What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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DrGoogle2017
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:15 pm

Da5id wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:42 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:40 pm
Da5id wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:37 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:35 pm
I think it's by your logic, not mine, I was merely respond to your Costco card is not free. I'm talking strictly about fee that you pay every year.
You are not eligible to get a Costco credit card unless you pay the membership fee. No fee, no card? That you'd get the membership regardless of the ability to get a card is a point, but actually I'd get the Costco card without the membership (it is pretty good).
Not regular card, but executive card where you pay $110 or $120 every year but you get 2% reimbursement and the net result is free money. I see no fee.
I have executive membership (which is separate from the card, no)? I make a net profit from the extra 2% regardless of what payment method I use . You get 2% on the regular membership as well if you use the Costco branded Visa card.

On my Chase Sapphire Reserve, I also make a net profit. I guess I don't see a fundamental distinction, but fine.
I closed my husband's Chase Sapphire Reserve too. Too many cards for me to keep track of. I only need on card for cash rebates, which is Costco Citi. One card for travel overseas which is British Airways. The rest I could care less. In 5-10 years, I won't have any more travel cards. I done with travelling hopefully.

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VictoriaF
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:50 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:15 pm
I closed my husband's Chase Sapphire Reserve too. Too many cards for me to keep track of. I only need on card for cash rebates, which is Costco Citi. One card for travel overseas which is British Airways. The rest I could care less. In 5-10 years, I won't have any more travel cards. I done with travelling hopefully.
If you are hopeful to stop traveling in 5-10 years, what prevents you from stopping traveling now? And if you don't travel, the only credit card strategy you need is getting a card with the largest cash back reimbursement.

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

SVT
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:56 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SVT » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:09 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:09 pm
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:27 pm
rjbraun wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:46 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:03 am
Most would recommend applying for the 100k Amex Plat offer rather than the 60k offer, but that offer can be hard to get.
I got an invitation to apply for the Amex Business Platinum Card. I can't really grasp how attractive the card would be, though on the face of things it looks good: 100k with $5,000 min spend in first 3 months and an extra 50k with $10,000 min spend in that same period. $450 AF

Appreciate input on how the Amex Business Platinum compares to the Amex Platinum. I am only starting to grasp what the personal card offers, based on reading BH posts. From what I gather, they seem comparable but the Business comes with a larger sign-up bonus for a comparable (I think) AF. But, maybe that's too simple.

Also, while I got a Chase Ink business card earlier (and also have a Cap One Spark business card), I haven't really done much with my personal business, so I would think that could be a limitation in getting an Amex business card.
The main difference between Personal and Business Plats is that the Business Plat is $450 AF and doesn't include the monthly Uber credits. It also does not get 5x on airlines and amextravel. However, it has a unique perk that allows for 35% of your points back when redeemed for flights on your chosen airline - which must be the same airline that the $200 credit will count toward. For example, if you find a $1000 flight, it will cost you 100k points, but you will receive 35k points back as part of this benefit. The flight must be booked through amextravel to redeem the points like this. The cash cost may or may not be similar to booking directly with the airline. And the value of points may be more or less than if you were to transfer the points to the airline and book with airline miles.
Thank you. I find those Amex cards (plat, gold, etc.) kinda complicated. Maybe it's just me. Anyway, what I've surmised so far, primarily from posts here, is that the card can be very nice for people who travel a lot, either on business or personally and perhaps stay at nicer hotels or value perks like special concierge access for play tickets, restaurant reservations, etc.

While SO and I travel some, and hope to more once we retire (unlikely in the next 12 months), we don't quite fit the profile of what I wrote above. That said, if I could get the card to try out for, in essence, free, I should probably consider it.

On that front,

-- Can I convert MR points to cash? From the website, the best I found was either a statement credit or gift cards. Is the ratio 1c / MR, i.e., 100k bonus equals $1000?
https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comme ... xpress_mr/

Statement credit value is .6 cents per point. Gift cards are 1 cent per point.

The only way to cash out is to have a Schwab brokerage account and also have the Schwab Amex Platinum card. This will allow you to cash out your points into your Schwab brokerage account. You can do this at a value of 1.25 cents per point!

It seems to me the best thing to do is build up MR points with Amex cards for a while then get the Schwab Amex Platinum card last, after opening a Schwab brokerage account, then transfer all your points for cash into your brokerage account. If you build up say 260k MR points (you can do that just from getting a business platinum card and a personal platinum card at 100k points each, then the Schwab Amex Platinum itself is currently 60k MR points) that would be $3250 in cash.

sharpjm
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by sharpjm » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:09 pm
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:27 pm
The main difference between Personal and Business Plats is that the Business Plat is $450 AF and doesn't include the monthly Uber credits. It also does not get 5x on airlines and amextravel. However, it has a unique perk that allows for 35% of your points back when redeemed for flights on your chosen airline - which must be the same airline that the $200 credit will count toward. For example, if you find a $1000 flight, it will cost you 100k points, but you will receive 35k points back as part of this benefit. The flight must be booked through amextravel to redeem the points like this. The cash cost may or may not be similar to booking directly with the airline. And the value of points may be more or less than if you were to transfer the points to the airline and book with airline miles.
Thank you. I find those Amex cards (plat, gold, etc.) kinda complicated. Maybe it's just me. Anyway, what I've surmised so far, primarily from posts here, is that the card can be very nice for people who travel a lot, either on business or personally and perhaps stay at nicer hotels or value perks like special concierge access for play tickets, restaurant reservations, etc.

While SO and I travel some, and hope to more once we retire (unlikely in the next 12 months), we don't quite fit the profile of what I wrote above. That said, if I could get the card to try out for, in essence, free, I should probably consider it.

On that front,

-- Can I convert MR points to cash? From the website, the best I found was either a statement credit or gift cards. Is the ratio 1c / MR, i.e., 100k bonus equals $1000?
-- I currently have Chase Sapphire Reserve and value the trip protection / cancellation insurance benefits. My understanding is that if I book a flight (and perhaps also a tour, haven't checked) and need to cancel due to illness or medical issue, for me or other immediate family member (not sure that's exact language but would cover a parent, which is important to me) I should be covered. Is Amex coverage comparable?
-- Would the Amex Business Plat card count towards Chase "5/24"? I am either at 3/24 or 4/24, depending on whether Chase Ink Biz Preferred and Chase IHG count, and trying to hold out for CSP (round 2) and perhaps Chase United if I got a 70k targeted offer.

Actually, just noticed that the website seems to indicate 5x on airlines and prepaid hotels on amextravel, my actual card offer offers something similar (if not that exact wording). This benefit is shown as "New!" and also seems to be in addition to the 35% points back feature on (qualifying) flights.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/cred ... edit-cards

Thanks in advance for any help
The poster above detailed the best way to convert MR to cash by going the Schwab Platinum card route. There is also another option to "try out" the card. There is an Ameriprise Platinum card that comes with no point bonus but the first year annual fee is waived. This would effectively be trading the 60k points for $550 - worse than the schwab method since 60k could be converted to $750 via schwab, but then you don't have to mess with the brokerage account that is needed to redeem the points via Schwab.

And before you ask - Yes all of the Personal Platinum cards have the same benefits. Ameriprise, Schwab, Mercedes Benz and regular Plat are the same in terms of the benefits discussed thus far. There are very minor differences - I believe Ameriprise Plat offers 3 authorized user cards for free? and I the Schwab card offers 1.25 cpp cash redemption. Schwab card also has a $100 annual statement credit if you have a $250k schwab account or a $200 annual statement credit if you have a $1mil schwab account. Those credits effectively reduce the annual fee. And Mercedes benz plat offers some unique benefits if you want to purchase / lease a new Merc.

I'm not familiar enough with the trip protection benefits to give a good answer. I would bet doctor of credit has a good post on it if you search that site though.

Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:15 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:50 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:15 pm
I closed my husband's Chase Sapphire Reserve too. Too many cards for me to keep track of. I only need on card for cash rebates, which is Costco Citi. One card for travel overseas which is British Airways. The rest I could care less. In 5-10 years, I won't have any more travel cards. I done with travelling hopefully.
If you are hopeful to stop traveling in 5-10 years, what prevents you from stopping traveling now? And if you don't travel, the only credit card strategy you need is getting a card with the largest cash back reimbursement.

Victoria
Not sure I understand your comment. Nothing prevents me from stopping traveling now. I've already booked for all my international trips for 2018. For 2019, I need a rest from long international traveling, plus all my traveling will be domestic trips and they are not expensive. I will have another free business class tickets for 2020 to Europe from my spending of the 2018 international trips.
That's how far ahead, I've been able to plan. Yes, I've mentioned this before, if I don't travel internationally, I only need Costco City card for cash back.

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am

sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?

BeneIRA
Posts: 298
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am

guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?
Chase doesn't count their own business cards in 5/24 even though they can see them. It's a weird quirk. Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:45 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?
Chase doesn't count their own business cards in 5/24 even though they can see them. It's a weird quirk. Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Cool...I see a 75k offer when going with a private browser. I will go for that rather than the 60k!

But, now that this knowledge that I'm eligible for CSR due to Chase not counting Ink+ towards 5/24...I'm really debating between CSR or Amex Plat right now. Trying to figure out which will be more valuable for me, with the caveat that I'm working towards our HI vacation in Sep 2018.

I'm looking at getting one of these cards in Sep/Oct 2017 and using them for all of our general fall spending. Shouldn't have a problem meeting either minimum spend ($5k vs $4k) as we're planning on buying a new bedroom set this fall in addition to finishing up remodeling our master bedroom.

CSR: 50k UR points bonus [$750 ish value], $300 travel credit (1X use) [$300 value], $100 GE credit [$100 value]. $450 fee, $4k min spend.
Call this a net of +$700 after the fee.
Upsides: travel credit is very easy to redeem, UR points are *generally* better than MR points, but not by a lot.
Downsides: less value than Amex Plat?

Amex Plat: 75k MR points [$1125 ish value], $200 airline credit (2X use) [$400 value], $200 GE credits (one additional GE credit for free Gold A/U) [$200 value]. $550 fee, $5k min spend. $45 fee to transfer the bonus points.
Call this a net of +$1130 after the fees.
Upsides: potentially quite a high value! We will get 2 GE credits, which we will use for Precheck on several flights starting in Dec 2017.
Downsides: airline credit might be tougher to utilize, but see below for my tentative plan to utilize this.

Airline credit plan:
For 2017, right when I get the card, designate Delta as our preferred airline. Buy 4X $50 Delta gift cards. Per lots of data points on Flyer Talk Forums...this should trigger the $200 credit. Then, when I book our flights to HI, book using the miles+cash option. These flights are 35k miles+$150 for DTW to LIH, and from OGG to DTW in Comfort Plus. (Note: We also have 2X $50 Delta e-gift cards currently, so we'll have 6X $50 cards for a total of $300). Basically then, our flights *should* cost us 142k Delta miles plus $300 in cash, which will be covered by burning up these e-gift cards.

For 2018, designate Delta again as our preferred airline. Pay $100 for checked bags round trip for HI, which will be reimbursed from the credit. Either burn the last $100 on 2X $50 gift cards and end up back where we started, or burn it up with a drink or 2 and a lounge pass for the HI trip. Lounge access for Delta is $29 per guest as I understand it, and we will almost certainly have a layover at SEA or LAX on our way to/from HI. Since I will have a free Gold A/U rather than another Plat user, I will have to pay the fee to get my spouse in. The fee should trigger a credit.

I was planning on keeping DL Gold Amex for priority boarding and free bags for these flights ($100 cost vs $95 annual fee for year 2). Instead, cancel this card and "save" the $95. Bags will be covered by credit for 2018, and the C+ seats come with priority boarding (should we even decide to use it having no items for the overhead bin).

Based on all of the above...I'm leaning towards the Amex Plat despite the higher fee and the more-difficult-to-use airline credit (vs travel credit on the CSR). Any faulty logic or things I'm missing here!

Thanks fellow travel hackers!!

ChiefIlliniwek
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ChiefIlliniwek » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:26 am

guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:45 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?
Chase doesn't count their own business cards in 5/24 even though they can see them. It's a weird quirk. Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Cool...I see a 75k offer when going with a private browser. I will go for that rather than the 60k!

But, now that this knowledge that I'm eligible for CSR due to Chase not counting Ink+ towards 5/24...I'm really debating between CSR or Amex Plat right now. Trying to figure out which will be more valuable for me, with the caveat that I'm working towards our HI vacation in Sep 2018.

I'm looking at getting one of these cards in Sep/Oct 2017 and using them for all of our general fall spending. Shouldn't have a problem meeting either minimum spend ($5k vs $4k) as we're planning on buying a new bedroom set this fall in addition to finishing up remodeling our master bedroom.

CSR: 50k UR points bonus [$750 ish value], $300 travel credit (1X use) [$300 value], $100 GE credit [$100 value]. $450 fee, $4k min spend.
Call this a net of +$700 after the fee.
Upsides: travel credit is very easy to redeem, UR points are *generally* better than MR points, but not by a lot.
Downsides: less value than Amex Plat?

Amex Plat: 75k MR points [$1125 ish value], $200 airline credit (2X use) [$400 value], $200 GE credits (one additional GE credit for free Gold A/U) [$200 value]. $550 fee, $5k min spend. $45 fee to transfer the bonus points.
Call this a net of +$1130 after the fees.
Upsides: potentially quite a high value! We will get 2 GE credits, which we will use for Precheck on several flights starting in Dec 2017.
Downsides: airline credit might be tougher to utilize, but see below for my tentative plan to utilize this.

Airline credit plan:
For 2017, right when I get the card, designate Delta as our preferred airline. Buy 4X $50 Delta gift cards. Per lots of data points on Flyer Talk Forums...this should trigger the $200 credit. Then, when I book our flights to HI, book using the miles+cash option. These flights are 35k miles+$150 for DTW to LIH, and from OGG to DTW in Comfort Plus. (Note: We also have 2X $50 Delta e-gift cards currently, so we'll have 6X $50 cards for a total of $300). Basically then, our flights *should* cost us 142k Delta miles plus $300 in cash, which will be covered by burning up these e-gift cards.

For 2018, designate Delta again as our preferred airline. Pay $100 for checked bags round trip for HI, which will be reimbursed from the credit. Either burn the last $100 on 2X $50 gift cards and end up back where we started, or burn it up with a drink or 2 and a lounge pass for the HI trip. Lounge access for Delta is $29 per guest as I understand it, and we will almost certainly have a layover at SEA or LAX on our way to/from HI. Since I will have a free Gold A/U rather than another Plat user, I will have to pay the fee to get my spouse in. The fee should trigger a credit.

I was planning on keeping DL Gold Amex for priority boarding and free bags for these flights ($100 cost vs $95 annual fee for year 2). Instead, cancel this card and "save" the $95. Bags will be covered by credit for 2018, and the C+ seats come with priority boarding (should we even decide to use it having no items for the overhead bin).

Based on all of the above...I'm leaning towards the Amex Plat despite the higher fee and the more-difficult-to-use airline credit (vs travel credit on the CSR). Any faulty logic or things I'm missing here!

Thanks fellow travel hackers!!
I think it looks good. Also with the CSR you will get 3x UR on dining so if you spend lots of money on dining that might change the math a little. You also get trip delay insurance with the CSR that you don't get with the Plat and rental insurance doesn't come with an added fee like it does on the Plat.

I would keep the Delta AMEX if you are going to have any other flights on Delta for sure.

Try to route through SEA because there is a Centurion Lounge there, but not sure how easy it is to access.

I would check on how many payment options you can use on Delta, because on Southwest you can only use 3 so only 2 gift cards and a CC. Also I would buy the gift cards not all at once. Buy the first one and wait until you get the reimbursement, then buy the next and so on until you buy 4.

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 am

ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:26 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:45 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?
Chase doesn't count their own business cards in 5/24 even though they can see them. It's a weird quirk. Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Cool...I see a 75k offer when going with a private browser. I will go for that rather than the 60k!

But, now that this knowledge that I'm eligible for CSR due to Chase not counting Ink+ towards 5/24...I'm really debating between CSR or Amex Plat right now. Trying to figure out which will be more valuable for me, with the caveat that I'm working towards our HI vacation in Sep 2018.

I'm looking at getting one of these cards in Sep/Oct 2017 and using them for all of our general fall spending. Shouldn't have a problem meeting either minimum spend ($5k vs $4k) as we're planning on buying a new bedroom set this fall in addition to finishing up remodeling our master bedroom.

