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Old 01-06-2021, 09:35 AM   #21
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We've never been big card players, and primarily use two cards, Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel & restaurants (well, and groceries for now); BoA Travel rewards (@2.625%) for everything else outside of small recurring charges that keep some other no fee cards alive.

Netting out the Chase annual fee, we received $4534.61 in statement credits and points applied to air travel between the two cards. And another $25 net for Alaska Airlines card (which will also give us free roundtrip to Fairbanks next month, but that isn't booked yet....)
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:46 AM   #22
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DW and I flew from west coast U.S. to Bangkok business class on JAL using AA points and minimal taxes. Couldn't find a cheap flight home from BKK so we took a cheap AirAsia flight and spent a wonderful weekend in Hong Kong. Flew Virgin Atlantic HKG to LHR to MIA again in the front of the plane this time using Chase ultimate rewards points transferred to VA plus $700 taxes. Visited relatives in West Palm Beach and then used Southwest points and a companion pass to get back home to Spokane from FLL. This was in January and February 2020 just before the covid craziness. Cash price for the VA flights was $14,700 each, the JAL tickets would have been roughly $4,000 each and the Southwest fares probably $350. This was our first RTW trip.

Visited the Big Island last month using Southwest points and a companion pass. Got to swim with manta rays in Kona, felt the earthquake in Hilo just before Kilauea erupted, and hiked to the beach in Waipi'o Valley. Taxes for the SW flights were $5.60 x 4.

We have the 2.5% USAA card but rarely use it. Love the points and miles game and am looking forward to 2nd half 2021 travel.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:50 AM   #23
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We're still heavy in the travel rewards hobby, but this year, for the first time, I plan on trying to do some bank checking/savings bonus - once my Ally 1.6% CD's mature.

Right now I'm using Chase Freedom for Dining and 5% categories. Using Citi Thank You for groceries and gas. I use my Fidelity 2% cash back for any other purchases.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:29 PM   #24
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About $1300 with the Fidelity and Chase Amazon credit card. $330 for Citi Costco. Accrued $330 worth of points on Chase Sapphire, which is worth $495. Of course, there's also the fee for that card, so that reduces the value. Probably around 2k overall.
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Old 01-06-2021, 06:04 PM   #25
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We only use a couple of cards and never follow the rotation of teaser rates. We seem to average less than 2% on what we buy. It could be better this year, but our 4% back on Costco Gas hasn't amounted to much in 2020. 4 fill ups (I think). Can't save much doing that. Wait! What am I saying? I saved a ton, but just not on cash-back. Never mind.
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:58 PM   #26
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My setup too, but use the BOA Travel card as my automated charge card, so if there is a hacking of any other card, I don't have to reset all the automated payments.
I use the Premier card (same 2.6%) for other purchases and the $95 fee is effectively reimbursed by the $100 baggage allowance in normal non Covid years.
I use 3 cash cards for the 3.5%/5.25% scenario.

Not mentioned here is that one must have 100k in BOA/ML in order to get these rates.
As I can see, in order to get back 5.25% with BofA Travel Card and Platinum Honers you have to redeem points using Bank of America "Travel Center", correct? How limited are options there? Typically, tickets on web site like this one are much more expensive than direct purchase through airline web site for example?
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:30 PM   #27
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^^^^^
I use the BOA cash card for the 5.25% as I'm a Platinum Preferred Rewards member.

This is straight cash as the reward, redeemable to credit my account.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:33 PM   #28
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..
I use 3 cash cards for the 3.5%/5.25% scenario.

..
I nearly missed this point, I never considered getting more than 1 cash CC so I could set it to a different category reward.

Am I understanding correctly you have more than 1 cash reward card ..
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:45 PM   #29
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Made about $1,700 of Fidelity's 2% back on everything card and another $300 on my Capital One 1.5% cash back on everything card. Total about $2,000 for the year.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:55 PM   #30
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I don't play the CC rewards game much, except I have the Capital One Quicksilver Card that pays 1.5% on everything and the Amex Blue Cash Preferred that pays 6% back on groceries and streaming services (with an annual fee that is more than made up for). Maybe we could play the games and get more credit but it's just not worth keeping track of more than groceries vs. everything else.

One thing I like about Cap One is that they automagically credit the rewards to the account. With Amex I have to remember to log in and claim them, a minor PITA.
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:05 PM   #31
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:46 PM   #32
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As I can see, in order to get back 5.25% with BofA Travel Card and Platinum Honers you have to redeem points using Bank of America "Travel Center", correct? How limited are options there? Typically, tickets on web site like this one are much more expensive than direct purchase through airline web site for example?
You have cash/travel card credit/transfer to other CC options for the Travel card.
IIRC, the cash option is less than the other 2 options, so I transfer the points to one of my other credit cards and then redeem those points on that card. This way the cash reward is maximized and since I use the travel card as my recurring expense card, I don't have to deal with travel credits if I don't travel.

