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Travel hacking / Re: Understanding Transfer partners in rural areas
« Last post by gocurrycracker on October 14, 2019, 10:43:00 PM »
You fly on a Delta airplane, with Delta staff, and checkin at the Delta desk. You just use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points to book the ticket.
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Travel hacking / Understanding Transfer partners in rural areas
« Last post by mountaintown on October 14, 2019, 01:51:43 PM »
Ok so as I have said...pretty new to travel hacking and this will be my first year with some points, chase points, cap one miles, and I am considering citi prestige thank you points. I understand that transfer partners is where really cool redemptions can be had. Frankly when I started this...I was happy to just be able to book domestic tickets home to my family for free. However the thought of an epic first class trip to hawaii or something sounds pretty cool.

My struggle is we do not live near SFO or LA or JFK where a lot of these partners originate. So ...I'm confused--how do people access these transfer partners? Is it not so efficient if you live in rural areas? Or if you live in a rural area, do you "position" yourself by for example flying from Montana to Seattle first....and then utilizing a cool redemption?

Or is there a way to redeem Delta using Virgin from my airport if Delta is there? This is the part where I get a little lost. I see redemptions for delta flights using virgin...but I don't get if you still need to have virgin flights or will virgin book anything delta from anywhere?

Hopefully my question makes sense...as a side note for my airport, it pretty much is Delta, United, Alaska Air, and American Airlines. Most of the places we go Delta has the flights that are most efficient. Utilizing the others would be an extreme waste of flying time. Alaska does work well heading west though which we sometimes do.

Thanks for any help!

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Travel hacking / Re: Next card. Go premium or capital one venture?
« Last post by mountaintown on October 06, 2019, 11:03:16 PM »
Thanks. Sorry I meant Citi Prestige.

Yea putting it that way:

Capital One: 0 cost
500 value in points
100 value in global entry

Citi: 500 cost
$500 value in points
$500 value(2 travel credits) in first year
$100 VALUE in global entry

Guess you're right. It's about equal except If I were to value citi prestige benefits like lounge access...or the multipliers. Those are a bit intangible for me because I haven't quite figured out optimal ways to access transfer partners from a rural airport. I realize everyone else would value that high but ultimately i am still a little shaky on what my redemption value will be on various points programs outside delta.

Again, I have considered amex for the more delta-friendly amex points but the airline credit just doesn't make sense to me. There is no way we would normally spend $250 a year in travel incidentals.
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Travel hacking / Re: Next card. Go premium or capital one venture?
« Last post by gocurrycracker on October 06, 2019, 10:36:39 PM »
I would just think of this like a Costco membership. If paying $x for a membership or annual fee gets you more than $x in benefit you come out ahead.
https://www.gocurrycracker.com/credit-card-annual-fee-debate/

We just renewed my wife's CSR with the $450 annual fee. We'll use the full $300 travel credit, reducing that to $150... and we get way more than $150 of benefit from the card so we'll keep it another year.

Do you mean the Citi Premier card? I haven't looked at this one in a while, but Delta isn't a transfer partner (can xfer to Virgin and Flying Blue for Delta redemptions...) It's basically free for your first year with the double travel credit, as you mentioned, and you'll get at least $500 in value from the welcome bonus. There is also the 4th night free hotel benefit 2x/year if you can use it. You also get 5x points on dining out and airfare.

The CapOne Venture card is also at least a $500 bonus, no fee first year. (Also not a Delta xfer partner.)

If you don't transfer points it ends up about a wash...

All else being equal, I'd probably go for the Venture first. But... with big IVF spending, you could do both.



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Travel hacking / Re: Costco Travel hack (Car rental)
« Last post by gocurrycracker on October 06, 2019, 08:55:21 PM »
I've seen this often.

For awhile I was living in California and going to Seattle for meetings at least once a month. The savings from picking up a rental car at an off-airport location and returning to the airport paid for the Uber to the rental facility and then some.
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Travel hacking / Re: Costco Travel hack (Car rental)
« Last post by mountaintown on October 06, 2019, 04:53:19 PM »
Interesting. I am from MN so will pay attention to the MSP deal you mentioned. Is it state specific in terms of taxes?

