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  • #16


    Are these rewards worth it?
    Click to expand...


    I used to feel the way you do, but after a while just got tired of feeling that I was throwing money away.

    I carry 3 cards, and use two more online only.  My other cards are primarily just dormant, either older cards or cards I got for sign up bonuses.  I think it's worth it.  I'm earning around $1,000 a year for very little effort,plus the sign up bonuses I got.  I just have to remember to use one card for supermarkets and the other for gas and restaurants.  The third card is for everything else.  It's second nature now.  Amazon's card is the default on the Amazon site.   The Fidelity card automatically deposits money to my checking account.  Two of the cards require me to go to the app and periodically redeem my credit.

    I don't have the patience for travel cards with miles, but if I start to travel more, probably next year now that the kids are older, I may give the Sapphire card another try.

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    • #17
      Is it worth it?  not sure if the answer is yes or no.  I put a lot of time into researching cards, offers, and redemptions.  If you are going to casually play the game, you can probably get 1-2% back more than the typical person on the typical card by maximizing your spending patterns and using different cards with different merchants.

      The real rewards are for people who churn cards for sign on bonuses and the people who do manufactured spend to get hundreds of thousands of points.

      Regardless, if you aren't going to redeem for fancy trips, you can probably do just as well without anything complicated.  For example, when I got the 100k sign on bonus for 4k spend for the CSR, i redeemed 75k points for a business class seat to Thailand.  Cash value, one way ticket cost was 3k.  So I got 4 cents per point.  So that 100k points isn't 1000 bucks, it could be 4000 at 4 cents a point.  then, if I get 3 points per dollar and get 4 cents per point, that is potentially 12% back on all purchases plus the value of the sign on bonus.

      the other nice thing is that this reward is all pretax.  So to buy a 3k ticket, taxed at 40%, you have to earn 5k.  This is tax free money.  It is also nice to pay for your vacation, when you may not be making any money, with reward points instead of cash.

      Now, if you aren't going to redeem for a high points value, such as domestic economy flights, you aren't going to get that level of value.  I would never buy a business or first class ticket at this stage in life, so is that ticket really worth 3k each way?  Not sure, but it makes the trip a lot easier.

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      • #18
        All depends on complexity vs max benefits vs how you travel/use rewards.   --

        Of us, we're travelling less often, but still en masse enough to burn a good chunk each year -- hence we still do selective churning with Southwest Credit cards to maintain Companion Pass and points funding that.

        Daily cards:   1.  Amazon with prime:  5% prime.   2.  Chase Ink Business - to maintain feeding Southwest+Hyatt points  3.  BOA-Cash Rewards with Platinum Honors bonus - (hold 100k in Merrill Lynch funds) .

        The last is something folk may want to consider if they cashback fans.  = 2.6% cashback.

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        • #19
          For us, I feel like it's worth it. We keep things relatively simple and only use two cards (Sapphire Reserve + Freedom Unlimited). I figured up the other day that we've probably earned about $1700 in rewards over the past 12 months, if you look strictly at a cash value - more if you consider transferring the points for travel. Not bad for a single $95 annual fee.

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          • #20


            Amazon card, no fee, 3% cash back on Amazon, 5% if you have Prime, no fee.
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            cant believe i hadnt signed up for this - a no-brainer for prime enthusiasts. thanks for sharing

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            • #21
              Cap One Venture is our card of choice for the reasons others have stated.

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              • #22
                Simple is of very high value to me.  I use the citi 2% cash rewards card for most everything.  We also use the amazon card for the 5% discount on everything amazon.  My time is too valuable to be chasing rewards and paying attention to all the nonsense.  And we are flying most often business class these days, so the luggage is free.

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                • #23


                  And we are flying most often business class these days, so the luggage is free.
                  Click to expand...


                  paying cash?

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                  • #24
                    I use an Alliant Federal Credit Union Visa Cash Rewards card that pays 3% on EVERYTHING the first year, 2.5% afterward.  There is a $59 annual fee but I overcome it within a month's cash back credit.  You do have to join a charity they support and open a credit union account, but its not too difficult to get it set up.  Their web site is basic but functional.   One of my kids had some support issues with them but I've had the card a year with no problems.  Had to put a second card in the wife's name for our real estate expenses, they don't do business cards or more than one account per name, but do allow multiple users on one card account.  You do have to manually claim the rewards to get the cash.

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                    • #25
                      I have been running some numbers on our spending and the Chase sapphire reserve card looks to come out on top but only if we book our travel through the chase rewards site.  Anyone out there with any experience with this?  Right now we just use Kayak or similar website to find the lowest fares as our current card is not airline affiliated.  Is the the chase rewards site similar to kayak, expedia, etc?  Are the fares different?  Are there limitations / black out dates?  Thanks so much for any thoughts on this.

                       

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                      • #26




                        I have been running some numbers on our spending and the Chase sapphire reserve card looks to come out on top but only if we book our travel through the chase rewards site.  Anyone out there with any experience with this?  Right now we just use Kayak or similar website to find the lowest fares as our current card is not airline affiliated.  Is the the chase rewards site similar to kayak, expedia, etc?  Are the fares different?  Are there limitations / black out dates?  Thanks so much for any thoughts on this.

                         
                        Click to expand...


                        It's super easy to book points with CSR.  We've done it for numerous vacations (flights + hotels).  Never had any blackout dates.  The easiest way I found to do it, is using OTHER websites such as google flights and trivago to find the exact hotel and flights we want.  Then, I call CSR and book through them.  I occasionally have found that the CSR site doesn't have the exact flight I found on whatever airline, so I find it easier to just call and book with the information.

                        Also, CSR allows you to transfer points 1:1 to some hotels/airlines.  Sometimes, it's cheaper (less points) to transfer to a partner and then use points.

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                        • #27
                          Only negative thing we've learned booking through the Chase travel portal is that since a third party is booking on your behalf, you can't apply your specific brand rewards status towards the purchase, or earn credit for it. Found this out when we tried to add our stay at the Hilton in Kyoto to my wife's Hilton Honors account.

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                          • #28
                            You definitely can get better value from your points from transferring to travel partners than the 1.5% you get at the chase travel portal.  There are plenty of stories of people booking their trips through the portal only to find out that they could have booked the room for less elsewhere.  Always check other sites before determining you are getting a good value on your redemption.

                            Similarly, if you are going to transfer your points to a different program, make sure you check to make sure you have a good redemption set up and available.  The transfers are one way only.  If you don't get the booking you want, you can't send the points back to chase.

                             

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                            • #29
                              FWIW, I have found good deals with my Hyatt credit card. They had a pretty good sign up bonus at the time (40,000 points). I'm not saying it's any better than any other card out there; as others have said, it depends on what you want to use your points for (e.g., air travel, hotel, etc.).. But what I have found is a Hyatt Regency in the downtown area of smaller cities gives a good deal on points (I have found as low as 5000 points per night).  So it can be good for a weekend away (depending on the part of the country where you live).

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