What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by jballwine » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:39 am

I have a bunch of cards opened for bonuses, but ultimately here is my strategy:

Amex Schwab Platinum - cashes out MR points with a 25% bonus to my schwab checking account - invest the cash
6.25% on flights and hotels, 2.5% on Uber rides
Keeper for the benefits/perks - I consider this a $0 fee card after credits, lounges, and benefits

Amex Everyday Preferred - 50% point bonus multiplier on all points earned with this card - Add 25% bonus multiplier with schwab Platinum
Groceries 5.25%, Gas/7-11 3.75%, Everything else 1.875%
AF of $95

Amex Blue Cash Preferred - 6% on grocery stores for gift cards/safeway gas cards - max $6000/year
AF of $95

Chase Freedom - 5% on restaurants or mobile wallets, etc at some point of the year to boost yield

Overall with our spending per year, just using the first three Amex cards exclusively in their categories and securing the 50% bonus every month, we get an effective yield of 3.19% back on everything after fees, and have an awesome travel perk card as a bonus.

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

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:32 pm

I just received a targeted application for Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card.50K signup bonus. I used to have this card, and cancelled over a year ago.

My recollection is that Amex has a once in a lifetime policy for a bonus card, but I don't see that language in the T&C. Does this mean I can apply and get the bonus ? I have too many unused MR points now (I don't like changing to cash), so I'm not that hot on getting more, but if this is a special offer without the once in a lifetime language, I'd go for it since I may not be able to get the bonus again.

gvsucavie03
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:18 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:32 pm
I just received a targeted application for Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card.50K signup bonus. I used to have this card, and cancelled over a year ago.

My recollection is that Amex has a once in a lifetime policy for a bonus card, but I don't see that language in the T&C. Does this mean I can apply and get the bonus ? I have too many unused MR points now (I don't like changing to cash), so I'm not that hot on getting more, but if this is a special offer without the once in a lifetime language, I'd go for it since I may not be able to get the bonus again.
I'm pretty sure it is once per lifetime.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:31 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:32 pm
I just received a targeted application for Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card.50K signup bonus. I used to have this card, and cancelled over a year ago.

My recollection is that Amex has a once in a lifetime policy for a bonus card, but I don't see that language in the T&C. Does this mean I can apply and get the bonus ? I have too many unused MR points now (I don't like changing to cash), so I'm not that hot on getting more, but if this is a special offer without the once in a lifetime language, I'd go for it since I may not be able to get the bonus again.
Apparently Amex now displays a popup warning during the online application process if they determine that you won’t qualify for the signup bonus.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29861437-post21.html

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

Post by solobuildingblogs » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:50 am

I got the targeted Amex gold premier without the once in a lifetime language. I cancelled the card a few years ago. The bonus just posted last week.

The same thing happened to me last December with the Amex delta gold. I got the signup bonus for the third time on this targeted offer without once in a lifetime language.

Jballwine- if you or anyone else likes Amex mr points get the business blue plus. Two points per dollar for first $50,000 per year. Coupled with your Schwab that’s a nice 2.5% cash back:)

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

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:19 am

I got a targeted Amex Business Gold Rewards offer for 75K points after $5K spend in 3 months. I got this bonus 3 years ago but didn't see anything in the T&Cs about once in a lifetime. I applied today and got no popup warning me I was bonus ineligible. Hoping I'll get the bonus again!

Bhairston2018
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bhairston2018 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:19 am

Just applied for World of Hyatt credit card. Benefits pasted below for sign up bonus :

Earn 60,000 Hyatt points: earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months plus an additional 20,000 points after you spend $6,000 total in the first 6 months

1 free night at category 1-4 Hyatt on anniversary date

Earn 4x at Hyatt hotels (including participating restaurants and spas)
Earn 2x on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
Earn 2x at restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops
Earn 2x on airline tickets purchased directly from an airline
Earn 2x on fitness clubs and gym memberships
Earn 1x everywhere else

I plan on using this with my chase freedom, capital one quicksilver and CSR. I think the anniversary free night is a great deal considering a night in a Hyatt is probably around 150. The Hyatt card may become my every day card since it is easier to find deals on flights rather than deals on hotels, plus my girlfriend told me she’d much rather stay in a nice place on vacations rather than air bnb’s (which I have no problem with). Looking into getting chase freedom for 5% cash back rotating also.

