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Do you hoard credit card points?


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36 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

If you are going to do this, and these are AMEX points then keep checking the Membershiprewards site for the next few weeks. They usually run a special on HD cards in the spring and fall that nets about a 25% bonus.

https://dannydealguru.com/2018/03/07/redeem-membership-rewards/

idk how reliable this link is, but if I can pick up 30% bonus on HD gift cards in the next month, this becomes a no brained for me.

Do you know if this is an annual thing?

I can’t find much more info, I wonder if they cap this or I can use it on as many gift cards as I want?

Thanks!

Edited by fantasycurse42
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17 minutes ago, matuski said:

Cash back is brainless and for that reason a good option, but if you put a small amount of effort in to play the game most point systems should come out well ahead.  

If you are talking about using points at a 1-1 for cash back even worse... better off just getting a 2% card.

No 1% cash back for me...I have a couple of minimum 1.5% and different ones with higher cash back percentages based on the category of purchase.

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On 11/10/2017 at 7:58 PM, Captain Cranks said:

Hopefully you guys with good credit and like to travel are taking advantage of the sign up bonuses these credit card companies offer.  It's easy to get $5-8k vacations for free each year using the power of a good credit score. 

Have a Delta Amex platinum.   Fly back and forth to AZ and ID with the family free this year.

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8 minutes ago, The Big Guy said:

No 1% cash back for me...I have a couple of minimum 1.5% and different ones with higher cash back percentages based on the category of purchase.

Yea.. nothing wrong with those cards, but you can demolish those returns with points.  Pending your spend, whether you travel, etc.  Takes a little more effort though.

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Maybe a dumb question, but I just got the Chase Southwest Plus card after getting the Chase Business Premier. The new one charged me the annual fee on February 1st and shows the first payment due date as March 23rd. 

So is that indicating that if I hit my minimum spend to get the 50,000 bonus that it will be "earned" on March 23rd-ish?

Planning a trip in July and I'm starting to wonder if earning the Companion Pass that late will create issues for me trying to book 3 tickets for July.

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20 hours ago, fantasycurse42 said:

https://dannydealguru.com/2018/03/07/redeem-membership-rewards/

idk how reliable this link is, but if I can pick up 30% bonus on HD gift cards in the next month, this becomes a no brained for me.

Do you know if this is an annual thing?

I can’t find much more info, I wonder if they cap this or I can use it on as many gift cards as I want?

Thanks!

Its been very regular for me, but I can't swear that it isn't targetted. 25% bonus every spring and fall.

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1 minute ago, Ron Swanson said:

Its been very regular for me, but I can't swear that it isn't targetted. 25% bonus every spring and fall.

Thanks!

Please do an @fantasycurse42 if you see it. I'll be checking Amex daily. 

Target date for renovations is mid-late April as of now, would love to have all of my parts ordered by early-mid March. Getting $10k in HD money for 700k points would be awesome!!

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I know there is another credit card "deals" thread but I can't find it so I'll post this here.  SW/Chase are offering Companion Pass through the end of 2019 + 30,000 miles once you complete $3,000 on initial spend with a new personal card.  Offer expires 02.11.19. Pretty sweet deal.  And even better you can get one of their business cards as well and once the minimum spend is reached you get 60,000 miles which stack with the original 30,000 miles to get you within 10,000 miles of qualifying for Companion pass for another full year (2020). To get that last 10,000 miles it can come from spend on the cards or flights. And yes, you can use those 90,000 bonus miles to book flights and get a 2nd Free Companion Pass ticket.

Great way to get to their Caribbean destinations and they open up Hawaii travel this year as well.

Personal Companion Pass Deal

Business 60,000 Points Deal

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4 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

I know there is another credit card "deals" thread but I can't find it so I'll post this here.  SW/Chase are offering Companion Pass through the end of 2019 + 30,000 miles once you complete $3,000 on initial spend with a new personal card.  Offer expires 02.11.19. Pretty sweet deal.  And even better you can get one of their business cards as well and once the minimum spend is reached you get 60,000 miles which stack with the original 30,000 miles to get you within 10,000 miles of qualifying for Companion pass for another full year (2020). To get that last 10,000 miles it can come from spend on the cards or flights. And yes, you can use those 90,000 bonus miles to book flights and get a 2nd Free Companion Pass ticket.

Great way to get to their Caribbean destinations and they open up Hawaii travel this year as well.

Personal Companion Pass Deal

Business 60,000 Points Deal

You don't get a second companion pass, you just earn a real one.

The companion pass you earn with sign up deal is the bastardized 1 year version (10.5 months at this point).

