What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Postby guitarguy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:40 pm

guitarguy wrote:HOWEVER, after doing some more research today, it seems like Flying Blue might be an even better option. If I get the Amex Business Gold and the Citi Prestige this summer, I would have 100k points that would be transferable to Flying Blue just from those 2 bonuses alone. One of the best Flying Blue award perks apparently is 15k miles (per person, one way) from anywhere in the US mainland to Hawaii!! I searched today on Flying Blue for awards for this November and saw lots of 15k mile flight availability, and again, next year I'll be able to search even earlier. So it looks like I have some options!!


Going way back to this discussion...maybe there are very few options now.

Way back when, I searched all over at Flying Blue award flights to OGG and HNL. For kicks, I was doing some searching today to LIH instead, and found virtually NOTHING!!?? So I thought it was maybe just that island, but no, hardly anything whatsoever to OGG or HNL now either. Very few award flights even showing, and of those that were, even fewer 15k mile tickets...most were 27.5k one way.

What the heck...when I searched this a few months ago for almost a year out, there was TONS of availability. Now if I search about a year out...NIL. Did Flying Blue flush this award availability from the US to Hawaii down the toilet recently? Anyone in the know on this? :annoyed

Or is it possibly the time of year I'm looking at? Even when taking into account the "don't be shocked if things change" state of mind...I'm surprised to see this drastic of a change here. If it stands to stay like this...what a bummer!!

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

Postby Jags4186 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:59 pm

guitarguy wrote:
guitarguy wrote:HOWEVER, after doing some more research today, it seems like Flying Blue might be an even better option. If I get the Amex Business Gold and the Citi Prestige this summer, I would have 100k points that would be transferable to Flying Blue just from those 2 bonuses alone. One of the best Flying Blue award perks apparently is 15k miles (per person, one way) from anywhere in the US mainland to Hawaii!! I searched today on Flying Blue for awards for this November and saw lots of 15k mile flight availability, and again, next year I'll be able to search even earlier. So it looks like I have some options!!


Going way back to this discussion...maybe there are very few options now.

Way back when, I searched all over at Flying Blue award flights to OGG and HNL. For kicks, I was doing some searching today to LIH instead, and found virtually NOTHING!!?? So I thought it was maybe just that island, but no, hardly anything whatsoever to OGG or HNL now either. Very few award flights even showing, and of those that were, even fewer 15k mile tickets...most were 27.5k one way.

What the heck...when I searched this a few months ago for almost a year out, there was TONS of availability. Now if I search about a year out...NIL. Did Flying Blue flush this award availability from the US to Hawaii down the toilet recently? Anyone in the know on this? :annoyed

Or is it possibly the time of year I'm looking at? Even when taking into account the "don't be shocked if things change" state of mind...I'm surprised to see this drastic of a change here. If it stands to stay like this...what a bummer!!


Time of year. Also remember it's not Flying Blue it's whoever the award partner is. You're generally only allowed to book Saver level partner awards. If Delta hasn't released any Saver level awards, there would be no availability with Air France.

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

Postby guitarguy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:15 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
guitarguy wrote:HOWEVER, after doing some more research today, it seems like Flying Blue might be an even better option. If I get the Amex Business Gold and the Citi Prestige this summer, I would have 100k points that would be transferable to Flying Blue just from those 2 bonuses alone. One of the best Flying Blue award perks apparently is 15k miles (per person, one way) from anywhere in the US mainland to Hawaii!! I searched today on Flying Blue for awards for this November and saw lots of 15k mile flight availability, and again, next year I'll be able to search even earlier. So it looks like I have some options!!


Going way back to this discussion...maybe there are very few options now.

Way back when, I searched all over at Flying Blue award flights to OGG and HNL. For kicks, I was doing some searching today to LIH instead, and found virtually NOTHING!!?? So I thought it was maybe just that island, but no, hardly anything whatsoever to OGG or HNL now either. Very few award flights even showing, and of those that were, even fewer 15k mile tickets...most were 27.5k one way.

