Introduction Post - Newbie getting started and making plans

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by ombres13, Jun 28, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. ombres13

    ombres13 New Member

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    Hi all. New here- found my way from thepointsguy. I've been following his site for a while and am slowly learning how different points/rewards programs work and how to get the most from them. I'll be reading through the Newbie Guides here over the next few days. I wanted to make a post to state where I'm currently at and where I want to go with my points/rewards spending. Any guidance is appreciated- as there is a LOT to read and sift through.

    I have a family of 3. We live in NC and are within driving distance of AVL, CLT, and GSP airports. We currently don't have any accrued miles or hotel loyalty (I've been using hotels.com). We travel a few times a year up and down the east coast, but have always gone via car. We would like to make a trip out to San Diego sometime around October this year, possibly a honeymoon trip somewhere in the Caribbean next year, and possibly to South Korea sometime in the next 2 years.

    Together we have the following cards-
    Blue Cash Preferred - 6% Gas, 3% Groceries
    Chase Freedom - 5% Rotating Categories
    Chase Sapphire Preferred - 2% Dining, 2% Travel
    Current UR points: 108k

    My goal is to get the most benefit from my normal spending. I know I won't be paying for the above trips fully with points/rewards- but I'd like to get the most value from them when I do.

    I will be reading up, but in the mean time, thanks for any advice or tips!
     
    Counsellor likes this.
  2. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    First, welcome to IF. We're happy to have you here.

    100K UR points is a great start! That's enough for 3 saver tickets (if available) to California and some points left over to help pay for a hotel.

    Are you maximizing your bonus categories on those cards? Would you benefit from the 5X categories on the Chase Ink cards?
     
  3. ombres13

    ombres13 New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome. So far the site and forum posts seems very user friendly.

    What are saver tickets? Amtrak?

    I'm usually able to maximize the category bonus. I've been hesitant to pick up any other category bonus cards from other brands because of overlap. I'm not sure we spend enough on the Ink bonus categories for any of the AF cards (though I could consider picking one up just for the bonus UR points). We only pay for 1 cell phone line and internet. We use Hulu/Netflix/etc for TV and have a minimal "office supplies" spend.
     
  4. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Sorry. A saver ticket is generally the lower mileage level for redemptions. That generally means 25K miles for a domestic US roundtrip airline ticket. A "standard" award is also referred to as "double miles" or "rule buster". They used to cost twice as many miles but now can cost a lot more.

    Do you have consistent purchases at a merchant like Amazon where you could buy Amazon gift cards at an office supply store to get 5X on a Chase Ink card?

    If not, keep doing what you're doing by maximizing those category bonuses.
     
    satman40 likes this.
  5. ombres13

    ombres13 New Member

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    Thanks for the clarification on the terminology. I'm pretty new to the aspect of using the rewards- I've mostly been focused on earning them up to this point.

    I think I might be able to utilize gift cards. I will have to wait until January as I suspect the next quarterly bonus category for the freedom will be Amazon again.

    Thanks again for the replies! I welcome any other advice or helpful direction.
     
    satman40 likes this.
  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Let's not forget Southwest, CP, with a little bit of planing it can happen, and CSP is there for even more points..

    My Amazon points comes from Ink GC cards purchases at OD, or Staples for 5X.
     
  7. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Welcome! Hope you find what you need here. This site is indeed friendly and I learnt alot in my 2+ years here.
     

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