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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:40 pm
by BeneIRA
rjbraun wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
Drew777 wrote: <snip>
From Amex I've had the personal Plat, Ameriprise Plat, Biz Plat, 2x SPG personal, 2x SPG Biz, 2x Hilton Surpass, 2x no AF Hilton, 1x SimplyCash.
<snip>
I assume the "2x" for various Amex cards means that you and your wife each got the card. I've already received the Amex SPG bonus (several years ago) but still haven't spent it. The current up to 35k bonus sounds pretty nice, and I was thinking of suggesting to SO to apply for the card (assuming I cannot). But, he's not so keen to play the cc game, so it would be better if I can keep him out of things. I would consider getting the Amex SPG Biz for myself, though my understanding is Amex scrutinizes financials more closely than others.

I'm also a bit unsure about the SPG card in light of the Marriott merger. Not quite sure how to evaluate that aspect.
Yes, my wife got those cards. However, you can get the bonus for multiples of the same Amex card using different business as long as you use different EINs. It's extremely easy to get approved for Amex business cards. Most of mine have been auto approved. I even went through a financial review with Amex and was fine. Some people just panic and close their accounts when Amex tells them they're under a financial review, which is the worst thing you can do. As long as you cooperate it will be fine, they won't close your accounts. Just don't lie about your income (or business revenue). You can be approved with $0 business income. And if anything the Marriott merger makes SPG MORE valuable, not less.
Thanks, Drew. As I have yet to apply for Amex SPG Business I thought I might do that, but the bonus terms aren't attractive when I checked now: same as for the personal card but with (considerably) higher minimum spends. Ugh, maybe I'll have to ask SO to apply after all.

Good to know you think Marriott merger stands to benefit SPG. Presumably, it will increase hotel options, but my concern was about possible devaluation of Starpoints.

Interesting about the different EINs. In my case, I have not legally formed my business venture(s), so according to the IRS website I need to wait to obtain an EIN.
I'll present the other side of this argument. I have been waiting on applying for the Amex SPG because I was waiting on the 35,000 mile bonus. I am going to apply for it within the next month. I was under 5/24 for a bit, so I was using up all of my Chase real estate. Marriott has repeatedly come out and said that there will probably be a new, merged program in early 2018. I project that the Starwood SPG card and.or the Marriott card will not exist in their current forms a year from now. I predict that the SPG card will go the way of the dodo and probably be merged into the Marriott card. I would think some kind of token gesture for the SPG cardholders. Maybe they will give us all a grace period, but I don't believe I will be able to have the Amex SPG long-term, but that doesn't mean I think it's a bad thing.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:26 pm
by Hankscorpio_84
giesen5 wrote:
Hankscorpio_84 wrote:I recently started using a site/app called birch finance to view/manage cc rewards. It is similar to mint but focuses on maximizing rewards.

I am not affiliated, just found the interface helpful.
Tell us more, what is good about it?
Clean and ituitive design. Adding cards was a breeze. It categorizes transactions and calculates rewards so you can see what card you should be using for a given transaction. Yes, most monthly statements also do this, but I like the convenience of having all the info in one place. There are options for notifications and emails, which are easy to turn off if you don't want them.

The biggest improvement would be to have a bonus tracking feature that would let you know when you hit a spend limit and keep track of bonuses acummulated.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:00 pm
by hsv_climber
VictoriaF wrote:My general recommendation to Bogleheads readers of this thread is to regularly review three to six travel/credit cards/rewards blogs. They provide you with the latest news and contain useful information you did not seek. My regular go-to blogs are:
http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/
http://millionmilesecrets.com/
http://www.doctorofcredit.com/
http://boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/
http://thepointsguy.com/
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/

I do NOT read everything. I scan titles, expand those that seem relevant, and read them completely only if they appear useful. Thus, the whole exercise takes from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how many days have passed since my last review and whether there is something directly relevant to me.

For example, there were two recent pieces of information that I had not sought but that may be handy in the future:
1. Global Entry should be renewed well in advance of its expiration, and the renewal can be started 1 year earlier.
2. If a flight is delayed, one can change to a better flight without paying a change fee.

Victoria
That will save you another 5 minutes: https://milesfeed.com/

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:58 pm
by VictoriaF
hsv_climber wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:My general recommendation to Bogleheads readers of this thread is to regularly review three to six travel/credit cards/rewards blogs. They provide you with the latest news and contain useful information you did not seek. My regular go-to blogs are:
http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/
http://millionmilesecrets.com/
http://www.doctorofcredit.com/
http://boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/
http://thepointsguy.com/
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/

I do NOT read everything. I scan titles, expand those that seem relevant, and read them completely only if they appear useful. Thus, the whole exercise takes from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how many days have passed since my last review and whether there is something directly relevant to me.

For example, there were two recent pieces of information that I had not sought but that may be handy in the future:
1. Global Entry should be renewed well in advance of its expiration, and the renewal can be started 1 year earlier.
2. If a flight is delayed, one can change to a better flight without paying a change fee.

Victoria
That will save you another 5 minutes: https://milesfeed.com/
An interesting site, thanks! However, I may end up spending additional 5 minutes scanning these feeds.

Victoria

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:57 pm
by ThreeBears
DiMAn0684 wrote:
ThreeBears wrote:American Express Delta -

Just a warning. The card claims that you cannot get the miles bonus if you've ever had the card before . . . apparently they mean it, as I just spent $3,000 and they said I won't be getting the miles. I guess it's my fault, but I'm sharing as other people have had luck with other credit cards that claim to limit whether you can get the bonus a second time.

