What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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batpot
Posts: 1215
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by batpot »

Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:20 pm
protagonist wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:05 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:19 am

To answer your question, 80k points is worth well over $1k even after the $95 yearly fee that is not waived. Considering that the time it takes to get the 80k points and then spending those 80k points will maybe take 1-2 hours. I think that is a very good return on my time.
I'm emphasizing this so that nobody goes through all the motions and does not get the bonus.
Which plenty of people will find out the hard way. I'm sure there will be a whole slew of people cancelling their CSR's over the coming months, applying for a CSP thinking they'll score an easy 80K points, and be sorely disappointed when they learn that it's from when they received their BONUS versus when they received their CARD. And considering the 80K point offer is only valid until November (as of now), very few people who received the first wave of CSR cards back in 2016 will be eligible for the 80k point bonus on the CSP.
24 month rule applies to Chase sign up bonuses?
sycamore
Posts: 1588
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by sycamore »

batpot wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:43 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:20 pm
protagonist wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:05 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:19 am

To answer your question, 80k points is worth well over $1k even after the $95 yearly fee that is not waived. Considering that the time it takes to get the 80k points and then spending those 80k points will maybe take 1-2 hours. I think that is a very good return on my time.
I'm emphasizing this so that nobody goes through all the motions and does not get the bonus.
Which plenty of people will find out the hard way. I'm sure there will be a whole slew of people cancelling their CSR's over the coming months, applying for a CSP thinking they'll score an easy 80K points, and be sorely disappointed when they learn that it's from when they received their BONUS versus when they received their CARD. And considering the 80K point offer is only valid until November (as of now), very few people who received the first wave of CSR cards back in 2016 will be eligible for the 80k point bonus on the CSP.
24 month rule applies to Chase sign up bonuses?
For the CSP 80k offer, yes. From https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-sa ... lic-offer/:
- Not eligible if you’ve received a sign up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred/Reserve in the last 48 months (standard is now 48 months)
- Chase 5/24 rule applies to this card

Here's general info about 5/24 rule on the Doctor of Credit website. Basically you won't be approved for a card if you have 5 or more cards in the last 24 months. So if 5/24 means you won't get a new Chase card, it means you won't get the related Chase sign up bonus.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5373
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:50 am
deanmoriarty wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am For a couple years now, I’ve been using three BofA Cash Rewards cards, and one BofA Travel rewards card, all no annual fee cards, and I get these rewards, all in monthly effective cash back:

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)

I can put 90% of my spending on those 3-5% categories above, and I can rotate them when I exceed the $2500 spending in one quarter, and it has worked very well for me. The “muscle memory” of using different cards is fully built up and it’s become second nature.

I just noticed the CSP bonus of 80k points and that made me wonder if I should invest the time to open that credit card, purely for the bonus.

I travel a decent amount, and probably spend about $5-10k a year on travel, but I rarely use miles: I book my own cheap economy flights carefully researching on kayak.com, and just as well carefully research hotels for good value, so I normally don’t go and blow $300 a night on a Hyatt. Even in Hawaii, I managed to get a really good hotel in Waikiki for $90 a night, a couple blocks from the beach.

Do you think it would be worth the time?
I think the majority of people would agree it's worth the time invested as it only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and you already say you can spend the $4K easily within 3 months. For me it'd be a no-brainer however you really get the most "value" out of the 80K UR points if you use them for higher-end Hyatt properties or international saver award availability on United. Both of these options almost always get 2 cents per point at a minimum. Between my wife and I, we currently hold 500K+ UR points that we plan on redeeming a portion at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next year during the peak Christmas season where rates are between $500-$600/ night for a standard room but only 25K Hyatt points/ night.

I've thought about doing the BofA route but for my situation, it just makes more sense to accumulate Chase UR points rather than cash back. I never get less than 2 cents per UR point so effectively my structure is:

10% on the rotating categories
6% on dining
6% on travel
3% on everything else

If Hyatt or United was to suddenly and drastically devalue their programs, I'd consider switching but for now, I feel the greatest value is in stashing UR points away versus cash back.
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?

Regarding Hyatt which I do like, unfortunately is not everywhere and oftentimes a more expensive hotel compared to some alternatives in the area. So yeah I can get more per point, but I’m using more points to get there compared to just getting a hotel paying 1.5 cents per point with the CSR. So, I don’t stay at many Hyatt’s. Do you find a lot of good Hyatt options out there?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
TravelGeek
Posts: 4043
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

Cruz wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:03 am
I'm not sure when I will travel aboad next, but would like a card that has a 0% transaction fee which ruled out the Citi Double Cash for me. Chase Freedom Unlimited could be an option, but I dont have either of the Sapphire cards. I dont expect I would charge too much on this card so not sure how fast points would accumulate.
The CFU has a 3% Foreign Exchange fee as far as I know and can confirm from Chase’s website. I never use it abroad.
Workaholic
Posts: 341
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Workaholic »

EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:33 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:50 am
deanmoriarty wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am For a couple years now, I’ve been using three BofA Cash Rewards cards, and one BofA Travel rewards card, all no annual fee cards, and I get these rewards, all in monthly effective cash back:

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)

I can put 90% of my spending on those 3-5% categories above, and I can rotate them when I exceed the $2500 spending in one quarter, and it has worked very well for me. The “muscle memory” of using different cards is fully built up and it’s become second nature.

I just noticed the CSP bonus of 80k points and that made me wonder if I should invest the time to open that credit card, purely for the bonus.

I travel a decent amount, and probably spend about $5-10k a year on travel, but I rarely use miles: I book my own cheap economy flights carefully researching on kayak.com, and just as well carefully research hotels for good value, so I normally don’t go and blow $300 a night on a Hyatt. Even in Hawaii, I managed to get a really good hotel in Waikiki for $90 a night, a couple blocks from the beach.

Do you think it would be worth the time?
I think the majority of people would agree it's worth the time invested as it only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and you already say you can spend the $4K easily within 3 months. For me it'd be a no-brainer however you really get the most "value" out of the 80K UR points if you use them for higher-end Hyatt properties or international saver award availability on United. Both of these options almost always get 2 cents per point at a minimum. Between my wife and I, we currently hold 500K+ UR points that we plan on redeeming a portion at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next year during the peak Christmas season where rates are between $500-$600/ night for a standard room but only 25K Hyatt points/ night.

