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  1. There is a lot of good discussion about earning travel rewards through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses. This thread is about redemptions, with the discussion skewed toward those rewards which were earned from credit card activities. It's meant to get you to think about how to maximize and actually use the travel awards you accumulate from smart credit card usage. Please post your redemptions in this thread as you make reservations, share redemption tips and strategies (and regrets), and if you desire, post photos of your trips. Selfies not required. Here's what I've recently reserved: May: Chicago - Three nights at the Hilton Suites / Magnificent Mile paid with three weekend night certificates from spending on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card. I planned this trip around the expiration dates on these certificates. I wanted to use them at the Waldorf Astoria or the Conrad, but neither was available. July/August: Roundtrip airfare to Milan in First Class purchased with 125,000 American Airlines miles earned from signup bonuses and credit card spending. My spouse is attending a conference in Milan and I'm flying in at the tail end to spend a week in and around Italy, and then we're hitting Barcelona and Amsterdam. I'm flying from LAX because the only routes available from San Diego on the dates I wanted to go were through London on British Airways, which would have cost ~$600 in fees, or in coach. Barcelona - Five nights at the Le Meridien, paid with 64,000 Starwood points accumulated from 2014 household spending on the card. SPG redemptions offer a fifth night at no additional cost. We had already planned to split nine nights between Barcelona and Amsterdam, and with no viable SPG hotel option in Amsterdam for our trip we decided to make Barcelona our five-night destination because of the availability of this hotel. Amsterdam - Two nights at the Art'Otel, paid with 70,000 Club Carlson points, earned from the sign-up bonus on the US Bank Club Carlson Visa. This reservation will be our last practical opportunity to use the "final night free" redemption benefit that's currently available to every Club Carlson Visa holder on every Club Carlson redemption. On 6/1 this benefit will be limited to one free night per year upon payment of the annual fee, plus $10,000 in spending on the Visa, and then only on US properties, most of which suck. Amsterdam - Two nights at the Andaz, paid with two free night certificates, which were part of the sign-up bonus for the Chase Hyatt Visa. Hyatt only has two properties in Amsterdam (and one is at the airport), and this one showed no availability on hyatt.com using the certificates, however rooms of every type were available for paid reservations, and rooms were also available using Hyatt points. I called the reservations number and they were able to book the nights I needed using my certificates.
  2. This is an important topic that almost never gets discussed here on CB. I have to admit that I cringe when I see someone apply for a bunch of different rewards cards with AFs and then ask how to best use them. Research is key, and I hope this thread can help a lot of people, myself included, better plan and work out a strategy for rewards. I think the first thing to decide is what type of rewards you are after. If you're after cash back, that will mean a different set of cards than someone after travel rewards. Are you airline loyal? Travel for work? Travel only on award tickets? __________ OK, thread intro is over. Here's my current strategy. I am mainly after travel rewards, but I don't travel for work and plan on flying mostly on award tickets. My main cards: Chase SP: restaurants and travel Chase Freedom: 5% categories Amex PRG: groceries and gas when not in the Freedom 5% Amex SPG: 1% category purchases I supplement points earned in these programs with signup bonuses on co-branded airline CCs, but because I am booking award tickets, having a co-branded airline CC is not part of my long term plan. Here are some changes I am considering for my porftolio: Chase Freedom: 5% categories Chase Ink Plus: 5% on office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services Chase SP rewards would be redundant with Citi card Amex PRG replace with Amex Everyday Preferred Amex Everyday Preferred: groceries and gas when not in the Freedom 5% Amex SPG: 1% categories Citi Thank You Premier OR Prestige: would replace the restaurant and travel purchases from the CSP I am open to opinions as to whether the Thank You Premier or the Prestige would be a better card. I am leaning towards the Prestige, but I will probably get the TY Premier first for the bonus. This plan would give me cards in 4 major points programs and a lot of flexibility. Opinions?
  3. if you have it, are you happy with it? asking for a friend (honest, I would never slum with US skank )
  4. Cash-back cards come with a variety of reward structures, ranging from a flat percentage on all purchases to rotating 5% categories which require advance registration. If you enjoy this game (which I do) this thread is not intended for you. If you don't want to keep track of which cards pay the highest cash back in various spending categories, the simplest way to ensure solid reward returns is to get a card that pays a flat 2% back on all purchases AND has no annual fee. In this thread I will maintain a list of flat 2%/no-AF cards, as well as a list of 2% or "2X" cards to avoid because they have an annual fee and/or redemption requirements that guarantee that you do not receive 2% back. Premise: Getting a 2% card with an annual fee is throwing money away when you can get the same rewards structure with no fee. Premise: Settling for a flat 1.5%/no-AF card like the Capital One Quicksilver when you can get 2% back with no AF instead is silly. 0.5% doesn’t sound like much, but a 2% card earns 33% more in reward dollars than a 1.5% card. To keep this thread on topic I am not going to attempt to track current sign-up bonuses for any of these cards. I also don’t want to allocate space in this thread to cards like the 3% Alliant card with an AF which becomes a 2.5% card with an AF in year two, or the Discovery IT Fake MilesTM card that pays 1.5 fake miles that no airline accepts and then doubles them at the end of the first year. This thread is meant to emphasize choosing one cash-back credit card, emphasizing simplicity for regular use year after year. The next post will contain my initial list, which will probably be incomplete. I will add other cards based on your feedback.
  5. With an upcoming refresh of the American Express Green card there are several rumors swirling about potential improvements. Right now the Green offers 2x points on purchases through the amextravel portal and 1x on everything else for a $95 AF. Yawn. The current rumors are suggesting a June/July/August launch bringing with it 4x on "gas" and 3x on "streaming services" with a wild card of free Amazon Prime with membership. Not awful at all if true. I'd be curious to see the caveats that will certainly come with the gas category, and the streaming services seem a little petty since I'm sure even the most die hard cord cutter only spends around 50-75 a month in service fees. As with all the other charge card refreshes I expect to see a bump in the AF to around $149 which leaves this a little underwhelming to me. If it's meant to be an intro to AmEx charge cards then it would seem to entice the everyday folks you need to include everyday expenses for instance, cellular service. Maybe free phone insurance for any service paid with the card, similar to the propel from WF. Just throwing daydreams out here. Anything you would want to see with a potential refresh? Original link: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-american-express-to-refresh-green-card-4x-on-gas-3x-on-streaming-more/
  6. Hello, I'm looking for the best card to pay for a $4k purchase. I've got the money but I'd like to use a card that will get me the most value back like in cash back or sign up bonus for spending a large amount. This is an orthodontist purchase but I want to get the most bang for my money. I have: AmEx everyday preferred, Capital One secure, CreditOne platinum. My relative has Discover it. I hope y'all can help with this!
  7. Before joining CB's I had no knowledge or appreciation of credit card rewards. When I was rebuilding my credit I noticed under the "advanced tab" posts discussing rewards but at the time I assumed I would never have a use for that. In other words, I simply didn't understand it. Fast forward to today, For Christmas I bought my grandson a limited edition LA Rams Eric Dickerson tee shirt and covered the entire cost through rewards simply by paying my utility bills and using my US Bank cc. Seriously! If someone was to tell me I could do that four years ago, I would just tune out and dismiss it in my mind. So thank you very much for all the invaluable education here on Creditboards. You all are amazing!
  8. I booked a RT flight from San Diego to Hayden, CO on the Alaska Air website a month ago for Feb travel. I did not use any points. Total cost was $337.30. Today the same flight from the Alaska Air website is $468. On the Amex Travel booking site the same Alaska flight is $720. I realize I can earn more reward points with Amex going through their travel site but the cost is too expensive. I only travel twice a year and it's usually to visit my brother in Steamboat Springs. Am I missing something here? Could someone explain or direct me to post on CB.
  9. My Amex Everyday Card Preferred sign up bonus pts were added to my card yesterday. The sign up bonus for at least $1K spend within three months is 15K additional points. It's on their website and I confirmed it with Amex over the phone. In the fine print bonus pts will not increase or apply to 50% more pts if you make 30 or more purchases within a statement period. They added 25K pts instead! I'll gladly take the extra 10K pts. Just hope they don't correct later. Has that ever happened to anyone before? DESCRIPTIO AEDP $2k Spd/25k MR Pts These points have been added because of an offer or qualifying purchases made.
  10. I received this offer for my Fidelity Rewards Visa Card to earn 2,000 bonus points ($20). Either I'm reading this incorrectly, or this seems like an insanely terrible offer. Here is how I'm interpreting the deal: Must do spending between November 1 and December 31, 2019 Must spend $2,100 before you start earning bonus points You can earn up to 2,000 Bonus Points (redemptions are 100 points = $1, so $20 maximum cash back) You earn 20% Bonus Points per dollar spent (0.4 Bonus Points per $1) At this rate, you'd need to spend $7,100 ($2,100 + $5,000) to get the maximum bonus of 2,000 points ($5,000 * 0.4 points/$1 = 2,000 points) Tell me I'm crazy and how. Edit: I think I found my math error. Looks like after you spend $2,100, if you spend an additional $5,000 you'd get $20 cash back. Still, hardly worth stressing over.
  11. https://www.foxnews.com/us/philadelphia-cbp-agents-seize-ship-owned-by-jpmorgan-chase-after-1-3-billion-20-tons-of-cocaine-found-on-board JPMorgan Chase Bank needs to recoup the $1.3 billion lost when their cocaine smuggling operation got busted by Customs & Border Protection and their 20 tons of cocaine got confiscated. Since the cargo vessel, the MSC Gayane, owned by Chase, has been seized by CBP and federal prosecutors plan on keeping it, add an additional approximately $100 million to the tally. Jamie Dimon is sure to ask for a pay raise, too, when the retail value of coke goes up. Adios rewards.
  12. I've created running threads documenting the cumulative benefits I have received from the Amex Platinum relative to its annual fee. Here is the original thread that I started in 2013. https://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=517280 Here is the more recent thread which chronicles my current membership period, which will end in about two weeks. https://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=578323 The goal of this new thread is to do a similar ongoing analysis of the value I receive from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which I just received. At the end of my first year with the C$R I plan to create a separate thread to show the relative value of the C$R and the Amex Platinum, based on my travel and spending patterns. Updates to this thread will be similar to my Platinum threads to allow ease of comparison at the end. Here's to another year of travel.
  13. Bear with me for this post is about a boring small unexpected expense probably well below a lot of viewers' pay grade. Today my Homelite electric weed wacker died. So I bought a new one on my AMEX card and applied a portion of my earned points to cover the cost. Okay, so what you may think. Well in my world, being on a strick budget with modest family income, this was the first time in my life that I ever applied reward points to a purchase. Also I am inching towards complete prior year IRA contributions. Just makes me feel in control knowing I've micro-managed our finances and handled the earned pts from my rewards card. My backyard thanks me too after all this overgrowth from the rains. Thanks for reading.
  14. Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum but was recommended to come here for advice. I'm currently a freshman in college and recently turned 19. I currently have two credit cards: Bank of America Cash Rewards (had for 12 months and $2500 limit) and Discover It Student Cash Back card (had for 3 months and $1250 limit). My current creditkarma score is 718 and I attached my credit factors from there. I'm always looking for ways to open more accounts and to improve my spending power and score. I never put anything on interest and don't plan to use a full balance on either of my cards every month at least while I'm in school. Balance transfer is also not a priority. I also have no student loans so in have no large balances to pay off. Rewards (whether cash back or points) are my biggest need in a new card, and low to zero annual fee as well since Im not spending a huge amount at the moment. I'm looking for a new credit card to apply for. Through my own research, I've found that Citi Double Cash card is a great for rewards for myself but it may be a little too far out of my reach (I applied for it about 6 months ago and they didn't even do a hard pull). I'd also like to start earning recognition by Amex and the BlueCash EveryDay card sounds quite good, especially the absence of an annual fee. But, of course, I'm not an expert and that's why I came here. Also I'm impatient and want to apply soon, but if waiting longer will be more beneficial in the long run, I can wait. My monthly spending during the school year is mostly comprised of food (evenly split between restaurants and fast food), spending on airfare and hotels, online shopping on amazon and Best Buy, and shopping at the local Walmart for groceries. I average about $300-$600 per month but it varies wildly. During the summer I actually work above minimum wage in Arizona so my cash flow will probably be about double. Also I expect to spend more on travel and food over the summer as well, with much less spent at Walmart and more spent at grocery stores. Since I'm still very new to this, I'm just looking for some advice. Should I wait longer before applying for a new card? Should I try for another student card? Are you bullish on Amex or should I try focusing on their travel and rewards benefits? Thank you for the help, Xenoz P.S. My only other dream from a credit card it for it to have contactless payment but I know this is very rare here in the states.
  15. Had an email from them that is offering a ten dollar credit if you downloaded their app and made a payment using the app. There was a cut-off date in December to make the payment and it was a one-time-only sort of thing. Not a huge fan of the financial apps, but hey, ten bucks IS ten bucks. I often just delete all of that sort of email unread, and am guessing I am not alone in that regard...so, figured the heads-up might get someone else ten bucks to put towards their mortgage or whatever LOL!
  16. Looks like NFCU is stepping up the rewards on the Flagship. They will now be giving 3 points on travel, and 2 points on everything else. Most notable is that 1 point now equals $0.01 whether redeemed as cash, towards gift cards or towards travel redemptions. Also offering a GE/PreCheck credit once every 48 months. The travel category is fairly expansive: https://www.navyfederal.org/email-marketing/creditcards/35707-flagship-existing.php?cmpid=em|pro|campaign|productgroup|product|creative|08/06/2018|jobnumber||cb1.3
  17. https://www.chainstoreage.com/news/survey-cash-rewards-outweigh-all-others/
  18. I'm leaving on Monday for a trip to Germany and Austria and will be testing Discover acceptance. I think it's also fair to compare acceptance to Amex acceptance, and I will certainly also note when only 1 payment network, such as Visa only or MC only, is accepted. The main cards I will be using on this trip are my Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve, but I will also used hotel co-branded cards for hotel incidentals as long as they have no FTF. Updates coming.....
  19. Hello, I have 8 credit cards right now. total avail credit line is $6650. Looking to grow Came from high 500s to just a tad over 700 in a little over two years. Kindly read on , please read on, if interested!!!! (This stuff gets me jazzed up, lol and feels good!) Id like to increase the number of cards/lower credit utilization and get some sign on bonuses, by adding some top shelf credit cards and CLIs Below are my scores, after BK7 was discharged on 3/2016 CREDIT KARMA 8.4.2018. Shows 714 from Trans Union. Experian National Equivalency Score or vantage score 3.0.... Experian on CREDIT KARMA shows 696 CREDIT SESAME shows 719 on 8.1.2018 CAPITAL ONE shows ..VANTAGE SCORE 3.0 710 on 8.01.2018 on Trans Union Info DISCOVER shows 665. 7-21-2018 fico score 8 from trans union (I do need to figure out difference between FAKO, vantage score 3.0, credit karma and credit sesame, and FICO score 8 which I am figuring is the one lenders trust most...still learning and reading) I have 2 car loans with NFCU at 6.69 percent at 60 months... 8500 used car and 23000 on a refinance of Capital One auto loan that was 10.9 percent! Yay! Lower rate and monthly payment. 🙂 Also I have a secured personal loan with NFCU balance at 2700 HERE ARE MY REVOLVIN CREDIT CARDS Capital one. 500. Balance zero secured TD bank 900. Balance zero secured The following are unsecured Capital one QS. 500. Balance zero Credit 1. 900. Balance zero Target. 200. Balance zero NFCU 2000. Balance zero Open Sky 200. Balance zero Discover 1450 balance 1430 My plan is to cancel the Credit One and the Open Sky , as they are low level cards. Then, ask for CLIs on the Capital One cards and the NFCU master card Open new NFCU visa Premier Open Walmart Card Open Amazon Card Open Amex Card Open new Capital 1 QS and Platinum Cards Considering BOA and Wells Fargo cards as well Would like to get a Marriot Rewards or SPG card before they combine in late August. I hesistate with these due to involvment with Chase. I did have Chase after me from a card not paid long ago....put it was finally paid to a CA (i know bad move.... I didnt know how to contact Chase via mail, every time I called they transfered me to CA. I should get docs of PIF from CA, they owe me that) So, before I go on an APP SPREE, wanted to ask here if I should go for A) App everything above, or just little by little. (NFCU and Cap 1 CLIs, and Walmart Card hopefully getting high limit) Thoughts? Thank you, and yes the plans and path I have been following so far, although not perfect, was thanks to you folks. A year ago I was at 625 and below, and could not get NFCU car loans. Now, credit life is much better! Looking forward to continued growth! Thanks! credit-credit
  20. Great Day Everyone, I have a question as it relates to Balance Transfers Checks and Access/Convenience Checks... (not sure if they are the same really) I was just recently approved for a new Citi Simplicity Card 21K and a Chase Freedom Unlimited card 26k I remember getting Access/Convenience Checks in the mail periodically years ago and wondered... Do credit card companies still offer those, if so who? and are BT checks something that can be used for purchase - payment to self by way of deposit into my account? (Do I have to request these Checks?) I don't do much with my credit cards other than using them and paying them off monthly, so please forgive me if my questions seem elementary? But I am not in the loop as it relates to many of these options.
  21. Here is my current card line up that sees the most use. Amex PRG Amex Delta Blue Citi AAdvantage MileUp (Recent PC from Gold. Card is in the mail). Citi DC Chase IHG Thinking of app for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select for the 2x on gas and dining to compliment the 2x groceries on the MileUp. Mrs. Vig has an increased desire for domestic travel. Little Vig has a desire for international. Asia and Middle East. Currently I'm sitting on 832k SkyMiles, 187k AAdvantage miles, Chase IHG 140k and 120k Amex MR. I've been heavy with SkyMiles for eternity...…….a shyt load came over from Northwest back in the day. No travel plans or dates have been set. Anybody here have more than one card with the same airline to pad the mileage account? I'm looking long term, not just the initial sign up bonus.
  22. https://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2018/07/11/aadvantage-mileup-card/?utm_sourcemedium=OMAAT+Facebook
  23. Wells Fargo Wells Fargo is launching a new rewards credit card, a revamped iteration of its Propel Card. The card will earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining, transit and travel, and streaming services, and 1x point on everything else. Points can be redeemed at 1¢ each toward cash, gift cards, travel, or more. The new Propel will have no annual fee. The card directly competes with premium products like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, although that card potentially offers a higher redemption value. Applications for the new Propel will be available on July 16. If you're interested in opening a new card or earning a sign-up bonus sooner, read our guide to the best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks currently available. Wells Fargo is announcing a new rewards credit card today that will offer one of the more compelling rewards programs available, taking direct aim at the premium products offered by issuers like Chase. Despite offering a robust rewards scheme, the card will have no annual fee. The card is a re-launched version of the bank's Propel Card, which was available in the past, before being closed to new applicants in February. Current customers of the original Propel will be converted to the new card and benefits automatically. In what seems to be a direct assault on the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve, the new Propel card will offer 3x points per dollar spent on the same categories as that card — specifically, dining, including restaurants and bars, and travel, which includes bars and restaurant delivery services. Additionally, the card will offer 3x points on streaming services, and 1x point on everything else. The Propel Card, while issued by Wells Fargo, will run through American Express' payment network, and will consequently offer a number of purchase protections and offers through Amex. Points are redeemable for 1¢ each toward cash back, gift cards, purchasing travel, or more. In this area, the Chase Sapphire Reserve carries an advantage in spite of its annual fee; points from that card are worth 1¢ as cash back, 1.5¢ toward travel purchased through Chase, or a variable value when transferred to frequent flyer partners— potentially well over 1.5¢ each. Despite the relative redemption limitations, the Wells Fargo offering remains a surprisingly strong contender from a bank that's been less of a major player in the rewards space, and a valid option for consumers looking for a more straightforward rewards program than what Chase offers. "Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, charity donations, or cash back at a rate of 1 cent per point, so effectively you'll get 3 cents per dollar spent on travel, dining, gas and streaming services," said Brian Kelly, Founder and CEO of travel and credit card rewards website The Points Guy (a partner of Business Insider). "That's a solid return, especially for a no-fee card." According to Bev Anderson, Wells Fargo's head of Cards and Retail Services, the card's rewards program was designed directly based on customer feedback. "We sat down with a diverse group of customers, including millennials and older generations. We wanted to understand what they like about their cards today, and what they want to see more of" said Anderson. "We built the Propel around the feedback we received, and planned a product for sustainability." While the Propel does not allow you to transfer points to frequent flyer programs like the Chase Sapphire Reserve does — which can be a more complicated redemption method, but can also allow customers to get outsized value for their points — the simplicity of redemption is expected to appeal more to customers. "We're continuing to innovate, and the ability to transfer points, as well as other features, is in our potential roadmap," said Anderson. "In the meantime, we believe customers will enjoy the ability to redeem for travel, money, or gift cards at a full value of one cent per point, regardless of redemption method." The credit cards rewards space continues to become more competitive, with Chase,American Express, Capital One, and Barclays all competing for a new breed of rewards-savvy customers all seeking to maximize value from their consumer credit cards while avoiding carrying balances and paying interest. For Wells Fargo, however, there's another reason to offer a truly compelling product like the new Propel. "We as a company are excited to demonstrate our commitment to our customers," said Anderson. "The Propel is a proof point for our brand and the work that we're doing to rebuild trust with our customers," she said, referring to the scandal in which bank employees opened 3.5 million unauthorized accounts in customers' names. The new Propel Card will offer a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points — worth $300 — when you apply for a new card and spend $3,000 in the first three months. The online application for the new Propel Card will be available on Monday, July 16.
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