What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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arf30
Posts: 326
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arf30 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:03 pm

Would it make sense to have the CSR + CFU combo if I'd be spending 20k/year on the CFU for general spending but only about 3-4k on the CSR for travel and dining? I'm guessing this would be 40k UR points a year, but not sure how that would compare to the ~$500 per year cash back I normally get from the Citi DC card.

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

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:16 pm

arf30 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:03 pm
Would it make sense to have the CSR + CFU combo if I'd be spending 20k/year on the CFU for general spending but only about 3-4k on the CSR for travel and dining? I'm guessing this would be 40k UR points a year, but not sure how that would compare to the ~$500 per year cash back I normally get from the Citi DC card.
It depends on how much value you can extract out of the UR points. Taking the points guy valuation of 2.0 - 2.2 cents per point, you'd get about $800. Subtract the $150 net AF for the CSR. So $650. How much do you value the additional benefits the CSR offers you? E.g. primary rental car insurance or lounge access or travel insurance? And ... how likely are you actually going to redeem the UR points? (you only get value if you use them; with cash that's easy). And obviously, if you are able and willing to use the points in MikeG62 style (look a few posts up-thread), you get a lot more value out of the UR points.

Yukon
Posts: 197
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Yukon » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:53 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:45 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:42 pm
Providing another example of the power of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Today I booked a two night stay in Washington DC (for next month) at a Hyatt Property. Cash rate for the room was $1,060 (all-in) while the award rate was 30,000 points. I transferred 30,000 of my Chase UR points to Hyatt (took less than 1 minute for the points to show up in my Hyatt account) and used the points to satisfy the full room cost.

Since it took $10,000 in charges to earn the 30,000 Chase UR points, the return on each dollar spent in this case was 10.6%. Hard to beat that (outside of bonus awards from CC churning).

I've done this before with a Hyatt property, but this is the first time I've gotten the value of Chase UR points over 10 cents on the dollar.
I get your math, but here's the rub: The average guy isn't gonna spend $530 per night to stay in a hotel anywhere. The only way to get your 10.6% is to do inflated luxury travel. Perhaps you'd do it anyway, so for you it truly is a 10.6% return. But I'd venture to guess that most (but not all) would not actually spend $1060 to stay in a hotel anywhere for two nights.
Exactly. Hotels.com has a 3.5 star hotel rated 8.8 for $109/night available Friday 11/16-11/18 in DC. Subsidizing higher level travel luxuries is a nice perk, but I don't think it's a straight line valuation for claiming 10.6%. A smarter low cost "indexer" might calculate the # of UR points per night stay, etc. Costs matter :)
Don't Work Forever.

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

Post by cwoo » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:39 pm

anyone has used the points in airbnb? if so how?

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

Post by PolarBearMarket » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:49 pm

arf30 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:03 pm
Would it make sense to have the CSR + CFU combo if I'd be spending 20k/year on the CFU for general spending but only about 3-4k on the CSR for travel and dining? I'm guessing this would be 40k UR points a year, but not sure how that would compare to the ~$500 per year cash back I normally get from the Citi DC card.
If you're only spending 3-4K on travel with the CSR, you'll need the points bump from the CFU to make up for it. I know TPG values them higher, but I find that for most things that I actually use the points on (airline travel with airlines I don't have enough miles with), the value of UR points to me is 1.5.

I do still use the CFU over the Citi DC because 1.5*1.5=2.25% back, which beats my Citi DC by 0.25pp. Given your numbers of $4K CSR spend + $20k CFU spend, my math puts you at $80 value for the CSR (4.5%-2% opportunity cost with Citi DC * 4K) and $50 value for the CFU (2.25%-2% opportunity cost with Citi DC * 20K). This puts you $20 shy of the $150 marginal CSR annual fee.

Thus, if you think you can do marginally better than 1.5x for points like TPG, or you value the perks of the CSR (rental car insurance, lounge access, cool metal card that doesn't swipe well, etc), then I can see it being worth it. But it's close either way.

arf30
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arf30 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:15 pm

I think our math is similar, here's my rough calculation assuming 1.5 cents per UR. I'll probably stick with the Citi card until I've got a big travel year.

Citi DC: 25k * .02 = $500

CFU: 20k * 1.5 = UR30k
CSR: 5k * 3 = UR15k
CSR + CFU: UR45k * 1.5 = 67.5kUR
Total 67.5kUR = $675 - $150AF = $525

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

Post by madbrain » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:46 pm

PolarBearMarket wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:49 pm
I do still use the CFU over the Citi DC because 1.5*1.5=2.25% back, which beats my Citi DC by 0.25pp.
I have the CFU, Citi DC, and CSR. I don't use the CFU at all anymore.
I don't assume the 2.25% from CFU vs 2% Citi DC. The later is cash, the former is only when rededemed for travel through the Chase portal.
Very often, flights or hotels that I want are not available through the Chase portal. Or the prices are more than the best I can find elsewhere.
Also, the benefits from the Citi DC are well worth it : price rewind, extra 24 months of warranty coverage.

Chase has eliminated price protection from most if not all cards.

At this point, since I haven't gotten any new card in a while, I use :
CSR for dining and travel - redmeeable for 3% in cash, or 4.5% on Chase portal
CIC (Chase Ink Cash ) for internet and satellite bill . Redeemable for 5% in cash or 7.5% on Chase portal, when combined with CSR
Wells Fargo Cashwise VISA for cell phone bill (the free cell phone insurance has paid back for $1500 for cell phone replacements and repairs in the past 2 years)
Citi Costco for Costco spending, which is most of our groceries
Citi DC for everything else

Yes, that's a lot of cards, but I have Samsung pay to manage it all, and only carry the CSR physically for restaurants (it's inconvenient to use it there).
Chase ink cash does not work with Samsung pay, but that's OK since it's only used for recurring bills.

I have given up completely on BofA after a terrible experience with their customer service. Have pulled all my assets out of Merrill too.

The only card I pay an annual fee for is the CSR, with my husband as authorized user. So that's a $225 net fee per year after using the $300 travel credit.

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

Post by Peppergrass » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:02 pm

I have a new one.. as I believe I wrote on this post about my BOA cards

they have a new one or new to me.. platinum rewards card.. works for international travel fees, and has a higher reward bonus back.. they have changed the point system, to a new one, but I still calculate that I will earn more jus having this card, and ONE card.. can't beat carrying one card.. as I use to have their travel reward and regular reward one..

I believe strategically yes you can beat this, but you can't beat the simplicity which is what I am after, rewards second.

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

Post by rjbraun » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:09 pm
ForeverInvestorILL wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:06 am
This has been a very interesting thread to follow.

My credit card strategy is fairly simple (I think in relative terms to what I’ve read here lol):

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve - 3x on travel and dining
2. Chase Ink Cash - 5x on AT&T cell phone bill and 2x on gas
3. Chase Freedom Unlimited - 1.5x on everything else
That is my foundation as well, with the same cards. I will also add that my Amazon spend is generally covered by gift cards purchased with the Ink Cash for 5x UR at an office supply store.

It gets temporarily modified, though, when I have a new card to earn the signup bonus. 2-3 times a year so far, but that will slow down now. And sometimes one of my other cards has temporary bonuses that may shift my spend. E.g., my UA Select Visa has a “spend $3k by EOY, get 5k UA miles” offer.
Can you buy Amazon gift cards at an office supply store with no fee?

I use my Ink Cash card at Staples to generate 5x UR for Whole Foods gift cards, which are available with no fee for the electronic versions (I avoid the physical ones that involve a fee). I don't see Amazon listed among the gift cards sold at Staples, but I would definitely be interested to buy no-fee Amazon gift cards at another office supply store.

Thanks in advance for any help on this front.

ZinCO
Posts: 64
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:02 am

rjbraun wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 am

Can you buy Amazon gift cards at an office supply store with no fee?

I use my Ink Cash card at Staples to generate 5x UR for Whole Foods gift cards, which are available with no fee for the electronic versions (I avoid the physical ones that involve a fee). I don't see Amazon listed among the gift cards sold at Staples, but I would definitely be interested to buy no-fee Amazon gift cards at another office supply store.

Thanks in advance for any help on this front.
OfficeMax and Office Depot do (in-store only), Staples does not. I buy lots of them over the year and just immediately load them into our accounts, never a problem. And then you can use that credit to buy any gift card that Amazon has, fee-free, effectively getting a 10% discount on any card Amazon sells (if you value UR at $.02/pt).

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

Post by rjbraun » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:54 am

ZinCO wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:02 am
rjbraun wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 am

Can you buy Amazon gift cards at an office supply store with no fee?

I use my Ink Cash card at Staples to generate 5x UR for Whole Foods gift cards, which are available with no fee for the electronic versions (I avoid the physical ones that involve a fee). I don't see Amazon listed among the gift cards sold at Staples, but I would definitely be interested to buy no-fee Amazon gift cards at another office supply store.

Thanks in advance for any help on this front.
OfficeMax and Office Depot do (in-store only), Staples does not. I buy lots of them over the year and just immediately load them into our accounts, never a problem. And then you can use that credit to buy any gift card that Amazon has, fee-free, effectively getting a 10% discount on any card Amazon sells (if you value UR at $.02/pt).
Nice, wish I had an OfficeMax or Office Depot near me! Just checked, nothing even close :(

Thanks for the tip, will need to keep an eye out for store openings ...

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

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:19 am

rjbraun wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:54 am

Nice, wish I had an OfficeMax or Office Depot near me! Just checked, nothing even close :(

Thanks for the tip, will need to keep an eye out for store openings ...
Or buy some if you travel to an area that does have the brick and mortar stores.
rjbraun wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 am
I use my Ink Cash card at Staples to generate 5x UR for Whole Foods gift cards, which are available with no fee for the electronic versions (I avoid the physical ones that involve a fee).
I sometimes buy physical Whole Foods gift cards at Office Depot because the WH store is right next to it, so I combine the trips. But I am not a regular WH shopper (store isn’t particularly conveniently located for us), so it is a rare occurrence. The point I wanted to make, though, is that in my experience no merchant-specific physical gift cards available at OD come with fees. I have only seen fees for Visa/Amex/MC prepaid debit cards.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:55 pm

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Today, I got 50 Marriott points. Tomorrow is another day.

Victoria
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drummerboy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drummerboy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am

I'm currently a Chase Sapphire Reserve / Chase Freedom Unlimited User. It's been great.

But, I think Amex has changed the game. (Especially if you are a Schwab customer).

In the Combo CSR/CFU world, the annual fee is Net: $200 (after the $300 travel credit + $25yr for Global Entry) + ($75 a year for extra card holder).

In the Combo Amex Gold/Schwab Platinum, the Net Annual Fee is: $130 (Schwab credits $100 a yr if assets over $250k, $200 a year if assets over $1m). Basically, for me the Gold card is $30 a year, the Platinum is $100. (and that INCLUDES a $175 fee for the additional card members).

