What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by soccerfreak » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:27 am

freyj6 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:42 am

Regarding the value of Southwest points, it's a strange system that varies based on the cost of the flight. For example, on really cheap flights like LA to Las Vegas, you can get a point-to-dollar value of almost 2 cents, which is amazing. On more expensive flights, the conversion rate is more like 1.3 cents.

Hope that helps!
Just FYI, this is because there is a fixed cents/point redemption on the base airfare, then there are certain fixed taxes and fees on top of that which are waived completely. On cheaper flights, since the fixed taxes/fees make up a larger part of the sticker price than on more expensive flights, the final cents/point is better.

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

Post by soccerfreak » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:35 am

Currently abroad for a year and exclusively using the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When in US, for regular spending primarily use the Reserve and supplement with the Freedom for 5% categories.

Also occasionally churn cards, hitting the min spend for the bonus then leave in the drawer til cancellation at year end. Most recently, signed up for Citi AA and Barclay's AA cards, getting enough to fly me to Asia in biz class for this year.

Overall, regular spend is a small potatoes compared to sign-up bonuses. Hat tip to doctorofcredit.com for being an amazing resource.

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

Post by confusedinvestor » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:50 am

Hi freyj6 ,

Yes, super helpful, many thanks

After your thoughts as below, I am thinking to let this go as we don't travel often

I'm not going to take this sowthwest / chase bait, TSA fees are covered by my BOA premium card which is mostly use. thanks
freyj6 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:42 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:33 am
Hello Chase SouthWest CC Experts,

Is this a good deal ?

80K sign up bonus for 200 AF ?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericrosen/ ... 69ac639772
If you want TSA pre-check and plan to churn it (only use it for it's sign up bonus and then cancel it before the annual fee comes up again) it's a good deal. If not, Southwest often has promotions for around 60k points for it's cards with much lower annual fees.

The main thing that people often fail to realize is that the sign up bonus being significantly higher than the annual fee doesn't necessarily make it a great deal. You may be getting $1000 in travel for spending $200, but if you could get $1000 in travel for spending nothing, paying the $200 is a bad deal. This totally depends on your situation. If you travel a lot, any opportunity to get a high point value is great. If not, it's best to pay for travel with sign up bonuses with low annual fees, or where the annual fee is waived the first year.

Regarding the value of Southwest points, it's a strange system that varies based on the cost of the flight. For example, on really cheap flights like LA to Las Vegas, you can get a point-to-dollar value of almost 2 cents, which is amazing. On more expensive flights, the conversion rate is more like 1.3 cents.

Hope that helps!

02nz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:05 am

Mister A wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:30 am
investor997 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:05 pm
Amex experts: Do you ever use the EBates shopping portal to scrape extra points off online purchases?
Like a part-time job. I pair it with SkyMiles Shopping and take whichever one has the most of their own points.

Waiting for 8-10x specials at Marriott and pairing it with Marriott discounts on AmEx Offers is an especially fun one.
TopCashback is another - it often has higher payouts than Ebates, although Ebates probably has more promos. I’ve had good experiences with both.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:58 am

02nz wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:05 am
Mister A wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:30 am
investor997 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:05 pm
Amex experts: Do you ever use the EBates shopping portal to scrape extra points off online purchases?
Like a part-time job. I pair it with SkyMiles Shopping and take whichever one has the most of their own points.

Waiting for 8-10x specials at Marriott and pairing it with Marriott discounts on AmEx Offers is an especially fun one.
TopCashback is another - it often has higher payouts than Ebates, although Ebates probably has more promos. I’ve had good experiences with both.
Can TopCashback be paired with any other point systems (ie MR or UR)? I think that's one of the things about Ebates that interests me is its ability to convert cashback to Amex MR. When stacked on top of the base points from the card it "concentrates firepower", so to speak. That may help get the cardholder to a travel award more quickly than if the rewards were split between cashback and points.... That's my theory, anyway.

02nz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:14 pm

investor997 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:58 am
02nz wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:05 am
Mister A wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:30 am
investor997 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:05 pm
Amex experts: Do you ever use the EBates shopping portal to scrape extra points off online purchases?
Like a part-time job. I pair it with SkyMiles Shopping and take whichever one has the most of their own points.

Waiting for 8-10x specials at Marriott and pairing it with Marriott discounts on AmEx Offers is an especially fun one.
TopCashback is another - it often has higher payouts than Ebates, although Ebates probably has more promos. I’ve had good experiences with both.
Can TopCashback be paired with any other point systems (ie MR or UR)? I think that's one of the things about Ebates that interests me is its ability to convert cashback to Amex MR. When stacked on top of the base points from the card it "concentrates firepower", so to speak. That may help get the cardholder to a travel award more quickly than if the rewards were split between cashback and points.... That's my theory, anyway.
Not as far as I know.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:51 pm

I love making spreadsheets. so I just created one that analyzed a year's worth of credit card transactions to see which cards would offer the best returns. I compared BofA Premium Rewards (Preferred Rewards + Cash Rewards combo, which is what I have now) vs. Chase (CSR + CFU, CSP + CFU) and Amex (Gold, Platinum). Here's what I found:

- Despite having a higher sign-on bonus (60K vs. 50K), for the first year, the overall earn on the CSR vs. CSP was a wash. After the first year, the CSR was a clear winner.
- The Amex Platinum's first year return was ginormous due to its 100K sign-on bonus, but after that the earn rate was awful.
- Amex Gold earn rate was decent but still not as good as the others. It could be even better if I took the time to buy gift cards at supermarkets (4 points/$) but there's risk and hassle associated with that approach.