Edited by matuski
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I use a Hilton Honors Amex card and travel for work and stay at Hiltons during the year - as a Diamond I get a lot of Bonus and paying with cards really tops off the deal. On top of that card gives bonus points for groceries and restaurants. I travel to New Orleans each year for Jazzfest and stay in Hiltons for around 12-14 nights(3K+ if paid in cash) during a really high room rate period in the city - and I don't pay for my rooms.  

Edited by ffldrew
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Best current card?  With SPG vanishing I’m thinking about changing to another rewards card. 

Wife and I do all our spending on our SPG cards (joint account), probably like $10-20k per month. I also do all my business travel on the cards as well. Has been great, and we just booked a couple vacations for free, and we’ll still have nearly a million Marriott points leftover. But wondering if we should be looking elsewhere. 

TIA

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35 minutes ago, Otis said:

Best current card?  With SPG vanishing I’m thinking about changing to another rewards card. 

Wife and I do all our spending on our SPG cards (joint account), probably like $10-20k per month. I also do all my business travel on the cards as well. Has been great, and we just booked a couple vacations for free, and we’ll still have nearly a million Marriott points leftover. But wondering if we should be looking elsewhere. 

TIA

You really fed up with that.  SPG took a huge devalue in last 12 months. The days of really crazy redemptions on SPG are over and are getting worse this year.  

If you have that much organic spend and only can tolerate one or two card then stick to a Amex gold and a Chase freedom as backup. 

If you want to go ham. You could. Easily. 

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On 2/4/2019 at 7:02 PM, matuski said:

I suppose if you don't travel at all and/or don't spend a fair amount on CC's, then the cash back cards make as much if not more sense.

If you travel cheaply and don't really have any aspirations to change that then cash back is fine.  

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1 hour ago, culdeus said:

You really fed up with that.  SPG took a huge devalue in last 12 months. The days of really crazy redemptions on SPG are over and are getting worse this year.  

If you have that much organic spend and only can tolerate one or two card then stick to a Amex gold and a Chase freedom as backup. 

If you want to go ham. You could. Easily. 

What means go ham?

And are you saying I am better off with just regular AMEX points now?  With an Amex gold or something? I have an Amex platinum business card through my work, should I just use that?  TIA. 

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On 2/4/2019 at 5:02 PM, matuski said:

I suppose if you don't travel at all and/or don't spend a fair amount on CC's, then the cash back cards make as much if not more sense.

Aside from the sign up bonus, you can get no less than 2% cash back and even up to 4% on some categories.

UBER VISA - 4% restaurants

Costco VISA - 4% gas,  3% travel, 2% Costco

Amex Blue - 3% supermarkets

Citi-double - 2% everything else

CSR is 3% travel and restaurant and 1% everything else. After I use up my sign up bonus I can see myself not using the CSR again.

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14 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

I know there is another credit card "deals" thread but I can't find it so I'll post this here.  SW/Chase are offering Companion Pass through the end of 2019 + 30,000 miles once you complete $3,000 on initial spend with a new personal card.  Offer expires 02.11.19. Pretty sweet deal.  And even better you can get one of their business cards as well and once the minimum spend is reached you get 60,000 miles which stack with the original 30,000 miles to get you within 10,000 miles of qualifying for Companion pass for another full year (2020). To get that last 10,000 miles it can come from spend on the cards or flights. And yes, you can use those 90,000 bonus miles to book flights and get a 2nd Free Companion Pass ticket.

Great way to get to their Caribbean destinations and they open up Hawaii travel this year as well.

Personal Companion Pass Deal

Business 60,000 Points Deal

The "real" Companion Pass is 110,000. So if you get the 30,000 plus 60,000 bonus, you'll need an additional 14,000 points (you'll have 96,000 points with the 2 bonuses plus the required $6,000 in spend).

But I'm fairly certain that they won't stack. Meaning you won't get a Companion Pass for this year and a 2nd one for the rest of this year and all of next, you'll simply get one companion pass for the rest of this year and all of next. I could be wrong on that though.

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9 hours ago, Otis said:

Best current card?  With SPG vanishing I’m thinking about changing to another rewards card. 

Wife and I do all our spending on our SPG cards (joint account), probably like $10-20k per month. I also do all my business travel on the cards as well. Has been great, and we just booked a couple vacations for free, and we’ll still have nearly a million Marriott points leftover. But wondering if we should be looking elsewhere. 

TIA

Get chase Saphire reserve and chase freedom unlimited. Put all dining and travel on reserve and everything else on unlimited. With that spend you can really rack up points pretty quick. 

