Is it time to rethink strategy?

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3 posts
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Is it time to rethink strategy?

Postby MrMosby » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:49 pm

Up until recently I've been really focusing on spend using my SPG card, and my Ritz-Carlton rewards card. The SPG points have great value, and I stay at Marriott a ton.

However, with all of the recent devaluations in programs (SPG excluded), a complete change of strategy for earning sky miles, and the introduction of new cards like the American Express Everyday does it make sense to really simplify how we approach rewards.

Right now my gut is saying something like

CSP - Dining, Travel, Entertainment
Freedom - 5% Categories
Discover IT- 5% Categories
Amex Everyday - Gas & Groceries
Amex Platinum - Travel Perks (if needed)

Is beginning to look like a really good strategy. You don't have to worry about reward tiers disappearing (maybe transfer partners will change but odds are you will always be able to redeem UR and MR for a minimum of 1 cent per point) or changing. You have a lot more flexibility, etc.

You also only have to worry about tracking 3 types of points at that point, but you miss out on potential BIG bonuses with hotel chains (not so much airlines anymore), but for a lot of people maximizing the rewards on everyday spend might make up for it.

Everyday Preferred $45K | Amex Platinum NPSL | Delta Platinum $30K | Chase Sapphire Reserve $74.5K | Discover IT $42K

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Postby freyj6 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:23 pm

This looks pretty similar to what I'm going for right now. I'm going to do US Bank Cash+ for dining and Sallie Mae for gas and the first $250 on groceries, and then probably the EveryDay after that.

To me it seems like collecting too many points that can only be redeemed in really specific ways isn't really the best idea. Even if you squeeze out crazy value, maybe it would have been more convenient to book a hotel from a different chain, or take another flight that saves you 2 hours in travel time -- even if you had to settle for a redemption rate of 1.5 rather than 2.5.
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

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Postby takeshi » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:37 pm

It's really up to each to determine which cards suit the individual. My wallet has some of the cards you mention and others you don't. MR points aren't of much use to me. What makes sense for one may not for the next. Instead of "we" (unless that's the royal "we") focus on what you need/want.

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