The customer service rep said I should apply for American Express Gold if I want to get more miles as I'm still eligible for that card.
When was the last time you had the card? From what I hear after ~7 yrs AMEX forgets that you've had the card...although that might be changing now.
I had the card about three years ago. I would bet you are correct, as your credit report only goes back 7.5 years . . . if you have not had the card in 7.5 years, then I would think you could get the bonus again.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:58 pm
by ThreeBears
rjbraun wrote:
ThreeBears wrote:American Express Delta -

Just a warning. The card claims that you cannot get the miles bonus if you've ever had the card before . . . apparently they mean it, as I just spent $3,000 and they said I won't be getting the miles. I guess it's my fault, but I'm sharing as other people have had luck with other credit cards that claim to limit whether you can get the bonus a second time.

The customer service rep said I should apply for American Express Gold if I want to get more miles as I'm still eligible for that card.
Sorry about the setback. I take it that you never received a targeted offer or similar from Amex offering / ensuring you the sign-up bonus. If you did and they didn't follow through with the miles bonus that would be surprising and good to know. Thanks
It was NOT a targeted bonus. I just signed up online. So, now I know that AMEX means it when they say you can only get the bonus once. Some other people have stated examples of getting the same bonus several times for VISA, so I assumed I had a good chance of being able to do it with AMEX. Lesson learned.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:34 pm
by Barefootgirl
RE: Churnable Cards

I just read on DOC about the No 24-Month language CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select with 50,000 bonus, 3K spend I think it was in 90 days.

Ok, so the no 24 months makes this quite churnable and since it's a business card, it should not show up on the Chase radar? Do I have that right?

Would appreciate input to track my understanding on this one. thanks

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:49 am
by Drew777
Barefootgirl wrote:RE: Churnable Cards

I just read on DOC about the No 24-Month language CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select with 50,000 bonus, 3K spend I think it was in 90 days.

Ok, so the no 24 months makes this quite churnable and since it's a business card, it should not show up on the Chase radar? Do I have that right?

Would appreciate input to track my understanding on this one. thanks
Right, but you can only get a Citi Business CC once every 95 days.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:52 am
by Drew777
BeneIRA wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
Drew777 wrote: <snip>
From Amex I've had the personal Plat, Ameriprise Plat, Biz Plat, 2x SPG personal, 2x SPG Biz, 2x Hilton Surpass, 2x no AF Hilton, 1x SimplyCash.
<snip>
I assume the "2x" for various Amex cards means that you and your wife each got the card. I've already received the Amex SPG bonus (several years ago) but still haven't spent it. The current up to 35k bonus sounds pretty nice, and I was thinking of suggesting to SO to apply for the card (assuming I cannot). But, he's not so keen to play the cc game, so it would be better if I can keep him out of things. I would consider getting the Amex SPG Biz for myself, though my understanding is Amex scrutinizes financials more closely than others.

I'm also a bit unsure about the SPG card in light of the Marriott merger. Not quite sure how to evaluate that aspect.
Yes, my wife got those cards. However, you can get the bonus for multiples of the same Amex card using different business as long as you use different EINs. It's extremely easy to get approved for Amex business cards. Most of mine have been auto approved. I even went through a financial review with Amex and was fine. Some people just panic and close their accounts when Amex tells them they're under a financial review, which is the worst thing you can do. As long as you cooperate it will be fine, they won't close your accounts. Just don't lie about your income (or business revenue). You can be approved with $0 business income. And if anything the Marriott merger makes SPG MORE valuable, not less.
Thanks, Drew. As I have yet to apply for Amex SPG Business I thought I might do that, but the bonus terms aren't attractive when I checked now: same as for the personal card but with (considerably) higher minimum spends. Ugh, maybe I'll have to ask SO to apply after all.

Good to know you think Marriott merger stands to benefit SPG. Presumably, it will increase hotel options, but my concern was about possible devaluation of Starpoints.

Interesting about the different EINs. In my case, I have not legally formed my business venture(s), so according to the IRS website I need to wait to obtain an EIN.
I'll present the other side of this argument. I have been waiting on applying for the Amex SPG because I was waiting on the 35,000 mile bonus. I am going to apply for it within the next month. I was under 5/24 for a bit, so I was using up all of my Chase real estate. Marriott has repeatedly come out and said that there will probably be a new, merged program in early 2018. I project that the Starwood SPG card and.or the Marriott card will not exist in their current forms a year from now. I predict that the SPG card will go the way of the dodo and probably be merged into the Marriott card. I would think some kind of token gesture for the SPG cardholders. Maybe they will give us all a grace period, but I don't believe I will be able to have the Amex SPG long-term, but that doesn't mean I think it's a bad thing.
2018 is a long way off to worry about right now. I wouldn't recommend holding any miles or points for a year. All programs are devalued eventually.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:11 am
by Barefootgirl
All programs are devalued eventually.
I've thought about this and how to incorporate it into an earnings strategy to optimize efficient use of one's time/focus.

Seems to me that if you know you aren't going to be able to travel or have use of them due to whatever reason during a particular time frame, it might be a good idea to take a pause to "reset" the clock on churning eligibility or other restrictions. Then when you project you will have need of points from a certain program/s - step it up. On the other hand, there are people who believe in jumping on whatever's available under the guise of never getting another chance on X again. I guess predicting any of this is could be fruitless lol

Sounds obvious, but no use in wasting time or points value....if possible.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:22 am
by dbr
Barefootgirl wrote:
All programs are devalued eventually.
I've thought about this and how to incorporate it into an earnings strategy to optimize efficient use of one's time/focus.

