Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Into Credit Cards | 9 Tips & Secrets for Collecting Points


Hi there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In
this video, we’re taking a step back and talking about things I wish I knew
before I started getting into credit card points. (light chiming music) Before we get started, I just
wanted to run through a couple of updates. One, congratulations to Enrique T.
for winning our Loctote Flak Sack Sport giveaway. Enrique, you should be
receiving your bag soon. Secondly, if you’re new to our channel, I just wanted
to mention that we are a travel channel that is focused on sharing ways to make
travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and
expensive, so we’re looking for ways to help you maximize your experience
through travel tips, points and miles, and innovative gear. If you’re watching this
video, you’re probably a points and miles collector, so you know how complicated
and crazy this hobby can be, and also the types of crazy behaviors that can come
from collecting points. If you don’t know, then definitely watch our “Crazy Habits
of a Points Collector” video. It might give you comfort knowing that you’re not
alone. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a lot of the same comments come
up on my videos. Things like “how can I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Freedom,
Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash all at once. Basically, people have been
asking me things that remind me of when I was first starting and obsessing about
my points and cards. So today, I thought I would share 9 things that I wish I knew
before starting the points and miles hobby.
Some of the list is serious while others are more fun, but I’m hoping that it will
help you especially if you’re new to the credit cards game. And for those of you
who’ve been doing this for a while, I’m hoping you’ll get something out of this
too. If anything, I hope you can relate and also share your experience and
knowledge with others in this community. So, let’s get started with the list.
Number 1: Points almost always go down in value. I think it’s important to remember
that points rarely appreciate in value. This means that you shouldn’t horde
points. I know … I’ve been there and I’ve always wanted to see how many points I
could hold on to. But know that it’s better to use your points rather than
save them since they’ll likely lose value over time.
Number 2: Okay, maybe it’s not quite Maroon 5, but
the best travel credit cards seem to have specific lifespans.
For example, the American Express Platinum Card was once the standard when
it comes to luxury travel points and perks. Then when I got the Chase Sapphire
Preferred in 2012, I was convinced that it would have a permanent place in my
wallet. Though in 2016, that card was replaced by the Sapphire Reserve card. In
the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of new players in the game which was
primarily dominated by American Express and Chase. Companies like Citi, US Bank,
Barclaycard, and many more have created some incredible credit card products. And
while I love my Chase “quinfecta”. Okay, not sure that’s the right terminology.
But I know that I’ll likely have different cards in my wallet in the next
year or two. Number 3: Rules change all the time.
This one is frustrating. You might sign up for a card loving all the perks that
you get only to find out that the benefits are no longer valid or
available after a year or two. This is almost to be expected. In fact, Chase
recently announced a bunch of changes and a lot of people were worried that
they would lose many of their benefits like transferring points between cards.
Luckily, that didn’t happen, but it definitely might happen next year. Again,
this is an uncertain hobby and you have to be willing to adapt and pivot when
necessary. Number 4: It gets harder to get credit cards. One thing that I didn’t
realize when I started is how difficult it is to get more credit cards when you
already have a lot of extended credit. For example, I have 17 active cards and
whenever I apply for a new credit card, it seems like the issuer wonders why I
need more credit. So I’ve had to slow things down a bit since I can’t justify
having more credit from the issuers. Number 5: Everyone thinks you’re crazy.
Once you get into this game, you have to know that most people will either think
you’re a genius whose gaming the system or an insane person. I’ve been using
credit card points to pay for my travel for years now and I swear I still have
friends who are convinced that I’m doing something illegal or that I’m in a huge
amount of credit card debt. It’s more funny than anything, but I am conscious of the
fact that people will judge me on this hobby.
And while it may not matter in your personal life, there have been times
where I’ve held back at work since I didn’t want people to perceive me in a
certain way. Again, you may be less self-conscious than me, but I definitely
like to warn people that there can be a stigma when it comes to getting lots of
credit cards, even if you’re completely responsible with them. Number 6: My
travel expectations have changed. This is one thing that I didn’t realize would
happen until I actually started traveling with points. While I wouldn’t
say that I’m a high maintenance traveler, I do prefer to stay in nice hotels
rather than hostels. And I think a lot of has to do with the fact that I’ve been
able to stay at hotels using my points. So when giving the option, I now prefer a
nice hotel. This may or may not be a good thing. But if anything, I definitely see
more value in having a nice, clean, and private space when traveling, especially
when I want to make sure I get the most of my trip. Even knowing that I could get
more rest is definitely worth the extra cost. Number 7: Collecting cards is a
marathon, not a sprint. I’ve mentioned this in a couple of other
videos. I get a lot of comments and questions from people who are trying to
apply for every major credit card offer within a couple of months. While some
people are able to pull it off, I’m a lot more conservative with my advice. I know
a lot of people said that I was being too cautious in my Chase 2/30 video, but
honestly, I always try to see it from the issuer’s perspective. I just think it
looks risky to the issuers to be overly eager to get more credit. Again, it might
just be me, but I think you’re fine that the longer you’re in this game, the more
you want to develop a relationship with the banks to help build that trust.
Number 8: Always research before applying. Guess who applied for the United Mileage
Explorer card when they got an offer but didn’t bother to check whether there was
a better offer online? Yeah, I totally regret doing that. So don’t be like me
and make the same mistake. Anytime you’re even thinking of applying, just do a
quick Google search to see if there are any other bloggers reporting on a better
opening bonus or offer. There have been many instances where there is a better
offer available. Even a few months ago, I noticed that a lot of credit card
bloggers were recommending the Chase Sapphire Preferred and providing an
affiliate or referral link. The affiliate link offered 50,000 points to open the
account. However, just going to the Chase website, they were advertising
a 60,000 point bonus to open an account. I don’t think the credit card bloggers
were trying to mislead anyone, but it definitely highlights why you should
always do some research on potential offers. Number 9: Don’t obsess about
your points. Okay, I’m gonna be honest. There have been times in my life where I
probably spent more time researching what to book in order to get a fraction
of a cent more in redemption value. I’m guessing some of you might have done
this too. It’s so easy to get sucked into obsessing about point values and maximum
redemptions. Just remember your time is valuable. I think it’s always good to try
to find the best deal, but just remember not to lose track of the big picture. At
the end of the day, it’s unlikely that you’ll reflect on your trip and wish you
had tried to redeem at a higher rate. In fact, some of my best travel memories
were booked with points without really digging into the point values, like our
trip to Mexico last year and our stay at the Andaz Mayakoba resort. What are the
things that you wish you knew before getting into this hobby? Please let us
know in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this video, please give us
a thumbs up and consider sharing our video and channel with others, especially
other points and miles nerds in your life. Until next time, travel safe and travel
smart.

