Author Topic: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?  (Read 10697 times)

fallstoclimb

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Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« on: August 06, 2014, 07:23:57 AM »
I've spent the morning reading about these but still can't quite figure out which would be best for us.  I like that Barclay is 2% back on all purchases - Chase Sapphire is only 1% unless its travel or restaurants, which never is more than 1/4th of our credit card bill, although I would like to start traveling more.  Chase Sapphire sign up bonus is better though, when you add an authorized user, and can be redeemed for higher value with their partner airlines and hotels.  Does anyone greatly prefer one card over the other? 

Also, question that I can't seem to find the answer to:  how long do these miles/points last before expiring? 

This travel hacking stuff is confusing.

mrigney

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 08:22:35 AM »
Not an either or...get them both:-) Of course, Barclay Arrival just upped the initial spend to get the bonus, but until a few months ago the Barclaycard was just a $1k spend in 3 months. Even now each is $3k in 3 months. If you put your mortgage/rent on there (which is doable) you can get both at the same time. Otherwise, I'd get one, then three months later get the other. They're both great cards. I generally like the Ultimate Reward Zone points better than the Barclaycard points, but you can't go wrong with either.

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 08:29:10 AM »
Check out this website.  These folks are big travel hackers and players of the credit card bonus game.  He will even tutor you for free!

http://www.richmondsavers.com/

svosavvy

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 08:42:19 AM »
I got the chase sapphire approx 6 mo ago.  That sign on bonus along with the adding an authorized user was really sweet.  I am kind of in the same boat though, travel is not really a big part of my budget because I am in the raising little ones taking little trips stage of my life.  I am contemplating canceling it.  I do go to Canada some so the no foreign transaction fee would be handy.  I have had a chase freedom card for years and I love that card.  That is where I have domiciled my fixed bill "autopay" line items (home ins, auto ins, netflix, internet, etc) to make life easy.  I absolutely love the blue cash preferred from amex, 6% groceries 3% gas. Groceries is where we have huge spend and live the "fancy" life.  Never had a problem getting the 6% at Wegmans and we literally live at that store (not very mustachean).  The freedom card is pretty cool it has rotating 5% categories so usually gas is 5% 3-6 months out of the year.  When gas is off promotion then I use the amex at the gas station.  The freedom card is no fee and it has pretty good little rotational 5% categories like gas, lowe's, and restaurants. 

fallstoclimb

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 09:05:49 AM »
Not an either or...get them both:-) Of course, Barclay Arrival just upped the initial spend to get the bonus, but until a few months ago the Barclaycard was just a $1k spend in 3 months. Even now each is $3k in 3 months. If you put your mortgage/rent on there (which is doable) you can get both at the same time. Otherwise, I'd get one, then three months later get the other. They're both great cards. I generally like the Ultimate Reward Zone points better than the Barclaycard points, but you can't go wrong with either.


Right, but do the miles expire?  Given that we don't actually have any trips planned I don't want to end up with a ton of points I'm not prepared to use.  Also a little hesitant to carry TWO annual fee cards. 


I got the chase sapphire approx 6 mo ago.  That sign on bonus along with the adding an authorized user was really sweet.  I am kind of in the same boat though, travel is not really a big part of my budget because I am in the raising little ones taking little trips stage of my life.  I am contemplating canceling it.  I do go to Canada some so the no foreign transaction fee would be handy.  I have had a chase freedom card for years and I love that card.  That is where I have domiciled my fixed bill "autopay" line items (home ins, auto ins, netflix, internet, etc) to make life easy.  I absolutely love the blue cash preferred from amex, 6% groceries 3% gas. Groceries is where we have huge spend and live the "fancy" life.  Never had a problem getting the 6% at Wegmans and we literally live at that store (not very mustachean).  The freedom card is pretty cool it has rotating 5% categories so usually gas is 5% 3-6 months out of the year.  When gas is off promotion then I use the amex at the gas station.  The freedom card is no fee and it has pretty good little rotational 5% categories like gas, lowe's, and restaurants. 


