What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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ResearchMed
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:41 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Interesting.

So you would have to add up the miles required for 2 separate flights together? How would the number of miles required work?

Make sure you have enough time to get to your next plane? I wonder if the layovers would be especially long doing it this way.

I assume if they strung the legs / flights together for you, they would be able to get your checked bags to the right spot?


The number of miles would be the price from the USA to Japan. 75K miles in business class for United's partner award chart. That's the price whether you just fly from Seattle to Tokyo or whether you fly from Louisville to Chicago to Seattle to Tokyo. You can have up to 5 segments (I think) on a United one way award flight, so you can keep stringing them together as long as you stay under this limit and as long as your layovers are under 24 hours.

Regarding amount of time to get to your next plane--the United computer will reject the itinerary if it doesn't leave enough time. It's never happened to me, but presumably the CSR would say "sorry that's not a valid itinerary." You won't be able to book anything "illegal."

Once your itinerary is put together, it's just as if you had booked it online with a single search. It works just like any other regular itinerary. They'll get your checked bag to the right spot. If you have an overnight layover, you can of course request to only check your bag to your layover city when you check in and then recheck your bag when you come back the next day for your onward flight.


Regarding layover time, whether it's a cash or awards flight with connection(s), we always make a point of allowing extra time for the connection, *especially* if it's a holiday/busy travel time (when it might not be easy to get on "the next flight"), or if it's something like the last flight of the day/evening, so the next available flight would be the next day.

The airline will put you on a later flight (as long as it isn't your fault, etc., and maybe even then), but... they are quite likely to bump revenue passengers ahead of you if there are others also delayed, etc.

We don't want to deal with the anxiety of knowing the flight is late, and the connection tight, running through the airport, or... actually missing a connection, if we can do a little something to minimize that - meaning no tight connections, even if "allowed".
If we aren't in a hurry and there are plenty of later flights and it's not a busy travel season, then we'll allow shorter connections.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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

Post by guitarguy » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:54 pm

Bfwolf wrote:At first, I was wondering why you'd chosen the Hyatt Regency in Maui over the (seemingly nicer) Andaz. Then I did an award search for the Andaz and couldn't find anything. For ANY dates during the year. So I did a Google search and found this article.

https://thepointsguy.com/2016/05/andaz- ... ree-stays/

So annoying! In any event, I'm sure the Regency is very nice and you'll have a great vacation there.


Andaz does offer up award availability, I was able to find some for Nov 2017 last week. BUT...they have quietly instituted a 7 night minimum on award stays as that article may allude to. Whatever. I've read up a lot on comparing the 2 resorts and from what I've found, Andaz is kind of like it "belongs in NYC" or something like that and doesn't have the most tropical feel. Plus, again from what I read, the restaurants around there are all expensive (as expected) but more importantly there are limited options, and very few places for shopping or restaurants are within walking distance. Even though we'll have a car, these are pretty major strikes for us. We're not "lay around all day and be pampered" kind of people anyways.

The Regency OTOH supposedly has a more tropical feel and there are lots of places to walk to, and many more dining options. We're not cheap and do like a fine dining experience here and there, but not for every meal for a week. Even though they say the Regency is more geared towards families, in late Oct or early Nov I wouldn't expect it to be overrun with kids either since they'll be in school. With a room upgrade to a Club room we can also get continental breakfast included...which is fine for us since we're more grab a banana or granola bar type people for breakfast anyways. Hoping we can get them to upgrade us with points! Walking the town of Lahaina sounds like it'll be right up our alley. A day of snorkeling (probably on one of those tours so we can see some turtles or something haha). My wife loves photography so she'll probably drag me out of bed at 2am to drive up to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Also, my friend and his fiancee stayed at the Regency and loved it. So there's that. This trip is a year and a half away and I'm probably just as excited as my best friend who's planning his wedding for Part I of this trip!! 8-)

Bfwolf wrote:If Delta miles end up being ridiculously expensive for the Hawaii trip (Delta doesn't have a set award chart), are you just going to eat it and spend huge miles for the trip or look for an alternative?


I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!

guitarguy
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:56 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Interesting.

So you would have to add up the miles required for 2 separate flights together? How would the number of miles required work?

Make sure you have enough time to get to your next plane? I wonder if the layovers would be especially long doing it this way.

I assume if they strung the legs / flights together for you, they would be able to get your checked bags to the right spot?


The number of miles would be the price from the USA to Japan. 75K miles in business class for United's partner award chart. That's the price whether you just fly from Seattle to Tokyo or whether you fly from Louisville to Chicago to Seattle to Tokyo. You can have up to 5 segments (I think) on a United one way award flight, so you can keep stringing them together as long as you stay under this limit and as long as your layovers are under 24 hours.

Regarding amount of time to get to your next plane--the United computer will reject the itinerary if it doesn't leave enough time. It's never happened to me, but presumably the CSR would say "sorry that's not a valid itinerary." You won't be able to book anything "illegal."

Once your itinerary is put together, it's just as if you had booked it online with a single search. It works just like any other regular itinerary. They'll get your checked bag to the right spot. If you have an overnight layover, you can of course request to only check your bag to your layover city when you check in and then recheck your bag when you come back the next day for your onward flight.


Thanks for this info. This is valuable stuff to know!

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

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:38 pm

guitarguy wrote:Andaz does offer up award availability, I was able to find some for Nov 2017 last week. BUT...they have quietly instituted a 7 night minimum on award stays as that article may allude to. Whatever. I've read up a lot on comparing the 2 resorts and from what I've found, Andaz is kind of like it "belongs in NYC" or something like that and doesn't have the most tropical feel. Plus, again from what I read, the restaurants around there are all expensive (as expected) but more importantly there are limited options, and very few places for shopping or restaurants are within walking distance. Even though we'll have a car, these are pretty major strikes for us. We're not "lay around all day and be pampered" kind of people anyways.

The Regency OTOH supposedly has a more tropical feel and there are lots of places to walk to, and many more dining options. We're not cheap and do like a fine dining experience here and there, but not for every meal for a week. Even though they say the Regency is more geared towards families, in late Oct or early Nov I wouldn't expect it to be overrun with kids either since they'll be in school. With a room upgrade to a Club room we can also get continental breakfast included...which is fine for us since we're more grab a banana or granola bar type people for breakfast anyways. Hoping we can get them to upgrade us with points! Walking the town of Lahaina sounds like it'll be right up our alley. A day of snorkeling (probably on one of those tours so we can see some turtles or something haha). My wife loves photography so she'll probably drag me out of bed at 2am to drive up to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Also, my friend and his fiancee stayed at the Regency and loved it. So there's that. This trip is a year and a half away and I'm probably just as excited as my best friend who's planning his wedding for Part I of this trip!! 8-)


Your rationale makes sense to me. I stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club which is a couple of hotels north of the Hyatt Regency a couple of years ago and I liked that area. If you walk on the beach all the way to the northern end, you'll get to the outcropping of black volcanic rock. People swim out to the end of the outcropping, climb up the volcanic rock, and then jump in. It's a blast. I would recommend some sort of water shoes as the rocks hurt to climb up if you're barefoot (which is what I did). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFWCyLRFJMA

You can also rent snorkel equipment and swim around to the other side of the black rock outcropping where huge sea turtles live. You'll be within arm's reach (don't touch obviously). No need to do a tour.

