What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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lostdog
Posts: 659
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lostdog » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:43 am

Da5id wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Da5id wrote:
lostdog wrote:Dave Ramsey on Credit Card point strategies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1usdOW4RyI


Very funny... Hope you are not serious?!?


Yeah, according to Dave none of us use credit card rewards and we are deeply in credit card debt.... :annoyed


I've never actually seen or heard him before (sheltered life I live). He seemed rather over-the-top for my taste. I've heard some folks say his debt advice has helped them. And clearly, people who can't/don't pay off their credit cards in full should not be playing the credit card rewards games, they are losing regardless...


He is targeting people that don't pay off their credit card monthly. He does warn if you play with the snakes, you can get bit.
Financial Independence is the best revenge. | "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." -Thoreau

gvsucavie03
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:30 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:04 pm

lostdog wrote:
Da5id wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Da5id wrote:
lostdog wrote:Dave Ramsey on Credit Card point strategies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1usdOW4RyI


Very funny... Hope you are not serious?!?


Yeah, according to Dave none of us use credit card rewards and we are deeply in credit card debt.... :annoyed


I've never actually seen or heard him before (sheltered life I live). He seemed rather over-the-top for my taste. I've heard some folks say his debt advice has helped them. And clearly, people who can't/don't pay off their credit cards in full should not be playing the credit card rewards games, they are losing regardless...


He is targeting people that don't pay off their credit card monthly. He does warn if you play with the snakes, you can get bit.


All 3 of my cards are auto-pay and I get the rewards every month. Also only spend what we would have spent anyway (groceries, utilities, gas, etc).

giesen5
Posts: 268
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Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:40 pm

Note: Thanks to all of you who answered my earlier post, this one gets into a bit more detail

Started applying for reward cards 10 months ago, coming up on a bit of a wall, I think.

Since we were new, wife and I applied for Chase cards first not realizing that the 5/24 rule was going to be enforced. So we were lucky there. We ended up using 240,000 UR miles for flights and another 200,000 Barclay and Capital One points for airbnb, so at that point we were broke. (Freedom, Freedom Unlimited (2), Barclay Arrival Plus (2), Chase United Explorer (2), Capital One venture (2), Chase Sapphire (2))

We have a couple of Hilton cards, so we have hitched my wagon to that chain. We don't travel a ton (1-2 times per year, with two kids), but used some points to book two nights in Seattle. So okay use of those points. Have about 90,000 left. Also got an IHG card early in the process, that was a mistake. (Amex Hilton, Citi Hilton, Chase IHG)

Early in the process we also got a Chase British Airways card, thinking that we were going to S America instead of Europe (which we used all the points for a trip next summer). So, I am thinking that I am going to go for AmEx points. If you read my earlier posts you would have seen that we got a Everyday Preferred card and I am waiting to hear about the AmeX SPG card.

I am spinning a bit now, trying to gain traction on a solid plan. I've done about as much as I can for our trip to Italy next summer - tickets and lodging is all covered. Figure that the rest of the costs are not really credit card coverable. So I am looking to our next trip, which I figure will be to South America - would like to see some combination of Galapagos, Machu Picchu and maybe the Amazon.

My plan: Continue to accrue UR and AmEx points for flights. Use some points for domestic family trips and save for 2019 family trip to S America. Use Sapphire for dining (2x), Freedom for rotating categories (5x), EveryDay Preferred for groceries (4.5x), gas (3x) and 30 transactions a month and Freedom Unlimited (1.5x) for everything else. (edit to add: Also have an Alaska card)

We have applied and received 18 cards this year. We closed our United cards, but the other 15 are active. I do plan on closing some of them once the fee comes up so that I can reapply later - like the Barclay Arrival Plus and Venture One. Also plan on downgrading one of our Sapphire cards.

Sorry for the long post. Any other ideas?

Drew777
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:00 am

guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:I'm tapped out on Chase cards due to 5/24. I'm looking ahead to a family trip to South America in 2019. Thinking of beginning to collect AmEx points while still collecting UR points with Freedom/sapphire card.

Any advice on how AmEx points have worked for you?


I'd say Amex MR points are close behind UR points. They have plenty of airline transfer partners, and if you have the Business Platinum you can essentially get 2 cents per point booking flights through their portal. The Business Platinum also currently has a 100,000 point signup bonus, although there is a $15,000 minimum spend requirement. I used 100k MR points for 2 roundtrip economy flights to Europe with Flying Blue. Taxes and surcharges were minimal - I can't remember the exact amount.


One thing I don't like is the fee to transfer MR points to partners. That kinda sucks. :annoyed

But that said, my best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018...and I'm on a quest to rack up a ton of Delta miles by this time next year so we can fly free. My plan is:

1. Amex Delta Skymiles Platinum Business (just got this one) for 70k miles with $5k spend - 75k miles total
2. Amex Delta Skymiles Gold Business (will get in spring) for another 30-50k miles with $1-2k spend - 106-127k miles total
3. Amex Business Gold Charge (will get summer) for 25k MR points to transfer to Delta - 131-152k miles total

Getting these 3 will rack me up a ton of Delta miles - hopefully more than enough to ensure free Hawaii flights in fall 2018. I'm seeing 90k miles for 2 best fare round trip tickets right now. A little more if we can't nab a saver rate.

EDIT: I'm sticking with business versions of these cards so I can open up a chase 5/24 slot in Fall 2017 for the CSR...hoping that bonus is still 100k or at least pretty hefty if the 100k doesn't stick around.


FYI, the Business Gold Rewards sometimes goes up to a 75k bonus.

Drew777
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:43 am

giesen5 wrote:Note: Thanks to all of you who answered my earlier post, this one gets into a bit more detail

Started applying for reward cards 10 months ago, coming up on a bit of a wall, I think.

Since we were new, wife and I applied for Chase cards first not realizing that the 5/24 rule was going to be enforced. So we were lucky there. We ended up using 240,000 UR miles for flights and another 200,000 Barclay and Capital One points for airbnb, so at that point we were broke. (Freedom, Freedom Unlimited (2), Barclay Arrival Plus (2), Chase United Explorer (2), Capital One venture (2), Chase Sapphire (2))

We have a couple of Hilton cards, so we have hitched my wagon to that chain. We don't travel a ton (1-2 times per year, with two kids), but used some points to book two nights in Seattle. So okay use of those points. Have about 90,000 left. Also got an IHG card early in the process, that was a mistake. (Amex Hilton, Citi Hilton, Chase IHG)

Early in the process we also got a Chase British Airways card, thinking that we were going to S America instead of Europe (which we used all the points for a trip next summer). So, I am thinking that I am going to go for AmEx points. If you read my earlier posts you would have seen that we got a Everyday Preferred card and I am waiting to hear about the AmeX SPG card.

