reevaluating cards

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
11 posts
MB131174
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: PA

reevaluating cards

Postby MB131174 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:54 pm

I've become MemberSince99 all over again.... I opened another Discover after closing my it card several weeks ago. Here's why:

Yes, I've raved a lot about the Hyatt visa card. Don't get me wrong - I like the card, Chase has always been good to me and it is my highest limit at $15,000. Yes, the redemption rate for the rooms if done right can top 5%. However, I'm finding that I'm not using the points as often as I thought I would. I got my anniversary night available as of February and have yet to use it. Yes, Hyatt is by far my favorite brand and the one I use the most when traveling for personal reasons, but I'm just not needing to as much as I thought I would. (Most of my travel now is paid by my employer and paid for with my corp visa, so I'll stay wherever is most convenient for that trip.) I'm going to keep my Hyatt visa because I am sure I'll make use of the annual nights, plus with Chase going to chip & PIN that'll be nice, plus it's nice having a $15,000 limit. I'm going to close my Marriott card (I never stay at Marriott) and roll it's limit into the Hyatt card. I'm also going to close my Hilton visa. Never even use it nor do I stay in Hiltons.

Airline cards just have never been good to me. I've tried before in the past and reward seats never seem to be available when I want to fly. Plus between airport taxes, credit card annual fees and sometimes fuel surcharges (here's looking at you, European carriers!), how much did you REALLY save? Airlines are out.

With me getting nothing out of airlines and not really feeling the benefits of getting hotel points, that leaves cash back. Here's the thing: the thought of rotating categories is painful. I want simplicity and consistency. In my opinion, Discover has blown AmEx away in a few key areas: 1) Customer service is hands down worlds better at Discover (except that one incident that made me close my card before), though YMMV. 2) Discover actually gives me credit limit increases (in the past at least) unlike AmEx that has kept me at the same limit since 2011. 3) I can use my Discover for literally every bill I have except my car insurance which is paid every 6 months. I'll use my Hyatt visa for that to keep that card active. I cannot use my AmEx for car insurance, cable/internet or electric. 4) Shop Discover. Hello, shop AmEx anyone?? Didn't think so.

Yes, I could juggle this card for that category, that card for that store, this card for this thing and oh yeah, that card for when something is an extra 4% cash back for the next 3 months. I'm not looking to maximize it. I just want simplicity. Life is too short and too complicated to worry about getting an extra $20 cash back a month by juggling cards. I can save $20 by not eating out one night. PB&J isn't THAT terrible! Besides, having balances spread out over multiple cards doesn't give me a quick snapshot of what balance I'm at. Easy for me to underestimate what the total due will be. Overspend right there!

I got the Discover It Chrome. No categories to worry about. I can use it anywhere I go (or so it seems in my area. Discover is very widely accepted around here). Cust service is good. I've already used shop discover. I can use the cash back as a statement credit for anything I want (like plane tickets). USA based customer service. FICO scores on the bill. Etc. Hello, simplicity.
stalk me
KIK: WMB1974


MemberSince99
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4913
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Location: WI

Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:24 pm

If you were hoping for what we think your odds of approval for "IT" are, my guess is 100%.

takeshi
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1733
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:12 pm
Location: US

Postby takeshi » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:14 am

MB131174 wrote:Plus between airport taxes, credit card annual fees and sometimes fuel surcharges (here's looking at you, European carriers!), how much did you REALLY save?

