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Do you hoard credit card points?


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What do you do with them?

I've been hoarding for a while now, I'm flush with points, but I just can't bring myself to using them. I have two secondary accounts where points expire, so I just use them in late Oct/early November for gift cards in anticipation of Black Friday, but my main account where they don't expire, I just sit on them.

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The last time Amex had a sale on gift cards, I bought a bunch of Home Depot cards for .01:1 point ratio. Actually it might have been 10% off which made it even better.

I've also sold miles through a broker and made decent money although I've heard that if you get caught then they wipe out all your miles.

Edited by Joe Summer
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i don't hoard, just use them as needed.  i had a visa that accrued united miles.  about 10 years ago started to despise united and would use those miles for hotel nights and car rentals.  every once in a while would use those miles for flights. 

we used to go to europe every year and we would save them for those tix...often use Lufthansa instead.

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1 hour ago, Getinthemix said:

That is a terrible value for the points

 

2 hours ago, Bucky86 said:

I'm pretty sure gift cards are the worst use for points.

Ok, if we don't fly much or stay in hotels, what's better than gift cards at 90% price or cash for cards that give 2.5% but only give cash?

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24 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

I'm not on expert or anything. Without knowing which cards you're using its kind of hard to say. I only have an Amex and Chase. Amex allows 1-1 transfer to Delta, which is helpful when Delta has deals. Recently got to buy two coach tickets to Paris for around 30,000 points.

Chase Sapphire allows you to purchase ANY travel using points. Recently used my points for a round-trip to Italy. Think it was a $2,000 ticket for 100,000 points, or so?

 

Seem like decent deals depending on how many points you get per dollar purchase.

We've been using discover for the categories they give 5%, we just got a USAA Visa at 2.5%, and we have a US Bank Visa that gave between 1-5% depending on your categories chosen. We might open an Amazon account that gives 5% and only use it for Amazon. 

I'm not against saving up points for travel if we're going to actually use them but we aren't going to fly again any time soon (5 kids = we're probably driving anywhere in the US)

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1 minute ago, Walking Boot said:

I do that already, but I'm only getting offered $150 on $500 spent. I'm not adding up to $5k in free trips anywhere :kicksrock:

 

edit: 800+ credit score, maybe 100k in available credit with all the cards i have combined at 1-3% utilization.

Yeah, spending is key.  I rip through a $3k spend in about 1.5 months.  There are ways to manufacture spending for a small cost, but that adds to the work and decreases the value.  Still, if you spend $5k per year, you should be able to get $1k, or 20% back on that.

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15 minutes ago, Captain Cranks said:

Yeah, spending is key.  I rip through a $3k spend in about 1.5 months.  There are ways to manufacture spending for a small cost, but that adds to the work and decreases the value.  Still, if you spend $5k per year, you should be able to get $1k, or 20% back on that.

Seems like the large majority of these benefits are for travel and dining. We spend maybe $400 / month on dining, a whole lot less on travel even if you include gas.  But I still don't see how I'm going to get 20% back.  

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Do the points have flight restrictions like airline miles do?   I looked into miles once and although its nice to be able to use them for upgrades, as far as getting actual flights, it didn't seem very flexible in terms of getting flights to specific places during specific periods of time which are necessary b/c of school.   Maybe it will be more worthwhile once the kids are out of the house.

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59 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Seems like the large majority of these benefits are for travel and dining. We spend maybe $400 / month on dining, a whole lot less on travel even if you include gas.  But I still don't see how I'm going to get 20% back.  

I think the 20% or close is when you take into account the sign up bonus.   So chase sapphire for instance gives you 50k points when you sign up if you spend 4k within the first x months.   That 50k is the equivalent can be exchanged for $625 of travel (or $500 of cash) so if you just spend the 4k, that's about 16%.  But after that the rewards are in the ballpark of a cashback equivalent card.    You get essentially $1.25 of travel (or $1 of cash) for every $100 spent.   You get twice that if you use the card for dining or travel.

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5 hours ago, Bucky86 said:

I'm pretty sure gift cards are the worst use for points.

