Author Topic: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?  (Read 6284 times)

Allen

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Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« on: November 17, 2014, 02:21:04 PM »
I know you can travel hack all sorts of stuff, but I just haven't had the stamina to wade through and optimize.  Is there a good general purpose "pretty good" answer to which credit card bonus signup I should use to help defray the cost for four people to go to England next summer?  If we divert our normal spending to the card it will almost certainly meet minimum spend requirements. 

Any suggestions where to start or even better just an easy answer of which card to sign up for?  It doesn't have to be THE BEST, if it's just 'very good' that is probably good enough.

GizmoTX

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 02:37:58 PM »
Barclaycard Arrival Plus. Earns 2x points for every purchase, points can be used for any travel (reimbursement), does not charge a foreign transaction fee (this is important -- those that do, charge 3%), includes the EMV chip technology along with swipe strip, waives the card fee the first year, & is currently being offered with a bonus of 40K points for spending $3K in the first 3 months. Also includes the usual perks for Mastercard.

For getting cash from an ATM machine, which also gives you the best exchange rate, we use a debit card from Schwab. It promptly refunds ATM fees from anywhere in the world. You never want to get cash from a credit card.

johnny847

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 02:49:15 PM »
The Barclaycard GizmoTX mentioned is pretty good in general. Sounds like it's really good for somebody like you, because it uses a fixed value points system - a point is always worth 1.1111111 cents, so long as you redeem the points against travel charges on the card. No need to figure out which airline to transfer to to get the best value of your points.
There's a Capital One Venture card that operates in a similar manner, but the signup bonus isn't as good and Cap One pulls all three credit bureaus when you apply.

If you have a high enough net worth, and already have your investments at or are willing to move your investments to Merrill Edge/BoA, then you can get up to 2.625% cash back on their travel credit card (but their signup bonus is only $100). So it's not really for churning, it's for overall cash back rate. It's probably not worth the hassle to move $100k of investments to Merill Edge to get that 2.625% cash back. But if you think so, or if you already have the assets at Merill Edge/BoA, you can read the details on one of my previous posts here http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/credit-cards-rewards-and-sign-on-bonuses-(churning)/145

And I second the Charles Schwab bank account. I've used it before while abroad. Best bank account for travel ever! Also makes it easy to not have tons of local currency left over at the end of the trip, because you can just frequent the ATM a lot.

Allen

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 10:07:26 AM »
THANK YOU EVERYONE!  Thanks for the Schwab tip as well.  We are opening a Schwab account to pull out $ from ATMs, limiting the cash we need to carry.  We are getting the Barclay card that we will put the plane tickets on, instantly hitting the minimum spend and earning $400 off.

Then we'll use the card for everything except gas/groceries (which my Amex gets me 3% and 6% on) or any rotating 5% categories from Chase/Discover.

BOOM and done.  Thanks team 'stache.

UnleashHell

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 10:26:36 AM »
for your flights also check skyscanner.com
they find some pretty good prices - better the more flexible you are.

you may find more savings from that that any travel hack.



arebelspy

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 04:06:49 PM »
THANK YOU EVERYONE!  Thanks for the Schwab tip as well.  We are opening a Schwab account to pull out $ from ATMs, limiting the cash we need to carry.  We are getting the Barclay card that we will put the plane tickets on, instantly hitting the minimum spend and earning $400 off.

Then we'll use the card for everything except gas/groceries (which my Amex gets me 3% and 6% on) or any rotating 5% categories from Chase/Discover.

BOOM and done.  Thanks team 'stache.

Doesn't that just get you like $500 off, rather than totally free?

Post some more details and we can probably get the whole thing done free.  At the very least sign up the spouse and get the same discount again...  :)
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johnny847

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2014, 05:40:59 PM »
arebelspy, that's true, but Allen's objective wasn't to make his trip free....

While it could be possible to make this trip free, I hear that booking reward tickets for four people on the same flight is quite difficult. Also, as Allen said, he doesn't have the stamina to wade through and optimize (presumably for transferrable points programs).

arebelspy

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2014, 06:46:04 PM »
arebelspy, that's true, but Allen's objective wasn't to make his trip free....

Sure, but I don't know why free wouldn't be the objective, rather than "save a little".

Also, as Allen said, he doesn't have the stamina to wade through and optimize (presumably for transferrable points programs).

That's why he outsourced the research to us!  :)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2014, 07:29:13 PM »
Barclays US Airways + Citi AA at 50,000 miles each in signup bonus should get 2 out of 4 people there and then some since the rewards for the 2 programs will merge in a couple months. Have two adults sign up for both and the whole family flies free!

johnny847

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 07:52:50 PM »
arebelspy, that's true, but Allen's objective wasn't to make his trip free....

Sure, but I don't know why free wouldn't be the objective, rather than "save a little".

Also, as Allen said, he doesn't have the stamina to wade through and optimize (presumably for transferrable points programs).

That's why he outsourced the research to us!  :)
True, but I have my doubts that you can get 4 people on the same flight using points. I've only read about it though, never tried, as I'm single.

Anybody have any experience with this?

GizmoTX

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2014, 06:12:47 AM »
Cards like the Barclaycard that accrue points on all kinds of travel rather than miles or their own portal don't care what airline or flight you choose, as you apply your points & get reimbursed after your purchase. Capital One works this way too, but the Barclaycard is more generous.

johnny847

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 08:18:03 AM »
arebelspy, that's true, but Allen's objective wasn't to make his trip free....

While it could be possible to make this trip free, I hear that booking reward tickets for four people on the same flight is quite difficult. Also, as Allen said, he doesn't have the stamina to wade through and optimize (presumably for transferrable points programs).
This is exactly what I'm talking about: http://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/whats-the-best-strategy-for-redeeming-family-award-tickets/
On some airlines, you can't even know if your reward booking is going to work because you can only book two tickets at a time, and it doesn't show you how many award seats are actually available.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 08:27:04 AM »
I'm waiting for miles dividend MD to weigh in on this since he shuttles a bunch of kids regularly to japan. Otherwise, what you could do is split up and have people on different flights. There are about 20 flights between NYC and London each day after all.

cartechguy

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Re: Need to go to England next summer. Best rewards card?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2014, 09:05:44 AM »
Barclaycard Arrival Plus hands down!! I have had this card for about 18 months and I am very picky about my credit card choices.  While I was in business I got over 135,000 points on this card which was about $1360 in statements credit!
Please note the $89 fee is waived the FIRST YEAR!!
They have a 40,000 miles bonus if you spend 3k in the first 90 days!!