Optimizing a $25k foreign ccy spend on MC &/or Visa

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Global Explat, Jun 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    I've just learnt that my wife's approximately US$25k equivalent student loan (from a non US$ country) can be paid using either a Mastercard or Visa without incurring a cc fee.

    We have the $25k ready to pay this off, and intend to use a no FX fee credit card (or cards) to do so.

    Initially I was thinking I'd throw it all on my BA card, to get close to the 30k spend requirement for the free companion voucher. But I've already met the 2.5k min spend, so the companion voucher would be the only benefit here.

    Probably makes sense to spread it around instead, and try to max out signup bonuses. What are some good non fx fee MC or Visa offers right now? Is it only Chase that offers these?

    If there arent enough non fx fee cards, perhaps it even makes sense to sign up for fee cards, and pay some fx fees on just their minimum spend requirements. I already have the personal cards (and have met min spend) for: AA Citi Visa, Chase Marriott Premier Visa, Chase United Visa, US Air MC.

    Any other ideas here?
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  2. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Status Points:
    960
    Capital One Venture (and all their other cards) don't have foreign transaction fees. At the moment, they're not running any huge sign-up promotions like their previous Match Your Miles. You might wait. You'll only get 2% back at the moment.

    Chase Sapphire, if you can get it, will give you 50,000 pts for $3,000 spending, with zero foreign transaction fees. That's about $500 back. See nerdwallet.com.
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  3. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    Thanks Harvson3. Chase Sapphire will be first on the list.
     
  4. below sea level
    Original Member

    below sea level Silver Member

    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    310
    Status Points:
    435
    The Chase Priority Club Visa is giving 60,000 points at signup and has no FX fees.
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  5. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    Thanks BSL. How much should we value Priority points- half a cent or so?

    I also just noticed on the points guy's site that Citi ThankYou Premier card now has a 50k signup bonus & no fx fee. Can be either Visa or MC. That could work too.

    So we have 3 so far:

    Chase Sapphire
    Chase Priority Visa
    Citi Thank You Premier Visa or MC
     
  6. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470

    Just been reading up on the Chase Sapphire- it doesnt look like it is a Visa or a MC also. Is this right? Either way, I'm still going to apply...
     
  7. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Status Points:
    960
    Yes, it's either/or. The Preferred earns 50,000 pts, and the annual fee is waived the first year.
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  8. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    My Chase Sapphire Preferred has a Visa Signature logo on the back.

    The card also receives an annual 7% dividend on earned points (including the 50k bonus). You'll probably have to pay the annual fee for the second year, though, for that to kick in.
    The points are worth at least 1 cent (cashback reward), or can be exchanged 1:1 for BA or CO miles, among other things.
     
    harvson3 and Global Explat like this.
  9. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    Sounds perfect then...
     
    harvson3 likes this.
  10. Jenny & Curt
    Original Member

    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Status Points:
    1,270
    You could get the Hyatt VISA for the 2 free nights and no fx fees and charge part of the bill on that.
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  11. Gary Steiger
    Original Member

    Gary Steiger Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    157
    Status Points:
    375
    Not true. The 7% bonus is calculated on all points earned (even the initial bonus points) during the previous calendar year. So you would have plenty of time for the points to post and to spend a little more to get to an even multiple of 1,000 points that are needed for transfer before having to pay the fee.
     
    Global Explat and yaychemistry like this.
  12. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    413
    Status Points:
    460
    Agreed with the suggestions to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

    You'll get:

    Points on Base Spend: 25,000 points
    Points on 7% Bonus: 1,750
    Total Points: 26,750

    That's 27,000 points assuming you spend another $250 to get to an even number to transfer out.

    27,000 points transferred to Hyatt is a terrific redemption since you can get a $1000 stay in Paris or the Maldives for only 22,000 points in Hyatt's top category 6 hotels. See Hyatt's redemption chart here. A category 1 is only 5,000 points per night!

    On the other hand, $25,000 spent on a Priority Club visa will give you 25,000 Priority Club points which is 1 night at a high-end Holiday Inn or at a Crowne Plaza. It's not even 1 night an an InterContinental hotel (unless it is on the Pointsbreak list!)

    And if you use your BA card you'll get 25,000 *1.25 for a total of 31,250 BA miles which are more miles than what you'd get if you spend $25K on the Sapphire and then transfered to BA miles.

    Pick your poison!
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  13. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    Thanks for the analysis MMS.. If the Hyatt nights are so valuable then J&C's suggestion to go for the Hyatt 2 free night card must also be worth considering.

    Can you think of any other Visa or MC that we haven't covered here that has a great signup fee? Think I'm leaning towards spreading around as much as possible, though not sure how many different Chase cards I can have outstanding at once...
     
  14. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    413
    Status Points:
    460
    You're welcome!

