Author Topic: Value of Credit Card Churning  (Read 16170 times)

POINTS of ER

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Value of Credit Card Churning
« on: November 09, 2014, 06:03:56 PM »
I just finalized the flights for my backpacking trip this upcoming August 2015 - September 2015. So far my outbound flight is San Francisco to Tokyo (Stopover in Japan for 8 days) then continue my flight to Hong Kong. Then later on in the month of September I will fly my inbound route Hong Kong to San Francisco. All of these flights are nonstop and on first class. I know this is pretty fancy pants but the juicy details is to come.

If you bought each flight segment separately the total retail cost of this trip would have easily been around $27,800. A cost that I would never buy for myself. However, with miles and points my total cost out of pocket came out to a whopping $113.56 ($50 booking fee included). This goes to show the return of value you can take advantage of when getting into the travel hacking hobby.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 06:12:23 PM by POINTS of ER »

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 06:34:48 PM »
BADASS

Here is my 2014 Summary so far:

Chase Sapphire: $500 cash back
Barclays Travel Reward Card: $730 cash back
Chase Amtrak MC: $125 (we'll use this towards our rental car in Phoenix)
Chase Southwest Visa: $900 (four one way flights purchased MKE to PHX)
Frontier MC: 50,000 points (good for 5 one way tickets anywhere Frontier flies)

We also have the Costco AMEX and our annual rebate on that was about $200.

POINTS of ER

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 07:30:04 PM »
BADASS

Here is my 2014 Summary so far:

Chase Sapphire: $500 cash back
Barclays Travel Reward Card: $730 cash back
Chase Amtrak MC: $125 (we'll use this towards our rental car in Phoenix)
Chase Southwest Visa: $900 (four one way flights purchased MKE to PHX)
Frontier MC: 50,000 points (good for 5 one way tickets anywhere Frontier flies)

We also have the Costco AMEX and our annual rebate on that was about $200.


Nice! I value those chase UR points at least 2 cents per point. So I assume you have 50,000 points because 50K points = $500 cash back if redeeming for cash value (1 cent per point). However, in terms of points/miles those 50K is equivalent to $1,000 value in travel redemption (Flights & Hotel). Hence, why I prefer traveling over cash back any day.

How many points did you get out of the southwest card and how many do you have now? The reason why I ask because if you get 110K points within a calendar year for southwest your able to earn the southwest companion pass which is basically a buy one get one free offer for southwest. Any flights you pay for or even redeem with points you can get another flight for free. Essentially, your paying your fares half off or doubling your value depending on how you look at it.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 07:32:08 PM by POINTS of ER »

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 07:57:16 PM »
I like it! Nicely played!

I recently acquired a PenFed VISA Platinum Cash Rewards card last week. Check it out here if inclined, no affiliation. (https://www.penfed.org/platinum-cash-rewards/)

The card offers 5% (if you have an account with them, or 3% if you don't) cash back rewards on fuel. This may seem like an anti-mustachian reason to acquire a card, as we should be minimizing our fuel expenses anyway, but for those of us that buy fuel for our jobs this can be a god send.

We'll see how this works when I begin purchasing ALL of my fuel on it. I should amount to several thousands in rewards. AWESOME.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 04:53:58 AM »
I like it! Nicely played!

I recently acquired a PenFed VISA Platinum Cash Rewards card last week. Check it out here if inclined, no affiliation. (https://www.penfed.org/platinum-cash-rewards/)

The card offers 5% (if you have an account with them, or 3% if you don't) cash back rewards on fuel. This may seem like an anti-mustachian reason to acquire a card, as we should be minimizing our fuel expenses anyway, but for those of us that buy fuel for our jobs this can be a god send.

We'll see how this works when I begin purchasing ALL of my fuel on it. I should amount to several thousands in rewards. AWESOME.

Thanks! I agree we should be minimizing our gas consumption by biking but when I do gas I still would prefer travel redemption over cash-back cards. As a consumer, there is definitely more return on value in a rewards travel card like the AMEX preferred everyday card (2 pts per $1 for gas) or the Chase Freedom (rotating category bonus 5 pts per $1 for gas) vs. cards like you mentioned or the Costco True Earnings card (3% cash back on gas).

Let's compare the Chase Freedom (5x bonus category) vs PenFed Visa card (5% cash back). Here's the scenario $1,500 worth of gas spending.

Chase Freedom = 7,500 chase points equivalent to $150 worth of travel hotels/airline redemption. Value is even greater when paying for more expensive hotels or airlines for a low amount of points.

PenFed Visa = $75 cash back value

You can see that there is already a $50 value difference. To me an individual who merely travels only once a year (paying hotel/airfare) will still reap the benefits on award redemption over cash value in the long run.

If you're amounting "thousands in rewards" are you spending over $20,000 in just gas alone... or am I just reading too much in between the lines there haha.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 04:58:54 PM »
If you're amounting "thousands in rewards" are you spending over $20,000 in just gas alone... or am I just reading too much in between the lines there haha.

You're not reading too much in between the lines. I manage part of a trucking company for my current employer. When I fuel up a semi I'm driving with 150+gallons, at around $3.70/gl for diesel right now ($555), I generate a statement credit of $27.75. Now imagine I do that every week (conservatively). That turns into $1443/year. Now, multiply that for every truck we operate.

Fuel bill last month alone was $24k and that was a low level month. And we're a growing company. Simply by adjusting the way we pay for our fuel, we will generate what we estimate will be $15k+ in statement credits. Not to mention that our current system charges a fee every time one our drivers uses his/her current card, and we're already ahead.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 11:12:04 AM »
What's the max # of cards Chase will give you?  Cause I have like 5 already....

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 10:58:48 PM »
You're not reading too much in between the lines. I manage part of a trucking company for my current employer. When I fuel up a semi I'm driving with 150+gallons, at around $3.70/gl for diesel right now ($555), I generate a statement credit of $27.75. Now imagine I do that every week (conservatively). That turns into $1443/year. Now, multiply that for every truck we operate.

Fuel bill last month alone was $24k and that was a low level month. And we're a growing company. Simply by adjusting the way we pay for our fuel, we will generate what we estimate will be $15k+ in statement credits. Not to mention that our current system charges a fee every time one our drivers uses his/her current card, and we're already ahead.

Ok makes sense! If I was in your shoes, then yes, I would definitely choose cash back as one of my rewards benefits. It all depends on preference though because there are people who are big spenders but would rather spend their way to either an airline/hotel status. Some cards have a benefit if you meet the required spending threshold to get top elite status for that hotel/airline. So you literally don't have stay a night in a hotel or fly on a airplane ever to get top elite status. Again, it just all depends on preferences.

What's the max # of cards Chase will give you?  Cause I have like 5 already....

I currently have 3 (3 personal ) from Chase. I plan on applying for both southwest cards (business & personal) to get the southwest companion pass. From what I've read it varies from person to person but it's not ludicrous to hear people get all the chase reward credit cards at least once. I know Chase will allow customers to close one card and shift their credit limit to the new card if needed. Even resigning up for a card they used to have. The true meaning of credit card churning. If you do get denied a card simply call up the retention desk to getting it approved.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2014, 04:19:07 PM »
That's awesome! How many points did you have to spend for this ticket and what card would you recommend for earning miles for international travel?

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2014, 11:12:31 PM »
That's awesome! How many points did you have to spend for this ticket and what card would you recommend for earning miles for international travel?

I had to burn 120K US Airways points to redeem this award. I could have stretched my miles for 2 round-trip economy class but I wanted to experience first class. Since I was going to be paying the same amount of fees regardless of class I might as well get more bang for my buck. Luckily, I was able to churn the Barclay US Airways Card twice to get this award (40K each time no minimum spending required). Been hoarding US Airways points for the year and now finally burning them.

As for international travel, this really depends on what destination would you like to go and which airport are you close too?

If you want a card to just start earning miles and overall a good card. I would definitely have to recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You get a sign up bonus of 40K points after spending $3K within 3 months. Additionally, if you add an authorized user to your card and they make just one purchase. That's an additional 5K points. So right off the bat you're looking at least 48K points. Which is definitely good to fly east coast to west coast (vice versa) or to hawaii from the mainland USA for almost two round-trips (25K each round-trip). If you live in the west coast close (near SFO/LAX), getting to Japan round-trip will cost 50K points + taxes/fees.

Just let me know where you like to go and which airport you're close too and I can narrow down my recommendation for you.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 11:14:07 PM by POINTS of ER »

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 04:40:09 PM »
I just signed up for Chase Southwest cards in attempts to get the companion pass. I've been reading a lot of the travel hacking forums trying to figure out how to meet the spending requirements without spending more then normal.

