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Credit card combo advice - Thanks!

Hi everyone!

 

Wanted to know which credit card combo would suite me better from the list of cards on my signature?

 

I was thinking my CSP with PRG? my total monthly spend is about $2,500 in bills [groceries ($500), gas ($200), uber ($50), the rest is between internet, insurances, cellphone, home alarm, etc.

 

My plan - to collect points to use towards travel next year.  This year going to Spain at end of July, collected some Hilton points with my AMEX Hilton and miles with Venture.

 

Will CSP and PRG give me a better transfer point rate to their partners? Is $2,500/month even enough spend?

 

I have the Platinum upgrade offer which expires August 12th, but not sure it will justify the AF.  Every year, we do a 3 to 4 day trip in the U.S. then an international trip for 10-14 days. Restaurants maybe 2-3 times a month.  Rental car and 3 day hotel once a year for family Thanksgiving travel.

 

Thanks all!!

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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!


c00mtg wrote:

Hi everyone!

 

Wanted to know which credit card combo would suite me better from the list of cards on my signature?

 

I was thinking my CSP with PRG? my total monthly spend is about $2,500 in bills [groceries ($500), gas ($200), uber ($50), the rest is between internet, insurances, cellphone, home alarm, etc.

 

My plan - to collect points to use towards travel next year.  This year going to Spain at end of July, collected some Hilton points with my AMEX Hilton and miles with Venture.

 

Will CSP and PRG give me a better transfer point rate to their partners? Is $2,500/month even enough spend?

 

I have the Platinum upgrade offer which expires August 12th, but not sure it will justify the AF.  Every year, we do a 3 to 4 day trip in the U.S. then an international trip for 10-14 days. Restaurants maybe 2-3 times a month.  Rental car and 3 day hotel once a year for family Thanksgiving travel.

 

Thanks all!!


You want to use points to use towards travel next year but we dont really know where you are traveling to, what airline you will use, what hotel, what date etc. These you probably need to know to accurately for anyone to say if you will have enough points... I think it's sort of useless to talk about things a year from now. For example, you might have to use American Airline miles because your travel destinations has the best rate that way. In that case, Ultimate rewards points from CSP or Membership rewards from PRG wont work since they do not trasferred to AA miles. If you plan to use United, CSP points will work but how much united miles will you need? Well you probably dont know since you dont know your travel plan. Then... how can we help you? You see my point?

 

If you still want to plan ahead regardless and since you already listed all your cards... I think it will be fun and easier for you to do the calculation yourself? You may open an Excel spreadsheet and list all your yearly expenses from each spend type. Next you list through each credit card that you own. Based on the bonus category each card has, you can then calculate what's your net earning after including its annual fee and bonuses. This way you could determine even if AF is justifiable.

 

In the second paragraph you kind of listed your monthly expenses. However, later you also mentioned that you travel sometimes with rental car and restaurant charges. So when you create your Excel spreadsheet, you need to remember to include those categories.

 

You can even use Excel spreadsheet to calculate hypothetical spending. I guess I will do some for you here:

If you spend $2500/month on the general category (not dining or travel charges) on CSP, you will get 2500*1*12=30k ultimate reward (UR) points each year. Ultimate reward partners include but not limited to United and Southwest. 30k UR points can be transffered to 30k united miles or be spent towards a $450 flight from ultimate reward travel portal. I am not sure how much 30k united miles can get you since it really depends on your departure and arrival cities.

FICO: EX 748 (amex), EQ 791 (citi), TU 775 (discover and barclay)


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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!


csryang wrote:

c00mtg wrote:

Hi everyone!

 

Wanted to know which credit card combo would suite me better from the list of cards on my signature?

 

I was thinking my CSP with PRG? my total monthly spend is about $2,500 in bills [groceries ($500), gas ($200), uber ($50), the rest is between internet, insurances, cellphone, home alarm, etc.

 

My plan - to collect points to use towards travel next year.  This year going to Spain at end of July, collected some Hilton points with my AMEX Hilton and miles with Venture.

 

Will CSP and PRG give me a better transfer point rate to their partners? Is $2,500/month even enough spend?

 

I have the Platinum upgrade offer which expires August 12th, but not sure it will justify the AF.  Every year, we do a 3 to 4 day trip in the U.S. then an international trip for 10-14 days. Restaurants maybe 2-3 times a month.  Rental car and 3 day hotel once a year for family Thanksgiving travel.

