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Old Jun 28, 13, 10:40 pm   #16
 
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Why choose? Use the Fidelity Amex for non-bonus spend and use the Freedom for the rotating categories. If you are ONLY going to take the cash back, then that is the logical conclusion.

Of course, if you like the flexibility of potentially transferring the points to United at some point in the future, that changes the arithmetic. Nobody other than yourself can decide what that flexibility is worth.
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Old Jun 29, 13, 8:31 am   #17
 
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I think this should work:
1) CSP for food
2) Ink for gas and gc's from staples
3) Fidelity for all else
4) AMEX for electronics
5) Citi Forward for only cellphone insurance
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Old Jun 29, 13, 8:42 am   #18
 
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I would watch out for the annual fees. Since the fidelity Amex card is free and you get straight 2% there, is it worth the fees on the other cards for the marginal increase in return? Personally I think people over complicate the credit card strategy.
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Old Jun 29, 13, 8:46 am   #19
 
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Only the CSP has the fee but I need the FTF waived... Technically the Fidelity is FTF when it charges 1% but gives you back the 2% giving you just 1% on foreign charges. I am not looking for the fake AMEX/FIA card.

Everything else is free.
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Old Jun 29, 13, 10:22 am   #20
 
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The only reason not to use Fidelity as your general spend card would be if you value business/first class flights on UR transfer partners like United. Those will always return way more than 2%.
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Old Jun 29, 13, 3:40 pm   #21
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Originally Posted by cotr View Post
Only the CSP has the fee but I need the FTF waived... Technically the Fidelity is FTF when it charges 1% but gives you back the 2% giving you just 1% on foreign charges. I am not looking for the fake AMEX/FIA card.

Everything else is free.
But the Fidelity AMEX is the fake AMEX/FIA card... but you are considering it?
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Old Jun 29, 13, 6:54 pm   #22
 
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I also have the Amex Clear (electronics purchases) and Citi Forward (cellphone insurance) and a Amex Gold business but I have no desire for their puny general 1:1 returns.
If you're still interested in keeping a credit card for electronic purchases going forward, I'd look into switching from the Amex Clear to the Discover. I posted a little about this on this board earlier today. It's post #3 in this thread: Link
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Old Jun 29, 13, 7:04 pm   #23
 
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In most cases, the best value for UR points comes from transferring them to United or Hyatt. A common valuation is $0.02 per point, but it's different for everyone. Any other use for UR points (statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, etc.) is a waste IMO. Especially gift cards because you can buy those for 5x using your Ink.
When I first starting looking into this credit card stuff a year ago, the 2 pennies for a UR point is what I saw around and made me not interested in it.

But I'm reviewing this stuff again, and it looks to me like this guy is talking about redeeming UR points for over 10 pennies a point, in his example going through the British Avios program: Link

If it's the case where you can get up to 10 pennies a UR point, why are people using 2 pennies a point as the common valuation for those things?

I noticed that example just after my app-o-rama for this year. I'm glad I got a Chase Freedom card. It was an incidental pick-up that I just got a lot just because of curiosity. But after seeing that example... Damn glad I went ahead and got that card even though I didn't really need it. I don't usually get stuff like that. Just after hearing so much about Chase cards and not understanding why everyone was so crazy about them...
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Old Jun 29, 13, 7:21 pm   #24
 
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. . .
If it's the case where you can get up to 10 pennies a UR point, why are people using 2 pennies a point as the common valuation for those things?
. . .
People debate endlessly regarding how to value points. 2 cent / per is a common valuation because it takes into account a reasonable redemption - even though it is possible to get much greater value for you points. For example, even WN gets you almost .02/per.

One big sticking point with people is that in order to get to the .10/per valuation you need to use full fare price as the valuation of your redemption. Most people, however, would not be willing to pay full price for a first class seat - so that doesn't really make sense, does it?

Lots more debate about this elsewhere, but that's just some quick thoughts.
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Old Jun 29, 13, 7:44 pm   #25
 
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People debate endlessly regarding how to value points....
Okay, CFFrost. Thanks for filling me in...

What is WN?

Is a good point you made about needing to compare against full fare to get the 10 pennies per point redemption value, The Points Guy very well should have included that in his article...
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Old Jun 29, 13, 7:50 pm   #26
 
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Okay, CFFrost. Thanks for filling me in...

What is WN?

Is a good point you made about needing to compare against full fare to get the 10 pennies per point redemption value, The Points Guy very well should have included that in his article...
WN is Southwest.

I do think that booking first and business class on international itineraries is a great value, but only YOU can determine how much that is worth to you. For many here, even if they wouldn't pay the cash price, the experience is worth it because they would never be able to experience such extravagance without points. Others would argue that first class is never worth it, since it means you may be able to take less trips, since business and first class require more miles.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 6:47 am   #27
 
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FIA fake AMEX is the scariest thing for me. My first credit card was an amex that i still have and the way CS takes care of everything/ease of use of website is just wonderful. Way better than any other card provider. I've been spoiled with my Amex Clear/Costco cards.

Someone brought in a flower to work, lily i think, that stained my recently purchased white shirt and AMEX refunded it. Cat dropped a Nook Color and Amex covered it. Computer failed about 15 months in to purchase and the manufacturer was giving me a run around and Amex refunded it. All required some forms and a picture of the damage.

Visa through Citi on the other hand... Wanted a copy of my lease, bills, statements, copy of renters, and a signed affidavit.

My point with the thread was to see if there was a possibility of ensuring that my purchases netted me an average of 2% back in either points, value, trips, or cash. I recently got a Fidelity Cash account to get reimbursed fees and saw the card which seemed to be a great card that I had not heard very much about.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:00 am   #28
 
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The Fidelity Amex is about the only true 2% cashback card right now, and as such, it is a good value. I don't know that there's much to talk about, other than to say, yes, 2% cashback on everything is hard to beat. I'd say most people who are active on these forums are posting about other cards in an effort to get over 2% returns using miles and other points.

It certainly is possible, but it takes some work. Also, it helps if the travel redemptions you want line up with the high value redemptions. That's where the point valuation discussion get fuzzy. It's not useful to you to be able to get over 4 cents per point at a Park Hyatt if you don't want to travel to certain high cost cities that have a Park Hyatt.

Figure out first what you'd like to do with your points. Then decide if there's a strategy that allows you to beat 2% cashback.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:34 am   #29
 
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Originally Posted by CFFrost View Post
One big sticking point with people is that in order to get to the .10/per valuation you need to use full fare price as the valuation of your redemption. Most people, however, would not be willing to pay full price for a first class seat - so that doesn't really make sense, does it?
+1. Another overlooked point is that you can often buy points outright. With United, for example, you can currently buy MP points for$0.037625 pp, and it's cheaper when they have purchase bonuses of course.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:54 am   #30
 
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Another point that is overlooked when you compare mileage earning cards to cash back cards is the sign up bonus. If you sign up for an INK card, a Sapphire Preferred Card, and a United card - the redemption value doesn't really matter. Why? The points had virtually no acquisition cost. The cash sign up bonuses are generally much lower, and less common. So, folks on FT don't bother with 2% cards in part because they're usually working on a sign up bonus - or working on the last 1,000, 2,000, 10,000 miles, etc - to the next big redemption. In the case of the three aforementioned cards you'd end up with at least 154,000 miles on roughly $9,000 spend. NO 2% card can beat that, even if you redeem the points for cash or gift cards. Then factor in category bonuses, portal bonuses, etc.

Generally, I think a 2% card is best for anyone who wants one or two cards to put ALL of their spending on. But, if you're here, and you're willing to add even one new card every few months - you'll get far more from new cards with sign up bonuses.
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