There is a lot of chatter about how it used to be done, but seems like most of the "old"ways have been shut down (bluebird, Vanilla GC, Amazon, etc). Any advice on where to start or how to make it happen nowadays?

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2014, 08:37:43 PM »
I just signed up for Chase Southwest cards in attempts to get the companion pass. I've been reading a lot of the travel hacking forums trying to figure out how to meet the spending requirements without spending more then normal.

There is a lot of chatter about how it used to be done, but seems like most of the "old"ways have been shut down (bluebird, Vanilla GC, Amazon, etc). Any advice on where to start or how to make it happen nowadays?

Offer to buy stuff for your spendier friends in exchange for 98% in cash? 

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2014, 11:09:23 PM »
I just signed up for Chase Southwest cards in attempts to get the companion pass. I've been reading a lot of the travel hacking forums trying to figure out how to meet the spending requirements without spending more then normal.

There is a lot of chatter about how it used to be done, but seems like most of the "old"ways have been shut down (bluebird, Vanilla GC, Amazon, etc). Any advice on where to start or how to make it happen nowadays?

That is true, I used be a user of the amazon payments method. That was an easy way to meet some minimum spending. However, times changes and we have to adapt. First things I would try to do is convert  your fixed expenses like car insurance, phone bill, utilities, car payments, etc. to using a credit card. Additionally, I would start shifting all your expenditures from cash/checks to credit cards. So variable expenses like groceries, gas, dining, etc should also be used on credit card. If you're having a hard time on the minimum spending within a couple months. You can always end up buying gift cards from stores like gas, visa gift cards, etc. that way you can always use those at a later time.

Another great option is what dragoncar suggested. Ask friends or family that you would like to use your card instead of them having to pay cash/check. I always tell my friends/family to Venmo me or Chase quick-pay me the amount right on the spot and I'll use my card to pay for their expenses. This is a great time to do this as well since the holidays are just around the corner.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2014, 07:49:51 AM »
For those of you (that go out to eat/drink from time to time) with the Chase United card, make sure you sign up for the Mileageplus dining program.  You get an extra 1-5 (most are 5) miles per dollar that you spend at certain places.  The bar next to my office is one and I always end up getting cash from everyone and putting the total bill and tip on my card.  Last year probably earned a few extra thousand miles (large office parties).

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2014, 06:44:33 AM »
BADASS



Nice! I value those chase UR points at least 2 cents per point.


Probably a newbie question, but how do you determine the value of a cc point?  I've seen several blogs around where the author states the value of points - typically between 1 & 2.5 cents... With changing fares, varying hotel rates, etc. what is your formula for determining this?

I just recently dipped my toe into this CC point hacking world.   After reading MMM's cc section and a few other blogs I signed up for the chase sapphire, which offers 40k points + 5k with authorized user.  My wife will do the same in a few months (so we can spread out the required $4k spend).  We are planning to visit some family out west this summer, and our goal is to score free flights.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2014, 06:54:56 AM »
BADASS



Nice! I value those chase UR points at least 2 cents per point.


Probably a newbie question, but how do you determine the value of a cc point?  I've seen several blogs around where the author states the value of points - typically between 1 & 2.5 cents... With changing fares, varying hotel rates, etc. what is your formula for determining this?

I just recently dipped my toe into this CC point hacking world.   After reading MMM's cc section and a few other blogs I signed up for the chase sapphire, which offers 40k points + 5k with authorized user.  My wife will do the same in a few months (so we can spread out the required $4k spend).  We are planning to visit some family out west this summer, and our goal is to score free flights.

Look at what flights you'd take, how many points they would cost, and then how much you'd have to pay in cash if you weren't using points.
If you intend to fly on Southwest, it's more straightforward because you need 70 points per dollar to redeem for a flight. However, it's not 100%, because it's 70 points per base fare dollar http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/03/05/how-much-are-southwest-points-really-worth/

When you're looking at other airlines, it's far more difficult.

In the end though, in most situations where you get the lowest level award, you will approach 2 cents a point. Sometimes you'll get better value, sometimes much lower (one way to get a great value of your Chase points is to book short British Airways flights - 4500 points is enough for a one way less than 650 miles. But there's an unfortunate rule about every connection is it's own leg and charged separately)

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 08:56:50 AM »
Ok that all makes sense.  I thought I may be missing something.  Thanks for the info and the British Airways tip!

