Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Into Credit Cards | 9 Tips & Secrets for Collecting Points

Hi there, it's Ernest from Trip Astute In this video, we're taking a step back and talking about things I wish I knew before I started getting into credit card points

(light chiming music) Before we get started, I just wanted to run through a couple of updates One, congratulations to Enrique T for winning our Loctote Flak Sack Sport giveaway Enrique, you should be receiving your bag soon Secondly, if you're new to our channel, I just wanted to mention that we are a travel channel that is focused on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable

Traveling can be stressful and expensive, so we're looking for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points and miles, and innovative gear If you're watching this video, you're probably a points and miles collector, so you know how complicated and crazy this hobby can be, and also the types of crazy behaviors that can come from collecting points If you don't know, then definitely watch our "Crazy Habits of a Points Collector" video It might give you comfort knowing that you're not alone Over the past few months, I've noticed a lot of the same comments come up on my videos

Things like "how can I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash all at once Basically, people have been asking me things that remind me of when I was first starting and obsessing about my points and cards So today, I thought I would share 9 things that I wish I knew before starting the points and miles hobby Some of the list is serious while others are more fun, but I'm hoping that it will help you especially if you're new to the credit cards game And for those of you who've been doing this for a while, I'm hoping you'll get something out of this too

If anything, I hope you can relate and also share your experience and knowledge with others in this community So, let's get started with the list Number 1: Points almost always go down in value I think it's important to remember that points rarely appreciate in value This means that you shouldn't horde points

I know I've been there and I've always wanted to see how many points I could hold on to But know that it's better to use your points rather than save them since they'll likely lose value over time

Number 2: Okay, maybe it's not quite Maroon 5, but the best travel credit cards seem to have specific lifespans For example, the American Express Platinum Card was once the standard when it comes to luxury travel points and perks Then when I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred in 2012, I was convinced that it would have a permanent place in my wallet Though in 2016, that card was replaced by the Sapphire Reserve card In the last few years, we've seen a lot of new players in the game which was primarily dominated by American Express and Chase

Companies like Citi, US Bank, Barclaycard, and many more have created some incredible credit card products And while I love my Chase "quinfecta" Okay, not sure that's the right terminology But I know that I'll likely have different cards in my wallet in the next year or two Number 3: Rules change all the time

This one is frustrating You might sign up for a card loving all the perks that you get only to find out that the benefits are no longer valid or available after a year or two This is almost to be expected In fact, Chase recently announced a bunch of changes and a lot of people were worried that they would lose many of their benefits like transferring points between cards Luckily, that didn't happen, but it definitely might happen next year

Again, this is an uncertain hobby and you have to be willing to adapt and pivot when necessary Number 4: It gets harder to get credit cards One thing that I didn't realize when I started is how difficult it is to get more credit cards when you already have a lot of extended credit For example, I have 17 active cards and whenever I apply for a new credit card, it seems like the issuer wonders why I need more credit So I've had to slow things down a bit since I can't justify having more credit from the issuers

Number 5: Everyone thinks you're crazy Once you get into this game, you have to know that most people will either think you're a genius whose gaming the system or an insane person I've been using credit card points to pay for my travel for years now and I swear I still have friends who are convinced that I'm doing something illegal or that I'm in a huge amount of credit card debt It's more funny than anything, but I am conscious of the fact that people will judge me on this hobby And while it may not matter in your personal life, there have been times where I've held back at work since I didn't want people to perceive me in a certain way

Again, you may be less self-conscious than me, but I definitely like to warn people that there can be a stigma when it comes to getting lots of credit cards, even if you're completely responsible with them Number 6: My travel expectations have changed This is one thing that I didn't realize would happen until I actually started traveling with points While I wouldn't say that I'm a high maintenance traveler, I do prefer to stay in nice hotels rather than hostels And I think a lot of has to do with the fact that I've been able to stay at hotels using my points

So when giving the option, I now prefer a nice hotel This may or may not be a good thing But if anything, I definitely see more value in having a nice, clean, and private space when traveling, especially when I want to make sure I get the most of my trip Even knowing that I could get more rest is definitely worth the extra cost Number 7: Collecting cards is a marathon, not a sprint

I've mentioned this in a couple of other videos I get a lot of comments and questions from people who are trying to apply for every major credit card offer within a couple of months While some people are able to pull it off, I'm a lot more conservative with my advice I know a lot of people said that I was being too cautious in my Chase 2/30 video, but honestly, I always try to see it from the issuer's perspective I just think it looks risky to the issuers to be overly eager to get more credit

Again, it might just be me, but I think you're fine that the longer you're in this game, the more you want to develop a relationship with the banks to help build that trust Number 8: Always research before applying Guess who applied for the United Mileage Explorer card when they got an offer but didn't bother to check whether there was a better offer online? Yeah, I totally regret doing that So don't be like me and make the same mistake Anytime you're even thinking of applying, just do a quick Google search to see if there are any other bloggers reporting on a better opening bonus or offer

There have been many instances where there is a better offer available Even a few months ago, I noticed that a lot of credit card bloggers were recommending the Chase Sapphire Preferred and providing an affiliate or referral link The affiliate link offered 50,000 points to open the account However, just going to the Chase website, they were advertising a 60,000 point bonus to open an account I don't think the credit card bloggers were trying to mislead anyone, but it definitely highlights why you should always do some research on potential offers

Number 9: Don't obsess about your points Okay, I'm gonna be honest There have been times in my life where I probably spent more time researching what to book in order to get a fraction of a cent more in redemption value I'm guessing some of you might have done this too It's so easy to get sucked into obsessing about point values and maximum redemptions

Just remember your time is valuable I think it's always good to try to find the best deal, but just remember not to lose track of the big picture At the end of the day, it's unlikely that you'll reflect on your trip and wish you had tried to redeem at a higher rate In fact, some of my best travel memories were booked with points without really digging into the point values, like our trip to Mexico last year and our stay at the Andaz Mayakoba resort What are the things that you wish you knew before getting into this hobby? Please let us know in the comment section below

If you enjoyed this video, please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing our video and channel with others, especially other points and miles nerds in your life Until next time, travel safe and travel smart