Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The Value of Credit Card Points and Travel Programs 2017
Old 09-06-2017, 04:55 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 870
The Value of Credit Card Points and Travel Programs 2017

OK Its time for this years update thru the end of the fiscal year 2017. I already have the trips book and paid for via points for the remainder of the year and don't plan on adding anymore. This is the 2nd year I have been keeping track of how much I spend on travel using travel rewards programs and credit card points. While I have worked at this I am by no means 100% efficient in maximizing every point or promotion $. I did notice that this year my average cost per hotel night and daily rental car rate increased pretty significantly. Direct effect of a better economy.

Here were my travel parameters for the year

- All Domestic Flights on Southwest, United, or American
- No budget hotels but rather what I would consider comfortable (Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, or IHG properties)
- Rental cars Full size

Total Number of R/T tickets - 24.5
Total Number of Hotel Nights 51
Total Number of Car Rental Days 85

Total Cash Spent $8961.61
Total Value of Travel $22,163.01

Savings $13,201.40 (59.97%)

NOTE: The value of retail travel is determined by the best discount I could get on flights, hotels, and rental cars as I shop for the best deal. It does not include the amount of time I did researching my options. Also all trips were trips that I would have taken anyway.


JDARNELL
JDARNELL 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 09-06-2017, 05:01 PM   #2
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDARNELL View Post
Total Cash Spent $8961.61
Total Value of Travel $22,163.01

Savings $13,201.40 (59.97%)

NOTE: The value of retail travel is determined by the best discount I could get on flights, hotels, and rental cars as I shop for the best deal. It does not include the amount of time I did researching my options. Also all trips were trips that I would have taken anyway.
What was the cash value of the points you used for travel?
joeea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2017, 05:21 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4,695
I didn't track mine but I spent 2 nights at the Hampton Inn by Boston Airport using points this year. In March I also have a trip booked to India in Business Class (all but the trip home from London to Kansas City since I didn't have quite enough points) that cost me a crummy $1,500 "co-payment" but is still thousands off the sticker price. I'm spending a night in the Hilton at Heathrow in both directions, also on points.

I've got Lifetime Gold status on AA and somehow that got me upgraded on 3 of the 4 segments between KC and Boston last month- nice gesture. I'm sure that's worth a thousand or two. So far I've also gotten over $1,000 YTD cash back on the Fidelity Visa. That also goes to the travel budget.

In my case, there's no cash value to the points used although there are long debates on FlyerTalk about the value of a point under various loyalty programs. They really have no value till you use them and Business Class airfare, if you can get it when you want it, is generally the most bang for your buck.
athena53 is online now   Reply With Quote
The Value of Credit Card Points and Travel Programs 2017
Old 09-06-2017, 05:32 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 870
The Value of Credit Card Points and Travel Programs 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
What was the cash value of the points you used for travel?


When manufacturing points cost is .07 cents per point. My redemption was that or higher. For example when spending with Hyatt my redemption value was over 3.1 cents per point. I like to be at 1.5 cents or more but due to having to stay in some places with a group it wasn't that much.

Still have kids at home so no business class travel til 2019 but then I will use points that way when I can't catch military space a.
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2017, 08:20 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 6,501
Just was approved for a Merril + card - 50,000 points as $500 cash or 2 trips worth up to $500 at a cost of 25000 points/trip. I'll probably just take the cash, but a better deal for travelers.

Gal and I also have both picked up Chase Ink Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards at $1k cash value per card. The Fidelity cards also kicked in some cash. Don't mind going through all the stenuous sign up labor to pick up a tax free $4500+.
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2017, 10:23 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 10,316
So far this year I have redeemed points for a total value of: $2,270
flight for 2 to Barcelona - would have cost ~ $1,500
$500 credit to CC - worth $500
2 nights at Starwood hotel - cash price was $200
Hotel in KY - cash price was $70.
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 04:07 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,466
we will be taking the chase sapphire reserve card . that has awesome travel perks .

it can be well worth the 450.00 annual fee if you travel .

in fact by transferring points from our other chase cards we can see as much as 7.50 % back .

one of our chase cards offers 5% back on different categories that shift . you can transter those to the sapphire reserve and if you book your trips through the chase portal you get the points bumped up by 1.50x

you also get a travel statement credit of 300 every year , free tsa precheck , global rentry and free membership to priority pass lounges .

travel points are 3x including restaurants , uber ,tolls , parking , etc , no charge for curency conversion on the cards or when taking cash in other currency.

we get 60,000 points too for signing on and being a private client account .
mathjak107 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 08:35 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sojourner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,349
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDARNELL View Post
Total Number of R/T tickets - 24.5
Total Number of Hotel Nights 51
Total Number of Car Rental Days 85

Total Cash Spent $8961.61
Total Value of Travel $22,163.01

Savings $13,201.40 (59.97%)
To be able to take over 24 round-trip flights (not to mention all the hotels and car rentals) in one calendar year, you must be spending a tremendous amount of money on various credit cards to earn enough points for all that. This puts me in mind of another active thread where the subject of "manufactured spending" is being discussed. In other words, using credit cards that offer, say, a 50,000 points sign-up bonus to buy gift cards and then using those gift cards to buy money orders that you deposit back into your own bank account. Is this part of your strategy for amassing so many frequent flier points? I would love to be able to do exactly what you're doing, but I see absolutely no way I could based on my level of actual (i.e. non-manufactured) credit card spending.
Sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 09:18 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 10,316
I briefly looked at manufactured spending, basically buying some "special" gift cards and then depositing the money back into the bank account to pay off the CC, and repeating.
I have never done it for 2 reasons, one is it's some effort, and most importantly, I was always afraid of putting $500 or $1,000 on a gift card, and then finding the amount was removed before I emptied it.
One loss of one gift card would wipe out a lot of the benefit of manufactured spending.

