Newbie Thread XPost

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by PHLFlyer, Feb 25, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I cross-posted this from the Newbies forum, in an effort to drum up some replies (I need that instant reply gratification).

    I wanted to include here some of my thoughts on credit cards (and maybe some hotel related stuff), and get your opinion on how to go about racking up miles.

    The two cards that seem to be the most highly regarded currently are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the SPG AMEX card. I am thinking about applying for these in the near future, but wanted to ask some questions about the process of churning, acquiring cards in general, and racking up miles.

    Also, I currently have a Chase Amazon.com card, with a large number of points. Is it possible to transfer those points to Chase UR once I open a Sapphire Preferred card?

    First, my credit score is excellent, so I foresee no problem in getting approved for either of these cards, but I generally don't spend that much per month, probably between 500 and 1000 dollars. This may change as I start a new career, but the low monthly spend means I will only be able to apply for a single card every 3-6 months. Is this a strategy that people take? Obviously it will take longer to accrue miles, but I'm not that concerned about it if it lets me rack up a ton of miles at any single time. Additionally, as I will probably be on the market for a house within the next 5 years (but not the next 2), I guess only applying for a few cards a year will be better from a credit standpoint.

    One other quick thing in regard to credit scores. How do I find out which banks pull from which unions in which states? If anyone has a link to that info they could pass to me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Next, how do people decide which cards to go about getting? For example, maybe it's a good idea to get a USAir card now before the merger? But in a year's time, should I just be on the lookout for any particular sign up bonus that is extremely lucrative?

    Along the same lines, let's say that lucrative sign up is for an airline that I don't fly very often or at all. Clearly it makes sense to open a FF account with them, get the miles deposited, and then discontinue using the card while at a later point using the miles on a partner airline for reward travel, correct?

    In regard to discontinuing use of any single card, what are the strategies that people typically use? For example, it seems like with the relatively low fees on the Sapphire Preferred and SPG AMEX, people hang on to these cards for the benefits even with the fee. I know also that some hotel cards (Citi Hilton, I think) have a fee but that is essentially wiped out because you get 2 free nights in any Hilton with the card (plus Gold status, for whatever that is worth). Next, what about airline specific branded cards? Let's say I get a United card with a fee. I know these airline-branded cards can have hefty fees, and as I currently do not travel a ton, is it in my interest to just get the sign up bonus, and at the end of the year cancel the card?

    For cards that are not airline-branded (maybe AMEX Gold, for example), should I get the membership rewards points and then move on at the end of the year? How long after canceling a card are you allowed to apply for a card again and receive the sign up bonus again? Does it vary on a card by card basis, or are there are general rules you can tell me about? Obviously, if a card issuer offered points to keep the card open that exceeded the value of the annual fee, I should clearly be taking them up on that, correct?

    In regard to the hotel branded cards, what are people's thoughts? If I likely won't stay at the particular hotel ever again, and I only have enough points for a couple nights of free stay (maybe extending that with cash and points if available), is it still worth it to apply for these cards given the points are non-transferable? Similarly, I know that when you are a member of a rewards program at any particular hotel, you can opt for points, and sometimes points and miles. If the hotel I am staying at is not my primary hotel, should I simply change my status to collect airline miles on my airline of choice? Or is accruing points and nights/stays with the random hotel better/fine?

    I think that's everything I have for now, but as we continue the discussion, if I have more questions, I'll be sure to post them. Sorry for the long post, and thanks so much for the help!
     
    tommy777 likes this.
  2. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    348 views, but no comments :(

    Any answers to any of the above questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
    MX likes this.
  3. OnlyOne

    OnlyOne Silver Member

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    This is the database you seek courtesy of CreditBoards.com.

    I don't have the SPG AmEx or the CSP so I'm really of no help regarding those cards.
     
    PHLFlyer likes this.
  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Hey, welcome to MP! :)
    I just had a few ideas that could generate more comments for you.
    First, I couldn't tell from the title what's the subject of this thread. Second, there are probably way too many words for a single post. If you could organize your thoughts into a single subject, and ask just one or two questions, it would make it much easier (at least for me) to understand your post and maybe contribute something useful.
     
    tommy777 likes this.
  5. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Thanks very much for the database! Much appreciated
     
    tommy777 likes this.
  6. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the welcome. You definitely make a good point. Guess I was too excited and tried to get all my questions answered in one huge thread. But I'll break it up, and post multiple threads here about my credit card questions and elsewhere about my hotel questions. Thanks again
     
    tommy777 and MX like this.

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