Seems to me that if you know you aren't going to be able to travel or have use of them due to whatever reason during a particular time frame, it might be a good idea to take a pause to "reset" the clock on churning eligibility or other restrictions. Then when you project you will have need of points from a certain program/s - step it up. On the other hand, there are people who believe in jumping on whatever's available under the guise of never getting another chance on X again. I guess predicting any of this is could be fruitless lol

Sounds obvious, but no use in wasting time or points value....if possible.
It is also possible that the opportunity to earn big chunks of miles on card bonuses will be and is being devalued. Two cases in point are the Chase 5/24 rule and the Amex once in a lifetime rule. Airlines have also shifted from miles traveled awards to dollars spent awards. I would say the golden age is probably over.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:02 pm
by BeneIRA
Drew777 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
rjbraun wrote: I assume the "2x" for various Amex cards means that you and your wife each got the card. I've already received the Amex SPG bonus (several years ago) but still haven't spent it. The current up to 35k bonus sounds pretty nice, and I was thinking of suggesting to SO to apply for the card (assuming I cannot). But, he's not so keen to play the cc game, so it would be better if I can keep him out of things. I would consider getting the Amex SPG Biz for myself, though my understanding is Amex scrutinizes financials more closely than others.

I'm also a bit unsure about the SPG card in light of the Marriott merger. Not quite sure how to evaluate that aspect.
Yes, my wife got those cards. However, you can get the bonus for multiples of the same Amex card using different business as long as you use different EINs. It's extremely easy to get approved for Amex business cards. Most of mine have been auto approved. I even went through a financial review with Amex and was fine. Some people just panic and close their accounts when Amex tells them they're under a financial review, which is the worst thing you can do. As long as you cooperate it will be fine, they won't close your accounts. Just don't lie about your income (or business revenue). You can be approved with $0 business income. And if anything the Marriott merger makes SPG MORE valuable, not less.
Thanks, Drew. As I have yet to apply for Amex SPG Business I thought I might do that, but the bonus terms aren't attractive when I checked now: same as for the personal card but with (considerably) higher minimum spends. Ugh, maybe I'll have to ask SO to apply after all.

Good to know you think Marriott merger stands to benefit SPG. Presumably, it will increase hotel options, but my concern was about possible devaluation of Starpoints.

Interesting about the different EINs. In my case, I have not legally formed my business venture(s), so according to the IRS website I need to wait to obtain an EIN.
I'll present the other side of this argument. I have been waiting on applying for the Amex SPG because I was waiting on the 35,000 mile bonus. I am going to apply for it within the next month. I was under 5/24 for a bit, so I was using up all of my Chase real estate. Marriott has repeatedly come out and said that there will probably be a new, merged program in early 2018. I project that the Starwood SPG card and.or the Marriott card will not exist in their current forms a year from now. I predict that the SPG card will go the way of the dodo and probably be merged into the Marriott card. I would think some kind of token gesture for the SPG cardholders. Maybe they will give us all a grace period, but I don't believe I will be able to have the Amex SPG long-term, but that doesn't mean I think it's a bad thing.
2018 is a long way off to worry about right now. I wouldn't recommend holding any miles or points for a year. All programs are devalued eventually.
It is never to early to be extremely concerned about something one has no control over. :wink:

In all seriousness, the way all programs are heading, everything we have now will be slightly devalued at some point if not worse. Enjoy it while it lasts. As for the future of the SPG Amex, I think it will be a net wash or slightly worse, at least in the short-term, but it is what it is.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:13 am
by Drew777
BeneIRA wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
Yes, my wife got those cards. However, you can get the bonus for multiples of the same Amex card using different business as long as you use different EINs. It's extremely easy to get approved for Amex business cards. Most of mine have been auto approved. I even went through a financial review with Amex and was fine. Some people just panic and close their accounts when Amex tells them they're under a financial review, which is the worst thing you can do. As long as you cooperate it will be fine, they won't close your accounts. Just don't lie about your income (or business revenue). You can be approved with $0 business income. And if anything the Marriott merger makes SPG MORE valuable, not less.
Thanks, Drew. As I have yet to apply for Amex SPG Business I thought I might do that, but the bonus terms aren't attractive when I checked now: same as for the personal card but with (considerably) higher minimum spends. Ugh, maybe I'll have to ask SO to apply after all.

Good to know you think Marriott merger stands to benefit SPG. Presumably, it will increase hotel options, but my concern was about possible devaluation of Starpoints.

