Is there any reason to hold onto CSP anymore?

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freyj6
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Is there any reason to hold onto CSP anymore?

Postby freyj6 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:57 am

With the cut of the 7% bonus and no retention offers, I just can't really see any reason to keep this card anymore.

The Ink Plus has some relatively useful 5x categories like internet and phone (and really shines if you do manufactured spending), and the same transfer partners as CSP. Since the best use of either card is using transfer partners rather than taking the 25% travel bonus, that aspect of CSP is irrelevant as well. Furthermore, Ink Plus is known to get retention bonuses like full fee waivers and 10,000 UR points. CSP gets none.

The only possible usefulness of the card are in it's 2x points on dinning and travel. However, you could easily just get the no-fee Ink Cash and transfer the points to Ink Plus to get 2x on dining. Also, dining generally falls under 5% categories at least half the year between Freedom and Discover IT. So that part is useless.

So that leaves 2x on travel. Unless you fly a ton, most flights will be covered with points, so you're mostly looking at taxis, buses, hotels (covered by Ink) and parking lots. I think most people would have trouble justifying a $95 annual fee based on that. And if you do fly a ton and can't cover your flights with points, PRG is most likely better.

Personally I really want to like this card. I just got it for the sign up bonus and I'm trying to find a way to justify keeping it long term. But unless I'm spending five figures on, taxis and parking lots, it seems like a lost cause.

Thoughts?
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Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning


takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:35 am

You really have to make the call for yourself. The dividend wasn't a dealbreaker for me. Ink isn't an option for everyone. PRG isn't relevant to me since I have no use for MR points. It doesn't sound like you have a reason to hang on to it but I'm not ready to ditch it just yet.

Unless you already have the Ink Cash if you want to retain 2x on dining you could downgrade to the regular Sapphire and use the Ink Plus to transfer.

freyj6 wrote:Also, dining generally falls under 5% categories at least half the year between Freedom and Discover IT. So that part is useless.

I wouldn't say that a rotator covering a category for one quarter makes category spend on all other quarters useless but YMMV.

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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:36 am

You're ignoring the value of sticking to a single points currency. To say that one quarter of 5% back on dining with Discover makes the CSP worthless is silly. First of all, you recognize that the value of UR points is in transferring, not in cash. Then, you should also know that a UR point is worth more than a penny if you use it right. It's not hard to get 3¢ of value from a UR point. Earning 2 points on each dining dollar then has more value than 5% cash back with Discover. Combine that with the 5x opportunities on Ink and Freedom and you have a good points-earning machine.

With the Ink series, you either get 2x on hotels and gas and not on dining or on gas and dining and not hotels. Carrying an Ink Cash and an Ink Plus is redundant. Carrying an Ink Cash and a CSP is not. The CSP covers a much wider range of travel costs. The 7% dividend doesn't even factor into my calculation. I consider the $95 a year fee to be the cost of being able to transfer points to travel partners.

Also, remember that the PRG costs almost twice as much per year and only gives 3x on flights, not on any other travel. You'd have to spend an extra $8,000 on flights to earn enough points to account for the fee difference. You also split your points that way. For most people, earning points in two separate programs spreads things out enough that they'll struggle to earn enough points in either program to redeem for anything fun.

I have the CSP, Freedom and an Ink Classic (no longer offered - I think the Ink Cash is pretty much the same, other than 2x dining instead of hotels). I keep the CSP around for 2x dining and travel and to transfer points. For a while, I had an Ink Bold as well. Obviously, there was no reason to keep both the CSP and the Bold. I chose to cancel the Bold and replace it with the Classic. My only loss by making that switch was that I could only get 5x on $25k of spending, rather than $50k. That wasn't an issue for me. All of the other earning bonuses remain the same.

Edited to add - You pay $95 a year for the privilege of transferring points, whether it's the CSP or an Ink Bold/Plus. Do the math. If the 7% dividend really makes the difference between the Ink and CSP, dump the CSP and keep the Ink. Also, the Ink Bold is going away, leaving only the Cash and Plus.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]
[/RIGHT]

KanyeWest
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Postby KanyeWest » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:50 pm

This makes me reconsider submitting an app for the CSP now. Although, I would like to have a card with no foreign trans fee. Maybe the Barclay Arrival Plus would be a nice substitute.