The Amex Combo gives you:
  • 5 Points on Flights (4 on Gold, 5 on Platinum)
  • 5 Points on Prepaid Lodging (through Platinum)
  • 4 Points on Dining (through Gold)
  • 4 Points on Groceries (through Gold)
  • If you want to transfer points to Cash, Schwab pays a 1.25 factor per point into your Schwab account. (For example, the signup bonus of 60,000 points is worth $750 in cash)
So if my spending was consistent next year as this year, I would earn almost double the $$$ in Cash with Amex combo versus the Chase combo. (Point total advantage is 50% higher with Amex).

The new Amex Gold is what changed the math for this. Why also carry the Schwab Platinum Amex? Better cash conversion rate, access to all the Platinum "perks" (travel lounges), better point total on travel (flights).

theplayer11
Posts: 538
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by theplayer11 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:05 am

136k avios points will fly 2 people Business class from Bos or NY(probably other cities, haven't checked) to Madrid on Iberia. From there, hope on Ryan Air to cheaply fly to any European City.
BA, Aer Lingus and Iberia all have 100k point credit card offers. I believe it's 50k points if spend 3k, 75k points on $10k, 100k points on $20k. For those that own a business, easy to get. For those with a spouse as owner, you can double it. OR...just transfer Chase points.
136k points for business class to Europe is great value.

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

Post by nps » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:52 am

drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am
In the Combo Amex Gold/Schwab Platinum, the Net Annual Fee is: $130 (Schwab credits $100 a yr if assets over $250k, $200 a year if assets over $1m). Basically, for me the Gold card is $30 a year, the Platinum is $100. (and that INCLUDES a $175 fee for the additional card members).
I'm not following that net reduction, can you break it out further? I think the annual fees of Schwab Platinum and the new AMEX Gold card total $800 without considering authorized users.

drummerboy
Posts: 102
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drummerboy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:03 am

nps wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:52 am
drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am
In the Combo Amex Gold/Schwab Platinum, the Net Annual Fee is: $130 (Schwab credits $100 a yr if assets over $250k, $200 a year if assets over $1m). Basically, for me the Gold card is $30 a year, the Platinum is $100. (and that INCLUDES a $175 fee for the additional card members).
I'm not following that net reduction, can you break it out further? I think the annual fees of Schwab Platinum and the new AMEX Gold card total $800 without considering authorized users.
Here's my breakdown:
  • Amex Gold - $250 yr
  • Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr
  • -- Value Credits:
  • Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr
  • Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr
  • GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years)
  • Schwab Customer Credit - $200
$800 a year in Fees
$845 a year in Value

If I add the extra user on Platinum, it goes from $-45 a year, to $130 a year ($175 for 3 extra Platinum users)

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

Post by nps » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:38 am

drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:03 am
nps wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:52 am
drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am
In the Combo Amex Gold/Schwab Platinum, the Net Annual Fee is: $130 (Schwab credits $100 a yr if assets over $250k, $200 a year if assets over $1m). Basically, for me the Gold card is $30 a year, the Platinum is $100. (and that INCLUDES a $175 fee for the additional card members).
I'm not following that net reduction, can you break it out further? I think the annual fees of Schwab Platinum and the new AMEX Gold card total $800 without considering authorized users.
Here's my breakdown:
  • Amex Gold - $250 yr
  • Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr
  • -- Value Credits:
  • Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr
  • Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr
  • GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years)
  • Schwab Customer Credit - $200
$800 a year in Fees
$845 a year in Value

If I add the extra user on Platinum, it goes from $-45 a year, to $130 a year ($175 for 3 extra Platinum users)
Ok thanks. I've currently got CSR/CFU combo. The $300 travel credit from CSR is like cash back to me but I wouldn't fully realize many of the values of the AMEX combo (Uber, GrubHub, airline incidental fees). I was lucky enough to get in on the 3 percent CFU offer for one year so would stick with my current combo in the short term anyway, but I plan to re-evaluate when that is up.

I also have two Blue Cash Preferreds for the grocery benefit, I am wondering if there is a way that the more expensive single AMEX Gold could come out ahead under the new terms? Could 4x MR points ever work out to a better value than 6 percent cash back enough to offset the $60 fee difference?

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

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:03 am

drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:03 am
nps wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:52 am
drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am
In the Combo Amex Gold/Schwab Platinum, the Net Annual Fee is: $130 (Schwab credits $100 a yr if assets over $250k, $200 a year if assets over $1m). Basically, for me the Gold card is $30 a year, the Platinum is $100. (and that INCLUDES a $175 fee for the additional card members).
I'm not following that net reduction, can you break it out further? I think the annual fees of Schwab Platinum and the new AMEX Gold card total $800 without considering authorized users.
Here's my breakdown:
  • Amex Gold - $250 yr
  • Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr
  • -- Value Credits:
  • Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr
  • Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr
  • GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years)
  • Schwab Customer Credit - $200
$800 a year in Fees
$845 a year in Value

If I add the extra user on Platinum, it goes from $-45 a year, to $130 a year ($175 for 3 extra Platinum users)
What do the Schwab Amex Gold and Platinum offer that "regular" Amex Gold and Platinum do not offer?
Especially the Plat, as that is what we currently have.
Do the Authorized User fee/benefits differ?

We make good use of the Amex MR points (prem international air travel), so we must keep at least some sort of Amex product, but we make better/more use of the AA Citi points program. (There are some places that we need Amex MR points for airlines that AA Citi points don't work.)

We are just now starting to revisit which cards to add/change, if any.
Our Amex cards (separately, for each of us) are our oldest cards by several decades, so we'd rather not drop those entirely.