Interesting about the different EINs. In my case, I have not legally formed my business venture(s), so according to the IRS website I need to wait to obtain an EIN.
I'll present the other side of this argument. I have been waiting on applying for the Amex SPG because I was waiting on the 35,000 mile bonus. I am going to apply for it within the next month. I was under 5/24 for a bit, so I was using up all of my Chase real estate. Marriott has repeatedly come out and said that there will probably be a new, merged program in early 2018. I project that the Starwood SPG card and.or the Marriott card will not exist in their current forms a year from now. I predict that the SPG card will go the way of the dodo and probably be merged into the Marriott card. I would think some kind of token gesture for the SPG cardholders. Maybe they will give us all a grace period, but I don't believe I will be able to have the Amex SPG long-term, but that doesn't mean I think it's a bad thing.
2018 is a long way off to worry about right now. I wouldn't recommend holding any miles or points for a year. All programs are devalued eventually.
It is never to early to be extremely concerned about something one has no control over. :wink:

In all seriousness, the way all programs are heading, everything we have now will be slightly devalued at some point if not worse. Enjoy it while it lasts. As for the future of the SPG Amex, I think it will be a net wash or slightly worse, at least in the short-term, but it is what it is.
I don't think it's going to end anytime soon, I know people who have been doing this for decades. All programs devalue over time, but they also have to compete, so at some point programs will make improvements as well. Usually programs will start to get better when the economy is down and people are traveling less. There are always new deals though, you just have to adapt. Lots of people get stuck on one method and then just give up when it goes away.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:18 am
by Barefootgirl
I don't think it's going to end anytime soon, I know people who have been doing this for decades
I like to read this. Coincedentally, DOC has a post today along the same lines about bank bonuses. Apparently, last year some people called an end to the era of good bank bonuses and yet, they're still coming. He estimates that with little effort, one can net between $1k and $2K per annum. Emphasis on little effort.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:25 am
by Drew777
Barefootgirl wrote:
I don't think it's going to end anytime soon, I know people who have been doing this for decades
I like to read this. Coincedentally, DOC has a post today along the same lines about bank bonuses. Apparently, last year some people called an end to the era of good bank bonuses and yet, they're still coming. He estimates that with little effort, one can net between $1k and $2K per annum. Emphasis on little effort.
I don't really do bank bonuses, although I have in the past. $1-2k a year is definitely reasonable, I know many people who make that much off of them. If you don't want to spend much time on it you can just pick the higher bonuses that don't have a lot of hoops to jump through.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:03 am
by Barefootgirl

If you don't want to spend much time on it you can just pick the higher bonuses that don't have a lot of hoops to jump through.


FWIW, in February, I earned $300 for 5-10 minutes of my time with the Chase Checking offer.

HSBC, on the other hand, I gave up and would not recommend - particularly for anyone whose employment involves law enforcement, public policy, etc. ....seems to be a problem for them lol.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:27 pm
by BeneIRA
hsv_climber wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:My general recommendation to Bogleheads readers of this thread is to regularly review three to six travel/credit cards/rewards blogs. They provide you with the latest news and contain useful information you did not seek. My regular go-to blogs are:
http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/
http://millionmilesecrets.com/
http://www.doctorofcredit.com/
http://boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/
http://thepointsguy.com/
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/

I do NOT read everything. I scan titles, expand those that seem relevant, and read them completely only if they appear useful. Thus, the whole exercise takes from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how many days have passed since my last review and whether there is something directly relevant to me.

For example, there were two recent pieces of information that I had not sought but that may be handy in the future:
1. Global Entry should be renewed well in advance of its expiration, and the renewal can be started 1 year earlier.
2. If a flight is delayed, one can change to a better flight without paying a change fee.

Victoria
That will save you another 5 minutes: https://milesfeed.com/
+1 for this post. This is now one of my favorite sites. Thank you!

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:11 pm
by giesen5
If you are into Avios, crazy deal out there....

Sign up for Match.com and get 150 Avios for every dollar you spend - new subcribers only. Comes out to .67 cents per mile, pretty sweet deal. This weekend only.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... g-website/

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:40 pm
by VictoriaF
I posted this on the Italy trip thread, but it's also relevant here.

'Visa War': EU Votes to Bar Visa-Free Travel for American Citizens

From the article:
Since US won't allow visa-free entry for citizens of some EU member states, European Parliament voted to end visa-free travel for Americans.
Victoria

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:14 pm
by travellight
giesen5 wrote:If you are into Avios, crazy deal out there....

Sign up for Match.com and get 150 Avios for every dollar you spend - new subcribers only. Comes out to .67 cents per mile, pretty sweet deal. This weekend only.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... g-website/
That was a fun read. I might have to start dating though...

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:19 pm
by travellight
Drew777 wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:RE: Churnable Cards

I just read on DOC about the No 24-Month language CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select with 50,000 bonus, 3K spend I think it was in 90 days.

Ok, so the no 24 months makes this quite churnable and since it's a business card, it should not show up on the Chase radar? Do I have that right?

Would appreciate input to track my understanding on this one. thanks
Right, but you can only get a Citi Business CC once every 95 days.
I've calendared 95 days plus from now, Drew777, lol...

I applied for this type of card yesterday and got approved, barefootgirl. I am thrilled after being rejected for 2 SPG cards recently. I also called Alaska airlines for reconsideration on my pending application and am getting that approved. Interestingly, they are making me prove I am a business and I had to fax them my Articles of organization of my LLC.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:21 pm
by travellight
My other strategy is combining bank bonuses with credit card rewards with the Merrill Edge deal. Fund 200k for 90 days in a merrill edge account and get 600$. Also apply for Merrill edge credit card for 50k bonus and Bank of America's Travel Rewards credit card for 1.75 bonus. Has anyone else run through this one?

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:09 am
by BeneIRA
VictoriaF wrote:I posted this on the Italy trip thread, but it's also relevant here.

