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are there point based credit cards that you can use toward travel that DO NOT require you to use their travel portal?

kabukicho 950 65 July 7, 2016 at 06:43 PM in Travel
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I have several cards with points, but all of them I have to book my travel through their phone mumber or their own web portal.

I 'm not finding any cards, other than i think capital one cards, which i also have.

whereby you can simply do your booking at say jetblue.com aa.com etc, have the flight appear on your statement, and then you allocate your points to get reimbursed for the booking.

can anyone suggest any other cards that handle their points this way?

further, willl they work for bookings through kayak priceline momondo even?

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Joined Sep 2009
L8: Grand Teacher
3,139 Posts
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#2
Both what you want (which is just using points as statement credits- tons of cards do that), and using portals, are horrible ways to use points.

The correct way is transfer them to the relevant airlines frequent flier program and use them to book your tickets.


Using your method you're lucky if you get better than 1.2 cents a point.

Using mine you'd be hard pressed to NOT to get 1.5-2 cents a point, and for higher end bookings 4-6 cents a point isn't that hard.


Fastest way to rack up points via sign up bonuses are Amex MR point cards (though earning them through normal spending isn't awesome for most)- just be sure to wait for a higher end offer for any given Amex because those bonuses are once per lifetime.... done right you can easily get yourself 400-500 thousand points on sign up bonuses alone.

Fastest way to rack up points via spending are Chase UR point cards- Get Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited- that's around 160k for sign up bonuses, and you can rack up from spend by leveraging all the 5x point categories from freedom and ink, plus the 2x CSP ones and 1.5x on non-cat spending with Unlimited.... The "be careful" here is Chases 5/24 rule- if you've opened 5 new accounts (from any CC vendor) in the last 24 months you'll be denied for any new chase card.


Citi has TU points... but they only offer a few cards, the bonus categories aren't awesome, and they're the least valuable points of the three.... (that said, the Prestige card can be fairly profitable if used correctly, with the 50k sign up points being a nice bonus on top)


Starwood (SPG) points are also a flexible currency... and the most valuable because they transfer to the most programs... but accumulating points is awful... 70k from 2 cards with the highest sign up bonuses in years, 50k if you don't wait for the max offer... and all spend earns only 1x points unless it's spent with starwood.
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#3
I can vouch for Star Alliance - as of 6 months ago you could book with United right on United and just plug in your miles and more or participating card info during booking and it would sync and transfer or apply as needed.

Good post by Knightshade too - similar to his first point, I would just do any card, pick the highest value or fav airline you use, and switch over those points to leverage.
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Joined Nov 2005
L5: Journeyman
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#4
Firstly thank you... for covering that whole aspect of identifying what cards are worth using to capture all one's spending behavior.

What about though, a error airfare that comes up on a airfare deal website, (or even on this board.) it's a great fare but, it seems like if you want to work in some CC points to further bring down the price, you'd have to hope the flight deal has to be the airline that you've got points transferred into that airlines travel program as well in order to do so. I guess theres no other way people are doing it.
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Joined Sep 2009
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#5
Quote from kabukicho View Post :
Firstly thank you... for covering that whole aspect of identifying what cards are worth using to capture all one's spending behavior.

What about though, a error airfare that comes up on a airfare deal website, (or even on this board.) it's a great fare but, it seems like if you want to work in some CC points to further bring down the price, you'd have to hope the flight deal has to be the airline that you've got points transferred into that airlines travel program as well in order to do so. I guess theres no other way people are doing it.

if it's an error that's INSANELY cheap just pay cash, and use a card that gives 2x or 3x points on airline bookings.... (Citi Prestige is one example- and it's a card that's profitable over its annual fee even if you never use it for the airline thing)

You wouldn't want to use points for that anyway because points are valuable- you want to use those for tickets that'd otherwise be costly.
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