Author Topic: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?  (Read 655 times)

SmileAllDay

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So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« on: January 07, 2019, 03:25:06 PM »
My wife and I have built up a huge amount of points using Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire, and Capital One travel cards.

For the more experienced travel hackers among you: What's your step by step approach from here?

I've listened to Choose FI's terrific travel rewards podcast and subscribed to TravelMiles101, but I'd be interested to hear a more tangible, step-by-step method by someone who does it on the regular.

Let's get those points! :)

doggyfizzle

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 05:57:47 PM »
Pick a place you want to go, or cash out the points for cash back in your account.  Look at transfer partners with Amex and Chase (Delta, United, etc) and start pricing out flights based on mileage redemptions vs “paying with points” at ~1 cent/point.  If I remember correctly, Cap One points are meant for travel charge redemptions at 1 cent/ point, and are penalized if taken as cash back).  My advice would be to dump the Plat Carf and exchange it for Schwalb Plat, you can cash out points at 1.25 cents to a brokerage account, or end up with the Sapphire Reserve which allows for travel (but not cash back) redemptions at 1.5 cents a point.  Southwest commonly offers compelling flights at about 1.4 cents a point, and are a xfer partner of Chase.

SnackDog

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 06:43:27 PM »
In the good old days there would be periodic promotions when Amex points would transfer over as double airline mileage points on, say, Continental.  I would wait for these promos and then transfer it all over.  Haven't seen one in a while but keep your eyes peeled.

kpd905

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 10:11:44 AM »
Travel.

Or if you want cash, you can sell a bunch to a mileage broker.

swashbucklinstache

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 03:52:08 PM »
easy mode: start turning them in for money or travel
one level up: https://www.awardhacker.com/
beyond: check reddit probably

SmileAllDay

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 02:42:00 AM »
Correction, it's 300k :D

Oh, Reddit is a good call, swashbucklinstache. Never thought of that!

Thanks for the tips, doggyfizzle! I would respectfully disagree with your advice to dump the Amex Platinum, though. Its perks are amazing and, since I travel full time, I use them more than enough to justify the (very high) annual fee.

Cheers guys, I'll try to write down a good step-by-step approach when I figure it out and I'll share it on here :)

Radagast

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 11:46:11 PM »
Thanks for the tips, doggyfizzle! I would respectfully disagree with your advice to dump the Amex Platinum, though. Its perks are amazing and, since I travel full time, I use them more than enough to justify the (very high) annual fee.
He didn't say dump it, he said cancel it and get the Schwab version. It is the exact same thing, with its own 60k sign up bonus, but Schwab throws in two extra perks: you can transfer points out at 1.25c, and the annual fee is lower if you invest a lot of money at Schwab (my 401k is there so yay for me... in a year or two). In my opinion the Schwab Platinum is really what makes the Amex system viable. Otherwise you just have low value points and a card that you can't use a quarter of the time. But getting 1.25x to buy groceries adds flexibility and a nice high floor.

doggyfizzle

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 12:44:59 PM »
Thanks for the tips, doggyfizzle! I would respectfully disagree with your advice to dump the Amex Platinum, though. Its perks are amazing and, since I travel full time, I use them more than enough to justify the (very high) annual fee.
He didn't say dump it, he said cancel it and get the Schwab version. It is the exact same thing, with its own 60k sign up bonus, but Schwab throws in two extra perks: you can transfer points out at 1.25c, and the annual fee is lower if you invest a lot of money at Schwab (my 401k is there so yay for me... in a year or two). In my opinion the Schwab Platinum is really what makes the Amex system viable. Otherwise you just have low value points and a card that you can't use a quarter of the time. But getting 1.25x to buy groceries adds flexibility and a nice high floor.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  I’ve been doing this game for a long, long time, and the Schwalb Plat is the most attractive card to hold when paired with an EDP and the newly refreshed Amex Gold (4x on groceries), and allows for a sizable amount of straight cash back for regular spending.  Even better if you can grab a BBP and get 2x (or 2.5x through Schwalb cashout) for all non-bonuses spend.

SmileAllDay

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 01:20:29 PM »
Appreciate the advice Radagast and Doggyfizzle. I'm primarily focused on travel rewards and points since I'm living in Europe rn and moving constantly.

I'll have to do some research into that and figure out all these acronyms! I'm fairly new to this, if you can't tell. :)



BrightFIRE

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 01:45:46 PM »
Correction, it's 300k :D

Oh, Reddit is a good call, swashbucklinstache. Never thought of that!

Thanks for the tips, doggyfizzle! I would respectfully disagree with your advice to dump the Amex Platinum, though. Its perks are amazing and, since I travel full time, I use them more than enough to justify the (very high) annual fee.

Cheers guys, I'll try to write down a good step-by-step approach when I figure it out and I'll share it on here :)

If you really do travel full time, get yourself over to Flyertalk.com. It's a huge forum for people who do just that - they'll tell you the best strategies for earning and burning your points.

Also, Amex still does bonuses on transfer partners, they just don't usually go above 50% anymore - I transferred to British Airways the last time there was a bonus a few months back. If you're in Europe, you could definitely use Avios for short hops around the continent, but check Flyertalk to figure out if those should be British Airways or Iberia Avios - they have slightly different redemption schemes.

SmileAllDay

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 11:59:05 PM »
Terrific, BrightFIRE. That's exactly what I'm looking for: Points that will cover the short European flights. I'll definitely check FlyerTalk out too.

Yes, I've been traveling and living in Airbnbs since Nov. 2016. I'll look into signing up for British Airways, booking a few months of accommodation to hit the minimum for the points and then transfer them to Avios. Cheers!

SmileAllDay

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Re: So you have 200K credit card points. Now what?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 09:20:53 AM »
@doggyfizzle

If you wouldn't mind, could you gimme some tips on how you got yourself up to such a high level of understanding regarding credit card points?