What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Postby FedGuy » Fri May 26, 2017 5:35 pm

HopeForTheBest wrote:But it is quite interesting how people use credit cards to get the rewards. I'm tempted to do some research on the strategy which I suppose is starting right here. Just not a big fan of credit cards period.

Well, as a data point, I also pay all of my cards in full and on time, and last year got over $750 in cash back. I didn't open any credit cards in 2016, so all of my cash back was from ongoing rewards rather than sign-on bonuses.

Optimizing cash back cards is a fairly lucrative hobby.

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willthrill81
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby willthrill81 » Fri May 26, 2017 6:00 pm

FedGuy wrote:
HopeForTheBest wrote:But it is quite interesting how people use credit cards to get the rewards. I'm tempted to do some research on the strategy which I suppose is starting right here. Just not a big fan of credit cards period.

Well, as a data point, I also pay all of my cards in full and on time, and last year got over $750 in cash back. I didn't open any credit cards in 2016, so all of my cash back was from ongoing rewards rather than sign-on bonuses.

Optimizing cash back cards is a fairly lucrative hobby.


Amen to that! Between travel rewards and cash back, we've gotten about $2,100 this year alone.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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

Postby sharpjm » Sat May 27, 2017 10:46 pm

munemaker wrote:
willthrill81 wrote:
munemaker wrote:
sharpjm wrote:This is not good advice at all. Most banks don't care how much credit other banks have extended you. Most banks do care how much credit they have extended you. As an example, Chase will typically stop extending more credit to folks once you have reached a CL around 50% of income with Chase. And you should absolutely not close a card to reduce credit limit. Just lower the credit limit on the card, many banks will let you have limits as low as $500 and some even lower.


Think about it. As far as the potential credit card issuer knows, you could run up all your open credit lines and skip town. The issuers have a logical interest in how much open credit you have. A large amount of open credit card limits doesn't affect your credit score, but it seems it can affect the accept/decline decision.

This is anecdotal. I went for years, churning credit card after credit card. Then, with a 800+ FICO score, I was declined. I thought it was a fluke, and then I got declined again. A knowledgeable friend suggested I cancel some cards to reduce my available credit. I did, and it worked. Two years later, same situation. I cancelled a couple cards and again was accepted on new cards.

So, I am not sure this is bad advice. If you get declined with a high credit score, many open cards and open credit totalling $250K, try cancelling a few cards. I think it could help.


Next time, try lowering the credit limit on the cards instead.

To my knowledge, no one but Chase actually looks to specifically see how many accounts you have open or how many new accounts you've had in the last 24 months.


Sure, you can do that. But why not cancel cards you don't use or need? In some cases, you can apply for another one in a short period and earn another sign up bonus?

Because closing cards lowers one's average age of accounts which can be a big factor for future approvals. If someone has been "churning for years" they should know one of the major roadblocks for high throughput churning is number of inquiries on credit reports, not number of open accounts. The only time closing a card is a good idea is if one has decided they don't want to pay the annual fee or if they need to close it to get the bonus again or because of restrictions like Amex 5 credit card limit. And your example of getting the bonus again in a short time is not typical, really. Amex is once per lifetime bonus, Citi and Chase have 24 month clocks. Only a few credit issuers allow that type of churning.

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

Postby onourway » Sun May 28, 2017 5:55 am

HopeForTheBest wrote:My credit cards rewards strategy is to not have any credit card debt. I get rewarded with paying no interest. And I don't have to manage multiple credit cards...and I sleep well at night.

But it is quite interesting how people use credit cards to get the rewards. I'm tempted to do some research on the strategy which I suppose is starting right here. Just not a big fan of credit cards period.


Just to pile on some more here - :D

We pay for everything on credit cards. Even if you don't chase bonuses or worry about which card gives you maximum rewards, we would get close to $1000/year back just from a straight 2% card. It's not really any more work than paying any other way, we get better protection compared to using a check/debit card/direct bank transfer, we get all sorts of additional purchase protections, and we get to float the cash in our savings account for an extra month. It's a pretty clear advantage with little downside so long as you can stay organized to pay the bill in full every month.

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

Postby Markr867 » Mon May 29, 2017 7:31 am

Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.

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

Postby gvsucavie03 » Mon May 29, 2017 8:34 am

Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.


Folks talk about churning Chase cards, but there is the 5/24 rule. How does that work? Also, I assume folks close the cards before the annual fee is pulled?

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

Postby Markr867 » Mon May 29, 2017 8:41 am

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.


Folks talk about churning Chase cards, but there is the 5/24 rule. How does that work? Also, I assume folks close the cards before the annual fee is pulled?