 

Article that explains this using preferred but the reserve card is better - https://thepointsguy.com/guide/chase-sapphire-freedom-unlimited-power-duo/

Edited by Redwes25
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7 hours ago, Charlie Harper said:

Aside from the sign up bonus, you can get no less than 2% cash back and even up to 4% on some categories.

UBER VISA - 4% restaurants

Costco VISA - 4% gas,  3% travel, 2% Costco

Amex Blue - 3% supermarkets

Citi-double - 2% everything else

CSR is 3% travel and restaurant and 1% everything else. After I use up my sign up bonus I can see myself not using the CSR again.

Yes, and you can beat this fairly easily playing the points game.  Certainly if you travel and put $$ on CC's.

The cash back above 2% usually capped or restricted - 4% uber isnt cash back (uber credits), Costco is costco credit, the grocery rewards for most cards are capped at $5-6k, etc, etc, etc.

eta - also, to truly play the cash back game you need a separate wallet for all those cards.  The points game can be played well with 2 cards.. or even 1 if the majority of your spend is travel.

Edited by matuski
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Trying to figure out if I should swap my card setup soon. Have been using SPG AmEx for all hotels (for the points multiplier on hotels) and a Chase Sapphire Preferred for everything else. I do really like being able to do things like book high Cat hotels for decent rates...but with the upcoming devaluation from the top going up to 85k a night from 60k, and stuff below likely bumping up in places where value was good, I'm considering just moving everything up to a Chase Sapphire Reserve when the AmEx annual fee comes up.

 

Anyone used CSR and feel good about all redemptions and the earning multipliers?

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15 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

Trying to figure out if I should swap my card setup soon. Have been using SPG AmEx for all hotels (for the points multiplier on hotels) and a Chase Sapphire Preferred for everything else. I do really like being able to do things like book high Cat hotels for decent rates...but with the upcoming devaluation from the top going up to 85k a night from 60k, and stuff below likely bumping up in places where value was good, I'm considering just moving everything up to a Chase Sapphire Reserve when the AmEx annual fee comes up.

 

Anyone used CSR and feel good about all redemptions and the earning multipliers?

I like it but would also get chase freedom unlimited and pair them together.  Great if you are a United flyer as well. See my post above. 

A nice use of chase ultimate rewards is ability to transfer to Hyatt. Not as many hotels but redemption chart is much lower so 1 to 1 transfer is really good. Transfer to Marriott and Hilton are not worth it. 

As a caveat I have a bunch of different cards and I don’t mind the annual fees and they generally pay for themselves but some folks hate them. 

Edited by Redwes25
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53 minutes ago, Redwes25 said:

I like it but would also get chase freedom unlimited and pair them together.  Great if you are a United flyer as well. See my post above. 

A nice use of chase ultimate rewards is ability to transfer to Hyatt. Not as many hotels but redemption chart is much lower so 1 to 1 transfer is really good. Transfer to Marriott and Hilton are not worth it. 

As a caveat I have a bunch of different cards and I don’t mind the annual fees and they generally pay for themselves but some folks hate them. 

Reading your link now :)

I hate United. Will only ever fly them in biz/first, and even then when its the only viable option. But good to know.

Edited by Instinctive
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Just now, Instinctive said:

What does Chase Freedom add?

 

I hate United. Will only ever fly them in biz/first, and even then when its the only viable option. But good to know.

Reserve gets you 3x on travel and dinning.  Chase freedom unlimited gets you 1.5x  on all spend (so you use for everything else).  It is technically a cash card but they give you points and if you have both cards you can transfer those to your Reserve card and use for travel.  Chase freedom unlimited is also a no fee card so no cost to have it.

One other thing about Reserve for travel is you can either transfer to partners (United, Soutwest, Hyatt, etc..) or redeem through the chase travel portal (expedia branded as chase and through chase website).  When you use the travel portal you get 1.5 cents for redemption rate. So this turns your dinning/travel spend into a value of 4.5 cents per dollar and other stuff into 2.25 cents per dollar.  A lot of time transferring to partners can be worth more but you should always compare as travel portal can sometime be more value but travel portal is easy way to use.  Lastly, if you use travel portal for airlines you still earn miles for the flying on the frequent flyer program (unlike when you transfer and redeem with the airline).

There is a third card which is Chase Freedeom.  That card gives 5x points on rotating categories and 1x everything else.  You can do the same stuff with it as I described above but don't think it is worth the hassle to have that as well but others might disagree.  It is also no fee.  

 

Lastly, what airline do you fly most?  

