What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
michaeljc70
Posts: 7382
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

SlowMovingInvestor wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:43 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:09 pm
SurfCityBill wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:05 pm My strategy was to open a Barclays World Elite MC to take advantage of an airline companion deal. I closed a similar account with Barclays (diff airline) about 16 months ago. That account was approved rather quickly (FICO 800+), no other debt. This time I received a letter asking me to forward a 4506-T form authorizing them to review my tax returns to verify income. I have no intention of allowing them that level of personal information for a basic credit card. Is this the new normal for credit card companies or do you think they're just playing hard ball with me due to the "recent" closure of a similar account?
I had the same for a Citi card. I sent them the form (this card is my everyday driver so I wanted it more than usual). It took two months, but I got the card. It is one tactic that they use so they hope you just go away.
If they wanted you to go away, they could reject you off-hand, surely ?

I'm wondering if they use some other analytic data to decide whether to ask for income verification. And with any such method, there will definitely be false positives.
They are extending credit and there are laws around that. If you have good credit and they reject you could sue. In this case they haven't rejected you outright. I am also a customer of other products they offer so an out and out rejection is something they may avoid if you are credit worthy. They seem to be constantly fine tuning their rules to stop churners but if you slip through the cracks this might be a technique they use. It is rather obvious if you do the initial spend, get the points and then never use the card again and close it before the annual fee hits over and over. I was outright rejected for an AA card this year. I've had the card maybe 5 times already (but not in 2+ years). Citi seems to be stricter than Chase (I am under 5/24).

What is bad is if they don't clearly communicate all their rules. I don't want a hit to my credit report (inquiry) if I cannot get the card. Of course clearly communicating their rules makes it easier for people to work around them.
michaeljc70
Posts: 7382
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

TravelGeek wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:57 pm
SurfCityBill wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:05 pm My strategy was to open a Barclays World Elite MC to take advantage of an airline companion deal. I closed a similar account with Barclays (diff airline) about 16 months ago. That account was approved rather quickly (FICO 800+), no other debt. This time I received a letter asking me to forward a 4506-T form authorizing them to review my tax returns to verify income. I have no intention of allowing them that level of personal information for a basic credit card. Is this the new normal for credit card companies or do you think they're just playing hard ball with me due to the "recent" closure of a similar account?
Was the income information, occupation, etc. on the new application significantly different from the previous application?

I have applied for maybe 30 cards (including two Barclays cards) and was never asked to submit that form. But I have read about such cases on Flyertalk. It appears to occasionally happen, and I, too, would shred the request and move on.
I've opened more than 30 cards in my life and was only asked for the IRS form once. I don't think it has anything to do with income. They give credit cards to college students! As I said above, it is a speed bump or hoop that most people won't go through so they get rid of you without an outright rejection. It is sending the message that you are not a profitable customer and if you want to be our customer we aren't going to make it easy.

As I said above, there may be legal reasons. If you have good credit and they reject you you could sue. In this case they haven't rejected you outright.
SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 1892
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

michaeljc70 wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:22 am What is bad is if they don't clearly communicate all their rules. I don't want a hit to my credit report (inquiry) if I cannot get the card. Of course clearly communicating their rules makes it easier for people to work around them.
Not defending Citi here, but I believe most CC applications say they can ask for verification. It's just that verification of tax, employment etc. is very rare for credit cards, so it comes across as unexpected.
SurfCityBill
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:15 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SurfCityBill »

TravelGeek wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:57 pm
SurfCityBill wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:05 pm My strategy was to open a Barclays World Elite MC to take advantage of an airline companion deal. I closed a similar account with Barclays (diff airline) about 16 months ago. That account was approved rather quickly (FICO 800+), no other debt. This time I received a letter asking me to forward a 4506-T form authorizing them to review my tax returns to verify income. I have no intention of allowing them that level of personal information for a basic credit card. Is this the new normal for credit card companies or do you think they're just playing hard ball with me due to the "recent" closure of a similar account?
Was the income information, occupation, etc. on the new application significantly different from the previous application?

I have applied for maybe 30 cards (including two Barclays cards) and was never asked to submit that form. But I have read about such cases on Flyertalk. It appears to occasionally happen, and I, too, would shred the request and move on.
Incomes were within a fairly close range. The original was a paper appl I received while onboard an American flight. The more recent one was a basic online application I sourced off a Hawaiian Airlines website.
User avatar
Ketawa
Posts: 2313
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:11 am
Location: DC

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Ketawa »

For some reason, I never noticed that my NFCU cashRewards card has no foreign transaction fees until NFCU sent me an email with my annual "summary" (of no activity). Apparently FTF were removed several years ago. 1.5% cash back on everything overseas on a Visa card without an annual fee is pretty convenient, and cash is redeemable in any increment. I wish I had noticed before I took a trip to Europe last year. Otherwise, I had only kept it open due to it being my card with the longest history.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Ketawa wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:32 pm For some reason, I never noticed that my NFCU cashRewards card has no foreign transaction fees until NFCU sent me an email with my annual "summary" (of no activity). Apparently FTF were removed several years ago. 1.5% cash back on everything overseas on a Visa card without an annual fee is pretty convenient, and cash is redeemable in any increment. I wish I had noticed before I took a trip to Europe last year. Otherwise, I had only kept it open due to it being my card with the longest history.
I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve almost exclusively when we travel overseas and at home. The 3 points per dollar spent on travel and food is basically all we spend on the road plus there is no FTF fee. As you are aware, those 3 points later on convert to 4.5 cents when used for travel. For us it comes out to an effective 4.5% cash back on travel and restaurants. The fee for the card is $550, was $450 with $300 back on travel expenses. When I add in the lounge/restaurant service, the free Global entry, the fact that my other chase points transfer over to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it seems worth fee. I hate the fee increase this summer. Considering that we spend 10s of thousands on our chase credit cards every year all earning anywhere from 1.5-5 points each even the $550 fee appears worth it.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
User avatar
Ketawa
Posts: 2313
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:11 am
Location: DC

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Ketawa »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:02 pm I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve almost exclusively when we travel overseas and at home. The 3 points per dollar spent on travel and food is basically all we spend on the road plus there is no FTF fee. As you are aware, those 3 points later on convert to 4.5 cents when used for travel. For us it comes out to an effective 4.5% cash back on travel and restaurants. The fee for the card is $550, was $450 with $300 back on travel expenses. When I add in the lounge/restaurant service, the free Global entry, the fact that my other chase points transfer over to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it seems worth fee. I hate the fee increase this summer. Considering that we spend 10s of thousands on our chase credit cards every year all earning anywhere from 1.5-5 points each even the $550 fee appears worth it.
CSR is on my list to get in 2021 once I am past the 48 month restriction from my most recent CSP bonus. However, it's only in my plans because I am in the military and can get Chase cards without an annual fee since late 2017. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to justify it for anything other than the signup bonus.

I will also be making another attempt to get the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card in a couple months. People looking at the CSR should also give the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card a close look.

- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on mobile payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
- 1x points on everything else
- $400 annual fee
- $325 annual travel credit
- points redeemable at 1.5 cents each for any travel expenses through Real-Time Mobile Rewards via text message, no need to use travel portal
- 50K points signup bonus worth $750

Unfortunately, it's only available to current U.S. Bank customers, so unless you're able to get a checking account in their physical footprint, you'd need to open something like the U.S. Bank Cash+ first. It's pretty good, with the option to earn 5% cash back in some less common bonus categories, but not ideal for someone trying to maximize only signup bonuses with 5/24 slots or whatever.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Ketawa wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:17 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:02 pm I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve almost exclusively when we travel overseas and at home. The 3 points per dollar spent on travel and food is basically all we spend on the road plus there is no FTF fee. As you are aware, those 3 points later on convert to 4.5 cents when used for travel. For us it comes out to an effective 4.5% cash back on travel and restaurants. The fee for the card is $550, was $450 with $300 back on travel expenses. When I add in the lounge/restaurant service, the free Global entry, the fact that my other chase points transfer over to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it seems worth fee. I hate the fee increase this summer. Considering that we spend 10s of thousands on our chase credit cards every year all earning anywhere from 1.5-5 points each even the $550 fee appears worth it.
CSR is on my list to get in 2021 once I am past the 48 month restriction from my most recent CSP bonus. However, it's only in my plans because I am in the military and can get Chase cards without an annual fee since late 2017. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to justify it for anything other than the signup bonus.

I will also be making another attempt to get the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card in a couple months. People looking at the CSR should also give the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card a close look.

- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on mobile payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
- 1x points on everything else
- $400 annual fee
- $325 annual travel credit
- points redeemable at 1.5 cents each for any travel expenses through Real-Time Mobile Rewards via text message, no need to use travel portal
- 50K points signup bonus worth $750

Unfortunately, it's only available to current U.S. Bank customers, so unless you're able to get a checking account in their physical footprint, you'd need to open something like the U.S. Bank Cash+ first. It's pretty good, with the option to earn 5% cash back in some less common bonus categories, but not ideal for someone trying to maximize only signup bonuses with 5/24 slots or whatever.
Thanks for the list. That is a pretty juicy looking card. Considering that Apple pay is used in sooooo many places now 3 points for that is nice. Plus no travel portals. I think this will be my next card to try out. Are other US bank cards points transferable to the reserve like with chase?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
BeneIRA
Posts: 846
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:22 pm
Ketawa wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:17 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:02 pm I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve almost exclusively when we travel overseas and at home. The 3 points per dollar spent on travel and food is basically all we spend on the road plus there is no FTF fee. As you are aware, those 3 points later on convert to 4.5 cents when used for travel. For us it comes out to an effective 4.5% cash back on travel and restaurants. The fee for the card is $550, was $450 with $300 back on travel expenses. When I add in the lounge/restaurant service, the free Global entry, the fact that my other chase points transfer over to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it seems worth fee. I hate the fee increase this summer. Considering that we spend 10s of thousands on our chase credit cards every year all earning anywhere from 1.5-5 points each even the $550 fee appears worth it.
CSR is on my list to get in 2021 once I am past the 48 month restriction from my most recent CSP bonus. However, it's only in my plans because I am in the military and can get Chase cards without an annual fee since late 2017. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to justify it for anything other than the signup bonus.

I will also be making another attempt to get the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card in a couple months. People looking at the CSR should also give the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card a close look.

- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on mobile payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
- 1x points on everything else
- $400 annual fee
- $325 annual travel credit
- points redeemable at 1.5 cents each for any travel expenses through Real-Time Mobile Rewards via text message, no need to use travel portal
- 50K points signup bonus worth $750

Unfortunately, it's only available to current U.S. Bank customers, so unless you're able to get a checking account in their physical footprint, you'd need to open something like the U.S. Bank Cash+ first. It's pretty good, with the option to earn 5% cash back in some less common bonus categories, but not ideal for someone trying to maximize only signup bonuses with 5/24 slots or whatever.
Thanks for the list. That is a pretty juicy looking card. Considering that Apple pay is used in sooooo many places now 3 points for that is nice. Plus no travel portals. I think this will be my next card to try out. Are other US bank cards points transferable to the reserve like with chase?
No transfer partners on the Altitude Reserve, but they do have Real-Time rewards. US Bank's other good cards are Flexperks, which are valued at 1.5 cents per point.
koryg75
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:48 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by koryg75 »

One slight criticism I have of the Altitude Reserve is the “real-time” rewards. I’ve signed up for that feature and it rarely seems to work. I purchased 4 delta tickets at once on delta.com and I was only given a credit for one ticket. This was in spite of having more than enough points to cover all of them. When I called customer service they refused/were unable to credit the other tickets and were generally unhelpful. Don’t get me wrong, I rack up a lot of points with this card, but I don’t trust the real time rewards feature at all.
Cruz
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Cruz »

My annual fee for my BofA Alaska Air card is due at the end of the month and I have been thinking about closing the card because I no longer live on the West Coast/Alaska so I don't fly Alaska Air as frequently, still a great airline though. I called BofA asking about switching the card to one with no fees but they said this wasn't an option and I would have to close the account. This is my second longest held credit card so I would rather not close the account. Has anyone else been in a similar situation with BofA where they couldn't switch a card with an annual fee to one without an annual fee?
BeneIRA
Posts: 846
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA »

Cruz wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:00 pm My annual fee for my BofA Alaska Air card is due at the end of the month and I have been thinking about closing the card because I no longer live on the West Coast/Alaska so I don't fly Alaska Air as frequently, still a great airline though. I called BofA asking about switching the card to one with no fees but they said this wasn't an option and I would have to close the account. This is my second longest held credit card so I would rather not close the account. Has anyone else been in a similar situation with BofA where they couldn't switch a card with an annual fee to one without an annual fee?
You may need to pushback a bit if you want to product change. Wait until after the annual fee posts because you should get another companion certificate which you do get to keep even after you cancel. The person in this article was able to and read the comments where the person pushes back and then they concede they can do it: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... -expected/
User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 19544
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

On January 23, 2020, Chase and United started offering a new credit card, called United Business MileagePlus with the 100k UA miles bonus at the $99 annual fee, see https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/pr ... iness.html .

Right now, I have a United MileagePlus Explorer card that is up for renewal on February 1, 2020. I am thinking of getting a new MP card and canceling the Explorer card.

Before I do, I have some important questions:

1. I have purchased several trips with the MP Explorer, including some in Basic Economy.
- If I cancel the card before my trips, I know that I will my lose free checked-in luggage allowance.
- But will I still have priority boarding and full-size carry-on allowance due to having (but not having used) a new MP card?
- More specifically: When I take a flight in Basic Economy, I would not have the card I purchased it with but I would have another qualifying card. Will I have priority boarding and full-size carry on?

2. How much time do I have to cancel the current MP Explorer card for a full refund?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee posts?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee is due?

3. I have just received 2 United Lounge passes associated with the MP Explorer card I'd like to cancel.
- Would these passes still be good if I cancel the card?

Thanks!
Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
UpperNwGuy
Posts: 4547
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Ketawa wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:32 pm For some reason, I never noticed that my NFCU cashRewards card has no foreign transaction fees until NFCU sent me an email with my annual "summary" (of no activity). Apparently FTF were removed several years ago. 1.5% cash back on everything overseas on a Visa card without an annual fee is pretty convenient, and cash is redeemable in any increment. I wish I had noticed before I took a trip to Europe last year. Otherwise, I had only kept it open due to it being my card with the longest history.
I believe NFCU removed these fees from all their cards in 2015.
Xov581
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Xov581 »

VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:23 am On January 23, 2020, Chase and United started offering a new credit card, called United Business MileagePlus with the 100k UA miles bonus at the $99 annual fee, see https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/pr ... iness.html .

Right now, I have a United MileagePlus Explorer card that is up for renewal on February 1, 2020. I am thinking of getting a new MP card and canceling the Explorer card.

Before I do, I have some important questions:

1. I have purchased several trips with the MP Explorer, including some in Basic Economy.
- If I cancel the card before my trips, I know that I will my lose free checked-in luggage allowance.
- But will I still have priority boarding and full-size carry-on allowance due to having (but not having used) a new MP card?
- More specifically: When I take a flight in Basic Economy, I would not have the card I purchased it with but I would have another qualifying card. Will I have priority boarding and full-size carry on?

2. How much time do I have to cancel the current MP Explorer card for a full refund?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee posts?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee is due?

3. I have just received 2 United Lounge passes associated with the MP Explorer card I'd like to cancel.
- Would these passes still be good if I cancel the card?

Thanks!
Victoria
I recommend against cancelling your MPE card as there is a no-fee card available via product change (may have to call more than once, but it is available). Switching to that would unlock the 5,000 mile bonus from the new United business card.
User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 19544
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

Xov581 wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:49 am
VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:23 am On January 23, 2020, Chase and United started offering a new credit card, called United Business MileagePlus with the 100k UA miles bonus at the $99 annual fee, see https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/pr ... iness.html .

Right now, I have a United MileagePlus Explorer card that is up for renewal on February 1, 2020. I am thinking of getting a new MP card and canceling the Explorer card.

Before I do, I have some important questions:

1. I have purchased several trips with the MP Explorer, including some in Basic Economy.
- If I cancel the card before my trips, I know that I will my lose free checked-in luggage allowance.
- But will I still have priority boarding and full-size carry-on allowance due to having (but not having used) a new MP card?
- More specifically: When I take a flight in Basic Economy, I would not have the card I purchased it with but I would have another qualifying card. Will I have priority boarding and full-size carry on?

2. How much time do I have to cancel the current MP Explorer card for a full refund?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee posts?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee is due?

3. I have just received 2 United Lounge passes associated with the MP Explorer card I'd like to cancel.
- Would these passes still be good if I cancel the card?

Thanks!
Victoria
I recommend against cancelling your MPE card as there is a no-fee card available via product change (may have to call more than once, but it is available). Switching to that would unlock the 5,000 mile bonus from the new United business card.
It's a good point. But I already have an old United no-fee card that should qualify me for the 5k annual bonus.

Do you know if not having the MPE I used for the payment, but having a new United card, UA would let me do priority boarding and bring a full-size carry-on?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
02nz
Posts: 6056
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 02nz »

Ketawa wrote: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:17 pm I will also be making another attempt to get the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card in a couple months. People looking at the CSR should also give the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card a close look.

- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on mobile payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
- 1x points on everything else
- $400 annual fee
- $325 annual travel credit
- points redeemable at 1.5 cents each for any travel expenses through Real-Time Mobile Rewards via text message, no need to use travel portal
- 50K points signup bonus worth $750

Unfortunately, it's only available to current U.S. Bank customers, so unless you're able to get a checking account in their physical footprint, you'd need to open something like the U.S. Bank Cash+ first. It's pretty good, with the option to earn 5% cash back in some less common bonus categories, but not ideal for someone trying to maximize only signup bonuses with 5/24 slots or whatever.
The Altitude Reserve makes a very good cashback-like card if you spend a lot in the travel or mobile wallet categories. The Priority Pass membership is limited to just 4 free visits/year, but I have other cards with better PP memberships. The Real-Time Rewards is the game changer - it makes it possible to cash out at 1.5 cent/point. You can redeem as soon as the authorization hits the system. Easy enough to make a refundable travel purchase, redeem, and then cancel the purchase that triggered the redemption (the redemption doesn't get reversed).
User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 19544
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:14 am
Xov581 wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:49 am
VictoriaF wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:23 am On January 23, 2020, Chase and United started offering a new credit card, called United Business MileagePlus with the 100k UA miles bonus at the $99 annual fee, see https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/pr ... iness.html .

Right now, I have a United MileagePlus Explorer card that is up for renewal on February 1, 2020. I am thinking of getting a new MP card and canceling the Explorer card.

Before I do, I have some important questions:

1. I have purchased several trips with the MP Explorer, including some in Basic Economy.
- If I cancel the card before my trips, I know that I will my lose free checked-in luggage allowance.
- But will I still have priority boarding and full-size carry-on allowance due to having (but not having used) a new MP card?
- More specifically: When I take a flight in Basic Economy, I would not have the card I purchased it with but I would have another qualifying card. Will I have priority boarding and full-size carry on?

2. How much time do I have to cancel the current MP Explorer card for a full refund?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee posts?
- Must I cancel it before the annual fee is due?

Answer: After the AF is posted, I will have 30 days to cancel the card and get a full refund of the AF.

3. I have just received 2 United Lounge passes associated with the MP Explorer card I'd like to cancel.
- Would these passes still be good if I cancel the card?

Thanks!
Victoria
I recommend against cancelling your MPE card as there is a no-fee card available via product change (may have to call more than once, but it is available). Switching to that would unlock the 5,000 mile bonus from the new United business card.
It's a good point. But I already have an old United no-fee card that should qualify me for the 5k annual bonus.

Do you know if not having the MPE I used for the payment, but having a new United card, UA would let me do priority boarding and bring a full-size carry-on?

Victoria
I did some additional research.

United Basic Economy frequently asked questions, https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/he ... onomy.html , have different answers to the same situation.
1. Under "Which qualifying MileagePlus credit cards allows the card member to bring a full-sized carry-on on board?" -- FAQ states that "The qualifying MileagePlus credit card must be used to purchase the ticket."
2. Under "If my MileagePlus credit card qualifies me for priority boarding benefits, will those benefits apply on Basic Economy tickets?" -- FAQ states that "Yes, if you are a primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card at the time of check-in and you provided your MileagePlus number when purchasing a Basic Economy ticket, you and travel companions on the same reservation will maintain your boarding priority and be allowed to bring a full-sized carry-on bag on board if space permits."

In the 2nd case, it does not have the condition of having used the card for buying a BE ticket, only for having a card. Can I assume the 2nd case, which is more favorable to my plan, and successfully argue it to United if they ask me to check in my suitcase?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
UpperNwGuy
Posts: 4547
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Victoria: My experience with downgrading a United card several years ago is that they are extremely prompt about removing the benefits, so you should not close or downgrade a card until you have completed all the travel that you have booked with that card.
Bibliothikarios
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:49 pm
Location: Deep South

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bibliothikarios »

I use the Citi Double Cash Rewards card as my general purchase card (2%).

What is nice is that Chase Rewards and Discover It have started alternating their rewards categories. So I get 5% on gas for six or nine months out of the year, and on restaurants for six months.

Because I shop mainly at Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets, I don't use my Amex Blue Cash Everyday card.

I do a lot of Sam's Club purchases during the period when it is a category for Chase or Discover, but I have found I save more money at Sam's focusing on their Instant Savings than on reward category months on my rotating category cards.

I have the Amazon Reward Chase card as my default, which gives me 5% since I have Amazon Prime.

What is most important is limiting consumption. Reward points will never match spending less. Of course it makes sense to choose reward cards based on consumption. I do not travel much or use hotels much. So the more common reward cards or reward categories were the route I went.
LuigiLikesPizza
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:54 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by LuigiLikesPizza »

Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?

Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?


THANK YOU
Leesbro63
Posts: 6857
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Leesbro63 »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:00 pm I do a lot of Sam's Club purchases during the period when it is a category for Chase or Discover, but I have found I save more money at Sam's focusing on their Instant Savings than on reward category months on my rotating category cards.

The Sam's Club Mastercard is free to Sam's members. 5% on all gasoline and 3% on travel & entertainment/dining.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?

Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?


THANK YOU
Cell phone I use chase ink that gives 5 points per dollar spent. It works as cash back of 5% If linked with a chase Saphire reserve card I can use those 5 points for travel at 1.5 cents per point which essentially gives me 7.5% cash back on my cell phone bill. I use the same card for internet service and get 5 points for that as well. This card also gives you 2 points on restaurants. There is no fee for the card.

I use the sapphire reserve for restaurants which gives me 3 points or 4.5% on travel.

If you don't want to pay the fee of the sapphire reserve then you can go with the sapphire preferred which has a $95 yearly fee but you get 1.25 cents per point on travel. you need to spend $760+ on cell phone and internet purchases to make the $95 fee worth it for the extra .25 cents per point on travel.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
dru808
Posts: 1281
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: mid pac

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dru808 »

Chase freedom paired with sapphire preferred. Spend on those, get a free trip every 2 years.
JBTX
Posts: 7316
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by JBTX »

LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?

Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?


THANK YOU
Capital one savor gives 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. $95 annual fee after first but DW was able to waive it second year. I have one that was grandfathered in as no fee

Cell phones - chase business ink cash gives 5%. Also internet. No annual fee but is a business card.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

This summer I will have the chase sapphire reserve for 4 years and I am under 5/24. This means I get the opportunity to cancel and renew for the 50k sign on bonus. I wonder how long I should wait between canceling and renewing? Or I can cancel and get the chase sapphire preferred, get the higher bonus of 60k points and then product change back to the reserve.

Any thoughts or comments? The latter sounds the most appealing since I can tell them that I am leaving because of the higher fee.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 19544
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:48 pm Victoria: My experience with downgrading a United card several years ago is that they are extremely prompt about removing the benefits, so you should not close or downgrade a card until you have completed all the travel that you have booked with that card.
Thank you for your data point. The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to keep the existing MPE even after I'll get the new card. In addition to using the MPE for Basic Economy flights, I used it for some international travel. By canceling the MPE, I'd lose the travel insurance.

On the other hand, if I keep the MPE for another year, I'll get 2 more United Club passes before canceling it a year from now.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
ZinCO
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

JBTX wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:32 pm
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?

Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?


THANK YOU
Capital one savor gives 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. $95 annual fee after first but DW was able to waive it second year. I have one that was grandfathered in as no fee

Cell phones - chase business ink cash gives 5%. Also internet. No annual fee but is a business card.
Cell phone insurance, on the other hand, is provided by the Chase Business Ink Preferred, but that only pays back 3% on cell phone bills (and at $95/year). Citi Prestige also provides insurance but the AF is much higher.
snailderby
Posts: 1321
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by snailderby »

LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
Wells Fargo Propel. No annual fee unlike the Capital One Savor. 3% back on dining, gas, travel, and streaming services. Or 4.5% on all of those categories if you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, and you redeem points for airline tickets. The Wells Fargo Propel also offers cell phone protection if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with it.

Alternatively, if you have >$100,000 to park in a Merrill Lynch account, you can get 5.25% back on dining with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, again with no annual fee.
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature offers 5% back on cell phone providers, again with no annual fee.
Horsefly
Posts: 628
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:13 am
Location: Colorado, mostly

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Horsefly »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:59 pm This summer I will have the chase sapphire reserve for 4 years and I am under 5/24. This means I get the opportunity to cancel and renew for the 50k sign on bonus. I wonder how long I should wait between canceling and renewing? Or I can cancel and get the chase sapphire preferred, get the higher bonus of 60k points and then product change back to the reserve.

Any thoughts or comments? The latter sounds the most appealing since I can tell them that I am leaving because of the higher fee.
Careful there. The rule that I've read says the 4 year clock starts when they award you the sign-up bonus, not when you get the card. If you apply before the correct 4 year clock has run out, you may get the card but you won't get the sign-up bonus.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5311
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Horsefly wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:05 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:59 pm This summer I will have the chase sapphire reserve for 4 years and I am under 5/24. This means I get the opportunity to cancel and renew for the 50k sign on bonus. I wonder how long I should wait between canceling and renewing? Or I can cancel and get the chase sapphire preferred, get the higher bonus of 60k points and then product change back to the reserve.

Any thoughts or comments? The latter sounds the most appealing since I can tell them that I am leaving because of the higher fee.
Careful there. The rule that I've read says the 4 year clock starts when they award you the sign-up bonus, not when you get the card. If you apply before the correct 4 year clock has run out, you may get the card but you won't get the sign-up bonus.
Your right.....nice catch. I forgot that little tidbit. They are sneaky smart like that.
I can wait an extra 2-3 months between cards. They will just sit in one of my other Chase cards while I wait.
I will just get 2 points on restaurants during that time. And, I can purchase any travel in advance.

Thanks again
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
TomCat96
Posts: 1040
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TomCat96 »

snailderby wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:54 pm
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
Wells Fargo Propel. No annual fee unlike the Capital One Savor. 3% back on dining, gas, travel, and streaming services. Or 4.5% on all of those categories if you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, and you redeem points for airline tickets. The Wells Fargo Propel also offers cell phone protection if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with it.

Alternatively, if you have >$100,000 to park in a Merrill Lynch account, you can get 5.25% back on dining with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, again with no annual fee.
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature offers 5% back on cell phone providers, again with no annual fee.

Also this quarter the chase freedom is providing it. Not sure if you can overpay your bill though
spammagnet
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

CrazyCatLady wrote: Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:46 pm I have the problem of collecting points and not using them (seriously - I have over 4 million points across about 10 rewards programs). ...
Consider donating them to charity?
MikeG62
Posts: 3423
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

TomCat96 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:29 pm
snailderby wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:54 pm
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
Wells Fargo Propel. No annual fee unlike the Capital One Savor. 3% back on dining, gas, travel, and streaming services. Or 4.5% on all of those categories if you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, and you redeem points for airline tickets. The Wells Fargo Propel also offers cell phone protection if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with it.

Alternatively, if you have >$100,000 to park in a Merrill Lynch account, you can get 5.25% back on dining with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, again with no annual fee.
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature offers 5% back on cell phone providers, again with no annual fee.

Also this quarter the chase freedom is providing it. Not sure if you can overpay your bill though
My bill is auto paid around the 15th of the month. So I am charing (will charge) the mid Jan, Feb and Mar payments to the Chase Freedom CC. Certainly, I can log in late in March and prepay the mid April bill (just checked and I can prepay the bill due on Feb 15th now). Also, put in a dummy payment for an amount larger than the amount due and there was a message which said the excess would appear as a credit in my account. Long way of saying the answer appears to be yes you can overpay.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience
tibbitts
Posts: 12527
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tibbitts »

snailderby wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:54 pm
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
Wells Fargo Propel. No annual fee unlike the Capital One Savor. 3% back on dining, gas, travel, and streaming services. Or 4.5% on all of those categories if you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, and you redeem points for airline tickets. The Wells Fargo Propel also offers cell phone protection if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with it.

Alternatively, if you have >$100,000 to park in a Merrill Lynch account, you can get 5.25% back on dining with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, again with no annual fee.
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature offers 5% back on cell phone providers, again with no annual fee.
I don't have Propel but my understanding was that the "travel" definition is more restrictive than some cards - no cruise lines, notably. Maybe someone with the card knows.
snailderby
Posts: 1321
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by snailderby »

tibbitts wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:37 am
snailderby wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:54 pm
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
Wells Fargo Propel. No annual fee unlike the Capital One Savor. 3% back on dining, gas, travel, and streaming services. Or 4.5% on all of those categories if you also have the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, and you redeem points for airline tickets. The Wells Fargo Propel also offers cell phone protection if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with it.

Alternatively, if you have >$100,000 to park in a Merrill Lynch account, you can get 5.25% back on dining with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, again with no annual fee.
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend to charge my cell phone bill to? for cash back or points AND insurance against theft, loss, damage?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature offers 5% back on cell phone providers, again with no annual fee.
I don't have Propel but my understanding was that the "travel" definition is more restrictive than some cards - no cruise lines, notably. Maybe someone with the card knows.
I don't have any personal experience with cruise lines purchases on the Propel, but this is from Wells Fargo's website:
Three rewards points (1 base point plus 2 bonus points) are earned per $1 spent on net purchases (purchases minus returns/credits) at retailers whose merchant code for American Express is classified as: Travel: airline, passenger railway, hotel and motel, timeshares, vehicle and auto rentals, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds, passenger trains, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, parking lots, and garages.
(The website goes on to explain what qualifies as gas, dining, or streaming.)
SuzBanyan
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:20 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SuzBanyan »

I’m switching up my credit card rewards strategy to favor cash back instead of points, primarily because I have a large stash of points in 4 programs: 500k in AA (and lifetime gold status), 500K in Chase UR, 300K in Marriott Bonvoy and 160k In Amex.

We are working on Platinum status at BofA with a move of my husband’s 100k Roth to ME. As a bonus, this means the BofA card will be in his name. All the others are in my name.

I will be cancelling my Citi Prestige. Just got credit for about $500 for 4th night hotel, $250 spent at travel agent and will cash in 55k in TYP (earned primarily in 3x and 5x categories) for $550 cash. The 4th night benefit no longer works at the hotel I prefer, so the fee is no longer worth it. I have a ridiculously high credit limit on this card.

I will be cancelling my United Club card when it renews in April. I got the card last year to waive the $75 late booking fee when I was traveling on United regularly at the last minute to visit my sick Mom. After I used it for 18 one way trips (16 booked on points), the fee waiver is no longer a benefit as it is available to all (though the miles required increased by 2k each way). And while Mom is doing better, I can anticipate a similar travel pattern on UA in the future. I also have a ridiculously high credit limit on the Club card.

Questions: 1. Should I downgrade my Citi Prestige to another card? If so, which one?

2. Should I downgrade my United Club card to another card? I’m thinking the Explorer card may make sense given likely future travel. Can I get a bonus since I got a bonus for the Club card last year? If not, then does a downgrade make sense?

3. What, if anything, should I do with my high credit limit on these cards I plan to cancel/downgrade?

4. I just semi-retired and no longer have a W-2 job, but my side gig will pick up some of that lost income. Should I be concerned about applying for new or downgraded cards?

5. Finally, we have our credit frozen. Do we need to unfreeze to downgrade to a different product?
investor997
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
BofA Cash Rewards with the 3% category selection set to Dining. Maintain a $100K+ balance (Preferred Rewards Platinum status) and the 3% becomes 5.25% cash back. No annual fee.
drummerboy
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:08 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drummerboy »

LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
American Express GOLD is a great card for Dining and Groceries. $25k Limit in Grocery/Restaurants expenses a year.

4 Points for each. Most of my Amex Points I get a 1.5% value when I transfer to airline partners. So this is basically 6% back.

The annual fee is paid down by Grubhub credits and Airline Credits.
Horsefly
Posts: 628
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:13 am
Location: Colorado, mostly

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Horsefly »

drummerboy wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:33 pm
LuigiLikesPizza wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am Does anyone have a good credit card to recommend for dining out expenses? cash back OR points?
American Express GOLD is a great card for Dining and Groceries. $25k Limit in Grocery/Restaurants expenses a year.

4 Points for each. Most of my Amex Points I get a 1.5% value when I transfer to airline partners. So this is basically 6% back.

The annual fee is paid down by Grubhub credits and Airline Credits.
I also have the Amex Gold. I am more immersed in the Chase / UR world, but so far I'm having trouble appreciating the Amex Gold all that much. Yes, you do get 4x on grocery, which Chase don't have at all. The 4x on dining is good (Chase only gives you 3x on CSR or 2x on CSP).

I don't really like either the GrubHub or Airline credits. The GrubHub credits are handed out piecemeal through the year $10 per month. I also find it difficult to use the airline credits, as I my lifetime status on United means that I don't ever pay for bags anyway. The opportunities are so limited that I find myself buying WiFi Internet on flights when I'm not sure I even want it, just to use the credits.

But the even bigger problem I have is the value of Amex points vs UR points in travel. There's a guy on YouTube who shows using both travel portals for hotels and air tickets for the same trip. The Amex portal in some cases required almost twice as many MR points as the Chase portal required. Some of that is because Chase gives you 1.5x (CSR) or 1.25x (CSP) value on each point in the travel portal.

You say you get 1.5x value in transferring to airline portals, but I haven't actually seen that. Like I said, I mostly fly United, where I can't transfer Amex points. What airlines are you seeing 1.5x value?
drummerboy
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:08 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drummerboy »

Horsefly wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:48 pm You say you get 1.5x value in transferring to airline portals, but I haven't actually seen that. Like I said, I mostly fly United, where I can't transfer Amex points. What airlines are you seeing 1.5x value?
I'm located in the Delta hub (Georgia). Amex is a better transfer partner for me vs Chase. I typically get 1.4-1.6 on Delta flights if I choose carefully.

Regarding the Grubhub credits, I can walk to a lot of takeout places that use Grubhub, also very easy to take advantage of.

The Amex credits for Airline incidentals has gotten tougher since gift cards don’t count anymore. I can use it to buy the annual “main cabin 1” boarding status each year (no need for a Delta credit card). https://skymilesselect.delta.com/
And I seem to have 1 flight a year where I might have to pay a change fee.

I use Chase UR primarily with Hyatt.

But I think BofA Premium plus Amex Gold is the most profitable combination. Chase is looking like it may get downgraded at my next renewal. I like the Chase Hyatt card a lot for the 4th night feature.
essbeer
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 6:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by essbeer »

Horsefly wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:48 pmYou say you get 1.5x value in transferring to airline portals, but I haven't actually seen that. Like I said, I mostly fly United, where I can't transfer Amex points. What airlines are you seeing 1.5x value?
Using a real world example, I booked a trip to Europe (LON out, AMS home) this summer for my family using UR for the flight out and MR for the flight back. The UR cost was 30k each on United (economy) plus $22 and the MR cost was 20k on KLM (using a 1 to 1.25 promotion) plus $122. If I use UR=1.5cpp value then the flight out was $472 or around $944 round trip price, which would be a pretty good price to anywhere in Europe on basic economy during peak season. Valuing MR the same I'd get $472-$122=$350 /20kMR = 1.75cpp. So somewhat better value for MR than UR.

But getting direct flights to major European hubs on regular economy (which you get using points instead of basic economy) during peak season is much more expensive. The cheapest direct flights on the same days, with regular economy, would actually cost $1476, meaning the dollar UR value was more like 738-22=716/30k = 2.39cpp and the MR value was more like 738-122=616/20k = 3.1cpp.

Because it was regular economy I could use my Amex airline credits to upgrade the family to economy plus.

This was just for economy, which most people think isn't the best value for points, but I'd rather get less cpp and more trips.
snailderby
Posts: 1321
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by snailderby »

Does anyone know whether it's possible to do a product change from the Bank of America Travel Rewards card to the Bank of America Premium Rewards card? I'm thinking about applying for the Travel Rewards card for starters, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to do a product change down the road if we have trouble using up the Travel Rewards points. Thanks!
TomCat96
Posts: 1040
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TomCat96 »

Does anyone know if you get 5% cash back on Non-Amazon gift cards purchased with the Amazon rewards card? Say for example buying starbucks gift cards through the amazon cash back card?
TomCat96
Posts: 1040
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TomCat96 »

I've started to ramp up my CC rewards strategy.

In the absence of complete information this is how I divide things up mentally:

Lowest tier: (Purchases which yield 1 Chase UR point, 1 Amex MR point, 1 Citi Thank you point)
By and large I would say, getting 2 cents of value per point is something that doesn't happen. People have posted exceptions of course.
If you have your particular method in mind, go for it. For my purposes, especially on airline trips I need to book on a whim, I get far less than 2 cents per point. I get anywhere from 1.3-1.5 cents a point. Avoid this tier if possible, or unless you can get alot of value of out your points.

