Credit card reform, advice needed

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mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:38 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:You're right, I can't find anything about the Fandango Visa Signature perk anymore. Looks like it is dead at least for the time being.

If that's the case, even less reason to care about Visa Signature

Figures...the most popular perk is what gets removed first.

mountaindewvoltage wrote:AMEX has declined one charge but that was when I checked the spending power on the app, and I believe it was only because of an error when I was transitioning to the contactless card from the non-contactless one. The rep said the card was somehow deactivated due to this transition.

I was just approved for Amazon a week ago, so no, haven't seen how high the NPSL will go, yet.

Good question, not sure how much I value MR vs. cash back, but would probably split it 50/50, it's hard to say because they can both be advantageous in different ways.

I just PC'd my miles FROM the 5% card, because I don't spend much in the categories Discover gives out anyways, and 1% with them is lousy. I mean Amazon will be covered by the Chase Amazon card, and gas isn't exactly a high spend category for me, even though it's one of my main spending areas.

I like your tree idea, but some cards are similar in rewards but different in benefits, which is knotting me up.

Since you've not exceeded $3k on Amazon, and you suspect your Amex decline was just due to technological problems, then I don't see how you're more confident in the spending power of Amazon than PRG.

There's no rush to figure out how you should value MRs, but it's hard to suggest which cards to close without that information. Any amount of cash is good, but there's not much you can do with MRs (and get a decent cent-per-point value) unless you have a lot of them.

Also, I think Amex has a one-month delay before paying out cash (like they do with MRs). I don't use my BCE enough to notice or care. When/why did you switch from OBC to BCE?


MR's are good for TrueBlue and HHonors points, because I'm a member of both, but Citi also has a HHonors points card, but I would NEVER touch another Barclaycard again to earn TruBlue points.

I figured I would never reach $6,500 in spend on the card because I have so many others and it didn't like the idea of .05% back anymore.

I do think it's annoying that there's "NPSL" when they could just tell you what your soft limit is so I don't have to keep checking when I have a $500 balance and a new card.
Last edited by mountaindewvoltage on Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.


mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:41 pm

kdm31091 wrote:The movie ticket discount is one Visa Signature perk that may be widely useful, and you sound like you benefit from the Amazon Visa anyway, so I wouldn't be rushing to close it. I just mean that most Visa Signature benefits are more marketing vs anything anyone will actually end up using. The hotel discounts are great in theory but they tend to be for less than mainstream hotels so it's again not very likely to be consistently useful,

If you want to PC the Diamond, that makes sense, but I'm curious which cards you are seriously considering getting rid of?


The Amazon card is the last one I'd close, especially since I just got it.

I would get rid of the Citi card but still see a chance to PC it, but otherwise it would be the first card I'd want to close because it's worthless. I do want to close one of my AMEX cards but it's hard to decide between the revolver and the charge.

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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:16 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote:I like your tree idea, but some cards are similar in rewards but different in benefits, which is knotting me up.

You can include benefits in building your tree. It just forces you to decide if Card A's benefit B is enough to make it worth keeping.

You say Empower is your best card is you want to carry a balance, but the 13.24% APR is higher than what Discover offers you on BTs (4.99% APR, presumably for 18 months with no BT fee). So would you realistically carry a balance on Empower, instead of doing the BT to Discover? If you pay Empower 10 days late you may avoid a late payment fee, but I assume you'll still be hit with interest even if you PIF. If you need to carry a balance on any card, you can avoid the late payment fee pretty easily by just paying at least the minimum on time.

Your NFCU card also has no FTFs. If you want to simplify, I just see Empower's value as a cash advance card. Is it worth keeping just for cash advances?

What would be the appeal of a TY Premier? You wouldn't get the bonus by PCing to it. Would you travel enough to justify both a TY Premier and PRG?

DC may be boring, but it beats a post-intro 0% Diamond Preferred. If you decide a transaction is worth trying a Price Rewind, you might as well try to pick up a little cash back, too. Maybe PC to DC now, earn a little cash back, and think about PCing to Premier in the future? I don't see any downside.

PRG has ShopRunner, too. If you PCed DP to DC, BCE would only offer 3% cash (comparable to PRG's 2x MRs) on groceries and occasional Amex offers. Is that enough reason to keep BCE?

There's nothing wrong with keeping both BCE and PRG, and you may feel it's easier to track 2 Amex cards than 2 cards from different banks. I know I don't mind keeping BCE and ED because I'd be keeping Platinum, anyway, and can call the Platinum line with problems on any card. But...I've also noticed that good Amex offers have diminished and BCE and ED really don't provide me with a ton of value. If I was determined to limit my total card count (instead of my issuer/login count) you can bet BCE would be quick to go.


Great point about the Empower Card, but it's also a relationship thing with me since they treat me the best of any financial institution I have. Technically the APR should've been 10.99% + 0.25% with the prime rate going up, but they decided that even though they pulled my report in late December, that my rate would stay at 12.74% + whatever (somehow they raised it 0.50%) because they're conservative . There's also ease of payments with them, just transfer over and it's instant. At the end of the day, I know they'll always try to reduce my APR every time I ask for an increase. I have used it for cash advances too, but that was back when I wasn't making as much money as I am now.

The TYPre would be great for a MR replacement, even though there's no grocery category, and only at $95 a year instead of $195. Dining and entertainment at 2x (2.50% basically), with all travel including gas at 3x (3.75% basically) and everything else at 1x (or 1.25%) for all other purchases is great while also including luggage and trip cancellation/insurance protection which none of my other cards have, plus simplified price protection, which AMEX doesn't seem to have. I also like the idea of the DC card and that would end up hogging most of my spending for 2% cash back.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:38 pm

I'd encourage you to think carefully before transferring MRs to Hilton. Even after the 50% bonus, the point value is pretty dismal.

If you want a lot of HHonors points, just buy them. They are on sale for 0.555 cents each right now.

Why use 1 MR to get 1.5 HH points when you can buy the same 1.5 HH points for just 0.833 cents? (Not that there are fractional points, I'm just keeping the proportions easy to follow).

It's like Chase URs and IHG; I stay at IHG often, but I'd need my head examined if I ever transferred URs there. I just get points cheaply through other ways.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:07 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'd encourage you to think carefully before transferring MRs to Hilton. Even after the 50% bonus, the point value is pretty dismal.

If you want a lot of HHonors points, just buy them. They are on sale for 0.555 cents each right now.

Why use 1 MR to get 1.5 HH points when you can buy the same 1.5 HH points for just 0.833 cents? (Not that there are fractional points, I'm just keeping the proportions easy to follow).

It's like Chase URs and IHG; I stay at IHG often, but I'd need my head examined if I ever transferred URs there. I just get points cheaply through other ways.


So would the Citi HHonors card be better? Even if I were able to transfer from the CTYPr card?

TXviking
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby TXviking » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:49 am

kdm31091 wrote:It's nice the Amazon card is metal but as you noted it's really of most benefit for online purchases, so the design is basically irrelevant. I also don't rate Visa Signature benefits high on the list because almost no one actually uses them.


I've often wondered why this is. On paper, the benefits are significant – the extended warranty benefits alone could have saved me money in several cases. The lost luggage reimbursement is basically worthless because you're forced to make a claim against your homeowner's policy first, but some of the the other benefits seem substantial. And yet I've basically never used them; most people I know haven't either. Why is that?

NerdWallet has a good summary here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-benefits/visa-signature/

mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:54 am

TXviking wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:It's nice the Amazon card is metal but as you noted it's really of most benefit for online purchases, so the design is basically irrelevant. I also don't rate Visa Signature benefits high on the list because almost no one actually uses them.


I've often wondered why this is. On paper, the benefits are significant – the extended warranty benefits alone could have saved me money in several cases. The lost luggage reimbursement is basically worthless because you're forced to make a claim against your homeowner's policy first, but some of the the other benefits seem substantial. And yet I've basically never used them; most people I know haven't either. Why is that?

NerdWallet has a good summary here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-benefits/visa-signature/


I don't have homeowner's insurance, so I don't have to play those stupid games with Visa.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:00 am

mountaindewvoltage wrote:
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'd encourage you to think carefully before transferring MRs to Hilton. Even after the 50% bonus, the point value is pretty dismal.

If you want a lot of HHonors points, just buy them. They are on sale for 0.555 cents each right now.

Why use 1 MR to get 1.5 HH points when you can buy the same 1.5 HH points for just 0.833 cents? (Not that there are fractional points, I'm just keeping the proportions easy to follow).

It's like Chase URs and IHG; I stay at IHG often, but I'd need my head examined if I ever transferred URs there. I just get points cheaply through other ways.


So would the Citi HHonors card be better? Even if I were able to transfer from the CTYPr card?

Hmm...Premier earns 3 TYs on travel...so that's 4.5 HH points. (Both Citi and Amex offer a 50% bonus on transfer.)

You can buy 4.5 HH points for 2.5 cents in the current sale...or even less during other sales. Not too appealing.

Then again, if you're worried about carrying balances, stockpiling points in advance probably wouldn't make sense for you.

The Citi and Amex AF Hilton cards have more reasonable earn rates...and there are rumors Amex has a third Hilton card in the works (bringing the total to 3 Amex and 2 Citi Hilton options).

I'm not thrilled about any of them, really, but have considered the AF ones for the bonuses.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:31 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote:
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'd encourage you to think carefully before transferring MRs to Hilton. Even after the 50% bonus, the point value is pretty dismal.

If you want a lot of HHonors points, just buy them. They are on sale for 0.555 cents each right now.

Why use 1 MR to get 1.5 HH points when you can buy the same 1.5 HH points for just 0.833 cents? (Not that there are fractional points, I'm just keeping the proportions easy to follow).

It's like Chase URs and IHG; I stay at IHG often, but I'd need my head examined if I ever transferred URs there. I just get points cheaply through other ways.


So would the Citi HHonors card be better? Even if I were able to transfer from the CTYPr card?

Hmm...Premier earns 3 TYs on travel...so that's 4.5 HH points. (Both Citi and Amex offer a 50% bonus on transfer.)

You can buy 4.5 HH points for 2.5 cents in the current sale...or even less during other sales. Not too appealing.

Then again, if you're worried about carrying balances, stockpiling points in advance probably wouldn't make sense for you.

The Citi and Amex AF Hilton cards have more reasonable earn rates...and there are rumors Amex has a third Hilton card in the works (bringing the total to 3 Amex and 2 Citi Hilton options).

I'm not thrilled about any of them, really, but have considered the AF ones for the bonuses.


So what is the TYPR points worth when redeemed for TruBlue points

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Credit card reform, advice needed

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:58 am

mountaindewvoltage wrote:So what is the TYPR points worth when redeemed for TruBlue points

I'm not that familiar with the TrueBlue program's strengths and weaknesses, but 1000 TYs become only 800 TrueBlue points, so the importance of getting more value per TrueBlue point is increased.

I use my TYs for 1.6 cpp on AA revenue flights, but that's a Prestige-only option and will expire in about 5 months. If I keep the card, I have no idea what I'll do with TY points after that. I spend a lot on the card, but after several AA revenue flight redemptions, I don't have many TYs left to do much with.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card



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