I love credit cards so much!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by FairestOfThemAll37, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. KarenAylwood

    KarenAylwood <font color=red>It wouldn't be the holidays withou

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    3,576
    I have the Marriott Rewards card through Chase- it's $85/year and gives you a free night for that price. You get 5 points per dollar at Marriotts and 2 points per dollar on car rental, airlines, restaurants and 1 point with everything else. Being a rewards member we got discounted rates on some hotels and had enough points to get some free as well (saved $100/night in Kauai and had two free nights on Maui). I like the Marriott chain because they have Fairfield Inn (stayed at the one close to Disneyland for free) plus Residence Inn, Springhill Suites and Courtyard. Now that we have a toddler the Residence Inn is nice for us because we can have two separate rooms and a fridge, etc. We didn't stay in hotels for a while after having our son but our points never expire as long as we use the card at least once in 24 months. My parents stay in hotels a lot while travelling and have gotten a ton of use out of their marriott card and even when they don't cash in points have been upgraded to nicer rooms for free. This happened on our honeymoon- we bought the base room but were upgraded to ocean view.
     
    Alice Sr. and havaneselover like this.
  2. MichiganScott

    MichiganScott Next Trip: WDW Thanksgiving 2018

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    282
    What card is giving you 5% on paying cell phone, cable & internet?
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    12,226
    That would probably be the Ink card...it's for businesses and you earn more for purchases related to business expenses. But it's not 5% back. It's 5 points/$ for the first $50K spent on office supplies, landline, cell phones, cable/internet.
     
  5. ski_mom

    ski_mom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,240

    I see the points don't expire as long as you use the card occasionally. What about the yearly free night? Do you have a certain time limit to use it? This sounds like a good card too!
     
  6. MichiganScott

    MichiganScott Next Trip: WDW Thanksgiving 2018

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    282
    I assumed you meant %, because when you're talking across multiple credit cards, a "point" is just not usable as a standard unit of measurement.

    There does end up being a point of diminishing returns though, because to wrangle multiple credit cards takes discipline, good record keeping, etc. In other words, there's a tipping point where yes, it's possible to squeeze more out of an existing card, or just add more, but is it really worth the cost in brain-bandwidth to do so? The answer to that will be different for everyone.

    Me, I used to play this game a lot, going for the 3x, 4x whatever points in this category and that. I've found solace personally in the Citi Double Cash card. It's annual fee-free, doesn't commingle business and personal stuff, and has 2% flat earnings on everything. And, those earnings are not gift cards, not travel vouchers, not discounts, but cash. Simply being content that it's really easy to deal with would be super valuable as is. But, as it stands, I have yet to find another card that gives me more overall returns on a day-to-day usage basis.

    That being said, initial offers are a different beast. if Sapphire is going to give me $500 to try and woo me to them, I'll probably jump on it, then test drive for a year. If I don't see any reason to continue using it, I'll drop it before they ding me for the annual fee. In the meantime, maybe I would get more mileage by using the travel service and get $650 worth of value, but chances are I'll just take the $500 in something like Amazon gift cards and call it a day, content in the "perceived $150" I may have lost.
     
    pearlieq likes this.
  7. AmyAnne

    AmyAnne DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    882
    Based on the posts here, it seems MC and Visa cards are best for rewards. I am wondering if anyone can advise me about using my AmEx points. For some reason that I can't recall now, I signed up for an AmEx Premier Rewards Gold Card and now have a little more than 27,000 rewards points. Anyone know the best use for them?
     
  8. MichiganScott

    MichiganScott Next Trip: WDW Thanksgiving 2018

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    282
    Easiest is to buy Amazon/Walmart/etc. gift cards. It's roughly $1 per 100 points in $25/$50/$100 increments, so you can grab yourself $250 worth of cards if you wanted to with 2k points left over. Make enough purchases to get another 500 points and you could get another $25 card also.
     
