“What’s In My Wallet?” is a monthly series on the cards I have in my card rotation for the month. The cards vary depending on if I open a new card or if I’m trying to optimize for 5x categories.
For Q1 2019 (Jan-March), the Chase Freedom earns 5x points on gas stations, tolls, and drug stores.
My plan to maximize the quarter is to buy merchant-branded gift cards from drug stores like hotels.com and amazon.com gift cards.
Remember to activate the quarter to receive 5x on the select categories.
If you’re trying to optimize for value, pool the UR points from the Chase Freedom to a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred and transfer them to Hyatt.
Freedom 5x Math:
$1,500/quarter * 5x = 7,500 Chase Ultimate Reward (UR)
7,500 Chase UR = 7,500 Hyatt
7,500 Hyatt can usually yield:
a) $150 in value (2 cents per point)
b) $225 in value (3 cents per point)
List of Category 1 Hyatt properties for 5,000 points/night: hyatt.com/en-US/explore-hotels?regionGroup=0-All&categories=1
Cents Per Point (CPP) = [$ cost] / [points cost]
Places I’ve used it at / would consider (random dates):
a) Hyatt Place Phoenix/Chandler-Fashion Center = $142 / 5,000 = 2.8 CPP
b) Hyatt House Colorado Springs = $197 / 5,000 = 3.9 CPP
c) Hyatt Regency Bali = $175 / 5,000 = 3.5 CPP
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
The Hilton Ascend card is in my wallet because I’m using it for upcoming rent and tax payments. One of the benefits is that you can earn a free weekend night each $15,000 you put on the card.
My plan is to redeem the free weekend night at the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives that opens in Summer 2019. The property retails for $2,000/night or 120,000 points/night.
$15,000 spend (calendar year) = free weekend night
$15,000 * Plastiq 2.5% in fees = $375 in fees
$375 for a $2,000+ / night room
Try Plastiq and get $500 in fee-free payments after you spend $500 (referral link): http://bit.ly/asksebbyplastiq
American Express® Gold Card
The Amex Gold card is my go-to for grocery shopping at stores like Trader Joe’s and Safeway. It earns 4x points at U.S. supermarkets.
The Citi Prestige was recently revamped and relaunched at the end of January 2019.
5x points on restaurants
5x points on air travel
3x points on cruise lines
3x points on hotels
2x on entertainment (through 8/31/19)
Since the card earns 5x on dining, which is the highest out of all my cards, it’s now my default for when I pay at restaurants.
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