What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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Creditcardguy
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 7:23 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Creditcardguy » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:34 am

BruDude wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:10 pm
I got a targeted offer from Chase Ink business offering $2,000 cash back for spending $50k within 6 months of account opening. Best CC cash back deal I’ve ever seen. Anyone else get this?
I did this with Capital One Spark Business. $2000 plus 2% off of everything was a great deal I thought. Now I use Costco for gas/restaurants/travel and Spark or Sam’s card for straight 2% off (Sam’s card is grandfathered in from way back). Now I’m here seeing if I’m missing anything! :mrgreen:

perl
Posts: 149
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by perl » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 am

I would like to get suggestions for a credit card strategy. In the past I have just done the Citi Cash 2% card and the Costco Visa, but I am now going to be doing much more travel and wonder if some combination of travel cards would be better. Reading through the different options is so confusing, I would love to know what you would do in my situation.

I don't think I'm willing to move funds to Bank of America to boost the bonuses.

Travel:
  • My trips are primarily work travel, some paid for by work and some out of pocket. I can charge expenses to a personal card.
  • Plane flights: about 15 trips/year, 1-2 international. Mostly United. Estimate $7,500-$10,000/year.
  • Hotel: about 60 nights/year. Estimate $12,000/year. Don't currently do any hotel rewards program.
  • Eating out: not a huge amount currently, about $600/year, though this could go up with the travel increase
  • I almost never rent a car when traveling.
  • I don't use ride sharing service, but do take taxis frequently. Trains occasionally.
  • Flying stresses me out and I hate dealing with delays, so lounge access is appealing, if it comes with a card with other good benefits. However my home airport is Denver which has no priority pass lounge, it is getting a centurion lounge next year.
Other spending:
  • Groceries: $12,000/year, including Costco
  • Gas: $900/year
  • Amazon: $2500/year
  • Misc other credit card spending: $12,000/year

ZinCO
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:38 am

perl wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 am
However my home airport is Denver which has no priority pass lounge, it is getting a centurion lounge next year.
DEN is getting a Priority Pass lounge next year in Concourse A, so you might want to keep that in mind. The United Clubs in B are rumored to be terrible...

cowbman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by cowbman » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:20 pm

perl wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 am
I would like to get suggestions for a credit card strategy. In the past I have just done the Citi Cash 2% card and the Costco Visa, but I am now going to be doing much more travel and wonder if some combination of travel cards would be better. Reading through the different options is so confusing, I would love to know what you would do in my situation.

I don't think I'm willing to move funds to Bank of America to boost the bonuses.

Travel:
  • My trips are primarily work travel, some paid for by work and some out of pocket. I can charge expenses to a personal card.
  • Plane flights: about 15 trips/year, 1-2 international. Mostly United. Estimate $7,500-$10,000/year.
  • Hotel: about 60 nights/year. Estimate $12,000/year. Don't currently do any hotel rewards program.
  • Eating out: not a huge amount currently, about $600/year, though this could go up with the travel increase
  • I almost never rent a car when traveling.
  • I don't use ride sharing service, but do take taxis frequently. Trains occasionally.
  • Flying stresses me out and I hate dealing with delays, so lounge access is appealing, if it comes with a card with other good benefits. However my home airport is Denver which has no priority pass lounge, it is getting a centurion lounge next year.
Other spending:
  • Groceries: $12,000/year, including Costco
  • Gas: $900/year
  • Amazon: $2500/year
  • Misc other credit card spending: $12,000/year
Cards I'd think about include: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Gold, and Bank of America cards with preferred rewards

ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:47 pm

cowbman wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:20 pm
perl wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 am
I would like to get suggestions for a credit card strategy. In the past I have just done the Citi Cash 2% card and the Costco Visa, but I am now going to be doing much more travel and wonder if some combination of travel cards would be better. Reading through the different options is so confusing, I would love to know what you would do in my situation.

I don't think I'm willing to move funds to Bank of America to boost the bonuses.

