I'm a noob and have some noob questions...

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by meegwell, Mar 12, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. meegwell

    meegwell New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am trying to figure out a credit card plan that will reward me with flexible airline travel (not one specific airline).

    Some initial general quetions (understanding that every card is different):

    Can I pay monthly bills on a CC and earn points?
    What are typical "qualified transactions" and is this something I should watch out for?

    I am not a frequent flyer, and dont plan on being one. I have a family of 6 - 4 young children - and would like to use my monthly spending to help finanance a nice annual trip via air. I prefer convenience. I thought about using my primary banks reward card (BofA) so I can do the bills/transfers all from one screen. Dont know if this is even worthy of considering.

    My monthly household spend is about $7,500 bills and disposable, so I am looking to maximize air travel rewards with this.

    Any initial guidance would be appreciated.

    Thanks and I look foward to engaging here!
     
    satman40, ContinentalFan and edekba like this.
  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Hello & Welcome!

    1) Hmm monthly bills should be fine. I pay my cable/phone/TV all on my Chase Ink Card and earn 5x... I don't see a problem with that.
    2) Not sure what you mean by qualified transactions ... but pretty much all spend is qualified except for cash-advance/balance transfers.

    Out of $7,500 in bills ... what are the greatest percentage of your spend. With 4 children I would expect groceries? If so something like the Amex Everyday Preferred would be good; 3 - 4.5 MR per $ which could then be transferred to partners for air travel.

    Where are you located & where do you typically go or want to go on your annual trip? That would help.
     
    satman40 likes this.
  3. meegwell

    meegwell New Member

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    thanks edekba - qualified transaction is just something I read in the fine print. Sounds like its not an issue.

    greatest % would be bills (mortgage, utilities) and then dining and groceries. We live on the east coast and would likely look to southern atlantic beaches/Iselands (Florida, Carribean).
     
    satman40 likes this.
  4. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I would suggest you look at the Chase Sapphire card which you'll earn decent points which can be transferred to many partners like airlines, Amtrak, hotels. Other card companies have some cards like this but in my opinion this is one of the best. You'll most likely want to get one for yourself and your spouse do you can double up on the sign up bonuses. I would also figure out who the largest carrier is at your nearby airport or hub airport and then maybe do some card churning to get bonuses on that airline.
    You should be able pay a lot of bills on the card. You may run into some transaction fees with some utility companies however so you'll have to do the math. Paying a mortgage with a card is much more difficult however. Make sure to have your car insurance, cell phones, cable bills, ebay, amazon, etc. etc. all going to your main point card. If you churn cards you'll have to go in and adjust this as needed. Many charities including churches now accept online donations with credit cards but just be aware that they are going to likely eat 3 to 4 % of the amount so you'll want to true up or round up to make up that loss. I even give money to a Central American missionary through this method. It sounds selfish or silly but I'd have to pay them somehow.

    Make sure you study the benefits of your card or cards to see what you can gain from them like free checked bags, or primary rental car coverage, etc.

    Good luck and as you read bloggers pimping cards make sure you do some outside homework on these before you sign up to see if there is a better offer or a downside to a given card. Most bloggers like this are fairly honest in their opinion but they do let the hype get to them at times.
     
    edekba likes this.
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Hmm yeah I think maybe an Amex Everyday Pref + Chase Sapphire/freedom/Ink would work well.

    BA Avios (both MR & UR transfer to BA) on AA to FL/Caribbeans might be a good value.
     
    satman40 likes this.
  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Welcome.

    Before going pick a destination, and then an airline.

    Your travel goal needs to be decided first.

    My wife says China, easy UA or AA.

    MY wife Boss, OK..
     
  7. swazzie

    swazzie Silver Member

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    You'll need to choose an airline to transfer the flexible rewards points to at some point depending on various factors already mentioned above. If the airline you choose has their own credit card(s), you may want to consider getting one to add onto the points earned by the flex card. You could then take advantage of airline-specific benefits that the flexible rewards cards don't provide such as earlier boarding and possibly free checked bags. As a non-frequent flyer, you wouldn't otherwise be able to get these benefits and with a big family, it could add up to big time and money savings.
     
  8. KyRoamer
    Original Member

    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I recommend American Express Starwood cards. Not only are there lots of airline partners but usually 20,000 points equal 25,000 miles.
     

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