- Centurion Member
- Posts: 235
- Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:10 pm
- Location: United States
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember that the CSP 20% is a DISCOUNT OFF THE CASH PRICE, not a "bonus" in it's truest form. Essentially, instead of getting 1 cent per point, you're getting 1.2 cents, which is ACTUALLY EXTREMELY LOW FOR REDEMPTION. The general rule of thumb is you want to get 1.5 cents or better on your points/miles to make them worth it. As such, transferring points to miles is the way to go, as you get better redemption with the fixed mileage rates in most cases (for example, booking a ticket with a $350 cash value for 20K miles for a 1.75 cent/mile redemption rate).
CSP is great if (a) you will save on foreign transaction fees, (b) you dine and "travel" (remember that travel includes things like taxis and rental cars if you happen to use those a lot near home) a lot, and (c) you are aware of how to find deals with airline partners on transfers. Also if you currently have need for chip-and-sig (which probably means you travel a lot). Even then, you will get a little over 4% back if you're lucky and good (book paid travel through UR to get the extra point, spend a lot in travel and dining, and transfer to get good deals through an airline or hotel partner program).
If you're doing better than 4% back with cash back, just go with that. Because I spend almost nothing on gas (maybe $50/year? I do Zipcar which includes the gas) and very little at grocery stores (most of my food comes from the farm share, farmer's market, or small-time butcher), I do better with CSP (I dine out and travel a lot and know how to get mileage deals). If you spend a lot on gas and groceries, these categories are oft-rewarded from cash back cards at high rates and they're more up your alley.
Target Visa $1.5K