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View Poll Results: Do you track CC bonus points?
Yes, same as any other asset account 4 3.08%
No, too small potatoes 73 56.15%
I don't play those games with credit cards 5 3.85%
No, those are not an asset 48 36.92%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-26-2016, 07:38 AM   #21
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I don't think you'd list them on a mortgage application.
In Saudi we received job applications/CVs from various individuals....one guy enclosed an 'award' for coming second (IIRC) in a 'Pin The Tail On The Donkey' contest, (to demonstrate dexterity one presumes), and also a certificate issued by Park Rangers at a 'mountain' in the Philippines to show physical fitness.

So......you never know what people might do.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:40 AM   #22
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....Are points and other rewards a legal obligation on the awarders (and a liability on their balance sheets) or do the awarders have the ability to change the programs and the rules on rewarding existing points? ...
Airlines record points as liabilities. United's obligation is $2.1 billion at December 31, 2015... about 10% of its total liabilities.

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United’s MileagePlus program is designed to increase customer loyalty. Program participants earn miles by flying on United and certain other participating airlines. Program participants can also earn miles through purchases from other non-airline partners that participate in United’s loyalty program. We sell miles to these partners, which include credit card issuers, retail merchants, hotels, car rental companies and our participating airline partners. Miles can be redeemed for free (other than taxes and government imposed fees), discounted or upgraded air travel and non-travel awards. The Company records its obligation for future award redemptions using a deferred revenue model.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:57 AM   #23
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About 20 years ago Revenue Canada tried to tax people for the frequent flier points they accumulated while on employer-funded work-related travel. They soon discovered what a complete waste of time that was, and abandoned it.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:10 AM   #24
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I don't play the game, my cards are cash back only.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:13 AM   #25
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Wow. That's a lot of points. Did you earning them prior to your retirement? How do you plan on having that amount of points indefinitely, without charging large dollars annually on the cards?
99.9% of the points came from credit card sign up bonuses.

Going forward, I expect to do at least 5-6 credit card signups every year. I only focus on the $400-500+ bonuses (30-50-75-100k miles/pts, $400-500 cash back against travel purchases, etc).

So far I see no signs this will stop completely, although there are signs that some issuers are tightening the rules. Chase (one of the "best" card issuers for those in the credit card hacking game) recently implemented a "5/24" rule that means you can't get new credit with them if you have 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months. That's about our natural speed of acquiring new credit cards anyway (we only spend $1-3k per month, so it takes a couple months to meet the $3-5k minimum spending required per card), so we aren't impacted too much.

Right now I'm pausing my new credit card apps till February 2017 because I'm at 5 and I really want the Chase Sapphire Reserve (100k pts + a net of $150 cashback against travel + premium airport lounge access around the world). Times two because my wife will also get one.

The game could slow down if all issuers do the 5/24 thing and/or the rule tightens to 3/24 or 5/36 or some other iteration.

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Some people seem to enjoy managing CC points, like a hobby, and the points make up a big part of their leisure budget so they maybe should be included. We just credit them against the account once in awhile--they really aren't on our financial radar.

Are points and other rewards a legal obligation on the awarders (and a liability on their balance sheets) or do the awarders have the ability to change the programs and the rules on rewarding existing points? If the points can be taken away, they probably aren't really assets til they are redeemed for cash. I don't think you'd list them on a mortgage application.
I guess I fall in that category of treating the pts/miles game like a hobby. Some people collect miniatures or coins, I collect miles and points.

They are certainly subject to arbitrary deflation in value. Points issuers are constantly watering down their programs to make points less valuable. A 40,000 point flight this year might be 60,000 in several years. It's usually death by 1000 cuts though, and not a wholesale devaluation across the board.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:29 AM   #26
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Negligible amount in the bigger picture. If I do use some frequent flier, hotel or similar points; it is just a cost savings to me. Rather than an actual asset.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:51 AM   #27
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We have a lot of points right now. Easily $5k worth. However, I don't count it because to be a "free vacation" it's better if they come out of thin air. If I had to reduce an asset on my balance sheet it wouldn't as much fun.

It's sort of like social security, when I plan my retirement income, I treat it as a bonus if it actually is still there in the future.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:29 AM   #28
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99.9% of the points came from credit card sign up bonuses.

Going forward, I expect to do at least 5-6 credit card signups every year. I only focus on the $400-500+ bonuses (30-50-75-100k miles/pts, $400-500 cash back against travel purchases, etc).

So far I see no signs this will stop completely, although there are signs that some issuers are tightening the rules. Chase (one of the "best" card issuers for those in the credit card hacking game) recently implemented a "5/24" rule that means you can't get new credit with them if you have 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months. That's about our natural speed of acquiring new credit cards anyway (we only spend $1-3k per month, so it takes a couple months to meet the $3-5k minimum spending required per card), so we aren't impacted too much.

Right now I'm pausing my new credit card apps till February 2017 because I'm at 5 and I really want the Chase Sapphire Reserve (100k pts + a net of $150 cashback against travel + premium airport lounge access around the world). Times two because my wife will also get one.

The game could slow down if all issuers do the 5/24 thing and/or the rule tightens to 3/24 or 5/36 or some other iteration.






So once you get the bonus award do you cancel the card ?
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:37 PM   #29
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No, but then I don't count the coins in the coin jar or what riches have slipped behind sofa cushions either. Probably have approaching 1,000,000 unused miles...
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:56 PM   #30
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This is the kind of response I expected
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
No, but I do include the coins in my couch cushions and the deposit bottles stored in the garage.
The poll was done with a bit of tongue in cheek...knowing how many analyticals we have, and figuring I might find a few with Quicken "accounts" holding their points.

I had NO IDEA anyone had any significant value, but my goodness!! We have an even more interesting group of people who frequent this board:
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I have around 1.3 million points or miles right now spread across a few airlines and one hotel. Collectively, the are worth around 1.5-2 cents per point/mile. So that's about $20-25000 in value.
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I just figured it out. My credit card rewards is equal to 2.08333333333333e-4 percent of my approximate net worth. This is the last and only time I will calculate it.


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Really? Is this a joke? Way immaterial. What about gas in your car's tank or utility deposits?
No. Yes. Agreed. Maybe we need another thread to talk about your biggest off-books asset. Mine is with the IRS...they withheld 20% of my 401k withdrawal, and I don't forecast owing any tax.

But back to the topic...So far, I'm the only one that answered the poll with the first option. My Discover bonus cash balance usually hangs around $20, but sometimes get up to the $50 or $60 range! (oooh, ahhhh). Because those are dollars (and not "points"), and I randomly spend them on Amazon, I DID set-up an account to hold the bonus dollars. The reason was that I might buy, say, $50 worth of vitamins and if I applied $45 bonus dollars, it would only show as a $5 purchase. Not that I even work toward a budget, but I do occasionally run reports, and now the report will be more accurate. As if it really matters
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:07 PM   #31
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Really? Is this a joke? Way immaterial. What about gas in your car's tank or utility deposits?
My rent deposit and utility deposits I actually do include.

I'm also overpaying my utility bill, so expect a refund end of year. That's also in. Same with the estimated residual value of my car.

Didn't think of the gas tank .. good one ..
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:11 PM   #32
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This is the kind of response I expected


The poll was done with a bit of tongue in cheek...knowing how many analyticals we have....
Yes, some of us are anal....
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:01 AM   #33
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I think that if someone is in a situation where credit card points are a large enough share of their net worth to worry about, then they have big problems facing them regarding retirement planning. I have over a million points on one travel program, and close to that on others... all from work travel. I would have never even thought to consider that in net worth. Its in the rounding error. I worry more about daily fluctuations from the market that dwarf travel points... also something I should not be worrying about. ;-)
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:44 AM   #34
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So once you get the bonus award do you cancel the card ?
Yes.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:34 AM   #35
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I play the credit card game with both me and my wife. with the changes in Chase policy I have to give one a two year breather and start again.But to me at least counting this as net worth is silly. If i was cutting it this close I wouldn't even consider retirement.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:28 PM   #36
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?...this just seems silly to me...?

I didn't retire to become an accountant. Small potatoes...I just take a glancing picture of the big stuff.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:10 PM   #37
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lol
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:43 PM   #38
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They just end up lowering my annual budget. So when I look at annual spend, it's a wee bit lower based on all the credit card rebates. I think we got back over $1600 in 2015 - so it's not that small potatoes.

BTW - I only deal with cash or credit rebates, not points towards travel or hotel stays.

And most of my cards I take the rebates within a month or two of earning them. The only exception is the Costco credit card has an annual rebate.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:58 PM   #39
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No, but I do include the coins in my couch cushions and the deposit bottles stored in the garage.


Honestly, I regard CC points as somewhat similar to finding a penny or a dime on the street. I don't consider them to be a significant part of my net worth. I only have one credit card, so I probably don't get enough rewards points to amount to a hill o' beans. I use those points for mostly frivolous purchases from Amazon.
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:19 PM   #40
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According to my Award Wallet account, I have 2,089,030 points/miles. I figure these are worth somewhere between $15,000 to $25,000. But, I don't count them in my net worth - even though technically I suppose I should since they really are an asset.
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