Travel:
  • My trips are primarily work travel, some paid for by work and some out of pocket. I can charge expenses to a personal card.
  • Plane flights: about 15 trips/year, 1-2 international. Mostly United. Estimate $7,500-$10,000/year.
  • Hotel: about 60 nights/year. Estimate $12,000/year. Don't currently do any hotel rewards program.
  • Eating out: not a huge amount currently, about $600/year, though this could go up with the travel increase
  • I almost never rent a car when traveling.
  • I don't use ride sharing service, but do take taxis frequently. Trains occasionally.
  • Flying stresses me out and I hate dealing with delays, so lounge access is appealing, if it comes with a card with other good benefits. However my home airport is Denver which has no priority pass lounge, it is getting a centurion lounge next year.
Other spending:
  • Groceries: $12,000/year, including Costco
  • Gas: $900/year
  • Amazon: $2500/year
  • Misc other credit card spending: $12,000/year
Cards I'd think about include: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Gold, and Bank of America cards with preferred rewards
This is a good suggestion.

If you want to keep it even more simple, you can just do the combo of CSR for travel and dining and Chase Unlimited for everything else :sharebeer

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

Post by Da5id » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:29 pm

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:47 pm
If you want to keep it even more simple, you can just do the combo of CSR for travel and dining and Chase Unlimited for everything else :sharebeer
That is good, I have and use both of those myself. But he might as well keep Costco Card and continue to use it at least for gas (4% is better than you can get out of the two above). Chase Freedom is also nice part of Chase ecosystem though sometimes the quarterly category stinks (as now).

Mind you, if he wants to start playing the game with all that spending hitting a few sign up bonuses per year is an even better way to go. But only if he wants to play the game of credit cards.

cowbman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by cowbman » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:09 am

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:47 pm
cowbman wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:20 pm
perl wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:58 am
I would like to get suggestions for a credit card strategy. In the past I have just done the Citi Cash 2% card and the Costco Visa, but I am now going to be doing much more travel and wonder if some combination of travel cards would be better. Reading through the different options is so confusing, I would love to know what you would do in my situation.

I don't think I'm willing to move funds to Bank of America to boost the bonuses.

Travel:
  • My trips are primarily work travel, some paid for by work and some out of pocket. I can charge expenses to a personal card.
  • Plane flights: about 15 trips/year, 1-2 international. Mostly United. Estimate $7,500-$10,000/year.
  • Hotel: about 60 nights/year. Estimate $12,000/year. Don't currently do any hotel rewards program.
  • Eating out: not a huge amount currently, about $600/year, though this could go up with the travel increase
  • I almost never rent a car when traveling.
  • I don't use ride sharing service, but do take taxis frequently. Trains occasionally.
  • Flying stresses me out and I hate dealing with delays, so lounge access is appealing, if it comes with a card with other good benefits. However my home airport is Denver which has no priority pass lounge, it is getting a centurion lounge next year.
Other spending:
  • Groceries: $12,000/year, including Costco
  • Gas: $900/year
  • Amazon: $2500/year
  • Misc other credit card spending: $12,000/year
Cards I'd think about include: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Gold, and Bank of America cards with preferred rewards
This is a good suggestion.

If you want to keep it even more simple, you can just do the combo of CSR for travel and dining and Chase Unlimited for everything else :sharebeer
I'm not a fan of the Chase freedom unlimited. I use all the 5x cards I can get my hands on. I use American Express Blue Business Plus for non-bonused spend, but I think Citi Double Cash can be good too.

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

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:53 am

I thought I saw this one in this thread..... Citizen's Bank has a limited time 5% card, with that rate until the end of March, then 1.8%. Since it's in the middle of my lunch time walk, I stopped in and applied. Approved without a credit pull. Although our Citi Sears card is getting exercised this quarter for the 20X thank you points (ends up being about 8%), I'll have community college spring tuition to pay and they take credit cards with no fee, and if I pay the full bill, the scholarship money later hits the account and I get back a check.

Note that they pushed very, very hard for me to also open a checking account and then said that I'm approved for a home equity line of credit. I didn't open either of these. I might take them up on a checking account in the future. I get offers in the mail for $300 to open one all the time. I've had one in the past and the hoops were reasonable. No direct deposit, just had to have some number of transactions, so I would go to a branch inside my stop & shop to cash all the checks I get. It's about 300 yards from my DCU branch, both of which are on my lunch time walk route, so I would never have to go out of my way.
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spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:07 am

Da5id wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:29 pm
... Chase Freedom is also nice part of Chase ecosystem though sometimes the quarterly category stinks (as now). ...
I route all recurring bills that will accept it to Paypal. I also pay for online shopping with Paypal when I can. That makes it easy to maximize the 5% quarterly category. For stores, I use my Chase Pay on my Samsung phone. The GS7 has an antenna that emulates the magnetic stripe reader. It works even on those POS terminals that don't have the NFC icon.

