What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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Jags4186
Posts: 2596
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed May 16, 2018 5:55 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:38 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:35 pm
d0gerz wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:53 pm
Q: Does the Costco Anywhere Visa from Citi code Costco Food Court purchases as restaurant (3%) or just regular Costco purchases (2%)?
You must be buying a lot of $0.99 hot dogs :sharebeer
99-cent hot dogs? My local Costco charges $1.50.

TravelforFun
Don’t brag about splurging for the hot dog/soda combo.

travellight
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Wed May 16, 2018 6:41 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49?

Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then?
I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal if the annual fee remains at $49. OTOH, if they raise the annual fee, I will probably cancel the card. No point in keeping it just to save ~$50/year (cash rate of 30k pt room - $89 annual fee).
My thought as well.

rjbraun
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by rjbraun » Wed May 16, 2018 7:48 pm

travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:41 pm
SRenaeP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49?

Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then?
I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal if the annual fee remains at $49. OTOH, if they raise the annual fee, I will probably cancel the card. No point in keeping it just to save ~$50/year (cash rate of 30k pt room - $89 annual fee).
My thought as well.
Ugh, the entire IHG card experience has been a bust for SO and me. Signed up last year and will probably cancel the cards. I think they ended up allowing the free night certificate this year to be used for a 50,000 nightly room rate, but after that for sure if the annual fee rises to $89 we will cancel. At $49, not sure.

How hard is it to keep the points active? Website says activity every 12 months at an IHG hotel or partner. Anyone know if you can just go to the hotel coffee shop or similar and spend 10 bucks or something? I think that's the deal with SPG, though I haven't tested it yet.

TravelforFun
Posts: 1552
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelforFun » Wed May 16, 2018 9:27 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:55 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:38 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:35 pm
d0gerz wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:53 pm
Q: Does the Costco Anywhere Visa from Citi code Costco Food Court purchases as restaurant (3%) or just regular Costco purchases (2%)?
You must be buying a lot of $0.99 hot dogs :sharebeer
99-cent hot dogs? My local Costco charges $1.50.

TravelforFun
Don’t brag about splurging for the hot dog/soda combo.
Ha.. You're right. I've been enjoying the $1.50 deal since 2010 when the local Costco opened.

TravelforFun

smalliebigs
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:48 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by smalliebigs » Wed May 16, 2018 9:31 pm

Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel, dining, parking, etc.
Then Chase Freedom if it's in the 5%
Then Chase Freedom Unlimited for everything else.

Then I pool the ultimate rewards into the CSR card for hotel/flights.

Seems to work OK for now.

giesen5
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Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Thu May 17, 2018 7:57 pm

smalliebigs wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:31 pm
Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel, dining, parking, etc.
Then Chase Freedom if it's in the 5%
Then Chase Freedom Unlimited for everything else.

Then I pool the ultimate rewards into the CSR card for hotel/flights.

Seems to work OK for now.
That is a very simple and easy plan to follow. I am doing the same thing right now, expect all non-travel, non-dining and non-grocery costs are going on the card that I am working on finishing spend for, which happens to be a Citi AA card.

smalliebigs
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:48 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by smalliebigs » Thu May 17, 2018 8:01 pm

giesen5 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 7:57 pm
That is a very simple and easy plan to follow. I am doing the same thing right now, expect all non-travel, non-dining and non-grocery costs are going on the card that I am working on finishing spend for, which happens to be a Citi AA card.
It was a toss-up between CSR or the Amex Platinum, but I think the CSR seems to fit better with my lifestyle and that I can pool Chase UR points.

BeneIRA
Posts: 506
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Fri May 18, 2018 7:31 am

rjbraun wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:48 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:41 pm
SRenaeP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49?

Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then?
I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal if the annual fee remains at $49. OTOH, if they raise the annual fee, I will probably cancel the card. No point in keeping it just to save ~$50/year (cash rate of 30k pt room - $89 annual fee).
My thought as well.
Ugh, the entire IHG card experience has been a bust for SO and me. Signed up last year and will probably cancel the cards. I think they ended up allowing the free night certificate this year to be used for a 50,000 nightly room rate, but after that for sure if the annual fee rises to $89 we will cancel. At $49, not sure.

How hard is it to keep the points active? Website says activity every 12 months at an IHG hotel or partner. Anyone know if you can just go to the hotel coffee shop or similar and spend 10 bucks or something? I think that's the deal with SPG, though I haven't tested it yet.
Keep it for the first year for the uncapped anniversary night. On year two, you may want to cancel it when the annual fee comes due. I would burn through those points first, if you can. With the 4-digit pin, those accounts get hacked all the time. I got the 100,000 bonus points some time ago and I am down to under 15,000 now and plan to burn those when I can. Just put a couple dollar purchase on it every few months to keep it active and the expiration should reset. IF they make it an $89 annual fee and force convert everyone, then I will strongly consider cancelling.

On Marriott/SPG: I never understood the people using the SPG card as a daily driver. Sure, transferring to airline miles is nice, but it takes 2-3 days to transfer, which drives me crazy, and I would rather use the Business Plus from Amex for 2 MR or even the Freedom Unlimited for 1.5 UR, which to me are much more flexible. After the devaluation, it makes no sense to use the SPG card. I foresee serious Marriott/SPG devaluations coming when they implement peak and off-peak pricing, but I don't hoard those points, so that is fine with me.

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VictoriaF
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am

I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

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

rjbraun
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by rjbraun » Fri May 18, 2018 11:25 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:31 am
rjbraun wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:48 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:41 pm
SRenaeP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49?

Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then?
I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal if the annual fee remains at $49. OTOH, if they raise the annual fee, I will probably cancel the card. No point in keeping it just to save ~$50/year (cash rate of 30k pt room - $89 annual fee).
My thought as well.
Ugh, the entire IHG card experience has been a bust for SO and me. Signed up last year and will probably cancel the cards. I think they ended up allowing the free night certificate this year to be used for a 50,000 nightly room rate, but after that for sure if the annual fee rises to $89 we will cancel. At $49, not sure.

How hard is it to keep the points active? Website says activity every 12 months at an IHG hotel or partner. Anyone know if you can just go to the hotel coffee shop or similar and spend 10 bucks or something? I think that's the deal with SPG, though I haven't tested it yet.
Keep it for the first year for the uncapped anniversary night. On year two, you may want to cancel it when the annual fee comes due. I would burn through those points first, if you can. With the 4-digit pin, those accounts get hacked all the time. I got the 100,000 bonus points some time ago and I am down to under 15,000 now and plan to burn those when I can. Just put a couple dollar purchase on it every few months to keep it active and the expiration should reset. IF they make it an $89 annual fee and force convert everyone, then I will strongly consider cancelling.

On Marriott/SPG: I never understood the people using the SPG card as a daily driver. Sure, transferring to airline miles is nice, but it takes 2-3 days to transfer, which drives me crazy, and I would rather use the Business Plus from Amex for 2 MR or even the Freedom Unlimited for 1.5 UR, which to me are much more flexible. After the devaluation, it makes no sense to use the SPG card. I foresee serious Marriott/SPG devaluations coming when they implement peak and off-peak pricing, but I don't hoard those points, so that is fine with me.
Okay, thanks for the tip to burn the points, really surprised to hear about the account hacks! I just checked and our accounts are intact, thank goodness! I guess a 4-digit code is easy to hack. I was going to say shouldn't one receive an e-mail alert about the hotel booking, but I guess you're saying or implying that the hacker then changes the registered e-mail? Still, shouldn't the original owner receive an e-mail alert? I guess they do but maybe overlook it ... that must be it.

SO canceled his Amex SPG card when the annual fee was up recently. I had one years ago and never renewed. Fortunately, SPG allows account consolidation and SO and I were able to combine our points into one account. Would be nice if IHG allows that, will need to look into.

I guess I'm a hoarder. We don't travel so much domestically and prefer to stay in small local places when we travel abroad to Europe. That said, I am thrilled to have booked an SPG airport hotel for an upcoming trip to Vancouver for 10,000 points. Zero desire to drop a few hundred bucks for a room to plop down in at 2 am only to high-tail out asap the next morning to head to a Whistler resort 8-)

To me, that's when hotel points make sense. In the case of IHG, I just haven't even found hotels where we were visiting that made sense. Okay, I did once. It was Asheville, NC and the entire experience was soooo frustrating. By the time I actually got my signup bonus points, the 50k room wasn't even available, and there was noooo way I was going to pay several hundred dollars for a room Indigo normally sells for a couple of hundred bucks.

ETA: Just checked to see why I didn't use IHG points for the Vancouver airport hotel. Now I remember, there were no rooms available, when I looked earlier and again just now. This is why I so dislike the IHG program. Really disappointing. You're right, I should just burn through the points asap and for sure will cancel immediately if the fee climbs above $49 :annoyed

rjbraun
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by rjbraun » Fri May 18, 2018 11:41 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

Thank you,
Victoria
Regarding #2, avoiding the $95(?) CSP annual fee in lieu of a no-fee FU would be a reason. I suppose the decision would be whether $95 multiplied by however long (in years) you think you will have to wait for a FU bonus to come along would be the break-even point, kind of. Personally, I figure cash in hand is worth more than an unknown that may or may not happen in the future (attractive FU signup bonus, and that Chase will allow me to partake in) and that may or may not have value to me (e.g., UR devalue between now and when you potentially get this unknown FU signup bonus).

#3, my opinion isn't worth anything, but I am not feeling much love from Chase these days. Not to me personally, but as a general matter. I don't follow their credit card strategies particularly closely, but perhaps they are trying to be more targeted in their marketing, in which case if they view you favorably, you could get a goosed-up CSR bonus, I suppose.

Fwiw, I have CSR, Freedom (downgraded from CSP, I think), and Chase Ink Business Cash (downgraded from Ink Business Preferred). Also have Chase IHG (may cancel if annual fee rises). Also have CPC (private client) status, though my balances have dropped over the years to what I would think are below their stated amounts for CPC.

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VictoriaF
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri May 18, 2018 12:08 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:41 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

...

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

...
Regarding #2, avoiding the $95(?) CSP annual fee in lieu of a no-fee FU would be a reason. I suppose the decision would be whether $95 multiplied by however long (in years) you think you will have to wait for a FU bonus to come along would be the break-even point, kind of. Personally, I figure cash in hand is worth more than an unknown that may or may not happen in the future (attractive FU signup bonus, and that Chase will allow me to partake in) and that may or may not have value to me (e.g., UR devalue between now and when you potentially get this unknown FU signup bonus).
Thanks. I am considering the choice between canceling CSP and product changing CSP into FU. In both cases, I would save $95 annual CSP fee (and acquire $450 CSR fee).

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

rjbraun
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by rjbraun » Fri May 18, 2018 12:46 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:08 pm
rjbraun wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:41 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

...

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

...
Regarding #2, avoiding the $95(?) CSP annual fee in lieu of a no-fee FU would be a reason. I suppose the decision would be whether $95 multiplied by however long (in years) you think you will have to wait for a FU bonus to come along would be the break-even point, kind of. Personally, I figure cash in hand is worth more than an unknown that may or may not happen in the future (attractive FU signup bonus, and that Chase will allow me to partake in) and that may or may not have value to me (e.g., UR devalue between now and when you potentially get this unknown FU signup bonus).
Thanks. I am considering the choice between canceling CSP and product changing CSP into FU. In both cases, I would save $95 annual CSP fee (and acquire $450 CSR fee).

Victoria
Got it, that makes sense. In that case, the decision would seem to be how much "value" FU will provide you between "now" and this potential future FU with another bonus. Fwiw, I feel that oftentimes when I try to be "too clever" with this stuff it doesn't pay.

