My Credit Card Swiping Strategy for the Next Two Weeks.
I’ve reached the credit card sweet spot in between app parties. My last app-party was two months ago, and I have completed all the minimum spending requirements on my rewards credit cards.
My wife’s app party is later this week, but we probably won’t have her new cards in hand for a couple weeks. Which means I have a couple of weeks before I’m back in meeting minimum spend mode.
What cards am I pulling out of my wallet?
Well, I’m burning through some serious Ultimate Rewards points for a first class Euro trip in Sept. and first class Singapore/Thailand trip in Jan. (thank you, epic Singapore Airlines glitch). Lets just say I haven’t seen my Ultimate Rewards and United balances this low in a long time. But this is why I earn points and miles – to go on legendary trips that I would never be able to go on otherwise.
Needless to say, I’m looking to start rebuilding my Ultimate Rewards balances asap. So how can I take advantage of my Ink Bold and Sapphire Preferred cards?
My Sapphire Preferred (still the single best rewards card) gives me 2x on dining and travel, so any eating out, beers, or travel (hotel, flights) will be going on my Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Preferred also gives me a 7% annual dividend on all miles earned (even sign-up bonuses).
The Ink Bold (3 Reasons to Lust After the Ink Bold) gives me some real opportunity to add points back into my Ultimate Rewards account too. I run all my internet, phone services, and satellite bills through my Ink Bold (even when I’m meeting other spends) because I receive 5x points per $1! These are expenses I am paying anyway, so earning a 5x bonus is a-w-e-s-0-m-e. And if you have a business that has major expenses, you can really rack up the points.
I also use my Ink Bold for gas because it nets me 2x points per $1. Gas is expensive, man. Knowing I’m getting 2x points helps ease the pain a little bit.
But here comes my favorite perk of the Ink Bold. You can get Visa gift cards in $500 increments at Office Depot. And you will earn 5x points per $1, because the purchase is coded as office supplies. The gamer in me likes that. I can now use those gift cards for everyday purchases. I wouldn’t do over $2,000 in a month, and I would definitely make other purchases on your Ink Bold as well. Also, since the Ink Bold is a charge card, you must pay off the balance at the end of every month (you should be doing that anyway).
[Another great option is the Chase Freedom® Visa. I don't currently hold the Freedom, but it's on my radar (as all Chase cards are). The Freedom has rotating quarterly bonuses of 5x per $1. And for quarter 3, you will earn 5x points at gas stations and restaurants. Pretty Killer. The Freedom usually has a smaller sign-up bonus, but it's a great entry card for people with limited credit and for students.]
So this is my credit card strategy for the next couple of weeks, before I have new cards to meet new minimum spends on. I do usually rotate a couple other Chase cards into the mix to show activity for good measure. I will also use my Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card some too. Amex runs daily promotions, so it’s good to have an Amex handy.
If I’m staying at a Hyatt property or flying United or American Airlines, I will use that specific card if the bonus is better than the 2x points I get with the Sapphire Preferred for travel.
Time to rebuild those balances!
— Noob Master