What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:05 am

giesen5 wrote:Quick question: Both my wife and I have Chase Sapphire and Freedom Unlimited cards. I want to close her Sapphire card when the annual fee is due. Can she still earn UR points and transfer them to my account if she does not have the Sapphire?


Since there is an annual fee, I assume you are referring to the Sapphire Preferred. But the answer is yes. We transfer from my wife's Freedom to my CSR.

IIRC, Chase allows transfers from one person to another (only one) designated relative in the same household.

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

Post by FedGuy » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:40 pm

Has anyone looked into the Marvel Mastercard? I'd feel somewhat embarrassed to have a picture of Iron Man or a Captain America shield on my credit card, but 3% cash back on dining (and "select entertainment," among other categories) sounds appealing for when Discover and Chase Freedom aren't giving me 5% cash back to go to restaurants.

http://marvel.com/creditcard?siteCode=MCMOLPDS&cmpid=MMCMMCLPLAUNCH16&Dcom=MMCLP

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:03 am

FedGuy wrote:Has anyone looked into the Marvel Mastercard? I'd feel somewhat embarrassed to have a picture of Iron Man or a Captain America shield on my credit card, but 3% cash back on dining (and "select entertainment," among other categories) sounds appealing for when Discover and Chase Freedom aren't giving me 5% cash back to go to restaurants.

http://marvel.com/creditcard?siteCode=MCMOLPDS&cmpid=MMCMMCLPLAUNCH16&Dcom=MMCLP


There are several credit cards that offer 3% on dining, and you can probably do better than that with travel rewards cards. I think the real question is how much are you really going to gain by getting another 1% on dining expenses over just using a 2% card? Even if you spend $500 a month on dining you're only looking at another $60 cash back per year. Most people would rather just get a card with a higher signup bonus instead.

Da5id
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:22 am

Drew777 wrote:
FedGuy wrote:Has anyone looked into the Marvel Mastercard? I'd feel somewhat embarrassed to have a picture of Iron Man or a Captain America shield on my credit card, but 3% cash back on dining (and "select entertainment," among other categories) sounds appealing for when Discover and Chase Freedom aren't giving me 5% cash back to go to restaurants.

http://marvel.com/creditcard?siteCode=MCMOLPDS&cmpid=MMCMMCLPLAUNCH16&Dcom=MMCLP


There are several credit cards that offer 3% on dining, and you can probably do better than that with travel rewards cards. I think the real question is how much are you really going to gain by getting another 1% on dining expenses over just using a 2% card? Even if you spend $500 a month on dining you're only looking at another $60 cash back per year. Most people would rather just get a card with a higher signup bonus instead.


Yep. I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve for dining right now. If I don't renew that, I have the Costco card also at 3%. Costco card is really nice fringe benefit, given that I'd get the Costco membership with or without the card it thus is a "free" card that gives 4% gas 3% dining...

And as above, getting a card for 1% on dining is kind of marginal. Given that 1-2 quarters you are doing Discover and Chase Freedom, call that 0.5% extra (1% for 2 quarters).

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

Post by cheesepep » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:43 pm

Still using my CapitalOne Venture card. 2% cash back on anything valid for travel purchases. Because I always have travel expenses, it has helped me save over $2,000 last year. And you can redeem for travel purchases as soon as the purchase hits your account. No need to wait for a monthly statement or whatever.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:19 am

cheesepep wrote:Still using my CapitalOne Venture card. 2% cash back on anything valid for travel purchases. Because I always have travel expenses, it has helped me save over $2,000 last year. And you can redeem for travel purchases as soon as the purchase hits your account. No need to wait for a monthly statement or whatever.


Why pay an annual fee for Venture when you could get 2% cashback from Citi DoubleCash with no fee?

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

Post by guitarguy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:28 am

Drew777 wrote:
cheesepep wrote:Still using my CapitalOne Venture card. 2% cash back on anything valid for travel purchases. Because I always have travel expenses, it has helped me save over $2,000 last year. And you can redeem for travel purchases as soon as the purchase hits your account. No need to wait for a monthly statement or whatever.


Why pay an annual fee for Venture when you could get 2% cashback from Citi DoubleCash with no fee?


+1. And on top of that you're not blocked into using the 2% for travel expenses only.

Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:35 am

guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
cheesepep wrote:Still using my CapitalOne Venture card. 2% cash back on anything valid for travel purchases. Because I always have travel expenses, it has helped me save over $2,000 last year. And you can redeem for travel purchases as soon as the purchase hits your account. No need to wait for a monthly statement or whatever.


Why pay an annual fee for Venture when you could get 2% cashback from Citi DoubleCash with no fee?


+1. And on top of that you're not blocked into using the 2% for travel expenses only.


$500 new signup bonus. Although yes, at end of year one, downgrade to Quicksilver and then use Double Cash for all domestic purchases and Quicksilver for foreign purchases (no FTF vs 3% with DC).

