Newbie - I have two questions

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by backtoreality, Jul 31, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. backtoreality

    backtoreality Member

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    I am just staring out and I am really excited. We were approved for the United Mileage Plus card. I did a lot of research and I felt like this was the best card for us. I have two questions.

    1. should I also get a Marriot CC? my husband has a Marriot rewards number. If I can use my United points for hotels then what is the benefit of getting a Marriot CC?
    2. do I have to wait until the next billing cycle to pay off the United CC in order to get the points credited? Or can I charge the card and pay it off in the same billing cycle and still benefit?

    thanks !
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    1) Marriott CC = 70k MR points + free night on signup & annual free night + Silver status.
    2) Usually you have to wait till the billing cycle is complete before you'll get the sign up bonus. You can pay before its due of course ... but I don't believe you'll get the miles any quicker.
     
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It would be a waste to use UA miles for hotel stays due to the poor conversion rate, unless you have lots and lots of miles. I put 100K Marriott Rewards points into my account after I got automatic Gold status in Marriott Rewards as a UA 1K through the UA/Marriottt joint venture called RewardsPlus. First, I got the Chase Marriott visa card which added 70K in sign up bonus, and then I transferred 30K UA miles to my Rewards account, which I could do because I currently earn a lot of UA miles quickly and easily. I have used the CC for some purchases, which has gotten me just over 100K points, enough for redeeming for a decent stay.
    The points will post on the closing date of the billing cycle during which you make a purchase, irrespective of when you pay off the CC.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
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  4. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Hi backtoreality. Welcome to MilePoint.

    I'll try to answer your questions and explain my answers a bit. NYCUA1K and edekba have already given you good advice, but perhaps a bit more detail would help.

    First, in general it is preferable to use miles and points earned through loyalty programs for the programs themselves. For instance, hotel points are usually most valuable in redeeming for hotel stays, and airline miles are usually most valuable when redeeming for flights or upgrades on flights.

    There are exceptions to this (and I'll mention the exceptions later), but it is for this reason that most frequent travelers carry both an airline rewards credit card and a hotel rewards credit card, or they may carry a card (like AMEX Membership Rewards) that allows the points to be converted into either airline miles or hotel points.

    If you usually fly United, having a United Mileage Plus credit card makes good sense, particularly to charge United purchases to, and similarly if you (or your husband) stays in Marriott properties, it makes sense to have a Marriott Rewards VISA to pay for those stays.

    For general purchases, though, it might make better sense to use a card that gives points that can be converted to either miles or stays, so you can use the purchases to fill out an airline or hotel loyalty account. As an example, the Starwood AMEX gives one Starpoint per dollar charged (as well as bonuses for charges at Starwood properties). Most airline cards give one mile per dollar charged on general purchases (British Air is an exception at 1.25 Avios miles per dollar, and some airline cards give extra mile for certain types of purchases like rental cars and restaurants). However, if the general purchase is charged to the Starwood AMEX, it builds your Starwood hotel loyalty account, and you can trade (redeem) 20,000 Starpoints for 25,000 airline miles with many of the airlines. This increases your flexibility.

    Now the exceptions to the general rule I quoted earlier, that it's usually best to redeem points or miles for flights or stays in the loyalty program you earned the miles or points in, rather than exchanging (redeeming) them for points or miles in other programs.

    There are times when it does pay to redeem points or miles for other loyalty programs, but those are usually special circumstances.

    The most common are what we call "orphan" or "stranded" points and miles, where you have some points/miles in a program you seldom use (or used to use but have now switched to a different provider). In some cases you can either convert the orphan miles/points to a program you still use (rather than just letting them go to waste), or you may be able to convert points or miles from your current program into enough additional miles or points in the orphan accounts to bring the account up to where you can make a redemption. Remember, as I mentioned, Starpoints can be converted to airline miles in many airline programs, usually at a 1 for 1 ratio, but with a 25% bonus if converted in groups of 20,000 Starpoints. I know people who have converted a couple thousand Starpoints into miles in an orphan airline loyalty program in order to get enough miles to redeem for a flight.

    And some people have loyalty program memberships in lots of hotel programs, and in at least one airline program in each Alliance, so they can earn points/miles if they wind up not being be to use their favored provider on a trip. This also can lead to accounts with not enough miles or points to redeem for an award, and in circumstances like that it can make sense to convert miles or points from one account to another in order for the account balance not to go to waste or expire.

    Finally, there are some cases where redeeming the points for miles or vice-versa simply makes good sense. For instance, Marriott Rewards has a program where you can redeem a certain number of points for 7 nights in a hotel, and then along with that redeem additional Marriott Rewards points for airline miles on a one-to-one ratio up to a certain limit. Since if you're Platinum with Marriott, there are ways you can get up to 20 Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent in a Marriott, taking advantage of this offer for those Marriott Rewards points means that for converting those point you're essentially earning 20 airline miles for each dollar spent. You're not going to find offers like that every day.

    I hope this helps without overwhelming you (sort of like drinking from a fire hose), but if you have any questions, please post further and someone will help you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
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  5. backtoreality

    backtoreality Member

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    wow! thank you for the quick responses. This is a little overwhelming. But, I think it would be a good idea to get a Marriot card in order to earn more points. Now, I just need to figure out which one.
     
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  6. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I would strongly suggest this one:

    https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/marriottpremier/elitemrlppermv1/?CELL=67H4&SPID=F8P9

    The free night each year more than repays the annual fee, and the bonus 15 nights credit each year keep you at the elite Silver level and give you a leg up on making Gold at 50 nights per year.

    And frankly, the 70,000 bonus points are good for four to five free nights stay at the lower categories (not necessarily bad quality, just not often redeemed for reward nights)
     
  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/marriottpremier/70p1kshphdm/

    wouldnt that one be better ... $1k in 3M vs $2k ... only benefit is the 2k one you could churn if you didnt have the card the previous 24 Months
     
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  8. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    You are right! I didn't know that offer was still around.

    Good post!
     
  9. backtoreality

    backtoreality Member

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    thank you for the hotel card help/opinions. I noticed that the UA Mileage plus card has sweetened their offer. They are giving 50,000 bonus points (we got the 30,000 offer a week ago). We have not recieved our cards in the mail yet. Will Chase consider giving us this new offer even though my husband applied under the old offer? Also, I am an authorized signer. Will I be able to call for him? thanks !
     
  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    it wouldnt hurt to call or secure message and ask...
     
  11. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    United is a great card, my next card would be a Chase Sapphire Card, with the bonus you could move more miles to United, and also have your choice of some hotel programs, in addition to other airline programs.

    The goal is to stay focused on your goal, CSP will give you 40 or 50k more United Miles Quick, then Chase INK, you can be at 200k very fast...
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  12. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    After you get the Marriott card, look into getting the combination of Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and (if you qualify for a business card), the Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus card. Each of these cards offers multiple points on certain category purchases ( 2x on dining and travel for Sapphire Preferred, 5x on office supply purchases for Ink, and quarterly rotating 5x categories for Freedom), and UR points are transferable to both United and Marriott. With the bonuses you'll get from opening the cards plus point multiplication you'll get from the Chase cards, you'll be well on your way to a fantastic vacation!
     
  13. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Remember to spread out the Chase application. They do not look highly on too many applications in a short period of time.
     

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