What I determined was that - for my spending habits - a Chase UR point would have to be valued at least $0.019 for it to beat the overall cash back returns I currently get with BofA (5.25% on dining, 3.5% on travel/groceries/Costco, 2.62% non-category). Chase values URs at $0.015 if spent via their portal, so that's a no-go, and getting higher valuations usually requires a certain amount of luck in terms of securing award space and/or UR/airline transfer bonuses. Here's the kicker for me: I decided my goal for points/rewards is to book Premium Economy seats on long haul international flights, and what I determined was that Premium Economy award seats are either A) never available when I want to fly, or B) have a point cost that's just not competitive versus paying cash.

Cash is king, therefore I'm gonna stick it out with BofA Preferred Rewards. I'll also continue to scrape additional airline points via portals where possible.

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

Post by teamDE » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm

^good research and info. It be very interesting to have it compare to other rewards systems and determine how much a rewards point would have to be to match BoA. For example Amex Gold 4x Dining would require 1.31c/MR point valuation to match.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm

teamDE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm
^good research and info. It be very interesting to have it compare to other rewards systems and determine how much a rewards point would have to be to match BoA. For example Amex Gold 4x Dining would require 1.31c/MR point valuation to match.
The Amex points would have to be worth even more than that because the Gold/Platinum cards earn only 1X on non-category spend. That's way behind the BofA PR card's 2.62%. I know there are other Amex cards that offer other good spending categories but then you have to start watching out for annual fees. The BofA approach has only one $95 annual fee which is easily recouped via travel spending.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:26 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm
teamDE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm
^good research and info. It be very interesting to have it compare to other rewards systems and determine how much a rewards point would have to be to match BoA. For example Amex Gold 4x Dining would require 1.31c/MR point valuation to match.
The Amex points would have to be worth even more than that because the Gold/Platinum cards earn only 1X on non-category spend. That's way behind the BofA PR card's 2.62%. I know there are other Amex cards that offer other good spending categories but then you have to start watching out for annual fees. The BofA approach has only one $95 annual fee which is easily recouped via travel spending.
This all assumes that one is "cashing in" the points.

For those who use the points to get air tickets, especially premium international (business or even first class), the point-to-money equivalence is quite different. It can be 5-8 cents or perhaps more per point for ultra long haul flights.

(And no, we wouldn't ever pay cash for F, but we *would* pay for business class these days, or not go. To up the points for F, if it is available, costs the equivalent of about $400-500 per person, evaluated at what we'd need to pay to purchase them from American Airlines. We haven't yet needed to purchase more, but that's a possibility, whereas Amex MR points can't be purchased. Thus far, we've been able to get the F seats on the long-hauls, but we don't expect that to continue.)

RM
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decapod10
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by decapod10 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:42 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm
teamDE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm
^good research and info. It be very interesting to have it compare to other rewards systems and determine how much a rewards point would have to be to match BoA. For example Amex Gold 4x Dining would require 1.31c/MR point valuation to match.
The Amex points would have to be worth even more than that because the Gold/Platinum cards earn only 1X on non-category spend. That's way behind the BofA PR card's 2.62%. I know there are other Amex cards that offer other good spending categories but then you have to start watching out for annual fees. The BofA approach has only one $95 annual fee which is easily recouped via travel spending.
Have you looked at, mixing and matching, say Amex Gold + BofA Premium Rewards?

This is my current system, I just got the AmEx Gold card so I'm trying it out:

Restaurants: AmEx Gold 4x MR points
Flights: AmEx Gold 3x MR points
Hotels: CSR 3x UR points
Groceries: AmEx Gold 4x MR points
Office Supply/Internet/Cell phone: Chase Ink Cash 5x UR points
Gas: BofA Cash Rewards 5.25% cash back
General Spend: BofA Premium Rewards 2.62% cash back

I may get another BofA Cash Rewards card for online purchases.

My main thing I'm looking at now is whether to get rid of the CSR, and if so how to cover hotels. It's really annoying that the AmEx gold doesn't give you 3x on hotels.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:09 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Have you looked at, mixing and matching, say Amex Gold + BofA Premium Rewards?
Not really because I believe in concentrating firepower, so to speak. All or nothing with UR, MR or cash back. If you mix and match then you'll earn some UR here, some MR there and it'll take too long to earn enough of any one point currency to cash them in on any sort of reward. I guess this wouldn't be a big deal if I were hard core into churning where it's all about the sign-on bonuse but that's not really me. I'd rather focus on ongoing earnings.

xb7
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xb7 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:09 pm
Not really because I believe in concentrating firepower, so to speak. All or nothing with UR, MR or cash back. If you mix and match then you'll earn some UR here, some MR there and it'll take too long to earn enough of any one point currency to cash them in on any sort of reward. I guess this wouldn't be a big deal if I were hard core into churning where it's all about the sign-on bonuse but that's not really me. I'd rather focus on ongoing earnings.
I feel just the same way, pick one and stick with it, concentrate points and keep things simple. I went with the Amex platinum, tilted that way with a bias towards Delta as my airline of choice and a local Centurion lounge and a reputation for good customer service. All of that is true, but I've found that for me, too, the Amex plat is a bad fit, so my plan is to make a couple of Chase cards my hopefully simple-but-effective solution.

