New primary card?

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Old Apr 19, 18, 12:57 am
  #16  
 
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Iím in the same boat.

I currently have:

CSR for 3x travel and dining
SPG for all other non bonus spend + SPG spend
CFU for places that donít take Amex

Iím not sure if I just stop using the SPG card and switch to the CFU for everything else. I do use the SPG points for high value redemption stays currently (e.g. recently booked at the St Regis NYC at 8.4cpp). The devaluation changes the math because I also transfer UR to airlines for business award tickets (SQ, UA). My last redemption on SQ was around 10cpp, and UA at around 7cpp.

I know someone suggested the BPP but Iím hesitant to use a business card for personal expenses. Especially because I have a legitimate company with a bunch of Amex cards. Donít really want to rock that boat for 2MR vs 1.5UR.
I donít get any real value out of pure cash back cards...

Hmmm...
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Old Apr 19, 18, 7:32 am
  #17  
 
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You could just use your Chase cards more and try Hyatt hotels . . .
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Old Apr 19, 18, 7:56 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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I am switching to the BofA Premium Rewards card (with Platinum Honors booster). 2.6% back base and 3.5% on travel/dining. For points, I'll just use the Blue for Business Plus for 2x MR on all purchases. Until then, I'll get as many SPG points as I can before they're devalued to hell.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 8:29 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by WrightHI View Post
For anyone who has CSR, Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good place to start. 1.5x everywhere, and points can be moved to CSR freely. That's equivalent to 2.25% cash back via the UR portal and can be significantly more via transfer partners. With Hyatt as a UR transfer option, it's arguably also the best hotel card out there for unbonused spend.
I was putting all my non-cat spending on Amex SPG, but switched to Chase Freedom Unlimited pairing with CSR. I was hoping that the MR/SW merger will produce some good credit card offers but it doesn't seem the case. I need to get a back up plan as I don't really want to put all my eggs into UR. I am thinking BoA Premium Reward for the 2.625% back (with BoA Plat Honor Status).
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Old Apr 19, 18, 9:44 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by zorbachs View Post
I am switching to the BofA Premium Rewards card (with Platinum Honors booster). 2.6% back base and 3.5% on travel/dining. For points, I'll just use the Blue for Business Plus for 2x MR on all purchases. Until then, I'll get as many SPG points as I can before they're devalued to hell.
Altitude Reserve is 4.5% for everything in-person for $75 effective AF.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 9:55 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by yugi View Post
Altitude Reserve is 4.5% for everything in-person for $75 effective AF.
I have no banking relationship with US Bank nor are there any branches in my state. Otherwise, it looks good. I have all my assets at Bank of America/Merrill but the Altitude makes sense for US Bank customers
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Old Apr 19, 18, 11:12 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by zorbachs View Post
I have no banking relationship with US Bank nor are there any branches in my state. Otherwise, it looks good. I have all my assets at Bank of America/Merrill but the Altitude makes sense for US Bank customers
Get Flexperks card first, then wait for a month, and apply for AR. You can transfer Flexperks points to AR, but not vice versa.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 12:01 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by yugi View Post
Altitude Reserve is 4.5% for everything in-person for $75 effective AF.
I would add that it's everything in-person where you can use a mobile wallet (Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay). For a lot of places that will require you to have Samsung Pay since those places can only process magnetic stripe transactions and not mobile wallets (CVS Pharmacy comes to mind).
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Old Apr 19, 18, 7:53 pm
  #24  
 
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Chase is running a special 3UR per $ on the CFU:

Application Link.

This is a really good deal if you like UR. If you pair it with a CSR this is a minimum 4.5% to use against travel.


Last edited by EmailKid; Apr 19, 18 at 8:06 pm Reason: Removed referral link
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Old Apr 30, 18, 4:45 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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hi everyone, tagging along here. I have been happily using the AmEx SPG card as my everyday card for the past 4-5 years. I spend around $35k-$40k annually which gets us SPG Gold and we have been treated very well at all of the properties. We also really like the SPG properties.

