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What to do next? (College Student)

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Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

I didn’t say that’s how much I’m spending that’s just the math behind it, I’m spending way more than that. More like 5000 a year on travel and 4000 a year on food. I’ve also not been offered any alternatives in this forum yet.
Message 31 of 36
Moderator

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

From everything that I understand from what @ToxikPH has told us, I'm really not sure he needs to reevaluate holding cards with AF.  While income may not be on par with what others with similar cards have, it doesn't sound like OP is living outside of their means. 

 

For Amex Platinum, the cost of some perks can be easily justified, and it seems that it's essentially a break-even scenario.  While that cost may not be worth it to others, it certainly is to some.  For Amex Gold, the dining earnings are certainly there with that card and seems like a good fit.  With the dining credit being used for purchases that would have been made anyway and the airline credit that sounds like it also being used, I think it's a good fit.  The Delta Gold is good for the free bag; although with the card I would make sure that the airline credits for Platinum and Gold are still able to be used, and if a companion is ever traveling with you, upgrading to Platinum SkyMiles will make more sense financially.  Hilton Surpass is probably not a keeper because significant spend ($15k) would need to be diverted in order to get the free weekend night, and Amex Platinum already gives Hilton Gold status. BCE may not make sense to use and/or keep if MRs are the goal with Amex earnings.  Again, if MRs are the goal here BBP makes a great choice for non-category spending.

 

Freedom makes sense to keep if OP wants to hold onto the URs and eventually get a CSP or CSR.  Discover, Venture, Apple, and Double Cash may or may not make sense to spend on unless the cash back value exceeds the value of the travel rewards.  Rewards+ would make sense for targeted spend offers or small transactions (especially if a Premier were in the future, possibly as a PC from DC but that SUB is nice) if the points were redeemed in the portal or transferred to FlyingBlue or Virgin for Delta awards.

 

And for OP, I think the ultimate goal of using MRs, URs, and TYPs toward Delta (directly with MRs to SkyMiles if the value is good enough as 2+ cpp is sometimes obtainable with domestic travel, or with any of the programs to Air France/KLM or Virgin for Delta redemptions) award fares for flights they would have been paying for anyway.  If OP can consistently get 2 or more cents per point by redeeming in those ways for domestic travel, no combination of cash back cards is going to touch that strategy.  That would actually be my own full-time strategy if I didn't have other priorities.


Message 32 of 36
Valued Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)

After reading through, and glancing at OP's cards. I do feel there are too many high AF for that income level, especially spread out between  several point sytstems. I don't know too many people who travel that much on $31K yearly. Most College kids I've ever known barely make enough to pay for rent, food or other basic expenses needed to survive. Let alone shelling out Money to collect CC credits/perks. 

 

The BCP possibly, as everyone shops at grocery stores. I could even justify the Gold if you eat out alot for the 4X, but then  it would negate the ned for BCP, yes? 

Delta Gold doesn't seem usefull past the SUB, because it's specicific to Miles. And with that income I don't see enough travel to earn enough miles to be useful. Considering teh split spending between all other cards. 

Same for BBP, it's MR based the same as Plat & Gold. That's only $10K on each card per year if  they were the only cards getting spend. 

 

Kudos to you if you've found a way. But I make twice that and put everything on CC, i still have a probelm justifying the AF on two of my cards. I don't even have the Platinuim. I'll be closing my Delta Gold this year as it hasn't worked out the way I had planned. And I may end up closin ghte Gold when the new $250 AF takes affect next year, if i can't get more of the perks to work. 

 

I beleive you apped for these card for the SUB, and are now trying to justify keeping them. 






Message 33 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@Janus wrote:

After reading through, and glancing at OP's cards. I do feel there are too many high AF for that income level, especially spread out between  several point sytstems. I don't know too many people who travel that much on $31K yearly. Most College kids I've ever known barely make enough to pay for rent, food or other basic expenses needed to survive. Let alone shelling out Money to collect CC credits/perks. 

 

The BCP possibly, as everyone shops at grocery stores. I could even justify the Gold if you eat out alot for the 4X, but then  it would negate the ned for BCP, yes? 

Delta Gold doesn't seem usefull past the SUB, because it's specicific to Miles. And with that income I don't see enough travel to earn enough miles to be useful. Considering teh split spending between all other cards. 

Same for BBP, it's MR based the same as Plat & Gold. That's only $10K on each card per year if  they were the only cards getting spend. 

 

Kudos to you if you've found a way. But I make twice that and put everything on CC, i still have a probelm justifying the AF on two of my cards. I don't even have the Platinuim. I'll be closing my Delta Gold this year as it hasn't worked out the way I had planned. And I may end up closin ghte Gold when the new $250 AF takes affect next year, if i can't get more of the perks to work. 

