Finding a Points Strategy: Part 3

So far in this series, I came up with a first draft of a points strategy for when I get back to the States, then dug in further (in part 2) to conclude I think I can do even better. This is my second take at finding a points strategy.

Points Strategy Draft #2

I started to read more about the Chase Ink Preferred Business credit card. I am really impressed by the benefits this card offers. It offers 3x points on travel and only has a $95 annual fee. It’s also a premium Chase card that would allow me to transfer points to other loyalty programs. That is important to me because having that card would allow me to downgrade my Chase Ink Plus card (currently my only premium Chase credit card) to a Chase Ink Cash credit card (a non-premium credit card that does not let me transfer points to partners) and still be able to transfer UR points to other loyalty programs.

The only reason I would want to keep the Chase Ink Plus is if I planned to spend between $25,000 and $50,000 on office supplies and telecommunication services within a year. The Chase Ink Cash credit card also offers 5x points in this category, but caps the amount at $25,000. I do not plan on spending over $25,000 in those categories. A benefit the Chase Ink Cash credit card has over the Chase Ink Plus credit card is that it offers 2x points at restaurants.

The Business Platinum card is still going to remain the centerpiece to my strategy. The only change I’ll make to my MR earning abilities is dropping the Premier Rewards Gold card completely.

Airfare

Cash Tickets

If I don’t want to use points to pay for a flight, I’ll use my Amex Business Platinum credit card to book flights through AmexTravel and get 5x MR points on my purchases. Using the 2 cent per MR point valuation, that gives me a 10% discount on airfare!

Award Tickets

Since it’s not possible to book award tickets on AmexTravel, I’ll use my Chase Ink Preferred credit card to pay any taxes/fees on award tickets and on tickets I cannot book on AmexTravel. This will get me 3x UR points.

Other Travel Expenses (Excluding Gas)

1.) Chase Ink Preferred

In September, I will finally have less than 5 new credit card accounts in the past 24 months. That means I’ll be eligible to apply for a Chase card. I’ll try to pick up the Chase Ink Preferred credit card. The sign up bonus is a whopping 80,000 points! The card offers 3x UR points on travel expenses.

2.) Citi Premier

If I decide against the Ink Preferred card, I will keep my Citi Premier and use that for 3x TY points on travel expenses.

Gas

1.) Amex Everyday Preferred

I am going to apply for the Amex Everyday Preferred credit card. This is the card I am most excited about getting. It offers 2x points on gas, but if you make at least 30 transactions in a billing cycle, you get a 50% bonus on points. I will make sure that happens. That makes this card earn 3x MR points at gas stations. Using the 2 cent per MR point valuation the Business Platinum card gives, that gives me a 6% discount on gas.

1.)* Chase Freedom

If the Chase Freedom credit card has a quarter that is giving 5x UR points on Gas, I would switch my spend to the Freedom for that quarter.

Groceries

1.) Amex Everyday Preferred

The Everyday Preferred card also offers 3x MR points at grocery stores (up to $6000 per year). With the 50% bonus after making 30 transactions in a billing cycle, that makes the card earn 4.5x MR points at grocery stores. Using the 2 cent per MR point valuation the Business Platinum card gives, that gives me a 9% discount on groceries!

1.)* Chase Freedom

If the Chase Freedom card has a quarter that is giving 5x UR points on Groceries, I would switch my spend to the Freedom for that quarter.

Restaurants

1.) Chase Ink Cash

The Chase Ink Cash gives 2x UR points on dining.

1.)* Chase Freedom

If the Chase Freedom card has a quarter that is giving 5x UR points on restaurants, I would switch my spend to the Freedom for that quarter.

Amazon

Yes, I am giving Amazon its own category. I spend a decent chunk of money at Amazon every year. I will use my Chase Ink Cash credit card to buy Amazon Gift cards at office supply stores to get 5x UR points.

If the Chase Freedom credit card has a quarter that is giving 5x UR points on Amazon, I would switch my spend to the Freedom for that quarter so I wouldn’t need to go through the hassle of buying gift cards.

Telecommunication

I’m lumping internet, cell service, and TV service (recently signed up for DirecTV now) into this category. My Chase Ink Cash credit card gives me 5x UR points in all of these categories.

Other Spend

This category is anywhere that is not a bonus category on a card that I have. For this spend, I’ll use the Everyday Preferred credit card. It gives me 1x MR point everywhere, but if I use it to make 30 transactions in a billing cycle, it will give me 1.5x MR points on all purchases. Using the 2 cent per MR point valuation the Business Platinum credit card gives, that gives me a 3% discount on everyday spend.

Conclusion

I think I’ll come out further ahead with this strategy than I did with my first strategy. Overall, I think I’ll be earning less points, but on the plus side, I’ll be paying much less in annual fees.

Stay tuned for part 4 of this series to see how well this strategy does!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge