What's In Your Wallet: The Credit Card Points/Rewards Thread

Help Support Talkbeer:

Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
7,306
Location
Washington, DC
What's everyone's philosophy on earn/burn vs. stockpiling? I know it's risky business for straight airline miles cards given the frequent devaluations or outright elimination of charts (looking at you, Delta), but for things like UR that seem to carry a steadier value I tend to hang on to them longer before putting them to use. I'm gonna take stock of my points balances come Jan 1 and figure out how much I'm actually picking up quarterly, but I've yet to drop any significant chunk of points on anything big (just a short notice domestic flight here or there).
i don't get to take frequent long vacations (generally one max per year if that), so i stockpile and splurge on J or F tickets when planning those trips. devaluations are rarely without warning. UA gave people three months to book tickets before the last devaluation took effect. UR is harder because there's so many places they can go.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2015
Messages
2,448
Location
NYC
I heard it can be done. I just got mine via the Chase deal for CA customers they ran late last year.
Reading up on it now, my wife applied for the biz card yesterday under her business. Looks like it's suggested to secure the biz first before going for the personal, in case there's any hang up. I'm not the biggest fan of SW but can't really beat 2-for-1 flights. Plus Hobby here in Houston is a major hub for the airline
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2015
Messages
2,448
Location
NYC
I'm also considering going for either the Chase SPG or Marriott cards, anyone have any suggestions here? Would be down to use any referral codes as well if anyone here can benefit
 

Xul

Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
1,481
Location
San Diego, CA
I'm also considering going for either the Chase SPG or Marriott cards, anyone have any suggestions here? Would be down to use any referral codes as well if anyone here can benefit
Can't speak to the SPG card but I have the Marriott card mainly because I go to a concert festival in Atlanta every year where a Residence Inn is the closest hotel and while it's a fairly low rewards category (Cat 4), they raise the cash rate for that week to the point where it's massively advantageous to pay with points. Add in the fact that you can pay for 4 nights with points and get a 5th night free and it's amazing. The card more or less pays for itself since you get a free night (up to Cat 5) every year.

That said, I'd make sure you either have Marriott properties you stay at regularly enough where points are advantageous or some of their vacation deals look attractive to you. Otherwise, something like the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a better route since you have far more flexibility with your points.

If you do decide to go with the Marriott card, let me know and I'll grab a referral link.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2015
Messages
2,448
Location
NYC
Can't speak to the SPG card but I have the Marriott card mainly because I go to a concert festival in Atlanta every year where a Residence Inn is the closest hotel and while it's a fairly low rewards category (Cat 4), they raise the cash rate for that week to the point where it's massively advantageous to pay with points. Add in the fact that you can pay for 4 nights with points and get a 5th night free and it's amazing. The card more or less pays for itself since you get a free night (up to Cat 5) every year.

That said, I'd make sure you either have Marriott properties you stay at regularly enough where points are advantageous or some of their vacation deals look attractive to you. Otherwise, something like the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a better route since you have far more flexibility with your points.

If you do decide to go with the Marriott card, let me know and I'll grab a referral link.
Thanks for the input. I currently have the CSR and was considering the Marriott as I'll be headed to Barcelona in two months and was thinking I may be able to obtain the $3k minimum spend using manufactured spending, and use the 80k sign-on bonus for rooms while we're there. Might not work out though as 2 months leaves little (to no) room for error if I don't meet the min spend in the first month
 

Xul

Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
1,481
Location
San Diego, CA
Thanks for the input. I currently have the CSR and was considering the Marriott as I'll be headed to Barcelona in two months and was thinking I may be able to obtain the $3k minimum spend using manufactured spending, and use the 80k sign-on bonus for rooms while we're there. Might not work out though as 2 months leaves little (to no) room for error if I don't meet the min spend in the first month
Yeah, Chase also tends to watch more carefully for manufactured spending on brand new cards without any spending history/patterns. The bonus usually posts quickly (I've gotten it twice now, in 2015 and 2017) so it might be feasible if you sign up immediately and run through the spend ASAP, but you'd probably be adding extra stress to your trip planning.
 
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
9,347
Location
NJ/NYC
What's your end game? Travel or cash-back?
We have a load of CSR points built up for travel, but with a kid on the way cash back is probably the way to go.

We currently use Chase Ink. Got a $1k travel credit right off the bat for spending a certain amount within the first 3 months. Now we are thinking of adding the Capital One Spark. They are offering a $500 cash bonus, no annual fee and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Her dad previously recommended the Spark to us. Doesn't sound too bad.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
2,319
I'm also considering going for either the Chase SPG or Marriott cards, anyone have any suggestions here? Would be down to use any referral codes as well if anyone here can benefit
I travel a lot for work and got the Marriott to double down on the points. The annual fee is less than the cost of the free room that posts annually, and my wife, kid and I travel enough to make that worthwhile. All Marriotts end up feeling the same around the world, which is good and bad.