I've thought about doing the BofA route but for my situation, it just makes more sense to accumulate Chase UR points rather than cash back. I never get less than 2 cents per UR point so effectively my structure is:

10% on the rotating categories
6% on dining
6% on travel
3% on everything else

If Hyatt or United was to suddenly and drastically devalue their programs, I'd consider switching but for now, I feel the greatest value is in stashing UR points away versus cash back.
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?

Regarding Hyatt which I do like, unfortunately is not everywhere and oftentimes a more expensive hotel compared to some alternatives in the area. So yeah I can get more per point, but I’m using more points to get there compared to just getting a hotel paying 1.5 cents per point with the CSR. So, I don’t stay at many Hyatt’s. Do you find a lot of good Hyatt options out there?
I've actually never redeemed anything less than 2 cents per point on United. I have the Chase United Explorer card which opens up a TON of saver availability and have taken multiple international trips that I've used 60K United points for tickets that were going for $1200-$1600 (using United Explorist perk) or going to Hawaii for 45K United points when prime season tickets are going for upwards of $1000.

I normally stay at higher-end Hyatt properties if available simply because I find Hyatt to be the most consistent in their offerings. I can't think of any Hyatt that I've been to where I've found it to be subpar- some are better than others- but none seem to hit the lows of some of the Hiltons/Marriotts that I've stayed at. I'd rather pay a few dollars more for an experience that will be pleasant and always meet my expectations versus rolling the dice with another brand. But it all depends on what you're after and the price point you'd normally pay versus "splurging".
TravelGeek
Posts: 4043
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:33 pm
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?
I have never seen $2 per point either but two cents is doable :twisted:

Earlier this year I redeemed 2x 77,000 for a LH business class seat from the US to Europe and back (plus domestic UA connector flights). So 154k points. I don’t know what the revenue fare would have been, but I doubt I would have gotten the flights for $3080 (2 cent valuation, ignoring mileage earnings for a revenue ticket). And during a pandemic the extra separation in an (almost empty) business class cabin was priceless :)
e5116
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by e5116 »

EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:33 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:50 am
deanmoriarty wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am For a couple years now, I’ve been using three BofA Cash Rewards cards, and one BofA Travel rewards card, all no annual fee cards, and I get these rewards, all in monthly effective cash back:

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)

I can put 90% of my spending on those 3-5% categories above, and I can rotate them when I exceed the $2500 spending in one quarter, and it has worked very well for me. The “muscle memory” of using different cards is fully built up and it’s become second nature.

I just noticed the CSP bonus of 80k points and that made me wonder if I should invest the time to open that credit card, purely for the bonus.

I travel a decent amount, and probably spend about $5-10k a year on travel, but I rarely use miles: I book my own cheap economy flights carefully researching on kayak.com, and just as well carefully research hotels for good value, so I normally don’t go and blow $300 a night on a Hyatt. Even in Hawaii, I managed to get a really good hotel in Waikiki for $90 a night, a couple blocks from the beach.

Do you think it would be worth the time?
I think the majority of people would agree it's worth the time invested as it only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and you already say you can spend the $4K easily within 3 months. For me it'd be a no-brainer however you really get the most "value" out of the 80K UR points if you use them for higher-end Hyatt properties or international saver award availability on United. Both of these options almost always get 2 cents per point at a minimum. Between my wife and I, we currently hold 500K+ UR points that we plan on redeeming a portion at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next year during the peak Christmas season where rates are between $500-$600/ night for a standard room but only 25K Hyatt points/ night.

I've thought about doing the BofA route but for my situation, it just makes more sense to accumulate Chase UR points rather than cash back. I never get less than 2 cents per UR point so effectively my structure is:

10% on the rotating categories
6% on dining
6% on travel
3% on everything else

If Hyatt or United was to suddenly and drastically devalue their programs, I'd consider switching but for now, I feel the greatest value is in stashing UR points away versus cash back.
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?

Regarding Hyatt which I do like, unfortunately is not everywhere and oftentimes a more expensive hotel compared to some alternatives in the area. So yeah I can get more per point, but I’m using more points to get there compared to just getting a hotel paying 1.5 cents per point with the CSR. So, I don’t stay at many Hyatt’s. Do you find a lot of good Hyatt options out there?
I'm not workaholic, but I used to be able to get 2+ cents a point for United on relatively close-in award travel or during peak times when flights were pricey, but I booked far out with saver awards. With the dynamic pricing that United has introduced and abandoning the award charts, I too have found it increasingly difficult to get 2 cents on Economy.

I have had better luck transferring to Avios and taking American domestic flights which are mile-based so short-haul flights are cheap. However, they too were devalued last year and the points required went up with the lowest tier being taken away completely. I've also done the Hyatt route but only if there's a convenient choice in a location I'm already going to....The game has been getting harder and harder with all these companies going away from standard award points and going to dynamic pricing as they basically do the math so you get the same redemption value on the major players...It's almost the smaller airlines/orgs where it's still possible to get some decent value, but you can't rely on those given their breadth/scope of offerings are not large so it's very much geography dependent...
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5373
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:44 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:33 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:50 am
deanmoriarty wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am For a couple years now, I’ve been using three BofA Cash Rewards cards, and one BofA Travel rewards card, all no annual fee cards, and I get these rewards, all in monthly effective cash back:

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)

I can put 90% of my spending on those 3-5% categories above, and I can rotate them when I exceed the $2500 spending in one quarter, and it has worked very well for me. The “muscle memory” of using different cards is fully built up and it’s become second nature.

I just noticed the CSP bonus of 80k points and that made me wonder if I should invest the time to open that credit card, purely for the bonus.

I travel a decent amount, and probably spend about $5-10k a year on travel, but I rarely use miles: I book my own cheap economy flights carefully researching on kayak.com, and just as well carefully research hotels for good value, so I normally don’t go and blow $300 a night on a Hyatt. Even in Hawaii, I managed to get a really good hotel in Waikiki for $90 a night, a couple blocks from the beach.

Do you think it would be worth the time?
I think the majority of people would agree it's worth the time invested as it only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and you already say you can spend the $4K easily within 3 months. For me it'd be a no-brainer however you really get the most "value" out of the 80K UR points if you use them for higher-end Hyatt properties or international saver award availability on United. Both of these options almost always get 2 cents per point at a minimum. Between my wife and I, we currently hold 500K+ UR points that we plan on redeeming a portion at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next year during the peak Christmas season where rates are between $500-$600/ night for a standard room but only 25K Hyatt points/ night.

I've thought about doing the BofA route but for my situation, it just makes more sense to accumulate Chase UR points rather than cash back. I never get less than 2 cents per UR point so effectively my structure is:

10% on the rotating categories
6% on dining
6% on travel
3% on everything else

If Hyatt or United was to suddenly and drastically devalue their programs, I'd consider switching but for now, I feel the greatest value is in stashing UR points away versus cash back.
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?

