What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:11 am

Da5id wrote:For those doing the CSR thing, I'm not planning on doing more travelling this year. I wanted my $300. So after a bit of googling I prepaid EZPass (NH) $300. Already have the $300 credit in my CSR account, so clearly it did indeed code as tolls (a travel category).


Good news, thanks!

Does anyone know if CSR treats urban transportation such as Metro or Subway as travel?

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

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

Postby Da5id » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:01 am

VictoriaF wrote:Good news, thanks!

Does anyone know if CSR treats urban transportation such as Metro or Subway as travel?

Victoria


CSR doesn't on its own actually treat anything as travel as I understand it. It is a question of how the merchant who sells the product codes it. If it is an unknown, standard approach is to make a small purchase and see in your online account how it is coded.

Comments in this link: http://www.doctorofcredit.com/maximizin ... edit-cash/ say that NYC Metro does count. But that is still no guarantee for any other metro, again depends on how it is coded by POS.

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

Postby Texanbybirth » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:38 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Da5id wrote:For those doing the CSR thing, I'm not planning on doing more travelling this year. I wanted my $300. So after a bit of googling I prepaid EZPass (NH) $300. Already have the $300 credit in my CSR account, so clearly it did indeed code as tolls (a travel category).


Good news, thanks!

Does anyone know if CSR treats urban transportation such as Metro or Subway as travel?

Victoria


I'd run a small test transaction on the card to see how it codes. I did this on our CSP for our tollway authority and was pleased to see that it counted as "travel". I confirmed by looking at the transaction on the Chase website, which gave me 1x the points for the amt and an additional 1x the points as travel.

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

Postby Johnora » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:06 am

So this has shifted a couple of times for me, at one time I was all about cash back, then I was into the Cruise Lines credit cards, but now I really only use two cards primarily and of course pay each off each month.

1. Alaska airlines - primary card
2. Southwest airlines - secondary card

So we are currently looking to book a flight to South America which costs about $3500 for the two of us, or nothing with at least 80,000 miles. To get the miles up, we use the card everywhere, pay utilities with it, and take advantage of their shopping club miles boost ( 3 miles per $ and higher) and this cool thing called Rocket Miles.

We are about to book a hotel using rocket miles that will give us 21,000 miles for a three night stay at the hotel and we will only spend about $900 total. While the hotel can be booked a little cheaper on other sites or even directly, the fact that I can get 21K in miles for a $900 investment and enjoy a great week out with my DW appeals to me. Usually we are staying in a very nice hotel to maximize the points.

further, when you book a flight under the Alaska plan using just points, you immediately can book the flight using all of their partner airlines, so our flight to South America may not ever use an Alaska airlines plane, but instead may use AA, or Delta, or other partner airlines, and we get a large variety of itineraries to choose from as well to best fit our plans.

I'm sure there are other better deals out there, but for us right now, if I can knock of a $3500 flight costs and only pay the small airport charges of $24 going and $115 coming back, well I'm a happy traveler and have more to enjoy when I get their. Of course when I get there I am staying in Places that I have made timeshare exchanges for with Interval International (less than $200 a week) as well as I continue to stretch our funds to maximize our travel but that is another forum.

Southwest works well too and we are about to take a free flight next month. If you are not making your everyday purchases work for you, well you are missing a tremendous amount of potential savings in one way or another. :beer

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

Postby protagonist » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:17 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Victoria wrote:Rewards strategies are highly individual. I am not interested in Starwood or other nice hotels, and I am focusing on air miles. In 2017, I am planning three international trips to:
- Prague
- Barcelona (possibly via France)
- Brisbane (possibly via Hawaii)

Having flexibility with American and United miles is essential for me.

Victoria


Is Australia just a vacation, or for a purpose like a conference or some such thing? Interesting. Please relate your best deal on points to Australia.

The last I checked, Air France had some great deals to places like that, esp. if you are creative in routing. UR now offers Air France/KLM as one of their partners. Check it out.


For now, I only checked out flights to Prague in Spring. It's the usual 60k on United + $90 in taxes.

A trip to Barcelona will be in Summer, and I may visit friends in France on the way there. I'll check United stop-over conditions, or may book separate flights to Paris, to Barcelona, and back to the U.S. Thank you for the tip about UR and AF/KLM.

A trip to Australia will be in the Fall of 2017 for a conference PLUS local travel before or after. I am waiting for the information from the organizers if they will be offering something, or I should plan it on my own. A trip to Hawaii would be for another conference on the way to Australia, if the dates of the two conferences are congruent.

I don't have any status with the airlines, and for me the dates and schedules are more important than good deals. If I can get round trip economy flights to Europe for 60k miles and to Australia for 90k, I will consider it miles well spent.

Victoria


You need to know about this: http://thepointsguy.com/2016/06/top-use ... lue-miles/

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

Postby protagonist » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:18 pm

madbrain wrote:
protagonist wrote:
That said, Starwood points are one of the few hotel programs that seem to offer good hotel transfers, and I have about 250K AA points.

I am tempted by this, but in the long run I think I am better off saving my Starwood points and having the flexibility of where I use them when I need them.


Beware that Starwood points expire after 12 months of inactivity, like many hotel and loyalty programs. Worse, they will even close your account for inactivity. Happened to me.


I believe you can keep it active by, say, having a cup of coffee every year in a Starwood hotel. I hope so anyway.

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

Postby protagonist » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:32 pm

protagonist wrote:
madbrain wrote:
protagonist wrote:
That said, Starwood points are one of the few hotel programs that seem to offer good hotel transfers, and I have about 250K AA points.

I am tempted by this, but in the long run I think I am better off saving my Starwood points and having the flexibility of where I use them when I need them.


Beware that Starwood points expire after 12 months of inactivity, like many hotel and loyalty programs. Worse, they will even close your account for inactivity. Happened to me.


I believe you can keep your points by, say, having a cup of coffee every year in a Starwood hotel. I hope so anyway.

It used to be possible to keep your points active by booking a stay and then canceling it. I don't know if that is still the case.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Ron Ronnerson » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:10 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Da5id wrote:For those doing the CSR thing, I'm not planning on doing more travelling this year. I wanted my $300. So after a bit of googling I prepaid EZPass (NH) $300. Already have the $300 credit in my CSR account, so clearly it did indeed code as tolls (a travel category).