If you are scuba certified, consider doing a night dive in this same area. I did and loved it. You can see the same turtles but now they're asleep. If you're not scuba certified, Maui could be a great place to do your open water dives (i.e. you do your coursework and confined water dives in your hometown, then you finish the open water certification by doing your 4 open water dives in Maui).

There's a comedy magic show called Warren & Annabelle's that I thought was pretty fantastic.

guitarguy wrote:
I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!


Great find! And I see that the fees are only $23.60 each way. Fantastic!

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

Post by guitarguy » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:55 pm

Side question...when using partner airline miles (Flying Blue) to book an award flight on Delta, does anyone know if the benefits associated with the Delta Skymiles credit card (free checked bag and priority boarding) will be carried over since it's a Delta flight?

I know in the reverse situation, using Delta Skymiles to book on a partner airline, say Hawaiian, the benefit doesn't carry over. I asked a HA representative. But I'm wondering if it would carry over in the reverse situation since in the end you're on a Delta flight and you're using a benefit from a Delta credit card...?

:confused

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

Post by fareastwarriors » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:23 pm

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710

AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000, according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card users will have to spend $5,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, up from $3,000 currently, the person said.



Is it worth it to sign up? My last card was the Reserve.

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:37 pm

guitarguy wrote:Side question...when using partner airline miles (Flying Blue) to book an award flight on Delta, does anyone know if the benefits associated with the Delta Skymiles credit card (free checked bag and priority boarding) will be carried over since it's a Delta flight?

I know in the reverse situation, using Delta Skymiles to book on a partner airline, say Hawaiian, the benefit doesn't carry over. I asked a HA representative. But I'm wondering if it would carry over in the reverse situation since in the end you're on a Delta flight and you're using a benefit from a Delta credit card...?

:confused


http://millionmilesecrets.com/2015/06/2 ... lta-cards/

It says you don't have to book the flight with the Delta credit card but you DO have to have your Skymiles # associated with the reservation. Since your reservation will be associated with your Flying Blue #, I don't think you'll be able to take advantage of this perk.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:11 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710

AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000, according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card users will have to spend $5,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, up from $3,000 currently, the person said.



Is it worth it to sign up? My last card was the Reserve.


IMO, the best Amex point card to start with is the business gold rewards card. Annual fee waived first year. You should try and get a 75K offer, which seems to come and go. There is one right now that is targeted it sounds like.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american ... links.html

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

Post by J_Markov » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:41 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:

Regarding amount of time to get to your next plane--the United computer will reject the itinerary if it doesn't leave enough time. It's never happened to me, but presumably the CSR would say "sorry that's not a valid itinerary." You won't be able to book anything "illegal."

Once your itinerary is put together, it's just as if you had booked it online with a single search. It works just like any other regular itinerary. They'll get your checked bag to the right spot. If you have an overnight layover, you can of course request to only check your bag to your layover city when you check in and then recheck your bag when you come back the next day for your onward flight.


So wait, this is all assuming you book in the UR website? Can you clarify?

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

Post by rjbraun » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:47 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710

AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000, according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card users will have to spend $5,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, up from $3,000 currently, the person said.



Is it worth it to sign up? My last card was the Reserve.

I don't know. When I read the WSJ article earlier it didn't sound so compelling to me. But, it did prompt me to open an Amex offer I received recently: Amex Business Platinum offer to earn 100,000 MR after $5000 spend in first 3 months. $450 annual fee, $200 airline fee credit. Unlike CSR, which I have, the $200 credit only seems to apply to incidental fees like checked bags or in-flight meals, neither of which I would be likely to incur normally.

Unlike I'm missing something the deal I got in the mail sounds quite a bit better than what's described in the WSJ article. Still, my "business" isn't really fleshed out at this point, so I'm not sure Amex would even issue me the card if I applied. Of course, only one way to find out.

Edit: If I followed the article correctly, the 100,000 MR tied to the Business Platinum would equate to $1000 cash credit to plane tickets. That's not bad, I guess, but given the $450 AF the net is $550, assuming no value is assigned to the $200 airline fee credit and lounge access benefits.
Last edited by rjbraun on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:49 pm

No, I was talking about calling in. When I said United computer, I meant the computer the CSR rep was using to create the itinerary.

If you book an award ticket, no flight system will let you book an illegal route whether you do so by calling in or by using the website. The only time a not-possible route comes into play is when you book 2 separate tickets.

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

Post by J_Markov » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:56 pm

Bfwolf wrote:No, I was talking about calling in. When I said United computer, I meant the computer the CSR rep was using to create the itinerary.

If you book an award ticket, no flight system will let you book an illegal route whether you do so by calling in or by using the website. The only time a not-possible route comes into play is when you book 2 separate tickets.


I guess you could call United directly instead of going through the Chase rep. I was under the understanding that if you go through Chase you can't use the airline miles but rather would have to use your URs.

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

Post by BeneIRA » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:26 pm

rjbraun wrote:
fareastwarriors wrote:https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710

AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000, according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card users will have to spend $5,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, up from $3,000 currently, the person said.



Is it worth it to sign up? My last card was the Reserve.

I don't know. When I read the WSJ article earlier it didn't sound so compelling to me. But, it did prompt me to open an Amex offer I received recently: Amex Business Platinum offer to earn 100,000 MR after $5000 spend in first 3 months. $450 annual fee, $200 airline fee credit. Unlike CSR, which I have, the $200 credit only seems to apply to incidental fees like checked bags or in-flight meals, neither of which I would be likely to incur normally.

Unlike I'm missing something the deal I got in the mail sounds quite a bit better than what's described in the WSJ article. Still, my "business" isn't really fleshed out at this point, so I'm not sure Amex would even issue me the card if I applied. Of course, only one way to find out.

Edit: If I followed the article correctly, the 100,000 MR tied to the Business Platinum would equate to $1000 cash credit to plane tickets. That's not bad, I guess, but given the $450 AF the net is $550, assuming no value is assigned to the $200 airline fee credit and lounge access benefits.