Regarding Hyatt which I do like, unfortunately is not everywhere and oftentimes a more expensive hotel compared to some alternatives in the area. So yeah I can get more per point, but I’m using more points to get there compared to just getting a hotel paying 1.5 cents per point with the CSR. So, I don’t stay at many Hyatt’s. Do you find a lot of good Hyatt options out there?
I've actually never redeemed anything less than 2 cents per point on United. I have the Chase United Explorer card which opens up a TON of saver availability and have taken multiple international trips that I've used 60K United points for tickets that were going for $1200-$1600 (using United Explorist perk) or going to Hawaii for 45K United points when prime season tickets are going for upwards of $1000.

I normally stay at higher-end Hyatt properties if available simply because I find Hyatt to be the most consistent in their offerings. I can't think of any Hyatt that I've been to where I've found it to be subpar- some are better than others- but none seem to hit the lows of some of the Hiltons/Marriotts that I've stayed at. I'd rather pay a few dollars more for an experience that will be pleasant and always meet my expectations versus rolling the dice with another brand. But it all depends on what you're after and the price point you'd normally pay versus "splurging".
I’m clearly doing something wrong. I have a united explorer card and never find simple routes for 2 cents. I have taken first class trips to Europe for 2.5 cents but there is no way I would have paid that much cash for a first class ticket.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 5439
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dodecahedron »

deanmoriarty wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am For a couple years now, I’ve been using three BofA Cash Rewards cards, and one BofA Travel rewards card, all no annual fee cards, and I get these rewards, all in monthly effective cash back:

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)
Use a Cash Rewards card with category set to online to buy Costco gift cards online and you will get 5.25% cash back on your Costco purchases. (This strategy also works at some other grocery stores. Just check their websites to see if they sell gift cards online.)
Last edited by dodecahedron on Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Workaholic
Posts: 341
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Workaholic »

EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:46 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:44 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:33 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:50 am
deanmoriarty wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:12 am For a couple years now, I’ve been using three BofA Cash Rewards cards, and one BofA Travel rewards card, all no annual fee cards, and I get these rewards, all in monthly effective cash back:

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)

I can put 90% of my spending on those 3-5% categories above, and I can rotate them when I exceed the $2500 spending in one quarter, and it has worked very well for me. The “muscle memory” of using different cards is fully built up and it’s become second nature.

I just noticed the CSP bonus of 80k points and that made me wonder if I should invest the time to open that credit card, purely for the bonus.

I travel a decent amount, and probably spend about $5-10k a year on travel, but I rarely use miles: I book my own cheap economy flights carefully researching on kayak.com, and just as well carefully research hotels for good value, so I normally don’t go and blow $300 a night on a Hyatt. Even in Hawaii, I managed to get a really good hotel in Waikiki for $90 a night, a couple blocks from the beach.

Do you think it would be worth the time?
I think the majority of people would agree it's worth the time invested as it only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and you already say you can spend the $4K easily within 3 months. For me it'd be a no-brainer however you really get the most "value" out of the 80K UR points if you use them for higher-end Hyatt properties or international saver award availability on United. Both of these options almost always get 2 cents per point at a minimum. Between my wife and I, we currently hold 500K+ UR points that we plan on redeeming a portion at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next year during the peak Christmas season where rates are between $500-$600/ night for a standard room but only 25K Hyatt points/ night.

I've thought about doing the BofA route but for my situation, it just makes more sense to accumulate Chase UR points rather than cash back. I never get less than 2 cents per UR point so effectively my structure is:

10% on the rotating categories
6% on dining
6% on travel
3% on everything else

If Hyatt or United was to suddenly and drastically devalue their programs, I'd consider switching but for now, I feel the greatest value is in stashing UR points away versus cash back.
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?

Regarding Hyatt which I do like, unfortunately is not everywhere and oftentimes a more expensive hotel compared to some alternatives in the area. So yeah I can get more per point, but I’m using more points to get there compared to just getting a hotel paying 1.5 cents per point with the CSR. So, I don’t stay at many Hyatt’s. Do you find a lot of good Hyatt options out there?
I've actually never redeemed anything less than 2 cents per point on United. I have the Chase United Explorer card which opens up a TON of saver availability and have taken multiple international trips that I've used 60K United points for tickets that were going for $1200-$1600 (using United Explorist perk) or going to Hawaii for 45K United points when prime season tickets are going for upwards of $1000.

I normally stay at higher-end Hyatt properties if available simply because I find Hyatt to be the most consistent in their offerings. I can't think of any Hyatt that I've been to where I've found it to be subpar- some are better than others- but none seem to hit the lows of some of the Hiltons/Marriotts that I've stayed at. I'd rather pay a few dollars more for an experience that will be pleasant and always meet my expectations versus rolling the dice with another brand. But it all depends on what you're after and the price point you'd normally pay versus "splurging".
I’m clearly doing something wrong. I have a united explorer card and never find simple routes for 2 cents. I have taken first class trips to Europe for 2.5 cents but there is no way I would have paid that much cash for a first class ticket.
Really? What is your home airport? I fly out of OMA and there is a ton of economy saver availability to any major city/destination when I look out a couple months. Business/first saver availability is MUCH more difficult to come by from my experience though.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 5373
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:58 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:46 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:44 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:33 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:50 am

I think the majority of people would agree it's worth the time invested as it only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and you already say you can spend the $4K easily within 3 months. For me it'd be a no-brainer however you really get the most "value" out of the 80K UR points if you use them for higher-end Hyatt properties or international saver award availability on United. Both of these options almost always get 2 cents per point at a minimum. Between my wife and I, we currently hold 500K+ UR points that we plan on redeeming a portion at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next year during the peak Christmas season where rates are between $500-$600/ night for a standard room but only 25K Hyatt points/ night.

I've thought about doing the BofA route but for my situation, it just makes more sense to accumulate Chase UR points rather than cash back. I never get less than 2 cents per UR point so effectively my structure is:

10% on the rotating categories
6% on dining
6% on travel
3% on everything else

If Hyatt or United was to suddenly and drastically devalue their programs, I'd consider switching but for now, I feel the greatest value is in stashing UR points away versus cash back.
I have not seen $2 per point on United in a long time unless I am willing to do some awkward first class flight which I think losses significant value if I have a much longer fly time and more layovers. Am I mistaken or is this where you see that value?

