help with my card/program strategy

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by dagaetch, Dec 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    Hi folks,

    I've been lurking for some time now, and finally decided to become an active participant as I begin the process of building up rewards. I'm starting from pretty much nothing - I have 10k miles in United, and 50k in Southwest, but that's it. I do have existing accounts with most of the US legacy, but they haven't seen activity in 4-5 years.

    I'd appreciate some help in developing a strategy for my credit card apps. I don't travel all that much generally, maybe 3-4 trips a year BOS-BWI (thus Southwest). Mainly, I'm looking for rewards that would get me international business class flights. I'm fine with any continent - I just like travel :) I don't really care about domestic awards or elite privileges.

    I currently have 4 cards (CapOne no hassle, Amex Blue, Citi MC, Chase SW Visa) and I pay them off in full each month. My credit score is good. My monthly spending (now that I figured out how to pay rent with a credit card) comes in close to $2k.

    What programs should I be working hardest? It seems that AA would be good for the Oneworld redemptions, and United for Star Alliance. Are Amex MR worth it to me? Chase UR seem good. Most important question is, are there any cards that I should apply for right now? I'm hoping that with the CO/UA program merge in January, they'll have a big promo card of some kind, so that might be a good thing to wait on.

    I'm grateful for all suggestions!! Thanks for all the great advice everyone's already posted, here and elsewhere.

    P.S. If this belongs in the newbie forum please go ahead and move it...it felt more appropriate here.
     
  2. stan
    Original Member

    stan Silver Member

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    If i was you, STAR ALLIANCE IS THE WAY TO GO would get the chase -Sapphire preferred 50.0 reward points and the chase Freedom 30.0 Points , this will give u 80k that can be used on many airlines --- then when u get the united card u speak of , u will have more than enuf to fly biz class overseas , may even have a few points with chase to stay in a hotel , plus ur 50k u have now with south west and ur 10k united u know have--you can almost start packing :)
     
  3. Amanda Perrine

    Amanda Perrine Active Member

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    How do you pay rent with a credit card? If I could do that, it would really help my hitting spend amounts. Thank you:)
     
  4. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    http://www.williampaid.com/

    Heard about it through the FT forums, a bunch of people on there have used it and not had problems. There is some extra cost involved, but since it's the only way I'm ever going to reach good spend amounts, it seems worth it for the right card. I did the math and if I used my Southwest card for all 12 months to pay rent, it costs me an extra $375, but I get nearly 15,000 rewards points which is around $250 in credit. So it works out okay.

    Haven't actually used the service yet, this month will be the first time.
     
  5. gwhit21

    gwhit21 Silver Member

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    Have you looked into applying for the 2 citi AA cards in separate browsers? It's an easy way to rack up 100k AA miles and you only get 1 hard pull on your credit. It also comes with $150 statement credit and 2 lounge passes.

    The Chase Sapphire is also great card. You might have trouble getting two Chase cards at the same time. If you could meet the spend, I would add the the Sapphire in with the two AA cards and then in your next round of apps add the Freedom in.

    Good luck.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I am probably just dense or tired, but how does earning $250 in WN points justify spending $375 in fees? What am I missing?
     
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  7. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    it doesnt justify it exactly. My thinking has been that, when i dont need that charge for a new card spend, at least i can use the southwest card and get some level of benefit so as to not be losing out. although maybe i dont have to pay by credit every month, like i said, i havent actually done it yet. i guess i was just trying to look for silver linings. :)
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  8. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    [record scratch]

    Don't do it!

    So you're getting $250 in benefits by spending $375 in fees. That's leaving you $125 in the hole. That's not right - you're paying extra for Southwest points unnecessarily. You could just buy $125 in airfare on Southwest and go somewhere for a weekend, earning points. Or not be out $125. :eek:

    I was approved for a Chase Sapphire Preferred with a low income. It came with a low credit limit, but that's okay. If you only spend $1K/mo for the first three months on it, you'll get the 50K bonus. Agreed with the Sapphire Preferred/Freedom strategy above.
     
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  9. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    Oh, I wouldn't do it just to get the Southwest points or anything. I only wanted to do it to meet minimum spend requirements on new cards. My initial read on the service was that you had to use it every month, but could switch cards, so I was thinking that the Southwest card offered best bang/buck in that instance. But on looking further, it seems that I can use the 'pay-rent-by-cc' service when I choose, and am not required to use it other times. So in that case I'll only use it for new cards. I just don't have a high enough level of spend most months otherwise, and while I could just buy more things, that seems like a waste as well.

    Thanks for the advice, and I'm glad to see people watching out for others mistakes! :cool:
     
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  10. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    2soonold likes this.
  11. I'm interested in the same thing: which credit card for the best Delta miles? Do these cards just have their own travel rewards (like USAA does? I have a USAA credit card) or do they actually put miles into a Delta account? I'm a Delta Gold medallion but I'm about to lose my medallion status because I haven't travelled much this year : (
     
  12. ... and btw, I have 14,000 in my Delta acct for this year. So need at least 40K miles to keep me a gold medallion.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I am not a Delta flyer, but I think what you need to retain Gold status are Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). Most if not all credit card signup bonuses are redeemable miles (RDM) that you can use to fly places on award tickets, but they don't change your elite status.
     
  14. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    it looks like there are a couple different ways to get MGM's - see http://thepointsguy.com/2011/11/new-delta-promo-buy-elite-miles-mqms/. however, getting 40k by the end of the month might be a problem. I wonder if you'd be better off waiting until January and then doing a combination of cards and a mileage run to build it up?
     
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  15. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    Okay, so I just applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and got the '10 days - in the mail' response. Mildly annoying, but ah well, I'm confident I'll be approved.

    Next step is to see what cards are offered in January/February - hopefully a good deal for United points, or maybe another high bonus on the AA cards.
     

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