Are Points Consolidated?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by dannytata, Apr 19, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    A lot of blogs encourage taking advantage of the credit card sign-on bonuses, but I don't quite get how these are beneficial in the long run unless you are able to combine your points with different cards. To me, it seems like the points are good for one flight or so, and then you have to get a new card. Would someone mind clearing this up for me?

    Also, please let me know if I am posting this in the wrong forum. I am still trying to get the hang of things.

    Thank you!
     
  2. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    They wouldn't you recommend to just randomly sign up for any sort of credit card for the sake of having sign up bonuses. It's more important to identify what your spending and travel habits are to determine which loyalty program makes the most sense for you. Once you identify some strategies, then it could make sense to sign up for certain programs and credit cards.

    For example, if you know that you spend a lot on gas and groceries, then it would make sense to sign up for a credit card that gives you a better return on those categories. If you think that you will travel a lot on a specific airline and stay at a specific brand of hotel more often, then it would make sense to rack up the points quicker with those programs.

    Some people travel more often, so it would make more sense to diversify their portfolio to take advantage of different sign up bonuses because they will find a way to make use of those points anyway.
     
  3. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Pointshogger for the win!

    Also, there ARE some card combinations which can work synergistically with some airline and hotel programs. For instance, the combination of Chase Ink Bold or Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Freedom can be used to generate lots of points you can then transfer to either Southwest, United, or Hyatt - so those cards work well in tandem with a Southwest, United, or Hyatt credit card. AmEx Starwood Preferred Guest transfers to nearly 30 different airlines, so it's also a good card for combination synergy with an airline card. And if you participate in the British Airways frequent flyer program, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points, AmEx Membership Rewards points, and Starwood points into the British Airways program, which turbochargers the rate you can earn points in that particular program.

    And then there are special situations that arise occasionally, like the current American Airlines/ US Airways merger. Right now the two frequent flyer programs are separate, but one day in the future they will merge - and so will their points. So someone who currently flies either AA or US can take the opportunity of earning credit card signup bonuses in both airlines' programs with the knowledge that eventually those programs and points will be merged.

    Strategy is everything in this game. The way to win is to take a very close look at your current travel habits and spending patterns, think hard about your future travel goals, and then craft a plan which will earn you the points and miles you need to achieve that goal. Just randomly collecting credit card signup bonuses is usually a losing strategy.
     
    pointshogger and dannytata like this.
  4. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    Thank you both for the responses!

    Moongoddess. Thanks for the really informative post. You packed a lot of great information that gave me an "a-ha" moment!
     
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  5. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    I almost forgot. For the Ink cards, is it one or another? Or can you actually get sign-on bonuses for both cards simultaneously?
     
  6. Zomby Woof

    Zomby Woof Silver Member

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    I would expect only one. You should be able the Ink Cash (20K UR points), then later upgrade to Bold or Plus and get that sign up bonus too.
     

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