Credit Card 101The Art of the Sign-Up BonusCategory and Spending BonusesPerks and BenefitsCreating Credit Card SpendMy Three Favorite Transferable Points Programs: Amex,Chase and Starwood
Transferable Cobranded Fixed ValueStrengths: Strengths: Perks, Strengths:Flexibility, mileage and points Reliability and EliteDiversification bonuses MilesWeaknesses: No Weaknesses: Lack Weaknesses: Lackairline/hotel- of flexibility, perks ofspecific perks same as elite aspirational/premi benefits um options
How is it calculated? 35% payment history 30% amounts owed 15% length of credit history 10% new credit 10% types of creditFICO vs. FAKOGet your credit score for free at AnnualCreditReport.com
If you run huge balances, focus on paying them down andputting them on a 0% intro APR card like Chase SlateHave poor creditCannot manage creditAre taking a major loan in the next 6 monthsAlternative - Debit Cards: SunTrust Delta, Bank of AmericaAlaska, PerkStreet Financial Cashback
Tied to personal creditPersonal hard inquiry but once open, business credit line ison different credit reportFewer consumer protectionsLucrative earning opportunitiesApply as sole proprietor with SSN
Thepointsguy.com – Top Deals Page Open your mail! You might be surprised The forums/social media: FlyerTalk, MilePoint Follow me on Twitter: @thepointsguy
Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards whenspend $5,000 in 6 months. $687-$7,000 in value.Southwest Personal and Business: 50,000 Rapid Rewardpoints when spend $2,000 in 3 months. Value: $3,000 for both.Citi American Airlines Cards: 50,000 miles when spend $2,500in 4 months on each – two cards at once. Value: $2,680 for both.Chase British Airways Visa: 50,000 Avios for $1,000 in 3months, 50,000 more when spend $20,000 in a year. Value: $1,600-$2,600.American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum: 50,000Membership Rewards points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.Value: $1,250.
Put every expense possible on your card – as long as you’renot paying fees Charity donations Buy Gift CardsAdvanced: Payment Services like ChargeSmart andWilliamPaid (generally 3%), Amazon Payments $1,000 permonth to another person with no fee
Airfare: Gas: Grocery: Dining: Hilton Citi Hilton Hilton Citi Forward Reserve 5x, Reserve 5x, Amexes 6x, 5x, Chase Premier Premier Premier Sapphire Rewards Rewards 2x, Rewards 2x Preferred Gold 3x, Chase Ink 2x, Chase Chase Bold 2x Hyatt Visa Sapphire 2x Preferred, Airline Co- Branded Cards
In addition to sign-up bonuses, many credit cards offeradditional perks for hitting certain spend thresholds suchas:Bonus Points: American Express Premier RewardsAirline Elite Miles: American Express Delta ReserveHotel Elite Status: Citi Hilton HHonors ReserveCompanion Tickets: Chase British Airways Visa
Keep cards open at least 6 months to avoid red flagsTransfer or use points before closing an accountTo renew or not to renew? Do the math.Example: Chase Hyatt Visa gives you a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel each year – more than makes up for the $75 annual feeWhat it means for your credit when you cancel?Call and ask them to waive annual fee – it never hurts to ask!Don’t cancel, downgrade so you can use as bargaining tool forfuture cardsKeep a couple no-fee cards around. Best: Chase Freedom
Pros: 16 airline partners 4 hotel partners Transfer bonuses – Delta, British Airways, Virgin America Transfers post instantaneously (mostly) Has added some partners like British Airways, Virgin America (bad ratio)Cons: Losing transfer partners – Continental, Southwest, Airtran, Priority Club 6/100 cents per point for transfers to US airlines Earning portal shut down Pay With Points Dropping to 1 cent on all cards, except Business Platinum
Star Alliance OneWorld• Aeroplan 1:1 • British Airways 1:1• All Nippon Airways 1:1 • Iberia 1:1• Singapore Airlines 1:1 • Asia Miles 1:1 Airline Transfer PartnersSkyteam Other• Aeromexico 1:1 • El Al 50:1 JetBlue 1.25:1• Alitalia Airlines 1:1 • Frontier 1:1 Virgin America 2:1• Delta 1:1 • Hawaiian 1:1 Virgin Atlantic 1:1• Air France/KLM 1:1
• Positives: Instant transfers, transfer bonuses, some great values from distance-based awards, no last-minute booking feesBritish • Negatives: High fuel surcharges,Airways segment pricing on awards, hard to search for some awards • Good awards: Expensive short- and mid-haul flights. Ex: New York to Toronto
• Best Western 1:1 • Choice Privileges 1:1Hotel Transfer • Hilton HHonors 1:1.5 Partners • Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts 23:1 • Starwood 3:1 Tip: Transfer points to Virgin Atlantic at 1:1 and then Virgin Atlantic to Hilton at 2:1- better than the standard direct transfer ratio of 1: 1.5
Earn 1 point per dollar spent (Premier Rewards is 3x on airfareand 2x on gas & groceries, 4x per dollar with Amex Travel)Points go into pending status for a month after statement close(can be expedited)Cannot combine Membership Rewards pointsTransfer to anyone! - Link (not enroll!) their account to your account membershiprewards.com -> Points Summary -> Bottom right - Advance points for free, just earn them back - Up to 60,000 for Platinum - 15,000 for most other cards (not corporate) - Buy points at 2.5 cents each, up to 500,000 a year!
Pay With PointsEasy, but fixed value: 1 cent (1.25 for Business Platinum) - A $5,000 business class ticket would require 500,000 points! - Could be an okay decision for cheap domestic ticketsEarns elite status just like a purchased ticket
Pros: Adding partners Most transfers instantaneous No transfer fees Transfer points to anyone else, combine points with anyone else Points post right after statement closes Good customer serviceCons: Limited number of partners No transfer bonuses yet
• British Airways 1:1 • Korean Air 1:1Airline • Southwest 1:1 • United 1:1 • Hyatt 1:1 • Priority Club 1:1Hotel • Marriott 1:1 • The Ritz Carlton 1:1Other • Amtrak 1:1
• Positives: Low points requirements for free nights, great elite perks • Negatives: Just over 400 properties worldwideHyatt • Good awards: Top-tier redemptions for 22,000 points like Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, only 6,000 points to upgrade paid stays for up to 4 nights
Pay With Points:1.25 cents per point in travel (Sapphire Preferred & InkBold), 1 cent for FreedomTransfer to anyone: ultimaterewards.com -> ManageUltimate Rewards -> Combine Points -> Transfer To Other-> Enter credit card number and last nameChase Experiences
Pros: Over 1,100 properties Cash & Points Reward stays count toward elite status 30 airline partners 5,000 point bonus on transfers of 20,000 pointsCons: Member can only transfer to own accounts No other transfer bonuses Posting times vary greatly No shopping portal
Airline Transfer Partners OtherAeroplan 1:1 British Airways 1:1 LAN 1:2 Amtrak 1:1Air Berlin 1:1 China Eastern 1:1 Mexicana Frecuenta 1:1Air China 1:1 China Southern 1:1 Miles and More 1:1Air New Zealand 65:1 Delta 1:1 Qatar Airways 1:1Alaska Airlines 1:1 Emirates 1:1 Saudi Arabian 1:1Alitalia 1:1 Etihad Airways 1:1 Singapore Airlines 1:1ANA 1:1 Flying Blue 1:1 Thai Airways 1:1American Airlines 1:1 Hawaiian 1:1 US Airways 1:1Asia Miles 1:1 Japan Airlines 1:1 United Mileage Plus 2:1Asiana Airlines 1:1 King Club 1:1 VARIG Smiles 2:1 Virgin Atlantic 1:1
Airline Transfer Time In DaysDelta 1Aeroplan 3Air Berlin 4ANA 4Virgin Atlantic 6American Airlines 8US Airways 8Alaska Airlines 8British Airways 9LAN 9United 11Asia Miles 15Asiana N/AFlying Blue N/A
• Positives: Low fees, one-way awards, free stopovers in your destination • Negatives: Ticketing fees, no international stopovers • Good awards: 40,000 Off Peak awards toAmerican Europe October 15-April 15; Cathay Pacific First Class North America-Asia for 67,500 • Alaska: 115,000 SPG Points = Cathay Pacific First roundtrip to Asia for 140,000 miles roundtrip. Other partners: Icelandair, Emirates
Your credit score is an asset. It is critical and you can leverage itto earn hundreds of thousands of points and miles a yearThink long-term: It’s not just about sign-up miles and points –perks, status, bonusesHop on deals when they come – they don’t last longDon’t bite off more than you can chewAlways set auto-payments – make sure you don’t miss a paymentStrategize Your Spend
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