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MR/UR/TY after recent changes

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Super Contributor

MR/UR/TY after recent changes

Which points system do you favor, with the recent changes?

 

Citi: Travel and other protections cut, DC's cash converting to TYs.

Amex: Travel protections improving Jan 1, extended warranty being nerfed, Roadside Assistance Hotline ending (but Premium Roadside Assistance remains).

Chase: No recent changes AFAIK

 

Or even something else like Arrival Plus or Capital One?

 

I gave up on TYs a while ago and have no plan to return. If I end up getting a BofA Premium Rewards card I'm not sure if I'd actually keep CSR, given that Platinum and hotel cobrand cards would give similar coverage and net me similar rewards. I could end up with MRs, cobrands, and a couple of cash back cards.

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
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Senior Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

I'm in the UR ecosystem and only that one because my travel is currently pretty limited (maybe half a dozen round trips/year airfare, and some hotel stays) and I fly SW, so it benefits me.    I'm all about the travel partners, and not necessarily maximizing points.




F8 EQ: 804 | EX: 790 | TU: 809 | Accounts: 3/6 5/12 9/24
Happy practitioner of AZE9or10or11or12 | Team Finances > FICO
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Moderator

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

It'll depend on what my rewards strategy is at any given time, but I personally find a use for every single one of those, as well as Altitude Reserve, Delta SkyMiles, and Marriott Rewards on top.

 

Right now, my focus has been on revenue flights and award hotel stays (since I exceeded 75 nights this year and have no chance of spending $20,000 at Marriott properties to get Ambassador status if I pushed it to 100 nights).  For flights, using instant redemption for Altitude Reserve, Chase portal with CSR, and Citi portal with Premier are nearly even in terms of value, with Amex just slightly behind (although I believe it is easier to earn MRs so just because I might not be getting as much value per point if using the portal, the return on spend is likely the same or better).  I've not focused at all on earning Marriott points this year because I had so many in my account and did so many revenue nights that I really racked up points, especially combined with offers and elite status.  I've only used SkyMiles where the value was going to be 2 cents or higher, when cash prices of fares were higher than I'd like.

 

For medium- and long-term plans, though, MRs, URs, TYPs, SkyMiles, and Marriott points all work together for me if I want to redeem for SkyTeam flights.  MRs, URs, TYPs, and Marriott are all transferable to Virgin Atlantic and Air France/KLM, so even for domestic travel I can get great value that way if needed.

 

Arguments can certainly be made for picking one over the other depending on the person, their spending, and how they wish to use the rewards.  But having multiples can still be beneficial (or moreso if earnings are maximized) as long as you have a system that cohabitates nicely and you're not ending up with orphan points.

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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@K-in-Boston wrote:

It'll depend on what my rewards strategy is at any given time, but I personally find a use for every single one of those, as well as Altitude Reserve, Delta SkyMiles, and Marriott Rewards on top ...

 

Arguments can certainly be made for picking one over the other depending on the person, their spending, and how they wish to use the rewards.  But having multiples can still be beneficial (or moreso if earnings are maximized) as long as you have a system that cohabitates nicely and you're not ending up with orphan points.


I can't imagine balancing so many different points programs and cards but I'm sure my spend is quite different than yours!  You must have extremely high business spend monthly, which is not my situation.  I'd prefer not to juggle too many different types of cards also, especially those with AFs.  For purely personal spend, I use Chase UR points now and still think it's the best system for casual and periodic travelers such as myself.  The recent AMEX changes to travel seem to be a wash since it sounds like some benefits are improving but others are diminishing.  CITI has never impressed me with their premium travel options and their recent further nerfing of benefits just accentuates that they don't intend to keep up with Chase and AMEX.  US Bank's Altitude Reserve is an intriguing offer but I don't know if I could use it enough to justify.  But more importantly, you need to be a banking customer and they are not in my region.  The 3% on mobile wallet plus the $325 rebated in travel credits are both great values for a premium card, IMO.  



Updated 10/08/2020
Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 27+ years;
AAoA = 8+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Aug 2020)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $538K. Utilization Less Than 1%.
Inquiries until Nov 2020 (TU:3 -- EQ:4 -- EX:9)
New Accounts: 3/6 months; 8/12 months; 12/24 months (as of 10/15/20)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
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Moderator

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@Aim_High wrote:

I can't imagine balancing so many different points programs and cards but I'm sure my spend is quite different than yours! You must have extremely high business spend monthly, which is not my situation.

 

...

 

US Bank's Altitude Reserve is an intriguing offer but I don't know if I could use it enough to justify.  But more importantly, you need to be a banking customer and they are not in my region.  The 3% on mobile wallet plus the $325 rebated in travel credits are both great values for a premium card, IMO.  


I spent about $400 in packing supplies and postage for selling things on eBay in 2018, so over the past 21 months my average business spend has been about $20/month.  Smiley Wink

 

My closest US Bank branch is all the way over in Ohio!  You have to be a customer, but any account will do including holding another of their credit cards for a minimum of 5 business days prior to applying.

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Moderator

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

It's nice to see that Amex is stepping up their protection but I'll still stick with the TYPs sytstem.  I can do more with the 4 card setup than with Amex and for cheaper.  With Citi and the recent change to the Double Cash card my Prestige/Premier/Rewards+/Double Cash just works better for what I do.  Even without the travel protection on the Prestige there is still enough value in the 4th night and the travel credit to make it work.  

 

The main reason Amex doesn't top my list is because I feel like I have to work to hard for the credits or find a way to justify (they don't come natural for me).  I've never been a Saks shopper, I don't Uber, Centurion Lounges are very limited (maybe 8 or so with a few more on the way?). Plus they tend to exist in only heavily populated airports where most have status.  Travel credit is hard to use now and the with American dominating in my area I'm hardly ever on a Delta flight so no SkyMiles Lounge access.

 

I believe in the right situation and right place, the Amex setup can be killer even if you don't use the ancillary credits...but one must be positioned right, and travel a lot to justify the annual fee to make their system work (i.e. Platinum/Gold/).  For the pair I'm at $800 vs Citi with a quad and I'm only at $590 with all my bases covered.  They all partners that covered the big airline alliances so not much to worry about there regardless of which direction you choose to go.

 

Options are nice and I'm glad that they exist but TYPs are just a cheaper option to getting almost the same thing.  

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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@Aim_High wrote:

US Bank's Altitude Reserve is an intriguing offer ... But more importantly, you need to be a banking customer and they are not in my region. 


You have to be a customer, but any account will do including holding another of their credit cards for a minimum of 5 business days prior to applying.


Interesting, thank you.  I have visited their website for cards and in the pull down menus, there is a link for "Credit cards exclusive to U.S. Bank customers" which looks like it covers ALL their cards.  But on the AR page (and not the others), there is a blue ball with the message, "Exclusive to U.S. Bank customers.*"   So basically you're saying that any of their credit cards (other than AR) and no banking accounts will qualify someone to be approved for the AR?  Not sure I would want to add two just to get that one, but it's an option.  If anything, it would probably be the Cash+ and the AR, but I have no interest in banking with them just to get a card, especially since they don't have brick-and-mortar near me.



Updated 10/08/2020
Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 27+ years;
AAoA = 8+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Aug 2020)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $538K. Utilization Less Than 1%.
Inquiries until Nov 2020 (TU:3 -- EQ:4 -- EX:9)
New Accounts: 3/6 months; 8/12 months; 12/24 months (as of 10/15/20)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 7 of 60
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Moderator

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

Correct.  Cash+ was the gateway for most if not all of us around here into the AR.  If you click on the page for the card itself and scroll down under the reviews, the first of the fine print:

 

*The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is offered to U.S. Bank customers who have an eligible U.S. Bank account relationship open and active a minimum of 5 business days prior to submitting an application. An eligible U.S. Bank account relationship is defined as: Checking or Savings account, Certificate of Deposit, Mortgage, Home Equity Loan, Home Equity Line of Credit, Auto/Boat/RV Loan, Personal and Small Business Loans and Lines, Commercial Loan & Lease, Premier Lines, Private Banking account or U.S. Bank credit card. If you have questions regarding eligibility status, please speak with your banker.

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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@K-in-Boston wrote:

Correct.  Cash+ was the gateway for most if not all of us around here into the AR.  If you click on the page for the card itself and scroll down under the reviews, the first of the fine print:

 

*The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is offered to U.S. Bank customers who have an eligible U.S. Bank account relationship open and active a minimum of 5 business days prior to submitting an application. An eligible U.S. Bank account relationship is defined as: Checking or Savings account, Certificate of Deposit, Mortgage, Home Equity Loan, Home Equity Line of Credit, Auto/Boat/RV Loan, Personal and Small Business Loans and Lines, Commercial Loan & Lease, Premier Lines, Private Banking account or U.S. Bank credit card. If you have questions regarding eligibility status, please speak with your banker.


That's right. I got the Cash+ card only to be eligible for the AR. I was able to get both within a week or so from one another, but had a tough recon.

I wasn't really planning on using the Cash+ card much, but at the time, Amazon would code as Bookstores for 5%. Then, they eliminated Bookstores but added Utilities, which was perfect because I had no other good card for that. I find that the 5% categories are pretty easy to max out, so it ended up being a pretty good card for me.

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | GS | PenFed | SYNCB (PP MC, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

At this moment, I will stick to my current setup.

 

Problem with plat remains to be the difficulty for me to cut down the AF. The 100k SUB is nice, but I am not in urgent need of money.

5x is nice, but I am getting close to 10% on my flight with my raise GC route, so it is not that a decisive factor to me.

 

I have to say, losing the restaurant access of PP is a significant issue for me.

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