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ztnjpv
Posts: 726
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

Next topic:

 

Cash Back.

 

This is tricky since it depends on what you buy the most. For a one-card-does-it-all, I'd like to pick the Fidelity Amex but I can't pick an Amex in good faith because of places that don't take it. It's a great card anyway but you need another card like Visa/MC....which isn't that hard to do.

 

Freedom is great too. However, if you can only have one card, others will overtake it once you spend enough. Even the Cap1 Cash rewards's extra .5% will add up to more than the Freedom if you spend enough on a  normal levels of category spending....let alone the Fidelity Amex. Now if you group the Freedom with CSP, then the value of your points increases, as well the flexibility to leverage those points into travel rewards at better than 1:1 value. But then it's no longer a strict cash back card.


Starting Scores (Sept 2011): All lower-mid 600s. CURRENTLY: TU FICO: 801 (3/28/14), EQ FICO 808 (3/28/14), EX FICO 798 (9/4/13) (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best


ztnjpv wrote:

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. :smileyfrustrated:


This reminds me of why neither of us want kids. :smileyhappy:

 

If you can't use your points for aspirational travel, then you're probably better off just collecting cash-back. Recent devaluations (thanks Hilton et al.) have shown the risk of holding on to point and mileage currencies, so if you aren't able to earn and burn in a reasonable amount of time (at least every 2 years), I wouldn't risk accruing too many.

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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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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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 don't know if I'd call Million Mile Secrets to be "high end" as such. As far as blogs go, it's pitched at at a pretty low level and assumes that most people reading it are travel novices.

 

For more complicated and advanced-level topics, View From the Wing and One Mile at a Time are better options. Brian's ThePointsGuy is about in the middle IMO.

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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ztnjpv
Posts: 726
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

[ Edited ]

creditscholar,

 

when I say "high end", I mean in terms of how they redeem points. The Million Mile Secrets guy,for example.... Daraius?..., leverages points for first class flights and lavish hotels as do most of those gurus. 


Starting Scores (Sept 2011): All lower-mid 600s. CURRENTLY: TU FICO: 801 (3/28/14), EQ FICO 808 (3/28/14), EX FICO 798 (9/4/13) (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

[ Edited ]

ztnjpv wrote:

creditscholar,

 

when I say "high end", I mean in terms of how they redeem points. The Million Mile Secrets guy,for example.... Daraius?..., leverages points for first class flights and lavish hotels as do most of those gurus.


I can't help but laugh when I think of that guy.

 

 

 

Please do not post individual's full names or other personally identifiable information.

Thanks,

webhopper

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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FutureBillionaire
Posts: 641
Registered: ‎12-12-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best


ztnjpv wrote:

You know, I don't have a CSP but have been strongly considering it for the 40,000 UR Point bonus (along with the Ink Plus for a nice 90,000 URpoint gain +the points for spending). The thing I don't fully get is why people love it so much after bonus is attained. 

 

When you really look at the rewards, they aren't that great....especially in light of far better options on the bonus categories for restaurants and "travel". Now I know that savvy miles/points bloggers will tell you how they value UR Points through the CSP on average at 1.5 to near 2 cents each. Yes, that makes the spending rewards more attracted than the face value appearance 1 or 2 points per dollar. The problem is that there are specific transfers to certain hotels or airlines that need to be done to realize that point value. Personally, I find these lucrative rewards options to be hypothetical until you actually use them for that purpose. Transferring to Hyatt is a great choice. You really get bang for the buck. But how often do I stay at Hyatts?? Not that often. I dunno. I am sure it's great and all. I just don't think it merits the hype I see on points/miles blogs. 

 

And yes, I still may get it for the 40K. Whether I keep it beyond the first year...let alone use it after the minimum spending is met...is another matter. I'd probably just PC it to Freedom. Moreover, having the Ink Plus/Bold gives you the same transfer benefits...making it even more useless.


I'm quite sure that the hype is generated by the bloggers getting a nice kickback from Chase.  The big blogs really push Chase products, almost on a daily basis.

 

I love my CSP, but it isn't my sole card for travel. I find that it pays to mix up the spending between many cards.  It was going to be my main travel card until I discovered Abenity.  I get nice discounts from there that negate the need for me to use CSP for all of my travel purchases.

Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward,
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape
Established Contributor
FutureBillionaire
Posts: 641
Registered: ‎12-12-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

I think that using the points and miles game just to be able to stay in places that the uber rich do is a bit irresponsible.  I don't judge those that do that, I just don't see the value there.  I may have felt a different way if I wasn't a military brat, but I doubt it.

 

The best cards out there give you the best rewards and make it easy for you to redeem them.  As such, the Cash + is probably the best overall card due to its versatility.  I'm a firm believer that it makes sense to carry all the products necessary to get you the most rewards in any given category.  That means there isn't a best card, since no card gives you rewards on every single part of your budget.

 

I look forward to seeing blogs that help people save money on their normal spending and normal travel patterns.  That's what I think is important for the general consumer.

Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward,
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape
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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: whats the Best of the Best


FutureBillionaire wrote:

I think that using the points and miles game just to be able to stay in places that the uber rich do is a bit irresponsible.  I don't judge those that do that, I just don't see the value there.  I may have felt a different way if I wasn't a military brat, but I doubt it.

 



There will always be people out there who want to live the "high life" but simply can't afford to do so. These blogs are successful (for a large part) because they attempt to show normal people ways they might be able to accomplish this.

 

I wouldn't say it's irresponsible for people to reach beyond what their current station in life allows them to do, but it can easily degenerate into irresponsibility when people do stupid things like ruin their credit over huge app-sprees, simply because they want too many signup bonuses. Common sense should prevail here even though often it doesn't.

 

People need to know their place in life, but should work towards something better (if they desire it). These blogs are a perfect manifestation of this concept.

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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parakleet
Posts: 1,135
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

I'm not sure how me parlaying my regular spending and good credit to get business class tix for international flights through points/miles would be considered irresponsible. I don't have a six figure income so I could never afford to pay for business class flights. But if I can do it by maximizing my current spending, why not?

Gardening since 7/16/14
Current: EQ 711 7/13/14; EX 724 TU 721 6/19/14
Goal: 760+
Established Member
kibarrow
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎03-27-2013
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Re: whats the Best of the Best

Parakleet: so glad for your response. Someone had to say something so we can get back to our sharing and questions.
Everyone here shares a common thread. We all understand the value of a dollar and more importantly credit. Some late bloomers, some just right on time. (And NOOO judgement)
My tenure may be in it's infancy compared to some but I have gotten the feeling that the forum is a place of questions and opinions and seeking the opinions of people who have something in common. That "thing" can be summed up as "wow, great/good credit is awesome, or I'm working on it". The term "gardening"....hoooooly crap. Never heard it until here, but after the second usage, it was clear. The "unicorn" card from Amex. Too awesome a term.
Can't get into, subscribe to, (not that i was petitioned to but I am sure I am not alone)the "normal people" comment. What is normal? Not one person here, AGAIN...not much tenure but I read swiftly and retain, is here because they are regressing with credit. All have hopes to improve or lower debt, blah blah blah. But certainly not to be level set.
No offense intended I promise. But pretty pretty please.... Ease up. There's certainly a forum for that. Don't know where it is, but wowser...
Late train ride and Netflix can't stream the last leg, but I certainly felt like maybe you've ran your course. No more questions to ask. No comment on the rewards. Etc
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