Yes, the main reason I don't use the BOA travel website vs. booking directly through the airline web site, is that the deals on the BOA site are not as good, even after taking into account the extra points for booking with them directly.
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:54 PM   #33
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I nearly missed this point, I never considered getting more than 1 cash CC so I could set it to a different category reward.

Am I understanding correctly you have more than 1 cash reward card ..
Yes, I have 3 cash CC plus the Travel and Premier cards.
This way I can maximize the 2500 quarterly points maximum on each card.
I usually set the cards to Dining/Drug Store/Gas. I usually charge the groceries to the gas card, as that gets the least usage.
If one category is short in the 3rd month of a specific quarter, then I change the category from another card which might already be at the max.

Obviously, this requires keeping a log of the purchases on each card. This is part of my 5 minutes daily of tracking expenses.

The 5th card I use is for everything else, which is the Premier card.
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Old 01-07-2021, 07:00 PM   #34
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You have cash/travel card credit/transfer to other CC options for the Travel card.
IIRC, the cash option is less than the other 2 options, so I transfer the points to one of my other credit cards and then redeem those points on that card. This way the cash reward is maximized and since I use the travel card as my recurring expense card, I don't have to deal with travel credits if I don't travel.

Yes, the main reason I don't use the BOA travel website vs. booking directly through the airline web site, is that the deals on the BOA site are not as good, even after taking into account the extra points for booking with them directly.
Thanks for explanation. But it looks like travel card return just 1.5% for all purchases, including grocery for example. Which translates into 2.625% for Platinum Honor. Then you transfer these points into cash reward card, and redeem for cash back correct? But it would be still less than 2% (3.5% for Platinum Honor) returned with grocery purchase using cash rewards card. Not sure what would be the reason to use travel card in this particular case?
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Old 01-07-2021, 07:49 PM   #35
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Thanks for explanation. But it looks like travel card return just 1.5% for all purchases, including grocery for example. Which translates into 2.625% for Platinum Honor. Then you transfer these points into cash reward card, and redeem for cash back correct? But it would be still less than 2% (3.5% for Platinum Honor) returned with grocery purchase using cash rewards card. Not sure what would be the reason to use travel card in this particular case?
You can directly redeem for statement credit from travel purchases including dining and hotel on the BofA travel rewards VISA. They usually save a year’s worth of qualifying purchases for you to redeem against.

The main advantage of the BofA Travel Rewards VISA is the no foreign transaction fee.
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:58 PM   #36
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Just got a failed frig call. Warm in both frig and freezer sections. A quick visit to Lowes online and order of an in-store $648 frig with $30 haul-off, tenant phone # for delivery this Saturday, and used the Gal's Chase Sapphire Reserve card for payment. Figure it will burn up $452 worth of points since it is a building material store and they are treating it at travel redemption rates. Love it!
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:36 PM   #37
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Just got a failed frig call. Warm in both frig and freezer sections. A quick visit to Lowes online and order of an in-store $648 frig with $30 haul-off, tenant phone # for delivery this Saturday, and used the Gal's Chase Sapphire Reserve card for payment. Figure it will burn up $452 worth of points since it is a building material store and they are treating it at travel redemption rates. Love it!
Does the Chase Saphire reserve card that you used extend the manufacturer's warranty? The last fridge that I bought I happened to use a card that extended the warranty and 18 months later I received $700 for repairs from the credit card company. Fridge only had a 12 month warranty.
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Old 01-08-2021, 03:52 AM   #38
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Just got a failed frig call. Warm in both frig and freezer sections. A quick visit to Lowes online and order of an in-store $648 frig with $30 haul-off, tenant phone # for delivery this Saturday, and used the Gal's Chase Sapphire Reserve card for payment. Figure it will burn up $452 worth of points since it is a building material store and they are treating it at travel redemption rates. Love it!
Must be going around. Ours stopped cooling Dec 20 and had a new one delivered Dec 26. CC points of course.
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Old 01-08-2021, 05:42 AM   #39
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Thanks for explanation. But it looks like travel card return just 1.5% for all purchases, including grocery for example. Which translates into 2.625% for Platinum Honor. Then you transfer these points into cash reward card, and redeem for cash back correct? But it would be still less than 2% (3.5% for Platinum Honor) returned with grocery purchase using cash rewards card. Not sure what would be the reason to use travel card in this particular case?
Good question. Let me explain further as how I use the cards.
I originally got the Travel card for maximizing the travel rewards % by booking through the BOA site, which I think uses Orbitz. The deals were worse using the BOA site, even after subtracting the rewards value. IIRC, the rewards rate was between 4 and 5%.
So I now effectively use the card for automatic bill paying at 2.625% rewards, so hoping the card is better protected from fraud. The types of bill paying are not the 5.25% choices that one has on the Cash reward cards.

Next step is I transfer the points to my Premier card and redeem for cash. The Premier card I use as my default card, except for the Groceries/Special categories that I use on the cash cards. This rate is 2.625%.

Lastly, I use my 3 different Cash cards for the categories mentioned above. I maximize the quarterly 2500 maximum dollars/points usage each quarter, so I can't use these cards for travel.
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Old 01-08-2021, 08:44 AM   #40
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