I am spinning a bit now, trying to gain traction on a solid plan. I've done about as much as I can for our trip to Italy next summer - tickets and lodging is all covered. Figure that the rest of the costs are not really credit card coverable. So I am looking to our next trip, which I figure will be to South America - would like to see some combination of Galapagos, Machu Picchu and maybe the Amazon.

My plan: Continue to accrue UR and AmEx points for flights. Use some points for domestic family trips and save for 2019 family trip to S America. Use Sapphire for dining (2x), Freedom for rotating categories (5x), EveryDay Preferred for groceries (4.5x), gas (3x) and 30 transactions a month and Freedom Unlimited (1.5x) for everything else. (edit to add: Also have an Alaska card)

We have applied and received 18 cards this year. We closed our United cards, but the other 15 are active. I do plan on closing some of them once the fee comes up so that I can reapply later - like the Barclay Arrival Plus and Venture One. Also plan on downgrading one of our Sapphire cards.

Sorry for the long post. Any other ideas?


I'm not really a fan of the approach to apply for credit card signup bonuses as you need them or to get you to a specific place. Too many things can go wrong, you can't plan that far ahead with points you don't even have yet. Points and miles aren't a savings account, they should be earned and burned. I prefer to apply for signup bonuses when they're at an all time high, and spread them out between all the banks rather than trying to focus on one bank or type of points. That just doesn't work well in reality once you've been doing this for a while. You're only going to get approved for so many cards from one particular bank in a short amount of time. I would recommend just staying up to date on the latest signup bonuses and applying for the good ones when they hit an all time high. Try to always be working on a signup bonus if possible rather than worrying about category bonuses. You still have plenty of options left. You haven't even touched BOA or US Bank, there are Citi AA cards, other Barclays cards, tons of Amex cards, etc. It's also easy to open business cards without technically having a business. Maybe you're planning to open a business and it just never happens. Or maybe you sell a few things on ebay and want a card to keep things separate. You can get approved with $0 revenue.

guitarguy
Posts: 1745
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:18 am

Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:I'm tapped out on Chase cards due to 5/24. I'm looking ahead to a family trip to South America in 2019. Thinking of beginning to collect AmEx points while still collecting UR points with Freedom/sapphire card.

Any advice on how AmEx points have worked for you?


I'd say Amex MR points are close behind UR points. They have plenty of airline transfer partners, and if you have the Business Platinum you can essentially get 2 cents per point booking flights through their portal. The Business Platinum also currently has a 100,000 point signup bonus, although there is a $15,000 minimum spend requirement. I used 100k MR points for 2 roundtrip economy flights to Europe with Flying Blue. Taxes and surcharges were minimal - I can't remember the exact amount.


One thing I don't like is the fee to transfer MR points to partners. That kinda sucks. :annoyed

But that said, my best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018...and I'm on a quest to rack up a ton of Delta miles by this time next year so we can fly free. My plan is:

1. Amex Delta Skymiles Platinum Business (just got this one) for 70k miles with $5k spend - 75k miles total
2. Amex Delta Skymiles Gold Business (will get in spring) for another 30-50k miles with $1-2k spend - 106-127k miles total
3. Amex Business Gold Charge (will get summer) for 25k MR points to transfer to Delta - 131-152k miles total

Getting these 3 will rack me up a ton of Delta miles - hopefully more than enough to ensure free Hawaii flights in fall 2018. I'm seeing 90k miles for 2 best fare round trip tickets right now. A little more if we can't nab a saver rate.

EDIT: I'm sticking with business versions of these cards so I can open up a chase 5/24 slot in Fall 2017 for the CSR...hoping that bonus is still 100k or at least pretty hefty if the 100k doesn't stick around.


FYI, the Business Gold Rewards sometimes goes up to a 75k bonus.


That's a targeted offer from what I read...so not counting on it..but it would be nice.

I also saw that requires either a $5k or $10k spend in 90 days...$5k we could o but $10k would be a real stretch.

I've long wondered how to get targeted for offers like this...seems like I haven't had any luck. With Chase I ended up with a great one for my Ink plus (70k points plus first year AF waived) by applying in branch when I opened a business checking (and nabbed a $500 cash reward for that too). Other than that though...haven't nabbed anything "targeted" at all.

Drew777
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:47 am

guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:I'm tapped out on Chase cards due to 5/24. I'm looking ahead to a family trip to South America in 2019. Thinking of beginning to collect AmEx points while still collecting UR points with Freedom/sapphire card.

Any advice on how AmEx points have worked for you?


I'd say Amex MR points are close behind UR points. They have plenty of airline transfer partners, and if you have the Business Platinum you can essentially get 2 cents per point booking flights through their portal. The Business Platinum also currently has a 100,000 point signup bonus, although there is a $15,000 minimum spend requirement. I used 100k MR points for 2 roundtrip economy flights to Europe with Flying Blue. Taxes and surcharges were minimal - I can't remember the exact amount.


One thing I don't like is the fee to transfer MR points to partners. That kinda sucks. :annoyed

But that said, my best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018...and I'm on a quest to rack up a ton of Delta miles by this time next year so we can fly free. My plan is:

1. Amex Delta Skymiles Platinum Business (just got this one) for 70k miles with $5k spend - 75k miles total
2. Amex Delta Skymiles Gold Business (will get in spring) for another 30-50k miles with $1-2k spend - 106-127k miles total
3. Amex Business Gold Charge (will get summer) for 25k MR points to transfer to Delta - 131-152k miles total

Getting these 3 will rack me up a ton of Delta miles - hopefully more than enough to ensure free Hawaii flights in fall 2018. I'm seeing 90k miles for 2 best fare round trip tickets right now. A little more if we can't nab a saver rate.

EDIT: I'm sticking with business versions of these cards so I can open up a chase 5/24 slot in Fall 2017 for the CSR...hoping that bonus is still 100k or at least pretty hefty if the 100k doesn't stick around.


FYI, the Business Gold Rewards sometimes goes up to a 75k bonus.


That's a targeted offer from what I read...so not counting on it..but it would be nice.

I also saw that requires either a $5k or $10k spend in 90 days...$5k we could o but $10k would be a real stretch.