5/24 is a rule put in place by Chase to stop the mega churners. Essentially, Chase will not approve you for a new credit card if you've opened up more than 5 new cards from any issuer in the last 24 months. There are ways around this, such as being pre-approved for a certain card, but it is rare. Chase typically has the biggest bonuses that are the easiest to use, so they are locking people out from their bonuses if they have churned through a lot of cards recently. Luckily, when my SO and I started reading up on churning, we were only at 2/24 each. So that allowed us to hit Chase hard. Once we go over 5/24, we will move to the other banks that are less strict.

Most people PC (product change) their cards to a no annual fee card once the fee hits. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee starting the second year) can be changed to a Chase Freedom or a Chase Freedom Unlimited, both of which have no annual fees. The reason for this is that you can keep the account open for free and it will help your credit score. But yes, most churners do not keep many (or any) cards with annual fees because they are always working on another card's bonus.

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

Postby BeneIRA » Mon May 29, 2017 9:25 am

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.


Folks talk about churning Chase cards, but there is the 5/24 rule. How does that work? Also, I assume folks close the cards before the annual fee is pulled?


Chase's rules on virtually all of their cards are that you can get the bonus every 24 months. Several cards don't count towards 5/24: British Airways, Ritz Carlton, IHG Club Rewards, Hyatt, and the Disney cards. So every 24 months, you can cancel them and reapply to get the bonus. Thus, you are churning the bonuses. Most churners don't bother staying under 5/24 since the opportunity cost is too high. The ones who might are the ones who have already gotten all of the Amex bonuses which are once per lifetime, getting declined by Barclayccard since they can be very sensitive, impacted by the newer and stricter Bank of America rules, and so on. They would take a break, potentially get under 5/24, and then churn their Sapphire Preferred or United card.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Ron Ronnerson » Mon May 29, 2017 9:52 am

Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.


Folks talk about churning Chase cards, but there is the 5/24 rule. How does that work? Also, I assume folks close the cards before the annual fee is pulled?


We've got a lot of Chase points as well. They are the only cards we open and we're not heavy-duty churners so the 5/24 rule hasn't been an issue for us. Here's our strategy with it:

Chase Freedom: I've had this for a long time and keep it open. We try to max out the 5x categories during the quarters that it's feasible (like when the points can be earned on Amazon or at grocery stores). This card brings in about 20k points per year on average for us and there is no fee.

Chase Business Ink: My wife has had this card for a long time and we keep it open. We automatically charge our cable/Internet/phones to this card and earn 5x points. This brings in about 20k points per year and there is no fee.

We churn the following every couple of years: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase United. We close these accounts completely and don't convert them to another card. We may add Southwest to the mix in the future.

Between my wife and me, that's six cards every couple of years. That's plenty of points for us (close to 500k). Our credit scores have remained in the 800s and there's been no problem getting approved.

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

Postby rjbraun » Tue May 30, 2017 3:42 pm

Trying to come up with a plan for new cards to order over the next few months.

Current card holdings:

Me: In the past 2 or so years, I have opened:
-- Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR)
-- Chase Ink Business Preferred
-- Capital One Spark

I also downgraded from Sallie Mae to Barclays Reward card at the end of February, when Sallie Mae terms were changed. Once I collect the Barclays $100 cash bonus I plan to use the card minimally. I also have Chase Freedom (downgraded CSP) and a Cap One Visa Platinum card from several years ago.

SO has opened the following in the past 8 or so months:
-- CSR
-- CSP
-- Amex SPG

He also opened Capital One Quicksilver on his own in the last 2 years (basically, before agreeing to go along with playing the credit card game :P )

We've earned the sign-up bonuses on all of our cards, so I'm trying to come up with a plan for which cards each of us should order next.

I assume the first step should be to max out our Chase cards. I have opened 3 new cards in the past 24 months (assuming that the switch from Sallie Mae to Barclays Reward doesn't count). I think the Ink Business doesn't count towards the 3, either, so that means I am only 2/24 and have 3 Chase cards to get before I look outside of Chase. Presumably, SO is 4/24.

Unless I'm missing something, none of the Chase cards looks particularly compelling. I would like to get CSP again, but I think I need to wait for 24-25 months to pass from when I closed out my last CSP (that might not be till early 2018). If I got a targeted Chase United card for 70k points, I would probably do that. I'm also toying with a hotel card. Need to research Marriott, IHG and Hyatt more to see which option would work best for SO and me (though IHG and Hyatt cards don't seem to apply to 5/24 rule, anyway). Also, would want to coordinate with SO's application so we can sync or anniversary bonus nights. I suppose the same could be said for the Chase Southwest card (though living in NYC and traveling domestically minimally, I'm not sure Southwest points would be so helpful).

