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MR/UR/TY after recent changes

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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

MR is the top program for me. The redemption strength for international long haul is hands down the best.
Lots of easy ways to earn them. I’ve amassed over 500,000 points this year alone through Ebates MR. I know many others that are doing 4X what I earn a year so it’s possible to scale up as well.

Citi TYP is next. It’s a great program that’s often overlooked. With the recent change in DC it’s like a dream come true. Big fan of Amex BBP but this is seriously amazing for those of us that MS.
TYP can be a pain sometimes but the value is there especially with Avianca and M&S.

Then I do Altitude Reserve/CNB rewards. Pretty standard currencies good for portal bookings. Each of these programs has its unique advantage.

Bottom of the list. Chase UR.
It’s one of the most overrated and overvalued currencies IMO. I gotta give it to chase marketing team though, they pay the blogs well to push it to the masses. People eat it up.
With Korean air it was a great program, but unless your a Hyatt loyalist or enjoy flying southwest 😆. I don’t see the value in it compared to other programs. No unique partners for international flights. Great for domestic though I suppose.




Total Revolving Limits $254,800

Message 21 of 60
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Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@Shadowfactor wrote:
MR is the top program for me. The redemption strength for international long haul is hands down the best.
Lots of easy ways to earn them. I’ve amassed over 500,000 points this year alone through Ebates MR. I know many others that are doing 4X what I earn a year so it’s possible to scale up as well.

Citi TYP is next. It’s a great program that’s often overlooked. With the recent change in DC it’s like a dream come true. Big fan of Amex BBP but this is seriously amazing for those of us that MS.
TYP can be a pain sometimes but the value is there especially with Avianca and M&S.

Then I do Altitude Reserve/CNB rewards. Pretty standard currencies good for portal bookings. Each of these programs has its unique advantage.

Bottom of the list. Chase UR.
It’s one of the most overrated and overvalued currencies IMO. I gotta give it to chase marketing team though, they pay the blogs well to push it to the masses. People eat it up.
With Korean air it was a great program, but unless your a Hyatt loyalist or enjoy flying southwest 😆. I don’t see the value in it compared to other programs. No unique partners for international flights. Great for domestic though I suppose.

What really hurts UR imo is that UAL got hit with some devaluations and I have found it harder to find UAL partner availability for flying to Asia, which I would use UR for. Chase UR cards to me are just glorified Hyatt cards because thats only place i could find any good value with them. With that being said they are very easy to accumulate imo, so I will probably just keep my non af cards like ink cash and both freedom variations that will be used to transfer to CIP. 

 

I need to look into more detail what are best partners if i want to fly to Asia or Europe with TYP , for domestic the Turkish airlines partner seems to be the best by far, especialy if you can find availability to get to Hawaii from east coast. 

 

While I do like MR i really haven't looked at any uses other than ANA , I probably could find some partners that are partners with MR, TYP, and UR that I could pool like SQ maybe ?



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Message 22 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@mongstradamus wrote:

@Shadowfactor wrote:

Bottom of the list. Chase UR.
It’s one of the most overrated and overvalued currencies IMO. I gotta give it to chase marketing team though, they pay the blogs well to push it to the masses. People eat it up.
With Korean air it was a great program, but unless your a Hyatt loyalist or enjoy flying southwest 😆. I don’t see the value in it compared to other programs. No unique partners for international flights. Great for domestic though I suppose.

What really hurts UR imo is that UAL got hit with some devaluations and I have found it harder to find UAL partner availability for flying to Asia, which I would use UR for. Chase UR cards to me are just glorified Hyatt cards because thats only place i could find any good value with them. With that being said they are very easy to accumulate imo, so I will probably just keep my non af cards like ink cash and both freedom variations that will be used to transfer to CIP. 

 

I need to look into more detail what are best partners if i want to fly to Asia or Europe with TYP , for domestic the Turkish airlines partner seems to be the best by far, especialy if you can find availability to get to Hawaii from east coast. 

Brutal UR reviews, but I guess it's fair depending on situation.  However, YMMV. 

 

IMO, MR points probably are better for frequent business travelers and for international jet-setting.  For those that can and do.