 

Thanks all!!


You want to use points to use towards travel next year but we dont really know where you are traveling to, what airline you will use, what hotel, what date etc. These you probably need to know to accurately for anyone to say if you will have enough points.  No, I don't have any idea where we will go next year (leaning towards Vietnam or Thailand) but not set, things can change.  With deals changing all the time, at this moment, there's no way to tell which airline i would use.

 

I think it's sort of useless to talk about things a year from now. i don't think it's useless, i plan way ahead and always works out for me :-)

 

Maybe i didn't explain well, my mistake.  I was asking more in the sense of just wanting to know the best combo to get the most points for transfer...i understand that there's no way to define this still.  With $2,500/month in spending, only $500 will go to CSP (for the companies that don't take AMEX), and about $2,000 will go to AMEX PRG .  I most likely use the AMEX vendors since per my history, it's what i use the most. Again, I'm nonly asking about the combo because not all my bills take AMEX, therefore, i need to charge the rest on my VISA and figured the CSP would be the best candidate?

 

*Currently have 60k Delta miles

*30k Hilton points

*25k Alaska miles

*4k UR from CSP

*3k Venture points

 


 

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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!

[ Edited ]

c00mtg wrote:

csryang wrote:

c00mtg wrote:

Hi everyone!

 

Wanted to know which credit card combo would suite me better from the list of cards on my signature?

 

I was thinking my CSP with PRG? my total monthly spend is about $2,500 in bills [groceries ($500), gas ($200), uber ($50), the rest is between internet, insurances, cellphone, home alarm, etc.

 

My plan - to collect points to use towards travel next year.  This year going to Spain at end of July, collected some Hilton points with my AMEX Hilton and miles with Venture.

 

Will CSP and PRG give me a better transfer point rate to their partners? Is $2,500/month even enough spend?

 

I have the Platinum upgrade offer which expires August 12th, but not sure it will justify the AF.  Every year, we do a 3 to 4 day trip in the U.S. then an international trip for 10-14 days. Restaurants maybe 2-3 times a month.  Rental car and 3 day hotel once a year for family Thanksgiving travel.

 

Thanks all!!


You want to use points to use towards travel next year but we dont really know where you are traveling to, what airline you will use, what hotel, what date etc. These you probably need to know to accurately for anyone to say if you will have enough points.  No, I don't have any idea where we will go next year (leaning towards Vietnam or Thailand) but not set, things can change.  With deals changing all the time, at this moment, there's no way to tell which airline i would use.

 

I think it's sort of useless to talk about things a year from now. i don't think it's useless, i plan way ahead and always works out for me :-)

 

Maybe i didn't explain well, my mistake.  I was asking more in the sense of just wanting to know the best combo to get the most points for transfer...i understand that there's no way to define this still.  With $2,500/month in spending, only $500 will go to CSP (for the companies that don't take AMEX), and about $2,000 will go to AMEX PRG .  I most likely use the AMEX vendors since per my history, it's what i use the most. Again, I'm nonly asking about the combo because not all my bills take AMEX, therefore, i need to charge the rest on my VISA and figured the CSP would be the best candidate?

 

*Currently have 60k Delta miles

*30k Hilton points

*25k Alaska miles

*4k UR from CSP

*3k Venture points

 


 


I think you probably already know that it's really hard to recommend anything if we dont know your goal for points. This is because if your goal changes, the best card option can change as well. 

 

SInce you want to spend about $2000 each month on AMEX PRG and leave about $500 charge each month to another card and you want to know which point earning card is best to combo with Amex PRG, right? I hope I got your question right. Then, CSP is the only option, isn't it? None of your non-AMEX cards offer flexible point transfer options as good as CSP or PRG. So, I guess you already have your answer. 

 

However, spending $500 each month on CSP on non-bonus category will earn you about 500 points each month/6000points each year, which is about $90 cash back  each year, more if you can find a good redemption/transfer partner at the time of travel. (CSP's annual fee is $95 already) I do not think this is worth it though. Why not just spend the $500 each month on a straight 2% cash back card so that you can garantee to have $120 cash back each year. So probably PRG + Fidelity will be my vote.

 

I see that you have cards with similar reward structure. I hope you plan to simplify your cards a bit to decrease total annual fee that you have to pay.

