What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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DrGrnTum
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by DrGrnTum »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
protagonist
Posts: 6689
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist »

I hadn't noticed it before, but I just saw that Sapphire Reserve offers a 50% bonus credit on purchases paid with points....not just travel through the portal.applies to grocery stores and dining.

If I calculate that correctly, that would mean if you are a CSR cardholder and if you only use Freedom Unl. (FU) and Freedom (F),
7.5% on travel (5x FU points transferred to CSR, book through portal)
7.5% on Amazon (5x F points , 50% pay back)
4.5% dining or drugstore (3x FU points , 50% pay back )
2.25% groceries (1.5x FU points, 50% pay back
1.5% on everything else (FU card)

And if you add the Freedom Flex card, you get 20K promo points with only $500 spend in 3 months (worth 30K=$300 in pay back if you have CSR), plus 7.5% on groceries the first year (5x FF points , 50% payback) and cell phone insurance.

Is that all correct?
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
protagonist
Posts: 6689
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by protagonist »

DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.


CSR is really a $190 annual fee, after $300 travel bonus and $60 door dash....more if you use Lyft (I haven't). $90 this year ($450 annual fee, plus $600 travel credit first year if you plan it well, since the clock re-starts Jan.1). Plus the sign-up promo points, which is really where the bang is for the buck.
Jags4186
Posts: 5119
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by Jags4186 »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:10 pm

CSR is really a $190 annual fee, after $300 travel bonus and $60 door dash....more if you use Lyft (I haven't). $90 this year ($450 annual fee, plus $600 travel credit first year if you plan it well, since the clock re-starts Jan.1). Plus the sign-up promo points, which is really where the bang is for the buck.
The $300 was changed to coincide with your cardmember year and you no longer can double dip.

The CSR is only worth having, IMO, if you regularly redeem at 1.5cpp and you redeem enough points that the extra 0.25cpp pays for the incremental annual fee.

Otherwise, if you only transfer points, your best bet is to have an Ink Preferred (or Sapphire Preferred if you can't get an Ink card) at $95/yr.
protagonist
Posts: 6689
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist »

Is there a good reason for CSR cardholders NOT TO redeem all of your UR points that you can at 50% pay back for all available expenses?

I can't think of one, since the best you can do upon redemption, not using payback, is 50% on travel with CSR points. Essentially it is giving you 50% additional redemption on all available expenses now, so it seems to make sense to make hay while the sun shines .

Maybe this seems pessimistic, but given how CC companies have been cutting down on benefits and raising fees for years, this is probably the best that will be available, and it may not last.

Also, unless you are close to 5/24, is there any good reason NOT to add the Freedom Flex card when it becomes available? It's an easy 40% bonus on 500 spending (actually 60% if you use cash back) plus 5% on groceries for the next year- 7.5% if using UR pay back (assuming I understand the program).
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Da5id
Posts: 2155
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:16 pm Is there a good reason for CSR cardholders NOT TO redeem all of your UR points that you can at 50% pay back for all available expenses?
Only if you can do better on transfers once you start travelling again. Some people get more than 1.5x return. I have done so occasionally, but don't count on it. I cashed all mine in buying a new washing machine and some takeout for the guaranteed return now.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4650
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by EnjoyIt »

DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
Do I understand this right?
Keep $25k in VTI and get $550 off your Amex platinum card?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4650
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:16 pm Is there a good reason for CSR cardholders NOT TO redeem all of your UR points that you can at 50% pay back for all available expenses?

I can't think of one, since the best you can do upon redemption, not using payback, is 50% on travel with CSR points. Essentially it is giving you 50% additional redemption on all available expenses now, so it seems to make sense to make hay while the sun shines .

Maybe this seems pessimistic, but given how CC companies have been cutting down on benefits and raising fees for years, this is probably the best that will be available, and it may not last.

Also, unless you are close to 5/24, is there any good reason NOT to add the Freedom Flex card when it becomes available? It's an easy 40% bonus on 500 spending plus 5% on groceries for the next year- 7.5% if using UR pay back (assuming I understand the program).
I am cashing out as much as I can. Guaranteed 1.5 cents now is better than maybe more some time in the future. Plus, you get points for the actual purchase for which you redeem and when you buy travel in the future instead of credit you get more points then. It’s win win win.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
Jags4186
Posts: 5119
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by Jags4186 »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:52 pm

Do I understand this right?
Keep $25k in VTI and get $550 off your Amex platinum card?
The way I read it is you need $5000 monthly Direct Deposit and $25,000 cash to get the $550 credit otherwise you’ll be paying $45/mo in account maintenance fees. You also need a Morgan Stanley investment account (you can’t open a cash account without already having an investment account) which, from my brief reading, the cheapest way in is a $5000 balance managed account with a 0.35% annual management fee.
atdharris
Posts: 620
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by atdharris »

Jags4186 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:59 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:52 pm

Do I understand this right?
Keep $25k in VTI and get $550 off your Amex platinum card?
The way I read it is you need $5000 monthly Direct Deposit and $25,000 cash to get the $550 credit otherwise you’ll be paying $45/mo in account maintenance fees. You also need a Morgan Stanley investment account (you can’t open a cash account without already having an investment account) which, from my brief reading, the cheapest way in is a $5000 balance managed account with a 0.35% annual management fee.
Sounds like way too much of a hassle to save $550, especially if I'll end up paying 0.35% in fees.
deltaneutral83
Posts: 1703
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by deltaneutral83 »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:16 pm Is there a good reason for CSR cardholders NOT TO redeem all of your UR points that you can at 50% pay back for all available expenses?
Biz/First on Intl flights with transfer partners is what you will see the most lucrative redemption(s) in the 5x-8x range for the transfer partners. I frequently get 2x-3x on Hyatt transfer and subsequent redemptions. 1.5x is solid, I'm not currently interested in holding more than 1/3 of what I normally hold since I know I can liquidate @ 1.5x now as mentioned which is solid. I've been using PYB since they unleashed it back in June.
spammagnet
Posts: 1153
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by spammagnet »

DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pmThe only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
Sapphire Reserve includes primary CDW on rental cars. That may or may not provide value to you. It did for me, when I was traveling. Now, not so much.
gdigital
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:13 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by gdigital »

$720 a year if you have an authorized user. I believe you get 1 free AU card.

atdharris wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:07 pm
Jags4186 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:59 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:52 pm

