 90-day time period

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:09 pm

lakpr wrote:
madbrain wrote:I'm aware of the promotion. My experience with Plastiq has been extremely spotty .


Ouch, but thanks for sharing your experience. I was actually planning on using Plastiq to meet my spend requirement for the bonus, but your experience makes me pause. I still can meet the spend requirement through other means, it will take longer and perhaps to the wire of the 90-day time period


I tried a rent-paying service a couple years ago, and although the rent check has eventually been sent and received, it was an unnerving experience. I submitted a payment to the service more than two weeks before the due date. Starting a few days before the due date I kept asking my apartment manager if she's received the check, because I did not know in what form it would arrive and whether she would be able to match it to my apartment. The check has eventually arrived a day or two past the due date, which was OK, but I did not like the uncertainty that preceded it.

And so I decided that if I need to spend quickly to qualify for a sign-up bonus I can just pay estimated taxes. With the estimated taxes, I can charge to the credit card the exact amount I need to spend, not the fixed amount of my rent. The fee for paying estimated taxes with a credit card are not much higher than for rent-paying services. And when I pay taxes, I get an immediate result without any uncertainty.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:29 pm

lakpr wrote:
madbrain wrote:I'm aware of the promotion. My experience with Plastiq has been extremely spotty .


Ouch, but thanks for sharing your experience. I was actually planning on using Plastiq to meet my spend requirement for the bonus, but your experience makes me pause. I still can meet the spend requirement through other means, it will take longer and perhaps to the wire of the 90-day time period


As another anecdote, I was able to make a $200 payment to my water company through Plastiq last week, and it went through in just a few days. It appears that payment was sent electronically and not through the mail - no "check sent" in the Plastiq status, just "complete". The water company's website is abysmal so I couldn't confirm that the payment made it through, had to call them and wait 20 minutes on hold until they could confirm it. It was an overpayment, and they will hold on to the funds and apply them towards the next bill.

Mortgages generally have a 15 grace period (15th of the month) before they are considered late, but of course interest will continue to accrue. Even then, I was unable to make a successful payment with Plastiq for 45 consecutive days. Fortunately, it was only a small $200 payment towards principal, not anything towards the minimum due that could have caused my mortgage to be late and damaged by credit.

Plastiq notifies you at different steps of the process, when they bill the card, mail the check, and when the recipient deposits the check. It's just the last part that never happened. I can't say for sure if it's Plastiq's fault, but it was highly suspicious to me for 3 consecutive payments to be "lost in the mail" - statistically improbable.

Maybe I was a repeated victim of mail theft. The lender's payment address is in Southern California. And this all happened to me in the July/August timeframe.
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/08/ ... heft-ring/

Funny thing is I now have about $1500 more to go in "fee-free dollars" with Plastiq due to referrals (PM me if you want one). Just not quite sure how to use them :) You can't pay another credit card with Plastiq. I have a car loan and tried to make a car payment with it. Will report if/when it posts. My credit union will automatically take the monthly car payment from the money market if the Plastiq check doesn't make it in time, so there is no risk of default in that case if the mail mysteriously gets "lost" again.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:47 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Make sure you are preapproved. I went into the branch, found out I was not approved, but still applied. Denied.


My nearest Chase branch is over 100 miles away, not a walking distance.

Victoria


Well, I guess that option does not work for you.

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