Thanks.

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

Freefun
Posts: 389
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Freefun » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:08 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:03 am
drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:03 am
nps wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:52 am
drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am
In the Combo Amex Gold/Schwab Platinum, the Net Annual Fee is: $130 (Schwab credits $100 a yr if assets over $250k, $200 a year if assets over $1m). Basically, for me the Gold card is $30 a year, the Platinum is $100. (and that INCLUDES a $175 fee for the additional card members).
I'm not following that net reduction, can you break it out further? I think the annual fees of Schwab Platinum and the new AMEX Gold card total $800 without considering authorized users.
Here's my breakdown:
  • Amex Gold - $250 yr
  • Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr
  • -- Value Credits:
  • Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr
  • Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr
  • GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years)
  • Schwab Customer Credit - $200
$800 a year in Fees
$845 a year in Value

If I add the extra user on Platinum, it goes from $-45 a year, to $130 a year ($175 for 3 extra Platinum users)
What do the Schwab Amex Gold and Platinum offer that "regular" Amex Gold and Platinum do not offer?
Especially the Plat, as that is what we currently have.
Do the Authorized User fee/benefits differ?

We make good use of the Amex MR points (prem international air travel), so we must keep at least some sort of Amex product, but we make better/more use of the AA Citi points program. (There are some places that we need Amex MR points for airlines that AA Citi points don't work.)

We are just now starting to revisit which cards to add/change, if any.
Our Amex cards (separately, for each of us) are our oldest cards by several decades, so we'd rather not drop those entirely.

Thanks.

RM
Similar benefits but lower fee. $100 or $200 off if your Schwab balance is over 250k or 1m respectively.

Edit: also you get the bonus again - at least I did. When the Schwab plat card came out I switched (already had a plat card) and they gave me another 75k bonus since they apparently consider it a different product. Suggest checking in case rules have changed.

Edit 2: If you already have plat card and you switch to Schwab plat card, I don't think your account changes. Mine didn't. I got a new plat card but it had the same account as my old plat card. So if you've had your account for decades I don't think you'll lose anything as you retain the same account- the only differences I'm aware of is less AF and the card says "schwab" on it. And you get the bonus again. Hard to complain.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

drummerboy
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:08 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drummerboy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:31 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:03 am
What do the Schwab Amex Gold and Platinum offer that "regular" Amex Gold and Platinum do not offer?
Especially the Plat, as that is what we currently have.
Do the Authorized User fee/benefits differ?

RM
Actually, I'd recommend the "normal" Amex Gold (the points back was revised recently) paired with the Schwab Platinum.

The standard Schwab Amex isn't that special.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:40 pm

drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:31 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:03 am
What do the Schwab Amex Gold and Platinum offer that "regular" Amex Gold and Platinum do not offer?
Especially the Plat, as that is what we currently have.
Do the Authorized User fee/benefits differ?

RM
Actually, I'd recommend the "normal" Amex Gold (the points back was revised recently) paired with the Schwab Platinum.

The standard Schwab Amex isn't that special.
Interesting, thanks.

Will all the points still be combined in one account?

Also, what do you mean by "points back"?
Are we overlooking something we already get, or are we missing out on something we should be signing up for?

Thanks.

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

madbrain
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Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:37 pm

drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:03 am
Here's my breakdown:
  • Amex Gold - $250 yr
  • Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr
  • -- Value Credits:
  • Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr
  • Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr
  • GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years)
  • Schwab Customer Credit - $200
$800 a year in Fees
$845 a year in Value

If I add the extra user on Platinum, it goes from $-45 a year, to $130 a year ($175 for 3 extra Platinum users)
I'm glad the math works for you, but it certainly wouldn't for me.
1) Uber dollars - I spend $0 on this. I cancelled my Platinum when Amex raised the fee and added this "benefit"
2) Grubhub - never used this and never will
3) Airline fee credit (Platinum) . I found this really hard to use as I fly mostly foreign airlines. I bought some credits on United and Delta . Still have them years later as I'm not able to redeem them for the itineraries I want to.
4) GlobalEntry fee . I wouldn't otherwise pay for this, so I don't discount it.
5) $200 Schwab customer credit - with $1 million in assets, you can get much more than that by moving them to another brokerage every year, and back. So you are losing the opportunity costs of keeping your assets at Schwab.

CSR math is pretty simple :
$450 annual fee
$75 authorized user fee
less
$300 travel credit
net cost : $225 .
For this I get
- travel insurance . This is not provided on Amex platinum or gold, and a very important benefit for me.
- priority pass, which actually saves money that we would otherwise spend on overpriced food at airports. And I have to say taking a shower in a few places in the middle of long trips during layovers has been very nice.
- better redemption rate on travel rewards

Rader
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:29 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Rader » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:34 am

I already have a chase sapphire preferred and they won't let me get the sign on bonus for the CSR. Is there anyway around it? Or should I just stick with my CSP. I only travel like once or twice a year... I do eat out A LOT though.

boglesmind
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:07 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by boglesmind » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:55 am

madbrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:37 pm
drummerboy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:03 am
Here's my breakdown:
  • Amex Gold - $250 yr
  • Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr
  • -- Value Credits:
  • Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr
  • Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr
  • Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr
  • GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years)
  • Schwab Customer Credit - $200
$800 a year in Fees
$845 a year in Value

If I add the extra user on Platinum, it goes from $-45 a year, to $130 a year ($175 for 3 extra Platinum users)
I'm glad the math works for you, but it certainly wouldn't for me.
1) Uber dollars - I spend $0 on this. I cancelled my Platinum when Amex raised the fee and added this "benefit"
2) Grubhub - never used this and never will
3) Airline fee credit (Platinum) . I found this really hard to use as I fly mostly foreign airlines. I bought some credits on United and Delta . Still have them years later as I'm not able to redeem them for the itineraries I want to.
4) GlobalEntry fee . I wouldn't otherwise pay for this, so I don't discount it.
5) $200 Schwab customer credit - with $1 million in assets, you can get much more than that by moving them to another brokerage every year, and back. So you are losing the opportunity costs of keeping your assets at Schwab.

CSR math is pretty simple :
$450 annual fee
$75 authorized user fee
less
$300 travel credit
net cost : $225 .
For this I get
- travel insurance . This is not provided on Amex platinum or gold, and a very important benefit for me.
- priority pass, which actually saves money that we would otherwise spend on overpriced food at airports. And I have to say taking a shower in a few places in the middle of long trips during layovers has been very nice.
- better redemption rate on travel rewards
Same here. In addition,
- CSR provides primary coverage for car rentals and we used it for about 30-40 days in a year. Peace of mind and savings of about $1000-$1200.
- GlobalEntry benefit has saved us countless hours on foreign travel as well as state-side travel since we get TSApre automatically.

Boglesmind

BW1985
Posts: 1766
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BW1985 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:26 pm

SobeCane wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:11 pm
Freefun wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:29 am

I’ll also put my 2 cents worth on the prior answer (some will say < 2 cents).
Yes someone can ask to upgrade back to CSR. Whether they will allow it is another matter.
Frequent upgrading / downgrading / card churning (any combination) can result in your account being flagged either for special review or reconsideration. When this goes to humans for review they sometimes check more things including overall credit scores, utilization, recent applications (not just with them). This can (and has in some cases) result in accounts being shut down - not just the one account but every accout you have with them. They may conclude that your overall risk exceeds the value of having you as a customer.

There are documented cases of this all over the blogosphere. So the occasional upgrade or downgrade may be no problem, but if done frequently this could end badly.
Thanks for the explanation. Knowing that, I won't try to upgrade back to Sapphire Reserve. I will do either of the following unless someone has a better idea:

1. Open Chase Ink Business Preferred for the 80k point welcome bonus, move my current points there and cancel the Sapphire Preferred
2. Move my points to my wife's Ink Business Preferred and cancel the Sapphire Preferred.
Definitely open a CIP if you're under 5/24, 80k UR is the best bonus Chase offers. You can even have 2 per person if you play the game right.
"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

xb7
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:13 pm
Location: WA State, USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xb7 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:40 pm

boglesmind wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:55 am
madbrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:37 pm
I'm glad the math works for you, but it certainly wouldn't for me.
...
Same here.
...
Boglesmind
I agree too, or at least I'm coming round to this way of thinking pretty quickly. I'm new to the high-fee rewards card thing, got an Amex Platinum just a few months ago. As I'm a thrifty person and want to get good value from my $550 annual fee, this thing is turning me into a game-player, inclining me to buy goods and services that I might ordinarily not want to --- i.e., the tail wags the dog a bit here.

I like the Amex universe because:
- there's a Centurion lounge in my local airport
- my local airport is a sort of mini-Delta hub, which Amex pairs well with and Chase doesn't
- Amex MR points are more widely useable --- more options to transfer points.
Related, part of the value calculation for Chase is that you get a 1.5x multiplier by going through the Chase portal, but the big caveat there is that you have to go through the portal to get that increase, and certainly that won't always offer the best prices
- customer service
- customer service
- customer service (typing this three times was not an error ...)

I'm attracted to the Chase universe because:
- simpler: with Amex I'm always trying to buy something cheap on Saks or take Uber rides that I'm not inclined to or stay at more expensive hotels than I otherwise would, buying Delta eGift certificates to use the travel benefit etc etc. With Chase I think I can just remember a couple of basic rules and then forget about it
- per above, travel insurance, and if I recall correctly, primary auto insurance when renting a car
- the Freedom Unlimited card pairs well with the Sapphire Reserve

I've looked hard at adding the Amex gold card, but just don't see much of a net benefit apart from the one-time signup bonus. With my annual spend, the 4X on dining and groceries should cover the annual fee, but I don't want the hassle and added complexity unless I'm getting a measurable win out of adding another card.

I'm still in evaluation mode, however. I don't see myself having both Chase and Amex cards at the same time, and don't want Amex to blacklist me for jumping ship soon after starting with them, so I'll take this slow. I'm definitely not the card churning type, just looking to set up something that works well --- and easily --- over the long term.

I really wish that the card that offered the clearly "simple" win was the one with the superior customer service. Amex is great for that; I almost signed up for the Chase card earlier this year, but got such a run-around calling them to ask a basic question that I was tipped towards Amex instead. Now the problem is properly valuing some of the less easily measured things --- like customer service, the value of an MR point vs. a UL point, etc.

I look forward to finally figuring all of this out and then mostly forgetting about it!

Yukon
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:10 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Yukon » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:51 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:26 pm

Definitely open a CIP if you're under 5/24, 80k UR is the best bonus Chase offers. You can even have 2 per person if you play the game right.
How does one play the game for two per person?
Don't Work Forever.

spammagnet
Posts: 938
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:36 pm

Yukon wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:51 pm
How does one play the game for two per person?
Player 1 refers Player 2. Player 1 gets 20,000 point bonus immediately upon the first use of the new account by Player 2. Player 2 gets the standard 80K new account bonus after completing the minimum spending requirement. Total between players is 100K, in addition to the 80K Player 1 got on the first card.

Because it's a business card, authorized users are free. That makes meeting the MSR a little easier.

TravelGeek
Posts: 2464
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:40 am

xb7 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:40 pm
I really wish that the card that offered the clearly "simple" win was the one with the superior customer service. Amex is great for that; I almost signed up for the Chase card earlier this year, but got such a run-around calling them to ask a basic question that I was tipped towards Amex instead. Now the problem is properly valuing some of the less easily measured things --- like customer service, the value of an MR point vs. a UL point, etc.
I have both cards (Plat and CSR). Both earn their keep for me. I don’t know how often you expect to use customer service - other than some shifting of credit limits I have really not much need to interact with Chase customer service. And no interactions with Amex customer service at all.

xb7
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:13 pm
Location: WA State, USA

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xb7 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:37 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:40 am
I don’t know how often you expect to use customer service - other than some shifting of credit limits I have really not much need to interact with Chase customer service. And no interactions with Amex customer service at all.
Good point. I've only had my Amex Plat for a short time, and have called several times but I think always in the context of "setting things up". Unless a person is the type to use the concierge a lot (calling to get reservations, tickets, that sort of thing), the steady state use of customer service should indeed be low.

Thanks for the perspective.

I just know that the few times that I have called Amex, once I've got past the robo-reception front-end (not too hard), Amex has been great. Whereas with pretty much every other business I dread the experience of calling, fighting through the bad-AI system to get to talk to a human being, waiting on hold for long periods listening to periodic static-y-music interrupted by repeated recordings advertising services by the company that I'm waiting for, hoping that I can understand the support person if I finally get through, and hoping that the person that I get knows what they're talking about and can & will actually help. It doesn't take much of that for me to put some tangible value on the ability to get issues resolved easily --- but your point is very well taken. And particularly for the simpler set of "rules to optimize" surrounding the CSR card, there should just be less need to call in general. A good part of the reason I've been calling Amex is because of the confusing pantheon of semi-useful benefits that come with their Platinum card.

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:16 am

I have two cards that I pretty much never use anymore:

- BofA Cash Rewards (2011). I was keeping this around and putting gas on it because I have platinum status at BofA (5.25% cash back on gas). Well... I just bought a Tesla so I don't see needing this benefit anymore. The card is still a strong earner at Costco (3.5%) but I don't spend enough there to matter. It's also not possible to redeem cash back with this card until at least $25 has accrued. This will take a long time with so little spend.

- Citi Double Cash (2016). Ever since I got the BofA Premium Rewards card earlier this year (2.62% cash back on general spend), the Citi DC card got stuffed in the sock drawer. The BofA card is a much better earner when used as a "daily driver".

Neither of these have annual fees but again, I don't see myself using them at all. So.. keep 'em or dump 'em?

TravelGeek
Posts: 2464
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:23 am

investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:16 am
I have two cards that I pretty much never use anymore:
...
Neither of these have annual fees but again, I don't see myself using them at all. So.. keep 'em or dump 'em?
Do you have any other cards? I wouldn't want to just have one or two cards. Diversification across banks is a good thing.

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:42 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:23 am
Do you have any other cards? I wouldn't want to just have one or two cards. Diversification across banks is a good thing.
Yep. I also have a BofA Premium Rewards and a Southwest RR Plus Visa. The BofA Premium Rewards became my new daily driver, although I admit I switched all my spend over to the SW card a few months ago after I made a spreadsheet and mapped out a way of earning the Companion Pass for another year.

I'm also considering dumping the SW card once I pass the finish line for Companion Pass. Thinking of swapping it for a CSP or a CSR. I really like those two for their travel benefits.

lisaneedsbraces
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lisaneedsbraces » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:14 am

investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:16 am
I have two cards that I pretty much never use anymore:

- BofA Cash Rewards (2011). I was keeping this around and putting gas on it because I have platinum status at BofA (5.25% cash back on gas). Well... I just bought a Tesla so I don't see needing this benefit anymore. The card is still a strong earner at Costco (3.5%) but I don't spend enough there to matter. It's also not possible to redeem cash back with this card until at least $25 has accrued. This will take a long time with so little spend.

- Citi Double Cash (2016). Ever since I got the BofA Premium Rewards card earlier this year (2.62% cash back on general spend), the Citi DC card got stuffed in the sock drawer. The BofA card is a much better earner when used as a "daily driver".

Neither of these have annual fees but again, I don't see myself using them at all. So.. keep 'em or dump 'em?
I use the Fidelity 2% card for almost everything, but I've been thinking about switching to the BofA Premium Rewards card for a while now. Aside from some hesitation to complicating my financial life with BoA checking accounts and Merrill Edge brokerages, I had some questions about how smoothly the BofA card worked:

1. Fidelity (Elan) sends me an e-mail instantly when a transaction is authorized, then another when it finally posts. I assume BofA offers some kind of alerting, but does anyone know the details?

2. Fidelity rewards transfer monthly to my Fidelity CMA. Do they need to be requested manually from BofA?

Also, doesn't the Cash Rewards give a higher cashback on groceries, as well as gas? Is that a reason to keep it?

TravelforFun
Posts: 1552
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:16 am

We only focus on maintaining Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Status which allows us to buy one SW ticket with points or cash and get another ticket free. Currently my wife has the status and I'm the companion but her status ends at the end of this year so it's my turn to get the status for us next. Just applied for Chase SW business card with 60,000 bonus points and got approved on the spot. My next step would be to apply for a Chase SW personal card with 40,000 bonus points. Then we would charge $3,000 on each card between now and January to make sure we get the 100,000 bonus points. Our goal is to reach 110,000 points at the end of January so we can have companion pass status until the end of 2020. Yes 2020.