CSR: 50k UR points bonus [$750 ish value], $300 travel credit (1X use) [$300 value], $100 GE credit [$100 value]. $450 fee, $4k min spend.
Call this a net of +$700 after the fee.
Upsides: travel credit is very easy to redeem, UR points are *generally* better than MR points, but not by a lot.
Downsides: less value than Amex Plat?

Amex Plat: 75k MR points [$1125 ish value], $200 airline credit (2X use) [$400 value], $200 GE credits (one additional GE credit for free Gold A/U) [$200 value]. $550 fee, $5k min spend. $45 fee to transfer the bonus points.
Call this a net of +$1130 after the fees.
Upsides: potentially quite a high value! We will get 2 GE credits, which we will use for Precheck on several flights starting in Dec 2017.
Downsides: airline credit might be tougher to utilize, but see below for my tentative plan to utilize this.

Airline credit plan:
For 2017, right when I get the card, designate Delta as our preferred airline. Buy 4X $50 Delta gift cards. Per lots of data points on Flyer Talk Forums...this should trigger the $200 credit. Then, when I book our flights to HI, book using the miles+cash option. These flights are 35k miles+$150 for DTW to LIH, and from OGG to DTW in Comfort Plus. (Note: We also have 2X $50 Delta e-gift cards currently, so we'll have 6X $50 cards for a total of $300). Basically then, our flights *should* cost us 142k Delta miles plus $300 in cash, which will be covered by burning up these e-gift cards.

For 2018, designate Delta again as our preferred airline. Pay $100 for checked bags round trip for HI, which will be reimbursed from the credit. Either burn the last $100 on 2X $50 gift cards and end up back where we started, or burn it up with a drink or 2 and a lounge pass for the HI trip. Lounge access for Delta is $29 per guest as I understand it, and we will almost certainly have a layover at SEA or LAX on our way to/from HI. Since I will have a free Gold A/U rather than another Plat user, I will have to pay the fee to get my spouse in. The fee should trigger a credit.

I was planning on keeping DL Gold Amex for priority boarding and free bags for these flights ($100 cost vs $95 annual fee for year 2). Instead, cancel this card and "save" the $95. Bags will be covered by credit for 2018, and the C+ seats come with priority boarding (should we even decide to use it having no items for the overhead bin).

Based on all of the above...I'm leaning towards the Amex Plat despite the higher fee and the more-difficult-to-use airline credit (vs travel credit on the CSR). Any faulty logic or things I'm missing here!

Thanks fellow travel hackers!!
I think it looks good. Also with the CSR you will get 3x UR on dining so if you spend lots of money on dining that might change the math a little. You also get trip delay insurance with the CSR that you don't get with the Plat and rental insurance doesn't come with an added fee like it does on the Plat.

I would keep the Delta AMEX if you are going to have any other flights on Delta for sure.

Try to route through SEA because there is a Centurion Lounge there, but not sure how easy it is to access.

I would check on how many payment options you can use on Delta, because on Southwest you can only use 3 so only 2 gift cards and a CC. Also I would buy the gift cards not all at once. Buy the first one and wait until you get the reimbursement, then buy the next and so on until you buy 4.
Thanks!

We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - DW collects Hyatt and United, I collect Delta and Southwest) make the extra 1% in earning not worth the extra fee, even after the travel credit. If the A/U was free then we'd be talking...but alas...the extra $75 fee makes it meh.

I *eventually* will end up keeping a Delta (probably Gold) Amex long term as we live near a Delta hub (DTW)...but I haven't gotten the personal Delta Plat or Gold Amex yet, just the business, so I'm not sure it'll be worth paying the fee right now seeing as we probably won't have any other Delta flights in 2018...HI will be a long trip! By the time we plan our next vacation on Delta I'll have one of the personal cards for the miles and perks.

Delta is our preferred airline for anything that's not our annual (or semi-annual) DTW to DAL trip to visit my in-laws. We book these solely with SW miles because DAL is a SW hub and there are ridiculously cheap nonstop flights daily which works perfect for us since we rarely travel during peak times and always have flexible dates for these trips.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:48 am

For Hawaiian trips, I would suggest getting Hawaiian Airlines VISA or Master card. Only $1000 spending requirement. Get one for each per couple, there two free tickets right there. I think you also get 50% discount on the second ticket, if you have children. From LAX, there is always discount fares to Hawaii in the fall so I save my big miles for longer trips.

ChiefIlliniwek
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ChiefIlliniwek » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:12 am

guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 am
Thanks!

We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - DW collects Hyatt and United, I collect Delta and Southwest) make the extra 1% in earning not worth the extra fee, even after the travel credit. If the A/U was free then we'd be talking...but alas...the extra $75 fee makes it meh.

I *eventually* will end up keeping a Delta (probably Gold) Amex long term as we live near a Delta hub (DTW)...but I haven't gotten the personal Delta Plat or Gold Amex yet, just the business, so I'm not sure it'll be worth paying the fee right now seeing as we probably won't have any other Delta flights in 2018...HI will be a long trip! By the time we plan our next vacation on Delta I'll have one of the personal cards for the miles and perks.

Delta is our preferred airline for anything that's not our annual (or semi-annual) DTW to DAL trip to visit my in-laws. We book these solely with SW miles because DAL is a SW hub and there are ridiculously cheap nonstop flights daily which works perfect for us since we rarely travel during peak times and always have flexible dates for these trips.
It sounds like you have all your bases covered, so I would go with the Plat. Have fun in Hawaii.

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:23 am

ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:12 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 am
Thanks!

We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - DW collects Hyatt and United, I collect Delta and Southwest) make the extra 1% in earning not worth the extra fee, even after the travel credit. If the A/U was free then we'd be talking...but alas...the extra $75 fee makes it meh.

I *eventually* will end up keeping a Delta (probably Gold) Amex long term as we live near a Delta hub (DTW)...but I haven't gotten the personal Delta Plat or Gold Amex yet, just the business, so I'm not sure it'll be worth paying the fee right now seeing as we probably won't have any other Delta flights in 2018...HI will be a long trip! By the time we plan our next vacation on Delta I'll have one of the personal cards for the miles and perks.

Delta is our preferred airline for anything that's not our annual (or semi-annual) DTW to DAL trip to visit my in-laws. We book these solely with SW miles because DAL is a SW hub and there are ridiculously cheap nonstop flights daily which works perfect for us since we rarely travel during peak times and always have flexible dates for these trips.
It sounds like you have all your bases covered, so I would go with the Plat. Have fun in Hawaii.
Thanks we will!!

Only other side item is debating on keeping the Plat Delta Amex...does anyone find the companion certificate useful?

Each year we're almost guaranteed to fly DTW to SFO and/or DTW to RSW...both of which I think the companion cert would work for. But they seem to have so many restrictions with all these different fare classes and so much nonsense surrounding it...I'm wondering if it would even be worth trying to keep and use.

SVT
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:56 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SVT » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:51 am

guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:45 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?
Chase doesn't count their own business cards in 5/24 even though they can see them. It's a weird quirk. Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Cool...I see a 75k offer when going with a private browser. I will go for that rather than the 60k!

But, now that this knowledge that I'm eligible for CSR due to Chase not counting Ink+ towards 5/24...I'm really debating between CSR or Amex Plat right now. Trying to figure out which will be more valuable for me, with the caveat that I'm working towards our HI vacation in Sep 2018.
Get both. The Amex Plat doesn't show up on your report until after the 1st or 2nd statement posts so you won't technically be 5/24 to Chase for a little while after applying for Amex. So you have time to get both shortly after each other, or at the same time (just have to be able to reach minimum spend in time).

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:00 pm

SVT wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:51 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:45 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 am
sharpjm wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Amex business cards do not count toward the 5/24 count. Ink Preferred should not count toward 5/24 but IHG definitely does.
+1 on Amex business cards not counting.

Can anyone else confirm that Chase business cards aren't counted? If they're not counted then my Ink+ wouldn't be counted...which would currently leave me at 4/24.

I just assumed, and have read, that Chase will count their own business cards towards 5/24. After all, they know they gave you that account. Thoughts?
Chase doesn't count their own business cards in 5/24 even though they can see them. It's a weird quirk. Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Cool...I see a 75k offer when going with a private browser. I will go for that rather than the 60k!