Regarding Hyatt which I do like, unfortunately is not everywhere and oftentimes a more expensive hotel compared to some alternatives in the area. So yeah I can get more per point, but I’m using more points to get there compared to just getting a hotel paying 1.5 cents per point with the CSR. So, I don’t stay at many Hyatt’s. Do you find a lot of good Hyatt options out there?
I've actually never redeemed anything less than 2 cents per point on United. I have the Chase United Explorer card which opens up a TON of saver availability and have taken multiple international trips that I've used 60K United points for tickets that were going for $1200-$1600 (using United Explorist perk) or going to Hawaii for 45K United points when prime season tickets are going for upwards of $1000.

I normally stay at higher-end Hyatt properties if available simply because I find Hyatt to be the most consistent in their offerings. I can't think of any Hyatt that I've been to where I've found it to be subpar- some are better than others- but none seem to hit the lows of some of the Hiltons/Marriotts that I've stayed at. I'd rather pay a few dollars more for an experience that will be pleasant and always meet my expectations versus rolling the dice with another brand. But it all depends on what you're after and the price point you'd normally pay versus "splurging".
I’m clearly doing something wrong. I have a united explorer card and never find simple routes for 2 cents. I have taken first class trips to Europe for 2.5 cents but there is no way I would have paid that much cash for a first class ticket.
Really? What is your home airport? I fly out of OMA and there is a ton of economy saver availability to any major city/destination when I look out a couple months. Business/first saver availability is MUCH more difficult to come by from my experience though.
Maybe it is because I don’t look months in advance. That would make sense.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
CrazyCatLady
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:19 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by CrazyCatLady »

Is the Freedom Flex considered a different product from the Freedom card? I have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited and am thinking about trying to get the sign-up bonus for the Flex. Can't do the Preferred since I have the Reserve.
cheesepep
Posts: 957
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by cheesepep »

Being out of the US on a very extended business trip, I find the CSR most valuable and the Amex platinum useless. All of Amex's offers are for US only stores and their hotel offers are only for hotels in the US, whereas Chase offers are applicable to all stores worldwide with maybe some minor exceptions. I get a 4.5% effective cash back on all travel and restaurants using Chase's PYB, whereas Amex can only get 1% back, and Chase has several offers that I can use (less than Amex but at least I can use them). I plan on getting the Chase Ink Preferred card for the 100,000 points later and 1-2 hotel credit card for the points.

Most people who run the credit card blogs value Amex points at 2 cents per point and Chase's the same, but for me, and because cannot transfer to airline partners (because cannot fly), I value Amex's at 0.8 cents per point (value of cashing it out plus a little extra for hotel transfers for me) and Chase's at 3.5 cents per point (because of the 1% for all other purchases, but most of mine are travel and restaurant related), which means Chase is 4x more valuable for me. This is why my Amex card is staying in the sock drawer, where I just got for hotel status and the 100,000 points. I won't be renewing it next year unless their retention dept waives the annual fee. If travel stays where it is, then I'm going to convert all points into Hilton and Marriott points instead, because it is safe to stays in these hotels where I am.

It is weird because Amex bills themselves as a premium travel credit card, and it kind of is, but once you reach your foreign destination, then your card is useless and must be swapped for something else. American express cards are only good for what the name suggests -- America.
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nps
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by nps »

Multiple sites are reporting that Chase's Pay Yourself Back redemption option has been extended until the end of April 2021. No change to categories or redemption rates for the CSR and CSP.

PYB will also become available for Ink and Freedom cards but looks like with more restrictive categories.
EnjoyIt
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

nps wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:51 am Multiple sites are reporting that Chase's Pay Yourself Back redemption option has been extended until the end of April 2021. No change to categories or redemption rates for the CSR and CSP.

PYB will also become available for Ink and Freedom cards but looks like with more restrictive categories.
That is huge. More time to use up ultimate reward points at 1.5
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
TravelGeek
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

Yup, there are some posts about the extension of PYB in the PYB thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=322420
Rocky77
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Rocky77 »

I need your advice. I have an American Express Gold Card which has a 250$ annual fee. I dont use it that much to make it worth the 250$ fee. I have about 35k points. What would be the best card to product change to ( with AE) so it doesnt affect my credit and I cam get some rewards also. I called AE to request to waive off the fee but they refused. My questions are:
Whats a good no fee rewards AE card to switch for the gold card?
Do I have to use up all 35k points with the gold card before I change to another card? If yes, whats the best way to use all the points?
Thanks a lot for your advice
Workaholic
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Workaholic »

cheesepep wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:43 pm Being out of the US on a very extended business trip, I find the CSR most valuable and the Amex platinum useless. All of Amex's offers are for US only stores and their hotel offers are only for hotels in the US, whereas Chase offers are applicable to all stores worldwide with maybe some minor exceptions. I get a 4.5% effective cash back on all travel and restaurants using Chase's PYB, whereas Amex can only get 1% back, and Chase has several offers that I can use (less than Amex but at least I can use them). I plan on getting the Chase Ink Preferred card for the 100,000 points later and 1-2 hotel credit card for the points.

Most people who run the credit card blogs value Amex points at 2 cents per point and Chase's the same, but for me, and because cannot transfer to airline partners (because cannot fly), I value Amex's at 0.8 cents per point (value of cashing it out plus a little extra for hotel transfers for me) and Chase's at 3.5 cents per point (because of the 1% for all other purchases, but most of mine are travel and restaurant related), which means Chase is 4x more valuable for me. This is why my Amex card is staying in the sock drawer, where I just got for hotel status and the 100,000 points. I won't be renewing it next year unless their retention dept waives the annual fee. If travel stays where it is, then I'm going to convert all points into Hilton and Marriott points instead, because it is safe to stays in these hotels where I am.

It is weird because Amex bills themselves as a premium travel credit card, and it kind of is, but once you reach your foreign destination, then your card is useless and must be swapped for something else. American express cards are only good for what the name suggests -- America.
Amex Platinum has always been a good benefits card but not a strong earnings card. I value Chase and Amex points at roughly 2 cents per point but it's much easier to earn UR points than it is MR points. I mainly keep the Platinum for the Centurion lounge access as well as Hilton gold status (hello free breakfast!).
DrGrnTum
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum »

Rocky77 wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:38 am I need your advice. I have an American Express Gold Card which has a 250$ annual fee. I dont use it that much to make it worth the 250$ fee. I have about 35k points. What would be the best card to product change to ( with AE) so it doesnt affect my credit and I cam get some rewards also. I called AE to request to waive off the fee but they refused. My questions are:
Whats a good no fee rewards AE card to switch for the gold card?
Do I have to use up all 35k points with the gold card before I change to another card? If yes, whats the best way to use all the points?
Thanks a lot for your advice
Here is what DR of Credit says on a product change for the Amex Gold.
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-dow ... an_Express

And here is another web site that provides this information
https://www.asksebby.com/blog/american- ... de-options

It looks like there are no cards that you can product change to that do not have an annual fee.

