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IVF coming up, which credit cards should I use

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mountaintown:
Well unfortunately we are going down the IVF road. We will be spending $10k to $20k pretty easy in the next 3-6 months. I would like to leverage the racking of travel cards as much as I can....I am pretty new to the game and slightly conservative but like I said since we are spending so much on flights, medicine, and doctor bills...would love to get some bonuses. Here are the options I am toiling with and here is what I have used already.

Delta Gold. Already have. We mostly fly delta so both my wife used/maximized this. I will be downgrading both soon.

Marriott. Both wife/I have used. Will be downgrading or cancelling soon.


Here are my best options as I can see:

1.) Alaska Air. Wife used. I haven't. She could refer me and I could get bonus.....or I got an email to have the annual fee waived.

2.) Chase Sapphire Preferred. My wife just got this for a big car repair we had. We already got the bonus. Option would be for me to go the Chase route--perhaps from a referral from her? The only thing I don't love about this is I prefer to stagger the annual fees a bit more...like I would have rather waited 6 months on this one. Also I noticed that the miles disappear if you lose the credit card--not 100% sure I will have the chance to use the miles within the year as we have yet to use her miles(or chase points or whatever).

3.) Capital One Venture. This seems like a good card and I do like that the annual fee is waived. Neither of us have done this one yet.



Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks. If you want to let me know about any more advanced strategies I can try to follow but like I said I am kinda new to the game and mostly just have been trying to get bonuses twice a year between my wife/I.

gocurrycracker:
Good luck with IVF! I like how you are thinking about how to maximize points for the big expense.

There are a couple of ways to think about this... you can try to just get points at whatever has the highest potential value, or you can focus on a specific trip or destination.

I almost always do the latter, which means the destination decides the cards for me. I'll look at flights and hotels for an upcoming trip (e.g. Japan) and then apply for credit cards that help me get there (e.g. the Marriott card because 100k Bonvoy points got us 5 free nights in an expensive ski area) and points that can get me ANA flights because we can fly directly from downtown Taipei to downtown Tokyo (Amex for booking on ANA, or any program except Capital One for booking via Virgin Atlantic.)

A key reason to go this route is to help prioritize. I don't want a bunch of random cards and then need a lot of Chase UR points but am unable to do so because of 5/24. If you don't have a specific destination in mind, then going for a flexible point program (vs say Alaska points) is going to give you the most options when it comes time to redeem.

So, with that idea, some possible cards that I would apply for probably in this order:
- if you have any business, like a blog or you sell used books once in awhile on amazon - Ink business preferred (80k UR points)
- his/her CSPs - paying an annual fee to get $600+ worth of points is worth it. You can transfer points to your spouse, so you only need to have one card open to avoid points expiring. (3k min spend)
- if you use Uber, the Amex Platinum has a 60k MR point offer - $550 annual fee, BUT $200 airline credit and $200 uber credit, so in practice fee is $150 if you use Uber (even just for the airport)
- his/her CapOne Venture (same card you mentioned)
- his/her IHG rewards club ($89 annual fee) - great bonus now of 125k points, worth $625+ - good for US travel with Holiday Inn/Express. We stayed 5 nights in NYC with free breakfast this way for something around 100k points (I forget.)

if you have room in your card portfolio someday
- only 1 Chase Freedom - the bonus isn't high ($150), but it does have great 5% back categories every quarter and no annual fee. Keep forever.


If it works for you, using the GCC credit card referral links is always appreciated!
https://www.gocurrycracker.com/credit-card-rewards/

mountaintown:
Thanks Jeremy. I think I like your approach of finding the card for the destination...seems the most practical. I guess we intuitively followed this by getting the Alaska air card recently (because we wanted to do a trip to Hawaii and live in the west).

Unfortunately other than AA and going west...it seems like we are really locked into Delta. I did have my wife sign up for CSP and the UR points seem okay for a redemption east...but definitely it would be more ideal if United was a great way to fly east for us.

Any suggestions there? We have already done the delta gold cards and so do have some points. But honestly I hate to use them because I am not finding any saver seats. As you might understand we can't really be flexible with our IVF treatment.

The delta redemptions I am getting are bad, 1 for 1...and UR is about what you'd expect--maybe 25% off at the most. I do still have the delta gold so I prefer to book through them if possible to get the free bags.

Any insight is appreciated...maybe I will just have to suck it up on this one! We did get my wife a saver seat for 23,000 miles which was about 1 point for 2 dollars so I was happy with that. I am visiting her a little later though and those flights are looking brutal now.

gocurrycracker:
The Alaska card is a good one, I've had it multiple times. They are pretty liberal in dishing them out, so it is something good to apply for when you already have all the other cards imho.

Consider: you can fly to Hawaii using Alaska points for about 40k points. Or you can fly on the same exact airplane using 23k Singapore Air Krisflyer points, which you can get via transfer from any of the points programs.

80k Alaska points for the 2 of you to fly to Hawaii might be a good redemption. But it might be better to pay cash and use the Alaska card companion fare and then use the Alaska points for a flight to Fiji.

If you can't get good redemption with the existing Delta points I would personally wait and pay cash for the flights I need. Points are best used when you can be flexible for maximum redemption. Why fly to a nearby state when you could fly to London or beyond in Europe (70k Skymiles roundtrip economy on Virgin Atlantic.)

mountaintown:
Thanks I was having the same thoughts...on paying cash. I was thinking though that perhaps the capital one venture might be good in that case. At least it would "erase" the cash purchase of the flight and maybe the rental car we have to get. Luckily our lodging is with family.

On Hawaii: Thanks for the tip....I actually have been hearing about that trick with Alaska. Honestly this is the part of travel hacking I am still a little timid about. I feel like I have spent enough time already trying to figure this out so transferring to travel partners seems like another big investment in time. Idk maybe that's just me but yea that redemption does sound sweet...

The UR points redemption is about $100 off from cash so not a great redemption as I said. I have to say one thing that's odd though is that the UR search made available a more ideal flight than was actually available on delta with paying cash. So with the UR portal I can get one less stop and travel one less hour...but when I try to find it on delta it is either just not there on mileage chart or it is sold out

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