I've long wondered how to get targeted for offers like this...seems like I haven't had any luck. With Chase I ended up with a great one for my Ink plus (70k points plus first year AF waived) by applying in branch when I opened a business checking (and nabbed a $500 cash reward for that too). Other than that though...haven't nabbed anything "targeted" at all.


There are frequently links around the internet for the 75k Business Gold card that work in Chrome Incognito windows.

giesen5
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Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:24 am

The problem I am having is that I am just a Normal Joe when it comes to traveling - that is why I am trying to accrue points towards a goal.

When I travel for work it is using work credit cards and points. I have a family of 4, we may travel once a year together. We do spend a lot on day-to-day activities, so accruing points is not that hard, especially when you talk about groceries. Man do we spend a lot on groceries.

I understand that I should not be collecting them in a "savings account", but that is what I am doing because I do not have a need for them right now.

I am taking a few months break from chasing sign-ups. It is a bit addicting, I have to admit. I also worry that with the amount of cards this year I am getting close to being denied due to too many accounts.

Again, thanks for all your comments.

Drew777
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:35 am

giesen5 wrote:The problem I am having is that I am just a Normal Joe when it comes to traveling - that is why I am trying to accrue points towards a goal.

When I travel for work it is using work credit cards and points. I have a family of 4, we may travel once a year together. We do spend a lot on day-to-day activities, so accruing points is not that hard, especially when you talk about groceries. Man do we spend a lot on groceries.

I understand that I should not be collecting them in a "savings account", but that is what I am doing because I do not have a need for them right now.

I am taking a few months break from chasing sign-ups. It is a bit addicting, I have to admit. I also worry that with the amount of cards this year I am getting close to being denied due to too many accounts.

Again, thanks for all your comments.


Fair enough, but I think it's better to just earn the most valuable signup bonuses you can and then figure out how to use them. Otherwise you end up applying for suboptimal offers, they may suddenly change award charts and double the miles required before you can book, etc. You could take two more trips in the time it takes you to earn the specific rewards you want. Or you may have accumulated all your miles with one airline and then find out you can't find any availability on that airline to where you want to go, you just saw that they charged the least to that destination and assumed you'd find availability. There are all kinds of problems that can come up, so I think it's better to be as flexible as possible and just rack up the points and miles in whatever program you can earn the most the fastest.

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

Post by guitarguy » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:47 am

Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
I'd say Amex MR points are close behind UR points. They have plenty of airline transfer partners, and if you have the Business Platinum you can essentially get 2 cents per point booking flights through their portal. The Business Platinum also currently has a 100,000 point signup bonus, although there is a $15,000 minimum spend requirement. I used 100k MR points for 2 roundtrip economy flights to Europe with Flying Blue. Taxes and surcharges were minimal - I can't remember the exact amount.


One thing I don't like is the fee to transfer MR points to partners. That kinda sucks. :annoyed

But that said, my best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018...and I'm on a quest to rack up a ton of Delta miles by this time next year so we can fly free. My plan is:

1. Amex Delta Skymiles Platinum Business (just got this one) for 70k miles with $5k spend - 75k miles total
2. Amex Delta Skymiles Gold Business (will get in spring) for another 30-50k miles with $1-2k spend - 106-127k miles total
3. Amex Business Gold Charge (will get summer) for 25k MR points to transfer to Delta - 131-152k miles total

Getting these 3 will rack me up a ton of Delta miles - hopefully more than enough to ensure free Hawaii flights in fall 2018. I'm seeing 90k miles for 2 best fare round trip tickets right now. A little more if we can't nab a saver rate.

EDIT: I'm sticking with business versions of these cards so I can open up a chase 5/24 slot in Fall 2017 for the CSR...hoping that bonus is still 100k or at least pretty hefty if the 100k doesn't stick around.


FYI, the Business Gold Rewards sometimes goes up to a 75k bonus.


That's a targeted offer from what I read...so not counting on it..but it would be nice.

I also saw that requires either a $5k or $10k spend in 90 days...$5k we could o but $10k would be a real stretch.

I've long wondered how to get targeted for offers like this...seems like I haven't had any luck. With Chase I ended up with a great one for my Ink plus (70k points plus first year AF waived) by applying in branch when I opened a business checking (and nabbed a $500 cash reward for that too). Other than that though...haven't nabbed anything "targeted" at all.


There are frequently links around the internet for the 75k Business Gold card that work in Chrome Incognito windows.


Interesting...

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

Post by traveltoomuch » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:04 pm

Bfwolf wrote:As a beginner heading to Europe, I would agree with the recommendation to go on Star Alliance with United points. With OneWorld flying on American points, it's hard to avoid flying on British Airways through London where you'll get slammed with fuel surcharges. ...
Top cards to get would be the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Ink Plus.

Good advice, but ...
  1. Assuming you're happy with economy class, the currently-low transatlantic fares make paying cash very tempting. If you're collecting with a long time horizon, you could diversify into points, but cash back has charms.
  2. Likewise for premium economy.
  3. For business class, it might be worth buying premium economy (e.g. on BA) and upgrading. Chase UR points transfer to BA Executive Club.

Drew777
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:29 am

traveltoomuch wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:As a beginner heading to Europe, I would agree with the recommendation to go on Star Alliance with United points. With OneWorld flying on American points, it's hard to avoid flying on British Airways through London where you'll get slammed with fuel surcharges. ...
Top cards to get would be the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Ink Plus.

Good advice, but ...
  1. Assuming you're happy with economy class, the currently-low transatlantic fares make paying cash very tempting. If you're collecting with a long time horizon, you could diversify into points, but cash back has charms.
  2. Likewise for premium economy.
  3. For business class, it might be worth buying premium economy (e.g. on BA) and upgrading. Chase UR points transfer to BA Executive Club.


That might be true if you're just talking about earning through every day spending, but points and miles make much more sense if you're constantly earning signup bonuses from new cards. After almost two years I'm still almost always working on signup bonuses. I travel a fair amount and haven't paid for a flight or hotel since I started.

Also, as far as flying OneWorld to Europe, if you want to avoid high fuel surcharges you can always fly Air Berlin or on AA metal. Iberia's fuel surcharges are much lower than BA's as well. Booking awards efficiently takes a lot of research, it's almost a science. If you don't thoroughly understand the program then there's a lot you're missing out on.

giesen5
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Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:04 pm

Any new success stories with your strategy?

I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is hard.

My last two cards I applied and received were the AmEx Everyday Preferred and SPG. These are the last cards for me this year - sitting for 3 months or so. My wife last received a card on 9/1, so plan on getting her the Alaska card soon. I haven't dove into the business card world yet, thinking about it.