The best you can do is change to an Amex Green. This has a $95 annual fee.
I believe if you change to this card it will hold your reward points.

You should call the number that is on the back of the card to verify all this.
brad.clarkston
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by brad.clarkston »

CrazyCatLady wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:00 pm Is the Freedom Flex considered a different product from the Freedom card? I have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited and am thinking about trying to get the sign-up bonus for the Flex. Can't do the Preferred since I have the Reserve.
It's in the same tier:
-------------------------
Freedom (going away)
Freedom Unlimited
Freedom Flex

The next tier up:
---------------------
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Reserve
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Ketawa
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Ketawa »

Rocky77 wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:38 am I need your advice. I have an American Express Gold Card which has a 250$ annual fee. I dont use it that much to make it worth the 250$ fee. I have about 35k points. What would be the best card to product change to ( with AE) so it doesnt affect my credit and I cam get some rewards also. I called AE to request to waive off the fee but they refused. My questions are:
Whats a good no fee rewards AE card to switch for the gold card?
Do I have to use up all 35k points with the gold card before I change to another card? If yes, whats the best way to use all the points?
Thanks a lot for your advice
My advice would be to open an Amex Schwab Platinum card, earn its signup bonus, then cash out all your Membership Rewards points for 1.25 cents each. Then close both accounts if you are not interested in cards that earn Membership Rewards points.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/opening- ... edit-card/
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/why-you- ... inum-card/
protagonist
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist »

Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:20 pm
protagonist wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:05 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:19 am

To answer your question, 80k points is worth well over $1k even after the $95 yearly fee that is not waived. Considering that the time it takes to get the 80k points and then spending those 80k points will maybe take 1-2 hours. I think that is a very good return on my time.
I'm emphasizing this so that nobody goes through all the motions and does not get the bonus.
Which plenty of people will find out the hard way. I'm sure there will be a whole slew of people cancelling their CSR's over the coming months, applying for a CSP thinking they'll score an easy 80K points, and be sorely disappointed when they learn that it's from when they received their BONUS versus when they received their CARD. And considering the 80K point offer is only valid until November (as of now), very few people who received the first wave of CSR cards back in 2016 will be eligible for the 80k point bonus on the CSP.
Right My CSR hits the 4 year mark in November so I am not eligible. It's very easy to make the mistake of thinking that the clock started ticking when you received your card.
I still think that CSR might be worth the extra price....or at least the discrepancy between CSR and CSP is small enough when one considers benefits vs cost that it is not worth switching for me, unless I start running low on points and need another bonus.
absolute zero
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by absolute zero »

protagonist wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:15 pm
Workaholic wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:20 pm
protagonist wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:05 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:19 am

To answer your question, 80k points is worth well over $1k even after the $95 yearly fee that is not waived. Considering that the time it takes to get the 80k points and then spending those 80k points will maybe take 1-2 hours. I think that is a very good return on my time.
I'm emphasizing this so that nobody goes through all the motions and does not get the bonus.
Which plenty of people will find out the hard way. I'm sure there will be a whole slew of people cancelling their CSR's over the coming months, applying for a CSP thinking they'll score an easy 80K points, and be sorely disappointed when they learn that it's from when they received their BONUS versus when they received their CARD. And considering the 80K point offer is only valid until November (as of now), very few people who received the first wave of CSR cards back in 2016 will be eligible for the 80k point bonus on the CSP.
Right My CSR hits the 4 year mark in November so I am not eligible. It's very easy to make the mistake of thinking that the clock started ticking when you received your card.
I still think that CSR might be worth the extra price....or at least the discrepancy between CSR and CSP is small enough when one considers benefits vs cost that it is not worth switching for me, unless I start running low on points and need another bonus.
This is news to me. What's the significance of the 4 year mark? Is it that you cannot recieve two chase signup bonuses within a 4 year window??

EDIT: scrolled up thread and found more details. I have excellent credit, applied for the CSP last week, and was told that they will review my application over the next 7-10 days. I guess I know why now. I churned the CSR several years ago. Didn't realize there was a 48 month rule.
protagonist
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist »

Does anybody know if Chase Sapphire plans to continue its Pay Yourself Back option in October, and whether there will be new categories?
My understanding is that it is due to expire today.
CrazyCatLady
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by CrazyCatLady »

protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:36 pm Does anybody know if Chase Sapphire plans to continue its Pay Yourself Back option in October, and whether there will be new categories?
My understanding is that it is due to expire today.
They continued it through April. Same categories for the Preferred and Reserve. Ink is added with some business categories (I think it was online advertising and shipping) and the Freedom suite was added, but only for charitable donations.
protagonist
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist »

CrazyCatLady wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:09 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:36 pm Does anybody know if Chase Sapphire plans to continue its Pay Yourself Back option in October, and whether there will be new categories?
My understanding is that it is due to expire today.
They continued it through April. Same categories for the Preferred and Reserve. Ink is added with some business categories (I think it was online advertising and shipping) and the Freedom suite was added, but only for charitable donations.
Thanks!
protagonist
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist »

Two possible approaches to buying groceries if you have CSR and just got Freedom Flex (and already have a lot of UR points):
1. Use Flex, get 5% back on groceries now, then transfer points to CSR and use CSR Pay Yourself Back for future dining expenses at 7.5% (but option only exists until April).
2. Use CSR initially when buying groceries, getting 1%, and pay yourself back for the groceries at 1.5% with excess points accumulated elsewhere. ("Bird in the hand" approach since Pay Yourself Back is due to expire in April).

What do you do?
lakpr
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lakpr »

protagonist wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:01 pm Two possible approaches to buying groceries if you have CSR and just got Freedom Flex (and already have a lot of UR points):
1. Use Flex, get 5% back on groceries now, then transfer points to CSR and use CSR Pay Yourself Back for future dining expenses at 7.5% (but option only exists until April).
2. Use CSR initially when buying groceries, getting 1%, and pay yourself back for the groceries at 1.5% with excess points accumulated elsewhere. ("Bird in the hand" approach since Pay Yourself Back is due to expire in April).

