What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by travellight » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:37 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:11 pm
For California residents to get a companion pass after making only 1 purchase...
https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southw ... PMEM171019


the offer details state:
Only the individual who received this email/offer from Southwest Airlines® is eligible for this promotion. Offer is nontransferable.

However, some people in the comments of travel/points blogs reported the deal is applicable to all Cali residents...I'm going to wait a few days to get confirmation/more data points before I apply.
I assume 5/24 applies to this?

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

Post by travellight » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:39 pm

beehappy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:30 pm
travellight wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:13 am
beehappy wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:40 am
Drew777 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:47 am
beehappy wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:16 pm
Thanks for all the helpful responses to my prior question. I have another one: thinking of getting Delta platinum card which comes with 10k qualifying miles to help me make the next Skymiles level. Delta says that miles are credited 6-8 weeks after minimum spend. If I want the MQMs to be counted as part of my 2017 MQMs, do I need to make sure they're credited in 2017, or do I just need to make sure I meet the min spend in 2017? In other words, if I'm 10k miles short of Gold status and I spend the $3k in 2017, but Delta doesn't credit till 2018, do they still pull me to Gold?
The MQM would need to actually be credited to your Delta frequent flyer account in 2017.
Thanks. Does same rule apply to MQMs from flights? So if I flew with Delta on Dec. 30, and miles post on January 3, would those miles count toward 2017 MQM progress?
I think it is not enough to meet the mqm threshold of 25k; you also have to spend 3k on Delta flights or fly 30 segments.
I've met all the other requirements, except for MQMs.
I would definitely go for it then! I haven't spent $3000 in Delta or I would do the same. It's a double edged sword; due to credit card strategies, I fly almost for free so I don't have that expenditure. I would call them and ask this directly and I personally wouldn't cut it so close to 12/30.

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

Post by fareastwarriors » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:23 pm

travellight wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:37 pm
fareastwarriors wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:11 pm
For California residents to get a companion pass after making only 1 purchase...
https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southw ... PMEM171019


the offer details state:
Only the individual who received this email/offer from Southwest Airlines® is eligible for this promotion. Offer is nontransferable.

However, some people in the comments of travel/points blogs reported the deal is applicable to all Cali residents...I'm going to wait a few days to get confirmation/more data points before I apply.
I assume 5/24 applies to this?
Yes.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-52 ... need-know/

giesen5
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:01 pm


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

Post by ChicagoSparty » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:52 pm

Started reading the Reddit credit card churning board a month ago and have been dabbling in some different strategies. Mostly formulating future plans for credit cards.

Until recently my spending has been on the Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5% cash back card. 2 weeks ago I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred to get the $625 travel credit (this must be used in the Chase portal). There is no fee for the first year then $95 a year after the first year. I plan to switch this card into a regular Freedom card before the annual fee hits. This will not show up on my credit report as a canceled card, which will be nice.

Looking to scoop up the AMEX Platinum if I can get the 100k signup bonus.

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

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 am

I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex.

I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card.

I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think since that only pays 2% cash back.

I have the Citi Access More which pays out at 3%, but my understanding is they reject any rent charges (not sure how they know, but my understanding is that they do).

Does anyone else see a way I could work this to my favor using a credit card? thanks

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

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:36 am

ChicagoSparty wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:52 pm
2 weeks ago I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred to get the $625 travel credit (this must be used in the Chase portal). There is no fee for the first year then $95 a year after the first year.
I think what you got was a welcome bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed one of three ways:
1. A $500 statement credit.
2. $625 worth of purchases through the Chase travel portal.
3. Transfer the 50,000 points to an airline frequent flyer program where the 50,000 miles would be worth about $750.

Chase Sapphire Preferred does not have a travel credit as such. The Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee) has a $300 travel credit in addition to the 50,000 point welcome bonus.

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

Post by Da5id » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:46 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 am
I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex.

I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card.

I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think since that only pays 2% cash back.

I have the Citi Access More which pays out at 3%, but my understanding is they reject any rent charges (not sure how they know, but my understanding is that they do).

Does anyone else see a way I could work this to my favor using a credit card? thanks
Other than sign up bonus, which you aren't looking for, seems tough. If you are eligible for the 2.5% rewards USAA Visa that does the trick on an ongoing basis, but requires some qualifications (military) and hoops ($1000/month electronic deposit to your checking).

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

Post by SRenaeP » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:16 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 am
I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex.

I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card.

I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think since that only pays 2% cash back.

I have the Citi Access More which pays out at 3%, but my understanding is they reject any rent charges (not sure how they know, but my understanding is that they do).

Does anyone else see a way I could work this to my favor using a credit card? thanks
You could use a debit card that earns rewards/miles to purchase money orders at the post office. Then use those money orders to pay your rent.

-Steph

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

Post by ZinCO » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:08 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 am
I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex.

I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card.

I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think since that only pays 2% cash back.

I have the Citi Access More which pays out at 3%, but my understanding is they reject any rent charges (not sure how they know, but my understanding is that they do).