Cash or cash equivalents are the worst, you get up-charged to use them that way. The ratios are much better for a gift card, likely due to a kick back from the company you're buying a gift card for to the CC issuer.

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2 hours ago, Bucky86 said:

Some credit cards offer huge signup bonuses if you spend X amount in the first 3 months.

It's called churning. Get the card. Spend the necessary amount, burn the points and then close the account. Rinse and repeat

Southwest offers 40,000 points if you get their card and spend a grand in 3 months.  That easily covered a $680 RT for me to Tulsa from Boise. I use it for everything... They are adding Hawaii in 2018

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16 hours ago, djmich said:

I don't hoard them, I use them as quickly as possible when I can get at least market value.  The value of miles as a form of rewards generally depreciate over time as airlines/hotels trim point values, hoarding not good.

CC points are not necessarily the same.  They don't depreciate unless they are tied to miles/hotel points.

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1 hour ago, matuski said:

CC points are not necessarily the same.  They don't depreciate unless they are tied to miles/hotel points.

Yes but if the points are used for anything other than a fixed cash payout they can be devalued by the program administrator.  One day an ipad can be 10,000 points and the next day 12,000.

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Big fan of my Amex Platinum card and basically buy everything on it for points. Signed up a couple years ago for something like 60k free points. Get a few free flights or upgrades to business class a year using points I accumulate. It has a highbannual fee (550 a year) but it basically pays for itself as gives 200 per year airline credit and 200 a year uber credit. Bunch of other free perks that are awesome such as lounge accesses at airports where you get free drinks and gold status at Hilton and SPG that gets you free room upgrades at hotels. If you aren't a traveler or heavy credit card user then fee might not be worth it but it is for me.  You just need to think about stuff when booking travel.

Best use of points is too hoard them on card but transfer to a partner when you need them. I am a big Delta flyer so usually transfer to them so I juice my miles at delta when I need something from them. Bunch of airlines and hotels freely transferable. Before you commit to a card I would check where you can transfer to. 

 

ETA - metal card is cool as well but that is not worth anything. 

Edited by Redwes25
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22 hours ago, fantasycurse42 said:

What do you do with them?

I've been hoarding for a while now, I'm flush with points, but I just can't bring myself to using them. I have two secondary accounts where points expire, so I just use them in late Oct/early November for gift cards in anticipation of Black Friday, but my main account where they don't expire, I just sit on them.

What card do you have where they sit and where can you transfer them. 

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59 minutes ago, Redwes25 said:

Big fan of my Amex Platinum card and basically buy everything on it for points. Signed up a couple years ago for something like 60k free points. Get a few free flights or upgrades to business class a year using points I accumulate. It has a highbannual fee (550 a year) but it basically pays for itself as gives 200 per year airline credit and 200 a year uber credit. Bunch of other free perks that are awesome such as lounge accesses at airports where you get free drinks and gold status at Hilton and SPG that gets you free room upgrades at hotels. If you aren't a traveler or heavy credit card user then fee might not be worth it but it is for me.  You just need to think about stuff when booking travel.

Best use of points is too hoard them on card but transfer to a partner when you need them. I am a big Delta flyer so usually transfer to them so I juice my miles at delta when I need something from them. Bunch of airlines and hotels freely transferable. Before you commit to a card I would check where you can transfer to. 

 

ETA - metal card is cool as well but that is not worth anything. 

I liked the AMEX Platinum but the problem with it is that earning points beyond the sign-up bonus isn't great.

I recently switched the newish Sapphire Reserve which offers a lot of the same perks as the AMEX Plat, but allows you to supplement your spending with other Chase cards that earn bonus points you can then transfer to the Sapphire Reserve.  So 3% on travel/dining/gas, 2% groceries, 5% rotating categories, etc. all rolled into the same rewards account while still maintaining the majority of those Platinum perks.

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56 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I liked the AMEX Platinum but the problem with it is that earning points beyond the sign-up bonus isn't great.

I recently switched the newish Sapphire Reserve which offers a lot of the same perks as the AMEX Plat, but allows you to supplement your spending with other Chase cards that earn bonus points you can then transfer to the Sapphire Reserve.  So 3% on travel/dining/gas, 2% groceries, 5% rotating categories, etc. all rolled into the same rewards account while still maintaining the majority of those Platinum perks.

