This week’s “reader feedback” segment leads to a fun experiment for our sound engineer and statistical analyst before we move on to discuss that controversial Chase post and why we published it. Then it’s a long chat about managing your credit card portfolio: opening new cards is the easy part, but deciding which ones to keep (or perhaps which ones to open as intermediaries to get to the cards you want) can present some more challenge. Those topics and more in this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air.
FM on the Air Podcast
For those who would rather listen during the morning commute or while you’re working, the audio of our weekly broadcast is also available for download as a podcast on all of your favorite services:
You’ll also find us on Spotify and hopefully your other favorite platforms. If you’re not finding the podcast via your favorite source of good podcasts, send us a message and let us know what you’d like us to add.
On to our weekend recap of the week’s top stories:
While we discussed this post before publishing it, I don’t think either of us expected it to be a controversial post. Obviously, it touched a nerve with some (we speculate as to why in the weekly broadcast/podcast above). That said, we find it important to report when we’re aware of better public offers and equally important to note the possible risk involved in following links blindly. I thought that the most important part of this post was the comment from Doctor of Credit demonstrating how easily the links could be manipulated as that was the red flag that put me off from applying. That said, we eventually covered the codes in response to one reader who made the point that they weren’t a necessary component of the post.
In portfolio analysis
Greg is off his rocker again: I think he’s out of his mind to dump his Prestige card. First, I know from previous posts that he’s mentioned dining being a significant spend category for him. Giving up 5x ThankYou points, particularly in the era of 7.5K Miles & Smiles awards (or indeed some of the other sweet spots I highlighted in this post) is a questionable move in my opinion. Further, the idea to buy airline gift cards for 5x and then pay part of the flight in cash via the CSR seems like a terrific idea that I think is worth the trouble if the trouble is a matter of going to the airline site and clicking “gift card” and “buy now”. Don’t get me wrong, the increased fee and massacre of card benefits are huge drawbacks, but I just can’t see dumping the Prestige yet. I’d have taken the third retention offer and knocked it out at Simon.
Greg will tell you that the Sapphire Reserve is the single best travel rewards card on the market, but I’ll tell you he’s wrong. It is neither the most rewarding card in any of its bonus categories nor does it stand out any longer since many of its benefits are replicated by other cards. A signature benefit is the ability to redeem points at 1.5c each through the Chase travel portal, but in this post I explain why I think that’s an overblown benefit. I have a long time before the next fee is due, but I think I’ll be dumping the CSR by the time the next fee rolls around.
File this under strange, but true; there are many credit cards out there that you can’t get for one reason or or another via traditional methods, but don’t give up! This post shows how you can sometimes get a card you don’t intend to keep long-term so you can later get your hands on that keeper you’ve had your eye on. If you missed this post when it came out and you’re someone who isn’t sure how you’d go about getting a Ritz card today or possibly add a second Freedom card to the rotation, you’ll want to read this post.
In managing your points
Citi offers the least customer-friendly transferable currency program when it comes to how to keep your points alive. The short version of the story is that it is more difficult than with other programs. See this post for everything you need to know — which is a lot when it comes to keeping ThankYou points alive.
As someone who typically flies out of New York City to get to Europe, I often find myself on the fence about using miles to get there: fares form New York can be quite cheap and the distance is such that I’m not generally inclined to want to spend a huge number on a transatlantic flight. Thankfully, I don’t necessarily have to. This post lays out options to fly in business class from just 34K miles, which certainly makes the value proposition more interesting to me.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.