For example, I think I had a Chase Amtrak Guest Rewards card that Chase automatically switched over to Chase Freedom when BofA took over the Amtrak card. I declined the card, I think because I wanted a signup bonus. But, I think it was the quarter when Chase had the 10x(?) points on Amazon purchases. Well, I should have taken the card. In my defense, it's possible that I wasn't into UR at the time. Still, to this point as recently as the last year or so I tried in vain get the card "reactivated". Even though I already have a Freedom card (received no signup bonus, was product change from CSP), when I learned that I could have two Freedom cards (I think), I figured it would be nice to have a spare for when the bonus categories were easy spends for me.

The other instance where I felt my "greed" got the best of me was with the Chase IHG card. I spent ridiculous amounts of time trying to get the higher signup bonus that was announced soon after I got my card. Eventually, Chase gave it to me, but I had to take points in lieu of cash. No longer recall the specifics, but maybe the promo I signed up for was $100 statement credit and 50k points, and I wanted the 100k bonus. They said that I could only get a $50 credit if I wanted 100k points (whatever it was, I did the math and figured it was an acceptable exchange, so I forfeited $50). Well, I haven't found a way to use any of my IHG points so far, and now the program terms are changing unfavorably.

Not sure it's exactly apt here, but in the markets the saying is "bulls and bears make money, pigs get slaughtered". I kind of feel that way about these credit card, etc points games. Admittedly, it's a fine balance. Sometimes, it pays to do your homework and dot your i's and cross your t's. Other times, it's better to not overthink things. Art not science, though, to know when to do what, imo.

Good luck with your decision!

TravelGeek
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 18, 2018 12:50 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:08 pm
Thanks. I am considering the choice between canceling CSP and product changing CSP into FU. In both cases, I would save $95 annual CSP fee (and acquire $450 CSR fee).
It's been a few years for me. I had the CSR and the CSP (no longer allowed) and obviously didn't want to keep the CSP when its annual fee came due. I looked at my options and chose to convert the CSP to a FU.

Factors I considered:

- FU was available at the time, unknown if it would be available in the future
- FU conversion meant no additional application on my record (impacting future potential offers available to me)
- FU application is subject to 5/24 rule
- FU sign-up bonus wasn't particularly attractive ($150?)
- could start earning FU 1.5x points right away.
- guaranteed to actually get the FU
- I think the card # didn't change in the conversion, and I had a lot of automatic payments going to CSP, so that meant I didn't have to change these accounts.

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

Post by likegarden » Fri May 18, 2018 1:09 pm

Correction, sorry I misstated :
We do not have several different credit cards in respect to a Credit Card Rewards Strategy. Our credit card strategy is to have a single CC account at Capital One with two credit cards with different CC numbers. But that credit card gives us a benefit when we buy a GM car, but we not always buy from GM, so it is underutilized.

We have a single CC account for simplicity and ease of checking for scammers. We do not want to get multiple credit card statements each month. Yes, simplicity is important in retirement when you are approaching 80.
Last edited by likegarden on Fri May 18, 2018 2:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

TravelGeek
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 18, 2018 1:25 pm

likegarden wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 1:09 pm
We have no Credit Card Rewards Strategy. Our credit card strategy is to have a single CC account at Capital One with two credit cards with different CC numbers. We do that for simplicity and ease of checking for scammers. We do not want to get multiple credit card statements each month.
Do those cards earn cash back? If so, you do have a decent rewards strategy.

I personally would be concerned about putting all my eggs into one bank basket, but everyone's needs are different. I travel a lot internationally and carry cards from 4-5 banks with me, just in case one or more have a melt-down or decide that someone else must have taken my card abroad or ....

I am pretty sure I will simplify my overall strategy as I get older, though.

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

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri May 18, 2018 1:43 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:50 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:08 pm
Thanks. I am considering the choice between canceling CSP and product changing CSP into FU. In both cases, I would save $95 annual CSP fee (and acquire $450 CSR fee).
It's been a few years for me. I had the CSR and the CSP (no longer allowed) and obviously didn't want to keep the CSP when its annual fee came due. I looked at my options and chose to convert the CSP to a FU.

Factors I considered:

- FU was available at the time, unknown if it would be available in the future
- FU conversion meant no additional application on my record (impacting future potential offers available to me)
- FU application is subject to 5/24 rule
- FU sign-up bonus wasn't particularly attractive ($150?)
- could start earning FU 1.5x points right away.
- guaranteed to actually get the FU
- I think the card # didn't change in the conversion, and I had a lot of automatic payments going to CSP, so that meant I didn't have to change these accounts.
I did the same. For essentially the same reasons.

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

Post by DiMAn0684 » Fri May 18, 2018 1:51 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?
Conversion is recommended to get 1.5x UR on all non-bonus purchases, while not burning 5/24 slots. Outside of the recent 3x URs on everything for the first year promo I have not seen any FU bonuses that were worth a hit.

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

Post by epicahab » Fri May 18, 2018 1:57 pm

I'm a big fan of CSR and SPG. I haven't waded into the AMEX Plat and Gold worlds yet, as I don't want to pay the fees. I also have a lot of Hilton and Marriott points, as well as American Airlines. If you sign up for a bunch of cards, and then do the minimum spends, it can take your credit score down into the 600's but it quickly bounces back within a month or two if you give it some time without signing up for any new cards.

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

Post by Freefun » Fri May 18, 2018 2:44 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:31 am
rjbraun wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:48 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:41 pm
SRenaeP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm
travellight wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49?

Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then?
I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal if the annual fee remains at $49. OTOH, if they raise the annual fee, I will probably cancel the card. No point in keeping it just to save ~$50/year (cash rate of 30k pt room - $89 annual fee).
My thought as well.
Ugh, the entire IHG card experience has been a bust for SO and me. Signed up last year and will probably cancel the cards. I think they ended up allowing the free night certificate this year to be used for a 50,000 nightly room rate, but after that for sure if the annual fee rises to $89 we will cancel. At $49, not sure.