 

I beleive you apped for these card for the SUB, and are now trying to justify keeping them. 


My parents are letting me stay with them through college which is the next four years so I don't pay rent. Currently they still pay for groceries too so I don't spend any money at grocery stores. I don't know why everyone keeps talking about a BCP because I have the BCE ($0 AF). The Amex cards have mostly taken over my spend at this point as I focus in on what I want to earn. I normally travel with my girlfriend so she gives me half for the trip and I book it all. That's why I believe K-in-Boston is right in saying I should upgrade my Delta as the companion ticket is worth it for our situation. Otherwise I agree that the gold card was 100% for sub and was acquired before my Platinum so is now pointless. Without rent or groceries I have plenty of money to throw at travel and eating out.

Message 34 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@K-in-Boston wrote:

From everything that I understand from what @ToxikPH has told us, I'm really not sure he needs to reevaluate holding cards with AF.  While income may not be on par with what others with similar cards have, it doesn't sound like OP is living outside of their means. 

 

For Amex Platinum, the cost of some perks can be easily justified, and it seems that it's essentially a break-even scenario.  While that cost may not be worth it to others, it certainly is to some.  For Amex Gold, the dining earnings are certainly there with that card and seems like a good fit.  With the dining credit being used for purchases that would have been made anyway and the airline credit that sounds like it also being used, I think it's a good fit.  The Delta Gold is good for the free bag; although with the card I would make sure that the airline credits for Platinum and Gold are still able to be used, and if a companion is ever traveling with you, upgrading to Platinum SkyMiles will make more sense financially.  Hilton Surpass is probably not a keeper because significant spend ($15k) would need to be diverted in order to get the free weekend night, and Amex Platinum already gives Hilton Gold status. BCE may not make sense to use and/or keep if MRs are the goal with Amex earnings.  Again, if MRs are the goal here BBP makes a great choice for non-category spending.

 

Freedom makes sense to keep if OP wants to hold onto the URs and eventually get a CSP or CSR.  Discover, Venture, Apple, and Double Cash may or may not make sense to spend on unless the cash back value exceeds the value of the travel rewards.  Rewards+ would make sense for targeted spend offers or small transactions (especially if a Premier were in the future, possibly as a PC from DC but that SUB is nice) if the points were redeemed in the portal or transferred to FlyingBlue or Virgin for Delta awards.

 

And for OP, I think the ultimate goal of using MRs, URs, and TYPs toward Delta (directly with MRs to SkyMiles if the value is good enough as 2+ cpp is sometimes obtainable with domestic travel, or with any of the programs to Air France/KLM or Virgin for Delta redemptions) award fares for flights they would have been paying for anyway.  If OP can consistently get 2 or more cents per point by redeeming in those ways for domestic travel, no combination of cash back cards is going to touch that strategy.  That would actually be my own full-time strategy if I didn't have other priorities.


The platinum for me is close to a break even but I am profiting on it as I can use the lounge access (we have Delta and Amex lounges here in Denver). The delta gold made sense to me before I got my Platinum but now I'm seriously considering upgrading it for the Delta Plat for the free companion ticket. My other option is downgrading to blue but I think the plat is worth it. BCE is only here as it is my first rewards card and hasn't hit one year yet. Would you recommend cancelling that and picking up a ED/EDP or just SD? The Hilton cards made sense before the Platinum but now will probably be downgraded and SD. 

 

As for my other cards; the freedom is completly for future UR possibility but after this forum I'm not sure but it is 4 years before my income makes sense for two programs. Apple card is used for 3% on subscriptions but they probably could be justified on the BBP. Disco was an app spree mistake and honestly doesn't get much use now. Venture was for the SUB and now doesn't seem to make sense so will be downgraded at one year and SD. DC could very easily be replaced by a ED/EDP. The Rewards+ is in the same boat as the freedom right now. 

Message 35 of 36
Established Contributor

Re: What to do next? (College Student)


@ToxikPH wrote:

@wasCB14 wrote:

The reason to get good SUBs (as in $300+ cash or 50k+ miles, assuming you use them) is that even if the card gets nerfed or your travel needs change after a year, the card will still have provided a decent overall lifetime value.

 

With some card that gives a $25 bonus, you don't really have that cushion.

 

The only card I've gotten in the last 4 years without a good SUB was BBP. I made an exception for that because I knew I'd be putting a lot of spend on it right away at 2x MRs.


What card(s) would you recommend for my style? Would you go with cashback like said above or a simple travel card like CSP or Venture? Note; most of my spend is school (8-12k a year), travel (3-4k), and dining (4-5k).


Uber Visa. 4% back on dining. 3% back on travel. That'll be a good card for you since its no AF, average SUB, and good categories now and in the future. 

Message 36 of 36
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