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2014, 01:41:51 AM »
For those of you (that go out to eat/drink from time to time) with the Chase United card, make sure you sign up for the Mileageplus dining program.  You get an extra 1-5 (most are 5) miles per dollar that you spend at certain places.

You don't necessarily have to do this with the chase united card. You can actually sign up with any card for the dining program but only 1 card per the program. I actually utilize my CSP card to get the 2x bonus for dining. So i'm effectively getting 7x per $1 if it's an eligible mileageplus dining restaurant.

Ok that all makes sense.  I thought I may be missing something.  Thanks for the info and the British Airways tip!

It's really subjective valuation on the points. Since I know I can easily redeem my points for more than 2 cents a points I use this as my bottom of my threshold. So if I'm redeeming an award for less than 2 cents a point then I won't redeem it and either find an alternative or if the price is worth paying out of pocket vs an award then I will.

Also, to add on to Johnny487's tip for those short-haul flights sometimes it really depends on the routes that you may get good value out of the 4,500 BA redemption. For an example San Francisco to Seattle (679 mile route) you can get a better award with Southwest for as low as 3,516 points one way compared to BA Avios which would be 7,500 one way. Additionally, Miami to Cancun for BA avios would be 4,500 one way but on southwest I see it as low as 4,480 so you save 20 points. Just remember to do your research first before booking the award right away.

johnny847

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2014, 07:18:31 AM »
Also, to add on to Johnny487's tip for those short-haul flights sometimes it really depends on the routes that you may get good value out of the 4,500 BA redemption. For an example San Francisco to Seattle (679 mile route) you can get a better award with Southwest for as low as 3,516 points one way compared to BA Avios which would be 7,500 one way. Additionally, Miami to Cancun for BA avios would be 4,500 one way but on southwest I see it as low as 4,480 so you save 20 points. Just remember to do your research first before booking the award right away.
Just be glad (in some sense) that Chase only has 5? 6? (I forget exactly) airline partners to transfer to. Once I receive my signup bonuses on my Amex, I'll have 62k Amex Membership Rewards points, which I can transfer to 17 different airlines. And on top of that, with almost all if not all airlines, you can use their miles to book flights on their partners. But the miles it costs you depends on which airline program your booking from---for example, using British Airways to book US Airways or AA can cost 4500 miles for a nonstop 650 mile or less flight, whereas using AA or US Airways miles would cost you 12500. Weird right?
But yea for me that means I can transfer to one of 17 airlines, and each airline has their set of partners (most of which overlap with one of the other 16 transfer partners, but some don't). So when trying to find a way to use these points, it can get overwhelming really fast. One cool tool I use is the ITA Matrix.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2014, 03:11:51 PM »
Also, to add on to Johnny487's tip for those short-haul flights sometimes it really depends on the routes that you may get good value out of the 4,500 BA redemption. For an example San Francisco to Seattle (679 mile route) you can get a better award with Southwest for as low as 3,516 points one way compared to BA Avios which would be 7,500 one way. Additionally, Miami to Cancun for BA avios would be 4,500 one way but on southwest I see it as low as 4,480 so you save 20 points. Just remember to do your research first before booking the award right away.
Just be glad (in some sense) that Chase only has 5? 6? (I forget exactly) airline partners to transfer to. Once I receive my signup bonuses on my Amex, I'll have 62k Amex Membership Rewards points, which I can transfer to 17 different airlines. And on top of that, with almost all if not all airlines, you can use their miles to book flights on their partners. But the miles it costs you depends on which airline program your booking from---for example, using British Airways to book US Airways or AA can cost 4500 miles for a nonstop 650 mile or less flight, whereas using AA or US Airways miles would cost you 12500. Weird right?
But yea for me that means I can transfer to one of 17 airlines, and each airline has their set of partners (most of which overlap with one of the other 16 transfer partners, but some don't). So when trying to find a way to use these points, it can get overwhelming really fast. One cool tool I use is the ITA Matrix.

Yeah, that's intense.  I have a lot of learning to do.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2014, 12:29:30 PM »
One cool tool I use is the ITA Matrix.

I prefer Google Flights over ITA Matrix. Google actually bought ITA and constructed their on search engine. To me this WAY BETTER and a definitely a lot faster. Additionally, the thing I hate about ITA matrix is that after finding an availability you have to go search the flight through an Online Travel Agency (OTA) like expedia, travelocity, etc. While Google flights have a bookable button and which easily brings you to either OTA sites or airline sites to book the exact flight. Definitely more user friendly and convenient.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2014, 06:39:04 PM »
BADASS

Here is my 2014 Summary so far:

Chase Sapphire: $500 cash back
Barclays Travel Reward Card: $730 cash back
Chase Amtrak MC: $125 (we'll use this towards our rental car in Phoenix)
Chase Southwest Visa: $900 (four one way flights purchased MKE to PHX)
Frontier MC: 50,000 points (good for 5 one way tickets anywhere Frontier flies)

We also have the Costco AMEX and our annual rebate on that was about $200.


Nice! I value those chase UR points at least 2 cents per point. So I assume you have 50,000 points because 50K points = $500 cash back if redeeming for cash value (1 cent per point). However, in terms of points/miles those 50K is equivalent to $1,000 value in travel redemption (Flights & Hotel). Hence, why I prefer traveling over cash back any day.

How many points did you get out of the southwest card and how many do you have now? The reason why I ask because if you get 110K points within a calendar year for southwest your able to earn the southwest companion pass which is basically a buy one get one free offer for southwest. Any flights you pay for or even redeem with points you can get another flight for free. Essentially, your paying your fares half off or doubling your value depending on how you look at it.

Here's an update - after double checking and re-calculating my purchases and bonuses for 2014:

1. Chase Sapphire 50,000 bonus plus I charged 7500 = $575 cash back
2. Chase SW Visa 50,000 bonus points. I used 48,000 of them for four one way tickets ($225 each) to PhX = $900
3. Chase Amtrak $150 bonus that I haven't used yet but I am stacking w/a discount code for Hertz and it will pay for a 7 day car rental in PHX.
4. Barclays Travel Rewards MC = I've cashed in $750 (statement credits on travel)
5. Frontier MC = 50000 points good for five one way tickets (at least a $600 value)
6. Amex Costco (3% cash back on gas + 1% at Costco) = $150

This brings my grand total to $3225 in cash or airfare. But wait, I did have to eat the $99 SW Visa annual fee. So that knocks my total down to $3125...still more than I made in dividends this year.

Our annual charges (including DH's small business expenses) were around $40,000.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2014, 09:43:48 PM »
One cool tool I use is the ITA Matrix.

I prefer Google Flights over ITA Matrix. Google actually bought ITA and constructed their on search engine. To me this WAY BETTER and a definitely a lot faster. Additionally, the thing I hate about ITA matrix is that after finding an availability you have to go search the flight through an Online Travel Agency (OTA) like expedia, travelocity, etc. While Google flights have a bookable button and which easily brings you to either OTA sites or airline sites to book the exact flight. Definitely more user friendly and convenient.
Oooh definitely something I need to check out

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2014, 10:16:05 PM »
Here's an update - after double checking and re-calculating my purchases and bonuses for 2014:

1. Chase Sapphire 50,000 bonus plus I charged 7500 = $575 cash back
2. Chase SW Visa 50,000 bonus points. I used 48,000 of them for four one way tickets ($225 each) to PhX = $900
3. Chase Amtrak $150 bonus that I haven't used yet but I am stacking w/a discount code for Hertz and it will pay for a 7 day car rental in PHX.
4. Barclays Travel Rewards MC = I've cashed in $750 (statement credits on travel)
5. Frontier MC = 50000 points good for five one way tickets (at least a $600 value)
6. Amex Costco (3% cash back on gas + 1% at Costco) = $150

This brings my grand total to $3225 in cash or airfare. But wait, I did have to eat the $99 SW Visa annual fee. So that knocks my total down to $3125...still more than I made in dividends this year.

Our annual charges (including DH's small business expenses) were around $40,000.

That's good! Any plans on your frontier or Chase points? For international flights that Chase 57.5K points is good for a central america/Caribbean economy round-trip. Definitely worth more than $575 cash back. If Europe is more your style, you almost have enough for round-trip tickets, just need 2500 more points.

Oooh definitely something I need to check out

Definitely! Best search engine tool for cheapest fares.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2014, 08:25:31 PM »
So nobody mentioned using points on United...

Any reason for this?

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2014, 07:04:31 PM »
I just used some points on United.  I have the Explorer card, so I can use points for any seat on the plane.  Since I needed to buy several tickets for a trip home, I couldn't use some other programs that limit the seats on a particular flight.  I ended up using the points for 2 round trip flights for an okay value.  37,500 each ticket in lieu of the $700 I had to pay for the third ticket gave me a redemption value of about $. 0187 per point.  When you add in a $150 savings for free bags because of the card, it brings up the redemption rate to $.02 per point (save $50 on each ticket).  Pretty good for getting the flights I wanted anyway.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2014, 07:09:38 PM »
I should also add that I am getting close to 550,000 points for 2014 from bonuses and regular spending.  That is trough a combination of Chase Sapphire (50K), 2 United cards (110k), 1 AA card (50k), 1 Marriott (70k), 2 US Airways cards (80k), 1 Barclays World Arrival MC (40k), and 1 Chase Ink Plus business card (70K).  Only bonuses listed in parentheses.  Spending added more points and  also add $140 from Costco!

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2014, 12:08:09 AM »
So nobody mentioned using points on United...

Any reason for this?

Frank

I personally don't value United as high as AA and US Air for international flights. Especially after their recent devaluation this year. In terms of domestic flights I leverage British Airways and Southwest as my short hauls. While United does have nice options like 1 stopover + 2 open jaws, they get beat out almost on every route by AA/US Air and even ANA airline. Here is a article from Mile Value showing a comparison of 4 airlines Delta, United, AA, and US Airways. You can clearly see that AA/US beats out or the same miles redemption as United in every class and region.

Again in terms of maximizing stopovers and open jaws then United is hands down one of the best for this. However, ANA does compete for this with their new award chart and is also part of the Star Alliance. The downfall for ANA is it does have high fuel surcharge. So the key is minimizing your fuel surcharge when it comes with ANA but you'll be able to get great rewards.

I should also add that I am getting close to 550,000 points for 2014 from bonuses and regular spending.  That is trough a combination of Chase Sapphire (50K), 2 United cards (110k), 1 AA card (50k), 1 Marriott (70k), 2 US Airways cards (80k), 1 Barclays World Arrival MC (40k), and 1 Chase Ink Plus business card (70K).  Only bonuses listed in parentheses.  Spending added more points and  also add $140 from Costco!

Nice I hope you're going to add the Southwest cards to that list and get the companion pass? Probably one of the best flying perks that you can have. Especially in 2015 they will be adding international flights to Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Carribean.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2014, 06:51:10 PM »
I don't have easy access to Southwest from my home airport of Fresno, CA.  It takes driving to LA, Sacramento, etc, but I have still considered it.


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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2014, 10:06:28 PM »
I don't have easy access to Southwest from my home airport of Fresno, CA.  It takes driving to LA, Sacramento, etc, but I have still considered it.
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I used to have a client out in Fresno. I drove there from Santa Clara so another viable option is  San Jose International Airport. I believe it's actually the closest to Fresno and is a Southwest hub.  You're right though if your not near a southwest hub that will impede your return on value. You can always just focus on United and Oneworld airlines for FAT airport. I remember them having AA, Alaska Air, US airways, and United. Two cards I don't see from your list are the British Airways card and SPG card. Both are great cards to have or to keep in mind for the future.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2014, 06:19:42 PM »
Between my wife and I, we did 8 of the Citi AAdvantage Executive cards in 2014. That's 800,000 miles. I kept one, and cancelled all the rest while still in the annual fee refund period. Plus, each gave us $200 in statement credits...

I have NO idea why they kept approving them, but we'll take it. Found a good CVS and Giant Eagle next to each other, so I was able to manufacture gobs of spend very quickly.

Think we ended up making money on it, plus got the miles, which will fund several international trips next year. Love churning credit cards.

The oddest part? Through all of it, our credit scores never really dropped. I can't explain it.

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Re: Value of Credit Card Churning
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2014, 12:31:17 AM »
Between my wife and I, we did 8 of the Citi AAdvantage Executive cards in 2014. That's 800,000 miles. I kept one, and cancelled all the rest while still in the annual fee refund period. Plus, each gave us $200 in statement credits...

I have NO idea why they kept approving them, but we'll take it. Found a good CVS and Giant Eagle next to each other, so I was able to manufacture gobs of spend very quickly.

Think we ended up making money on it, plus got the miles, which will fund several international trips next year. Love churning credit cards.

The oddest part? Through all of it, our credit scores never really dropped. I can't explain it.

Nice! That executive card is churnable and heard from a lot of bloggers that got in on that deal, including myself. I'm assuming you did the manufacturing spending strategy where you buy GC at CVS and then buy money order at Giant Eagle?