It's easy to change the card you use in Paypal. Just add the card you want to use for now, enable for all purchase types, make it default, and delete other cards. I use that approach to redirect spending to new accounts I'm trying to get bonus points on, and to switch it back to the next-best card when I hit the MSR. It's far, far easier to edit one online account than to change the payment card in multiple different vendor accounts.

Of course, not all vendors accept Paypal. For the exceptions that don't, I change the payment cards, or not, depending on the monthly cash flow in the affected account.

ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:35 am

Da5id wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:29 pm
ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:47 pm
If you want to keep it even more simple, you can just do the combo of CSR for travel and dining and Chase Unlimited for everything else :sharebeer
That is good, I have and use both of those myself. But he might as well keep Costco Card and continue to use it at least for gas (4% is better than you can get out of the two above). Chase Freedom is also nice part of Chase ecosystem though sometimes the quarterly category stinks (as now).

Mind you, if he wants to start playing the game with all that spending hitting a few sign up bonuses per year is an even better way to go. But only if he wants to play the game of credit cards.
Good point on the gas!

Yes, Chase Freedom categories weren't the best recently, hence I didn't mention it.

I think overall the most efficient are either the 2 (max 3) card strategy for simplicity or the hardcore bonus play for max benefit. Anything in between is not very optimal imho

perl
Posts: 149
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by perl » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:27 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.

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

Post by Seoulseeker » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:05 pm

A good low cost strategy to accumulate travel value is a combo of the Wells Fargo Propel card (Amex) and their Visa Signature card. Neither has any annual fee, and you can combine the Rewards points. The Propel pays 3 points per $ spent on on eating out & ordering in, gas, rideshares, flights, hotels and air&B as well as car rental and streaming services. (It also provides free cell phone insurance if you pay your cell phone bill with it). By also having the Visa signature you can combine the points and when you spend them on travel you get a 50% bonus, so the 3% becomes 4.5%, making it a lucrative as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but with more categories at full value. You lose the Priority Pass though. Also the Visa Signature pays 5% on all purchases up to $12500 in the first 6 months. With the 50% bonus that's 7.5% if you spend it on airfare.

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

Post by anoop » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:34 am

BruDude wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:10 pm
I got a targeted offer from Chase Ink business offering $2,000 cash back for spending $50k within 6 months of account opening. Best CC cash back deal I’ve ever seen. Anyone else get this?
This sounds like a shrewd strategy on the part of the credit card company to learn about the spending habits of big spenders.

fwellimort
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:41 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fwellimort » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:46 am

Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 1 (Mastercard):
5.25% Online shopping
3.5% groceries
0$ annual fee

Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 2 (Visa):
5.25% Dining
3.5% groceries
0$ annual fee

Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 3 (Visa):
5.25% Travel
3.5% groceries
0$ annual fee

Fidelity cashback 2%:
Just there at this point.

If you have a family, AmEx 6% groceries seem more than worth the cost (or just shop at Costco instead).
Other than that, very pleased with the rates I get with BoA for cashback. And yes, you can open multiple cashbacks. It isn't listed as cashbacks but as WildLife Fund credit card, etc. And each one does give a bonus of $200 on top. I don't know though if you can open multiple cards all at once. I did them over time. I guess if you are a fan of 5.25% on every category but groceries (3.5% though if you have family, 6% Amex might be optimal), you can have 6 cashbacks but sounds too much for me personally.

I'm sure this post will be of help to many Bogleheaders here who only have 1 BoA Cashback cc. I took a "risk" to try open another cc at one point only to learn that you could open over 30 of them with all eligible for $200 bonus each in BoA.
Having stated that, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a waiting time to enroll for another cashback credit card. Otherwise, this practice would be far more common (I presume).

theplayer11
Posts: 950
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by theplayer11 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:12 am

our strategy the last 5 years has been to collect avios points via Chase IB, BA, and Aer Lingus credit card sign up bonuses. 2 people churning these cards every 2 years, the points add up fast. We use the points to fly Iberia Bos-Mad in business class off peak for just 34k points one way.(136k points round trip for 2) Great value. From Mad, cheap Ryan Air flights to other European cities.

smalliebigs
Posts: 92
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by smalliebigs » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:07 pm

I think I'll piggy back here with this question. Is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?

My current rewards strategy is Chase all the way: Reserve, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom, Business Ink Cash. We always fly Delta, but find the Chase Ultimate rewards points to be more flexible than the AE or Citibank equivalents. That said, $95 for what is effectively $700 in miles does seem like a good deal.

So, is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?

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

Post by BeneIRA » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:37 pm

smalliebigs wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:07 pm
I think I'll piggy back here with this question. Is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?

My current rewards strategy is Chase all the way: Reserve, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom, Business Ink Cash. We always fly Delta, but find the Chase Ultimate rewards points to be more flexible than the AE or Citibank equivalents. That said, $95 for what is effectively $700 in miles does seem like a good deal.

So, is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?
If you can grab it for 70,000 miles, it is definitely worth it.

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

Post by smalliebigs » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:01 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:37 pm
If you can grab it for 70,000 miles, it is definitely worth it.
You're right. I've been blue balling this decision for a couple of days. I just needed someone to push me over the edge.

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

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:37 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:37 pm
smalliebigs wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:07 pm
I think I'll piggy back here with this question. Is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?

My current rewards strategy is Chase all the way: Reserve, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom, Business Ink Cash. We always fly Delta, but find the Chase Ultimate rewards points to be more flexible than the AE or Citibank equivalents. That said, $95 for what is effectively $700 in miles does seem like a good deal.

So, is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?
If you can grab it for 70,000 miles, it is definitely worth it.
I agree.

I am not seeing a 70K miles offer though - did you get a targeted offer? What is the spend level to get the 70K miles?

We have airline branded cards with the four major carriers in the US (Delta, United, American and JetBlue). I feel they pay for themselves in free checked bags alone (as well as priority boarding for the first three airlines). We travel enough that we seem to be on each airline at least once each year (and choose air travel based upon mix of best flight time and cost - and not adherence to one carrier).
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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

Post by smalliebigs » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:29 am

It's a targeted offer. It's 70,000 miles for $2,000 spending, which is very easily attained by us.

With regards to the extra baggage, we've not really needed it yet; the carry on has been more than enough for us.

Anyway, I've already applied for it. 70,000 miles here we go!

I think my current strategy is to wait until I get the miles and just cancel the card.

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

Post by rjbraun » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:50 am

smalliebigs wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:29 am
It's a targeted offer. It's 70,000 miles for $2,000 spending, which is very easily attained by us.

With regards to the extra baggage, we've not really needed it yet; the carry on has been more than enough for us.

Anyway, I've already applied for it. 70,000 miles here we go!

I think my current strategy is to wait until I get the miles and just cancel the card.
What's the annual fee?

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

Post by smalliebigs » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:53 am

It's $95.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:54 am

smalliebigs wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:29 am
It's a targeted offer. It's 70,000 miles for $2,000 spending, which is very easily attained by us.

With regards to the extra baggage, we've not really needed it yet; the carry on has been more than enough for us.

Anyway, I've already applied for it. 70,000 miles here we go!

I think my current strategy is to wait until I get the miles and just cancel the card.
Careful... read the fine print.

They may retain the right to claw back the awards if you cancel "too soon" (defined by them).

IF they require at least a year, then also consider the annual fee to be the "cost" of 70k points. I assume that would be less than the value of those points to you, regardless of how you plan to "use" them.

And no, I don't know what happens in cases where there is a claw-back, but the card holder has already 'spent' the awards (especially if redeemed for travel and not for cash/credit).

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

Post by smalliebigs » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:07 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:54 am
Careful... read the fine print.

They may retain the right to claw back the awards if you cancel "too soon" (defined by them).

IF they require at least a year, then also consider the annual fee to be the "cost" of 70k points. I assume that would be less than the value of those points to you, regardless of how you plan to "use" them.

And no, I don't know what happens in cases where there is a claw-back, but the card holder has already 'spent' the awards (especially if redeemed for travel and not for cash/credit).

RM
Thank you for the warning, but I think it should be fine. To be extra careful, I will cancel right before the next fee is due.

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

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:21 am

smalliebigs wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:07 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:54 am
Careful... read the fine print.

They may retain the right to claw back the awards if you cancel "too soon" (defined by them).

IF they require at least a year, then also consider the annual fee to be the "cost" of 70k points. I assume that would be less than the value of those points to you, regardless of how you plan to "use" them.

And no, I don't know what happens in cases where there is a claw-back, but the card holder has already 'spent' the awards (especially if redeemed for travel and not for cash/credit).

