Where to spend my "1%" (Freedom vs. CSP)

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astronautcowboy
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Where to spend my "1%" (Freedom vs. CSP)

Postby astronautcowboy » Fri May 16, 2014 7:05 pm

For better or for worse, I am a Chase devotee. They've been taking care of my checking and saving for as long as I can remember, and my first credit card was a Slate. When I got a Freedom a few years ago, it became my new default card, but now that I have a Sapphire Preferred, I have to figure out how best to use them in conjunction.

It's pretty simple, for the most part; use Freedom for the 5% and the Sapphire for its bonus categories, and the Freedom if they overlap. Most people use the Sapphire for everything else (the 1%) but since I'm a Chase checking customer, I get a 10% yearly point dividend from my Freedom. This actually beats out the 7% from Sapphire, right? The only reason I'm even asking is that the Sapphire page makes it clear that the dividend applies to spent points. Is the Freedom the same? Will the 10% apply to points I transfer to my Sapphire account throughout the year as well?

If that's the case, the Freedom, not the Sapphire, should be my 1% card, right?


freyj6
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Postby freyj6 » Sat May 17, 2014 7:55 pm

The extra 10% should be the same as any other points you earn. 1.1 > 1.07.

However, Chase's travel category is really broad, so make sure you're using CSP for things like parking, buses, etc.
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

astronautcowboy
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Postby astronautcowboy » Sat May 17, 2014 8:06 pm

I definitely need to write up a little cheat sheet so that I don't use the wrong card at the wrong time. Either way, it's all about the CSP until I hit $3000 (which is not going to be a problem once my tuition bill comes in).

Nachos Libres
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Postby Nachos Libres » Sun May 18, 2014 7:45 pm

Yep, CSP for strictly travel related expenses and restaurants (when they aren't a bonus category on the Freedom) and Freedom for everything else.

I have the same setup as you (Chase Checking + Freedom) except that instead of the CSP I have the Ink Bold (because the 5% categories on that card are worth more than the 2% I would get on travel and restaurants on the CSP) in order to be able to transfer UR miles.

mrow
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Postby mrow » Mon May 19, 2014 3:05 am

I would put any non travel or dining on your Freedom and any travel and dining on the CSP. 2x UR plus the 7% dividend beats 1x plus a 10% dividend with the Freedom.

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Mon May 19, 2014 9:00 am

astronautcowboy wrote:since I'm a Chase checking customer, I get a 10% yearly point dividend from my Freedom. This actually beats out the 7% from Sapphire, right? The only reason I'm even asking is that the Sapphire page makes it clear that the dividend applies to spent points. Is the Freedom the same? Will the 10% apply to points I transfer to my Sapphire account throughout the year as well?

Always check the terms:

https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/chase-freedom.aspx?CELL=63WS&sapphireprefsplit=2
Chase Exclusives® Bonus
You will earn an additional 10% Bonus on all new points earned with your Chase Freedom card during billing cycles within the previous Year when you, as the primary cardmember, were the sole or joint owner of an open Chase checking account. Your 10% Bonus is calculated after your billing cycle with a December closing date ("Year" means the twelve billing cycle period beginning the day after your billing cycle with a December closing date through your billing cycle with a December closing date of the next year.) Your Chase checking account must be open, and your Chase Freedom card account must be open and not in default, at the end of the Year. Your 10% Bonus points will appear on your January or February billing statement. You will not earn the 10% Bonus on new account bonus points, previous 10% Bonus points awarded, or points transferred into your account. You will earn on other bonus offers, including the quarterly 5% cash back program. Bonus offer void where prohibited by law.

astronautcowboy
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Postby astronautcowboy » Mon May 19, 2014 6:25 pm

freyj6 wrote:However, Chase's travel category is really broad, so make sure you're using CSP for things like parking, buses, etc.


Are there any comprehensive "what counts as what" lists out there?

Nachos Libres wrote:I have the same setup as you (Chase Checking + Freedom) except that instead of the CSP I have the Ink Bold (because the 5% categories on that card are worth more than the 2% I would get on travel and restaurants on the CSP) in order to be able to transfer UR miles.


Now that you mention it, are Ink rewards part of Ultimate Rewards as well? It would be nice to have a dedicated gas card with Chase, and I think I could find a way to get an Ink card if they are.

Nachos Libres
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Postby Nachos Libres » Tue May 20, 2014 5:40 pm

astronautcowboy wrote:Now that you mention it, are Ink rewards part of Ultimate Rewards as well? It would be nice to have a dedicated gas card with Chase, and I think I could find a way to get an Ink card if they are.


Yes. And honestly it depends on how you want to spend - but from my research most people are better off with an Ink Cash and a CSP instead of the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus (and of course either combo benefits equally from having the Freedom and Checking so it isn't included in this comparison).

Both the Ink Cash, Ink Bold, and Ink Cash Plus give you 5 points/$ at office supply stores, land line phone service, cell phone service, internet and cable services. The only difference is that for the Ink Cash the 5% limit is up to $25,000 while for the Ink Bold and Ink Cash Plus is up to $50,000. So both cards are even in this regard (unless again you will go above the $25k spending cap).

The Ink Bold and Ink Cash Plus give you 2 points/$ at gas stations and hotels purchased directly from the hotel while the Ink Cash gives you 2 points/$ at gas stations and restaurants.

So why is the CSP plus Ink Cash better than the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus for most people? Because of the 2.14/$ you get from the CSP on both travel and restaurants that you wouldn't get from the Bold or Cash Plus. Instead of the 2 points/$ you would get from the Bold or Cash Plus - which you only get if you book directly from the hotel - you can get at least 2.14 points/$ on the CSP and you can purchase directly from the hotel or using any travel site. If you use the UR portal and purchase directly from there you earn 3.14 points/$ on the CSP - and if you use the UR mall which offers even more points by using sites such as Hotels.com you can get even more points. No matter which way you book your travel the CSP will always beat out the points you could earn on travel on the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus.

The only time the Ink Bold or Ink Cash Plus beats out the CSP plus the Ink Cash is when the spend on the 5% categories is above the $25k threshold (at an amount high enough to negate whatever points one would have gained by using restaurants and travel on the CSP). Another benefit the Ink Bold and Ink Cash Plus has is 2 free lounge visits per card each year - which is a benefit of $54 per card. Since employee cards don't cost extra you can easily pay for the annual fee with yourself and an employee (or authorized user - i.e. your wife).

I personally carry the Ink Bold w/ Freedom and Chase Checking because I wanted a charge card for my business, because I wanted the lounge access for myself and my wife, and because I won't be typically paying for travel on my Chase cards (I have an Arrival+ which I use for a lot of non-bonus spending that I have to put travel on to cash out the rewards) and instead will be using it strictly for earning miles for the bonus categories.



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