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

Post by travellight » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:15 pm

^ I have the Capitol one Spark and it is 2% back on everything with no annual fee. I don't use it enough (i.e. not at all) since I am usually chasing bonuses. I like having it as a back up card.

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

Post by rjbraun » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:13 pm

travellight wrote:^ I have the Capitol one Spark and it is 2% back on everything with no annual fee. I don't use it enough (i.e. not at all) since I am usually chasing bonuses. I like having it as a back up card.

+1 Even with the no fx transaction fee, it gets underused. My Chase Sapphire Reserve will get most of my swipes in an upcoming European trip.

I keep saying "I''m done" and then before I know it I'm on a hunt for another sign-up bonus. Sigh.

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

Post by SRenaeP » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:04 am

rjbraun wrote:
travellight wrote:^ I have the Capitol one Spark and it is 2% back on everything with no annual fee. I don't use it enough (i.e. not at all) since I am usually chasing bonuses. I like having it as a back up card.

+1 Even with the no fx transaction fee, it gets underused. My Chase Sapphire Reserve will get most of my swipes in an upcoming European trip.

I keep saying "I''m done" and then before I know it I'm on a hunt for another sign-up bonus. Sigh.


Same here. It's almost addictive. I met the min spend on the CSR and just got a new Merrill + Visa. Once I hit the min spend on that one, I will probably forego any new signups for a while. SkyMiles AmEx is my primary card and I need to maintain my spending level on that one to ensure Medallion status for next year.

-Steph

Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:09 am

SRenaeP wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
travellight wrote:^ I have the Capitol one Spark and it is 2% back on everything with no annual fee. I don't use it enough (i.e. not at all) since I am usually chasing bonuses. I like having it as a back up card.

+1 Even with the no fx transaction fee, it gets underused. My Chase Sapphire Reserve will get most of my swipes in an upcoming European trip.

I keep saying "I''m done" and then before I know it I'm on a hunt for another sign-up bonus. Sigh.


Same here. It's almost addictive. I met the min spend on the CSR and just got a new Merrill + Visa. Once I hit the min spend on that one, I will probably forego any new signups for a while. SkyMiles AmEx is my primary card and I need to maintain my spending level on that one to ensure Medallion status for next year.

-Steph


What I find interesting is if you need to spend to hit Medallion status are you really flying that much? And if that's the case, why not spend on a more profitable card? I actually like Skymiles vs some other currencies, but only getting 1pt/$1 means you're foregoing 1.5 everyday/3 gas/4.5 groceries pts/$ on the AMEX Everyday Preferred...

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

Post by SRenaeP » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:23 am

Jags4186 wrote:What I find interesting is if you need to spend to hit Medallion status are you really flying that much? And if that's the case, why not spend on a more profitable card? I actually like Skymiles vs some other currencies, but only getting 1pt/$1 means you're foregoing 1.5 everyday/3 gas/4.5 groceries pts/$ on the AMEX Everyday Preferred...


In general, I do but I wouldn't meet the new MQD requirements. My AmEx spend waives the MQD requirement. Also, I'm becoming slightly less brand-loyal to DL due to various CC bonuses. The last few years, my most expensive international flights either weren't flown on DL or were DL award tickets. However, I do fly enough with them that the AmEx perks are still worth it to me (free checked bags, Medallion upgrades and companion ticket) especially since I'm in a DL hub and travel exclusively DL for work as well.

I don't buy that much gas or groceries so the varying reward level cards like the one you mentioned don't do much for me. I'm certainly open to other suggestions though.

-Steph

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

Post by sharpjm » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:52 am

travellight wrote:^ I have the Capitol one Spark and it is 2% back on everything with no annual fee. I don't use it enough (i.e. not at all) since I am usually chasing bonuses. I like having it as a back up card.

Where do you get 2% Spark with no fee? On their website I see 2% cashback with $59 annual fee or 1.5% Spark with no annual fee.

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

Post by travellight » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:36 pm

^that was a few years ago, Jim. It may have changed since then.

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

Post by BeneIRA » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:49 pm

Breaking news on the Chase Sapphire Reserve: 100,000 point bonus will now be decreased to 50,000. For anyone on the fence, you probably want to jump now:

http://thepointsguy.com/2017/01/chase-sapphire-reserve-100k-online-bonus-ending/

EDIT to correct spelling error. "Not" is "now."
Last edited by BeneIRA on Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:57 pm

BeneIRA wrote:Breaking news on the Chase Sapphire Reserve: 100,000 point bonus will not be decreased to 50,000. For anyone on the fence, you probably want to jump now:

http://thepointsguy.com/2017/01/chase-sapphire-reserve-100k-online-bonus-ending/


Will "not" be decreased ?

Then why the rush to "jump now"?

(Where is this new info posted?)