I have seen that the Chase cards seem to get good praise in most of the "best reward card" lists I see. I also came across the AmEx Blue Business Plus which gives 2 AMEX points per dollar spent. I'm just not sure which rewards program gives the most flexibility. I am also not opposed to using up to 2 cards to maximize the benefits, but would opt for just a single card for simplicity if possible. A card with good protections (price protection, warranty doubling, return protection) is a huge plus. I really like those sorts of programs.

Going to try and figure this out and some of the churning stuff goes over my head pretty quick.

Last edited by heckofagator; May 1, 18 at 6:42 am
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Old Apr 30, 18, 5:09 pm
  #26  
 
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There's an entire thread about this over in the Starwood forum
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...valuation.html
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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:38 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
There HAS to be an existing thread but I can't find it for some reason. In any case, I've had a SPG Amex since 2004 as my primary card. With the merger and program merger announcement yesterday, my understanding is that the SPG Amex will no longer give the best bang for the buck it had previously. What should I make my new primary card?

I'd like something with travel rewards of some sort, but am open to ideas. Suggestions? Thanks!
I've thought often about non-category spending after August 1. Assuming that you are not deeply invested in one program such as DL, I would charge non-category spending to a combination of Chase Freedom Unlimited and AMEX Blue for Business Plus, depending on which currency you need more. They have the best earning rate and solid transfer partners so that losing one transfer partner will not affect redemption opportunities too much.

Obviously, category spending goes elsewhere!
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Old May 3, 18, 6:57 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Totoro View Post

Obviously, category spending goes elsewhere!
What's an example of this and when/where would you do something like this? Sorry, I'm coming from using 1 card from everything so not aware of all of the tricks.
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Old May 3, 18, 11:44 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
What's an example of this and when/where would you do something like this? Sorry, I'm coming from using 1 card from everything so not aware of all of the tricks.
Here's an example:


Someone has a Chase Freedom card with rotating quarterly 5x categories (for the first $1500 of spend in that category that quarter).

They also have a Citi Premier card which gives 3x on "the boardest definition of travel" including gas and parking, and 2x on "entertainment" including restaurants.

Their "everything else" card is an Amex Business Blue Plus card which earns 2x on everything for the first $50k spend a year. They don't spend more than $50k a year with credit cards anyway, so that $50k limit isn't an issue in this example.

During the current quarter:

They would be using Chase Freedom at least for groceries to earn 5x.
They'd use the Citi Premier at least for hotel stays, gas, parking, airplane tickets, trains, etc, which all fall under the Premier's "travel" category.
They'd probably use the Amex Blue Business Plus for everything else for simplicity, or they could choose to use Citi Premier for restaurants and movie tickets if they valued their Citi Thank You Points more than their American Express Membership Rewards points.

But last quarter, when Chase Freedom had 5x on gas:

They would have used Chase Freedom rather than Citi Premier for gas.
Everything else would have worked the same as this quarter.


The above is an example showing both rotating categories and fixed categories. Depending on your preference, you may have cards that have both or only one kind of category. (Fixed categories are way more common than rotating categories, but 5x earning is only common on rotating categories.)


(I simplified Chase Freedom rotating categories above. There's actually more than one category typically each quarter, but some of them are harder to explain, so for the purpose of the above example I just chose the most "obvious" category. For example, in last quarter they also had telephone and internet utliities, and this quarter they also have PayPal, and both quarters they also had Chase Pay, but that only works if someone wants to use their phone to pay at stores, which not all people do.)
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Last edited by sdsearch; May 3, 18 at 11:52 am
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Old May 3, 18, 7:40 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
What's an example of this and when/where would you do something like this? Sorry, I'm coming from using 1 card from everything so not aware of all of the tricks.
Many annual fee credit cards offer bonus points for specific spending categories (and even some no-fee cards as well). For example, Chase Sapphire cards offer extra bonus points for travel and dining. AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card offers extra bonus points for US supermarkets, US restaurants and US gas stations. People holding these cards would charge spending at those merchants to these cards and the remaining "non-category spending" with whatever card works best for their spending pattern.

I offered my opinion that Chase Freedom Unlimited and AMEX Blue for Business Plus will displace SPG AMEX as the best rewards credit cards for non-category spending.
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