Self-imposed Garden Exile...

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:55 pm

I was originally happy with a Freedom. Then I wanted a Discover for a FICO. Then I wanted a PRG because I thought it would be a stepping stone to a BCE. Then I had a BCE and thought I was all set with a no-AF Amex until I realized the rewards were so much better with a Sallie Mae. Now I realize I have no good 2% or travel card. After that, I'm not sure if I'll want a TE just to squeeze out a little bit of extra cash hack on Costco gas. A CSP could also very easily justify its AF if I use the transfer partner programs more. Then there could be airline cards for signup bonuses.

Of course, at some point, restraint is necessary.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when


TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:08 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I was originally happy with a Freedom. Then I wanted a Discover for a FICO. Then I wanted a PRG because I thought it would be a stepping stone to a BCE. Then I had a BCE and thought I was all set with a no-AF Amex until I realized the rewards were so much better with a Sallie Mae. Now I realize I have no good 2% or travel card. After that, I'm not sure if I'll want a TE just to squeeze out a little bit of extra cash hack on Costco gas. A CSP could also very easily justify its AF if I use the transfer partner programs more. Then there could be airline cards for signup bonuses.

Of course, at some point, restraint is necessary.


I imagine this is a pretty normal progression.

After our conversations, I pulled the trigger on an Arrival+. Just got an instant approval for $5,000 WEMC. Now I'll be able to get at least 2.22% on all spend and focus on Ultimate Rewards and the Arrival.

I think I'm at the point where I don't want any more cards, except as you said maybe airline cards if they run a good signup bonus.

@SoFla
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Postby @SoFla » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:00 am

TheSwarm wrote:I imagine this is a pretty normal progression.

After our conversations, I pulled the trigger on an Arrival+. Just got an instant approval for $5,000 WEMC. Now I'll be able to get at least 2.22% on all spend and focus on Ultimate Rewards and the Arrival.

I think I'm at the point where I don't want any more cards, except as you said maybe airline cards if they run a good signup bonus.


Congrats, just received mine in the mail today, it is definitely a sweet sleek looking card, i have also considered the Chase Sapphire as a Travel card, but like you all said, when is enough enough...and I am trying the keep annual fee cards at a minimal, with 2 now. i would be interested to see how you like the CSP vs the Arrival+

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:19 pm

@SoFla wrote:Congrats, just received mine in the mail today, it is definitely a sweet sleek looking card, i have also considered the Chase Sapphire as a Travel card, but like you all said, when is enough enough...and I am trying the keep annual fee cards at a minimal, with 2 now. i would be interested to see how you like the CSP vs the Arrival+


Thanks a lot! After lots of conversations I honestly believe if you're spending enough across the cards to make the annual fees worth it, an Arrival+ and a CSP is definitely justified. Diversifying between transferable UR points that have a variable value and Arrival miles that have a fixed value is definitely good. That way, if for some reason UR points become worth less then you haven't put all your eggs in one basket. But on the same token, I definitely don't think I spend enough for an Amex, Arrival, and Chase program cards.

As far as how I will like the Arrival+ vs the CSP..... I really wasn't attracted to the CSP at all. I was focused on the Freedom because of the 5% categories that I could max out every year = 30,000 UR points. I just needed a way to transfer them to airline partners. CSP seemed like a logical choice because I can also get 2-3x points on travel / dining. But as for the CSP, I really was considering swapping it out for the Inks when the annual fees became due just so I could still transfer points.

In my opinion, I am more drawn to the Arrival+ as a single card. I just kind of needed the CSP as a compliment to the Freedom.

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lobbythis
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Postby lobbythis » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:19 am

You have both cards I am gunning for. A+ and CSP.

Definitely curious to know which one you prefer later on down the road.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:32 am

I'll probably drop the MR program, but I think having both a CSP and Arrival+ could actually be pretty good. I have a lot of random-category spending, and the Arrival+ would be good there. The CSP could be used for dining, some travel, and then used to book travel with transfer partners.

I've looked over old email receipts, and Delta, US Airways, and IHG cards could have saved me a lot of money over the last few years. Unfortunately, I'd probably get the inflexible travel cards and then never fly/stay with those companies again. So flexibility really does matter for me, practically speaking.

But maybe two general-travel cards would be excessive. On a long-term basis, without bonuses, having 2 could be hard to justify.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:37 pm

lobbythis wrote:You have both cards I am gunning for. A+ and CSP.

Definitely curious to know which one you prefer later on down the road.


Well thanks :) . I'll report back. I'm sure I can make use of both of them pretty well.

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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:58 pm

lobbythis wrote:You have both cards I am gunning for. A+ and CSP.

Definitely curious to know which one you prefer later on down the road.


I can give you a quick comparison right now:

I think the CSP is more powerful for three reasons: 1) bonus categories, 2) points transfers, and 3) interaction with Freedom and Ink. Numbers 1 and 3 boost rewards earning substantially. I don't feel like I can earn rewards as quickly with the Arrival+.

I know a UR point will be worth at least 1.5¢. I also know that, at a minimum, I get 2 UR points per dollar - CSP gets used for travel and dining, Freedom for 5% categories, and Ink for 5% categories. So, minimum 3¢ per dollar spent. Everything else goes on the Amex Everyday Preferred at 1.5 points per dollar (multiplied by a minimum of 1.5¢ per point = 2.25). Arrival maxes out at 2.2¢ per dollar spent and requires a minimum $25 redemption.

That said, I was able to use the Arrival+ at unmanned kiosks in Germany where the CSP would have failed for lack of PIN.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]
[/RIGHT]

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lobbythis
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Postby lobbythis » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Interesting insight. Thank you djrez4.

I have 2 Barlcay cards, so getting the Arrival+ is going to be a lot easier. Chase said I don't have enough history on my newer accounts. So, that sucks, especially since all I applied for was the lowly Freedom card. A long ways to go for CSP I suppose.

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:38 pm

I completely agree with djrez. Although you have to be either spending a lot of money each year to make all those annual fee cards worth it or churning cards.

I think the CSP or Ink + Freedom combo deserves a permanent spot in the wallet. With the combination you can definitely make the annual fee on the CSP or Ink worth it. If you're a moderate spender you could cut out the AMEX reward system for simplicity. And the Arrival+ will shine especially if you have a lot of noncategory spending.

Apparently the Chip+Pin technology came in handy for djrez! That's awesome. Next month I will go to Japan. I'll see what they accept.



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