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

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Valued Contributor

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

Agree that your main risks are devaluation as well as potential loss of points.  Points or cashback is not yours until you redeem it.

 

I went through a similar situation myself recently.  My business travel is arranged directly through my company, so I don't pay for any of it.  I can only rack up points through personal travel, which isn't frequent.  I am also not a loyalist of any particular airline or hotel chain.  My wife and I are empty-nesters and are looking forward to more travel in the coming years.  Adding a travel card instead of just cash-back seemed a good idea.

 

I loved the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (and the Quadfecta with the CFU, CF, and INK) because it offered so much flexibility for people like me when it came to earning and redeeming travel points.   After I had all those, I kept using up my 5/24 Chase slots to get two hotel cards, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless and World of Hyatt.  I got those for two reasons: Great SUBS worth $800 and $850 respectively.  And to eventually close the cards to consolidate credit lines with my Quadfecta cards since Chase is slow to raise limits but seems to let you keep them once you have them. (I already moved part of the hotel card limits.  They both sit at $10K now but were approved at $33K and $30K respectively.)

 

I had no specific vacation trip in mind when I acquired all these points but I don't intend to keep the points long-term. With the huge SUBs and use in 16 months, I have racked up over 225K Chase UR points!  I also have 160K Marriott Bonvoy points and will soon have over 70K Hyatt points.  I just used the first 30K of my UR points for travel next month and plan to keep drawing down my accounts slowly.  I'm beyond impressed with the SUBs I've gained and think Chase has the best overall selection of travel cards on the market right now!  Hard to believe I've literally made thousands in SUBs in a year and a half! 

 

The Chase and Hyatt cards are awesome cards but mainly if you stay at one or both chains often and pay out of pocket.  They both offer great points value in-hotel.  Even though I stay at both chains often, since I normally don't pay for my room directly, I decided I wouldn't get enough use out of them to justify keeping up with two more cards.  They would mainly benefit me only when I charged food to my room a few times a year.  For spending outside of the hotels, I have other options including my CSR and don't want to dilute my UR points focus for the long-term. 




Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 26+ years;
AAoA = 9+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Nov 2019)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $440K. Utilization Less Than 1%. Inquiries until May 2020 (TU:2 -- EQ:2 -- EX:6)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name, CL
Message 11 of 21
Valued Contributor

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


@CreditInspired wrote:

@kdm31091 wrote:

The issue with stockpiling points is that if the bank decides to close your account for whatever reason, you are usually SOL


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.


I remember that posting.  Sad.  It was the Fidelity (Elan Financial Services) Visa card.  Guy had over 200K points on the card which could have easily been moved to the Fidelity investment account where they would have been safe.  He failed to move them over and then Elan took AA and shut down his card for some reason. 

 

Definite lesson to be learned here and one reason I don't plan to keep my huge balances.  The problem with travel points (MR, UR, TY) is that they are best used for ... travel redemption  (duh! ... lol)  and it takes a lot of them to make redemption worthwhile, so when you're playing the points game as opposed to cash-back, you're kinda stuck to some degree letting them accumulate for awhile.  




Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 26+ years;
AAoA = 9+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Nov 2019)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $440K. Utilization Less Than 1%. Inquiries until May 2020 (TU:2 -- EQ:2 -- EX:6)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name, CL
Message 12 of 21
Valued Contributor

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

If you use your cards, don’t app spree seeking credit and pay them there is really nothing to worry about losing your points to a CCC.

 

I have and still do have a large chunk of MR and UR points sitting there.  Don’t panic thinking you have to do something in case of a devaluation, plan your trips and try to get the most out of them.

Personal Cards: Amex Gold, & Plat | Amex Delta Res | Amex Hilton | CSR | Citi AA Exec Business Cards: Ink+ | Amex BGR | Amex Plat
Message 13 of 21
Super Contributor

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


@Aim_High wrote:

 

 

I went through a similar situation myself recently.  My business travel is arranged directly through my company, so I don't pay for any of it.  I can only rack up points through personal travel, which isn't frequent.  I am also not a loyalist of any particular airline or hotel chain. 

 

 

 

 


In business travel, you should be registered with the airline and hotel programs, to earn butt-in-the-seat and overnight points, without paying anything for them. They are some of the basic points everyone should be signed up for, regardless of personal credit cards.

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 14 of 21
Frequent Contributor

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

B_Slow1
 
 
 
 
 
 I don't like to travel (I'm happy to stay at home), I am certain I am not eligible for business credit cards, others have pointed out that points decline in value over time, you're not able to travel much currently because you're busy (presumably busy making a profit Smiley Very Happy), and I have read fairly recently that airlines' seating upgrades aren't what they used to be (I think because in general, more people are eligible for credit card related upgrades than in the past).
 