Hard to keep track of all of this...!

Thanks.

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

Post by lakpr » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:14 pm

ResearchMed,

I am not "BeneIRA", but I think he meant that the sign up bonus will "now" be decreased to 50K.

In the link attached, there are quotes from the Chase executive Pam Codispoti (hope I got the spelling right), indicating that the 100K UR points bonus offer ends on Jan-11 for on-line, and on March-11 for in-branch applications. So if you are not quite ready to apply for the card right now, you still have a couple of months but will have to make a trip into a Chase branch.

There is also quite lively discussion on this topic on reddit as well.

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

Post by BeneIRA » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:00 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
BeneIRA wrote:Breaking news on the Chase Sapphire Reserve: 100,000 point bonus will not be decreased to 50,000. For anyone on the fence, you probably want to jump now:

http://thepointsguy.com/2017/01/chase-sapphire-reserve-100k-online-bonus-ending/


Will "not" be decreased ?

Then why the rush to "jump now"?

(Where is this new info posted?)

Hard to keep track of all of this...!

Thanks.

RM


Hi RM,

I apologize, I was in a hurry when I posted that. It has been corrected. The 100,000 point bonus will be decreasing to 50,000 in a few days.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:43 am

Jags4186 wrote:
SRenaeP wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
travellight wrote:^ I have the Capitol one Spark and it is 2% back on everything with no annual fee. I don't use it enough (i.e. not at all) since I am usually chasing bonuses. I like having it as a back up card.

+1 Even with the no fx transaction fee, it gets underused. My Chase Sapphire Reserve will get most of my swipes in an upcoming European trip.

I keep saying "I''m done" and then before I know it I'm on a hunt for another sign-up bonus. Sigh.


Same here. It's almost addictive. I met the min spend on the CSR and just got a new Merrill + Visa. Once I hit the min spend on that one, I will probably forego any new signups for a while. SkyMiles AmEx is my primary card and I need to maintain my spending level on that one to ensure Medallion status for next year.

-Steph


What I find interesting is if you need to spend to hit Medallion status are you really flying that much? And if that's the case, why not spend on a more profitable card? I actually like Skymiles vs some other currencies, but only getting 1pt/$1 means you're foregoing 1.5 everyday/3 gas/4.5 groceries pts/$ on the AMEX Everyday Preferred...


What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.

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

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:34 am

Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV

Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:23 am

Drew777 wrote:What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


While I have difficulty getting outsized awards with Skymiles, I find it pretty standard to get around 1.4-1.8cpp. Also, you have floor of 1cpp which is useful for low cost flights (i.e. a $100 flight will cost 10,000 sky miles regardless of what the fictional award chart says it should cost).

When considering the value of points you have to take into consideration how valuable they are and how easy they are to earn. Skymiles are incredibly easy to earn.

You also need to take into consideration that Delta is just a nicer airline than United or American.

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

Post by FedGuy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:08 am

Drew777 wrote:There are several credit cards that offer 3% on dining, and you can probably do better than that with travel rewards cards. I think the real question is how much are you really going to gain by getting another 1% on dining expenses over just using a 2% card? Even if you spend $500 a month on dining you're only looking at another $60 cash back per year. Most people would rather just get a card with a higher signup bonus instead.

Thanks, Drew. I'm not interested in playing the signup bonus game--I understand the potential benefits, but for me it's not worth the hassle of unfreezing my credit, applying for a card, doing manufactured spend, making the arrangements to pay my bills, and then putting the card in a drawer--and am really interested in finding the best card line-up for me going forward. Some of it is about maximizing my monthly cash back, but there's also a game-like aspect of it where I want to find the best line-up for my spending patterns.

You say there are several credit cards that offer 3% on dining. Could you please give a few examples? I'm not aware of any that do so without an annual fee, and an annual fee (such as the $450 for the Chase Sapphire Reserve--yikes!) would undermine why I'm doing this. I also don't currently travel enough to make a travel card worth it, even if I were willing to put up with the travel card nonsense of periodic point devaluations, blackout dates, and redemption fees, which I'm really not.

Thanks again.

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

Post by lakpr » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:16 am

Fedguy,

The Citi Costco card gives you 3% on dining. It is tied to Costco membership, there is no specific annual fee for the card itself. Not sure what happens if you get the card while having Costco membership and decide later to not renew.

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

Post by FedGuy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:08 pm

Thanks, Lakpr. I don't currently have convenient access to a Costco but will certainly keep the card in mind if that changes.

acura301
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by acura301 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:16 pm

FedGuy,
If you really want a card that offers 3% back on dining and has no annual fee, the AARP Visa might fit the bill for you. It's 3% on dining and gas, no annual fee, and $100 bonus. http://www.aarpcreditcard.com/

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

Post by stm » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:40 am

FedGuy wrote:Thanks, Drew. I'm not interested in playing the signup bonus game--I understand the potential benefits, but for me it's not worth the hassle of unfreezing my credit, applying for a card, doing manufactured spend, making the arrangements to pay my bills, and then putting the card in a drawer--

and an annual fee (such as the $450 for the Chase Sapphire Reserve--yikes!)