How hard is it to keep the points active? Website says activity every 12 months at an IHG hotel or partner. Anyone know if you can just go to the hotel coffee shop or similar and spend 10 bucks or something? I think that's the deal with SPG, though I haven't tested it yet.
Keep it for the first year for the uncapped anniversary night. On year two, you may want to cancel it when the annual fee comes due. I would burn through those points first, if you can. With the 4-digit pin, those accounts get hacked all the time. I got the 100,000 bonus points some time ago and I am down to under 15,000 now and plan to burn those when I can. Just put a couple dollar purchase on it every few months to keep it active and the expiration should reset. IF they make it an $89 annual fee and force convert everyone, then I will strongly consider cancelling.

On Marriott/SPG: I never understood the people using the SPG card as a daily driver. Sure, transferring to airline miles is nice, but it takes 2-3 days to transfer, which drives me crazy, and I would rather use the Business Plus from Amex for 2 MR or even the Freedom Unlimited for 1.5 UR, which to me are much more flexible. After the devaluation, it makes no sense to use the SPG card. I foresee serious Marriott/SPG devaluations coming when they implement peak and off-peak pricing, but I don't hoard those points, so that is fine with me.
Yep. Got hacked and I know others did as well. While they gave me my points back (that were used by hacker to book hotels) they appear to stick with easily hacked pin security. Makes little sense - a bot needs a few minutes to figure out a pin.

If you have IHG consider getting yourself a unique email address (and don't use that for anything other than IHG).
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 18, 2018 2:50 pm

Freefun wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:44 pm
Yep. Got hacked and I know others did as well. While they gave me my points back (that were used by hacker to book hotels) they appear to stick with easily hacked pin security. Makes little sense - a bot needs a few minutes to figure out a pin.
That presumably assumes that they don't lock the account after N failed attempts to log in. They'd really be extremely careless if that was the case, but I have no desire to try it out on my account.

That's not to defend the PIN approach in any way; it's ridiculous in this day and age. And if their "password" file got stolen...

What probably happens is that someone has 10 million possible email addresses. They don't even want to guess the PIN for every single one of them correctly. They can just pick a single random PIN and try that on every single email address. It will work for a small percentage, but that small percentage is still a reasonably large number of accounts given the total number of accounts.

davidsorensen32
Posts: 386
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:59 pm

Hey guys, got a 100k point offer from Marriott in the mail other other day. worth it ? Can I transfer these points to airlines ?

User avatar
epicahab
Posts: 108
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Location: Saint Peters, MO

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by epicahab » Fri May 18, 2018 4:04 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:59 pm
Hey guys, got a 100k point offer from Marriott in the mail other other day. worth it ? Can I transfer these points to airlines ?
Yeah, that's very good so do it. You can freely exchange those to SPG points. You can transfer Marriott points to Southwest, or use SPG points for good value on Delta or American Airlines.

BeneIRA
Posts: 506
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Fri May 18, 2018 4:20 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

Thank you,
Victoria
It should only be a few days after you product change. Frequent Miler just did this and it was just a day, even if you do have to call recon. No personal experience, but that should work.

Doubt they will increase the CSR bonus. They are looking for ways to devalue and not ways to give more points. I would downgrade to the Freedom if you can max out even some of the categories. I have a couple and they really help with extra UR. If you are looking for simplicity, then I wouldn't be mad if you PC'd to the Freedom Unlimited. To me, I wouldn't apply for the FU because I would rather apply for the United, Marriott, or Southwest cards if under 5/24. I think you would get much better value out of those then 15,000 UR from the FU. If you wait until the United bonus goes up to 50,000 or possibly 60,000, then that is a pretty good haul. You can keep getting Chase bonuses every two years as long as you stay under 5/24, so getting the FU in later is fine. To me, for now, FU/Freedom are only good to PC to, not sign up for directly.
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:59 pm
Hey guys, got a 100k point offer from Marriott in the mail other other day. worth it ? Can I transfer these points to airlines ?
That's the standard bonus on the Marriott card now. Limited time, I am sure, but nothing special with that mailer. You can move them to SPG then to airlines from SPG, but it will work a bit differently after 8/1. The 20,000 to 25,000 won't be a thing anymore. The minimums will be higher. New way is: 60,000 Marriott Points (20,000 old SPG) become 20,000 airline miles + 5000 mile bonus for transferring 60,000. So, you would be able to get the transfer bonus one time with the Marriott bonus, but the offer is still good.

JBTX
Posts: 4229
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by JBTX » Fri May 18, 2018 5:34 pm

Funny thing happened with Chase Ink Business card.

I applied a few months ago and was turned down due to 5/24. But recently we received an invitation in the mail for a chase business ink card addressed to a Business name that was actually just a website that my daughter had set up and subsequently closed (to sell stuff). I took that application, went to the online link, and put in my business information, and ultimately got approved.

They did actually mail and require me to send evidence that my business name and address were legit. Luckily I found an IRS form submitted years ago for a tax ID which I needed to set up a vanguard solo 401k.

It is the cash back version of ink business. $500 upfront reward for $3000 spend, and something 5% back on phone/internet, which will earn me $15-$20 a month. No annual fee.

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/olaink ... gKVJfD_BwE

davidsorensen32
Posts: 386
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:30 pm

So if I get 120,000 points (100k with bonus and 20k through spending) it will be only worth 2 x (20,000 + 5,000) = 50,000 miles ? Doesn't sound very good. Chase Ink still offers 80k just with the bonus and its transferable 1:1 to lots of airlines. I think I'm going to pass on the Marriott card just like I passed on the United card with Chase.
BeneIRA wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:20 pm

That's the standard bonus on the Marriott card now. Limited time, I am sure, but nothing special with that mailer. You can move them to SPG then to airlines from SPG, but it will work a bit differently after 8/1. The 20,000 to 25,000 won't be a thing anymore. The minimums will be higher. New way is: 60,000 Marriott Points (20,000 old SPG) become 20,000 airline miles + 5000 mile bonus for transferring 60,000. So, you would be able to get the transfer bonus one time with the Marriott bonus, but the offer is still good.

