I have a MRP card and a Chase Freedom card. Although I can rack up points with the Freedom, I am unable to be approved for a Sapphire Preferred that would allow me to really take advantage of the travel booking of Ultimate Reward points (via transferring).
Is there any other way for someone to take advantage of the points from the Freedom card to complement my earning of MR points? If not, it seems that only way to really rack up MR points is through direct booking or 2x earning at restauraunts/travel. (1:1 for everyday purchases is quite minimal of an earnings rate)
I've got both a MR Chase Visa and a Chase Freedom card (I've had the latter for years). These days, I mostly use the MR Visa for dining and travel (with an occasional purchase outside these categories) and the Freedom visa for most everything else (previously the Freedom card was my card of choice). With the rotating bonus categories on the Freedom card, I try to maximize my return there (right now 5% on fuel which worked out great on a recent road trip of about 3000 miles).
I agree that the 1X points on things other than food and travel is minimal, but outside the bonus categories the UR points are only 1%. I don't know if I'm earning the most possible points, but that's the strategy I use. I have noticed that my MR visa bill is usually quite a bit higher than my Freedom bill now mainly due to frequent use at any and all restaurants (even for small purchases where I used to pay cash).
Trying to game the points system isn't usually worth it. Use your card(s) as you see fit and take whatever benefits come with them.
Thanks for the quick reply. If you had the opportunity to convert UR points to MR points at 1:1, would you? Since we don't have the UR portal to take advantage of (at the CSP/INK "discount"), redeeming Freedom UR points for anything but cash seems limited in value. Perhaps I'm missing something.
I probably would trade them for MR points if I could. As it stands now, I usually redeem them for cash (actually a statement credit) since nothing else generally appeals to me. I do know that often, discounted gift cards are available, but I rarely see any that I would actually use.
When my UR points reach a reasonable value (say $100-$200) I cash them in. I don't expect to see the value of UR points diminished, but with nothing better get for them, accumulating them beyond that point doesn't make much sense for me. Now that I'm using my MR visa for dining and travel, I don't earn UR points nearly as fast, expect when the bonus categories work in my favor. Even those are not as good as they used to be (sometimes restricted to specific retailers rather than categories).
Yes, 5% on restaurants does have quite the appeal. A few months of using Freedom over MR on dining won't have too great an affect on my overall points earning (I'll still be earning at Marriott properties). In July, I'll be back to charging all my dining on the MR card again.
With as long as I've had my Chase Freedom card, I'd hate to get rid of it if for no other reason than I'd take a hit on my credit score. At least this card has no annual fee, so if I don't use it much, I'm not concerned.