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TRAVEL: Points, Miles, Discounts, Tips, Advice & Questions

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I’ll check her 5/24 status via credit karma or the like first. Almost positive she’s clear though. How does one drop au status? Just call and ask to cancel that card?

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Yes. It shouldn’t affect her because she wouldn’t get a hard pull for an AU. It may affect her ability to receive the bonus for the same card though since she’s not a new member and 2 years haven’t passed. I would call Chase to inquire before applying.

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Well I was going to do all that but I think now I’ll get her a chase freedom unlimited. They’re offering 3x on ALL purchases for the first year on new members. Maybe I can downgrade her AU sapphire preferred card to that so as not to affect her 24 month count and still get the 3x points.

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There are several cards that Chase does not count towards the 5/24.  I'm too lazy to look them up but if you are looking to get miles or points it might be a viable option while you wait to for a better chase offer

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In theory, business cards don’t. That was what was driving the ink business and it’s 80k. I’m still probably going to do it after summer once my kids are back in daycare and can meet the $5k spend in 3 months.

 

As it is now, looks like I was being overly cautious about the 5/24 anyways as were both well below it. Doesn’t mean I can’t plan cautiously for the future I suppose. The chase FU is one of my every day cards with its 1.5 points on everything so it just makes sense to grab one for my wife and get 3 points for a year.

 

 

So far, I’m only investing in chase UR. We don’t have any hotel cards and don’t really stay at hotels all that often. We also have no allegiance to one certain chain. Are we better off just banking UR points and transferring as needed? I know there was a big shakeup recently with hotel cards and now I definitely can’t make heads or tails out of what works best for us.

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Bank UR transfer as needed to Hyatt or Southwest or United, or use Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Always check both for the best deal. 

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Well I was going to do all that but I think now I’ll get her a chase freedom unlimited. They’re offering 3x on ALL purchases for the first year on new members. Maybe I can downgrade her AU sapphire preferred card to that so as not to affect her 24 month count and still get the 3x points.
Down/upgrading cards doesn't get sign up bonuses, so I doubt the 3x points would apply.

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Wondering about the Chase Sapphire family, and the travel insurance stuff with it. Say I pick up a vacation package, and split payment between the chase card and another card, would the travel protection through the Chase card still apply? Obviously they wouldn't cover $10k when you only put $5k on their card, but would it cover anything at all? Like lost luggage, delay, etc.

 

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Yes.  When I got stuck in Belize I used SWA pts for flights and then used my Chase for one night and chase points for the others and Chase covered me to limit.

Edited by midtown

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Thanks for that @midtown . I was able to get a chance to dig into the documents and that's correct. Specifically it says:

Quote

Covered Trip means any pre-paid tour, trip or vacation when some portion of the cost for such travel arrangements less any redeemable frequent flyer miles, points, coupons or certificates, or other types of redeemable Rewards has been charged to your Account:

• while the insurance is in effect

• to a destination of greater than one (1) mile from your primary residence

• and is for a time period that doesn’t exceed sixty (60) days in duration

(bold is mine).

 

So by that, if even $1 of the trip is on your card, you're good.

Edited by thunderlounge

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2 minutes ago, thunderlounge said:

So by that, if even $1 of the trip is on your card, you're good.

That's what Chase told me but realize you work through some type of 3rd party.   The dumbest part was that they rejected my claim at first saying I needed to provide evidence that my trip was actually disrupted.   So I called them and said.   Do you really need proof that Harvey closed the Houston airports for a week?  They said yes so I got online and printed out one of about 50 articles saying how flights were canceled at Hobby.  Amazing.   I was only out 3 nights in a hotel because they wouldn't reimburse me for the extra food, drinks, and fishing I did.  

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I’ll have to dig around and see if I have the fine print buried somewhere. I found the pamphlet that lists all the benefits and such, as well as what is/isn’t covered, when, and how. I was thinking therr was a less “pretty” document that was more like stereo instructions, but maybe I’m thinking of something else. 

Not that it really matters I guess, since I found the language I was looking for.

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If you dig into it, the sapphire cards really do have some nice perks to having them.

  • Primary rental car insurance (no need to involve your own insurance, or the rental insurance)
  • Purchase protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Lost luggage
  • Trip delay
  • Baggage delay
  • Travel accident insurance (death/dismemberment/accident)
  • Travel/emergency assistance
  • roadside service

As well as other perks, but still not bad for just having the card (and using it to buy at least part of the trip, merchandise, etc.)