:sharebeer

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

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:06 am

Bhairston2018 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:19 am
Earn 4x at Hyatt hotels (including participating restaurants and spas)
Earn 2x on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
Earn 2x at restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops
Earn 2x on airline tickets purchased directly from an airline
Earn 2x on fitness clubs and gym memberships
Earn 1x everywhere else

I plan on using this with my chase freedom, capital one quicksilver and CSR. I think the anniversary free night is a great deal considering a night in a Hyatt is probably around 150. The Hyatt card may become my every day card since it is easier to find deals on flights rather than deals on hotels, plus my girlfriend told me she’d much rather stay in a nice place on vacations rather than air bnb’s (which I have no problem with). Looking into getting chase freedom for 5% cash back rotating also.
Not sure what you mean by everyday card. If you have a CSR, that is where most of my spend would go. Looking at the bonus categories you listed, only my gym membership would earn more on the Hyatt card than on the CSR. Remember, you can always transfer UR points to the Hyatt loyalty program 1:1, so why earn 2 Hyatt points for dining if you can earn 3 via the CSR?

I also tend to find it easier to find deals ($$) on hotels than airfares because at most destinations there is still plenty of competition while many airline trips don’t have a lot of convenient options.

deltaneutral83
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:08 am

Bhairston2018 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:19 am
Just applied for World of Hyatt credit card. Benefits pasted below for sign up bonus :

Earn 60,000 Hyatt points: earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months plus an additional 20,000 points after you spend $6,000 total in the first 6 months
Always look for referrals with Chase cards. I do this with friends frequently.

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

Post by chazas » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:04 pm

Amex Blue Cash Preferred: 6% grocery stores, 3% department stores
Citi Costco Visa: 4% gas stations, 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco
Citi DoubleCash: 2% everything else

Bhairston2018
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bhairston2018 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:35 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:06 am
Bhairston2018 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:19 am
Earn 4x at Hyatt hotels (including participating restaurants and spas)
Earn 2x on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
Earn 2x at restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops
Earn 2x on airline tickets purchased directly from an airline
Earn 2x on fitness clubs and gym memberships
Earn 1x everywhere else

I plan on using this with my chase freedom, capital one quicksilver and CSR. I think the anniversary free night is a great deal considering a night in a Hyatt is probably around 150. The Hyatt card may become my every day card since it is easier to find deals on flights rather than deals on hotels, plus my girlfriend told me she’d much rather stay in a nice place on vacations rather than air bnb’s (which I have no problem with). Looking into getting chase freedom for 5% cash back rotating also.
Not sure what you mean by everyday card. If you have a CSR, that is where most of my spend would go. Looking at the bonus categories you listed, only my gym membership would earn more on the Hyatt card than on the CSR. Remember, you can always transfer UR points to the Hyatt loyalty program 1:1, so why earn 2 Hyatt points for dining if you can earn 3 via the CSR?

I also tend to find it easier to find deals ($$) on hotels than airfares because at most destinations there is still plenty of competition while many airline trips don’t have a lot of convenient options.
Apologies, typo I have he preferred not the reserve - and also, I’ve had many friends use Scott’s cheap flights and I’ve found them to be useful also, so that’s where I find most of my deals regarding airfare.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:16 pm

Bhairston2018 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:35 pm
Apologies, typo I have he preferred not the reserve - and also, I’ve had many friends use Scott’s cheap flights and I’ve found them to be useful also, so that’s where I find most of my deals regarding airfare.
OK, so 2X instead of 3X on travel and dining... I would still put those expenses on the CSP over the Hyatt. You can get the 2X Hyatt points if you need them, but you maintain your flexibility of using the points for something else. For me 2 UR points are worth more than 2 WoH points because of the flexibility. I can't quantify how much more, though :)

Bhairston2018
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bhairston2018 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:35 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:16 pm
Bhairston2018 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:35 pm
Apologies, typo I have he preferred not the reserve - and also, I’ve had many friends use Scott’s cheap flights and I’ve found them to be useful also, so that’s where I find most of my deals regarding airfare.
OK, so 2X instead of 3X on travel and dining... I would still put those expenses on the CSP over the Hyatt. You can get the 2X Hyatt points if you need them, but you maintain your flexibility of using the points for something else. For me 2 UR points are worth more than 2 WoH points because of the flexibility. I can't quantify how much more, though :)
Understandable!! The bonus is worth 12 free nights in a category 1 hotel and you don’t pay taxes or fees. I do like the fact that you can combine cash with points for example, 5000 points is a free night in a category one hotel. Or you can pay $50 and only use 2500 points for a night, which I think could stretch your points a lot further. I’m new to the chase rewards game. Venture One was my former travel credit card but the Penny per point was not worth it even earning at a 2x rate.

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pennstater2005
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:51 pm

Think my credit card gaming is going to get tough. Got this prompt from American Express....