Good news, thanks!

Does anyone know if CSR treats urban transportation such as Metro or Subway as travel?

Victoria


One more data point: This past July, I used the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in the Bay Area for the local train (BART) to go from the suburbs to San Francisco and it was counted as a travel purchase. I bought $61.50 in tickets and the statement said $62 was spent on travel. I received double points on that transaction since it was categorized as travel.

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

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:12 am

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Victoria wrote:Rewards strategies are highly individual. I am not interested in Starwood or other nice hotels, and I am focusing on air miles. In 2017, I am planning three international trips to:
- Prague
- Barcelona (possibly via France)
- Brisbane (possibly via Hawaii)

Having flexibility with American and United miles is essential for me.

Victoria


Is Australia just a vacation, or for a purpose like a conference or some such thing? Interesting. Please relate your best deal on points to Australia.

The last I checked, Air France had some great deals to places like that, esp. if you are creative in routing. UR now offers Air France/KLM as one of their partners. Check it out.


For now, I only checked out flights to Prague in Spring. It's the usual 60k on United + $90 in taxes.

A trip to Barcelona will be in Summer, and I may visit friends in France on the way there. I'll check United stop-over conditions, or may book separate flights to Paris, to Barcelona, and back to the U.S. Thank you for the tip about UR and AF/KLM.

A trip to Australia will be in the Fall of 2017 for a conference PLUS local travel before or after. I am waiting for the information from the organizers if they will be offering something, or I should plan it on my own. A trip to Hawaii would be for another conference on the way to Australia, if the dates of the two conferences are congruent.

I don't have any status with the airlines, and for me the dates and schedules are more important than good deals. If I can get round trip economy flights to Europe for 60k miles and to Australia for 90k, I will consider it miles well spent.

Victoria


You need to know about this: http://thepointsguy.com/2016/06/top-use ... lue-miles/


Thank you, protagonist. The new options with Flying Blue make URs even more valuable.

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

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

Postby protagonist » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:13 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Victoria wrote:Rewards strategies are highly individual. I am not interested in Starwood or other nice hotels, and I am focusing on air miles. In 2017, I am planning three international trips to:
- Prague
- Barcelona (possibly via France)
- Brisbane (possibly via Hawaii)

Having flexibility with American and United miles is essential for me.

Victoria


Is Australia just a vacation, or for a purpose like a conference or some such thing? Interesting. Please relate your best deal on points to Australia.

The last I checked, Air France had some great deals to places like that, esp. if you are creative in routing. UR now offers Air France/KLM as one of their partners. Check it out.


For now, I only checked out flights to Prague in Spring. It's the usual 60k on United + $90 in taxes.

A trip to Barcelona will be in Summer, and I may visit friends in France on the way there. I'll check United stop-over conditions, or may book separate flights to Paris, to Barcelona, and back to the U.S. Thank you for the tip about UR and AF/KLM.

A trip to Australia will be in the Fall of 2017 for a conference PLUS local travel before or after. I am waiting for the information from the organizers if they will be offering something, or I should plan it on my own. A trip to Hawaii would be for another conference on the way to Australia, if the dates of the two conferences are congruent.

I don't have any status with the airlines, and for me the dates and schedules are more important than good deals. If I can get round trip economy flights to Europe for 60k miles and to Australia for 90k, I will consider it miles well spent.

Victoria


You need to know about this: http://thepointsguy.com/2016/06/top-use ... lue-miles/


Thank you, protagonist. The new options with Flying Blue make URs even more valuable.

Victoria


Yes. I have about 10K+ Thank You points left from when I held a Citi Prestige card last year (I downgraded it to the free version recently- I think it is called Citi Preferred?). I am thinking of transferring them to Flying Blue rather than risking losing them. I'm confused about the potential expiration (or at least inability to transfer to airline partners) of Thank You points earned on Prestige after downgrading the card. I have read differing opinions. Are you familiar with that?

UR's are great. Since they partner with BA that also gives you access to AA flights. I intend to make CSR my "go-to" card for almost everything. I just keep hotel cards for the free rooms you get with renewal, and I keep free cards forever to lengthen my credit history.

I don't know if it is worth transferring my Starwood points to AA at 1:1.5 , or whether to keep them and maintain flexibility. My gut feeling is to keep them. I think I can just have a coffee at a W hotel in Manhattan at some usurious price once a year to keep them from expiring. I have lots of AA points and can transfer Starwood points at 1:1.25 in the future anywow.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:15 pm

protagonist wrote:Yes. I have about 10K+ Thank You points left from when I held a Citi Prestige card last year (I downgraded it to the free version recently- I think it is called Citi Preferred?). I am thinking of transferring them to Flying Blue rather than risking losing them. I'm confused about the potential expiration (or at least inability to transfer to airline partners) of Thank You points earned on Prestige after downgrading the card. I have read differing opinions. Are you familiar with that?


I have some Thank-You points from the lowest level Citi card and I am using them on Amazon. I am not familiar with higher-level Citi Thank You-earning cards.

protagonist wrote:UR's are great. Since they partner with BA that also gives you access to AA flights. I intend to make CSR my "go-to" card for almost everything. I just keep hotel cards for the free rooms you get with renewal, and I keep free cards forever to lengthen my credit history.


CSR is great, but I am not sure I can get it. I will try your branch advice next time in in NYC or Chicago.

protagonist wrote:I don't know if it is worth transferring my Starwood points to AA at 1:1.5 , or whether to keep them and maintain flexibility. My gut feeling is to keep them. I think I can just have a coffee at a W hotel in Manhattan at some usurious price once a year to keep them from expiring. I have lots of AA points and can transfer Starwood points at 1:1.25 in the future anywow.


Another way to keep the SPG account alive is to transfer just 1,000 points. It may be cheaper than coffee in Manhattan.

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

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

Postby protagonist » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:15 pm

VictoriaF wrote:CSR is great, but I am not sure I can get it. I will try your branch advice next time in in NYC or Chicago.


Consider opening a Chase account first for the promotion....often substantial, like $500. in 3 months for $15K in deposits (the one I got) . Google what is available when you are considering it. That might earn you some money while making you more competitive for the card.