I appreciate the type of analysis you did in your earlier post today. I would add that as I already have a bank account with Chase, getting credit cards from them keeps life simpler too --- less different companies to have to deal with and to learn the idiosyncrasies of.

decapod10
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by decapod10 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:03 pm

xb7 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm
investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:09 pm
Not really because I believe in concentrating firepower, so to speak. All or nothing with UR, MR or cash back. If you mix and match then you'll earn some UR here, some MR there and it'll take too long to earn enough of any one point currency to cash them in on any sort of reward. I guess this wouldn't be a big deal if I were hard core into churning where it's all about the sign-on bonuse but that's not really me. I'd rather focus on ongoing earnings.
I feel just the same way, pick one and stick with it, concentrate points and keep things simple. I went with the Amex platinum, tilted that way with a bias towards Delta as my airline of choice and a local Centurion lounge and a reputation for good customer service. All of that is true, but I've found that for me, too, the Amex plat is a bad fit, so my plan is to make a couple of Chase cards my hopefully simple-but-effective solution.

I appreciate the type of analysis you did in your earlier post today. I would add that as I already have a bank account with Chase, getting credit cards from them keeps life simpler too --- less different companies to have to deal with and to learn the idiosyncrasies of.
I really tried to make the AmEx Platinum work, since having the Schwab cash out option would be nice, but I just couldn't make the math work to justify the fee unfortunately.
investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:09 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Have you looked at, mixing and matching, say Amex Gold + BofA Premium Rewards?
Not really because I believe in concentrating firepower, so to speak. All or nothing with UR, MR or cash back. If you mix and match then you'll earn some UR here, some MR there and it'll take too long to earn enough of any one point currency to cash them in on any sort of reward. I guess this wouldn't be a big deal if I were hard core into churning where it's all about the sign-on bonuse but that's not really me. I'd rather focus on ongoing earnings.
Sure, makes sense. Have you considered the AmEx Blue Business Plus? That earns 2x points on all spending, which would improve your return in the AmEx system somewhat.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:28 pm

xb7 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm
I feel just the same way, pick one and stick with it, concentrate points and keep things simple. I went with the Amex platinum, tilted that way with a bias towards Delta as my airline of choice and a local Centurion lounge and a reputation for good customer service. All of that is true, but I've found that for me, too, the Amex plat is a bad fit, so my plan is to make a couple of Chase cards my hopefully simple-but-effective solution.

I appreciate the type of analysis you did in your earlier post today. I would add that as I already have a bank account with Chase, getting credit cards from them keeps life simpler too --- less different companies to have to deal with and to learn the idiosyncrasies of.
There's nothing wrong with a CSR+CFU combination from Chase. It's a really competitive and compelling offering, and the CFU pays 3X on everything up to $20K for the first year. But you have to be somewhat flexible with how you spend your points (gotta transfer to an airline for award seats and can't liquidate for cash unless you accept a poor 1cpp valuation).

I admit I still haven't *totally* ruled out switching from BofA PR+CR over to CSR+CFU, especially if I moved some assets over from BofA to Chase. That way I can scoop up another 60K UR for opening a Sapphire Banking account. Alas, this starts to require a lot of work and button pushing and my laziness and risk-averseness takes over.

FWIW, I also have a Chase Southwest Plus VISA on top of the BofA arsenal. I used it to get a Companion Pass last year. I've never had any issues with Chase as a card issuer.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:30 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:03 pm
Sure, makes sense. Have you considered the AmEx Blue Business Plus? That earns 2x points on all spending, which would improve your return in the AmEx system somewhat.
Admittedly no because I don't really want to bother with opening a business credit card. If Amex offered a similar personal card with 2x points on everything then pairing one up with a Gold or Platinum would be quite a bit more compelling, kinda like the CSR+CFU combination.

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

Post by teamDE » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:41 pm

Yep, our core/every day system is
Amex Gold for 4x dining/groceries
Amex Gold for 3x flights
Amex BPP for 2x everything else
Amazon Visa for 5% Amazon/Wholefoods

That covers almost all over our spending, but in addition i have
CIP for mostly SUB, but also 3x rental cars, hotels, phone/internet
CSP for not really anything, just SUB. I'll PC it down to a Freedom after a year
BoA Cash Rewards set to 3% on "Online Spending" for any big online buys. I might change that to gas at some point.

It is a hodgepodge, but Amex is our "focus", especially long term. In the short term the Chase SUBs will prob get transferred to airline partners. Chase and Amex have JetBlue in common which we fly the most. Delta is our #2 and that's an Amex partner. The SUBs are pretty valuable, I don't see any reason not to snag 'em. The CSP signup bonus alone is with two roundtrips for two from BOS to RDU on JetBlue (a route we often travel).

Another thing that i'm continuously surprised by is Amex Offers. For example right now i'm running 10% off Exxon/Mobile and +2x on BP/Amoco through the end of the year. That's better than most gas card's gas category.

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

Post by blackholescion » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:02 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:26 pm
investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm
teamDE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm
^good research and info. It be very interesting to have it compare to other rewards systems and determine how much a rewards point would have to be to match BoA. For example Amex Gold 4x Dining would require 1.31c/MR point valuation to match.
The Amex points would have to be worth even more than that because the Gold/Platinum cards earn only 1X on non-category spend. That's way behind the BofA PR card's 2.62%. I know there are other Amex cards that offer other good spending categories but then you have to start watching out for annual fees. The BofA approach has only one $95 annual fee which is easily recouped via travel spending.
This all assumes that one is "cashing in" the points.