To each his own. Maximizing this deal, $450 investment is over a 400% gain in a year.

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

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:25 am

gvsucavie03 wrote:Checking account bonuses have gotten me more excited recently.... Wife got $350 in 2 weeks. TV died, so that got a new one.


Agreed. I use my emergency fund money to earn bank bonuses. I've got the wheels in motion to earn $1,270 in Q1 2017. I also churn rewards cards, but bank account bonuses are more profitable. I also have a couple of cards that have 0% APR on purchases, so I just make the minimum payments on those.

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

Post by FedGuy » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:21 am

Thanks, Acura. I hadn't been aware of the AARP card, but I'll take a closer look. And thanks to stm for the perspective. I'll consider that as well.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:54 am

dbr wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV


My local airport is a Delta hub, and I have never earned a single Skymile. It's actually often cheaper to book flights on Delta using some of their partners' miles rather than Delta's own Skymiles. They're commonly referred to as Skypesos in the travel hacking community. I travel fairly often and have been able to get plenty of use out of other airline currencies. Of course if you don't have flexibility it limits you.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:58 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Drew777 wrote:What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


While I have difficulty getting outsized awards with Skymiles, I find it pretty standard to get around 1.4-1.8cpp. Also, you have floor of 1cpp which is useful for low cost flights (i.e. a $100 flight will cost 10,000 sky miles regardless of what the fictional award chart says it should cost).

When considering the value of points you have to take into consideration how valuable they are and how easy they are to earn. Skymiles are incredibly easy to earn.

You also need to take into consideration that Delta is just a nicer airline than United or American.


Personally I wouldn't redeem any airline miles at 1 cent per point. 1.5 cents is about my cutoff. I have the Amex Business Platinum and can book any flight for 2 cents per point. I also have a Southwest companion pass and have gotten ton of use out of that. Internationally I use United, AA, or Alaska miles as well. I would disagree that Delta is a nicer airline though. When it comes to economy they're all pretty much the same. There isn't much differentiation in airlines until you get to business class, and all domestic airlines are at the bottom of the barrel in that area.

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

Post by bdrolan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:34 am

Ours is 2 cards.


Navy Federal CU Cash Rewards with 1.5% back on all purchases and a Marriott Rewards Visa for plane tickets, car rentals, hotels, and dining. We got about 80k bonus points and there is an $85 annual fee, but you also get a free night per year up to a Category 5 hotel. We'll usually stay at a Cat 5 Hotel that costs about $150-275/night.

I also use the Marriott card when I travel for work. We've averaged enough points per year to pay for round-trip tickets and a resort for a week...so it pays for almost all of a vacation each year.

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

Post by gvsucavie03 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:33 pm

whodidntante wrote:
gvsucavie03 wrote:Checking account bonuses have gotten me more excited recently.... Wife got $350 in 2 weeks. TV died, so that got a new one.


Agreed. I use my emergency fund money to earn bank bonuses. I've got the wheels in motion to earn $1,270 in Q1 2017. I also churn rewards cards, but bank account bonuses are more profitable. I also have a couple of cards that have 0% APR on purchases, so I just make the minimum payments on those.


I really wish I had $15k sitting around to do the Citi bonus... I've exhausted all available to me right now.

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

Post by guitarguy » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:11 pm

Drew777 wrote:
dbr wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV


My local airport is a Delta hub, and I have never earned a single Skymile. It's actually often cheaper to book flights on Delta using some of their partners' miles rather than Delta's own Skymiles. They're commonly referred to as Skypesos in the travel hacking community. I travel fairly often and have been able to get plenty of use out of other airline currencies. Of course if you don't have flexibility it limits you.


Could you elaborate?

We are going to Hawaii in 2018, I'm accumulating Skymiles really quickly via the Amex business cards to fly under chase 5/24. Already most of the way there (based on todays rates) to fly free...by later this year we will have almost double the miles required via signup bonuses only. So we're pretty set planning to use Skymiles for these flights.

That said, I also live near a Delta hub, and it's def our preferred airline. Our travel dates are also usually very flexible. What do you prefer to use over skymiles?

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

Post by OnceARunner » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:15 pm

FedGuy wrote:Thanks, Lakpr. I don't currently have convenient access to a Costco but will certainly keep the card in mind if that changes.


How about Sam's Club? Their mastercard gives 5% cashback on gas, 3% on dining and travel, and 1% on everything else.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:41 pm

guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
dbr wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV


My local airport is a Delta hub, and I have never earned a single Skymile. It's actually often cheaper to book flights on Delta using some of their partners' miles rather than Delta's own Skymiles. They're commonly referred to as Skypesos in the travel hacking community. I travel fairly often and have been able to get plenty of use out of other airline currencies. Of course if you don't have flexibility it limits you.