'Visa War': EU Votes to Bar Visa-Free Travel for American Citizens

From the article:
Since US won't allow visa-free entry for citizens of some EU member states, European Parliament voted to end visa-free travel for Americans.
Victoria
Thank you for posting this. Hopefully I will get in before the Visa requirement. I am thinking it would be something like the Turkish system where you just pay a fee and it is what it is, especially in the short-term so their tourism industry doesn't get hammered. However, if there is an approval process and such, well, we might be in some trouble. We booked a trip to Europe within the next couple of months and I doubt it would be enough time to have all of the checking done. If they do wait the full two months, I would be okay. I also wonder how it would work for people who go there before the Visa requirement and then it gets enacted and they are already there. Stay tuned, for sure.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:04 pm
by ddunca1944
giesen5 wrote:If you are into Avios, crazy deal out there....

Sign up for Match.com and get 150 Avios for every dollar you spend - new subcribers only. Comes out to .67 cents per mile, pretty sweet deal. This weekend only.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... g-website/
Hmmm. Not sure DH would approve...

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:47 pm
by travellight
Any thoughts on the best use of Thank you miles? Redemption on American airlines is going down from 1.6 to 1.33 on 7/23/17 but I am finding that it is an expensive redemption even at 1.6. Looking at RT air to Europe, it consumes almost 50k points RT PLUS about $600-700 in fees. I can find full pay airfare for about that same price without the points. Would it be better to transfer TY points to Etihad or another partner airline and redeem elsewhere?

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:06 pm
by gvsucavie03
I just signed up for Chase Freedom 5% rotating categories. $150 bonus for $500 in purchases in first three months and an additional $25 for authorized user. This was timed specifically for next quarter's grocery category... I'll take a break from the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, then go back after $1,500 is spent on Chase. Since the Amex maxes out at $6,000 in purchases (we spend a lot more a year in groceries), this means we should maximize grocery rewards for the year.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:08 pm
by BeneIRA
travellight wrote:Any thoughts on the best use of Thank you miles? Redemption on American airlines is going down from 1.6 to 1.33 on 7/23/17 but I am finding that it is an expensive redemption even at 1.6. Looking at RT air to Europe, it consumes almost 50k points RT PLUS about $600-700 in fees. I can find full pay airfare for about that same price without the points. Would it be better to transfer TY points to Etihad or another partner airline and redeem elsewhere?
Is there any way you can find a way to Europe to avoid using British Airways? BA is where you are probably finding the ridiculous surcharges. You may have to fly to some place a little less than ideal, but it isn't hard to hop around once you are there. You should be able to find some better BA redemptions once you are actually in Europe.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:09 pm
by travellight
BeneIRA wrote:
travellight wrote:Any thoughts on the best use of Thank you miles? Redemption on American airlines is going down from 1.6 to 1.33 on 7/23/17 but I am finding that it is an expensive redemption even at 1.6. Looking at RT air to Europe, it consumes almost 50k points RT PLUS about $600-700 in fees. I can find full pay airfare for about that same price without the points. Would it be better to transfer TY points to Etihad or another partner airline and redeem elsewhere?
Is there any way you can find a way to Europe to avoid using British Airways? BA is where you are probably finding the ridiculous surcharges. You may have to fly to some place a little less than ideal, but it isn't hard to hop around once you are there. You should be able to find some better BA redemptions once you are actually in Europe.
You're right, I think it is BA. I have found it extremely difficult and limited to find a route that avoids them, especially with American airlines. It makes AA almost worthless for me to do Europe.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:45 pm
by Bfwolf
travellight wrote:You're right, I think it is BA. I have found it extremely difficult and limited to find a route that avoids them, especially with American airlines. It makes AA almost worthless for me to do Europe.
IMO, AA miles stink. Finding availability within the Americas on a saver award is pretty much impossible without having a 3 leg/24 hour trip and going to Europe almost always requires BA through London which has ridiculous surcharges. I suppose if you're going to Japan on JAL they are good. I honestly think I'd rather have Delta "skypesos" at this point, and I live in an American hub.

I've never used them, but perhaps transferring your TY points to Singapore's program and then booking a Star Alliance ticket to Europe would make sense? It's 27.5K miles one way in economy and 65K miles one way in business. The catch is that they add fuel surcharges to everybody except United. BUT if you found United availability to Europe, which is better than American, that could be a good use.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:55 pm
by Bfwolf
travellight wrote:My other strategy is combining bank bonuses with credit card rewards with the Merrill Edge deal. Fund 200k for 90 days in a merrill edge account and get 600$. Also apply for Merrill edge credit card for 50k bonus and Bank of America's Travel Rewards credit card for 1.75 bonus. Has anyone else run through this one?
I also got the Merrill+ credit card with the 50K bonus worth up to $1,000 in flights. That offer is now dead to the public, so be glad you got in before it died!

One potential pro tip on that I recently heard. You can use 25K points to book awards on Alaska or JetBlue and then get a refund and you'll end up with the full $500 credit on that airline. I wish I had known about that before I booked a $400 flight on Alaska Air with 25K Merrill points. I could've done that and still had a $100 flight credit to burn.

http://milesperday.com/2017/01/maximizi ... non-bonus/

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:03 pm
by BeneIRA
With Aer Lingus joining One World, you may be able to use those AA miles to fly to Dublin then use Ryanair or one of the other budget carriers to get to where you want to go in Europe. I have a trip to Italy planned and I was pretty much priced out of going to the Rome airport directly, but I found that flying into Paris allowed me to avoid going to London, so no fuel surcharges for me, and much, much cheaper for some reason, than going to Rome. Usual caveats about Europe's budget carriers apply, but I have been able to abide by their rules so far with no surprise fees.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:58 pm
by Bfwolf
BeneIRA wrote:With Aer Lingus joining One World, you may be able to use those AA miles to fly to Dublin then use Ryanair or one of the other budget carriers to get to where you want to go in Europe. I have a trip to Italy planned and I was pretty much priced out of going to the Rome airport directly, but I found that flying into Paris allowed me to avoid going to London, so no fuel surcharges for me, and much, much cheaper for some reason, than going to Rome. Usual caveats about Europe's budget carriers apply, but I have been able to abide by their rules so far with no surprise fees.
I hope this turns out like you say. I've used Avios to fly to Dublin on Aer Lingus and the fees that went along with it were reasonable. You wouldn't necessarily have to book a budget carrier to fly onward either. Aer Lingus flies lots of places in Europe, so you could just connect on the same award ticket.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:54 am
by Bfwolf
travellight wrote:Any thoughts on the best use of Thank you miles? Redemption on American airlines is going down from 1.6 to 1.33 on 7/23/17 but I am finding that it is an expensive redemption even at 1.6. Looking at RT air to Europe, it consumes almost 50k points RT PLUS about $600-700 in fees. I can find full pay airfare for about that same price without the points. Would it be better to transfer TY points to Etihad or another partner airline and redeem elsewhere?
Another idea: do you (or could you) use JetBlue? They're offering a 50% bonus on transfers from Thank You points right now.

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/citi-than ... lue-11-20/

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:19 pm
by michaeljc70
I got a Chase offer for $200 to open a savings account (already have checking with them). You have to go into the bank (Where they will try to sell you other products) so I passed. Otherwise, I probably would have done it as it is only for 90 days.

I'm doing a Citi AA now for 60k miles. Though it won't be hard to do the spend ($3k/3 mo), I avoid having to fulfill multiple cc spends at once.

I routinely do the UAL/AA as often as I can. As to the hotel cards, I have never done them and not sure if it is worth it. I typically stay in airbnb when I travel. I've heard Hyatt is good in that you can get very expensive rooms (like in Paris) for reasonable points.

I've thought about getting the Southwest card, but since that is a Chase and I believe subject to the 24/5 rule I'd rather have United or AA miles.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:18 pm
by Coolstavi
Quick question on what option you would choose.

I only have one chase credit card left as I am at 4/24 right now. I have 53,000 southwest miles. Would you do the 100,000 CSR reward or try for the Southwest 60k business card bonus and get the Companion Pass? Not sure how likely I am to get the business card. Though, I do about 5k-10k selling online ebay.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:30 pm
by fareastwarriors
michaeljc70 wrote:I got a Chase offer for $200 to open a savings account (already have checking with them). You have to go into the bank (Where they will try to sell you other products) so I passed. Otherwise, I probably would have done it as it is only for 90 days.

I'm doing a Citi AA now for 60k miles. Though it won't be hard to do the spend ($3k/3 mo), I avoid having to fulfill multiple cc spends at once.

I routinely do the UAL/AA as often as I can. As to the hotel cards, I have never done them and not sure if it is worth it. I typically stay in airbnb when I travel. I've heard Hyatt is good in that you can get very expensive rooms (like in Paris) for reasonable points.

I've thought about getting the Southwest card, but since that is a Chase and I believe subject to the 24/5 rule I'd rather have United or AA miles.

At least for my experience, it was really simple. They didn't upsell me anything. I signed up for both checking+saving and I was done after15 minutes. Since you already have checking, the process might be even faster.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:27 pm
by Bfwolf
Coolstavi wrote:Quick question on what option you would choose.

I only have one chase credit card left as I am at 4/24 right now. I have 53,000 southwest miles. Would you do the 100,000 CSR reward or try for the Southwest 60k business card bonus and get the Companion Pass? Not sure how likely I am to get the business card. Though, I do about 5k-10k selling online ebay.
Do you have 53K miles in your account or did you earn 53K miles so far in 2017? Only the latter counts toward the companion pass.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:30 pm
by Coolstavi
Bfwolf wrote:
Coolstavi wrote:Quick question on what option you would choose.

I only have one chase credit card left as I am at 4/24 right now. I have 53,000 southwest miles. Would you do the 100,000 CSR reward or try for the Southwest 60k business card bonus and get the Companion Pass? Not sure how likely I am to get the business card. Though, I do about 5k-10k selling online ebay.
Do you have 53K miles in your account or did you earn 53K miles so far in 2017? Only the latter counts toward the companion pass.
I just earned the 53k miles this year.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:47 pm
by Bfwolf
Coolstavi wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:
Coolstavi wrote:Quick question on what option you would choose.

I only have one chase credit card left as I am at 4/24 right now. I have 53,000 southwest miles. Would you do the 100,000 CSR reward or try for the Southwest 60k business card bonus and get the Companion Pass? Not sure how likely I am to get the business card. Though, I do about 5k-10k selling online ebay.
Do you have 53K miles in your account or did you earn 53K miles so far in 2017? Only the latter counts toward the companion pass.
I just earned the 53k miles this year.
Well, here's the tradeoffs as far as I can see.

1) 100K URs are much better than 60K Southwest points. You can transfer URs to Southwest 1:1 OR you could use them for travel on other airlines at 1.5 cents a point (about the same rate you'll get for Southwest points) OR you could transfer to United or Hyatt and potentially get even better value. So it's a higher quantity of better points. Having said that, if you fly Southwest a lot, you'll have no problem using the points and getting the 1.6 cents a point or so which is pretty darn good, so it's easy to overstate the "betterness" of URs vs Southwest unless you have a specific redemption in mind for United (like international business class) or Hyatt. The add'l 40K points though is obviously very real. Let's say we value the URs at 2 cents a point vs 1.6 cents a point for the Southwest points. 100K URs = $2,000 in value while 60K Southwest points = $960 in value. Difference of $1,040 in favor of CSR.

