What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:10 pm

SVT wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
SVT wrote:
TheRightKost87 wrote:
SVT wrote: Really disappointed I missed out on another $200+ and the CP from just the signup bonus though.
Can't hurt to send a secure message to Chase asking to be matched to the 60K offer.
I guess it couldn't hurt but I can't see them matching an offer that expired June 30th. Anyone ever have success getting matched to an expired offer?
Kind of. I would still ask and the 50,000 are sometimes targeted. I would SM them now and ask. If they balk at 60,000, try another SM to 50,000. Say you can SM them when you meet the increased $2,000 spend requirement. I would still spend the $2,000 on it. The odds of the card going back up to 50,000 or 60,000 within the next 90 days is good.
Well, I SMed them earlier today and already got a response. Part of their response was this:
We understand you are interested to match the 60,000 bonus
offer for $2,000 spend in purchases on your account. In
order to match this offer, please contact us back after
you have met the required total spend of $2,000 in new
purchases within the first three months of opening your
account in order to qualify.
From what I've read in the past, I believe this means it's essentially a yes and I just need to contact them again when I reach the minimum spend for them to add the points to my account. I was suprised at this and am pretty happy!
Congratulations! Now get to spending irresponsibly completely responsibly on the two cards and get that companion pass. To get your account numbers, if you already have a Chase card, download the Chase mobile app, go to Secure Messaging, then check your message you just sent. It should have your account number listed. The expiration is 07/2022. Having that means you can use it on Amazon. You can do a test $1.00 reload just to make sure you have the correct card number.

SVT
Posts: 197
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SVT » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:46 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
SVT wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
SVT wrote:
TheRightKost87 wrote:
Can't hurt to send a secure message to Chase asking to be matched to the 60K offer.
I guess it couldn't hurt but I can't see them matching an offer that expired June 30th. Anyone ever have success getting matched to an expired offer?
Kind of. I would still ask and the 50,000 are sometimes targeted. I would SM them now and ask. If they balk at 60,000, try another SM to 50,000. Say you can SM them when you meet the increased $2,000 spend requirement. I would still spend the $2,000 on it. The odds of the card going back up to 50,000 or 60,000 within the next 90 days is good.
Well, I SMed them earlier today and already got a response. Part of their response was this:
We understand you are interested to match the 60,000 bonus
offer for $2,000 spend in purchases on your account. In
order to match this offer, please contact us back after
you have met the required total spend of $2,000 in new
purchases within the first three months of opening your
account in order to qualify.
From what I've read in the past, I believe this means it's essentially a yes and I just need to contact them again when I reach the minimum spend for them to add the points to my account. I was suprised at this and am pretty happy!
Congratulations! Now get to spending irresponsibly completely responsibly on the two cards and get that companion pass. To get your account numbers, if you already have a Chase card, download the Chase mobile app, go to Secure Messaging, then check your message you just sent. It should have your account number listed. The expiration is 07/2022. Having that means you can use it on Amazon. You can do a test $1.00 reload just to make sure you have the correct card number.
Oh, cool! Thanks for that info! I was thinking of meeting the minimum spends by charging my $1840 rent to each card for the next 2 months. There's a 2.2% fee for using a Visa CC. I had already planned on doing this with the Travel Rewards BofA card I had planned on getting this month for the 2.625% back. I think this makes sense since I'm getting way more than the 2.2% fee in value for the points I'm getting. Then I'll only need $160 more to charge for each card to reach $2k.

