How have your CC habits and views changed?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:54 pm

Nixon wrote:No rhyme or reason from what I can tell.

One plausible explanation is their analysis of my selective use of the card. When they see I use Sallie Mae almost entirely for 5% stuff, their algorithms may conclude that a little boost to my rewards isn't going to make me bring non-bonus spending over on a long-term basis.

For Aviator, there may be more leeway in giving mini-bonuses upon request. For cards like Sallie Mae and Priceline, I think it's (at least almost) impossible to request extra rewards. Either the algorithms pick you as being eligible and they contact you with the offer, or the algorithms don't and the CSRs can do nothing.

Discover and Amex employees seem to have a lot more freedom in handing out incentives.

*Another change is that I'm more willing to close a card or let it die off if I find it a headache - even if it saves me money.*
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:17 pm

I'm finding that EDP has become something of a "transaction magnet". I'll use Freedom and Discover for even small stuff that earns 5.5 URS / 10% cash. For dining and travel transactions under $10 (lunch and parking fees), though, I've been going with EDP.

I know 2 URs beat 1.5 MRs, but I make it up with the 4.5 MRs on big grocery trips.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby Vattené » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:40 pm

Have you ever tried breaking up those larger grocery transactions to boost your count? It sounds like you may never have trouble reaching 30, though, so there may be no need.
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby yfan » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:56 pm

I don't know if you can call it a change; I'd call mine more of a confirmation. Last year, I tried to play with the Marriott Premier Rewards card to see how points would work for me as opposed to cashback, which I had always been partial to.

I liked the card, its design and its earning structure, at least when it came to staying at Marriott properties. And if I were going to be loyal to the Marriott brand, nothing in my spend range could really beat the MRP.

But here's the thing: almost without exception, there would be other hotels or motels I could stay at in the area that are cheaper, and cheaper by more than enough that it negates the card's high earn rate at Marriott properties. These other accommodations aren't always as elegant as a Marriott property, but I really have discovered that when it comes to boarding, I really have few true requirements: the room must be clean, have a comfortable bed and running hot water, be in a safe area, and away from too much noise. Anything beyond it is extra, and I would frankly rather have free parking than "VIP treatment". After all, when I'm on vacation, I try to spend as little time in the hotel as possible.

So I found out that given my requirements, cashback - or at least a currency that can be used at hotels almost universally without a minimum - would be best for me. So I decided to concentrate my spend on cashback cards, which now includes my Orbitz Visa, which earns 5% on all Orbitz-booked prepaid stays and flights and can be used in any amount for a hotel stay.

What I've learned about myself is that my fun doesn't come from fancy wines or room upgrades. It comes from spending time outdoors, in the locale, with the people I value the most.

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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby morgacj2004 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:07 pm

yfan wrote:I don't know if you can call it a change; I'd call mine more of a confirmation. Last year, I tried to play with the Marriott Premier Rewards card to see how points would work for me as opposed to cashback, which I had always been partial to.

I liked the card, its design and its earning structure, at least when it came to staying at Marriott properties. And if I were going to be loyal to the Marriott brand, nothing in my spend range could really beat the MRP.

But here's the thing: almost without exception, there would be other hotels or motels I could stay at in the area that are cheaper, and cheaper by more than enough that it negates the card's high earn rate at Marriott properties. These other accommodations aren't always as elegant as a Marriott property, but I really have discovered that when it comes to boarding, I really have few true requirements: the room must be clean, have a comfortable bed and running hot water, be in a safe area, and away from too much noise. Anything beyond it is extra, and I would frankly rather have free parking than "VIP treatment". After all, when I'm on vacation, I try to spend as little time in the hotel as possible.

So I found out that given my requirements, cashback - or at least a currency that can be used at hotels almost universally without a minimum - would be best for me. So I decided to concentrate my spend on cashback cards, which now includes my Orbitz Visa, which earns 5% on all Orbitz-booked prepaid stays and flights and can be used in any amount for a hotel stay.

What I've learned about myself is that my fun doesn't come from fancy wines or room upgrades. It comes from spending time outdoors, in the locale, with the people I value the most.



I could not agree more. I previously was a road warrior flying 60-70k miles a year and spending 40+ nights a year in hotels. Now I try to travel for business purposes only as a last resort and I really enjoy spending time at home and in the community. You miss a lot when you are always on the road. As far as my credit cards go I have been churning as of late collecting sign up bonuses. I rarely have a balance on any of my cards as the last thing in the world I want is to pay interest. I prev kept balances on most of my CC so I learned a lot from those days.

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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:25 pm

Vattené wrote:Have you ever tried breaking up those larger grocery transactions to boost your count? It sounds like you may never have trouble reaching 30, though, so there may be no need.

A few times, but not routinely, and I've never tried an EDP/EDP split. The first time I tried it, a junior grocery clerk who was attending the self-checkout stands stopped me because she thought I was shoplifting.* Other times, it's gone smoothly, but those have been more about putting minimum activity on a card (BCE, SM, PRG) to keep it active, or getting one more EDP transaction when most of my grocery spend was going to IHG (I was in a rush to hit minimum spend and switch bonuses).

*I suspect they moved her to a different part of the store because she was attractive and a lot of old men would have "problems" with their self-checkout stands and require her attention. Far fewer people seem to have problems when an older, unattractive (but great at her job) lady is on her shift.

Maybe I will try an EDP/EDP split, and lower the "CSP minimum" to $5 or so. A $2 cup of coffee will probably remain an EDP purchase, though.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby amex007 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:25 pm

kdm31091 wrote:
MemberSince99 wrote:It seems a lot of us feel the same way.

You know once you get past only being able to have a lousy First Premiere or Credit One card, or a Cap One with a toy limit and no rewards, and you get into the GOOD cards, we all seem to go through the phase of wanting to have as many cards as possible. There are multiple reasons for this - establishing credit with multiple lenders, increasing limits, rewards, plus to be honest the thrill of conquest.

Then at some point when you are trying to juggle and stay on top of all of these accounts, you realize that doing this isn't really such a great idea after all. Sure you can squeeze every possible cent out of your rewards this way, but redeeming them in a useful manner can be difficult, and it's a real PITA. Then you come to accept that hey, maybe I don't really care about every penny because in a year's time for me, it's only a few dollars difference anyway and my time is worth more than I'm "making" this way, maybe I should just concentrate on quality over quantity, making my life easier to manage. Lenders are starting to look poorly at churners as they tend to not be profitable over the long term.

So you started with maybe one card, and once you come full circle you realize you absolutely want no more than 4 to 6 cards, TOPS. 10 or more is just a hassle.


I agree with this post 100%. There's also the fact that outside of really large spend you get diminishing returns with 10+ cards. You can't possibly achieve much in rewards across that many cards without spending a ton. As you said, it often comes out to a few bucks a year. Not really worth the time, effort, or tracking of accounts. But to each their own.


a few bucks a year hahahah... thats a shame.
better to just keep it simple and spend on cards you like imo
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby Darrvao777 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:36 pm

I've come to realize that I truly value elite status and that airline miles and hotel points (for the most part) can be easily obtained through bonuses

So my core 3 are now:

- AA Aviator Siilver (10000 eqms earned / 40k)
- AA Citi Executive (10000 eqms earned / 40k)
- Amex Platinum (SPG Gold Status)

Allows me to travel in style even when I travel infrequently (SPG and AA Gold status)
- Amex Platinum (primary)
- Citi Double Cash (backup)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (just to get the bonus, closing in 2017)

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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby kdm31091 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:08 am

I agree the hotel cards can benefit someone who really really likes a certain brand and stays there a lot but it can also be very "penny wise, pound foolish". You're spending more to stay at a Marriott, period. The rewards do not negate it. Do you think issuers don't know this? The goal of ANY reward program is simple: to get you to spend more money. And it works, judging by the people who salivate over the "status" cards like Marriott and Ritz, even though you can find far cheaper, functional hotel rooms.

Some people like plush accommodations when on vacation and I respect that, but I get tired of hearing about how "valuable" Marriott/Ritz/whatever cards are. If you really do the math, you will come out ahead going for a less expensive hotel and using a cash back card almost every time. You are simply falling for the marketing of the cards if you ignore this. Again, everyone has different preferences and if you are traveling on the road every week staying at a Ritz, it could make sense, I suppose, but for a couple trips a year like an average person it seems like overkill to have a dedicated Ritz card. Most people do not have the time/money/inclination to stay at a Ritz very often. (And if you are on the road that much, staying at such a nice place is overkill IMO).

I echo the above point too about traveling too much. I mean yes it's nice and important to have a change of scenery every so often and no one should exist in a bubble. But traveling so often that you miss out on your "real life" at home is not good either!

Obviously to each their own, but always keep in mind that rewards are designed for you to spend more, and that's all they exist for. If getting a Marriott card makes you opt to stay there every time, and thus spend more than you otherwise would have on lodging, then the marketing has done its job. If you are staying there BECAUSE you have the card, and therefore spending more to justify said card, it's the wrong path IMO.

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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby JonE » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:03 am

I don't do nearly enough of that kind of traveling to want a hotel card. Chase Freedom's categories for travel (as I understand) also cover parking, public transportation and tolls. if I have enough points to take the occasional plane trip/hotel stay on the house, all the better.
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