But, now that this knowledge that I'm eligible for CSR due to Chase not counting Ink+ towards 5/24...I'm really debating between CSR or Amex Plat right now. Trying to figure out which will be more valuable for me, with the caveat that I'm working towards our HI vacation in Sep 2018.
Get both. The Amex Plat doesn't show up on your report until after the 1st or 2nd statement posts so you won't technically be 5/24 to Chase for a little while after applying for Amex. So you have time to get both shortly after each other, or at the same time (just have to be able to reach minimum spend in time).
Yeah...with no big expenses coming up in particular...we won't be able to spend that much to meet both bonuses.

Having to choose...I think the Amex Plat is the better choice for me right now!

SRenaeP
Posts: 610
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm

guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:23 am
ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:12 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 am
Thanks!

We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - DW collects Hyatt and United, I collect Delta and Southwest) make the extra 1% in earning not worth the extra fee, even after the travel credit. If the A/U was free then we'd be talking...but alas...the extra $75 fee makes it meh.

I *eventually* will end up keeping a Delta (probably Gold) Amex long term as we live near a Delta hub (DTW)...but I haven't gotten the personal Delta Plat or Gold Amex yet, just the business, so I'm not sure it'll be worth paying the fee right now seeing as we probably won't have any other Delta flights in 2018...HI will be a long trip! By the time we plan our next vacation on Delta I'll have one of the personal cards for the miles and perks.

Delta is our preferred airline for anything that's not our annual (or semi-annual) DTW to DAL trip to visit my in-laws. We book these solely with SW miles because DAL is a SW hub and there are ridiculously cheap nonstop flights daily which works perfect for us since we rarely travel during peak times and always have flexible dates for these trips.
It sounds like you have all your bases covered, so I would go with the Plat. Have fun in Hawaii.
Thanks we will!!

Only other side item is debating on keeping the Plat Delta Amex...does anyone find the companion certificate useful?

Each year we're almost guaranteed to fly DTW to SFO and/or DTW to RSW...both of which I think the companion cert would work for. But they seem to have so many restrictions with all these different fare classes and so much nonsense surrounding it...I'm wondering if it would even be worth trying to keep and use.
DH and I have both had the DL Plat Amex for probably 10 years. I think there has only been one time we let a companion cert go to waste. We travel a lot so there's generally always something we can use them for. I generally try to save them for pricey tickets (e.g. high season ski destinations) but on occasion have 'resorted' to using them for our annual trip to see the in-laws (usually $250-350).

I've debated cancelling at least one of the cards but the MQM bonus is what keeps them both in play for us. The bonus is usually the tipping point to keep or improve Medallion status every year even when business travel wanes or changes to short hop destinations that don't accrue many MQMs. I thought about downgrading to gold but unfortunately, the bonus is not applicable for that product.

-Steph

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:25 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:23 am
ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:12 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 am
Thanks!

We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - DW collects Hyatt and United, I collect Delta and Southwest) make the extra 1% in earning not worth the extra fee, even after the travel credit. If the A/U was free then we'd be talking...but alas...the extra $75 fee makes it meh.

I *eventually* will end up keeping a Delta (probably Gold) Amex long term as we live near a Delta hub (DTW)...but I haven't gotten the personal Delta Plat or Gold Amex yet, just the business, so I'm not sure it'll be worth paying the fee right now seeing as we probably won't have any other Delta flights in 2018...HI will be a long trip! By the time we plan our next vacation on Delta I'll have one of the personal cards for the miles and perks.

Delta is our preferred airline for anything that's not our annual (or semi-annual) DTW to DAL trip to visit my in-laws. We book these solely with SW miles because DAL is a SW hub and there are ridiculously cheap nonstop flights daily which works perfect for us since we rarely travel during peak times and always have flexible dates for these trips.
It sounds like you have all your bases covered, so I would go with the Plat. Have fun in Hawaii.
Thanks we will!!

Only other side item is debating on keeping the Plat Delta Amex...does anyone find the companion certificate useful?

Each year we're almost guaranteed to fly DTW to SFO and/or DTW to RSW...both of which I think the companion cert would work for. But they seem to have so many restrictions with all these different fare classes and so much nonsense surrounding it...I'm wondering if it would even be worth trying to keep and use.
DH and I have both had the DL Plat Amex for probably 10 years. I think there has only been one time we let a companion cert go to waste. We travel a lot so there's generally always something we can use them for. I generally try to save them for pricey tickets (e.g. high season ski destinations) but on occasion have 'resorted' to using them for our annual trip to see the in-laws (usually $250-350).

I've debated cancelling at least one of the cards but the MQM bonus is what keeps them both in play for us. The bonus is usually the tipping point to keep or improve Medallion status every year even when business travel wanes or changes to short hop destinations that don't accrue many MQMs. I thought about downgrading to gold but unfortunately, the bonus is not applicable for that product.

-Steph
Do you also book flights using miles? I'm weighing using the cert vs just booking the flights with miles...assuming we have enough. I still haven't jumped on the personal Gold or Plat Delta Amex cards, and DW hasn't gotten them either...so we still have potential to stock up a lot of miles at some point.

How would you value this card flying (Delta) once or twice per year? No status here! Ha

SRenaeP
Posts: 610
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:31 pm

guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:25 pm
SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:23 am
ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:12 am
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 am
Thanks!

We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - DW collects Hyatt and United, I collect Delta and Southwest) make the extra 1% in earning not worth the extra fee, even after the travel credit. If the A/U was free then we'd be talking...but alas...the extra $75 fee makes it meh.

I *eventually* will end up keeping a Delta (probably Gold) Amex long term as we live near a Delta hub (DTW)...but I haven't gotten the personal Delta Plat or Gold Amex yet, just the business, so I'm not sure it'll be worth paying the fee right now seeing as we probably won't have any other Delta flights in 2018...HI will be a long trip! By the time we plan our next vacation on Delta I'll have one of the personal cards for the miles and perks.

Delta is our preferred airline for anything that's not our annual (or semi-annual) DTW to DAL trip to visit my in-laws. We book these solely with SW miles because DAL is a SW hub and there are ridiculously cheap nonstop flights daily which works perfect for us since we rarely travel during peak times and always have flexible dates for these trips.
It sounds like you have all your bases covered, so I would go with the Plat. Have fun in Hawaii.
Thanks we will!!

Only other side item is debating on keeping the Plat Delta Amex...does anyone find the companion certificate useful?

Each year we're almost guaranteed to fly DTW to SFO and/or DTW to RSW...both of which I think the companion cert would work for. But they seem to have so many restrictions with all these different fare classes and so much nonsense surrounding it...I'm wondering if it would even be worth trying to keep and use.
DH and I have both had the DL Plat Amex for probably 10 years. I think there has only been one time we let a companion cert go to waste. We travel a lot so there's generally always something we can use them for. I generally try to save them for pricey tickets (e.g. high season ski destinations) but on occasion have 'resorted' to using them for our annual trip to see the in-laws (usually $250-350).

I've debated cancelling at least one of the cards but the MQM bonus is what keeps them both in play for us. The bonus is usually the tipping point to keep or improve Medallion status every year even when business travel wanes or changes to short hop destinations that don't accrue many MQMs. I thought about downgrading to gold but unfortunately, the bonus is not applicable for that product.

-Steph
Do you also book flights using miles? I'm weighing using the cert vs just booking the flights with miles...assuming we have enough. I still haven't jumped on the personal Gold or Plat Delta Amex cards, and DW hasn't gotten them either...so we still have potential to stock up a lot of miles at some point.

How would you value this card flying (Delta) once or twice per year? No status here! Ha
Yes, we typically use miles as well but only for expensive and/or international flights. We're limited in how we can use the cert because it has to be CONUS. If you only fly once a year, it definitely isn't worth it. If you fly twice a year and will be able to use the cert for one of those flights, you will save *some* money (flight cost - annual fee of $195) but probably not that much. In your case, I would probably recommend a card like CSP or CSR rather than tying yourself to a particular brand.

-Steph

guitarguy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:58 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:31 pm
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:25 pm
SRenaeP wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm
guitarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:23 am
ChiefIlliniwek wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:12 am


It sounds like you have all your bases covered, so I would go with the Plat. Have fun in Hawaii.
Thanks we will!!

Only other side item is debating on keeping the Plat Delta Amex...does anyone find the companion certificate useful?

