New to earning points....what is the appeal in having a "travel card" vs loyalty to a hotel or airline card? On some cards I see 6-12x points on booking their hotels or flights, way more than CSR.

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Points are trickier to calculate for return. CSR is 4.5% back on travel if you cash out for travel. A hotel card is 10 card pts /$1. Exclude non-card earnings bc you get them either way. So, to cover a $150 night, that might be 50k pts, you’d have to have spent $5k. That’s only a 3% return. Ideally, you should be targeting $0.05/pt redemption value for Hilton, but you always have to factor earning into the equation.

Also, Hilton is the worst loyalty program IMO

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Just redeemed 35,000 Marriott points for a $750 room rate. I like my ROI which was >5%.

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Start your introductory research at Nerd Wallet and ThePointsGuy... like IBM 1 said, each point is not valued the same in terms of $, but also may not be valued the same for your personal travel preferences. But I find that not only the points multiplier associated with a brand credit card, but also the other perks (automatic status, introductory point bonuses, lounge access, WiFi on flights, etc.) sometimes make it an easy choice to go with brand cards

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I'm mostly referring to the Hilton Honors AMEX card, World of Hyatt, etc. If you book all hotels through these cards and all flights through a loyalty card, does the much lower rate from CSR & similar cards become useless?

This makes a lot more sense. I didn't realize Hilton points are worth less than Chase points. I know Hilton hotels are almost double the points of Hyatt, but the fast earning made me assume it was about the same. Would you say the World of Hyatt card works reasonably well with Chase points since they are transferable anyway?

imo you need some other reason to justify a hyatt card. either you really like hyatt points and the extra hyatt points are worth more to you than the CSR when you stay hyatt, you get status faster with a hyatt card (e.g. free status nights), or some other benefit like that. you don’t need a hyatt card to transfer chase points to your hyatt account. the rewards account is different from your card, though a branded card accrues points to your rewards account.

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