For those who use the points to get air tickets, especially premium international (business or even first class), the point-to-money equivalence is quite different. It can be 5-8 cents or perhaps more per point for ultra long haul flights.

(And no, we wouldn't ever pay cash for F, but we *would* pay for business class these days, or not go. To up the points for F, if it is available, costs the equivalent of about $400-500 per person, evaluated at what we'd need to pay to purchase them from American Airlines. We haven't yet needed to purchase more, but that's a possibility, whereas Amex MR points can't be purchased. Thus far, we've been able to get the F seats on the long-hauls, but we don't expect that to continue.)

RM
Why do people calculate points as 5-8 cents when they wouldn’t normally pay for a business class fare? (Not saying you specifically but people in general) You could take like 3 normal flights for the same amount of points as one business class fare (sales notwithstanding).

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

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:15 pm

blackholescion wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:02 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:26 pm
investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm
teamDE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:27 pm
^good research and info. It be very interesting to have it compare to other rewards systems and determine how much a rewards point would have to be to match BoA. For example Amex Gold 4x Dining would require 1.31c/MR point valuation to match.
The Amex points would have to be worth even more than that because the Gold/Platinum cards earn only 1X on non-category spend. That's way behind the BofA PR card's 2.62%. I know there are other Amex cards that offer other good spending categories but then you have to start watching out for annual fees. The BofA approach has only one $95 annual fee which is easily recouped via travel spending.
This all assumes that one is "cashing in" the points.

For those who use the points to get air tickets, especially premium international (business or even first class), the point-to-money equivalence is quite different. It can be 5-8 cents or perhaps more per point for ultra long haul flights.

(And no, we wouldn't ever pay cash for F, but we *would* pay for business class these days, or not go. To up the points for F, if it is available, costs the equivalent of about $400-500 per person, evaluated at what we'd need to pay to purchase them from American Airlines. We haven't yet needed to purchase more, but that's a possibility, whereas Amex MR points can't be purchased. Thus far, we've been able to get the F seats on the long-hauls, but we don't expect that to continue.)

RM
Why do people calculate points as 5-8 cents when they wouldn’t normally pay for a business class fare? (Not saying you specifically but people in general) You could take like 3 normal flights for the same amount of points as one business class fare (sales notwithstanding).
I can only speak for "us", and I wrote "...but we *would* pay for business class these days, or not go..."

We would absolutely NOT take 3 long haul flights in economy (not even premium economy) rather than one flight in business class (meaning *flat* bed).

We are not the only ones, not even here on BH.
Others have mentioned taking business class, and with cash.
There may not be many, but that's also why there aren't that many business (and even fewer F) seats. Less demand, but for those who DO want the comfort.

You are correct that "most people" do not fly business class.
I point out this use of "points" every now and then, because others may not know about this. WE didn't know, until relatively recently, for example...

ETA: But we can PURCHASE those points at just under 2 cents per point. That, for us and some others, is a very good deal. That makes the price of Business seats (or even F) MUCH less expensive.

ETA #2: I should mention that next week, we are flying to Europe in Business class, paid in cash. The only non-stop was on an airline where we couldn't get awards tickets, because of late planning. So we are flying Business, and we did indeed pay cash for those tickets. It's the first time we have needed to do that, but we chose to pay for Business class rather than fly in less comfort (or spend twice the time with connections).

RM
Last edited by ResearchMed on Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:18 pm

blackholescion wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:02 pm
Why do people calculate points as 5-8 cents when they wouldn’t normally pay for a business class fare? (Not saying you specifically but people in general) You could take like 3 normal flights for the same amount of points as one business class fare (sales notwithstanding).
There’s no good way to value the points in that circumstance so you just have to go with something that makes sense to you.

It’s not fair to say points are only worth what you’d pay in cash because while I’d be willing to pay an extra $100 or $200 to sit in business class vs coach the reality is the cost difference isn’t $200 it’s $1000+.

It also isn’t fair to say if you redeem 90k points for a $5000 ticket that you earned $0.055/pt because you can’t convert those points to a cash value anywhere near that.

Everyone must realize that all points earned are actually being purchased. They’re being purchased at the cost of whatever you could have earned in cashback for the same set of purchases. If your points are earning you more value than the equivalent cashback (plus foregone revenue rewards) and you would have spent that cashback on a trip anyway, then points make sense.

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:28 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:26 pm
For those who use the points to get air tickets, especially premium international (business or even first class), the point-to-money equivalence is quite different. It can be 5-8 cents or perhaps more per point for ultra long haul flights.
The problem is that there is very little availability for long haul business class award seats. The points are of no value when there aren't any seats available for me on the dates I need to travel on.

xb7
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xb7 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:30 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:28 pm
There's nothing wrong with a CSR+CFU combination from Chase. It's a really competitive and compelling offering, and the CFU pays 3X on everything up to $20K for the first year. But you have to be somewhat flexible with how you spend your points (gotta transfer to an airline for award seats and can't liquidate for cash unless you accept a poor 1cpp valuation).
I have yet to exchange either MR or UR points for miles for a flight, so until I actually try it a time or two, I don't know how willing I'll be to play that game. But with the CSR a person can get 1.5 cpp valuation on travel, assuming that the expedia-powered Chase portal offers the same (or at least "similar enough") price as can be obtained elsewhere. In a recent test for a flight I'm contemplating, it was exactly the same as I could get elsewhere, but that's just one data point ...