BeneIRA
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Sat May 19, 2018 7:09 am

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:30 pm
So if I get 120,000 points (100k with bonus and 20k through spending) it will be only worth 2 x (20,000 + 5,000) = 50,000 miles ? Doesn't sound very good. Chase Ink still offers 80k just with the bonus and its transferable 1:1 to lots of airlines. I think I'm going to pass on the Marriott card just like I passed on the United card with Chase.
BeneIRA wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:20 pm

That's the standard bonus on the Marriott card now. Limited time, I am sure, but nothing special with that mailer. You can move them to SPG then to airlines from SPG, but it will work a bit differently after 8/1. The 20,000 to 25,000 won't be a thing anymore. The minimums will be higher. New way is: 60,000 Marriott Points (20,000 old SPG) become 20,000 airline miles + 5000 mile bonus for transferring 60,000. So, you would be able to get the transfer bonus one time with the Marriott bonus, but the offer is still good.
Correct. If you spent $20,000 and got 120,000 Marriott Points, after 8-1, you can transfer them to 50,000 airline miles. Not bad, though. I wouldn't spend $20,000 on the Marriott card, though. Just meet the minimum spend and move onto another card.

spammagnet
Posts: 938
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet » Sat May 19, 2018 10:51 pm

likegarden wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 1:09 pm
... Our credit card strategy is to have a single CC account at Capital One with two credit cards with different CC numbers.
Consider opening another account at a different bank. If you do get hacked you won't have access to a credit card until the delivery a new one. With a card at a different bank, you'll always have one available.

If being without a credit card isn't a problem, don't worry about it. Personally, I don't want to be stuck out traveling with a dead card.

travellight
Posts: 2781
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am

An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 40,000 points. I will keep the card if that is the case. I believe we get one more unlimited free night at anniversary date this year but next year and onwards, it is limited to 40k which does cover most/many of their hotels.

Trying to figure out how to use my SPG points.... looks like transfer to AA or Delta is the best value? Should this be done before 8/1?

BeneIRA
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Sun May 20, 2018 11:56 am

travellight wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am
An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 40,000 points. I will keep the card if that is the case. I believe we get one more unlimited free night at anniversary date this year but next year and onwards, it is limited to 40k which does cover most/many of their hotels.

Trying to figure out how to use my SPG points.... looks like transfer to AA or Delta is the best value? Should this be done before 8/1?
Annual fee won’t increase for now, but it may in the future. Everyone gets one more uncapped free night.

Definitely not the best value. AA miles aren’t terribly valuable and SkyMiles are referred to as SkyPesos for a reason. On 8/1, your SPG points get transferred to Marriott points at a 3 to 1 ratio, so there is no reason to move your points right now.

travellight
Posts: 2781
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Sun May 20, 2018 12:27 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:56 am
travellight wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am
An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 40,000 points. I will keep the card if that is the case. I believe we get one more unlimited free night at anniversary date this year but next year and onwards, it is limited to 40k which does cover most/many of their hotels.

Trying to figure out how to use my SPG points.... looks like transfer to AA or Delta is the best value? Should this be done before 8/1?
Annual fee won’t increase for now, but it may in the future. Everyone gets one more uncapped free night.

Definitely not the best value. AA miles aren’t terribly valuable and SkyMiles are referred to as SkyPesos for a reason. On 8/1, your SPG points get transferred to Marriott points at a 3 to 1 ratio, so there is no reason to move your points right now.
thanks, what do you think is the best value for use of spg points? Hotel stays with Marriott?

Jags4186
Posts: 2596
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Sun May 20, 2018 1:46 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

Thank you,
Victoria
1) 30 days should be enough
2) You convert to a Chase Freedom for more 5x bandwidth. Your everyday unbonused spend should go on AMEX Blue Business Plus
3) Highly unlikely

amitb00
Posts: 434
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by amitb00 » Sun May 20, 2018 2:01 pm

Does anyone know if Uber card by Barclays , which gives 3% cash back for travel counts cruise lines and car rentals as travel expense?

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18619
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun May 20, 2018 10:02 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 1:46 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

Thank you,
Victoria
1) 30 days should be enough
2) You convert to a Chase Freedom for more 5x bandwidth. Your everyday unbonused spend should go on AMEX Blue Business Plus
3) Highly unlikely
Thank you, Jags4186,

It's an interesting idea to have 2 x Chase Freedom. A large part of my 5x spending goes into Amazon Gift Cards, and consequently I am spending more on Amazon than I would have been spending otherwise. With a $3k/monthly budget I'd live on Amazon (double entendre?).

I don't have AMEX Blue Business Plus. A lot of my unbonused spending is when I am traveling abroad, and places that I am likely to use do not accept AMEX. I am getting 1.5% back from using a Capital One card. I am realizing that product changing (PC) to Freedom Unlimited (FU) would not offer any improvement over CapOne.

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

BeneIRA
Posts: 506
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Mon May 21, 2018 6:34 am

travellight wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 12:27 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:56 am
travellight wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am
An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 40,000 points. I will keep the card if that is the case. I believe we get one more unlimited free night at anniversary date this year but next year and onwards, it is limited to 40k which does cover most/many of their hotels.

Trying to figure out how to use my SPG points.... looks like transfer to AA or Delta is the best value? Should this be done before 8/1?
Annual fee won’t increase for now, but it may in the future. Everyone gets one more uncapped free night.

Definitely not the best value. AA miles aren’t terribly valuable and SkyMiles are referred to as SkyPesos for a reason. On 8/1, your SPG points get transferred to Marriott points at a 3 to 1 ratio, so there is no reason to move your points right now.
thanks, what do you think is the best value for use of spg points? Hotel stays with Marriott?
At the moment, it is hotel stays, but if there is ever a transfer bonus in the future or if you need the points to top off for an award, that works, too.

BeneIRA
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Mon May 21, 2018 6:38 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:02 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 1:46 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

Thank you,
Victoria
1) 30 days should be enough
2) You convert to a Chase Freedom for more 5x bandwidth. Your everyday unbonused spend should go on AMEX Blue Business Plus
3) Highly unlikely
Thank you, Jags4186,

It's an interesting idea to have 2 x Chase Freedom. A large part of my 5x spending goes into Amazon Gift Cards, and consequently I am spending more on Amazon than I would have been spending otherwise. With a $3k/monthly budget I'd live on Amazon (double entendre?).