What the heck...when I searched this a few months ago for almost a year out, there was TONS of availability. Now if I search about a year out...NIL. Did Flying Blue flush this award availability from the US to Hawaii down the toilet recently? Anyone in the know on this? :annoyed

Or is it possibly the time of year I'm looking at? Even when taking into account the "don't be shocked if things change" state of mind...I'm surprised to see this drastic of a change here. If it stands to stay like this...what a bummer!!


Time of year. Also remember it's not Flying Blue it's whoever the award partner is. You're generally only allowed to book Saver level partner awards. If Delta hasn't released any Saver level awards, there would be no availability with Air France.


On Delta's site there is lots of availability, some saver and lots otherwise.

On FB though, why am I able to see 15k tickets and 27.5k tickets if the lowest fare is all that should be available?

When the time comes we'll be traveling to HI in late Oct or Early Nov...hopefully the availability opens back up come Jan/Feb when we wanna book!

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

Postby Jags4186 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:22 pm

guitarguy wrote:On Delta's site there is lots of availability, some saver and lots otherwise.

On FB though, why am I able to see 15k tickets and 27.5k tickets if the lowest fare is all that should be available?

When the time comes we'll be traveling to HI in late Oct or Early Nov...hopefully the availability opens back up come Jan/Feb when we wanna book!


Delta doesn't have an award chart anymore so even though it says "lowest price" that just means "lowest price available on this one 0month screen" not actually "lowest price possible for this ticket". It may not be considered a "saver award". For example, I used 40k Delta points to book a 1 way flight to London that was "lowest price!" but I know you can get 1 ways for 30k.

Also you have to look at who the partner is, it's not always Delta. Depending on the partner airline and the routing Air France can charge you different amounts.

Finally, lots of time you will find you have to call an agent to get the flight you want. The websites are very so so.

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

Postby madbrain » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:39 pm

guitarguy wrote:Do you think it was a "too much too fast" type of thing that caused the shutdown?

I'm guessing that's the case with a lot of these techniques...doing too much or too fast gets things flagged.


Yes. And I was trying various types of gift cards as well from different sources to see which ones worked with Google wallet, and which ones didn't. Things like looking at the bar codes on the packaging, and different brands. Not many did, but that surely flagged me in the system. I shared my tips with a few others, who did not get shut down so far, doing lower volume, and only trying the cards that were known to work.

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:12 pm

I'm not sure if this card is on many people's radar, but I just got Aviator Card from American Airlines/Barclays. They just raised the bonus miles to 50,000 from 40,000 and grandfathered me in. All you have to do is use the card once.

Since I am a Star Alliance lifetime gold, I am using this card for hotels in Europe - which are discounted for elites. For example, I will use 26,000 miles for a $314 hotel near Monte Carlo, and almost as many for a $300 hotel in Paris. I will happily pay the immediate $95 annual fee (once).

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

Postby Bfwolf » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:00 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:Since I am a Star Alliance lifetime gold, I am using this card for hotels in Europe - which are discounted for elites. For example, I will use 26,000 miles for a $314 hotel near Monte Carlo, and almost as many for a $300 hotel in Paris. I will happily pay the immediate $95 annual fee (once).


Trying to follow here...do you mean OneWorld (which AA is a part of)?

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:23 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:Since I am a Star Alliance lifetime gold, I am using this card for hotels in Europe - which are discounted for elites. For example, I will use 26,000 miles for a $314 hotel near Monte Carlo, and almost as many for a $300 hotel in Paris. I will happily pay the immediate $95 annual fee (once).


Trying to follow here...do you mean OneWorld (which AA is a part of)?


Sorry. I am a Star Alliance elite, so no real merit flying OneWorld flights. Therefore I am using this card to book hotels, and it seem AA considers me an "elite" because of this card since the miles needed for hotels are about half the usual cost once I log in.

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

Postby Bfwolf » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:21 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:Since I am a Star Alliance lifetime gold, I am using this card for hotels in Europe - which are discounted for elites. For example, I will use 26,000 miles for a $314 hotel near Monte Carlo, and almost as many for a $300 hotel in Paris. I will happily pay the immediate $95 annual fee (once).


Trying to follow here...do you mean OneWorld (which AA is a part of)?


