Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-17-2016, 10:46 AM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 176
I just want to voice a slightly different opinion. Unless you really like to travel, the credit card reward business could actually push you to spend more money in order to meet the spending requirements, and to spend the reward miles which will have other expenses associated. I would seriously doubt that would help early savers and low income earners to reach their FIRE goals.
__________________

__________________
flyingaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-17-2016, 01:27 PM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingaway View Post
I just want to voice a slightly different opinion. Unless you really like to travel, the credit card reward business could actually push you to spend more money in order to meet the spending requirements, and to spend the reward miles which will have other expenses associated. I would seriously doubt that would help early savers and low income earners to reach their FIRE goals.
That is why there are so many blogs and forums devoted to manufactured spending. Also, you do not have to use the points for travel. Last year we used some for travel but mainly got statements credits or Home Depot gift cards. I'm still in the novice category and don't do manufactured spending but I think last year our family total was over $2K in sign up bonuses alone plus 1 - 2% back on all our purchases for very little work, and our credit scores went up. Another plus is the income is generally not taxable.
__________________

__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2016, 02:25 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,037
We are early savers, early retirees, and frequent travelers.

We have used airline points (I earned many from business travel), credit card points, and hotel rewards extensively. The programs have not encouraged us to spend on items that we otherwise would not have. It has changed how we pay. Always by credit card-we want the points or the rebate whatever the case may be.

We have traveled to many countries/continents on reward travel. In early Jan we head to South America and Central America thanks to reward travel. Same for hotel and credit card card.
__________________
brett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2016, 02:40 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 5,215
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingaway View Post
I just want to voice a slightly different opinion. Unless you really like to travel, the credit card reward business could actually push you to spend more money in order to meet the spending requirements, and to spend the reward miles which will have other expenses associated. I would seriously doubt that would help early savers and low income earners to reach their FIRE goals.
The writer makes a good point. If you find yourself spending more just to earn points, that defeats the purpose of the reward plans (from your point of view, not the banks and retailers). But, if you spend a lot using credit cards and can get the benefits, why not?
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2016, 05:40 PM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingaway View Post
I just want to voice a slightly different opinion. Unless you really like to travel, the credit card reward business could actually push you to spend more money in order to meet the spending requirements, and to spend the reward miles which will have other expenses associated. I would seriously doubt that would help early savers and low income earners to reach their FIRE goals.
It *could* do that, but many most of the folks here are a little too savvy to be picked alive by the CC companies. I have used CCs extensively to get all the rewards I can get...and I don't spend "extra" to get the rewards. As an example...the Chase card I discussed had a $4,000 spend in 90 days provision. Under normal circumstances, there would be no "regular" way to spend that amount. Ah...but "lucky" me, I was able to put my property taxes on the card and that wiped out about $2,500 of the minimum spending amount.

Also, the CC rewards may not have "helped early savers to reach their FIRE goals" but I sure take advantage of free money!
__________________
Founder and Head Lounger @ The Life of Leisure Institute
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40.
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2016, 03:01 PM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiek View Post
I've got a bunch of Ultimate Rewards points that I've never used. Question for those people who have used them to book airfare - can you purchase some of the airline extras (like "coach comfort seats") if you book through UR? I usually like to book travel directly with the provider to avoid complications if there are any problems with the reservations or travel delays but I compared a few ticket prices for trips I'm planning and UR seemed to have better rates.
It depends. If the airline allows you to buy those after ticketing, then yes - I've done this. If you need to buy a "premium economy" fare ticket, then no.

I haven't found the prices through UR to be any better for airfare, but, depending on the card you have, each point can be worth up to 50% more. I do wish UR would show multiple ticket classes per flight instead of always the cheapest (which I usually don't want.)

Where UR has been especially valuable to me has been hotel reservations, as the prices are often excellent and not readily available elsewhere.
__________________
Steve
jonat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 10:25 AM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 5,215
I just read this article on the value of getting a few bank travel reward cards.

