Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm

So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)

Feb 2019. Signed up for Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

April 2019. Signed up for Marriott Bonvoy. Paid $95 annual fee, obtained 100,000 points and used them for:
- 4 night hotel in Seattle ($958 savings)

April 2019. Transferred an IRA account from Charles Schwab to Etrade and received:
- Transfer bonus ($3,000)

May 2019. Signed up for Citi Prestige. Paid $495 fee. Obtained 50,000 points and received:
- Priority Lounge for two people at four airports ($200 value)
- Travel statement credit ($250 saving)
- Cash Redeem ($700 saving)

June 2019. Signed up for wife’s Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

For this year, my total savings minus credit card annual fees to date are $9,183 and it is only August and we still have a lot of points and miles to use for the rest of the year. This credit card reward game is real and I intend to look into it even more seriously when I'm fully retired next year.

TravelforFun

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:57 pm

According to my records I've redeemed just about 3,000,000 points on flights and hotels over the last 7 years (all first/business class). I have another half million or so waiting to deploy.

Image

It's been a fun ride. :happy

j0nnyg1984
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm

It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9372
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:58 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.
What do you mean, "get to the end of the cards"?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

boogiehead
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:45 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by boogiehead » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:00 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm
So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)
How did you fly on Southwest to Turks and Caicos :confused

Dottie57
Posts: 7116
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:03 pm

I use Fidelity Visa for most of my spending. I enjoy buying more total stock in my brokerage.

Nothing else for me.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:10 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:58 pm
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.
What do you mean, "get to the end of the cards"?

RM
There are only so many credit cards out there and many limit the number of times you can get the bonus.

Some used to be very churnable (I've gotten 7 or 8 Citi American Airlines cards) but many are now limited to one bonus per lifetime like Amex.

j0nnyg1984
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:18 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:10 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:58 pm
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.
What do you mean, "get to the end of the cards"?

RM
There are only so many credit cards out there and many limit the number of times you can get the bonus.

Some used to be very churnable (I've gotten 7 or 8 Citi American Airlines cards) but many are now limited to one bonus per lifetime like Amex.
Exactly. Plus, anything under a ~$200 bonus isn’t worth my time or effort, so I skipped all of those from the get go.

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:42 pm

boogiehead wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:00 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm
So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)
How did you fly on Southwest to Turks and Caicos :confused
Dallas to Fort Lauderdale then Turks and Caicos.

TravelforFun

helloeveryone
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by helloeveryone » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:11 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm
So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)

Feb 2019. Signed up for Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

April 2019. Signed up for Marriott Bonvoy. Paid $95 annual fee, obtained 100,000 points and used them for:
- 4 night hotel in Seattle ($958 savings)

April 2019. Transferred an IRA account from Charles Schwab to Etrade and received:
- Transfer bonus ($3,000)

May 2019. Signed up for Citi Prestige. Paid $495 fee. Obtained 50,000 points and received:
- Priority Lounge for two people at four airports ($200 value)
- Travel statement credit ($250 saving)
- Cash Redeem ($700 saving)

June 2019. Signed up for wife’s Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

For this year, my total savings minus credit card annual fees to date are $9,183 and it is only August and we still have a lot of points and miles to use for the rest of the year. This credit card reward game is real and I intend to look into it even more seriously when I'm fully retired next year.

TravelforFun
How much did you spend on travel to go with those savings? Amazing job. Even more amazing being able to travel so much while still working. Something to look forward to in the future for us.

financialObserver
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:12 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by financialObserver » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:14 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm
So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)

Feb 2019. Signed up for Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

April 2019. Signed up for Marriott Bonvoy. Paid $95 annual fee, obtained 100,000 points and used them for:
- 4 night hotel in Seattle ($958 savings)

April 2019. Transferred an IRA account from Charles Schwab to Etrade and received:
- Transfer bonus ($3,000)

May 2019. Signed up for Citi Prestige. Paid $495 fee. Obtained 50,000 points and received:
- Priority Lounge for two people at four airports ($200 value)
- Travel statement credit ($250 saving)
- Cash Redeem ($700 saving)

June 2019. Signed up for wife’s Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

For this year, my total savings minus credit card annual fees to date are $9,183 and it is only August and we still have a lot of points and miles to use for the rest of the year. This credit card reward game is real and I intend to look into it even more seriously when I'm fully retired next year.

TravelforFun
So does this game only work if you end up travelling a lot? I am not near retirement and dont get to travel as much but would love to leverage the credit card savings game. Any tips here?

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:35 pm

helloeveryone wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:11 pm

How much did you spend on travel to go with those savings? Amazing job. Even more amazing being able to travel so much while still working. Something to look forward to in the future for us.
We spent $30K on trips last year. I work three days a week and can take time off without pay. The work will officially end next week as I will be fully retired on August 16.

TravelforFun

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:37 pm

financialObserver wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:14 pm
So does this game only work if you end up travelling a lot? I am not near retirement and dont get to travel as much but would love to leverage the credit card savings game. Any tips here?
Some cards let you use your points for statement credits or cash back but I use them for hotels and airfares.

TravelforFun

JBTX
Posts: 5531
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by JBTX » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:58 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:10 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:58 pm
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.
What do you mean, "get to the end of the cards"?

RM
There are only so many credit cards out there and many limit the number of times you can get the bonus.

Some used to be very churnable (I've gotten 7 or 8 Citi American Airlines cards) but many are now limited to one bonus per lifetime like Amex.
This is where I am now. I hit all the big ones, got some nice bonuses, but there aren't any left. I'll cancel some and will have to wait two years on the ones that let you repeat.

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:31 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:57 pm
According to my records I've redeemed just about 3,000,000 points on flights and hotels over the last 7 years (all first/business class). I have another half million or so waiting to deploy.

Image

It's been a fun ride. :happy
That's awesome! I'll get there in a few years. How did you draw up a map like that?

TravelforFun

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:33 pm

gcmap.com

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9372
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:40 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:10 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:58 pm
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.
What do you mean, "get to the end of the cards"?

RM
There are only so many credit cards out there and many limit the number of times you can get the bonus.

Some used to be very churnable (I've gotten 7 or 8 Citi American Airlines cards) but many are now limited to one bonus per lifetime like Amex.
Those bonus points for opening a new card (or for getting a "retention" semi-bonus or such) are certainly great, but the regular spend also adds up nicely, too!
We try to charge *everything*, and almost do, other than the mortgage, unfortunately.
Also unfortunately, when we realized how much we've topped off on the awards balances, it's a reminder of how much we spend :shock:
We've not really "played the sign-up bonus" game fully, and we've never done any manufactured spending. I think we were rather late to the party for that )and what we did know about sounded sketchy).

Also, although we haven't needed to do this yet, IF we run out/run short, we can purchase AAdvantage points for under 2 cpp (cent per point). Given that we use them for premium international air travel, we get several times that much in ticket value.
(And yes, we WOULD travel in J - business - class even if we needed to pay cash, which we had to do two weeks ago, for the first time. When we go F instead, when it's available, the "difference in points" ends up being about $400-500 extra pp, each way. For ultra-long-haul, that is one of the best bargains for us! When we were younger, however, it never would have occurred to us to travel "in the pointy end". But that was then...)

[Edit to correct purchase price of points.]

RM
Last edited by ResearchMed on Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

User avatar
fortfun
Posts: 2446
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by fortfun » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:47 pm

DW and I have done very well the past two years also (Hawaii twice, Europe, South America, etc.) but the party is coming to an end for a while. I've even maxed out most of the business cards as a "sole proprietor" too. Guess I'll need to get a real tax ID to continue to play. We do need to look into the 3k eTrade deal. That would be pretty nice! I do wish we'd gotten the SW cards before we hit 5/24.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:51 pm

I’ve done a little manufactured spending back when it was easier (to the tune of maybe $70k).

My favorite was when Amex and Target teamed up to offer checking accounts which they would let you fund fee-free at Target registers with a credit card, up to $5k a month. That was an easy 75k points. :D

Still can’t believe it took them six months to shut that down.

helloeveryone
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by helloeveryone » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:27 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:35 pm
helloeveryone wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:11 pm

How much did you spend on travel to go with those savings? Amazing job. Even more amazing being able to travel so much while still working. Something to look forward to in the future for us.
We spent $30K on trips last year. I work three days a week and can take time off without pay. The work will officially end next week as I will be fully retired on August 16.

TravelforFun
Congratulations!

Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by Starfish » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:10 am

I am no heavy churner but saved way over 10k$ in travel costs. Tickets to Europe (family of 3), to Cancun, to Hawaii, all in the expensive season. Some internal flights, 2-3h. Several hotels. Priority Pass used for 3 twice in Heathrow.

student
Posts: 4133
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by student » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:48 am

I played the game only a few times. I already have too many credit cards and unfreezing and freezing credit is a hassle.

MikeG62
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:12 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:42 pm
boogiehead wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:00 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm
So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)
How did you fly on Southwest to Turks and Caicos :confused
Dallas to Fort Lauderdale then Turks and Caicos.

TravelforFun
OP, what you have earned is impressive.

I am surprised you were able to open all these cards. I tried twice in the last 9 months to open the Capital One Venture card (once last fall and once last month) and was denied both times. The reason given both times was too many cards opened recently (and in both cases I was under 5/24). This is the only CC I have ever been denied for.

Two follow on questions.

First, of the five free flights you took, how many were non-stop?

Second, how early in the morning or late at night were these flights?

Reason I ask is in that my experience often times the best deals on free flights (lowest number of miles required) are often at times we won't fly (like 5am or 6am take off or night flights leaving after 9pm). Now I don't fly Southwest and maybe they are better with award flights than the airlines I typically fly.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10452
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:30 am

There's plenty more money out there to claim. Just off the top of my head for cards I have (I never pay annual fees and only collect cash)...

BBVA
Wells
US Bank (several)
Barclays (the best for tradelines)
Bank of America
Branded Citi cards from retail outlets
Discover (both for the sign up bonus and the 10% back for the first year on bonus categories)

All have sign up bonuses and if you do tradelines, the income makes the bonuses look like small potatoes. For idle cards, small balance forgiveness keeps them bringing in small income (I use them for free gas).
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:58 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:12 am

OP, what you have earned is impressive.

1) I am surprised you were able to open all these cards. I tried twice in the last 9 months to open the Capital One Venture card (once last fall and once last month) and was denied both times. The reason given both times was too many cards opened recently (and in both cases I was under 5/24). This is the only CC I have ever been denied for.

Two follow on questions.

2) First, of the five free flights you took, how many were non-stop?

3) Second, how early in the morning or late at night were these flights?

4) Reason I ask is in that my experience often times the best deals on free flights (lowest number of miles required) are often at times we won't fly (like 5am or 6am take off or night flights leaving after 9pm). Now I don't fly Southwest and maybe they are better with award flights than the airlines I typically fly.
1) I haven't been denied probably because I hadn't applied for too many cards in the past.
2) Three non-stop. Two flights (Puerto Vallarta and Turks and Caicos) had one stop.
3) That was up to me.
4) This is why Southwest is special. You can book the same flights with points as someone books them with cash.

TravelforFun

MikeG62
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:14 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:58 am

4) This is why Southwest is special. You can book the same flights with points as someone books them with cash.

TravelforFun
Are the same mile required for the flight regardless of departure time of day?
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:44 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:14 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:58 am

4) This is why Southwest is special. You can book the same flights with points as someone books them with cash.

TravelforFun
Are the same mile required for the flight regardless of departure time of day?
Different miles are required for different flight dates and times just like when you book them with cash.

TravelforFun

MikeG62
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:31 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:44 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:14 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:58 am

4) This is why Southwest is special. You can book the same flights with points as someone books them with cash.

TravelforFun
Are the same mile required for the flight regardless of departure time of day?
Different miles are required for different flight dates and times just like when you book them with cash.

TravelforFun
This has been my experience with using airline miles for flights. The flights at the most inconvenient times are cheapest by far. If you want to depart at a more reasonable time, such as between 9-11am, often times it costs more than 2X the miles as the 5 or 6am flight. This has prevented me from using many miles for flights - coupled with the fact that the conversion rate is typically ~1.3-1.4 cents per mile. I’m holding out for better.

Maybe SW has much more attractive deals.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

rich126
Posts: 931
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by rich126 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:49 am

I've done well without going overboard on credit cards. I've done some stupid stuff like missing a bonus because I wasn't tracking expenses close enough.

In the last ~10 years I've probably got ~15 R/T tickets to Europe in business and first class. I'm not a huge traveler and don't really care to travel to a lot of places, and even in first class wouldn't have an interest in flying to Australia (which I've heard is really nice).

Back when it was easier, I was able to get two R/T first class tickets on Lufthansa from Houston to Frankfurt. The first class terminal in Frankfurt is super nice and grand transportation via a Porsche was provided from the terminal to the plane and an elevator took you up to the top cabin of the 747.

While you can still do some nice trips, things are much harder now than they were a few years ago. I probably have about 1,000,000 miles and points in various accounts that I need to use but I've just started a new job so it may be a year or so before I can use those.

I once did a trip for myself and my GF to Europe for ~ 10 days in business class (I don't think it was first class) and in nice hotels where my total cost, including all taxes and fees for the hotels and airline tickets was something like $400. I'm not really into high end hotels but did manage to stay in Park Hyatt hotels in Vienna, Milan and Paris.

And I have no idea how many credit cards I currently have. I've started canceling a few and will probably continue to do so. Since I do have a legitimate LLC (for a rental property) I also have a couple of business cards.

Unfortunately a few too many people abuse some of the benefits.

tesuzuki2002
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:57 am

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.
I have been at this game since 2013 and I still keep finding new cards... I just found the Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Business card that I never knew existed! Where have I been!! It is a life time card so a 1 shot deal... but 70K miles I'll take it!

nexesn
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:15 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by nexesn » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:04 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 pm
So I decided to look into this game a few months ago to see what I could do.

Dec 2018. I signed up for two Southwest cards ($99 and $69 annual fee)

Jan 2019. Reached 110,000 Southwest points and obtained companion pass (buy one fare with either cash or points and get one fare free). During the next few months, I used Southwest miles to book round trips for two from Dallas to:

- Boston ($785 saving)
- Houston ($450 saving)
- Puerto Vallarta ($708 saving)
- Turks and Caicos ($950 saving)
- Seattle ($340 saving)

Feb 2019. Signed up for Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

April 2019. Signed up for Marriott Bonvoy. Paid $95 annual fee, obtained 100,000 points and used them for:
- 4 night hotel in Seattle ($958 savings)

April 2019. Transferred an IRA account from Charles Schwab to Etrade and received:
- Transfer bonus ($3,000)

May 2019. Signed up for Citi Prestige. Paid $495 fee. Obtained 50,000 points and received:
- Priority Lounge for two people at four airports ($200 value)
- Travel statement credit ($250 saving)
- Cash Redeem ($700 saving)

June 2019. Signed up for wife’s Barclay card (annual fee waived). Obtained 70,000 points and used them for:
- Travel statement credit ($800 saving)

For this year, my total savings minus credit card annual fees to date are $9,183 and it is only August and we still have a lot of points and miles to use for the rest of the year. This credit card reward game is real and I intend to look into it even more seriously when I'm fully retired next year.

TravelforFun

Congrats on all the great work, and travel!

One more to add for everyone are the shopping portals. When you click through these portals, you receive airlines points from your purchases (sometimes befrugal.com and ebates.com offer better cash advantages). I've managed to collect, via purchases, bonuses, and purchasing items at the right time (stores some times offer 10 points for every dollar spent) about 400,000 miles.

Here are a list of the sites per each airline:

Air Canada
https://www.aeroplan.com/

Alaska Airlines
https://www.mileageplanshopping.com

American Airlines
https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com

British Airways
https://www.shopping.ba.com

Delta
https://www.skymilesshopping.com

Southwest Airlines
https://rapidrewardsshopping.southwest.com

United
https://shopping.mileageplus.com/


This is an old link, but does a decent job explaining the whole thing.

Edit: I forgot the link :) https://onemileatatime.com/online-shopp ... roduction/

Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:49 pm

Nicely done! If you haven’t already looked into it, I’d also consider checking and savings accounts bonuses. We (wife and I) went into U.S. Bank last month and opened up checking and business checking accounts. The total in bonuses for the four accounts is $1400 for moving some money around via transfers. I also recently opened up a Bank of the West checking account for $250 and my wife opened up a Wells Fargo Checking for $400. These bonuses generally require some transfers but they’re not too hard to set up. We’re expecting around $5k in interest this year. We have mid-five figures in bank accounts so it works out to something like a 10% rate on FDIC-insured accounts.