Sorry. I am a Star Alliance elite, so no real merit flying OneWorld flights. Therefore I am using this card to book hotels, and it seem AA considers me an "elite" because of this card since the miles needed for hotels are about half the usual cost once I log in.


I see. Looking at the credit card homepage, I wonder if this is related to "World Elite Travel Services." "Preferred access to valuable offers and experiences including exceptional offers from upscale retailers and world-class hotels and resorts"

https://home.barclaycardus.com/cards/aa ... rcard.html

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:24 am

Bfwolf wrote:
I see. Looking at the credit card homepage, I wonder if this is related to "World Elite Travel Services." "Preferred access to valuable offers and experiences including exceptional offers from upscale retailers and world-class hotels and resorts"

https://home.barclaycardus.com/cards/aa ... rcard.html


Not sure, sorry! I'm not an "upscale" or "world-class" kind of guy. I'm just happy to pay $95 for about 5 nights in pretty good French hotels.

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

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:59 pm

Doctor of Credit, http://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-fre ... -theaters/ has posted upcoming 3Q2017 Freedom 5x categories: restaurants and movie theaters. I welcome a 3-months respite from seeking 5x. As DoC's commenters wrote:
"Any way to MS Restaurants?"
"Yes, over eat and forget the beach body. This is how I max it out each time around."

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

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:07 pm

Bogleheads just starting their Credit Card Rewards strategy may be interested in today's post by Frequent Flyer:
A credit card plan for a well informed newbie.

His advice is very similar to what I would recommend. Some commenters provide additional ideas.

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

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:53 pm

VictoriaF wrote: 3Q2017 Freedom 5x categories: restaurants and movie theaters. I welcome a 3-months respite from seeking 5x.

Victoria


Oh dear. Restaurants and movie theaters make me miserable. I will also welcome a respite.

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

Postby Barefootgirl » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:12 pm

I don't spend enough at restaurants to justify a concerted effort, but I note that this promotion runs during a peak vacation season when I am more likely to seek meals away from home, so there's that.

I have a unique key ring attached to my car keys, it also attaches credit cards. I slide them on and off as bonuses and promotions come and go. This reminds me to add the Freedom card.
"The best you can do is set up like a baseball team does against an unknown hitter. That is spread the defense and wait for the ball to come to you." - pkcrafter

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Mudpuppy » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:46 pm

guitarguy wrote:On Delta's site there is lots of availability, some saver and lots otherwise.

On FB though, why am I able to see 15k tickets and 27.5k tickets if the lowest fare is all that should be available?

When the time comes we'll be traveling to HI in late Oct or Early Nov...hopefully the availability opens back up come Jan/Feb when we wanna book!

Not sure if you have the ability to send points over to United with your current rewards card setup, but United just announced that they're expanding flights to Hawaii in December: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 102806660/

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

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:20 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: 3Q2017 Freedom 5x categories: restaurants and movie theaters. I welcome a 3-months respite from seeking 5x.

Victoria


Oh dear. Restaurants and movie theaters make me miserable. I will also welcome a respite.


Problem solved!

I have just realized that Chase codes my comedy club as a restaurant, because they serve food. In September, I will sign up for several standup and improv classes later in the year.

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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SacredSword93
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby SacredSword93 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:11 am

a lot of useful information i found there, thx for this thread. :happy :sharebeer

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:33 am

VictoriaF wrote:I have just realized that Chase codes my comedy club as a restaurant, because they serve food. In September, I will sign up for several standup and improv classes later in the year.

Victoria


Certainly more ambitious than my plan to upsize to large fries at McDonald's.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby madbrain » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:14 am

VictoriaF wrote:"Any way to MS Restaurants?"
"Yes, over eat and forget the beach body. This is how I max it out each time around."


LOL . You could buy prepaid gift cards for your favorite restaurant / restaurant chain. There is a risk if they go out of business, though.

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

Postby guitarguy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:03 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
guitarguy wrote:On Delta's site there is lots of availability, some saver and lots otherwise.

On FB though, why am I able to see 15k tickets and 27.5k tickets if the lowest fare is all that should be available?