Anyway, I'm hopeful that points I earn at between 1.5x and 3x will in turn spend at close to 1.5x that (for a total of between 2.25% to 4.5% return on dollars spent on these credit cards). I do have the CFU already, and indeed with the 3x for the first $20k spend. I'll apply for the CSR when I know that I'm within three months of actually wanting to book significant travel, as I'd prefer to do the $4k-spend-within-3-months (to get the signup bonus) on travel and dining on that card.

One thing I like about the Chase combo is that it should be dead easy to remember what to do --- dining and any sort of travel goes on the CSR, everything else on the CFU. I'm thinking that I won't want to mess with the CF; yes, bigger payback, but also a bigger PITA to keep track of current quarterly categories. My better half in particular wants things simple.

I do acknowledge that Amex has a better overall set of transfer partners (airlines). Wish I could blend the best parts of each of the programs, but I guess if I could, the annual fee would be even higher!

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

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:32 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:28 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:26 pm
For those who use the points to get air tickets, especially premium international (business or even first class), the point-to-money equivalence is quite different. It can be 5-8 cents or perhaps more per point for ultra long haul flights.
The problem is that there is very little availability for long haul business class award seats. The points are of no value when there aren't any seats available for me on the dates I need to travel on.
We have never (yet) failed to get First Class (several trips to Europe or to Asia) when we wanted that, for the past 4 years; Business class would have been much easier.
In some cases, we held J (Business class) awards tickets, hoping that F would open up, and each time, we did indeed end up with F.
But if we needed to stay with J, that would be fine, too, as long as it's flat bed J, which is usually the case these days, for long haul.
Our next trip is in J next week, because that flight doesn't have a proper F class, so there was nothing else to choose. And as mentioned, we paid cash for these, anyway.

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

investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:43 pm

xb7 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:30 pm
I have yet to exchange either MR or UR points for miles for a flight, so until I actually try it a time or two, I don't know how willing I'll be to play that game. But with the CSR a person can get 1.5 cpp valuation on travel, assuming that the expedia-powered Chase portal offers the same (or at least "similar enough") price as can be obtained elsewhere. In a recent test for a flight I'm contemplating, it was exactly the same as I could get elsewhere, but that's just one data point ...
You basically have three possible point valuations with a CSR+CFU:
1cpp (liquidate to cash back, bad idea)
1.5cpp (spend on travel via Chase Portal, better but still not as good as the BofA combo)
>1,5cpp (transfer to a Chase airline partner, but this is highly variable based on award availability and bonus programs)

I know it's possible to get a good valuation for Chase UR. Here's a story: My Player 2 has a CSR and we took advantage of the recent 30% transfer bonus promo with British Airways (Avios). ~39K UR became 50K Avios and that got us two round trip economy tickets to Hawaii. I calculated the valuation at 2.3cpp. That *definitely* beats BofA, but it only because of a (temporary) 30% transfer bonus promotion. Without the bonus, the valuation would have been only 1.6cpp or so, We got lucky with the transfer bonus. Without it, we may as well have booked with cash or at 1.5cpp on their portal. At least that way we'd earn points on the flights.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:57 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:32 pm
We have never (yet) failed to get First Class (several trips to Europe or to Asia) when we wanted that, for the past 4 years; Business class would have been much easier.
You must have a much more flexible schedule than I. I find Economy award seats very easy to find but anything in Business is nearly non-existent unless it's on a Wednesday. And maybe a year in advance. Premium Economy is better but not by a lot.

Here's a data point: I want to fly from LAX to LHR in October. There is no Premium Economy award space available on the travel dates I need, not with any airline that flies non-stop (British Airways, Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, United, American...). There's plenty of seat availability in Premium Economy if i want to book with cash. The lowest cost is with Air NZ or Virgin Atlantic, each of which are highly rated and are charging about $1,500 RT. If I alter my dates slightly (which I can't), Virgin Atlantic *does* have some Premium Economy seats available but they want 67,500 points + $833 in taxes. That's basically a 1cpp point valuation.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:22 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:57 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:32 pm
We have never (yet) failed to get First Class (several trips to Europe or to Asia) when we wanted that, for the past 4 years; Business class would have been much easier.
You must have a much more flexible schedule than I. I find Economy award seats very easy to find but anything in Business is nearly non-existent unless it's on a Wednesday. And maybe a year in advance. Premium Economy is better but not by a lot.

Here's a data point: I want to fly from LAX to LHR in October. There is no Premium Economy award space available on the travel dates I need, not with any airline that flies non-stop (British Airways, Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, United, American...). There's plenty of seat availability in Premium Economy if i want to book with cash. The lowest cost is with Air NZ or Virgin Atlantic, each of which are highly rated and are charging about $1,500 RT. If I alter my dates slightly (which I can't), Virgin Atlantic *does* have some Premium Economy seats available but they want 67,500 points + $833 in taxes. That's basically a 1cpp point valuation.
We are usually flexible within a day or two, but not more.
We usually try to book very far in advance, when we have lots of choices.
However, we just returned about 2 weeks ago from a last-minute trip to Europe, one that replaced a recent cancellation due to a family medical emergency. So when we finally were told we could leave the relative, we got J (Business) tickets, with one routing out and a different routing back. Before the travel dates, we were able to get F tickets for the long-haul, and we made the switch. Those were with something like 3 week notice, and Lufthansa often releases F tickets within 14 days, so that's when we've been able to grab those sometimes. But yes, it might be the day before or the day after our first choice date. It's worth it for us.