Another way to keep the SPG account alive is to transfer just 1,000 points. It may be cheaper than coffee in Manhattan.



Yep....that's a possibility. But I wouldn't get coffee. That said, coffee at even the finest hotels is not always good coffee. Do you have to transfer points in, or out, or either?

You used to be able to book a stay and then cancel it. Is that no longer the case?

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

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:06 pm

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Another way to keep the SPG account alive is to transfer just 1,000 points. It may be cheaper than coffee in Manhattan.


Yep....that's a possibility. But I wouldn't get coffee. That said, coffee at even the finest hotels is not always good coffee. Do you have to transfer points in, or out, or either?

You used to be able to book a stay and then cancel it. Is that no longer the case?


I don't know. My 12-month clock got restarted when I transferred points to American. I will be staying at an SPG hotel in October, which will restart it again.

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?

Postby masteraleph » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:15 pm

For those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, who plan on keeping it- the Chase Freedom Unlimited should now become a very nice complementary card. Yes, it's 1.5 points per dollar, which is less than a Citi Doublecash, but since you can transfer points to the CSR, they can be used towards travel at 1.5 cents per point. So the CFU is then 2.25 cents per dollar, effectively speaking (this is presuming you have a Chase Freedom or two, which again has a really nice effect between the 5% categories and the 1.5 cents/point redemption rate on the CSR).

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby madbrain » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:37 pm

masteraleph wrote:For those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, who plan on keeping it- the Chase Freedom Unlimited should now become a very nice complementary card. Yes, it's 1.5 points per dollar, which is less than a Citi Doublecash, but since you can transfer points to the CSR, they can be used towards travel at 1.5 cents per point. So the CFU is then 2.25 cents per dollar, effectively speaking (this is presuming you have a Chase Freedom or two, which again has a really nice effect between the 5% categories and the 1.5 cents/point redemption rate on the CSR).


Keep in mind the Freedom Unlimited has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so this is not a good card to bring with you for international travel.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby MnD » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:58 pm

masteraleph wrote:For those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, who plan on keeping it- the Chase Freedom Unlimited should now become a very nice complementary card. Yes, it's 1.5 points per dollar, which is less than a Citi Doublecash, but since you can transfer points to the CSR, they can be used towards travel at 1.5 cents per point. So the CFU is then 2.25 cents per dollar, effectively speaking (this is presuming you have a Chase Freedom or two, which again has a really nice effect between the 5% categories and the 1.5 cents/point redemption rate on the CSR).


Not sure I understand the "presuming you have a Chase Freedom". CSR which opens the UR portal and effectively 4.5% back on travel and dining.
The CFU adds an effectively 2.25% back card on everything else.
Not a bad two-card strategy.

Adding a category card like CF is fine, but in my experience the quality of the categories degrade over time and a 3-card system is quite a bit more complex than a 2-card system, especially when it involves rotating categories. CF seems like a very optional add-on to CSR+CFU.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby masteraleph » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:01 pm

MnD wrote:
Not sure I understand the "presuming you have a Chase Freedom". CSR which opens the UR portal and effectively 4.5% back on travel and dining.
The CFU adds an effectively 2.25% back card on everything else.
Not a bad two-card strategy.

Adding a category card like CF is fine, but in my experience the quality of the categories degrade over time and a 3-card system is quite a bit more complex than a 2-card system, especially when it involves rotating categories. CF seems like a very optional add-on to CSR+CFU.


Definitely true. But Chase Freedom's categories tend to be pretty good, and have been around for a while now- Q1 was gas and local commuter transportation, Q2 was grocery stores, Q3 restaurants, and Q4 holiday shopping (will be revealed this week, but almost always includes Amazon). Q2-4 this year also included Wholesale Clubs, but that was probably a one year thing to try and get business as Costco transitioned to Visa.

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

Postby protagonist » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:18 pm

masteraleph wrote:
MnD wrote:
Not sure I understand the "presuming you have a Chase Freedom". CSR which opens the UR portal and effectively 4.5% back on travel and dining.
The CFU adds an effectively 2.25% back card on everything else.
Not a bad two-card strategy.

Adding a category card like CF is fine, but in my experience the quality of the categories degrade over time and a 3-card system is quite a bit more complex than a 2-card system, especially when it involves rotating categories. CF seems like a very optional add-on to CSR+CFU.


Definitely true. But Chase Freedom's categories tend to be pretty good, and have been around for a while now- Q1 was gas and local commuter transportation, Q2 was grocery stores, Q3 restaurants, and Q4 holiday shopping (will be revealed this week, but almost always includes Amazon). Q2-4 this year also included Wholesale Clubs, but that was probably a one year thing to try and get business as Costco transitioned to Visa.


I have the original Chase Freedom card.
When I opened CSR I downgraded CSP to ANOTHER Chase Freedom card, thinking I could get double the limit on 5% quarterly categories. But when I tried to register my second Freedom card for the 5% thing, I couldn't do it. I wonder if they limit you to one card with that function. If so I may try swapping it for Unlimited. According to the Chase rep., none of these moves involve a hard pull or contribute to 5/24.

I would not use points towards travel at 1.5 cents/point. I would rather save them and transfer them to an airline partner- more bang for the buck.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby madbrain » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:43 pm

I will look at bookings for Xmas season next. I know ticket prices go through the roof. My employer has a shutdown with 3 forced vacation days (where you can't work and have to take those days from your balance) on top of the 2 regular paid holidays. That's a big incentive to travel that week. ...
Maybe points transfer can help if booking for Xmas. I don't know. It seems like travel could be half the price at Thanksgiving time instead of Xmas, and when redeeming at 1.5cpp, this would likely a much better value.


I checked, and during xmas time, only the regular awards are available. 85k miles for one-way coach flight to Asia. The value is about 1.2 cent per points. Still far less than the 1.5cpp redemption from the CSR. Looks like flying abroad during Thanksgiving time instead of Xmas still makes much more sense.
I'm really not seeing any way to redeem the UR points for more than 1.5cpp anyway that I look.
Last edited by madbrain on Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby MnD » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:58 pm

masteraleph wrote:
MnD wrote:
Not sure I understand the "presuming you have a Chase Freedom". CSR which opens the UR portal and effectively 4.5% back on travel and dining.
The CFU adds an effectively 2.25% back card on everything else.
Not a bad two-card strategy.