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The trip interruption benefits are really generous compared to other cards. Even if you use points, pay the taxes with CSR.

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Absolutely.

I was thinking about this the other day, looking at several upcoming trips and such. If I were to pay for similar travel insurance for each trip (I take at least 2 trips of some sort a year, but not always out of the country), the coverage per trip would be more than the $150 left of the annual fee after the travel credit. It's not perfect insurance, but as you said, it 's pretty generous for what it is. Separate insurance might cover a hair more, but not much at that rate, or to that extent really.

Sometimes in the daily grind you forget about the little things like these. But they really are pretty decent and do provide some value for sure.

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Recently rented a car in Ireland....Chase Sapphire picked up the CDW saving me about $35 per day (auto insurance coverage didn't extend out of country).  Note, if you need to use this be sure to call Chase and inform them of the rental.  They will quickly email you a letter you need to present at the rental car counter to prove insurance.

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23 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

Wondering about the Chase Sapphire family, and the travel insurance stuff with it. Say I pick up a vacation package, and split payment between the chase card and another card, would the travel protection through the Chase card still apply? Obviously they wouldn't cover $10k when you only put $5k on their card, but would it cover anything at all? Like lost luggage, delay, etc.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve - it's an amazing card.  I want to say it will.  Especially if you are a preferred client.   

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20 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

Thanks for that @midtown . I was able to get a chance to dig into the documents and that's correct. Specifically it says:

(bold is mine).

 

So by that, if even $1 of the trip is on your card, you're good.

I was just hunting for this, as well. I *think* I agree with you, but given that the context for that "some portion of the cost" was related to rebates, frequent flyer miles, etc., I still have enough skepticism that a partial payment would be covered I would call the benefits administrator and seek additional clarification before banking on it.

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2 hours ago, BabaYaga said:

Chase Sapphire Reserve - it's an amazing card.  I want to say it will.  Especially if you are a preferred client.    

 

51 minutes ago, Longhornmaniac8 said:

I was just hunting for this, as well. I *think* I agree with you, but given that the context for that "some portion of the cost" was related to rebates, frequent flyer miles, etc., I still have enough skepticism that a partial payment would be covered I would call the benefits administrator and seek additional clarification before banking on it. 

 

I'll have to call maybe. But the coverage documents certainly does say that when some portion of the cost is charged to the card. There is one caveat to that, which is the purchase protection. For that section is does state full amount must be charged to the card. So there is different language in there as to what initiates coverage.

It is probably the safest route to double check with the benefits admin though, if for nothing more than peace of mind.

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I recently used the extended warranty provision - Chase Sapphire Preferred, but most c.c.’s offer it.  It is through a 3rd party and was kind of a pain in the ass to submit the claim, but I received a check in the mail for $300 within a week.  The extended warranty adds 1 year to the original coverage for most items (mine was for a Samsung dryer repair.)

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Random tip I just benefited from, NSIAP:

Used Hertz a bit the last few years because I was in-between serviceable cars and the ability to get a new one, had about 1500 points saved up, no need to use them any time soon (got the new car, and 1500 points is like one day rental), but just found the option on their Rewards website to transfer their points to Rapid Rewards miles (something like 500 Hertz points=600 Rapid Rewards), so I put in a request to do that. I should be getting 1200 rapid rewards soon for a perk that I thought I'd never be able to use through Hertz. Definitely flying more often than renting a car these days. They have most major American airlines miles covered. I got most of my Hertz points (500) just for signing up, so basically just signing up to get bombarded with spam emails could net you some miles....

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6 hours ago, BurdineBandit said:

Random tip I just benefited from, NSIAP:

Used Hertz a bit the last few years because I was in-between serviceable cars and the ability to get a new one, had about 1500 points saved up, no need to use them any time soon (got the new car, and 1500 points is like one day rental), but just found the option on their Rewards website to transfer their points to Rapid Rewards miles (something like 500 Hertz points=600 Rapid Rewards), so I put in a request to do that. I should be getting 1200 rapid rewards soon for a perk that I thought I'd never be able to use through Hertz. Definitely flying more often than renting a car these days. They have most major American airlines miles covered. I got most of my Hertz points (500) just for signing up, so basically just signing up to get bombarded with spam emails could net you some miles....