Does anyone else see a way I could work this to my favor using a credit card? thanks
Access More still works with Plastiq for mortgage payments, despite their policy of disallowing points for that. Don't know about rent though. BofA Travel Rewards with Platinum status will get you 2.625% on your rent; while the card has no fee, it may not be worth getting it just to pocket the difference. Personally I probably would.

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

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:09 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 am
I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex.

I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card.

I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think since that only pays 2% cash back.

I have the Citi Access More which pays out at 3%, but my understanding is they reject any rent charges (not sure how they know, but my understanding is that they do).

Does anyone else see a way I could work this to my favor using a credit card? thanks
Alliant Credit Union has a Visa signature card which earns 3% in the first year and 2.5% after that. There is a $59 annual fee, which is waived in the first year. Reports on myFICO forum and other similar places is that Alliant has very strict underwriting rules, so it's a difficult card to qualify for, but it's at least available nationwide instead of just limited availability like the USAA 2.5% card. Here's Alliant's page on the signature card: http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank/ ... ature-card

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

Post by SRenaeP » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:37 am

Anyone have suggestions for a good sign-on bonus? The flights I want are $1500 in May on either Delta or Air France. For whatever reason, Delta doesn't have any award tickets so I need a card with points vs SkyMiles. I was thinking about the Amex Platinum but it would only save me ~$500 on the airfare once I take the annual fee into account. That puts it neck and neck with the B of A Premium travel card. I'm at 4/24 but I've already had the CSR. Any other ideas?

-Steph

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

Post by jriding » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:06 am

Question for those of you playing the Chase Ultimate Rewards game:

We've accumulated ~200,000 UR points that we don't plan to spend until Fall 2018 (for 3-4 Spring 2019 tickets to Europe). I've consolidated all of the UR points into a single account and plan to start cancelling the annual fee cards that we churned to obtain the UR points, which include two Ink and two Sapphire Preferred accounts. I was planning to convert one of the Sapphire Preferred cards to Freedom Unlimited and keep the points on that account.

The problem with this plan is that when we redeem the points next Fall, if we spend the points inside the UR travel portal I'll lose the 25% point bonus offered by Sapphire Preferred, equivalent to giving up $500.

So my question is: Should I hang on to one of the Sapphire Preferred accounts and pay the $99 annual fee to preserve the bonus? Or should I convert to the Freedom Unlimited card and reapply for the Sapphire Preferred (or perhaps the Reserve?) next summer and move my points to that account to get the bonus?

Side note 1: Me and DW churned the Sapphire Reserve cards in 2015-16. We're only at three cards over the past two years so the 5/24 rule shouldn't be an issue
Side note 2: Our primary card is the Alliant Signature card, 3% on all purchases for the first year, 2.5% for $59/year thereafter. This is good enough for me and I'm not interested in using a Chase card as primary.

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

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:18 am

jriding wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:06 am
Should I hang on to one of the Sapphire Preferred accounts and pay the $99 annual fee to preserve the bonus?
Do this.

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

Post by drk » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:25 am

jriding wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:06 am
plan to start cancelling the annual fee cards
For the excess personal cards, I would downgrade to Freedom cards rather than cancelling. Chase lets you have multiple, which means multiplying the spending you can do in their quarterly bonus categories. With the Ink Preferred, I assume you've considered the cell phone insurance.

Anyway, I would hold onto one "premium" card with the ability to transfer just in case Chase ever decides to stop letting people transfer from cash-back UR cards to travel ones.

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

Post by curmudgeon » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:21 pm

jriding wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:06 am
Question for those of you playing the Chase Ultimate Rewards game:
We've accumulated ~200,000 UR points that we don't plan to spend until Fall 2018 (for 3-4 Spring 2019 tickets to Europe). I've consolidated all of the UR points into a single account and plan to start cancelling the annual fee cards that we churned to obtain the UR points, which include two Ink and two Sapphire Preferred accounts. I was planning to convert one of the Sapphire Preferred cards to Freedom Unlimited and keep the points on that account.
If you are flying from Denver, you could consider just dumping all the points into United miles. That would give you access to United and Lufthansa flights. And maybe before you go you could pick up the United Explorer card for more miles. I would check on flight availability with United miles on the routes you are considering (for 2018 flights) to get at least an idea of what you might be able to find the following year.

shariq1989
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by shariq1989 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:28 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:18 am
jriding wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:06 am
Should I hang on to one of the Sapphire Preferred accounts and pay the $99 annual fee to preserve the bonus?
Do this.
I would call the Chase retention line and ask to see what they will offer you to keep the card. There are Flyertalk.com threads on this. Sometimes they will offer you a hundred dollar statement credit to keep the card. I did this with my Arrival+ card.

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

Post by jriding » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:31 pm

UpperNwGuy, drk, curmudgeon, shariq1989:

Thank you for your excellent ideas.

Plan A: Keep the Sapphire card for now (one year anniversary isn't until July 2018) and "mock-cancel" in June to see if I can get a statement credit incentive to keep the card for another year.
Plan B: Transfer the miles to United (assuming they offer favorable routes) and cancel Sapphire.
Plan C: Pay the annual fee in exchange for the 25% bonus and cancel after the miles are used up.

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

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:30 am

jriding wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:31 pm
UpperNwGuy, drk, curmudgeon, shariq1989:

Thank you for your excellent ideas.

Plan A: Keep the Sapphire card for now (one year anniversary isn't until July 2018) and "mock-cancel" in June to see if I can get a statement credit incentive to keep the card for another year.
Plan B: Transfer the miles to United (assuming they offer favorable routes) and cancel Sapphire.
Plan C: Pay the annual fee in exchange for the 25% bonus and cancel after the miles are used up.
If possible, I would choose D: get a Sapphire Reserve card, so that you get a 50% bonus on the points instead of 25%. The card has a higher fee, but an extra 25% of 200k points is worth $500. If you can also get the sign-up bonus, even better.

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

Post by jriding » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:48 am

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:30 am
If possible, I would choose D: get a Sapphire Reserve card, so that you get a 50% bonus on the points instead of 25%. The card has a higher fee, but an extra 25% of 200k points is worth $500. If you can also get the sign-up bonus, even better.
Thank you Ethelred. Effectively paying $150 ($450-$300) for an extra $500 makes a lot of sense. Only possible problem is that DW and I each churned (and cancelled) the Reserve card last year, but I'll keep it in mind.

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

Post by revert » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:07 pm

jriding wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:48 am
Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:30 am
If possible, I would choose D: get a Sapphire Reserve card, so that you get a 50% bonus on the points instead of 25%. The card has a higher fee, but an extra 25% of 200k points is worth $500. If you can also get the sign-up bonus, even better.
Thank you Ethelred. Effectively paying $150 ($450-$300) for an extra $500 makes a lot of sense. Only possible problem is that DW and I each churned (and cancelled) the Reserve card last year, but I'll keep it in mind.
They would likely let you product change the CSP back to a CSR. No second signup bonus, but would let you hold the card again if the points redemptions are what you're after. And you can do it all over secure message, so takes little effort to initiate.

Generally Chase is very flexible on product changes - I swapped my CSR between two other cards in the span of a month because I changed my mind about what I wanted to turn it into.

Edit: Forgot to say - this is all after holding your CSP for one year. The month when the annual fee posts (July, I think you said) you should be able to easily PC to a CSR.

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

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:46 am

Question for the users of CSR/Ultimate rewards points. I have almost finished my bonus miles and the latest flight I booked is British Airways (BA) operated by American Airlines (AA). It seems BA and AA are affiliates and I can either earn BA or AA miles with this flight. I already have AA frequent flyer number (but 0 miles) and have created the BA frequent flyer number (also 0 miles). So which one should I pick to earn these miles?? AA or BA? A friend recommended AA because I am USA based and will have access to more AA flights. But CSR only has BA as points transfer partner. So I can only transfer UR points to BA but not to AA. Which one should I stick to? TIA

EDIT: I fly mostly internationally, except for yearly conference in Vegas, but I can boost my United miles for that.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:14 am

From my experience AA is terrible, so I finally got rid of mine. I prefer BA.

BW1985
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BW1985 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:08 am

Wife just got approved for second Chase business card, not a single question about her business for either card. Neither were auto approved, one went to recon and second was a social security # verification. I can't say for sure whether it helped or not but I left 30k in our Chase checking account incase they look at that when extending more credit/approving new cards. Went with biz cards first since they don't count towards 5/24.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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

Post by Drew777 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am

My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.

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

Post by flyingaway » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:24 am

If I have used any credit rewards, I will save and invest the same amount in my taxable account.

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

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:04 am

Just was approved for the 3/2.5% Alliant credit card!

New strategy:
- Costco Visa for Gas & Restaurants (4%, 3%)
- Alliant Visa for everything else (3%, then 2.5% a year later)

Expect to pull in about $2k/year :mrgreen:

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

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:41 pm

Drew777 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am
My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.
That's an impressive mileage accumulated. How do you folks do it? Through spending or bonuses?

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

Post by BeneIRA » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:58 pm

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Drew777 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am
My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.
That's an impressive mileage accumulated. How do you folks do it? Through spending or bonuses?
Bonuses.

giesen5
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 pm

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Drew777 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am
My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.
That's an impressive mileage accumulated. How do you folks do it? Through spending or bonuses?
98% bonuses for me.

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

Post by dbr » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:22 am

giesen5 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 pm
ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Drew777 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am
My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.
That's an impressive mileage accumulated. How do you folks do it? Through spending or bonuses?
98% bonuses for me.
You can't get those levels of points by spending unless it is part of a business -- and even then . . . At least if you are spending that much, then simply buying business/first up front is probably not an issue for you.

The other route is to be someone who is flying hundreds of thousands of miles a year, as in weekly round trips of 10,000 miles to Asia or something. Even that has been changed by many airlines to spend instead of miles.

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

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:34 am

^^ I found it to be the case too. Unless one travels for work a lot, it's hard to rack up the miles through spending.

For example I try to make two international trips per year and while I prefer to eat at home (and take lunch from home), I do go out for food with friends a fair amount. I use Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) for those two categories of spending and put the rest of my expense on Citi Double Cash. This was the first year I used this strategy to maximize the rewards and I just calculated the results for the year.