We also do checking and brokerage bonuses. If we’re making a purchase on a credit card, it is often going toward fulfilling a minimum spending requirement to earn a bonus. The cash back (or miles) earned make the rate earned on the card around 15-20% instead of the typical 2-5% that people usually earn on an “old” card. The savings can then be invested and hopefully compound nicely over the decades. In the past four years, we have earned around $10k per year from banks & brokerages each year.

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:54 pm

nexesn wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:04 pm
One more to add for everyone are the shopping portals. When you click through these portals, you receive airlines points from your purchases (sometimes befrugal.com and ebates.com offer better cash advantages). I've managed to collect, via purchases, bonuses, and purchasing items at the right time (stores some times offer 10 points for every dollar spent) about 400,000 miles.

Here are a list of the sites per each airline:

Air Canada
https://www.aeroplan.com/

Alaska Airlines
https://www.mileageplanshopping.com

American Airlines
https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com

British Airways
https://www.shopping.ba.com

Delta
https://www.skymilesshopping.com

Southwest Airlines
https://rapidrewardsshopping.southwest.com

United
https://shopping.mileageplus.com/


This is an old link, but does a decent job explaining the whole thing.

Edit: I forgot the link :) https://onemileatatime.com/online-shopp ... roduction/
I'm in Dallas so American and Southwest are my prime portals but I'm sure these URLs will help other BHs. Thank you.

TravelforFun

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:00 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:31 am
This has been my experience with using airline miles for flights. The flights at the most inconvenient times are cheapest by far. If you want to depart at a more reasonable time, such as between 9-11am, often times it costs more than 2X the miles as the 5 or 6am flight. This has prevented me from using many miles for flights - coupled with the fact that the conversion rate is typically ~1.3-1.4 cents per mile. I’m holding out for better.

Maybe SW has much more attractive deals.
Same thing with cash. The lowest fares usually buy you the most inconvenient flights. SW lets you switch between points and cash so you can decide whether you want to purchase tickets with points or cash.

TravelforFun

MikeG62
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:18 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:00 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:31 am
This has been my experience with using airline miles for flights. The flights at the most inconvenient times are cheapest by far. If you want to depart at a more reasonable time, such as between 9-11am, often times it costs more than 2X the miles as the 5 or 6am flight. This has prevented me from using many miles for flights - coupled with the fact that the conversion rate is typically ~1.3-1.4 cents per mile. I’m holding out for better.

Maybe SW has much more attractive deals.
Same thing with cash. The lowest fares usually buy you the most inconvenient flights. SW lets you switch between points and cash so you can decide whether you want to purchase tickets with points or cash.

TravelforFun
Fair enough. My point is really that many of the airline cards which offer 40K or 50K or 60K or 70K miles as a sign up bonus don’t end up giving enough miles to book a round trip domestic non-stop economy flight for my DW and I traveling at a time of day that we want to travel. Yes you’ve gotten five free flights out of 110K miles (which is amazing), but I don’t know whether you’ve had to get up at 3am to make a super early morning flight to do so (although I do know two of your trips required connecting flights). So this colors my view on the value of the bonus miles offered on these cards. BTW, I do have the airline branded card for United, American, Delta and JetBlue. I have them as much for free checked bags and priority boarding as for bonus miles.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by Starfish » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:40 pm

I have no problem with waking up at 3am (I do it pretty often when we go hiking, skiing etc anyway), and even less with flying overnight which I actually prefer.
To tell the truth it has never crossed my mind to select my flight based on flight hours except when I fly at the end of the work day.
You cannot have too many requirements for free or low cost flights. It's obvious you have to avoid the most desired flights, unless you want to pay.

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:44 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:18 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:00 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:31 am
This has been my experience with using airline miles for flights. The flights at the most inconvenient times are cheapest by far. If you want to depart at a more reasonable time, such as between 9-11am, often times it costs more than 2X the miles as the 5 or 6am flight. This has prevented me from using many miles for flights - coupled with the fact that the conversion rate is typically ~1.3-1.4 cents per mile. I’m holding out for better.

Maybe SW has much more attractive deals.
Same thing with cash. The lowest fares usually buy you the most inconvenient flights. SW lets you switch between points and cash so you can decide whether you want to purchase tickets with points or cash.