The Amex Platinum is supposed to only be for incidental fees, but in practice, it can be used for airline gift cards, too. Check out the Flyertalk threads for each airline. The easiest is Southwest. Choose them as your preferred airline, wait a few days, buy two separate $100 gift cards from Southwest's website and they will reimburse a few days later. The other airlines are trickier, so I went with the easy one.

Also, to the poster who wanted definitive confirmation that the Hyatt card isn't subject to 5/24. It isn't. I can confirm it is not. The others which are not are: British Airways, IHG, Ritz-Carlton, and Disney.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:58 pm

J_Markov wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:No, I was talking about calling in. When I said United computer, I meant the computer the CSR rep was using to create the itinerary.

If you book an award ticket, no flight system will let you book an illegal route whether you do so by calling in or by using the website. The only time a not-possible route comes into play is when you book 2 separate tickets.


I guess you could call United directly instead of going through the Chase rep. I was under the understanding that if you go through Chase you can't use the airline miles but rather would have to use your URs.


CSR stands for Customer Service Rep in my post, not Chase Sapphire Reserve. Sorry for the misundertanding. I guess "CSR rep" is kind of like "ATM machine."

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

Post by guitarguy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:42 am

Bfwolf wrote:
fareastwarriors wrote:https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710

AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000, according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card users will have to spend $5,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, up from $3,000 currently, the person said.



Is it worth it to sign up? My last card was the Reserve.


IMO, the best Amex point card to start with is the business gold rewards card. Annual fee waived first year. You should try and get a 75K offer, which seems to come and go. There is one right now that is targeted it sounds like.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american ... links.html


This was my next planned signup card. I clicked the link and it says I'm not eligible for this offer. :annoyed

Anyone know how to "get eligible" for this??

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:04 am

Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Side question...when using partner airline miles (Flying Blue) to book an award flight on Delta, does anyone know if the benefits associated with the Delta Skymiles credit card (free checked bag and priority boarding) will be carried over since it's a Delta flight?

I know in the reverse situation, using Delta Skymiles to book on a partner airline, say Hawaiian, the benefit doesn't carry over. I asked a HA representative. But I'm wondering if it would carry over in the reverse situation since in the end you're on a Delta flight and you're using a benefit from a Delta credit card...?

:confused


http://millionmilesecrets.com/2015/06/2 ... lta-cards/

It says you don't have to book the flight with the Delta credit card but you DO have to have your Skymiles # associated with the reservation. Since your reservation will be associated with your Flying Blue #, I don't think you'll be able to take advantage of this perk.


Hmm...isn't there a way to tag your Skymiles number onto the reservation when you fly on partner airlines like AF instead of that frequent flyer number associated with that partner airline?

Just curious here...

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

Post by Drew777 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:29 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Question for something I'm currently wondering is, say I was approved and opened up a card on month/day/2015. On month/day/2017, will that card *immediately* open me up another slot with Chase, or does it take time to "fall off"? Wait a couple weeks? Is it based on when the card was received and activated? Or date approved? :confused

Very curious how this works. I will have a big expense (wife's tuition bill) coming up on month/day/2015 plus 2 years and about 1 month. So I'd like to snap up a new card right away when that one falls off so that I can pay this bill to meet minimum spend.


Bumping this question for anyone that might be able to help answer...


It takes time to fall off. A new card isn't reported the day you open it and doesn't get dropped the day you close it. The credit report (at least any I've seen) doesn't even have day of month for account open/closed. Also, they don't report in real time to the credit bureaus.


New inquiries are typically on your report literally the same second. As far as Chase 5/24, only the date new accounts are opened is relevant, if/when they were closed won't have any effect.


I am not qualified to argue with Drew, but I recall seeing in travel/CC blogs that 5/24 expires at the end of a month. Thus, my plan is to open new cards on (month + 1),(year +2).

Also, I think you can apply with 4/24, NOT 5/24. In other words, 5 cards is the lowest disqualifier, not the highest qualifier.

Finally, the 5/24 eligibility is not enough. There must be good cards to apply for. We may never see 100k on CSR again, but I'd wait to apply for it with at least 70k bonus.

Victoria


Victoria, you may be right. I hadn't heard that, but honestly I haven't paid too much attention because I don't plan to ever be under 5/24 again myself.

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

Post by Drew777 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:32 am

guitarguy wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Side question...when using partner airline miles (Flying Blue) to book an award flight on Delta, does anyone know if the benefits associated with the Delta Skymiles credit card (free checked bag and priority boarding) will be carried over since it's a Delta flight?

I know in the reverse situation, using Delta Skymiles to book on a partner airline, say Hawaiian, the benefit doesn't carry over. I asked a HA representative. But I'm wondering if it would carry over in the reverse situation since in the end you're on a Delta flight and you're using a benefit from a Delta credit card...?

:confused


http://millionmilesecrets.com/2015/06/2 ... lta-cards/

It says you don't have to book the flight with the Delta credit card but you DO have to have your Skymiles # associated with the reservation. Since your reservation will be associated with your Flying Blue #, I don't think you'll be able to take advantage of this perk.


Hmm...isn't there a way to tag your Skymiles number onto the reservation when you fly on partner airlines like AF instead of that frequent flyer number associated with that partner airline?

Just curious here...


Yes, you can enter a partner FF number when you book the flight.

guitarguy
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:44 am

Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Side question...when using partner airline miles (Flying Blue) to book an award flight on Delta, does anyone know if the benefits associated with the Delta Skymiles credit card (free checked bag and priority boarding) will be carried over since it's a Delta flight?

I know in the reverse situation, using Delta Skymiles to book on a partner airline, say Hawaiian, the benefit doesn't carry over. I asked a HA representative. But I'm wondering if it would carry over in the reverse situation since in the end you're on a Delta flight and you're using a benefit from a Delta credit card...?

:confused


http://millionmilesecrets.com/2015/06/2 ... lta-cards/

It says you don't have to book the flight with the Delta credit card but you DO have to have your Skymiles # associated with the reservation. Since your reservation will be associated with your Flying Blue #, I don't think you'll be able to take advantage of this perk.


Hmm...isn't there a way to tag your Skymiles number onto the reservation when you fly on partner airlines like AF instead of that frequent flyer number associated with that partner airline?

Just curious here...


Yes, you can enter a partner FF number when you book the flight.


That's good news. I've asked on FT and there have been a few mixed answers, but most have said I *should* be able to tag my DL FF number. That *should* be all I need to get my free checked bag benefit and priority boarding from my Gold Skymiles Amex.

Hopefully that all holds true.

travellight
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:12 am

guitarguy wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:At first, I was wondering why you'd chosen the Hyatt Regency in Maui over the (seemingly nicer) Andaz. Then I did an award search for the Andaz and couldn't find anything. For ANY dates during the year. So I did a Google search and found this article.

https://thepointsguy.com/2016/05/andaz- ... ree-stays/

So annoying! In any event, I'm sure the Regency is very nice and you'll have a great vacation there.