I don't have AMEX Blue Business Plus. A lot of my unbonused spending is when I am traveling abroad, and places that I am likely to use do not accept AMEX. I am getting 1.5% back from using a Capital One card. I am realizing that product changing (PC) to Freedom Unlimited (FU) would not offer any improvement over CapOne.

Victoria
While I am in the “get Freedom” camp, for at least domestic purchases, I would take the Freedom Unlimited over the Capital One Quicksilver because the Freedom Unlimited generates UR where the Quicksilver is cash back. Since you’re getting a CSR, you can move the UR to the Reserve and have the flexible points. Internationally, the Freedom Unlimited will never make sense due to the foreign transaction fees.

Freefun
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Freefun » Mon May 21, 2018 6:42 am

travellight wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 12:27 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:56 am
travellight wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 am
An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 40,000 points. I will keep the card if that is the case. I believe we get one more unlimited free night at anniversary date this year but next year and onwards, it is limited to 40k which does cover most/many of their hotels.

Trying to figure out how to use my SPG points.... looks like transfer to AA or Delta is the best value? Should this be done before 8/1?
Annual fee won’t increase for now, but it may in the future. Everyone gets one more uncapped free night.

Definitely not the best value. AA miles aren’t terribly valuable and SkyMiles are referred to as SkyPesos for a reason. On 8/1, your SPG points get transferred to Marriott points at a 3 to 1 ratio, so there is no reason to move your points right now.
thanks, what do you think is the best value for use of spg points? Hotel stays with Marriott?
For me the best value is Marriott flights and hotel packages.

https://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

MikeG62
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Location: New Jersey

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am

Freefun wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:42 am

For me the best value is Marriott flights and hotel packages.

https://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.

In addition, in the last year or so, DW and I have been opting to stay more in boutique hotels so there is less opportunity to use these points for free nights. We did go to Nashville last fall, but got much better value transferring Chase UR points to Hyatt for free nights at one of their properties (value was nearly 10% cash back equivalent on spending that generated points needed for those free nights).

I have looked at transferring to SPG and then to airline, but at a 3:1 conversion ratio, that does not really amount to very much value either. Part of me just wants to use these so as to get them off my radar screen as it has become more of a hassle than they are worth periodically looking into using them.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

DiMAn0684
Posts: 111
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DiMAn0684 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:46 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.
What's wrong with getting two 'free' nights at, what appears to be, a fancy hotel?

MikeG62
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Location: New Jersey

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon May 21, 2018 8:13 am

DiMAn0684 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:46 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.
What's wrong with getting two 'free' nights at, what appears to be, a fancy hotel?
I'd say because we generally don't go for just two nights (I realize that points and cash can be combined for longer stays) and in my experience when we book travel we have been finding nicer (more interesting) places to stay than the options from Marriott. In other words, why choose a less nice option simply to use my Marriott points.

In some cases, using two free nights on a seven night stay at a Cat 8/9 hotel ends up costing more than paying seven nights at a different property or much better value can be obtained transferring Chase UR points to Hyatt and staying staying at a Hyatt property (if we are inclined to stay in a chain hotel property).
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

User avatar
epicahab
Posts: 108
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Location: Saint Peters, MO

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by epicahab » Mon May 21, 2018 10:07 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:38 am
While I am in the “get Freedom” camp, for at least domestic purchases, I would take the Freedom Unlimited over the Capital One Quicksilver because the Freedom Unlimited generates UR where the Quicksilver is cash back. Since you’re getting a CSR, you can move the UR to the Reserve and have the flexible points. Internationally, the Freedom Unlimited will never make sense due to the foreign transaction fees.
I agree. A lot of people are stuck on the "2% on everything" cards but we just booked a long car rental with CSR points with Enterprise and they can be used in so many ways.

Jags4186
Posts: 2596
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:18 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am
Freefun wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:42 am

For me the best value is Marriott flights and hotel packages.

https://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.

In addition, in the last year or so, DW and I have been opting to stay more in boutique hotels so there is less opportunity to use these points for free nights. We did go to Nashville last fall, but got much better value transferring Chase UR points to Hyatt for free nights at one of their properties (value was nearly 10% cash back equivalent on spending that generated points needed for those free nights).

I have looked at transferring to SPG and then to airline, but at a 3:1 conversion ratio, that does not really amount to very much value either. Part of me just wants to use these so as to get them off my radar screen as it has become more of a hassle than they are worth periodically looking into using them.
All hotel programs, Hyatt, Marriott, SPG, Hilton are roughly equivalent in terms of value the hotels give you. Sure Marriott requires lots of points to redeem, but you also earn boatloads of points for stays. If you have 100k Marriott points you basically either don't book paid Marriott stays often, or signed up for a big credit card bonus. Those 100k points are going to get you roughly $500-$750 in value. What do you expect?

TheRightKost87
Posts: 282
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TheRightKost87 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:46 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:13 am
DiMAn0684 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:46 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.
What's wrong with getting two 'free' nights at, what appears to be, a fancy hotel?
I'd say because we generally don't go for just two nights (I realize that points and cash can be combined for longer stays) and in my experience when we book travel we have been finding nicer (more interesting) places to stay than the options from Marriott. In other words, why choose a less nice option simply to use my Marriott points.

In some cases, using two free nights on a seven night stay at a Cat 8/9 hotel ends up costing more than paying seven nights at a different property or much better value can be obtained transferring Chase UR points to Hyatt and staying staying at a Hyatt property (if we are inclined to stay in a chain hotel property).
If you're staying for an extended period, using Marriott's 5th night free gets good redemption value for your points. I just booked a redemption at a resort that was 45K points per night for 5 nights (only have to pay for 4 nights) for 180K points. The cash value for the 5-night stay would have been $2,300 (peak season) so getting close to 1.3 cents per point which is pretty good for Marriott.
"The problem with diversification is that it works, whether or not we want it to"

MikeG62
Posts: 1217
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Location: New Jersey

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon May 21, 2018 12:06 pm

TheRightKost87 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:46 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:13 am
DiMAn0684 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:46 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.
What's wrong with getting two 'free' nights at, what appears to be, a fancy hotel?
I'd say because we generally don't go for just two nights (I realize that points and cash can be combined for longer stays) and in my experience when we book travel we have been finding nicer (more interesting) places to stay than the options from Marriott. In other words, why choose a less nice option simply to use my Marriott points.

In some cases, using two free nights on a seven night stay at a Cat 8/9 hotel ends up costing more than paying seven nights at a different property or much better value can be obtained transferring Chase UR points to Hyatt and staying staying at a Hyatt property (if we are inclined to stay in a chain hotel property).
If you're staying for an extended period, using Marriott's 5th night free gets good redemption value for your points. I just booked a redemption at a resort that was 45K points per night for 5 nights (only have to pay for 4 nights) for 180K points. The cash value for the 5-night stay would have been $2,300 (peak season) so getting close to 1.3 cents per point which is pretty good for Marriott.
The problem I see with the 5th night free is it requires you have enough points to cover the first four nights (which I don't have - at least not at properties where DW and I would want to stay).

In terms of value per point, I stayed at a Hyatt in downtown Nashville last fall. Cash room cost would have been ~$1,300 for three nights. I used 42K Hyatt points which covered the full cost of the room. I transferred those points from Chase UR, which I earned at 3 points per dollar spent ($14,000 in charges on my CSR card). So cash-back equivalent on that $14,000 of spend was 9.3%.

DW and I are looking at a trip to Colorado (Springs and Boulder) in the late summer. A total of six nights I could book at two different Hyatt properties. Cash cost would be ~$1,400 for those six nights or 48,000 points. If I use some of my Chase UR points to generate the 48,000 Hyatt points, that would be 8.8% cash-back equivalent per dollar spent to earn those 48,000 points through CSR card spend.

When I look at Marriott, I can't find any deals remotely close to these levels of value per dollar spent to earn the points needed to cover the room cost. Maybe I am jaded by these high value Hyatt deals.

Another option to book hotel rooms is to use the Chase UR portal. There I know I can get 4.5% cash back equivalent for each dollar of CSR spend that generated those points. Comparing this to your example of 1.3 cents per point does not seem very competitive, unless I am missing something.

This is where I am finding the Marriott program to be lacking. Again, maybe I have not looked hard enough to uncover higher value deals with Marriott.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Jags4186
Posts: 2596
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon May 21, 2018 12:40 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 12:06 pm
TheRightKost87 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:46 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:13 am
DiMAn0684 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:46 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:33 am
I have had a little over 100K marriot points for several years now and find it very difficult to use them. Most hotels we would want to stay in are category 8 or 9 requiring 40K to 45K points per night. So we can get only two nights.
What's wrong with getting two 'free' nights at, what appears to be, a fancy hotel?
I'd say because we generally don't go for just two nights (I realize that points and cash can be combined for longer stays) and in my experience when we book travel we have been finding nicer (more interesting) places to stay than the options from Marriott. In other words, why choose a less nice option simply to use my Marriott points.

In some cases, using two free nights on a seven night stay at a Cat 8/9 hotel ends up costing more than paying seven nights at a different property or much better value can be obtained transferring Chase UR points to Hyatt and staying staying at a Hyatt property (if we are inclined to stay in a chain hotel property).
If you're staying for an extended period, using Marriott's 5th night free gets good redemption value for your points. I just booked a redemption at a resort that was 45K points per night for 5 nights (only have to pay for 4 nights) for 180K points. The cash value for the 5-night stay would have been $2,300 (peak season) so getting close to 1.3 cents per point which is pretty good for Marriott.
The problem I see with the 5th night free is it requires you have enough points to cover the first four nights (which I don't have - at least not at properties where DW and I would want to stay).

In terms of value per point, I stayed at a Hyatt in downtown Nashville last fall. Cash room cost would have been ~$1,300 for three nights. I used 42K Hyatt points which covered the full cost of the room. I transferred those points from Chase UR, which I earned at 3 points per dollar spent ($14,000 in charges on my CSR card). So cash-back equivalent on that $14,000 of spend was 9.3%.

DW and I are looking at a trip to Colorado (Springs and Boulder) in the late summer. A total of six nights I could book at two different Hyatt properties. Cash cost would be ~$1,400 for those six nights or 48,000 points. If I use some of my Chase UR points to generate the 48,000 Hyatt points, that would be 8.8% cash-back equivalent per dollar spent to earn those 48,000 points through CSR card spend.

When I look at Marriott, I can't find any deals remotely close to these levels of value per dollar spent to earn the points needed to cover the room cost. Maybe I am jaded by these high value Hyatt deals.

Another option to book hotel rooms is to use the Chase UR portal. There I know I can get 4.5% cash back equivalent for each dollar of CSR spend that generated those points. Comparing this to your example of 1.3 cents per point does not seem very competitive, unless I am missing something.

This is where I am finding the Marriott program to be lacking. Again, maybe I have not looked hard enough to uncover higher value deals with Marriott.
If your goal is the generate hotel stays via credit card points earnings and transfering to partners, yes Marriott (and Hilton) are bad deals. But for someone who actually stays at the hotel, Marriott offers one of the best rewards program.

A Platinum Elite Marriott member who spends $20,000 on Marriott hotels with a Marriott credit card is getting around 30% back.

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VictoriaF
Posts: 18619
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon May 21, 2018 1:04 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:38 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:02 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 1:46 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 am
I want to get CSR.
- I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago.
- I am under 5/24.
- I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs.

Question-1: After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses?
- One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic, and the comments ranged from "in one week" to "wait for 45 days until CSP clears from the system."
- What Bogleheads experiences have been?

Question-2: Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited?
- Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU later and get another bonus?

Question-3: Any guesses about Chase increasing the CSR bonus in the near future?

Thank you,
Victoria
1) 30 days should be enough
2) You convert to a Chase Freedom for more 5x bandwidth. Your everyday unbonused spend should go on AMEX Blue Business Plus
3) Highly unlikely
Thank you, Jags4186,

It's an interesting idea to have 2 x Chase Freedom. A large part of my 5x spending goes into Amazon Gift Cards, and consequently I am spending more on Amazon than I would have been spending otherwise. With a $3k/monthly budget I'd live on Amazon (double entendre?).

I don't have AMEX Blue Business Plus. A lot of my unbonused spending is when I am traveling abroad, and places that I am likely to use do not accept AMEX. I am getting 1.5% back from using a Capital One card. I am realizing that product changing (PC) to Freedom Unlimited (FU) would not offer any improvement over CapOne.

Victoria
While I am in the “get Freedom” camp, for at least domestic purchases, I would take the Freedom Unlimited over the Capital One Quicksilver because the Freedom Unlimited generates UR where the Quicksilver is cash back. Since you’re getting a CSR, you can move the UR to the Reserve and have the flexible points. Internationally, the Freedom Unlimited will never make sense due to the foreign transaction fees.
BeneIRA,

Thank you for keeping me on track! I sometimes forget reasons for different cards. You are right: I can use Freedom Unlimited for un-bonused domestic purchases (and get URs) and continue using CapOne card for un-bonused foreign purchases.

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

Jags4186
Posts: 2596
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon May 21, 2018 4:25 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:04 pm

BeneIRA,

Thank you for keeping me on track! I sometimes forget reasons for different cards. You are right: I can use Freedom Unlimited for un-bonused domestic purchases (and get URs) and continue using CapOne card for un-bonused foreign purchases.

Cheers,
Victoria
Why wouldn’t you use your Sapphire for foreign transactions? With the CSR you’ll get minimum 1.5cpp value for travel and if you’re transfering you’d be getting even more than that (since you’d rarely transfer for less than 1.5cpp value).

dustinst22
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dustinst22 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:35 pm

This is my strategy. I'm constantly trying to improve it as I'm addicted to general optimization (it's what I do in my business). My general goal is free flights for vacation + maximum cash back.

Alliant -- General Spend - 3% back on everything, might cancel after first year due to annual fee kicking in. Will likely be switching to Amex Blue Business and using my Schwab Plat for 1.25 multiplier when Alliant hits 1 year. That will provide 2.5% back on everything with no annual fee.

Amex BCP for Groceries - 6%

AMZ Prime Card for Amazon Spend - 5%

Uber Visa for Restaurants - 4%

Costco Citi for Gas - 4%

Discover IT and Chase Freedom for 5% categories

Consumers Credit Union Cash Back Card to hit tier for 4.6% on my emergency fund checking acc of 20 K. This yields 4.6% back on checking + 1% back on the CC for the tier spend.

C1 SPARK for my Business spending which is substantial (online marketing) 2%



I also churn travel rewards cards very heavily (about 8 new cards a year, and my wife and I rotate for 2-player mode to overcome the Chase 5/24 rule) - these cards temporarily replace all of the above (except the consumers card). We never pay for flights and travel quite a bit. I also monetize my credit another way, but won't get into that here as I think its against the forum rules. Suffice to say, my credit hobby generates ~ 15 K/ year in total as a side hustle (not counting business spend cash back, which is very substantial). These strategies (particularly churning) are only beneficial if you keep your spending the same as if you weren't using credit. Most people succumb to either going into debt, or spending more than they would otherwise. It takes good financial discipline to avoid both of these pitfalls. For that reason I'm always apprehensive about sharing these strategies with friends.

Bogle_Bro
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:43 am
Location: Frisco Texas, Mortgage Banker & Attorney

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bogle_Bro » Mon May 21, 2018 8:55 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:35 pm
This is my strategy. I'm constantly trying to improve it as I'm addicted to general optimization (it's what I do in my business). My general goal is free flights for vacation + maximum cash back.

Alliant -- General Spend - 3% back on everything, might cancel after first year due to annual fee kicking in. Will likely be switching to Amex Blue Business and using my Schwab Plat for 1.25 multiplier when Alliant hits 1 year. That will provide 2.5% back on everything with no annual fee.

Amex BCP for Groceries - 6%

AMZ Prime Card for Amazon Spend - 5%

Uber Visa for Restaurants - 4%

Costco Citi for Gas - 4%

Discover IT and Chase Freedom for 5% categories

Consumers Credit Union Cash Back Card to hit tier for 4.6% on my emergency fund checking acc of 20 K. This yields 4.6% back on checking + 1% back on the CC for the tier spend.

C1 SPARK for my Business spending which is substantial (online marketing) 2%



I also churn travel rewards cards very heavily (about 8 new cards a year, and my wife and I rotate for 2-player mode to overcome the Chase 5/24 rule) - these cards temporarily replace all of the above (except the consumers card). We never pay for flights and travel quite a bit. I also monetize my credit another way, but won't get into that here as I think its against the forum rules. Suffice to say, my credit hobby generates ~ 15 K/ year in total as a side hustle (not counting business spend cash back, which is very substantial). These strategies (particularly churning) are only beneficial if you keep your spending the same as if you weren't using credit. Most people succumb to either going into debt, or spending more than they would otherwise. It takes good financial discipline to avoid both of these pitfalls. For that reason I'm always apprehensive about sharing these strategies with friends.
Good blueprint bruddah

Thanks for posting

Bogle_Bro
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:43 am
Location: Frisco Texas, Mortgage Banker & Attorney

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bogle_Bro » Mon May 21, 2018 9:08 pm

Moving 20k cash to consumers credit union asap to make 900 dollars a year to let it sit there

I'll knock out the grand speeding requirement with one daycare swipe...

12 vending machine-esqu purchases per month for the minimum transactions I guess

Heard you can do .50 cent transactions buying Amazon credits , or something, but haven't looked into it.

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