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Old 01-14-2021, 09:49 AM   #81
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The sign-up bonuses are where the real earnings potential is. I do think the totals presented here often aren't all-inclusive of the extra spend required to get the bonuses, and spend that would not have happened if it weren't for the incentives. For instance, the first class free spouse airline ticket goes on the books as $5,000 for "free", but one must always compare to what would have happened had there been no incentive. Two in cattle class for 1/4 the cost of one in first? But if I take the time to play the system, I'm not going to spout off about how much extra I had to spend to get the bonuses!
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:21 AM   #82
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The sign-up bonuses are where the real earnings potential is. I do think the totals presented here often aren't all-inclusive of the extra spend required to get the bonuses, and spend that would not have happened if it weren't for the incentives. For instance, the first class free spouse airline ticket goes on the books as $5,000 for "free", but one must always compare to what would have happened had there been no incentive. Two in cattle class for 1/4 the cost of one in first? But if I take the time to play the system, I'm not going to spout off about how much extra I had to spend to get the bonuses!
I don't spend extra to get any bonus, as I can't justify it to my cheap nature. So for me, the big kicker is the signup bonus.

A $600 bonus on a 2% reward card equals $30,000 worth of spending which is earned in 3 months.

The only thing I'm tempted about for incentive spending is to pay my taxes with CC to earn a bonus on day 1.
Pay $3K taxes, and a fee of ~$60 , and instantly earn the CC bonus of $600.

This would free up my spending to work on the $3,000 spending for a second CC.
However I don't know if paying Fed taxes online counts towards a bonus earning so I don't bother.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:04 AM   #83
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Back to airline points - we used to travel a LOT, then along came Covid. Several airlines now have points that donít expire. We have saved up so many that we may never use them as long trips and cruises seem unlikely for us over the next few years. We have free companion tickets for anywhere in the US - what they are worth depends on when and where we use them. If you want to count everything, it is higher than I stated. The problem is that most CCs now limit you to one sign up bonus every 24 months, so I keep track of when I received a bonus and when I canceled the cards. If there was an annual fee, I terminate the card before the second year rolls around. These days, we spend so little, itís not easy to play that game. Our largest expense is food and we get 3% on grocery stores and take out from restaurants. I donít see much point in buying things you donít want or need to get cash or points. A few years ago, we could easily charge $100K in a single year. Now we barely hit $20K.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:14 PM   #84
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I don't spend extra to get any bonus, as I can't justify it to my cheap nature. So for me, the big kicker is the signup bonus.

A $600 bonus on a 2% reward card equals $30,000 worth of spending which is earned in 3 months.

The only thing I'm tempted about for incentive spending is to pay my taxes with CC to earn a bonus on day 1.
Pay $3K taxes, and a fee of ~$60 , and instantly earn the CC bonus of $600.

This would free up my spending to work on the $3,000 spending for a second CC.
However I don't know if paying Fed taxes online counts towards a bonus earning so I don't bother.
In 2019 we did a large Roth conversion late in the year. I paid the extra taxes using several different credit cards that we applied for just for the purpose of getting the signup bonus. Worked fine.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:27 PM   #85
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My Penfed Visa also codes all Walmart purchases as grocery. I still have the old platinum signature reward card (5% gas, 3% grocery, 1% all other).
Penfed platinum rewards Visa does not return 5%, 3% or 1%. It returns 5, 3 and 1 point. The value of each point depends how you redeem it. In most cases, one point is equal to 0.85 cents. The cost is higher when redeemed for travel, but it must happen through their web site where everything is overpriced.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:50 AM   #86
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It's annoying when they dilute the points, as it makes the hard job of comparing the deals even harder. That's another reason why I dropped Amex; they diluted their points on most things. I was able to get Home Depot gift cards (at $0.01) for a basic need (water heater), that I would have bought there anyway. But, yes, the $600 bonus after spending $3,000 was easy when I was buying travel stuff...now, not so much.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:35 AM   #87
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It's annoying when they dilute the points, as it makes the hard job of comparing the deals even harder. That's another reason why I dropped Amex; they diluted their points on most things. I was able to get Home Depot gift cards (at $0.01) for a basic need (water heater), that I would have bought there anyway. But, yes, the $600 bonus after spending $3,000 was easy when I was buying travel stuff...now, not so much.
+1

Points can be devalued at the drop of a hat. Any hat.
Show me the money.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:37 AM   #88
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It's annoying when they dilute the points, as it makes the hard job of comparing the deals even harder. That's another reason why I dropped Amex; they diluted their points on most things. I was able to get Home Depot gift cards (at $0.01) for a basic need (water heater), that I would have bought there anyway. But, yes, the $600 bonus after spending $3,000 was easy when I was buying travel stuff...now, not so much.
I fully agree with that. After PFCU started diluting their points a few years ago, I stopped using their cards for anything other than gas, which is still 5 points per dollar. Even with the dilation, itís still amounts to 4. The airlines and hotel chains have repeatedly diluted their points, both by actual dilution and also by raising the number of points for rewards. However, since we are not traveling anymore, it has become meaningless for us.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:44 AM   #89
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Penfed platinum rewards Visa does not return 5%, 3% or 1%. It returns 5, 3 and 1 point. The value of each point depends how you redeem it. In most cases, one point is equal to 0.85 cents. The cost is higher when redeemed for travel, but it must happen through their web site where everything is overpriced.
Actually, some of us still have the old version, called Platinum Cash Rewards. We get 5% actual cash back on gas purchases every month, included in the bill.