Adding a category card like CF is fine, but in my experience the quality of the categories degrade over time and a 3-card system is quite a bit more complex than a 2-card system, especially when it involves rotating categories. CF seems like a very optional add-on to CSR+CFU.


Definitely true. But Chase Freedom's categories tend to be pretty good, and have been around for a while now- Q1 was gas and local commuter transportation, Q2 was grocery stores, Q3 restaurants, and Q4 holiday shopping (will be revealed this week, but almost always includes Amazon). Q2-4 this year also included Wholesale Clubs, but that was probably a one year thing to try and get business as Costco transitioned to Visa.


Thanks for the info. I have to decide which card to downgrade my CSP to (CF or CFU) now that I have the CSR.
Even though CFU is a straight "cash back" card, it's not a problem to transfer the cash back credits to UR points?
The 3-card system appeals to me, my spouse would not go for it (which is fine - we don't have be identical in card carry), but she would be good with a 2-card CSR+CFU system.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby masteraleph » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:26 pm

MnD wrote:Thanks for the info. I have to decide which card to downgrade my CSP to (CF or CFU) now that I have the CSR.
Even though CFU is a straight "cash back" card, it's not a problem to transfer the cash back credits to UR points?
The 3-card system appeals to me, my spouse would not go for it (which is fine - we don't have be identical in card carry), but she would be good with a 2-card CSR+CFU system.


CFU isn't actually straight cash back- it's Ultimate Rewards. They're just guaranteeing that if you want, you can use UR points 1:1 for statement credit or direct deposit. Like the Freedom, you're limited in what you can do with UR unless you have a higher tier card like CSP or CSR- CSP/CSR allow you to combine rewards points between different accounts, give you a higher rate on UR points when used for travel, and let you exchange to United miles and hotel points.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby masteraleph » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:32 pm

protagonist wrote:
I have the original Chase Freedom card.
When I opened CSR I downgraded CSP to ANOTHER Chase Freedom card, thinking I could get double the limit on 5% quarterly categories. But when I tried to register my second Freedom card for the 5% thing, I couldn't do it. I wonder if they limit you to one card with that function. If so I may try swapping it for Unlimited. According to the Chase rep., none of these moves involve a hard pull or contribute to 5/24.

I would not use points towards travel at 1.5 cents/point. I would rather save them and transfer them to an airline partner- more bang for the buck.


Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby protagonist » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:33 pm

madbrain wrote:
My husband is apparently S.O.L on his CSR application, though.




If he wants the card enough, and has access to a physical Chase bank, I would humbly suggest that he:
1. Check online to see what kind of promos Chase is currently offering for opening an account....they can be quite lucrative and they change often....and either open one for the promo, or (second best)
2. Go into a branch and open up an account , and then
3. try again in person for the card.

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

Postby protagonist » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:36 pm

masteraleph wrote:
protagonist wrote:
I have the original Chase Freedom card.
When I opened CSR I downgraded CSP to ANOTHER Chase Freedom card, thinking I could get double the limit on 5% quarterly categories. But when I tried to register my second Freedom card for the 5% thing, I couldn't do it. I wonder if they limit you to one card with that function. If so I may try swapping it for Unlimited. According to the Chase rep., none of these moves involve a hard pull or contribute to 5/24.

I would not use points towards travel at 1.5 cents/point. I would rather save them and transfer them to an airline partner- more bang for the buck.


Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?


Good news that it worked for you. It failed on the website. Maybe it was a glitch. It could also be that I just downgraded the card today. Perhaps it takes some time before it works in the system. I will wait until I receive the card in the mail and try again. Thanks.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby madbrain » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:39 pm

protagonist wrote:
madbrain wrote:
My husband is apparently S.O.L on his CSR application, though.




If he wants the card enough, and has access to a physical Chase bank, I would humbly suggest that he:
1. Check online to see what kind of promos Chase is currently offering for opening an account....they can be quite lucrative and they change often....and either open one for the promo, or (second best)
2. Go into a branch and open up an account , and then
3. try again in person for the card.


We already went in person first. He opened a savings account with a $15k deposit before applying for he CSR in person last thursday.
The denial letter for his CSR came in the mail today. We called reconsideration. More details here :

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199252&newpost=3052030#p3051941

He certainly wants the card enough. You would be crazy not to, with that bonus offer. Even without the signup bonus, it is worth it (effective -$150 annual fee for the first 12 months), though not nearly as much.

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

Postby tedclu » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:01 am

Got the CSR a week before launch using the leaked link on Reddit. After the first billing cycle, got all the UR points, credit and no annual fee so far. Great card.

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

Postby madbrain » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:25 am

I will look at bookings for Xmas season next. I know ticket prices go through the roof. My employer has a shutdown with 3 forced vacation days (where you can't work and have to take those days from your balance) on top of the 2 regular paid holidays. That's a big incentive to travel that week. ...
Maybe points transfer can help if booking for Xmas. I don't know. It seems like travel could be half the price at Thanksgiving time instead of Xmas, and when redeeming at 1.5cpp, this would likely a much better value.


I checked, and during xmas time, only the regular awards are available. 85k miles for one-way coach flight to Asia. The value is about 1.2 cent per points. Still far less than the 1.5cpp redemption from the CSR. Looks like flying abroad during Thanksgiving time instead of Xmas still makes much more sense.
I'm really not seeing any way to redeem the UR points for more than 1.5cpp anyway that I look.

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

Postby rjbraun » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:37 pm

protagonist wrote:
masteraleph wrote:
protagonist wrote:
I have the original Chase Freedom card.
When I opened CSR I downgraded CSP to ANOTHER Chase Freedom card, thinking I could get double the limit on 5% quarterly categories. But when I tried to register my second Freedom card for the 5% thing, I couldn't do it. I wonder if they limit you to one card with that function. If so I may try swapping it for Unlimited. According to the Chase rep., none of these moves involve a hard pull or contribute to 5/24.

I would not use points towards travel at 1.5 cents/point. I would rather save them and transfer them to an airline partner- more bang for the buck.


Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?


Good news that it worked for you. It failed on the website. Maybe it was a glitch. It could also be that I just downgraded the card today. Perhaps it takes some time before it works in the system. I will wait until I receive the card in the mail and try again. Thanks.

