View Single Post
Old Jun 15, 20, 7:32 pm
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SEA
Programs: DL, SPG, UA.
Posts: 214
Where to put non-bonus spend?

Looking back over the last few years and we've amassed a lot of annual fees on premium cards (currently have 5 $450+ cards) as I was focusing more on maximizing the marginal reward for each dollar spend vs. the portfolio.

For the most part, I've determined which cards to cut and which to keep. However, I'm struggling with where to put non-bonus spend - which is our largest single spend category and thus has a significant impact on overall return. It also drives some of the scenarios I have for where to put other spend. Historically, the first $60k of non-bonus spend would go on the Delta Reserve and then to EDP or Fidelity 2% if I needed a non-AMEX. The MQM bonus and effective 1.5X RDM on spend made sense. Now that the RDM bonus is gone and 2020 status is extended so my MQM bonuses would be working toward 2023 status. That's too far out to care about today.

From a numbers perspective, the most attractive seems to be the Citi DoubleCash - 2% cash or 2 TYP. But I'm struggling with that b/c its Citi and that means keeping the Premier. I (like a few of us here) have been burned by Citi's tinkering in the past. It's hard to trust them. The alternatives seem to be: CFU (lower cash redemption and relying on UR to hold value or keep pay yourself back going), AMEX BBP (only good to $50k and then?), or just 2% cash (or move to BoA which adds friction to other areas for the Platnium rewards). What am I missing?

Given the current situation and that we're sitting on a lot of points across MR, UR, DL, Marriott, etc. Cash or optionality between cash / transfer is more of a focus right now (both MR and UR have pretty clear/stable cash out options). Ideally, I'd keep this somewhat in sync with where we are putting bonus spend (to avoid smaller balances across different programs). For cash back that doesn't really matter.
jalm1 is offline