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:04 pm

SVT wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
SVT wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
SVT wrote:
I guess it couldn't hurt but I can't see them matching an offer that expired June 30th. Anyone ever have success getting matched to an expired offer?
Kind of. I would still ask and the 50,000 are sometimes targeted. I would SM them now and ask. If they balk at 60,000, try another SM to 50,000. Say you can SM them when you meet the increased $2,000 spend requirement. I would still spend the $2,000 on it. The odds of the card going back up to 50,000 or 60,000 within the next 90 days is good.
Well, I SMed them earlier today and already got a response. Part of their response was this:
We understand you are interested to match the 60,000 bonus
offer for $2,000 spend in purchases on your account. In
order to match this offer, please contact us back after
you have met the required total spend of $2,000 in new
purchases within the first three months of opening your
account in order to qualify.
From what I've read in the past, I believe this means it's essentially a yes and I just need to contact them again when I reach the minimum spend for them to add the points to my account. I was suprised at this and am pretty happy!
Congratulations! Now get to spending irresponsibly completely responsibly on the two cards and get that companion pass. To get your account numbers, if you already have a Chase card, download the Chase mobile app, go to Secure Messaging, then check your message you just sent. It should have your account number listed. The expiration is 07/2022. Having that means you can use it on Amazon. You can do a test $1.00 reload just to make sure you have the correct card number.
Oh, cool! Thanks for that info! I was thinking of meeting the minimum spends by charging my $1840 rent to each card for the next 2 months. There's a 2.2% fee for using a Visa CC. I had already planned on doing this with the Travel Rewards BofA card I had planned on getting this month for the 2.625% back. I think this makes sense since I'm getting way more than the 2.2% fee in value for the points I'm getting. Then I'll only need $160 more to charge for each card to reach $2k.
I do the same thing for most of my minimum spends. It sounds like we have the same payment processing company because mine charges 2.2%, too. When meeting a minimum spend, as is the case here, you are more than overcoming that fee. Since Southwest points are worth between 1.5 to 1.6 cents per point, you aren't losing much. And since you are getting the 60,000 point offers, you are really getting 31 points per dollar spent (60,000/$2,000). Also, feel free to use it for all of your daily expenses. Groceries, gas, etc. Enjoy the companion pass.

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

Post by Gemini » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:08 pm

Any input on how to best get a last minute flight out of EWR - MIA first class for this saturday? We have tons of chase UR points. Should we just use the points and book via chase.com or are there better alternatives?

jay22
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by jay22 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:30 pm

Citi has a 50K bonus points after a $4K spent. AF is waived for first year. Worth applying for?

madbrain
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Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:37 pm

jay22 wrote:Citi has a 50K bonus points after a $4K spent. AF is waived for first year. Worth applying for?
What kind of points, and which card ?

Bfwolf
Posts: 1634
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:04 am

Gemini wrote:Any input on how to best get a last minute flight out of EWR - MIA first class for this saturday? We have tons of chase UR points. Should we just use the points and book via chase.com or are there better alternatives?
Do you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve where you can get 1.5 cents per point booking through the Chase portal? If so, that's probably your best option (assuming Chase portal has same prices as Kayak). Depending on what time you leave, you can fly first class nonstop on UA or AA for between $399 and $485 per person in first class one way. At 1.5 cents per points, that's 26,600 to 32,333 points per person.

If you have 50K AA points, you can fly 2 people on Saturday first class from JFK or LGA to MIA for 25K points apiece.

Barefootgirl
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:54 am

RE: the Merrill Lynch card

What has been your most valuable redemption from the bonus points earned on that card?

Did you continue to use it after getting the bonus?

I'm reading that churning this card has become much more restrictive. Have you been successful at that? (recently?)

Thanks
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

Yukon
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:10 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Yukon » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:58 am

So what might the suggested cards be for someone willing to unlock their credit for opening a cash back card or two? (including a business)?
Currently use Amazon 5% card, a southwest Card (that we no longer fly....more likely delta or american....although with 3 small kids travel is limited and prefer non stop flights vs "free" flights with a layover) and a Chase 1% cash back card. Recently moved near a costco.
Thinking

Higher cash back card (rarely stay at hotels, fly or eat out)
Gas card
Costco card?

Thoughts? TIA
Don't Work Forever.

Jags4186
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:30 am

jay22 wrote:Citi has a 50K bonus points after a $4K spent. AF is waived for first year. Worth applying for?
With the restrictions Citi has on sign up bonuses I'd wait to see what happens with the refreshed Prestige card. It might be a better bet. But this isn't an awful offer, it's just that Thank You points don't interest me that much...there's no way to build a "portfolio" of ThankYou cards to supercharge your earnings, although individually the rewards are pretty strong.

MikeG62
Posts: 513
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Location: New Jersey

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:57 am

Yukon wrote:So what might the suggested cards be for someone willing to unlock their credit for opening a cash back card or two? (including a business)?
Currently use Amazon 5% card, a southwest Card (that we no longer fly....more likely delta or american....although with 3 small kids travel is limited and prefer non stop flights vs "free" flights with a layover) and a Chase 1% cash back card. Recently moved near a costco.
Thinking

Higher cash back card (rarely stay at hotels, fly or eat out)
Gas card
Costco card?

Thoughts? TIA
There are several cards that will pay you more than 1% cash back. I personally use a Fidelity VISA card (2%). The Citibank Double Cash will also pay 2%. Capital one will pay 1.5% and there are lots of others at 1.5% as well. These are all personal (not business) cards. I'll let others chime in on business cards.