Cre
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Postby Cre » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:19 pm

djrez4, I've read your post 4 times, and I still don't understand it. Is there a "for dummies" version?
Current Cards:
AmEx Platinum Charge: NPSL, $450 AF
AmEx Reserve Credit: $30K limit, $450 AF
Chase Slate Visa Credit: $32K limit, No AF
Future Strategy:
Near Term: Need a good MasterCard for places that won't accept AmEx or Visa
Long Term: Will downsize out of one or both current AmEx cards to reduce AFs

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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:24 pm

Cre wrote:djrez4, I've read your post 4 times, and I still don't understand it. Is there a "for dummies" version?


basically keep the card if one knows how to use it right to get the full advantage of the points
TU 752 (+4) - [5/9/2014] CK 726 - [11/24/14] EX 725 - [11/20/14] EQ 710
BankofAmerica Cash Rewards [2k] I American Express Blue Cash Everyday [3K] l Discover IT[2.5]
American Express Premier Rewards Gold [NPSL] I Marriott Rewards Premier [5k]
Chase Sapphire Preferred[7.3]
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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:42 pm

Cre wrote:djrez4, I've read your post 4 times, and I still don't understand it. Is there a "for dummies" version?


Apologies for being unclear.

The gist is: run the numbers and don't make a snap decision just because they eliminate the dividend.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]

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Nixon
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Postby Nixon » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:40 pm

djrez4 wrote:Apologies for being unclear.

The gist is: run the numbers and don't make a snap decision just because they eliminate the dividend.


Plus, it's a pretty card. Don't you like pretty cards? :D
Image

freyj6
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Postby freyj6 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:42 pm

djrez4 wrote:You're ignoring the value of sticking to a single points currency. To say that one quarter of 5% back on dining with Discover makes the CSP worthless is silly. First of all, you recognize that the value of UR points is in transferring, not in cash. Then, you should also know that a UR point is worth more than a penny if you use it right. It's not hard to get 3¢ of value from a UR point. Earning 2 points on each dining dollar then has more value than 5% cash back with Discover. Combine that with the 5x opportunities on Ink and Freedom and you have a good points-earning machine.


If you're getting a value of 3+ out of UR that's a different story, but I've found that's rarely possible for most people. Yes, if you frequently fly a route that just happens to have an awesome redemption rate, or if you do certain hotels or business class (which I don't consider a good deal). Unless a certain route has very low competition, or you're really able to capitalize on a zone or distance formula, I've found a value of 1.5 is much more realistic. But yes, for certain people this is true, so it throws Discover out the window.


With the Ink series, you either get 2x on hotels and gas and not on dining or on gas and dining and not hotels. Carrying an Ink Cash and an Ink Plus is redundant. Carrying an Ink Cash and a CSP is not. The CSP covers a much wider range of travel costs. The 7% dividend doesn't even factor into my calculation. I consider the $95 a year fee to be the cost of being able to transfer points to travel partners.


Ink Plus and Ink Cash can do basically the same thing, and really aren't that much more redundant than CSP is with either of them. CSP is redundant with restaurants and hotels, the Ink Cards are redundant with other categories.

Also, remember that the PRG costs almost twice as much per year and only gives 3x on flights, not on any other travel. You'd have to spend an extra $8,000 on flights to earn enough points to account for the fee difference. You also split your points that way. For most people, earning points in two separate programs spreads things out enough that they'll struggle to earn enough points in either program to redeem for anything fun.


True, which is why I won't get PRG and I think it's only better for people who fly a TON and can get good value out of MR. But the counterpoint is that when you don't fly a ton, CSP's travel category (really the only thing you can't get with Ink cards) is not that spectacular. I'd also argue that having more than one type of points is good. For example, I have Arrival and UR. I can use UR where I can get good value, and save them when I can't.

I have the CSP, Freedom and an Ink Classic (no longer offered - I think the Ink Cash is pretty much the same, other than 2x dining instead of hotels). I keep the CSP around for 2x dining and travel and to transfer points. For a while, I had an Ink Bold as well. Obviously, there was no reason to keep both the CSP and the Bold. I chose to cancel the Bold and replace it with the Classic. My only loss by making that switch was that I could only get 5x on $25k of spending, rather than $50k. That wasn't an issue for me. All of the other earning bonuses remain the same.


That's what I'd originally planned on doing, but since Ink Plus gives retention offers and 2x on gas (relevant if you're actually getting 2-3 cents per point), I'm leaning towards Ink Cash + Ink Plus. All you lose is the travel category, which would be hard to justify a $95 annual fee with. But yes, if you're not counting retention bonuses it could go either way, and they're both good if you can actually get 2-3 cents per point.

Cheers
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:31 am

I'm not fully in bed with UR. I collect MR too. That may be where our calculations differ: I get 3 MR points per dollar via the Everyday Preferred which trumps Ink's 2x. My only use for Ink is the 5x I get on the cell phone and cable bills.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]

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