What do you do?
depends on the amount of "lot of UR points". I am in the exact situation as you describe, with about 250k UR points. At a 1.5 cents PYB redemption, that's worth about $3800. My monthly grocery bills run about $400 to $500 per month for a family of four (especially since we have stopped dining out, working from home, cooking from home ...it used to be $800 per month earlier). So that's 7 months of groceries in UR redemptions, just about the time the PYB redemption expires (and annual fee due in March).

For now, I am choosing option-2. My eventual plan is to cancel CSR, I really don't see myself or my family traveling or dining out. We would have cashed out even at 1 cent per UR, so the initial PYB redemption and the extension came as a god-send.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bibliothikarios »

Nothing profound in this, but I got a "get $3 off gas with the Chevron app" when you link your Paypal account" email today from Paypal.

So, it occurred to me, that Paypal is a 5% category (along with Wal-Mart) starting today on the Chase Freedom card. So if you use the Chevron app to get gas it could turn your gas purchase into a 5% category.

I know a lot of people have multiple Freedom cards from doing Sapphire downgrades. So this could benefit those especially. I know we will easily hit the 1,500 max on Wal-Mart this quarter.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bibliothikarios »

Marriot Bonvoy Boundless is offering a 250,000 point bonus for the first time (five free award nights).
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epicahab
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by epicahab »

I can't believe these points hasn't been devalued by now with all the financial hurting going on from the companies.

On the topic of Chase Sapphire Reserve, I plan to keep it for one more year in case I can take advantage of the redemption rate but now you all have me wondering if I should just cancel.
DiMAn0684
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DiMAn0684 »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:00 pm Marriot Bonvoy Boundless is offering a 250,000 point bonus for the first time (five free award nights).
That's extremely misleading, 250k Marriott pts would be a significantly better offer than 5 nights because (a) nights are only good for a year and points are good for as long as your account is active (b) you can stretch points for way more than 5 nights at lower category hotels (c) there're some promotions offered for pts bookings that don't work with the certs.
Bibliothikarios
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bibliothikarios »

DiMAn0684 wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:06 pm
Bibliothikarios wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:00 pm Marriot Bonvoy Boundless is offering a 250,000 point bonus for the first time (five free award nights).
That's extremely misleading, 250k Marriott pts would be a significantly better offer than 5 nights because (a) nights are only good for a year and points are good for as long as your account is active (b) you can stretch points for way more than 5 nights at lower category hotels (c) there're some promotions offered for pts bookings that don't work with the certs.
Here is the wording in the email I received:

[Name],for a limited time, you can earn five Free Night Awards, each valued at 50,000 points, when you get approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.*
It’s the first time this Card has an offer worth 250,000 points.
MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:21 pm
DiMAn0684 wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:06 pm
Bibliothikarios wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:00 pm Marriot Bonvoy Boundless is offering a 250,000 point bonus for the first time (five free award nights).
That's extremely misleading, 250k Marriott pts would be a significantly better offer than 5 nights because (a) nights are only good for a year and points are good for as long as your account is active (b) you can stretch points for way more than 5 nights at lower category hotels (c) there're some promotions offered for pts bookings that don't work with the certs.
Here is the wording in the email I received:

[Name],for a limited time, you can earn five Free Night Awards, each valued at 50,000 points, when you get approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.*
It’s the first time this Card has an offer worth 250,000 points.
At initial glance, it seems like a great deal. However, after looking at this in more detail I don't think it's quite as good as it seems.

First, you are not getting 250,000 points you can use as you please like your other Marriott points. You are getting five certificates. Second. you cannot use them for all hotels, only those where awards are priced at 50,000 points per night or less. Third, those points/certificates need to be used within 12 months from the date the points are awarded. Given we are not traveling due to Covid-19 there is some risk that we won't get to use these before they expire. $95 annual fee not waived the first year. $5,000 spend on this card means we won't earn at least 2.625% in cash back that this spend would earn if we put that spend on our BofA Premium rewards card (that another at least $130).

I kind of feel meh about it. In normal times, I think we'd be able to use the certificates and would probably given this a go. If I were getting 250,000 points to use as I choose (anytime I choose) I'd probably go for it too.
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TresBelle65
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TresBelle65 »

- 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)



I can get these cash back rates on the Bank of America Cash Rewards card? If that it is the correct name of the card, I need to get it right away. Thanks
MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

TresBelle65 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:34 am - 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)



I can get these cash back rates on the Bank of America Cash Rewards card? If that it is the correct name of the card, I need to get it right away. Thanks
You'd need to have both the Cash Rewards and the Premium Rewards CC's.

You also need $100,000 at Merrill Edge to get the CB uplift to these levels.
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sycamore
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by sycamore »

MikeG62 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:51 am
TresBelle65 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:34 am - 5.25% on dining/bars
- 5.25% on travel
- 5.25% on online
- 3.5% on groceries (including Costco!)
- 2.625% on everything else (and no international fee)



I can get these cash back rates on the Bank of America Cash Rewards card? If that it is the correct name of the card, I need to get it right away. Thanks
You'd need to have both the Cash Rewards and the Premium Rewards CC's.

You also need $100,000 at Merrill Edge to get the CB uplift to these levels.
Yep. Multiple cards are needed to pull that off. The 5.25% and 3.5% you get with the Cash Rewards. The 2.625% elsewhere is with the Premium Rewards.

BUT... to get that high cashback % you need to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and qualify for the Platinum Honors tier -- for details see https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred ... s/details/

Note: the $100k asset test can be met by holding at Bank of America or Merrill Edge. The rewards are still good though not as compelling if you just have $50k or $25k in assets. Worth a look.
TresBelle65
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TresBelle65 »

Thanks for the reminder here on signing up for the Freedom Paypal and Walmart promotion for 4th quarter. I see that's cash back....for some reason I thought we used to be able to earn 4X in UR points for the quarterly promotion - or am I thinking of another Chase card? or another bank even? LOL

Who else offers quarterly spend promotions for points and not cash back? thanks
portfolio123
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by portfolio123 »

epicahab wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:00 pm I can't believe these points hasn't been devalued by now with all the financial hurting going on from the companies.

On the topic of Chase Sapphire Reserve, I plan to keep it for one more year in case I can take advantage of the redemption rate but now you all have me wondering if I should just cancel.
Depends on your lifestyle and individual situation. Some key considerations I would make (probably obvious):

- How much you spend on travel and Doordash? For me, I'll always spend $300 on travel per year and $60 on DoorDash, so the fee automatically becomes $190 from $550. There's also the bonus savings I get on DoorDash when I spend beyond $60.