I use a Pen Fed Platinum Rewards VISA for gas (5% on unlimited purchases). The Costco VISA is pretty good too, paying 4% on gas "purchased at Costco".

I would also suggest you consider the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred, which pays 6% on supermarket purchases up to $6,000 per year ($360 cash back value or $265 net of the $95 annual fee, assuming you spend at least $6,000 per year at supermarkets - which should be quite easy to do with a family of 5).

Da5id
Posts: 1519
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:08 am

MikeG62 wrote: The Costco VISA is pretty good too, paying 4% on gas "purchased at Costco".
Gas can be purchased anywhere for the 4% off. If you look at the link it says "Gas worldwide, including at Costco".

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credi ... redit-card

MikeG62
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Location: New Jersey

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:11 am

Da5id wrote:
MikeG62 wrote: The Costco VISA is pretty good too, paying 4% on gas "purchased at Costco".
Gas can be purchased anywhere for the 4% off. If you look at the link it says "Gas worldwide, including at Costco".

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credi ... redit-card
I did not know that (don't have the card, although try and buy my gas at Costco) - good correction.

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

Post by gvsucavie03 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:28 am

Penfed 5% gas card is done. I got mine just before they discontinued it. Maybe get a few rotating category cards and the Costco card?

Citi Double Cash is my catch-all
Amex Blue Cash Preferred Grocery 6%.
Chase Freedom 5% grocery because we spend more than $6000 at the grocery store.

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

Post by Drew777 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:30 am

For an all around cashback card you're better off with the Alliant Visa Signature card than a 2% cashback card if you spend more than $11,800 a year. It's 3% cashback on all purchases the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year.

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

Post by flamesabers » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:32 am

Yukon wrote:So what might the suggested cards be for someone willing to unlock their credit for opening a cash back card or two? (including a business)?
Currently use Amazon 5% card, a southwest Card (that we no longer fly....more likely delta or american....although with 3 small kids travel is limited and prefer non stop flights vs "free" flights with a layover) and a Chase 1% cash back card. Recently moved near a costco.
Thinking

Higher cash back card (rarely stay at hotels, fly or eat out)
Gas card
Costco card?

Thoughts? TIA
I use USAA's 2.5% Limitless™ Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card for most of my purchases. As for gas, I use USAA's 5% Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card. There are no annual fees for either card, however to get the 2.5% for the Limitless Visa you have to make monthly $1k direct deposits into a USAA checking account. Otherwise you'll just get 1.5% cashback.

writingviv
Posts: 82
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by writingviv » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:03 am

Our strategy is not as aggressive as others but feel like time to open a new card (or 2). We have several large purchases in the coming months, so are looking for ideas for good sign up bonus cards..

We have
1. CSR (cancelled CSP earlier this year)
2. Chase Freedom
3. Amazon
4. Southwest (have had for years)

We do have an account w BOFA. We fly Southwest 90% of the time and United 10%.

Recs on the next card to get? Our finalists are United Explorer (50k miles for sign up bonus)/BOFA Cash Rewards ($200 for first $500 spent).

Thx!

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

Post by Da5id » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:10 am

writingviv wrote: Recs on the next card to get? Our finalists are United Explorer (50k miles for sign up bonus)/BOFA Cash Rewards ($200 for first $500 spent).

Thx!
United is nice, particularly if you will use it this year. You'll get the 50K miles, priority boarding, free bag for each of you, and 2 United club passes (good for a meal and a place to hang out on long stopover). Add an authorized user for 5K points, and also you can transfer ultimate rewards here. Seems worth the $95 fee. May well not be worth renewing however, unless you travel enough for the free bags and 2 passes/year to be a win.

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

Post by writingviv » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:29 am

Da5id wrote: United is nice, particularly if you will use it this year. You'll get the 50K miles, priority boarding, free bag for each of you, and 2 United club passes (good for a meal and a place to hang out on long stopover). Add an authorized user for 5K points, and also you can transfer ultimate rewards here. Seems worth the $95 fee. May well not be worth renewing however, unless you travel enough for the free bags and 2 passes/year to be a win.
Great. Thanks for feedback. Does it make sense to also add an 'everyday' card. We use CSR and Chase Freedom for this mainly (depending on its quarterly bonus)?

MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:33 am

gvsucavie03 wrote:Penfed 5% gas card is done. I got mine just before they discontinued it.
In a way, I am not surprised given the cash back % being so high. It is interesting though, since this card does still show on their web site, with a notation to call to get it.
Drew777 wrote:For an all around cashback card you're better off with the Alliant Visa Signature card than a 2% cashback card if you spend more than $11,800 a year. It's 3% cashback on all purchases the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year.
Was not aware of this one. Need to look into it, as it is better than my Fidelity VISA.

This forum is great for identifying stuff like this.

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

Post by Da5id » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:50 am

writingviv wrote:
Da5id wrote: United is nice, particularly if you will use it this year. You'll get the 50K miles, priority boarding, free bag for each of you, and 2 United club passes (good for a meal and a place to hang out on long stopover). Add an authorized user for 5K points, and also you can transfer ultimate rewards here. Seems worth the $95 fee. May well not be worth renewing however, unless you travel enough for the free bags and 2 passes/year to be a win.
Great. Thanks for feedback. Does it make sense to also add an 'everyday' card. We use CSR and Chase Freedom for this mainly (depending on its quarterly bonus)?
Sure, if you aren't a serial churner, you should have an everyday card paying at least 2% for times when you aren't working on bonuses or spending on better. My current set is:

Chase Southwest (finished bonus, don't spend on it)
Chase Sapphire Reserve (dropping before fee, for now use for restaurants/travel)
Chase Sapphire (not using right now)
Chase Freedom (5%, use for quarterly categories only)
Amex (3% groceries)
Costco - use for gas (4%) and costco (2%), will use for restaurants once Sapphire Reserve dies
Citi Double Cash - 2%. use for everything else

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

Post by sharpjm » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:27 pm

Drew777 wrote:For an all around cashback card you're better off with the Alliant Visa Signature card than a 2% cashback card if you spend more than $11,800 a year. It's 3% cashback on all purchases the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year.
+1 very under-rated card for those who wish to just grab a single card and forget about it. I think most folks can/do spend $1k a month to make it better than the benchmark 2% cards. Also has no FTF.

ddurrett896
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ddurrett896 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:49 pm

sharpjm wrote:
Drew777 wrote:For an all around cashback card you're better off with the Alliant Visa Signature card than a 2% cashback card if you spend more than $11,800 a year. It's 3% cashback on all purchases the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year.
+1 very under-rated card for those who wish to just grab a single card and forget about it. I think most folks can/do spend $1k a month to make it better than the benchmark 2% cards. Also has no FTF.
Very interested in this. The features on the website say it's for those who spend $50,000+ each year. I spend maybe half that - is that a problem?

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

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:10 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Very interested in this. The features on the website say it's for those who spend $50,000+ each year. I spend maybe half that - is that a problem?
"exclusively designed" - in fact - for those spending $50k+ a year. DoC web site indicates Alliant has a minimum annual income threshold of $100k, and you may need to provide tax returns to verify.
Last edited by SrGrumpy on Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jags4186
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:11 pm

Da5id wrote:
writingviv wrote:
Da5id wrote: United is nice, particularly if you will use it this year. You'll get the 50K miles, priority boarding, free bag for each of you, and 2 United club passes (good for a meal and a place to hang out on long stopover). Add an authorized user for 5K points, and also you can transfer ultimate rewards here. Seems worth the $95 fee. May well not be worth renewing however, unless you travel enough for the free bags and 2 passes/year to be a win.
Great. Thanks for feedback. Does it make sense to also add an 'everyday' card. We use CSR and Chase Freedom for this mainly (depending on its quarterly bonus)?
Sure, if you aren't a serial churner, you should have an everyday card paying at least 2% for times when you aren't working on bonuses or spending on better. My current set is:

Chase Southwest (finished bonus, don't spend on it)
Chase Sapphire Reserve (dropping before fee, for now use for restaurants/travel)
Chase Sapphire (not using right now)
Chase Freedom (5%, use for quarterly categories only)
Amex (3% groceries)
Costco - use for gas (4%) and costco (2%), will use for restaurants once Sapphire Reserve dies
Citi Double Cash - 2%. use for everything else
I was considering dropping the Sapphire Reserve but after thinking about it I decided it was a keeper for a $150 net annual fee ($300 reimbursement is no sweat to get and is as good as cash for me).

