Rewards Points

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#1
I have around 200,000 “miles” on my card. What’s the best way to use these points for travel?
 

Shrmdougluvr

Lover of Sherman Douglas
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#3
I have around 200,000 “miles” on my card. What’s the best way to use these points for travel?
Is it the Sapphire Card you are promoting? There are lots of good blogs dedicated to earning points and travel. Some of these folks live Up in the Air Style. I don't travel for work, so my ability to collect points is stifled, but i like their insight. Check out doctorofcredit, millionmilesecrets, thepointsguy, frugaltravelguy, onemileatatime, mommy points, etc. There are also good threads on reddit and flyer talk.

You tend to get good value transferring points to Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines, and Southwest. A lot of these folks do luxury travel, so the points values are skewed. Also, they take advantage of mostly traveling without kids during non peak times to maximize point values. I can't do that as I have kids in school, and my livelihood, more or less revolves around school schedule (peak travel times). I'll give you an example of a trip i took using only points.

For the LSU games, we flew Southwest both ways using points (dollar based), stayed at the Hyatt Place in Baton Rouge on points (really good redemption), then stayed at the Hyatt French Quarter on points.

Later this summer, we have roundtrip flights to San Diego on United that we purchased with points earned from Chase Ultimate Rewards that we transferred to United.
 

Shrmdougluvr

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#4
Also, if you have the Sapphire Card, you are missing out if you are not pairing it with the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited Cards. Ideally, you would book travel and eat out with the Sapphire (2 pts /$), use the Freedom for the rotating 5 pt/$ categories each quarter, and the Unlimited for 1.5 pts/$ on all other purchases. These cards have no annual fee, usually a small to decent sign up bonus (plus referral bonuses), and can be linked to your Sapphire Card, which allows you to transfer the points to other travel partners or redeem right through Chase at a 25% or 50% bonus depending on whether you have the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve Card. This is the most basic points earning combo most of the bloggers recommend.

PM me if you'd like referral links to those cards. :)
 
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#5
I love my Southwest credit card. Cheap flights if you want to pay cash and cheap flights with points as well. Used Southwest to fly two of us to New Orleans for the LSU game ($360 total). Also got round trip tickets for two to Florida in February for under 30,000 points. If anyone has any interest in signing up please let me snag those referral points. They give you 50,000 bonus points just for signing up and that can easily get you a few flights.
 

CuseFaninVT

Living Legend
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#6
Guess what's in my wallet? Getting ready to cash in some points for our trip to wherever we end up. Use the card for pretty much everything.
 

NKR1978

Living Legend
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#7
Which card?

One Mile at a Time and The Points Guy are my favorite websites for maximizing points. Some of the stuff they do seems a little complicated for me. They usually recommend transferring credit card points to the airlines as a better value. But then you’re stuck trying to find award availability.

I just used a ton of Chase points from my Sapphire Reserve card to offset the cost of a r/t business class ticket to Bali on Qatar. I didn’t have nearly enough for the whole trip, but it’s my 40th birthday present to myself and have been saving for over a year now for it.

I currently have 187,000 JetBlue points and used about 80,000 points to pay for a r/t Mint flight to Vegas. That seems like a pretty good deal for a flight that’s about 1200-1300 r/t.
 

NKR1978

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#8
Also, if you have the Sapphire Card, you are missing out if you are not pairing it with the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited Cards. Ideally, you would book travel and eat out with the Sapphire (2 pts /$), use the Freedom for the rotating 5 pt/$ categories each quarter, and the Unlimited for 1.5 pts/$ on all other purchases. These cards have no annual fee, usually a small to decent sign up bonus (plus referral bonuses), and can be linked to your Sapphire Card, which allows you to transfer the points to other travel partners or redeem right through Chase at a 25% or 50% bonus depending on whether you have the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve Card. This is the most basic points earning combo most of the bloggers recommend.

PM me if you'd like referral links to those cards. :)
The Chase Sapphire is such a great credit card. I don’t love the $450 annual fee on the reserve, but the $300 travel credit let me actually make money on the card since my office reimburses my MetroCard and that counts for the credit. 3x points on dining is amazing for me since i eat out almost every meal.