Looking for advice from the experts on what cards I and SO should consider next. Note: SO isn't a candidate for business cards, unfortunately. I'm also less keen to apply for business cards, though have done so for very attractive offers.

We already have about 100,000 or more points in the following programs: Chase UR, United MileagePlus, AAdvantage. Also have between 50-70k in Starwood Preferred and Delta. We like to travel so points for flights would be good (would love to use points to fly business class internationally). As for hotels, we're less interested to stay in chains, though we wouldn't pass up free nights now and then, of course.

Edit: correction to current points balances

TheRightKost87
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby TheRightKost87 » Tue May 30, 2017 4:15 pm

rjbraun wrote: I would like to get CSP again, but I think I need to wait for 24-25 months to pass from when I closed out my last CSP (that might not be till early 2018).


I believe you only have to wait 24 months since the last time you received the signup bonus to be eligible to get the bonus on the CSP, not 24 months from when you closed it.
"The problem with diversification is that it works, whether or not we want it to"

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

Postby rjbraun » Tue May 30, 2017 4:35 pm

TheRightKost87 wrote:
rjbraun wrote: I would like to get CSP again, but I think I need to wait for 24-25 months to pass from when I closed out my last CSP (that might not be till early 2018).


I believe you only have to wait 24 months since the last time you received the signup bonus to be eligible to get the bonus on the CSP, not 24 months from when you closed it.

Thank you. I am embarrassed as I should have know that [me: red face], I actually got clarification on that very point earlier :oops:

Anyway, great news! I will check when my CSP UR bonus points got deposited. If it's over 24 months ago I should be good to apply again for another CSP

Edit: The UR bonus points were deposited by Chase in Sept 2015, so I will plan to apply again for CSP in October. That should still leave me with 2 more Chase cards to apply for between now and then.

FB01
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby FB01 » Tue May 30, 2017 6:15 pm

Hi,

Do you guys cancel Chase credit after sometime to get the new one as I believe Chase gives credit of $50K combined for all the credit cards.

I have Chase Freedom, Chase United Mileage plus, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sappire Preferred. I had Chase Southwest but cancelled 3 years back. Now planning to get Chase Southwest again when I see 50K miles deal. Before that should I cancel by Chase United and Chase Sapphire Preferred ..both have already been downgraded to no annual fee.... as I believe it will free up my credit limit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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

Postby InKirkWeTrust » Tue May 30, 2017 6:25 pm

I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.
Control the controllables

theplayer11
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby theplayer11 » Tue May 30, 2017 6:59 pm

InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Really?..just apply and spend the required amount to get the bonus, no hassle IMO..and love the free trips to Europe
:D

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

Postby BeneIRA » Tue May 30, 2017 8:00 pm

rjbraun wrote:Trying to come up with a plan for new cards to order over the next few months.

Current card holdings:

Me: In the past 2 or so years, I have opened:
-- Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR)
-- Chase Ink Business Preferred
-- Capital One Spark

I also downgraded from Sallie Mae to Barclays Reward card at the end of February, when Sallie Mae terms were changed. Once I collect the Barclays $100 cash bonus I plan to use the card minimally. I also have Chase Freedom (downgraded CSP) and a Cap One Visa Platinum card from several years ago.

SO has opened the following in the past 8 or so months:
-- CSR
-- CSP
-- Amex SPG

He also opened Capital One Quicksilver on his own in the last 2 years (basically, before agreeing to go along with playing the credit card game :P )

We've earned the sign-up bonuses on all of our cards, so I'm trying to come up with a plan for which cards each of us should order next.

I assume the first step should be to max out our Chase cards. I have opened 3 new cards in the past 24 months (assuming that the switch from Sallie Mae to Barclays Reward doesn't count). I think the Ink Business doesn't count towards the 3, either, so that means I am only 2/24 and have 3 Chase cards to get before I look outside of Chase. Presumably, SO is 4/24.

Unless I'm missing something, none of the Chase cards looks particularly compelling. I would like to get CSP again, but I think I need to wait for 24-25 months to pass from when I closed out my last CSP (that might not be till early 2018). If I got a targeted Chase United card for 70k points, I would probably do that. I'm also toying with a hotel card. Need to research Marriott, IHG and Hyatt more to see which option would work best for SO and me (though IHG and Hyatt cards don't seem to apply to 5/24 rule, anyway). Also, would want to coordinate with SO's application so we can sync or anniversary bonus nights. I suppose the same could be said for the Chase Southwest card (though living in NYC and traveling domestically minimally, I'm not sure Southwest points would be so helpful).

Looking for advice from the experts on what cards I and SO should consider next. Note: SO isn't a candidate for business cards, unfortunately. I'm also less keen to apply for business cards, though have done so for very attractive offers.