I have Freedom and its okay, although sometimes I find the rotating rewards frustrating  - we don't shop at Kohls at all, for example, and I time major home maintenance around when we have time to do it, not when Lowe's gets 5% back.   We tend to only have around $400-$600 in rewards at the end of the year, which I guess I shouldn't scoff at but also isn't particularly exciting. 

svosavvy

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 09:45:20 AM »
Yeah,  The freedom is just ok.  I guess I was just trying to say it is another (free) tool in the arsenal.  I am a little OCD so the rotating categories never got to me, just more rules to my favorite board game called money.  I don't shop at dept stores much and definitely not Kohl's.  If you wanted to hack the lowe's thing you could buy lowe's gift cards in season at 5% discount to spend later, however, that's not my style.  When it comes to the home improvement if you can get the discount great, but, the most efficient thing is to not buy crap you aren't going to use which is my big pitfall when it comes to my home improvement projects.  I have a garage full of leftover junk from overbuying.  I spend what I spend and keep unspent resources swept into "investments" and "cash equivalents" therefore I'm not fond of having resources sitting in gift cards.  I have a pretty whacked out structure for keeping myself balanced between market exposure and ample liquidity.  2008-09 taught me a lot.

Richmond Savers

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 04:29:52 PM »
Check out this website.  These folks are big travel hackers and players of the credit card bonus game.  He will even tutor you for free!

http://www.richmondsavers.com/

Thanks for mentioning the site -- I appreciate it!  As you mentioned, I offer a completely free (no gimmicks, seriously) coaching program through my site.  I've worked with a bunch of people around here who can vouch for me and we are definitely a Mustachian family!

If anyone is interested in signing up, here's the link:  http://www.richmondsavers.com/free-travel-rewards-coaching-program/

I just filmed about 40 short travel rewards training videos for the site, which I think can be useful for anyone looking to get started with this.

I've spent the morning reading about these but still can't quite figure out which would be best for us.  I like that Barclay is 2% back on all purchases - Chase Sapphire is only 1% unless its travel or restaurants, which never is more than 1/4th of our credit card bill, although I would like to start traveling more.  Chase Sapphire sign up bonus is better though, when you add an authorized user, and can be redeemed for higher value with their partner airlines and hotels.  Does anyone greatly prefer one card over the other? 

Also, question that I can't seem to find the answer to:  how long do these miles/points last before expiring? 

This travel hacking stuff is confusing.

It is confusing, there's no doubt about that!!  Those are both wonderful cards, but completely different:

Arrival Plus:  This is a really straightforward card and the value after hitting the bonus spend ($3k in 3 months) is $460 in free flexible travel plus a 10% dividend on redemptions, so really $506.  You just use the card to pay for travel expenses (airfare, hotel, car rental, trains, etc.) and then go in and redeem miles after the fact to essentially erase the purchase.  Very simple, but the upside is limited to 1 cent per point in value.

Sapphire Preferred:  These award Ultimate Rewards points which in my opinion are the most valuable of all points because they transfer (important) to a number of partners including Hyatt, Southwest, United, and British Airways (can be amazing for American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines in the US). 

So the 48,000 UR points you'll get after hitting the $3k in 3 months (40k bonus, 3k for spend plus 5k for adding an authorized user who makes at least one purchase) can be exceedingly valuable. 

For instance, my wife and I just got back from Bermuda (http://www.richmondsavers.com/our-231-luxury-bermuda-trip-using-travel-rewards-points/) and we used 30,000 points through British Airways on an American Airlines flight from JFK to Bermuda and that got us the two round trip flights!  That's like $800+ of flights just for 30,000 points since we knew that sweet spot existed.

A lot of this comes down to what your personal plans are and I really would be happy to help you, so just sign up through the site and I'll be in touch ASAP!

yoyalia

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 05:40:58 PM »
If you put your mortgage/rent on there (which is doable) you can get both at the same time.

I'd love to start paying our rent by credit card to rack up the points! Any tips on how to do this while avoiding paying huge fees through paypal, etc?

RK1451

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 07:45:51 PM »
Right, but do the miles expire?  Given that we don't actually have any trips planned I don't want to end up with a ton of points I'm not prepared to use.  Also a little hesitant to carry TWO annual fee cards. 

I got the Barclay Arrival Card a few months ago, and have been really happy with it.  The points don't expire, as long as you keep the card active and in good standing (keep using it, keep paying the bill) - although of course all points programs are subject to the company changing them at any point.   We use it for everything - and between the signing bonus ( effectively $440) and regular points we've got about $700 back already, and we've only had it since May.  There are two options - a no-fee option that only offers 2 points on dining and travel, and an annual fee option that offers 2 points back on everything.  When you redeem for a statement credit on any travel purchase, you get 10% of the points back, so it's effectively 2.2% back on all your purchases.  We don't spend a lot on dining, and only do occasional travel, so being able to get the 2.2% back on the other purchases made the annual fee worth it (and it's waived for the first year, of course). 

Barclay determines what counts as travel by the credit card code that the merchant uses, so we actually found that when we purchases a case of wine at a vineyard near us, it was coded as travel, and we were able to get the travel statement credit back on that.  In addition, all the regular travel purchases (airline tickets, baggage fees, hotel, rental car, taxis, and a whale watch) on our recent trip counted as travel, and we can use the statement credit for them.  You have 120 days from the day of purchase to redeem a statement credit against a travel purchase - so we're continuing the redeem against the trip we took in June. 

A couple other features that I like - free TripIt Pro subscription - I thought this was silly, but I used it for a trip we took last month, and it was actually super nice - you forward all your travel related emails to the TripIt email address, and it makes an itinerary for you, and throughout your trip, it emails or texts you reminders and information at the appropriate time (you just landed, and it emails you the gate information for your connecting flight and tells you how much time you have to make the connection, or you have a hotel reservation - it emails you the confirmation number at check-in time).   I wouldn't pay the full retail price ($49), but since it's free with the card, I thought it was a nice perk.

Free FICO score - seems like a lot of card companies have started offering this now, but it's nice to have.

They upgraded our card to a chip card for free as well, which will be nice the next time we travel to Europe - should mean that we can use our cards much more widely there - last time we were there (without chip cards), only some places would accept our non-chip cards. 

You can also earn more points by posting short travel stories and travel photos on their community.  For the time it takes, it's probably not worth it, but is handy if you're trying to get the last few points to get yourself to the 2,500 points you need to cash in a $25 credit.  And, like most credit cards, you can earn extra points by doing your online shopping through their portal. 

So - in summary, we're really happy with the Barclaycard, and since we don't spend much on restaurants, and only travel occasionally, we'll get more out of it than the other options out there.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 07:42:12 AM »
Sapphire Preferred:  These award Ultimate Rewards points which in my opinion are the most valuable of all points because they transfer (important) to a number of partners including Hyatt, Southwest, United, and British Airways (can be amazing for American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines in the US). 

So the 48,000 UR points you'll get after hitting the $3k in 3 months (40k bonus, 3k for spend plus 5k for adding an authorized user who makes at least one purchase) can be exceedingly valuable. 

I'm really glad you said this because I realized I bit the bullet this morning and ordered this one, ha!  Unfortunately I found an airfare deal for an upcoming trip that expires August 14th -- was hoping to be able to charge my first 'travel expense' on it, but I don't think it'll arrive in time.  I've got more travel to book next month though, so I'm glad I started the process. 

Thanks for the advice and I will be following your blog!!

milesdividendmd

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 10:56:33 AM »
Check out this website.  These folks are big travel hackers and players of the credit card bonus game.  He will even tutor you for free!

http://www.richmondsavers.com/

Thanks for mentioning the site -- I appreciate it!  As you mentioned, I offer a completely free (no gimmicks, seriously) coaching program through my site.  I've worked with a bunch of people around here who can vouch for me and we are definitely a Mustachian family!

If anyone is interested in signing up, here's the link:  http://www.richmondsavers.com/free-travel-rewards-coaching-program/

I just filmed about 40 short travel rewards training videos for the site, which I think can be useful for anyone looking to get started with this.

I've spent the morning reading about these but still can't quite figure out which would be best for us.  I like that Barclay is 2% back on all purchases - Chase Sapphire is only 1% unless its travel or restaurants, which never is more than 1/4th of our credit card bill, although I would like to start traveling more.  Chase Sapphire sign up bonus is better though, when you add an authorized user, and can be redeemed for higher value with their partner airlines and hotels.  Does anyone greatly prefer one card over the other? 

Also, question that I can't seem to find the answer to:  how long do these miles/points last before expiring? 

This travel hacking stuff is confusing.