For $150 I get:

4 free roadside assistance calls a year (I dropped AAA, saved $100/yr)
2.25% cash back on everyday spend via CFU
3% cash back gas via Ink Cash
4.5% cash back for restaurants and travel
7.5% cash back on cable, internet, cellphone, and office supply stores via Ink Cash
7.5% cash back rotating categories (gas/groceries/amazon/restaurants all used) via Freedom
Priority Pass (meh)

Of course if I can earn more than $0.015 per point by transferring to a transfer partner I would do that, but having a minimum floor of $0.015/pt is just an incredible perk and has made me take all of my AMEX MR earning cards out of my wallet. And that include the no fee Blue Business Plus that earns 2x MR on every purchase...

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

Post by denovo » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:17 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
For $150 I get:

4 free roadside assistance calls a year (I dropped AAA, saved $100/yr)
2.25% cash back on everyday spend via CFU
3% cash back gas via Ink Cash
4.5% cash back for restaurants and travel
7.5% cash back on cable, internet, cellphone, and office supply stores via Ink Cash
7.5% cash back rotating categories (gas/groceries/amazon/restaurants all used) via Freedom
Priority Pass (meh)
A couple of things to consider. I pay like $15 per car for roadside assistance for auto insurance. 2 percent cash back with no annual fee on citi double cash.

Pdxnative
Posts: 229
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Pdxnative » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:03 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
I was considering dropping the Sapphire Reserve but after thinking about it I decided it was a keeper for a $150 net annual fee ($300 reimbursement is no sweat to get and is as good as cash for me).

For $150 I get:

4 free roadside assistance calls a year (I dropped AAA, saved $100/yr)
2.25% cash back on everyday spend via CFU
3% cash back gas via Ink Cash
4.5% cash back for restaurants and travel
7.5% cash back on cable, internet, cellphone, and office supply stores via Ink Cash
7.5% cash back rotating categories (gas/groceries/amazon/restaurants all used) via Freedom
Priority Pass (meh)

Of course if I can earn more than $0.015 per point by transferring to a transfer partner I would do that, but having a minimum floor of $0.015/pt is just an incredible perk and has made me take all of my AMEX MR earning cards out of my wallet. And that include the no fee Blue Business Plus that earns 2x MR on every purchase...
Your math assumes the 1.5 cent per point benefit of the CSR. Not sure about you, but I've found that with hotel booking I rarely get that. Prices on the UR portal tend to be higher than I can get directly through the hotel, sometimes using aaa. Not to mention, I'm finding more and more that the room I want at the hotel I want (even if I am flexible among several hotels) is only available as a non refundable reservation through UR, even when plenty of rooms are available directly from the hotel at a lower price. This past weekend I booked a room and the UR portal price was exactly 30% higher than a direct booking with the hotel. The only savings The CSR got me was a result of using UR at the CSR rate to prepay the hotel tax. Car rental I would have spent more using the ur portal than Costco. Flights tend to be a better deal, but in my experience it's a mistake to assume the CSR is always getting you that 1.5 cents per point. Your experience may be different though.

Jags4186
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:06 pm

Pdxnative wrote: Your math assumes the 1.5 cent per point benefit of the CSR. Not sure about you, but I've found that with hotel booking I rarely get that. Prices on the UR portal tend to be higher than I can get directly through the hotel, sometimes using aaa. Not to mention, I'm finding more and more that the room I want at the hotel I want (even if I am flexible among several hotels) is only available as a non refundable reservation through UR, even when plenty of rooms are available directly from the hotel at a lower price. This past weekend I booked a room and the UR portal price was exactly 30% higher than a direct booking with the hotel. The only savings The CSR got me was a result of using UR at the CSR rate to prepay the hotel tax. Car rental I would have spent more using the ur portal than Costco. Flights tend to be a better deal, but in my experience it's a mistake to assume the CSR is always getting you that 1.5 cents per point. Your experience may be different though.
I only use the 1.5cpp redemption when it's actually 1.5cpp. Always double check :sharebeer

Pdxnative
Posts: 229
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Pdxnative » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:13 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Pdxnative wrote: Your math assumes the 1.5 cent per point benefit of the CSR. Not sure about you, but I've found that with hotel booking I rarely get that. Prices on the UR portal tend to be higher than I can get directly through the hotel, sometimes using aaa. Not to mention, I'm finding more and more that the room I want at the hotel I want (even if I am flexible among several hotels) is only available as a non refundable reservation through UR, even when plenty of rooms are available directly from the hotel at a lower price. This past weekend I booked a room and the UR portal price was exactly 30% higher than a direct booking with the hotel. The only savings The CSR got me was a result of using UR at the CSR rate to prepay the hotel tax. Car rental I would have spent more using the ur portal than Costco. Flights tend to be a better deal, but in my experience it's a mistake to assume the CSR is always getting you that 1.5 cents per point. Your experience may be different though.
I only use the 1.5cpp redemption when it's actually 1.5cpp. Always double check :sharebeer
Yeah, I guess my point is that IME if I do that I will never use the points because they're not worth that much for the trips I want to take. So it's hard to justify $150/year to keep hope alive :) But I'm glad you're getting the value out of them; good deal when it works.

