Rakuten and AmEx, Capital One, etc Airline Points

jf-08

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Anyone here a guru for travel points like credit card, airline, rental car, hotel etc?

I heard about Rakuten to accrue points through purchasing stuff but as far as managing all the different accounts and points and transferring them to different airlines and stuff like that is anyone savvy at doing that?
 

jbjarko

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I'm pretty savvy with it. What do you need help with?
I've never used Rakuten. I'm mainly an Amex user but have used the Chase Trifecta in the past.
 
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jf-08

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I'm pretty savvy with it. What do you need help with?
I've never used Rakuten. I'm mainly an Amex user but have used the Chase Trifecta in the past.
I heard someone mention travel hacking the other day with credit card points and I guess there is a whole subculture.

My questions are things like:

- When you travel and pay with points, like transferring AmEx MR points to an airline, do you use a website to see what options are available listing all available flights with the Reward Points listed?

- Travel Insurance - do you get separate travel insurance or just use the inherent AmEx travel insurance?

- Rakuten I guess is a site where you do online purchases and it add points onto your rewards. Curious if anyone has any reviews on it
 

jbjarko

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I heard someone mention travel hacking the other day with credit card points and I guess there is a whole subculture.

My questions are things like:

- When you travel and pay with points, like transferring AmEx MR points to an airline, do you use a website to see what options are available listing all available flights with the Reward Points listed?

- Travel Insurance - do you get separate travel insurance or just use the inherent AmEx travel insurance?

- Rakuten I guess is a site where you do online purchases and it add points onto your rewards. Curious if anyone has any reviews on it

It depends on the points. I'm generally a point hoarder, myself, and like to use them for big trips when possible. I pay for hotels/flights out of pocket when I can to accumulate more points. Amex Platinum is 5x points on flights, for instance. I flew back to Phoenix in November and transferred Amex points directly to Delta and used them on Delta's site to book.

It's kind of a balancing act for flights. You can book your flights through Amex travel for instance, but you generally get a better redemption value transferring them to whatever airline you're using. When I'm booking flights with points, I try to be as flexible as I can be with dates and use google flights to find the lowest possible fare. I'll then transfer and book directly through the airline.

If you're looking to travel more internationally and really get bang for your buck on points; https://www.going.com/ is a great site. It'll email cheap flight alerts to all sorts of destinations that are considerably much lower than regular pricing.

You can go deep into this with transferring points to certain airline partnerships and what not.

If I recall you said you were an Amex guy, correct? And I'm guessing you fly AA being at Sky Harbor?
 

jbjarko

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Also, I've always used Amex's travel insurance when booking. I can't say I've ever paid for travel insurance. My fiancé did when she went on a Viking cruise with her aunt, but that all started during the pandemic (she was supposed to go 04/20).
 

jbjarko

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If you don't want to get into a subreddit but want a good website that has tons of great guidelines and reading you can do; head over to www.thepointsguy.com

They also have an app where you can load what cards you have; and let's say you're at Lowes, it'll tell you which of your cards provide the best redemption which is nice when a lot of cards have rotating quarterly promotions.

I used to delve in both Chase Sapphire & the Amex world but Alex really hated having to think about which card I'd want her to use lol. I'm sure I'm losing out on some points here and there because I pretty much exclusively use Amex Cards.
 

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jf-08

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It depends on the points. I'm generally a point hoarder, myself, and like to use them for big trips when possible. I pay for hotels/flights out of pocket when I can to accumulate more points. Amex Platinum is 5x points on flights, for instance. I flew back to Phoenix in November and transferred Amex points directly to Delta and used them on Delta's site to book.

It's kind of a balancing act for flights. You can book your flights through Amex travel for instance, but you generally get a better redemption value transferring them to whatever airline you're using. When I'm booking flights with points, I try to be as flexible as I can be with dates and use google flights to find the lowest possible fare. I'll then transfer and book directly through the airline.

If you're looking to travel more internationally and really get bang for your buck on points; https://www.going.com/ is a great site. It'll email cheap flight alerts to all sorts of destinations that are considerably much lower than regular pricing.

You can go deep into this with transferring points to certain airline partnerships and what not.

If I recall you said you were an Amex guy, correct? And I'm guessing you fly AA being at Sky Harbor?


I am AmEx Platinum and I screwed up because they just eliminated SUB for the Gold and I don't have the Gold yet. And yes, I fly out of PHX.


If you don't want to get into a subreddit but want a good website that has tons of great guidelines and reading you can do; head over to www.thepointsguy.com

They also have an app where you can load what cards you have; and let's say you're at Lowes, it'll tell you which of your cards provide the best redemption which is nice when a lot of cards have rotating quarterly promotions.

I used to delve in both Chase Sapphire & the Amex world but Alex really hated having to think about which card I'd want her to use lol. I'm sure I'm losing out on some points here and there because I pretty much exclusively use Amex Cards.

Thanks for the tips and I just checked and the TPG app is only for iPhone and not Android yet. But it looks like a deep dive into that site.
 

jbjarko

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I am AmEx Platinum and I screwed up because they just eliminated SUB for the Gold and I don't have the Gold yet. And yes, I fly out of PHX.




Thanks for the tips and I just checked and the TPG app is only for iPhone and not Android yet. But it looks like a deep dive into that site.

Ah so you missed out on a welcome bonus. Maybe your SO can sub gold and add you on. Alex is primary on Platinum with me as an auth user, I'm primary on Gold with her as an auth user. I use the Gold WAYYY more than the platinum anymore.
 
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jf-08

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It depends on the points. I'm generally a point hoarder, myself, and like to use them for big trips when possible. I pay for hotels/flights out of pocket when I can to accumulate more points. Amex Platinum is 5x points on flights, for instance. I flew back to Phoenix in November and transferred Amex points directly to Delta and used them on Delta's site to book.

It's kind of a balancing act for flights. You can book your flights through Amex travel for instance, but you generally get a better redemption value transferring them to whatever airline you're using. When I'm booking flights with points, I try to be as flexible as I can be with dates and use google flights to find the lowest possible fare. I'll then transfer and book directly through the airline.

If you're looking to travel more internationally and really get bang for your buck on points; https://www.going.com/ is a great site. It'll email cheap flight alerts to all sorts of destinations that are considerably much lower than regular pricing.

You can go deep into this with transferring points to certain airline partnerships and what not.

If I recall you said you were an Amex guy, correct? And I'm guessing you fly AA being at Sky Harbor?
For the going.com site, can you set the alerts to occur when you already have a preplanned trip or is it in general? In other words, I have definite dates next year when I am going to Budapest in the beginning of May and then Prague-> Amsterdam in June. Or does it just give general, not date specific alerts?
 

jbjarko

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For the going.com site, can you set the alerts to occur when you already have a preplanned trip or is it in general? In other words, I have definite dates next year when I am going to Budapest in the beginning of May and then Prague-> Amsterdam in June. Or does it just give general, not date specific alerts?

It just gives you say, Italy (March-April) 2024 for instance. I would use google flights for what you're wanting to do. You can track prices and it will update you via email when the price changes for your specific date. Or you can track it without specific dates and it will give you an email when say flights from PHX to Budapest are cheap.
 
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It just gives you say, Italy (March-April) 2024 for instance. I would use google flights for what you're wanting to do. You can track prices and it will update you via email when the price changes for your specific date. Or you can track it without specific dates and it will give you an email when say flights from PHX to Budapest are cheap.
Just got an alert from them from PHX to New Zealand in Jan or Feb for $761. Already texted my wife to see if she's interested. Lol!!
 

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I have the Alaska Miles card and the Hilton AmEx. The Hilton is great! I have a week worth of points built up and all my stays have been through work!

I used to be able to get double points on both by charging it to my cards and having them expensed, but now I have to use a corporate card.

The Alaska card is ok. Beside points/miles, the companion program is the best part. Cheap second ticket!
 

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jbjarko

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Hotel cards are great. I have a Bonvoy card that we use when paying for hotels and or food, etc there. Wifey travels a good bit, albeit used to a lot more pre-pandemic. Nice to rack up points and nights stayed via work trips and combine our expenses on the Bonvoy card.

Airline cards are harder to justify, especially if you're using them standalone. I'm debating snagging a Delta Reserve; simply for the companion certificate and status progression. I really don't have a use case for it other than the back end benefits.
 

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I dug in to Amex platinum and the chase sapphire reserve a few years back. Paired with my chase freedom Ive clocked a ton of ultimate rewards points so far. First class to Tokyo is coming in 2025 and I think it might be free.

only thing I wanted but can’t get with the sapphire is the Centurion lounges but I don’t use them that much.
 

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Hotel cards are great. I have a Bonvoy card that we use when paying for hotels and or food, etc there. Wifey travels a good bit, albeit used to a lot more pre-pandemic. Nice to rack up points and nights stayed via work trips and combine our expenses on the Bonvoy card.

Airline cards are harder to justify, especially if you're using them standalone. I'm debating snagging a Delta Reserve; simply for the companion certificate and status progression. I really don't have a use case for it other than the back end benefits.
The companion certificate has been a waste for me on Delta. I wouldn’t do it.
 
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jf-08

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If anyone needs a referral for an Amex Platinum, Amex Business Gold, or any Chase card, let me know.
 

Shane

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I’ve had a SW card for a loooong time and I haven’t payed for a domestic flight in 10 years and that includes booking my kids on multiple flights. I know they don’t have a lot of options for international travel but I love it. Pays for itself many times over.

I get such good deals for international travel through gate1 that I don’t care about the airfare overseas. My son and I just did Milan Italy for 6 nights and the total for both of us with round trip air, Hotel and breakfast every morning was 1400.00

We leave in 17 days for Prague and again total for both 1400.00
 

ASUCHRIS

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I’ve had a SW card for a loooong time and I haven’t payed for a domestic flight in 10 years and that includes booking my kids on multiple flights. I know they don’t have a lot of options for international travel but I love it. Pays for itself many times over.

I get such good deals for international travel through gate1 that I don’t care about the airfare overseas. My son and I just did Milan Italy for 6 nights and the total for both of us with round trip air, Hotel and breakfast every morning was 1400.00

We leave in 17 days for Prague and again total for both 1400.00
Look at you! Savvy little shopper!
 

Shane

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Look at you! Savvy little shopper!
Right lol…. Gate1 has been a game changer for seeing the world. They have these flash deals every Monday and I’m always ready to pounce.
 

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