Credit Cards

What's your credit card rewards goal?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 3rd, 2019 5:29 pm
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Poll: What's your CC Goal for Earn/Save Annually?

  • Total votes: 45. You have voted on this poll.
<$500
 
4
9%
$500-999
 
9
20%
$1-2k
 
11
24%
$2-3k
 
8
18%
$3-4k
 
2
4%
$4-5k
 
2
4%
$5-7.5k
 
0
0%
$7.5-10k
 
0
0%
>$10k
 
9
20%
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What's your credit card rewards goal?

We each decide how many cards we want, how many cards we churn etc. Here we can discuss our goals on how much we earn or save with credit cards. Please vote in the poll based on the following:
  1. travel pts okay, but rate based on redeeming value. If you get Xcpp in a given travel rewards currency, rate based on how much money you were able to knock off what would otherwise be "cash fare"
  2. Deduct any fees paid in annual/monthly fees from rewards. Skip if you dodged AF's via FYF
  3. Only add "other features" such as lounge passes, travel medical or roadside assistance IF you actually used it or made a claim. Excluding extended warranty, we'll assume that as a baseline since it'd be included in many cards, including a fair number of no-AF cards
  4. Balance transfer offers...don't count "what you saved by not paying 20% interest". Only count your profits after BT fees/promo interest if stuffing savings accounts or leveraging into investments. Saving $1k/yr in not paying 20% interest won't count for the sake of this poll since we'll set as baseline the ability to pay one's statement balance in full each month

Lastly, please comment on whether you're meeting your goal, exceeding, or by how much you're falling short.
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more than 10K? that's only if one puts their entire business spending on credit cards lol
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hotsince83 wrote: more than 10K? that's only if one puts their entire business spending on credit cards lol
Depends. Constant churning combined with manufactured spend (or substantial organic spend) will get you there. Also consider the time invested to reach that.

Each person is different. Some RFDers still won't churn cards and will only use no-AF cards (look at the Tang/Rogers fan bases). @Kiraly did the math, even not churning but with enough spend, AF is justifiable in exchange for higher earn rates.
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hotsince83 wrote: more than 10K? that's only if one puts their entire business spending on credit cards lol
Actually my target redemption is more than 10k, closer to 20k actually. Saving towards 160,000 Aeroplan before 2020 so I can use it for a "mini RTW" in business class, which would be around 10-12 CPP. Currently sitting with 72k MR, planning to stack some welcome bonus to get there by the end of 2019.
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10K is easy if you know how to play in Aeroplan and Marriott.
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💳 Credit card combo (2.5 - 10% return): AmEx + Scotiabank + CIBC
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EdisonL299 wrote: 10K is easy if you know how to play in Aeroplan and Marriott.
Even with the Bonvoy devaluation we got this year?...

Also, I am not too hopeful about 2020 Aeroplan! #GoodByeClassicReward Face With Tears Of Joy
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thefusio15 wrote:
Actually my target redemption is more than 10k, closer to 20k actually. Saving towards 160,000 Aeroplan before 2020 so I can use it for a "mini RTW" in business class, which would be around 10-12 CPP. Currently sitting with 72k MR, planning to stack some welcome bonus to get there by the end of 2019.
+1
EdisonL299 wrote: 10K is easy if you know how to play in Aeroplan and Marriott.
+1

I didn't break down the poll beyond $10k since I figured that'd dilute the votes.
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My goal this year was $250 - I know I'm a small fry, lol. However, I'm well on my way to exceed $350 this year and approaching $400, so I'm happy! Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
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thefusio15 wrote: Actually my target redemption is more than 10k, closer to 20k actually. Saving towards 160,000 Aeroplan before 2020 so I can use it for a "mini RTW" in business class, which would be around 10-12 CPP. Currently sitting with 72k MR, planning to stack some welcome bonus to get there by the end of 2019.
And does that happen for you every year? 'cause the question is about an annual (average I guess?) net value if I got it right.
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hotsince83 wrote: And does that happen for you every year? 'cause the question is about an annual (average I guess?) net value if I got it right.
I didn't notice the annual mention in the poll, assumed the question was more of a general goal! Though it doesn't real change "much" for me.

