My recommendations for a newbie/rookie!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by rlee97, Feb 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rlee97
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    rlee97 Active Member

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    Firstly, I do want to say I did get a lot of benefit from flyertalk but I see that it was sold in 2007 to a public company. I hope Milepoint doesn't sell out!

    Last fall I started reading up on all these offers and I feel for the most part I prudently have selected and signed up for the various different card offers out there. This is not a fully comprehensive list but I did want to offer my suggestions and if anyone has any feedback please do add to this thread. This might be a starter list of offers for a newbie to take advantage of.

    1. I signed up for the Hyatt Card (Chase). I paid the annual fee, but the two free nights will have a value potentially in excess of $1,000 (wife and I are going to Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo is over $500 per night.) I understand you can even use these nights at the Park Hyatt Paris, which can run $800+ per night.
    2. I also signed up for a Discover Card. I principally signed up for this because Discover appears to have the best discounts at a lot of online merchants (you can comparison shop for the best rebates at www.evreward.com). Discover now appears to be running two types of promotions - A) seasonal promotions of 5% cash back on categories of purchasing (groceries, restaurants, travel) and B) at the time I signed up Discover offered $150 back for $1500 of purchases in the first couple of months of card ownership. I browsed around and they still seem to be offering various permutations of this offer ($100 cash back for $1000 of spend).
    3. Citi AA Visa and Citi AA Amex Card: 75,000 miles for $1,500 of spend in the first 6 months of card ownership. I just tried signing my wife up and we had to call in for the Amex card sign up - no instant approvals but I'm crossing my fingers even if she is rejected we can call back in and I can offer to be a "guarantor" for her.
    4. Chase Continental Card: I originally signed up for this at the end of December, worrying that the offer would disappear in 2011 (only to find out it was enhanced to 50,000 miles). I received 30,000 miles (25,000 plus 5,000 for authorized user - my wife) and a $50 statement credit. I sent in an inquiry through Chase for the extra 25,000 miles and it appears I will be offered it (but will have the $50 statement credit deducted from my bill). Also if I did this again I would've applied RIGHT NOW vs. back in December, so that I could get a boost from the Mileathon that is running currently.
    5. Fidelity 50,000 mile brokerage account sign up offer (American or United or Delta). This actually serves two purposes for me. I have had the Schwab (now FIA Card Services) 2% cash back card for a little over a year now - it's fantastic and no hassle (but unfortunately no longer available for new applicants) - but it has been made clear to me that at some point the 2% rebate level will be reduced. Signing up for a Fidelity brokerage account allows me to also sign up for the Investment Rewards American Express that pays 2% cash back.
    6. Delta American Express: I signed up for the card under an initial 30,000 mile bonus program. I see now under Slickdeals (google Delta American Express 50000 slickdeals) that I could've signed up under a 25,000 miles + 25,000 miles after $1,000 in first 3 months program. I plan on calling to see if I can change the program under which I signed up (since I just signed up a few weeks ago). Will let you know if I have any success. The other benefit of this card is the first bag checked for free.
    UPDATE: I emailed American Express and asked them to change the promotion under which I signed up to POID S8370001. I received an email back confirming that I have signed up under the 25,000 miles after first purchase plus 25,000 miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months. Yes!

    A couple of pointers:
    1) I was originally denied the Chase Continental Card BECAUSE I had already applied for and been approved for the Chase Hyatt Card. I called in and suggested they split my credit limit between the two cards and I was then approved.
    2) Sign up for the Citi Visa and Amex ON THE SAME DAY. If you wait, I understand you bear the risk of being rejected for one (for already having applied for one). Actually, what I WISH I had done was try to apply for multiple Visa and multiple Amex cards on the same day. I've read enough cases of people having received multiple cards, activating them, and receiving multiple 75,000 mile bonuses. (Can you imagine? 225,000 miles for $4,500 of spending or 300,000 miles for $6,000 of spending?)
    3) As a side point: through all this research I came across www.evreward.com which I now use before I purchase anything online. It's a way to potentially get another 2-7% rebate on online purchases (this site aggregates all the reward sites out there like EBates (referral) , MrRebates (referral) ), etc.)

    Any other offers that anyone in the community thinks I might have missed out on? Anything else anyone would add as a suggestion?
     
    grazie, PAinNY, b1513 and 9 others like this.
  2. Gary Steiger
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    Gary Steiger Silver Member

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    From my website below, where you can read about the offers and get links to them:

    The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express gets you 25,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. The 26,000 resulting pointsare transferable to Continental Airlines miles 1:1. Remember that these miles will eventually become United Airlines miles after the merger. (On the Credit Cards > Annual Fee Cards page, though that fee is waived the first year, in the American Express section near the bottom of the page.)

