I've had mixed results with credit cards that encourage you to spend a ton in order to rack up points you can later redeem to book travel, get cash back or make other purchases.
I was signed up for Chase's Sapphire Reserve card for a couple years. It came with a ton of up-front points (worth nearly $1k!) but an annual fee that reduced down to about $150 after jumping through a few spending hoops. At the time, it was justified because I used the card for work and work travel expenses, so I could easily meet the spending requirements and pay it off on time. I've since reduced this card's perks to a basic version with no annual fee.
Currently, I'm signed up for Marriott's Bonvoy program, which originally enticed me with enough bonus points at sign-up to score a free hotel when we were in a pinch. But there is a pesky annual fee ($100), so, like the Chase card, the plan is to cancel the card's premium features after using my current round of points before it renews. Also, I'm disappointed that the points can only be used to redeem hotel rooms, which is quite limiting!
What are your experiences with points-based credit cards? Is it ever worth paying the annual fee? If you have points to redeem, how do you use them?