We already have about 100,000 or more points in the following programs: Chase UR, United MileagePlus, AAdvantage. Also have between 50-70k in Starwood Preferred and Delta. We like to travel so points for flights would be good (would love to use points to fly business class internationally). As for hotels, we're less interested to stay in chains, though we wouldn't pass up free nights now and then, of course.

Edit: correction to current points balances


If you don't have the United Mileage Explorer card for the 70,000 miles, I would definitely jump on that. The additional award availability helps, but domestically, it doesn't help a ton unfortunately because United has expanded Basic Economy fares. Other than that, the Marriott card is another one to get while under 5/24. You can use it and transfer the points to Starpoints, which are valuable for the transfer partners. Wait to do IHG and Hyatt as they are not affected by 5/24. The once yearly night for the Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt cards are a nice perk even you're not a big fan of chain hotels. Normally I would say the companion pass if you can fly out of LGA, but since you don't fly much domestically, it probably wouldn't help much. I hope you downgraded to a Chase Freedom or CFU as opposed to closing the Sapphire Preferred.

As far as other cards after 5/24, I would probably go for the Delta Gold right now if you haven't already. If you make a dummy booking, you can get 60,000 Skypesos, ahem, Miles, plus a $100 statement credit with no annual fee. That would get you to over 120,000 Skymiles, which isn't far off of a roundtrip in business class, depending on where you're going. If you're short, you could transfer 20,000 Starpoints to an airline partner to make it work.

FB01 wrote:Hi,

Do you guys cancel Chase credit after sometime to get the new one as I believe Chase gives credit of $50K combined for all the credit cards.

I have Chase Freedom, Chase United Mileage plus, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sappire Preferred. I had Chase Southwest but cancelled 3 years back. Now planning to get Chase Southwest again when I see 50K miles deal. Before that should I cancel by Chase United and Chase Sapphire Preferred ..both have already been downgraded to no annual fee.... as I believe it will free up my credit limit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks


That's not a hard and fast rule that I have seen. Worst case, once you reach the maximum amount of credit Chase will allocate you, it just means you have to call recon to get approved as you have to keep moving credit around, which isn't so bad. I wouldn't cancel Chase cards. I would keep getting as many Freedom cards as they would let me. I have heard too many stories of people closing Chase cards or reducing their credit limits and then Chase still won't extend them the amount of credit they had before.

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

Postby DiMAn0684 » Tue May 30, 2017 9:49 pm

FB01 wrote:Hi,

Do you guys cancel Chase credit after sometime to get the new one as I believe Chase gives credit of $50K combined for all the credit cards.

I have Chase Freedom, Chase United Mileage plus, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sappire Preferred. I had Chase Southwest but cancelled 3 years back. Now planning to get Chase Southwest again when I see 50K miles deal. Before that should I cancel by Chase United and Chase Sapphire Preferred ..both have already been downgraded to no annual fee.... as I believe it will free up my credit limit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks


When it comes to Chase cards (non-partner) my strategy would be as follows:
Open CSR and keep for 3x travel / dining and other benefits
Open Ink Business Preferred and keep if additional 3x categories are worth $95 AF
Open CSP for the bonus and downgrade to Freedom Unlimited for 1.5 UR / $1 on non-bonus purchases on other cards
Downgrade all other churned cards to Freedom for maximizing 5x categories.

I'd probably be ok with $2k CLs on Freedom cards, so unless there's a hard limit on the number of accounts with Chase (I know there's one with AMEX) I'd keep around as many of them as I can.

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

Postby rjbraun » Tue May 30, 2017 10:21 pm

BeneIRA wrote:If you don't have the United Mileage Explorer card for the 70,000 miles, I would definitely jump on that. The additional award availability helps, but domestically, it doesn't help a ton unfortunately because United has expanded Basic Economy fares. Other than that, the Marriott card is another one to get while under 5/24. You can use it and transfer the points to Starpoints, which are valuable for the transfer partners. Wait to do IHG and Hyatt as they are not affected by 5/24. The once yearly night for the Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt cards are a nice perk even you're not a big fan of chain hotels. Normally I would say the companion pass if you can fly out of LGA, but since you don't fly much domestically, it probably wouldn't help much. I hope you downgraded to a Chase Freedom or CFU as opposed to closing the Sapphire Preferred.

As far as other cards after 5/24, I would probably go for the Delta Gold right now if you haven't already. If you make a dummy booking, you can get 60,000 Skypesos, ahem, Miles, plus a $100 statement credit with no annual fee. That would get you to over 120,000 Skymiles, which isn't far off of a roundtrip in business class, depending on where you're going. If you're short, you could transfer 20,000 Starpoints to an airline partner to make it work.

Thank you. Yes, I did downgrade CSP to Chase Freedom. Quite happy with the Freedom card, especially this quarter with the 5x on groceries.

As far as I know the United Mileage Explorer card with 70,000 bonus offer is targeted and, unfortunately, I don't seem to be one of the chosen, so far. :annoyed If there's a way to get it, I would definitely be interested.

That's a good point about transferring Marriott points to Starpoints, I hadn't thought of that. That said, I took a look at Marriott hotel options in two cities we hope to visit in the next couple of years, Chicago and Boston, and was disappointed with the Category 1-5 choices for a free night stay. All of the hotels seemed to be located outside of the city, so those wouldn't really work for us (unless we needed an airport hotel for an early morning flight, but that is not so likely). I assume there's no way to upgrade the annual free night reward. Even if there were, the $89 annual fee, including in year 1, is steeper than I thought and I'm leaning against getting the Chase Marriott card, at this point.

That leaves me with CSP as the only Chase card (for 5/24 purposes) that I want to apply for before going to non-Chase issuers. But, I can't apply again until October and it seems a pity to not max out my 5/24 space in the interim.

The Amex Delta Gold for 60,000 Skymiles could work as we were looking at a domestic Delta route recently. The link I found showed a $50 statement credit, though.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/cred ... -skymiles/

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

Postby BeneIRA » Wed May 31, 2017 6:38 am

rjbraun wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:If you don't have the United Mileage Explorer card for the 70,000 miles, I would definitely jump on that. The additional award availability helps, but domestically, it doesn't help a ton unfortunately because United has expanded Basic Economy fares. Other than that, the Marriott card is another one to get while under 5/24. You can use it and transfer the points to Starpoints, which are valuable for the transfer partners. Wait to do IHG and Hyatt as they are not affected by 5/24. The once yearly night for the Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt cards are a nice perk even you're not a big fan of chain hotels. Normally I would say the companion pass if you can fly out of LGA, but since you don't fly much domestically, it probably wouldn't help much. I hope you downgraded to a Chase Freedom or CFU as opposed to closing the Sapphire Preferred.

As far as other cards after 5/24, I would probably go for the Delta Gold right now if you haven't already. If you make a dummy booking, you can get 60,000 Skypesos, ahem, Miles, plus a $100 statement credit with no annual fee. That would get you to over 120,000 Skymiles, which isn't far off of a roundtrip in business class, depending on where you're going. If you're short, you could transfer 20,000 Starpoints to an airline partner to make it work.

Thank you. Yes, I did downgrade CSP to Chase Freedom. Quite happy with the Freedom card, especially this quarter with the 5x on groceries.

As far as I know the United Mileage Explorer card with 70,000 bonus offer is targeted and, unfortunately, I don't seem to be one of the chosen, so far. :annoyed If there's a way to get it, I would definitely be interested.

That's a good point about transferring Marriott points to Starpoints, I hadn't thought of that. That said, I took a look at Marriott hotel options in two cities we hope to visit in the next couple of years, Chicago and Boston, and was disappointed with the Category 1-5 choices for a free night stay. All of the hotels seemed to be located outside of the city, so those wouldn't really work for us (unless we needed an airport hotel for an early morning flight, but that is not so likely). I assume there's no way to upgrade the annual free night reward. Even if there were, the $89 annual fee, including in year 1, is steeper than I thought and I'm leaning against getting the Chase Marriott card, at this point.

That leaves me with CSP as the only Chase card (for 5/24 purposes) that I want to apply for before going to non-Chase issuers. But, I can't apply again until October and it seems a pity to not max out my 5/24 space in the interim.

The Amex Delta Gold for 60,000 Skymiles could work as we were looking at a domestic Delta route recently. The link I found showed a $50 statement credit, though.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/cred ... -skymiles/


Go to Delta's website and pretend to book a flight. The $100 statement credit should show.

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

Postby rjbraun » Wed May 31, 2017 10:21 am

BeneIRA wrote:
rjbraun wrote:<snip>
The Amex Delta Gold for 60,000 Skymiles could work as we were looking at a domestic Delta route recently. The link I found showed a $50 statement credit, though.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/cred ... -skymiles/


Go to Delta's website and pretend to book a flight. The $100 statement credit should show.

Thanks for that. Will definitely try that if I go for the Delta Gold. I think I saw an early July (the 5th?) offer expiration date. I am just reluctant at this point to use my 5/24 capacity on a non-Chase card, especially I suppose before I apply again for CSP in early October.

Arthur Digby Sellers
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Arthur Digby Sellers » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:28 pm

Chase just announced a sign-up bonus increase to 60,000 points on the Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier cards. The increased bonus makes it incredibly easy to get a Southwest Companion Pass by signing up for both cards.

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/three-cha ... nion-pass/

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

Postby rjbraun » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:47 pm

Arthur Digby Sellers wrote:Chase just announced a sign-up bonus increase to 60,000 points on the Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier cards. The increased bonus makes it incredibly easy to get a Southwest Companion Pass by signing up for both cards.

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/three-cha ... nion-pass/

Thank you. Definitely taking a closer look!

ResearchMed
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Special SALE for UA points thru June 2nd - Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby ResearchMed » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:25 pm

https://www.travelcodex.com/2017/06/uni ... l+Codex%29

I just came across this... for anyone who has a use for UA points for something like premium international travel, this might be a very good opportunity to add points (or to top off to a needed reward level).

Previously, I've only been aware of AAdvantage sales, where the point/miles can be less than 2 cents each.

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

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:40 pm

I just received an offer from the Fidelity/Elan card that I had to read twice. In a nutshell: for any spend above $1.4K during an upcoming six week period, each dollar spent will earn an additional point up to a maximum of $20.

Call me very underwhelmed.
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Super Hans
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Super Hans » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:06 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:I just received an offer from the Fidelity/Elan card that I had to read twice. In a nutshell: for any spend above $1.4K during an upcoming six week period, each dollar spent will earn an additional point up to a maximum of $20.

Call me very underwhelmed.


I'm even more underwhelmed: I get the bonus over $4k. Presumably I've been using the card too much!

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

Postby Dominic » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:47 pm

HopeForTheBest wrote:My credit cards rewards strategy is to not have any credit card debt. I get rewarded with paying no interest. And I don't have to manage multiple credit cards...and I sleep well at night.

But it is quite interesting how people use credit cards to get the rewards. I'm tempted to do some research on the strategy which I suppose is starting right here. Just not a big fan of credit cards period.


I carry a few cards but no debt. I pay my cards off monthly, and pocket the extra couple percent I get back in rewards. They also tend to provide perks such as extended warranties or price protection. I haven't used these, but the peace of mind is nice.

These days, managing multiple cards isn't terribly difficult. I crank up alert settings as far as I possibly can on my accounts. I get texted any time a purchase is made, a statement is issued, or a payment is coming up. Granted, I wouldn't want to juggle 30 cards, but 2-5 is very manageable.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby FedGuy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:10 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I just received an offer from the Fidelity/Elan card that I had to read twice. In a nutshell: for any spend above $1.4K during an upcoming six week period, each dollar spent will earn an additional point up to a maximum of $20.

Call me very underwhelmed.

This offer is discussed in this thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=220198

a5ehren
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby a5ehren » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:32 am

InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.

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

Postby flamesabers » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:00 am

a5ehren wrote:Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


If you also get the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express card you'll receive get 5% cashback on gas and military base purchases (on your first annual $3k of purchases). Unlike the monthly $1k deposit requirement with the Limitless Visa, there is nothing you have to do to remain eligible for this 5% cashback.

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

Postby fareastwarriors » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:14 am

a5ehren wrote:
InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


2.5% on everything is pretty awesome. I wish I got one!

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

Postby sharpjm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:20 am

Dominic wrote:
HopeForTheBest wrote:My credit cards rewards strategy is to not have any credit card debt. I get rewarded with paying no interest. And I don't have to manage multiple credit cards...and I sleep well at night.

But it is quite interesting how people use credit cards to get the rewards. I'm tempted to do some research on the strategy which I suppose is starting right here. Just not a big fan of credit cards period.


I carry a few cards but no debt. I pay my cards off monthly, and pocket the extra couple percent I get back in rewards. They also tend to provide perks such as extended warranties or price protection. I haven't used these, but the peace of mind is nice.

These days, managing multiple cards isn't terribly difficult. I crank up alert settings as far as I possibly can on my accounts. I get texted any time a purchase is made, a statement is issued, or a payment is coming up. Granted, I wouldn't want to juggle 30 cards, but 2-5 is very manageable.

30 is really no different than 2-5. You have 25 cards that sit in your sock drawer, a couple that you use for the long haul, and a couple that you are working on the minimum spend for that will soon be in the sock drawer.

It is pretty funny, though, that some people seem to think we actually pay interest.

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

Postby Luckywon » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:43 am

One important thing to consider, especially with the big purchases, is the "extended warranty" benefit a card provides. I have used this benefit twice, through American Express, and found their service fantastic. Better, in fact, than the service provided by the original manufacturer warranty (less questions asked).

The credit cards differ substantially in the details of this benefit. American Express provides one extra year beyond the manufacturer warranty. My Citibank MC Double Cash provides TWO years beyond the manufacturer warranty AND any extended warranty you purchase, up to $10,000 per item!! So, if I'm buying a computer or major appliance, I use the Citibank MC Double Cash card. (Also gives 2% back on everything).