 

Some, myself included, can't accumulate MR points fast enough with Platinum because they are geared towards frequent regular airfare purchase.  I travel often for business, but don't pay for it out-of-pocket, so that aspect is worthless to me.  I don't have that type of spending, and there are many of us who don't.  And while there are offsets against AMEX AF's, they are so narrowly focused and for things that don't fit my lifestyle, the MR points would be worth much much less because I'd be trying to use them to offset the AFs.  No thanks!  I recognize they are a good value for some, and by all means if they work for you, go for it!  

 

With Chase and UR, I get more value than I would with most straight cash-back cards if i redeem for travel, but the key word is flexibility.  UR points are worth a minimum of a penny a piece, whether I cash them out or use for travel.  MR points are worth less for cash.  Also, the offsets against the CSR/CSP AFs are much more flexible to make them a practical choice for the less-frequent flier.   While UR points might be worth the most when transferred to other programs, they pay pretty well per dollar spent even if you don't with the 50% redemption bonus on CSR.  Smiley Happy 

 

The AMEX 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and hotels have to be booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.  With Chase, I get 4.5% value for all my dining out and for all types of travel that I wouldn't get 4.5% on with AMEX Platinum, to include airlines and hotels/motels (wherever booked) plus timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages. 

 

All-in-all, UR just fits my spend and lifestyle better than it would a frequent business traveler. 

 

 



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 23 of 60
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Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@Aim_High wrote:

With Chase and UR, I get more value than I would with most straight cash-back cards if i redeem for travel, but the key word is flexibility.  UR points are worth a minimum of a penny a piece, whether I cash them out or use for travel.  MR points are worth less for cash.  Also, the offsets against the CSR/CSP AFs are much more flexible to make them a practical choice for the less-frequent flier.   While UR points might be worth the most when transferred to other programs, they pay pretty well per dollar spent even if you don't with the 50% redemption bonus on CSR.  Smiley Happy 


Part of what I like about MRs is that Schwab Platinum gives me a reasonable cash floor at 1.25 cpp (2.5% on spend within BBP's cap) if I find I have more MRs than I can use as miles.

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.
Message 24 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@wasCB14 wrote:

@FortifiedHM wrote:

I do check rakuten from time to time, either they don't sell the stuff I usually buy, or their price is outrageous to begin with, 15% does nothing to make it cheaper than what i can get from amazon/walmart. lol


Most of the praise here is for the shopping portal Rakuten operates, not their actual retail offerings. It's about getting extra rewards on money you spend at walmart (or any one of hundreds of retailers).


On average, what are the percentages people get back shopping at amazon/walmart/target/homedepot/lowes through Rakuten? (Just average please)

 

I ask because I am always weary about these services that require cookie tracking. I don't shop much outside the big 5 I listed (plus delta/AA), I'am wondering if it worth changing my habit for rakuten or some similar services (AA shopping, topcashback, etc).

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Message 25 of 60
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Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@FortifiedHM wrote:

@wasCB14 wrote:

@FortifiedHM wrote:

I do check rakuten from time to time, either they don't sell the stuff I usually buy, or their price is outrageous to begin with, 15% does nothing to make it cheaper than what i can get from amazon/walmart. lol


Most of the praise here is for the shopping portal Rakuten operates, not their actual retail offerings. It's about getting extra rewards on money you spend at walmart (or any one of hundreds of retailers).


On average, what are the percentages people get back shopping at amazon/walmart/target/homedepot/lowes through Rakuten? (Just average please)

 

I ask because I am always weary about these services that require cookie tracking. I don't shop much outside the big 5 I listed (plus delta/AA), I'am wondering if it worth changing my habit for rakuten or some similar services (AA shopping, topcashback, etc).


You can install the Rakuten browser Addon and it makes using it almost effortless.  They will track everything that you do online, but in the end that doesn't really even matter to you, doesn't cost you anything.  You won't need to change habits at all really...but I'll say that with a little "gotcha".  The sites you mention are rarely available on Rakuten, and if they are it is for only select categories or products.  When you go to a site the Addon will tell you about those deals and that might make you change your spending habits.  I ended up uninstalling it after awhile because:

1.  It was kind of annoying, a lot of sites have some kind of promotion with Rakuten even if you aren't there to shop and it would pop up all the freaking time (including MyFICO!)

2.  The good offers are on sites that you can probably just straight up find it cheaper somewhere else, good sites with already cheap prices are usually not on there or have really bad offers

3.  If I was going to buy something I can just check Rakuten myself to see if anything was available.  This helps not change spending habits as much since I only look for sales AFTER I've decided I needed to buy something, not getting lured into buying something BECUASE it is on sale or a good deal.