When the time comes we'll be traveling to HI in late Oct or Early Nov...hopefully the availability opens back up come Jan/Feb when we wanna book!

Not sure if you have the ability to send points over to United with your current rewards card setup, but United just announced that they're expanding flights to Hawaii in December: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 102806660/


We do have the ability to transfer to United, but those routes they're adding don't appear to be very helpful. Still, when it comes down to booking time we'll check into it...never know.

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

Postby jriding » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:45 pm

The Lufthansa's Miles and More Mastercard offers 35,000 bonus miles and an annual companion ticket for an $89 annual fee.

https://www.lufthansa.com/online/portal ... =536738568

Does anyone have experience with this card and the companion ticket in particular? Seems like a great deal if one has family European vacation plans. One card for me. One for DW. Two kids fly for the cost of the annual fees.

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

Postby BeneIRA » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:08 pm

jriding wrote:The Lufthansa's Miles and More Mastercard offers 35,000 bonus miles and an annual companion ticket for an $89 annual fee.

https://www.lufthansa.com/online/portal ... =536738568

Does anyone have experience with this card and the companion ticket in particular? Seems like a great deal if one has family European vacation plans. One card for me. One for DW. Two kids fly for the cost of the annual fees.


The card occasionally goes up to 50,000 miles. It's not a bad card, but Lufthansa's Miles and More program adds fuel surcharges. Not as egregious as British Airways, who is in a class of their own, but still, the miles aren't as valuable as, say, United miles. Some of the fuel surcharges can be somewhat high.

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

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:55 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I have just realized that Chase codes my comedy club as a restaurant, because they serve food. In September, I will sign up for several standup and improv classes later in the year.

Victoria


Laughter pays.

On the other hand, the restaurant in the bowling alley where we have jazz jams does not code as a restaurant....neither does my local brew pub that serves food or my ice cream parlor.

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:30 pm

This is an odd bird, the Merrill Plus Visa Signature card. The highlight is a $500 statement credit after a $3,000+ spend in 90 days. You can get better value for your Merrill points by booking trips online, but there are restrictions. Similarly the 1% reward is nothing special. You just do it for the bonus. There is no annual fee, no f/x fee.

The web site is rudimentary. You have to call a number that you can find online at some of the banking reward blogs.

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

Postby protagonist » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:58 am

SrGrumpy wrote:This is an odd bird, the Merrill Plus Visa Signature card. The highlight is a $500 statement credit after a $3,000+ spend in 90 days.


Interesting. That may be a good one, assuming an odd bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $500 statement credit is much better than $500 credit towards future flights that may come with surcharges, limited seating, etc. YOu get $3500 in spending for $3000, or essentially 14% off your purchases up to $3500. Can you churn it?

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:40 pm

protagonist wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:This is an odd bird, the Merrill Plus Visa Signature card. The highlight is a $500 statement credit after a $3,000+ spend in 90 days.


Interesting. That may be a good one, assuming an odd bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $500 statement credit is much better than $500 credit towards future flights that may come with surcharges, limited seating, etc. YOu get $3500 in spending for $3000, or essentially 14% off your purchases up to $3500. Can you churn it?


There's not much literature on the subject, unfortunately. Doctor of Credit has written about it, though.

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

Postby Bfwolf » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:24 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
protagonist wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:This is an odd bird, the Merrill Plus Visa Signature card. The highlight is a $500 statement credit after a $3,000+ spend in 90 days.


Interesting. That may be a good one, assuming an odd bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $500 statement credit is much better than $500 credit towards future flights that may come with surcharges, limited seating, etc. YOu get $3500 in spending for $3000, or essentially 14% off your purchases up to $3500. Can you churn it?


There's not much literature on the subject, unfortunately. Doctor of Credit has written about it, though.


This is one of the best cards available though you have to call these days to get it. Much better redemptions available than $500 credit: you can get two $500 plane tickets.

Yes you can churn it. My second one is in the mail now.

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

Postby BeneIRA » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:38 am

Bfwolf wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:
protagonist wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:This is an odd bird, the Merrill Plus Visa Signature card. The highlight is a $500 statement credit after a $3,000+ spend in 90 days.