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby SVT » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:03 am

fareastwarriors wrote:
a5ehren wrote:
InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


2.5% on everything is pretty awesome. I wish I got one!


You can get 2.625% back on everything with no limits from the BofA Travel Rewards CC and it's available to anyone...well as long as you have $100k+ with BofA/ME. And it's not straight cash back but is pretty much the same if you do a little travel from time to time.

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

Postby michaeljc70 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:27 am

fareastwarriors wrote:
a5ehren wrote:
InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


2.5% on everything is pretty awesome. I wish I got one!


Get the Citi Double cash back. 2% on everything. You don't need affiliations or other accounts or direct deposits.

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

Postby SVT » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:32 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
fareastwarriors wrote:
a5ehren wrote:
InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


2.5% on everything is pretty awesome. I wish I got one!


Get the Citi Double cash back. 2% on everything. You don't need affiliations or other accounts or direct deposits.


I have the Citi DoubleCash card now. I'm going to stop using it once I get the Travel Rewards card at 2.625%. Yes, you need another account with BofA/ME but it's not that big of a deal if you already have $100k+ invested elsewhere. Moving the money is pretty simple.

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

Postby michaeljc70 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:37 am

SVT wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
fareastwarriors wrote:
a5ehren wrote:
InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


2.5% on everything is pretty awesome. I wish I got one!


Get the Citi Double cash back. 2% on everything. You don't need affiliations or other accounts or direct deposits.


I have the Citi DoubleCash card now. I'm going to stop using it once I get the Travel Rewards card at 2.625%. Yes, you need another account with BofA/ME but it's not that big of a deal if you already have $100k+ invested elsewhere. Moving the money is pretty simple.


I just got $1200 moving money from Vanguard to TD. The extra .625% would probably mean $100-$150 a year to me given my spending level (around $2k a month when not doing a spend for another card).

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

Postby fareastwarriors » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:08 pm

SVT wrote:
fareastwarriors wrote:
a5ehren wrote:
InKirkWeTrust wrote:I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable.

Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


2.5% on everything is pretty awesome. I wish I got one!


You can get 2.625% back on everything with no limits from the BofA Travel Rewards CC and it's available to anyone...well as long as you have $100k+ with BofA/ME. And it's not straight cash back but is pretty much the same if you do a little travel from time to time.



Thanks for the reminder of that card and the tiered bonus. I plan to move my investments BofA when they do the $1000 bonus offer again.

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

Postby Pranav » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:45 pm

Hi all,

We have Chase Sapphire Reserve and around 150K Ultimate Rewards points. We are looking book round-trip flights from Texas to Mumbai, India. Should we book through Chase Travel portal or something else?

Thanks.
Pranav

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willthrill81
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby willthrill81 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:00 pm

Pranav wrote:Hi all,

We have Chase Sapphire Reserve and around 150K Ultimate Rewards points. We are looking book round-trip flights from Texas to Mumbai, India. Should we book through Chase Travel portal or something else?

Thanks.


In order to get the 50% bonus, you must book the travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Our experience with it has been fair. The prices are reasonable, but they often seem to give you reduced options compared to other sites. We just booked two one-way flights (same money/points) rather than one roundtrip flight in order to get our desired schedule, so you may need to do something like that as well to get what you want.

I must say that I'm a little envious about you visiting India. My DW wants nothing to do with going there though, so I'm hoping we can go to Thailand instead in a few years.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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

Postby revert » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:55 pm

a5ehren wrote:Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time churning cards to chase (no pun intended) some cash or airline miles that I'm not going to use.


I'm waiting out 5/24 (no min spends going), so the USAA card has greatly simplified my strategy as well. I put everything on it unless it's a grocery category bonus quarter (Chase Freedom), Amazon (Chase Amazon card), or hotel (CSR or SPG, depending on how I feel that day). Feels nice not having to juggle so much anymore. :)

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

Postby giesen5 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:06 pm

Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

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

Postby rjbraun » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:17 am

giesen5 wrote:Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

But will Barclays award you the signup bonus, assuming you meet the minimum spend?

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

Postby giesen5 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:36 am

rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

But will Barclays award you the signup bonus, assuming you meet the minimum spend?


Oh yes they will!

Edit: It is a well known churnable card.
Last edited by giesen5 on Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby camillus » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:03 am

Here's my credit card reward strategy. I believe it is adequately simple and safe while still maximizing rewards. I have been doing this for a few years now and so am well past Chase's 5/24 rule. Here it is in a nutshell:

1) Have all of my credit card accounts monitored by Mint.com and log in monthly to Creditkarma.com (one login for me, one for my spouse). This keep me aware of any fraudulent activity that could be happening across any dormant accounts. I am also quickly aware if I am charged an annual fee on a dormant account so I can quickly request that account be closed with a refund of the fee.

