Too spread out…not sure…

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Endoxa52
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Too spread out…not sure…

Postby Endoxa52 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:30 am

I use my cards for all purchases available. For large purchases that I cannot payoff within a month, I have an open credit line with a low interest rate with one of my banks that I use. Most of my vacations are paid with hotel/airline points but I am curious if it may be better to roll all purchases into one or two cards like Amex Platinum and/or Chase Sapphire?Presently I have Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Hilton and UnitedMilage Club. I also have a couple cards like Costco Amex, Amex Blue, BofA and Citi…will probably drop the last three - I know, too many cards but I do not use the ones I’m going to close. I have no balances and credit limits are all $20K+. I get annual free hotel nights on all but Hilton Amex - no annual fee on that one - and the United Club gets me into the United Club at all airports. Would it be better to drop all the cards like I mentioned and go strictly with Amex Platinum, Sapphire or ??? What would the benefit be?

Thanks for any advice.


takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:00 pm

The general recommendation is that if you're carrying balances then you're not likely to really gain much from rewards.

Better's always a subjective matter so you'd need to give us more info regarding what you're specifically looking to do. The Platinum is a poor card for earning rewards. I find the CSP very useful but I fly United a lot so I can transfer UR points, YMMV.

Endoxa52 wrote:I know, too many cards

That's for you to determine. I have 10 and it's currently the right number for me. There's no X for everyone that defines "too many".

Endoxa52 wrote:I also have a couple cards like Costco Amex, Amex Blue, BofA and Citi…will probably drop the last three - I know, too many cards but I do not use the ones I’m going to close.

Just consider the impact to utilization from closure. See if you can PC to useful cards and/or transfer limits to other cards.

Endoxa52
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Postby Endoxa52 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:09 am

Thanks…regarding too many cards, you’re right…whatever fits the individual. I am carrying no balances at this time. I really only used the Citi, BofA and Amex Blue for balance transfers when I was single and ran up substantial debt. Fortunately, I married an accountant and she has helped me utilize my income to get my financial house in order. I may close one or two but not all three. I have no other debt other than a mortgage, so my credit may take a brief hit but should recover pretty quick. Last I checked - over a year ago - my CR was 850+ and that was with $18k in debt spread over a few items.

I no longer carry balances and pay cards off each month - or pay large purchases off with low interest line of credit at my bank.

What I use my cards for is to: a) gain hotel points with my hotel cards - plus the annual free night - to use on vacations; b) airline miles to use on overseas vacations, i.e., Hawaii or Europe.

I suppose I am doing things properly for what I want to accomplish. I use each hotel card for extended periods until I reach a desired level and then basically rotate…seems to be working. Just did not know if I could accomplish same thing - or better - by consolidating purchases into one or two cards.

MrMosby
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Postby MrMosby » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:52 pm

Endoxa52 wrote:I use each hotel card for extended periods until I reach a desired level and then basically rotate…seems to be working. Just did not know if I could accomplish same thing - or better - by consolidating purchases into one or two cards.


If you have a lot of hotel spend then what you described make sense. If you don't have a lot of hotel spend and care about status it may make sense depending on the chain. For example the Citi HHonors card gives you automatic gold with no spend requirements. Amex Platinum does for Starwood, etc.

If neither situation applies to you and you just are worried about earning free travel Barclay's miles, Chase UR, or Amex MR are typically your better deal.
Everyday Preferred $45K | Amex Platinum NPSL | Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve $45K | Delta Platinum $30K | Chase Sapphire Preferred $64K | Citi Hilton HHonors $45K | Discover IT $25K

Endoxa52
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Postby Endoxa52 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:52 pm

Thank you…this gives a good example to consider. I need to do more research and evaluate what is available against what I am doing.



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