TravelforFun
Fair enough. My point is really that many of the airline cards which offer 40K or 50K or 60K or 70K miles as a sign up bonus don’t end up giving enough miles to book a round trip domestic non-stop economy flight for my DW and I traveling at a time of day that we want to travel. Yes you’ve gotten five free flights out of 110K miles (which is amazing), but I don’t know whether you’ve had to get up at 3am to make a super early morning flight to do so (although I do know two of your trips required connecting flights). So this colors my view on the value of the bonus miles offered on these cards. BTW, I do have the airline branded card for United, American, Delta and JetBlue. I have them as much for free checked bags and priority boarding as for bonus miles.
I see what you’re saying. The 110K reward points I got from Southwest along with the points from my charges enabled me to get five trips from Dallas with some miles left. Remember I have Companion Pass so my wife travel for almost free (we have to pay the taxes). Travel time wasn’t bad either. Below are the details:

Destination / number of stops / departing time from Dallas / departing time from destination airport to return home

Boston / non-stop / 12:20 PM / 6:00 AM
Houston /non-stop / 9:00 AM / 4:00 PM
Puerto Vallarta / one-stop / 9:00 AM / 2:25 PM
Turks and Caicos / one-stop / 6:10 AM / 3:20 PM
Seattle / non-stop / 2:15 PM / 2:25 PM

TravelforFun

MikeG62
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:54 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:44 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:18 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:00 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:31 am
This has been my experience with using airline miles for flights. The flights at the most inconvenient times are cheapest by far. If you want to depart at a more reasonable time, such as between 9-11am, often times it costs more than 2X the miles as the 5 or 6am flight. This has prevented me from using many miles for flights - coupled with the fact that the conversion rate is typically ~1.3-1.4 cents per mile. I’m holding out for better.

Maybe SW has much more attractive deals.
Same thing with cash. The lowest fares usually buy you the most inconvenient flights. SW lets you switch between points and cash so you can decide whether you want to purchase tickets with points or cash.

TravelforFun
Fair enough. My point is really that many of the airline cards which offer 40K or 50K or 60K or 70K miles as a sign up bonus don’t end up giving enough miles to book a round trip domestic non-stop economy flight for my DW and I traveling at a time of day that we want to travel. Yes you’ve gotten five free flights out of 110K miles (which is amazing), but I don’t know whether you’ve had to get up at 3am to make a super early morning flight to do so (although I do know two of your trips required connecting flights). So this colors my view on the value of the bonus miles offered on these cards. BTW, I do have the airline branded card for United, American, Delta and JetBlue. I have them as much for free checked bags and priority boarding as for bonus miles.
I see what you’re saying. The 110K reward points I got from Southwest along with the points from my charges enabled me to get five trips from Dallas with some miles left. Remember I have Companion Pass so my wife travel for almost free (we have to pay the taxes). Travel time wasn’t bad either. Below are the details:

Destination / number of stops / departing time from Dallas / departing time from destination airport to return home

Boston / non-stop / 12:20 PM / 6:00 AM
Houston /non-stop / 9:00 AM / 4:00 PM
Puerto Vallarta / one-stop / 9:00 AM / 2:25 PM
Turks and Caicos / one-stop / 6:10 AM / 3:20 PM
Seattle / non-stop / 2:15 PM / 2:25 PM

TravelforFun
Yep, you got it. That color helps. Thanks for providing it.

The companion pass adds a lot of value. I don't have that benefit on any airline CC in my wallet.

The Boston return at 6:00am and the Turks departing at 6:10am would have been non-starters with my wife. We travel quite a bit - more than she'd prefer - so I need to make it as easy on her as possible, otherwise I will end up traveling a lot less than I want :wink:

As I said, you have wrung out a tremendous amount of value this past year. Thanks for posting about it.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

alaskantraveler
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:19 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.

I'm a seasoned churner, and there are still some options out there, that are very lucrative even for those who have been in the game a while.

alaskantraveler
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:26 pm

Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc...

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9372
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:31 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc...
That's almost exactly what you would have gotten as "cash back" with a 1.5 cent per point (cpp) charge card.
If Fidelity (or anyone else) still has a 2cpp cash back card, you'd have gotten quite a bit more, and had money left over after paying for those "flights, hotels....".