Andaz does offer up award availability, I was able to find some for Nov 2017 last week. BUT...they have quietly instituted a 7 night minimum on award stays as that article may allude to. Whatever. I've read up a lot on comparing the 2 resorts and from what I've found, Andaz is kind of like it "belongs in NYC" or something like that and doesn't have the most tropical feel. Plus, again from what I read, the restaurants around there are all expensive (as expected) but more importantly there are limited options, and very few places for shopping or restaurants are within walking distance. Even though we'll have a car, these are pretty major strikes for us. We're not "lay around all day and be pampered" kind of people anyways.

The Regency OTOH supposedly has a more tropical feel and there are lots of places to walk to, and many more dining options. We're not cheap and do like a fine dining experience here and there, but not for every meal for a week. Even though they say the Regency is more geared towards families, in late Oct or early Nov I wouldn't expect it to be overrun with kids either since they'll be in school. With a room upgrade to a Club room we can also get continental breakfast included...which is fine for us since we're more grab a banana or granola bar type people for breakfast anyways. Hoping we can get them to upgrade us with points! Walking the town of Lahaina sounds like it'll be right up our alley. A day of snorkeling (probably on one of those tours so we can see some turtles or something haha). My wife loves photography so she'll probably drag me out of bed at 2am to drive up to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Also, my friend and his fiancee stayed at the Regency and loved it. So there's that. This trip is a year and a half away and I'm probably just as excited as my best friend who's planning his wedding for Part I of this trip!! 8-)

Bfwolf wrote:If Delta miles end up being ridiculously expensive for the Hawaii trip (Delta doesn't have a set award chart), are you just going to eat it and spend huge miles for the trip or look for an alternative?


I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!


just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:12 pm

travellight wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:At first, I was wondering why you'd chosen the Hyatt Regency in Maui over the (seemingly nicer) Andaz. Then I did an award search for the Andaz and couldn't find anything. For ANY dates during the year. So I did a Google search and found this article.

https://thepointsguy.com/2016/05/andaz- ... ree-stays/

So annoying! In any event, I'm sure the Regency is very nice and you'll have a great vacation there.


Andaz does offer up award availability, I was able to find some for Nov 2017 last week. BUT...they have quietly instituted a 7 night minimum on award stays as that article may allude to. Whatever. I've read up a lot on comparing the 2 resorts and from what I've found, Andaz is kind of like it "belongs in NYC" or something like that and doesn't have the most tropical feel. Plus, again from what I read, the restaurants around there are all expensive (as expected) but more importantly there are limited options, and very few places for shopping or restaurants are within walking distance. Even though we'll have a car, these are pretty major strikes for us. We're not "lay around all day and be pampered" kind of people anyways.

The Regency OTOH supposedly has a more tropical feel and there are lots of places to walk to, and many more dining options. We're not cheap and do like a fine dining experience here and there, but not for every meal for a week. Even though they say the Regency is more geared towards families, in late Oct or early Nov I wouldn't expect it to be overrun with kids either since they'll be in school. With a room upgrade to a Club room we can also get continental breakfast included...which is fine for us since we're more grab a banana or granola bar type people for breakfast anyways. Hoping we can get them to upgrade us with points! Walking the town of Lahaina sounds like it'll be right up our alley. A day of snorkeling (probably on one of those tours so we can see some turtles or something haha). My wife loves photography so she'll probably drag me out of bed at 2am to drive up to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Also, my friend and his fiancee stayed at the Regency and loved it. So there's that. This trip is a year and a half away and I'm probably just as excited as my best friend who's planning his wedding for Part I of this trip!! 8-)

Bfwolf wrote:If Delta miles end up being ridiculously expensive for the Hawaii trip (Delta doesn't have a set award chart), are you just going to eat it and spend huge miles for the trip or look for an alternative?


I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!


just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)


I don't have a Prestige so never paid too much attention, but isn't the 4th night free benefit changing? Before it was easily gameable because the fourth night could be $400 and the first three could be $100 each or something like that. Now I believe they're just taking the total cost and reimbursing 25% of it.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1955
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:20 pm

I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?

guitarguy
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:21 pm

travellight wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:At first, I was wondering why you'd chosen the Hyatt Regency in Maui over the (seemingly nicer) Andaz. Then I did an award search for the Andaz and couldn't find anything. For ANY dates during the year. So I did a Google search and found this article.

https://thepointsguy.com/2016/05/andaz- ... ree-stays/

So annoying! In any event, I'm sure the Regency is very nice and you'll have a great vacation there.


Andaz does offer up award availability, I was able to find some for Nov 2017 last week. BUT...they have quietly instituted a 7 night minimum on award stays as that article may allude to. Whatever. I've read up a lot on comparing the 2 resorts and from what I've found, Andaz is kind of like it "belongs in NYC" or something like that and doesn't have the most tropical feel. Plus, again from what I read, the restaurants around there are all expensive (as expected) but more importantly there are limited options, and very few places for shopping or restaurants are within walking distance. Even though we'll have a car, these are pretty major strikes for us. We're not "lay around all day and be pampered" kind of people anyways.

The Regency OTOH supposedly has a more tropical feel and there are lots of places to walk to, and many more dining options. We're not cheap and do like a fine dining experience here and there, but not for every meal for a week. Even though they say the Regency is more geared towards families, in late Oct or early Nov I wouldn't expect it to be overrun with kids either since they'll be in school. With a room upgrade to a Club room we can also get continental breakfast included...which is fine for us since we're more grab a banana or granola bar type people for breakfast anyways. Hoping we can get them to upgrade us with points! Walking the town of Lahaina sounds like it'll be right up our alley. A day of snorkeling (probably on one of those tours so we can see some turtles or something haha). My wife loves photography so she'll probably drag me out of bed at 2am to drive up to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Also, my friend and his fiancee stayed at the Regency and loved it. So there's that. This trip is a year and a half away and I'm probably just as excited as my best friend who's planning his wedding for Part I of this trip!! 8-)

Bfwolf wrote:If Delta miles end up being ridiculously expensive for the Hawaii trip (Delta doesn't have a set award chart), are you just going to eat it and spend huge miles for the trip or look for an alternative?


I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!


just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)


Thanks for chiming in. I've decided against the Prestige though. For now at least.

I'm planning on getting a Barclaycard Arrival Plus instead. What I want from this specific card signup is to get an *easy* bonus...basically swiping the card to pay my wife's tuition bill, getting the bonus in one shot, and being done with it. With this card, I will get exactly that, and will be easily able to redeem the miles during our HI vacation. Plus pay no fees (I will just downgrade to the regular Arrival to keep the miles).