Could you elaborate?

We are going to Hawaii in 2018, I'm accumulating Skymiles really quickly via the Amex business cards to fly under chase 5/24. Already most of the way there (based on todays rates) to fly free...by later this year we will have almost double the miles required via signup bonuses only. So we're pretty set planning to use Skymiles for these flights.

That said, I also live near a Delta hub, and it's def our preferred airline. Our travel dates are also usually very flexible. What do you prefer to use over skymiles?


This is for American AAdvantage points, for use on AA

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-prog ... -chart.jsp

or on AA partners:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-prog ... -chart.jsp

Note that using AA points on partner airlines, there is not "surcharge" (in points) for certain times/advance purchase/etc. Just one "points price".
And it's not impossible to get.
On our first try using points for premium travel, we got two First Class seat/beds on JAL to Japan, for 80k each.
We just had to switch the day by one (maybe 2?) days.
For the return, on Cathay Pacific, we needed to fly a day later, and having an extra day in Japan wasn't any problem at all :wink:

In addition, one can transfer points among partner airlines and/or use points for a different partner airline.
As we are still learning, it can be possible to use Airline X's points for travel on what appears to be a totally unlinked/non-partner Airline Y.
In that case, one might need to transfer A's points to Airline Z, and then use Z's points to travel on Z's partner, Y.
This can also be done starting with Amex award points, rather than airline points, by transferring the Amex points to an Amex partner airline, to use there, or to use to book travel on one of that airline's partner.

We had no idea about some of these possibilities until about a year ago, when we paid a service (PointsPros) to help us because we were having trouble with strange routing needs to/from small airports overseas. (There was no charge unless one likes the flight/class/date selection, so we figured there wasn't much to lose.)
But I was astonished by how the rep was trying to work things, so I started reading more, and then more...

I'm still carefully trying to learn which types of airline and charge card points can be transferred or used on partners (two different things).
It turns out that some points I thought weren't particularly useful (didn't like the airline or the airline didn't fly to/from nearby airports, etc.) could be used in a couple of ways that could be *very* useful for us.

It was terribly confusing at first.
But now, one of my "job descriptions" is "getting the best use of the travel points".
For us, that's going to be premium class international, not domestic and not at hotels.

Can't remember where I read this next bit (elsewhere right here on BH?), but there seems to be a way to transfer United points (which have a modest change/cancel fee when used on United) to another airline, then use those points on "partner United", where there is a tiny cancel/change fee.
That one is a bit convoluted for a small and only potential benefit, but there are all sorts of clever tricks.

Note: We do NOT like flying on American Airlines, and will use our stash of AA points on other airlines.

RM
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kenyan
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by kenyan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:47 pm

Very sad to get the mailer from my Sallie Mae/Barclay's Mastercard canceling it in a couple of months (transitioning it to a far inferior cashback card). The 5% on gas, groceries, Amazon has been fantastic. I may consider an Amazon card to replace that portion of our 5% cashback plan.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:21 am

ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
dbr wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV


My local airport is a Delta hub, and I have never earned a single Skymile. It's actually often cheaper to book flights on Delta using some of their partners' miles rather than Delta's own Skymiles. They're commonly referred to as Skypesos in the travel hacking community. I travel fairly often and have been able to get plenty of use out of other airline currencies. Of course if you don't have flexibility it limits you.


Could you elaborate?

We are going to Hawaii in 2018, I'm accumulating Skymiles really quickly via the Amex business cards to fly under chase 5/24. Already most of the way there (based on todays rates) to fly free...by later this year we will have almost double the miles required via signup bonuses only. So we're pretty set planning to use Skymiles for these flights.

That said, I also live near a Delta hub, and it's def our preferred airline. Our travel dates are also usually very flexible. What do you prefer to use over skymiles?


This is for American AAdvantage points, for use on AA

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-prog ... -chart.jsp

or on AA partners:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-prog ... -chart.jsp

Note that using AA points on partner airlines, there is not "surcharge" (in points) for certain times/advance purchase/etc. Just one "points price".
And it's not impossible to get.
On our first try using points for premium travel, we got two First Class seat/beds on JAL to Japan, for 80k each.
We just had to switch the day by one (maybe 2?) days.
For the return, on Cathay Pacific, we needed to fly a day later, and having an extra day in Japan wasn't any problem at all :wink:

In addition, one can transfer points among partner airlines and/or use points for a different partner airline.
As we are still learning, it can be possible to use Airline X's points for travel on what appears to be a totally unlinked/non-partner Airline Y.
In that case, one might need to transfer A's points to Airline Z, and then use Z's points to travel on Z's partner, Y.
This can also be done starting with Amex award points, rather than airline points, by transferring the Amex points to an Amex partner airline, to use there, or to use to book travel on one of that airline's partner.

We had no idea about some of these possibilities until about a year ago, when we paid a service (PointsPros) to help us because we were having trouble with strange routing needs to/from small airports overseas. (There was no charge unless one likes the flight/class/date selection, so we figured there wasn't much to lose.)
But I was astonished by how the rep was trying to work things, so I started reading more, and then more...

I'm still carefully trying to learn which types of airline and charge card points can be transferred or used on partners (two different things).
It turns out that some points I thought weren't particularly useful (didn't like the airline or the airline didn't fly to/from nearby airports, etc.) could be used in a couple of ways that could be *very* useful for us.

It was terribly confusing at first.
But now, one of my "job descriptions" is "getting the best use of the travel points".
For us, that's going to be premium class international, not domestic and not at hotels.

Can't remember where I read this next bit (elsewhere right here on BH?), but there seems to be a way to transfer United points (which have a modest change/cancel fee when used on United) to another airline, then use those points on "partner United", where there is a tiny cancel/change fee.
That one is a bit convoluted for a small and only potential benefit, but there are all sorts of clever tricks.

Note: We do NOT like flying on American Airlines, and will use our stash of AA points on other airlines.

RM


Yeah I have personally found using AA points to be pretty difficult...in fact I've never used any of mine! For actual AA awards, availability is terrible. For partner awards, the challenge is avoiding flying through London on BA where you'll get hit with huge surcharges. Flying JAL premium like you did is a great use of AA points. I'm thinking of using some of mine to fly business class to Africa on partner Qatar Air...that's one of the ways to cross the Atlantic with AA points without flying on BA.

Personally I think United miles are superior. There's more availability and there's no fuel surcharges ever on United or Star Alliance partners. AA's award chart used to be better than United's but it's not meaningfully better anymore. United miles are also pretty easy to collect with Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards + United credit cards.

I have built up a fair stash of Alaska miles through the intro credit card bonuses. For that same Africa trip mentioned above, I'm consider using 70K Alaska miles one way to fly Cathay Pacific first class to Hong Kong, stopover for a while (as long as I want), and then continue on to Africa (business class sadly as they discontinued first class service on these routes). That's a heckuva deal!

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:39 am

guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
dbr wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV


My local airport is a Delta hub, and I have never earned a single Skymile. It's actually often cheaper to book flights on Delta using some of their partners' miles rather than Delta's own Skymiles. They're commonly referred to as Skypesos in the travel hacking community. I travel fairly often and have been able to get plenty of use out of other airline currencies. Of course if you don't have flexibility it limits you.


Could you elaborate?

We are going to Hawaii in 2018, I'm accumulating Skymiles really quickly via the Amex business cards to fly under chase 5/24. Already most of the way there (based on todays rates) to fly free...by later this year we will have almost double the miles required via signup bonuses only. So we're pretty set planning to use Skymiles for these flights.

That said, I also live near a Delta hub, and it's def our preferred airline. Our travel dates are also usually very flexible. What do you prefer to use over skymiles?


Korean Air, for example, only charges 25k miles roundtrip from the US to Hawaii in economy or 45k roundtrip in first class. Delta doesn't have an award chart, but I just did a quick check and the Delta flights were more than Korean charges for first class. Korean and Delta are partners, so you can book award flights on Delta metal with Korean miles. Korean has their own cobranded credit card with US Bank I believe, and you can transfer miles from UR or SPG. Flying Blue is also another good option for flying on Delta metal. You can fly roundtrip to Europe in economy for 50k which is cheaper than Delta.

Basically if you want to get maximum value you need to research and understand all airline programs, including foreign partners.

guitarguy
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:42 pm

Drew777 wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
dbr wrote:
Drew777 wrote:
What currencies do you like Skymiles over? In my experience they're probably the least valuable airline miles, including foreign airlines.


This can be strongly affected by where you fly. In particular being in a Delta captive city can make Skymiles more useful than the gyrations necessary to use "more valuable" currencies. YMMV


My local airport is a Delta hub, and I have never earned a single Skymile. It's actually often cheaper to book flights on Delta using some of their partners' miles rather than Delta's own Skymiles. They're commonly referred to as Skypesos in the travel hacking community. I travel fairly often and have been able to get plenty of use out of other airline currencies. Of course if you don't have flexibility it limits you.


Could you elaborate?

We are going to Hawaii in 2018, I'm accumulating Skymiles really quickly via the Amex business cards to fly under chase 5/24. Already most of the way there (based on todays rates) to fly free...by later this year we will have almost double the miles required via signup bonuses only. So we're pretty set planning to use Skymiles for these flights.

That said, I also live near a Delta hub, and it's def our preferred airline. Our travel dates are also usually very flexible. What do you prefer to use over skymiles?