In 2017 I will need to decide which cards to keep or downgrade.

Oh, it has also been fun spending my points! Recently have used Hilton points for stays in Seattle and San Diego. It is very satisfying not paying for hotels.

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

Post by gvsucavie03 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:25 pm

giesen5 wrote:Any new success stories with your strategy?

I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is hard.


Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the people involved as well as the cc companies.

giesen5
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:30 pm

Of course. Do lots of research and never pay late. You have to be disciplined.

But it is fun, I've been able to fly and stay in hotels for free. It has been quite wonderful.

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

Post by guitarguy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:52 pm

gvsucavie03 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Any new success stories with your strategy?

I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is hard.


Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the people involved as well as the cc companies.


Exactly...it's all a game. Our main thing we always remember though is that we use the cards for stuff we would buy anyway. Money we would spend anyway. That's the key.

Wife has 3 more semesters of school left and I plan on strategically opening cards for each. Just nabbed the Platinum SkyMiles Business Amex with 70k mile signup bonus for $5k spend. Easy peasy...most of that will be her tuition bill. The rest a little Christmas shopping and done. Will cancel before the next AF is due.

Focusing on non-Chase business cards until my 5/24 rule opens up in Nov 2017. As many SkyMiles cards as possible too before this time next year. My best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018. We don't plan on paying for those flights! :D

Long term, will likely apply for a card or 2 per year for each me and wife and that'll be plenty to keep us in the game but not overwhelmed with nonsense.

We have free trips booked to San Francisco and Dallas for the first half of next year. Very happy to have paid about $40 total for these 4 round trip tickets.

IMO the bottom line is simply to take advantage while keeping your wits about you. It's not that difficult to be smart about it and cash in. Just depends on how crazy you want to go juggling cards and what not. We try to maximize UR points with a few cards, but really that earning is just noise compared to the signup bonuses.

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

Post by gunn_show » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:26 pm

Wrapped the Chase Ritz card at end of summer, starting to think about where to use my 3 nights Ritz cert in 2017... (probably Ritz Kapalua again)

Just kicked off the new Chase Sapphire Reserve, almost done with the spending, and really seeing the 3x points on travel and dining rack up already. Going to downgrade my CSP to a Freedom or something else.

Probably will snag the BOA Alaska 30k card real soon (only $1000 spend req), they now fly from Socal to Mammoth daily in ski season for $200 RT :twisted: :twisted:
"I love competition. And I want to win." R. Murdoch

giesen5
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:00 pm

I'm hoping to downgrade my Chase Sapphire to Freedom as well, but I've read that sometimes that does not work - they only will downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited. Anyone have success downgrading to Freedom recently?

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

Post by rjbraun » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:26 pm

giesen5 wrote:I'm hoping to downgrade my Chase Sapphire to Freedom as well, but I've read that sometimes that does not work - they only will downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited. Anyone have success downgrading to Freedom recently?

Yes, I downgraded from CSP to Chase Freedom within the past few months. No problem.

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

Post by gvsucavie03 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:55 pm

Checking account bonuses have gotten me more excited recently.... Wife got $350 in 2 weeks. TV died, so that got a new one.

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

Post by guitarguy » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:23 pm

rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:I'm hoping to downgrade my Chase Sapphire to Freedom as well, but I've read that sometimes that does not work - they only will downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited. Anyone have success downgrading to Freedom recently?

Yes, I downgraded from CSP to Chase Freedom within the past few months. No problem.


Did you already have a Freedom? Or was this your first one?

I've heard recently that Chase stopped letting people have more than one Freedom card, even though you were allowed to in the past. Since I'm over 5/24 and will not be getting rid of my CSP anytime soon, I'm good.

But I'm curious if they even allow a downgrade anymore if you already have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited (which I do). That could be the reason behind it not working.

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

Post by rjbraun » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:43 pm

guitarguy wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:I'm hoping to downgrade my Chase Sapphire to Freedom as well, but I've read that sometimes that does not work - they only will downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited. Anyone have success downgrading to Freedom recently?

Yes, I downgraded from CSP to Chase Freedom within the past few months. No problem.


Did you already have a Freedom? Or was this your first one?

I've heard recently that Chase stopped letting people have more than one Freedom card, even though you were allowed to in the past. Since I'm over 5/24 and will not be getting rid of my CSP anytime soon, I'm good.

But I'm curious if they even allow a downgrade anymore if you already have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited (which I do). That could be the reason behind it not working.

I think this probably counted as my first Freedom card. I believe I received a Freedom card in the mail, maybe 18 or so months ago. The card was unsolicited and I believe intended as a substitute for the Chase Amtrak Guest Rewards card I had, which Chase discontinued (when Amtrak opted to instead partner with B of A, I believe). But, I never activated that first Freedom card (and probably at some point explicitly told Chase I was declining the card).

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

Post by MandyT » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:02 am

I had a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premium Visa for which I got a bonus early in 2013. I cancelled it at some point because I wasn't using it that much--I figured I'd eventually reapply for another bonus. I've been getting mail and email for awhile offering a 50,000 point bonus, but the last couple of mailings offered 40,000 points. If their purpose was to get me to act on the 50,000 point offer, it worked--the last one was valid through November 30, and I applied yesterday and was approved (for a somewhat higher credit limit than I had expected).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve looks interesting, but it will be a lot easier for me to meet the $2000 in 3 months spend requirement for the Southwest than the $4000 for the CSR. If there is still a nice signup bonus for the CSR available in the second half of 2017, I might apply. Also, one of my friends swears by the Chase Hyatt card, which gives 2 free nights as a signup bonus and 1 free night each year; my understanding is that these nights can be used at any of their properties, so, with some planning, one can get extremely good value. I've been holding off until I feel that I could derive a good enough benefit.

It seems to me that part of the cat-and-mouse game of travel cards is that the companies want you to take trips to more exotic places and stay at nicer hotels than you would have otherwise. I'm ornery enough that I'd rather feel as if I'm getting credit card benefits for trips I would have taken anyway.

For my routine spending, I use: (1) Sallie Mae MasterCard for 5% on up to $250 in groceries (including Walmart), up to $250 in gas (including most convenience stores), and up to $750 in books (including Amazon) each month. I don't think the card is available anymore. (2) Citi Double Cash, 2% on everything unless I have some reason to use another card. (3/4) I have a Chase Freedom and a Discover it that I'll use for rotating categories. (5) I have a Choice Privileges Visa that gives me automatic Gold status; after some hassles getting bonus points awarded, I haven't been using it much. (6) I have a USAA Visa Signature that used to be a World Mastercard. I hardly ever use it, but I keep it because it's my oldest card. Also, I believe the current version has no foreign transaction fees. (7) Once I get my Southwest Visa, it will supersede the others until I complete my $2000 spend.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:41 pm

guitarguy wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Any new success stories with your strategy?