Well, 160k is more a two year goal, but even then it would still put me over 10k, depending which cards I stack. Plus, if I add the 100-150$ I make per year on the Rogers WE, I think I am safely in the 10k.
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titaniumtux wrote: [*]travel pts okay, but rate based on redeeming value. If you get Xcpp in a given travel rewards currency, rate based on how much money you were able to knock off what would otherwise be "cash fare"
I would also argue it's worth counting in that kind of travel value ONLY IF you planned on doing it regardless of whether you got bonus points or not. In case it pops into your life just due to welcome bonuses/promotions and you would never spend your out-of-the-pocket money on a full price of, say, a mini-RTW trip in business class(!), it should be harshly discounted when counting into the overal net rewards value for this poll... IMHO.
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thefusio15 wrote: Even with the Bonvoy devaluation we got this year?...

Also, I am not too hopeful about 2020 Aeroplan! #GoodByeClassicReward Face With Tears Of Joy
By when would you suggest we should spend our Aeroplan miles? by the end of 2019? Or is there some time in 2020 still before the devaluation/re-evaluation?
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hotsince83 wrote: By when would you suggest we should spend our Aeroplan miles? by the end of 2019? Or is there some time in 2020 still before the devaluation/re-evaluation?
IMO it is a tough call. Since Air Canada has 'already' bought Aeroplan, they can change it whenever they want. They still say "in 2020" on their website, and I assume there will be a heads-up before program changes. Personally, I target my redemptions before March 2020, or whenever the new program takes effect if a devaluation (which I expect). On the other hand, if redemption value increases, I am planning to travel in September 2020 so might try to push "as far as I can" to see.
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So far, between my wife and I, we have applied for the following this year:
  • CIBC DVI; 5% back on $8k; value $400
  • BNS MVI: 10% back on $2k + $55 GCR; value $255
  • RBC AVI x2: 26k points on $1k; value $260 x2 = $520
  • TD APVI x2: 31k points on $1k; value $310 x2 = $620
  • TD APVP: 16k points on $1k; value $160 (app pending, but should be approved)
  • Amex Gold (Perkopolis): 27k MR on $1.5k; value $270
  • Amex Biz Plat: 84k MR on $7k, $500 fee; value $340
  • TD Biz AP: 45k AP on $5k; value $450 (app pending, but should be approved)
  • CTFS CA: no real dollar value yet, got this to position for future usage
  • MBNA Ryerson for BT: $35k parked in rotating HISA promos (currently Manulife @ 3.35%); call it $500 value after BT fee

That adds up to about $3400 for two people for five months of applications. This is using a conservative value of 1 cpp for MR/AP as well as Avion. Most of this will be spent on three business class tickets to eastern Europe next year. So, you could easily value this much higher. I think $10k/year value for the two of us is a conservative estimate. And we are just getting into churning. We really didn't start going hard until the decision was made about a month ago for the 2020 trip.

Other cards acquired pre-2019:
  • Amex Cobalt: ~ $1k/month (but dropping a bit with the churning), still getting 2500 bonus points/month promo; $120 AF; let's call the annual value $700
  • Rogers WE: Used for foreign currency and non-Amex general spend in between non-Amex churns: lets call the annual value $300
  • Cap 1 Costco: Used for non-Amex restaurants in between non-Amex churns: lets call the annual value $150
That adds $1150 to the previous $10k

On top of this, about $175 earned so far on various other promos, mostly Amex Offers. This should easily amount to about $350/year.

So, $15k/year for two. And this is probably quite conservative because:
  • we have yet to get the referral bonuses on the Amex train, which will up our MR earnings
  • have yet to use the Amex Plat side benefits (e.g. lounges),
  • have only been actively planning the churns for about a month
  • Amex offers will start multiplying given that we have multiple cards and will have more before the year is up (e.g. the shop small promo a few months back)
  • we'll avoid the cash back offers and go toward more MR/AP earning cards, which will yield more given how we expect to use them
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As a single person, my CC spend:
~400/month on groceries -> 4800/yr -> 4% CB from Meridian 192
~100/month on gas -> 1200/yr -> 4% CB from Meridian 48
~200/month on restaurant -> 2400/yr -> 4% CB from Simplii 96
~1000/month on all else, including bills and taxes -> 12000/yr -> 1.75% CB from Rogers 210

546/yr CB
minus 99 after 1st of Meridian
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I’m hoping to rack up about $1500 before the end of the year to apply to a trip to Mexico on my Cobalt card next spring. Plus another $500 or so on CB cards.