With CSR I earned roughly 36K miles on roughly 10K travel/dining spending (3 miles per dollar spent) and I spent $13500 ($270 cash back) on Citi card. And even if I put my citi expenses on CSR (earning only 1 mile per $1 spent), I would only earn 49-50k mile in a year. The long international flight can cost 70-80k miles so it would take 1.5 years to earn one free flight. Don't get me wrong - it's better than nothing but I definitely don't feel like a travel hacker. I must be doing it wrong.

So for those of you opening new cards with bonuses to the miles. What happens once you use up the bonus? Do you close the cards, or keep them and continue paying the fees? And also if you've been doing this for years, how sustainable is this strategy? Don't you run out of cards to open?

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

Post by dbr » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:48 am

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:34 am

So for those of you opening new cards with bonuses to the miles. What happens once you use up the bonus? Do you close the cards, or keep them and continue paying the fees? And also if you've been doing this for years, how sustainable is this strategy? Don't you run out of cards to open?
People can read on forums like FlyerTalk about what some people do.

A general answer is that people probably keep one or two key cards, such as CSR and maybe some of the specific airline cards like Delta Platinum because owning the card provides ongoing benefits. Otherwise the game is churning, meaning closing the card as soon as possible to avoid fees and then opening the same card again. The golden age of that is over. AMEX is rigorous at enforcing the once in a lifetime bonus now. Chase has the 5x24 rule. AMEX is even doing clawbacks of awards if people don't hold the card a whole year. There can also be account closures and point forfeiture in some cases. One of the most crazy churning opportunities was AA Citi Exec for 100,000 miles over and over again. Most of that is gone now. Also point opportunities such as transferring in assets at Fidelity for Delta, AA, or UA miles is gone. I would say that unless you managed to hit a few million accumulated airline miles and card points altogether from bonuses and churning, then you were/are strictly an amateur and poseur. I myself would be both of those in the frequent flyer game. Efficiently using point awards is a hobby/skill all its own. People that really have a lot of points from actually flying may be the last people in the world who want to get on an airplane for fun.

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

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:29 am

dbr wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:48 am
ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:34 am

So for those of you opening new cards with bonuses to the miles. What happens once you use up the bonus? Do you close the cards, or keep them and continue paying the fees? And also if you've been doing this for years, how sustainable is this strategy? Don't you run out of cards to open?
People can read on forums like FlyerTalk about what some people do.

A general answer is that people probably keep one or two key cards, such as CSR and maybe some of the specific airline cards like Delta Platinum because owning the card provides ongoing benefits. Otherwise the game is churning, meaning closing the card as soon as possible to avoid fees and then opening the same card again. The golden age of that is over. AMEX is rigorous at enforcing the once in a lifetime bonus now. Chase has the 5x24 rule. AMEX is even doing clawbacks of awards if people don't hold the card a whole year. There can also be account closures and point forfeiture in some cases. One of the most crazy churning opportunities was AA Citi Exec for 100,000 miles over and over again. Most of that is gone now. Also point opportunities such as transferring in assets at Fidelity for Delta, AA, or UA miles is gone. I would say that unless you managed to hit a few million accumulated airline miles and card points altogether from bonuses and churning, then you were/are strictly an amateur and poseur. I myself would be both of those in the frequent flyer game. Efficiently using point awards is a hobby/skill all its own. People that really have a lot of points from actually flying may be the last people in the world who want to get on an airplane for fun.
I see. Seems like I am pretty late to the game, but I haven't started traveling internationally until a few years back. Oh well. My plan is mostly use CSR and maybe open one Airline or Hotel (not sure on those as I use hotels.com to earn free nights) card per year for the next 2-3 years and then I am done. Unless things get better.

DrGrnTum
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:06 pm

Doing travel hacking does take some work.
For me and DW, it has paid off nicely. We have been in this game just over a year now.
In this last year we have done the following trips using the rewards we have accumulated.
2 trips to Mexico resorts.
1 trip Hawaii.
1 trip Europe.
The total cost for the Europe trip was just over 3K. It would have been less if we had not done some rookie mistakes.

The cards that I have signed up for are:
Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Before the annual fee was due on the Preferred, it was product changed to a Freedom.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Sapphire Reserve. CSR
DW had an old Chase Slate card that we PC to another Freedom.
Using this combination, we are pulling down annually over 100K UR points. These are strait points. Bonuses have long been used.
These are points that we earn with organic spend. A few gift card purchases every now and then.

I also have two South West Airline cards. The bonuses from these cards will give me a companion pass that will be good for two years.

DW has signed up for a Amex Plat. This is the one that is free for one year. Cancel and then sign up for it again.
The Plat gives us Uber rides.
Centurion Lounge access. We were impressed with the Vegas Lounge.
A two hundred dollar travel credit was churned into $200 off a plane ticket. We will get another $200 in January.
Along with the CSR we used the credit that come with it and the Plat to acquire two Global Boarding Passes. It is nice to jump ahead of the security lines.

DW also has the Amex SPG personal. We booked some very nice stays in Paris France with the points from this card.
Costco Visa. (Gas and household bulk purchases)
Amex Blue Cash Preferred. (Groceries)
Amazon 5% back on purchases
Alaska Airline credit card.
She also signed up for a couple of Hotel Cards.

Like I said, this all takes some work. To play the travel hacking game you have to keep abreast of the constantly changing rules that banks and airlines come up with.
You also have to learn the travel booking game. Getting to know this system will allow you to get the most from your credit card rewards.

My wife is already retired. Before I retire, I am taking advantage of some very liberal employment vacation policies. In effect, my employer is subsidizing our travel.

I look at all this as a way to reward ourselves for all the years of hard work we put in.

Also, Drew is my hero.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=192008&p=2927871#p2927871

BW1985
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BW1985 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:29 pm

dbr wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:22 am
giesen5 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 pm
ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Drew777 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am
My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.
That's an impressive mileage accumulated. How do you folks do it? Through spending or bonuses?
98% bonuses for me.
You can't get those levels of points by spending unless it is part of a business -- and even then . . . At least if you are spending that much, then simply buying business/first up front is probably not an issue for you.

The other route is to be someone who is flying hundreds of thousands of miles a year, as in weekly round trips of 10,000 miles to Asia or something. Even that has been changed by many airlines to spend instead of miles.
Another route- manufactured spending.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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VictoriaF
Posts: 18597
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:04 pm

Amex-SPG-Business: A story of my mistake.

I wanted to close my Amex SPG-Business card before it becomes subject to annual fees. I remembered that when closing a business card, it's important to close the account, not just the card, because some providers have separate numbers for the account and for the employee cards. And so I searched Google for relevant information and learned that with Amex, it's a single number and a few other tips about retention discussions and bonuses. Armed with this knowledge, I have cancelled the card.

A couple days later, I've checked my SPG account and saw that a large amount of points from my November stay in Marriott has not posted. While the Marriott bill has showed up in my Amex card account a long while ago, and I paid all my Amex bills in full, it turns out that my November stay was a part of the next month cycle. And so I lost the points from my Marriott bill and from the bonus I would have received from SPG. I would not have lost these points if I had waited an extra week.

Moral: When closing a credit card, not only ensure that you don't have any balance left on the card, but also that all your reward points have been credited.

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

ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:47 pm

DrGrnTum wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:06 pm
Doing travel hacking does take some work.
For me and DW, it has paid off nicely. We have been in this game just over a year now.
In this last year we have done the following trips using the rewards we have accumulated.
2 trips to Mexico resorts.
1 trip Hawaii.
1 trip Europe.
The total cost for the Europe trip was just over 3K. It would have been less if we had not done some rookie mistakes.

The cards that I have signed up for are:
Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Before the annual fee was due on the Preferred, it was product changed to a Freedom.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Sapphire Reserve. CSR
DW had an old Chase Slate card that we PC to another Freedom.
Using this combination, we are pulling down annually over 100K UR points. These are strait points. Bonuses have long been used.
These are points that we earn with organic spend. A few gift card purchases every now and then.

I also have two South West Airline cards. The bonuses from these cards will give me a companion pass that will be good for two years.

DW has signed up for a Amex Plat. This is the one that is free for one year. Cancel and then sign up for it again.
The Plat gives us Uber rides.
Centurion Lounge access. We were impressed with the Vegas Lounge.
A two hundred dollar travel credit was churned into $200 off a plane ticket. We will get another $200 in January.
Along with the CSR we used the credit that come with it and the Plat to acquire two Global Boarding Passes. It is nice to jump ahead of the security lines.

DW also has the Amex SPG personal. We booked some very nice stays in Paris France with the points from this card.
Costco Visa. (Gas and household bulk purchases)
Amex Blue Cash Preferred. (Groceries)
Amazon 5% back on purchases
Alaska Airline credit card.
She also signed up for a couple of Hotel Cards.

Like I said, this all takes some work. To play the travel hacking game you have to keep abreast of the constantly changing rules that banks and airlines come up with.
You also have to learn the travel booking game. Getting to know this system will allow you to get the most from your credit card rewards.

My wife is already retired. Before I retire, I am taking advantage of some very liberal employment vacation policies. In effect, my employer is subsidizing our travel.

I look at all this as a way to reward ourselves for all the years of hard work we put in.

Also, Drew is my hero.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=192008&p=2927871#p2927871
Great post - Thank you so much! A couple of follow up questions.

1) Is it possible for me to open Chase Sapphire Preferred and get the bonus if I already have CSR? If yes, can I then consolidate the points under CSR and use them that way? Cause I believe the points are worth more under CSR vs CSP. Also if I subsequently downgrade CSP to Freedom ( I really like CSR with lounge access) what happens to the points?

2) Do you recommend using hotel cards, or better focus on accumulating CSR points?

TIA!

ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:48 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:04 pm
Amex-SPG-Business: A story of my mistake.

I wanted to close my Amex SPG-Business card before it becomes subject to annual fees. I remembered that when closing a business card, it's important to close the account, not just the card, because some providers have separate numbers for the account and for the employee cards. And so I searched Google for relevant information and learned that with Amex, it's a single number and a few other tips about retention discussions and bonuses. Armed with this knowledge, I have cancelled the card.

