Maximizing the Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Dragons King
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Maximizing the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Postby Dragons King » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:52 am

Hi,


I'm a new member and I've recently found this site. I've a few questions and here are my background.

I'm 23 and recent college grad, I'm a field engineer that requires me to travel a lot.
I was given a American Express corporate card but my manager doesn't required me to use it so I just use my personal cards.

My credit is around 750 and here are my current cards:

BoA cash rewards privilege (50% bonus if I redeem with BoA)
Discovery It
Capital One QS
Chase Amazon rewards

I've recently applied and was approved for CSP with a 9k limit. I've read that it is one of the best cards for travels.
As a field engineer, I get Diem (meals, parking, etc) and last month I spent roughly 4.5k on travels relative (hotel, rental, etc).

My questions are:
1. How do i maximize the CSP card and get all the benefits? ( For ex: I will definitely get the 40k pts bonus and the 5k pts bonus by adding user bonus but what else can I do?)
2. Any tips for a travelers?

Thanks


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PlyrStar93
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Postby PlyrStar93 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:31 pm

One possible thing you want is to find a frequent flier program or hotel program and convert your points into there.

Also if you want rotating categories you might product change the Amazon Rewards card into Freedom. Then, you can move your points earned from Freedom into CSP. However, do keep in mind that after PC the points in Amazon Rewards might be forfeited, so you want to redeem them (or won't forfeit, but it's better for yourself to check with customer service).

There are other benefits like primary auto insurance and others which I don't quite familiar with.

The last thing to do is to redeem for cash back--not quite worth it.
Citi Forward Visa $5000 10/2012 | American Express Blue Cash Everyday $8000 2/2014 | Discover it $7000 5/2014
Chase Freedom Visa Signature $7000 6/2014 | Citi ThankYou Premier Visa Signature $5000 1/2015
All EMV.

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sicasun
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Postby sicasun » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:32 pm

As mentioned by PlyrStar, The Chase Freedom and CSP combo is pretty well known, and definitely a good way to maximize usage of CSP's 1.25x travel redeem feature.

If you book flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards using points from your CSP, you get 1.25cents for every 1pt. So basically, if a flight costs $100, it would normally cost 10000pts to redeem. With CSP, you can get that $100 airfare for 8000pts :)
I've also heard of First Friday feature. Dine at a restaurant on the first friday of the month and get 3x points I think?

Chase Sapphire Preferred | 09/2014 | $10,300
Chase Sapphire | 05/2010 | $5,000
Chase Freedom | 01/2013 | $5,500
CapitalOne Quicksilver | 01/2013 | $2,500
American Express TrueEarnings | 08/2014 | $5,500
Victoria's Secret Angel Card | 04/2011 | $600

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Dragons King
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Postby Dragons King » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:01 pm

Currently I use my BoA card the most for everything but I will start and use my CSP.
As for the airfare, I can use CSP to book flights and get reimburse back as I don't pay to travel. However, it is nice to rack up points for vacation or even convert them to cash.

Dragons King
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Postby Dragons King » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:11 pm

I've signed up for the hotel , southwest, & hertz reward programs. However, I don't think it is necessary for me to join and open any reward credit cards with any of them. I will be using my CSP and will redeem/convert whenever necessary like booking a hotel and rental for vacation or just convert the pts to cash.

rockyrock
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Postby rockyrock » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:14 pm

Use the CSP for every travel (hotel, transfers, airfare, etc.) and dining related expense. If you can book your lodging and rental car through the UR Mall using Expedia or TO, even better. You are in a position to rack up mass quantities of UR points which you can bank and use for personal travel later on. That alone will let you maximize your CSP. You can continue to use your other cards as you see fit--like Discover for gas this qtr.

The amazon card is kind of a dud so I would follow the advice PlyrStar gave.
American Express (2005): Premier Rewards Gold & Blue Cash Preferred
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Dragons King
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Postby Dragons King » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:39 pm

rockyrock wrote:Use the CSP for every travel (hotel, transfers, airfare, etc.) and dining related expense. If you can book your lodging and rental car through the UR Mall using Expedia or TO, even better. You are in a position to rack up mass quantities of UR points which you can bank and use for personal travel later on. That alone will let you maximize your CSP. You can continue to use your other cards as you see fit--like Discover for gas this qtr.