It is confusing, there's no doubt about that!!  Those are both wonderful cards, but completely different:

Arrival Plus:  This is a really straightforward card and the value after hitting the bonus spend ($3k in 3 months) is $460 in free flexible travel plus a 10% dividend on redemptions, so really $506.  You just use the card to pay for travel expenses (airfare, hotel, car rental, trains, etc.) and then go in and redeem miles after the fact to essentially erase the purchase.  Very simple, but the upside is limited to 1 cent per point in value.

Sapphire Preferred:  These award Ultimate Rewards points which in my opinion are the most valuable of all points because they transfer (important) to a number of partners including Hyatt, Southwest, United, and British Airways (can be amazing for American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines in the US). 

So the 48,000 UR points you'll get after hitting the $3k in 3 months (40k bonus, 3k for spend plus 5k for adding an authorized user who makes at least one purchase) can be exceedingly valuable. 

For instance, my wife and I just got back from Bermuda (http://www.richmondsavers.com/our-231-luxury-bermuda-trip-using-travel-rewards-points/) and we used 30,000 points through British Airways on an American Airlines flight from JFK to Bermuda and that got us the two round trip flights!  That's like $800+ of flights just for 30,000 points since we knew that sweet spot existed.

A lot of this comes down to what your personal plans are and I really would be happy to help you, so just sign up through the site and I'll be in touch ASAP!

+1 on Brad from Richmond savers.  Great guy with a ton of knowledge and even more integrity.

He is widely quoted as an expert in the travel hacking sphere.

See this article which is quite pertinent to the current thread:

http://twocents.lifehacker.com/money-advice-not-everyone-agrees-on-using-credit-card-1594620799

Enjoy!




chucklesmcgee

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2014, 02:21:22 PM »
When you redeem for a statement credit on any travel purchase, you get 10% of the points back, so it's effectively 2.2% back on all your purchases.

And when you redeem those points, you get 10% back, and so on, making it an 2.222-two-to-infinity% cash back card. That's the best cash back card for every day spend I can find, short of a Bank of America Travel Rewards card that gives 2.625% back (but requires $100,000 in a Merrill Lynch Account).

Richmond Savers

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 09:02:00 AM »
Sapphire Preferred:  These award Ultimate Rewards points which in my opinion are the most valuable of all points because they transfer (important) to a number of partners including Hyatt, Southwest, United, and British Airways (can be amazing for American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines in the US). 

So the 48,000 UR points you'll get after hitting the $3k in 3 months (40k bonus, 3k for spend plus 5k for adding an authorized user who makes at least one purchase) can be exceedingly valuable. 

I'm really glad you said this because I realized I bit the bullet this morning and ordered this one, ha!  Unfortunately I found an airfare deal for an upcoming trip that expires August 14th -- was hoping to be able to charge my first 'travel expense' on it, but I don't think it'll arrive in time.  I've got more travel to book next month though, so I'm glad I started the process. 

Thanks for the advice and I will be following your blog!!

Sorry for the delay in writing back, but I did want to follow up:  With the "travel expense", that is more of a Barclaycard Arrival Plus concern than a Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) one. 

With the Arrival Plus card, you use the card to pay for travel expenses and then up to 120 days later you can retroactively go back and apply your points against that expense to get a statement credit against the charge (effectively erasing it).  So you can charge travel even when you have no points or haven't hit your $3k in 3 months requirement and then when you've hit that spend and got the bonus points you can go back and redeem the statement credit.

With the CSP no matter what type of expenses you charge, you still earn the Ultimate Rewards (UR) points.  You need to have the points in your account before you can do anything with them.  There are three main options with these points (from best to worst in terms of "value"):

1) Transfer them to a partner airline/hotel.  UR has 11 transfer partners, and you actually send them to your rewards account at that partner.  At that point you no longer have UR points, but you have Southwest or United or Hyatt, etc. points.  You are then governed by the rules of that program.  So for instance, 60,000 UR points transferred to United would get you a round-trip to Europe with a free stopover (essentially an entirely free flight).  Or 25,000 points transferred to Hyatt would get you a night at the swanky Andaz 5th Avenue in NYC, etc.

2) Redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal to actually book your travel.  You get 1.25 cents per point for this, but I would really not recommend this option unless you absolutely had to use it this way.

3)  Redeem them for straight statement credits at 1 cent per point.  Travel isn't involved, you just get your bonus and turn it into cash.