A couple days later, I've checked my SPG account and saw that a large amount of points from my November stay in Marriott has not posted. While the Marriott bill has showed up in my Amex card account a long while ago, and I paid all my Amex bills in full, it turns out that my November stay was a part of the next month cycle. And so I lost the points from my Marriott bill and from the bonus I would have received from SPG. I would not have lost these points if I had waited an extra week.

Moral: When closing a credit card, not only ensure that you don't have any balance left on the card, but also that all your reward points have been credited.

Victoria
Good to know. Thanks for sharing!

DrGrnTum
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:16 pm


ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:47 pm

Great post - Thank you so much! A couple of follow up questions.

1) Is it possible for me to open Chase Sapphire Preferred and get the bonus if I already have CSR? If yes, can I then consolidate the points under CSR and use them that way? Cause I believe the points are worth more under CSR vs CSP. Also if I subsequently downgrade CSP to Freedom ( I really like CSR with lounge access) what happens to the points?

2) Do you recommend using hotel cards, or better focus on accumulating CSR points?

TIA!
Chase has implemented a new rule where they will not approve the application of a Sapphire Class Card if you presently hold one.

I was lucky to have been approved for both cards before they changed the rule. I moved my Preferred points to the CSR before I downgraded the Preferred.

As far as the choice of Hotel Cards versus UR points, it all depends. You should really have a plan of what you want to do and where you want to go.

I like to build up a large pot of UR points because they are so flexible. You can transfer points to a number of partners or book through their portal. Whichever gives you the best value.

If a hotel card has a great deal on a reward I will apply for it. The rewards could be large bonuses or the offer of free night stays. It should also be flexible enough to be incorporated into my travel plans. Sometimes a hotel card's reward will just meet our needs at a certain location.

You also have to be aware of where you are with Chase's 5/24 rule if you plan to apply for more Chase cards in the future.

ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:44 pm

DrGrnTum wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:16 pm

ImmigrantSaver » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:47 pm

Great post - Thank you so much! A couple of follow up questions.

1) Is it possible for me to open Chase Sapphire Preferred and get the bonus if I already have CSR? If yes, can I then consolidate the points under CSR and use them that way? Cause I believe the points are worth more under CSR vs CSP. Also if I subsequently downgrade CSP to Freedom ( I really like CSR with lounge access) what happens to the points?

2) Do you recommend using hotel cards, or better focus on accumulating CSR points?

TIA!
Chase has implemented a new rule where they will not approve the application of a Sapphire Class Card if you presently hold one.

I was lucky to have been approved for both cards before they changed the rule. I moved my Preferred points to the CSR before I downgraded the Preferred.

As far as the choice of Hotel Cards versus UR points, it all depends. You should really have a plan of what you want to do and where you want to go.

I like to build up a large pot of UR points because they are so flexible. You can transfer points to a number of partners or book through their portal. Whichever gives you the best value.

If a hotel card has a great deal on a reward I will apply for it. The rewards could be large bonuses or the offer of free night stays. It should also be flexible enough to be incorporated into my travel plans. Sometimes a hotel card's reward will just meet our needs at a certain location.

You also have to be aware of where you are with Chase's 5/24 rule if you plan to apply for more Chase cards in the future.
Thanks! I didn't know about the sapphire family rule - I guess that ship has sailed. I was considering opening a chase freedom card but will keep that as a downgrade option in case I want to get out of CSR. But for now I think I'll focus on collecting csr point by using csr card exclusively. (Correct me if it's a stupid idea). Hotel cards are intriguing but I want the flexibility of staying at the smaller unknown hotels that tend to be cheaper and better value in my experience. I use hotels.com for booking where you get a free night after booking ten nights. The value of the free night is the average value of the ten nights you booked. But the catch is you may end up with several nights of very different values and they don't average them at redemption. For example Last 3 free nights I redeemed were $150, $120 and $80 and the hotel I booked was $100 per night - so I ended up paying the difference on last night and losing some value of the first two nights. Still a good deal if anyone is interested!

Drew777
Posts: 616
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:57 am

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Drew777 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:18 am
My wife and I have a trip to Australia coming up in a few months. Flying business class both ways and staying in 5 star hotels every night. Paid for all of it with points.

160k AA miles
195k Korean miles
72k Hyatt points
135k Hilton points
1 IHG free night certificate

Taxes on the flights were minimal. I can't remember exactly how much.
That's an impressive mileage accumulated. How do you folks do it? Through spending or bonuses?
Mostly through bonuses. Some referral bonuses for referring others for credit cards. A decent amount of spending, but that probably only made up about 10% of the miles. This didn't come anywhere near emptying my balances though. I tend to hit it pretty hard lol.

Bwlonge
Posts: 141
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bwlonge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:12 am

I had the CSR this past year, trying to get my second $300 travel credit out as cash. Any ideas?

I'll likely downgrade after that, not sure to what yet. Maybe a second Freedom card.

This next year I'll go for the Southwest Chase trio- ends up with about $1500 worth of travel after fees and the companion pass.

