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Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

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Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

I appreciate the advice from everyone here. I'm pretty new to points/rewards. Currently, I only have one points-earning credit card (Chase Ink Cash), which fits well into my business spend, so it's been easy to accumulate points quickly. I don't have the opportunity to travel much right now, but the idea of aspirational travel appealed to me, and I wanted to help myself toward that goal.

 

So I was looking at acquiring the Marriott Bonvoy Business card (100k SUB/ $5k spend), since they recently bumped up the bonus. But I currently have no concrete plans to use these 100k Marriott points. Taking into account these "Once in a Lifetime" Amex rules, and the "One Bonvoy Card at a Time" rule that seems to be in place, I figured this would be a good place to start with earning hotel points.

 

But is this a bad approach to aquiring points/rewards? Is it a poor decision to be accumulating points (primarily thru SUBs) that I don't have a specific use for? Thanks for the input.

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Valued Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

There is nothing wrong with it. Problem with points game, is they devalue all the time. If you want to use the points for aspirational travel project, its best the project will happen in the next 1-3 years rather than 5-10 years later.

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Super Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

The issue with stockpiling points is that if the bank decides to close your account for whatever reason, you are usually SOL with regards to points and they will be lost. With a case like a hotel card, I don't know if that applies because the points are already in your Bonvoy account.

 

That said, I still wouldn't stockpile points because the vast majority of the time, they are going to lose value as time goes on. It's best to have a plan to redeem within the next year or two, no further out than that.

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Mega Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)


@FortifiedHM wrote:

There is nothing wrong with it. Problem with points game, is they devalue all the time. If you want to use the points for aspirational travel project, its best the project will happen in the next 1-3 years rather than 5-10 years later.


This.   Devaluation is always a concern, and with flexible programs, such as UR/MR/TYP there is always the risk that a transfer partner you want will go away.

 

That said, especially with the shortish term FortfiedHM suggests, it's probably better to accept the devaluation than waste the points either with a lower value redemption (statement credit or something) or on some travel you don't really want!

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Super Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)


@kdm31091 wrote:

The issue with stockpiling points is that if the bank decides to close your account for whatever reason, you are usually SOL with regards to points and they will be lost. With a case like a hotel card, I don't know if that applies because the points are already in your Bonvoy account.

 

That said, I still wouldn't stockpile points because the vast majority of the time, they are going to lose value as time goes on. It's best to have a plan to redeem within the next year or two, no further out than that.


Yep, a month or two back, a new poster shared how he lost $2K worth of points because he didn't realize you could lose them. His card had been shut down for some reason and he said he never received any notification (he may have missed the notification). I don't recall the CC, but I think the last thing I would do after reading his fate is to stockpile points.

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Established Member

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

Thank you for the feedback, everyone. I suppose devaluation is a concern that I'd have to take into account. I have a couple of questions:

 

1) Since I don't get to travel much, I'd hardly (if ever) be able to gain hotel points/rewards with stays. So the bulk of the points I acquire would be through SUBs. Does that change the equation at all, given that I wouldn't be putting much spend on the card beyond obtaining the bonus?

 

2) A stupid question: If you only begin acquiring points for an aspirational trip 1-2 years out, how on earth do you get enough points quickly enough to make it worthwhile?? Especially when it comes to these new Marriott cards, where you seemingly can only get a bonus every 24 months.

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Super Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

You’ll want to concentrate your spending on the specific reward system you want to use to achieve your redemption goal. The more cards you spread out on, the longer it’s going to take you.
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Super Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

I have built up stockpiles of points from a combination of SUB, business travel, personal travel, and Annual Free Nights on cards. I have used the points periodically when a good redemption turns up, and those were not pre-planned when I started getting SUB points. I have had some really nice trips to Hawaii, ski vacations, and just sightseeing that I do not regret.

 

The redemptions of points take a large amount of points. If you aren't travelling regularly, then SUB is really the only way to build up that stash of points.

 

The concern about devaluation is somewhat relevant, but if you don't have points (or a Free Night Award with the card) then you likely are not looking for travel opportunities. Which comes first; the points to use on travel, or the desire to go to a specific location and use points that you don't have on hand?

 

I would suggest going for the Marriott card. The SUB is as high as can be expected. If you have business costs the earn rate on this card is good, among Marriott cards, and the AF gets you an Annual Free Night, so it encourages you to get out there and travel.

 

There is no such thing as the perfect travel card, there is no such thing as the perfect future travel situation. We just have to enjoy what is available now, and enjoy what the banks are offering. There is also no real cost to get these SUB points, only opportunity lost if you don't get them and they are not offered later. Once you get into the mindset of earning points, and looking for how points can help you get to where you want to travel, it becomes it's own level of motivation.

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Established Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)


@B_Slow1 wrote:

A stupid question: If you only begin acquiring points for an aspirational trip 1-2 years out, how on earth do you get enough points quickly enough to make it worthwhile??

@kdm31091 wrote:
You’ll want to concentrate your spending on the specific reward system you want to use to achieve your redemption goal. The more cards you spread out on, the longer it’s going to take you.

There are no stupid questions here.  Smiley Happy

 

As @kdm31091 said, concentrate your spending on that card if you have a reward goal.  For people who travel freqently and put heavy reimbursable spend on personal cards, that process is much easier for them than for those who only have personal spend to put on cards. 




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Valued Contributor

Re: Should I stockpile points without a specific use in mind? (Marriott Bonvoy)

It also helps to research the difference in cost between Hotel an Airfare to your destination, on whether it's advantagous to use rewards on the flight or lodging. Knowing where you plan to vacation can help you decide where to put your eggs. 

 

It can be a chore to figure out where you'll get the best redemption, so it's best to nail that down first. Then get the card that fits your spend but also tranfers into the right travel partners for said trip. When I first started I spread things between to mnay CCs, meaning that I have several lower point balances instead of fewer large ones. So i would definitely say try to focus on only 1 to 2 points systems to maximize earning potential. 

 

I have found that Amex is easier/quicker to earn points with, if you can catch the right SUB for Gold ED etc. I've managed to reach 120K between SUBs and spend since 17. And that's on rather minimal spend than what most people here put on their CCs. MR are also pretty universal for most travel I plan to take in Aisa. However, the trip to Australia/New Zealand they haven't been that helpful. So thankfully that's where AAdvantage comes in via Quantas, though I am still a few thousand short for Business Class @ only 70K.  Chase URs only help if I want to travel on United, and I don't

 

I would definitely put some research into it to know hoe beneficial those points will be to you, before just apping for any SUB that looks good.






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