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Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards

Fun thread!

 

I'm currently using the following:

 

1.  CSP - Dining, travel related, and UR Mall purchases.

2.  SPG - All non bonus spending.

3.  Amex Plat - Minimal spending - mainly for benefits (to be replaced by JPM Ritz).

 

4.  HSBC - only when I'm abroad and need an emv card.

 

That's basically it.  I had been using other cards for rotating categories (which admittedly has been great fun), but I don't bother anymore.  These days, I pretty much only carry my CSP and SPG for personal spending.

Contributor
irving_magik
Posts: 167
Registered: ‎07-13-2011
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Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards

My future (soon to be) line up will consist of the following:

AMEX BPC for Groceries and Gas
Chase Freedom for the revolving 5%
US Bank Cash+ for what ever I decide to use

Can't wait, reading this type of thread make me start to get that itch.... But I'm only about 2-3 months from going on my APP spree.
Fico Scores: TU 734 (08/12/2012) and EQ 716 (12/08/2012)

AMEX BCP $10,000 (opened 09/2012) - Citi TYP $6500 (opened 12/2012) Chase Freedom $1500 (opened 09/2012)

GMAC Mortgage $181,000 (opened 07/2011) - Car Loan $18,000 (opended 01/2011)
New Contributor
LilNYC
Posts: 184
Registered: ‎07-08-2012
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Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards


Open123 wrote:

Fun thread!

 

I'm currently using the following:

 

1.  CSP - Dining, travel related, and UR Mall purchases.

2.  SPG - All non bonus spending.

3.  Amex Plat - Minimal spending - mainly for benefits (to be replaced by JPM Ritz).

 

4.  HSBC - only when I'm abroad and need an emv card.

 

That's basically it.  I had been using other cards for rotating categories (which admittedly has been great fun), but I don't bother anymore.  These days, I pretty much only carry my CSP and SPG for personal spending.


I'm curious as to why you prefer SPG over MR? Both cards only offer 1 pt. per $1, are Starwood points more valuable than MR? 

Citi Thank You $13,200 - Chase Freedom $3,100 - AMEX Zync NPSL (init. ability $17.5K) - Citi Forward $7,000 - AMEX BCP $6,000 - USAA Rate Adv $15,000 - USAA World MC $12,000 - Discover More $4,000 - Amex Hilton Honors $4,500 - Amex SPG $2,000 - Barclay's Priceline Rewards $6,400 - Chase Sapphire Pref. $7,500

EQ: 794. TU: 704. EX: 755
Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards


LilNYC wrote:
I'm curious as to why you prefer SPG over MR? Both cards only offer 1 pt. per $1, are Starwood points more valuable than MR? 

 

Since I stay at SPG properties every year, I find the starwood point when used for hotel stays to be more valuable than MR points.  

 

However, there are times when MR points can be of higher value than SPG when there are transfer bonuses combined with off peak international business class specials. For me, I've accrued enough MR points (and continue to on business spending) that I prefer SPG for my personal use.  

Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards

[ Edited ]

LilNYC wrote:

Open123 wrote:

Fun thread!

 

I'm currently using the following:

 

1.  CSP - Dining, travel related, and UR Mall purchases.

2.  SPG - All non bonus spending.

3.  Amex Plat - Minimal spending - mainly for benefits (to be replaced by JPM Ritz).

 

4.  HSBC - only when I'm abroad and need an emv card.

 

That's basically it.  I had been using other cards for rotating categories (which admittedly has been great fun), but I don't bother anymore.  These days, I pretty much only carry my CSP and SPG for personal spending.


I'm curious as to why you prefer SPG over MR? Both cards only offer 1 pt. per $1, are Starwood points more valuable than MR? 


Definitely. Starpoints are widely accepted as the single most valuable point currency around. The pecking order is as follows: SPG > UR > MR.

 

Starpoints are on top for 2 main reasons: versatility and transfer bonuses. Each time you transfer 20,000 starpoints you get 25,000 miles. That's means you're basically earning 1.25 miles per dollar spent. They can also be used at starwood hotels for an amazing value, which is something MR lacks.

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are generally seen as 2nd. They're not as valuable because they have fewer transfer partners, but some of the ones they do have are high-value. United and Hyatt are often cited as the best ones to transfer to on a cpp basis. A Cat6 Hyatt (their highest) only costs 22,000 points whereas a Starwood Cat7 (their highest) will run you 30-35k. United has good availability through Star Alliance, allows one-way tickets, etc.

 

Amex MR points are still valuable but are seen at the bottom of this group. There are virtually no good hotel options to transfer MR points to, unless you count MR => VS => HH at a 2:1 ratio. That's pretty dismal considering you can get a no-fee Amex or Citi Hilton card that offers 3:1 for general spend (more for certain categories). There are a lot of airline transfer partners for MR, but they pretty much have high YQ charges so that negates some of the value you're receiving. I don't think DL imposes YQ fees, but Skypesos are low-value (even with transfer bonuses) and notoriously difficult to redeem.

 

I find the best use of MR points are to transfer to ANA (East coast to Europe in business for 68,000 points), or short flights under 650 miles on AA using BA Avios for 4,500 each way (economy). Others may have different suggestions, but as usual YMMV based on your spending/travel habits.