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A lot of people here seem to be sleeping on Amex MR earning cards.  In the last few years as everything has taken a haircut Amex has piled on a lot of category spend that makes MR earning cards super high value.  Furthermore, whether you are travel oriented or cash back oriented MR have value in both directions.

Taking MR to Schwab gives you 1.25CPP making things like the Amex gold cards huge from a pure cash back potential.  (i.e. a 4x MR earning Gold is a 5% dining card and grocery card (Up to 25k in spend on each cat)).  Then, if you find an aspirational transfer partner redemption you can get even more value, or not if you just want the cash.  

UR to me is a bonus proposition only.  Maintain your 5/24 and keep churning the biz and UR earning bonuses.  There are the occasional Freedom category bonuses and things that help, but chasing quarterly bonuses is really a rounding error in the end. 

I am rapidly pulling away from Chase and into Amex for all my organic spend, while continuing to churn other cards thru manufactured spending.  It's still a big hobby, and while the game keeps changing it's still super profitable.  Last year probably got an extra $30k in my pocket.  Shooting for $50k this year.  

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3 minutes ago, culdeus said:

A lot of people here seem to be sleeping on Amex MR earning cards.  In the last few years as everything has taken a haircut Amex has piled on a lot of category spend that makes MR earning cards super high value.  Furthermore, whether you are travel oriented or cash back oriented MR have value in both directions.

Taking MR to Schwab gives you 1.25CPP making things like the Amex gold cards huge from a pure cash back potential.  (i.e. a 4x MR earning Gold is a 5% dining card and grocery card (Up to 25k in spend on each cat)).  Then, if you find an aspirational transfer partner redemption you can get even more value, or not if you just want the cash.  

UR to me is a bonus proposition only.  Maintain your 5/24 and keep churning the biz and UR earning bonuses.  There are the occasional Freedom category bonuses and things that help, but chasing quarterly bonuses is really a rounding error in the end. 

I am rapidly pulling away from Chase and into Amex for all my organic spend, while continuing to churn other cards thru manufactured spending.  It's still a big hobby, and while the game keeps changing it's still super profitable.  Last year probably got an extra $30k in my pocket.  Shooting for $50k this year.  

Agree with this and it is all about what you want to get out of your cards.  Do you want cash back? Travel (so what airlines do you use), etc.  

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Just now, Redwes25 said:

Agree with this and it is all about what you want to get out of your cards.  Do you want cash back? Travel (so what airlines do you use), etc.  

that's why I say flexibility is important.  You can find the crazy open jaw looping transfers with MR, or you can just get straight cash money.  

Same with the others, but you need to be very sensitive to changes in the relative value.  Hotel and airline points are deflationary.  Hoard the flexible points, spend the others.  Cash out the extra.

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1 hour ago, Redwes25 said:

Useful information

 

Lastly, what airline do you fly most?  

I fly American, sometimes SW. I fly a couple times a week for work (consultant), which I tend to force onto AA since I'm often near or between hubs and am Dallas-based. But personal travel plans that need to be flexible get put on SW, as do flights I can put business select and are short hops (e.g. to Hobby or Austin or Midway).

 

I'm also optimizing for "least work possible" right now though. Since I put a work hotel on card every week, I grabbed the SPG end of last year, quickly grabbed the 75k bonus, and now just use for the 6x hotel spend while using CSP on everything else. I only have so much time to do the legwork on amazing redemptions, although I typically have the amazing manufactured spend opportunity of $500-$1k per week on hotels.

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I too am a hoarder and can't get myself to use the points. I have around 100,000 Amex points, roughly $900 cash back with Chase Freedom, and around $250 cash back with Citizens Bank CC. I think I'll eventually use them for a family vacation but just not sure when. I did recently cash in almost $300 in Amazon dollars to get an electronic drum kit for the kids for Christmas. So that was nice to help keep the holiday bills down.

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3 hours ago, Instinctive said:

I fly American, sometimes SW. I fly a couple times a week for work (consultant), which I tend to force onto AA since I'm often near or between hubs and am Dallas-based. But personal travel plans that need to be flexible get put on SW, as do flights I can put business select and are short hops (e.g. to Hobby or Austin or Midway).

 

I'm also optimizing for "least work possible" right now though. Since I put a work hotel on card every week, I grabbed the SPG end of last year, quickly grabbed the 75k bonus, and now just use for the 6x hotel spend while using CSP on everything else. I only have so much time to do the legwork on amazing redemptions, although I typically have the amazing manufactured spend opportunity of $500-$1k per week on hotels.