35 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Into Credit Cards | 9 Tips & Secrets for Collecting Points

  • Love #5. I agree people think you're nuts or a genius. Also agree with the time vs value argument. No need to spend extra hours to save 2k in points. :-). Great video!

  • Nice video, quick question how many times do you travel per year? And would be making a video on what's on your wallet? I wanted to apply for the chase sapphire reserve but wife told me no unless we travel 3 times a year or more and she didnt like the annual fee

  • I'm kinda glad Im just now starting to get into CC points. You and a few other bloggers provide such valuable information that will help me avoid making some of the mistakes you probably made early on. Please know that I appreciate you sharing your experiences via these videos! Side note: i appreciate you sharing your equipment list but I'm hoping you'll also share a list of your travel gear such as luggage and that zipper wallet you showed in this video. Thanks again and hope to see more videos from you, Ernest!

  • My cc points are so wimpy since I’m too cautious with my spending . Aside that I am preparing my docs in order to move to London …As an Austinite I’m moving away from 110F in the summer

  • Can you do a list of the 17 cards you currently have. How did you get all the Chase cards given 5/24 rule. Did you get that years go, pre-5/24?

  • Awesome video as always! The production value just keeps going up and up! Like all the gifs, zoom cuts, and overall feel of the editing on this one!

  • OMG the 3:12 mark had me IN TEARS laughing because this so me, at every aspect, in this hobby. "So I messed up again…"

  • I wish I knew about statement closing dates and utilizationnnnnn!!!!! I only heard, pay on time pay on time. I also wish I knew about perks👀 associated with dollars spent. I'm on the points game now & there's no turning back💪

  • Thinks for this video. I learn something almost every time from you and this is why I subscribed to your channel.

  • Hello,
    I have a credit limit of $2k.So when will i exceed the limit? For instance can i spend all $2k and pay them in full and yhen spend again 2k and pay them full in a single month?
    Thank you

  • I like that 20.00 cash bill in your wallet. it's nice to touch cash just like it's nice to hold a cd or vinyl record in your hand and it's a lovely experience to go into a store record store, toy , clothing book? it's nice to have cash in your wallet. I also use quite a bit of cash.

    When you went to Mexico did you use your Capitol1 venture Miles/points or did you transfer your points/miles with your Chase Sapphire cards?

  • Hey
    Does chase 5/24 rule include closed accounts?
    I have 6 accounts in total in the last 24 months and 2 of them are closed but they were opened within 24 months
    Thank you!

  • 4:14 My friends are 100% convinced that I'm
    1) Lying about free travel
    2) Into money laundering
    3) Lying about my income to creditors
    4) Tens of thousands in debt
    when they see that I have 17 credit cards and fly to Asia for free every year. Yeah, sadly people don't think I'm a genius, but a criminal 🙁
    Oh well, I get the last laugh when they're dishing out $5000 for a plane ticket and I pay $15 🙂
    $0 in credit card debt btw. 823 EX FICO (lowest).

  • Love your video as always. One of the best!! I have a question, i am buying a house and I am in escrow. I just signed all the closing docs with the escrow company. The close date is this week on Thursday. Can I apply a credit card soon after it closes?

  • How many cards can you apply at a time? I currently only have a slate card but would love to get another Chase card

  • I have question…please someone .1st let me give u some info..I have 22 credit cards and over $100,000 in total credit line. Always just pay the balance of every month. Score is 798. "If" I was to use 1card for a first class ticket to fly(I MIGHT) need 2 cards but same card company. And when bill comes just pay a few dollers(not even the min amount) 1.) would my score drop a lot? Enough to not be able to get more cards in future? 2) as long as I send some money to the company like few dollers can they close my card down? Sue me? Ect? 3.) Can or would my other creditors see me only paying a few dollers/score go down…and lower my credit with them? (Different companies then the card I'm doing this with)

  • How do u calculate the value
    Do u also consider hotel besides value points
    Palazzo/Venetian way better places than mgm n signature hotel

  • i wished i knew about Chase 5/24 from the very beginning. when i found out. it was too late 3/24 , so i ended with CF & CSR .
    Now i have 24 months to wait. I made couple attempts for CSW & CIP, I got chase-slapped. Lesson learned.

  • 3:39

    I'm up to 14 active cards and have yet to hit any roadblocks. I believe it helps to manage credit lines. There's no prizes for hitting the high score on credit lines. If you don't use the card much then ask the issuer to lower the limit. Keep those auto approvals Rolling and avoid financial reviews and shut downs 😱

  • I wish I knew about being able to product change between cards. I would have applied for the CSP and the upgraded it to the CSR a year later to save on the annual fee.

  • if I have some extra money, should I use that to pay down balances on my current credit cards, or should I open up more secured credit cards?

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