Da5id
Posts: 2059
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:44 am

Bwlonge wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:12 am
I had the CSR this past year, trying to get my second $300 travel credit out as cash. Any ideas?
What does "cash" mean to you? I had no travel the first year as I got CSR late in the calendar year, so I stocked up $300 on my ezpass (regional electronic toll transponder system). I also could have used it to load up my subway pass. If you mean actual spendable money not sure how to do that.

DrGrnTum
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:30 am

by Bwlonge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:12 am
I had the CSR this past year, trying to get my second $300 travel credit out as cash. Any ideas?

I'll likely downgrade after that, not sure to what yet. Maybe a second Freedom card.

This next year I'll go for the Southwest Chase trio- ends up with about $1500 worth of travel after fees and the companion pass.
I you are looking to fly Southwest in the future, you could see about purchasing a gift card from their site.
If you really want the cash, you could try the trick of purchasing a ticket from an airline that after canceling will reimburse you without penalty.
I would check out the flyertalk web site for information on both these techniques.

Bwlonge
Posts: 141
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bwlonge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:12 pm

DrGrnTum wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:30 am
by Bwlonge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:12 am
I had the CSR this past year, trying to get my second $300 travel credit out as cash. Any ideas?

I'll likely downgrade after that, not sure to what yet. Maybe a second Freedom card.

This next year I'll go for the Southwest Chase trio- ends up with about $1500 worth of travel after fees and the companion pass.
I you are looking to fly Southwest in the future, you could see about purchasing a gift card from their site.
If you really want the cash, you could try the trick of purchasing a ticket from an airline that after canceling will reimburse you without penalty.
I would check out the flyertalk web site for information on both these techniques.
Da5id wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:44 am
Bwlonge wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:12 am
I had the CSR this past year, trying to get my second $300 travel credit out as cash. Any ideas?
What does "cash" mean to you? I had no travel the first year as I got CSR late in the calendar year, so I stocked up $300 on my ezpass (regional electronic toll transponder system). I also could have used it to load up my subway pass. If you mean actual spendable money not sure how to do that.
Thanks! I did think of the EZPass idea- I don't use toll roads often, with this I'd be set on tolls for probably 20+ years.

I did a Southwest gift card for last year's, probably may as well do it again if I'm doing the SW cards this year.

BeneIRA
Posts: 496
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:01 pm

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:34 am
The long international flight can cost 70-80k miles so it would take 1.5 years to earn one free flight. Don't get me wrong - it's better than nothing but I definitely don't feel like a travel hacker. I must be doing it wrong.

So for those of you opening new cards with bonuses to the miles. What happens once you use up the bonus? Do you close the cards, or keep them and continue paying the fees? And also if you've been doing this for years, how sustainable is this strategy? Don't you run out of cards to open?
What international flights are you taking that cost you 70,000-80,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you have the CSR? 80,000 Ultimate Rewards via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal is the equivalent of a $1,200 ticket roundtrip. You should be able to make that work for a long haul trip. Even if you have to use a domestic positioning flight to, say, JFK or LAX, depending on the destination, it shouldn't cost you that much unless you are going to a very hot destination in peak season.

It depends on the ongoing benefits and if there is a retention offer. Some cards like the Southwest Premier offer 6,000 Rapid Rewards Points each year the card is open for a $99 annual fee. It it is still worth it to call into retention to see if they can offer some kind of credit. Meanwhile, the Delta Gold Amex has no value to me beyond year one since I rarely check a bag. After year one, that card would be one I would close. If you are new to this, you will have tons of cards to apply for. Some examples of keeper cards and non-keeper cards:

Keepers:
Chase IHG Club Rewards - $49 Annual Fee. One free night anywhere in the world, no restriction on level of the room, etc. Platinum Elite status. This is arguably the best keeper card out there.
Chase Hyatt - $75 Annual Fee. One free category 1-4 night per year. Many category 4's are worth more than $75.

Dump After First Year without great retention offer:
Barclay Arrival + - $89 Annul Fee. You technically get 2% back since you get 2 miles per dollar spent, but, the cash out requires 10,000 miles, aka, $5,000 spent to get to that level. An easy close.
American Express Green Card - $95 Annual Fee. If you use incognito, you should get the offer for 25,000 Amex Rewards Points for $1,000 spend. However, the ongoing spend is essentially 1 point per dollar on everything except AmexTravel, and I would never use this on there. Easy close.

ImmigrantSaver
Posts: 221
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:07 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:01 pm
ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:34 am
The long international flight can cost 70-80k miles so it would take 1.5 years to earn one free flight. Don't get me wrong - it's better than nothing but I definitely don't feel like a travel hacker. I must be doing it wrong.

So for those of you opening new cards with bonuses to the miles. What happens once you use up the bonus? Do you close the cards, or keep them and continue paying the fees? And also if you've been doing this for years, how sustainable is this strategy? Don't you run out of cards to open?
What international flights are you taking that cost you 70,000-80,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you have the CSR? 80,000 Ultimate Rewards via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal is the equivalent of a $1,200 ticket roundtrip. You should be able to make that work for a long haul trip. Even if you have to use a domestic positioning flight to, say, JFK or LAX, depending on the destination, it shouldn't cost you that much unless you are going to a very hot destination in peak season.