And I got the 50% bonus on chase points earned when I transferred them to my Sapphire from a regular chase freedom card.
 

Shrmdougluvr

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#9
The Chase Sapphire is such a great credit card. I don’t love the $450 annual fee on the reserve, but the $300 travel credit let me actually make money on the card since my office reimburses my MetroCard and that counts for the credit. 3x points on dining is amazing for me since i eat out almost every meal.

And I got the 50% bonus on chase points earned when I transferred them to my Sapphire from a regular chase freedom card.
I should have pulled the trigger on the Reserve back when the bonus was 100k pts. Now i can't justify it. I am putting almost all of my daily spend on SPG. They have Alaskan Airlines as a transfer partner, and I can use those points to book Japan Airlines out of JFK, which is a trip i am targeting for summer 2020. My next card is going to be Marriott Rewards, but I was hoping to see the 100k sign up bonus come back before applying. That's be a card i keep long term as it offers a free night in category 1-4, so I'll use it for a night at one of the Syracuse Carrier Circle Marriott's for a football or basketball game each year.

The points/miles game is much tougher with kids (particularly ones in school). While i look at what those guys do for ideas, I find that mommypoints, frugaltravelguy, and millionmilesecrets have better content for people like me. Also, make sure to check out doctorofcredit. Those guys aren't as beholden to corporate sponsorship as thepointsguy and onemileatatime.
 

Shrmdougluvr

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#11
Not trying to step on temery's toes, as i obviously recommend to anyone who travels even a bit, to pick up a Chase Sapphire Card that temery has the link for, but wanted to make folks aware of the new Visa and Amex cards that will be issued for Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest (this August both will merge into the Marriott Rewards program).

Marriott/SPG Merger Details - Credit Cards (Marriott Premier Plus & Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card) - Doctor Of Credit

I think the SPG Luxury Card is really interesting for anyone with season tickets to SU games. The $300 resort credit is enough for one night and dinner/drinks at the SU Sheraton, while it lasts, and the bonus should cover at least a second night there, and maybe a night at the Aloft or one of the more generic Marriott properties around town. I have seasons for football, and we get to 2-3 hoops games a year. When attending late start games, i like to stay at the Sheraton. The parking and proximity to campus is a real benefit for my youngish kids.
 

Shrmdougluvr

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#12
Not trying to step on temery's toes, as i obviously recommend to anyone who travels even a bit, to pick up a Chase Sapphire Card that temery has the link for, but wanted to make folks aware of the new Visa and Amex cards that will be issued for Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest (this August both will merge into the Marriott Rewards program).

Marriott/SPG Merger Details - Credit Cards (Marriott Premier Plus & Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card) - Doctor Of Credit

I think the SPG Luxury Card is really interesting for anyone with season tickets to SU games. The $300 resort credit is enough for one night and dinner/drinks at the SU Sheraton, while it lasts, and the bonus should cover at least a second night there, and maybe a night at the Aloft or one of the more generic Marriott properties around town. I have seasons for football, and we get to 2-3 hoops games a year. When attending late start games, i like to stay at the Sheraton. The parking and proximity to campus is a real benefit for my youngish kids.
Sorry to quote my own post, but Marriott just updated its award chart and it looks like every Syracuse area hotel under the Marriott umbrella was downgraded in category, which is good for folks who want to stay there using points. Don't forget you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, though it is not recommended.

The real value here is that there are a bunch of SPG and Marriott credit cards out there with decent sign-up bonuses and a free night at any Syracuse hotel. The annual fees are more than justified considering the value of the free night ($95 annual fee vs $100+ per night hotel room).

Marriott Redemption Rates - just search Syracuse.
 

chugg21

Gritty, High IQ, Scrappy, Gym Rat, Lunch Pail Guy
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#13
For anyone that doesn't have any of the Chase Southwest cards, should start thinking about getting 2 of them in October/November. Gives you enough time to hit the spend requirements and get the bonuses in January and giving you the Companion Pass for most of 2019 and all of 2020. I've never been able to master the process well enough to secure that early in the year but I am on my 2nd one. Nothing better than having 100k pts and 2 for 1 flights.
 


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