These 5 Best Credit Cards Are The Only Ones You Need - Travel Codex

Quote:
real value of the card. It’s the 1.5 cents per point fixed value on direct travel redemptions. Meaning you can use the points to purchase any airfare (or hotel room, rental car, whatever) and get 1.5 cents for every point. That’s excellent.
The big deal seems to be getting 1.5¢ to maybe as much as 2.2¢ per point earned when redeeming the points for travel through the bank. And, of course, there are the signup bonuses to consider, some at 100,000 points. And the very large yearly fees, but you do get some of that back in travel redemptions year after year.

Here's my problem: The point value of 1.5¢ seems rather pittiful when I can get 2% cash back on everything with my Fidelity card, 3% cash back on travel and meals with my Costco Visa card, 4% cash back on gasoline with my Costco Visa, and, sometimes, 5% cash back with my Discover Card at places like Amazon and various rotating businesses like hardware stores, department stores, etc.

Why not just get the cash and use it to buy the tickets and pay for the hotel rooms?
Once the bonus points are used up (not hard to do given how often they are devalued these days) there does not seem to be good value in these bank travel cards.

Note: I have one hotel card with a low fee that gives me one free night a year - a savings of $50 to $100 depending upon where and when I use the free night. That seems to be a keeper for now. But, now there is talk of them raising the fee and limiting the 'quality' of the hotels the free night can be used in. Not so good.

Am I missing something? Is my math wrong?
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 11:23 AM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 4,908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
...
Am I missing something? Is my math wrong?
The simple answer is that we are all going to pay at least 97% of the purchase and we are celebrating getting a few percent back. There are better things to concentrate on in life.

That said, I'm going to mention my recent forays into the bargain basement. I got the Chase Sapphire Reserve for just myself (adding DW adds a fee) and the deal is pretty good for our type spending and card usage. But for others they might get a few tenths better by going another way. There is a claw back on that Sapphire card i.e. $450 fee but you get $300 for travel. So that net $150 fee has to be balanced by high enough purchases at the 3% return rate (plus Ultimate Rewards usage bonus). Then there are a few features like travel insurance to consider. Gets a bit complicated and I would not blame anyone for just passing on this.

DW uses the Bank of America card for groceries at 2% back. And yes, we have the Amazon card linked to our Chase account for autopay. There are a few more cards and features but I've probably already bored the majority of people reading this.

P.S. That article Chuckanut linked to recommends pairing the Chase Sapphire with the Chase Freedom. I'll probably do that so thanks Chuckanut for the link!
__________________
Lsbcal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
The simple answer is that we are all going to pay at least 97% of the purchase and we are celebrating getting a few percent back. There are better things to concentrate on in life.

That said, I'm going to mention my recent forays into the bargain basement. I got the Chase Sapphire Reserve for just myself (adding DW adds a fee) and the deal is pretty good for our type spending and card usage. But for others they might get a few tenths better by going another way. There is a claw back on that Sapphire card i.e. $450 fee but you get $300 for travel. So that net $150 fee has to be balanced by high enough purchases at the 3% return rate (plus Ultimate Rewards usage bonus). Then there are a few features like travel insurance to consider. Gets a bit complicated and I would not blame anyone for just passing on this.

DW uses the Bank of America card for groceries at 2% back. And yes, we have the Amazon card linked to our Chase account for autopay. There are a few more cards and features but I've probably already bored the majority of people reading this.

P.S. That article Chuckanut linked to recommends pairing the Chase Sapphire with the Chase Freedom. I'll probably do that so thanks Chuckanut for the link!
And, if you work it right, you can get $600 of travel credits in a single annual period. BUT...in order to do that this year, you would need to get it done pretty quick.
__________________
Founder and Head Lounger @ The Life of Leisure Institute
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40.
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 12:21 PM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,037
We use our airline/travel credit card points carefully. Always on trips that permit stopovers or on routes where competition is low and prices are high.

