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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 (6)

Newbie question: Air or Hotel rewards???

Newbie question: Air or Hotel rewards???

  1. Travelin'Dandy

    Hi OMAAT friends,

    Okay, long story short…my wife and I have only recently improved [I]her [/I]credit (mine is bad for various reasons I won’t divulge here) and are finally able to enter the realm of Points-and-Miles (responsibly, of course). We travel as a family of four quite extensively and are looking for ways to leverage the world of rewards to offset our usual costs. That being said, we’re not rich and have little in the way of biz expenses (though we do have a small business that would allow us to apply for those cards), so I’m here today looking for advice on how to get the most out of what is, admittedly, a medium low ability to CC spend (15K…20K if we try super hard).

    My main question is this: Since we travel with 2 kids everywhere we are always buying 4 tickets, in economy. Now, I’m pretty good about finding prices that suit us and $500/pp r/t to Europe during the summer is reasonable, to me. I would consider that a deal. However, a $500/night hotel room I’d consider expensive (though nice). Since we are figuring we are always going to be paying something out of pocket no matter where we go, in your opinion(s) what would you suggest:

    [B][I]Should we focus on earning points towards air redemptions or hotel redemptions? What card(s) would you suggest for our particular situation and particular use?
    [/I]
    THANKS!!![/B]

  2. Anonymous

    Hi [USER=4628]@Travelin’Dandy[/USER], and welcome!

    Flexible points, hands down, at least to start. That will give you the option to use points to offset the cost of economy tickets through the portal, or transfer to airline/hotel partners when it makes sense.

    ~$15k a year in credit card spend should be enough to meet minimum spends on three or so cards, so I’d get cards that are all in the same “ecosystem” — like Chase Ultimate Rewards — so that you can get a chunk of points in one place to get started.

    You can branch out from there, and mix in some hotel or cash-back cards over time, but I find that having a pool of transferable points works best for getting started.

    What does everyone else think?

  3. Travelin'Dandy

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 60512, member: 7″]Hi [USER=4628]@Travelin’Dandy[/USER], and welcome!

    Flexible points, hands down, at least to start. That will give you the option to use points to offset the cost of economy tickets through the portal, or transfer to airline/hotel partners when it makes sense.

    ~$15k a year in credit card spend should be enough to meet minimum spends on three or so cards, so I’d get cards that are all in the same “ecosystem” — like Chase Ultimate Rewards — so that you can get a chunk of points in one place to get started.

    You can branch out from there, and mix in some hotel or cash-back cards over time, but I find that having a pool of transferable points works best for getting started.

    What does everyone else think?[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the help! I would ask you, how would your advice change if I was more interested in upgrading our hotel experience than our flights?

  4. Anonymous

    It probably wouldn’t?

    If you have Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to Hyatt, which can be a phenomenal value in general, and Hyatt lets you redeem additional points for a Club room or Suite at many properties. Or if you want to stay at a boutique hotel, you can use points through the Ultimate Rewards portal for whatever room you’d like.

    I just think that it’s overall the easiest way to get started, and then you can expand from there — there are so many pathways through this space, so unless there’s a specific trip in mind, I tend to think it’s best to get a base level of points and experience, and then go from there.

    But you could certainly look at one of the Hilton cards for Gold status (and thus breakfast) as well…it depends on what you mean by “upgrading” your hotels. For some folks a Hilton with a nice breakfast is an upgrade, for others it’s a significant downgrade.

  5. Travelin'Dandy

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 60515, member: 7″]It probably wouldn’t?

    If you have Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to Hyatt, which can be a phenomenal value in general, and Hyatt lets you redeem additional points for a Club room or Suite at many properties. Or if you want to stay at a boutique hotel, you can use points through the Ultimate Rewards portal for whatever room you’d like.

    I just think that it’s overall the easiest way to get started, and then you can expand from there — there are so many pathways through this space, so unless there’s a specific trip in mind, I tend to think it’s best to get a base level of points and experience, and then go from there.

    But you could certainly look at one of the Hilton cards for Gold status (and thus breakfast) as well…it depends on what you mean by “upgrading” your hotels. For some folks a Hilton with a nice breakfast is an upgrade, for others it’s a significant downgrade.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks so much! Really appreciate the help. We were actually Hilton loyalists for the last 2 years and finally tired of it. Earned enough points to cash in for a couple of 4/5-night stays at some Hampton Inns but in general have been underwhelmed by their properties, even when staying at their nicer hotels. Upgrade to us means staying at more stylish/comfortable places, and Hilton doesn’t really do that as much as Marriott, for instance.

  6. Donna

    A lot depends on your travel patterns. In my case, I travel in Europe for work so I repeat the same cities every year so I have certain hotel properties that I use over and over again. If you know your travel destinations in advance, it’s relatively easy to tailor a credit card spending plan geared toward your short and longer term goals. If Marriott has properties in your target cities, the time has never been better for taking out one of their new Credit Cards – the bonuses are great.

    If however, your plans are not solidified, I’d go with flexible points as [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] suggests.

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