November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Tubpbs
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby Tubpbs » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:19 pm

Vermonster wrote:I find the personal finance subreddit is a better place to go. Yes, it is basically a giant circlejerk most of the time, but the intentions are in the right place. MF is often a circlejerk to see who can take the biggest risks without filing for BK.

When I feel shit I often visit MF's "relationships" forum. I get a good kick out of the stuff on there. Not just the horrible stories people attempt to justify, but some of the responses are pure gold.


Please post ( or PM if it's not appropriate for forum purposes) some of this pure gold. I have been in the relationships section before and it is quite entertaining. Very interested in some good ones.
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It


Nixon
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby Nixon » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:11 am

Vermonster wrote:I find the personal finance subreddit is a better place to go. Yes, it is basically a giant circlejerk most of the time, but the intentions are in the right place. MF is often a circlejerk to see who can take the biggest risks without filing for BK.

When I feel shit I often visit MF's "relationships" forum. I get a good kick out of the stuff on there. Not just the horrible stories people attempt to justify, but some of the responses are pure gold.


I never posted in anything but credit cards forum because if I did, I'd have been banned a lot sooner. :D
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:06 pm

I avoided credit stuff for almost a week before I tried to book a domestic award flight (NYC area to Los Angeles area) using MRs. I tried Delta, Virgin America, and American via BA Avios. I can definitely understand more thoroughly the complaints I've heard about poor MR value for domestic travel, even with indirect flights and lesser airports. I thought Virgin America would be a great deal until I remembered the MR:Elevate transfer ratio was 2:1.

Having many airlines fly a particular route doesn't help me get an award flight if none of those airlines' award charts offer a bargain award on that route. That's a fundamental truth I didn't fully appreciate before. Fortunately, I have some decent options for paid flights on Delta and United.

I do see the appeal of churning cobranded airline cards for bonuses. MRs and URs have more power because you can use them on many partners, but there is a certain crude simplicity in just getting a huge number of miles, using them only semi-efficiently, and then just dropping the card.

With heavy and efficient EDP use from regular spending, 30+ transactions every month, as well as extras like the Whole Foods bonus MRs and even a modest retention offer, I might earn 50k MRs in a year (along with plenty of URs and some Discover cash). 50k is pretty good - except that it could also be accomplished with the signup bonus(es) from one or two cobrand cards.

I'll have another transatlantic flight before too long, and maybe find a decent Delta award rate to use my MRs.

I know I can't get a card now and have the miles become available in time for a December/January round trip flight. I am definitely in the garden through 2015. That temptation has passed. :)

But within the first few months of 2016, I think it will be time to PC EDP to ED and let the bonus hunting begin! I'll have 11 cards with an AAoA of about 15 months, and only 4 new accounts within the last year. Amex cards (PRG, ED, BCE) will be for offers and credits only, and more spending will go towards URs and cash back when I don't have an initial bonus to work on. I already have a lot of credit from Amex and Chase, but I will go for some nice miles bonuses from BofA, Barclaycard, and Citi.
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

Tubpbs
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby Tubpbs » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:42 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I avoided credit stuff for almost a week before I tried to book a domestic award flight (NYC area to Los Angeles area) using MRs. I tried Delta, Virgin America, and American via BA Avios. I can definitely understand more thoroughly the complaints I've heard about poor MR value for domestic travel, even with indirect flights and lesser airports. I thought Virgin America would be a great deal until I remembered the MR:Elevate transfer ratio was 2:1.

Having many airlines fly a particular route doesn't help me get an award flight if none of those airlines' award charts offer a bargain award on that route. That's a fundamental truth I didn't fully appreciate before. Fortunately, I have some decent options for paid flights on Delta and United.

I do see the appeal of churning cobranded airline cards for bonuses. MRs and URs have more power because you can use them on many partners, but there is a certain crude simplicity in just getting a huge number of miles, using them only semi-efficiently, and then just dropping the card.

With heavy and efficient EDP use from regular spending, 30+ transactions every month, as well as extras like the Whole Foods bonus MRs and even a modest retention offer, I might earn 50k MRs in a year (along with plenty of URs and some Discover cash). 50k is pretty good - except that it could also be accomplished with the signup bonus(es) from one or two cobrand cards.

I'll have another transatlantic flight before too long, and maybe find a decent Delta award rate to use my MRs.

I know I can't get a card now and have the miles become available in time for a December/January round trip flight. I am definitely in the garden through 2015. That temptation has passed. :)

But within the first few months of 2016, I think it will be time to PC EDP to ED and let the bonus hunting begin! I'll have 11 cards with an AAoA of about 15 months, and only 4 new accounts within the last year. Amex cards (PRG, ED, BCE) will be for offers and credits only, and more spending will go towards URs and cash back when I don't have an initial bonus to work on. I already have a lot of credit from Amex and Chase, but I will go for some nice miles bonuses from BofA, Barclaycard, and Citi.


Welcome back? Maybe?