Just threw up in my mouth a little...

1500 Points is enough/almost enough for a 2 weekday rental in pretty much every country that has a Hertz location. Had you elected to receive Southwest miles instead of points for your rental at the time of booking, you would have earned 500 Southwest miles without having to convert, netting you a much greater value.

For your purposes, maybe the miles were more valuable because they’re tangible to your travel patterns. But, that’s 2 days on the German Autobahn upgraded to a BMW X5 as a Hertz President’s Circle member. Definitely more value than 1/12 of a plane ticket to El Paso. There’s a reason you get a bigger quantity of miles for your points. The points are much more valuable.

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Broke down and picked up the new IHG Premier. 

80k signup bonus on $2k in first 3mo, 5k bonus for first auth user, IHG Plat status, free night on anniversary, etc. 

With all the IHG stays this summer (21 nights) I’ll end up on spire just from getting the card. Plus end up with ~150k IHG points including the bonuses, spend (which is 10/$1 at IHG hotels), and platinum bonus of 50%.

Could be worse I guess. Was going to put all the hotels on the CSR, but the IHG seems to work out better for that. I’ll have to double check though. Not a huge deal, as I can still put about the same amount I’d planned on the CSR anyway. Just swap in dining instead of hotel, and leave the cash for paying at the end. 

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Make sure you sign up for IHG's Accelerate promo each quarter, since it sounds like you have a decent number of IHG stays. The promo gives a lot of bonus points for certain miestones and is a great way to grab some extra points if you're planning to stay anyways.

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Thanks. I’ll have to look those up. Not a ton of stays this year, as compared to some, about 5 weeks worth give or take. A few of those nights won’t count for points as they’ll be part of a package (December, through Delta) but also some nights will overlap during that trip. 

Just off the trip this summer, now with the card, I should hit spire, or pretty close. At least close enough that by December I’ll have hit it with very little extra spend.

Even without, platinum isn’t a bad deal for just having their card. 

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Got an email this morning (coincidence?) for double points when purchasing points. Min purchase is 5k (which ends up 10k total when doubled), and looks to be about $.005 (half a cent) per mile on average. Comes out a little better (.002) than a points+cash buy up.

So if anyone is thinking about it, or in need, there's an option.

 

Also, looked up the current accelerate promotion, and it ends on 7/31. Will have to wait to see what comes out starting Aug 1. (First night at an IHG property isn't until 8/5.)

 

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As a Spire Elite, I can tell you that you’ll be disappointed. Was great for Sydney on New Year’s Eve because we got upgraded to a view of the Harbor Bridge for the fireworks. But, for the love of all things holy, can a brother have breakfast included at a freaking Holiday Inn when he achieves the top level? And you still have to pay for the IC lounge?!? I had to book 5 rooms for a work thing in Buffalo in April and didnt realize that I re-qualified. Bummer that the credit card free night got devalued so much. Using the one I earned last year for a night at the Intercontinental Le Grand in Paris in a few weeks. My next one earned in August may get me a Crowne Plaza in Branson. Usually have no issue hitting all the Accelerate goals but only going to hit 4 of 6 this quarter. Had to spread too many stays around due to needs. (Mostly more Hilton points)

Probably going to miss qualifying as a Diamond for Hilton this year too unless my travel schedule ramps up for the fall. My benefits expire at the end of March. Don’t want to burn a credit pull on another AMEX with a ridiculous annual fee just for elite status and devalued Hilton points. Doing Ocho Rios in January with the Mrs. and then probably switching to Marriott. It’s rare that I stay in one place long enough to use the 4 nights/1 free night on points benefit. Plus, the 2 room cap per stay points earning is ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to create 2 accounts, 1 at Silver with less earning, to get benefits for me to then transfer through a shitty Points.com into my main account.

I feel better now

 

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9 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

Got an email this morning (coincidence?) for double points when purchasing points. Min purchase is 5k (which ends up 10k total when doubled), and looks to be about $.005 (half a cent) per mile on average. Comes out a little better (.002) than a points+cash buy up.

So if anyone is thinking about it, or in need, there's an option.

 

Also, looked up the current accelerate promotion, and it ends on 7/31. Will have to wait to see what comes out starting Aug 1. (First night at an IHG property isn't until 8/5.)