I have thought about it but they don't have delta as transfer partner. I travel for work some so can push flights to delta and earn free miles and love free use of their lounges with Amex. Amazing perk to get free drinks in nice setting at basically any airport. Also do same with Starwood which I get free gold status on and push free points there. However if I were starting from scratch I would probably go with the chase card for reason you mention but don't think worth the switch now.

In my mind the most important thing really is transfer partners and Amex and Chase have the best places you can transfer.  The Citi transfer list is pretty bad so wouldn't use them for their rewards system. 

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3 hours ago, djmich said:

Yes but if the points are used for anything other than a fixed cash payout they can be devalued by the program administrator.  One day an ipad can be 10,000 points and the next day 12,000.

Yes.. if your rewards are tied to points they can be devalued.

If your rewards are based on dollars and incentivized by category and/or method of redemption, this can be controlled by you for the most part.

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1 hour ago, pollardsvision said:

I'm a dishwasher that never travels anywhere. I just do straight cash back cards. Citi Double Cash, Amazon Visa, Discover, and Freedom, mostly. $100-150 cash back a month is good enough for me. 

How much do you put in the card? that's gotta be over $5,000. 

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14 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

How much do you put in the card? that's gotta be over $5,000. 

Yeah, usually right around $4500-5000 in business expenses, and the rest (far less) in personal expenses. I don't make very much money, so there wouldn't be a way to spend that much on personal expenses. Unless I can get more than 2% with a rotating category, it pretty much all goes on the Citi card (which takes some maneuvering, as it's only got a $1700 limit) 

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On 11/10/2017 at 5:08 PM, Bucky86 said:

Some credit cards offer huge signup bonuses if you spend X amount in the first 3 months.

It's called churning. Get the card. Spend the necessary amount, burn the points and then close the account. Rinse and repeat

This doesn’t pertain to you now, but with a partner you can double the fun. 

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I haven't found a better use than Discover Card and then redeeming them for the gift cards at a bonus.  If you activate the 5% rewards quarterly, and use their website to get additional 5% cash-back, you can build a balance very quickly.  My two favorite rewards are:

Crutchfield gift cards for 20% off (i.e. $80 for $100 card) - I basically bought my whole home theater this way.  No limit on how many you can use.  Bonus kicker is you get decent rewards from Crutchfield - after buying a 75" TV, tuner, and some other stuff, I had enough points to get essentially a free basic 28" TV for the gym.

Lowes gives you 10% off gift cards too.  I'll use those, and then buy online for in-store pick-up so I can stack the Lowes on-line coupons.  i.e. buy a $100 gift card for $90, then use a $15 off $75 coupon to get essentially 25% off a $100 purchase.

There's some others.  I NEVER redeem 1-for-1.  I'll sit on them till I need something from one of the places that give a bonus discount.  Tons of restaurants.  Some other decent places.

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Yeah, I'm guilty as charged. I'm at the point where there are few cards I can actually apply to, as I've already used all amex cards, United, American, Alaska, Delta, etc. Now I'm just using the BOA cashback (2% on groceries, plus loyalty bonus) Costco card (3% on dining, 4% on gas). I've probably got about 600k miles/points between all cards. I just used 180k on United to go to BKK for Christmas in business class. 

I'd love to get on the Chase sapphire preferred, but can't as I've gone over the 5/24 rule.

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On 11/10/2017 at 7:08 PM, Bucky86 said:

Some credit cards offer huge signup bonuses if you spend X amount in the first 3 months.

It's called churning. Get the card. Spend the necessary amount, burn the points and then close the account. Rinse and repeat

Just signed up for Wells Fargo, $200 back if you send $1,000 in the first 3 months. Too easy, then we won't use it again. 

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4 minutes ago, ex-ghost said:

Have spent 1,000,000 points the past two years taking family to Italy and Hawaii.

It makes me sad to see my balance of points so low, but like Oz said above, there are plenty of other ways to make money/collect points.

I'd rather have gone to Hawaii and Italy than have the points, easily

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