What Citi, BoA and Barclaycards interest you for bonus purposes?

What valuation were you getting with the MRs when trying to book the fight? Or it wasn't necessarily valuation, but other factors that made you realize it wasn't such a pleasant exchange process?

I haven't exchanged any major points for travel or otherwise in a while. The way the points accumulate, the time it takes and the spending it takes, exchanging them for a less expected rate is very difficult to swallow on and "push the button" if you will. The temptation to wait for a better deal and keep accumulating points and just pay cash (credit not cash) for the tickets sets in quickly.
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:30 pm

Tubpbs wrote:Welcome back? Maybe?

What Citi, BoA and Barclaycards interest you for bonus purposes?

What valuation were you getting with the MRs when trying to book the fight? Or it wasn't necessarily valuation, but other factors that made you realize it wasn't such a pleasant exchange process?

I haven't exchanged any major points for travel or otherwise in a while. The way the points accumulate, the time it takes and the spending it takes, exchanging them for a less expected rate is very difficult to swallow on and "push the button" if you will. The temptation to wait for a better deal and keep accumulating points and just pay cash (credit not cash) for the tickets sets in quickly.

I'll be on here...irregularly.

AAdvantage, Virgin Atlantic, and Hawaiian Airlines.

MR values: I was getting about 1.3 cpp for Delta and AA/BA, and 0.9 for Virgin America (remember it's 2:1). My decision to spend on EDP regularly was based on getting 1.3 cpp at an absolute minimum for MRs, but I was hoping for 1.5 to 2.

Delta JFK to LAX was about $350 or 25k points, whereas Delta JFK to LHR is $1100 or 30k. Smaller airlines to JFK to LHR for about $600. Since I fly JFK to LAX at least once a year, it seems to make sense to pay cash for those flights or use cobrand signup bonuses, saving the MRs for transatlantic travel.
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

yfan
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby yfan » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:24 pm

This gardening thing. It's nice. I just noticed that all my inquiries are now more than a year old, except one on Experian. One of my credit unions just increased the limit on their CC for me from $2500 to $10,000 without me having to even ask - and although this card mainly serves as a way to get a high interest on my checking account with them rather than a rewards reserve (CURewards points have roughly a 0.65 cpp value if their redemption level for gift cards is right), but it's still feels good and is a good cushion to have on available credit.

Nixon
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby Nixon » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:28 pm

My TU just jumped to 774, Discover bumped my CL from $6,500 to $9,600 after it went 2 day pending. All 3 reports are frozen.

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kdm31091
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:07 pm

yfan wrote:This gardening thing. It's nice. I just noticed that all my inquiries are now more than a year old, except one on Experian. One of my credit unions just increased the limit on their CC for me from $2500 to $10,000 without me having to even ask - and although this card mainly serves as a way to get a high interest on my checking account with them rather than a rewards reserve (CURewards points have roughly a 0.65 cpp value if their redemption level for gift cards is right), but it's still feels good and is a good cushion to have on available credit.


You're doing great gardening! :) Congrats

Vermonster
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby Vermonster » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:02 pm

yfan wrote:This gardening thing. It's nice. I just noticed that all my inquiries are now more than a year old, except one on Experian. One of my credit unions just increased the limit on their CC for me from $2500 to $10,000 without me having to even ask - and although this card mainly serves as a way to get a high interest on my checking account with them rather than a rewards reserve (CURewards points have roughly a 0.65 cpp value if their redemption level for gift cards is right), but it's still feels good and is a good cushion to have on available credit.


Feels good doesn't it. Gardening takes more work (not really) than apping, but the rewards are just as good. :cheers:
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

JonE
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Re: November 2015 Garden Cult/Club

Postby JonE » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:11 am

yfan wrote:This gardening thing. It's nice. I just noticed that all my inquiries are now more than a year old, except one on Experian. One of my credit unions just increased the limit on their CC for me from $2500 to $10,000 without me having to even ask - and although this card mainly serves as a way to get a high interest on my checking account with them rather than a rewards reserve (CURewards points have roughly a 0.65 cpp value if their redemption level for gift cards is right), but it's still feels good and is a good cushion to have on available credit.


I'm to the point where I'm applying for cards a year apart, last year at this time, my first three (chase and synchrony), this year, Discover, next year probably the last ones on my list and that will likely be it barring any other major card announcements. It just feels better than having to track 20 accounts at one time, worrying about whether my 'app spree' is going to be successful, and worrying about AA because one of my creditors doesn't like too many accounts. I honestly don't see how people do it.

I have moved most of my spending/bill pay stuff to the Discover card while I'm paying down the other accounts. As much as I dislike Dave Ramsey, the snowball method will be coming into effect here for Walmart and Care Credit, then hit Chase with the difference, while still PIFing Discover. All scores are consistently lower 600s at this point, which is an improvement. Hoping for at least good scores (660+) by middle of 2016.
Current Cards: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Future: TBD



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