Newbie jumping into the game

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Hfdman27, May 14, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. Hfdman27

    Hfdman27 New Member

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    Hi and first let me offer my appreciation for such a sight with such a wealth of knowledge and experience. I am new to the game, so new I'm still waiting on my first 2 cards. I decided to start with the Barclaycard arrival plus and Chase Freedom and as soon as I reach spending minimum adding the Sapphire, Southwest and a hotel card (yet to be decided). I still have a young family of 4 so my plan for now is to stay domestic with some travel to carribean and expand internationally as my girls grow in age. I have excellent credit. So I would love some advice as to tricks to get going so I don't waste any money and points. Once again I am a blank slate and eager to learn and prove to my wife I can do this lol. My home base will be out of Houston.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Don't overspend just to get points. Don't carry a balance. Don't assume any of it is actually "free."

    If the goal is 4 award tickets all the time it is going to take a significant volume of spending to get to travel together on awards. Make sure it is actually worth it versus just taking advantage of good fares when they come along.
     
  3. Hfdman27

    Hfdman27 New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Yea I never assumed I could fly the whole family around for free but to be able to significantly lower the cost with points seems like a great idea.
     
  4. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    A handy trick is to roll old cards into new cards just a little bit after their one-year mark. That gets you new 'welcome' bonus and, if played right, lowers your interest rate.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Harper08

    Harper08 New Member

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    What was the lowest you were able to get your interest rate down to by rolling old cards?
     
  6. Harper08

    Harper08 New Member

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    What was the lowest you got your interest rate to?
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If you care about the interest rate that means you're carrying a balance. And if you're going down that route then playing this game is a BAD idea. Use a non-rewards card with low rates and pay off the debt. This game should ONLY be played if you're paying off the balance each month.
     
    radonc1951 and iolaire like this.
  8. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    To start with I'd focus on finding sale flights that make sense to you a few good sites to watch are:
    http://www.theflightdeal.com/
    http://www.secretflying.com/usa-deals/

    For example this deal seems priced at an ok rate for a family:
    American – $289: Washington D.C. / Newark / San Francisco / Cleveland – Cabo San Lucas / Cancun / Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Roundtrip, including all Taxes

    Read more: http://www.theflightdeal.com/2016/0...-roundtrip-including-all-taxes/#ixzz4Au2fgdld

    The points will take some time to earn and build and you should be able to do some traveling at the same time.

    (If you can not afford to by some flights then you should be VERY careful about getting into the credit card game. You don't want to put your family into debt trying to earn some "free" flights.)
     
    Wandering Aramean likes this.
  9. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    The credit card game can be quite lucrative but has many pitfalls that may make it unattractive to you. That being said, here are some possibilities. As in the research world, I preface the below by saying I have no conflicts of interest in any card I mention.

    1. Look for a credit card that has both a large sign up bonus and a 1 year deferral on paying for the card. These will usually have some level of spend to secure the bonus points (such as $2000 spent in the first 3 months) but usually give a nice initial start to collecting points in that particular program. I think the UA Explorer card is an example of this.
    2. Certain cards may give you perks that non-elite status members don't enjoy. An example of this was when my partner was flying her family to Florida and was going to be paying for her checked luggage. Her family of 4 would have cost $120 to check their bags one way. I told her to get that airline's card, pay the year fee (<$100) and save the rest by getting a free checked bag per passenger. For that trip alone, she would have saved about $140 and if the card fee was deferred for the first year, she could have cancelled the card at the end of the year and wound up paying nothing for the checked baggage (which to me is not kosher, since you did derive a benefit from getting the card and you should be willing to play by all the rules, including paying for the card).
    3. Most important is what WA said above, which is don't carry a balance. However, since you said you have excellent credit, I don't think that should be an issue.

    There are numerous sites on TOBB which talk about games people play with credit cards. Read them with a jaundiced eye since many things people do and write about are less than ethical IMO.
    And finally, Staycations can be fun, especially with your younger offspring. While I have no idea where you live, I am certain that there are many sites to see within a day's drive of your home, and they will all be new to the younger members of your family. :cool:
     
  10. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    The credit card game can be quite lucrative but has many pitfalls that may make it unattractive to you. That being said, here are some possibilities. As in the research world, I preface the below by saying I have no conflicts of interest in any card I mention.

    1. Look for a credit card that has both a large sign up bonus and a 1 year deferral on paying for the card. These will usually have some level of spend to secure the bonus points (such as $2000 spent in the first 3 months) but usually give a nice initial start to collecting points in that particular program. I think the UA Explorer card is an example of this.
    2. Certain cards may give you perks that non-elite status members don't enjoy. An example of this was when my partner was flying her family to Florida and was going to be paying for her checked luggage. Her family of 4 would have cost $120 to check their bags one way. I told her to get that airline's card, pay the year fee (<$100) and save the rest by getting a free checked bag per passenger. For that trip alone, she would have saved about $140 and if the card fee was deferred for the first year, she could have cancelled the card at the end of the year and wound up paying nothing for the checked baggage (which to me is not kosher, since you did derive a benefit from getting the card and you should be willing to play by all the rules, including paying for the card).
    3. Most important is what WA said above, which is don't carry a balance. However, since you said you have excellent credit, I don't think that should be an issue.

    There are numerous sites on TOBB which talk about games people play with credit cards. Read them with a jaundiced eye since many things people do and write about are less than ethical IMO.
    And finally, Staycations can be fun, especially with your younger offspring. While I have no idea where you live, I am certain that there are many sites to see within a day's drive of your home, and they will all be new to the younger members of your family. :cool:
     
  11. RenneStone

    RenneStone Member

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    Keep your self close to your truly needs, once you are comfortable, manage your incomes and use that credit in your favor. Buy and pay, and buy and pay, never let your expenses exceed your entries of money.
     
  12. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    CC is a debt if not paid in full every month,
    'Debt will kill you.

    Debt is a mark up,

    Do not borrow, for a trip...

    Traveling is never free.

    Never go into debt for anything you do not really need, or can reasonably pay off.

    I spend 50 years in debt...had over 50 credit card, and over 50 loans...

    Learn to handle the 2 CCs first, and pay them off every month

    I would have stayed with Chase and forget the Arrival card..Sapphire is the one you want, forget the freedom card..., but now that you have it keep it forever...

    Sapphire allows you to move Miles's and points...as you need them..not a Barclay fan, Chase and Citi here..

    My thoughts...

    I have seen debt take many down...
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016

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