Interesting. That may be a good one, assuming an odd bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $500 statement credit is much better than $500 credit towards future flights that may come with surcharges, limited seating, etc. YOu get $3500 in spending for $3000, or essentially 14% off your purchases up to $3500. Can you churn it?


There's not much literature on the subject, unfortunately. Doctor of Credit has written about it, though.


This is one of the best cards available though you have to call these days to get it. Much better redemptions available than $500 credit: you can get two $500 plane tickets.

Yes you can churn it. My second one is in the mail now.


Do you still have to give them code BAABZX or did they just allow you to apply? I have heard mixed data points. I have even heard one person who called and was told Bank of America doesn't offer the card anymore, which is completely incorrect.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Barefootgirl » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:48 am

Merrill Plus Visa Signature card.


Is there a business version of this card, anyone know? I will try to find out.
"The best you can do is set up like a baseball team does against an unknown hitter. That is spread the defense and wait for the ball to come to you." - pkcrafter

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

Postby BeneIRA » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:24 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Merrill Plus Visa Signature card.


Is there a business version of this card, anyone know? I will try to find out.


Pretty sure there isn't. I believe it is personal only.

Markr867
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Markr867 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:43 pm

Just hit 5/24 (I was approved for 70K United MPE this morning), so the whole word of churning is now open to me (although I'm still skeptical about blowing the lid off of 5/24 because I would like to try for the Southwest CP early next year). I am thinking of getting the Barclay Aviator Red card, since I can get 50k AA miles with my first purchase. Also considering the Ameriprise Gold Amex - 25k MR for only $1k spend. Any other/better cards I should be targeting now that I'm over 5/24?

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:03 pm

Markr867 wrote:Just hit 5/24 (I was approved for 70K United MPE this morning), so the whole word of churning is now open to me (although I'm still skeptical about blowing the lid off of 5/24 because I would like to try for the Southwest CP early next year). I am thinking of getting the Barclay Aviator Red card, since I can get 50k AA miles with my first purchase. Also considering the Ameriprise Gold Amex - 25k MR for only $1k spend. Any other/better cards I should be targeting now that I'm over 5/24?


I'm envious. No Chase cards for me for about 2 years. You could try the Amex Premier Rewards Gold - spend $2000, get 50k rewards points (I think), no AF for first year. Last night I got the CapOne Venture. There are better cards and reviews are mixed, but my denials are piling up, and I don't mind applying $400 to travel after spending $3,000. Good customer service, too. Definitely go with the Aviator.

DiMAn0684
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby DiMAn0684 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:21 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Just hit 5/24 (I was approved for 70K United MPE this morning), so the whole word of churning is now open to me (although I'm still skeptical about blowing the lid off of 5/24 because I would like to try for the Southwest CP early next year). I am thinking of getting the Barclay Aviator Red card, since I can get 50k AA miles with my first purchase. Also considering the Ameriprise Gold Amex - 25k MR for only $1k spend. Any other/better cards I should be targeting now that I'm over 5/24?


I'm envious. No Chase cards for me for about 2 years. You could try the Amex Premier Rewards Gold - spend $2000, get 50k rewards points (I think), no AF for first year. Last night I got the CapOne Venture. There are better cards and reviews are mixed, but my denials are piling up, and I don't mind applying $400 to travel after spending $3,000. Good customer service, too. Definitely go with the Aviator.


Since PRG is once in a "lifetime" you might hold off for a better than 50k pt bonus.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby sharpjm » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:24 am

DiMAn0684 wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Just hit 5/24 (I was approved for 70K United MPE this morning), so the whole word of churning is now open to me (although I'm still skeptical about blowing the lid off of 5/24 because I would like to try for the Southwest CP early next year). I am thinking of getting the Barclay Aviator Red card, since I can get 50k AA miles with my first purchase. Also considering the Ameriprise Gold Amex - 25k MR for only $1k spend. Any other/better cards I should be targeting now that I'm over 5/24?


