Author Topic: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice  (Read 763 times)

nara

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Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« on: August 11, 2017, 12:55:14 PM »
I've had a Thank you Preferred Citi card credit card since 2006. We use the points to buy gift cards for family members for birthdays and Christmas. I've never really delved much into credit card point research, but I'm listening to all this info about travel hacking and am wondering if there are better deals out there for us and how we would get started with this. We have some really big upcoming expenses (like a $4k dental procedure) that I would like to use to maximize points. Is it worth opening up a new card for the sign on points? Any input as to which one?

jtraggie99

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 12:59:43 PM »
The sites I frequent on this particular topic:

http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/


Other than that, I would say start with Chase cards due to their 5/24 rule.  You can read more about that on those sites as well. 

DarkandStormy

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 01:03:07 PM »
If you travel 1-2 times/year or more then yes, absolutely.  The sign-up bonuses go the farthest when used for travel.

You can do plenty of research or e-mail courses on travel hacking to get more info.  Basically, the sign-up bonuses can be redeemed for maximum value with travel partners (airlines, hotels).

The most flexible of these are the Chase cards because of their value their Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can book at 1.25 per point (so 50,000 points = $625 on the Chase travel portal - like an Expedia or Travelocity) BUT you can transfer these to 11 (or more now?) travel partners.  So 50,000 points = 50,000 miles, which in some cases is worth $1,000+ instead of the $500 cash back.

Personally, I recommend starting with a Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It has a $4k minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months and you get 50,000 points to use in Chase Ultimate Rewards.  The $95 annual fee is waived in Year 1, so you could close it if your first 365 day trial period doesn't just the $95 fee for Year 2 if you want.  Or you could keep it.

From there, you could keep churning through Chase cards or go with another provider.  Keep in mind, you'll only get approved for a Chase card if you've opened up less than 5 cards in the last 24 months (5/24 rule).  You could double up on Chase Southwest cards and get very close to the 110K points needed for the Companion Pass almost entirely through sign-up bonuses (look out for the 50K or even 60K sign-up bonuses - I believe they're 40K right now).

Another poster said they spoke to a Chase rep. who said they will be rolling out new sign-up offers in September ahead of the holidays.  So keep an eye out on that.  But either way, I 100% recommend the Sapphire Preferred unless you've opened a bunch of credit cards in the last two years.
The Chase Trifecta:
Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Sapphire Preferred - $4k spend in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/2MOVOLZCEJ
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom Unlimited - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/18/ENYF0FTS66
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/DBOP9XI9XT

Southwest Cards - Earn 40k miles for $2k spend in 3 months.
Premier -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/224/JY2BMSDZJ2
Plus -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/223/F3ZW8H140N

Recommended Cell Service - Google's Project Fi: https://g.co/fi/r/THK0WX

nara

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 01:37:01 PM »
If you travel 1-2 times/year or more then yes, absolutely.  The sign-up bonuses go the farthest when used for travel.

You can do plenty of research or e-mail courses on travel hacking to get more info.  Basically, the sign-up bonuses can be redeemed for maximum value with travel partners (airlines, hotels).

The most flexible of these are the Chase cards because of their value their Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can book at 1.25 per point (so 50,000 points = $625 on the Chase travel portal - like an Expedia or Travelocity) BUT you can transfer these to 11 (or more now?) travel partners.  So 50,000 points = 50,000 miles, which in some cases is worth $1,000+ instead of the $500 cash back.

Personally, I recommend starting with a Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It has a $4k minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months and you get 50,000 points to use in Chase Ultimate Rewards.  The $95 annual fee is waived in Year 1, so you could close it if your first 365 day trial period doesn't just the $95 fee for Year 2 if you want.  Or you could keep it.

From there, you could keep churning through Chase cards or go with another provider.  Keep in mind, you'll only get approved for a Chase card if you've opened up less than 5 cards in the last 24 months (5/24 rule).  You could double up on Chase Southwest cards and get very close to the 110K points needed for the Companion Pass almost entirely through sign-up bonuses (look out for the 50K or even 60K sign-up bonuses - I believe they're 40K right now).

Another poster said they spoke to a Chase rep. who said they will be rolling out new sign-up offers in September ahead of the holidays.  So keep an eye out on that.  But either way, I 100% recommend the Sapphire Preferred unless you've opened a bunch of credit cards in the last two years.

Very helpful!!! So the Chase Sapphire points can be used on expedia and travelocity?