I do have videos on a lot of this stuff at our free travel rewards training page:  http://www.richmondsavers.com/travel-rewards-coaching-video-training/

Richmond Savers

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 09:06:46 AM »
Check out this website.  These folks are big travel hackers and players of the credit card bonus game.  He will even tutor you for free!

http://www.richmondsavers.com/

Thanks for mentioning the site -- I appreciate it!  As you mentioned, I offer a completely free (no gimmicks, seriously) coaching program through my site.  I've worked with a bunch of people around here who can vouch for me and we are definitely a Mustachian family!

If anyone is interested in signing up, here's the link:  http://www.richmondsavers.com/free-travel-rewards-coaching-program/

I just filmed about 40 short travel rewards training videos for the site, which I think can be useful for anyone looking to get started with this.

I've spent the morning reading about these but still can't quite figure out which would be best for us.  I like that Barclay is 2% back on all purchases - Chase Sapphire is only 1% unless its travel or restaurants, which never is more than 1/4th of our credit card bill, although I would like to start traveling more.  Chase Sapphire sign up bonus is better though, when you add an authorized user, and can be redeemed for higher value with their partner airlines and hotels.  Does anyone greatly prefer one card over the other? 

Also, question that I can't seem to find the answer to:  how long do these miles/points last before expiring? 

This travel hacking stuff is confusing.

It is confusing, there's no doubt about that!!  Those are both wonderful cards, but completely different:

Arrival Plus:  This is a really straightforward card and the value after hitting the bonus spend ($3k in 3 months) is $460 in free flexible travel plus a 10% dividend on redemptions, so really $506.  You just use the card to pay for travel expenses (airfare, hotel, car rental, trains, etc.) and then go in and redeem miles after the fact to essentially erase the purchase.  Very simple, but the upside is limited to 1 cent per point in value.

Sapphire Preferred:  These award Ultimate Rewards points which in my opinion are the most valuable of all points because they transfer (important) to a number of partners including Hyatt, Southwest, United, and British Airways (can be amazing for American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines in the US). 

So the 48,000 UR points you'll get after hitting the $3k in 3 months (40k bonus, 3k for spend plus 5k for adding an authorized user who makes at least one purchase) can be exceedingly valuable. 

For instance, my wife and I just got back from Bermuda (http://www.richmondsavers.com/our-231-luxury-bermuda-trip-using-travel-rewards-points/) and we used 30,000 points through British Airways on an American Airlines flight from JFK to Bermuda and that got us the two round trip flights!  That's like $800+ of flights just for 30,000 points since we knew that sweet spot existed.

A lot of this comes down to what your personal plans are and I really would be happy to help you, so just sign up through the site and I'll be in touch ASAP!

+1 on Brad from Richmond savers.  Great guy with a ton of knowledge and even more integrity.

He is widely quoted as an expert in the travel hacking sphere.

See this article which is quite pertinent to the current thread:

http://twocents.lifehacker.com/money-advice-not-everyone-agrees-on-using-credit-card-1594620799

Enjoy!

Thanks Alexi -- I appreciate the kind words!! 

I always refer people to your site as the best real-world manufactured spending tutorial; I'm awed at how you work that so well!

bearkat

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 09:48:33 AM »
I got the Arrival Plus last month before a trip to Mexico because we wanted something with no foreign transaction fees and good rewards (either card you're considering would fit that bill).

I chose the Arrival Plus over the Sapphire Preferred because the rewards of the Arrival Plus seemed more simple, straightforward, and like it would require less of my time to optimize the perfect rewards usage.

Richmond Savers

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2014, 03:27:48 PM »
I got the Arrival Plus last month before a trip to Mexico because we wanted something with no foreign transaction fees and good rewards (either card you're considering would fit that bill).

I chose the Arrival Plus over the Sapphire Preferred because the rewards of the Arrival Plus seemed more simple, straightforward, and like it would require less of my time to optimize the perfect rewards usage.

The Arrival Plus is really straightforward, so good call there!  It might not be "optimized", but it is still over $500 in completely free travel when you take into account the bonus, 2x on minimum spend and 10% dividend on redeemed miles!  It is easy to get spoiled with this concept, but $500 is still $500 completely free!