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

Post by Da5id » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:46 am

Jags4186 wrote:
I was considering dropping the Sapphire Reserve but after thinking about it I decided it was a keeper for a $150 net annual fee ($300 reimbursement is no sweat to get and is as good as cash for me).

For $150 I get:

4 free roadside assistance calls a year (I dropped AAA, saved $100/yr)
2.25% cash back on everyday spend via CFU
3% cash back gas via Ink Cash
4.5% cash back for restaurants and travel
7.5% cash back on cable, internet, cellphone, and office supply stores via Ink Cash
7.5% cash back rotating categories (gas/groceries/amazon/restaurants all used) via Freedom
Priority Pass (meh)
I don't have Ink or any business card. And my fee is effectively $225 as I want a companion card for which CSR charges $75 and CSP is no additional cost. Each to their own.

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

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:46 am

Da5id wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:
I was considering dropping the Sapphire Reserve but after thinking about it I decided it was a keeper for a $150 net annual fee ($300 reimbursement is no sweat to get and is as good as cash for me).

For $150 I get:

4 free roadside assistance calls a year (I dropped AAA, saved $100/yr)
2.25% cash back on everyday spend via CFU
3% cash back gas via Ink Cash
4.5% cash back for restaurants and travel
7.5% cash back on cable, internet, cellphone, and office supply stores via Ink Cash
7.5% cash back rotating categories (gas/groceries/amazon/restaurants all used) via Freedom
Priority Pass (meh)
I don't have Ink or any business card. And my fee is effectively $225 as I want a companion card for which CSR charges $75 and CSP is no additional cost. Each to their own.
Yup! My wife doesn't get a CSR. I worked it out that for an extra 1 point for dining she does without me it's not worth $75. Ink Cash gives 2x restaurants for $0 annual fee. She can always book travel with my card if she's going somewhere without me, otherwise if we're together I just pay.

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

Post by flamesabers » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:37 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:Penfed 5% gas card is done. I got mine just before they discontinued it.
In a way, I am not surprised given the cash back % being so high. It is interesting though, since this card does still show on their web site, with a notation to call to get it.
USAA still has a 5% gas card on your first annual $3k.

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

Post by spammagnet » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:15 pm

In this thread I see reference to Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards and Thank You Points. Are those simply brand names associated with different card issuers, such as Chase vs American Express, or are they networks, like Visa vs Mastercard? Do they different in significant ways?

Thanks

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

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:36 pm

spammagnet wrote:In this thread I see reference to Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards and Thank You Points. Are those simply brand names associated with different card issuers, such as Chase vs American Express, or are they networks, like Visa vs Mastercard? Do they different in significant ways?
They're brand names for each bank's point program. There are partners in each point program, which allows you to transfer points to hotels, airlines, and so on. But they're not a network like Visa.

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

Post by spammagnet » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:10 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:They're brand names for each bank's point program. There are partners in each point program, which allows you to transfer points to hotels, airlines, and so on. But they're not a network like Visa.
Is there overlap among partners? Or are they mutually exclusive?

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

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:37 pm

spammagnet wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:They're brand names for each bank's point program. There are partners in each point program, which allows you to transfer points to hotels, airlines, and so on. But they're not a network like Visa.
Is there overlap among partners? Or are they mutually exclusive?
There can be overlap, particularly with the international airlines. For domestic hotels, there is overlap between AmEx and Chase now that SPG and Marriott have merged. For example, you can transfer AmEx points to SPG and Chase points to Marriott, then merge them on the SPG/Marriott side of things. I don't have Citi, but I believe both Citi and AmEx also allow transfers to Hilton.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:42 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:RE: the Merrill Lynch card

What has been your most valuable redemption from the bonus points earned on that card?

Did you continue to use it after getting the bonus?

I'm reading that churning this card has become much more restrictive. Have you been successful at that? (recently?)

Thanks
The first time I got the Merrill card, I used the bonus for 2 flights: a $400 flight to fly my niece roundtrip to NYC where I showed her (and my other nieces) the sites, and a $500+ flight to Charleston for a friend's birthday party. The nice thing about the Merrill card is that even though the flight was a little over $500, I was able to use the modest amount of add'l points I had over 25,000 to cover the overage at a penny a point. Then I cashed in the remaining points I had (a couple thousand probably) at a penny a point and canceled the card.

