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Credit card education

  1. #176
    Everybody to the limit!
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    Re: Credit card education


    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    Anyone have advice on travel cards vs cash back cards? We will be doing some traveling over the next two years and if it is beneficial, I would rather get travel points IF they are worth more than the substituted cash value back cards. I can do the math, but for those that use travel cards is the points thing really worth it?
    I've used a few of the travel cards from when I used to travel quite a bit for work and fun, here's my thoughts on them...

    1) Barclays Arrival / BOA Travel Rewards: These are basically cash back cards, you use your points to offset travel expenses placed on your card and they are really generous with what counts as travel expenses. Uber, MBTA, etc, all count as travel expenses. Barclays is the better card for rewards here unless you are BOA platinum (we happen to be as we use Merrill as our brokerage).

    2) Chase Thank You Points - These points you have to redeem through the chase travel portal, which I found to be about 10-25% more expensive than equivalent flights found through google ita / travelocity / etc. But no blackout dates or anything like you'd see with traditional air miles. On the other hand they give these points out like candy and some of the top tier cards like sapphire reserve come with a bonus redemption percentage that cancels out the more expensive flights. I went through a period where I got my wife and I a combination of chase and ink cards and got thousands of dollars of free travel through these.

    3) airline miles and the like - I've got a shitton of these sitting around because every time I go to use them they're blacked out or require a gajillion miles to redeem. I think most of the other actual airline miles are similar. The only rewards program miles I ever got much use out of were SPG points, and I hear those are a lot less useful now that they merged with Marriott.

    Overall if you're sure you're going to be travelling a lot and can meet the minimum spend requirements for the bonuses through normal spending, I'd start going through the chase cards and get yourself a good chunk of TYP. The nice thing there is you can combine miles with another member of your household, so you can get multiple cards for the bonuses and then combine the points into one account.

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    Last edited by Honclfibr; 02-06-19 at 09:20 AM.

  2. #177
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    Anyone have advice on travel cards vs cash back cards? We will be doing some traveling over the next two years and if it is beneficial, I would rather get travel points IF they are worth more than the substituted cash value back cards. I can do the math, but for those that use travel cards is the points thing really worth it?
    I use a capital one venture card, have been using it for home renovations for the past 2 years. You get points for all purchases and they can be cashed in for travel. I just bought a round trip from Boston to Milan Italy, Milan Italy to Helsinki Finland, Helsinki to Oulu Finland, then back to Boston. I was able to use points for the ticket cost, less the taxes and fees. My out of pocket was a little less than $300.00 in total. Still have 40,000 points left.

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  3. #178

    Re: Credit card education

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    Anyone have advice on travel cards vs cash back cards? We will be doing some traveling over the next two years and if it is beneficial, I would rather get travel points IF they are worth more than the substituted cash value back cards. I can do the math, but for those that use travel cards is the points thing really worth it?
    We fly a lot to see family, so we are always looking for a way to save on the tickets. In our experience, the miles/points you earn vs the cashback you are better off with a good cashback card. However, the sign up bonuses for the travel cards are way better than the sign up bonuses for most cashback cards. What we do is cycle through the travel cards, spending enough to get the sign up bonus and then switching back to our cashback cards. Depending on the card and the offer, the sign up bonus miles can be worth around $1000.

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  4. #179
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    Thanks, all. In the little research I've done, it looks like the Capital One Venture is pretty well reviewed. We'll definitely use the miles for travel, so not worried about not getting the value. I'm just more concerned with blackout dates and limited availability to flights and such.

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    Dad's Dream: Earn enough money to live the life that his wife and kids do.

  5. #180
    Senior Member Jewcati's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    Thanks, all. In the little research I've done, it looks like the Capital One Venture is pretty well reviewed. We'll definitely use the miles for travel, so not worried about not getting the value. I'm just more concerned with blackout dates and limited availability to flights and such.
    My wife is a credit card point pro. We just got the Amex SPG luxury card. I highly recommend it. You can use points for travel and you get other serious benefits. I got 100,000 points for signing up. Even though the yearly fee is $450, I easily will extract $700-1000 in value. Or there is the preferred card which is $95 a year and has a 75,000 point bonus right now.

    I would look to the points guy (Best Credit Cards & Sign-Up Bonuses Right Now - The Points Guy) or nerdwallet.com for recommendations. They actually assign a value to points, and the SPG cards always seem to do best. I have had the venture card, and quite honestly, they points arent worth as much as they seem to be at the end of the day.

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  6. #181
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    I use the Chase sapphire card. get double point for travel type expenses. I have redeemed the points for air travel, but also just in cash back to pay off the card. I haven't done the math to compare it to other deals though.

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    Paul_E_D


  7. #182
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    I just got an Ink Preferred. 80,000 points after $5,000 in spend in 3 months. Used $1000 of spend to open an account with Easthampton Savings Bank which offers $200 for opening a new checking account. Churning is fun.

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  8. #183
    Lifer
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    Re: Credit card education

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Discover and Capital one don’t charge forgeign fees either. In most countries at least. They are my go to for Europe trips.
    Both of those cards are controlled by the devil. Capital one was my card of choice until they rate jacked me about 10 years ago. I won't even take a car loan from them to this day. My hatred runs deep.
    Discover was ok but it's not accepted in enough places, kind of like Amex.

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  9. #184
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    Really? Both have been awesome to me.
    Discover with 5% category cash back. And honestly in 2019 I can’t remember last time I was somewhere they didn’t accept discover.
    Capital with 1.5% on everything and accepted pretty much everywhere.
    I always pay my full balance so I don’t really care about their rates.

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  10. #185
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Credit card education

    Quote Originally Posted by boosten lebaron View Post
    Both of those cards are controlled by the devil. Capital one was my card of choice until they rate jacked me about 10 years ago. I won't even take a car loan from them to this day. My hatred runs deep.
    Discover was ok but it's not accepted in enough places, kind of like Amex.
    Capital One is a scam. Had an ID theft issue where someone opened a capital one card my ex's name and charged a bunch. She was put in colletions and a goon harrased us by phone for weeks/months. When we finally got a fraud case going, we called the Capital one fraud line and the collections goon answered the line!!! how can that be legal? also made us wonder if capital one was actually behind the ID theft in the first place.

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    Paul_E_D


  11. #186
    Lifer
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    Re: Credit card education

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Really? Both have been awesome to me.
    Discover with 5% category cash back. And honestly in 2019 I can’t remember last time I was somewhere they didn’t accept discover.
    Capital with 1.5% on everything and accepted pretty much everywhere.
    I always pay my full balance so I don’t really care about their rates.
    I live in Europe so it's a bit different here. Discover is pretty weak for coverage. I use my US money for traveling. It's harder for thieves to copy US cards for some reason. My UK and Hong Kong cards are constantly being cloned and stolen. I keep very little money in those accounts and have low limits. It's a real problem here. TD has been fantastic and without issue so I keep using it.

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