I'm envious. No Chase cards for me for about 2 years. You could try the Amex Premier Rewards Gold - spend $2000, get 50k rewards points (I think), no AF for first year. Last night I got the CapOne Venture. There are better cards and reviews are mixed, but my denials are piling up, and I don't mind applying $400 to travel after spending $3,000. Good customer service, too. Definitely go with the Aviator.


Since PRG is once in a "lifetime" you might hold off for a better than 50k pt bonus.

50k is the highest offer. The only other offer one would consider was a limited time, somewhat targeted offer of 40k/$2k + 25k/$2k after 1st year. The 2nd year shenanigans turned many people off and there are DPs of Amex offering 15k MR point retention offers which would make the 50k just as good.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby ddb » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:34 am

I follow the /r/churning subreddit. I've amassed approximately 1.2 million points/miles since August 2016 on 17 new credit card applications. It's an enjoyable hobby. It's getting a bit more cumbersome now that I've picked the low-hanging fruit, so I may take a break in a bit. It is definitely very cool to fly international business class and first class at very minimal out-of-pocket cost.
"We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism in young people." - PB

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

Postby SrGrumpy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:48 pm

sharpjm wrote:50k is the highest offer. The only other offer one would consider was a limited time, somewhat targeted offer of 40k/$2k + 25k/$2k after 1st year. The 2nd year shenanigans turned many people off and there are DPs of Amex offering 15k MR point retention offers which would make the 50k just as good.


Doctor of Credit just posted about increased Amex card bonuses (with a YMMV disclaimer). The Amex PRG is still at 50k, but he notes: "There have been offers for 75,000 points in the past, so might be worth holding out." I get the sense this might have been in the distant past.

DiMAn0684
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby DiMAn0684 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:06 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
sharpjm wrote:50k is the highest offer. The only other offer one would consider was a limited time, somewhat targeted offer of 40k/$2k + 25k/$2k after 1st year. The 2nd year shenanigans turned many people off and there are DPs of Amex offering 15k MR point retention offers which would make the 50k just as good.


Doctor of Credit just posted about increased Amex card bonuses (with a YMMV disclaimer). The Amex PRG is still at 50k, but he notes: "There have been offers for 75,000 points in the past, so might be worth holding out." I get the sense this might have been in the distant past.


Not that distant as I recall, last year maybe. Would advise waiting to see of better offer shows up, unless you need MRs badly for whatever reason.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby sharpjm » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:47 pm

DiMAn0684 wrote:
SrGrumpy wrote:
sharpjm wrote:50k is the highest offer. The only other offer one would consider was a limited time, somewhat targeted offer of 40k/$2k + 25k/$2k after 1st year. The 2nd year shenanigans turned many people off and there are DPs of Amex offering 15k MR point retention offers which would make the 50k just as good.


Doctor of Credit just posted about increased Amex card bonuses (with a YMMV disclaimer). The Amex PRG is still at 50k, but he notes: "There have been offers for 75,000 points in the past, so might be worth holding out." I get the sense this might have been in the distant past.


Not that distant as I recall, last year maybe. Would advise waiting to see of better offer shows up, unless you need MRs badly for whatever reason.

No, not only was 75k PRG targeted, it was also last available in 2013. Given that 25k is the standard offer, I think it is silly to hold out for 75k

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Markr867 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:25 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Just hit 5/24 (I was approved for 70K United MPE this morning), so the whole word of churning is now open to me (although I'm still skeptical about blowing the lid off of 5/24 because I would like to try for the Southwest CP early next year). I am thinking of getting the Barclay Aviator Red card, since I can get 50k AA miles with my first purchase. Also considering the Ameriprise Gold Amex - 25k MR for only $1k spend. Any other/better cards I should be targeting now that I'm over 5/24?


I'm envious. No Chase cards for me for about 2 years. You could try the Amex Premier Rewards Gold - spend $2000, get 50k rewards points (I think), no AF for first year. Last night I got the CapOne Venture. There are better cards and reviews are mixed, but my denials are piling up, and I don't mind applying $400 to travel after spending $3,000. Good customer service, too. Definitely go with the Aviator.