Image

At least they didn't have me submit it first knowing they wouldn't give me the bonus! This also happened with Capital One. Excellent credit but they're seeing all those opened and closed cards.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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pennstater2005
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by pennstater2005 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:00 pm

Got the 30 day message from Chase. Called the status line the next day and got the 7-10 day message. I'm not hopeful :annoyed Although I've had that happen before only to get a letter asking for further identity verification.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

gvsucavie03
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:26 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:51 pm
Think my credit card gaming is going to get tough. Got this prompt from American Express....

Image

At least they didn't have me submit it first knowing they wouldn't give me the bonus! This also happened with Capital One. Excellent credit but they're seeing all those opened and closed cards.
How many Amex cards for you?

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pennstater2005
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by pennstater2005 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:30 pm

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:26 pm
pennstater2005 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:51 pm
Think my credit card gaming is going to get tough. Got this prompt from American Express....

Image

At least they didn't have me submit it first knowing they wouldn't give me the bonus! This also happened with Capital One. Excellent credit but they're seeing all those opened and closed cards.
How many Amex cards for you?
5. Tried for my wife same message. I've never had that with AMEX before.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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

Post by NoHeat » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:01 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:30 pm
I've never had that with AMEX before.
Maybe that has to do with AMEX's earnings woes, which the company has been blaming on rising rewards costs for their cards. Here's the latest installment of that saga, from just two days ago:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amer ... SKBN1K82RG

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

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:08 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:30 pm
5. Tried for my wife same message. I've never had that with AMEX before.
They started with this new feature about a month ago; see my earlier post a few days ago with a link to FT.

Not a big surprise, IMO. Only surprise is that it took them so long to put a brake on churning.

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pennstater2005
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:31 pm

NoHeat wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:01 pm
pennstater2005 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:30 pm
I've never had that with AMEX before.
Maybe that has to do with AMEX's earnings woes, which the company has been blaming on rising rewards costs for their cards. Here's the latest installment of that saga, from just two days ago:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amer ... SKBN1K82RG
Interesting. Thanks for the link.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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pennstater2005
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:33 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:08 pm
pennstater2005 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:30 pm
5. Tried for my wife same message. I've never had that with AMEX before.
They started with this new feature about a month ago; see my earlier post a few days ago with a link to FT.

Not a big surprise, IMO. Only surprise is that it took them so long to put a brake on churning.
Just saw that post above. Thanks! Hoping they don't start cutting cash back percentages.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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

Post by Pobre » Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:10 pm

Amazon and Whole Foods: Amazon Prime card for 5% cash back

Gas: Sam's card for 5% cash back

Restaurants: Sam's card 3% cash back

Flights, Hotels, Cruses, Vacation Packages: Costco card for 3% cash back plus other cash back perks

Any grocery store other than Whole Foods: Ally Cashback card for 2% on purchases plus 10% Ally deposit bonus

Costco purchases: Costco card for 2% cash back

All other domestic purchases: Citi Double Cash card for 2% cash back

Any international purchase: Capital One Quick Silver card for 1.5% cash back. It has no foreign transaction fees.

We get free checked in luggage ($25 per bag one way) plus priority boarding when flying Delta simply for having the Delta Gold credit card which has a $95 annual fee. We don't have to book flights using this card to get these benefits.

I've gotten free nights at nice Marriott and Hyatt hotels after getting their credit cards, getting the benefits, then canceling the card. These have annual fees.

I don't recommend applying for new credit cards and cancelling credit cards for anyone who doesn't already have an excellent credit score, as this will negatively affect it.

My credit score is excellent, and has been for years. So applying for new credit cards and canceling a few has affected my credit score very little, if any at all.

Except for the Delta card, I normally close cards that have an annual fee after I've collected on all the one time benefits.

I've always kept my oldest credit card account open, even if I hardly ever use it. I use it to pay for a cup of coffee or a pack of gum whenever I get their email telling me it will be automatically closed if I don't use it.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm

I am thinking of canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card, because I have two other cards that perform CSP's functions:
- Chase Ink Preferred has 3x on travel expenses
- Chase Ink Cash has 2x on restaurants

Chase Ink Preferred allows me to:
- book on the Chase portal at 1.25 redemption rate, and
- transfer UR to partners

According to the current Chase rules I will not be able to apply for CSP/CSR and receive a bonus until February 2020.

Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

mikeyzito22
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by mikeyzito22 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:29 pm

Da5id wrote:
Wed May 25, 2016 11:35 am
rgs92 wrote:By the way, the Amex Blue Cash with the 6% rebate on groceries has an annual limit on the 6% cash back ($360 I think). Is there any easy way to keep track of this without manually keeping your own records? Thanks.
Each statement shows rewards in each category for the month and I think cumulatively too.
Online chat interface will tell you instantly how much you've spent in each category. Use technology.

