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Something better than AMEX HH Surpass for grocery spend?

Something better than AMEX HH Surpass for grocery spend?

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Old Mar 28, 17, 5:49 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
The Citi Hilton Reserve has 5 times on airline tickets and car rentals and offers a one weekend night cert after spending $10K each year. It has no bonus on groceries. American Express does have another HH Card with no annual fee that give 5 times on groceries.
You are right, not 5x on groceries. It is 3x on all spending, except 5x on airline tickets and car rentals.
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Old Mar 28, 17, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
I'm used to getting 50000 miles or such for $3000 spend in 3 months or whatever. Yes, sometimes it requires $5000 spend but sometimes it only requires $1000 or $2000 spend, which is why I think $3000 spend makes a decent average. $10000 of spend is thus about 3 signup bonuses' worth of spend on average. Just one free night certificate thus doesn't seem to me to be worth diverting $10000 of spend from signup bonuses to Reserve.

Of course, if you don't do any credit card signups most years, you may have totally different view of things. But I travel enough that just one free night certificate a year doesn't get me very far, no matter how little or how much work it took to get it.

And it's easy to get free night certificates from other hotel programs for way less. With IHG it requires having a $49/year credit card, no actual spend. WIth Mariott it requires having a $85/year credit card, no actual spend, but in Marriott's case it's capped at category 5, which may not suit some people.

Compared to those, having to spend $10000 on one card (on which I'd never spend that much "naturally") just to earn one more free night certificate doesn't seem a good return on money to me. But again that's just me.

It may be quite different, for example, for someone who uses the card at Hiltons and who spends a lot of money at Hilton properties each year. For them, $10000 spend on that one Hilton card may be very "natural". Also, someone who has tons of business spend each year will look at spend amounts way differently than someone who only has modest amounts of personal expenses each year.
I was mistaken, Citi Hilton Reserve earns 3x on all spending including groceries, 5x on airlines and car rentals, and 10x on Hilton stays. You've got me thinking it over. On Hilton Surpass Blue 6x, $10,000 spending would net you 60,000 points which, if you value Hilton points @Half cent, is worth $300. On Citi Reserve 3x, $10,000 would earn 30,000 points @Half cent worth $150 plus the Annual Free Weekend night and Gold status, which gives you free breakfast. I really like the free breakfast benefit, and the annual free night I have been using at hotels $300-$400. Surpass Blue has no fee, Reserve has annual fee of $95. It would be better to use some other major purchases to meet the Reserve's $10,000 spend, and put the grocery spending on the Surpass.

New card card bonuses are awesome, I agree. Because of my business, I can meet the usual spends of $3,000, $5,000, whatever, but I have or have had many of the cards already, so now I wait for really whopper bonuses or a targeted mailer.
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Old Mar 29, 17, 6:07 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
I was mistaken, Citi Hilton Reserve earns 3x on all spending including groceries, 5x on airlines and car rentals, and 10x on Hilton stays. You've got me thinking it over. On Hilton Surpass Blue 6x, $10,000 spending would net you 60,000 points which, if you value Hilton points @Half cent, is worth $300. On Citi Reserve 3x, $10,000 would earn 30,000 points @Half cent worth $150 plus the Annual Free Weekend night and Gold status, which gives you free breakfast. I really like the free breakfast benefit, and the annual free night I have been using at hotels $300-$400. Surpass Blue has no fee, Reserve has annual fee of $95. It would be better to use some other major purchases to meet the Reserve's $10,000 spend, and put the grocery spending on the Surpass.

New card card bonuses are awesome, I agree. Because of my business, I can meet the usual spends of $3,000, $5,000, whatever, but I have or have had many of the cards already, so now I wait for really whopper bonuses or a targeted mailer.
Huh? Reserve gets you HH Gold status with no spend at all for $95/year. And Hilton Surpass gets you HH Gold stautus with no spend at all for $75/year.

So who needs giant spend to get HH Gold status?

Meanwhile, like you said, HH Gold gets you free breakfast. So while you can spend a lot to get to HH Diamond on some cards, that may or may not be worth it (even if it is easy for you to do that much spend), depending on whether you value the generally-mild additional benefits (in practice) of HH Diamond over HH Gold.

And what's this "Suprass Blue" that you mention? I've never heard of such a card? (Doing a google search on "Surpass Blue" gets no hits about Amex at all.) Is that just your own nickname for the no-AF Hilton Amex card (which doesn't have a specific name)?
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Old Mar 30, 17, 9:27 am
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Just my $0.34 worth here (because it's different than $0.02--haha)

IF doing this for cash back, don't forget that there's Discover card in addition to Chase Freedom with roaming 5% cash back for grocery stores (sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don't). I've also occasionally gotten 5% for a month or more with the Citibank Platinum Select (?) card.

No AF for either.

I'm not sure, even with the 6% on Surpass (even if it didn't have an AF) that buying gift cards at grocery store is the "best" method.

I'd say it depends on the gift cards you're buying.

I can usually get gift cards from places like giftcardzen, cardpool and the dredded cardcash (make sure you use the cardcash stuff in 45 days as they have a tendency to magically zero balance crap on you and only guarantee for 45 days), at 10-25% off (again, it depends).

For those type of gift cards, I'll use something that gets me the highest cash back (currently my "best" card is the Capital One silver at 1.5%--I don't have the Citi double cash yet, trying to clear the 5/24 crap out for Chase). but my Citibank Platinum Select had a 5% back (max of $25) on "online" purchases, so I got 5% cashback on a bunch of gift cards.

