Here is my current spend plan with what I currently have in my wallet.
|Purchase Type||Primary Card||Rebate Amount||Backup||Rebate Amount|
|Airfare||Amex Platinum||5x Points = 7 cents||Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x Points = 5.1 cents|
|Hotel Stays ≥ 4 nights||Citi Prestige||3x Points = 4.8 cents||Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x Points = 5.1 cents|
|Hotel Stays ≤ 3 nights||Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x Points = 5.1 cents||Citi Prestige||3x Points = 4.8 cents|
|Gas||Bank of America Cash Rewards||5.25% Cash||Costco Anywhere||4% Costco Credit|
|Dining Out||Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x Points = 5.1 cents||Costco Anywhere or|
|3% Costco Credit or 2x Points = 3.2 cents|
|Entertainment-Movies, Concerts, Sports Tickets||Citi Prestige||2x Points = 3.2 cents||Amex SPG||1 Point = 2.1 cents|
|Grocery Stores and Wholesale Clubs||Bank of America Cash Rewards||3.5% Cash||Amex SPG||1 point = 2.1 cents|
|Target Stores||Target Debit Card||5% discount||Amex SPG||1 Point = 2.1 cents|
|AAFES Food Court||AAFES Star Card||10% discount||Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x Points = 5.1 cents|
|Everything Else||Amex SPG||1 Point = 2.1 cents||Chase Sapphire Reserve||1 Point = 1.7 cents|
Here is how I came up with my spend plan and how you should do the same to maximize return on your purchases. First, dig out all of your credit cards and see what you have to work with. Here is what my current wallet looks like.
|Free For Military||Annual Fee||No Annual Fee|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve - $450||Citi Prestige - $450||Bank of America Cash Rewards|
|Amex Platinum - $550||Citi Costco Anywhere|
|Amex Delta Reserve - $450||AAFES Military Star Card|
|Amex SPG - $95||Target Debit Card|
Most credit cards have different rebate categories that make each one ideal for one type of purchase but not for other purchases. You want to break down all the categories that your credit cards have to offer.
Next, since all points and miles don’t carry the same value, you need to assess how much you value each type of point or mile. Here is my current valuation. In a following post, I will explain why the valuation I gave to each point or mile.
|Loyalty Program||Valuation Per Point|
|American Express Membership Rewards||1.4 cents|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||1.7 cents|
|Citi ThankYou Points||1.6 cents|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||2.1 cents|
And now you have an apples-to-apples ability to determine how much you are getting back with each card for each type of purchase. There are several other considerations that eventually need to be considered like inclusive travel, purchase, and accident protect but this is a good start.