Chase seems to allow multiple Chase Freedom accounts to benefit from the 5% cash back program. I cut and pasted the text below from the site's FAQ list. (In the link below, FAQs are shown at the bottom of the screen.)

https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/calendarreminder

If I have multiple Chase Freedom cards, do I need to activate all accounts?

Yes, please activate 5% cash back on all of your Chase Freedom accounts to make sure you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (on each account).

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby guitarguy » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:59 am

madbrain wrote:
I will look at bookings for Xmas season next. I know ticket prices go through the roof. My employer has a shutdown with 3 forced vacation days (where you can't work and have to take those days from your balance) on top of the 2 regular paid holidays. That's a big incentive to travel that week. ...
Maybe points transfer can help if booking for Xmas. I don't know. It seems like travel could be half the price at Thanksgiving time instead of Xmas, and when redeeming at 1.5cpp, this would likely a much better value.


I checked, and during xmas time, only the regular awards are available. 85k miles for one-way coach flight to Asia. The value is about 1.2 cent per points. Still far less than the 1.5cpp redemption from the CSR. Looks like flying abroad during Thanksgiving time instead of Xmas still makes much more sense.
I'm really not seeing any way to redeem the UR points for more than 1.5cpp anyway that I look.


Just booked a flight to CA on United for Jul 2017 for the week of the 4th for the wife and I.

2.204 cpp.

Optimal times for us to leave/arrive, and nonstop flights. 8-) 8-) 8-)

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

Postby madbrain » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:36 pm

guitarguy wrote:Just booked a flight to CA on United for Jul 2017 for the week of the 4th for the wife and I.

2.204 cpp.

Optimal times for us to leave/arrive, and nonstop flights. 8-) 8-) 8-)


Can you give more specifics ? Was it economy or business//first class ?
And what cities ?

I just booked a number of flights in the last few days. Did a lot of searches on various airline sites to search for awards seats that the UR points can be transferred to. I was looking in coach only, nonstop only, on dates that are not peak travel - ie. lowest published fares for each flight were available as cash. I looked at many different itineraries - various cities. In the majority of the time, the value was 1cpp when transferring. A few options were 0.8cpp.

There is only one case where I found value >1cpp. That was for a 1-way ticket from SFO to CDG. If you try to book one of these, either or Air France/Delta or United, the price is always exactly an outrageous $2687, regardless of the day of the year - assuming there are seats. You can book a round-trip for much cheaper, and throw away the return if you don't need it, as in my case. The prices for round trips vary greatly depending on departure/return dates. The lowest I found when I was looking earlier was $726 for a round trip around the date I was looking. Right now google flight is showing the lowest as $917. I think the airlines are known to be charging more when booking on fridays - another airline pricing silliness.

Anyway, I was able to find a promo award on Air France/Flying blue for 18750 miles + $79.56 in taxes. When switching to non-award (cash) , the price for that same seat was the outrageous $2687 . Going by that price, I got a 13.9 cpp value for my Chase UR points. But of course, I would never have paid $2687 for the one-way in the first place. I might have paid $726 and thrown away the return ticket, though. Using by that number, I got 3.4cpp for my points - still much better than 1.5cpp, so, that was worth transferring the UR points.

I really don't understand why the airline charges so much more for the one-way fare. Especially since anyone can purchase 20,000 Flying blue points on the airline site for 550 euros, and then book that award seat too. But with the taxes, it ends up around $700 too, same as a round-trip throw-away.

For the rest of my flights, there was just no way to get >1cpp when transferring points. I did two additional separate bookings.

The second was for CDG-SGN on Vietnam Airlines. I could have paid for this flight in UR points at 1.5cpp. I did not do so, because booking that flight through Chase, which uses Orbitz, was showing as costing $565. I ended up booking it on Expedia.fr instead, paying in euros, to get the $504 price.
I paid for it my new Barclay arrival which has a $3000 minimum spending to get 40000 points. That means I should end up getting reimbursed for the first $400 of this flight after I satisfy my minimum spending.

My third booking was SGN-PVG and PVG-SFO, on different days. Added up to $738. I paid with Chase UR points at 1.5cpp. Just couldn't find any way to do better anywhere. Orbitz had the best price I could find for this. So, this booking cost me about 49,000 UR points.

Overall if I had paid cash for the 3 bookings (using a throway roundtrip for the 1st on AF) it would have cost $1968. Putting all flights on a single booking was a crazy $4500. About $2000 cash cost may seem high for coach tickets, but it's basically a round-the-world trip, flying from US to Europe nonstop, then visiting 2 cities in Asia, then back to the US. 4 flights total, all nonstop and on different days. That is the best I could do.

Now the kicker - my husband will go straight to Asia while I visit my family in Paris - and then I will join him in Asia, and we will fly together on the same flights back. I was able to put all his flights on one itinerary. SFO-PVG-SGN, then SGN-PVG, and PVG-SFO . Total : only $572 . Ie. his itinerary has a total of 4 flights, and costs $166 less than my third booking, which has 2 fewer flights - and the last 2 flights are exactly the same (we already selected seats).
Seems to me like 4 flights should cost more than 2 flights. But it's the other way around. I just don't understand airline pricing :(
Anyway, I paid for his flights with UR points at 1.5cpp - so about 38000 UR points.

We'll be traveling a total of about 3 weeks (slightly more - includes 4 weekends). Haven't looked at all the hotels yet, but I am hopeful that we'll be able to get most of our hotel rooms paid for with other rewards. It helps that I won't need a hotel room in Paris. My Citi prestige should arrive soon so that should get us at least a few free hotel nights in Asia (4th night free promotion). We have a few Hilton points too which should be enough for 3 nights in Shanghai. And a $200 award towards one Hilton hotel night as well. The main thing that the rewards don't pay for are food - but we may choose some rooms with board, at least at the hotel in Saigon that we have visited before which has excellent food.

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

Postby ResearchMed » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:31 pm

The best use of points for air travel (or possibly for anything) is usually for international premium classes (business or especially first).

We have been accumulating points for many years, and only used them for premium international or, if domestic, only last-minute emergency travel when only full fare coach was available, or we just used the points for first class, depending upon points difference and flight availability.