They made a big push some years ago to get people to switch to the points version, but some of us held on the the cash rewards card and we still use it.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:45 AM   #90
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Penfed platinum rewards Visa does not return 5%, 3% or 1%. It returns 5, 3 and 1 point. The value of each point depends how you redeem it. In most cases, one point is equal to 0.85 cents. The cost is higher when redeemed for travel, but it must happen through their web site where everything is overpriced.
True - but they will allow you to redeem your points for a variety of gift cards. I redeem them for Amazon gift cards. Which are cash once you apply them to your account.

Which is why I prefer NFCU, where you can redeem points for cash deposited to your account.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:47 AM   #91
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Actually, some of us still have the old version, called Platinum Cash Rewards. We get 5% actual cash back on gas purchases every month, included in the bill.
They made a big push some years ago to get people to switch to the points version, but some of us held on the the cash rewards card and we still use it.
Yep - I still regret listening to their pitch, but what’s done is done. But our gas purchases rarely hit $50 a month anymore, so no real harm done.
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:11 PM   #92
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Actually, some of us still have the old version, called Platinum Cash Rewards. We get 5% actual cash back on gas purchases every month, included in the bill.

They made a big push some years ago to get people to switch to the points version, but some of us held on the the cash rewards card and we still use it.
We may still drop this cash rewards card. It’s our only link to PenFed. Citi Costco VISA gives 4% on gas anywhere - good enough really.
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:22 PM   #93
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+1

Points can be devalued at the drop of a hat. Any hat.
Show me the money.
Yup. Have only one card that uses points and they are stingy. Once a year, the company sends a note saying to use the card or it will be cancelled. Since I keep it as my back-up BACK-UP, I'll charge a sandwich or something. I HATE points. YMMV
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:04 PM   #94
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I signed up for Chase Sapphire Reserve for the 80k bonus (was temporary bonus, usually 60k). Just had to spend $4k in 3 months. Then I referred my wife and got another 15k. At end of month 2 I used them to "pay myself back" @1.25%, so I got $1250 in 2-3 months.

Just referred DD for another 15k. DW got the 80k too.

In the end, we're looking at $2500 - $95 x 2 fee...

Last year we did the same for $500x2 sign up bonuses and canceled before the end of year fee. 1st year was waived. Don't recall the card name.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:56 PM   #95
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Current cost of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is $550 annually. It’s been well above $300 for several years. You do get a $300 travel credit (not much travel these days) and 50K points. Other benefits, but you have to travel a lot to make it worthwhile. Are you sure you are referring to the Sapphire Reward card?
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:01 AM   #96
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Points can be devalued at the drop of a hat. Any hat.
Show me the money.
Some points have been very good over time - Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards etc. I try to earn mostly Chase URs because their redemption value can easily be 2cents per point or more (been that way for a long time) and we like their transfer partners. So if you're getting 1.5 points per dollar from a Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa you're essentially earning 3% CB (or more) on all purchases if you use the points for travel. We've never paid for a Southwest flight, for example, the points cost has always been a good value for us when you pick flights on sale. And Hyatt hotels are often very cheap, points-wise. If you don't want to transfer you can use the Chase travel portal to book car rentals, hotels, flights etc. directly with points at a better than 1cpp value.

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/monthly-valuations/

Also these UR points are at least 1cpp for gift card redemptions and 1cpp for statement credits, and have been forever. You're always getting at a minimum the same CB, percentage-wise, with these points as you would with a CB card, but the upside is much better depending on how you use them.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:30 AM   #97
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Both Lowes and Target cards get you 5% off purchases. Last year we spent roughly $6000 at Target, so thats $300 right there. And I did about $8000 worth of reno (all my labor) on the rental house (7 windows, storm door, ew flooring 1/2 the house, new kitchen cabinets, etc), so that was another $400 there. Seems yearly Capital One offers a bonus, which netted me about $650 last year. For most of our charges we are using a Marriott Chase Visa. When we were traveling we typically got $2000 in rooms for “free”. On vacations we like to stay in junior suites if they have them, especially in Europe. 2020 was a bust, of course, so we just keep on piling up points.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:15 AM   #98
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Said many times, but worth repeating... doctor of credit web site does an excellent job, IMO, of listing CC deals. I've used it to profit from sign-up bonus deals like the one mentioned by Surewhitey. It takes effort, planning, and coordination, but the money is much larger than collecting points. I've tipped my hand to quite a few card companies, so it's not as easy now, but the well isn't completely dry, and I'll probably go for another when I have travel ideas to fund.
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:26 PM   #99
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Both Lowes and Target cards get you 5% off purchases. Last year we spent roughly $6000 at Target, so thats $300 right there. And I did about $8000 worth of reno (all my labor) on the rental house (7 windows, storm door, ew flooring 1/2 the house, new kitchen cabinets, etc), so that was another $400 there. Seems yearly Capital One offers a bonus, which netted me about $650 last year. For most of our charges we are using a Marriott Chase Visa. When we were traveling we typically got $2000 in rooms for ďfreeĒ. On vacations we like to stay in junior suites if they have them, especially in Europe. 2020 was a bust, of course, so we just keep on piling up points.
If youíre a veteran, both those stores give you 10% off everything up front.
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:36 PM   #100
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Said many times, but worth repeating... doctor of credit web site does an excellent job, IMO, of listing CC deals. I've used it to profit from sign-up bonus deals like the one mentioned by Surewhitey. It takes effort, planning, and coordination, but the money is much larger than collecting points. I've tipped my hand to quite a few card companies, so it's not as easy now, but the well isn't completely dry, and I'll probably go for another when I have travel ideas to fund.
Yes, also of bank sign up bonuses.
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