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hegemony

Travel Cards in the Age of #StayHome

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I have several travel-related cards including three high AF cards (JPMR, Amex Plat, and Citi Prestige) that I can make work $$ wise due to my travel. But I've already had four trips canceled (18 hotel nights and 4 flights) and in looking at the math I think I need to kick one of my high AF cards to the curb and it will probably be Citi Prestige. Then I can concentrate what remaining travel I have on JPMR and Amex Plat, along with Hyatt, Hilton surpass, and others. I'll have to check the math in a few months to see if I need to downgrade Amex to gold if my travel doesn't pick up.

 

Anyone else reassessing travel and high AF cards due to travel restrictions?

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CSP still gives me (and everyone else) 2 points per dollar at restaurants, as always, and I am doing my bit to support small businesses including 1st Wok in Calhoun Village (I've lived two doors down from the blamed place for four years and kept saying, hmmm, I maybe oughtta try it - finally did that last Friday (because small business) and had the best Hunan-style bean curd I've ever had (plus kick-ass hot&sour soup (not gross))).

 

AmEx SkyMiles Platinum is $195 per year, for which reason I probably ought not to have gotten it in the first place, which I am using as a serviceable reason to continue with it (you heard me).

 

And I am 99.9% certain I will be canceling Citi Executive World Elite ($450) but that has absolutely nothing to do with #stayhome, it has to do with them all being Citiots.

 

(I have no other AF cards.)

 

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I have postponed and canceled some travel. I have two high $ AF travel cards and it crossed my mind to cancel one of them. However, the optimist in me is saying that this will eventually pass and both cards will go back to being useful and rewarding. I’m holding off with canceling any cards for now, but if the shit hits the fan, I might. 

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I'm probably gonna cancel my Amex Platinum in a couple of months when the AF comes due.

 

With that said, Amex has been giving some people retention offers without the need to spend.

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4 hours ago, TheVig said:

I'm probably gonna cancel my Amex Platinum in a couple of months when the AF comes due.

 

With that said, Amex has been giving some people retention offers without the need to spend.

I really don't like that card any more.  

 

An AF should bring value.  Clawing back my AF money $10 or $50 at a time for things I may or may not even want doesn't count.

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I have over 200,000 unused American Airlines miles.  Most of that is not from travel, but from credit cards.  I'm thinking American Airlines will survive, but once the coronavirus issue ends, it's probably best that I start burning through these miles.  They don't increase in value.  I'm willing to bet the airlines will get more stingy with redeeming miles to help offset their huge losses.

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I am banned from travel for a year due to cancer.

So I am ditching all my travel cards down to no fee cards.

Going strictly cashback and looking for bt cards have alot of medical expenses.

 

 

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Due to canceled travel and reduced expenses, my expenses over the past month are about 1/10th of normal.

 

About a year ago, I jettisoned the last of my AF cards just to give myself the option of a mini-retirement.  If I still had my Alliant 2.5%, Aviator Silver, and United Club card, I would cancel them before the next AF hit.

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Has AMEX begun to push the Platinum Card again? I've gotten upgrade offers online and even via US Mail.

It's too heavily weighted towards travel for my current needs.

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It's been 3 years since I've opened a new card and I've been itching to in part to lower my utilization while I pay things off and I never travel.

 

Suddenly CK is aggressively marketing CSP to me- I wanted a new Chase card because of the free Spotify deal (not being offered on my CFU card) and the bonuses.

 

Since I rarely travel, I wondered if the aggressive marketing was due to reduced interest in CSP for the foreseeable. The bonuses seem pretty good if you do everyday spending on a card. 

 

Right now I'm also really trying to figure out which cards to link with which expenses to maximize rewards, and possibly adding a card with cellphone insurance/rebates on monthly cell bills.

 

Ugh I feel like I'm starting from scratch and I keep looking for some sort of a matchup generator. Someone posted a good one on r/churning or r/creditcards recently, but it was for new card suggestions.

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50 minutes ago, smartlypretty said:

 

 

Suddenly CK is aggressively marketing 

never listen to affiliate sites regardless of how "aggressive" or angry they are. If you don't travel, then a travel card is probably not a good idea unless you plan to close it after a year. Is it the 6 months free spotify you care about? That is only worth $59. Or is it the 5% off you care about? That is even less of a benefit. Surely there is a card that can offer you better value than that.

 

and, ignore CK skores AND "suggestions"

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1 hour ago, hegemony said:

never listen to affiliate sites regardless of how "aggressive" or angry they are. If you don't travel, then a travel card is probably not a good idea unless you plan to close it after a year. Is it the 6 months free spotify you care about? That is only worth $59. Or is it the 5% off you care about? That is even less of a benefit. Surely there is a card that can offer you better value than that.

 

and, ignore CK skores AND "suggestions"

This is the perspective I was looking for! 

 

I get 5% on one of my cards in rotating categories, and I was looking at the bonus which I think is worth $600 or $750 for travel. Admittedly I wasn't considering it but I assumed CK was marketing it because people aren't apping for travel cards now. 

 

I was originally looking at CF but the free Spotify is random, and typically offered on CFU but wasn't offered to me. The main thing I'm looking for is maximizing cash back, and I thought the AF would be offset by cash back if I used it regularly and paid it off. 

 

CSP seemed to have a $600 bonus basically, and decent cash back on regular purchases, so that was my main interest.

 

Until very recently I've been very out of the loop so IDK which cards are great for my purposes and I'm trying to see which cards I should add if I add any. Reddit is in love with the WF Propel (AmEx I think) but I haven't figured out why.

 

5% back on groceries ends in a few days and I don't have CFU where I could get that for Q2. So last Saturday I was gonna app for CFU but IDK if that's the best card to waste a 5/24 inquiry on. And I usually ignore CK suggestions, the cards they suggest are terrible. If I scroll down enough they promote Fingerhut 😆

 

But TLDR any comments from me are like ... I just got my bearings in March after 2+ years of being confused and tired.

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2 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

CFU

1.5% cash back?  🤮

 

You can see where I'm putting my spending (and why) in this thread:  

 

 

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3 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

So last Saturday I was gonna app for CFU but IDK if that's the best card to waste a 5/24 inquiry on. And I usually ignore CK suggestions, the cards they suggest are terrible. If I scroll down enough they promote Fingerhut 😆

 

5/24 is for new accounts, not inquiries. You mentioned that you haven’t opened a card in 3 years, so you’re fine there. 
And CK is going to promote whatever pays them the most in referral fees. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cv91915 said:

1.5% cash back?  🤮

 

You can see where I'm putting my spending (and why) in this thread:  

 

 

I got CFU 3 years ago, I wanted CF to rotate the categories. I'm so recently back to this I switched my Discover to cash back a week ago and used the rest of the grocery quarter and I wanted to PC to CF from CFU which I never use, but they said I needed to request a 10x bigger CL. So I haven't apped anything. 

 

If I'm going to start applying I'd like to maybe app 2 Chase cards if I can, before I app anything else. But the CFU is rarely used. 

1 hour ago, DPB said:

5/24 is for new accounts, not inquiries. You mentioned that you haven’t opened a card in 3 years, so you’re fine there. 
And CK is going to promote whatever pays them the most in referral fees. 

Ok cool, I thought it was applications and not accounts for some reason. I log in to CK about once a day and I've never had CSP promoted to me or seen a "very good odds" thing with it, and my score hasn't changed in two weeks.

 

So my thought process was Chase is promoting CSP because people are not as interested in new travel rewards cards for the foreseeable, not that my chances were better if that makes sense. 

 

I still haven't applied for any cards, I want to get a few new ones and I still don't know exactly which would be best for my purposes. I rarely travel and don't dine out a lot (IDK if dining out rewards apply to takeout), basically before covid-19 I was still in self-quarantine. :)

Edited by smartlypretty
wrong year

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6 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

I wanted CF to rotate the categories.

If you want the CF you should apply for the CSP instead and collect the larger SUB. Keep the CSP for a year, then cash out your points and downgrade it to a CF.

 

6 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

...basically before covid-19 I was still in self-quarantine. :)

Do you shop online? Check out Bank of America Cash Rewards. You can set your 3% cash back category to Online Shopping. There's a $200 SUB.

If you redeem the cash back into a BoA checking account you get a 10% bonus, which makes it 3.3% back (CV will tell you how to boost that even more). There may be a $400 SUB available for opening the checking account too.

 

For everyday 2% there is Alliant, which often has SUB.

Citi Double Cash (2%) only pays a $100 SUB so it's usually best obtained as a downgrade from another card with a more reasonable SUB.

 

If you must use Discover and you don't care about 5/24 you should open a second one for 10%/2% the first year.

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Back to the subject of this thread, I was going to open a Chase UA Biz for the 100k SUB this month (offer expires 4/2). But I am long both UA and AA miles with no place to burn them. UR are more fungible and look much safer, so I'll app a UR card instead.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, kaylee34 said:

Go look at US Bank Cash+
That might fit your needs.

Thank you, I'll look for it!

 

11 hours ago, Occam said:

If you want the CF you should apply for the CSP instead and collect the larger SUB. Keep the CSP for a year, then cash out your points and downgrade it to a CF.

 

Do you shop online? Check out Bank of America Cash Rewards. You can set your 3% cash back category to Online Shopping. There's a $200 SUB.

If you redeem the cash back into a BoA checking account you get a 10% bonus, which makes it 3.3% back (CV will tell you how to boost that even more). There may be a $400 SUB available for opening the checking account too.

 

For everyday 2% there is Alliant, which often has SUB.

Citi Double Cash (2%) only pays a $100 SUB so it's usually best obtained as a downgrade from another card with a more reasonable SUB.

 

If you must use Discover and you don't care about 5/24 you should open a second one for 10%/2% the first year.

That was what I was planning on doing, downgrading in a year because the SUB seemed to be so high (I think $600 if you go the cash route).

 

I almost exclusively shop online even for basic stuff, I didn't go into a supermarket for like two plus years. I have not looked at Bank of America Cash Rewards- what's CV?

 

Discover also matches cash back the first year I think so maybe I should add one.

 

One of my objectives is to add to my available credit and lower my utilization.

 

Since I only have a significant balance on one card from something out of my hands (I don't carry balances otherwise), a BT card would be great if I'm adding cards. 

 

Thank you ❤️

 

ETA I just woke up in case I sound spacey.

Edited by smartlypretty
yawn

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3 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

I only have a significant balance on one card

Yikes! They are all significant. The only exceptions would be 0% balances floated on business cards.

 

There are several biz cards with nice SUBs which offer that.

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3 hours ago, Occam said:

Yikes! They are all significant. The only exceptions would be 0% balances floated on business cards.

 

There are several biz cards with nice SUBs which offer that.

I know, I would not normally carry a balance, but my cards did have balances because of an event out of my control, and I'm trying to pay them off as soon as I can. I use cards with no balance and pay them in full monthly and I wouldn't use them and create a balance. 

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23 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

I use cards with no balance and pay them in full monthly. 

Be sure to pay them before the statements cut so they report $0 balances. Fewer accounts showing balances should improve your scores. Exactly 1 is optimal. See "$2 trick."

 

Then look at 0% BT biz cards first.

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On 3/29/2020 at 4:20 PM, smartlypretty said:

I know, I would not normally carry a balance, but my cards did have balances because of an event out of my control, and I'm trying to pay them off as soon as I can. I use cards with no balance and pay them in full monthly and I wouldn't use them and create a balance. 

Occam nailed it already.  The reason you want to limit the number of cards with a balance is not just to see pretty reports with all zeroes but rather because utilization looks at more than just how much of the available credit is in use.  It ALSO looks at the ratio of cards with a balance to the overall number of cards.  Getting the number of cards with a balance cut down will have the potential to increase scores substantially...provided, of course, that the cards are reporting to begin with (some biz cards do not report and can occasionally be a good place to stash balances provided the APR is not horrific). 

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7 hours ago, Occam said:

Be sure to pay them before the statements cut so they report $0 balances. Fewer accounts showing balances should improve your scores. Exactly 1 is optimal. See "$2 trick."

 

Then look at 0% BT biz cards first.

Thanks- I looked up the $2 trick and I'd be up for trying that except I do have some debt to deal with first. 

 

I have to figure out which cards to try to get and see what I do get, a 0% BT would be fantastic for my situation. 

 

There are a few other things going on and I feel like I read a lot but I haven't really figured it all out yet.

 

6 hours ago, centex said:

Occam nailed it already.  The reason you want to limit the number of cards with a balance is not just to see pretty reports with all zeroes but rather because utilization looks at more than just how much of the available credit is in use.  It ALSO looks at the ratio of cards with a balance to the overall number of cards.  Getting the number of cards with a balance cut down will have the potential to increase scores substantially...provided, of course, that the cards are reporting to begin with (some biz cards do not report and can occasionally be a good place to stash balances provided the APR is not horrific). 

The biz cards not reporting thing would definitely be a good place for me to stash this balance til I pay it off. I'm not super into having 1000 cards in my signature but I would like to get cash back on my spending and transfer balances to a non-reporting BT card.

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