We also have used an award service, one that we found on FlyerTalk.
There is a modest fee, but for that fee, they have special software, plus very frequent monitoring.
On a trip to Japan 2 years ago, we had J tickets on Cathay Pacific (CX) back via Hong Kong. While we were spending two days at a Buddhist Monastery, F opened up for one day later, and we got the news that those were now "our" tickets. :happy

At this point, the awards service has some permissions from us along the lines of "if x, y, or z open up, please GRAB THEM for us!" This is one of the best bargains around, and makes using the points wonderful. For economy tickets, it might not make sense, unless someone really *must* go on certain dates and needs to use points.

Another advantage is that they can come up with routing and airlines that we might not have thought about. For example, on the recent Euro trip, we really didn't care which city we connected through, given there were no non-stop flights home anyway. That opened up lots of choices.
And with the two "airline partner networks" (AA and Amex), that covers most airlines of interest to us. Using partner airlines makes it much, much easier to find award availability. Although we've used a lot of AAdvantage points, we've only flown on their international partners (which have nicer equipment and service in many cases, too), and not on AA planes.

RM
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decapod10
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by decapod10 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:48 pm

investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:43 pm
xb7 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:30 pm
I have yet to exchange either MR or UR points for miles for a flight, so until I actually try it a time or two, I don't know how willing I'll be to play that game. But with the CSR a person can get 1.5 cpp valuation on travel, assuming that the expedia-powered Chase portal offers the same (or at least "similar enough") price as can be obtained elsewhere. In a recent test for a flight I'm contemplating, it was exactly the same as I could get elsewhere, but that's just one data point ...
You basically have three possible point valuations with a CSR+CFU:
1cpp (liquidate to cash back, bad idea)
1.5cpp (spend on travel via Chase Portal, better but still not as good as the BofA combo)
>1,5cpp (transfer to a Chase airline partner, but this is highly variable based on award availability and bonus programs)

I know it's possible to get a good valuation for Chase UR. Here's a story: My Player 2 has a CSR and we took advantage of the recent 30% transfer bonus promo with British Airways (Avios). ~39K UR became 50K Avios and that got us two round trip economy tickets to Hawaii. I calculated the valuation at 2.3cpp. That *definitely* beats BofA, but it only because of a (temporary) 30% transfer bonus promotion. Without the bonus, the valuation would have been only 1.6cpp or so, We got lucky with the transfer bonus. Without it, we may as well have booked with cash or at 1.5cpp on their portal. At least that way we'd earn points on the flights.
I just booked some tickets for next year on United, SFO to MCO economy . 12,500 points for the return leg (x 4 since there are 4 in my family) and I paid cash for the flight there on a different airline. I got between 1.9-2 cents per point. Not a huge haul, but I was happy with it.

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

Post by confusedinvestor » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:19 pm

How 2.3cpp beats BoA ?

I get avg 3.5-4cpp with BoA
investor997 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:43 pm
xb7 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:30 pm
I calculated the valuation at 2.3cpp. That *definitely* beats BofA, but it only because of a (temporary) 30% transfer bonus promotion

decapod10
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by decapod10 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:36 pm

confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:19 pm
How 2.3cpp beats BoA ?
Because 2.3 cents per point x say 3 points per dollar on restaurants for example = 6.9% back. Of course, as @xb7 admits it may not always be possible to get that sort of value.

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

Post by BashDash » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:55 pm

Does anyone have an ihg strategy for using chase free nights at a hotel more than 40k points. Am currently on a trip staying at a 50k hotel night but I believe you are not allowed to do this anymore. Can you use free night and then add on 10k separate points?

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

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:52 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:42 pm
This is my current system, I just got the AmEx Gold card so I'm trying it out:

Restaurants: AmEx Gold 4x MR points
Flights: AmEx Gold 3x MR points
Hotels: CSR 3x UR points
Groceries: AmEx Gold 4x MR points
Office Supply/Internet/Cell phone: Chase Ink Cash 5x UR points
Gas: BofA Cash Rewards 5.25% cash back
General Spend: BofA Premium Rewards 2.62% cash back

I may get another BofA Cash Rewards card for online purchases.

My main thing I'm looking at now is whether to get rid of the CSR, and if so how to cover hotels. It's really annoying that the AmEx gold doesn't give you 3x on hotels.
Most of my online shopping is on Amazon, so I buy Amazon gift cards for 5X with my Ink Cash at Staples etc.

How big is your hotel category spend? If not a lot, maybe it makes sense to just lump it in the general spend category (2.62%). I personally either use my CSR or my hotel-program specific card (which I got for the bonus and keep for the “free” night and status benefits).

decapod10
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by decapod10 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:18 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:52 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:42 pm
This is my current system, I just got the AmEx Gold card so I'm trying it out:

Restaurants: AmEx Gold 4x MR points
Flights: AmEx Gold 3x MR points
Hotels: CSR 3x UR points
Groceries: AmEx Gold 4x MR points
Office Supply/Internet/Cell phone: Chase Ink Cash 5x UR points
Gas: BofA Cash Rewards 5.25% cash back
General Spend: BofA Premium Rewards 2.62% cash back

I may get another BofA Cash Rewards card for online purchases.

My main thing I'm looking at now is whether to get rid of the CSR, and if so how to cover hotels. It's really annoying that the AmEx gold doesn't give you 3x on hotels.
Most of my online shopping is on Amazon, so I buy Amazon gift cards for 5X with my Ink Cash at Staples etc.

How big is your hotel category spend? If not a lot, maybe it makes sense to just lump it in the general spend category (2.62%). I personally either use my CSR or my hotel-program specific card (which I got for the bonus and keep for the “free” night and status benefits).
I have the Amazon Prime Visa also which I didn't list, we just use that for Amazon.