With the Prestige, that $450 fee is a biggie that needs to be offset. While I do know I could get more than $450 out of the card if I was really proactive about it - double dipping on the airline credit, getting Global Entry, etc - jumping through all these hoops isn't really what I want to get into right now. Our flights will all be booked with miles for this...so the airline credit becomes much less valuable than say the CSR general travel credit.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
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Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:00 pm

guitarguy wrote:With the Prestige, that $450 fee is a biggie that needs to be offset. While I do know I could get more than $450 out of the card if I was really proactive about it - double dipping on the airline credit, getting Global Entry, etc - jumping through all these hoops isn't really what I want to get into right now. Our flights will all be booked with miles for this...so the airline credit becomes much less valuable than say the CSR general travel credit.


To use the Citi prestige airline credit, you can also buy airline gift cards or e-certificates if there is a particular one you fly regularly. This works with the Amex Gold and Platinum cards too, and with the Amex Delta Skymiles cards that have a promotional signup credit towards a Delta purchase.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:02 pm

travellight wrote:just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)


I also have the Prestige also, but I have not found the 4th night free hotel credit to really be of much use. The reason is that they will only honor the benefit on rates directly booked with the hotels. But on many hotels, you can find cheaper prices through online travel agencies, often 15-20% if not 25%. I haven't decided whether to renew my Prestige in September yet when it comes due.

theplayer11
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:07 pm

my strategy is to sign up for the most bonus points I can possible get..and vacation to Europe the next 3-4+ years for next to nothing.
Last edited by theplayer11 on Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:07 pm

guitarguy wrote:I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!


I was looking at booking flights to Hawaii from the SF bay area. I couldn't find any awards that made sense, including on Delta and Flying blue. Awards were only available on connection flights, even though there are some non-stop flights to Honolulu with partner airlines. The redemption was 25K miles for the dates I looked at also, not 15K. I gave up on Hawaii for this year because of the high hotel room rates. We'll be flying to Vietnam again instead in may, much cheaper ;)

If you are looking for rewards options to Hawaii, go to Hawaiian airlines and make a dummy booking. During checkout, you'll be offered a Barclay Hawaiian card with 50,000 miles after $1000 spending. The card has an $89 annual which is not waived. My husband and I both applied for the card and got it last week. That should be enough for at least 1 trip to Hawaii next year.
Last edited by madbrain on Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

protagonist
Posts: 4902
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:36 pm

madbrain wrote: I gave up on Hawaii for this year because of the high hotel room rates. We'll be flying to Vietnam again instead in may, much cheaper ;)


Not just being there, but flights as well! I was amazed at how cheap flying to SE Asia is these days on some of the best airlines in the world. NYC-Ho Chi Minh City could easily be done this past winter (when I went) for $500-600 RT (less than 40K UR points via Sapphire Reserve)...many options....even cheaper if you want to go on some second rate Chinese airline (imho def. not worth the additional savings).

But having been to both, I must say the windsurfing is better in Hawaii. Not in winter though.

travellight
Posts: 2673
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:24 pm

madbrain wrote:
travellight wrote:just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)


I also have the Prestige also, but I have not found the 4th night free hotel credit to really be of much use. The reason is that they will only honor the benefit on rates directly booked with the hotels. But on many hotels, you can find cheaper prices through online travel agencies, often 15-20% if not 25%. I haven't decided whether to renew my Prestige in September yet when it comes due.


The prestige concierge has often gone the extra mile and called the hotel and let them know of the lower rate I found on a third party website and the hotel has usually matched and honored the lowest price.

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

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:41 pm

travellight wrote:The prestige concierge has often gone the extra mile and called the hotel and let them know of the lower rate I found on a third party website and the hotel has usually matched and honored the lowest price.


Unfortunately, this has not been my experience.

travellight
Posts: 2673
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:53 am

madbrain wrote:
travellight wrote:The prestige concierge has often gone the extra mile and called the hotel and let them know of the lower rate I found on a third party website and the hotel has usually matched and honored the lowest price.


Unfortunately, this has not been my experience.


One example (of many): I call Prestige to book my Fairmont stay in Sonoma and the Prestige concierge calls the Sonoma fairmont for me to arrange the best rates they can find for me. I book 2 nights that I pay for, book the third night free with the Fairmont credit card reward, and then I will later get the 4th night free due to using my Prestige card. I apply the suite upgrade to all four nights and voila, I will have 4 nights in the Sonoma Mission Inn in a suite for only the cost of two standard room nights at the lowest rate I could find. Net cost will be $518 plus taxes and $25 resort fee.

stockpile
Posts: 21
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by stockpile » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:08 am

I use the USAA limitless for 2.5% cash back with no AF for most of my spend. Amex platinum for airfare and Amex SPG for hotels.

guitarguy
Posts: 1704
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:43 am

madbrain wrote:
guitarguy wrote:I have done some poking around and there seems to be quite a bit of saver award availability (22.5k miles per person, one way) from home to HNL and from OGG back home for this November. I expect to be able to book this trip almost a year out, so hopefully availability won't be an issue.

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!!


I was looking at booking flights to Hawaii from the SF bay area. I couldn't find any awards that made sense, including on Delta and Flying blue. Awards were only available on connection flights, even though there are some non-stop flights to Honolulu with partner airlines. The redemption was 25K miles for the dates I looked at also, not 15K. I gave up on Hawaii for this year because of the high hotel room rates. We'll be flying to Vietnam again instead in may, much cheaper ;)

If you are looking for rewards options to Hawaii, go to Hawaiian airlines and make a dummy booking. During checkout, you'll be offered a Barclay Hawaiian card with 50,000 miles after $1000 spending. The card has an $89 annual which is not waived. My husband and I both applied for the card and got it last week. That should be enough for at least 1 trip to Hawaii next year.


No giving up on Hawaii here. Not really an option when you're the best man in a wedding there.

But we're all set with Flying Blue...lots of 15k 1-stop award availability from the Midwest (nonstop isn't an option from here on any airline that I can see) to HNL and from OGG back home. But we live 35 mins from a Delta hub too. As a backup we have 130k+ Skymiles we could burn. We'll also use them to island hop on Hawaiian. No need for the Barclaycard Hawaiian cc right now.

We should also be set for most, if not all, of the hotel costs with Hyatt free nights and UR points. If the betrothed couple chooses a non-Hyatt spot and we do have to have a pay stay for the first part of the trip, we'll offset with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the CapOne Venture bonuses. But...I know they're also fans of Hyatt...so we'll see.

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:45 am

michaeljc70 wrote:I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?


Many banks will combine inquiries if you apply for more than credit card in the same day with that particular bank. Trying to apply for two close together won't prevent them from seeing the recent inquiry though. Inquiries are reported instantly. This used to not be the case but has changed in the last couple years.