Do I understand this right?
Keep $25k in VTI and get $550 off your Amex platinum card?
The way I read it is you need $5000 monthly Direct Deposit and $25,000 cash to get the $550 credit otherwise you’ll be paying $45/mo in account maintenance fees. You also need a Morgan Stanley investment account (you can’t open a cash account without already having an investment account) which, from my brief reading, the cheapest way in is a $5000 balance managed account with a 0.35% annual management fee.
Sounds like way too much of a hassle to save $550, especially if I'll end up paying 0.35% in fees.
DrGrnTum
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by DrGrnTum »

atdharris wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:07 pm
Jags4186 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:59 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:52 pm

Do I understand this right?
Keep $25k in VTI and get $550 off your Amex platinum card?
The way I read it is you need $5000 monthly Direct Deposit and $25,000 cash to get the $550 credit otherwise you’ll be paying $45/mo in account maintenance fees. You also need a Morgan Stanley investment account (you can’t open a cash account without already having an investment account) which, from my brief reading, the cheapest way in is a $5000 balance managed account with a 0.35% annual management fee.
Sounds like way too much of a hassle to save $550, especially if I'll end up paying 0.35% in fees.
Yes, it is a little bit of work, but the way I see things it’s a “set and forget.” On reading the write up, it also says you can avoid the monthly direct deposit of $5,000 by doing a SS direct deposit of any amount. For me that is not a problem.
I can offset the .35% fee by using the travel bennies that come with the Amex platinum.

If you travel, which I plan to do, I think this will work for me.
Workaholic
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by Workaholic »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:10 pm
DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.


CSR is really a $190 annual fee, after $300 travel bonus and $60 door dash....more if you use Lyft (I haven't). $90 this year ($450 annual fee, plus $600 travel credit first year if you plan it well, since the clock re-starts Jan.1). Plus the sign-up promo points, which is really where the bang is for the buck.
It's really a $250 card because not everyone (myself included) uses the door dash credit. I think the CSR is going to need a serious overhaul or many cardholders will simply downgrade to the CSP for $95 for the ability to transfer to partner airlines/hotels.
protagonist
Posts: 6689
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by protagonist »

Workaholic wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:24 pm
It's really a $250 card because not everyone (myself included) uses the door dash credit. I think the CSR is going to need a serious overhaul or many cardholders will simply downgrade to the CSP for $95 for the ability to transfer to partner airlines/hotels.
I'm not a big food delivery fan either, but it is hard to turn away $60 of free food once a year, during a snow storm or whatever, and they do serve a wide variety of restaurants. I doubt if I will use Door Dash outside of the credit.
JRER
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:21 pm

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Questions

Post by JRER »

I am thinking about getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card for $200 bonus, 5% cash back on grocery year 1, 1.5% cash back on others. I would appreciate your help:
1. It offers "0% Intro APR for the first 15 months." Does that mean they don't charge me interests, monthly late fees, or penalty fees for the first 15 months?
For example, each month I have a $1K balance. I choose not to pay it off.
After 15 months, I have a $15K balance.
On day 1 after 15 months, I pay off the $15K. There is no balance. They charge me no monthly interests, no monthly late fees, etc., correct ???
2. It offers $200 bonus after I spend $500 the first 3 months. Does it mean I can get a check for $200? Does it mean I can use $200 to pay down my balance?
Thank you so much. I don't know too much about credit card.
TravelGeek
Posts: 3773
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by TravelGeek »

Workaholic wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:24 pm It's really a $250 card because not everyone (myself included) uses the door dash credit. I think the CSR is going to need a serious overhaul or many cardholders will simply downgrade to the CSP for $95 for the ability to transfer to partner airlines/hotels.
It remains one of my favorite cards, and I have no intention to cancel it for the time being, but I am all for adding benefits to the CSR.
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:49 pm I'm not a big food delivery fan either, but it is hard to turn away $60 of free food once a year, during a snow storm or whatever, and they do serve a wide variety of restaurants. I doubt if I will use Door Dash outside of the credit.
Not everyone lives in an area where the food delivery services operate, but I am lucky that I live in. A town that’s covered by both Uber Eats and Doordash. We order in or for pickup about once or twice a month. In addition to the credit card credits (Plat for Uber Eats, Doordash) there are often also promotions that reduce the cost of the order significantly. During the pandemic we have used delivery more often to make up for the inability to dine out.
protagonist
Posts: 6689
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited: Questions

Post by protagonist »

JRER wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:46 pm I am thinking about getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card for $200 bonus, 5% cash back on grocery year 1, 1.5% cash back on others. I would appreciate your help:
1. It offers Does that mean they don't charge me interests, monthly late fees, or penalty fees for the first 15 months?
For example, each month I have a $1K balance. I choose not to pay it off.
After 15 months, I have a $15K balance.
On day 1 after 15 months, I pay off the $15K. There is no balance. They charge me no monthly interests, no monthly late fees, etc., correct ???
2. It offers $200 bonus after I spend $500 the first 3 months. Does it mean I can get a check for $200? Does it mean I can use $200 to pay down my balance?
Thank you so much. I don't know too much about credit card.
I can answer #2. "Redeeming. You can redeem the cash back earned on your Chase Freedom Unlimited as a statement credit and direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts". If you can get a direct deposit or statement credit you can certainly use the money to pay down your balance.

I can't answer #1 because I always pay off my credit card balance every month...the interest rates are ridiculously high. That is,in my humble opinion, why they probably offer such lucrative sign-up bonuses. Once they have you, they know that the average credit card balance in the US is $6194, and thus it doesn't take long, on average, to make up what they give most people in the sign-up promotion, in subsequent interest (roughly 14-24%) and fees. https://www.cnbc.com/select/average-cre ... -by-state/

I wouldn't think that "0% Intro APR for the first 15 months" would NOT preclude their charging late fees or penalties but you probably need to read the small print or speak with a representative. Maybe somebody else here could answer your question.
xb7
Posts: 216
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Location: WA State, USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xb7 »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:16 pm Is there a good reason for CSR cardholders NOT TO redeem all of your UR points that you can at 50% pay back for all available expenses?

I can't think of one, since the best you can do upon redemption, not using payback, is 50% on travel with CSR points. Essentially it is giving you 50% additional redemption on all available expenses now, so it seems to make sense to make hay while the sun shines .

Maybe this seems pessimistic, but given how CC companies have been cutting down on benefits and raising fees for years, this is probably the best that will be available, and it may not last.

Also, unless you are close to 5/24, is there any good reason NOT to add the Freedom Flex card when it becomes available? It's an easy 40% bonus on 500 spending (actually 60% if you use cash back) plus 5% on groceries for the next year- 7.5% if using UR pay back (assuming I understand the program).
One other reason not to redeem UR for current expenses: my wife keeps our budget, and she suggested that it would be an added home accounting hassle for her to do this. We'll just keep collecting them for now on the theory that at some point we'll start to travel again.

Is there a good reason not to add the Freedom Flex card? Also a KISS thing. We don't want to have too many cards, and neither my wife nor I are keen on keeping up with this stuff all the time --- i.e., "what are the current quarterly bonuses?".
Having recently cracked my cell phone screen, I am mildly interested in the cell phone insurance aspect but still --- don't want the tail to wag the dog overmuch. At one point in the past we had thought it a good idea to have both a Mastercard and a Visa, but I don't think that's an issue --- I can't recall ever encountering a merchant in any country that took Mastercard but refused Visa. (in one instance for us the reverse IS true --- Costco only takes Visa)

I don't suggest that your logic is wrong for you, just that it's not universal --- different contexts, different priorities.

I too am a bit puzzled at the increased overlap between Freedom Unlimited and CSR benefits, and of course hope for a CSR benefit realignment that tilts benefits more to stuff that we care about, over and above what's now given on the 'free' cards. We'll hang on to our CSR at this point in hopes of travel reasonably soon. We do use our Doordash credit, and I anticipate that we'll be able to use our $300 travel credit somehow this coming year, so the net cost of doing nothing (keeping it simple ...) isn't that high. But again ... context, priorities.

I will say that one new CFU benefit will leave me a bit more conflicted going forward --- 5x on travel vs. 3x on travel from my expensive travel card (CSR). BUT with the significant caveat that travel has to be through the Chase portal. I can deal with the portal in the context of getting another 1.5x from my UR points, but having to use it more often than that doesn't fill me with delight. Over recent weeks we've been unwinding an overseas trip that we can't take now, and I found Booking.com to be incredibly easy to work with in this regard. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been so nice via the Chase portal. Ditto booking flights directly with an airline vs. the Portal.
So, in future this new benefit might leave me a little puzzled on a case-by-case basis: 2x more points via Chase portal, or use whatever travel site I prefer?
Maybe not a big deal, because by the time we're traveling again, we should have a whole lot of UR points accumulated!
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MilleniumBuc
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Location: Florida

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MilleniumBuc »

Workaholic wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:06 am
WolfgangPauli wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:08 am I dislike any "points" type card and will only do cash back. I know the value of cash but as we have learned during the pandemic, points values can be very fickle.

I have a 2.5% cash back card which pays 2.5% on every purchase made regardless of where or what. I pay it off every month and my monthly living expenses are about $4K. I put everything I can on the card (unless the payer charges a fee like the government with property taxes etc.). This accomplishes two things:

1. It is just like having a $4K CD paying 2.5%.
2. Gives me a 100% record at the end of the year where all my expenses went.
What cash back card do you have giving 2.5%? Just curious but normally the best cash back cards only pay 2% that I've seen.

"Points" values can vary and change but a transferrable currency such as Chase UR or Amex MR have a minimum value per point.
Not sure about the original message, but for me my local credit union changed from 1.5% cash back to 2.5% cash back about two months ago as a new normal (not a limited time promo), so I have been using it for everything until they realize it’s too much to bear. I have read of a few other credit unions doing the same, but with limited time promotions and certain accounts with them. The one I’m using it’s no fee as well.
( https://www.midflorida.com/loans-and-mo ... signature/ )

ETA: And it’s not like the Citi Double Cash where you get 1% at purchase and 1% once you pay it, they just add the 2.5% as each transaction posts, instead of waiting for the statement to close (probably something they might change in the future).
Nyarlathotep
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:24 pm

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited: Questions

Post by Nyarlathotep »

JRER wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:46 pmI am thinking about getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card for $200 bonus, 5% cash back on grocery year 1, 1.5% cash back on others.
Same here, but after looking more closely at the numbers and fine print, not sure it's "good enough" for me. Sure, getting the $200 bonus would be nice, and I'd probably end up making an extra $150 or so with the 5% cash back on groceries purchases the first year. But after that, it's no better (and no worse) than my Cap One Quicksilver that earns 1.5% on everything. I suppose I could just cancel it after the first year and pocket the roughly $350 in free cash... but is it worth the trouble of applying for it, setting up auto-pay from my bank, doing the initial $500 spend, and remembering to use it every time I shop at Kroger or Publix? And the fact that Walmart is excluded from the 5% cash back feature is a big drawback, since we do about 20-25% of our grocery shopping there. So, all things considered, not sure the ~ $350 payoff is big enough to entice me.
Escapevelocity
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:32 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Escapevelocity »

auggiedoggies wrote: Wed May 25, 2016 1:17 pm GOAL: Initially my goal was to build a large stash of points that could be used whenever we want for travel. Now that I have built up this sufficiently large stash, I plan on simplifying my strategy down to a couple of premium cards with valuable perks, and a few everyday spending cards.

CARDS: I have about 25 rewards cards. Never paid a cent of interest or late fees. Credit score is in the high 700s. Opening these cards has allowed me to build up a substantial points balance, in addition to ~2k of cash and Amazon gift cards. I've spent quite a bit of points over the past few years. I currently have:

250k Chase Ultimate Rewards
600k Amex Membership Rewards
90k Delta Skymiles
60k United Miles
180k AA Miles
240k Marriott Points
60k SPG points
140k IHG points


As far as everyday use, it goes:

1. Whatever card I'm hitting minimum spend on (Currently Amex Platinum Benz Edition)

2. 5% categories (Freedom and Discover IT)

3. Any 2 or 3% categories (Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Prestige)

4. Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5 UR per dollar)


REWARDS: Mostly used for trips to sporting events, visit friends, or go to the beach. Have used for a few large international trips (Maldives, Dubai, Caribean, Jamaica, etc). It's been quite nice to not have to worry about flight or hotel costs if we want to go somewhere. Now that we have a newborn, we will probably blow most of the points on a massive international trip in the next year or so, while baby stays with the grandparents.