 

 

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Regular Contributor
Eschaton
Posts: 106
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards

The Chase Freedom is definitely my card of choice, with the 10-10 it makes it a strong competitor to almost any card. 

 

I just use my Zync for my monthly gym membership and restaurants/bars when the Freedom isn't on the 5% category.

 

I don't really make enough money to make use of travel rewards right now, maybe in the future, then I'll get a CSP to go with the Freedom.

 

I plan on getting a BCE eventually since I tend to spend a lot on gas every month

Capital One Journey (12/2010) | Chase Freedom (03/2012) | American Express Zync (03/2012)

Gardening since 03/2012
Experian score: 752 (6/2014)
Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards


CreditScholar wrote:

I find the best use of MR points are to transfer to ANA (East coast to Europe in business for 68,000 points), or short flights under 650 miles on AA using BA Avios for 4,500 each way (economy). Others may have different suggestions, but as usual YMMV based on your spending/travel habits.

 

 


I think Amex's MR Program was devalued when they lost Continental as a partner and Aeroplan reducing the value of transferred points.  Some of the charges on these airline partners make the bonuses less appealing than they appear on the surface.  

 

Unlike Chase's UR, Amex's MR is tricky and requires considerable vigilance an effort to maximize.  These days, I prefer the UR program with the partners Chase has signed up, especially since I've gotten enough MR points.  I have a feeling Chase will add some more partners in the future; it appears the UR program is gaining momentum.  

 

 

Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards


Open123 wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

I find the best use of MR points are to transfer to ANA (East coast to Europe in business for 68,000 points), or short flights under 650 miles on AA using BA Avios for 4,500 each way (economy). Others may have different suggestions, but as usual YMMV based on your spending/travel habits.

 

 


I think Amex's MR Program was devalued when they lost Continental as a partner and Aeroplan reducing the value of transferred points.  Some of the charges on these airline partners make the bonuses less appealing than they appear on the surface.  

 

Unlike Chase's UR, Amex's MR is tricky and requires considerable vigilance an effort to maximize.  These days, I prefer the UR program with the partners Chase has signed up, especially since I've gotten enough MR points.  I have a feeling Chase will add some more partners in the future; it appears the UR program is gaining momentum.  

 

 


+1

 

It'll be interesting to see whether or not Chase will introduce transfer bonuses in the future, much like Amex does now. Granted they really don't need to, since UR is both gaining in popularity and market-share without it.

 

At some point though their target market will be saturated. Once this happens, Chase may need to do something to continue their gains. I highly doubt Amex would sit idly by during this time period. Even removing their forex fee from the SPG would increase its popularity by a large margin. Adding high-value transfer partners would also greatly help MR.

 

Any ideas who may be on Chase's list of prospective new transfer partners?

 

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards

[ Edited ]

CreditScholar wrote:

 

Any ideas who may be on Chase's list of prospective new transfer partners?

 


I remember an interesting rumor where Citi was making a push to sign up Singapore's Kris Flyer program.  

 

Assuming the rumor is true, this must have meant that SQ was open to a better deal than it has with Amex?  For fear of dilution, SQ never runs specials, nor do they ever allow for bonus transfers of any kind.  Perhaps, they aren't getting enough 1:1 transfers from MR (most MR users only transfer with a bonus or for offpeak specials) and looking for a new partner.  This is where Chase's UR may make sense, since they aren't currently running bonuses.  UA and SW are all 1:1 transfers.

 

Amex recently signed up Cathay, which makes me think they're hedging their bets on SQ leavning for greener pastures.  I wouldn't be too surprised if Chase tries to pry them away, since SQ would be a nice compliment to UA and SW.  Singapore Air will give the program instant credibility for the SE Asia route.

 

Just speculation...

Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: Your Starting Line Up of Charge/Credit Cards


Open123 wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

 

Any ideas who may be on Chase's list of prospective new transfer partners?

 


I remember an interesting rumor where Citi was making a push to sign up Singapore's Kris Flyer program.  

 

Assuming the rumor is true, this must have meant that SQ was open to a better deal than it has with Amex?  For fear of dilution, SQ never runs specials, nor do they ever allow for bonus transfers of any kind.  Perhaps, they aren't getting enough 1:1 transfers from MR (most MR users only transfer with a bonus or for offpeak specials) and looking for a new partner.  This is where Chase's UR may make sense, since they aren't currently running bonuses.  UA and SW are all 1:1 transfers.

 

Amex recently signed up Cathay, which makes me think they're hedging their bets on SQ leavning for greener pastures.  I wouldn't be too surprised if Chase tries to pry them away, since SQ would be a nice compliment to UA and SW.  Singapore Air will give the program instant credibility for the SE Asia route.

 

Just speculation...


I remember that. Citi was rumored awhile back to be adding SQ and BA as ThankYou transfer partners, but neither seemed to have come to fruition.

 

I think you're on-target with your comments about signing up Cathay. When you read what people post on flyertalk, milepoint, etc., SQ is rarely mentioned as a transfer program of choice. I'm not sure how much of it is a lack of specials/transfer bonuses vs. better options elsewhere vs. geography.

 

If SQ is added to UR, it would be a huge boost IMO. This is doubly true since SQ heavily restricts international premium cabin redemptions for anyone other than their own members. They have some really nice products like the A380, and even some good value domestically (40k points will get you a business ticket in North America). Speculation or not, I hope you're correct.

 

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL

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