It depends on the ongoing benefits and if there is a retention offer. Some cards like the Southwest Premier offer 6,000 Rapid Rewards Points each year the card is open for a $99 annual fee. It it is still worth it to call into retention to see if they can offer some kind of credit. Meanwhile, the Delta Gold Amex has no value to me beyond year one since I rarely check a bag. After year one, that card would be one I would close. If you are new to this, you will have tons of cards to apply for. Some examples of keeper cards and non-keeper cards:

Keepers:
Chase IHG Club Rewards - $49 Annual Fee. One free night anywhere in the world, no restriction on level of the room, etc. Platinum Elite status. This is arguably the best keeper card out there.
Chase Hyatt - $75 Annual Fee. One free category 1-4 night per year. Many category 4's are worth more than $75.

Dump After First Year without great retention offer:
Barclay Arrival + - $89 Annul Fee. You technically get 2% back since you get 2 miles per dollar spent, but, the cash out requires 10,000 miles, aka, $5,000 spent to get to that level. An easy close.
American Express Green Card - $95 Annual Fee. If you use incognito, you should get the offer for 25,000 Amex Rewards Points for $1,000 spend. However, the ongoing spend is essentially 1 point per dollar on everything except AmexTravel, and I would never use this on there. Easy close.
Yes, I was able to get a long haul flight for that amount. I am just saying it takes a long time to earn so many miles just through spending.

Btw I used to have Barclay Arrival +. Instead of closing it, I downgraded it to the no fee version. I like having a back up travel card plus it has good shopping portal - many more stores participating versus chase portal.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:38 am

ImmigrantSaver wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:48 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:04 pm
Amex-SPG-Business: A story of my mistake.

I wanted to close my Amex SPG-Business card before it becomes subject to annual fees. I remembered that when closing a business card, it's important to close the account, not just the card, because some providers have separate numbers for the account and for the employee cards. And so I searched Google for relevant information and learned that with Amex, it's a single number and a few other tips about retention discussions and bonuses. Armed with this knowledge, I have cancelled the card.

A couple days later, I've checked my SPG account and saw that a large amount of points from my November stay in Marriott has not posted. While the Marriott bill has showed up in my Amex card account a long while ago, and I paid all my Amex bills in full, it turns out that my November stay was a part of the next month cycle. And so I lost the points from my Marriott bill and from the bonus I would have received from SPG. I would not have lost these points if I had waited an extra week.

Moral: When closing a credit card, not only ensure that you don't have any balance left on the card, but also that all your reward points have been credited.

Victoria
Good to know. Thanks for sharing!
The point of my story is that even when we know what to do, sometimes we forget to do it. The more credit cards we handle and the more potential pitfalls each bank and each card feature, the more likely we are to make mistakes. For example, I know that my Chase points remain with Chase and I carefully transfer URs before I close Chase cards. But with Amex-SPG, the points do not stay with Amex. They are being transferred to SPG. My mistake was to forget to check my SPG account before closing the Amex-SPG card.

My reason for posting the story was to alert other Bogleheads to this situation with Amex-SPG and other co-branded cards; to remind about this action even to those who know it in general but may forget. I also felt disappointed about making an elementary mistake and wanted to create a balancing benefit to the community.

Today, I had a nice surprise! I checked my SPG account and saw that my last-month Amex-SPG points, including the November Marriott stay bonus, were posted to my SPG account several days after I have closed the Amex-SPG card. It's hard to say whether it's Amex's policy to submit points after an account has been closed, or the Amex points department has reported my points before they have received notification about the account closing, or during the holiday season people and technology are less vigilant. I am more happy about recovering from a stupid loss than about the amount of the points.

But the main point of my cautionary story still holds: Before closing credit cards, you has to complete a relevant checklist. Here is a checklist from the top of my head:
- all outstanding balances paid
- automatic payments from/to the account cancelled
- possibility of returns of merchandise purchased on the card considered
- reward points, both in the CC account and its partner accounts, cleared or transferred
- re-applying rules reviewed; e.g., if a CC requires a 24-month wait after opening or closing a card, it may be prudent to get a new card before clothing this one
- business card-specific circumstances reviewed; e.g., some banks provision two numbers: an account number and a CC number, and you should cancel the account rather than the business card
- possibility of a retention bonus considered; you may prefer to keep the card if the bank offers a retention bonus, and in such cases call the bank
- possibility of converting the card into another bank's card considered; call the bank
- possibility of lowering credit limit considered; from what I've read, if you close a card with a high credit limit, that limit will be used by Credit Reporting Agencies for several months and may limit credit amount offered by new cards you are applying for.

My checklist above is not complete. But hopefully it would help at least some Bogleheads.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:56 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)

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

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:43 am

Da5id wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:44 am
Bwlonge wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:12 am
I had the CSR this past year, trying to get my second $300 travel credit out as cash. Any ideas?
What does "cash" mean to you? I had no travel the first year as I got CSR late in the calendar year, so I stocked up $300 on my ezpass (regional electronic toll transponder system). I also could have used it to load up my subway pass. If you mean actual spendable money not sure how to do that.
Buy a refundable plane ticket. Get credit. Ask for refund.

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