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Transfer CapOne points

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Citi Prestige Card No longer accepting application

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Amex Gold offers free Clear membership

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Hilton hotel adds surcharge for using a credit card

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Am I Better Off Earning 4x Amex Points or 5x Citi/Chase Points?

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Thoughts on Bilt, the new credit card that rewards you for paying rent?

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iPhone Outright Purchase

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100,000K Marriott points or 3 free nights?

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Chase reserve medical evacuation benefit

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Amex or JetBlue MasterCard

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Answers (9)

Am I on the right track? New to credit card game.

Am I on the right track? New to credit card game.

  1. gooseisloose55

    Sorry for the long post. I started gathering cards before really researching, would like to know if I am on the right path and would love advice!
    [B]
    Background: [/B]My wife and I just started the credit card game in January (see cards below). We live in the US, 90 minutes north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver BC, we fly out of Seattle. I fly 2-3 times a year for work, but use work credit card to purchase – however sometimes can use my Alaska mileage number. Family of 4, we fly maybe once a year for pleasure. We stay at hotels 4-10 times a year. We spend about $3-4k per month on cards.
    [B]
    Summer 2017: [/B]We plan on a 3 week Italy trip summer 2017 – first international trip as a family. I am gathering UR points for 4 round trip tickets on United, 240,000 miles. My plan is (was?) to sign up for Barclay Arrival + and Capital One Venture to pay for the air bnb facilities that we plan on staying in. I do not plan on staying in hotels often, maybe once or twice.
    [B]
    Future:[/B] I would like to continue to take international trips with the family, maybe every other year. Would like to fly on one domestic family trip each year and probably use hotels (we still like to camp, but that could be ending soon).

    [B]Current card inventory:[/B]
    1 Chase Sapphire (me)- January
    1 Chase Sapphire (wife)- March
    2 Chase United (both)- May
    1 Chase Freedom (me)- May
    1 Chase Freedom Unl (wife)- May
    1 Barclay Arrival + (me) – May
    1 AmEx Hilton (wife) – May

    [B]Questions:[/B]
    1. I would like to focus on one hotel card. I got the 75k Hilton sign up really without thinking about it. I have not started the spend yet. Is this the best card for my situation? If so, should I plan on getting the Citi Hilton card or other Hilton cards to rack up points? Is that better than using my current Hilton card for everyday spend?

    2. I have one more slot for each of us for Chase cards. Is it the best idea to get the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited to round out the Chase cards?

    3. Alaska seems to be a good card to own and to churn. Seattle is the hub, should we plan on getting two cards down the line and churning every 3-6 months or so?

    4. My thought on next round of credit cards. Should I wait until August when it has been at least 91+ days since my last round?

    2 Capital One Venture – to pay for air bnb
    1 Barclay Arrival Plus – with the Cap One cards, this gives us about $1600 in travel rebates
    1 Chase Freedom – to continue to gather UR miles
    1 Chase Freedom Unl – to continue to gather UR miles

    Thank you so much!

  2. PhatMiles

    Nicely written summary.

    With the cards that you already signed up, between you & your wife you should have at least 120K UR + 100K UA (assuming you did not redeem any of these yet).
    After meeting the minimum spend reqs, you are almost there at the 240K UA requirement. Great!

    If you can maximize the quarterly bonus categories, freedom is a great card. Since you have plans to apply for one or the other kinds of cards in the near future you will not be maximizing the Freedom Unlimited very soon. I personally would hold off on the freedom unlimited but look into another freedom card.

    I am not a hotel card pro, but there are a bunch of great options in the market now.
    If you are into high end redemption, the Hyatt cards offer great value.
    But with 4 people in the family it is understandable to consider the Barc A+, Cap One Venture cards. But I would like to warn to not get carried away on those. Once the signup bonus is used up, I will happily put all my non bonus spend on Citi double cash or freedom unlimited, based on your UR valuation.

    If you can apply both the Marriott cards you are looking at almost 200K Marriott points after meeting minimum spend. When booking the Marriott nights and flights package, that is terrific value.

    Did you look in to resort certs for your trip? ([URL]https://www.resortcerts.com/[/URL])
    There are not much options in Italy but based on your destination if you can score sth that is great.

    Coming back to the original question:
    I would look in to the following cards (not all):
    Hyatt card – if you are after high value redemption
    Marriott (personal & business) – if you can get good value from the signup bonus and value the Cat 1-5 cert yearly. Also keep the nights+flights deal.
    SPG – Strong currency and great everyday card. But there are no fee everyday spend options that beat SPG in my opinion.

    I am not a hilton fan boy and their 100K cards also offer less value for the points. But their cards are great for those who want Hilton status.

    Can you tell us where in Italy are you planning to go?

  3. Gaurav

    I’m a little confused about the focus on hotel card sign ups. It seems like your usual policy is to camp/airbnb which makes great sense when traveling as a family so you can cook etc. As [USER=522]@PhatMiles[/USER] says, I would get the arrival + and the venture for their bonuses but then focus spend on a 2% cash back card like the Citi Double Cash to build up a cash balance to use on those accommodations. Plus there are a lot of options for lodging than there are for flights. I would focus on building up an alternate set of transferable miles to expand your travel options.