I got the PRG back in Dec 2015 (before 5/24 was a thing). I just got approved last night for the Aviator Red. Tempted to go for more, but we need to work on minimum spend for the United card I got approved for on Monday, and finish minimum spend on my SO's Ink Preferred.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Barefootgirl » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:37 pm

I'm starting to second guess my waiting game on the Chase Sapphire. I am sitting at just 6/24 right now - so getting close, but see other good opportunities on the horizon.

I'm earning UR points through Ink, etc. The bonus of course would be nice - but remind me again - what is your primary motivator for wanting the card?

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

Postby jay22 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:42 pm

What are Amex premium rewards worth if I get 50k points?

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

Postby BeneIRA » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:39 pm

jay22 wrote:What are Amex premium rewards worth if I get 50k points?


You must be referring to Membership Rewards that you get with the Premier Rewards Gold. They are worth 1 penny per point if used for travel. Their real value is in their transferability to top off your point balance to their partners. Flying Blue can be a nice transfer partner. So can JetBlue when there is a transfer bonus making the ratio 1 to 1 because normally it is more than one MR to 1 TrueBlue point. Emirates and Ethiad can be goos depending on where you're going. Skymiles would be used to top off your balance to get an award flight. It's best to use them for a good partner and when they are having a transfer bonus. On the whole, I value URs much more than MRs.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby jay22 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:41 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
jay22 wrote:What are Amex premium rewards worth if I get 50k points?


You must be referring to Membership Rewards that you get with the Premier Rewards Gold. They are worth 1 penny per point if used for travel. Their real value is in their transferability to top off your point balance to their partners. Flying Blue can be a nice transfer partner. So can JetBlue when there is a transfer bonus making the ratio 1 to 1 because normally it is more than one MR to 1 TrueBlue point. Emirates and Ethiad can be goos depending on where you're going. Skymiles would be used to top off your balance to get an award flight. It's best to use them for a good partner and when they are having a transfer bonus. On the whole, I value URs much more than MRs.

Thanks! I was tempted to apply for PRG since I did see 50K points on their website, but I think I'll focus on URs.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby BeneIRA » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:51 pm

jay22 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
jay22 wrote:What are Amex premium rewards worth if I get 50k points?


You must be referring to Membership Rewards that you get with the Premier Rewards Gold. They are worth 1 penny per point if used for travel. Their real value is in their transferability to top off your point balance to their partners. Flying Blue can be a nice transfer partner. So can JetBlue when there is a transfer bonus making the ratio 1 to 1 because normally it is more than one MR to 1 TrueBlue point. Emirates and Ethiad can be goos depending on where you're going. Skymiles would be used to top off your balance to get an award flight. It's best to use them for a good partner and when they are having a transfer bonus. On the whole, I value URs much more than MRs.

Thanks! I was tempted to apply for PRG since I did see 50K points on their website, but I think I'll focus on URs.


If you're under 5/24, definitely go for Chase cards that fall under 5/24. If not, the PRG is a decent card. You can also double dip the airline credit of $100. So, for the first year, you should get $700 in value for no annual fee.

For me, since I fly economy almost exclusively, using the Chase Sapphire Reserve on the UR Portal makes sense a lot more than you'd think. For instance, on a recent trip to Europe, a $432 round trip on Delta or I could use 65,000 SkyMiles plus fees. Obviously the cash price made a lot more sense since that would be a terrible SkyMile redemption. On the Chase UR portal, 28,800 points.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby ResearchMed » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:42 am

BeneIRA wrote:
jay22 wrote:What are Amex premium rewards worth if I get 50k points?


You must be referring to Membership Rewards that you get with the Premier Rewards Gold. They are worth 1 penny per point if used for travel. Their real value is in their transferability to top off your point balance to their partners. Flying Blue can be a nice transfer partner. So can JetBlue when there is a transfer bonus making the ratio 1 to 1 because normally it is more than one MR to 1 TrueBlue point. Emirates and Ethiad can be goos depending on where you're going. Skymiles would be used to top off your balance to get an award flight. It's best to use them for a good partner and when they are having a transfer bonus. On the whole, I value URs much more than MRs.