Korean Air, for example, only charges 25k miles roundtrip from the US to Hawaii in economy or 45k roundtrip in first class. Delta doesn't have an award chart, but I just did a quick check and the Delta flights were more than Korean charges for first class. Korean and Delta are partners, so you can book award flights on Delta metal with Korean miles. Korean has their own cobranded credit card with US Bank I believe, and you can transfer miles from UR or SPG. Flying Blue is also another good option for flying on Delta metal. You can fly roundtrip to Europe in economy for 50k which is cheaper than Delta.

Basically if you want to get maximum value you need to research and understand all airline programs, including foreign partners.


Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

ResearchMed
Posts: 5504
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:13 pm

guitarguy wrote:
Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

We've found that many of the rewards travel cannot be booked online.
(And those that can be booked on line, seem to be the ones we don't want, or at least don't want to use these days.)

The only annoyance we've found is getting through to the right "desk" or department.
Once we get the right person, they seem to work pretty hard to check various flights and dates to get two of the class we want.
But yes, it would probably be easier if I could do it myself.

Thus far, it's definitely worth it.

The real time consuming part was - and continues to be - learning the tricks. But the initial, important learning curve was quick.

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

guitarguy
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:01 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

We've found that many of the rewards travel cannot be booked online.
(And those that can be booked on line, seem to be the ones we don't want, or at least don't want to use these days.)

The only annoyance we've found is getting through to the right "desk" or department.
Once we get the right person, they seem to work pretty hard to check various flights and dates to get two of the class we want.
But yes, it would probably be easier if I could do it myself.

Thus far, it's definitely worth it.

The real time consuming part was - and continues to be - learning the tricks. But the initial, important learning curve was quick.

RM


I see.

The one crappy thing I see is that you have too book round trip fares. Wife and I were hoping to fly into HNL, stay a few days for friends wedding, then when they go off to wherever for their honeymoon, we jet over to Maui for 3-4 more days, and then fly home from there. That doesn't seem to be possible using Korean Air to book Delta, unless we get an intermediate flight back again to HNL. :annoyed

ResearchMed
Posts: 5504
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:09 pm

guitarguy wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

We've found that many of the rewards travel cannot be booked online.
(And those that can be booked on line, seem to be the ones we don't want, or at least don't want to use these days.)

The only annoyance we've found is getting through to the right "desk" or department.
Once we get the right person, they seem to work pretty hard to check various flights and dates to get two of the class we want.
But yes, it would probably be easier if I could do it myself.

Thus far, it's definitely worth it.

The real time consuming part was - and continues to be - learning the tricks. But the initial, important learning curve was quick.

RM


I see.

The one crappy thing I see is that you have too book round trip fares. Wife and I were hoping to fly into HNL, stay a few days for friends wedding, then when they go off to wherever for their honeymoon, we jet over to Maui for 3-4 more days, and then fly home from there. That doesn't seem to be possible using Korean Air to book Delta, unless we get an intermediate flight back again to HNL. :annoyed


I can't speak to the specific itinerary and airline you are working on, but one of the good things that many people like is that one does *not* need to book round trip. And there's no extra charge for doing a one-way, which is something the cruise folks often like (e.g., for one way transatlantic cruise travel).

Are you sure about the requirement to book round trip?

Also double check about stopovers. Some awards travel allow stopovers (not just long connections) with no extra points.

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

travellight
Posts: 2687
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:30 pm

[quote]On our first try using points for premium travel, we got two First Class seat/beds on JAL to Japan, for 80k each/quote]

RM: American's business class product that we flew to Japan was actually outstanding (best flight ever, lie flat seats) and was only 50k points per person one way. This was Dallas to Narita.

travellight
Posts: 2687
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:31 pm

for those who got the United mileage explorer card, don't cancel until close to the end of the year when the fee hits. They sent me two more United passes right before renewal. I then called to cancel and they gave me $100 credit which more than offsets the annual fee.

travellight
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Location: San Diego

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:33 pm

Oh, and the business class seats I booked with American to Japan ended up being the same as the first class seats so I saved that mileage differential cost, I think.

crazygrow
Posts: 42
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by crazygrow » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:15 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

We've found that many of the rewards travel cannot be booked online.
(And those that can be booked on line, seem to be the ones we don't want, or at least don't want to use these days.)

The only annoyance we've found is getting through to the right "desk" or department.
Once we get the right person, they seem to work pretty hard to check various flights and dates to get two of the class we want.
But yes, it would probably be easier if I could do it myself.

Thus far, it's definitely worth it.

The real time consuming part was - and continues to be - learning the tricks. But the initial, important learning curve was quick.

RM


I see.