 

 

FICO: EX 748 (amex), EQ 791 (citi), TU 775 (discover and barclay)


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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!

Umm, did not think about the Fidelity.  

 

I was also considering the Platinum. What about Platinum + Fidelity? I know i would only get 1x/$1 on groceries, gas and restaurants, but i figured out the following:

 

$550 AF

 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 15,000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 3,750 MR points

-> $200 Annual credit

-> I can use $15 Uber credits, wife and i actually do go to San Diego downtown a least once a month, cost about $50 round trip - $15 credit = $35

-> Could take advantage of TSA once a year coming back from out of the country (need to make sure our 8 yr old son can cross with us)

-> Might use lounges, depending on place of travel

-> Have a Hilton timeshare, so might not need Gold Status on Hilton, but would be useful when we book without timeshare

-> Boingo will be nice to have

-> Upgrades and discounts on car rental and hotels would be nice

 

 

We don't always use the timeshare, which will increase the amount of MR points for sure, but just with the flights and monthly spending, that's an easy 42,000 + MR points per year + $200 travel credit + $200 Uber credits + TSA + Boingo -> i think i'll come ahead...thoughts?  By the way, i have the upgrade offer waiting in my email for 60,000 MR points, which will put me ahead of my travel plans for next year.

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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!

Forgot to mention...i didn't add/count other expenses that i can charge to the Platnum such us:

 

-> Pet store purchases for our dog and bird (food, toys, treats)

-> Restaurants

-> Shoes, clothes

-> Deductibles when seeing the Dentist for teeth cleanings

-> A few AMEX offers that i use here and there when i see a good deal...spend $x.xx and get $x.xx back or MR points back

 

list goes on

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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!

[ Edited ]

c00mtg wrote:

Umm, did not think about the Fidelity.  

 

I was also considering the Platinum. What about Platinum + Fidelity? I know i would only get 1x/$1 on groceries, gas and restaurants, but i figured out the following:

 

$550 AF

 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 15,000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 3,750 MR points

-> $200 Annual credit

-> I can use $15 Uber credits, wife and i actually do go to San Diego downtown a least once a month, cost about $50 round trip - $15 credit = $35

-> Could take advantage of TSA once a year coming back from out of the country (need to make sure our 8 yr old son can cross with us)

-> Might use lounges, depending on place of travel

-> Have a Hilton timeshare, so might not need Gold Status on Hilton, but would be useful when we book without timeshare

-> Boingo will be nice to have

-> Upgrades and discounts on car rental and hotels would be nice

 

 

We don't always use the timeshare, which will increase the amount of MR points for sure, but just with the flights and monthly spending, that's an easy 42,000 + MR points per year + $200 travel credit + $200 Uber credits + TSA + Boingo -> i think i'll come ahead...thoughts?  By the way, i have the upgrade offer waiting in my email for 60,000 MR points, which will put me ahead of my travel plans for next year.


Well, your math is actually quite good! So why not do further calculation to compare Platitum vs PRG on the yearly basis? Uh... I will do a rough calculation for you, just because I'm bored but please learn to do it yourself in the future!!

 

You said: "my total monthly spend is about $2,500 in bills [groceries ($500), gas ($200), uber ($50), the rest is between internet, insurances, cellphone, home alarm, etc."

I am assuming you plan to put $2000 per month in Amex spend.

 

PRG:

500*2 + 200*2 + (2000-500-200)*1 = 1000+400+1300 = 2700 points/month = 32400 points/year

If you are including the air tickets: 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 3x points per dollar = 9000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 3x points per dollar = 2250 MR points

 

Total MR earning per year= 43650 points

PRG value each year: 43.6k MR points + $100 travel credit - 195 annual fee = $559 cash back per year assuming 1MR point = 1.5cent

 

Platinum:

2000*1*12 = 24000 points/year

If you are including the air tickets: 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 15000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 3750 MR points

 

Total MR earning per year = 42750 points

Platinum value 1st year: 60k upgrade offer + 42.7k MR points + 200 travel credit + 100 TSA/global entry + $200 Uber credits - $550 annual fee = $1490 cash back in the 1st year, assuming 1MR point = 1.5 cent

Platinum value each year: 42.7k MR points + 200 travel credit + $200 Uber credits - $550 annual fee =  $490 cash back per year assuming 1MR point = 1.5cent

 

So yeah, 1st year Platinum wins $1490 vs PRG $559. After that, it's probably better to down grade back to PRG.