2) Every three months or so, go to one of the leading blogs (these days, doctorofcredit.com), go to the "best signup bonuses page," scroll down the list to find a card I'm eligible for - hasn't been chase in quite awhile - and apply (and usually get immediate approval). This hobby usually sends your credit score to the 800s after a few years.

3) Since I already have a mint.com login, and already have logins at most of the major credit card carriers, there's not much hassle setting up the online interface. Once I receive the card, I simply monitor spending for when I approach the amount needed to generate the signup bonus. When I get very close to completing spending, I apply to a new card.

4) At this point, I'm pretty much ignoring Chase cards due to the 5/24 rule. I find there's plenty of other cards to sign up for with cashback bonuses or round trip tickets. (Chase has already bought me two companion passes at this point - nearly 4 years of CP.)

5) This simple strategy gets me about $500 in cash or a round trip ticket every 3 months, or about $2000 or more a year, a "cashback" of something like 15% or more on my annual spending.

I just bought a round trip ticket to Honduras for a local non-profit with 55k Delta miles. Those miles took very little work on my part, and I saved this little nonprofit nearly a thousand bucks :sharebeer

FB01
Posts: 448
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby FB01 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:10 pm

giesen5 wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

But will Barclays award you the signup bonus, assuming you meet the minimum spend?


Oh yes they will!

Edit: It is a well known churnable card.



Hi,

50K miles can be used with any airlines? Also, if you cancel the card does the miles expire or there is something like rapid reward shopping portal which is for Southwest wherein if buy something using the portal I get points and my points remain activated for 2 more years.

-FB

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willthrill81
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby willthrill81 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:55 pm

giesen5 wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

But will Barclays award you the signup bonus, assuming you meet the minimum spend?


Oh yes they will!

Edit: It is a well known churnable card.


How long do you have to wait before you can reapply and get the signup bonus again?
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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

Postby giesen5 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:10 am

FB01 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

But will Barclays award you the signup bonus, assuming you meet the minimum spend?


Oh yes they will!

Edit: It is a well known churnable card.



Hi,

50K miles can be used with any airlines? Also, if you cancel the card does the miles expire or there is something like rapid reward shopping portal which is for Southwest wherein if buy something using the portal I get points and my points remain activated for 2 more years.

-FB


Unfortunately this card is not an airline mileage card and it is only a cash back card on TRAVEL expenses. You do lose the miles when you close the account, I had about 1500 miles and lost them when I closed.

giesen5
Posts: 244
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby giesen5 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:11 am

willthrill81 wrote:
giesen5 wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
giesen5 wrote:Date point: Just got another Barclay Arrival Plus card to use for Italy trip. Canceled my first BC A+ on 2/25/17 after having it for 9 months. I was not sure I was going to be approved after only having it closed for 3+ months. Have opened 14 cards in 15 months.

But will Barclays award you the signup bonus, assuming you meet the minimum spend?


Oh yes they will!

Edit: It is a well known churnable card.


How long do you have to wait before you can reapply and get the signup bonus again?


I closed and reopened in a bit more than three months, am pretty sure I will get the bonus, but only will know for sure in a few months when I am finished with the minimum spend.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1550
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby Bfwolf » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:22 am

Pranav wrote:Hi all,

We have Chase Sapphire Reserve and around 150K Ultimate Rewards points. We are looking book round-trip flights from Texas to Mumbai, India. Should we book through Chase Travel portal or something else?

Thanks.


150K URs is worth $2,250 in travel on the portal. Can you buy 2 tickets to India roundtrip for this price? If so, this is your best strategy.

United is usually the best transfer partner for international flights. But you don't have enough URs to get 2 United award tickets to India, which costs 170K miles for 2 people roundtrip. So this could only work if you have 20K United miles already. And then you still have to find saver award space.

jrbdmb
Posts: 185
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Postby jrbdmb » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:59 am

Related question about spending some of the $6000 grocery spend for my Amex Blue Cash Preferred ...

I have about $1500 in grocery spend (6% cash back) remaining on my BCP that I'd like to use ASAP. A recent Amex BCP Terms and Conditions update taking effect July 01 2017 states specifically that Gift Card Purchases and Reloads (and other "money equivalent" transactions) do not qualify for the normal 6% rewards.

Can Amex really identify whether I'm buying a GC at the local store vs. groceries? Is there any way to avoid scrutiny other than avoid "obvious" purchase totals like $505.95?


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