But we are now starting "serious" travel, long overdue, and it's time to travel in comfort.
Our aging bodies can't handle extremely long coach flights anymore, for a variety of reasons.

We've just planned a trip to Japan for next spring, from the USA East Coast.

We needed 160,000k points each, round trip.
These were "miles saver" (fewest points) category. The top (most points) category would have been 400,000 points each, round trip - a huge difference!
For that, we got international first class on Japan Airlines, with WIDE beds in "suite" configuration.
The cash price for one person, round trip, is shown as >$26,000.00 (no typo).

THIS is how we want to spend our points. :happy

There is no way in the world that we would spend upwards of $50k for the round trip transportation-only part of the trip.
And there is no way that we could travel that far even in premium economy.
(Yes, we considered business class, where there are some true flat beds. But we tried that type flat bed [same configuration/dimensions] on a trip from Anchorage to Houston earlier this year, and the upper "bed" part was too narrow for DH's shoulders, with the hard frame, which didn't affect sitting up. I'm a side sleeper, and there was no way I could "curl up" with my knees bent, either.)

Given that we expect to take very few of these really long-haul flights, and we've still got plenty of points left for some more, before adding in future spending, this was perfect for us.

It still boggles (probably also "bogles") the mind to think of spending that much cash for just the flights, but we also don't have experience with owning a private jet, which costs far more...

This will be a great value for the points, given the comfort level we prefer for a trip of this length, and we are fortunate to have the points, without affecting other travel plans.

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

Postby letsgobobby » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:12 am

masteraleph wrote:
Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?

Neither my wife nor I have any new credit cards in the last 24 months. We plan to each get a CSR. What else would you recommend to maximize bonuses, ongoing rewards, etc? Probably a Freedom each?

Doom&Gloom
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Doom&Gloom » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:15 am

letsgobobby wrote:
masteraleph wrote:
Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?

Neither my wife nor I have any new credit cards in the last 24 months. We plan to each get a CSR. What else would you recommend to maximize bonuses, ongoing rewards, etc? Probably a Freedom each?


It really depends upon your spend patterns. Maybe consider a Freedom for one of you and a Freedom Unlimited for the other?

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

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:25 am

Ron Ronnerson wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Da5id wrote:For those doing the CSR thing, I'm not planning on doing more travelling this year. I wanted my $300. So after a bit of googling I prepaid EZPass (NH) $300. Already have the $300 credit in my CSR account, so clearly it did indeed code as tolls (a travel category).


Good news, thanks!

Does anyone know if CSR treats urban transportation such as Metro or Subway as travel?

Victoria


One more data point: This past July, I used the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in the Bay Area for the local train (BART) to go from the suburbs to San Francisco and it was counted as a travel purchase. I bought $61.50 in tickets and the statement said $62 was spent on travel. I received double points on that transaction since it was categorized as travel.


Washington, DC, data points: I added some money to my WMATA SmarTrip card, and CSP coded it as a travel expense. CSP also codes my courses at DC Improv as restaurant expenses.

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

Postby guitarguy » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:21 am

madbrain wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Just booked a flight to CA on United for Jul 2017 for the week of the 4th for the wife and I.

2.204 cpp.

Optimal times for us to leave/arrive, and nonstop flights. 8-) 8-) 8-)


Can you give more specifics ? Was it economy or business//first class ?
And what cities ?


DTW to SFO. Economy class. Flights were $551 and we paid 25k miles.

Have booked several flights from DTW to DAL on SW and each were at just about 1.8 cpp.

These are trips we would be taking to visit friends and family regardless of rewards/points...but certainly our experience has been a much better value to transfer the points to partners. Certainly better than 1 or even 1.25/1.5 cpp.

YMMV.

I'm sure there are instances where the 1.5% bonus to book travel through UR with the CSR might come out ahead, but I have yet to come across it when booking our stuff.

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

Postby madbrain » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:48 pm

guitarguy wrote:
madbrain wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Just booked a flight to CA on United for Jul 2017 for the week of the 4th for the wife and I.

2.204 cpp.

Optimal times for us to leave/arrive, and nonstop flights. 8-) 8-) 8-)


Can you give more specifics ? Was it economy or business//first class ?
And what cities ?


DTW to SFO. Economy class. Flights were $551 and we paid 25k miles.

Have booked several flights from DTW to DAL on SW and each were at just about 1.8 cpp.

These are trips we would be taking to visit friends and family regardless of rewards/points...but certainly our experience has been a much better value to transfer the points to partners. Certainly better than 1 or even 1.25/1.5 cpp.

YMMV.

I'm sure there are instances where the 1.5% bonus to book travel through UR with the CSR might come out ahead, but I have yet to come across it when booking our stuff.


Thanks. Yes, it looks like you got a good point value for this route. Delta also flies this route nonstop and costs $475 next July which is less than with United. The cheapest award costs 22,000 miles + $11.20 . While that would be a a lower 2.10 cpp value than your 2.2cpp, if I'm transferring Chase UR points, I would rather transfer only 22,000 of them to fly Delta than transfer 25,000 to fly United.. Chase UR points can't be transferred to Delta, only Korean or Flying Blue on skyteam.

I wonder if the lack of value for points I have found I'm seeing is related to the fact that I do almost zero domestic air travel. Whenever I fly internationally, I try to take a nonstop flight. If there is no nonstop flight for the route I'm flying, then I make sure the layover on the return is outside the US, so that I don't have to get the luggage out at customs during the layover.

The problem seems to be not just the value per point, but availability of award flights for the routes I want to fly.

The only flight that I found better point value than 1.5cpp was the 1-way SFO-CDG nonstop on Air France. And that was only because Chase allows direct transfer to Flying Blue. Even though the AF83 flight is a code share with Delta DL8599, there are only awards available for this flight on Air France, and none on Delta, regardless of booking class, and regardless of dates that I checked - the entire month of November, which is low season.
I checked with Korean air also - no award flights for this nonstop route at all either. First the web site says that it will route me through Korea (kind of silly!) but then actually finds no flights.

My second most frequent destination besides with Paris is Saigon. I have flown many times SFO-SGN with a 1hr30 layover in Taipei, with China Airlines on the first leg, and Vietnam Airlines on the second leg. No nonstop flight exists for this route. This currently costs only $454 as a cash flight best case for one-way, and there is usually plenty of availability. Even if I wanted to fly just 2 days from now, it would still be that price.

China Airlines allows booking SFO-SGN through TPE as an award flight, but for 66,000 miles + $24, which is a value of 0.6cpm. And also, it is not a transfer partner of Chase UR. And all my miles on China have expired as I fly less than every 12 months with them.

Vietnam Airlines allows booking SFO-SGN through TPE as an award flight, but for 80,000 miles, which is an even worse value. Their web site won't even quote me the taxes due on the award because I don't have enough miles, so I can't calculate actual cpm. But assuming taxes are $24, this is 0.53cpm. And also, Vietnam Airlines is not a transfer partner of Chase UR. And all my miles on Vietnam have expired as I fly less than every 12 months with them.

Delta just won't let me book SFO-SGN through TPE as an award flight at all. The shortest flight offered has a 4h30 layover, but I would never actually book that option, so the mile value for me on Delta is 0cpm. Also, one can't transfer Chase UR points to Delta.

Situation is slightly better with Korean airlines, another Skyteam partner. Korean won't allow routing through Taipei, just like Delta. But it offers routing through Seoul instead, with 1h30 layover, which is the same flight time, and something I might actually book. The cash cost is $459 which is basically the same as the SFO-SGN option through Taipei. However, the award flight costs 42500 miles + $68 tax. That is 0.92cpm. This is the best value I could find in miles for this route, and I can actually transfer Chase UR points 1:1 to Korean. But I would much rather pay for this flight directly through Chase UR for 1.5cpp with the CSR and spend only 30,600 UR points and have taxes covered too.
Last edited by madbrain on Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Postby ChiefIlliniwek » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:51 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
masteraleph wrote:
Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?

Neither my wife nor I have any new credit cards in the last 24 months. We plan to each get a CSR. What else would you recommend to maximize bonuses, ongoing rewards, etc? Probably a Freedom each?


If it was me I would work on maximizing bonuses. I would go with the CSP, and the Ink+. And then have one of you get two Southwest cards to get the companion pass and the other gets the Marriott and United cards. After your annual fees hit I would keep one CSR and downgrade the other to a regular Freedom. I would product change one of the CSPs to a regular Freedom and the other to a Freedom Unlimited. I would product change both Ink+ to the Ink Cash. If you aren't comfortable applying for the Ink+ since it is a business card or you get turned down I would go with one of the Freedom cards and then just cancel some cards instead of product changing them.

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

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:54 pm

ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:
masteraleph wrote:
Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?

Neither my wife nor I have any new credit cards in the last 24 months. We plan to each get a CSR. What else would you recommend to maximize bonuses, ongoing rewards, etc? Probably a Freedom each?


If it was me I would work on maximizing bonuses. I would go with the CSP...


Did you mean CSP or CSR?

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

Postby ResearchMed » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:19 pm

madbrain,

Are you calling the airlines 'awards' section?

We've had good luck on code-share/international, but it takes a special group to deal to deal with it.
And some of it is tedious online, and some apparently *impossible* online (so they waived their regular processing fee).
Maybe the airlines you use are different.
We've mostly used points/miles from American and also from Amex Plat. We've used those two sources for flights on British Air, Lufthansa, Air France, Air Canada, and Japan Airlines, and I think one or two others. Some have required transferring points and purchasing a ticket on yet a different airline a couple of times for a single flight.

We actually paid a service (PointsPros) to help us with a particularly complex itinerary, and although they charged a fee, we got amazing seats/beds, and more importantly, we LEARNED a huge amount about how to do it.
There is still obviously a lot more to learn to get the best use/value for our needs.
As advertised (and as we weren't sure whether to believe initially), they don't charge anything unless/until they find an exact itinerary (including your choice of seat preference if necessary) and you accept that routing.

The Japan flights I mentioned above, I did on my own, but wish I had used them.
We missed out on a better itinerary on the return.
So what I've done is to ask them to monitor for a better itinerary.
And they are also watching for one direction's required use of AnyTime miles, which we weren't pleased about; the bump in points was ridiculous. The other direction has far better routing *and* seats/beds, and we used supersaver points. Best use ever.
This would work because it's on the same airline code shares, and the identical intial and end cities for that direction.
They apparently get alerts faster than we'd see them (next to check: if we can get those same alerts, but as time can be of the essence with limited awards premium seats, it might still be better through them; not sure yet).

But the fees are probably too high to make sense for inexpensive travel, especially domestic coach.
But for the category we are seeking, it's not much compared to the business class we *might* have been willing to pay (other choice sans awards being "not going"; we can't do that length of flight in coach anymore... it just doesn't work like when we were younger and never gave coach a second thought). We'd never even consider paying the rate of those first class tickets. Not a chance.

I'm sorry now that we never looked into or used manufactured spending. But it seems now that it's not as easy as it once was (and a lot of that didn't seem so "easy" anyway). We didn't know about any of that until recently.
We just have tried to "charge" everything possible. A side benefit is the charge company has our back in case of dispute, which has happened occasionally, but not often.

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

Postby guitarguy » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:20 pm

madbrain wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
madbrain wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Just booked a flight to CA on United for Jul 2017 for the week of the 4th for the wife and I.

2.204 cpp.

Optimal times for us to leave/arrive, and nonstop flights. 8-) 8-) 8-)


Can you give more specifics ? Was it economy or business//first class ?
And what cities ?


DTW to SFO. Economy class. Flights were $551 and we paid 25k miles.

Have booked several flights from DTW to DAL on SW and each were at just about 1.8 cpp.

These are trips we would be taking to visit friends and family regardless of rewards/points...but certainly our experience has been a much better value to transfer the points to partners. Certainly better than 1 or even 1.25/1.5 cpp.

YMMV.

I'm sure there are instances where the 1.5% bonus to book travel through UR with the CSR might come out ahead, but I have yet to come across it when booking our stuff.


Thanks. Yes, it looks like you got a good point value for this route. Delta also flies this route nonstop and costs $475 next July which is less than with United. The cheapest award costs 22,000 miles + $11.20 . While that would be a a lower 2.10 cpp value than your 2.2cpp, if I'm transferring Chase UR points, I would rather transfer only 22,000 of them to fly Delta than transfer 25,000 to fly United.