Drew777
Posts: 597
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:47 am

madbrain wrote:
travellight wrote:just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)


I also have the Prestige also, but I have not found the 4th night free hotel credit to really be of much use. The reason is that they will only honor the benefit on rates directly booked with the hotels. But on many hotels, you can find cheaper prices through online travel agencies, often 15-20% if not 25%. I haven't decided whether to renew my Prestige in September yet when it comes due.


Virtually all hotel chains offer a "best rate guarantee," so there's really no advantage to booking with an OTA.

guitarguy
Posts: 1704
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:29 am

Question for those familiar with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus:

I see the standard arrival is gone from the website for new applications. Does anyone know if it's still available for downgrade?

And just as important, can anyone confirm that you can *keep* your miles earned with the Arrival+ and they will transfer to the no-fee Arrival?

My plan for this card was to earn the bonus, downgrade to keep the miles fee-free, and then use them for our trip. But if the miles won't transfer to the no-fee version of the card, then I may have to rethink this. :greedy

Plus another bonus of the Arrival as opposed to the Plus, is that you can redeem for travel with a minimum $25 transaction as opposed to $100. What a crappy redemption policy they have on the Plus!

The consensus on FT was about 50/50 on keeping the miles after the downgrade, which should still be available. However, nobody had any recent experience to note.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1634
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:28 pm

guitarguy wrote:Question for those familiar with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus:

I see the standard arrival is gone from the website for new applications. Does anyone know if it's still available for downgrade?

And just as important, can anyone confirm that you can *keep* your miles earned with the Arrival+ and they will transfer to the no-fee Arrival?

My plan for this card was to earn the bonus, downgrade to keep the miles fee-free, and then use them for our trip. But if the miles won't transfer to the no-fee version of the card, then I may have to rethink this. :greedy

Plus another bonus of the Arrival as opposed to the Plus, is that you can redeem for travel with a minimum $25 transaction as opposed to $100. What a crappy redemption policy they have on the Plus!

The consensus on FT was about 50/50 on keeping the miles after the downgrade, which should still be available. However, nobody had any recent experience to note.


I don't have an answer to your question. I've never tried to downgrade my Arrival+s. I've had 2 of them. Surely you'll have $500 of travel expenses in the next year you can dump onto the Arrival+ to spend the points? Then you can cancel the card and get another one for your trip. :)

guitarguy
Posts: 1704
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:48 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Question for those familiar with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus:

I see the standard arrival is gone from the website for new applications. Does anyone know if it's still available for downgrade?

And just as important, can anyone confirm that you can *keep* your miles earned with the Arrival+ and they will transfer to the no-fee Arrival?

My plan for this card was to earn the bonus, downgrade to keep the miles fee-free, and then use them for our trip. But if the miles won't transfer to the no-fee version of the card, then I may have to rethink this. :greedy

Plus another bonus of the Arrival as opposed to the Plus, is that you can redeem for travel with a minimum $25 transaction as opposed to $100. What a crappy redemption policy they have on the Plus!

The consensus on FT was about 50/50 on keeping the miles after the downgrade, which should still be available. However, nobody had any recent experience to note.


I don't have an answer to your question. I've never tried to downgrade my Arrival+s. I've had 2 of them. Surely you'll have $500 of travel expenses in the next year you can dump onto the Arrival+ to spend the points? Then you can cancel the card and get another one for your trip. :)


2 issues with that:

1. I likely won't have enough "space" with my spending to earn any more extra signup bonuses than we're already planning to nab for the trip, plus stay (get) under 5/24 in time for my CSR next summer. So earning, burning, and then getting a second Arrival+ is probably out. Besides how close together can you churn this thing anyways?

2. In order to unload those points I would likely have to either take another trip (unplanned as of now, although I'm sure we could find a place to go), spend these funds on a trip I could easily otherwise book with miles (trying to avoid that), or stock up on airline gift cards (also trying to avoid bc again I can book with miles).

The crappy thing about this card is the $100 minimum transaction to redeem. I have upcoming trips to CA and Chicago where I'll no doubt incur some smaller travel costs, but it'll be transportation and baggage fees and smaller stuff that will be less than $100...making the Arrival+ worthless for redemption.

What I was hoping to do was use these funds for a paid hotel stay that I had to take because I won't have a choice on the lodging for my buddy's wedding.

Barclay's needs to allow the downgrade and keep the points!!

BeneIRA
Posts: 312
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:03 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?


Are you 4/24? If so, there have been many data points of people applying for two Chase cards while at 4/24 and getting approved. Hopefully you got the 70,000 miles + $50 statement credit offer for the United Explorer card. Usually one has to be reconned, but it is worth it to grab two Chase cards. Drew is correct. Two applications on the same day from the same issuer is one hard pull. Keep in mind, there are other restrictions such as with American Express, they won't allow two credit card applications in one day, but they will allow a charge and credit card on the same day to maximize one hard pull.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1955
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:08 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?


Are you 4/24? If so, there have been many data points of people applying for two Chase cards while at 4/24 and getting approved. Hopefully you got the 70,000 miles + $50 statement credit offer for the United Explorer card. Usually one has to be reconned, but it is worth it to grab two Chase cards. Drew is correct. Two applications on the same day from the same issuer is one hard pull. Keep in mind, there are other restrictions such as with American Express, they won't allow two credit card applications in one day, but they will allow a charge and credit card on the same day to maximize one hard pull.


i haven't done the United yet. I have a couple days to get past the 2 year bonus limitation on the deal. I already have the CSR. I have a Chase Freedom. I am not sure what other Chase would be best to apply for on the same day. Not crazy about the hotel cards.

BeneIRA
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:22 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?


Are you 4/24? If so, there have been many data points of people applying for two Chase cards while at 4/24 and getting approved. Hopefully you got the 70,000 miles + $50 statement credit offer for the United Explorer card. Usually one has to be reconned, but it is worth it to grab two Chase cards. Drew is correct. Two applications on the same day from the same issuer is one hard pull. Keep in mind, there are other restrictions such as with American Express, they won't allow two credit card applications in one day, but they will allow a charge and credit card on the same day to maximize one hard pull.


i haven't done the United yet. I have a couple days to get past the 2 year bonus limitation on the deal. I already have the CSR. I have a Chase Freedom. I am not sure what other Chase would be best to apply for on the same day. Not crazy about the hotel cards.


Would you be able to manage the minimum spend on the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well? 50,000 points + 5,000 more for an authorized user. If you use the Ultimate Rewards Portal, that is $825 worth of travel value right there. I was going to suggest the Marriott 100,000 points + 7,500 for authorized user. If you have a Starwood Preferred Guest personal, you could take those points, flip them over to the SPG, at a 3:1 ratio which is about 35,000 points, then transfer them to airline partners. The IHG and Hyatt cards, while good, aren't subject to 5/24 anyway, so that's okay that you're not into hotel cards. The British Airways card isn't bad if you will be taking short haul flights around Europe, but it isn't subjected to 5/24, either. CSP is probably the call. I would do United Explorer first, that should be auto approved, then CSP and it will probably go to pending, but you might be able to recon it.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1955
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:33 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?