 

FYI, if you don’t already know, IHG is a little bitch about their promos. You have to register for the Accelerate promo and THEN book your reservation. If your reservation is booked prior to your Accelerate registration, it won’t count towards any of the goals. Utter BS.

Edited by Spankytoes

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I agree IHG isn’t perfect. It works pretty well for me though. At least for now. Paying with the card for 20x point/$ isn’t so bad, plus a 50% bonus minimum. It’s an earn and burn kinda thing. 

I try to be pretty careful with pulls as well. The fewer the better, obviously, but I try to limit even more than average. 

It’s certainly a shame that the free night is now limited to a 40k or less redemption, but it is what it is. The 4th night will come in handy sometimes, not always.

The decent thing though is that (in my mind anyway) it kind of works against them. They’re not encouraging loyalty. Having that card I can at least get some minor perks, but at the same my hands aren’’t tied to the point I feel always have to stay at an IHG property. I can also do Hilton or Marriott.

I wasn’t aware of the 2 room cap, which kinda sucks. Is that on the card as well, or just at the hotel? Once a year I organize a group trip, booking 5 or 6 rooms. The past probably 8 years we’ve stayed at the same wyndham property, but was going to switch next year and put all the rooms on my card for the extra points.

 

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The 2 room cap is only for Hilton. I think IHG allows 5-6 rooms on the same reservation to earn points. The credit card used doesn’t affect that. And, as mentioned, earning Spire is pretty easy since everything seems to count as qualifying points towards elite status. My Buffalo stay was 5 rooms for 1 night charged to my IHG credit card booked at the 5,000 bonus points per room rate. That one stay got me requalified for Spire when all the points hit. 

Nothing is wrong with IHG as a whole and I’ve used them several times for points bookings. I was just saying that the Elite program is shit. When you hit Spire, you’ll have the option of receiving 50,000 points or upgrading someone else to Spire for free. (Or something like that) You automatically become a 5-Star Level at Hertz, which is a decent perk if you rent cars for business a lot at a big airport since they assign you a spot on their board to bypass the lines. (Also great at DFW when your flight lands late as they have to wait on you) Everything else is “candy corn” for the most part. You get a 100% bonus on your base points earned, but that’s pretty minimal when your hotel rates average $200. However, you do not get Lounge access at any hotel. You do not get breakfast included at hotels where it’s not already included for everyone. No welcome drinks except for select properties. Maybe a “thank you”at check-in and some bottled water is the best you can hope for. Other than upgrades, which you can get at the lower tier, there’s nothing else worth mentioning. (Still haven’t downloaded my free e-book from selected crappy titles) 

The only major program where you get less for achieving the top tier is Radisson. Both programs are like the fast food of the hotel world: You get a whole lot for little out of pocket. IHG is great for points earning because they shell them out like samples of Tide. If the majority of your redemptions are HI, HIX or the occasional Crowne Plaza or Indigo, they’re great. That’s what 8 out of 10 redemptions are for me. I’m staying at the Indigo in Berlin next month because I could not care less about having a nicer IC location closer to the center for my 7th trip there. I would rather save the points. I agree, they do not encourage loyalty. Any schmuck can get the credit card to start off as Platinum and earn Spire status in less than 8 stays by registering for the Accelerate promo and booking a bonus points rate. That creates havoc with upgrades since the status numbers are inflated. There no incentive to do it the “hard way”.

As a Hilton Diamond, I get a reserved parking spot, guaranteed room within 48 hours of arrival, guaranteed room upgrade, lounge access at every applicable property, 5th night free when redeeming points at the same hotel, free breakfast at the buffet/restaurant, welcome amenities at check-in, premium wifi and several other attractive perks. (Plus the usual elevated points earning + branded credit card benefits) However, you only get credit for 1 room when maxing out the 2 room limit as a stay credit. The perks are better because it’s harder to achieve. Unless something changes, I’ll fall 10 stays short at 30 and fail to requalify. So I’ll get the Marriott credit card to bump my status, do a status match challenge while I’m still a Hilton Diamond to go further up the ranks and move to more fertile pastures unless Hilton throws me a bone. My current Hilton cc already gives me Gold status so there’s no incentive to work for it when the counter resets.

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That makes a lot of sense.