FINAL THOUGHTS: Credit cards are awesome, if you have discipline. Most of my friends thought I was foolish, but now several have opened a few cards and use them frequently. I will say, it can be a bit daunting if you're not organized....
Congrats. I share your philosophy but way behind you in points. Autopay is your friend in avoiding late fees, interest, etc.
drk
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited: Questions

Post by drk »

JRER wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:46 pm 1. It offers "0% Intro APR for the first 15 months." Does that mean they don't charge me interests, monthly late fees, or penalty fees for the first 15 months?
For example, each month I have a $1K balance. I choose not to pay it off.
After 15 months, I have a $15K balance.
On day 1 after 15 months, I pay off the $15K. There is no balance. They charge me no monthly interests, no monthly late fees, etc., correct ???
Almost. You need to make the minimum payment every month, then as long as you pay down to $0 balance before the end of the introductory period, you'll pay no interest or fees. It's a great feature for a card, and some on the board make heavy use of them.
tj
Posts: 3329
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by tj »

DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
I think the schwab platinum is a better option personally. I just opened a schwab play for 60k pts and amex green for 45k pts. I will redeem all the points to schwab for over $1k...schwab gives you cash bonus for keeping 250k or $1 mil there, but that's too rich for my blood. I won't be keeping the schwab past the first year, but of I was a millionaire and utilized the lounges a lot, I probably would.
Leesbro63
Posts: 6781
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by Leesbro63 »

tj wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:28 pm
DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
I think the schwab platinum is a better option personally. I just opened a schwab play for 60k pts and amex green for 45k pts. I will redeem all the points to schwab for over $1k...schwab gives you cash bonus for keeping 250k or $1 mil there, but that's too rich for my blood. I won't be keeping the schwab past the first year, but of I was a millionaire and utilized the lounges a lot, I probably would.
Isn’t there a $550 fee for the Schwab Amex Platinum card?
tj
Posts: 3329
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by tj »

Leesbro63 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:45 am
tj wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:28 pm
DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
I think the schwab platinum is a better option personally. I just opened a schwab play for 60k pts and amex green for 45k pts. I will redeem all the points to schwab for over $1k...schwab gives you cash bonus for keeping 250k or $1 mil there, but that's too rich for my blood. I won't be keeping the schwab past the first year, but of I was a millionaire and utilized the lounges a lot, I probably would.
Isn’t there a $550 fee for the Schwab Amex Platinum card?
Yes, that's why I won't be keeping mine past the first year. But if you have $1,000,000 at Schwab, they give you $200 every year, you also get the $200/yr Uber credits and $200/yr airline incidental credits.
Leesbro63
Posts: 6781
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by Leesbro63 »

tj wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:39 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:45 am
tj wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:28 pm
DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:29 am I just got this email today:

EARN MORE CASH BACK
ON YOUR CARD STARTING 9/13/2020!
All of this is automatic—no activation required, no annual fee and no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn! Benefits include:
Man on road trip 5%
Unlimited cash back on
travel
purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®1
Couple eating pizza 3%
Unlimited cash back on
dining
at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services1
Girl in a Drugstore 3%
Unlimited cash back on
drugstore
purchases1
Plus, continue to earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else you buy.1
Simply use your card to enjoy your new earning power starting September 13, 2020 — it's all automatic, no activation required and no annual fee.
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
I think the schwab platinum is a better option personally. I just opened a schwab play for 60k pts and amex green for 45k pts. I will redeem all the points to schwab for over $1k...schwab gives you cash bonus for keeping 250k or $1 mil there, but that's too rich for my blood. I won't be keeping the schwab past the first year, but of I was a millionaire and utilized the lounges a lot, I probably would.
Isn’t there a $550 fee for the Schwab Amex Platinum card?
Yes, that's why I won't be keeping mine past the first year. But if you have $1,000,000 at Schwab, they give you $200 every year, you also get the $200/yr Uber credits and $200/yr airline incidental credits.
Are you saying you'll get the card for a year because they waive the fee for the first year? If not, it still seems like a lot of hoops for whatever benefit is net after that big fee.
tj
Posts: 3329
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by tj »

Leesbro63 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:48 am
tj wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:39 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:45 am
tj wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:28 pm
DrGrnTum wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:23 pm
With these changes to the Freedom Unlimited, it makes one wonder if the Chase Reserve is worth the cost of the $550 annual fee. I have used the Chase Ultimate Reward program to fund the majority of my travel expenses. I have a Freedom which is a no annual fee card that now earns points better that what is earned on the Reserve. I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that will let me combine points from the Unlimited. Using the Preferred I get all the flexibility that is available on the Chase Travel Portal. I will only be able to redeem my points at 1.25 cents when I use the Preferred, opposed to getting 1.50 cents if I used the Reserve. I can live with that.

The only thing that I will be missing using the Unlimited/Preferred system is access to travel lounges. When we traveled, we really enjoyed taking advantage of this benefit. I am seriously considering going the Morgan Stanley route to get the Amex Platinum. I can work this so that I can get the Platinum card and not pay any fees. This will give me lounge access plus more.

https://www.morganstanley.com/what-we-d ... hplus.html

With all these changes, one has to think that more changes will be coming, specifically to the Reserve and the Preferred.
I think the schwab platinum is a better option personally. I just opened a schwab play for 60k pts and amex green for 45k pts. I will redeem all the points to schwab for over $1k...schwab gives you cash bonus for keeping 250k or $1 mil there, but that's too rich for my blood. I won't be keeping the schwab past the first year, but of I was a millionaire and utilized the lounges a lot, I probably would.
Isn’t there a $550 fee for the Schwab Amex Platinum card?
Yes, that's why I won't be keeping mine past the first year. But if you have $1,000,000 at Schwab, they give you $200 every year, you also get the $200/yr Uber credits and $200/yr airline incidental credits.
Are you saying you'll get the card for a year because they waive the fee for the first year? If not, it still seems like a lot of hoops for whatever benefit is net after that big fee.
What hoops? I pay $550 and they give me $800 plus the aforementioned perks.
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willthrill81
Posts: 20824
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by willthrill81 »

After waiting long enough to fall underneath Chase's 5/24 rule, both I and my wife took out the Chase Marriott Bonvoy card. I've already got the 100k bonus points, and my wife is nearly there too. The annual fee is $95, but the card provides you with a bonus night at a category 4 or lower hotel on your anniversary of taking out the card, more than covering the annual fee. We'll probably hang on to at least one of these cards permanently.