2) The CSR has a $450 annual fee but you'll get two $300 travel credits before you'd have to cancel in 12 months. So you can actually come out $150 ahead assuming you'd have no issue using the travel credit. Most people don't. With the Southwest card, you'll pay a $99 annual fee. Difference of $249 in favor of CSR.

3) The companion pass. How much this is worth to you is impossible for me to say....you know how much you travel! But if you have a dedicated travel companion, you could very easily eclipse the $1,289 from #1 and #2. Difference unknown in favor of Southwest.

4) The CSR comes with Priority Pass lounge access. This might be of $0 value to you or may be worth hundreds of dollars depending on your travel itinerary. Difference unknown in favor of CSR.

In the end, the key variable is how much value you'll wring out of the companion pass.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:53 pm
by J_Markov
Quick question: I just got he chase sapphire preferred last week without really knowing much about the sapphire reserve... I just realized that if i open the reserve before Friday I get 100k bonus points. Does it make sense to open the reserve at this point just to get those 100k points? My strategy would be that in a year I would downgrade the preferred to the freedom unlimited (since i already have the freedom) and keep the reserve as my travel card. Any thoughts? Is this worth it? Thanks appreciated for any advice.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:03 pm
by Bfwolf
J_Markov wrote:Quick question: I just got he chase sapphire preferred last week without really knowing much about the sapphire reserve... I just realized that if i open the reserve before Friday I get 100k bonus points. Does it make sense to open the reserve at this point just to get those 100k points? My strategy would be that in a year I would downgrade the preferred to the freedom unlimited (since i already have the freedom) and keep the reserve as my travel card. Any thoughts? Is this worth it? Thanks appreciated for any advice.
Yes!

Though keeping the CSR may or may not make sense in a year. But that's a decision for future you to make. Present you should definitely get the CSR.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:14 pm
by travellight
Bfwolf wrote:
travellight wrote:Any thoughts on the best use of Thank you miles? Redemption on American airlines is going down from 1.6 to 1.33 on 7/23/17 but I am finding that it is an expensive redemption even at 1.6. Looking at RT air to Europe, it consumes almost 50k points RT PLUS about $600-700 in fees. I can find full pay airfare for about that same price without the points. Would it be better to transfer TY points to Etihad or another partner airline and redeem elsewhere?
Another idea: do you (or could you) use JetBlue? They're offering a 50% bonus on transfers from Thank You points right now.

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/citi-than ... lue-11-20/
I came across that as well! I already transferred 1000 as a test transfer and got 1200 jet blue miles. I think this is good till some timein April so I plan to make use of it.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:19 pm
by travellight
Bfwolf wrote:
travellight wrote:You're right, I think it is BA. I have found it extremely difficult and limited to find a route that avoids them, especially with American airlines. It makes AA almost worthless for me to do Europe.
IMO, AA miles stink. Finding availability within the Americas on a saver award is pretty much impossible without having a 3 leg/24 hour trip and going to Europe almost always requires BA through London which has ridiculous surcharges. I suppose if you're going to Japan on JAL they are good. I honestly think I'd rather have Delta "skypesos" at this point, and I live in an American hub.

I've never used them, but perhaps transferring your TY points to Singapore's program and then booking a Star Alliance ticket to Europe would make sense? It's 27.5K miles one way in economy and 65K miles one way in business. The catch is that they add fuel surcharges to everybody except United. BUT if you found United availability to Europe, which is better than American, that could be a good use.
AA was great for Japan; 50k for lie flat business class seats one way... but I have noted that redemptions in the U.S. give pretty crappy choices, and of course the BA problem in Europe. I'll consider Aer Lingus. I am a pro at Ryan Air and managing without luggage charges. I even bought a jacket that holds 10 kgs of stuff.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:31 pm
by J_Markov
Bfwolf wrote:
J_Markov wrote:Quick question: I just got he chase sapphire preferred last week without really knowing much about the sapphire reserve... I just realized that if i open the reserve before Friday I get 100k bonus points. Does it make sense to open the reserve at this point just to get those 100k points? My strategy would be that in a year I would downgrade the preferred to the freedom unlimited (since i already have the freedom) and keep the reserve as my travel card. Any thoughts? Is this worth it? Thanks appreciated for any advice.
Yes!

Though keeping the CSR may or may not make sense in a year. But that's a decision for future you to make. Present you should definitely get the CSR.
Thanks for your reply! I guess I will keep both for the next year and then figure out what to do then, most likely downgrading one of them to a no fee card as keeping both won't make sense.

Going forward, does it make sense in general to keep the CSR? For the first year, I understand because of the bonus, travel credit, and and $100 credit toward global entry, but second year onward other than the travel credit i don't really see the point of spending $150/year. Or am I missing something?

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:33 pm
by traveltoomuch
J_Markov wrote: Going forward, does it make sense in general to keep the CSR? For the first year, I understand because of the bonus, travel credit, and and $100 credit toward global entry, but second year onward other than the travel credit i don't really see the point of spending $150/year. Or am I missing something?
This is a good question. I'm leaning toward "yes" for myself, but I spend a fair amount on dining and travel, I value the insurance products on the card, and I'm not carrying any authorized users on my Reserve card. How much travel+dining spending are you doing? And how likely are you to file a claim for trip delay/cancellation or such?