The amazon card is kind of a dud so I would follow the advice PlyrStar gave.


Unfortunately, I’ve to use the company travel’s website. For example, if I was to rent a car with hertz and bypass my company, for a one month it would cost around $2500 and since I’m under 25 that doesn’t help either but with my company I’m getting charge about ~1k a month.
Same goes for everything Hotel, Airfare with the exception of food. That I can go anywhere I want and spend within my Diem.
As for my Chase Amazon card, that’s my oldest credit card. I have it since my freshman year in college but I haven’t used it much after my graduation. For clarity, if I wanted to get the freedom, is it a straight up switch? Or I have to close one account and open a new one?
On another note, what are your thoughts on the Marriott’s hotel credit card? It is very similar to the CSP but for Marriott’s hotels and it chain.

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PlyrStar93
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Postby PlyrStar93 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:41 am

Oops... you might want to ignore what I have said about PC'ing the Amazon card to Freedom. After doing some search I have found a trend that Chase would not PC a co-branded card to a non co-branded one.

My basic thought was like ditching the Amazon card and getting the Freedom. Took it for granted it could be done with a simple product change. My negligence here.

You can still call CSR and ask for PC, pretending you don't know that rule, just to make sure you can't do the PC.

If they don't PC, then you probably have to apply for the Freedom, but you can move your CL from the Amazon card to Freedom, then close the Amazon (or keep it, if you have CL remaining). You will lose the history on Amazon card but that will happen 10 years after closing account.

It is indeed quite easy to find some other cards having better rewards than the Amazon card (e.g Sallie Mae) but if you would like to keep it it's fine. You cannot use the rewards from Amazon card at CSP.
Citi Forward Visa $5000 10/2012 | American Express Blue Cash Everyday $8000 2/2014 | Discover it $7000 5/2014
Chase Freedom Visa Signature $7000 6/2014 | Citi ThankYou Premier Visa Signature $5000 1/2015
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takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:01 pm

rockyrock wrote:Use the CSP for every travel (hotel, transfers, airfare, etc.) and dining related expense. If you can book your lodging and rental car through the UR Mall using Expedia or TO, even better.

The UR mall is useful for faster points earning on various types of spend. I just received some bonus points for Tire Rack purchases, for example.

Dragons King wrote:Unfortunately, I’ve to use the company travel’s website. For example, if I was to rent a car with hertz and bypass my company, for a one month it would cost around $2500 and since I’m under 25 that doesn’t help either but with my company I’m getting charge about ~1k a month.

They don't have a CDP that you can use with Hertz (and equivalents with other travel companies)? You might want to make sure that travel spend on your company's site will count as travel for CSP purchases.

Dragons King wrote:On another note, what are your thoughts on the Marriott’s hotel credit card? It is very similar to the CSP but for Marriott’s hotels and it chain.

Some find the free night offsets the AF. If you're looking to maximize UR rewards then you might want to look at adding the Freedom as suggested. If you have your own business and can utilize the 5% categories then consider the Ink cards as well since they also accrue UR points.

Dragons King wrote:However, I don't think it is necessary for me to join and open any reward credit cards with any of them.

Some of the cobranded airline cards have some flight benefits but if you're racking up enough frequent flier miles with a given airline then you might be getting those flight benefits anyway.

rockyrock wrote:Use the CSP for every travel (hotel, transfers, airfare, etc.) and dining related expense.

See also:
https://www.chase.com/index.jsp?pg_name=ccpmapp/shared/assets/page/Online_Rewards_FAQ

I get 2x at coffee shops (dining). Parking counts as travel. Taxis count as travel. The Washington State ferry counted as travel. Spin Laundry in Portland was 2x but that was because they have a bar and coffee (fell under dining). Some of my inflight charges (DirecTV, WiFi) counted as travel and some did not. The trolley tour around the rim of Crater Lake counted as travel.



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