Each year we're almost guaranteed to fly DTW to SFO and/or DTW to RSW...both of which I think the companion cert would work for. But they seem to have so many restrictions with all these different fare classes and so much nonsense surrounding it...I'm wondering if it would even be worth trying to keep and use.
DH and I have both had the DL Plat Amex for probably 10 years. I think there has only been one time we let a companion cert go to waste. We travel a lot so there's generally always something we can use them for. I generally try to save them for pricey tickets (e.g. high season ski destinations) but on occasion have 'resorted' to using them for our annual trip to see the in-laws (usually $250-350).

I've debated cancelling at least one of the cards but the MQM bonus is what keeps them both in play for us. The bonus is usually the tipping point to keep or improve Medallion status every year even when business travel wanes or changes to short hop destinations that don't accrue many MQMs. I thought about downgrading to gold but unfortunately, the bonus is not applicable for that product.

-Steph
Do you also book flights using miles? I'm weighing using the cert vs just booking the flights with miles...assuming we have enough. I still haven't jumped on the personal Gold or Plat Delta Amex cards, and DW hasn't gotten them either...so we still have potential to stock up a lot of miles at some point.

How would you value this card flying (Delta) once or twice per year? No status here! Ha
Yes, we typically use miles as well but only for expensive and/or international flights. We're limited in how we can use the cert because it has to be CONUS. If you only fly once a year, it definitely isn't worth it. If you fly twice a year and will be able to use the cert for one of those flights, you will save *some* money (flight cost - annual fee of $195) but probably not that much. In your case, I would probably recommend a card like CSP or CSR rather than tying yourself to a particular brand.

-Steph
We generally fly 3-4 times a year. 1-2 of those are on SW always same route and on miles.

For any other flight our preferred airline is DL. Our trips from DTW to RSW / SFO seem like good candidates for this cert. So my basis for considering keeping this card was to use the cert annually for one of those 2 flights since we fly them regularly, and use miles for the other if we have enough, and if we go on both trips. And of course the possibility is always there to go somewhere else...like HI!!

2pedals
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:31 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 2pedals » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:59 pm

An World Elite MasterCard would provide a complimentary upgrade at National or Avis rental cars. Has anybody used the an World Elite MasterCard for the rental car status upgrade for National or Avis? Does anybody have any experience with status upgrades at National (executive) and Avis (Preferred)? Is this a nice perk to have?
Last edited by 2pedals on Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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VictoriaF
Posts: 17258
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:03 pm

I usually get my trans-Atlantic flights with reward points, but now I am considering something else:

Every summer I visit Northern France and then travel to another European city. Normally, I fly Economy but the summer flights are fully booked, which makes it difficult for me to sleep on my way to Europe. Right now, Google Flights show One-way Business tickets for $900 to Frankfurt (FRA) or for $1,080 to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Condor. I am tempted to get a Business ticket with cash--rather than points.

- Is this a good deal?
- Is sleeping in Business class feasible?
- Are there any potential problems with Condor that I need to know about?

Thanks!

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

curmudgeon
Posts: 1226
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by curmudgeon » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:22 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:03 pm
I usually get my trans-Atlantic flights with reward points, but now I am considering something else:

Every summer I visit Northern France and then travel to another European city. Normally, I fly Economy but the summer flights are fully booked, which makes it difficult for me to sleep on my way to Europe. Right now, Google Flights show One-way Business tickets for $900 to Frankfurt (FRA) or for $1,080 to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Condor. I am tempted to get a Business ticket with cash--rather than points.

- Is this a good deal?
- Is sleeping in Business class feasible?
- Are there any potential problems with Condor that I need to know about?

Thanks!

Victoria
Flights in summer at that rate? I guess that's from East coast, though. Look at seatguru for dimensions and comments about those seats. A big different between the "lie flat" business class and the old style business seats with more legroom and width but still just reclining. Wide variation in peoples ability to sleep on planes; I have a hard time (even on sleeper trains, for that matter).

I have been looking at options for more comfortable Europe flights (for us they are ~11 hours). Saver awards for business class are my first preference, but they are pretty scarce and typically not offered on the non-stop flights I'm looking at. Norwegian has some low-cost flight options, and they have a "business class" which, while not lie flat, at least would offer extra leg and shoulder room.

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VictoriaF
Posts: 17258
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 am

curmudgeon wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:22 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:03 pm
I usually get my trans-Atlantic flights with reward points, but now I am considering something else:

Every summer I visit Northern France and then travel to another European city. Normally, I fly Economy but the summer flights are fully booked, which makes it difficult for me to sleep on my way to Europe. Right now, Google Flights show One-way Business tickets for $900 to Frankfurt (FRA) or for $1,080 to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Condor. I am tempted to get a Business ticket with cash--rather than points.

- Is this a good deal?
- Is sleeping in Business class feasible?
- Are there any potential problems with Condor that I need to know about?

Thanks!

Victoria
Flights in summer at that rate? I guess that's from East coast, though. Look at seatguru for dimensions and comments about those seats. A big different between the "lie flat" business class and the old style business seats with more legroom and width but still just reclining. Wide variation in peoples ability to sleep on planes; I have a hard time (even on sleeper trains, for that matter).

I have been looking at options for more comfortable Europe flights (for us they are ~11 hours). Saver awards for business class are my first preference, but they are pretty scarce and typically not offered on the non-stop flights I'm looking at. Norwegian has some low-cost flight options, and they have a "business class" which, while not lie flat, at least would offer extra leg and shoulder room.
The flights I am looking at are from BWI to FRA on Condor. Google Flights describes the seats as "angled flat seats" which should be a significant improvement from my usual Economy.

SeatGuru it is very helpful! The aircraft that will be used for my flight next summer is not known yet. But Condor has only two versions of seat maps that include Business Class, both on Boeing 767-300ER (763). In both cases, there is no First Class, and Business is the highest class. In one version there are 3 rows of Business Class seats, in the other version there are 5 rows. In each case, there are 3 groups of 2 seats per Business row.

Now, I am trying to decide which seats to choose. SeatGuru warms against the front row because it's close to the lavatory and galleys. The seats near the walls are risky because either you or your seatmate may need to get up at night. The double seats in the middle seem to provide the best chance for an uninterrupted sleep.

User comments indicate that in the front row there may be no overhead space because it's taken by the crew. There were also cases when Condor sent an aircraft without Business Class, Business passengers were given Premium Economy seats, and getting a refund was difficult.

I appreciate any feedback from those who have flown in these or similar Business seats.

UPDATE at 10:00am
After spending some time on researching prices and seat maps, I decided to get the ticket without further ado. Here are some interesting observations:
1. As of today, 27 August 2017, Google Flights does not provide any information for flights after 21 July 2018. However, when I went to the Condor web site, I was able to book my flight beyond that date. Moral: trust but verify even Google.
2. When I was trying to book my flight in dollars, the Condor site was increasing my price by $200, without me getting any extras. I would select a flight for $900, but after one or two screens my price would jump to $1,100.
3. After a few attempts at erasing cookies and trying different dates, I discovered that I could book my flights in Euros. €760 seemed close enough to $900, and I proceeded with booking without encountering any unexplained price increases.
4. I selected a seat in the middle two-seater in the last row of the Business Class. The seat map for this flight had 3 rows with 6 seats each, and when I was booking all seats were available.
5. Condor charged me additional €15.50 for using a credit card, but I thought that having the CSP travel insurance may become handy.
6. After I finished entering credit card information the purchase was finalized. This was different from my usual reservations on the U.S.-based airlines which give me several opportunities to check all the information I had entered.

Hope my Business class experiment works. I will be happy to report about it a year from now.

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

2015
Posts: 685
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 2015 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:31 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 am
curmudgeon wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:22 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:03 pm
I usually get my trans-Atlantic flights with reward points, but now I am considering something else:

Every summer I visit Northern France and then travel to another European city. Normally, I fly Economy but the summer flights are fully booked, which makes it difficult for me to sleep on my way to Europe. Right now, Google Flights show One-way Business tickets for $900 to Frankfurt (FRA) or for $1,080 to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Condor. I am tempted to get a Business ticket with cash--rather than points.

- Is this a good deal?
- Is sleeping in Business class feasible?
- Are there any potential problems with Condor that I need to know about?

Thanks!

Victoria
Flights in summer at that rate? I guess that's from East coast, though. Look at seatguru for dimensions and comments about those seats. A big different between the "lie flat" business class and the old style business seats with more legroom and width but still just reclining. Wide variation in peoples ability to sleep on planes; I have a hard time (even on sleeper trains, for that matter).