    And I would avoid using the Hilton cards for everyday spend unbonused. There are many better options.

  4. gooseisloose55

    Thank you both for your responses. So, let me make sure I understand:

    1. Just get the second Freedom card for now, hold off on the second Unlimited. Probably the biggest reasons I was going to get both were the 18,000 UR points AND once I apply for another non-Chase card I might be over the 5/24 – unless co-branded do not count. [B][I]Is there is a Chase card that I don’t already have I should covet before I am out of the Chase game for 2 years?[/I][/B]

    2. Dump Hilton. I do not need high end like Hyatt. So it looks like Marriott is the way to go and I should think of accruing those points. Two questions:
    [I][B] a. Should I not even bother to spend on my Hilton card, basically consider it dead before it begins? Even cancel it?
    b. I do not have any sort of business (no ebay, etc). Does that mean that there is no way that I can be approved for business cards?
    [/B][/I]
    3. Focus my spending on UR points, since that is what I am accumulating the most of right now.

    4. Look into another set of travel mile options. [B][I]Would Alaska be a good option? Any others, like American?[/I][/B]

    5. Not sure where in Italy yet. Thinking a week in Rome, a week in Tuscany, maybe Venice and an undecided place that has beach access. [B][I]Any recommendations on Italy itinerary?[/I][/B]

    Again, thank you both so very much.

  5. Paul TATK

    I like the Alaska Airways Visa because there’s no minimum spend, but the bonus is only 25,000, which won’t get a family of four very far (also the annual fee is not waived the first year). Maybe you can pair it with an SPG Card and American points to piecemeal-book a flight together, but that sounds like a lot of work.

    Watch your mail – I recently got an offer from Delta for an increased Skymiles card bonus of 50,000 for only $1000 minimum spend, annual fee waived the first year. On top of that, if you get both the AMEX Gold [B]and[/B] the AMEX Everyday Preferred, you’ll cumulatively get 40,000 MR points for $3k min spend (25k/$2000 on the gold, 15k/$1000 on the Everyday). Add an SPG AMEX with 25,000 Starpoints for $3,000 min spend, and you can bank 115,000 bonus Delta Skymiles for just $7000 in spend. (Or 95,000 if you can’t catch a Skymiles Card promotion.) If you strategize right on the Gold and Everyday cards’ bonus categories, that $3k minimum spend could become an extra 5,000 MR points or more.

    If your wife can swing the same deal, you’ll be sitting pretty, especially if you pool your Starpoints. Here’s the play – you and your wife each get an SPG card and do the $3,000 minimum spend, and get the 25,000 Starpoint bonus, plus 3,000 points for the spend, for a total of 28,000 Starpoints each, or 56,000 between the two of you. Spend an additional 4,000 on the SPG cards to bring that to an even [B]60,000[/B], and gift the points to one account. [B]Starpoints yield a 5,000 point bonus when you transfer in quantities of 20,000 points[/B]. So when you transfer those Starpoints to Delta Skymiles (or whichever program you like, including American, Alaska, and United), that 60,000 points becomes [B]75,000 points[/B]. Can anyone check my math there?

    As for Italy, Cinque Terre! If you’re going to Tuscany and Venice, it makes more directional sense than the Amalfi Coast.

  6. MidSouthSkier

    If you have the no-fee Amex Hilton I would hold on to it, even if you just put it in the sock drawer. Certainly meet whatever minimum spend is required first, though. Keeping it open will help lengthen your Average Age of Account. And hey, if you ever decide you want to stay at a Hilton, the card makes it very easy to accumulate points.

  7. gooseisloose55

    Any worries about rumors of SPG devaluation?

  8. Gaurav

    Your second set of miles should ideally be another transferable currency. I’d pick between MR and TY points.

    I haven’t heard anything. Where are you reading these rumors?
    [QUOTE=”gooseisloose55, post: 16876, member: 1752″]Thank you both for your responses. So, let me make sure I understand:

    1. Just get the second Freedom card for now, hold off on the second Unlimited. Probably the biggest reasons I was going to get both were the 18,000 UR points AND once I apply for another non-Chase card I might be over the 5/24 – unless co-branded do not count. [B][I]Is there is a Chase card that I don’t already have I should covet before I am out of the Chase game for 2 years?[/I][/B]

    2. Dump Hilton. I do not need high end like Hyatt. So it looks like Marriott is the way to go and I should think of accruing those points. Two questions:
    [I][B] a. Should I not even bother to spend on my Hilton card, basically consider it dead before it begins? Even cancel it?
    b. I do not have any sort of business (no ebay, etc). Does that mean that there is no way that I can be approved for business cards?
    [/B][/I]
    3. Focus my spending on UR points, since that is what I am accumulating the most of right now.

    4. Look into another set of travel mile options. [B][I]Would Alaska be a good option? Any others, like American?[/I][/B]

    5. Not sure where in Italy yet. Thinking a week in Rome, a week in Tuscany, maybe Venice and an undecided place that has beach access. [B][I]Any recommendations on Italy itinerary?[/I][/B]

    Again, thank you both so very much.[/QUOTE]

  9. gooseisloose55

    No credible rumors. Just reading blogs and such where people are assuming devaluation with the merger finalization.

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