I don't know much about business credit cards, but I suggest you also consider business cash rewards credit cards. I know at least one exists, but I'd rather not give that bank free advertising by mentioning it here. Smiley Tongue
Credit Scores: (FICO 8) 832 Experian December 2019, 824 TransUnion December 2019 | (FICO 9) 847 Equifax January 2020
Credit Cards (newest to oldest): NFCU VISA Platinum $25,000 | BECU Cash Back VISA $10,000 | American Express BCE $3000 | Simmons Bank VISA Platinum $7500 | Capital One No Hassle Rewards VISA Platinum $500
Message 15 of 21
Valued Contributor

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


@NRB525 wrote:

@Aim_High wrote:

I went through a similar situation myself recently.  My business travel is arranged directly through my company, so I don't pay for any of it.  I can only rack up points through personal travel, which isn't frequent.  I am also not a loyalist of any particular airline or hotel chain. 


In business travel, you should be registered with the airline and hotel programs, to earn butt-in-the-seat and overnight points, without paying anything for them. They are some of the basic points everyone should be signed up for, regardless of personal credit cards.


Thanks for the suggestion.  Unfortunately, I've tried this.  Even though I check in with my loyalty programs, it seems that often I am not getting credited since my employer pays via contracted agreements.  But I still keep trying!  I have the apps on my phone.  




Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 26+ years;
AAoA = 9+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Nov 2019)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $440K. Utilization Less Than 1%. Inquiries until May 2020 (TU:2 -- EQ:2 -- EX:6)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name, CL
Message 16 of 21
Super Contributor

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


@B_Slow1 wrote:

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.


IMHO incurring an annual fee, and acquiring Marriott points, which aren't that valuable, when you have no specific need for them, would be a mistake.

 

Acquiring Chase's UR points or Citi's ThankYou points would make more sense to me.


Total revolving limits 639500 (558000 reporting)
Message 17 of 21
Established Member

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


@SouthJamaica wrote:

@B_Slow1 wrote:

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.


IMHO incurring an annual fee, and acquiring Marriott points, which aren't that valuable, when you have no specific need for them, would be a mistake.

 

Acquiring Chase's UR points or Citi's ThankYou points would make more sense to me.


Just to clarify, my thinking was that I would get a couple of Bonvoy cards over the next couple of years (since you can only have one at a time now), and collect the SUBs. The hope would be to save up enough points collecting SUBs to go somewhere nice, since I wouldn't be collecting points through spend at Marriott properties. I certainly wouldn't put all of my spend on the Marriott cards -- just enough to get the bonus.

 

All of my point-earning so far has been in UR points, which I agree makes more sense. But I figure I can throw enough non-bonus spend onto the Marriott card to get the SUB, so the impact on UR points is minimal. Only problem is: given how difficult it seems it would be to stockpile Marriott points, I don't know if it would be worth it. Doing it the way I envision wouldn't cost much, but would take a looooooong time. (You can only qualify for a bonus once every 24 mths.)

Message 18 of 21
Valued Contributor

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

There's no guarantee of success getting SUB with each app though, especially if you've closed one just prior. And only spending enough to get the SUB and no more. Not to mention there is the once in a lifetime on Amex SUBs. So I don't see  a person amassing too many Bonvoy points via SUBs alone with only two Marriott cards from Amex, at 75K points each. 

 

You would have to use said cards so that you could offset the AF associated with them. Especially the Brilliant with $450 AF.

 

You'd probably be better off sticking to MR products, at least there's  ore of them available to snag points from.






Message 19 of 21
Valued Contributor

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


@B_Slow1 wrote:

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.


I'm going to take a different approach to the general consensus here which seems to be not to stockpile.

 

Stockpiling actually isn't a horrible thing, and it's certainly better than running out and burning your points in fear of a devaluation that hasn't come yet. When these changes in valuations do occur, they're announced in advance and you have plenty of time to redeem points before the change.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, it's equally pointless to stockpile 5 million Bonvoy points when you don't need even 20% of that for most stays that aren't basically just you living at a hotel for a month. If you're hitting those levels, then yeah go ahead and take a wash on redeeming a portion of them.

 

My advice is to use them when they make for a good value. I personally keep a small balance of around 300,000-500,000 Bonvoy points, and whenever I book travel, if I see a hotel that's a little too highly-priced for the dates, I check its cost in points. If I can redeem for more than 1 cpp, I use points; otherwise, I use cash. I find this works great and have used it to book otherwise blah Marriotts that had high prices for a particular weekend or some other reason. 7,500 for a cat 1 hotel that is asking $160/night that weekend? Points. 50,000 for a cat 6 that wants $700/night for new years? Points.

 

If that balance creeps up to 600,000-1,000,000, I'm not running around with them burning a hole in my pocket and wasting them just to reduce the volume. I'd rather have the points for those times when I hit the NYE or festival weekend booking that wants 3x their normal rate and only shed some excess if I *know* a change in valuation is planned.

 

Side note here: not all changes are across-the-board devaluations. A change may cause one person to bemoan it while it opens up opportunities for another who before only saw poor valuation for their travel patterns. Also, Marriott just had a change with the Starwood merger, so I don't think they're going to rush out and do it again in the next year or two.

Message 20 of 21
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