I have been looking at options for more comfortable Europe flights (for us they are ~11 hours). Saver awards for business class are my first preference, but they are pretty scarce and typically not offered on the non-stop flights I'm looking at. Norwegian has some low-cost flight options, and they have a "business class" which, while not lie flat, at least would offer extra leg and shoulder room.
The flights I am looking at are from BWI to FRA on Condor. Google Flights describes the seats as "angled flat seats" which should be a significant improvement from my usual Economy.

SeatGuru it is very helpful! The aircraft that will be used for my flight next summer is not known yet. But Condor has only two versions of seat maps that include Business Class, both on Boeing 767-300ER (763). In both cases, there is no First Class, and Business is the highest class. In one version there are 3 rows of Business Class seats, in the other version there are 5 rows. In each case, there are 3 groups of 2 seats per Business row.

Now, I am trying to decide which seats to choose. SeatGuru warms against the front row because it's close to the lavatory and galleys. The seats near the walls are risky because either you or your seatmate may need to get up at night. The double seats in the middle seem to provide the best chance for an uninterrupted sleep.

User comments indicate that in the front row there may be no overhead space because it's taken by the crew. There were also cases when Condor sent an aircraft without Business Class, Business passengers were given Premium Economy seats, and getting a refund was difficult.

I appreciate any feedback from those who have flown in these or similar Business seats.

UPDATE at 10:00am
After spending some time on researching prices and seat maps, I decided to get the ticket without further ado. Here are some interesting observations:
1. As of today, 27 August 2017, Google Flights does not provide any information for flights after 21 July 2018. However, when I went to the Condor web site, I was able to book my flight beyond that date. Moral: trust but verify even Google.
2. When I was trying to book my flight in dollars, the Condor site was increasing my price by $200, without me getting any extras. I would select a flight for $900, but after one or two screens my price would jump to $1,100.
3. After a few attempts at erasing cookies and trying different dates, I discovered that I could book my flights in Euros. €760 seemed close enough to $900, and I proceeded with booking without encountering any unexplained price increases.
4. I selected a seat in the middle two-seater in the last row of the Business Class. The seat map for this flight had 3 rows with 6 seats each, and when I was booking all seats were available.
5. Condor charged me additional €15.50 for using a credit card, but I thought that having the CSP travel insurance may become handy.
6. After I finished entering credit card information the purchase was finalized. This was different from my usual reservations on the U.S.-based airlines which give me several opportunities to check all the information I had entered.

Hope my Business class experiment works. I will be happy to report about it a year from now.

Victoria
$900 Business Class in the summer--fantastic! Thanks for the tips on Google Flights and booking using Euros. Please do post back on the results of your experiment as this is the direction I'm headed in as I travel more.

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

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:15 pm

United just changed my rewards flight (booked with Chase UR points transferred to United miles) to Hawaii in January to a much longer one (heading out through Denver instead of SFO). And I got bumped farther back into the plane as the new plane is one of the new expanded first-class layouts that United runs out of Denver. Now debating ponying up another $125 to get a reclining Economy Plus seat. I wouldn't mind regular economy for a 5 hour flight from SFO, but now it's an 8 hour flight from Denver. Any United rewards options folks are aware of to get an Economy Plus upgrade on an existing rewards flight?

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

Post by spammagnet » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
... Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Is the 75K/100K offer limited to business? I saw it when incognito but only on small business cards, not personal.

The spending requirement for the former is rather high: $20K in 3 months. The first $10K gets you 50K points; the second $10K adds 25K points.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:47 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 am
Every summer I visit Northern France and then travel to another European city. Normally, I fly Economy but the summer flights are fully booked, which makes it difficult for me to sleep on my way to Europe. Right now, Google Flights show One-way Business tickets for $900 to Frankfurt (FRA) or for $1,080 to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Condor. I am tempted to get a Business ticket with cash--rather than points.

- Is this a good deal?
- Is sleeping in Business class feasible?
- Are there any potential problems with Condor that I need to know about?
The fare is probably a good fare for business class. I recently flew Condor from PDX to FRA and back, booked in business class. Here are some thoughts:

- I slept well on the way to Frankfurt (where it mattered) even though the seat wasn't 180 degree flat. I have slept less (worse?) on completely flat seats and thus know that for me "flatiness" isn't the only factor in determining how well I sleep. There have been coach flights where I slept most of the time (in my younger years at least).

- potential problems... well, I see you booked the last row of business. I would reconsider that if the current aircraft has five rows of business class seats. When I checked in at FRA, they told me that I had been downgraded to Premium Economy because they had swapped the aircraft. Everyone else in my situation seemed to have been in the back, and I, too, had been in the last row of business class.

(in fairness, I filed an EC261/2004 refund request for 75% of the fare. I calculated how much I thought I was due and submitted that number and about 10 days later I had an apology and a check in the mail, without any arguing. So my return PE flight was rather cheap, especially considering that Alaska gave me full business class credit)

As you may know, Alaska is partnering with Condor, so you can credit Condor-operated flights to the Alaska MileagePlan account, and they are rather generous with what they currently offer. 3x (or 4x as an MVPG) distance in redeemable miles (I got around 20k miles each way) and 2x elite qualifying miles. But that is only true for Condor-operated flights, and as a subsidiary of Thomas Cook some of their flights are actually operated by Thomas Cook. I looked at the Sept 3, 2017 flight from BWI to FRA and it appears to be operated by Thomas Cook. So... if you are counting on getting miles, double-check who is operating the flight.

Also, keep an eye on your reservation. Condor has in recent months announced and then quickly canceled new routes on the west coast (San Diego, SFO, LAX). I think BWI is more established, so they probably won't cancel, but still I wouldn't count on them necessarily emailing you right away if something changes.

Here's a trip report from Flyertalk: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-e ... eport.html

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

Post by guitarguy » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:26 am

spammagnet wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
... Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Is the 75K/100K offer limited to business? I saw it when incognito but only on small business cards, not personal.

The spending requirement for the former is rather high: $20K in 3 months. The first $10K gets you 50K points; the second $10K adds 25K points.
I didn't see the 75k offer on the personal when I went private (Firefox) but I tried a private window on ole IE and showed me the 75k offer on the personal card. $5k spend. Try another browser or another computer.

The business minimum spends are ridiculously high unless you have a business that has that kind of overhead or have some major upcoming expenses. I do have a side business but I don't spend $20k in a year or more let alone 90 days for it. Personal expenses would be borderline on the $10k and wouldn't come close to the $20k in 90 days.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:51 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:47 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 am
Every summer I visit Northern France and then travel to another European city. Normally, I fly Economy but the summer flights are fully booked, which makes it difficult for me to sleep on my way to Europe. Right now, Google Flights show One-way Business tickets for $900 to Frankfurt (FRA) or for $1,080 to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Condor. I am tempted to get a Business ticket with cash--rather than points.

- Is this a good deal?
- Is sleeping in Business class feasible?
- Are there any potential problems with Condor that I need to know about?
The fare is probably a good fare for business class. I recently flew Condor from PDX to FRA and back, booked in business class. Here are some thoughts:

- I slept well on the way to Frankfurt (where it mattered) even though the seat wasn't 180 degree flat. I have slept less (worse?) on completely flat seats and thus know that for me "flatiness" isn't the only factor in determining how well I sleep. There have been coach flights where I slept most of the time (in my younger years at least).

- potential problems... well, I see you booked the last row of business. I would reconsider that if the current aircraft has five rows of business class seats. When I checked in at FRA, they told me that I had been downgraded to Premium Economy because they had swapped the aircraft. Everyone else in my situation seemed to have been in the back, and I, too, had been in the last row of business class.

(in fairness, I filed an EC261/2004 refund request for 75% of the fare. I calculated how much I thought I was due and submitted that number and about 10 days later I had an apology and a check in the mail, without any arguing. So my return PE flight was rather cheap, especially considering that Alaska gave me full business class credit)

As you may know, Alaska is partnering with Condor, so you can credit Condor-operated flights to the Alaska MileagePlan account, and they are rather generous with what they currently offer. 3x (or 4x as an MVPG) distance in redeemable miles (I got around 20k miles each way) and 2x elite qualifying miles. But that is only true for Condor-operated flights, and as a subsidiary of Thomas Cook some of their flights are actually operated by Thomas Cook. I looked at the Sept 3, 2017 flight from BWI to FRA and it appears to be operated by Thomas Cook. So... if you are counting on getting miles, double-check who is operating the flight.