I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is hard.


Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the people involved as well as the cc companies.


Exactly...it's all a game. Our main thing we always remember though is that we use the cards for stuff we would buy anyway. Money we would spend anyway. That's the key.

Wife has 3 more semesters of school left and I plan on strategically opening cards for each. Just nabbed the Platinum SkyMiles Business Amex with 70k mile signup bonus for $5k spend. Easy peasy...most of that will be her tuition bill. The rest a little Christmas shopping and done. Will cancel before the next AF is due.

Focusing on non-Chase business cards until my 5/24 rule opens up in Nov 2017. As many SkyMiles cards as possible too before this time next year. My best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018. We don't plan on paying for those flights! :D

Long term, will likely apply for a card or 2 per year for each me and wife and that'll be plenty to keep us in the game but not overwhelmed with nonsense.

We have free trips booked to San Francisco and Dallas for the first half of next year. Very happy to have paid about $40 total for these 4 round trip tickets.

IMO the bottom line is simply to take advantage while keeping your wits about you. It's not that difficult to be smart about it and cash in. Just depends on how crazy you want to go juggling cards and what not. We try to maximize UR points with a few cards, but really that earning is just noise compared to the signup bonuses.


Two years out is a long way out to be planning award flights. Expect at least a couple devaluations before then.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:45 pm

MandyT wrote:I had a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premium Visa for which I got a bonus early in 2013. I cancelled it at some point because I wasn't using it that much--I figured I'd eventually reapply for another bonus. I've been getting mail and email for awhile offering a 50,000 point bonus, but the last couple of mailings offered 40,000 points. If their purpose was to get me to act on the 50,000 point offer, it worked--the last one was valid through November 30, and I applied yesterday and was approved (for a somewhat higher credit limit than I had expected).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve looks interesting, but it will be a lot easier for me to meet the $2000 in 3 months spend requirement for the Southwest than the $4000 for the CSR. If there is still a nice signup bonus for the CSR available in the second half of 2017, I might apply. Also, one of my friends swears by the Chase Hyatt card, which gives 2 free nights as a signup bonus and 1 free night each year; my understanding is that these nights can be used at any of their properties, so, with some planning, one can get extremely good value. I've been holding off until I feel that I could derive a good enough benefit.

It seems to me that part of the cat-and-mouse game of travel cards is that the companies want you to take trips to more exotic places and stay at nicer hotels than you would have otherwise. I'm ornery enough that I'd rather feel as if I'm getting credit card benefits for trips I would have taken anyway.

For my routine spending, I use: (1) Sallie Mae MasterCard for 5% on up to $250 in groceries (including Walmart), up to $250 in gas (including most convenience stores), and up to $750 in books (including Amazon) each month. I don't think the card is available anymore. (2) Citi Double Cash, 2% on everything unless I have some reason to use another card. (3/4) I have a Chase Freedom and a Discover it that I'll use for rotating categories. (5) I have a Choice Privileges Visa that gives me automatic Gold status; after some hassles getting bonus points awarded, I haven't been using it much. (6) I have a USAA Visa Signature that used to be a World Mastercard. I hardly ever use it, but I keep it because it's my oldest card. Also, I believe the current version has no foreign transaction fees. (7) Once I get my Southwest Visa, it will supersede the others until I complete my $2000 spend.


Traveling to places you wouldn't have otherwise gone is sort of the whole point... I wouldn't be traveling nearly as much if it weren't for all the rewards I've racked up. I average about $30,000 a year worth of free travel. I know everyone gets all ornery about comparing cash prices for business class and high end hotels, but it's also not realistic to compare to economy and hostels. Either way it's a ton of luxury travel for free.

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

Post by guitarguy » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:11 pm

Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Any new success stories with your strategy?

I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is hard.


Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the people involved as well as the cc companies.


Exactly...it's all a game. Our main thing we always remember though is that we use the cards for stuff we would buy anyway. Money we would spend anyway. That's the key.

Wife has 3 more semesters of school left and I plan on strategically opening cards for each. Just nabbed the Platinum SkyMiles Business Amex with 70k mile signup bonus for $5k spend. Easy peasy...most of that will be her tuition bill. The rest a little Christmas shopping and done. Will cancel before the next AF is due.

Focusing on non-Chase business cards until my 5/24 rule opens up in Nov 2017. As many SkyMiles cards as possible too before this time next year. My best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018. We don't plan on paying for those flights! :D

Long term, will likely apply for a card or 2 per year for each me and wife and that'll be plenty to keep us in the game but not overwhelmed with nonsense.

We have free trips booked to San Francisco and Dallas for the first half of next year. Very happy to have paid about $40 total for these 4 round trip tickets.

IMO the bottom line is simply to take advantage while keeping your wits about you. It's not that difficult to be smart about it and cash in. Just depends on how crazy you want to go juggling cards and what not. We try to maximize UR points with a few cards, but really that earning is just noise compared to the signup bonuses.


Two years out is a long way out to be planning award flights. Expect at least a couple devaluations before then.


Devaluations can happen anytime.

More than likely we'll be purchasing the tickets less than a year from now for Oct 2018. Award tickets like this need to be booked like a year out anyways from my experience.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:03 pm

just wanted to share my experience with the difference between two 100,000 miles/points redemptions:

I flew to Japan last month and used 100k AA miles for two business class tickets going there one way. This turned out to be a lie flat seat that was equivalent to first class for the 13 hour flight there. I didn't even want it to end.

For the flight back, I used 102K thank you points which got me two economy flights back. I was unable to book my seats till the day of of 3 days before so I got pretty crappy seats. The seat on JAL was really pretty crappy and tight with very little leg room (and I am a petite female), minimal recline.

I was struck by the difference in what I got on these redemptions.

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

Post by JDCarpenter » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:14 pm

travellight wrote:...

I was struck by the difference in what I got on these redemptions.


Travellight,

If you know, was the difference attributable to the different type of points, or was it simply that the "lie flat" seats were already booked on the second flight?

