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Established Contributor
Posts: 734
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

You see love for the Venture? I don't. The blogs I read like The Points Guys, Boarding Area Blogs and Million Miles secrets are all about Chase and Amex with a little love too for Citi's AA airlines cards. They look down on the Venture because of the lack of vagueness with points. It's 2%. Period. You can't find an angle to get more out of it. 

 

The Advantage I see with the Venture (and it's why my wife and now Mother-in-Law have it after my explanation perked their interest) is that you can use it on ANY airline. My   wife's family goes to Florida a lot to visit my wife's grandparents. They fly Allegiant because the airports on both sides of the trip are extremely convenient and the flights are cheap. And Alllegiant has no miles program. There's really no way to reap any benefit to fly free unless you have a generic travel rewards card. And the Venture gives a guaranteed and predictable 2% toward travel....making it a good option for this kind of application.

Start (Sept 2011): low-mid 600s. NOW: TU FICO: 801, EQ FICO 808, EX FICO 798 (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Established Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎03-27-2013
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

I just found out that I could apply for the Ink. I was under the assumption I had to have a sep EIN #. Gardening till Jan. we'll see then.
But it's become all about the bonus sign up rewards...and it dwindles from there.
Question...you have to have it for 13 months before you can PC. But by then the AF kicks in. How do folks avoid the AF? Close the card and apply for the mo AF product? (That's not a PC... That's a close and reapply)
What am I missing? Heeeelllllppppp.
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,489
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best


ztnjpv wrote:

You see love for the Venture? I don't. The blogs I read like The Points Guys, Boarding Area Blogs and Million Miles secrets are all about Chase and Amex with a little love too for Citi's AA airlines cards. They look down on the Venture because of the lack of vagueness with points. It's 2%. Period. You can't find an angle to get more out of it. 

 

The Advantage I see with the Venture (and it's why my wife and now Mother-in-Law have it after my explanation perked their interest) is that you can use it on ANY airline. My   wife's family goes to Florida a lot to visit my wife's grandparents. They fly Allegiant because the airports on both sides of the trip are extremely convenient and the flights are cheap. And Alllegiant has no miles program. There's really no way to reap any benefit to fly free unless you have a generic travel rewards card. And the Venture gives a guaranteed and predictable 2% toward travel....making it a good option for this kind of application.


This is the problem right here. It sounds like you're not in the target demographic who will benefit most from the CSP and UR program.

 

Hyatts in general are among the most expensive properties when compared to the other major chains (Hilton, Marriott, PC, etc.), especially internationally where their rooms will frequently run $300+ USD per night. It was never designed for people looking for budget travel (or occasional travel), which is what the Venture is best at. People in these groups who are looking for cheap travel would be better off with a 2% cashback card.

 

Originally the CSP was designed as a high-end travel card for those who travel frequently and have incomes above 120k. When it was released, as a product it would have found its way into the FF community anyways based on the quality of what it provides. However the mass advertising campaigns by Chase, along with very lax approval criteria (it's frankly not a hard card to get approved for), has meant that it's gone "too mainsteam". There are many people who have it, but would frankly be better off with something else. Chase knows this but will happily collect your AF anyways, especially if you're not maximizing the returns on your points.

 

The reason why those blogs prefer UR (and SPG) is because they're about high-end travel, which is what the CSP was originally intended to do anyways. For most people, paying 10-20k for an international J or F flight isn't possible, but accruing 100k+ points is. The same goes with hotels in that it's a lot easier for people to earn 110k points than to pay $4000+ for 5 nights at the PH Sydney. People who travel frequently (like those who write boarding area blogs) know the best ways to search for availability, how to maximize the value of award tickets via stopovers and open-jaws, are able to mix airline alliances to compensate for lack of specific availability, etc.

 

If all you want is cheap domestic flights and hotels below upper-upscale, you'll probably be better looking somewhere else. However as someone who does value high-end travel, UR is fantastic.

EX 798, EQ 789, TU 784
American Express Platinum (NPSL) || Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard - $20,000 CL || Chase IHG Rewards World Mastercard - $25,000 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL || Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa Signature - $20,000 CL || J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Super Contributor
Posts: 13,676
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

[ Edited ]

ztnjpv wrote:

You see love for the Venture? I don't. The blogs I read like The Points Guys, Boarding Area Blogs and Million Miles secrets are all about Chase and Amex with a little love too for Citi's AA airlines cards. They look down on the Venture because of the lack of vagueness with points. It's 2%. Period. You can't find an angle to get more out of it. 

 

The Advantage I see with the Venture (and it's why my wife and now Mother-in-Law have it after my explanation perked their interest) is that you can use it on ANY airline. My   wife's family goes to Florida a lot to visit my wife's grandparents. They fly Allegiant because the airports on both sides of the trip are extremely convenient and the flights are cheap. And Alllegiant has no miles program. There's really no way to reap any benefit to fly free unless you have a generic travel rewards card. And the Venture gives a guaranteed and predictable 2% toward travel....making it a good option for this kind of application.


I guess in different blogs:  Nerdwallet rates it #1 for airlines.

 

As far as I see it (please educate me if I am wrong): the ONLY advantage over priceline visa for example, is the no FTF and over Fidelity Amex, no FTF and greater acceptance.   Now if you spend a lot internationally I guess that's important, but a lot of people don't.   Those cards give 2% on everything, like Venture, but can be redeemed for anything (cash for Fidelity, statement credit for Priceline) not just "travel" items.  And both have no AF.

 

Similar comments about the Barclaycard Arrival, except that does give 2.2% in some circumstances, and comes with a very large sign up bonus

Established Contributor
Posts: 734
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

Don't get me wrong, CreditScholar:

 

I realize the benefits of the CSP are there...as I stated before. It does indeed have great redemption values if you use the points right. That flight on Allegiant to Florida I mentioned is simply an example of a form of travel that my wife's does almost as often as buying groceries and pumping gas...it's practically a routine. hahaha. IOW, a circumstance that is just built into their lives. They have a close nit family and the children are always flying down to visit. My M-in-Law and her siblings have probably flown down a total of 8-10 times already since winter. It's what they do. That's not to say they don't travel elsewhere. They do. It's just more sporadic. So I guess the logic of flying routine for almost free is more appealing than saving up points for an undetermined vacation. Perhaps it would make more sense to do it the other way. I dunno

 

As for me, I do fit the CSP demographic but my phase in life (3 little children while running a high maintenance business) makes it difficult to travel as much as we would like. 

 

My dilemma with rewards is that, with a 3 month old baby and two others between 2 1/2 and almost 4, aspirational just isn't in the cards as easily as I would like. Lavish overnighters in NYC or another nearby city is about the best I can do with little logistical pain. So, I take cash back and slide into my investment account. But at the same time, I KNOW the time will finally come when my wife and I (and even the kids) can do something more worthwhile. In that sense, I try to plan ahead. There's the dilemma: good money now or  better value on vacations later. The cash back is a double edge sword because saving points for a vacation will likely save me more money than I am gaining at 2% cash back. But regardless, that's why I took those Amex offers for 75,000 MR Points and 25,000 SPG points. They will stay put for travel. I am also eyeing up the Ink Plus and CSP for the same thing. Even though I can redeem the bonuses for cash via my Ink Cash, I won't. Someday, Someday....hopefully sooner than later. Smiley Frustrated

Start (Sept 2011): low-mid 600s. NOW: TU FICO: 801, EQ FICO 808, EX FICO 798 (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Established Contributor
Posts: 734
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

[ Edited ]

longtimelurker,

 

Nerdwallet seems to have a bias toward practicality and naturally likes the Venture. I was thinking more about the high-end frequent travel blogs like Million Mile Secrets, The Points Guy, Boarding Area etc. They aim to fly first class and stay at the best hotels for nothing. For what THEY do, the Venture comes up small because the point values on UR, SPG, MR etc. are flexible. You can leverage a MR point into 5 of 6 cents per point if you're savvy. ANd then there are those huge sign up bonuses... That's what they preach and do.

Start (Sept 2011): low-mid 600s. NOW: TU FICO: 801, EQ FICO 808, EX FICO 798 (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,339
Registered: ‎09-11-2012
0

Re: whats the Best of the Best

I love my CSP and Freedom. I rotate them with Amex Green and BCE. Other cards just get small charge every 3-6 months
2013 Approvals: Discover IT - 3/1, Amex BCE - 3/4, CSP - 5/4, Barclay Ring - 6/12, BoA Privileges Cash - 6/27, Citi TY Preferred - 8/6, OCCU Duck - 11/4, USBank (Cash+) - 11/22, Wells Fargo - 12/21, Nordstrom - 12/29

12/19/2013, $100k+ Available Credit. Total Util: 0-1%
Super Contributor
Posts: 13,676
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
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Re: whats the Best of the Best


ztnjpv wrote:

longtimelurker,

 

Nerdwallet seems to have a bias toward practicality and naturally likes the Venture. I was thinking more about the high-end frequent travel blogs like Million Mile Secrets, The Points Guy, Boarding Area etc. They aim to fly first class and stay at the best hotels for nothing. For what THEY do, the Venture comes up small because the point values on UR, SPG, MR etc. are flexible. You can leverage a MR point into 5 of 6 cents per point if you're savvy. ANd then there are those huge sign up bonuses... That's what they preach and do.


I understand all that!   I was wondering why YOU prefer Venture over Priceline/Fid Amex.  FTF is a good answer, but wonder if there are others.  For other purposes, Venture seems to me to be an inferior card.

Established Member
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎03-27-2013
0

Re: whats the Best of the Best

I certainly can empathize. Sometimes though station in life meets the intended target... Practicality wins out....as it should in these times. I spent more time being debt free and repairing credit now it's time to do something you've mentioned (get an inv acct) My OCD just wouldn't allow saving and paying int at the same time. But it's time!
My 3 "small" ones aren't as small as I thought anymore. More vacations and no height requirements anymore at Disney. So the Hilton Reserve has done an awesome job at their properties at least 3 times a year. No foreign fees is #2 on my list for a card.

Lots of comments about Cap One. I've had Venture... Closed it. There's a "feeling"...a certain temperament if you will about every company. Just not "feeling" them.

I cannot find the appropriate thread. Has anyone looked at PlasticIQ.com?
Put in Chase and Amex Blue cash. Interesting summarization. Also the BEST point breakdown I can find. (Imo better Than Point guy, need wallet, etc)
Let me know what you think.
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Super Contributor
Posts: 13,676
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

Maybe I was looking in the wrong place, but the things I looked at yesterday on Plastiq were out of date.  For example, no update on the serious nerfing of the US Cash Plus.  The cap on BCP is mentioned in an update, but in a very minor way, whereas for a number of us this turned a great card into a pretty indifferent one.

 

A good test for me for a review site is what they say on Citi Premier, which has a stupidly complex rewards structure.  This fails to mention one of the key features (15% off base airfare) and also the yearly companion ticket.  On the plus side, flight point discussion is fine

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