Quite a bit but I don't see how that's relevant. ;)

MB131174
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: PA

Postby MB131174 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:53 pm

takeshi wrote:Quite a bit but I don't see how that's relevant. ;)


Actually, here's a real life example... in October I'm flying round trip to Europe for $945. Would normally take around 60,000 points (and traveling on my actual desired dates is usually a miracle). It would take, on average, 3 years to earn 60,000 points if it's 1 point per dollar for an airline card. Average AF = $95. That's $295 in fees. Add approximately $110 in taxes on that "free" ticket. Up to $405. If the airline has ZERO fuel surcharges (most European carriers do, so we'll assume this is a US airlines), that's only $540 saved. That's $180 "rewards" a year over 3 years. Pretty pitiful if you as me.
stalk me
KIK: WMB1974

supercoolman
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:48 am
Location: South Bay Area

Postby supercoolman » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:43 am

MB131174 wrote:Actually, here's a real life example... in October I'm flying round trip to Europe for $945. Would normally take around 60,000 points (and traveling on my actual desired dates is usually a miracle). It would take, on average, 3 years to earn 60,000 points if it's 1 point per dollar for an airline card. Average AF = $95. That's $295 in fees. Add approximately $110 in taxes on that "free" ticket. Up to $405. If the airline has ZERO fuel surcharges (most European carriers do, so we'll assume this is a US airlines), that's only $540 saved. That's $180 "rewards" a year over 3 years. Pretty pitiful if you as me.


it's the reason many people churn travel reward cards. I'm simply not interested at travel reward card at all, so I don't have to think about those

MemberSince99
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4913
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Location: WI

Postby MemberSince99 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:36 am

There are tricks to bump your return though. For example, using Freedom with its 5% categories and moving the UR points to CSP and then to a Chase partner, or using Amex EDP with it's point structure and transferring the MR points to an Amex partner. That can effectively boost your rate of return for travel because you are getting an initial high rate plus if you move the points to a travel partner you usually come out with a higher rate of return that way too so in that case you are making out on both ends of it, and THAT tends to be a pretty attractive return on rewards.

ItsAJourneyNotARace
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:30 am
Location: Northeast United States

Postby ItsAJourneyNotARace » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am

I totally understand where you're coming from. Unless you are always on top of your credit game it becomes quite annoying to check all your balances pay attention to all the bonus offers and maximize spending on a certain card. I was balancing the Hyatt 1,000 spend, CSP 3,000 spend and maximizing the Freedom 5% in gas this quarter. (I'm a fan of chase lol) but sometimes it's just so much added calculation into your spending and makes shopping trips the bane of your existence.

MB131174
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: PA

Postby MB131174 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:30 pm

supercoolman wrote:it's the reason many people churn travel reward cards. I'm simply not interested at travel reward card at all, so I don't have to think about those


With there being blogs dedicated to travel card churning, it wouldn't surprise me if sign up bonuses eventually either disappear to come with some very tight string attached.
stalk me
KIK: WMB1974

MB131174
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: PA

Postby MB131174 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:34 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:There are tricks to bump your return though. For example, using Freedom with its 5% categories and moving the UR points to CSP and then to a Chase partner, or using Amex EDP with it's point structure and transferring the MR points to an Amex partner. That can effectively boost your rate of return for travel because you are getting an initial high rate plus if you move the points to a travel partner you usually come out with a higher rate of return that way too so in that case you are making out on both ends of it, and THAT tends to be a pretty attractive return on rewards.


I'm not sure if this is related or not, but, different airlines will sometimes have different prices. That cheap ticket? Aeroflot & KLM. Same route/dates on United is over $1,400. Why is Aeroflot so much cheaper? One can only have a thousand guesses considering Putin isn't making friends in most of the western world right now. I like the idea of flexibility. Reward programs don't give you that. Plus also, my travel dates are 99.99% of the time very specific and as I mentioned earlier, finding an award seat always seemed next to impossible for me when I did the airline mile thing.
stalk me
KIK: WMB1974

MemberSince99
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4913
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Location: WI

Postby MemberSince99 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:41 pm

Rewards programs that allow you to transfer the points to travel partners are pretty flexible. Granted you need the airlines you are using to be a travel partner but if that's covered you can get a great rate of return especially using say Freedom or EDP to build the points then getting more than the straight point value from the partner company. If you can swing that, you get a win-win.


If not and you want flexibility maybe cash back is a better return for you than travel cards as you were thinking. But best rate of return, if you can do it would be through the points.


Just depends on what really matters to you and how you can swing things.



Return to “General Credit Card Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests