Sorry for the break in content, it has been awhile since posting due to TAD and vacation. I am out in the b(w)est coast visiting this dude, and some good family friends we met while stationed in Okinawa. This trip may be my last hurrah before the next baby comes putting me in the dilemma of what to do with these points. I had made many claims that I am transitioning towards cashback cards, For those keeping score, it has been half a year since I said I would stop, and no one has called me out on it. I have been waiting for an intervention ever since getting my mom to add me as an AU for the CSR.
Although I have become well versed in travel in the last 3 years in Okinawa, but now I am missing the kiddos and family back home in my stateside travel. Even a week away has felt like too much time. My wife has been amazing for simultaneously growing a child and taking care of one alone over the course of a week. It would be very remiss of me not to feel a bit guilty about it while rolling around Beverly Hills in the house BMW 740i provided by the SLS hotel. I think this travel has to go on temporary hiatus until the kids are more manageable in a travel situation (like when they turn 25).
While I had ridiculed readers before on taking cashback on points, I am becoming quite keen to the idea of cash of points. I get it now, cash is king and I had been a sucker for buying into these dreams of seeing the world using points. There just simply not enough time or leave left to see the world. I have just become a points hoarder with no solid plans on usage. So comes rule number one that I had violated:
- Have an end goal, plan on the redemption before earning the needed points
I have had my adventures, stayed at thousand dollar a night hotels on points, flown for free many many times. It’s now your turn to make these same adventures, and I invite anyone who wants to contribute to post to this blog on redemption. I had failed to budget in time in for all of my adventures. As mentioned before, time is our only precious non renewable resource that no amount of money can buy.
Durning our west coast meet up Davey suggested that the points conversion to cash would be a best way to use these relatively worthless points. The points are worthless because my personal value in travel has changed. Now I can use the points for useful things like food and diapers. Right now you only get to use the points at 1 MR point for half a cent in a statement credit. You would have to spend the money first, then “pay with points” later.
I have decided to convert points is not as a statement credit, but rather a deposit into a brokerage account with Charles Schwab. The old Fidelity AmEx Pt card has now become the Schwab AmEx Pt which allows you to convert points to cash in your brokerage account at a 1 MR point to 1.25 cent ratio. That means the 40k bonus with $3k spend for getting the card is like getting paid $500! Then you get another $200 to use in your United Gift Registry. The best part for the military members is the SCRA still counts for this co-branded card fee waiver. You are getting paid $700 for a new AmEx account, combined with the $100 offer for a $10k deposit you can be getting $800 for this deal. Not sure if a 1099 will be issued for using points to deposit into Schwab. Not bad for 8% return on a $10,000 investment with zero risk.
Take it as a hiatus from travel, these points converted may only get 1.25 cents per MR point, but that money can be invested, putting it in a index fund or ETF for 1o years may yield more than 2 cents per point. Hell, shoving it into just a Money Market account or government bonds will had less impact in inflation or points devaluation versus having it sit with AmEx.
Time to take the money out of my mattress and finally putting it in the bank!