cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What to do next? (College Student)

Auto Loans for ANY Credit Situation. Immediate Response.
Advertiser disclosure
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

I would be okay with going cashback if it gained me more value but I don't know of good options for my spending on travel, dining, and education.
Message 21 of 36
Senior Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

Amex is pretty relaxed about personal expenses going on business cards. Many people here have reported CSRs telling them it's not a problem, and I can't think of any reports to the contrary. True, the same protections are not there if something goes wrong. I know some people use Chase AF Ink cards for the primary rental coverage on personal travel, and that seems quite risky. I mostly use my BBP to make estimated tax payments, which aren't something I'd need to dispute. I may be moving these to a BofA 2.625% card, though.

 

Also, the goal with AF cards is not to break even. It is to get more value than you would have gotten with no-AF cards.

 

Behavioral changes are definitely a valid concern when considering monthly credits. I use my Uber credit from Platinum every month, but maybe 3 times a year I'll use it for EATS instead of a necessary ride. With the high fees on EATS and the fact that Uber Cash can be bought for a discount, I know I'm not really getting $200 of value (maybe more like $175).

 

I expect the IRS would challenge the notion that a finance degree was necessary for your photography business, or improved your skills or profits. Maybe you'd get away with a standalone course in basic bookkeeping (the kind of knowledge you'd actually use running a photography business), but what does asset price volatility or a yield curve have to do with lighting or camera lenses?

Spend: BofA Premium, BBP, Schwab Platinum, Freedom, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Marriott Brilliant, Delta Platinum
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC, ED
Downgrading in 2020: CSR, BCP, Savor
May eventually add: 100k Platinum (for a year, then PC to Gold), Virgin Atlantic.
Message 22 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

I think you've been given really good advice here. I would just add that your best strategy is to garden and not think of anything until your income actually gets to your target level.

 

Yes, this is an advice for your immediate future, but I have a good reason for it: I will not really think about much further ahead in time than that because cards and their values change all the time. What looks good now might not be a year from now, and cards that do not exist yet might be something worth looking at in the future.




Message 23 of 36
Super Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

I think wascb is on to something with behavior changes. Amex loves giving these monthly credits because most people will not fully utilize them without changing their habits, and spending more than they were to begin with. Either that or they will pay the AF and rarely use the credits. In either situation, Amex comes out ahead. Just because you enjoy Shake Shack doesn't mean you need to pay a $250 AF for future savings at Shake Shack. The greatest savings would be not paying the fee to begin with.

Message 24 of 36
Valued Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

I have a question about your math. What domestic economy travel gives you 2cpp for MR? From what I have seen it normally takes international/premium travel to get that kind of value on a consistent basis.
Scores hover around 800
Haven't been AZEO in over a year
Rome was not built in a day, neither is a good credit profile
Message 25 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@dragontears wrote:
I have a question about your math. What domestic economy travel gives you 2cpp for MR? From what I have seen it normally takes international/premium travel to get that kind of value on a consistent basis.

That's a fair point, looking at Delta Comfort+ is more like 1.5cpp. That changes platinum to spending $2000 a year on travel and gold to $500 a year on food.

Message 26 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@kdm31091 wrote:

I think wascb is on to something with behavior changes. Amex loves giving these monthly credits because most people will not fully utilize them without changing their habits, and spending more than they were to begin with. Either that or they will pay the AF and rarely use the credits. In either situation, Amex comes out ahead. Just because you enjoy Shake Shack doesn't mean you need to pay a $250 AF for future savings at Shake Shack. The greatest savings would be not paying the fee to begin with.


I'm not changing any of my habits, I fly delta and have to check bags, that uses the airline credit. I travel up to Denver multiple times a month and Shake Shack is on the way and I always grab it. I would stay at FHR hotels anyway as I prefer higher class hotels so the $100 credit on those is easy to me. None of the credits are changing my spending habits.

Message 27 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@staticvoidmain wrote:

I think you've been given really good advice here. I would just add that your best strategy is to garden and not think of anything until your income actually gets to your target level.

 

Yes, this is an advice for your immediate future, but I have a good reason for it: I will not really think about much further ahead in time than that because cards and their values change all the time. What looks good now might not be a year from now, and cards that do not exist yet might be something worth looking at in the future.


Should I stick with my plat/gold combo then? I seem to be getting value out of it so far.

Message 28 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@ToxikPH wrote:

Should I stick with my plat/gold combo then? I seem to be getting value out of it so far.


The thing about MR points (or any points, really) is that they change values. Theoretically, Amex could devalue it if it wants to. Looking at what you have now, then I'd try to get them to work. Your collection of card is hard to strategize. 

 

Disclaimer: The following is what I would probably do if I were in your position.

 

One thing that sticks to me is the Amex Gold. For me, that is a pointless card. Downgrade it to no AF Blue card and put it in the sock drawer, or upgrade it to a Platinum if and only if you plan on flying with another person every year, and the fare will at least be $200+. This way, it will just be a benefit/discount card. Either way, sock drawer it.

 

The Venture, I'd downgrade it to the no AF VentureOne as well. You have redundant cards that you can use for better value back. Sock drawer it and keep it for utilization padding.

 

Citi Rewards+ goes to SD as well. Use your Amex for supermarkets and gas. Use your blue cash. Personally, I'd rather downgrade it to BCE and SD it and just use Gold.

 

This means, that if you really think that Plat/Gold is valuable to you, then I'd stick to that since you are already paying for it. I will not switch to any other point system, at least not for a while.

 

Also, I'd use DC for non-category spend. I'd also use the Freedom for specific categories.

 

This is just what I would personally do because I would not want to close any card, and would not want to pay AF for redundant cards. Do remember, as somebody mentioned, "travel cards" may not always be the best for travel spend. Especially with your portfolio. I'd just focus on MR since you already have the plat/gold and are paying for it.




Message 29 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@ToxikPH wrote:

@dragontears wrote:
I have a question about your math. What domestic economy travel gives you 2cpp for MR? From what I have seen it normally takes international/premium travel to get that kind of value on a consistent basis.

That's a fair point, looking at Delta Comfort+ is more like 1.5cpp. That changes platinum to spending $2000 a year on travel and gold to $500 a year on food.


 ... that's how much spend you need just to break even.  You're not making anything yet at that spend.  That's where the real value of the premium cards is, AFTER you recoup your fees.  Our point is, at your current income level and spend, you are probably gaining very little value by having these premium travel cards already at this point in your life.  Among other reasons, that is why I questioned your overall lineup of cards and long-term strategy.

 

As @   said, "the goal with AF cards is not to break even. It is to get more value than you would have gotten with no-AF cards."




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 30 of 36
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.