Double-Dipping Chase Spending Offers

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Chase has two sets of targeted but widely available spending offers for their co-branded cards (Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, United, Disney, etc.).  The details of the offers vary, but many of them offer a total of 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 spend.  See these posts for details and to register for each of the overlapping promos:

Since the two sets of offers overlap in time (through June 30), and if you’re lucky enough to qualify for both offers, it should in some cases be possible to earn 9 points per dollar for certain types of spend (1 base point plus two 4x bonuses).  A reader going by ZinCO has confirmed earning 9 United points per dollar this way.

My Double Dip Opportunities

Within my family, we have a lot of Chase cards! Quite a few of them qualified for the 5x everywhere on $1,500 spend offers ending June 30th and the 5x at gas stations and travel offers ending August 15th.  With these cards I can theoretically earn 9 points per dollar for spend at gas stations or on travel through June 30th:

  • IHG Select
  • IHG Premier
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
  • Ritz
  • World of Hyatt Cards (2 cards)

While it’s not necessary to spend the full $1,500 to trigger these offers, I theoretically could max out each of these with $1,500 spend by the end of June in order to earn the following number of points (assuming I would earn 9 points per dollar at gas stations with the cards that normally earn 1x at gas stations and 8 points per dollar with cards that normally earn 2x):

  • IHG Select: 13,500
  • IHG Premier: 13,500
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: 13,500 12,000 (this card normally earns 2x, so the combined bonus is 2x base +3x +3x = 8x)
  • Ritz: 13,500 12,000 (this card normally earns 2x, so the combined bonus is 2x base +3x +3x = 8x)
  • World of Hyatt Cards (2 cards): 27,000

Total: 78,000 points with $9K spend at gas stations (and/or on travel).  That’s excellent!  Fortunately there are gas stations and numerically named convenience stores that usually code as gas stations nearby and that sell gift cards and so it’s not out of the question that I could spend that much.

Hyatt Example

The World of Hyatt card offers the following earning rate without promotions: 2X at restaurants / cafes / coffee shops, airlines, local transit, fitness clubs and gym memberships; 4X at Hyatt hotels; and 1X everywhere else.  For this post, any spend that normally earns 1x will be referred to as “non-bonused spend”.

Two Hyatt cards in my family qualified for the “5x everywhere (up to $1,500)” spending offer that ends June 30th and the new offer that earns a total of 8x at Hyatt or 5X for travel or gas, up to $1,500.

For non-bonused spend, the first offer is for an additional 4 points per dollar over the usual 1 point per dollar.  The second offer gives me an additional 4 points per dollar at Hyatt hotels and at gas stations, and either an additional 3 or 4 points per dollar for travel depending upon whether travel is in the usual 2x travel categories (airlines, local transit).

With either of our Hyatt cards, I should be able to double up by spending $1,500 at gas stations.  If this works as expected, I should then earn 1 base point per dollar for the spend plus 4 bonus points per dollar from the first offer and another 4 bonus points per dollar from the second offer.  In total, I should earn 9 points per dollar: $1,500 x 9 = 13,500 points.

Is it worth doubling up?

If you’d like to maximize your $1,500 spend and you don’t plan to spend more than that on your card, then it’s absolutely worth doubling up if you can.  If you plan to spend $3K or more on your card, though, it doesn’t matter whether or not you double up…

Let’s say you’re planning to spend $3,000 or more on your card anyway.  Is it better to double-up as described above or better to do the spend separately to earn two separate bonuses?  The answer is that it doesn’t matter.  You’ll end up with the same number of points either way.

Take the Hyatt example from above.  Suppose I plan to spend $3K or more on my Hyatt card anyway (maybe I’m spending towards a free night at $15K per year; or towards 2 elite nights with each $5K spend).  In that case, my total point earnings will be the same whether I double up or not.

Suppose I max out both offers separately, like this:

  • 5x everywhere offer: Spend $1,500 online
  • 5x gas offer: Spend $1,500 at gas stations

In this case, I’ll earn a total of $3,000 x 5 = 15,000 points.  If, instead, I double up as described earlier, I’ll earn 13,500 points for my $1,500 spend at gas stations and then 1,500 points for my next $1,500 spend (which won’t qualify for spending bonuses), for the same total of 15,000 points.

If you don’t plan to spend more than $1,500 on your card, then it absolutely makes sense to double up your spend.

My take: Are the promos worth the effort?

With Hyatt, the promos are well worth the effort either separately or together.  With our Hyatt Reasonable Redemption Value at 1.6 cents per point, earning 5X is like getting 8% return on spend and 9x is like a 14.4% return.  Either way, that’s awesome.

The answer is less clear with Marriott and IHG, both of which have a current Reasonable Redemption Value of around 0.6 cents per point.  With Marriott and IHG, earning 5x is like a 3% return on spend, 8x (Marriott cards) is like 4.8%, and 9x (IHG) is like a 5.4% return on spend.  3% is a good return, but not good enough to go out of my way to earn it (unless I need the points for a planned trip).  4.8% or 5.4%, though, is good enough to make the effort.  So, in my case, I initially ignored the 5x promo ending June 30th, but with the opportunity to bump my return up to 8x or 9x, I’m suddenly very interested and plan to go for it.

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