q-schoolParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 2629Joined: 05/07/2017July 5, 2019 at 1:44 pm MST #228028
I’m single and use my miles to get international business/first class tickets (where the redemption value can be as high as 6-8%) and I love to travel, so I’d probably vote “No.” But it’s not an easy call! For most people, though, taking the cash is definitely the right decision.July 5, 2019 at 2:01 pm MST #228032
The only way this is a NO is if you’re someone putting >$300k on a credit card per year. And if that’s the case you’ve got other problems.StarTrekDocParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 2040Joined: 01/15/2017
for $100,000(tax free)? Yes or no. No spreadsheets or calculators to figure out the optimal course of action. Gut feeling answer please.
My sister and brother in law who don’t have kids use their points to fly business/first class on their vacations every 1-2 years. They love their points and push hard for us to use their same system. They’ve probably figured out the optimal way to use points, but I’m just not into it and I don’t want to spend extra time and effort on it. We just use our points for cash back plus we(my wife) use multiple cards. So all the points accumulate over different cards which I’M not going to keep track of. So I asked them one day to get them off my back the above question. They are both good at math and they both said no. I mean, you’d have to spend 5-10 million dollars worth of purchases to get $100k no?Click to expand…
Short answer – No.
Small process changes can pay off big time; more extensive changes pay off more. Travel hacks on points for those who travel Business/First class anyways is even easier to reach since the ROI on those easily push in 6%-10% depending on timing and costs of Business/First class. That $100,000 = $10M spend (1% return) suddenly becomes $2M spend that you’re going to be doing anyways.
eg – by simply using Upromise gateway each time for nonAmazon shopping, we were able to fund 529 plans that are currently worth $120,000. That’s completely on our daily spend and compounded earnings over the last 10 years through that portal. — yes, we spend a lot through spend mechanisms, but the point is — it’s NOT HARD — nor dangerous, nor risky. That’ $100,000 is tiny over lifetime of travel hacking.
eg Our recent 1 week Hawaii trip was nearly fully funded by points and hacks. Our Hilton Diamond got us the attached FREE upgrade at Grand Wailea which is their 1 BR suite with private Lanai — sells at $2400/night — stayed 2 nights on points/certificates — cost credit card $450. for that which also had $250 resort credit yearly to boot.
Travel hacks — totally worth it.Click to expand…
testify! perhaps you need to teach the rest of us about all this stuff.Click to expand…
The short easy way —
Just follow The Points Guy — easy hacks and step-by-step gets you lots of things without extreme hoops.
@hikingdo – if you simply churned that SWA card every two years with another SWA business card — you’ll get 120,000 points, companion pass for Buy1 get free ticket for EVERY FLIGHT and 4 upgraded priority seats per year, Global Entry/precheck, and $75 annual credit for: ==== $250 and credit card spend of about $10,000. Probably takes about 5minutes to accomplish the two credit card applications. That’s a lot of travel paid for with those — this single travel hack got the family of 4 to Hawaii and back with only the obligatory $5.60 per flight Fed tax fee. AND our Christmas to Disneyworld trip.
The only way this is a NO is if you’re someone putting >$300k on a credit card per year.Click to expand…
The existence of sizable credit card signup bonuses plus the fact that international and business/first class redemptions are often worth considerably more than 2 cents/mile makes that blanket statement untrue. But there’s a time and mental energy cost to successfully playing the miles game, and most people understandably don’t want to do it.burritosParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 493Joined: 04/23/2018
The only way this is a NO is if you’re someone putting >$300k on a credit card per year. And if that’s the case you’ve got other problems.Click to expand…
Billionaire earns first-class travel for life by putting Modigliani nude on AmexThis article is more than 3 years old
Liu Yiqian and his family can now fly free all over the world after he used his credit card, which earns points, to buy a $170m paintingVagabond MDParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 3469Joined: 01/21/2016
Yes! Show me the money!
"Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the YoungerCordMcNallyParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 2806Joined: 01/03/2017
Liu Yiqian and his family can now fly free all over the world after he used his credit card, which earns points, to buy a $170m paintingClick to expand…
I don’t think Capital One would let me put that much on my credit card. And that’s a smart move because I wouldn’t pay it back/off.
“But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent InvestorJuly 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm MST #228041
Artemis, you assume the game won’t change. Plus, there’s only so much churning you can do.July 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm MST #228043
Artemis, you assume the game won’t change. Plus, there’s only so much churning you can do.Click to expand…
No, I don’t assume the game won’t change. I’ve been doing it for years, and have watched it change firsthand over the past decade or so. But the value is still out there, it’s just harder to access if you aren’t very flexible with your travel plans.July 5, 2019 at 3:11 pm MST #228044
So for the flexible international traveler or purchaser of hundred million dollar pictures it’s maybe a NO. 😉 I was being a bit tongue and cheek with my initial comment – of course you can relax assumptions to make it worth it to keep your points. But for the vast majority of people they should take the $100K in an instant.PanscanParticipantStatus: ResidentPosts: 1079Joined: 03/18/2017
I feel like a lot of these epic returns on churning and cc depend on utilizing business or first class, which are disproportionately inflated cost wise IMO which is like falsely boosting your ROI.
Like sure I can use my points on this 10k flight but I’m not personally going to take a 10k flight.
If you look at almost all the backing stuff and maximizing point per dollar, etc, it almost always utilizes high class flights and hotels. It almost feels like the travel site people try to find the most expensive flights or places to go, to make it seem like their points are worth more.StatBariumEnemaParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 52Joined: 01/23/2016
Almost everyone will take the 100k easily.
I think a good question is what amount of money would it take to forgo all future credit card rewards.
Off the top of my head, I would say 40k for me. I will likely get more than that in future benefit if I continue my current pattern, but obviously it’s better to have the money upfront and also save the time. Also, there is identity fraud risk in having several cards.
It can be fun for me to maximize value though, but I’m sure there aren’t too many people like this.abdsParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 241Joined: 01/16/2017
Easy yes for me. I only do cash back, so at my current 3.something%, that’s $3M I’m spending.
Need more in-depth info from startrekdoc about how I should be using my cards though.July 5, 2019 at 4:38 pm MST #228057nephronParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 215Joined: 05/09/2019
I have close to 20K from my fidelity card points from my fidelity rewards card. They put 2% into a 529, have been doing it for over 10 years now? much of it is probably growth, but not bad for credit card points. We spend too much annually, but some of it is from paying things like premiums on different things.July 5, 2019 at 5:16 pm MST #228060