 

Please learn this and you can calculate it yourself in the future!!

FICO: EX 748 (amex), EQ 791 (citi), TU 775 (discover and barclay)


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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!


c00mtg wrote:

Forgot to mention...i didn't add/count other expenses that i can charge to the Platnum such us:

 

-> Pet store purchases for our dog and bird (food, toys, treats)

-> Restaurants

-> Shoes, clothes

-> Deductibles when seeing the Dentist for teeth cleanings

-> A few AMEX offers that i use here and there when i see a good deal...spend $x.xx and get $x.xx back or MR points back

 

list goes on


Yeah you know the list goes on! Obviously there's no way for other people to help you completely because only YOU know the actual charges/expense the best, so only YOU know the most accurate calculation for best earning card.

FICO: EX 748 (amex), EQ 791 (citi), TU 775 (discover and barclay)


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Re: Credit card combo advice - Thanks!


csryang wrote:

c00mtg wrote:

Umm, did not think about the Fidelity.  

 

I was also considering the Platinum. What about Platinum + Fidelity? I know i would only get 1x/$1 on groceries, gas and restaurants, but i figured out the following:

 

$550 AF

 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 15,000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 3,750 MR points

-> $200 Annual credit

-> I can use $15 Uber credits, wife and i actually do go to San Diego downtown a least once a month, cost about $50 round trip - $15 credit = $35

-> Could take advantage of TSA once a year coming back from out of the country (need to make sure our 8 yr old son can cross with us)

-> Might use lounges, depending on place of travel

-> Have a Hilton timeshare, so might not need Gold Status on Hilton, but would be useful when we book without timeshare

-> Boingo will be nice to have

-> Upgrades and discounts on car rental and hotels would be nice

 

 

We don't always use the timeshare, which will increase the amount of MR points for sure, but just with the flights and monthly spending, that's an easy 42,000 + MR points per year + $200 travel credit + $200 Uber credits + TSA + Boingo -> i think i'll come ahead...thoughts?  By the way, i have the upgrade offer waiting in my email for 60,000 MR points, which will put me ahead of my travel plans for next year.


Well, your math is actually quite good! So why not do further calculation to compare Platitum vs PRG on the yearly basis? Uh... I will do a rough calculation for you, just because I'm bored but please learn to do it yourself in the future!! LOL, ok dad!

 

You said: "my total monthly spend is about $2,500 in bills [groceries ($500), gas ($200), uber ($50), the rest is between internet, insurances, cellphone, home alarm, etc."

I am assuming you plan to put $2000 per month in Amex spend.

 

PRG:

500*2 + 200*2 + (2000-500-200)*1 = 1000+400+1300 = 2700 points/month = 32400 points/year

If you are including the air tickets: 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 3x points per dollar = 9000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 3x points per dollar = 2250 MR points

 

Total MR earning per year= 43650 points

PRG value each year: 43.6k MR points + $100 travel credit - 195 annual fee = $559 cash back per year assuming 1MR point = 1.5cent

 

Platinum:

2000*1*12 = 24000 points/year

If you are including the air tickets: 

-> Say average on ticket out of the country $1,000 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 15000 MR points

-> Say average domestic flight $250 * 3 people * 5x points per dollar = 3750 MR points

 

Total MR earning per year = 42750 points

Platinum value 1st year: 60k upgrade offer + 42.7k MR points + 200 travel credit + 100 TSA/global entry + $200 Uber credits - $550 annual fee = $1490 cash back in the 1st year, assuming 1MR point = 1.5 cent

Platinum value each year: 42.7k MR points + 200 travel credit + $200 Uber credits - $550 annual fee =  $490 cash back per year assuming 1MR point = 1.5cent

 

So yeah, 1st year Platinum wins $1490 vs PRG $559. After that, it's probably better to down grade back to PRG.

 

Please learn this and you can calculate it yourself in the future!! oooook


Yes, failed to do the math for PRG...forgot (which i could have done myself).  I kow how to do match, i was here asking for advise...but i appreciate you doing it.

 

At this point, i think i will go ahead and get the Platinum then downgrade back to PRG before the next AF hits.

 

Again, thank you for your time and have an awesome day!

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