Credit Cards Spend

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Gualberto Camacho, Sep 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gualberto Camacho

    Gualberto Camacho New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm new to points and miles and had a question about how to maximize credit card spend. My primary goal are free flights. I know that sign up bonuses are the best way to rack up points quickly. But I'm interested to know how to best maximize my credit card spend.

    Let me propose the following scenario. You have the Chase Sapphire, Amex Premier Gold, and Amex SPG. Sapphire gives you 2 points on dining, the gold 2 points on gas, and SPG 1 point on all purchases. What is the better option, use all 3 cards in order to maximize the amount of points you earn even though those points will end of going to different airlines and therefore take longer to earn a reward ticket at any particular airline, or focus all spending on lets say the Chase sapphire, knowing your missing out on the 2x gas bonus or the 25% transfer bonus from SPG?

    Thank you for the advice,

    Camacho
     
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  2. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    My first question would be where do you want to go? That will make a big difference. SPG points to united are not a good transfer ratio. Therefore Sapphire would be your best option. American points would be best probably with the SPG. If you just want a oneworld alliance option then the Amex would possibly be good because they sometimes run transfer bonuses to British Airways (a oneworld alliance member; even if you don't want to fly British Airways, you can use the points on any oneworld airline).

    That is why I ask where you want to go. Or do you even have a place in mind yet?
     
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  3. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint. A lot will depend on where you want to go and how much spend you will do on a monthly basis.
    If you are spending large amounts, then I would certainly use the card that gives you the most in each category as you will accrue lots of points on all cards. If your spending is minimal, then I would concentrate on the card that get you where you want to go in the shortest amount of time.
     
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  4. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Great point!
     
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  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    If you're new ... & don't have a specific place/location in mind yet I always tell ppl to get The Chase Trifecta. (CSP/Freedom/Ink Classic). One card with an AF but all points can be pulled together and you get UA (intl redemption), WN (Domestics), BA (Short hops domestic/intl), Hyatt (Lux Properties), Marriott/IHG (Not good value ... but it is available.)
    Maybe an SPG too for Amex only places (Costco) and places where you don't get a bonus.
    Then possibly add the Chase hote twins (Hyatt/IHG) for the annual free night you get w/them.

    I've never been a fan of Amex MR so I dont even hold a single point there...
     
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  6. Gualberto Camacho

    Gualberto Camacho New Member

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    Hi,


    Thank you all for your feedback and for such a quick response, I really appreciate it. The first place I would like to visit is Germany. I have a trip planned for April, but I don't want to stop there. I would like to travel the world. My monthly credit card spend is about 10k. I have a lot of fuel expenses anywhere between 2-4k per month so I would say that is the most important category. I like the thought of using the chase cards, they offer 2 points on gas and I could potentially transfer all points to united. Amex on the other hand in addition to the 2 points gives a 15k bonus after 30k spend and the Benz Amex offer 3 points on gas so I could use that for gas and still hit the 30k on the gold through other expenses, although I hear for non multiplier categories its better to earn spg points since they are more valuable. Another factor to consider are the Amex partners. From what I keep reading since Amex lost continental they aren't as competitive. Is that the case? To many choices. Would love to get more input.
     
  7. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    In that case I would do what you said. Chase points for United... especially with 2-4k in gas spend. Star alliance will be nice to get you to Europe. Like edekba said, try to get an ink in there when possible. It would turn some of those non-multiplier purchases into 5x with different gift cards available at office supply stores. In addition to United, hyatt is a great Ultimate Rewards option for hotel stays.

    For non-multiplier categories I would use the SPG. There have been a couple times when I have used some of my spg points to fill my shortcomings in mileage balances for award redemption.

    If you are interested in that Benz Amex then it might be worth it to do the 15k bonus on the gold and then get the Benz for the signup bonus. That would be a good chunk of Ba miles. Mix hat in with a 35% transfer bonus that they occasionally run, and you have a lot of miles baby!

    So to answer your question:

    I personally love UR points so my first pick would to use those as much as possible. However, using those for bonus category spend and then getting the 15k (a moth or so with your spending habits) gold bonus would be nice. Finishing that with the Benz Amex minimum spend to get that sign up bonus.

    After all of that, I would then start using the spg more. Others might disagree with me, but I just have a hard time justifying putting so much spend on it when it is only 1x (or 1.25x with airlines).
     
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  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    1x true; but 1 SPG is worth quite a lot ... and a much bigger footprint than Hyatt Globally. just my 2 cents
     
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  9. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Very true... And also more flexible than MR points.

    The only reason I sway towards the MR card here is because if the OP gets the 15k point bonus on the gold AND the Benz Amex, they will have a lot of points. But SPG points sure are nice!
     
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  10. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    A couple of things that are pertinent to your situation
    1. Sapphire also gives you double points on gas (all travel expenses, in fact). Amex is better in stand-alone grocery stores.
    2. It's possible to get 5x on gas two ways: A) the Chase Freedom card often (one or two quarters a year) features gas stations as a 5X category up o $1,500 in spend and B) The Chase Ink cards get you 5X on gift cards (including gas station gift cards) sold at office supply stores. This has an additional benefit -- when you use a gift card at the pump you often get the cash price when the cash and credit prices are different.
     
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  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I didn't think gas is categorized as travel. I never tried but are you sure gas gets 2x
     
  12. Gualberto Camacho

    Gualberto Camacho New Member

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    Hi,


    I checked with Chase and they confirmed that the sapphire card does not earn 2 points on gas.

    Thank you,

    Camacho
     
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  13. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    i would use two primary cards 1) the no fee sapphire "non prefered" card for dining.
    the chase ink plus card for everything else. you can transfer your sapphire points to you ink plus card to then transfer to united for flights. I have found that i can get chase to credit my 95 annual fee for my ink plus card but they will not on my sapphire prefered card, so this route if you may be able to operate fee free.
    i would consider adding a hilton fee free amex to the mix if you do any spending at costco, again keep the annual fees low
     
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  14. MichaelRpdx

    MichaelRpdx Active Member

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    Say what? Points on British Airways can be used for other Oneworld ... as in miles earned on BA can be used elsewhere?
     
  15. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    Yes. Two ways. You can accrue BA avios for use on OW awards. Short haul are best as avios is distance and segment based and surly fuel surcharges (YQ) are added. Or you can credit your BA flights to any OW partner. Pick the one that makes the most sense. Typically AA for US-based residents. Others can chime in.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  16. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    How do you repeatedly get your AF waived with the ink plus? Is it simple, or you have a speech written down somewhere? :)
     
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  17. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    SPG got us a great hotel in MUC, MAD, ...UNITED got us there...

    INK will get you 5X on gas with BP GC from OD. In my area we get 3% off for cash, or the Speedway GasFuel Card,

    Hard to beat a new sign up offer..

    Enjoy City Center, and the beer...
     
  18. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    I was waived the second year, i called about 1 month before AF was due and asked if they have any deals to help offset the annual fee that is coming due, they immediately offered me an instant 95 credit to the account and thanked me for my business. I then called spg amex business and asked the same thing and they offeed a credit of 65 to cover the annaul fee. neigher call did i threaten to cancel i just asked if there was anythign they could do for me
     
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  19. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Cool, nice approach. Like it.
     

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