- How many ultimate rewards points you have and what your replacement card would be given the 1.5X redemption feature (assuming you use this and don't transfer to partners - very few of which I regularly find redemption rates that beat 1.5X). For example, if you have 200K points, that's worth at least $3,000 with the Reserve vs. at least $2,500 with the Preferred vs. $2,000 with no fee cards. In this example, you're giving up $500-$1,000 . Obviously, if you have 50K points, the difference is less impactful. Either way, if you're going to cancel, would think about redeeming at the higher rate first.
ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

TresBelle65 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:44 am Thanks for the reminder here on signing up for the Freedom Paypal and Walmart promotion for 4th quarter. I see that's cash back....for some reason I thought we used to be able to earn 4X in UR points for the quarterly promotion - or am I thinking of another Chase card? or another bank even? LOL
Freedom earns UR if you have another UR card to transfer them to. For the vast majority of cardholders I expect they take it as cash back.
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epicahab
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by epicahab »

portfolio123 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:55 am
epicahab wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:00 pm I can't believe these points hasn't been devalued by now with all the financial hurting going on from the companies.

On the topic of Chase Sapphire Reserve, I plan to keep it for one more year in case I can take advantage of the redemption rate but now you all have me wondering if I should just cancel.
Depends on your lifestyle and individual situation. Some key considerations I would make (probably obvious):

- How much you spend on travel and Doordash? For me, I'll always spend $300 on travel per year and $60 on DoorDash, so the fee automatically becomes $190 from $550. There's also the bonus savings I get on DoorDash when I spend beyond $60.

- How many ultimate rewards points you have and what your replacement card would be given the 1.5X redemption feature (assuming you use this and don't transfer to partners - very few of which I regularly find redemption rates that beat 1.5X). For example, if you have 200K points, that's worth at least $3,000 with the Reserve vs. at least $2,500 with the Preferred vs. $2,000 with no fee cards. In this example, you're giving up $500-$1,000 . Obviously, if you have 50K points, the difference is less impactful. Either way, if you're going to cancel, would think about redeeming at the higher rate first.
Much appreciated response, and yeah, I crunched the numbers like you suggest and it's a wash. I have 220k points. That's why I'll keep it one more year but I'm wondering will I even be redeeming travel a year from now? I hope so. I also kindof want to get the CSP signup right now and would like the additional redemption value for those points.
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VictoriaF
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

Leesbro63 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:21 am
VictoriaF wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:57 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:38 am
absolute zero wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:02 pm Does anyone know if purchasing visa gift cards is still a valid way to generate spending towards Chase Sapphire Preferred’s $4k requirement? It’s been a long time since I got a new credit card. Not sure if I can hit the $4k in 3 months with my normal spending. I remember many years ago buying VGC’s off of giftcardmall.com. Hopefully Chase hasn’t shut that down?
That does work. You can also buy gift cards for the supermarket or other common establishment you go to regularly or even prepay your electric bill.
My plan is to get this card in mid-October. Per Doctor of Credit, the bonus should be available until early November, but I don't want to wait to the last moment.

My spending plan is as follows:
- generate as much organic spending as possible between the time of getting the card and the end of the year
- in early January 2021, do the rest of the $4,000 spending by paying the estimated taxes for the 4th quarter of 2020.

In the worst case, I'll pay $2,000 in estimated taxes with 1.87% fee. That would be a loss of $37.40 on the fee, which is not a big deal.

Victoria
Won't you get a 1% reward on the $2000 tax payment, making your net fee only $17.40?
Leesbro63,

You are making an excellent point. Normally, it's not worth it to pay taxes with CCs. But in this case, not only I'll meet my spending requirements but also my fee will be partially offset.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Tingting1013 »

VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:10 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:21 am
VictoriaF wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:57 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:38 am
absolute zero wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:02 pm Does anyone know if purchasing visa gift cards is still a valid way to generate spending towards Chase Sapphire Preferred’s $4k requirement? It’s been a long time since I got a new credit card. Not sure if I can hit the $4k in 3 months with my normal spending. I remember many years ago buying VGC’s off of giftcardmall.com. Hopefully Chase hasn’t shut that down?
That does work. You can also buy gift cards for the supermarket or other common establishment you go to regularly or even prepay your electric bill.
My plan is to get this card in mid-October. Per Doctor of Credit, the bonus should be available until early November, but I don't want to wait to the last moment.

My spending plan is as follows:
- generate as much organic spending as possible between the time of getting the card and the end of the year
- in early January 2021, do the rest of the $4,000 spending by paying the estimated taxes for the 4th quarter of 2020.

In the worst case, I'll pay $2,000 in estimated taxes with 1.87% fee. That would be a loss of $37.40 on the fee, which is not a big deal.

Victoria
Won't you get a 1% reward on the $2000 tax payment, making your net fee only $17.40?
Leesbro63,

You are making an excellent point. Normally, it's not worth it to pay taxes with CCs. But in this case, not only I'll meet my spending requirements but also my fee will be partially offset.

Victoria
I like to think about this in terms of the opportunity cost of using the next best option.

Paying taxes with my BoA card yields me 2.625% - 1.87% = 0.755% in rewards. Times $4k = $30.20

Paying it with my CSP yields me 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $4k = -$24.80

So that’s an incremental cost of -$55 for using the CSP

Add in the annual fee of -$95, and we get a total cost of -$150 for earning the 80k point / $1k bonus.

$850 profit that is not taxed is impressive. At my marginal tax rate that’s the equivalent of $1635 in taxable bank interest.
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VictoriaF
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:44 am
VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:10 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:21 am
VictoriaF wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:57 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:38 am

That does work. You can also buy gift cards for the supermarket or other common establishment you go to regularly or even prepay your electric bill.
My plan is to get this card in mid-October. Per Doctor of Credit, the bonus should be available until early November, but I don't want to wait to the last moment.

My spending plan is as follows:
- generate as much organic spending as possible between the time of getting the card and the end of the year
- in early January 2021, do the rest of the $4,000 spending by paying the estimated taxes for the 4th quarter of 2020.

In the worst case, I'll pay $2,000 in estimated taxes with 1.87% fee. That would be a loss of $37.40 on the fee, which is not a big deal.

Victoria
Won't you get a 1% reward on the $2000 tax payment, making your net fee only $17.40?
Leesbro63,

You are making an excellent point. Normally, it's not worth it to pay taxes with CCs. But in this case, not only I'll meet my spending requirements but also my fee will be partially offset.