Some of the benefits aren't exactly useless to me, but some are. The room guarantee when booked 72 hours in advance will be handy a couple times a year, as will the late checkout (4pm). No minibar charges will be nice. Not because I see a lot of them, but because I guarantee that the one time we stay somewhere that does, the wife will be oblivious and would have cost me a small fortune.

I'm not sure what program I'll end up targeting to go along with IHG yet, I'll have to check coverage for most the areas I end up in to see if I like their properties. With a few paid stays a year I'll end up with enough points for 4-5 nights, so not bad. Which leads back to it not encouraging loyalty. I do that, get my points, keep their top tier, and still have 80%+ of my travel nights to play with. Probably not quite what they had in mind, or maybe they did.

The one unknown that spins the equation is how Marriott is going to really work come the switch in August. I may wait til fall to see how all that rolls out, but right now I'm leaning towards Hilton and doing a match. That would help for a few nights coming up in August, so may be better to just go ahead instead of waiting around.

 

Great to know that the 2 room cap was Hilton. That one group trip I mentioned would pop me up from plat, so that really leaves things open for another program.

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I think the only real unknown with Marriott at this point is which properties will be in the different categories. And the name.

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3 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

That makes a lot of sense.

Some of the benefits aren't exactly useless to me, but some are. The room guarantee when booked 72 hours in advance will be handy a couple times a year, as will the late checkout (4pm). No minibar charges will be nice. Not because I see a lot of them, but because I guarantee that the one time we stay somewhere that does, the wife will be oblivious and would have cost me a small fortune.

I'm not sure what program I'll end up targeting to go along with IHG yet, I'll have to check coverage for most the areas I end up in to see if I like their properties. With a few paid stays a year I'll end up with enough points for 4-5 nights, so not bad. Which leads back to it not encouraging loyalty. I do that, get my points, keep their top tier, and still have 80%+ of my travel nights to play with. Probably not quite what they had in mind, or maybe they did.

The one unknown that spins the equation is how Marriott is going to really work come the switch in August. I may wait til fall to see how all that rolls out, but right now I'm leaning towards Hilton and doing a match. That would help for a few nights coming up in August, so may be better to just go ahead instead of waiting around.

 

Great to know that the 2 room cap was Hilton. That one group trip I mentioned would pop me up from plat, so that really leaves things open for another program.

That's the proper question. SPG was hands down the best loyalty program because the points stretched further and you get more than a 1:1 conversion rate with most airlines at the 20,000 point level. Now that they have a monopoly, how are they going to respond? I always found Marriott properties to be nice, so the fit is great from a quality aspect. When redeeming points, they are also attractive since SPG and Marriott both had properties in areas that the other did not and now the footprint is expanded. As most of my travel is Europe for vacations, this is fantastic news as it allows me to avoid staying in cities that I've visited several times and explore the countryside more. In the instances where a city stay is needed, I have more options to book during peak season. My gut feeling is that their rates will be competitive but the number of points needed to stay at the desirable hotels is going to go way up. Luckily, SPG was pretty stingy with doling out points so they don't have to overcome the new point inflation to balance the force a bit. If I was holding, I'd be burning ASAP. I don't know a thing about their promos.

My favorite chain of all time is Hyatt and I used to have top status with them as well at one point. It got me rooms at the Park Hyatt hotels in Paris and Milan, which are the creme-de-la-creme. But, their footprint is so small worldwide that it didn't make sense to continue with them. I'd much rather earn IHG or Hilton points where I can grab a HIX or Hampton Inn when I don't have the wife tagging along on the trip. So I switched to Radisson, which served me for several years as I could never seem to deplete my point total completely. It's not in the heyday anymore, but they are the girl that I drunk text from time to time as I can earn enough points for 2-5 nights off one stay with a promo + a Megapoints rate of 10,000 per room per night if a qualifying hotel was near my work destination. But, they give away the pootie too often, albeit not as freely as they did 6-7 years ago. You can literally call them right now and get matched to Gold status just by saying that you hold elite status at another chain. And when you do reach the top of the mountaintop of status, you're looking over Oklahoma for benefits. 

Truth be told, I'm conflicted on the whole loyalty aspect. I'm in it for what benefits me the most and have no problem spreading the love to a few selected programs that do that for me. But, as a Diamond at Hilton and a Spire at IHG, I take the "iPhone vs. Android" mentality when debating Hilton and the "store brand bread" mentality for IHG because it "tastes the same to me". So I suppose that Hilton has their hooks in me like AA does because of what I've gotten in return. IHG is my hoodrat drinking Cristal to be fancy.

