As you may have read, we had a blowout trip through the American Southwest in 2017. For us, a fifteen night trip is an amazingly long time to be away from home. We could have stayed at the same hotel chain properties and worked our way towards some low level of status. However, it was much better for us to pick the best hotel for us in each location and use the most sensible form of payment, be it paying cash or using points. The same thing went for the flights, which were booked with a combination of cash and airline miles.
This was possible because I had a stash of points in several hotel programs as well as had transferrable credit card points. Some of the rooms I paid for because the hotels either weren’t part of any point program or there was a promotion that made paying with cash a much better value than using points.
It’s not often that I get excited about a flight. Remember, I’m the person who proudly wrote how we’re over flying in business class “just because we can.” However when all of the puzzle pieces fell into place and allowed me to book a flight I had my eyes set on for forever, I had to pull the trigger.
Under the new Singapore Airlines chart, a flight from the East Coast to Europe costs 72,000 KrisFlyer Miles at the Saver level and 85,000 miles at the Advantage level. If I was willing to pay 72,000 miles for a ticket, what’s an extra 13,000 miles a ticket, really?
If I have to choose what type to points to earn for purchases, transferrable points currencies will always be at the top of the list. Chase Ultimate Rewards, a form of transferable points, is always an account I need to replenish. Next to signing up for new credit cards for bonuses, earning points for everyday spending is the best way for us to earn points. One of our biggest monthly expenses is our internet and cell phone bill and by having this card, I can earn 5x points on both of those in my sleep.
I’m dating myself here but originally, we didn’t have this card. Back in the day, Sharon applied for the Chase Ink Business Bold card. Back then, the Bold was a charge card and you needed to pay the balance in full every month. Chase eventually turned it into a credit card and stopped new signups since it was exactly the same as the Chase Ink Plus. You can add the Ink Bold to the list of discontinued credit cards that we’ve owned.
We kept the card for a while after it was phased out and eventually decided to downgrade to the Chase Ink Cash card instead of having to continue paying the annual fee to keep the Ink Bold.
I think it was the right decision, as the Ink Cash keeps all the benefits of its predecessor but doesn’t charge an annual fee. At the time, the Ink Cash card didn’t pay a sign-up bonus but now that it does, it makes more sense than ever to sign up for it.
In May of 2018, I wrote an article that told everyone to pool their Chase accounts into whichever one was the most valuable because the ability to do so might be going away. It was a big story for like a week and there was plenty of hand wringing and mumbling (Sharon: “Was this all happening in the points and miles blogger world?” Joe: “Yes.” Sharon: “Oh, OK. Cuz I don’t remember wringing my hands and mumbling but I don’t do the points and miles thing, so that make sense now.”) but eventually, nothing happened. Everyone moved along to the next crisis and the issue was pretty much forgotten with no new news. And when it comes to points and miles, Gary Gnu taught me growing up that no gnews is good gnews.
The Great Space Coaster, but I digress. Back to the topic, combining Chase Ultimate Rewards.
JPMorgan executives debated whether to stop letting cardholders pool together points from multiple cards, according to people familiar with the matter. JPMorgan’s [spokeswoman Mary Jane] Rogers said the bank has no current plans to stop cardholders from pooling points.
Like he says, this is no guarantee they won’t change their minds about this but I guess it’s still more of a positive than a negative for them, both from financial and publicity standpoints.
So why do I think it’s wise for you to combine your points into a single account?
When booking our upcoming, spontaneous (for us) trip to London, I needed to top up our Delta SkyMiles balances to have enough miles in our accounts for the tickets. One of the reasons I like to earn flexible miles is the ability to transfer them where and when I need them. Since American Express is the only one of the three main flexible currencies that partners with Delta, I went to the Membership Rewards website to transfer 30,000 points from Sharon’s AMEX account to Delta.
After having to verify information from the card, I was reminded of the hidden fee American Express adds if you want to transfer points to a U.S.-based airline.