Our hotel spend can vary a lot, looks like it's going to be $5k-$6k this year. The CSR also enables the Chase Ink Cash to either get 1.5 cpp in the travel portal or transfer UR points to partners, and is also my back up card when a restaurant doesn't take AmEx. Between those things, is probably roughly even either way after taking $150 annual fee into account. I'll probably just keep it unless something new comes around.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:23 pm

BashDash wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:55 pm
Does anyone have an ihg strategy for using chase free nights at a hotel more than 40k points. Am currently on a trip staying at a 50k hotel night but I believe you are not allowed to do this anymore. Can you use free night and then add on 10k separate points?
Nope, you can't do that.

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

Post by BashDash » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:52 pm

Thanks. I figured that. Seems easier to pay with ultimate reward points.

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

Post by Hoosierdom » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:58 pm

I'm sure this has been addressed somewhere in this thread, but I couldn't find it on a quick perusal. If I sign up for the CSR is the smart move to just pay to have my wife on the account, to get her the proffered card, or set up a whole separate account for each of us?

02nz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 02nz » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:35 pm

Hoosierdom wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:58 pm
I'm sure this has been addressed somewhere in this thread, but I couldn't find it on a quick perusal. If I sign up for the CSR is the smart move to just pay to have my wife on the account, to get her the proffered card, or set up a whole separate account for each of us?
I’d get her a separate card so you each get the signup bonus. Chase UR points are super easy to combine (as long as you’re in the same household, which you are of course).

The net annual fee (after travel credit) is $150. That’s a no brainer (at least for the first year) compared to paying $75 to add an authorized user.

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

Post by Hoosierdom » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 pm

I mostly came to the same conclusion. I guess what I was unsure of is, a) does the added user get no sign up bonus? (I've seen no specific mention of it either way, so I'm assuming they do not) b) if it's easy to move her points to my account (there's no fee for that?), why not have her get the preferred (more sign up bonus and smaller fee) and then switch her points to my account.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:52 pm

02nz wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:35 pm
Hoosierdom wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:58 pm
I'm sure this has been addressed somewhere in this thread, but I couldn't find it on a quick perusal. If I sign up for the CSR is the smart move to just pay to have my wife on the account, to get her the proffered card, or set up a whole separate account for each of us?
I’d get her a separate card so you each get the signup bonus. Chase UR points are super easy to combine (as long as you’re in the same household, which you are of course).

The net annual fee (after travel credit) is $150. That’s a no brainer (at least for the first year) compared to paying $75 to add an authorized user.
+1. Combine both bonuses into one. We have about $1,400 in travel to spend on our CSP's we got a few months ago.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:53 pm

Hoosierdom wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 pm
I mostly came to the same conclusion. I guess what I was unsure of is, a) does the added user get no sign up bonus? (I've seen no specific mention of it either way, so I'm assuming they do not) b) if it's easy to move her points to my account (there's no fee for that?), why not have her get the preferred (more sign up bonus and smaller fee) and then switch her points to my account.
Correct, if you add your wife she does not get additional bonus - as a matter of fact on a few cards you have to pay to add a user and they still do not get additional sign-up bonus points. You each can sign up for multiple Chase cards and share the points - no fee and the transfer is immediate.

02nz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 02nz » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:44 pm

Hoosierdom wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:44 pm
I mostly came to the same conclusion. I guess what I was unsure of is, a) does the added user get no sign up bonus? (I've seen no specific mention of it either way, so I'm assuming they do not) b) if it's easy to move her points to my account (there's no fee for that?), why not have her get the preferred (more sign up bonus and smaller fee) and then switch her points to my account.
Right, if the CSP signup bonus is same as or higher than the CSR, than get that for your wife. Having two of the Reserve doesn't really get you any benefits beyond the signup bonus. Points from the CSP account will get the higher CSR redemption value (on the Chase travel portal) once transferred. (BTW on the Ultimate Rewards portal, the transfer function can be a little hard to find - you may need to click a "See all" button on the top banner and then click "Combine points.")

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:45 pm

We use a cash back card with Wells Fargo.
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AllMostThere
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AllMostThere » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:02 am

msi wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:33 am
Heads up... Citi is ending Price Rewind on Sept 22nd. That used to be one key benefit of the Citi Doublecash over the Fidelity Visa https://www.doctorofcredit.com/citi-to- ... 22nd-2019/
It's not just the Price Rewind feature. Citi is also ending their Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection benefit after Sept 22nd. This benefit was one of the reasons for me and DW getting the Costco Visa card. As we are rapidly approaching our FI number, we are planning on traveling more, and this benefit was great. Recent Viking River Cruise, we were able to rest better knowing we were covered prior to departure. I guess moving forward, we need to be using the 3% Costco Travel reward towards purchase of standalone trip insurance. I'm shocked that Costco is remaining silent allowing this benefit to be removed. :annoyed

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

Post by kmurp » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:11 am

Question for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders : my wife has this card and we would like to use it as much as possible at this point. An additional card for me would be $75, I think. Could I avoid the need to get the additional card by just “loading” her card onto my iPhone wallet? I’ve not used Apple Pay before so I’m not quite sure how that works.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:47 am

02nz wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:44 pm

Right, if the CSP signup bonus is same as or higher than the CSR, than get that for your wife. Having two of the Reserve doesn't really get you any benefits beyond the signup bonus. Points from the CSP account will get the higher CSR redemption value (on the Chase travel portal) once transferred.
Well, any? Two CSRs gives you two Priority Pass memberships, which could be useful if the spouses travel independently. It also gives the couple two preCheck/GlobalEntry fee reimbursements and higher earnings (3X vs 2x) on travel and dining charges, which again could be useful if they travel independently a lot.