Also, keep an eye on your reservation. Condor has in recent months announced and then quickly canceled new routes on the west coast (San Diego, SFO, LAX). I think BWI is more established, so they probably won't cancel, but still I wouldn't count on them necessarily emailing you right away if something changes.

Here's a trip report from Flyertalk: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-e ... eport.html
Excellent information, TravelGeek. Thank you very much!

I have initially booked in the 3rd row, which was the last row of the three Business rows. After having read your message, I changed my seat to the 2nd row.

I have not found a way to credit my flight to Alaska. There was no option to enter frequent flyer information when I was booking it, or now. I will wait until it gets closer to the flight time, and if the flight is still on, I will contact Condor directly. In my reservation it only refers to Condor, there is no mention of Thomas Cook, but that may change in the next 11 months.

Thank you for the heads up about a possible route cancellation and the FlyerTalk thread. I will keep an eye on both.

In the end, this flight is an experiment. Normally, I am fine flying Economy and can afford to pay extra if a last-minute cancellation requires booking another flight. This is a game where taking a risk sometimes leads to a success and sometimes to a failure.

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

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

Post by rjbraun » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:23 am

guitarguy wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:26 am
spammagnet wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
... Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Is the 75K/100K offer limited to business? I saw it when incognito but only on small business cards, not personal.

The spending requirement for the former is rather high: $20K in 3 months. The first $10K gets you 50K points; the second $10K adds 25K points.
I didn't see the 75k offer on the personal when I went private (Firefox) but I tried a private window on ole IE and showed me the 75k offer on the personal card. $5k spend. Try another browser or another computer.

The business minimum spends are ridiculously high unless you have a business that has that kind of overhead or have some major upcoming expenses. I do have a side business but I don't spend $20k in a year or more let alone 90 days for it. Personal expenses would be borderline on the $10k and wouldn't come close to the $20k in 90 days.
I received a (snail) mail invitation "to apply for the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN". As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not so familiar with Amex terms (though I do "play" the credit card game to some extent) and thought the offer seemed attractive, though I have yet to apply.

"Earn up to 150,000 Membership Rewards points. After you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership, you can earn 100,000 points. In addition, after you spend an extra $10,000 on qualifying purchases on the Card within the same time period, you can earn an extra 50,000 points."

The discrepancy in the above offer and what others have posted seems pretty large, so it makes me wonder if there's a "catch" or something. There are a couple of footnotes to the offer. I couldn't find them so easily, but I guess I would seek them out for closer review if I decided to apply. That said, I would be surprised if they are so outrageous as to explain the points discrepancy. Also, don't know what American Express OPEN refers to. Maybe that's significant :confused

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:25 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 am
...
UPDATE at 10:00am
After spending some time on researching prices and seat maps, I decided to get the ticket without further ado. Here are some interesting observations:
1. As of today, 27 August 2017, Google Flights does not provide any information for flights after 21 July 2018. However, when I went to the Condor web site, I was able to book my flight beyond that date. Moral: trust but verify even Google.
2. When I was trying to book my flight in dollars, the Condor site was increasing my price by $200, without me getting any extras. I would select a flight for $900, but after one or two screens my price would jump to $1,100.
...
Additional comments of possible interest:

After I have successfully booked a one-way flight from the U.S. to Europe, I started looking for my flight back. I will be returning from Belgrade, Serbia (BEG) and don't need to sleep on that flight. The best price and schedule combination in Economy was offered by Turkish Airlines ($669 for one-way Economy). Similarly to Condor, the flight on my desired date was not listed in Google Flights that far ahead (August 2018), but was available on the Turkish site. And similarly to Condor, I have completed my booking in Euros using Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Notes:
- I don't have a CSR yet. I am planning to get it early in 2018, after I clear the 5/24 constraint.
- I checked both of my flights on the Chase portal and could not find anything suitable. Paying cash was the best option.
- A flight from FRA to BEG is fairly cheap on Air Serbia bit my date is not bookable yet.

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

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

Post by DiMAn0684 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:39 am

VictoriaF, Air Serbia is a partner with Etihad, and you can get one way flights from BEG to JFK for around 45k Etihad pts. Etihad is transfer partner with Citi and AMEX and sometimes have extra 20/25% pt transfer promos. If you play it right, you should be able to get that one way for 35-37k ThankYou / MR pts.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:48 am

DiMAn0684 wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:39 am
VictoriaF, Air Serbia is a partner with Etihad, and you can get one way flights from BEG to JFK for around 45k Etihad pts. Etihad is transfer partner with Citi and AMEX and sometimes have extra 20/25% pt transfer promos. If you play it right, you should be able to get that one way for 35-37k ThankYou / MR pts.
Thank you, DiMAn0684,

Unfortunately, I don't have any Thank You or MR points; all my points are UR. Also, this particular flight is cheap: $150 in Economy and $220 in Business on the date two weeks before I need it. I keep my fingers crossed that the same flight and same prices will become available on my desired date. If that does not work out, I will be looking for flights out of Luxembourg, Strasbourg, and Paris.

ADDED LATER:
Out of curiosity, I deleted cookies and tried to book the same Air Serbia flight stating that I reside in the U.K. As a "UK resident" I saw somewhat different flights and different prices. Are there potential problems with misrepresenting your country of residence when booking a flight, if you provide the accurate information in the actual reservation?

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:53 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:51 am
I have not found a way to credit my flight to Alaska. There was no option to enter frequent flyer information when I was booking it, or now. I will wait until it gets closer to the flight time, and if the flight is still on, I will contact Condor directly. In my reservation it only refers to Condor, there is no mention of Thomas Cook, but that may change in the next 11 months.
The Condor website doesn't accept the AS number (as of July). I called Condor before my flight, and they told me they could not add the number on the phone. I gave it to the gate agent in Portland when i asked them to print the boarding pass for me and they were able to do it. My boarding pass showed ASxxxxxx correctly and it posted without issues (took about 2-3 weeks, though).

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:55 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:53 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:51 am
I have not found a way to credit my flight to Alaska. There was no option to enter frequent flyer information when I was booking it, or now. I will wait until it gets closer to the flight time, and if the flight is still on, I will contact Condor directly. In my reservation it only refers to Condor, there is no mention of Thomas Cook, but that may change in the next 11 months.
The Condor website doesn't accept the AS number (as of July). I called Condor before my flight, and they told me they could not add the number on the phone. I gave it to the gate agent in Portland when i asked them to print the boarding pass for me and they were able to do it. My boarding pass showed ASxxxxxx correctly and it posted without issues (took about 2-3 weeks, though).
Thank you! I will do the same.

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

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

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:06 am

I just like 2% flat fidelity 529 reward card. unlimited reward.
For traveling, I have CSR for better protection and effective 4.5 reward point.
I just booked Italian trip for free with reward point from CSR. Car rental is so affordable at $10 a day VW polo with effective CSR point.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:14 am

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:06 am
I just booked Italian trip for free with reward point from CSR. Car rental is so affordable at $10 a day VW polo with effective CSR point.
How much is insurance for this car rental?

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

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

Post by guitarguy » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:24 am

rjbraun wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:23 am
guitarguy wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:26 am
spammagnet wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
... Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Is the 75K/100K offer limited to business? I saw it when incognito but only on small business cards, not personal.

The spending requirement for the former is rather high: $20K in 3 months. The first $10K gets you 50K points; the second $10K adds 25K points.
I didn't see the 75k offer on the personal when I went private (Firefox) but I tried a private window on ole IE and showed me the 75k offer on the personal card. $5k spend. Try another browser or another computer.

The business minimum spends are ridiculously high unless you have a business that has that kind of overhead or have some major upcoming expenses. I do have a side business but I don't spend $20k in a year or more let alone 90 days for it. Personal expenses would be borderline on the $10k and wouldn't come close to the $20k in 90 days.
I received a (snail) mail invitation "to apply for the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN". As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not so familiar with Amex terms (though I do "play" the credit card game to some extent) and thought the offer seemed attractive, though I have yet to apply.

"Earn up to 150,000 Membership Rewards points. After you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership, you can earn 100,000 points. In addition, after you spend an extra $10,000 on qualifying purchases on the Card within the same time period, you can earn an extra 50,000 points."

