Better late than never....

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by youpaiyou, Jan 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    Hello:

    I bought my first Vanilla reload yesterday. I didn't explore this avenue for earning points and miles sooner because I didn't have an Ink or Bold card and I didn't/don't want to apply for any new CCs because I will be purchasing a home within the next six months.

    I currently possess the following cards:

    1) AMEX Hilton Honors;
    2) AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card;
    3) Chase Sapphire (non-preferred--I downgraded my Preferred at my 1yr anniversary date);
    4) US Airways Premier World card; and
    5) Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer card.

    I want to get the biggest bang for my buck by putting some pretty heavy spend on one or more cards.

    My question is:

    Which card should I use to purchase reloads with? I'm leaning toward the AMEX Hilton Honors, but I would love some feedback.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    I would rotate my spending through them so your accounts don't get flagged. It has already been reported that some amex accounts have been hit with financial reviews. I think it also depends on your travel needs and what miles and points you value the most.
     
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  3. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    I would probably consider what my near plans are and which program(s) will play into those plans and which plans I already had a good start of points. I would keep in mind that UR points through Chase Sapphire have high flexibility and could easily supplement any points you have already gained with the United Mileage Card.
     
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  4. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    Thanks for the tips.
     
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  5. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    This is the best advice. Putting $5k a month on one card would throw up a flag to me if I was reviewing the account, especially if there are no other transactions on that card. Diversification is key to success. Right now, I'm rotating between 3 cards, UA Exp, Ink Bold, and Hilton AmEx, and I have other spends on all 3 cards as well.
     
  6. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    The more I read about it, the more I think it's just not worth it. My current cards just don't utilize ice cream very well.
     
  7. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    I would look it as free or low cost miles or points. At $5000 spend a month that will be 60000 or more depending on the card miles and points! That can be a lot of travel. Or you can wait till you get your new house and then use the ice cream method to make your spend requirements and really cash in!
     
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  8. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    You do get 6x Hilton if you are getting VRC at drugstores.
     
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  9. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    I'm in agreement with everyone else. Create a goal with what you want out of your points and also rotate the spend, fluctuate the amounts you buy i.e. $495, $488, etc... If you do the max per month of $5K you are essentially buying at least 60,000 points for $474. You can definitely turn those 60K points into a lot more than $474...
     
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  10. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I do $2k monthly on Ink Bold per month (24 k UR points annually) $1k monthly on United (12k United miles annually) and $2k monthly on Hilton AmEx (144k points annually), all for $474, which is paid out in $39.50 per month increments. I use 3 different CVS locations, and I have gotten to know the staff at each one pretty well. They all know me and they know I know the deal about showing them my ID and card with each purchase. I also throw other items I need on the bill as well, so that I don't have $503.95 or $1007.90 showing up all the time on my statements.

    This strategy is subject to modification based on my goals or new card signups which need some of these beans to meet a minimum spend. Lucky for me, my next AoR will involve the 2 Citi Hilton cards and CSP, so I'm still getting UR points and Hilton points towards my goals.
     
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  11. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    Thanks again for the replies. I am now leaning toward getting regular ice cream again.
     
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  12. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    Just think your doing your part to help stimulate the US economy! I'm thinking of also buying some CVS stock. I have a feeling that last quarter and 1st quarter sales maybe up quite a bit. I guess I can always use my bluebird to make a deposit in my brokerage account ;) LOL
     
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  13. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    You could also use it to withdraw cash on your trip to Asia.
     
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  14. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    I plan on doing that as soon as I land in SIN at the end of the month! I just hope the Blue Bird works at the SIN ATMs. I know you travel to SIN quite a bit, have you had any problems with the ATMs there or if they require a card with a chip? I actually used it at the local bank ATM earlier this week just to make sure it worked. I plan on buying a USPS money order tomorrow with the bird as another experiment. Since it is a debit card it should work and maybe cheaper then the local ATM fees. I was also thinking you can increase your spend by another $2500 a month if you have one of the permanent prepaid Amex that can also be loaded by vanillas as well as greendot. The greendot option also opens up a few other stores that do not carry vanillas in my area. Once again just trying to mix up the spending and stores. Just some extra food for thought. ;)
     
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  15. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    It matters on what your goals are. Frankly, I only use VRs for meeting minimum spends or if I'm getting 2+% back. The cost of a VR is $4 per $500, which is 0.8%. That's why I don't like to use it for 1x. Though I do have some ways of getting indirect 5x.
     
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  16. free67spirit

    free67spirit Silver Member

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    For the past three months I have tested BB. I have spent 500 every month at CVS. I use my Hilton Amex(6x)It is conservative but I am happy with my measly 3000 points. It all adds up.
     
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  17. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    6x HH vs 2x UR for buying VRs

    WWymJD?
    What would you mile junkies do?
     
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  18. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    How are you getting 2x UR? Gas station with Ink?

    As for what I would ... It depends on what points you need.
     
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  19. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I don't fully use the mile valuation (buying 1x miles at 0.8%) as the end all, because everyone's situation is different. Not everyone has $40k lying around in savings and can just buy miles in bulk when they're valued incredibly cheap. The new 5x methods involve a bit more hassle, and then there's the time value of the extra hassle that has to be taken into account beyond the purchase math, and that's a variable unique to each person.
     
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  20. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    Sorry to the OP for the OT conversation. No issues with using US issued cards there. They don't have C&P like other places, it is there, but most still swipe and sign there. The problem is just Amex in general. SIN is probably one of the better places in Asia for using an Amex. Shoot me a PM and I can give you some more tips and a contact if you need to point you in the right direction. We just got back about 3 weeks ago.
     
  21. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    What about currencies like UR which can be liquidated into ca$h?

    My current 5x method has me earning 10K UR/month for $42. Even if I liquidate 4200 UR to pay for the fees, I'm still up 5800 UR points.
     
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  22. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Yup I found me a new supply but I only have one BB right now so my loads are limited
     
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  23. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    I don't want to get carried away. Is 25K worth of ice cream on the United card too much?
     
  24. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    It'll depend on your current usage. If your normal spending pattern is less than that, it might trigger a red flag to Chase.
     
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  25. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    It has been in my sock drawer for months. I put $1,000 on it this week. Maybe I can put $4k on it a month?
     

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