    Sure, the Hyatt card is great for the 2 free nights, but I wouldn't get the card unless I knew that I was going to use those 2 free nights at a really great property in the next year. I still haven't got the card, because I'm waiting until I can make maximum use of the Hyatt card!

    And if you put 25K on the Hyatt, you'd get 25,000 points which are 1,750 less than what you'd get if you put them on the Chase Preferred card. Peculiar, isn't it!

    Chase is pretty lenient about letting you consolidate lines or move credit over in order to get approved for a new card, so I wouldn't anticipate any worries there.

    You could apply for the Citi Business card for 75,000 miles with a $4,000 or $1,500 sign-up. I'd gladly pay the 3% forex fee ($120 or $45 depending on spend requirement) to be assured of 75,000 AA miles!

    Better yet, why not apply for another Citi Business card for the wife. That's 150,000 AAdvantage miles for either $240 or $90 depending on the spend requirement.
     
  15. MyMiles&Points
    Original Member

    MyMiles&Points Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    116
    Status Points:
    395
    If you're interested in cashback, I thought I saw the promo on the Chase card that offers an intro period of time for 5% ($25K x 5% = $1,250). You could then use that money for stays at PC or Hyatt or Starwood to accumulate elite night credit and points.

    For example, you could find some cheap Starwood hotels at $100 per night and register for the resort night promo, then every 3 stays gets you one free resort night to use by the end of the year. That's 4 free nights ($100 * 12= $1200) plus the accompanying points and elite status credit (gold and almost halfway to platinum).
    Using Hyatt and the point promo, there are a couple of hyatt places for around $90 a night, so you could stay 13 times ($90 * 13 = $1170), get the 10K hyatt points after 5 stays, then 5K in points every 2 stays for a total of 30,000 Hyatt points (10K + 20K). You could even pick southwest miles on 5 of those stays to get the hyatt bonus points from the promo plus the current southwest promo of 19,000 southwest points after 5 stays (worth $316 in free flights) plus be halfway to Diamond status with the stays and a Plat after the first 5 stays (plus get some certs every 3 stays after that).
    Or if you're going for an airline status, you could turn that cashback into Plat status with American by signing up for the plat challenge and watching for one of those $800-$900 fares to Shanghai and back.

    Just some ideas. Of course, as you already mentioned, if you're just spreading around the $25K in spend to get signup bonuses, that's really helpful too.

    Good luck!
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  16. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    Don't forget the 50,000 point bonus for $3k spend in 3 months on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The 7% dividend works on the bonus too, so you'll get an additional 53,500 points to a final total of 80,500 points with your spending. I'm not sure what the bonuses are on the other cards if there are any.

    Here's the info on the bonus:
    http://www.chasesapphire.com/get-a-card/
     
  17. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    413
    Status Points:
    460
    You're right - I was looking at the incremental $25,000 spend, but you're right that the 7% bonus would apply on the initial points as well!
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  18. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Status Points:
    960
    I believe that the card that you're referring to is the Chase AARP card, which costs $16 for AARP membership for those of us under 50. http://www.aarpcreditcard.com/Default

    This is all true, and makes for good advice for someone who has a large bill to pay off quickly, or a large purchase that they can pay off quickly. The card also gets 3% on travel expenses after the first six months, and has no annual fee.

    However, note that the OP needs to pay off a foreign bill, and that the foreign transaction fee on the Chase AARP is 3%. That gives an effective return of only 2% in cash. (Other websites also note that new Chase AARP cardholders should hold on and make sure that their points post and are safely redeemed before closing the account.)
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  19. MyMiles&Points
    Original Member

    MyMiles&Points Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    116
    Status Points:
    395
    Thanks for the info on the foreign transaction fee. The Chase cards I have don't have the foreign fee anymore, so I forget that some of the cards still do.
     
  20. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Another good possibility is to put it on your Marriott Rewards Premier VISA card from Chase. (They're currently offering around 30,000 bonus Marriott Reward points for folks who don't have the card, plus a free night at category 1 to 4 properties, plus a bunch of other stuff including Silver elite status and 15 bonus nights toward earning higher elite status in the Marriott Rewards program.)​

    They don't charge a currency conversion fee.​

    You'd get only one Marriott Reward point per dollar (if you use it to pay bills at Marriott, you'll get 5 points per dollar on those charges), but you also get one bonus night toward elite status for every $3,000 charged to the card, so the $25K would get you an additional 8 bonus nights toward status which, added to the 15 bonus nights for getting the card, gives you 23 nights, well on the way to Gold at 50 nights. And Gold with Marriott carries more privileges than Gold with most other chains. Check out the Marriott forum here on MilePoint for some threads detailing the benefits and comparing them with equivalent status at other hotel chains.
     

Share This Page