Chase points can transfer to SW.  There is no flexible point system that transfers to AA though for the life of me I am not sure why Citi hasn't added it to their Thank You cards.  One thing I like about UR points are they are transferable and you get 1.5x for redeeming through their portal so you can always fall back on that.  

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5 hours ago, NajehHejan said:

I too am a hoarder and can't get myself to use the points. I have around 100,000 Amex points, roughly $900 cash back with Chase Freedom, and around $250 cash back with Citizens Bank CC. I think I'll eventually use them for a family vacation but just not sure when. I did recently cash in almost $300 in Amazon dollars to get an electronic drum kit for the kids for Christmas. So that was nice to help keep the holiday bills down.

Just passed over 1M American miles through many Citi cards. Already used up 220K to fly family to Costa Rica in April and 50k for son and I to go to Chicago. It is fun having so many miles and so many places to think about going, but I do feel the need to spend them down. First world problem.

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1 hour ago, ex-ghost said:

Just passed over 1M American miles through many Citi cards. Already used up 220K to fly family to Costa Rica in April and 50k for son and I to go to Chicago. It is fun having so many miles and so many places to think about going, but I do feel the need to spend them down. First world problem.

They spend pretty good on hotels. Usually .8 to 1.1cpp 

They spend shockingly good on rent cars if you need one for any reason.  

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5 hours ago, Redwes25 said:

Chase points can transfer to SW.  There is no flexible point system that transfers to AA though for the life of me I am not sure why Citi hasn't added it to their Thank You cards.  One thing I like about UR points are they are transferable and you get 1.5x for redeeming through their portal so you can always fall back on that.  

AA literally runs their entire company on selling AA miles.  It's their sole source of profit.  

It makes little sense why they don't do transfer partners as that's more revenue for the machine.  

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Attention Marriott / ex-SPG point hoarders.

Book hotels before March 5 if you can. You can always cancel later (check this before I haven’t read all the fine print where they typically screw you, but this is the normal policy). They allow you to book out many months in advance. 

After March 5 many hotels are jumping up a class. Looking at the numbers you will roughly lose a night of points for every 5 nights you book starting March 6 compared to the current classes/rates.

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2 hours ago, The General said:

Attention Marriott / ex-SPG point hoarders.

Book hotels before March 5 if you can. You can always cancel later (check this before I haven’t read all the fine print where they typically screw you, but this is the normal policy). They allow you to book out many months in advance. 

After March 5 many hotels are jumping up a class. Looking at the numbers you will roughly lose a night of points for every 5 nights you book starting March 6 compared to the current classes/rates.

Yeah. SPG points too a massive devalue with this.  I was going to keep some Amex cards for FN but will cancel now.  

Marriott provided me with some insane redemptions in last couple years.  Was unsustainable at the levels they were giving these out.  

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2 hours ago, The General said:

Attention Marriott / ex-SPG point hoarders.

Book hotels before March 5 if you can. You can always cancel later (check this before I haven’t read all the fine print where they typically screw you, but this is the normal policy). They allow you to book out many months in advance. 

After March 5 many hotels are jumping up a class. Looking at the numbers you will roughly lose a night of points for every 5 nights you book starting March 6 compared to the current classes/rates.

@Otis

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30 minutes ago, TripItUp said:

Just another reason to drop the spg card....went from a top 3 card to not worth having.

 

you suck marriott

Yeah, time to move on. The main issue is that they are the only ones with any availability in europe.  Starwood operated a ton of swanky places all over.  Was able to stay in the Gritti Palace on points, which is a >$1500 a night room most of the high season. 

They were getting murdered by people like me that would just SUB a couple cards and stroll in and grab three high season rooms for the cost of some spending.  They really realized quickly by having Amex and Chase as partners they REALLY got obliterated.  I mean you were able at one time to get 3 chase cards and 2 Amex per person, and turn that chase card over every 24 months. 

And those SPG cards were MS friendly and daily driver friendly.  One could argue SPG points were the most valuable reward currency on the planet 2-3 years ago.  

Lesson is things change fast, always be on the move.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

With a new AMEX Gold Delta card, there's a $50 statement for any purchase through Delta.  However, they now exclude gift cards.  I don't have any travel planned where I can use Delta in the next 3 months (when the purchase has to be made).  Any ideas/thoughts on what to spend to get the $50?

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On 2/27/2019 at 9:25 AM, GroveDiesel said:

So I screwed up and didn't get my full spend in before my statement date for a Chase Southwest bonus (during 1st month of spend, have 2 more months to earn). 

Am I able to move my statement date up for my next billing cycle to get those points posted faster?

Actually that will make your problem worse. 

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