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Should you renew your travel credit card for 2021?

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8 hours ago, hegemony said:


:)  Especially when you're shilling for your news agency's fintech acquisition that's a lame look-alike of too many other services.


Renewing my Chase Sapphire Reserve was a no-brainer (especially after they permitted point redemption at a 50% premium against dining/travel this fall).

I was on the fence re renewal of my Barclays Silver Aviator ($199 annual fee).  3x miles on American Air purchases makes this card a fairly safe bet most years, especially with a $99 companion air cert at $20k spend.  I use it only for AA spend for myself and Bev.


Normally the $20k threshold is a low bar.  However, thanks to sitting home 5 mo in the spirit of 'rona, I'm $7k away with a month to go.  After a little soul searching, decided to push $7k in December personal insurance renewal through the card.  Not the best reward (1 mile / $ spend, 1.4c/mile valuation).   But I put $400 value on the earned companion cert, making it another no-brainer decision.

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  • 1 month later...
2 hours ago, pronto said:

Just because you temporarily can't travel

To whom are you referring?  :)


 I'm traveling on Friday, and again on the 24th.


And the 29th.


And then on the 1st of February, and then the 5th and the 15th.  And while I haven't booked it yet, probably the 26th.

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On 1/11/2021 at 11:17 AM, pronto said:

Just because you temporarily can't travel doesn't mean you can't rack up miles/points through spend. I actually added a card to my travel portfolio in 2020. :)


If you are earning but not burning miles at this time, you are hoarding the miles and at risk for outsize shocking devaluation when the travel market rebounds and suddenly there is high demand again, meaning redemptions will be scarce just when you're ready to redeem. This is always the risk but worse when lots of people are hoarding at the same time.  Those 5x grocery multipliers are great for the bank but terrible on the future value of redemptions; when everybody has 100s of thousands of miles, then 100k is not worth much.


If you expect a gradual but slow improvement, then you should be ready to redeem quickly, at the first opportunity, before redemption value worsens. 


If you are earning AND redeeming now, when travel cash prices are low, then how much value are you really getting in redemptions? 


The C$R is a cashback card with travel benefits, not a travel card. Yes, you CAN transfer to travel rewards programs, OR you could just redeem cash. That's the value - keeping your options open. A travel reward card locks you into one method only.

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I’m guilty as charged when it comes to hoarding points and miles. However I’m in the bottom feeder space of hotel points with Choice. They are not as prone to massive devaluations like the upper end chains are. 

When it comes to airline miles, I’ve seen some amazing redemptions available, however due to career demands Mrs Vig and I have, we have not been able to capitalize on it. 

If I was into the upper end hotel chains, my strategies would be different. 

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Just because I haven't traveled recently, doesn't mean I'll never travel again.  If you're 100% sure you're never going to travel again, then why keep a travel/points/miles card open that has an annual fee?  One major travel card I have is Citibank/American Airlines.  I have no plans on closing it.  As long as the airline doesn't go out of business and the miles become worthless, when the time comes I'll use the miles to go to Europe or some other place.  

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