We just redeemed some air reward points for a flight to South America with a stopover in Panama. Best per ticket price we could find was $2K. Airline reward plan cost us 60K points each plus $247. in fees each.
__________________
brett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 05:01 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 4,908
Regarding that article: These 5 Best Credit Cards Are The Only Ones You Need - Travel Codex

The author seems to think that the Sapphire Reserve card is not needed in one's wallet but rather just stick with the Freedom card:
Quote:
And you don’t even need to carry the Sapphire Reserve with you. Use it to qualify for the bonus and burn the $300 travel credit, then throw it in your sock drawer to be pulled out only for the occasional car rental (to get the primary collision insurance). The Freedom Unlimited is the one that goes in your wallet.
I don't understand this. Yes, the Freedom card gives 1.5x points on purchases and for regular purchases the Sapphire card only does 1.0x points. But for travel and dining the Sapphire card gives 3x points. So why does he say you don't need to carry the Sapphire card? Also the Sapphire "travel/dining" category is interpreted very loosely to include coffee shops and Uber (as I understand it).
__________________
Lsbcal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2016, 07:02 PM   #32
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 102
I have three cards:
- Sapphire Reserve - use for travel and restaurants
- Freedom Unlimited - use for shopping (1.5 points)
- Costco Visa - use for gas (4%) and at Costco, obviously (2%)
__________________
Steve
jonat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2016, 12:09 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by brett View Post
We use our airline/travel credit card points carefully. Always on trips that permit stopovers or on routes where competition is low and prices are high.

We just redeemed some air reward points for a flight to South America with a stopover in Panama. Best per ticket price we could find was $2K. Airline reward plan cost us 60K points each plus $247. in fees each.
Excellent value you used there.
Can you explain the stop over part, is it that you stop over for days to see Panama and then continue on the flight to the final destination ?
__________________
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2016, 09:35 AM   #34
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,972
I used to pay much more attention to these programs when I was traveling for business and racking up airline and hotel points from business travel. Now I'm mostly using the Fidelity Visa. I still have a Marriott Visa because we've had it for years, which is good for the credit rating, and the Chase Ultimate Rewards Visa. A couple of weeks ago I drove off from a gas station and left the Fidelity Visa on the back of the car, so it's good to carry more than one. (No fraudulent charges, already have the replacement card.)

At this point we're much better off with the flexibility of cash back as long as I'm careful to keep miles from expiring. I can add to the Hilton and American Airlines accounts with e-Rewards points, which helps.
__________________
athena53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2016, 10:39 AM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,037
Our Aeroplan reward travel allows for one stopover, or an open jaw,on a return flight. The other challenge is to avoid AC and fly on United, a Star Alliance partner. Why? The Aeroplan admin fees on AC metal would have been $550 Cad each vs the $247 Cad each that we paid for our United metal. We try do the same for Europe reward flights.

We are actually starting our trip with land travel in Argentina and Uruguay, then a cruise to Chile, land travel in Chile, followed by three weeks in Panama/Costa Rica, then home to Calgary.

If we book reward tickets from home to Buenos Aires and back from Santiago we would not be allowed a stopover. It would be considered open jaw.

Instead, we booked reward tickets to Santiago return, with a stopover in Panama on the way back. This met the rules. Then we booked an inexpensive flight from Santiago to Montevideo (Uruguay)for $115. CAD each. So we will fly to Santiago, then transfer to Montevideo the following day. Montevideo is across the bay from Buenos Aires. Our cruise will take us around the horn and we disembark in Chile.

We have done this sort of thing in Europe. It works well for us since we seldom fly in and out of the same city and there are many low cost carriers within Europe.

We use our air reward points for travel on routes where the fares are high, ie not competitive or in high season. We typically use our hotel points in cities where hotels are expensive.

Sounds a little odd but it works for us.
__________________

__________________
brett is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
credit cards rewards programs mn54 FIRE and Money 24 08-19-2009 01:45 PM
Pre Paid Credit Card/ Gas Card or Credit Card nphx Other topics 4 04-29-2008 02:04 PM
Best cash rewards credit card for someone with no credit history? summer2007 FIRE and Money 11 10-16-2007 03:23 AM
Credit Card Travel Rewards yakers FIRE and Money 1 01-17-2006 12:10 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:08 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.