RM
Thank you for the warning, but I think it should be fine. To be extra careful, I will cancel right before the next fee is due.
You need to wait for the next fee to post, then cancel and get a refund. Cancelling before the fee posts will lead to a clawback. However, instead of cancelling you should ask for a retention offer and perhaps you can get something worth more than $95 in return for keeping the card.

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

Post by smalliebigs » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:16 pm

That's a good point. Thanks!

dred pirate
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dred pirate » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:20 pm

been awhile since I opened a new card - I did a ton of churning up until a couple of years ago - we do a lot of traveling, not brand loyal by any means - any thoughts on the card with the best sign up bonus?

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

Post by Naris » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm

I am wondering why there aren't more proponents / recommendations for the US Bank Altitude Reserve. It seems like the 3x points (4.5% back) on "mobile payments" is a unique and tremendously valuable category, especially since there is no limit on it. Am I missing something? I searched this thread using Google and only found a few hits discussing the Altitude, which just piqued my interest even more.

For instance, I see a lot of discussions of paying taxes with a credit card. At least one of the processors expressly works with Google Pay / Samsung Pay, so you ought to be able to earn 2.5%+ in spread. This is hardly the only scenario where the Altitude looks superb; it seems like there are myriad opportunities for the Altitude to earn better than a percentage point more than the next closest competitor.

Is US Bank extremely aggressive at shutting down accounts for anything that even vaguely looks like manufactured spending? Is US Bank sufficiently stingy with credit limits that it's hard to arbitrage enough money off of the spread to care about? My understanding is that the Altitude Reserve is intended as a competitor to the CSR, and Chase has been extremely generous with credit limits in my experience, so this would be surprising to me if low credit limits were the issue. Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?

I have picked up that the Altitude Reserve is hard to get approved for, but it still seems like a phenomenal card and I'm surprised that I don't see it discussed more often. Before I go through the steps to try to get it, I wanted to check whether people have had poor experiences with it or have other warnings. Any feedback would be very appreciated.

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

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Naris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm
I am wondering why there aren't more proponents / recommendations for the US Bank Altitude Reserve. It seems like the 3x points (4.5% back) on "mobile payments" is a unique and tremendously valuable category, especially since there is no limit on it. Am I missing something? I searched this thread using Google and only found a few hits discussing the Altitude, which just piqued my interest even more.

For instance, I see a lot of discussions of paying taxes with a credit card. At least one of the processors expressly works with Google Pay / Samsung Pay, so you ought to be able to earn 2.5%+ in spread. This is hardly the only scenario where the Altitude looks superb; it seems like there are myriad opportunities for the Altitude to earn better than a percentage point more than the next closest competitor.

Is US Bank extremely aggressive at shutting down accounts for anything that even vaguely looks like manufactured spending? Is US Bank sufficiently stingy with credit limits that it's hard to arbitrage enough money off of the spread to care about? My understanding is that the Altitude Reserve is intended as a competitor to the CSR, and Chase has been extremely generous with credit limits in my experience, so this would be surprising to me if low credit limits were the issue. Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?

I have picked up that the Altitude Reserve is hard to get approved for, but it still seems like a phenomenal card and I'm surprised that I don't see it discussed more often. Before I go through the steps to try to get it, I wanted to check whether people have had poor experiences with it or have other warnings. Any feedback would be very appreciated.
I mention it all the time, it is an excellent card if you pair it with a cashback card like the Costco Visa so you still earn high rewards at places that don’t typically take mobile wallets (gas stations and restaurants). You need to be a little aggressive with the mobile wallet payments as many vendors have contactless enabled terminals—they just don’t know it.

You generally need a relationship with US Bank to get approved. They are extremely MS averse, so no buying visa gift cards. They gave me a $40k credit limit.

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

Post by Naris » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:24 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:14 pm
I mention it all the time, it is an excellent card if you pair it with a cashback card like the Costco Visa so you still earn high rewards at places that don’t typically take mobile wallets (gas stations and restaurants). You need to be a little aggressive with the mobile wallet payments as many vendors have contactless enabled terminals—they just don’t know it.

You generally need a relationship with US Bank to get approved. They are extremely MS averse, so no buying visa gift cards. They gave me a $40k credit limit.
That is great to hear. I guess I'll start looking into establishing a relationship with US Bank. I already have a Chase Freedom Unlimited, and my spouse has a CSR so I'm earning 2.25% generally, but it'd be great to be able to double (!) that earning rate for any purchases where I can use a mobile wallet. No plans to buy visa gift cards or anything like that, but that's also good to know about being cautious about anything that looks like MS. Knowing that about the credit limit you were approved for is also very helpful; thanks for sharing.