Your find is worth looking into ...but must say I have never found a better deal than the airport. Not sure why. There is so much more going on at MSP though....who knows. Could be a lot of different market fluctuations. Last time I flew into Buffalo we didn't find any better deals outside the airport--and I did look.
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Travel hacking / Next card. Go premium or capital one venture?
« Last post by mountaintown on October 06, 2019, 04:50:26 PM »
So as I said in my last post...we have some IVF expenses so I am doing my best to maximize the minimum spend/bonus factors. We live in the midwest/mountain area so travel partners are challenging and we are heavily limited to delta flights or alaska.

So far we have utilized delta gold cards, alaska air, chase preferred, chase freedom unlimited, and my wife got the capital one venture. Since she has the capital one venture and is getting global entry, I figured I should too. But...here's the thing: we really are spending a lot in travel expenses. I kinda regret not getting the CSR over CSP because we are definitely going to use $250 to $500 in travel credits over the next year. But what's done is done...so I have other options, though maybe not as good.

We have plenty more in IVF expenses so I am trying to hit the best minimum spends.

1.) Citi preferred. $250 travel credit. Some other perks. Citi points bonus, of the points I know little about. 50,000. Global entry.
2.) Capital One venture. 50,000. Travel eraser. Global entry.

I guess the question is...is it worth it to go for premium travel cards if you can justify the travel credit? I feel like in the first year it could make a lot of sense for us. We already have $200 in car rental we have to book, possible baggage fee in 2019 so that would pretty much cover us with an uber or two. In 2020 we will get another travel credit, which we will definitely use for more flights home...effectively making the $500 Citi fee a null fee. Like I said I think I wish I woulda done the CSR for this reason but this could make up for it.

The Amex for me doesn't seem to be a good option because the travel incidental credit is ....just not a lot of value for me. Most of the time I can get free baggage fees(delta gold) and all the other incidentals I would rarely use.

What are your thoughts on my two options? Am I overestimating the value of holding a premium travel card? Should I just go with the capitalone, utilize global entry, and erase my car rental and baggage fees with the travel eraser?

Thanks!
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Taxes / Re: Starting Roth conversion ladder
« Last post by gocurrycracker on September 29, 2019, 02:41:40 AM »
You can just transfer the shares in kind.

This is a taxable event. With no other income, at the Federal level the tax rate will be zero with the full Roth conversion offset by the standard deduction.

You might have some State taxes to consider. If you are on an ACA health insurance policy (probably not with no other income) that may be impacted as well

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Taxes / Starting Roth conversion ladder
« Last post by hankmoody on September 28, 2019, 06:09:10 PM »
Hey guys,

Quick question. I'm not going to have any income this year, so I wanted to start to transfer $24,400 from my traditional IRA to my Roth IRA, since it should be tax free (married filing jointly). It will be the first time I've done this. I have a Vanguard account.

So my question is, am I able to transfer the shares in my tIRA to rIRA that is equivalent to $24,400, or do I need to sell those shares into USD in the money market fund and then transfer the USD over, and then repurchase the shares? I'd love to just do the shares if possible.

Thanks.
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Travel hacking / Re: Costco Travel hack (Car rental)
« Last post by gocurrycracker on September 24, 2019, 09:29:08 AM »
Nice! I have not used Costco car rental before, I'll have to check it out next time we visit the US.

One thing I will do for car rental "discounts" is rent from non-airport locations. Airport sites have the highest taxes and fees.

For example, last year we rented a car for 3 weeks in Minnesota. Getting a car straight out of MSP was going to be about $1200 for 3 weeks or something crazy like that. Instead my bro picked us up from the airport, and then Hertz sent a Lyft to his place to pick me up and I got the same class car for <$900. In the past, I've also just taken an Uber from the airport to the Hertz less than 5 minutes from MSP.

For the return, we drove the rental car to MSP and returned it there (I think.) As far as I recall, the extra fees/taxes only applied when the rental originated at the airport.
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