(I'm pretty naive on this stuff still.)
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travellight
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:25 pm

They are different systems. American has one of the more generous redemptions in frequent flyer miles programs. There is a big difference for me between business class and economy especially on international flights. Even a business class seat that doesn't fully recline is way better than an economy seat but the lie flats were an amazing surprise.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:43 pm

travellight wrote:just wanted to share my experience with the difference between two 100,000 miles/points redemptions:

I flew to Japan last month and used 100k AA miles for two business class tickets going there one way. This turned out to be a lie flat seat that was equivalent to first class for the 13 hour flight there. I didn't even want it to end.

For the flight back, I used 102K thank you points which got me two economy flights back. I was unable to book my seats till the day of of 3 days before so I got pretty crappy seats. The seat on JAL was really pretty crappy and tight with very little leg room (and I am a petite female), minimal recline.

I was struck by the difference in what I got on these redemptions.


travellight wrote:They are different systems. American has one of the more generous redemptions in frequent flyer miles programs. There is a big difference for me between business class and economy especially on international flights. Even a business class seat that doesn't fully recline is way better than an economy seat but the lie flats were an amazing surprise.


American AAdvantage miles/points are especially valuable when used on partner airlines in premium class, with no need to worry about "saver" miles, or double/triple, etc.
(Our first "flat bed" seats/beds were surprise freebies on Alitalia Business class, due to a change of equipment, and we were hooked.)

We are just starting to do some serious pre-retirement traveling, and are finally "cashing in" our Amex Rewards Points and AAdvantage miles/points, with a strategy/philosophy similar to yours, travelight.
We didn't realize until too recently how well these could be "used", with some planning.

Our first (recent) major trip with points will be to Japan next spring, from the east coast.

We specifically routed through JFK to Tokyo to get JAL's best First Class beds.
On the way back, because we weren't flying from Tokyo, we purposefully used a few extra points to route ourselves on Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong, with the long haul back to the USA on their First Class.
Flying from Osaka, but not through Hong Kong, would have required an extra connection, and those are the worst parts of flying, for us.
in both cases
Business would have been fine, but we decided to splurge because the seats/beds were actually available (with a little date flexibility), and just to celebrate the start of this new travel. :happy

On the outbound, we used 80k miles/points each for First rather than the 50k for Business.
But we are thinking of the "value" (as you are, travelight), using several methods.

First, "what if" we'd collected 2 cents per point charged, rather than collect "points"?
Well, that would have been $1,600 each outbound. We couldn't even touch Business class for that. And forget First class entirely.
travelight used the same 50k points, which are worth $1,000 each, at 2 cents per mile, which is even further from the cash price of Business class.

On this route, Business class ranges from $4k - $9k each, one way, depending upon restrictions.
And First would have been $13k each, one way.

Would we have paid $13k cash? Of course not!
Would we have paid $9k? Nope.
Would we have paid $4k each, one way? Well, either "yes" or "we wouldn't have taken the trip", and we DO want to see Japan at least once.
At our ages, we just cannot "sit up" in economy OR premium economy for even less than the ~15 hours these long haul flights take.
Sure, we should have gone when we are younger, but we can't re-start the clock, alas.
The point is: We absolutely would pay $1,600 or $1,000 each, one way, for First or Business, respectively, on these long haul flights.
NO question.


So regardless of whether it's First or Business, these are very "valuable" uses of the awards, at least for us.

Better yet, we (late to the party!) realized that we can purchase these AAdvantage points for approximately 2 cents each (slightly +/-).
It would be sort of a wash to do this if the travel would have cost $1,000 or $1,600, each. But that amount of cash wouldn't even come close.

There isn't a chance in the world that we'd want a "cash back" card with this as a different use of "rewards".

IF we decide that First class is "enough better", we'll do that, and continue to "splurge" with what costs us ~$3,200 for both, one way, rather than the ~$2k for both of us, one way in Business.

If we were younger, we would have jumped at the chance of getting premium economy seats, but no more, not for lengthy flights.

We did have to juggle the dates a bit, and I'm still surprised we were able to get these, given there are only 8 or 6 First seats/beds on each flight.
If we had wanted the Business class, it would have been simple to get those without much juggling of dates.

To travelight: I'm still not quite sure what the "thank you points" are or are "worth", although we've briefly looked into getting new cards that would have "thank you points".
However, I think your experience has confirmed that we don't want those from an awards charge card.
I can't imagine doing better than we are already doing (but if anyone has suggestions, please do tell!).

By the way, these calculations are all at the recently devalued points, still an amazing "value" to us.

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

Post by lostdog » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:47 pm

https://zerofinancial.com/

3% cash back but it's a debit card and requires $100,000 in annual spending.
Financial Independence is the best revenge. | "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." -Thoreau

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

Post by travellight » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:58 pm

^ very envious of your upcoming travels, RM! PM me if you have any questions about Japan.

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

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:31 pm

There is a Merrill Lynch Visa available now with $0 annual fee and a 50,000 point bonus after $3,000 spend in 3 months. 50,000 points can be redeemed for $500 cash or up to $1000 in paid airfare. Wife and I each signed up and were approved. We will be taking the cash payout.

I had no previous relationship with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:54 pm

guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Any new success stories with your strategy?

I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is hard.


Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the people involved as well as the cc companies.


Exactly...it's all a game. Our main thing we always remember though is that we use the cards for stuff we would buy anyway. Money we would spend anyway. That's the key.

Wife has 3 more semesters of school left and I plan on strategically opening cards for each. Just nabbed the Platinum SkyMiles Business Amex with 70k mile signup bonus for $5k spend. Easy peasy...most of that will be her tuition bill. The rest a little Christmas shopping and done. Will cancel before the next AF is due.

Focusing on non-Chase business cards until my 5/24 rule opens up in Nov 2017. As many SkyMiles cards as possible too before this time next year. My best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018. We don't plan on paying for those flights! :D

Long term, will likely apply for a card or 2 per year for each me and wife and that'll be plenty to keep us in the game but not overwhelmed with nonsense.

We have free trips booked to San Francisco and Dallas for the first half of next year. Very happy to have paid about $40 total for these 4 round trip tickets.

IMO the bottom line is simply to take advantage while keeping your wits about you. It's not that difficult to be smart about it and cash in. Just depends on how crazy you want to go juggling cards and what not. We try to maximize UR points with a few cards, but really that earning is just noise compared to the signup bonuses.


Two years out is a long way out to be planning award flights. Expect at least a couple devaluations before then.


Devaluations can happen anytime.

More than likely we'll be purchasing the tickets less than a year from now for Oct 2018. Award tickets like this need to be booked like a year out anyways from my experience.


Right, Delta is already one of the less valuable programs though, so I would just plan on needing more miles than you would if you were booking today.

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

Post by gvsucavie03 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:20 pm

lostdog wrote:https://zerofinancial.com/

3% cash back but it's a debit card and requires $100,000 in annual spending.


Wow, so pretentious. 2% cards can be found for free with no minimum. $100k seems rich for 3%.

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

Post by Hulk » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:46 pm

My strategy? Getting the most money with the least hassle. Thats seems to be fidelity visa which gives 2% back on all purchases, straight into my daughter's 529. Although, I may have to jump on USAP's new 2.5% card when it becomes widely available next year

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

Post by guitarguy » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:04 pm

Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the people involved as well as the cc companies.


Exactly...it's all a game. Our main thing we always remember though is that we use the cards for stuff we would buy anyway. Money we would spend anyway. That's the key.

Wife has 3 more semesters of school left and I plan on strategically opening cards for each. Just nabbed the Platinum SkyMiles Business Amex with 70k mile signup bonus for $5k spend. Easy peasy...most of that will be her tuition bill. The rest a little Christmas shopping and done. Will cancel before the next AF is due.

Focusing on non-Chase business cards until my 5/24 rule opens up in Nov 2017. As many SkyMiles cards as possible too before this time next year. My best friend is getting married in Hawaii in fall 2018. We don't plan on paying for those flights! :D

Long term, will likely apply for a card or 2 per year for each me and wife and that'll be plenty to keep us in the game but not overwhelmed with nonsense.

We have free trips booked to San Francisco and Dallas for the first half of next year. Very happy to have paid about $40 total for these 4 round trip tickets.

IMO the bottom line is simply to take advantage while keeping your wits about you. It's not that difficult to be smart about it and cash in. Just depends on how crazy you want to go juggling cards and what not. We try to maximize UR points with a few cards, but really that earning is just noise compared to the signup bonuses.


Two years out is a long way out to be planning award flights. Expect at least a couple devaluations before then.


Devaluations can happen anytime.

More than likely we'll be purchasing the tickets less than a year from now for Oct 2018. Award tickets like this need to be booked like a year out anyways from my experience.


Right, Delta is already one of the less valuable programs though, so I would just plan on needing more miles than you would if you were booking today.


Whelp we'll be accumulating them as best we can right up until we book the flights this time next year. All we can do is hope we have enough!

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by hoops777 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:33 pm

My strategy is based on free travel.Free flights,hotels and rental car.Recently added the chase sapphire reserve and like the primary insurance option.The problem is you have to pay for the car rental with it so it is not free using points.To pay or not to pay :D
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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

Post by NYCguy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:50 pm

gvsucavie03 wrote:
lostdog wrote:https://zerofinancial.com/

3% cash back but it's a debit card and requires $100,000 in annual spending.


Wow, so pretentious. 2% cards can be found for free with no minimum. $100k seems rich for 3%.


From what I can tell, It is not really 3% cashback. It is tiered up to the first $100,000 of spending and then 3% on everything in excess thereof. The effective rebate on the first $100,000 of spending is only 1.625%

I haven't run the math, but the break even point with a 2% card is probably around $120,000 of annual spending.

Seems like a hassle for big spenders as compared to a 2% rebate card
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:09 pm

NYCguy wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:
lostdog wrote:https://zerofinancial.com/

3% cash back but it's a debit card and requires $100,000 in annual spending.


Wow, so pretentious. 2% cards can be found for free with no minimum. $100k seems rich for 3%.


From what I can tell, It is not really 3% cashback. It is tiered up to the first $100,000 of spending and then 3% on everything in excess thereof. The effective rebate on the first $100,000 of spending is only 1.625%

I haven't run the math, but the break even point with a 2% card is probably around $120,000 of annual spending.

Seems like a hassle for big spenders as compared to a 2% rebate card


Good points. Sticking with my Citi Double Cash card.

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

Post by travellight » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:42 pm

woohoo!

I signed up for the Alaska airlines cc, got approved and spent the minimum the day I got it.

I also applied for Hilton Honors, at 75k bonus with no AF, seemed timely. Was approved and waiting to spend on it.

I also applied for Chase Fairmont visa. I waited 4 days with no sign of new life in my chase online acct so I called the reconsideration line. They were able to approve it for me after moving my credit limit around. I exceed the Chase 5/24 so this was great. This rewards 2 free nights at a Fairmont which are expensive and gorgeous prime properties if you allocate it smartly.

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

Post by ChiefIlliniwek » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:14 pm

travellight wrote:woohoo!

I signed up for the Alaska airlines cc, got approved and spent the minimum the day I got it.

I also applied for Hilton Honors, at 75k bonus with no AF, seemed timely. Was approved and waiting to spend on it.

I also applied for Chase Fairmont visa. I waited 4 days with no sign of new life in my chase online acct so I called the reconsideration line. They were able to approve it for me after moving my credit limit around. I exceed the Chase 5/24 so this was great. This rewards 2 free nights at a Fairmont which are expensive and gorgeous prime properties if you allocate it smartly.


Not all Chase cards are under the 5/24 rule.

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-524-rule-now-effect-credit-cards/

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

Post by protagonist » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:40 pm

ChiefIlliniwek wrote:I also applied for Chase Fairmont visa.


Yes, sounds great until you try to use your benefits.

At least that was my experience. I got the card so I could stay in the London Savoy. I tried booking a year in advance and kept trying during the year. No dates available. I finally gave up and, since my gf lives in NYC and I didn't want to leave the card unused, we tried booking in the Plaza in NYC. Again, no dates available. None. Regardless of how flexible we were.

I wound up canceling the card unused after a year without taking advantage of it. We used the $50 credit for brunch at the Plaza one day- food was mediocre at best and with tip for two it came to way more than $50 for just basics. Beautiful place but even without the $50 credit we could have had a much better brunch for less elsewhere in NYC. They have wonderful properties, and I suppose if you are willing to stay at any one of them and focus a trip around those two free days, you would probably have better luck. But don't expect to get into their choice properties, unless your luck is better than mine.

The IHG card, on the other hand, is great, with a free night every year with $49 renewal. I have used that one repeatedly. It is my favorite of the hotel cards, and is a keeper.

The next card I plan to apply for is the new Chase Ink Business Preferred with an 80K UR bonus, after I fall off the 5/24 rule on December 11.

rjbraun
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by rjbraun » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:44 am

I recently got a Chase Ink Business Preferred card. I already climbed on the Chase Sapphire Reserve bandwagon and even got SO to bite. My original plan was that I would help him reach the $4000 minimum spend, but he's already almost there so I figured I should consider getting yet another card with a solid promotional bonus to charge a couple of upcoming big ticket items. Frightening how much easier these minimum spends are to reach than I would have guessed.