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

Post by drk » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
I am thinking of canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card, because I have two other cards that perform CSP's functions:
- Chase Ink Preferred has 3x on travel expenses
- Chase Ink Cash has 2x on restaurants

Chase Ink Preferred allows me to:
- book on the Chase portal at 1.25 redemption rate, and
- transfer UR to partners

According to the current Chase rules I will not be able to apply for CSP/CSR and receive a bonus until February 2020.

Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?

Victoria
The only one that stands out to me is primary rental car insurance with no language about being for business purposes. If that's insufficient, I would downgrade it to a Freedom (Unlimited), which would allow you to upgrade it again.

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

Post by Freefun » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:01 am

drk wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
I am thinking of canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card, because I have two other cards that perform CSP's functions:
- Chase Ink Preferred has 3x on travel expenses
- Chase Ink Cash has 2x on restaurants

Chase Ink Preferred allows me to:
- book on the Chase portal at 1.25 redemption rate, and
- transfer UR to partners

According to the current Chase rules I will not be able to apply for CSP/CSR and receive a bonus until February 2020.

Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?

Victoria
The only one that stands out to me is primary rental car insurance with no language about being for business purposes. If that's insufficient, I would downgrade it to a Freedom (Unlimited), which would allow you to upgrade it again.
Good point about the rental coverage.
Downgrades and upgrades usually don't get bonuses.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

DiMAn0684
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DiMAn0684 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:13 am

drk wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
I am thinking of canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card, because I have two other cards that perform CSP's functions:
- Chase Ink Preferred has 3x on travel expenses
- Chase Ink Cash has 2x on restaurants

Chase Ink Preferred allows me to:
- book on the Chase portal at 1.25 redemption rate, and
- transfer UR to partners

According to the current Chase rules I will not be able to apply for CSP/CSR and receive a bonus until February 2020.

Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?

Victoria
The only one that stands out to me is primary rental car insurance with no language about being for business purposes. If that's insufficient, I would downgrade it to a Freedom (Unlimited), which would allow you to upgrade it again.
+1^. I am in a slightly different situation, and have a CSP that I'm looking to convert to CSR after the first year ends, but I was very hesitant to book personal travel with CIP because all the terms specify that protection only applies to business trips. Don't know if the plan was to keep CIP long term and pay AF, but IMO CSR with an effective AF of $150 beats CIP/CSP @$95 for travel purposes any day.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:38 am

Freefun wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:01 am
drk wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
I am thinking of canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card, because I have two other cards that perform CSP's functions:
- Chase Ink Preferred has 3x on travel expenses
- Chase Ink Cash has 2x on restaurants

Chase Ink Preferred allows me to:
- book on the Chase portal at 1.25 redemption rate, and
- transfer UR to partners

According to the current Chase rules I will not be able to apply for CSP/CSR and receive a bonus until February 2020.

Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?

Victoria
The only one that stands out to me is primary rental car insurance with no language about being for business purposes. If that's insufficient, I would downgrade it to a Freedom (Unlimited), which would allow you to upgrade it again.
Good point about the rental coverage.
Downgrades and upgrades usually don't get bonuses.
Thank you, drk and Freefun,

I have not rented cars recently, and my travel plans for the next 1.5 years, between cancelling a CSP and applying for a CSR, do not anticipate a need for a rental car. If I needed a car for a few days, my regular car insurance would probably cover some of it. And even paying for 2-3 day insurance is probably cheaper than $95/year for CSP.

I am thinking of getting Chase Ink Unlimited which would serve the same function as FU would, plus a bonus.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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

Post by GeoffD » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am

Citi DoubleCash 2% cash back for everything domestic
CapitalOne 1 1/2% cash back for everything international to avoid the fee

I have a Chase United Explorer card I used to get early boarding until I hit elite FT status last March. I need to remember to cancel that card before the 1 year anniversary in November when I get socked with a fee.

This thread reminded me to apply for a Citi AAdvantage card to game the bonus deal. I use those miles on British Airways Boston-LHR morning flights so I don't have to take a red eye to get to Europe. Should be in my mailbox in another week or so. I should have no problem pushing $2,500 through the card doing business travel in the next 90 days.

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

Post by drk » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:08 am

GeoffD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am
I need to remember to cancel that card before the 1 year anniversary in November when I get socked with a fee.
You can safely cancel after the fee posts. If it's within 30 days, Chase will credit it back in full.