Before the Reserve card came around, I had already decided that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was a keeper at $95/year. It earns points as fast as most similar-fee airline cards, but on ALL travel and dining spend, not just one airline. I highly value the flexibility of transferring those points to multiple programs. It has much better insurance products than many airline cards. (I also have the Chase Freedom card, for extra points earning.)

So the question I'm considering is "does the Reserve card offer an additional $55 in value over the Preferred"? Since I'm spending a decent amount on travel and dining, the 3x earnings says "yes". If I wanted to redeem for credits rather than transfer points (I don't), the answer would probably be a stronger "yes". The Priority Pass is a nice but not decisive perk for me, perhaps worth $55 on its own, perhaps not.

If I had authorized users, the equation would change.

Here are arguments for keeping the cheaper Preferred card:
http://thepointsguy.com/2016/11/5-reaso ... r-reserve/

And another comparison article:
https://www.valuepenguin.com/chase-sapp ... -preferred

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:50 pm
by Bfwolf
traveltoomuch wrote:
J_Markov wrote: Going forward, does it make sense in general to keep the CSR? For the first year, I understand because of the bonus, travel credit, and and $100 credit toward global entry, but second year onward other than the travel credit i don't really see the point of spending $150/year. Or am I missing something?
This is a good question. I'm leaning toward "yes" for myself, but I spend a fair amount on dining and travel, I value the insurance products on the card, and I'm not carrying any authorized users on my Reserve card. How much travel+dining spending are you doing? And how likely are you to file a claim for trip delay/cancellation or such?

Before the Reserve card came around, I had already decided that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was a keeper at $95/year. It earns points as fast as most similar-fee airline cards, but on ALL travel and dining spend, not just one airline. I highly value the flexibility of transferring those points to multiple programs. It has much better insurance products than many airline cards. (I also have the Chase Freedom card, for extra points earning.)

So the question I'm considering is "does the Reserve card offer an additional $55 in value over the Preferred"? Since I'm spending a decent amount on travel and dining, the 3x earnings says "yes". If I wanted to redeem for credits rather than transfer points (I don't), the answer would probably be a stronger "yes". The Priority Pass is a nice but not decisive perk for me, perhaps worth $55 on its own, perhaps not.

If I had authorized users, the equation would change.

Here are arguments for keeping the cheaper Preferred card:
http://thepointsguy.com/2016/11/5-reaso ... r-reserve/

And another comparison article:
https://www.valuepenguin.com/chase-sapp ... -preferred
IMO, the card is probably not worth keeping. But that's because my intention is to put as little spend as possible on a card after I meet the intro bonus. I'm always working on the next bonus, so the CSR's benefits just aren't worth an extra $150 for me (if I had the card, I'm way over 5/24 so impossible for me).

You can actually get the $300 travel credit twice (once in 2017 and once in 2018) while paying only your initial annual fee if you cancel right after your annual fee comes due, which is a nice exit strategy from the card and another reason why cancellation might make sense.

To me, the best argument for keeping the card is if you haven't spent all the URs yet and don't just want to transfer them to all to Southwest/United/Hyatt. Once the URs are gone, it's a harder sell.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:38 am
by giesen5
giesen5 wrote:If you are into Avios, crazy deal out there....

Sign up for Match.com and get 150 Avios for every dollar you spend - new subcribers only. Comes out to .67 cents per mile, pretty sweet deal. This weekend only.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... g-website/
Ahhh, too good to be true. All Match subscriptions through BA shopping portal were refunded. What I would have given to be in that Match room as the all of the subscriptions with user names like "justinitforthepoints" and "Aviosforever" came in over the weekend.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... mberships/

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:10 am
by am
The sapphire reserve offers slightly better insurance options. Like the emergency medical evacuation and medical expenses to 2500. Other than that, most of the insurance is the same. The trip cancellation is to 20k/occurrence which we used to buy anyways before the reserve card saving us hundreds of dollars/yr. If you spend more than 300 dollars on travel/yr, seems like reserve is definitely worth keeping.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:13 pm
by Scotttheking
travellight wrote:Any thoughts on the best use of Thank you miles? Redemption on American airlines is going down from 1.6 to 1.33 on 7/23/17 but I am finding that it is an expensive redemption even at 1.6. Looking at RT air to Europe, it consumes almost 50k points RT PLUS about $600-700 in fees. I can find full pay airfare for about that same price without the points. Would it be better to transfer TY points to Etihad or another partner airline and redeem elsewhere?
This doesn't make sense. Are you talking about AA miles? TY points are a fixed redemption; each point is worth 1.6 or 1.33 cents towards the cost of a ticket. There's no 50k points plus fees; if you are seeing a money component it's because you don't have enough TY points to pay for the ticket.

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:37 pm
by David Scubadiver
travellight wrote:My other strategy is combining bank bonuses with credit card rewards with the Merrill Edge deal. Fund 200k for 90 days in a merrill edge account and get 600$. Also apply for Merrill edge credit card for 50k bonus and Bank of America's Travel Rewards credit card for 1.75 bonus. Has anyone else run through this one?
I did the $1,000 bonus for $200k, but did not know Merrill had its own Travel reward branded card and received the 20,000 points from BOA's travel reward card. Just earned the points yesterday.