1.5x - 2x Tier: (Everyday spending which yields 1.5x to 2x)
------------------
This should really be your default category. With cards such as the Capital One Venture or CIti double cash, you should be able to recover at least 2 cents of value for each dollar spent. This is typically reserved for "everyday" spending. Because of the rarity and difficulty of getting 2 cents of value for each point Chase UR, Citi TY, and MR, you should default to cards which give you 2x cash back outright, rather than cards which can potentially give around 2 cents per point if you jump through hoops.

2x Point Category (Typically Dining, Travel and others):
--------------------
Getting 2 cents per point is difficult. Getting one cent of value per point, not so much.
If you have a choice between 2x points and 2x cash back, your 2x points are superior. Even at the low valuations I cited earlier, you can still earn about 2.6cents to 3 cents per every dollar you spend.

3x 4x categories:
------
I place these in the same category as the 2x point category. The only difference is that they come at a cost.
My downgraded Chase Sapphire Preferred for instance has zero annual fee, yet I get 2x cash back on dining and travel. If i want a 3x or 4x reward category, and a non-rotating one at that I'm back into paying for through an annual fee. Run the numbers. an extra 1% cash back would require an extra $9500 of spending before you overcome the annual fee.

5x Cash back and 5x Categories
----------------
Amazon card with prime or rotating categories with Chase Freedom or other cards with rotating categories.
This is special category of spending because only in very rare instances will you be able to get more than 2 cents of value per point. Getting 5 cents of value per point is highly unusual. For this reason I had no hesitation in signing up for the AMZN cash back card.
I divert all spending here whenever possible, subject only to the limitation one should still look for the best price out there.

Annual fees:
--------------
I have a strong preference against annual fee cards. First the annual fees really add up once you obtain several cards.
Second, in my opinion paying 550 dollars and getting most of that value back in travel savings is a type of cost.
For those that travel a bit, I am sure its worth it. I however do not. In my opinion a 95 card which yields X multiplier on points back and 95 dollars of travel benefits is vastly inferior to a card which has no annual fee, yielding the same multiplier.
Gadget
Posts: 458
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Gadget »

For the BOA Cash rewards credit cards, when does it reset the $2500 quarterly spending limit? Is it per calendar year quarter (i.e. Jan 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct 1)?

Or does the spending limit reset every 3 months from when you opened the credit card?
fujiters
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:17 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fujiters »

Gadget wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:28 pm For the BOA Cash rewards credit cards, when does it reset the $2500 quarterly spending limit? Is it per calendar year quarter (i.e. Jan 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct 1)?

Or does the spending limit reset every 3 months from when you opened the credit card?
Calendar quarter.
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham
djheini
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:53 pm
Location: Boston area

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by djheini »

Gadget wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:28 pm For the BOA Cash rewards credit cards, when does it reset the $2500 quarterly spending limit? Is it per calendar year quarter (i.e. Jan 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct 1)?

Or does the spending limit reset every 3 months from when you opened the credit card?
The T&C says it's per calendar quarter, which lines up with my experience of having it go to 1% at the end of December and go back up come Jan 1st
investor997
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

Horsefly wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:48 pm I also have the Amex Gold. I am more immersed in the Chase / UR world, but so far I'm having trouble appreciating the Amex Gold all that much. Yes, you do get 4x on grocery, which Chase don't have at all. The 4x on dining is good (Chase only gives you 3x on CSR or 2x on CSP).

I don't really like either the GrubHub or Airline credits. The GrubHub credits are handed out piecemeal through the year $10 per month. I also find it difficult to use the airline credits, as I my lifetime status on United means that I don't ever pay for bags anyway. The opportunities are so limited that I find myself buying WiFi Internet on flights when I'm not sure I even want it, just to use the credits.

But the even bigger problem I have is the value of Amex points vs UR points in travel. There's a guy on YouTube who shows using both travel portals for hotels and air tickets for the same trip. The Amex portal in some cases required almost twice as many MR points as the Chase portal required. Some of that is because Chase gives you 1.5x (CSR) or 1.25x (CSP) value on each point in the travel portal.

You say you get 1.5x value in transferring to airline portals, but I haven't actually seen that. Like I said, I mostly fly United, where I can't transfer Amex points. What airlines are you seeing 1.5x value?
Amex points are pretty low-value (1cpp) when used to book directly on the Amex travel site. The value is all in transferring.

Do you ever use the Amex Gold to buy gift cards at the grocery store? I think Amex kinda frowns on that but still... the Ralphs near me has gift cards for seemingly every store imaginable. Easy way to get 4X on nearly anything.

Speaking of Amex: I just got a Platinum card for the 100K MR welcome bonus. One thing I noticed on the Amex travel site: If you search for Premium Economy international tickets, the airfare is often discounted. They call it the "International Airline Program". For example, I recently priced out two Premium Econ tickets from LAX-SYD. Total cost was $3500 round trip via Delta when priced out on Google Flights, but the same itinerary via Amex IAP was only $3K. That covers most of the annual fee right there.
investor997
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

snailderby wrote: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:02 pm Does anyone know whether it's possible to do a product change from the Bank of America Travel Rewards card to the Bank of America Premium Rewards card? I'm thinking about applying for the Travel Rewards card for starters, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to do a product change down the road if we have trouble using up the Travel Rewards points. Thanks!
Even if you could product change you wouldn't be eligible for the welcome bonus. Why not get the PR card to begin with? The welcome bonus is a lot bigger and more than compensates for the annual fee.
Post Reply