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jtfrogger wrote: That adds up to about $3400 for two people for five months of applications. This is using a conservative value of 1 cpp for MR/AP as well as Avion. Most of this will be spent on three business class tickets to eastern Europe next year. So, you could easily value this much higher. I think $10k/year value for the two of us is a conservative estimate. And we are just getting into churning. We really didn't start going hard until the decision was made about a month ago for the 2020 trip.

Other cards acquired pre-2019:
Amex Cobalt: ~ $1k/month (but dropping a bit with the churning), still getting 2500 bonus points/month promo; $120 AF; let's call the annual value $700
Rogers WE: Used for foreign currency and non-Amex general spend in between non-Amex churns: lets call the annual value $300
Cap 1 Costco: Used for non-Amex restaurants in between non-Amex churns: lets call the annual value $150
That adds $1150 to the previous $10k

On top of this, about $175 earned so far on various other promos, mostly Amex Offers. This should easily amount to about $350/year.

So, $15k/year for two.
Thanks for the detailed layout, quite informative.

However, how exactly does $3400 for 2 people over 5 months translate into 10K/year value? At best you could perhaps double it - assuming you'd do the same amount of INTENSE welcome offers scooping (which might not be the case - you can run out of market offerings, your scores can plummet, etc.etc.) - so that'd be about $7000 for 2 people then.
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hotsince83 wrote: Thanks for the detailed layout, quite informative.

However, how exactly does $3400 for 2 people over 5 months translate into 10K/year value? At best you could perhaps double it - assuming you'd do the same amount of INTENSE welcome offers scooping (which might not be the case - you can run out of market offerings, your scores can plummet, etc.etc.) - so that'd be about $7000 for 2 people then.
I underestimated the value I am getting out of the Aeroplan miles when using 1 cpp in the list, which is why I bumped it up in my summary. It was just a guess for how much the value was and landed at a reasonable round number.

Before my post yesterday, I hadn't put too much thought into what value I was getting out of the points. As I thought about it more today, the points have at least 2 cpp value for the trip we are doing. This is a trip we were going to do with cash if we didn't earn the points. We would have to pay $6k for three economy flights. Using points, it will be 345k AP points for businesss class + taxes/fees. And we'll be able to add on a couple stops to make it an even better trip. If I assume we'll pay about $1k in taxes/fees, using 2cpp puts it at a $8k value trip. Upgrading to business class and adding on one or two extra stops is easily worth $2k for three of us.

If you go through the list again using a 2cpp valuation, that would add $2340 to the list. So, if you add it to the original amount and double it, it comes to about $11,500. And there are 12 months in a year, not 10. The straight proration takes it up $13,700.

Although we did pick up some easy high value cards that were available earlier in the year, we weren't going too aggressively to start. Sure, we'll run out of the easy pickings. But the value on the Amex side will start ramping up since we'll be getting all the referral bonuses. By next summer, we'll get 75k MR in referrals just for two Biz Gold & one Biz Plat. That's $1.5k value right there just referring each other on two cards. And the only reason that is spread out to next summer is we'll be doing the personal platinum & gold over the same time. We'll probably layer on Bonvoy, but that is a slightly lower priority.

Also, a lot of our spend earlier in the year was going towards keeper cards and not focused on hitting a minimum spend. So, the rate of return of that was much lower than we are getting now.

Sure, my credit score took a beating recently. Most significantly because of the balance on the MBNA BT messing with my utilization. If I had known I was going to chase welcome bonuses this aggressively, I probably wouldn't have done that. Well, maybe I would have still done it, because I love the idea of working an interest rate arbitrage. It might slow me down a little, but it is not impacting my wife. It will be cleared up in November. My wife's credit score is actually better now than it was a year ago, before we started all of this.
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I’m realistically looking at $5k year a year just normal spend not including WB or churning. I used to chase after Cash Back only using one credit and one debit and averaged about $1500 a year.

But I switched to a couple travel cards and should have enough for one F flight Europe or J to Asia, which would usually be a $10k+, but considering you have to book months ahead and odd routings it’s only worth $5k to me.

If you include WB and churning than it could easily push into the $10k value per year.

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