The discrepancy in the above offer and what others have posted seems pretty large, so it makes me wonder if there's a "catch" or something. There are a couple of footnotes to the offer. I couldn't find them so easily, but I guess I would seek them out for closer review if I decided to apply. That said, I would be surprised if they are so outrageous as to explain the points discrepancy. Also, don't know what American Express OPEN refers to. Maybe that's significant :confused
AFAIK, the Amex "OPEN" is just Amex lingo for their business cards.

Your offer is killer. I'd apply for it. Read the terms carefully...but I wouldn't suspect there's a catch. It's not uncommon for targeted offers to be "double" that of regular ones as far as the signup bonuses and stuff goes.

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

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:28 am

CSR has covered everything.

THY4373
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:46 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:48 am

ADDED LATER:
Out of curiosity, I deleted cookies and tried to book the same Air Serbia flight stating that I reside in the U.K. As a "UK resident" I saw somewhat different flights and different prices. Are there potential problems with misrepresenting your country of residence when booking a flight, if you provide the accurate information in the actual reservation?

Victoria
It depends. Some airlines offer cheaper resident only fares and can and will enforce this on some occasions. For example LAN in Peru and I think Argentina does this. However LAN in some other countries does not. You would likely want to head over to Flyertalk and search to see if you can find more information on your situation. I know nothing about Air Serbia.

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

Post by dbr » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:22 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:46 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:48 am

ADDED LATER:
Out of curiosity, I deleted cookies and tried to book the same Air Serbia flight stating that I reside in the U.K. As a "UK resident" I saw somewhat different flights and different prices. Are there potential problems with misrepresenting your country of residence when booking a flight, if you provide the accurate information in the actual reservation?

Victoria
It depends. Some airlines offer cheaper resident only fares and can and will enforce this on some occasions. For example LAN in Peru and I think Argentina does this. However LAN in some other countries does not. You would likely want to head over to Flyertalk and search to see if you can find more information on your situation. I know nothing about Air Serbia.
Point of origin and point of sale differences in pricing are common. This may or may not be associated with citizenship or residence as it is Argentina.

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

Post by SVT » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:40 pm

Wow. Quite bummed. Chase just implemented a new rule restricting bonuses for their Sapphire cards: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-me ... t-get-csr/

I'm new to this game and was planning on getting a CSR and CSP over the next several months. There goes that plan.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:41 pm

SVT wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:40 pm
Wow. Quite bummed. Chase just implemented a new rule restricting bonuses for their Sapphire cards: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-me ... t-get-csr/

I'm new to this game and was planning on getting a CSR and CSP over the next several months. There goes that plan.
I was going to get CSR in February and then product change CSP to FU. My new plan is to open a Chase Ink card to hold my URs, product change CSP, and open CSR a bit later. By the time I am ready to implement this plan there will be a lot of data points from bloggers.

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

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:11 am

I made a rookie application mistake, but somehow it worked out.

I was looking at my spreadsheet to see when I had canceled my Alaska business card. Instead of looking at the "canceled" column I looked at the "opened" column. Great, I closed that card in January, should be pretty easy to get again! Had really canceled in mid-July. I figured this out as I got a pending response. So I decided to just sit tight and see what would happen. Very surprised to see the acceptance email about 6 days later. I did not think I had a chance in hell of getting the card after only canceling 6 weeks ago AND being 14/12.

So, as usual, YMMV.

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

Post by Oleanmike » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:53 pm

I would like to share my experience with the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance, specifically the Trip Cancellation. When I first got the CSR, I thought it had good enough benefits to use it as my primary trip insurance and not purchase additional trip insurance. Unfortunately I got the chance to try it out

We booked a fairly expensive 25 day transatlantic cruise in November last year. After reading the fine print on pre-existing conditions, I immediately placed a down payment against the full cost of the trip using the CSR card. This in effect triggered the "pre-existing condition" date. (Which is defined as diagnosed or treated for any condition in the 60 day prior to making the payment). At the time I did not have any "pre-existing conditions" that met the definition.

Before making final payment for the trip, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. At the time I was still expecting to be able to make the trip, and made the final payment on the trip. In the time between final payment and the trip, it was determined that I would need a surgical procedure and would be in recovery at the time of the trip. My doctor said I should not travel and offered to provide the proof of my condition for the insurance.

So, after filing the proper paperwork, today I received the reimbursement for the full cost of the trip. There were some lessons I learned:
1. Read the fine print, especially the pre-existing condition clause to see if it applies.
2. Make a payment on the trip during a period when you have no pre-existing conditions.
3. If you have a pre-existing condition, it would be better to purchase independent trip insurance that includes the ability to cancel for any reason.
4. Make sure you get your doctors agreement to complete the forms needed for the claim.

I am happy to have won this time, but feel lucky.

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

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:29 am

Oleanmike wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:53 pm
I would like to share my experience with the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance, specifically the Trip Cancellation. When I first got the CSR, I thought it had good enough benefits to use it as my primary trip insurance and not purchase additional trip insurance. Unfortunately I got the chance to try it out

We booked a fairly expensive 25 day transatlantic cruise in November last year. After reading the fine print on pre-existing conditions, I immediately placed a down payment against the full cost of the trip using the CSR card. This in effect triggered the "pre-existing condition" date. (Which is defined as diagnosed or treated for any condition in the 60 day prior to making the payment). At the time I did not have any "pre-existing conditions" that met the definition.

Before making final payment for the trip, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. At the time I was still expecting to be able to make the trip, and made the final payment on the trip. In the time between final payment and the trip, it was determined that I would need a surgical procedure and would be in recovery at the time of the trip. My doctor said I should not travel and offered to provide the proof of my condition for the insurance.

So, after filing the proper paperwork, today I received the reimbursement for the full cost of the trip. There were some lessons I learned:
1. Read the fine print, especially the pre-existing condition clause to see if it applies.
2. Make a payment on the trip during a period when you have no pre-existing conditions.
3. If you have a pre-existing condition, it would be better to purchase independent trip insurance that includes the ability to cancel for any reason.
4. Make sure you get your doctors agreement to complete the forms needed for the claim.

I am happy to have won this time, but feel lucky.
Mike, sorry to hear about your medical issue. Hopefully you will recover fully and get to take your dream trip in the future.

Thanks for the background. We too have been using the CSR as our trip insurance (declining other offers to insure each trip). It is good to hear CSR covered you for this trip. We hope to never need it, but good to know it's there in case we do and that it is effective.

BeneIRA
Posts: 298
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:00 pm

spammagnet wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:40 am
... Also to the person asking about the Amex Plat, go incognito to get 75,000 or 100,000. Don't settle for 60,000.
Is the 75K/100K offer limited to business? I saw it when incognito but only on small business cards, not personal.

The spending requirement for the former is rather high: $20K in 3 months. The first $10K gets you 50K points; the second $10K adds 25K points.
Some people get targeted or get lucky with the incognito 100,000 Platinum Personal offer. The business one is pretty standard.

Da5id
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Chase Freedom Q4 is Walmart and Department Stores per this: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-fr ... nt-stores/. Bit of a bummer for me, was hoping it would be warehouse stores as Costco is easier for me to max out. I don't like to push it at all to reach spending limits, but in the past bought Costco gift cards as I spend steadily there.

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VictoriaF
Posts: 17258
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:47 pm

Da5id wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:31 pm
Chase Freedom Q4 is Walmart and Department Stores per this: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-fr ... nt-stores/. Bit of a bummer for me, was hoping it would be warehouse stores as Costco is easier for me to max out. I don't like to push it at all to reach spending limits, but in the past bought Costco gift cards as I spend steadily there.
Thank you for the notice.

I am missing most of the Q3 bonus because I don't eat out much and go to cinema only for film festivals. In Q4 I will try to buy Amazon gift cards at Walmart or department stores.

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

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flamesabers
Posts: 1223
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:05 pm
Location: Rochester, MN

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by flamesabers » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:15 pm

I'll probably be applying for the Capital One Quicksilver cash rewards card in the near future. I've been wanting to obtain a credit card outside of USAA and this card does have a sign-up bonus that's easy to fulfill.

Oddly enough, I had September marked as the time to get a new credit card months before the Equifax leak occurred. I have this nagging doubt my credit card application will be denied because the banks and credit agencies will be reluctant to issue out new credit at this time.

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