When Discover has their 5% (or if you can get the 2% new card bonus for the year) I ring that sucker up and then redeem for the "bonus" cashback gift cards on Discover.com, so you can get an even better bang for buck.

Again, I'm speaking strictly about cash back, not for like award points and things.

It is a PITA (sorta) to keep track which card is doing what this month, but I enjoy it. Some people don't.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by hurnik View Post
I'm not sure, even with the 6% on Surpass (even if it didn't have an AF) that buying gift cards at grocery store is the "best" method.
Shouldn't that be 6X rather than 6%? To be 6%, Hilton Honors points would need to be worth 1 per point, which seems inflated.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by serpens View Post
Shouldn't that be 6X rather than 6%? To be 6%, Hilton Honors points would need to be worth 1 per point, which seems inflated.
True, 6x would be the correct points. Prior to deval maybe $0.01/point (depending on).
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Old Mar 30, 17, 3:06 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by serpens View Post
Shouldn't that be 6X rather than 6%?
It's easy to fall into the trap of conflating quantity with value, or thinking that points have a natural value of $0.01 each. Percentage are only valid when thinking about cash back or rewards with a fixed monetary value.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 11:15 am
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Even valuing HH points at $.005 each, Surpass is a reasonable card for grocery spend. Straight 6 points/dollar (3% value), no min or max. No other card is slam-dunk better.

Of course, just because it's a great all-the-time card doesn't mean I actually use it all the time. Pursuing sign-up bonuses a few times a year and rotating bonus categories means I use Surpass in the grocery store less than half the time overall. Because of that I wouldn't keep a Surpass account open and pay the AF just for groceries. The AF needs to be justifiable in terms of other benefits such as HH gold status.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Even valuing HH points at $.005 each, Surpass is a reasonable card for grocery spend. Straight 6 points/dollar (3% value), no min or max. No other card is slam-dunk better.

Of course, just because it's a great all-the-time card doesn't mean I actually use it all the time. Pursuing sign-up bonuses a few times a year and rotating bonus categories means I use Surpass in the grocery store less than half the time overall. Because of that I wouldn't keep a Surpass account open and pay the AF just for groceries. The AF needs to be justifiable in terms of other benefits such as HH gold status.
How about US Bank Flexperks Visa or CNB Crystal Visa Infinite or Amex PRG?
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Old Mar 31, 17, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Huh? Reserve gets you HH Gold status with no spend at all for $95/year. And Hilton Surpass gets you HH Gold stautus with no spend at all for $75/year.

So who needs giant spend to get HH Gold status?

Meanwhile, like you said, HH Gold gets you free breakfast. So while you can spend a lot to get to HH Diamond on some cards, that may or may not be worth it (even if it is easy for you to do that much spend), depending on whether you value the generally-mild additional benefits (in practice) of HH Diamond over HH Gold.

And what's this "Suprass Blue" that you mention? I've never heard of such a card? (Doing a google search on "Surpass Blue" gets no hits about Amex at all.) Is that just your own nickname for the no-AF Hilton Amex card (which doesn't have a specific name)?
The no fee Surpass card is blue. I dropped the $75 version of Surpass when Hilton Reserve came out because it has better benefits, for me at least. You don't have to spend $10,000 to get Gold on the Reserve card, only to get the annual free night. I value the free breakfasts that come with Gold which are nice when buffets run $15-$27; the Annual Free Weekend Night has been worth $300-$400 at the hotels I have used it; and the 10x on Hilton spend adds up pretty quick. Currently I am Diamond which guarantees the Club Lounge and supposedly a better chance of upgraded rooms but hasn't done much than Gold for me so far. I won't be using Reserve for 3x on groceries anymore, going back to 5x blue Surpass.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
The no fee Surpass card is blue. I dropped the $75 version of Surpass when Hilton Reserve came out because it has better benefits, for me at least. You don't have to spend $10,000 to get Gold on the Reserve card, only to get the annual free night. I value the free breakfasts that come with Gold which are nice when buffets run $15-$27; the Annual Free Weekend Night has been worth $300-$400 at the hotels I have used it; and the 10x on Hilton spend adds up pretty quick. Currently I am Diamond which guarantees the Club Lounge and supposedly a better chance of upgraded rooms but hasn't done much than Gold for me so far. I won't be using Reserve for 3x on groceries anymore, going back to 5x blue Surpass.
The no-fee card is not called Surpass! Yes, it is blue, but it's not Surpass.

Surpass is only the name of the $75 AF card. The card with no AF oesn't have a name beyond Amex Hilton.

So the no-AF card is Amex Hilton, while $75 AF card is Amex Hilton Surpass.

Just because you downgraded the Surpass to a no-AF card doesn't mean it kept the same name. Cards often change name when you downgrade them; Citi Premier or Prestige downgrade to no AF TYP becomes Citi Preferred; Citi AA Platinum or Gold downgraded to no AF becomes Citi AA Bronze. Amex Everyday Preferred downgraded to an AF becomes Amex Everyday (without any other words).

Amex has habit of dropping one word and that meaning a different card. I see a close parallel between the no-AF Hilton Amex card dropping the word "Surpass" and the no-AF Amex Everyday card dropping the word "Preferred".
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