My Rewards Strategy for 2019

I took an inventory of all the rewards currencies that I currently collect and decided I’m going to have to change my rewards strategy for this year. At the end of 2018 I had a large collection of Membership Rewards points, from the American Express Gold sign up bonus and the American Express Platinum 5x on airfare. I also had a lot of American Airline miles mainly due to the fact I flew them almost exclusively last year and the sign up bonus I earned on the American Airline Executive Elite Mastercard. I need to diversify this year.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

My Chase Ultimate Rewards balance was neglected last year. I haven’t used Ultimate Rewards points since I booked my flight to Frankfurt in September in 2017. I have used my Chase Sapphire Reserve mainly for the travel credit and the occasional Lyft ride. My Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited were not used last year at all. This year I’m shifting my non-bonus spend from my AMEX Everyday Preferred to my Chase Freedom Unlimited. This is made easier by the fact that I downgraded my AMEX Everyday Preferred from to normal AMEX Everyday after I received my AMEX Gold Card..

Citi ThankYou Points

This is a tricky one for me. I’m still trying to decide whether to keep or cancel my Citi Prestige card. I used the 4th night free benefit a lot last year. Since I no longer travel for work its hard for me to justify keeping the card. Luckily, I don’t have to decide right away. I can wait until my card renews in July. The new 5x points on airfare and dining will definitely benefit me as I’m trying to book some flights on Singapore Airlines.

There have been a lot of changes to the rewards landscape over the last year with Capital One allowing the Venture Miles to be transferable and Barclays launching and then pulling the Barclays Premier. I think that this will be my strategy to start but it will be fluid as the year goes on.