Marriott tends to have more properties and a better points redemption than Hilton, and as Xul said the stay 4 nights, get one free is nice - though I'm rarely in spot that long. They also have excellent vacation package deals, where you redeem a ton and get airline miles as part of it. They'll be merging with SPG soon too and you can transfer points between them, which gives even more options of places to stay.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
3,098
Location
West
I travel a lot for work and got the Marriott to double down on the points. The annual fee is less than the cost of the free room that posts annually, and my wife, kid and I travel enough to make that worthwhile. All Marriotts end up feeling the same around the world, which is good and bad.

Marriott tends to have more properties and a better points redemption than Hilton, and as Xul said the stay 4 nights, get one free is nice - though I'm rarely in spot that long. They also have excellent vacation package deals, where you redeem a ton and get airline miles as part of it. They'll be merging with SPG soon too and you can transfer points between them, which gives even more options of places to stay.
As a Hilton Diamond member for 4 years, I can be confident in the following claim:


Hilton fucking suuuuuuuuucks.


They devalued their points significantly right after I signed up, their hotels are always more expensive than Marriott equivalent, and there is no tangible Diamond member discount on rates (AAA membership gets a better rate). Having Diamond status only gets you free breakfast and internet which is free in many domestic Hilton properties anyways, and there is no significant room upgrade benefit from being Diamond.


Plus, 9 times out of 10 if I'm spending my own money on a hotel (vs. work travel), I'm not gonna stay in a Hilton. The only reason I kept the membership so long and continued to hit the minimum spend on the HHonors CC was for the free night every year, which can be used at some premium properties.

After a long battle to get them to let me use my free night voucher at the Hilton Northolme in the Seychelles, requiring hours upon hours on the phone and debating the contract language to convince them that it qualified (when it clearly does), I threw in the towel and canceled my card.


Granted, their premium properties are nice when using a free night, but they're so expensive that it's not worth eating the premium cost for the other nights you stay there.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
827
Location
Bartertown
Im about to dump my shitbag Citizens 1.8% cashback card. Likely not using this as my primary card, so trying to hit minimums or churn for some of the big boys like CSP, etc. isn't realistic. That said, any recs? Wouldn't mind something with a little bonus or incentive FWIW. And already have a Citi int'l/travel card. thnx.
 
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
7,306
Location
Washington, DC
Im about to dump my shitbag Citizens 1.8% cashback card. Likely not using this as my primary card, so trying to hit minimums or churn for some of the big boys like CSP, etc. isn't realistic. That said, any recs? Wouldn't mind something with a little bonus or incentive FWIW. And already have a Citi int'l/travel card. thnx.
use as yr primary card until you hit yr min spend.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
1,388
As a Hilton Diamond member for 4 years, I can be confident in the following claim:


Hilton fucking suuuuuuuuucks.


They devalued their points significantly right after I signed up, their hotels are always more expensive than Marriott equivalent, and there is no tangible Diamond member discount on rates (AAA membership gets a better rate). Having Diamond status only gets you free breakfast and internet which is free in many domestic Hilton properties anyways, and there is no significant room upgrade benefit from being Diamond.


Plus, 9 times out of 10 if I'm spending my own money on a hotel (vs. work travel), I'm not gonna stay in a Hilton. The only reason I kept the membership so long and continued to hit the minimum spend on the HHonors CC was for the free night every year, which can be used at some premium properties.

After a long battle to get them to let me use my free night voucher at the Hilton Northolme in the Seychelles, requiring hours upon hours on the phone and debating the contract language to convince them that it qualified (when it clearly does), I threw in the towel and canceled my card.


Granted, their premium properties are nice when using a free night, but they're so expensive that it's not worth eating the premium cost for the other nights you stay there.
We stayed at the Biltmore in Phoenix on points a couple years ago. Used our stay 4 get the 5th free. I thought it was great. But I also amassed a ton of points staying in NYC Hilton properties for business.

Not sure I’d pay to stay at the biltmore otherwise, but the high end Hilton properties I’ve stayed in have all been awesome.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
9,835
Location
TX
We have a load of CSR points built up for travel, but with a kid on the way cash back is probably the way to go.
These feels, I know them.

I have ~300k CSR points and ~500k AA points... and don't travel anywhere any more mainly due to a 2yo and 7month old and a wife that doesn't like to leave them with anyone.

I've told the her to pick a place to go when she feels comfortable leaving the country with the kids at their grandparents for a bit and I'll just keep racking up points until that happens.

She came up with first class to Fiji at an overwater bungaloe for 10 days or so.

So, I need a lot more points.
 
2
Group Builder
Top