DarkandStormy

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 01:45:12 PM »
If you travel 1-2 times/year or more then yes, absolutely.  The sign-up bonuses go the farthest when used for travel.

You can do plenty of research or e-mail courses on travel hacking to get more info.  Basically, the sign-up bonuses can be redeemed for maximum value with travel partners (airlines, hotels).

The most flexible of these are the Chase cards because of their value their Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can book at 1.25 per point (so 50,000 points = $625 on the Chase travel portal - like an Expedia or Travelocity) BUT you can transfer these to 11 (or more now?) travel partners.  So 50,000 points = 50,000 miles, which in some cases is worth $1,000+ instead of the $500 cash back.

Personally, I recommend starting with a Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It has a $4k minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months and you get 50,000 points to use in Chase Ultimate Rewards.  The $95 annual fee is waived in Year 1, so you could close it if your first 365 day trial period doesn't just the $95 fee for Year 2 if you want.  Or you could keep it.

From there, you could keep churning through Chase cards or go with another provider.  Keep in mind, you'll only get approved for a Chase card if you've opened up less than 5 cards in the last 24 months (5/24 rule).  You could double up on Chase Southwest cards and get very close to the 110K points needed for the Companion Pass almost entirely through sign-up bonuses (look out for the 50K or even 60K sign-up bonuses - I believe they're 40K right now).

Another poster said they spoke to a Chase rep. who said they will be rolling out new sign-up offers in September ahead of the holidays.  So keep an eye out on that.  But either way, I 100% recommend the Sapphire Preferred unless you've opened a bunch of credit cards in the last two years.

Very helpful!!! So the Chase Sapphire points can be used on expedia and travelocity?

No, no.  Sorry.  Chase has an "Ultimate Rewards site" that serves as a travel portal - pulls in aggregate flights and/or hotel rooms for trips.  I apologize for the wording - Chase has its own travel portal where you can redeem your Chase points at a 1.25/point rate.  It's not the best bang for your buck but better than 1/1 ratio of cash back.  Hope that makes sense.

You can transfer those Chase points directly to several travel partners - https://www.creditdonkey.com/chase-transfer-partners.html

If you do that and book strategically, you should be able to get ~2 cents/point if you're flexible with your travel window.

So your options are:

1) Cash back.  This is a 1:1 value (50,000 points as a bonus on sign-up = $500)

2) Book through Chase Ultimate Rewards - those 50,000 points would get you $625 of travel.

3) Transfer the points to a travel partner (airline or hotel) and get ~2 cents/point.  Some travel sites value them even higher (2.2 cents/point).  That would mean 50,000 points = $1,000 worth of travel if you did it correctly.

Sorry for the confusion, hope that helps.
The Chase Trifecta:
Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Sapphire Preferred - $4k spend in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/2MOVOLZCEJ
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom Unlimited - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/18/ENYF0FTS66
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/DBOP9XI9XT

Southwest Cards - Earn 40k miles for $2k spend in 3 months.
Premier -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/224/JY2BMSDZJ2
Plus -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/223/F3ZW8H140N

Recommended Cell Service - Google's Project Fi: https://g.co/fi/r/THK0WX

nara

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 09:01:12 AM »
Thanks! I got the card and guess I will see will start to delve into this when I can login to the site. What's the best deal you were able to find?

nick663

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 10:19:24 AM »
Keep in mind that the Ultimate Rewards points from Chase can be redeemed for cash as well.  So by doing this even if you don't travel hack, the signup bonus rewards are still huge ($500 for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example).

DarkandStormy

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Re: Credit Card Travel Hack Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 09:10:14 AM »
Thanks! I got the card and guess I will see will start to delve into this when I can login to the site. What's the best deal you were able to find?

Sorry, I missed this.  I recommend going through this site here - http://www.travelmiles101.com/

You can sign up for their free email course.

The most "bang for your buck" is to transfer the points to a travel partner - United, Southwest, for a couple examples.  These transfer 1-to-1 to miles.  Search for flights on those partner sites, pick the date(s) you want, and then transfer the Ultimate Reward points to that site.
The Chase Trifecta:
Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Sapphire Preferred - $4k spend in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/2MOVOLZCEJ
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom Unlimited - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/18/ENYF0FTS66
Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom - only $500 spend needed in 3 months.
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/DBOP9XI9XT

Southwest Cards - Earn 40k miles for $2k spend in 3 months.
Premier -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/224/JY2BMSDZJ2
Plus -
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/223/F3ZW8H140N

Recommended Cell Service - Google's Project Fi: https://g.co/fi/r/THK0WX