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Baby-related purchases and points
Can Travis do a post about his credit card strategy when it comes to purchases related to having a baby. Accrue points vs cash-back? Any store-specific cards with benefits that would exceed the ones from generic cards? We’re having a baby in a few months and we’re wondering if there’s any ways to fine-tune our credit card game.
What cards do you have now?
Also check the Mommy Points blog here on Boarding Area. Her youngest is still less than a year old so she’ll have lots of relevant tips.
I pinged [USER=13]@Travis[/USER], and he’ll see what he can put together.
In the meantime, I don’t think “baby purchases” are as critical as knowing what your overall “travel goals” are.
For Ben’s brother, for example, having a baby meant no travel for a few years, so a cash-back card became the obvious way to go for them. For Mike and Travis, having a baby meant needing 30% more points for everything, so maximizing points and miles became the priority.
So I would start with that conversation, and then we can help you fine-tune.
As [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] said, if your question is related to just maximizing the baby related purchases, few [I]random [/I]tips that come to my mind:
If you have the Chase UR Cards – maximize the freedom Q2 by buying baby store GCs at grocery store.
After that, use your Ink to buy GCs at Office Supply stores.
Amex has cards with good earning at grocery stores. Look in to those as well.
Compare the savings at GC re-seller portals (giftcardgranny.com)
Use cashback portals (cashbackmonitor.com) when purchasing online.
Use a good cash back card like Citi Double, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Barclays Arrival+ etc to pay for health care bills.
If your expenses are going to be really high, consider getting a card that needs a huge spending to get the signup bonus like chase BA
Sign up for amazon mom if you dont have one.
Don’t fall for the store credit cards without grilling the benefits.
There should be so many more pointers, but these are on the very very high level.
Good luck with your baby.
We currently have Chase Sapphire Preferred (250K points) Amex Gold/Platinum (300K) and the AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard. 100K in AAdvantage miles and 200K in Alaska. When putting all of this together, I realize we’ve been hoarding a lot of points, mostly due to the fact that we’ve been taking advantage of the good business class sales instead of redeeming. I still see us traveling in the future but no more than 2 international trips every year. We also help our parents to get tickets to visit us, but again, paying for tickets has been a better option than redeeming points for the last year or so. So maybe at this point I’m better off starting to get some cash-back for my purchases?
Well your Chase and Amex points are easily transferable so it’s fine if you keep hoarding those. Or in the case of the Chase points, it could make sense to book travel via their travel portal and use points to pay since 1 point = 1.25 cents using that method.
For AA, I doubt theyre going to devalue anytime soon seeing as they just did it. I’d try to use those points on an international trip if it works out, even if paid fares are decent. Try redeeming for a partner airline!
For AS, they have some interesting partners thats not Emirates – maybe look to redeem miles on partners for an international trip.
Remember you can redeem for your parents as well!
You have healthy balances but honestly not huge stashes. While 250K and 200K sound a lot, one trip for 2 people will vanish those away. It is not criticism by any means.
If you consider yourself knowledgeable and be able to put up with the ever changing behavior of the game, I would still lean towards racking up more points.
All of the above holds true only if your aspirationol about Biz/First. If you are after economy, I would stick to 2-3% cash back options. But if you have ways to maximize the category spend bonuses, do that first and then fall back to the traditional cash back. (my recommendation).