  9. KarenAylwood

    KarenAylwood <font color=red>It wouldn't be the holidays withou

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    3,576
    You used to have 6 months to use the credit, now you have 12! So you have a year to use it, category 1-5 hotels (there are 9 categories in all).
     
    ski_mom likes this.
  10. JillianMarie

    JillianMarie Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Chase visa is definitely the gold standard for points gathering, but don't underestimate Amex. If I had 27K membership rewards burning a hole in my pocket my first question would be what I want. Do I want to travel for free? Do I want to make an existing trip cheaper? Do I just want the cash? Personally, I choose travel every single time. It's why I play the game. So, if it were me I'd transfer them to either a hotel or airline partner. I'm in a Delta hub so Delta miles will always be valuable to me, even if they're basically worthless to a lot of other people. Second choice would be to transfer them to a hotel chain with my preference being starwood. You've got enough for a fancy pants hotel for a night in New York or multiple nights at fancy pants properties. Last choice would be the giftcard route. If nothing else, it's $250 back in your pocket which is better than nothing.

    I do really love the chase trifecta, though. It's going to get me to Norway to swim with some whales next year and it's going to do it in first class.
     
  11. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Makes sense - I think I got hooked up with the time to transfer points this time; for example I needed PDX->LAX over the winter holiday to catch up with a cheap flight we were able to book to Rarotonga. Since there are sales on I wanted to move fast and get them for cheaper, but it would take a week or more to transfer the points. Alaska wants 40K miles per person to LAX, the same as it would be for a $400+ flight to MCO some other time... No thank you!! Southwest would have been a possibility but the schedule is sketchy and would take twice as long. I'd do it if I could have been guanteed to get it for 6K points each way, but not if I didn't get the points transferred in time for the sale, then we'd be out so many more that it would have made more sense to just book with cash. How do you get around the time delay..? Just cross your fingers? We WERE able to get a free one way on United last year to Heathrow, that was nice but it wiped out all our miles and we paid for the way home. :/

    Man I WISH 50K would get me so far... It took 60K just to get us over there in economy...! Maybe I'd have better luck from a different airport. I've watched miles to all sorts of places out of PDX and it always is an insane amount. Recently we also looked into using points on Delta to Japan... A nonstop 10 hour flight for us. It would have been 190,000 points for economy! :sad2:
     
  12. MichiganScott

    MichiganScott Next Trip: WDW Thanksgiving 2018

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    282
    How are you coming to this conclusion?
     
  13. la la limon

    la la limon Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    171
    I had about 30K Membership Rewards points and used them to book 3 one-way tickets to Mexico from Chicago using British Airways Avios, which was way more valuable than $300 in gift cards. Gift cards would be a last resort for me because the return value is so low.
     
  14. JillianMarie

    JillianMarie Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    I guess, for me, it's a number of factors.

    • Sign up bonus - they're usually pretty high and you can get them more than once per lifetime. Churnability isn't a huge factor for me, but it's nice to know that the option is there
    • Transfer partners - they transfer at a 1:1 rate and have partners in every airline alliance and hotel price point. Whether or not it's a *good* redemption is up to each individual, but I like the choice. Plus I've always found that it transfers instantly which is a nice bonus
    • Suite of cards - the chase 'trifecta' (Sapphire Preferred, Freedom and Ink) hits bonuses in just about every major category of spending. It's not perfect, of course, but it builds up points very quickly. Plus,
    • Cost - You can use non-fee Freedom and Ink for their 5X bonus categories and transfer to the annual fee Sapphire Preferred and only have to pay one annual fee. I think most people use the ink + but the ink cash does the same job for me without an annual fee. It presents like cash back, but I assure you, it spends like ultimate reward points
    In the interest of disclosure, I'm pretty familiar with Amex and Chase but I haven't ever really used the Citi suite. The major downside is that I live in a Delta hub so while it's incredibly easy to earn with Chase, I personally find domestic redemptions to be a challenge. Of course, YMMV.
     