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

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 am

Naris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm
Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?
Yes

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

Post by cowbman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:03 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 am
Naris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm
Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?
Yes
Samsung Pay and taxes being the exception

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

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:31 am

cowbman wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:03 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 am
Naris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm
Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?
Yes
Samsung Pay and taxes being the exception
That would require a Samsung Phone

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

Post by rjbraun » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:20 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:21 am
smalliebigs wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:07 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:54 am
Careful... read the fine print.

They may retain the right to claw back the awards if you cancel "too soon" (defined by them).

IF they require at least a year, then also consider the annual fee to be the "cost" of 70k points. I assume that would be less than the value of those points to you, regardless of how you plan to "use" them.

And no, I don't know what happens in cases where there is a claw-back, but the card holder has already 'spent' the awards (especially if redeemed for travel and not for cash/credit).

RM
Thank you for the warning, but I think it should be fine. To be extra careful, I will cancel right before the next fee is due.
You need to wait for the next fee to post, then cancel and get a refund. Cancelling before the fee posts will lead to a clawback. However, instead of cancelling you should ask for a retention offer and perhaps you can get something worth more than $95 in return for keeping the card.
I just got the targeted offer. Eh, for me I'm not sure it's worth it. I'm not thrilled with paying an AF, particularly if I plan to cancel and have to worry about a potential clawback. That and having to "thaw" my credit freeze seem like too much hassle, at this point.

Chase Sapphire Reserve is the only AF card I have. Oh, we also have IHG, and as indicated in a recent post I started I'm not sure it's worth the $49 AF my partner and I each pay. For now I'm okay with CSR as the travel insurance aspects are worth it to me.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Naris » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:39 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:31 am
cowbman wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:03 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 am
Naris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm
Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?
Yes
Samsung Pay and taxes being the exception
That would require a Samsung Phone
Fortunately my spouse and I both have Samsung phones, so I'll definitely check out Samsung Pay. This is helpful to set expectations as well.

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

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:07 pm

fwellimort wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:46 am
Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 1 (Mastercard):
5.25% Online shopping
3.5% groceries
0$ annual fee

Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 2 (Visa):
5.25% Dining
3.5% groceries
0$ annual fee

Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 3 (Visa):
5.25% Travel
3.5% groceries
0$ annual fee
I only have two BoA Cash Card, but I have discovered that much ¨Travel¨ overlaps
with ¨Online Shopping.¨ If I book airlines tickets through an airline´s website,
that codes as Travel but it also codes as Online Shopping. Same thing if I load
funds onto my public transit fare card via the online website. Uber and Lyft
also code both ways, travel and online. So that limits the extent to which I
actually need a third cash card.

On the other hand, if I make a hotel reservation online, my card is
still charged in a face-to-face transaction at checkin so that is an example
of travel that does NOT code as online, but I mostly use my dedicated
IHG card for that anyway.

When buying stuff at Target (in person), I try to figure out what I
want ahead of time and order it online for pickup at my local store.
That turns out to be a big time-saver (no roaming around the store
looking for what I want and possibly getting tempted into buying
other stuff I did not intended to buy!) and also gets me 5.25%.

Also, I discovered I can make groceries be ¨online shopping¨ with 5.25%
just by buying a reloadable gift card from my favorite grocery store
and then using that card to pay for groceries.

It does not work at *every* grocery store I use (e.g., Trader Joe´s
and Aldi´s don´t do online gift cards), but it does work at the
grocery store that is closest and most convenient to me.

All in all, I am getting 5.25% back on an awful lot of what I
buy.

This card has massively improved for me over a year ago,
when it only gave me 5.25% on gas. (I do not buy much
gas because I try to avoid driving if I can for climate
justice reasons and because I believe in promoting
the use of transit.)

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

Post by cowbman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:22 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:31 am
cowbman wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:03 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 am
Naris wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:00 pm
Are the mobile wallet options sufficiently poor that it's hard to actually earn the 4.5% rate with the Altitude?
Yes
Samsung Pay and taxes being the exception
That would require a Samsung Phone
or watch

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

Post by tibbitts » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:34 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:37 pm
smalliebigs wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:07 pm
I think I'll piggy back here with this question. Is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?