If you Google Amex travel partners, you'll get a list of airlines to which you can transfer those points.
You can go to those airlines to see how their points can be used for air travel.
(There are some slightly more complex ways to use Amex points on other airlines, such as transferring points to an Amex partner, and then, through that partner, using the points to get tickets on one of that partner's other partners - which is not an Amex partner.)

You'd probably want to accumulate more points to be able to do any "interesting" travel, other than maybe one domestic coach trip.

Their use when transferred to 'cash' is the least of it, for those who fly.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:00 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I'm starting to second guess my waiting game on the Chase Sapphire. I am sitting at just 6/24 right now - so getting close, but see other good opportunities on the horizon.

I'm earning UR points through Ink, etc. The bonus of course would be nice - but remind me again - what is your primary motivator for wanting the card?

thanks


Here are my reasons for waiting for the CSR (to replace the CSP):

1. I travel a lot and spend on transportation and hotels even beyond those I get with miles and points. With CSR I will be earning points at 3x instead of CSP's 2x.
2. Occasionally, cash airfares are better than miles-based fares. I will be able to purchase them at a (better than CSP's) discount on the Chase portal.
3. *I think* CSR provides a better travel insurance than CSP.

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

Postby munemaker » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:11 am

I take advantage of a LOT of credit card signup bonuses. For months, Citi has been sending me, seemingly weekly, "preselected" offers for cards with interest free periods; I don't carry a balance and have no use for these.

Yesterday, I had a golden mailbox moment. Citi preselected me for their THANK YOU PREMIER CARD which has a decent start up bonus ($400 in gift cards or $500 in air fare). I have had this card twice in the past, but it has been a while. Just have to charge $3,000 in first 3 months. No big deal. Caaa-ching!

Great timing as I am just completing start up bonus requirements for a different card.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:01 am

Most people participating in this thread are advanced credit card reward strategists. But I know of some novices who would like to learn about the "game" and are overwhelmed by the multitude of the moving parts. I was such a novice less than three years ago. I was very fortunate to sit at the 2014 Bogleheads conference next to a Boglehead who has recommended to me the Frequent Traveler University (FTU), that was to take place in Washington, DC in December 2014. I went to the FTU and that really got me started. Some of the official lectures were over my head, but I got a general sense of what was possible. I also talked to other attendees and presenters during breaks, and they clarified some of my questions and pointed to useful resources.

And so I'd like to pass the announcement that the next FTU will be taking place in Chicago on 17-19 November 2017, https://ftuniversity.com/ . If I were not traveling at that time elsewhere, I would have found it worthwhile to fly to Chicago for this event. Your mileage may vary (excuse the pun),

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

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:21 am

I have a burning question:

I have been reading that United now does not allow those with Basic Economy tickets to bring full-sized bags aboard. To be clear, I am specifically inquiring about bags that comply with the airline carry-on size requirements, not the behemoths some people try to sneak in.

I have a United Explorer card by Chase, and I continue paying its annual fees in order:
1) to board earlier than other Economy passengers
2) to be eligible for a free checked-in bag, if I decide to check a bag in.

From reading travel blogs, it appears that according to the recent United policies:
1) boarding earlier would not help me with carrying a compliant full-size carry-on bag
2) I would have to pay for a checked-in bag, unless I pay for the tickets (or taxes on reward tickets) with the United Explorer card.

Item (2) poses a dilemma:
Should I pay for the United tickets (or taxes) with the United Explorer or with the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
United Explorer would save me luggage fees, something like $40 per trip.
CSP would provide me with travel insurance, which could be worthless or high value.

Do you have any recommendations other than buying tickets above Basic Economy?

Thank you,
Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 dbr » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:25 am

VictoriaF wrote:From reading travel blogs, it appears that:
1) boarding earlier would not help me with a full-size carry-on bag
2) I would have to pay for a checked-in bag, unless I pay for the tickets (or taxes on reward tickets) with the United Explorer card.



1) Who says that. Isn't the whole point of "gate lice" and early boarding being finding room for carry-ons? It might be early is not "enough early." in this case.

2. I don't know if that is true. I do know there are airlines and cards where simply owning the card gets the privilege. Worth checking I guess.


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