How do you use your credit card rewards?

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amexmember12
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How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby amexmember12 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:56 pm

With the many versions of rewards cards out there with various earning and redemption structures. The task finding the "best" way to redeem your cash back, points or miles can be very tedious and for a lot people usually ends up with the rewards being used for the most convenient options available.

Some cards have straightforward redemption options, some not so much.

So how do you use your rewards be it cash, miles or points?


Me:

  • AMEX BCP >> Statement Credits - which allows you to earn cash back on purchases.
  • Chase Freedom/CSP >> Partner Transfers (e.g. Southwest) and sometimes straight up cash back
  • AMEX PRG/EveryDay >> Partner Transfers (e.g. Delta)
  • Discover IT >> Cash into my Account, another possible option is gift cards since you get an extra $5 or more per gift card (e.g. $20 for $25)
  • BOA Travel Rewards >> Statement Credit
  • Chase Marriott >> Hotel Reward Stays
Last edited by amexmember12 on Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CSR $24K | Discover IT $22.9K | AMEX BCE $15K | AMEX EveryDay $12.9K | Marriott Premier - $11K | Delta Platinum $10K | Freedom $6.5K | Freedom $6K | BOA Travel Rewards - $2.7K | AMEX Platinum


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:25 pm

I've tended to hoard MRs, URs, and TYs because I have a lot of partner-specific points already (AA, Delta, IHG, Hyatt, Wyndham, trace points in other programs)...though I'm using those up and may do some more transferring soon.

Discover cash I've been hoarding...I'll pick out some gift cards before long.

Arrival I used for statement credits against USTA purchases. Sallie Mae I take regular statement credits on.

BCE and Brooks Bros occasionally give savings, but rarely actual redeemable rewards...but a BCE statement credit and BB gift card.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG, Prestige (retention)
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt
SD with activity alerts, might close: Arrival

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech, BofA Travel PH, Aviator Red

TXviking
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby TXviking » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:42 am

Just used UR points for the first time for a vacation in Costa Rica next month. Booked the flight and rental car through UR using points only; booked my hotel through Hilton HHonors since I have a lot of unused HHonors points.

charged
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby charged » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:27 pm

Statement credits work for me. Amex only allows me to redeem this way, but with other cards like the quicksilver I still opt for this simple approach. It seems silly to redeem in checks just so it can go back to paying the same credit card balance. It's fun watching free money pop up on the rewards icon even if it's not much. I don't like gift cards because that's money being used where I'm not getting more cash back rewards lol.

The free hotel stays on some cards sound really cool but I don't make that kind of money where I'm spending enough to live that kind of lifestyle unfortunately.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:44 am

charged wrote:Statement credits work for me. Amex only allows me to redeem this way, but with other cards like the quicksilver I still opt for this simple approach. It seems silly to redeem in checks just so it can go back to paying the same credit card balance. It's fun watching free money pop up on the rewards icon even if it's not much. I don't like gift cards because that's money being used where I'm not getting more cash back rewards lol.

The free hotel stays on some cards sound really cool but I don't make that kind of money where I'm spending enough to live that kind of lifestyle unfortunately.

1. Free money popping up...there was a study that found that people get a greater emotional thrill from getting $10 twice than $20 once. It's irrational, and I try to keep it in mind and control my behavior accordingly. Still, I know I experience it with Sallie, even though the card hasn't provided me as much in rewards as other cards. I suspect that this psychological factor fuels the popularity of QS and other cards with no $25+ threshold. If I redeem a lot of points brilliantly for travel, I don't know if I feel 20x the enjoyment that I feel from simply taking $25 on Sallie. Rationally, free travel should feel much, much better than a comparatively small statement credit.

As far as gift cards, I totally understand. No rewards or perks.

As far as hotel stays, keep in mind that several decent cards have only a $1k minimum spend requirement and a waived AF or the first year.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG, Prestige (retention)
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt
SD with activity alerts, might close: Arrival

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech, BofA Travel PH, Aviator Red

augiedog
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby augiedog » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:57 pm

I really like getting the cash. I'll put my cash back in a separate account just to let it accumulate for a day I feel like treating myself. I also use other means of getting cash back like ebates and Ibotta, so it's nice to see all the cash add up there. Of course, the Amex BCE is a statement-credit only type of card (and always a month behind on rewards), so it's more like a small discount instead of a rainy day fund.
American Express: Blue Cash Everyday (10k), Everyday, ; Discover It (7.3k) ; Target (2.1k)

Citi: Diamond (2k) ; Bank of America: Cash Rewards (2.6k) ; Capital One: Quicksilver (3k) , Sony ; Chase: Freedom (3.7k), Slate (3k), (Amazon) ; Barclay Ring ; Synchrony: Walmart MC, Amazon, Ebates

takeshi
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby takeshi » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:11 pm

The only points rewards system I'm in is UR because I travel with United so all UR's are transferred to MileagePlus. Other cards are cash back and redeemed as statement credits.

Tubpbs
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby Tubpbs » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:22 pm

takeshi wrote:The only points rewards system I'm in is UR because I travel with United so all UR's are transferred to MileagePlus. Other cards are cash back and redeemed as statement credits.


Do you have any of the United co-branded cards?
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It

charged
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby charged » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:33 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
charged wrote:Statement credits work for me. Amex only allows me to redeem this way, but with other cards like the quicksilver I still opt for this simple approach. It seems silly to redeem in checks just so it can go back to paying the same credit card balance. It's fun watching free money pop up on the rewards icon even if it's not much. I don't like gift cards because that's money being used where I'm not getting more cash back rewards lol.

The free hotel stays on some cards sound really cool but I don't make that kind of money where I'm spending enough to live that kind of lifestyle unfortunately.

1. Free money popping up...there was a study that found that people get a greater emotional thrill from getting $10 twice than $20 once. It's irrational, and I try to keep it in mind and control my behavior accordingly. Still, I know I experience it with Sallie, even though the card hasn't provided me as much in rewards as other cards. I suspect that this psychological factor fuels the popularity of QS and other cards with no $25+ threshold. If I redeem a lot of points brilliantly for travel, I don't know if I feel 20x the enjoyment that I feel from simply taking $25 on Sallie. Rationally, free travel should feel much, much better than a comparatively small statement credit.

As far as gift cards, I totally understand. No rewards or perks.

As far as hotel stays, keep in mind that several decent cards have only a $1k minimum spend requirement and a waived AF or the first year.


I really do like the freedom and control of being able to redeem whenever I like with the quicksilver. I usually redeem when it's $10-$15.
Which hotel rewards card is that where you only have to spend 1k and get the AF waived? I'm fine with the cards I have now, but maybe in the future I'll consider that.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: How do you use your credit card rewards?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:25 am

Re: Which hotel rewards card is that where you only have to spend 1k and get the AF waived? I'm fine with the cards I have now, but maybe in the future I'll consider that.

Hyatt and IHG come to mind.

When someone travels a lot, though, AFs are often not a big deal.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG, Prestige (retention)
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt
SD with activity alerts, might close: Arrival

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech, BofA Travel PH, Aviator Red



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