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

alaskantraveler
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:36 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:31 pm
alaskantraveler wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc...
That's almost exactly what you would have gotten as "cash back" with a 1.5 cent per point (cpp) charge card.
If Fidelity (or anyone else) still has a 2cpp cash back card, you'd have gotten quite a bit more, and had money left over after paying for those "flights, hotels....".

RM
I dont think so. I got an estimated $29,168 worth of value from the 1,956,473 points I redeemed. If I had put the $29,168 on a 2% credit card I would have received $583 in cash back, but that isnt related to this. I accumulated those points largely from credit card sign up bonuses. I signed up for 15 new credit cards and earned sign up bonuses of 885,000 points.

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9372
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:41 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:36 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:31 pm
alaskantraveler wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc...
That's almost exactly what you would have gotten as "cash back" with a 1.5 cent per point (cpp) charge card.
If Fidelity (or anyone else) still has a 2cpp cash back card, you'd have gotten quite a bit more, and had money left over after paying for those "flights, hotels....".

RM
I dont think so. I got an estimated $29,168 worth of value from the 1,956,473 points I redeemed. If I had put the $29,168 on a 2% credit card I would have received $583 in cash back, but that isnt related to this. I accumulated those points largely from credit card sign up bonuses. I signed up for 15 new credit cards and earned sign up bonuses of 885,000 points.
Okay, bonus points won't give the "cash back" at all, so that's moot anyway.

But I think you are doing these calculations wrong.
Forget for the moment that there are bonus points, and assume all spend.

What is 2% of 1,956,473?

The points you calculated are the points you'd NOT have gotten by using points for that amount, and that is swamped in this case.

I'm mentioning this in case in the future you are getting points from spend.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by HawkeyePierce » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:51 pm

Here are the details of what I've redeemed with miles, excluding hotels:

My current New Zealand sabbatical:

Denver-Kauai, Delta first class, 50k miles
Honolulu-Auckland, Hawaiian Airlines business class, 65k miles
Wellington-Los Angeles, Qantas first class, 70k Alaskan miles

Spain:

Denver-Madrid, American business class, 57.5k miles
San Sebastian-Denver, American coach, 22.5k miles

Croatia/Berlin/Iceland:

Denver-Zadar, United/Swiss Air/Croatian Air business class, 70k United miles
(bought the return ticket on Icelandair)

New Zealand:

San Francisco-Hong Kong-Auckland, Cathay Pacific first/business class, 80k Alaskan miles
Auckland-Singapore-Tokyo-San Francisco (with stopovers in S'pore and Tokyo), Air New Zealand/Singapore Air/ANA first class, 127.5k Singapore miles

Tokyo/Shanghai/Hong Kong/Dubai:

Denver-Tokyo, American/Japan Airlines business class, 50k American miles
Tokyo-Shanghai, Japan Airlines coach, 7.5k British Air miles
Shanghai-Hong Kong-Dubai, Cathay Pacific business class, 30k American miles
Abu Dhabi-NYC, Etihad first class "apartment", 90k American miles

Vietnam:

Denver-Hong Kong, American/Cathay Pacific first class, 67.5k American miles
Singapore-Tokyo-Los Angeles, Singapore Air first class suites, 93k Singapore miles

Thailand/Malaysia/Beijing/Hong Kong:

Denver-Hong Kong-Beijing-Tokyo-Denver, American/Japan Air/Cathay Pacific/Dragonair first class, 120k US Air miles
Krabi-Hong Kong, Thai Air coach, 15k United miles
Hong Kong-Penang, Dragonair coach, 10k British Air miles

(Boy I miss those old US Air awards)

Tokyo/Taipei/Hong Kong:

Denver-Tokyo, American/Japan Air first class, 62.5k American miles
Tokyo-Taipei, EVA Air business class, 20k United miles
Hong Kong-Denver, Cathay Pacific/American Air first class, 67.5k American miles

Berlin/Austria:

Denver-Berlin-Zurich-Denver, Lufthansa first class, 135k United miles

Japan and Seoul:

San Antonio-Tokyo-Seoul-San Antonio, United business class upgrades, 60k miles

Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore:

Houston-Hong Kong-Bangkok/Singapore-Doha-Houston United/Thai Air first class, Singapore/Qatar Air business class, 130k miles

As you can see, I have had some fun with this. :D I have an extremely flexible schedule and travel solo so I can pretty much always find *something* that works. My job lets me take off as much time as I like (I once launched a project and then flew to New Zealand for a month two days later). I'm able to book both very far in advance or very last minute which can be critical in this game if you're looking for "aspirational" awards. I've been able to fly just about all the top first class products in the sky: Lufthansa, Singapore, ANA, Thai, Japan Air, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Qantas. I'm really only missing Emirates, Swiss, Air France, Garuda and the South Korean carriers at this point.

I've had some surreal experiences along the way. Getting driven across the tarmac to my plane in a Porsche to board a Lufthansa flight out of Frankfurt. Taking a shower at 38k feet. Drinking a $300 bottle of champagne while crossing the Pacific. Getting a private room on an A380 with lounge chair, bed and vanity on Etihad (plus a free limo transfer from my hotel in Dubai).

These are things I would never actually pay *cash* for but I find there's something thrilling about getting them for pennies on the dollar.

Time to start planning the next one!

User avatar
Prokofiev
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:45 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by Prokofiev » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:55 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:40 pm


Also, although we haven't needed to do this yet, IF we run out/run short, we can purchase AAdvantage points for about 1 cpp (cent per point). Given that we use them for premium international air travel, we get several times that much in ticket value.
(And yes, we WOULD travel in J - business - class even if we needed to pay cash, which we had to do two weeks ago, for the first time.

RM
Where can you buy American miles for 1 cent? That would be a good deal
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 13865
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:03 pm

We got almost $7k, IIRC, in cash and miles in 2017 by churning CCs. But once we hit up against Chase's 5/2 rule, we largely stopped. Next year, most of our 'new' cards will fall off our credit report, and we'll start churning again.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

alaskantraveler
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:08 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:03 pm
We got almost $7k, IIRC, in cash and miles in 2017 by churning CCs. But once we hit up against Chase's 5/2 rule, we largely stopped. Next year, most of our 'new' cards will fall off our credit report, and we'll start churning again.
I've been over 5/24 since the day it became a thing 3 or 4 years ago. Still lots of cards to sign up for. Amex is probably the easiest.

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 13865
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:13 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:08 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:03 pm
We got almost $7k, IIRC, in cash and miles in 2017 by churning CCs. But once we hit up against Chase's 5/2 rule, we largely stopped. Next year, most of our 'new' cards will fall off our credit report, and we'll start churning again.
I've been over 5/24 since the day it became a thing 3 or 4 years ago. Still lots of cards to sign up for. Amex is probably the easiest.
BarclayCard has some good cards that can be churned every year I think, but we really want to get the Chase United card. We've already gotten points for Delta's Amex card, but those are once per lifetime. Which other Amex cards give good benefits, assuming no business ownership?
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

THY4373
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by THY4373 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:13 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:31 pm
alaskantraveler wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc...
That's almost exactly what you would have gotten as "cash back" with a 1.5 cent per point (cpp) charge card.
If Fidelity (or anyone else) still has a 2cpp cash back card, you'd have gotten quite a bit more, and had money left over after paying for those "flights, hotels....".

RM
Even putting aside the sign up bonus aspect here your math assumes folks are earning one point per dollar. I regularly earn 2-5 points per dollar on spend with various credit cards and easily get at least 2 cents if value per point. So I am well ahead of a 2cpp card. Though it does seem Alaskatravel is getting 1.5cpp.

alaskantraveler
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:16 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:51 pm
Here are the details of what I've redeemed with miles, excluding hotels:

These are things I would never actually pay *cash* for but I find there's something thrilling about getting them for pennies on the dollar.

Time to start planning the next one!
I'm jealous, but at this point in my life I dont have that much flexibility in my travel with limited time off and a young family. For us in the past few years exclusively USA/Canada/Hawaii/Mexico/Costa Rica. Since 2016 we have been to Hawaii 3 times, Mexico 3 times, Whistler 3 times, Costa Rica, and a host of other domestic trips. I also collect hotel points so many of the hotels were paid for by points as well. Before I had a child , my wife and I did Cathay back in for to SE Asia several times in J.

Post Reply