The one crappy thing I see is that you have too book round trip fares. Wife and I were hoping to fly into HNL, stay a few days for friends wedding, then when they go off to wherever for their honeymoon, we jet over to Maui for 3-4 more days, and then fly home from there. That doesn't seem to be possible using Korean Air to book Delta, unless we get an intermediate flight back again to HNL. :annoyed


I can't speak to the specific itinerary and airline you are working on, but one of the good things that many people like is that one does *not* need to book round trip. And there's no extra charge for doing a one-way, which is something the cruise folks often like (e.g., for one way transatlantic cruise travel).

Are you sure about the requirement to book round trip?

Also double check about stopovers. Some awards travel allow stopovers (not just long connections) with no extra points.

RM


It definitely pays to learn all the loopholes/partner differences. I have a very inflexible schedule, and I've always been able to find really great deals using skymiles. Taking all 8 in my family to Costa Rica this year at 35,000 skymiles each (tickets were in the $800 range) - all my skymiles are BIS (butt in seat) miles. I think at some point, it is going to get worse, but they accumulate so fast now under the new skymiles program for people buying more expensive tickets that it is a hard deal to beat.

guitarguy
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:01 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

We've found that many of the rewards travel cannot be booked online.
(And those that can be booked on line, seem to be the ones we don't want, or at least don't want to use these days.)

The only annoyance we've found is getting through to the right "desk" or department.
Once we get the right person, they seem to work pretty hard to check various flights and dates to get two of the class we want.
But yes, it would probably be easier if I could do it myself.

Thus far, it's definitely worth it.

The real time consuming part was - and continues to be - learning the tricks. But the initial, important learning curve was quick.

RM


I see.

The one crappy thing I see is that you have too book round trip fares. Wife and I were hoping to fly into HNL, stay a few days for friends wedding, then when they go off to wherever for their honeymoon, we jet over to Maui for 3-4 more days, and then fly home from there. That doesn't seem to be possible using Korean Air to book Delta, unless we get an intermediate flight back again to HNL. :annoyed


I can't speak to the specific itinerary and airline you are working on, but one of the good things that many people like is that one does *not* need to book round trip. And there's no extra charge for doing a one-way, which is something the cruise folks often like (e.g., for one way transatlantic cruise travel).

Are you sure about the requirement to book round trip?

Also double check about stopovers. Some awards travel allow stopovers (not just long connections) with no extra points.

RM


Speaking to using Korean Air miles on partner flights, this is echoed on several sources from a google search...so it appears...yes I'm sure. But not happy about it.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... ass-miles/

ResearchMed
Posts: 5504
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:43 pm

guitarguy wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:
guitarguy wrote:
Enlightening!!

But it says it can't be booked online when I looked up my local airport to HNL. This type of booking has to be done over the phone?

We've found that many of the rewards travel cannot be booked online.
(And those that can be booked on line, seem to be the ones we don't want, or at least don't want to use these days.)

The only annoyance we've found is getting through to the right "desk" or department.
Once we get the right person, they seem to work pretty hard to check various flights and dates to get two of the class we want.
But yes, it would probably be easier if I could do it myself.

Thus far, it's definitely worth it.

The real time consuming part was - and continues to be - learning the tricks. But the initial, important learning curve was quick.

RM


I see.

The one crappy thing I see is that you have too book round trip fares. Wife and I were hoping to fly into HNL, stay a few days for friends wedding, then when they go off to wherever for their honeymoon, we jet over to Maui for 3-4 more days, and then fly home from there. That doesn't seem to be possible using Korean Air to book Delta, unless we get an intermediate flight back again to HNL. :annoyed


I can't speak to the specific itinerary and airline you are working on, but one of the good things that many people like is that one does *not* need to book round trip. And there's no extra charge for doing a one-way, which is something the cruise folks often like (e.g., for one way transatlantic cruise travel).

Are you sure about the requirement to book round trip?

Also double check about stopovers. Some awards travel allow stopovers (not just long connections) with no extra points.

RM


Speaking to using Korean Air miles on partner flights, this is echoed on several sources from a google search...so it appears...yes I'm sure. But not happy about it.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... ass-miles/


I guess I didn't realize you were wanting to use Korean Air Skypass Miles.
It seemed at first like you were accumulating Alaska Miles or Amex Miles?
Sorry if I missed that you already had Korean Air miles.

And yes, I did scroll down on that link, and for that one combo, using Korean miles, and there it was: round trip is required.
(There may be other situations that require roundtrip; we just never encountered them... yet.)

But... if you are starting with Amex points, then why do you need to use only Korean awards, on other airlines?

Sorry if I'm missing something.
IF you want to PM me a more specific list of awards you have and what exact itinerary is your preference, then I could try to take a more informed look.
(Sorry - I feel like I'm losing track here now :( )

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

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

Post by gvsucavie03 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:48 pm

Sorry to sidetrack from the airline miles discussion...

Citi Double Cash is annoyingly low with credit limits... Just got a second limit increase to a whopping $6,000. I'll never get close to that amount, but for those trying to stay low on credit usage it is aggravating.

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