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa credit card gets you up to 25,000 points, depending on how much you commit to spend. The points are transferable to Continental Airlines miles 1:1. (On the Credit Cards > Bank and Other Travel Cards page.)

    The U.S. Airways Premier World Mastcard from Barclays. 35,000 miles for first use. U.S. Airways is a Star Alliance carrier, so those 35,000 miles should get you anywhere in the U.S., and would give you a good start on an international ticket.

    The Starwood American Express card.
    • 10,000 points up front after first use of the card.
    • Additional 15,000 Starpoints when you spend $15,000 in 6 months.
    • 1 Starpoint for every eligible $1 charged with the Card for any purchase
    • Starwood points transfer to a very large number of airlines 20,000 points:25,000 miles, making this a good card for earning miles by actually spending.
    • On the Credit Cards > Free Cards page.

    The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Card. 5% statement credit for gasoline, 2% for grocery stores. (On the Credit Cards > Free Cards page in the Cash Back Cards section.)

    Later, after you have let Chase Bank rest awhile, you should be able to get mega miles from applying for the current United Airlines credit card offer. (On the Credit Cards > Annual Fee Cards page, though that fee is waived the first year.)

    The TD Ameritrade offers of up to 25,000 miles on a choice of airlines for opening and funding an account. These will probably be around for a long time. After you have funded your Fidelity account and waited the required time and received your miles, you can then transfer assets there to Ameritrade to meet their funding requirements. (On the Finance page In the Stock and Bond Brokers section.)

    The BankDirect offer of American Airlines miles. Given today's interest rates, the 12 miles/year/$1 deposit is a pretty good return on the minimum $2,500 deposit into its checking account. But there is a large number of extra miles you can get from this account the first year. (In the Finance >Banks section.)
     
    sobore, Robin, rlee97 and 3 others like this.
  3. Westsox
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    Westsox Gold Member

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    Gary's website is a great resource that I visit several times each week.
     
  4. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Yes, thanks Gary for maintaining your website. It's another great resource for miles and points.
     
    travelingmore likes this.
  5. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    One key for everyone is to watch your credit scores.

    There are plenty of places where you can get your score for free - typically a 7 day trial. Just cancel before the 7 days is up (and keep copies of the cancellation).
     
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  6. RonF
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    RonF Silver Member

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    How many people at MP have a financial incentive on this sites success? Based on some people's twitter accounts it appears more than one person has a financial interest in MP. I'm not knocking them because I rely on these type of sites to get me where I want to be and that is discounted or free travel.
     
  7. booyaa
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    booyaa Silver Member

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    Chase Freedom - Similar to Discover More card, it offers 5% cashback in rotating categories year-round, switching every quarter. What I've noticed is Freedom seems to have a higher cap than More lately on cashback purchases. For example, Freedom currently allows 5% back on groceries and drug stores on up to $1500 in purchases in those categories, whereas More only allows 5% back on travel and restaurants on up to $800 in purchases. Also, Freedom gives a full 1% cashback on other purchases, whereas More requires you to meet a year-to-date spend threshold before giving you full 1%. If you have a Chase checking account, you will also earn an additional 10% bonus points per $1 spent and 10 bonus points on every purchase. Their redemption program is not as great as Discover's, but similar, and offer a shopping portal as well.
     
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  8. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    My best advice for a rookie is to stick with one program whenever possible, at least when starting out. I have so many friends who will jump ship and fly a different airline because the ticket is $10-20 less on any given route. They could easily qualify for the 25K status levels each year if they just stuck it out on one alliance. The long term benefits of sticking with one airline are so much nicer than being able to afford two extra venti lattes at the airport when you travel. I realize that at some point it is not worth a premium to fly on your airline of choice though you should always weigh the benefits.
     
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  9. MTH

    MTH Silver Member

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    Hi

    I am a newbie, but I am a newbie from Europe. Any recommendations for guys who can not use us credit cards?
     
  10. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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    There should be some offers available. Check your preferred airline's earning site to see what might be out there. There is also the growing thread on credit cards offering status that now includes Air New Zealand and BMI cards.
     
  11. PhoenixFF
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    PhoenixFF Active Member

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    I also have the Schwab Visa card BUT will switch to fidelity if they decrease the 2% rate...I think the current Amex paltinum promo is very good and with the $200 credit for fees it is essentially $250 which for lounge access and upgardes is a great deal if you travel a fair amount...

    I like the Hyatt card but will wait until I have some Hyatt stays planned before pulling the triger...I believe you have one year to use the 2 nights...

     
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  12. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I worry about those free sites. You have to give a lot of personal information to get a free credit score. Are some of them scammers looking to steal your identity? Also, how hard is it to cancel. Some of those free trials end up with charges on your account and hassles to get them reversed.

    Any "free" sites you recommend?
     
  13. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    If you look at frugaltravelguy.com, he has a couple of sites listed that have been tested and seem to be valid.
     
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