 

I've actually used Rakuten to book hotels a few times since they usually have really good cash back offers on those and the prices are pretty much the same as any other hotel booking site.  As always do your own research, but thats been the best deal a few times now for me.

 

As far as UR/MR/TY I think it's cool to read how each card/program is someones favorite and works best for them =D

 

Personally the Altitude Reserve is my jam.  Lowest effective AF after credits and theres only one huge one of those that is easy to use.  All the insurance.  Redeem for 4.5x on travel however you want no portals or transfer partners.  Pair with Samsung Pay and you can get 4.5x on almost anything you purchase in person.  I redeem for normal seats so don't care about trying to transfer to partners to get crazy redemption value on business/FC international travel.  I also don't really even like airport lounges, I don't go to the my home airport early to hang out in them before my flight or anything and they never seem to be conveniently placed or open or not full when trying to use during layovers.

Message 26 of 60
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Frequent Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

@digitek, do you know if what you described also works on Amex cash back cards such BCP or BCE?  

 

I am a newbie and still haven’t dived into any of the programs yet.  Based on what I read my impression is that MR points are easier to earn for beginners but somewhat harder to redeem on average; Chase URs are the opposite, unless one is open to churning and heavy MS.

 

Message 27 of 60
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Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes

@FieryDance  the shopping portals will work with any card.  When eBates (now Rakuten) unrolled an option to earn MRs instead of cash back in March, many of us jumped on it and have been doing well.  But if you enroll with Rakuten, the default is cash (paid quarterly by check or PayPal).  Just earlier this week, they had 10% back on 250+ retailers.

 

But any shopping portal is on top of any rewards you earn with your credit card; essentially you're splitting a referral with the portal since they presumably got you to spend money with a particular retailer.  It's worth signing up for shopping portals for any rewards program you may be enrolled in where it's offered.  Most frequent flyer programs have a shopping portal.  Dining programs offered by Rewards Network, such as SkyMiles Dining are also worth enrolling in for free bonus points.

Message 28 of 60
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Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@digitek wrote:


You can install the Rakuten browser Addon and it makes using it almost effortless.  They will track everything that you do online, but in the end that doesn't really even matter to you, doesn't cost you anything. 


Whoa. Smiley Surprised  That caught my eye.  Online privacy and tracking is a huge deal to me, so that does matter to me  ... a lot!

 

If I were to use a site like Rakuten, it would be isolated to web sign-in only, not with a browser add-on watching my every move online. 



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 29 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: MR/UR/TY after recent changes


@digitek wrote:

Personally the Altitude Reserve is my jam.  Lowest effective AF after credits and theres only one huge one of those that is easy to use.  All the insurance.  Redeem for 4.5x on travel however you want no portals or transfer partners.  Pair with Samsung Pay and you can get 4.5x on almost anything you purchase in person.  I redeem for normal seats so don't care about trying to transfer to partners to get crazy redemption value on business/FC international travel. 


+1

 

I've been quite pleased so far with my CSR and what it offers but I've been eyeing that USB AR more and more.  If I were to diversify further into AF-travel cards, that would likely be the next direction I would go.  As you said, like the CSR, the AR has easier offsets against the AF's and that mobile wallet payout is quite attractive.  For me, it's just a more practical alternative.

 

I'm not saying I would never consider AMEX and MR points.  But when I investigated getting a premium travel card for a change, it just appeared that MRs and AMEX cards were not as good a fit for me and my spending.  Honestly, I never really seriously considered CITI Prestige and TY points, but a cursory review of that card didn't impress me.  MR and UR points are the two most highly-rated points currencies anyway in terms of estimated redemption values of about 2 cents each, with TY a little behind at 1.7 ccp.  Perhaps if I can do it later without spreading myself too thin, I might try MR points but probably not with the Platinum card.  AF is too high for me to justify with offsets that don't work.  The Gold comes much closer to a better fit with the 4x MR payout on dining out and groceries and a (potential) $220 offset of the $250 AF if I remember to visit Ruth's Chris or The Cheesecake Factory on a monthly basis.  lol Smiley Tongue

 

Ironically, it's a little odd to me that you don't hear anything about Diner's Club Rewards points more, since they are supposedly valued at about 2.1 ccp.  Has anyone worked with those before?



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 30 of 60
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