New tool for measuring credit card churn value

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by jamesb2147, Jun 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    I'm interested in any feedback I can get. Does it seem useful to you? I know it'll be hard to explain, but it's useful for me to see which cards offer good sign up bonuses with little to no spend requirement, at least relative to the bonus.

    You can't edit any settings right now, but if enough people like it, perhaps I'll make it into a website or form where you can tweak to heart's content. :)

    BTW, I pulled most of these offers from The Points Guy's Top Deals tab.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am9xUz39ovDRdG1qeDlGZ3l5X1MteGZsR0swMVB5RWc&usp=sharing

    EDIT: We've now launched on Indiegogo! If you like the spreadsheet and want to support the project to make this available as an easy-to-use, feature rich website then check out our campaign!

    http://igg.me/at/tralue/x/4605240
     
  2. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    Good effort, it’s missing all the AA cards, given you have the US cards and those will merge in some fashion with AA soon people should be getting both.
     
  3. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Looks nice. Very good effort.
     
  4. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    Also missing all of the UA cards.
     
  5. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Also missing HA , Virgin, JAL.... ones that I can think of right off.:)
     
  6. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    I'm making some adjustments now. It's worth noting that I specifically excluded some cards originally, as this was a tool intended to assist me in evaluating my own cards. So, for example, I originally excluded the Virgin Atlantic card because I don't travel to any of the cities serviced, and I don't value their transfers particularly much, either (Hilton admits to regular devaluations as part of its strategy, for example). Another example would be the Mercedes-Benz AmEx Platinum, which I'll probably never qualify for. :p Clearly I need to add filtering, and start over building this with a more robust toolkit than Google Drive.

    Take a look at the changes. Let me know about specific cards you want to see added, point valuations changed, or other new features. e.g. I'd like for it to buy me a drink.

    Additional cards added so far:
    Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard
    Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature
    Virgin Atlantic AmEx from BoA
    Starwood Preferred Guest
    Mercedes-Benz AmEx Platinum
    Business Gold Rewards card from OPEN
    Ink Bold Business card
    Ink Plus Business card

    New features:
    New points programs added (yawn!)
    Annualized value of retaining the card, based on planned spending
    Truly manufactured spend value, based on laundering losses of 8% (not sure yet if laundering actually saves you from being cut loose -- I'm a n00b!)
     
  7. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    Another example of a card I'm skipping for now is the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve. It doesn't use points, making it difficult to objectively judge the value of the tool, and especially difficult to measure against cards with a structured point value!

    Ideally, I could take a city pair and travel dates, and automagically come up with all these stats and make a recommendation based on input criteria like credit statistics. That's a LONG way from reality, though.
     
    paladinua likes this.
  8. paladinua

    paladinua Silver Member

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    Great spreadsheet... There's always going to be things you can add (I have my own that I keep tuning). I'd recommend adding the type of card (e.g. MC, Visa, AMEX), specifically, Chase Sapphire Preferred has a Visa and MC version, so two different cards one could apply for.
     
  9. Fishing4Deals

    Fishing4Deals Silver Member

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    I personally would only count the points as 1 cent each. I think many of the bloggers are over-valuing the points based on aspirational travel. In the real world, it always seems to take more points to get an airline award than is advertised.
     
  10. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    Excellent point, Fishing4Deals. I'm actually valuing these points with a specific redemption in mind, hence the values I've attached to each point. Since my planned travel is to visit Central America as frequently as possible for free, I'm looking at economy awards. The way the award charts work out tends to be about 2 cents per point in value for me (I actually would be paying 2 cents for those tickets!), but the idea is eventually everyone could customize the tool to fit their goal.

    I'm about to post this as a job online (like, today). If there are any web developers out there looking for some freelance work, I'd love to hear from you! Someone already knowledgeable about the goal of the tool would be better positioned to help me build it in a useful, friendly way. Send me a PM!
     
  11. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I disagree. While there may be some bloggers that over inflate card value to push them onto you, the majority of the valuations I've seen have been pretty spot-on. Of course, how much a program is worth to you is determined by more factors than just aspirational travel, but by where you live too. Overseas travel, and especially in the front of the plane provides the greatest cpm. The issue with bloggers is that very few of them travel with a big family (sans Mommy Points, and that's a pretty rare family). It's a lot easier to travel in the way the bloggers write about when you're either single or if your spouse/partner gets in on the game full bore as well, and if you don't have kids (or a lap kid that doesn't cost more). It's pretty well known that the legacy carriers aren't going to get you much value flying domestically, and if you're quite rural, then you might be stuck with Allegiant and no FF program. I find great value in the revenue programs domestically, like WN/FL, F9 and B6, where you can at worst get 1.69 cpp. I just got 1.85cpp for MCO-MKE 8/1-8/4 on FL (via WN site), and through UR points, it's relatively simple to manufacture domestic flights at that value.

    Where valuation becomes a problem to some people is when they live near an airport that has little competition (non-major cities), and revenue tickets are more expensive, thus point values are more expensive as well, or if you're really picky about dates. Award charts in fixed programs aren't likely to give you weekend trips at the lowest mile level unless you book a long way out.
     
    travelpye likes this.
  12. srdshelly

    srdshelly Silver Member

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    I really like the work. Just as a matter of aesthetics, it's easier on the eyes if numbers are rounded to just two points past the decimal (spend/month per bonus).
     
  13. Fishing4Deals

    Fishing4Deals Silver Member

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    For domestic travel, I get the best value for my miles on Southwest, but even there, the best routings/most convenient flights cost many more miles.
     
  14. ffI

    ffI Silver Member

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    I look at it using the cost per mile metric

    A 50k bonus for 3k spend =
    you have to put spend on it and forego 2% cash back = 60$ cash lost
    so you get 53k miles = 60$ or about 0.11 cpm (about 1/13th of value in general)
    or
    you get at least 14 times the bang for your money (60$).

    A Citi Hilton Reserve has 4 metrics
    1
    card cost 95 + 2500 spend = 2 nights for 150$
    each night is 75$ cost paid upfront well in advance (but you use it or lose it)
    2
    After 1st year, Gold = free breakfast (forget intangibles of upgrades)
    breakfast is 20$ a day, so worth it after 5 nights
    3
    after 1 yr; 10k spend
    10k spend - 30k points + 1 free weekend night
    so 200$ = 2 nights = 1 night for 100$ paid in advance
    4
    Diamond Metric
    Spend 40k alternate years on Jan 1 to keep D HH status
    40k spend = 800$ min cost in lost cash
    =120k miles + 1 free weekend night = 5 nights max = 800$
    1 night is 150$
    Free upgrades and lounge access matters here
    I did China and Japan for large family with free breakfast = 2 weeks
    Money saved = 100$ a day x 14 days = 1400$; free upgrade, snacks etc
    Also paid for 1 room for 5 nights with this
    Subtracting cost of food saved for 5 days = 150-100= 50$ a day
     
  15. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    OK, so after *much* time and work, I'm finally listing the project for crowdfunding on Indiegogo!

    I've named the project Tralue, and I'm trying to raise enough cash to transform my spreadsheet into an easy-to-understand, but powerful, customized, and holistic view of available credit card offers.

    I'm definitely looking for suggestions for improvement, and everyone will get a special thanks for helping!!! Let's make this happen!!!!!

    http://igg.me/at/tralue/x/4605240
     
  16. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    For those wondering, we tried using Kickstarter first, as it's a more popular platform, and statistically, projects are more likely to fund. However, we did not fit the Kickstarter guidelines because this is considered a "business or ecommerce" website, which is explicitly not allowed in the guidelines.

    I don't expect we'll ever see a miles & points website on Kickstarter because of this. Indiegogo has no such restrictions. In fact, they don't even approve projects beyond confirming that provided accounts for receiving funds are valid.

    Let me know if you have any questions!
     
  17. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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