But, I'm still open to learning
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 09:26 AM   #10
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: 11,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
To be able to take over 24 round-trip flights (not to mention all the hotels and car rentals) in one calendar year, you must be spending a tremendous amount of money on various credit cards to earn enough points for all that. This puts me in mind of another active thread where the subject of "manufactured spending" is being discussed.
That's what I am wondering. How does one earn enough points/miles to get that many free trips? There are sometimes point 'deals' that lower the number of point, but even then, I might be able to squeeze in two more round trips (domestic, off-season) if I did all deals. 24.5 round trips. Heck, even at 10,000 points per trip, I would not come close unless I spent myself into poverty.

I've had my share of bonus points and reward dollars and taken a few trips for 'free' thanks to them. But, still, I wonder how it can be done year after year after year.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 10:28 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 563
The credit card bonuses should be considered as "bonuses", you get them once in a while. If you make them look like a job with regular paychecks, there are many real jobs out there that pay better and are less stressful.
flyingaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 10:46 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 981
According to my spreadsheet, this year we save $12,831 on 3 vacations (4 to 6 people on each) using points and miles. The best value I got was Hyatt hotel rooms in Scottsdale during Spring Break (5.1 cents per point).

I've been playing this game for years and have probably saved $75K easy over the years and have flown first class many times, when I would never pay the cash price to do so. I have never "manufactured" points, but do take advantage of bonus points on credit card signups. The game is getting harder and harder to play and I'll probably lay off completely in the next year or two. I have a stash of 2 million points/miles that should give me mostly free vacations for the next several years.
PatrickA5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 02:36 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 795
It all depends on what the travel is woth to you. We will only fly to Europe in Business or better. We've made 4 trips over the last 7 years and it's about $1000-$1200 for a pair of tickets after points or BOGO. Thats at least a $5k savings per trip. But if someone has no issue to travel coach on special of $500 a ticket, then the points are worth much less. The points are always for something we would have bought anyway, just the timing is changed. For instance I pay my car insurance a full year in advance along with some propety tax on the same card to coincide with spending $3k in 3 months for a 50k points bonus, things like that. We also pay for a nurse to visit an elderly relative that reimburses us over time. She could not handle paying for a nurse regularly on her own, so this is ideal for her. We have easily amassed $30k/yr in charges over the last 3 years, never any manufactured spending. Most cards prevent just that. Next year we start out with a new roof on a rental we own. Instant $4500 charge that we have already put the money aside for. There is also the problem of flight availability with points, which requires much farther ahead planning for available seats.
Perryinva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 04:50 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 870
Only two credit card sign ups this year as I typically don't churn cards. The rest was rinse and repeat. Flights were so high because I have a companion pass on Southwest that is good from Feb 17-Dec 18 so always 2 for 1. Big bang for the buck when I am flying two people one way for 3700 points at .07 cents. Also Hyatt and Hyatt Place big bang for the buck.
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 05:23 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
That's what I am wondering. How does one earn enough points/miles to get that many free trips? <snip>
I've had my share of bonus points and reward dollars and taken a few trips for 'free' thanks to them. But, still, I wonder how it can be done year after year after year.
I played a lot harder at it when I was traveling on business, typically to Europe or India in Business Class. Then it made sense to have the airline credit card, the Hilton credit card, hang out on FlyerTalk and look for deals (favorite was when DH and I each got an American Airlines card with 75,000 bonus miles). At one point, I was trying to accumulate enough miles for Million Mile status before AA restricted it to "butt-in-seat" miles. They did have the grace to give us about 6 months' notice and I made it. It helped that during one promotion they gave 10 miles per dollar donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and mistakenly credited us with 100 miles per dollar. I'd given generously and they let us keep the extra miles.

I'm now down to a Marriott Visa and a Fidelity 2% cash back Visa and accumulate miles only by actual flying, which I select on the basis of schedule and price. I've got only 8,200 miles in my AA account. Oh, well- earn 'em and burn 'em. There's always another devaluation on the horizon.
athena53 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
The Value of Travel Rewards Programs and Credit Card Points JDARNELL Travel Information 37 12-10-2016 05:25 PM
Pre Paid Credit Card/ Gas Card or Credit Card nphx Other topics 4 04-29-2008 01:04 PM
Anyone know a credit card that gives reward points for using their checks? Olav23 FIRE and Money 5 01-08-2007 03:37 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:28 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.