I don't believe you can use UR points to fly Delta.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby rjbraun » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:29 pm

madbrain wrote:Thanks. Yes, it looks like you got a good point value for this route. Delta also flies this route nonstop and costs $475 next July which is less than with United. The cheapest award costs 22,000 miles + $11.20 . While that would be a a lower 2.10 cpp value than your 2.2cpp, if I'm transferring Chase UR points, I would rather transfer only 22,000 of them to fly Delta than transfer 25,000 to fly United.

Were you able to transfer UR points to Delta? I thought Delta was not one of UR's travel partners, in terms of being able to transfer / convert UR points to Delta FF miles. Am I misinterpreting your comment?

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby madbrain » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:37 pm

guitarguy wrote:
Thanks. Yes, it looks like you got a good point value for this route. Delta also flies this route nonstop and costs $475 next July which is less than with United. The cheapest award costs 22,000 miles + $11.20 . While that would be a a lower 2.10 cpp value than your 2.2cpp, if I'm transferring Chase UR points, I would rather transfer only 22,000 of them to fly Delta than transfer 25,000 to fly United.


I don't believe you can use UR points to fly Delta.


You are right, sorry. I could transfer them to Flying Blue or Korean though, which are Skyteam. But that 22,000 mile Delta award might not be available there. I have corrected my post.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby madbrain » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:40 pm

rjbraun wrote:Were you able to transfer UR points to Delta? I thought Delta was not one of UR's travel partners, in terms of being able to transfer / convert UR points to Delta FF miles. Am I misinterpreting your comment?


No, I have never transferred to Delta. It was my mistake, and I corrected the post. Chase UR points can transferred to other Skyteam airlines though, such as Korean and FlyingBlue. But the cheap award on a Delta flight might not be available there.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby jay22 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:03 pm

Planning to fly to Maui in November (from Sacramento). Is there a card I can churn to get free (or almost free) flights? Thanks.

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

Postby tedclu » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:41 pm

CSR...the best card right now.

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

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:25 pm

Public announcement: You can now activate Freedom 5x rewards for 4Q2016.

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

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

Postby protagonist » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:18 pm

madbrain wrote:
You are right, sorry. I could transfer them to Flying Blue or Korean though, which are Skyteam. But that 22,000 mile Delta award might not be available there. I have corrected my post.


I don't know if that is always the case, but my recollection, the last time I booked a flight to Europe, was that you could book Delta flights freely via Air France/Flying Blue, but you could not book AF flights freely through Delta . Check it out....enroll in Air France's Flying Blue program and see if you can book the Delta flight for 22K.

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

Postby madbrain » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:31 pm

protagonist wrote:
madbrain wrote:
You are right, sorry. I could transfer them to Flying Blue or Korean though, which are Skyteam. But that 22,000 mile Delta award might not be available there. I have corrected my post.


I don't know if that is always the case, but my recollection, the last time I booked a flight to Europe, was that you could book Delta flights freely via Air France/Flying Blue, but you could not book AF flights freely through Delta . Check it out....enroll in Air France's Flying Blue program and see if you can book the Delta flight for 22K.


It was certainly the case that I couldn't book my AF award flight through Delta.

I just checked on flyingblue.com as I'm a member of Air France flying blue- and also a member of Delta, China Airlines, United airline, Vietnam airlines, Korean airlines frequent flyer programs, and all the airlines I mentioned previously. You have to be a member in order to see the award cost for specific dates. I have flown all of these airlines at least once at one point or the other, which is why I created accounts on all of them. The exception is Korean - I had made a booking on them once, but the trip was rescheduled for medical reasons. Travel insurance gave me a refund, and I chose to rebook on another airline. Most of my FF accounts have close to 0 miles as they tend to expire every 12 months. In recent years, I have gotten wiser and been ordering magazines with miles to keep the mileage accounts active. This is not possible for every program though, but it is for at least Delta and United. As a result, I have a bunch of magazines coming in every week that I don't have time to read. When the pile gets too big, they go to the recycling bin. Frankly, I think the FF mile expiration rules are silly and this wastes a lot of trees. I think the airlines should charge some reasonable inactivity fees, and 100% of your balance as an inactivity penalty is not reasonable.

Anyway, the nonstop Delta SFO-DTW flight roundtrip can indeed be booked on Flying blue. However, the cheapest award cost is 25,000 FlyingBlue miles, not 22,000 as it is with Delta Miles. So, in terms of awards cost and Chase UR points, for this route, one can either transfer 25,000 points to Flying blue to book the Delta flight, or 25,000 points to United to book the United flight. There is no cost advantage to one or the other, except possibly with the taxes. The schedule for the flights may be different, so one might prefer one or the other for that reason. It's not possible to get down to 22,000 UR points because one cannot transfer them to Delta. I doubt any Skyteam airline other than Delta itself allows booking it for only 22,000 miles.

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

Postby ChiefIlliniwek » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:49 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:
masteraleph wrote:
Interesting- I have 2 Freedom cards, and both are currently active for 5%. I wonder if it has to do with them forcibly converting one (an old 1% rewards card from another system that they just wanted to support) to Freedom or not. It won't let you activate the 5% on the website?

Neither my wife nor I have any new credit cards in the last 24 months. We plan to each get a CSR. What else would you recommend to maximize bonuses, ongoing rewards, etc? Probably a Freedom each?


If it was me I would work on maximizing bonuses. I would go with the CSP...


Did you mean CSP or CSR?

Victoria


The poster said that him and his wife were already getting the CSR, so they should get the CSP next to get the 50k. Then they both get the Ink+. Then one gets two Southwest cards for the companion pass and the other gets the Marriott card and the United card.

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

Postby rjbraun » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:44 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Public announcement: You can now activate Freedom 5x rewards for 4Q2016.

Victoria

Amazon wasn't an option when I looked, though my understanding is that Amazon was among the 5x rewards participants in 4Q2015. I don't have a Freedom card (yet), but I vaguely recall that Amazon may have only been announced in the middle of Q4 last year. Am I right? Regardless, if Amazon is not currently participating, barring some outlier event is the assumption that Amazon won't be in the program for the quarter?


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