TravelforFun

28fe6
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:01 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 28fe6 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:26 am

I actually dumped BOA cards because they were hands-down the least convenient CC provider I have had.

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:48 am

lisaneedsbraces wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:14 am


I use the Fidelity 2% card for almost everything, but I've been thinking about switching to the BofA Premium Rewards card for a while now. Aside from some hesitation to complicating my financial life with BoA checking accounts and Merrill Edge brokerages, I had some questions about how smoothly the BofA card worked:

1. Fidelity (Elan) sends me an e-mail instantly when a transaction is authorized, then another when it finally posts. I assume BofA offers some kind of alerting, but does anyone know the details?

2. Fidelity rewards transfer monthly to my Fidelity CMA. Do they need to be requested manually from BofA?

Also, doesn't the Cash Rewards give a higher cashback on groceries, as well as gas? Is that a reason to keep it?
1. Yes, you can set the BofA smartphone app to enable notifications for just about any kind of event, including the two you mention.

2. You can enable auto-redemption on the BofA cards. In the case of the Premium Rewards card, the minimum redemption amount is 2500 points.

3. Yes, the Cash Rewards card pays 3.5% on groceries and at Costco, but my "Player 2" does most of the shopping at either of those.

After thinking about this I'm leaning towards canceling the Citi DoubleCash more because there's no situation where it can earn as much as the BofA Premium Rewards cards.

lisaneedsbraces
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lisaneedsbraces » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:05 am

investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:48 am

1. Yes, you can set the BofA smartphone app to enable notifications for just about any kind of event, including the two you mention.
Only through the app, or can you configure e-mails as well?
28fe6 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:26 am
I actually dumped BOA cards because they were hands-down the least convenient CC provider I have had.
Can you elaborate?

Jags4186
Posts: 2637
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:32 am

investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:48 am
After thinking about this I'm leaning towards canceling the Citi DoubleCash more because there's no situation where it can earn as much as the BofA Premium Rewards cards.
You should be thinking beyond just the straight cashback %. You need to calculate the value of Citi's industry leading purchase protections.

Price Rewind
2 year extended warranty
Return protection
Purchase protection

Brand name clothing (especially shoes!!!!!!), Home Depot/Lowes purchases, Amazon purchases, appliances, etc. all go on Citi branded cards for the warranty coverage and the Price Rewind. You will almost always get successful price rewinds on these types of items that will far outweigh the 0.62% extra cashback BOA will give you.

protagonist
Posts: 5487
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:48 am

investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:48 am
After thinking about this I'm leaning towards canceling the Citi DoubleCash more because there's no situation where it can earn as much as the BofA Premium Rewards cards.
You should think twice about canceling cards that don't charge an annual fee.
A longer credit history contributes to a higher credit score. Another factor is percent utilization- the less of your total credit limit that you use per month, the higher your score.
The effects are relatively small, but if there is no good reason to cancel (eg: being denied a new card because you have too much credit already), there is no point in canceling.

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:51 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:32 am
You should be thinking beyond just the straight cashback %. You need to calculate the value of Citi's industry leading purchase protections.

Price Rewind
2 year extended warranty
Return protection
Purchase protection

Brand name clothing (especially shoes!!!!!!), Home Depot/Lowes purchases, Amazon purchases, appliances, etc. all go on Citi branded cards for the warranty coverage and the Price Rewind. You will almost always get successful price rewinds on these types of items that will far outweigh the 0.62% extra cashback BOA will give you.
I've thought about that. FWIW, the BofA Premium Rewards card *does* have extended warranty protection, albeit only +1 year rather than the +2 years offered by the Citi card.

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:53 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:48 am
but if there is no good reason to cancel (eg: being denied a new card because you have too much credit already), there is no point in canceling.
This is my concern. I have approximately $75K in total credit line spread across the four cards I have now with $30K of it on the Southwest card alone. I just *feel* like I should reduce that number before applying for another rewards card (ie CSR/CSP).

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:55 am

lisaneedsbraces wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:05 am
investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:48 am

1. Yes, you can set the BofA smartphone app to enable notifications for just about any kind of event, including the two you mention.
Only through the app, or can you configure e-mails as well?
Email, notification or both.

protagonist
Posts: 5487
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:02 am

investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:53 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:48 am
but if there is no good reason to cancel (eg: being denied a new card because you have too much credit already), there is no point in canceling.
This is my concern. I have approximately $75K in total credit line spread across the four cards I have now with $30K of it on the Southwest card alone. I just *feel* like I should reduce that number before applying for another rewards card (ie CSR/CSP).
My esperience has been that when I was denied cards due to having too much credit, I could resolve that with a phone call, simply by moving my credit around (eg from an old Chase card to a new Chase card), or , if necessary, by canceling an existing card when the need arose (not before). Generally, the more credit you have the higher your score.

brushwood
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:28 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by brushwood » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:39 am

lisaneedsbraces wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:14 am
investor997 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:16 am
I have two cards that I pretty much never use anymore:

- BofA Cash Rewards (2011). I was keeping this around and putting gas on it because I have platinum status at BofA (5.25% cash back on gas). Well... I just bought a Tesla so I don't see needing this benefit anymore. The card is still a strong earner at Costco (3.5%) but I don't spend enough there to matter. It's also not possible to redeem cash back with this card until at least $25 has accrued. This will take a long time with so little spend.

- Citi Double Cash (2016). Ever since I got the BofA Premium Rewards card earlier this year (2.62% cash back on general spend), the Citi DC card got stuffed in the sock drawer. The BofA card is a much better earner when used as a "daily driver".

Neither of these have annual fees but again, I don't see myself using them at all. So.. keep 'em or dump 'em?
I use the Fidelity 2% card for almost everything, but I've been thinking about switching to the BofA Premium Rewards card for a while now. Aside from some hesitation to complicating my financial life with BoA checking accounts and Merrill Edge brokerages, I had some questions about how smoothly the BofA card worked:

1. Fidelity (Elan) sends me an e-mail instantly when a transaction is authorized, then another when it finally posts. I assume BofA offers some kind of alerting, but does anyone know the details?

2. Fidelity rewards transfer monthly to my Fidelity CMA. Do they need to be requested manually from BofA?

Also, doesn't the Cash Rewards give a higher cashback on groceries, as well as gas? Is that a reason to keep it?
The easiest way to qualify for the extra rewards at BOA is to transfer an IRA to Merrill Edge. I did that with an account at Vanguard. I kept the money invested in the Vanguard fund and set up a DRIP at Merrill Edge. I won't be buying or selling any shares in that account so I can just leave it alone and not incur any fees. You could also trade ETFs since you'll get 100 free trades a month if you are in the top rewards tier. Partial transfers out of an IRA are fee free, so you can transfer in enough to get the max transfer bonus and transfer it back out later, leaving 100k for preferred rewards, without paying any fees.
You have to open a BOA checking account but you don't need to use it. I have a Merrill Edge CMA account and the sweep fund pays around 1.7%. It comes with checks and an ATM card. I use it as my main checking account. You can redeem your rewards into it and still get the bonus. Overall, it's the best cash rewards you can get and it's pretty convenient.

geospatial
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by geospatial » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:40 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:16 am
We only focus on maintaining Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Status which allows us to buy one SW ticket with points or cash and get another ticket free. Currently my wife has the status and I'm the companion but her status ends at the end of this year so it's my turn to get the status for us next. Just applied for Chase SW business card with 60,000 bonus points and got approved on the spot. My next step would be to apply for a Chase SW personal card with 40,000 bonus points. Then we would charge $3,000 on each card between now and January to make sure we get the 100,000 bonus points. Our goal is to reach 110,000 points at the end of January so we can have companion pass status until the end of 2020. Yes 2020.

TravelforFun
Companion Pass

A Member who earns 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or who flies 100 qualifying one-way flights booked through Southwest Airlines per calendar year will qualify for Companion Pass. Companion Pass qualifying points are earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and base points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points, transferred points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass qualifying points. Points earned during a billing cycle on a Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase are not available for redemption or qualification for Companion Pass status until they are posted on your billing statement and posted to your Rapid Rewards Account. Only points posted on your billing statements and posted to your Rapid Rewards Account during the same calendar year are available for qualification for Companion Pass status. No points or Companion Pass qualifying points will be awarded for flights taken by the Companion using the Companion Pass.
https://www.southwest.com/html/customer ... egulations

Does the fact that they explicitly specify Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase as an exception for bonus points not counting towards qualifying points mean that they can be counted even though the section that discusses what does qualify only mentions "points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards" without differentiating between bonus and non-bonus points?

And if they do count, it looks like you'd need the extra 10,000 points to reach companion pass status, but they state that each $10000 in spending yields only $1500 in tier-qualifying points. So does that mean you'd need to spend an additional $70,000+ to reach it? Or is Companion Pass status independent of the other tier-qualifying statuses in terms of how to achieve them?

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:05 pm

geospatial wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:40 am
https://www.southwest.com/html/customer ... egulations

Does the fact that they explicitly specify Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase as an exception for bonus points not counting towards qualifying points mean that they can be counted even though the section that discusses what does qualify only mentions "points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards" without differentiating between bonus and non-bonus points?

And if they do count, it looks like you'd need the extra 10,000 points to reach companion pass status, but they state that each $10000 in spending yields only $1500 in tier-qualifying points. So does that mean you'd need to spend an additional $70,000+ to reach it? Or is Companion Pass status independent of the other tier-qualifying statuses in terms of how to achieve them?
Any points earned via the Chase RR credit card will count towards the Companion Pass. This includes the annual points reward, points earned via credit card referrals and other random bonus programs. For example, Chase recently had a "Spend $4000, get 2000 points" promo. I qualified for this and verified that the points were included with my regular statement and posted to my Southwest account as CP-qualifying.

Other "Bonus" points in the Rapid Rewards program *don't* qualify for Companion Pass. Examples of the following include:
-Any points earned on a car rental beyond 600
-Any "Bonus" promotion points earned on the shopping portal, for example the current "Spend $150, get 500 bonus points" promo
-Any "Bonus" points earned via the Dining portal, for example the initial "Dine 3 times and earn 1000 bonus points" promo

investor997
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:10 pm

Oh, and I forgot to mention: Companion Pass is completely independent of the other tiers, ie A-List or A-List Preferred. Generally speaking you'll only earn those statuses by actually flying, ie earning butt-in-seat points. The new Chase RR Priority card *does* earn some A-List qualifying points but not that many...

In general, A-List on Southwest isn't all that terribly valuable. Southwest already offers free checked bags and no change fees to everyone regardless of their status.

oldlongbeard
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:07 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by oldlongbeard » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:19 pm

2% into my IRA with Fidelity card. KISS principle.

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