My current rewards strategy is Chase all the way: Reserve, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom, Business Ink Cash. We always fly Delta, but find the Chase Ultimate rewards points to be more flexible than the AE or Citibank equivalents. That said, $95 for what is effectively $700 in miles does seem like a good deal.

So, is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?
If you can grab it for 70,000 miles, it is definitely worth it.
I think it's a good deal if you don't keep it - if you do keep it it's harder to say. I got mine with a much lower miles offer because I didn't know how else to escape the last bording group (I like to avoid gate-checking my carry-on), and get a free checked bag. If you want those things it's probably cheaper to get the card and keep it than to buy at least one upgraded ticket every year, regardless of miles.

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

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:53 pm

I often comment that discounted travel is usually available. Today Costco.com is selling Delta e-gift cards 10% off — $500 for $450 and $1000 for $900.

If you have any travel plans and Delta is an option, here is a great opportunity to save 10% on your flights. If you are concerned about “losing your insurance” many cards that have insurance will cover you if you put a portion of the ticket on your card. For example, if you’re purchasing a $1050 ticket, put $1000 on a gift card and $50 on your credit card.

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

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:28 pm

smalliebigs wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:07 pm
I think I'll piggy back here with this question. Is the Gold Delta card worth it if the offer is 70,000 miles?
Delta's dynamic pricing and terrible inventory from other carriers makes it pretty much useless for international biz class on the routes I take. So I would not find it useful, but it might be worth it to you.

OTOH, picking up 70K mile that never expire has some value, albeit less than AA or United miles.

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

Post by smalliebigs » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:08 pm

I live in a city with a Delta hub, so it's the best choice for me. Also, I like Delta's service, so I tend to always go with them

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by upperleftcoast » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:29 pm

re: Delta Gold Amex. I have this card and like it. Perks with Delta, plus Amex deals / Sky Miles Dining / Sky Miles Shopping. Plenty of value. My only complaint is that Amex is removing the $29 Sky Club access next year.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:41 pm

70,000 Delta Skymiles is a good offer—there is an offer that also includes a $200 statement credit on top of the 70k miles so you may want to hunt for that. I don’t understand the hate for Skymiles. Sure they are not good for flying international business class on Delta metal, but they have tons of economy flash sales where the mileage cost for a flight is far below UA or AA (5k domestic, 30k R/T Europe) and you can book partner award business class flights for reasonable amounts of points. At the right times, 70k points is good for 3 or 4 round trip economy tickets into the Caribbean or 7+ R/T domestic economy tickets. It is not hard to get $0.01 - $0.02 cpp with Skymiles.

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

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:13 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:41 pm
I don’t understand the hate for Skymiles. Sure they are not good for flying international business class on Delta metal, but they have tons of economy flash sales where the mileage cost for a flight is far below UA or AA (5k domestic, 30k R/T Europe) and you can book partner award business class flights for reasonable amounts of points.
I'm sure it depends on the routes you take, but I've never found good availability for partner international biz class on Delta. Even when Virgin and Air France/KLM have biz class award inventory on their site, it doesn't show up on Delta. A few days ago, I did see a VS biz flight on delta, transferred some points and tried to buy it, but it kept failing (and still showed seats on the flight). It took me literally one hour on Delta's line before I could get a human who told me they didn't really have VS biz availability.

When I see biz class, it's airlines like Aeroflot or Saudia, not exactly airlines I'd want to travel on.

I'm sure there are other uses for SkyMiles, but not for international biz class.

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

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:34 pm

We're almost back under Chase's 5/24 rule. At this point, we're thinking that the United card would be a good choice for us. Right now, you get 40k miles if you charge $2k and 25k more miles if you charge a total of $10k in the first six months. We would take out the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but they've changed the wording to exclude the bonus to those who have received signup bonuses for any of the Sapphire cards in the last 48 months. So after we get the United card, I'm not sure which we'll churn next. I was sad to hear that Barclaycard stopped accepting new applications for the Arrival Plus card earlier this year.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:39 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:34 pm
We're almost back under Chase's 5/24 rule. At this point, we're thinking that the United card would be a good choice for us. Right now, you get 40k miles if you charge $2k and 25k more miles if you charge a total of $10k in the first six months. We would take out the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but they've changed the wording to exclude the bonus to those who have received signup bonuses for any of the Sapphire cards in the last 48 months. So after we get the United card, I'm not sure which we'll churn next. I was sad to hear that Barclaycard stopped accepting new applications for the Arrival Plus card earlier this year.
You should consider signing up for a Schwab AMEX Platinum in the next week or 2 (first week of December is best). This way you can triple dip the $200 airline credit, get $200 in Saks credit, get up to $250 in Uber credits, and your 60,000 MR bonus after $5k spend which can be cashed out for $750 (or of course transfer to one of several *A carriers for flying on United) all for one $550 annual fee.