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43 minutes ago, Spankytoes said:

Truth be told, I'm conflicted on the whole loyalty aspect. I'm in it for what benefits me the most and have no problem spreading the love to a few selected programs that do that for me. But, as a Diamond at Hilton and a Spire at IHG, I take the "iPhone vs. Android" mentality when debating Hilton and the "store brand bread" mentality for IHG because it "tastes the same to me". So I suppose that Hilton has their hooks in me like AA does because of what I've gotten in return. IHG is my hoodrat drinking Cristal to be fancy.

 

Pretty much. That's the point though, right? For me, this IHG thing will be an easy reach. I already stay at a lot of their properties, so no difference there. Adding the card, however, actually opens up some other options if I want to pursue them. So that's nice.

 

Now the airline thing, meh. Local mini-airport here has AA and UA service. The AA service is pretty good in terms of schedule for a small airport, and all but 1 flight is at least 2 cabin CR9's or E175's. UA... let's just say I'm not a fan of them to begin with. If I want to fly someone else, I'm about 2hrs from 3 different airports with full service.

Sometimes the drive is worth it, sometimes it isn't. If I'm flying for work, it's all AA from here. Personal trips on the other hand, it just depends. For me, it has to be $300 or more locally over the same trip from another airport to get me to drive. Example: looking at the December trip (which I still haven't booked, sigh...) I can fly out of here on AA starting at $3600 for a ticket. Same from any of the other airports on AA. DL is starting at $3100 for the same trip. Now if I look at a vacation package, AA is anywhere from $1500-$2200 higher than the same trip through DL. That's enough to get me out the door and in the car for a bit.

I'm still shocked overall though that I've yet to find a fare in December that is lower than my summer fare. Either I got a stupid deal, or fares are on their way up a good bit. Not that it makes a shit I guess, but if it's on my dime then I want to at least get a reasonable deal. (So probably booking the Delta package in the next week or so.)

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December is notoriously bad for Europe and great for the Southern Hemisphere destinations such as Australia where it's summer, for whatever reason. If you have to connect, then that makes it even worse. If you are flying DFW-EWR-AMS, you have to compete with the people that are only doing the DFW-EWR leg and the people that are doing the same first leg with a different second leg destination. For me, it's not that problematic since I have JFK, LGA, EWR and even PHL as easy to reach airports to start the journey from. (Technically White Plains and Islip too, but I don't take them seriously) I can usually book a JFK-LHR route for cheap, upgrade with miles to J class, and then burn miles for the leg to my final destination, which LHR is a fantastic choice for that.

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Sometimes it would be nice to have those options. Although I’m in a save pattern on AA for a trip in fall of ‘19. 

Even then, still not worth $2k just for the plane to say AA. I may end up with more than enough UR points though, so that helps. 

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Turns out I have to make a rather large purchase this weekend.  Purchase can be done online.  I've been contemplating getting a rewards card lately but haven't gone through with it yet.  I haven't ever gotten into this game but should long ago.  As such I am pretty ignorant on what credit card companies will let you do.  So my question is are there any card companies that will let you use the card as soon as being approved instead of having to wait until you get it in the mail?  I will like to take advantage of a 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days type deal if possible.  

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16 minutes ago, midtown said:

Depends what you want to do with the points and if you need the benefits of the big cards vs the regular cards. 

 

https://thepointsguy.com/cards/

I'd be using the points for flights mostly.  I would need a regular card as I wouldn't get enough out of it to justify a high annual fee over $100.

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If you can fly AA then that Citi card with the 60k would be my choice.  Once you do that then look for the Barclay Aviator AA card to offer their bonus which is usually 40k.   You could easily get 100k AA points. 

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2 minutes ago, midtown said:

If you can fly AA then that Citi card with the 60k would be my choice.  Once you do that then look for the Barclay Aviator AA card to offer their bonus which is usually 40k.   You could easily get 100k AA points. 

Thanks.  Would I be able to use the Citi card for my purchase this weekend or am I just SOL on that?

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Where do you spend money? Do you already travel a bit?

I’ll assume you have a good history/score. The cards worth having for travel need it, with a mid  700’s score and up. 

For a first card, I’d look at one of the Chase Sapphires. Which one is up to you. 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the top of the pack. You get $300 a year in statement credits for any travel related purchaes (flights, uber, trains, cabs, etc.) That alone takes the $450 annual fee down to $150. 3x points/$1 on travel and dining, 1x on the rest. It also comes With many other perks, like travel insurance, which curther offset the annual fee. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty much the same, but only 2x points on dining/travel, and no $300 travel credit. It still has excellent travel insurance, and just a $95 annual fee.

Compare both on chase.com.

Ultimate reward points are the top points out there to have. 

 

The thing is that no card covers all needs. You usually need a pair or trio to get the most bang for your buck. 

 

As midtown said, there are airline cards out there as well. The downside is you are then married to a particular airline, and it seems all airlines are becoming more stingy with redemptions. 

 

There are AMEX options out there, but the travel insurance isn’t as good. They have other perks, so whatever works better for you. 

Just don’t discount a card because you see a $450 annual fee. Look at what that gets you, and often enough you’ll see that annual fee cut down drastically. 

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With chase, not sure about citi, if you’re auto-approved you can call and have them expedite the card. You could have it by Saturday from Chase, don’t know about citi. 

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8 minutes ago, thunderlounge said:

With chase, not sure about citi, if you’re auto-approved you can call and have them expedite the card. You could have it by Saturday from Chase, don’t know about citi.

If you get approved you can probably call the company and they might be able to give you the card number, cvc, and over the phone.  They want you to spend on it.

 

Agreed with this.  I carry 4 cards with close to 1200 a year in fees but I easily derive 2-3x that in benefits. 

12 minutes ago, thunderlounge said:

Just don’t discount a card because you see a $450 annual fee. Look at what that gets you, and often enough you’ll see that annual fee cut down drastically.

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Signup bonus values:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve (50k points, 5k bonus for adding auth user): $825
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred (50k points, 5k bonus for adding auth user): $687.50
  • AA 60k miles: One-way trips in coach are about 25k miles, 55k miles (again, one-way) in business (These are "sAAver" rates. Standard rates are higher.)

The positives about the chase ultimate reward points are that they can be used through the chase ur portal @ 1.5¢/point on the reserved, or 1.25¢/point for the preferred. You're not limited to just one airline, or an airline at all. You can book hotels, etc. (I wouldn't do hotels, as you can grab a hotel branded card and rack up a ton of points pretty easy.)

 

How big of a purchase are you trying to make? You're paying it off, right? The big thing with these travel cards are that you really have to pay them off every month. Don't let it slip. Ever. Any interest charges will offset any benefit from the card. Interest rates from Chase on either sapphire card will be somewhere between 17%-26% APR, variable based on market blah blah blah. I'd have to look and see what Chase has me at on my CSR right now. It was upper 18% last I looked. I just added (if you can't tell from my posts in the last couple days on this thread) the IHG co-branded card from Chase. It was an instant approval @ 18.99%. (I'm guessing this is what my sapphire card is also at right now.)

IF you need to float a balance for a few months, absolutely don't get a rewards card of any kind. Look at a low-interest card for something like that. I have a Navy Federal, basic VISA that hovers between 8%-9% APR. No perks, no rewards. The "reward" is a low interest rate if you need to spread out a purchase. I don't use it often, but it's there just in case something happens.

 

Edited by thunderlounge

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With DFW as my home airport, I tend to use AA a fair amount. I had the Citi AA card (both the Amex and MC) in the past to get the sign-up bonuses, free checked bags, and priority boarding. I canceled them about 2 years ago to allow myself the opportunity to get the bonus again at some point. I'm kind of missing the checked bag and priority boarding so I would like to get a new AA card.

Going with Citi again, it looks like their current offer for the Platinum MC is 60k miles with $3k spending in the first 3 months. Annual fee is $99 waived for the first 12 months. I think that's the card I had previously and it seems like a fairly typical offer. Can I re-apply as soon as the 2 year anniversary of my cancellation rolls around, or should I give it an extra month or so to help my chances of getting a new signup bonus?

There's also a Barclay AA MC that has a 50k miles signup bonus with no spending requirement, but you have to pay the $95 annual fee up front. Other than the annual fee, that's also a tempting offer and I think it's worth paying $95 for 50k miles.

What do you guys think - Citi, Barclay, or both? If the Citi, then when do I apply?

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