Author Topic: What to do with Travel points/miles?  (Read 836 times)

TheGadfly

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What to do with Travel points/miles?
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:59:37 PM »
I've been saving my credit card points and miles for the last few years and I've accumulated about 250,000 Chase UR points, 65,000 JetBlue Points, 20,000 Hyatt points, and more.

Due to COVID-19, my wife and I are not comfortable traveling anytime soon. Part of me is tempted to just redeem the points for an account credit (about 1 cent per point) because I've read that travel points tend to get devalued over time.

anyone else stuck with a pile of travel points they can't or don't want to redeem for travel?

LifeHappens

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 01:27:22 PM »
I've decided to use some of my Chase UR points on the new categories they have opened up for 1.5x redemption with the Sapphire Reserve. We've been getting takeout every week, so that's an easy one. For now I've decided to hold on to 50% of the points I've earned and redeem the other 50%. If travel continues to look unsafe into November I'll probably cash out everything else.

I do suspect your other points will get devalued. That's a frequent occurrence with these programs and all the airlines and hotel chains are revenue starved right now. They won't be able to afford a bunch of non-rev travel when people start moving around again.

Duke03

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 01:56:23 PM »
Like already said if you have a CSR you cash out the points at 1.5x.....  I'm currently sitting on over 900k UR points, but won't be cashing any in.  In the past I've cashed in other currencies that might be at risk of a devaluation, but Chase is pretty good when it comes to how they treat their reward program.  If I was you I'd let everything ride as long as you don't need to money.  You could treat your 250k UR as a back up emergency fund and let it sit until you actually need the money or give it some time and maybe you will feel comfortable traveling again and get to go on an awesome trip.  I've got several trips booked over the next couple months as place holders.  The deals where too good not to book.  I can cancel at anytime so if things look good well go and if things look bad I'll just cancel and get my points back.

dodojojo

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 06:11:08 PM »
Bad timing, I signed up for a Capital One card at 60,000 points late in 2019.  I earned the points in March by hitting the spending metric within 3 months.  My original plan was to spend these points on travel by the end of 2020.  I do not want to pay the annual fee which kicks in late 2020.  My understanding is my points are only good as long as the card is active.  So if I don't pay the annual fee and keep the card--I have to do something with the 60,000 points or I lose them.  Or pay the annual fee, which on principle is hard for me to accept.

BikeFanatic

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 08:18:07 PM »
I had 70 k chase Safire points, they are letting you redeem them for groceries June and July so far got 550 in groceries and maybe more next month. Perhaps  not the most optimized redeeming  but I believe the rate is 1.5 cents per point. I too will cancel the card rather than pay 95 $ fee, and I am not traveling soon. I also transferred my Citibank thank you points to Amazon  and ordered some food items and new hiking shoes.

I saw a doctor on you tube and he got covid and a secondary pneumonia hospitalized and very sick, now recovering and he felt that he got it on a crowded plane ride. I really donít want to get sick. This guy looked healthy was a runner and only 42.

secondcor521

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 01:24:13 AM »
Bad timing, I signed up for a Capital One card at 60,000 points late in 2019.  I earned the points in March by hitting the spending metric within 3 months.  My original plan was to spend these points on travel by the end of 2020.  I do not want to pay the annual fee which kicks in late 2020.  My understanding is my points are only good as long as the card is active.  So if I don't pay the annual fee and keep the card--I have to do something with the 60,000 points or I lose them.  Or pay the annual fee, which on principle is hard for me to accept.

Almost always you can downgrade to a no-fee card from the same issuer and keep the points.  That's what I do, and I know I've done it with Cap One.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 02:26:49 AM »
I've just redeemed a bunch of my airline points for alcohol (similar valuation to account credit) on the basis that airlines aren't doing well so a points devaluation seems likely and I don't know when I'll be flying again so I don't want to be bothered with tracking expiry dates. I might have been able to find better value on flights some time in the future, but I'm happy to be done with them.

dodojojo

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 11:12:58 AM »
Almost always you can downgrade to a no-fee card from the same issuer and keep the points.  That's what I do, and I know I've done it with Cap One.

Thank you for confirming--I was hoping this is the case.  I will call Cap One later in the year to confirm.  My mom asked about visiting me and I had to bite my tongue to not call her crazy.  I told her next year is the soonest I'd feel comfortable getting on a plane.

JLee

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 12:41:38 PM »
I've decided to use some of my Chase UR points on the new categories they have opened up for 1.5x redemption with the Sapphire Reserve. We've been getting takeout every week, so that's an easy one. For now I've decided to hold on to 50% of the points I've earned and redeem the other 50%. If travel continues to look unsafe into November I'll probably cash out everything else.

I do suspect your other points will get devalued. That's a frequent occurrence with these programs and all the airlines and hotel chains are revenue starved right now. They won't be able to afford a bunch of non-rev travel when people start moving around again.

+1

Groceries and home improvement stores can be redeemed with UR points now, and if you have a Reserve you get the 50% redemption bonus.  I'm going to repaint my living room and pay for it with Chase points :)

FLBiker

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2020, 01:37:55 PM »
For us, we're actually redeeming them for travel.  We're moving from the US to Canada, and while we postponed from May to July, we're not going to postpone any further.  It isn't ideal, but staying put in Florida doesn't look particularly attractive either.  I used UR for our (one way!) tickets to Manchester (where we're meeting our uhaul), then hotels in Manchester and Houlton (Maine).  That'll leave me with ~15K, and I'll probably just cash them out.

And in terms of accumulation, we've switched to a cashback strategy as travel has definitely lost some of it's appeal.  Looking for a US cashback card that is good in Canada, I've been using the CapitalOne Quicksilver card.  And I may get a CIBC card that 4% cashback on groceries and gas once we move (it has an annual fee).