Another one to consider of a similar nature is the Capital One Venture Rewards card (don't confuse with the VentureOne).  This will get you $460 of free travel and is the same concept as the Arrival Plus.

My wife and I each opened both these cards and essentially got $2,000 worth of this flexible free travel!

The Arrival Plus also now comes with the Chip and PIN technology which is important when you travel abroad, so that's great in addition to no foreign transaction fees.

arebelspy

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2014, 11:25:21 PM »
In my (very short) experience with Travel Hacking, the big rewards come from sign up bonuses.

The wife and I are going to bank ~1MM miles in about 3 months (though we'll actually redeem it as about 3000 cash in our bank accounts and 700k miles).

Our day to day expenses, as Mustachians, just aren't that much, so getting a little cash back or points for normal spending is pretty meh.  But sign up bonuses can be ridiculous.

Also, another big +1 to Brad @ Richmond Savers.  He's the best, and I use his referral links when I sign up for a new card.

So my advice (which is probably wrong - again, very brief experience with this) is find ones with good signup bonuses and don't sweat so much your minor day to day rewards, as those will be dwarfed by the former.
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frugaliknowit

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2014, 08:24:16 AM »
I am a one person, light spending household.  I don't do rolling categories, don't use Amex  or Discover (because I patronize a number of small merchants).  You need to focus on what your travel plans are over the next year.

Here's how I play this game:

1.  My core card is Capital One Quick Silver with 1.5% on everything all the time.

2.  When I decide I like an offer for miles, I apply for the card when I know I will use the miles within a year.  Otherwise DON'T DO IT! 

3.  Get the card.

4.  Jump through the spending hoop ($XThousand within X months...), sidestepping Quicksilver for a bit.

5.  Revert to using Quicksilver at 1.5% on everything

5.  Get the miles.

6.  Use them before the bill for the annual fee has to be paid.

4.  Close the freagin thing.

Forget about 2% for this, 5% for that, annual fee of $95 after one year, blah, blah, blah.  Get the miles and run!  They are constantly changes things up to trip you, so don't plan on anything except stripping the miles!

Calvawt

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2014, 08:32:15 AM »
Get both cards for the excellent sign-up bonuses, then decide which one to use long term.  If you like United and Marriott, the Sapphire card might be better.  If you don't want to deal with finding award seats, just keep the Barclays card and don't worry about it!

hexdexorex

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2014, 08:43:38 AM »
I agree with everyone...get both.

I would get rid of both before the annual fees though.

This is my new card...2.625...no annual fee...

http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/08/20/up-to-2-625-back-for-timeshares-fortune-tellers-and-more/

I am still going to sign up for new cards etc but as long as this deal is going it will probably be my main (not including spend on categories that chase freedom has 5% on)

Richmond Savers

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Re: Chase Sapphire vs Barclay Arrival for Travel Rewards?
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2014, 06:57:14 PM »
In my (very short) experience with Travel Hacking, the big rewards come from sign up bonuses.

The wife and I are going to bank ~1MM miles in about 3 months (though we'll actually redeem it as about 3000 cash in our bank accounts and 700k miles).

Our day to day expenses, as Mustachians, just aren't that much, so getting a little cash back or points for normal spending is pretty meh.  But sign up bonuses can be ridiculous.

Also, another big +1 to Brad @ Richmond Savers.  He's the best, and I use his referral links when I sign up for a new card.

So my advice (which is probably wrong - again, very brief experience with this) is find ones with good signup bonuses and don't sweat so much your minor day to day rewards, as those will be dwarfed by the former.

Thanks for the shout out -- I really appreciate it!  It is amazingly impressive how you and your wife have managed to earn 1 million miles in such a short time. 

If anyone else reading this could benefit from some one-on-one travel rewards guidance, definitely shoot me a PM or sign up here: 

http://www.richmondsavers.com/free-travel-rewards-coaching-program/

And I completely agree with your statement about the sign up bonuses.  They are each conservatively worth at least $500-$1,000, so all the real value is in maximizing the number of those bonuses you can earn with subsequent cards.

A lot of people ask me what we use for our "normal spending" and the simple answer is that we don't have a card we put any normal spending on as we're always working towards the next big bonus.  So we're going from card to card to card.

My wife and I do it a little slower than you and your wife, so there's definitely not one "right" way to do this, but I think most people can benefit from this strategy in some way.