Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > Credit Card Programs
Reload this Page >

Credit Card Strategies to Pay for Meals on Vacation

Credit Card Strategies to Pay for Meals on Vacation

Old Sep 10, 17, 8:11 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Santa Cruz, CA USA
Programs: UA, HH, SPG
Posts: 7,286
Credit Card Strategies to Pay for Meals on Vacation

We have pretty much figured out how to use credit cards to pay for flights and hotels when on vacation. However, meals are another story. About the only thing I can come up with is to get one of those cash back cards, keep an account of the cash rewards, and mentally convince myself that I actually ony used the cash back from the card to pay for those expensive vacation dinners. Any other ideas?

I have not kept track of the cash back cards so I have two additional questions. Is 2% cash back basically the best one can hope for? Are there cash back cards that offer substantial sign up bonuses similar to the airline/hotel affinity cards?

Many thanks.
JerryFF is offline  
Old Sep 10, 17, 8:14 am
  #2  
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR/SEA
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 13,439
Some CCs offer 5% cash back on rotating quarterly basis, so I would check in case someone has restaurants coming up.
EmailKid is offline  
Old Sep 10, 17, 11:07 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 24,959
Originally Posted by JerryFF View Post
We have pretty much figured out how to use credit cards to pay for flights and hotels when on vacation. However, meals are another story. About the only thing I can come up with is to get one of those cash back cards, keep an account of the cash rewards, and mentally convince myself that I actually ony used the cash back from the card to pay for those expensive vacation dinners. Any other ideas?
Use the points earned on meals to pay more hotel rooms?

Chase hotel cards often give double points for restaurants and have 0% forex.

Citi TYP Premier gives 2x points on restaurants (and 3x on gas, hotels, parking, and some other "travel") and has 0% forex.

And within the US, I look for Rewards Network restaurants, where I earn 5 UA/AS/DL/AA miles per $ spent on top of that.

And I don't find restaurants to be that much more expensive most places compared to home. So unless you never eat out at home (for comparison), I don't understand what you mean be expensive travel dining.

Originally Posted by JerryFF View Post
Are there cash back cards that offer substantial sign up bonuses similar to the airline/hotel affinity cards?
There are no cash back bonuses quite as big as airline/hotel bonuses, because giving away cash back bonuses is expensive (you have to give away hard money), while giving away airline miles or hotel points is cheap because it's essentially "excess capacity" inventory they're giving away. (You can't get cheap award seats on flights which are almost overbooked, and you can't get hotel awards in most programs for the last hotel room available. But cash is always the same cost, there's no "excess capacity" in cash!)

Last edited by sdsearch; Sep 10, 17 at 11:13 am
sdsearch is offline  
Old Sep 10, 17, 11:19 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SAN
Posts: 1,151
Citi Costco Anywhere Visa, Captial One Premier Dining Rewards, and Navy Federal Credit Union GoRewards all give 3% cash back on restaurants, and the latter two also have no forex fees.

I also feel like I'm seeing a fair amount of overlap between the Rewards Network, MOGL, and ThanksAgain networks, so dining at a participating restaurant sometimes will earn me cash back or miles in more than one of these programs.
Hawaiian717 is offline  
Old Sep 10, 17, 3:57 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Santa Cruz, CA USA
Programs: UA, HH, SPG
Posts: 7,286
Thanks for the suggestions.
JerryFF is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: