Signature has nothing to do with annual fee.
There are so many deals when you sign up. Do you have the Venture or the VentureOne? One of those has no fees.
Just got approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve that everyone is freaking out about. Let's see how this game goes.
For the first year, you get 100K miles (worth a $#@!load more than $1,500 if you play it right), $600 in travel credit, Priority Pass lounge access, Global Entry reimbursed ($100 value).
Keep in mind, the $450 fee is effectively $150 per year, but if you cancel the card after the first year (before the second annual fee hits) you can get two calendar year travel credits as well as the GE fee, so you net 100K miles and $250 worth of value. And lounge access.
Yeah, I just got one, too. To good of a deal to pass up since I never got around to getting the Costco card.
I've had one for a while. Also United card since the points transfer to United.
American Express platinum, thoughts? Comes w/ 100k miles, access to airport lounge collection, credit for global entry - $450 annual fee
The Platinum perks are nice in a random sort of way - their discount at Ticketmaster got me free Astrodome seats. You really have to pay attention to take advantage of them though because they don't seem to have any rhyme or reason to them.
P.S. I'm frozen out of the Sapphire because I've opened more than 8 cards with Chase in the last 24 months. $#@!ing commies.
I was just approved for the Sapphire reserve. $300 in instant travel credits before the end of 2016 and another $300 for 2017 makes the $450 annual justifiable alone.
So, would transferring those points to SW Rapid Rewards be a good value?
I think he plays the points game (i.e., signing up for the best and newest bonuses, getting those bonuses and cancelling the cards thereafter). I've got a buddy who does it and certainly gets some good rewards. I just don't have the energy to do it.
I don't do it all from credit cards, but the way the frequent flyer game works now, it's stacked against all but the very, very high-value ticket buyers. I used to be able to rack up a lot of miles having mid- or upper-tier elite status on AA, but now I generally earn 50-75% less than I did, and combining that with an increase in premium cabin awards means it's not worth trying with butt-in-seat miles.
How bad does churning ding your credit? I got approved for the Sapphire Reserve, but was hesitant to apply at first because I am so anal about my credit report.
Berlin (4X), Munich for Oktoberfest (3X), London (4X), English countryside + Norwich boat trip, Glasgow/Edinburgh, Dublin, Budapest, Prague, Moscow, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome (3X), Milan/Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Auschwitz/Kraków, Brugges, Brussels, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Madrid, Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls, Istanbul and Athens.
These are my European trips taken/booked between April 2012 - July 2017. Probably adding Rio, Lima and Macchu Picchu next year as well. Haven't had a hotel less than 4-stars and only handful of flights that were lower class than Business. Plane tickets cost between $60 - $280 round trip. Several other Statewide/Canada trips as well.
I use the Fidelity Visa cash back card, 2% flat on everything with no annual fee, deposited into Fidelity brokerage account every month (can be easily transferred out to your bank from there if desired). Overall, pretty good card.
This year: Santa Fe, New Orleans, Isla Mujeres, the Masters, all on points. Guess I'm not as busy as you.
i also had a lot of hesitation about dinging my virgin-pristine record at first, eased into the game, played it off and on over the last decade, got 40 credit accounts on record now, and my scores are ..... above 818 lulz
the margins for optimization have eroded a lot. it seems that the 'golden age' of prolific awards was the decade starting in early 2000s. points were ripe for the pickin and worth much. now, besides the outsized bonuses being stingier and hard cap implemented on churn rates, devaluation of points seems to accelerated across the industry. ^which goes back to the point above, unless you are specifically saving it for something in near future, use it while you can. redemption is only getting more difficult. its no longer worth the mental algebra to 'game the system'. i just stick with a CSP + Amex plat. use, earn, and burn
I've never really found travel rewards to be worth the trouble unless you're traveling solo or maybe with one other. With kids the discounts in doing the full "package" on one of the OTCs are always bigger than the value of using points for part of a trip and paying for the rest. Plus trying to coordinate it all is a giant hassle.
Maybe if you spend 15k+ per mo on a card and/or or save the points up for one big trip every five or ten years.
About to face the (pay for) travel with children soon.
Wife and I have been taking two international vacations per year for the last 5 years. For every trip we've had free flight and/or hotel thanks to credit card points and biz travel points/miles.
Our kid is still under 2, so has been flying for free, but you are right. Points will not go as far when she has to pay for her flights.
(I use myfico which gives me access to all three credit bureaus and notifies me of any changes on my credit report)
I'll be in the 800's once I decrease my credit utlizaton.
Last edited by Rocko20; 09-12-2016 at 07:38 AM.
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