Virus aside, travel was going to become less of a priority for us anyway -- Tampa (where we are) is much more convenient to travel from than where we're heading (an hour outside Halifax).

bayareasaver

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2020, 06:14:46 AM »
Thank you for this helpful topic! I also have a bunch of Chase UR points, about 70k on a Chase Ink biz cards that is up for renewal on 1 July and I don't want to pay the fee. Does anyone know if it's easy to get those points to transfer to my Chase personal card so I can keep the points and cancel the biz card?

It's interesting your point about points devaluing over time - I moved here to New Zealand a year ago and have been saving the points to pay for a ticket for my niece to come visit me from NYC as I'd rather not pay cash for that but who knows how much tickets will cost post-COVID (lol, post COVID).

I'm unclear as to what my other option would be, though, since isn't cashing them in essentially an account credit, meaning I would need to spend money on my Chase card? That seems like a devaluation as well since a lot of places here charge a 2-4% credit card transaction fee and I believe I wouldn't get the best exchange rate even if there's technically no foreign transaction fees.

Thanks for any tips and if it's better for me to start a new post I will!

Catbert

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2020, 11:46:26 AM »
BayArea - Go into your Chase account in the earn/redeem UR section.  Under Redeem there is a tab for "combine points".  Select that and follow the directions to transfer points either to another of your cards or to the card of a household member.  Transfer is instantaneous.

That's how it work for personal accounts anyway.  Not sure if the process for business cards is any different

elaine amj

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2020, 11:53:21 AM »
Thank you for this helpful topic! I also have a bunch of Chase UR points, about 70k on a Chase Ink biz cards that is up for renewal on 1 July and I don't want to pay the fee. Does anyone know if it's easy to get those points to transfer to my Chase personal card so I can keep the points and cancel the biz card?

It's interesting your point about points devaluing over time - I moved here to New Zealand a year ago and have been saving the points to pay for a ticket for my niece to come visit me from NYC as I'd rather not pay cash for that but who knows how much tickets will cost post-COVID (lol, post COVID).

I'm unclear as to what my other option would be, though, since isn't cashing them in essentially an account credit, meaning I would need to spend money on my Chase card? That seems like a devaluation as well since a lot of places here charge a 2-4% credit card transaction fee and I believe I wouldn't get the best exchange rate even if there's technically no foreign transaction fees.

Thanks for any tips and if it's better for me to start a new post I will!
You would get a statement credit. If you don't spend on your card, just call and ask them to mail you a check.

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elaine amj

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2020, 11:58:00 AM »
I was excited when Chase offered Pay Yourself Back. Transferring UR points don't work as well for me because I'd sooner pay $50 for a Priceline hotel vs transfer $100 of UR points to redeem for a $180 Hyatt stay.

I had planned to redeem my UR points at 1.5cents through the Chase Travel portal (I have the Sapphire Reserve). But it is not so flexible, includes a middle man, and can be of less value since I have recently gotten hooked on under $30 flights on Frontier and the like.

Anyway, I am working on redeeming $2500 of UR points via Pay Yourself Back on groceries, dining, and gas. I have until Sept 30 to spend that much in those categories and should just manage it (a chunk of my grocery spend is Costco, which doesn't count).


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« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 11:59:58 AM by elaine amj »

elaine amj

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2020, 12:26:41 PM »
I should add that I have travel points/credits/certs in various places that I do worry about.

- Southwest Companion Pass now expires June 30, 2021 (instead of Dec 31, 2020)
- 66,592 Southwest points (as of 2019, they no longer expire)
- $75 Southwest travel credit (via Southwest Priority CC) per cardmember year (not sure if I can use this) + 4 upgraded boardings per year (I think I only used two upgraded boardings so far)
- IHG free night certificate (now I have 18 months to use this)
- Hyatt free night certificate won't expire until Dec 31, 2021
- pile of Choice Privileges Points (only need qualifying activity every 18 months and points expirations have been paused until Dec 30, 2020)
- under $100 in a Marriott e-gift card (doesn't expire so I'm not too worried)
- two $25 Frontier travel credits that expire Aug 11, 2020 (may have to write these off)
- a few Spirit Airlines travel credits (expected to expire mid-March 2021)
- nearly 5000 Air Miles points (Canadian program) that I normally redeem for Disney tix and not sure whether I will save them or something. 

And of course the UR points that I should be able to use up completely with Pay Yourself Back (this one was the biggie as it is worth $2500 so I am happy).

I probably also have a few more points here and there that I have forgotten about. I definitely took some time to dig through Google to find out the various expiry dates and am not actively earning more points right now.

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bayareasaver

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2020, 04:09:36 AM »
BayArea - Go into your Chase account in the earn/redeem UR section.  Under Redeem there is a tab for "combine points".  Select that and follow the directions to transfer points either to another of your cards or to the card of a household member.  Transfer is instantaneous.

That's how it work for personal accounts anyway.  Not sure if the process for business cards is any different

Thanks so much @Catbert! I was able to do this and you're right, it was easy and instant. I assume I need to call to cancel my card so I'll do this tomorrow or the next day. Any insights on whether it's worth holding on to the points for travel or if I should cash out?

BikeFanatic

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Re: What to do with Travel points/miles?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2020, 04:56:46 AM »
I have cashed out most of my chase Safire ultimate rewards points for groceries (thanks for the tip), and my thank you points converted to Amazon credit. Saved one thousand on mostly groceries that way. Now I have 100k in American Airlines points, some jet blue and Amex Hilton and Delta points, any ideas how to get more optimized redemptions on those? I am not traveling for a year or two and feel that I can have time to re accumulate points over the next year or two. I suppose I could subscribe to DOC of credit, but more long emails!