Whether that makes up for the higher annual fee and the lower signup bonus depends on how much these benefits would be used. For my wife and me it would not be worth having two CSRs. We almost always travel together. Most of our dining expenses are together and go on my CSR. I have enough GloablEntry reimbursements from CSR and Amex Plat cover us.

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

Post by oxothuk » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:00 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:47 am

Well, any? Two CSRs gives you two Priority Pass memberships, which could be useful if the spouses travel independently. It also gives the couple two preCheck/GlobalEntry fee reimbursements and higher earnings (3X vs 2x) on travel and dining charges, which again could be useful if they travel independently a lot.
IIRC, additional users on CSR do NOT get additional preCheck/GE reimbursements. They do get separate Priority Pass memberships.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:01 pm

oxothuk wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:00 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:47 am

Well, any? Two CSRs gives you two Priority Pass memberships, which could be useful if the spouses travel independently. It also gives the couple two preCheck/GlobalEntry fee reimbursements and higher earnings (3X vs 2x) on travel and dining charges, which again could be useful if they travel independently a lot.
IIRC, additional users on CSR do NOT get additional preCheck/GE reimbursements. They do get separate Priority Pass memberships.
That may be correct (I have never looked into it), but I think we had determined that a second account would be better than an AU card anyway. Just the question which one :)

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

Post by oxothuk » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:06 pm

kmurp wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:11 am
Could I avoid the need to get the additional card by just “loading” her card onto my iPhone wallet?
You could certainly do that, but I've found ApplePay acceptance to be far from universal.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:10 pm

kmurp wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:11 am
Question for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders : my wife has this card and we would like to use it as much as possible at this point. An additional card for me would be $75, I think. Could I avoid the need to get the additional card by just “loading” her card onto my iPhone wallet? I’ve not used Apple Pay before so I’m not quite sure how that works.
That approach works for us, with me putting P2's card on my Samsung phone. That said, phone payment doesn't always work at the POS terminal. (You can read POS as having multiple meanings.) I give it about 10 seconds of fiddling around before I use a plastic card. I don't want to be "that guy" holding up the checkout line.

In my case, we're not avoiding an AU fee, we're avoiding the impact a AU card has on my credit history. I.e., I want to stay under 5/24 but we need my personal spending to hit the minimum spending requirement with normal spending.

I'm sure there are other approaches that would net more points but we're not interested in putting more thought or effort into the process than we already are.

Reamus294
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Reamus294 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:41 pm

This is what works best for us. We could do without the United but my spouse wanted the points. We may switch this one back and forth with a southwest card. We have had some long layovers with international travel where the priority pass lounges have been a nice perk, although they can be crowded.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred - $95 Annual Fee
6% Supermarkets
6% Select Streaming Subscriptions
3% Gas
3% Transit
1% Other
Redeem for travel expenses

Amazon Prime Rewards
5% at Amazon and the occasional Whole Foods
Redeem around Christmas Time to reduce Christmas spending

CSR - $150 annual fee after $300 travel credit
3 Points per $1 Travel
3 Points per $1 Dining
CSR Points worth more if spending through portal
Transferable to Travel Partners (Southwest)
Priority Pass used a couple times a year
Redeem to reduce travel
Discount at SilverCar has resulted in same price at hertz for a few trips

United Explorer Mileage Plus - $95 annual fee
Mainly for the Bonus
Free Checked Bags - This can save shipping a box of wine $50.
Priority Boarding
2 United Club Passes
Plan to use for Global Entry
Spouse uses when I'm not available with CSR for restaurants (2 points for every dollar)

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

Post by changingtimes » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:42 pm

Okay, fine, you guys roped me in. :) I've had various rewards cards that I've used religiously, but decided to get deep into it and really maximize.

I just wish you had roped me in about a month ago, so I could have applied for the Hilton Surpass AmEx BEFORE I went on a week-long trip where I spent six nights at Hilton properties. At least I was already Silver and so got the 20% bonus, and the summer 2x bonus--but, if I had had the Surpass or the Aspire, I would have absolutely cleaned up.

Anyway, this is what the lineup is. I'm only including what I actually use each card for.

Citi Premier (I might switch this to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but I'm an idiot and downgraded my CSP early this year and so will have to wait)
3x travel (including air, hotels, rental cars, gas, tolls, parking, taxis, Uber, transit, etc)
$95 annual fee

Chase Amazon Prime Rewards
5% AMZN/Whole Foods
No annual fee as prime member

Capital One Savor (just signed up, $300 bonus for $3k spending in first three months)
4% dining and entertainment (had been using Citi Premier, 2x points)
$95 annual fee after first year

AmEx Blue Cash Everyday
3% cash back groceries
No annual fee

AmEx Hilton Surpass (just signed up, 130k bonus HH points for $4k spending in first four months)
12x Hilton Honors points for Hilton property spending
$95 annual fee

Citi DoubleCash (anything not in the other categories)
2% cash back
No annual fee

I'm also going to try to be better about using shopping portals.

Not going to be a maniac about all of it, but considering that 99.9999% of my spending is with credit cards, and I pay in full every month, I might as well squeeze a little extra out.

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