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

Post by drk » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:17 am

Freefun wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:01 am

Downgrades and upgrades usually don't get bonuses.
While true, Victoria mentioned that she's ineligible for a Sapphire bonus until February 2020. She could happily switch between products until January 2020 without worrying about bonuses.

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

Post by GeoffD » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:20 am

drk wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:08 am
GeoffD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am
I need to remember to cancel that card before the 1 year anniversary in November when I get socked with a fee.
You can safely cancel after the fee posts. If it's within 30 days, Chase will credit it back in full.
I've done that previously with Chase. I appreciate the tip but it's easier to just cancel the card now before I get busy and it auto-pays the credit card fee on a card I haven't used in months.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:31 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?
I keep reading that business cards are not subject to the same consumer protection laws as personal consumer cards. I don’t know what that means in practice, but it might worth investigating if the protections are the same in case of fraud or for dispute charges. Quick google found this

https://www.consumerreports.org/credit- ... otections/

None of the differences listed in the article would bother me personally.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:57 pm

GeoffD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am
This thread reminded me to apply for a Citi AAdvantage card to game the bonus deal. I use those miles on British Airways Boston-LHR morning flights so I don't have to take a red eye to get to Europe. Should be in my mailbox in another week or so. I should have no problem pushing $2,500 through the card doing business travel in the next 90 days.

I did not know about non-red eye flights to Europe. Thank you for mentioning them!

Note that you are not eligible for Citi Aadvantage bonuses for 24 months after canceling the card. I keep track of my openings and closings and can't take of the recent large bonuses.

I try to satisfy the bonus spending from my normal spending as much as possible. I pay whatever remains as estimated quarterly tax payments. I pay 1.83% fee for using a credit card for paying taxes, but it's a relatively small amount after I have used my normal spending.

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 VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:00 pm

GeoffD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am
I have a Chase United Explorer card I used to get early boarding until I hit elite FT status last March. I need to remember to cancel that card before the 1 year anniversary in November when I get socked with a fee.
I keep Chase United Explorer to get early boarding and bring a carry-on, when I fly Basic Economy. I don't have a status with United.

It seems that Chase United Explorer will also compensate me for Global Entry renewal. Can anyone confirm this?

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 TravelGeek » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:05 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:00 pm

It seems that Chase United Explorer will also compensate me for Global Entry renewal. Can anyone confirm this?
Can't confirm from personal experience but Chase does advertise it :)

https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-c ... l-benefits

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:08 pm

drk wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:17 am
Freefun wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:01 am

Downgrades and upgrades usually don't get bonuses.
While true, Victoria mentioned that she's ineligible for a Sapphire bonus until February 2020. She could happily switch between products until January 2020 without worrying about bonuses.
I am at a very low count of recent credit cards, only 2/24, and can apply for several more cards. The problem is that Chase has recently changed the Sapphire bonus eligibility rule to at least 48 months since the last Sapphire bonus. My strategy is to get Chase Ink cards that check for less than 5/24 but don't add to x/24.

After that, I may get 1-2 personal cards, e.g., Citi Aadvantage when I again become eligible for a bonus, and wait until February 2020.

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 VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:12 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:31 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?
I keep reading that business cards are not subject to the same consumer protection laws as personal consumer cards. I don’t know what that means in practice, but it might worth investigating if the protections are the same in case of fraud or for dispute charges. Quick google found this

https://www.consumerreports.org/credit- ... otections/

None of the differences listed in the article would bother me personally.
TravelGeek,

Thank you for the link. The differences outlined in the article don't apply to me either. I usually pay all my cards within 1-2 weeks from getting a balance, well before the balance is due.

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 GeoffD » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:44 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:57 pm

I did not know about non-red eye flights to Europe. Thank you for mentioning them!
There are day flights to London-Heathrow from Boston, JFK, Newark, Chicago, and Dulles. Using British Airways and American FT points from BOS or JFK, you can connect the next day to wherever you're going in Europe for no additional points. I think the same is true from ORD on American. I don't know if that's possible on United from EWR or IAD. They fee you to death compared to other options but it's way easier on my system. BOS-LHR-FCO 1-way is $198 in fees plus some bucks to BA for seats. Coming home on Lufthansa using United points was $80 in fees and Lufthansa doesn't charge for seat selection.

I've been using Boston day flights to Heathrow exclusively for 20+ years to get to Europe. Check in at a Heathrow airport hotel, Indian food and a few beers, sleep in a real bed, leisurely English Breakfast, and continue on my way. I've also figured out the free bus service within Heathrow rather than get gouged by Hotel Hoppa. I do Eurostar through the Chunnel to Paris occasionally.

With cash tickets rather than FT points, it's less desirable since you have to connect over Heathrow on your way home rather than take a nonstop from your European city. 1-way transatlantic flights cost a fortune.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:38 pm

GeoffD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:44 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:57 pm

I did not know about non-red eye flights to Europe. Thank you for mentioning them!
There are day flights to London-Heathrow from Boston, JFK, Newark, Chicago, and Dulles. Using British Airways and American FT points from BOS or JFK, you can connect the next day to wherever you're going in Europe for no additional points. I think the same is true from ORD on American. I don't know if that's possible on United from EWR or IAD. They fee you to death compared to other options but it's way easier on my system. BOS-LHR-FCO 1-way is $198 in fees plus some bucks to BA for seats. Coming home on Lufthansa using United points was $80 in fees and Lufthansa doesn't charge for seat selection.

I've been using Boston day flights to Heathrow exclusively for 20+ years to get to Europe. Check in at a Heathrow airport hotel, Indian food and a few beers, sleep in a real bed, leisurely English Breakfast, and continue on my way. I've also figured out the free bus service within Heathrow rather than get gouged by Hotel Hoppa. I do Eurostar through the Chunnel to Paris occasionally.

With cash tickets rather than FT points, it's less desirable since you have to connect over Heathrow on your way home rather than take a nonstop from your European city. 1-way transatlantic flights cost a fortune.
This is wonderful information, I greatly appreciate it!

I found nonstop UA flights (on Lufthansa, Austrian) IAD-LHR, 0820 AM - 0855 PM, with nonstop afternoon returns, in summer, for just over $1,000. To catch an early flight, I can spend a night near IAD for about $100. To spend a night at LHR upon arrival, I found three moderately priced hotels within walking distance to Heathrow Terminal-4:
- Premier Inn-London Heathrow is the cheapest
- Holiday Inn Express-London Heathrow is the next cheapest
- Crown Plaza-London Heathrow is more expensive

And so for less than $1,500 I can get to/from Europe without losing sleep and without using Business Class.
For additional $400-$500 (or less), I can get from Heathrow to/from places in Europe I am visiting.

I found Hoppa, which is a paid-for shuttle service. Apart from the price, I prefer to walk rather than wait for a shuttle.

May I ask, which hotel do you use at Heathrow?
Can I assume that there are free shuttles connecting all 5 Heathrow terminals, and it does not matter near which terminal I would stay?

Thank you,
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 GeoffD » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:59 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:38 pm

This is wonderful information, I greatly appreciate it!

I found nonstop UA flights (on Lufthansa, Austrian) IAD-LHR, 0820 AM - 0855 PM, with nonstop afternoon returns, in summer, for just over $1,000. To catch an early flight, I can spend a night near IAD for about $100. To spend a night at LHR upon arrival, I found three moderately priced hotels within walking distance to Heathrow Terminal-4:
- Premier Inn-London Heathrow is the cheapest
- Holiday Inn Express-London Heathrow is the next cheapest
- Crown Plaza-London Heathrow is more expensive

And so for less than $1,500 I can get to/from Europe without losing sleep and without using Business Class.
For additional $400-$500 (or less), I can get from Heathrow to/from places in Europe I am visiting.

I found Hoppa, which is a paid-for shuttle service. Apart from the price, I prefer to walk rather than wait for a shuttle.

May I ask, which hotel do you use at Heathrow?
Can I assume that there are free shuttles connecting all 5 Heathrow terminals, and it does not matter near which terminal I would stay?

Thank you,
Victoria
The Heathrow hotels have always tended to be cheap on weekends when occupancy rates are lower. For business travel, I'm often flying on a Saturday where I'm at my destination city on Sunday afternoon ready to work on a Monday and I tend to do the same with leisure flights so it's not a traffic jam getting to Boston/Logan Airport. For years, I've been using prepaids at one of the two Sheratons. We did an 87 pound prepaid weekend rate last May at the Sheraton Skyline. It's walkable to passable Indian and there's good bus service to the T1/T2/T3 bus station on Bath Road. I have status with Marriott so I tend to book Marriott and Sheraton.

United goes into Terminal 2 at Heathrow and that's the IAD-LHR flight. A T4 hotel is on the wrong side of the airport. There is a central bus station serving T1/T2/T3. I'd be looking for hotels along Bath Road. No hotels are walkable from T1/T2/T3.

If you have Google Maps on your smartphone, it's really easy to find the next free bus within Heathrow to get to and from the airport hotels.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drk » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:28 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:08 pm
I am at a very low count of recent credit cards, only 2/24, and can apply for several more cards. The problem is that Chase has recently changed the Sapphire bonus eligibility rule to at least 48 months since the last Sapphire bonus. My strategy is to get Chase Ink cards that check for less than 5/24 but don't add to x/24.

After that, I may get 1-2 personal cards, e.g., Citi Aadvantage when I again become eligible for a bonus, and wait until February 2020.

Victoria
That strategy makes complete sense and is in fact why I suggested downgrading and upgrading as needed: by maintaining the same card number, you don't add new credit card accounts to your credit report.

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

Post by snailderby » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:59 am

Goals. Only carry two or three cards on a daily basis. Avoid cards with rotating categories for simplicity. Avoid cards with an annual fee, so I never feel pressured to cancel a card.

Cards.

1. PayPal Cashback Mastercard
  • No annual fee
  • 2% cashback on all purchases
2. Target REDCard
  • No annual fee
  • 5% cashback on all Target purchases (including groceries)
3. Wells Fargo Propel American Express
  • No annual fee
  • 3x points on dining, travel, gas, and streaming services
  • All points are worth 1.5¢ for airfare if used with the Wells Fargo Visa Signature card, giving you an effective rewards rate of 4.5% for dining, travel, gas, and streaming services
Alternative: The Uber Visa card is almost as good as the Wells Fargo Propel / Wells Fargo Visa Signature combo. It also has no annual fee and gives you 4% cashback on dining, 3% cashback on travel, and a $50 yearly statement credit for streaming services.

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

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:20 am

Just an FYI, my adult daughter attempted to open an Uber VISA card two weeks ago. She received a letter in the mail yesterday informing her that her application was denied. She called the number on the letter and was told that they would reopen her application if she sent a copy of (1) her Drivers License, (2) the front and back side of her SS card and (3) a recent bank statements. She told the rep she would not be sending the requested information and no longer had interest in the card.

Seems some banks (this was Barclay’s) have done a 180 on approving CC’s - going from giving a card to anyone who could draw a breath of air several years ago to now requiring ridiclous hoop jumping to get approved. My daughter has a FICO score of 780 and has only opened one other CC this year (and prior to that had only the one CC she opened while a freshman in college).

I had a similar experience last year trying to apply for an Alliant CC. They wanted copies of my entire tax return. Obviously I killed that application upon receiving that request.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:43 am

GeoffD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:59 pm
The Heathrow hotels have always tended to be cheap on weekends when occupancy rates are lower. For business travel, I'm often flying on a Saturday where I'm at my destination city on Sunday afternoon ready to work on a Monday and I tend to do the same with leisure flights so it's not a traffic jam getting to Boston/Logan Airport. For years, I've been using prepaids at one of the two Sheratons. We did an 87 pound prepaid weekend rate last May at the Sheraton Skyline. It's walkable to passable Indian and there's good bus service to the T1/T2/T3 bus station on Bath Road. I have status with Marriott so I tend to book Marriott and Sheraton.

United goes into Terminal 2 at Heathrow and that's the IAD-LHR flight. A T4 hotel is on the wrong side of the airport. There is a central bus station serving T1/T2/T3. I'd be looking for hotels along Bath Road. No hotels are walkable from T1/T2/T3.

If you have Google Maps on your smartphone, it's really easy to find the next free bus within Heathrow to get to and from the airport hotels.
Thank you, GeoffD!

I have some points with Sheraton and Marriott but, for now, I am just trying to get a ballpark figure of the cash cost of flying to Europe via day flights to London. It's already cheaper than my overnight business flights to Frankfurt on Condor, and any use of points would be an additional bonus.

By looking at the map, Ibis Styles is the closest to T1/T2/T3 and the cheapest. If I stayed there, I could walk to the Indian restaurant you recommend without luggage after settling in.

And to confirm: The public buses from T1/T2/T3 to Bath Road hotels are free?

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 trueson1 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:04 pm

I go for the cash mainly and occasionally some big miles.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred: 6% grocery stores, 3% department stores
Citi Costco Visa: 4% gas stations, 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco
USAA: 2.5% on all purchases

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wolf359 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:25 pm

I keep it simple.
My strategy is to go for the 2% cash back for almost everything, and have it directly deposited to Fidelity so I capture and immediately invest the savings. Savings aren't savings if you immediately spend it.
I use the Costco card for Costco purchases and gas.
I use the Hilton whenever we stay at a Hilton property, because we get 12X the points. It translates into a free night every few stays, gives us automatic gold status, and gets us a free breakfast at some of the properties (where they don't already give us one.)

Fidelity Rewards: 2% on all purchases
Citi Costco Visa: 4% gas stations, 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco
Hilton: 12x every dollar spent at a Hilton property.

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

Post by deanmoriarty » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:20 am
Just an FYI, my adult daughter attempted to open an Uber VISA card two weeks ago. She received a letter in the mail yesterday informing her that her application was denied. She called the number on the letter and was told that they would reopen her application if she sent a copy of (1) her Drivers License, (2) the front and back side of her SS card and (3) a recent bank statements. She told the rep she would not be sending the requested information and no longer had interest in the card.

Seems some banks (this was Barclay’s) have done a 180 on approving CC’s - going from giving a card to anyone who could draw a breath of air several years ago to now requiring ridiclous hoop jumping to get approved. My daughter has a FICO score of 780 and has only opened one other CC this year (and prior to that had only the one CC she opened while a freshman in college).

I had a similar experience last year trying to apply for an Alliant CC. They wanted copies of my entire tax return. Obviously I killed that application upon receiving that request.
What's the problem in dealing with this? Are you worried about privacy or time commitment? I went through the same process with Barclays and it took me 30 minutes to gather the documentation (which I already keep organized in digital form for these events) and send it to them via an USPS automated kiosk. I called them a few days later and they approved it after asking a few other personal questions.

I for one am quite happy that companies are becoming pretty aggressive in verifying identities, so the risk of having someone open a credit card in my name using my social security number, already leaked by equifax, including probably the PIN used for the security freeze (at the end of the day they're both just 2 columns in a database), is greatly diminished.

I come from an European country where the bureaucracy when dealing with obtaining credit is definitely high, and sometimes I think Americans have it too easy in expecting that someone should hand you $30,000 in credit just by clicking on a link online.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:03 pm

deanmoriarty wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:20 am
Just an FYI, my adult daughter attempted to open an Uber VISA card two weeks ago. She received a letter in the mail yesterday informing her that her application was denied. She called the number on the letter and was told that they would reopen her application if she sent a copy of (1) her Drivers License, (2) the front and back side of her SS card and (3) a recent bank statements. She told the rep she would not be sending the requested information and no longer had interest in the card.

Seems some banks (this was Barclay’s) have done a 180 on approving CC’s - going from giving a card to anyone who could draw a breath of air several years ago to now requiring ridiclous hoop jumping to get approved. My daughter has a FICO score of 780 and has only opened one other CC this year (and prior to that had only the one CC she opened while a freshman in college).

I had a similar experience last year trying to apply for an Alliant CC. They wanted copies of my entire tax return. Obviously I killed that application upon receiving that request.
What's the problem in dealing with this? Are you worried about privacy or time commitment? I went through the same process with Barclays and it took me 30 minutes to gather the documentation (which I already keep organized in digital form for these events) and send it to them via an USPS automated kiosk. I called them a few days later and they approved it after asking a few other personal questions.

I for one am quite happy that companies are becoming pretty aggressive in verifying identities, so the risk of having someone open a credit card in my name using my social security number, already leaked by equifax, including probably the PIN used for the security freeze (at the end of the day they're both just 2 columns in a database), is greatly diminished.

I come from an European country where the bureaucracy when dealing with obtaining credit is definitely high, and sometimes I think Americans have it too easy in expecting that someone should hand you $30,000 in credit just by clicking on a link online.
Dean, WRT the Uber VISA the deal is not so compelling as to need to provide the detailed information they are asking for and any risks associated with that information ending up in the wrong hands (however remote that possibility is). Also, no guarantees that they would approve the card even if this info were supplied. A quick search on reddit shows many people who were inexplicably declined for the same card by Barclay's and not able to pass on re-application with requested additional info. The credit report should be sufficient to get them comfortable that my daughter is a low risk. If not, she does not need them that badly.

WRT my experience with Alliant, I assume you would not be comfortable sending your tax returns in, right? Honestly, who would?

I have 14 credit cards in my name with an aggregate credit limit of $315,000 and I've never have had to provide any supplemental back-up documentation for any one of those. Not going to start now - and definitely no one sees my tax returns aside from my DW, me and the IRS.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Leesbro63
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:14 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 pm
I am thinking of canceling my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card, because I have two other cards that perform CSP's functions:
- Chase Ink Preferred has 3x on travel expenses
- Chase Ink Cash has 2x on restaurants

Chase Ink Preferred allows me to:
- book on the Chase portal at 1.25 redemption rate, and
- transfer UR to partners

According to the current Chase rules I will not be able to apply for CSP/CSR and receive a bonus until February 2020.

Should I go ahead and cancel CSP? Or am I missing some of its features that are not covered by my other cards?

Victoria
Primary rental car coverage.

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