Data Analysis – Where to Manufacture Spend, How Many Chase Cards, Flying Up Front with Family in Coach & More!

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poll results analysis
Photo by Louise McLaren.

Poll Analysis

Over the past few months I have occasionally held a poll asking for your feedback on topics ranging from Chase credit cards to where you manufacture spend. I Since I think some of this data is valuable, I thought it might be a good time to look back at the results since these polls have been left open and continue to gain new votes.

Poll 1 – Where do you manufacture the majority of your spend?

poll results analysis


  • Grocery stores (39%, 83 Votes)
  • Big box stores (22%, 47 Votes)
  • Other (15%, 33 Votes)
  • Malls (13%, 27 Votes)
  • Drug stores (7%, 16 Votes)
  • Gas stations (4%, 8 Votes)

You can find the original poll and continue to vote here.

My Take

The results of this really aren’t a surprise to me. Only the most advanced people seek out MS opportunities in more difficult places like gas stations. For many, grocery and big box stores are the easiest way to MS given REDbird’s ease and the convenience of gift cards at many grocery chains.

This poll was started back in March, meaning that many of those people who were MSing at Big Box stores were probably just swiping their REDcard. I’d be interested to see how they answer the question now, although I suspect most of them have moved on to grocery stores or malls.

Poll 2 – How many Chase credit cards do you have? (Both business and personal)

poll results analysis


  • 5 (23%, 194 Votes)
  • 4 (21%, 175 Votes)
  • 3 (16%, 137 Votes)
  • 6 (11%, 96 Votes)
  • 7 (8%, 66 Votes)
  • 2 (7%, 58 Votes)
  • 8 (5%, 42 Votes)
  • 1 (3%, 26 Votes)
  • More (3%, 25 Votes)
  • 9 (2%, 20 Votes)

You can find the original poll and continue to vote here.

My Take

I was really surprised to learn how many people had 6 or more cards with Chase. (About 30% of respondents.) This poll was taken back before Chase instituted their now famous rules against churners. I suspect going forward that it will be a lot more difficult to get up to 8, 9 or more cards with the company.

Still, the results show how much opportunity exists with Chase. If you establish a decent relationship with the bank, it can be quite easy to get a large number of products. This means both a diversity of points and also a large number of bonuses too.

Poll 3 – If there are not enough business/first class seats available for an award redemption, is it alright to put your teen or other family member in coach while you fly up front?

poll results analysis
Courtesy American Airlines.


  • Yes – I deserve the comfort! (54%, 114 Votes)
  • No – We all suffer together! (41%, 88 Votes)
  • I only fly in coach! (5%, 11 Votes)

You can find the original poll and continue to vote here.

My Take

This question came about because I told my son he would be flying in coach for our upcoming trip to Europe, although I am surprising him with a business class ticket. With that said, I firmly believe if there had only been one business class seat, that it is alright to stick him in the back of the plane.

It seems that based on the answers, the divide is almost even. My wife is firmly in the “no” category, but I am glad to see that the “Yes” votes ultimately won out. I just don’t see a scenario where I would suffer in coach just to sit next to my teenage son who is only going to be watching the IFE for the entire trip anyway. Have a strong opinion? The poll is still open!

Poll 4 – Do you drink or brush your teeth with “tap” water on board airplanes?

poll results analysis
Cathay Pacific 777. Photo by Mark Harkin.


  • No – That is disgusting. (67%, 107 Votes)
  • Yes – It seems fine. (31%, 50 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 2 Votes)
  • I used to but I got sick. (1%, 1 Votes)

You can find the original poll and continue to vote here.

My Take

This poll was held in response to an article stating that 14 Cathay Pacific planes were having to be cleaned due to unsafe levels of bacteria in the drinking water. I hadn’t really thought about this before to be honest, but have now decided that it is probably best to used bottled water in lieu the “tap” water on board.

Perhaps this is just paranoia, but I have read further into this and it seems that bacteria and other unsafe things often make their way into the water tanks on board aircraft. I would drink or use the water if I absolutely had to, but avoiding it is probably the best overall strategy.

Poll 5 – Do you eat out to specifically take advantage of the Sapphire Preferred’s “First Friday” benefit?

poll results analysis


  • No (50%, 125 Votes)
  • Yes (29%, 73 Votes)
  • Sapphire Preferred? I converted mine to a Freedom long ago. (10%, 24 Votes)
  • Chase doesn’t like me anymore, because I am a churner. (7%, 18 Votes)
  • And for those who say I don’t give enough options, OTHER! (4%, 11 Votes)

You can find the original poll and continue to vote here.

My Take

This is the most recent poll and it seems that the majority of people weren’t changing their spending behavior because of the Sapphire Preferred’s First Friday benefit. Additionally, I have long been a fan of the Freedom and believe the Sapphire to Freedom conversion isn’t written about enough. Many respondents seem to agree as well.

With Chase continuing to take benefits away from this card, I think the 10% who have converted are the smart ones. Still, 29% of those who voted did say the “First Friday” benefit encouraged them to eat out. Perhaps removing this benefit is a mistake for Chase. After all, how many points did it really cost them in the end?


All of these polls are still open for voting. Also, feel free to share your opinions about any of these topics in the comments on this post. I love looking at data and appreciate everyone who took the time to vote in these polls. It is great to see a diversity of opinions, methods and experiences. Look for more new polls as interesting topics arise!

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  1. I wonder how many people that wouldn’t drink airplane tap water also take a bottle of water with them to wash their hands after using the lavatory. “Bacteria in the water” sounds scary, and some types can cause serious illness. But bacteria in the normal human gut outnumber the number of cells in the entire body by a huge margin. Nearly every surface in a plane will be touched by people or things that transfer bacteria (ever touch an armrest or IFE during a meal? – you’re eating bacteria). Not saying anyone should deliberately drink contaminated water, but unless your immune system is compromised, the odds of getting sick from potable water in an airplane are very low.

    • Very interesting point. At this point, I just drink bottled water (and brush my teeth too on longer flights), but I still wash my hands with the water. Maybe it is hypocritical.

  2. Hi Shawn,
    Interesting results!

    Just out of curiosity, would your answer for 3 change if it were your daughter in coach by herself? Say if she was the same age…. I feel like I’d feel weird… maybe if it were short domestic it’s OK. …..but international 10-12 hour flight I’d definitely not be able to relax at all …

    • Fantastic question and one that made me think. I honestly think it depends on the child’s age and personality. My son has been traveling internationally since he was 6 six years old. He is very independent and has even flown several times separated from my wife and I by a few rows. If I had a 15 year old daughter who was equally independent and experienced then I would probably allow it. Of course, I do have a daughter now, so I guess we will see in about 15 years if I feel the same way.

      Either way, I would check back on the child often and let the FAs know that they were with me in case they needed something. Thanks Alex!

  3. hi Shawn,
    Interesting results!

    Just out of curiosity, would your decision be different if it were your daughter sitting by herself in coach? Say she’s same age as your son…I’m not sure how I’ll feel…

    If it’s short domestic maybe it’ll be OK but international I’d be feeling weird…

  4. I used to have 5 Chase cards, but two were closed for inactivity, not because of churning. These were former Wamu and Bank One (remember those?) cards.

    Moral of the story, use a card at least once a year to keep it active. I didn’t on those. But my FICO is still perfect, so no real loss.

    But I was surprised to see people with 5+. Which tells me in addition to the UR trinity, people also have Chase’s airline or hotel cards.


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