I now have the card a second time, so it is churnable (or was a month and a half ago).

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

Post by kingmathers » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:12 am

Goal -- Maximize cash back.

Cards --

1. Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa
•5% back on Amazon purchases, 2% back on gas, restaurants, drug stores, 1% on everything else
•$0 annual fee
•Used for Amazon purchases, gas, and restaurants

2. 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.

3. Capital One Quicksilver
•1.5% back on all purchases
•$0 annual fee
•Used for everything else; longest standing CC (10+ years) with largest credit limit so it helps keep the credit score up

Rewards -- Redeemed monthly and placed towards balance.

Final Thoughs -- Going to be getting the Discover card for rotating categories to get that extra 5%. Considering the Citi Double Cash to replace my Quicksilver for the extra .5%
Last edited by kingmathers on Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Da5id » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:51 am

kingmathers wrote: Final Thoughs -- Going to be getting the Discover card for rotating categories to get that extra 5%. Considering the Citi Double Cash to replace my Quicksilver for the extra .5%
That makes sense, but keep Quicksilver. That is both for credit rating (oldest card), but also because I believe it would be the only one of your cards without foreign transaction fees. You don't need to use it.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:11 am

I got a mailing from TD Bank for $150 bonus after $500 spending. This is a no brainer for me. Get the card, set up auto payment, spend $500, get the bonus applied to statement, spend the bonus, sock drawer the card.
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sharpjm
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by sharpjm » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:22 am

Da5id wrote:
kingmathers wrote: Final Thoughs -- Going to be getting the Discover card for rotating categories to get that extra 5%. Considering the Citi Double Cash to replace my Quicksilver for the extra .5%
That makes sense, but keep Quicksilver. That is both for credit rating (oldest card), but also because I believe it would be the only one of your cards without foreign transaction fees. You don't need to use it.
The amazon card has no FTF

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

Post by Da5id » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:42 am

sharpjm wrote: That makes sense, but keep Quicksilver. That is both for credit rating (oldest card), but also because I believe it would be the only one of your cards without foreign transaction fees. You don't need to use it.
The amazon card has no FTF[/quote]

Didn't know that, thanks. I'd still keep the Quicksilver, it is better than Amazon for foreign travel (1.5% vs 1%), and he was concerned about cancelling his oldest card anyway.

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

Post by Da5id » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:42 am

sharpjm wrote: The amazon card has no FTF
Didn't know that, thanks. I'd still keep the Quicksilver, it is better than Amazon for foreign travel (1.5% vs 1%), and he was concerned about cancelling his oldest card anyway.

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

Post by Drew777 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:01 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
sharpjm wrote:
Drew777 wrote:For an all around cashback card you're better off with the Alliant Visa Signature card than a 2% cashback card if you spend more than $11,800 a year. It's 3% cashback on all purchases the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year.
+1 very under-rated card for those who wish to just grab a single card and forget about it. I think most folks can/do spend $1k a month to make it better than the benchmark 2% cards. Also has no FTF.
Very interested in this. The features on the website say it's for those who spend $50,000+ each year. I spend maybe half that - is that a problem?
No, there is nothing that actually enforces that in practice.

MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:24 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
sharpjm wrote:
Drew777 wrote:For an all around cashback card you're better off with the Alliant Visa Signature card than a 2% cashback card if you spend more than $11,800 a year. It's 3% cashback on all purchases the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year.
+1 very under-rated card for those who wish to just grab a single card and forget about it. I think most folks can/do spend $1k a month to make it better than the benchmark 2% cards. Also has no FTF.
Very interested in this. The features on the website say it's for those who spend $50,000+ each year. I spend maybe half that - is that a problem?
Nope. $11,800 in annual spending is the breakeven point between this card with it's $59 annual fee (beginning in the second year) and a straight up no annual fee card with 2% cash back. The math is $59/0.005%.

So for if you spend more than $11,800 per year, this card will be better than charging to a no fee 2% cash back card. If you spend twice that, incremental benefit to you would be ~$60. Not world changing, but better. Note that this is in the second year. In year 1, all spending gets cash back at 3% and there is no annual fee.

I am planning to get this card as a replacement for my Fidelity 2% cash back card.

