If I have $1 worth of real estate, gold, food, etc versus a $1 bill, is that $1 bill worth more because I can turn it into those things? No, it's still worth a dollar. Valuing UR at 1.7 cents per point is fair, but 2 cents is ridiculous. TPG obviously gets more than that because he is booking ultra luxury everything that few would ever pay for in cash.SlowMovingInvestor wrote: ↑Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:03 pmNot to defend the Points Guy's valuation, but clearly the value of being able to transfer to whole host of programs, some of which may have special award availability at a particular time, justifies valuing URs higher than any single partner points.
You can still use the UR points, but you need a card like the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve or one of the business cards to transfer them to partners. You could cash out for Amazon or 1 cent per point with any card, though.palanzo wrote: ↑Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:42 pmAre you sure that you need to maintain a paid UR card to be able to transfer points from Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to partners? I called Chase yesterday and was told I could make a product change to Sapphire Preferred or Freedom or Freedom Unlimited and keep and use all my UR points.protagonist wrote: ↑Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:25 pm A few points:
1. The various insurances that come with CSR may be worth it. I have used it on a few occasions. One time a flight was canceled on Spirit (horrible airline) on a Tuesday....I was stuck at the airport at midnight and the soonest they were willing to fly me home was the following Saturday, with no reimbursement for my expenses. Instead I booked a hotel that night, and a flight home the following day on a different airline. Chase reimbursed me in full for my hotel, additional flight expense and food. I also had my car towed a few times over the past few years and each time Chase paid the bill.
And the travel health insurance could potentially be very valuable.
2. For those of us who have a lot of UR points, the question is not so much whether the card is worth $250/year as much as it is whether it is worth the $155 more that it will cost vs. the $95/yr Sapphire card, since you need to maintain a paid UR card to be able to transfer points from Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to partners. I'm not sure whether it is or not. It was def. worth $55 more in the past. If you use the food delivery service (reimbursing $60/yr) that could lower the additional annual premium difference to $95. I rarely use Lyft so I don't give that much value.
3. The bang for the buck is all in signup bonuses. At, say, $0.02 per dollar spent on a hypothetical card, that is still only $200 per $10K spent, and as somebody else pointed out, the value of the points is a bit of "marketing math" because you might have found a better option if you got to pay with cash instead of points. When you compare that to a card with, say $.015/$ spent or $.03/$ spent, the difference is pretty trivial.
In the past it was much easier to churn cards and get the promo bonuses which were huge. I imagine that the CC companies were making money by raking in a lot of people with promises of a free flight and then collecting 21% interest on their balances for the rest of their life. But once enough frugal people like us learned how to game the system via forums such as these, their profits plummeted, so now it is harder to churn, benefits have been slashed and surcharges, limited seats, increased annual fees etc. have vastly reduced the value of the cards. We were lucky to get into the game when it was still hugely profitable but those days are over. Even Priority Pass lounges have become inconvenient and hard to find.
The only bang for the buck is really in the promos- the rest (i.e. day-to-day spending) is not insignificant but no big whoop. I am considering switching my whole strategy, canceling CSR, keeping a Chase trifecta of the $95/yr Sapphire (or maybe keep CSR instead), Freedom and Freedom Unl. , and finding the best free cash back card available to use day to day. When I run low on points, hopefully I will be well past 5/24 and can then churn again to the best of my ability if it is still worth it. Meanwhile I have enough UR to last me quite awhile.
How would you use the Chase Trifecta? Another approach is to get the Alliant Signature Visa and get out of the points game, and then find better options by paying cash.
What is the problem in finding Priority Pass lounges? Is there another way to get the Priority Pass lounges without CSR?
Priority Pass in the U.S. is not great. There are very few in not very many airports. Overseas is where the value in Priority Pass is.
I'll be a broken record, but for most people the $300 travel benefit is not worth $300. Use the credit on Delta flights? BJs and Costco just had 10-15% off gift cards. Uber? Constantly 10% off gift cards at least. Southwest? Frequent sales for 10% off gift cards. Hotels? Hotels.com gift cards go on sale regularly for 15% off. Some people use the credit on tolls, parking, flights on airlines without gift cards and that's fair, value it at $300.
Never mentioned is that the CSP usually comes with a $60 retention credit bringing the annual fee down to $35.