Now the trouble is finding another card to take out. We aren't planning on doing much flying for the next couple of years, so cards with bonus airline miles aren't very appealing. We might not have a better option though.
“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
spammagnet
Posts: 1153
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by spammagnet »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:49 pmI'm not a big food delivery fan either, but it is hard to turn away $60 of free food once a year, during a snow storm or whatever, and they do serve a wide variety of restaurants. I doubt if I will use Door Dash outside of the credit.
I took the deal, too, but assign a value closer to $40. That's what we'd be willing to pay for the same food if it weren't delivered as part of the deal.
spammagnet
Posts: 1153
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited: Questions

Post by spammagnet »

JRER wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:46 pm... 1. It offers "0% Intro APR for the first 15 months." Does that mean they don't charge me interests, monthly late fees, or penalty fees for the first 15 months?
For example, each month I have a $1K balance. I choose not to pay it off.
After 15 months, I have a $15K balance.
On day 1 after 15 months, I pay off the $15K. There is no balance. They charge me no monthly interests, no monthly late fees, etc., correct ??? ...
To be safe, pay off the $15K 1 day BEFORE the 15 months is up.
spammagnet
Posts: 1153
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

willthrill81 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:36 am... Now the trouble is finding another card to take out. We aren't planning on doing much flying for the next couple of years, so cards with bonus airline miles aren't very appealing. We might not have a better option though.
Lacking a better option for travel rewards, why not focus on cash rewards until travel opportunities improve?
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4650
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

RE: Chase flex 5 points when using their travel portal.

I wonder if the perk is as good as it sounds. Allow me to explain. When we purchase airline tickets we have two options. Either using our United card or Chase flex card. With the United card we get free luggage which we use each and every time at least for the wife’s luggage and about 50/50 for mine. That is worth on average $105 per round trip. To beat the 5 points cash back the tickets need to be over $1k a piece which is very rare for domestic travel.

When purchasing hotel stays we can either book through the portal at 5 points or book through some other sites like hotels.com, Expedia, or directly through the hotel website. In general all those sites can be reached through a portal which gives cash back plus hotels.com is buy 10 get 1 free. That in conjunction with using chase sapphire reserve is a far bigger benefit than using chase flex card.

Am I missing something?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 20824
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by willthrill81 »

spammagnet wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:56 am
willthrill81 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:36 am... Now the trouble is finding another card to take out. We aren't planning on doing much flying for the next couple of years, so cards with bonus airline miles aren't very appealing. We might not have a better option though.
Lacking a better option for travel rewards, why not focus on cash rewards until travel opportunities improve?
That's what we've been doing while waiting to fall under the 5/24 rule.
“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
Posts: 5119
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by Jags4186 »

tj wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:31 am
What hoops? I pay $550 and they give me $800 plus the aforementioned perks.
Don’t forget the $150 annual fee for the Green card as well as the $7000 spend you’ll need to do.

But still, it’s at least $1400 in back on a $700 AF plus the perks.
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willthrill81
Posts: 20824
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by willthrill81 »

We don't have one of the cards that offer 2% cash back across the board because we've been waiting to fall under Chase's 5/24 rule in order to qualify for one of their cards. Until recently, we've been using the Freedom Unlimited card with 1.5% cash back, and I don't know if the additional .5% is worth it, especially since Chase has beefed up the rewards on the FU card and since we want to retain the ability to apply for other Chase cards for signup bonuses. I guess we'll just hang tight for now.
“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
tj
Posts: 3329
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by tj »

Jags4186 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:03 am
tj wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:31 am
What hoops? I pay $550 and they give me $800 plus the aforementioned perks.
Don’t forget the $150 annual fee for the Green card as well as the $7000 spend you’ll need to do.

But still, it’s at least $1400 in back on a $700 AF plus the perks.
Exactly. The Schwab by itself probably wouldn't make sense for me personally, but combining the Green with the Schwab, it's easy money, assuming you will spend enough without buying unnecessary stuff.
Workaholic
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Workaholic »

EnjoyIt wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:59 am RE: Chase flex 5 points when using their travel portal.

I wonder if the perk is as good as it sounds. Allow me to explain. When we purchase airline tickets we have two options. Either using our United card or Chase flex card. With the United card we get free luggage which we use each and every time at least for the wife’s luggage and about 50/50 for mine. That is worth on average $105 per round trip. To beat the 5 points cash back the tickets need to be over $1k a piece which is very rare for domestic travel.

When purchasing hotel stays we can either book through the portal at 5 points or book through some other sites like hotels.com, Expedia, or directly through the hotel website. In general all those sites can be reached through a portal which gives cash back plus hotels.com is buy 10 get 1 free. That in conjunction with using chase sapphire reserve is a far bigger benefit than using chase flex card.

Am I missing something?
I'm not a big fan of using the Chase portal to book travel- far too many horror stories of hassles with canceling tickets/reservations. Also generally speaking, it's fairly easy to get 2 cents per point in value by transferring to United or Hyatt.

I'm also leery about using the portal because my elite benefits may or may not carry over on my reservation. If I'm Hilton Gold and am entitled to free breakfast but I book through Chase instead of direct, would I still get my perks? Free breakfast at many hotels for two people is worth at least $50 sometimes more.
tj
Posts: 3329
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tj »

Workaholic wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:56 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:59 am RE: Chase flex 5 points when using their travel portal.

I wonder if the perk is as good as it sounds. Allow me to explain. When we purchase airline tickets we have two options. Either using our United card or Chase flex card. With the United card we get free luggage which we use each and every time at least for the wife’s luggage and about 50/50 for mine. That is worth on average $105 per round trip. To beat the 5 points cash back the tickets need to be over $1k a piece which is very rare for domestic travel.

When purchasing hotel stays we can either book through the portal at 5 points or book through some other sites like hotels.com, Expedia, or directly through the hotel website. In general all those sites can be reached through a portal which gives cash back plus hotels.com is buy 10 get 1 free. That in conjunction with using chase sapphire reserve is a far bigger benefit than using chase flex card.

Am I missing something?
I'm not a big fan of using the Chase portal to book travel- far too many horror stories of hassles with canceling tickets/reservations. Also generally speaking, it's fairly easy to get 2 cents per point in value by transferring to United or Hyatt.

I'm also leery about using the portal because my elite benefits may or may not carry over on my reservation. If I'm Hilton Gold and am entitled to free breakfast but I book through Chase instead of direct, would I still get my perks? Free breakfast at many hotels for two people is worth at least $50 sometimes more.
You should be able to provide your Hilton rewards number regardless of who you book through. When employer pays for hotels, I always add my Rewards number to the reservation.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4650
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Workaholic wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:56 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:59 am RE: Chase flex 5 points when using their travel portal.

I wonder if the perk is as good as it sounds. Allow me to explain. When we purchase airline tickets we have two options. Either using our United card or Chase flex card. With the United card we get free luggage which we use each and every time at least for the wife’s luggage and about 50/50 for mine. That is worth on average $105 per round trip. To beat the 5 points cash back the tickets need to be over $1k a piece which is very rare for domestic travel.

When purchasing hotel stays we can either book through the portal at 5 points or book through some other sites like hotels.com, Expedia, or directly through the hotel website. In general all those sites can be reached through a portal which gives cash back plus hotels.com is buy 10 get 1 free. That in conjunction with using chase sapphire reserve is a far bigger benefit than using chase flex card.

Am I missing something?
I'm not a big fan of using the Chase portal to book travel- far too many horror stories of hassles with canceling tickets/reservations. Also generally speaking, it's fairly easy to get 2 cents per point in value by transferring to United or Hyatt.

I'm also leery about using the portal because my elite benefits may or may not carry over on my reservation. If I'm Hilton Gold and am entitled to free breakfast but I book through Chase instead of direct, would I still get my perks? Free breakfast at many hotels for two people is worth at least $50 sometimes more.
I use the portal plenty when buying tickets with UR points. Never had an issue getting the hotel/airline status perks.

I just don’t see the value of 5 UR points when booking through the portal and wonder if others have the same math. Maybe I should have started a separate thread for it.

I was really excited about the flex card but not so much anymore. Chase is very smart about this product. They likely get more in benefits booking through the portal compared to the points they give out.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
protagonist
Posts: 6689
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Great new benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited

Post by protagonist »

spammagnet wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:51 am
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:49 pmI'm not a big food delivery fan either, but it is hard to turn away $60 of free food once a year, during a snow storm or whatever, and they do serve a wide variety of restaurants. I doubt if I will use Door Dash outside of the credit.
I took the deal, too, but assign a value closer to $40. That's what we'd be willing to pay for the same food if it weren't delivered as part of the deal.
Yep. Fair enough.
TravelGeek
Posts: 3773
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

willthrill81 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:36 am Now the trouble is finding another card to take out. We aren't planning on doing much flying for the next couple of years, so cards with bonus airline miles aren't very appealing. We might not have a better option though.
I don’t mind earning airline miles now in anticipation of using them next year or in 2022. I have more travel plans/goals than my current (large) balances support. Helps to be FIREd with 365 days of annual “vacation” flexibility, though :)

My wife yesterday got an Amex Hilton (no AF card) offer for 100,000 points. If you don’t have all the various hotel cards yet, perhaps there are some opportunities for you.
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willthrill81
Posts: 20824
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Location: USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by willthrill81 »

TravelGeek wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:58 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:36 am Now the trouble is finding another card to take out. We aren't planning on doing much flying for the next couple of years, so cards with bonus airline miles aren't very appealing. We might not have a better option though.
I don’t mind earning airline miles now in anticipation of using them next year or in 2022. I have more travel plans/goals than my current (large) balances support. Helps to be FIREd with 365 days of annual “vacation” flexibility, though :)

My wife yesterday got an Amex Hilton (no AF card) offer for 100,000 points. If you don’t have all the various hotel cards yet, perhaps there are some opportunities for you.
We haven't gotten hotel rewards before the Marriott Bonvoy cards, which should give us some good benefit. We'll take a look at the Hilton cards. And we probably should get the United card while it's still offering 60k bonus miles, even if it's a couple of years before we use them.
“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
Seasonal
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 1:49 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Seasonal »

tj wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:01 pm
Workaholic wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:56 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:59 am RE: Chase flex 5 points when using their travel portal.

I wonder if the perk is as good as it sounds. Allow me to explain. When we purchase airline tickets we have two options. Either using our United card or Chase flex card. With the United card we get free luggage which we use each and every time at least for the wife’s luggage and about 50/50 for mine. That is worth on average $105 per round trip. To beat the 5 points cash back the tickets need to be over $1k a piece which is very rare for domestic travel.

When purchasing hotel stays we can either book through the portal at 5 points or book through some other sites like hotels.com, Expedia, or directly through the hotel website. In general all those sites can be reached through a portal which gives cash back plus hotels.com is buy 10 get 1 free. That in conjunction with using chase sapphire reserve is a far bigger benefit than using chase flex card.

Am I missing something?
I'm not a big fan of using the Chase portal to book travel- far too many horror stories of hassles with canceling tickets/reservations. Also generally speaking, it's fairly easy to get 2 cents per point in value by transferring to United or Hyatt.

I'm also leery about using the portal because my elite benefits may or may not carry over on my reservation. If I'm Hilton Gold and am entitled to free breakfast but I book through Chase instead of direct, would I still get my perks? Free breakfast at many hotels for two people is worth at least $50 sometimes more.
You should be able to provide your Hilton rewards number regardless of who you book through. When employer pays for hotels, I always add my Rewards number to the reservation.
This is not true, unless something has changed recently. https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/d ... el-portal/ and https://onemileatatime.com/hilton-hhono ... -bookings/

An employer travel agency does not generally count as a third party booking. The usual distinction is between actual travel agents, such as a corporate agency, and third party online travel agents, such as Expedia (which operates the Chase portal).
arsenal_fan
Posts: 52
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arsenal_fan »

Hey Guys, having gotten married last year, am looking to settle on a good credit card strategy and need critiques/suggestions.

I used to only have no AF cards: the Uber Visa for 4% dining, 3% Amex Blue cash everyday (high credit limit) for any groceries/gas (minimally used), Chase Freedom and Citi Dividend (oldest card) with rotating categories. Closed the Freedom and Uber cards 3 months ago since they weren't doing much. I will attempt to product change Citi Dividend to Citi Double Cash for the 2% everything card.