Are you 4/24? If so, there have been many data points of people applying for two Chase cards while at 4/24 and getting approved. Hopefully you got the 70,000 miles + $50 statement credit offer for the United Explorer card. Usually one has to be reconned, but it is worth it to grab two Chase cards. Drew is correct. Two applications on the same day from the same issuer is one hard pull. Keep in mind, there are other restrictions such as with American Express, they won't allow two credit card applications in one day, but they will allow a charge and credit card on the same day to maximize one hard pull.


i haven't done the United yet. I have a couple days to get past the 2 year bonus limitation on the deal. I already have the CSR. I have a Chase Freedom. I am not sure what other Chase would be best to apply for on the same day. Not crazy about the hotel cards.


Would you be able to manage the minimum spend on the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well? 50,000 points + 5,000 more for an authorized user. If you use the Ultimate Rewards Portal, that is $825 worth of travel value right there. I was going to suggest the Marriott 100,000 points + 7,500 for authorized user. If you have a Starwood Preferred Guest personal, you could take those points, flip them over to the SPG, at a 3:1 ratio which is about 35,000 points, then transfer them to airline partners. The IHG and Hyatt cards, while good, aren't subject to 5/24 anyway, so that's okay that you're not into hotel cards. The British Airways card isn't bad if you will be taking short haul flights around Europe, but it isn't subjected to 5/24, either. CSP is probably the call. I would do United Explorer first, that should be auto approved, then CSP and it will probably go to pending, but you might be able to recon it.


So the CSR doesn't intefere with the CSP? If not, that may be the way I go.

BeneIRA
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:36 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I am going to be applying for a United Explorer card in a few days. I am wondering if there is any advantage to applying for another card at around the same time. I would think if I do it the same day the 2nd one won't see the inquiry yet from the first. Not that the inquiry would get me denied on the 2nd, but I suppose it is possible. I know they allow for "shopping around" for a mortgage (don't dock your credit for having 2 lenders pull your credit vs. one). Does that only apply to mortgages?


Are you 4/24? If so, there have been many data points of people applying for two Chase cards while at 4/24 and getting approved. Hopefully you got the 70,000 miles + $50 statement credit offer for the United Explorer card. Usually one has to be reconned, but it is worth it to grab two Chase cards. Drew is correct. Two applications on the same day from the same issuer is one hard pull. Keep in mind, there are other restrictions such as with American Express, they won't allow two credit card applications in one day, but they will allow a charge and credit card on the same day to maximize one hard pull.


i haven't done the United yet. I have a couple days to get past the 2 year bonus limitation on the deal. I already have the CSR. I have a Chase Freedom. I am not sure what other Chase would be best to apply for on the same day. Not crazy about the hotel cards.


Would you be able to manage the minimum spend on the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well? 50,000 points + 5,000 more for an authorized user. If you use the Ultimate Rewards Portal, that is $825 worth of travel value right there. I was going to suggest the Marriott 100,000 points + 7,500 for authorized user. If you have a Starwood Preferred Guest personal, you could take those points, flip them over to the SPG, at a 3:1 ratio which is about 35,000 points, then transfer them to airline partners. The IHG and Hyatt cards, while good, aren't subject to 5/24 anyway, so that's okay that you're not into hotel cards. The British Airways card isn't bad if you will be taking short haul flights around Europe, but it isn't subjected to 5/24, either. CSP is probably the call. I would do United Explorer first, that should be auto approved, then CSP and it will probably go to pending, but you might be able to recon it.


So the CSR doesn't intefere with the CSP? If not, that may be the way I go.


You can have a CSR and a CSP opened with Chase. I do. I just transferred all of my URs from my CSP onto my CSR when I went to redeem.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1955
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:04 am

Drew777 wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
I'd agree, I think you're better off getting the United card while you can. FYI there's a targeted offer for 70k + $50 through April 15. It seems that a lot of people are targeted though.

Try this link: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/s ... thatsaplus

Citi gives out AA cards like crazy. Even with their new 24 month rule they keep putting out links without the 24 month language. They also match to the targeted 60k offer if you send them a secure message.



Thanks. I see the 70k offer. It does say "This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months."

I am not sure what that means exactly. I had the card in 2015. I opened it in February. Is it the date the bonus posted or the date you opened the account?

I can wait a month or so (hopefully they will still offer 70k). I am currently doing the $3k spend for the AA card.

Edit: I looked on UAL's site and my 50k bonus posted on 4/6/2015. Looks like I have to wait a few weeks.
Edit 2: It looks like this offer doesn't waive the annual fee for the first year. Not that it is a big deal, but it is $95. $95 for an extra $20k miles is worth it.


Yeah, you need to wait two years from when you received the bonus. You should have time before the offer expires though. You're right, it doesn't waive the annual fee, but personally I think $95 for an extra 20,000 miles is a pretty good deal. There is an offer with a $50 statement credit, but looks like you were targeted for the other offer.


Any idea if they use day to day or month to month? Should I wait until May just to be safe?


Should be to the day. The 70k offer expires April 15, so I would apply before then.


Thanks for that tip. I got approved today. 70k is a great bonus.

I decided not to apply for another card today as I don't like doing 2 spends at a time. I typically charge around 2k a month and it might be cutting it close.

madbrain
Posts: 4522
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:25 am

Drew777 wrote:
madbrain wrote:
travellight wrote:just an fyi.... I like my citi prestige. I will renew it next month. I got back $900 last year due to the 4th night free hotel credit. It is even better than the CSR if used properly imo. (if you are someone who travels frequently with 4 night stays or more)


I also have the Prestige also, but I have not found the 4th night free hotel credit to really be of much use. The reason is that they will only honor the benefit on rates directly booked with the hotels. But on many hotels, you can find cheaper prices through online travel agencies, often 15-20% if not 25%. I haven't decided whether to renew my Prestige in September yet when it comes due.


Virtually all hotel chains offer a "best rate guarantee," so there's really no advantage to booking with an OTA.


IFF you are staying at a chain hotel, which is typically not my case. I recently booked a hotel room that was only available through OTA . Booking the same room directly with the hotel was actually impossible - the room had been pre-sold to the OTA, and all rooms of the same type for direct booking had been sold. Citi Concierge couldn't help with this situation at all - they only go by the hotel's room rate, and there wasn't one at all for that room on that date. I ended up booking the room with OTA. My trip is coming up next month. This is in Vung Tau Vietnam, at one of the top hotels on Tripadvisor. No best rate guarantee there, either. To me, the Citi 4th night benefi is not really usable for my travel patterns. And the amount of time required to spend on the phone makes it a huge time waster. I don't know if I'll be renewing my Prestige yet when it comes up for renewal. I will probably downgrade it to something with a lower annual fee.

cresive
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by cresive » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:13 am

guitarguy wrote:There are lots of threads that talk about what the best credit card deals are, ones specific to travel rewards, best cash back cards, etc. I thought it might be helpful to have everyone post their strategy they have for earning/redeeming/maximizing credit card rewards. This would be good info, and wouldn't be specific to any one type of card or type of reward. It also wouldn't really take into account signup bonuses...rather than churning for bonuses I think it's interesting to know what cards we keep for the long haul and continually use. It could also help those of us who might try to go for both cash back and other perks at the same time because the thread won't be confined to discussing one or the other.

Some good areas to address are:

Goal. Are you out to earn cash back, travel points, hotels, or other perks, airline miles, etc? Anything else you're out to achieve by using rewards credit cards?

Cards. Your cards, their rewards (i.e. what % back on what types of purchases) and other perks, fees, limits, and how you use them strategically (i.e. use this card for that, etc)

Rewards. How you redeem. For cash back it's pretty cut and dry, but could also include when you redeem. Save up all for holiday spending or get it monthly? For points/miles/etc it could be good to know how you transfer them, what specifically you spend them on, etc, to get the most out of them.

Final Thoughs. Any other details we might find interesting. Get your Jerry Springer on.

I'll start.

Goal. We try to maximize cash back. It's easy to follow and it's all earned on stuff we would buy regardless.

Cards. We regularly use 5 cards:

1. Amex BlueCash Preferred
  • 6% back on groceries ($6k limit - which we hover on annually), 3% at dept stores, 1% on everything else
  • $75 annual fee
  • Used for groceries and when we (very rarely) shop at a dept store

2. PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Plus Visa
  • 5% back on gas, no foreign transaction fee
  • $0 annual fee
  • Used for gas and as needed when we travel abroad

3. Chase Amazon Rewards Visa
  • 3% back on Amazon purchases, 2% back on gas, restaurants, drug stores, 1% on everything else
  • $0 annual fee
  • Used for Amazon purchases only

4. Citi Double Cash MasterCard
  • 2% back on all purchases (1% on purchases, and 1% on payments)
  • $0 annual fee
  • Generally used for anything that we buy that can't yield higher than 2% elsewhere

5. Chase Freedom Visa
  • 5% back on quarterly rotating categories up to $1500 per quarter, 1% on everything else
  • $0 annual fee
  • Used for the 5% rotating categories only. The categories are typically some form of gas, grocery, restaurants, and holiday shopping. We skip the gas quarter and just use PenFed as always. Typically we max the out the $1500 limit on Home Depot or other gift cards (for things we will buy anyways) at the grocery store during that quarter, and we use it when we eat at restaurants during that quarter (but we never hit $1500...that would be un-Boglehead-like I suppose :mrgreen: ). For holiday shopping we use it as applicable, and if Amazon is included we use this instead of the Amazon Visa during that timeframe.

Rewards. Redeeming is pretty straight forward for us. I typically redeem on a monthly basis.

Final Thoughs. Overall, although we have to juggle a few cards and I occasionally get a text from the wife about what card should I use today...I think our strategy is pretty sound. Carry one card for groceries, one for gas, one for everything else, now and then mind the quarterly rotating 5% categories, and leave that Amazon visa as the account default. Rewarding and not terribly complicated. 8-)




This is such a long thread that I can't read everything, so forgive me if I am repeating someone. I gave my credit card use a LOT of thought for many reasons. After many iterations, I have reduced my monthly bill load by using electronic billpay and having certain bills go to my cc (I was traveling a lot for work so tended to miss a few payments and putting the bills to my cc helped reduce the number of bills/month). At first, I used a mileage card, but I get enough miles from work travel already. I then changed to a cycling card that gave me cash back toward bicycle stuff. Again, I maxed out on my enjoyment and around this time found a Fidelity card that puts money into my Roth IRA instead of cash back. My Fidelity card is basically the only card I use, and I put almost all of my expenses on it and pay them at the end of the month.

By paying off the card every month, and using it for almost all my expenses, I am able to easily track my expenses AND I put between $20-$40/month into my Roth just by living. I highly recommend the card. I have the Visa and I get 2% toward my IRA for every purchase. Also, there is no annual fee!!

travellight
Posts: 2673
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:49 pm

I am reconsidering cards with American airlines rewards as they seem to have devalued their product greatly by severely limiting seats.

jh-1391
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:14 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by jh-1391 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:06 pm

travellight wrote:I am reconsidering cards with American airlines rewards as they seem to have devalued their product greatly by severely limiting seats.



Agreed, at least in my experience so far. I got targeted for a 60k signup bonus and decided why not, and now I'm regretting it. I have 100,000 AA miles just collecting dust right now. They have been by far the worst miles to redeem.

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:20 am

jh-1391 wrote:
travellight wrote:I am reconsidering cards with American airlines rewards as they seem to have devalued their product greatly by severely limiting seats.



Agreed, at least in my experience so far. I got targeted for a 60k signup bonus and decided why not, and now I'm regretting it. I have 100,000 AA miles just collecting dust right now. They have been by far the worst miles to redeem.


It's pretty much impossible to use them for flights to Australia, or to Europe without flying BA and paying huge fuel surcharges. Well, not impossible, but for the average person who doesn't know all the tricks it's essentially impossible. There is plenty of availability to Asia though, and South America is decent. If you book far enough in advance domestic flights are usually possible as well.

BeneIRA
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:30 am

Drew777 wrote:
jh-1391 wrote:
travellight wrote:I am reconsidering cards with American airlines rewards as they seem to have devalued their product greatly by severely limiting seats.



Agreed, at least in my experience so far. I got targeted for a 60k signup bonus and decided why not, and now I'm regretting it. I have 100,000 AA miles just collecting dust right now. They have been by far the worst miles to redeem.


It's pretty much impossible to use them for flights to Australia, or to Europe without flying BA and paying huge fuel surcharges. Well, not impossible, but for the average person who doesn't know all the tricks it's essentially impossible. There is plenty of availability to Asia though, and South America is decent. If you book far enough in advance domestic flights are usually possible as well.


I don't know about you, but I am deluding myself into believing that when Aer Lingus eventually joins OneWorld, the AA miles will be able to be used without surcharges on the BOS-DUB route. I am fully aware British Airways will find a way to either charge fuel surcharges or somehow kill my dream, but until it is official, I am holding out hope.

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