EDIT (7-21-17): Applied for the Alliant Signature VISA yesterday. Received a call today that they wanted copies of my tax returns to support my income - note that I retired in 2016 so my income comes from my investments. Since I am not about to send copies of my tax return to anybody other than the IRS, I told them to cancel the CC request. I guess if you are employed and are willing to supply a W2 then maybe you are fine. But for retired folks, they apparently want tax returns. I'll keep my FIDO 2% cash back card.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:56 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
The first time I got the Merrill card, I used the bonus for 2 flights: a $400 flight to fly my niece roundtrip to NYC where I showed her (and my other nieces) the sites, and a $500+ flight to Charleston for a friend's birthday party. The nice thing about the Merrill card is that even though the flight was a little over $500, I was able to use the modest amount of add'l points I had over 25,000 to cover the overage at a penny a point. Then I cashed in the remaining points I had (a couple thousand probably) at a penny a point and canceled the card.

I now have the card a second time, so it is churnable (or was a month and a half ago).
I finally got my Merrill Card last week after being denied because I already had sufficient credit in the BofA family. I immediately canceled 3 of my 4 BofA cards, slashed the credit limit on the remaining one, and called in to the first reconsideration number listed on the Doctor of Credit web site. The first person I spoke to had not heard of the Merrill card and asked me to spell "Merrill"!

The Merrill card website is minimalist, perhaps dangerously so. Nowhere does it state the T&C for the CDW waiver on a rental car. I had to call in, and the agent gave me the bullet points over the phone. Standard stuff, but it would be nice to see everything spelled out on paper. I will definitely cancel after I have used up my bonus, and hopefully reapply down the line when I need to blow through another $3,000.

Read the bottom of the comments section ("Adam D") at the Doctor of Credit analysis for ideal way to maximize points for travel:

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/redeeming ... nts-guide/

jay22
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by jay22 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:40 pm

I am hoping someone here can provide some advise on this:

My wife and I (with an infant) want to fly to DC during thanksgiving (targeting 11/21 to 11/25 plus/minus one day). Our credit score is around 780.

We both have Chase Freedom, Chase Amazon, Chase IHG, Capital One Quicksilver, and Citi Double Cash cards. We are under the 5/24 rule, so should be able to get more Chase cards.

We are targeting economy (if possible, business) travel from Sacramento (or SFO) to DC (Dulles, Reagan, or BWI). We can spend around 3K per month with these cards and some MS.

I am guessing United or Southwest points would work best for this but I am open to other suggestions. Thanks.

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

Post by sharpjm » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:27 pm

jay22 wrote:I am hoping someone here can provide some advise on this:

My wife and I (with an infant) want to fly to DC during thanksgiving (targeting 11/21 to 11/25 plus/minus one day). Our credit score is around 780.

We both have Chase Freedom, Chase Amazon, Chase IHG, Capital One Quicksilver, and Citi Double Cash cards. We are under the 5/24 rule, so should be able to get more Chase cards.

We are targeting economy (if possible, business) travel from Sacramento (or SFO) to DC (Dulles, Reagan, or BWI). We can spend around 3K per month with these cards and some MS.

I am guessing United or Southwest points would work best for this but I am open to other suggestions. Thanks.
Honestly you are probably too late to get good award flights at Thanksgiving on either carrier. United limits award availability and SW ties awards to the cash value - many SW flights are sold out or low seating during thanksgiving already. If you redeemed SW points for a flight, you'd probably be paying 2x or more points than you normally would need to pay. And anything available will likely have bad connections, long layovers, or would be on odd days (like flying on the day of thanksgiving)

My suggestion would be to get all 3 cards ( United MPE, SW+, SW Premier). You want the United card (especially if you are targeted for the 70k mile offer) so you can get improved award availability (not a well known benefit of their cards). After year 1, you can downgrade the MPE card to a no AF card that will still provide that increased availability. And you want the SW cards to get 110k SW points for companion pass. This will allow you to get BOGO tickets between now and the end of 2018.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:32 am

It appears that Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) provides travel medical coverage, whereas Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) does not. Can anyone confirm this?

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

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:40 am

VictoriaF wrote:It appears that Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) provides travel medical coverage, whereas Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) does not. Can anyone confirm this?

Thank you,
Victoria
For any of the card perks, double check whether "medical" includes pre-existing conditions, and how those are defined.
That was a "gotcha" for us.

Also any covered cost limits to medical care.

Also, currently, we need to have coverage to cancel or interrupt if very elderly MIL develops a serious problem...
That type of coverage should be checked, too, if relevant.

RM
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