Anyway, the 80,000 UR points with $5000 minimum spend was too good to pass up. In addition to CSR, I have Chase Freedom (downgrade from CSP), Sallie Mae (with terms no longer available) and two Cap One cards (Spark Business and a personal card I keep for its longevity).

I really don't like having so many cards, so I suppose I will look to eliminate Ink before the 1-year anniversary and SO will likely do the same with his CSR.

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/InkBus ... ferred/8tk

Bfwolf
Posts: 1645
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:02 pm

protagonist wrote:
ChiefIlliniwek wrote:I also applied for Chase Fairmont visa.


Yes, sounds great until you try to use your benefits.

At least that was my experience. I got the card so I could stay in the London Savoy. I tried booking a year in advance and kept trying during the year. No dates available. I finally gave up and, since my gf lives in NYC and I didn't want to leave the card unused, we tried booking in the Plaza in NYC. Again, no dates available. None. Regardless of how flexible we were.

I wound up canceling the card unused after a year without taking advantage of it. We used the $50 credit for brunch at the Plaza one day- food was mediocre at best and with tip for two it came to way more than $50 for just basics. Beautiful place but even without the $50 credit we could have had a much better brunch for less elsewhere in NYC. They have wonderful properties, and I suppose if you are willing to stay at any one of them and focus a trip around those two free days, you would probably have better luck. But don't expect to get into their choice properties, unless your luck is better than mine.

The IHG card, on the other hand, is great, with a free night every year with $49 renewal. I have used that one repeatedly. It is my favorite of the hotel cards, and is a keeper.

The next card I plan to apply for is the new Chase Ink Business Preferred with an 80K UR bonus, after I fall off the 5/24 rule on December 11.


I don't have this card (yet), but I think this may be a somewhat unfair indictment of it. The Savoy is capacity constrained for those free nights and the Plaza only lets you use one certificate (i.e. you can't use both free nights in a row). But ONLY the Plaza and Savoy have these restrictions on them. So in essence, you happened to pick the 2 hotels that it's very difficult to use the 2 free nights. Yes, those are perhaps their 2 most premier hotels in the most premier cities, but they still have lots of other incredible options. I have a friend who got a Fairmont card and so did his fiance and they used the 4 nights for their honeymoon...2 nights in San Francisco and 2 nights in Sonoma and they raved about how great it was, especially with the suite upgrades.

travellight
Posts: 2686
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:44 pm

["New] American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months. Product change is treated as account closure."

I came across this today; it seems very restrictive. Basically, it would translate to only one new card every two years in Citi AA if you have any significant history with them, right?

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5471
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:45 pm

travellight wrote:["New] American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months. Product change is treated as account closure."

I came across this today; it seems very restrictive. Basically, it would translate to only one new card every two years in Citi AA if you have any significant history with them, right?

Yes, but that is not an uncommon restriction. It's to prevent churning to get bonuses, much like Chase's 5/24 rule.

Icarus961
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:04 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Icarus961 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:05 pm

Hey everybody.

Goal: So my goal thus far has basically been to focus on cashback.

Cards:
1. American Express Blue Cash Everyday
- 3% back on groceries, 2% back on gas, 1% on everything else. My daily card.
- No Fee
2. Santander Sphere Card
- 1% back on all purchases. Used when my amex isn't accepted, often enough to keep it active.
- Upgraded from my Santander Student Card. Boring, but my oldest card.
- No Fee

Rewards
All of my rewards just get redeemed as cash, put towards my statement balance.

I applied for my AMEX several years ago, so I'm considering getting another card in the interest of taking advantage of good rewards. I have a credit score hovering around 800. I travel rarely (averaging a little less than once a year, probably), spend about $2500 a year on groceries, $1000 a year on gas. All things considered I probably put about $10k-12k on cards throughout the year for various things, and I pay them off every month.

What would be the best course of action going forward? I'm currently leaning toward grabbing the "Discover It" card. 5% rotating categories will allow me to take advantage of a higher reward rate on certain things through out the year. Also, if I use that as my primary for the next year for everything except where my Amex would be higher (groceries, I guess, when it's not in the current rotation), I stand to get a pretty good return since they'll double my rewards for the first year. Is there a better option than this (including, I suppose, not getting any new card) or is this a solid plan?

Edit: The Chase Freedom seems to be a reasonable parallel, though I already have a Visa in my Sphere, if that matters

gpc0321
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:17 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gpc0321 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:07 pm

I'm new to this game, but I'll share my "strategy" I guess.

First, I've had one credit card for the majority of my life up until this September. I now have six credit cards:
1. Chase Freedom (oldest card...was just a Chase Visa when I first got it a million years ago)
2. Chase Southwest Premier Visa (got it for the sign-up bonus so I could fly myself and my folks to/from Orlando next year)
3. Chase Disney Rewards Visa (got this one from a referral and got a $200 Disney gift card that will go towards park tickets)
4. Sam's Club Mastercard (was pre-approved when I joined Sam's for their discount Disney gift cards)
5. Chase Freedom Unlimited (like this card for all my "non-category" spending and the sign-up bonus. Gets used the most.)
6. Chase Sapphire Preferred (just got approved for this last night. I chickened on the CSR because I don't really travel enough to warrant it, and though I know people will howl, I'll probably use the 50k for $500 cash back to put towards the Disney trip. I like that it is compatible with my Freedom and Unlimited though, and it will take the Southwest's place as my more flexible travel card.)

My strategy is fairly simple. Rack up the sign-up bonuses, then the cards that aren't practical go in the sock drawer. Disney and Southwest have done their jobs for now. Disney will be kept active so that we can use it next year AT Disney to get 10% off of dining and shopping. Southwest will be closed. It has a $95 annual fee, and I don't need it when I have the CSP.

So, I will:
* Use Freedom for 5X categories as appropriate
* Use Sam's MC for gas and restaurants outside of Freedom's quarters for those
* Use Freedom Unlimited for everything else
* Transfer UR points from Freedom and Unlimited to CSP and use it for booking travel.

I'm not exactly a world traveler, but I would like to travel more than I do now. Even if it's just in the continental U.S. I'll be happy with free airfare and a few nights in some nice hotels.

giesen5
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:44 pm
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:54 am

Quick question: Both my wife and I have Chase Sapphire and Freedom Unlimited cards. I want to close her Sapphire card when the annual fee is due. Can she still earn UR points and transfer them to my account if she does not have the Sapphire?

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