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November 03, 2011


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I got this card a couple months back and am very pleased. The booking engine for flights seems to mirror Orbitz, so the prices are exactly as I'd get elsewhere. When you go to book your reward travel, it tells you in bold that you have X amount of points that is worth X amount of dollars. VERY EASY. It's 2% points on travel and dining purchases and the lack of a foreign transaction fee was important because we're taking a big trip this year. Basically, if you only spend on those items it works out to 2% cash back or 2.5% on travel when it comes to redemption, so if you don't travel it's still not a bad deal.

Oh, and I should note that you don't have to spend in 25k point increments or anything like that. If you're booking a $300 ticket and you only have 1,000 points in your account, you can use your points for $25 off your ticket. If you have 1,378 points, it's $34.45 off your ticket. None of that nonsense about needing a certain number of points to redeem or weird blackout stuff.

That being said, it doesn't have that 'upside' your guest writer spoke about, because it converts the points to cash for the discount.

I also signed up for this card, so I'm looking forward to hearing your experience! I'm planning to use it to cover flights for two trips next year.

So does it make sense to open the card, charge and then of course pay off enough to get the 50,000 bonus points and then close the account as soon as the rewards are redeemed? Is there a downside to opening and closing a credit card like this to avoid the annual fee after the first year?

kfd --

I'm going to find out. ;-)

Seriously, there doesn't seem to be much (if any) impact to a credit score by opening a new account. I wrote about that here:

But closing it can have a temporary "ding" (I believe.) As I said, I'll find out. Then again, my score is high enough and I don't need to borrow money, so I should be fine.

Ahh... the best travel related card out there. The flexibility between Continental, British Airways, Korean, Hyatt, Priority Club, and Marriott is KILLER! It's my #1 card. Enjoy!

Our son is going to college and the college has a rate agreement with Best Western. It is our preferred place to stay seeing that it is close, very nice hotel and the rate is competitive. We have a points based CC for Best western. The ONLY reason we have it is because we get extra points when we pay the hotel bill with the BW CC along with the points we get at each stay. They also run promotions like stay x amount of nights and get a free stay. So far in the 9 months we have been doing this we have gotten 2 nights stays one with earned points and the other with promotions and we are close to our third with points. Of course we have really worked the system to the best that we can. All I can say is it is work. Is it worth it? Hard to say. We could stay at cheaper hotels on vacations but since this WMU rate is a good rate and a really nice hotel we thought we would try this points based system. We need to stay somewhere when we go to see him so might as well get something for it.

Like you, I prefer cash back rewards that points and mileage. I can immediately "feel" the reward with cash back whereas with points rewards, I feel like I have to spend thousands of $$$ before I get the number of points I need to get the reward I want.

That Ultimate Rewards points will transfer to a number of different airlines and hotels. The value is often even more than the $500 or $625 value you get by using points for travel with Chase.

Leave the card open until it comes time to pay the fee in a year. If they'll waive it or credit your account just keep using it and enoy the benefits. This is one of the main cards I use when I'm not chasing the big sign up bonuses available on other cards.

I got this cars for the bonus and it was great. Here flights we got were competitively priced. The credit card is actually the same rewards platform as the chase freedom card so I think you can use your chase freedom card points for the same travel booking bonus

I'm the same as you, I prefer cash back simply because of the flexiblity that you have with it, versus being piegonholed into spending your rewards on one thing. That being said, if it's something you definitely plan to do, I suppose there's no harm in it.

Don't forget, you can also use those Sapphire Preferred points as airline miles on United or Continental. That may actually give you more value than redeeming them directly from Chase, especially if the flight you want costs $400 or more. A free U.S. flight is only 25,000 points when you redeem via United miles.

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