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Credit cards like Amex, rewards points, anyone take advantage of that?

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Does anyone have an American Express card or something similar that offers reward points for travelling, plane trips, hotel rooms, rentals, etc? I'm looking into getting a card like that and paying any bill possible with it. I'm saving money to do some travelling.

Is it worth the annual fee of $95 a year? Are there similar cards that offer similar benefits that don't have annual fees?

Thoughts?
 

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RedPill

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Rewarding people for accruing debt is like rewarding your girlfriend when she's pissed off... which is like rewarding your dog for sh1tting on the carpet, or so the phrase goes around here.

Don't pay an annual fee on top of it.
 

Francisco d'Anconia

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RedPill said:
Rewarding people for accruing debt is like rewarding your girlfriend when she's pissed off... which is like rewarding your dog for sh1tting on the carpet, or so the phrase goes around here.

Don't pay an annual fee on top of it.
I don't know. I have a card which gives you airline miles for it's use so I charge things that I would normally write a check for like a car note or a mortgage. Instead of sending the check to them I send it to the credit card company. Here's what that does:
  • Car note gets paid
  • Mortgage gets paid
  • Credit card company gets paid
  • I'm not charged credit card interest since I pay the balance in full
  • The credit card company gives me airline miles for every dollar I charge (between 25 and 30 thousand miles a year)
  • My credit rating goes up because I pay my balance off each month
  • I can use my airline miles to travel for free
I don't have to pay a fee for my card but I think it would be worth $95 a year.
 

RedPill

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Francisco d'Anconia said:
I don't have to pay a fee for my card but I think it would be worth $95 a year.
While there can be positive benefits to taking advantage of the rewards programs, my distaste of such programs is purely a matter of personal preference - I'm very anti-debt and anti-administrative burden. That being said, if it works for you or anyone else, definitely keep using it. The fact you use your card purely as a transactional instrument separates you from the majority.

The thing I dislike the most about the rewards programs is it positively reinforces poor financial habits amongst the majority of people who use them, and that ultimately leads to a less healthy society.
 
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Throttle

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reward cards are useless if you don't pay off your balance every month in full.

for my habits, a straight cashback card is best. i'm using a citi mc that i'm happy enough with, and there are others that do the same thing. make sure you do the math before signing up for a card with a fee-- $100 is a steep price for the privilege of earning airline miles that most people psychologically over-value.
 

Oxide

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The credit card company gives me airline miles for every dollar I charge (between 25 and 30 thousand miles a year)
how many miles do you need for a ticket from here to london or berlin?
 

OzyBoy

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I take part in absolutely none of the promotions whatsoever that the banks run and i believe i am better off too. I may miss out on some crappy prize or some discount off something I don't want but oh well i will live. :D
 

Francisco d'Anconia

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Oxide said:
how many miles do you need for a ticket from here to london or berlin?
About 7000 round trip to London (Heathrow). I haven't flown into Berlin. I usually fly to the Europe twice a year and then do a few weekend jaunts around the states so the miles come in handy.
 

Oxide

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That isn't bad at all!! I figured the number would be crazy like 100k. So you essentially spend $7k for a $1000 plane ticket. That's not bad at all. Wait, we are talking round trip, right? ;)
 
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Francisco d'Anconia

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Oxide said:
That isn't bad at all!! I figured the number would be crazy like 100k. So you essentially spend $7k for a $1000 plane ticket. That's not bad at all. Wait, we are talking round trip, right? ;)
Nope, not bad at all for a round trip ticket. Don't forget all the short jaunts you can take either. For less than $1000 you can get a round trip ticket to Chicago from Minneapolis. Talk about being able to try your A-Game in another environment! :up:
 

Francisco d'Anconia

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Oxide said:
How about $9 for the same thing

check it out dude -

www.megabus.com

i am going to hit up detroit for $15 total.
Can't beat the price even if I drove myself but c'mon, 7+ hours to get from Minneapolis to Chicago??? I can barely stand being on a plane for that long!

BTW, why are going to Detroit of all places? :p
 

Oxide

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Really want to get shot ;)


i'm going to a friend's place he lives around there..then we are thinking hitting up montreal for a techno parage end of may.. we will see, with the job i just got i don't even know if this is feasible, but i would love to.
 

Throttle

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Oxide said:
How about $9 for the same thing

check it out dude -

www.megabus.com

i am going to hit up detroit for $15 total.
megabus is definitely cheap, but think of the opportunity costs. basically, you're saying your time is worth less than (airplane ticket - bus ticket) / # (hours on bus - hours it takes to fly [including getting to the airport, etc.])

by my calculation, one way that's appx. ($120-15)/(16 - 3) = $8.08/hr.

say it's $10/hr. so your time is worth less than that?
 
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Docs

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If I fly out of my city (round trip), it's $650.
Drive to Toronto (parking included), it's $350.

I'm a 'normal (being not retarded)' 2 days drive.
 

Oxide

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where did you find a plane ticket for $120?
 

Throttle

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$220 roundtrip, actually, on Northwest. i assumed you're headed home at some point.
 

Oxide

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not if I get shot..it is Detroit.

that's pretty cheap actually. can you find me some cheap tickets to finalnd since you are so good at this? :)
 
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