I anticipated a lot of upcoming spending and travel and so applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards 75K points in Jan. Am $100 shy of the companion pass, so should get there next statement. Plan to close this card soon after that.

I underestimated expenses from online shopping :twisted: , and so wanted to act fast and do the Bofa Platinum Honors 5.25% thingy, but Merrill Edge only allows brokerages for US Citizens, and I'm not one. So, I just signed up for the Bofa Cash Rewards for my wife with 3% for online shopping as that will cover the first $2500 per quarter

We started spending a lot on groceries and takeouts and so to plug that hole, I signed up for the Amex Gold which I quite like for the 4X on Groceries, Dining and the ability to buy GC at 4X whenever needed. The 3X on flights is decent too but I'm hoping for better. $100 airline credit is fairly useless.

Since we're still buying things for the house, I think I can sign up for another card (AF or not) that I can use to generate rewards for travel (expect 1 international flight RT for 2 every year, hotels & car rentals). Need suggestions here.


TLDR:
Current Cards:
1) Amex Gold (4x Groceries, 4x Dining, 3x flights)
2) Bofa Cash Rewards (3% Online Shopping)
3) Citi Dividend -> 2% Citi Double Cash
4) Southwest RR 125K points + companion pass -> Will close soon
5) Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 60K limit - Fairly useless card right now and my second oldest. Not sure if I should close or product change.

Looking for a travel card (AF or not) for upcoming expenses, maybe something that replaces Blue Cash.

Have considered Wells Fargo Propel + Visa 4.5% on travel, but that's two more annoying cards to juggle. The other two cards I'm considering are Citi Premier with 60K points and 3X on travel, OR U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve with 4.5x mobile & travel though I doubt they'll approve since they've rejected a Go card I foolishly applied for with no research.

Thanks!
DrGrnTum
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum »

arsenal_fan wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:21 am Hey Guys, having gotten married last year, am looking to settle on a good credit card strategy and need critiques/suggestions.

I used to only have no AF cards: the Uber Visa for 4% dining, 3% Amex Blue cash everyday (high credit limit) for any groceries/gas (minimally used), Chase Freedom and Citi Dividend (oldest card) with rotating categories. Closed the Freedom and Uber cards 3 months ago since they weren't doing much. I will attempt to product change Citi Dividend to Citi Double Cash for the 2% everything card.

I anticipated a lot of upcoming spending and travel and so applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards 75K points in Jan. Am $100 shy of the companion pass, so should get there next statement. Plan to close this card soon after that.

I underestimated expenses from online shopping :twisted: , and so wanted to act fast and do the Bofa Platinum Honors 5.25% thingy, but Merrill Edge only allows brokerages for US Citizens, and I'm not one. So, I just signed up for the Bofa Cash Rewards for my wife with 3% for online shopping as that will cover the first $2500 per quarter

We started spending a lot on groceries and takeouts and so to plug that hole, I signed up for the Amex Gold which I quite like for the 4X on Groceries, Dining and the ability to buy GC at 4X whenever needed. The 3X on flights is decent too but I'm hoping for better. $100 airline credit is fairly useless.

Since we're still buying things for the house, I think I can sign up for another card (AF or not) that I can use to generate rewards for travel (expect 1 international flight RT for 2 every year, hotels & car rentals). Need suggestions here.


TLDR:
Current Cards:
1) Amex Gold (4x Groceries, 4x Dining, 3x flights)
2) Bofa Cash Rewards (3% Online Shopping)
3) Citi Dividend -> 2% Citi Double Cash
4) Southwest RR 125K points + companion pass -> Will close soon
5) Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 60K limit - Fairly useless card right now and my second oldest. Not sure if I should close or product change.

Looking for a travel card (AF or not) for upcoming expenses, maybe something that replaces Blue Cash.

Have considered Wells Fargo Propel + Visa 4.5% on travel, but that's two more annoying cards to juggle. The other two cards I'm considering are Citi Premier with 60K points and 3X on travel, OR U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve with 4.5x mobile & travel though I doubt they'll approve since they've rejected a Go card I foolishly applied for with no research.

Thanks!
I don’t know what stage you are at on your spending to acquire the SW Companion Pass. You should always try to complete the spending requirement at the beginning of the year. In this way it will be good for that year and the year to come.
Here is a write on the Companion Pass.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/s ... nion-pass/

The credit card that has the $100 airline credit, check to see if you can buy a travel gift card for an airline that you will soon be flying with. You can find information on this on websites like Flyertalk and Doctor of Credit. This will give you more flexibility on using this credit.

For a new card you might consider an Amex Platinum. In this way you can pool your points together from your other Amex cards. In effect getting a trifecta of credit cards. Plus, you will get the bonus points for the Platinum.
Here is write up on this.

https://nomascoach.boardingarea.com/tra ... a-is-best/

Good luck
arsenal_fan
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arsenal_fan »

DrGrnTum wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:13 am
arsenal_fan wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:21 am I anticipated a lot of upcoming spending and travel and so applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards 75K points in Jan. Am $100 shy of the companion pass, so should get there next statement. Plan to close this card soon after that.

Since we're still buying things for the house, I think I can sign up for another card (AF or not) that I can use to generate rewards for travel (expect 1 international flight RT for 2 every year, hotels & car rentals). Need suggestions here.


TLDR:
Current Cards:
1) Amex Gold (4x Groceries, 4x Dining, 3x flights)
2) Bofa Cash Rewards (3% Online Shopping)
3) Citi Dividend -> 2% Citi Double Cash
4) Southwest RR 125K points + companion pass -> Will close soon
5) Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 60K limit - Fairly useless card right now and my second oldest. Not sure if I should close or product change.

Looking for a travel card (AF or not) for upcoming expenses, maybe something that replaces Blue Cash.

Have considered Wells Fargo Propel + Visa 4.5% on travel, but that's two more annoying cards to juggle. The other two cards I'm considering are Citi Premier with 60K points and 3X on travel, OR U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve with 4.5x mobile & travel though I doubt they'll approve since they've rejected a Go card I foolishly applied for with no research.

Thanks!
I don’t know what stage you are at on your spending to acquire the SW Companion Pass. You should always try to complete the spending requirement at the beginning of the year. In this way it will be good for that year and the year to come.
Here is a write on the Companion Pass.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/s ... nion-pass/

The credit card that has the $100 airline credit, check to see if you can buy a travel gift card for an airline that you will soon be flying with. You can find information on this on websites like Flyertalk and Doctor of Credit. This will give you more flexibility on using this credit.

For a new card you might consider an Amex Platinum. In this way you can pool your points together from your other Amex cards. In effect getting a trifecta of credit cards. Plus, you will get the bonus points for the Platinum.
Here is write up on this.

https://nomascoach.boardingarea.com/tra ... a-is-best/

Good luck
Interesting thoughts on the Southwest Companion Pass. Looks like I misinterpreted that a bit. I didn't want to push spending and let it normally get close to the limit with the 25K bonus they provided helping immensely. I thought I'd lose this year anyway because of covid but even a year of Companion Pass would be worth it.

However, since I am actually ~175 off and my statements close on the 4th of the month, I am better off making the last couple of purchases on December 10th so that it posts on the Jan 4th 2021 statement and I can get the Companion pass for 2021 and 2022? This sounds right?

Thanks for the link on the Trifecta write-up. The $550 annual fee for the Platinum threw me off especially since Citi Premier has a $95 fee only and still 60000 points which can be transferred to airlines. But I'll read that article to understand what I'm missing.

Cheers for the response!! Happy Labor Day!
TravelforFun
Posts: 2185
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelforFun »

arsenal_fan wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:35 am Interesting thoughts on the Southwest Companion Pass. Looks like I misinterpreted that a bit. I didn't want to push spending and let it normally get close to the limit with the 25K bonus they provided helping immensely. I thought I'd lose this year anyway because of covid but even a year of Companion Pass would be worth it.

However, since I am actually ~175 off and my statements close on the 4th of the month, I am better off making the last couple of purchases on December 10th so that it posts on the Jan 4th 2021 statement and I can get the Companion pass for 2021 and 2022? This sounds right?

Thanks for the link on the Trifecta write-up. The $550 annual fee for the Platinum threw me off especially since Citi Premier has a $95 fee only and still 60000 points which can be transferred to airlines. But I'll read that article to understand what I'm missing.

Cheers for the response!! Happy Labor Day!
Starting 2020, you need to earn 125,000 points (or fly 100 segments) in one calendar year to qualify for SW companion pass. People usually go for the points by applying for a couple of SW credit cards and spending the required amounts to get the bonus points. The trick is you have three months to meet the spending requirement and get the bonus points.

In my case, I would apply for the cards (one personal and one business) in November and spend most of the required amounts over the holidays, then I would spend the remaining required amount in January so we could qualify for the companion pass in January; and the pass would last for almost two years.

I would do this in January of Year 1 and have the pass for Years 1 and 2; then my wife would do this in January of Year 3 and we would have the pass for Years 3 and 4; then I repeat the process in Year 5.

TravelforFun
DrGrnTum
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum »

arsenal_fan wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:35 am
DrGrnTum wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:13 am
arsenal_fan wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:21 am I anticipated a lot of upcoming spending and travel and so applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards 75K points in Jan. Am $100 shy of the companion pass, so should get there next statement. Plan to close this card soon after that.

Since we're still buying things for the house, I think I can sign up for another card (AF or not) that I can use to generate rewards for travel (expect 1 international flight RT for 2 every year, hotels & car rentals). Need suggestions here.


TLDR:
Current Cards:
1) Amex Gold (4x Groceries, 4x Dining, 3x flights)
2) Bofa Cash Rewards (3% Online Shopping)
3) Citi Dividend -> 2% Citi Double Cash
4) Southwest RR 125K points + companion pass -> Will close soon
5) Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 60K limit - Fairly useless card right now and my second oldest. Not sure if I should close or product change.

Looking for a travel card (AF or not) for upcoming expenses, maybe something that replaces Blue Cash.

Have considered Wells Fargo Propel + Visa 4.5% on travel, but that's two more annoying cards to juggle. The other two cards I'm considering are Citi Premier with 60K points and 3X on travel, OR U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve with 4.5x mobile & travel though I doubt they'll approve since they've rejected a Go card I foolishly applied for with no research.

Thanks!
I don’t know what stage you are at on your spending to acquire the SW Companion Pass. You should always try to complete the spending requirement at the beginning of the year. In this way it will be good for that year and the year to come.
Here is a write on the Companion Pass.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/s ... nion-pass/

The credit card that has the $100 airline credit, check to see if you can buy a travel gift card for an airline that you will soon be flying with. You can find information on this on websites like Flyertalk and Doctor of Credit. This will give you more flexibility on using this credit.

For a new card you might consider an Amex Platinum. In this way you can pool your points together from your other Amex cards. In effect getting a trifecta of credit cards. Plus, you will get the bonus points for the Platinum.
Here is write up on this.

https://nomascoach.boardingarea.com/tra ... a-is-best/

Good luck
Interesting thoughts on the Southwest Companion Pass. Looks like I misinterpreted that a bit. I didn't want to push spending and let it normally get close to the limit with the 25K bonus they provided helping immensely. I thought I'd lose this year anyway because of covid but even a year of Companion Pass would be worth it.

However, since I am actually ~175 off and my statements close on the 4th of the month, I am better off making the last couple of purchases on December 10th so that it posts on the Jan 4th 2021 statement and I can get the Companion pass for 2021 and 2022? This sounds right?

Thanks for the link on the Trifecta write-up. The $550 annual fee for the Platinum threw me off especially since Citi Premier has a $95 fee only and still 60000 points which can be transferred to airlines. But I'll read that article to understand what I'm missing.

Cheers for the response!! Happy Labor Day!
OP, I take it you have already received the bonus? If so, you may not want to chance doing the regular spend so that it may fall into the next the year. You are supposed to complete the spend in a calendar year. You may have issues if your regular spending is done at the end of the year and your statement closes the next year.

By doing a trifecta credit card system, you will be able to pool the points into one reward system. My wife and I use the Chase Trifecta. We have been able to acquire annually on average 100K points by using those credit cards for our regular purchases. Combined with the bonus of a high annual fee card, you should be able to accrue a pretty high balance. If you play this game with your spouse, with both of you signing up for credit cards, you can really rack up the points.

You will have to determine if you will be able find value in the benefits of the Platinum CC. What you want to do is offset that annual cost by taking advantage of those benefits.
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