  15. FairestOfThemAll37

    FairestOfThemAll37 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,470
    As far as getting around delays, it can be daunting. Luckily many of the chase transfers are instant. Transfers from Amex and Citi can take a couple of days and it can cause some nail biting.

    The key to long haul flights in business/first on points (unless you have millions of miles to spare) is to search for the saver awards. They are 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of points as the standard awards. Sometimes you have to plan around the flight.

    This trip that I just booked is crazy as I ended up tacking a trip to Japan onto a trip to Hawaii because when somebody asks "will you come to Japan with us" there's only one answer lol if it is insane time zone warping.

    From Honolulu to Tokyo (well Maui but that's just a hopper). There are only a few airlines that run direct flights. So I looked at all of their award availability. United had a saver award in Global First for 62k points so I jumped an booked way early. Business class only had the standard award available for that leg at 110,000 points (or something crazy like that).

    My return I transferred to Singapore airlines. They only had wait list available for business and first. Luckily thanks to Singapore airlines system I was able to waitlist both flights then actually use my points to book a saver in business/first on Air Canada for 78k points.

    I'll opt for The Singapore flight if it comes off waitlist.

    So chasing saver awards can be tough because you never know when they will be available. It's a wait and watch and move quick kind of a deal.
     
  16. calypso726

    calypso726 Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,459
    You're welcome. I am always happy to share. The OP and several other PP here seem to have a love for our credit cards and how they can save us money.

    You are welcome. That 35K was a nice deal fro SPG. I already had the personal SPG but went ahead and picked up the Business card for 35K too. If you do not already have a Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink, combined with a Chase Freedom I would suggest get those right away before applying for any more cards. Chase has tightened their application rules for their Ultimate Reward earning cards and some of the co-branded cards too. If you have opened up 5 credit cards of any brand in the last 24 months it is often an automatic denial. So the current MO is get the Chase UR cards first, then co-branded cards. The Hyatt will give you 2 free nights at any property your first year as part of the sign up bonus. That alone is worth more than 80K Marriott points. I would pick up the Hyatt card if I had any plans for those two nights. Both the Marriott and Hyatt cards will give you a free night for a category 1-5, 1-4 hotel respectively. I wouldn't put spending on with one the cards though since I don't value hotel points as much as I value airline miles. I will be looking to see what aspiration type destination we may want with the Hyatt properties and then DH and I each get the card and earn 4 nights at any of their properties. Odd are, I will go for the Hyatt card on my next round of credit card applications.

    The Chase Ink Plus business card will earn 5 Ultimate Reward points per dollar for cell phone, internet, cable and office supply stores.

    For us the answer is yes, because the hobby has allowed us to travel in a manner we never would have been able to before-hand. There's a certain sense of freedom in our vacation choices because we don't worry about adding airfare into the vacation budget. Now, that said, we only focus on miles and points for airline and hotels. Only once did we make cash back a priority and that was to be able to get $3000 worth of excursions and on-board credit when DCL went to Norway, Iceland and Scotland last year. DH and I each picked up a Barclay Arrival Plus, Capital One Venture and Wells Fargo Propel between the sign up bonuses and spending requirement we had $3000 in points to erase travel related expenses. DCL was happy to split his bill and my bill across the 6 credit cards and we used the points to pay the bill. Then, I cancelled both Wells Fargo Propel cards and downgraded the Cap One and Barclay Arrival cards. BTW we had a blast on that cruise and it was nice knowing that just about everything we did on board was going to be free LOL

    You are correct. Perceived value of points and effort in obtaining those points is always going to be different for each person. In 2014 we used 125K miles to fly on an international flight in first class. Those 125K points could have been redeemed for $1,250 in cash (fixed value .01 per point) instead of transferred to an airline as miles. The cost of the RT air fare for that flight in economy was about $1800! So those 125K points as cash could not be used to purchase the flight as their cash value was not high enough. However, the same points transferred directly to the airline and used as 125K miles was able to get me into first class seats. The cash cost of those first class seat on that particular flight back then was $18,000!!! :eek: Now am I going to claim that the points I converted to airline miles has a value 0.14 cents per point. Of course not because there is no circumstance where I would actually pay $18,000 in real money for a flight in first class o_O So the question becomes, what would I actually pay in real money for that first class flight. That is how DH and I value our points. There is no cash back card that comes close to that perceived value for us.

    Well my answer is always going to be transfer to an airline for a flight but I'm rather biased when it comes to points and miles. Keep in mind if you ever decide to cancel your card you will forfeit the Amex MR points. I would suggest applying for another Amex MR earning card like the Amex Everyday card which has no annual fee so that you don't lose your points should you decide to cancel the Premier Rewards card. I did that after picking up an Amex Platinum card for the 100K reward points. The fee on that card is $450 and I wasn't going to keep it but didn't want to lose the 100k points. I applied for the Everyday card and after getting approved and getting the bonus on that one, I cancelled the Platinum card.

    Me too, travel is the right choice for me every time. Swimming with whales sounds awesome! Where are you going in Norway to be able to do that?


    Ouch! I complain if I have to blow 190K for first class! I am always on the lookout for saver awards. Even though DH and I keep a bank of over 2 million miles and points between us, I do try to stretch those points as far as they will go. So, I will check as far out in advance as possible and check several times per day looking for that saver award flight. I will also check flights to and from nearby airports.
     
  17. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Yeah, I could see that! We have a specific date in mind for our journey to Copenhagen next year too, so I am not going to hold my breath on that one coming to fruition but if it does that would be really nice..! Are you able to switch flights without penalty if Singapore comes through even though you booked Air Canada? Also, are you only booking for yourself...? Thats the other issue I run into is needing points for both of us..! We "need" to sit together since I am not a great flyer..!
     
  18. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    2 million??? Wow you are in a totally different game than us! Great work gathering them all! The next largest airport is about 4 hours drive away and the fare to get there (Seattle) is usually high enough that it doesn't make sense when you add in the gas, time and added costs. To get that one way award on United we actually flew from PDX to SFO to LAX to Frankfurt to London... It took 25 hours. That was also special though - we should have just gone PDX to Vancouver to London but my husband was desperate to fly on a 747 (he works for Boeing) and that was the only route that had one with an award. Oh the things we do for love...
     
  19. FairestOfThemAll37

    FairestOfThemAll37 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,470
    They charge $20 to cancel and redeposit miles, which I think of as without penalty considering the fees involved with most airlines (especially US based) are $200-300.

    Because I booked through Singapore airlines, it's their fee system even though it's an alliance member flight.

    Yes, this is just for me though I have used miles for family members in the past.

    It's true that it's only one person's fare in points but I also am only doing spending for one person and only eligible for credit card bonuses for one person so it kind of evens out.
     
  20. calypso726

    calypso726 Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,459
    Thanks! We just take advantage of the sign up bonuses, spending categories, rewards dining, the odd survey and of course the online shopping portals. They all add up. I do follow some of the travel hacker bloggers to learn more. Believe me, we barely scratch the surface on this travel hacking game. Ooh, a 4 hour drive is a tough pill to swallow. Ah yes, the things we do for love :-)
     
  21. Albort

    Albort ODV Crew

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    10,582
    Quadfecta... u missed the Freedom Unlimited... :] Best coverage for non-churners.

    Ink/Ink+ is probably the best card of the whole quadfecta. 5x on phone, office supply, internet... the 5x office supplies also covers a lot of different gc portals. I use gyft.com where i can buy target, amazon, walmart, home depot, etc @ 5x. I probably gonna end up dropping the Sapphire Preferred for a Freedom Unlimited since i also earning Thank You Pts via Citibank which covers Sapphires categories+1% more.
     

Share This Page