Victoria
I like to think about this in terms of the opportunity cost of using the next best option.

Paying taxes with my BoA card yields me 2.625% - 1.87% = 0.755% in rewards. Times $4k = $30.20

Paying it with my CSP yields me 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $4k = -$24.80

So that’s an incremental cost of -$55 for using the CSP

Add in the annual fee of -$95, and we get a total cost of -$150 for earning the 80k point / $1k bonus.

$850 profit that is not taxed is impressive. At my marginal tax rate that’s the equivalent of $1635 in taxable bank interest.
Tingting1013,

Your calculations are correct but there are nuances. For example, for three months after getting the CSP, I will be using it for regular expenses. I will pay taxes with the remaining amount, approximately $2,000. Using your calculations, I will lose 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $2k = -$12.40

I don't remember the features of the BoA card, but I generally prefer to use Chase cards. I am familiar with the Chase operations and I don't have to spend time learning another bank's rules and gotchas. Eventually, I will run out of the Chase cards and start looking for other banks, but it's not likely to happen soon due to restricted travel.

$95/year is reasonable as it covers travel insurance and primary car rental insurance.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
Tingting1013
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Tingting1013 »

VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:58 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:44 am
VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:10 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:21 am
VictoriaF wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:57 am

My plan is to get this card in mid-October. Per Doctor of Credit, the bonus should be available until early November, but I don't want to wait to the last moment.

My spending plan is as follows:
- generate as much organic spending as possible between the time of getting the card and the end of the year
- in early January 2021, do the rest of the $4,000 spending by paying the estimated taxes for the 4th quarter of 2020.

In the worst case, I'll pay $2,000 in estimated taxes with 1.87% fee. That would be a loss of $37.40 on the fee, which is not a big deal.

Victoria
Won't you get a 1% reward on the $2000 tax payment, making your net fee only $17.40?
Leesbro63,

You are making an excellent point. Normally, it's not worth it to pay taxes with CCs. But in this case, not only I'll meet my spending requirements but also my fee will be partially offset.

Victoria
I like to think about this in terms of the opportunity cost of using the next best option.

Paying taxes with my BoA card yields me 2.625% - 1.87% = 0.755% in rewards. Times $4k = $30.20

Paying it with my CSP yields me 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $4k = -$24.80

So that’s an incremental cost of -$55 for using the CSP

Add in the annual fee of -$95, and we get a total cost of -$150 for earning the 80k point / $1k bonus.

$850 profit that is not taxed is impressive. At my marginal tax rate that’s the equivalent of $1635 in taxable bank interest.
Tingting1013,

Your calculations are correct but there are nuances. For example, for three months after getting the CSP, I will be using it for regular expenses. I will pay taxes with the remaining amount, approximately $2,000. Using your calculations, I will lose 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $2k = -$12.40
Do you not currently use a cash back card for regular expenses? That would be the opportunity cost of putting those regular expenses on the CSP
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VictoriaF
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:01 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:58 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:44 am
I like to think about this in terms of the opportunity cost of using the next best option.

Paying taxes with my BoA card yields me 2.625% - 1.87% = 0.755% in rewards. Times $4k = $30.20

Paying it with my CSP yields me 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $4k = -$24.80

So that’s an incremental cost of -$55 for using the CSP

Add in the annual fee of -$95, and we get a total cost of -$150 for earning the 80k point / $1k bonus.

$850 profit that is not taxed is impressive. At my marginal tax rate that’s the equivalent of $1635 in taxable bank interest.
Tingting1013,

Your calculations are correct but there are nuances. For example, for three months after getting the CSP, I will be using it for regular expenses. I will pay taxes with the remaining amount, approximately $2,000. Using your calculations, I will lose 1.25% - 1.87% = -0.62%. Times $2k = -$12.40
Do you not currently use a cash back card for regular expenses? That would be the opportunity cost of putting those regular expenses on the CSP
I have an old Capital One card that pays 1.5% cash back. I use it occasionally, mostly when traveling internationally or making purchases in foreign currencies. In the future, I may consider the Fidelity card that pays 2% back, but it has a ForEx fee.

I understand the concept of the opportunity cost. But when I evaluate my costs, I include the cognitive cost of leaning a new card. Every time I want to create a new financial arrangement I spend a long time investigating how it works and looking for potential problems. Most people would consider it an overkill but, at least so far, I avoided problems.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 338
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver »

Quick question for Chase cards users..

So I currently have CSR/Unlimited/Freedom combo and thinking of canceling CSR for the time being until travel resumes next year (fingers crossed). The next year fee just got charged so the next 30 days is a good time to cancel the card.

Once the travel resumes, I am planning to reapply for CSR and get a new bonus. I have had the CSR card since September 2016 (bonus received in December 2016), so I think I will qualify for the second bonus. In the meantime I will rely in Unlimited/Freedom for all my purchases. Since the new categories were added to the Unlimited card, I don't think I'll be missing much on earning the points.

How does my plan sound? Am I missing anything?

Thank you :sharebeer
ZinCO
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

ImmigrantSaver wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:23 pm Quick question for Chase cards users..

So I currently have CSR/Unlimited/Freedom combo and thinking of canceling CSR for the time being until travel resumes next year (fingers crossed). The next year fee just got charged so the next 30 days is a good time to cancel the card.

Once the travel resumes, I am planning to reapply for CSR and get a new bonus. I have had the CSR card since September 2016 (bonus received in December 2016), so I think I will qualify for the second bonus. In the meantime I will rely in Unlimited/Freedom for all my purchases. Since the new categories were added to the Unlimited card, I don't think I'll be missing much on earning the points.

How does my plan sound? Am I missing anything?

Thank you :sharebeer
Not missing anything, a lot of us have similar thoughts unless we are getting sufficient value from our CSR currently.

You will lose access to Pay-Yourself-Back without the CSR, so you might want to get rid of some of your existing UR's now via PYB before cancelling the card. Presumably you will have many more when you decide to get a new CSR/CSP and can utilize that feature again (although you won't have expenses to use them against until you start using the new card for reimbursable expenses).
ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver »

Yes, already used up most of points that way. Didn’t realize pay yourself back was only for CSR but it’s ok I’ll just collect points for now. Thanks!
ZinCO
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

ImmigrantSaver wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:14 am Yes, already used up most of points that way. Didn’t realize pay yourself back was only for CSR but it’s ok I’ll just collect points for now. Thanks!
Sorry, I should have been more clear. PYB is available for the CSP and Freedom, but at lower redemption values or fewer categories. You will lose access to PYB as you know it.
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