There are still ways to cash out the $200 credit it just involves a little more trickery. But I’m sure if you search you’ll find the ways.

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

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:54 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:39 pm

You should consider signing up for a Schwab AMEX Platinum in the next week or 2 (first week of December is best). This way you can triple dip the $200 airline credit, get $200 in Saks credit, get up to $250 in Uber credits, and your 60,000 MR bonus after $5k spend which can be cashed out for $750 (or of course transfer to one of several *A carriers for flying on United) all for one $550 annual fee.
Aren't there sometimes better than 60K Schwab offers ? Should one wait for those ?

Also, if you have more than $1M at Schwab, you get $200 rebate on fee, correct ?

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

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:10 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:54 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:39 pm

You should consider signing up for a Schwab AMEX Platinum in the next week or 2 (first week of December is best). This way you can triple dip the $200 airline credit, get $200 in Saks credit, get up to $250 in Uber credits, and your 60,000 MR bonus after $5k spend which can be cashed out for $750 (or of course transfer to one of several *A carriers for flying on United) all for one $550 annual fee.
Aren't there sometimes better than 60K Schwab offers ? Should one wait for those ?

Also, if you have more than $1M at Schwab, you get $200 rebate on fee, correct ?
60k is the only Schwab Platinum offer. Yes, there is a 70k incognito vanilla platinum offer I regular can see. There is also a targeted 100k and even now 125k vanilla platinum offers. However, those are 1) highly targeted (at least the 100k and 125k offers) and 2) still available to you if you get a Schwab platinum as each flavor of platinum is considered a different product. Schwab also has the advantage of letting you cash out at $0.0125/pt.

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

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:55 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:34 pm
We're almost back under Chase's 5/24 rule. At this point, we're thinking that the United card would be a good choice for us. Right now, you get 40k miles if you charge $2k and 25k more miles if you charge a total of $10k in the first six months. We would take out the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but they've changed the wording to exclude the bonus to those who have received signup bonuses for any of the Sapphire cards in the last 48 months. So after we get the United card, I'm not sure which we'll churn next. I was sad to hear that Barclaycard stopped accepting new applications for the Arrival Plus card earlier this year.
You should consider signing up for a Schwab AMEX Platinum in the next week or 2 (first week of December is best). This way you can triple dip the $200 airline credit, get $200 in Saks credit, get up to $250 in Uber credits, and your 60,000 MR bonus after $5k spend which can be cashed out for $750 (or of course transfer to one of several *A carriers for flying on United) all for one $550 annual fee.

There are still ways to cash out the $200 credit it just involves a little more trickery. But I’m sure if you search you’ll find the ways.
We don't shop at Saks or use Uber, so I'm not sure if that would be worth it, especially with the big $550 fee.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:34 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:55 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:34 pm
We're almost back under Chase's 5/24 rule. At this point, we're thinking that the United card would be a good choice for us. Right now, you get 40k miles if you charge $2k and 25k more miles if you charge a total of $10k in the first six months. We would take out the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but they've changed the wording to exclude the bonus to those who have received signup bonuses for any of the Sapphire cards in the last 48 months. So after we get the United card, I'm not sure which we'll churn next. I was sad to hear that Barclaycard stopped accepting new applications for the Arrival Plus card earlier this year.
You should consider signing up for a Schwab AMEX Platinum in the next week or 2 (first week of December is best). This way you can triple dip the $200 airline credit, get $200 in Saks credit, get up to $250 in Uber credits, and your 60,000 MR bonus after $5k spend which can be cashed out for $750 (or of course transfer to one of several *A carriers for flying on United) all for one $550 annual fee.

There are still ways to cash out the $200 credit it just involves a little more trickery. But I’m sure if you search you’ll find the ways.
We don't shop at Saks or use Uber, so I'm not sure if that would be worth it, especially with the big $550 fee.
You don’t have to regularly shop at Saks to make use of the credit—you could just order some underwear online.

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