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Credit Cards Need help on which cards to apply for

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by GalpalVal, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. GalpalVal

    GalpalVal New Member

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    Although my boyfriend and I have been gathering points for a while, I am new to the game, that I ultimately want to become good at. I need assistance as to which cards I (we) should be applying for to maximize what we have. I will apply via your links in exchange for your help!
    Scenario:
    Jim: 900k miles on Amex Plat, AA is preferred carrier
    Just received Cap One Venture and will have 40k with them next month

    Me: Barclay Aviator Aadvantage with 250k miles, no status yet but I expect $3000EQD and EQM next month.
    I also just got a Venture card and will have 40k next month. That was our first attempt at new cards and now that I'm learning more, I'm not sure it was a good choice...?

    I have 14 nights of hotels (4 locations) that I have to book within the next week too.

    In both cases we have excellent credit and have applied for no other cards in the last 2 years. We live in Orlando and primairly fly domestically, but intend to trip to Europe in particular, maybe an awesome one next year for a couple of weeks on points. We get lounge benefits and Gold Hotel status from his Platinum now and free baggage on AA due to my card. I think I'd like more travel as opposed to more luxury...but then again :)

    Please help me strategize the best way to put this all together. THANKS
     
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  2. Jazz

    Jazz New Member

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    Chase CSR, CSP, United.
     
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    Tiffany likes this.
  3. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    After you use the bonus on the Capital One cards, I wouldnt really use them.

    The Chase cards are great cards to have since their points are pretty valuable. If your boyfriend pays for a lot of his airfares with his own credit card, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve for 3x points on travel (airfare and hotels included) or the Amex Platinum card (5x on airfare booked directly with airlines). So those are the cards that I would recommend.

    I find AAdvantage points to be better for flights to Asia since fees are low. For Europe, carriers are stingy with award space and AA adds on high fees for flights on BA. If you can find space on American, Finnair or airberlin, great!

    United (transferable from Chase) charges less for flights on their own planes but even if you use Star Alliance carriers, they dont pass on any fees. Korean Air (also transferable from Chase) has surcharges but they only charge 80k miles for round trip business class to Europe on SkyTeam carriers. With Amex, you can transfer to Singapore or Aeroplan, which are also great ways to get to Europe
     
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  4. GalpalVal

    GalpalVal New Member

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    Thanks so much for your help. Yes after I learned more, I was sorry we bothered with the Venture cards and it's going to be difficult to get him to change his CC auto payments again. He already has the AMEX Plat so I guess the Chase is the way to go which I guess I will apply for initially. We don't pay for a lot of flights, already have Global Entry and lounge access, so I was wondering if I should get the preferred card instead of the Reserve? I also wonder if there is justification to get the Marriott Card now while there is a bonus before I begin booking hotels (and wait on United until after I meeting spending). Your advice?
     
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  5. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    Why not both Preferred and Reserve, even if only for the first year and for the bonus? Preferred's annual fee is waived the first year. Reserve comes with a $300 travel credit per calendar year. You'd get one this year and then again after your statement closes in December. That's $600 in credits before the 2nd annual fee kicks in.

    Marriott card could be useful if you were originally planning on booking stays with Marriott (or SPG)

    With United, Chase's points transfer to United's airline program so you dont necessarily need to apply for the United credit card. I'd save that for when you know you'll be able to use the miles and when there's a great bonus on the card.
     
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  6. GalpalVal

    GalpalVal New Member

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    You are AWESOME! Thanks
     
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  7. GalpalVal

    GalpalVal New Member

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    One final question, considering the number of Amex points we have, how can I best use those to accomplish the Europe trip?
     
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  8. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    You have more than enough points on the Amex Plat so you have several options.

    Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer- New York to Frankfurt and Houston to Manchester on Singapore metal. Given their recent changes, you can add domestic United segments to awards but you'll have to call them to do so. You can also add intra-Europe legs on Star Alliance carriers, if Frankfurt/Manchester isnt your intended destionation.

    Air Canada Aeroplan - Star alliance awards. Their mileages arent horrible and they dont have fuel surcharges on a handful of airlines. Personally, I think that if youre going to pay the surcharges on flights booked thru Aeroplan, make sure it's on Lufthansa First.

    Air France/KLM FlyingBlue - AF/KL is stingy with awardsto partners but they do have more space available for their own members and their promo awards can be useful.

    Delta SkyMiles - SkyTeam awards via Delta's program are priced better than FlyingBlue. However, Delta adds extra fees on awards that begin in Europe so you should either book round trip or the return from Europe via a different program. Also note that Amex charges a tax for points transferred to Delta.

    British Airways/Iberia - The transfer rate isnt great but Avois are useful for short haul flights within Europe.
     
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    Gaurav and Tiffany like this.
  9. Rohit Deshpande

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    I would go down the chase route. In conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) and/ or Reserve (CSR), you would get, I would also look at Chase's no annual fee cards as those are GREAT for getting even more bonuses, assuming you have the CSP or CSR card(s). The three cards you want to look for are The Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash card, which all offer a certain cash back on every purchase with varying amounts depending on what you purchase. However, if you have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, like the CSR, CSP, or Chase Ink business preferred, then that cash back gets converted to ultimate rewards points as long as you keep a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points
    The Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited are great for getting more points in categories where the CSP and CSR lack.

    The Chase Freedom is a card that offers unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases (1 ultimate reward point per dollar with one of the 3 above cards), however, it offers bonuses on certain categories for a particular quarter of the year, then rotates the bonus to another category. Currently, April through the end of June, if you use the Chase Freedom at grocery stores, you get 5% cash back for the first $1800 I think; However, if you have the CSP or CSR card, that 5% cash back turns into five ultimate reward points per dollar. The chase freedom card has rotating category bonuses that change every quarter. I myself am taking full advantage of this one.

    The Chase Ink Business card might not be used that frequently by you guys so there might not be a need, but nevertheless, it has no annual fee, so it's not bad to have. Use this card for paying your phone bills, and for buying office supplies, cable TV services, and the like and you get 5% cash back on all those purchases, or 5 ultimate rewards points per dollar if you have any of the 3 ultimate reward earning cards mentioned above. It definitely won't be used as much on a daily basis if you have it, but phone bills and cable TV bills are high sometimes, so paying with this card may be very rewarding.

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. So with having the CSP or CSR card, that 1.5% cash back turns into 1.5 ultimate rewards points per dollar. This can be especially useful to use on purchases where none of your other credit cards have bonuses.

    So as you can see, the Chase sapphire reserve and preferred are great all around cards, and you get bonuses for certain categories, but not for others. That is where these 3 cards come and clean up the mess and ensure you don't leave any points lying around uncollected.

    Recap for usage plan:

    CSP/CSR/Ink Business preferred: use at restaurants and for travel related purchases

    Chase Freedom: Use at grocery stores for this quarter and whatever the category changes to after June

    Chase Ink Business: Use for phone bill, TV bill, and other office supply/business related purchases

    Chase Freedom Unlimited: For anything not covered above or anything that does not fall in a bonus category.

    So all in all, on every purchase with these cards, you should get at least 1.5 points/$.

    Please keep 5/24 in mind if this is a limiting factor. Chase's 5/24 rule is that if you have opened 5 or more accounts in the last 24 months, then your applications will be declined. This is why I picked up the chase cards before getting some SPG and Amex cards as well since those cards don't have as strict of a restriction. All of these cards and you'll only have an annual fee of $95, or $450, or $545. For $450 and $545, a large amount of that is negated because of the CSR's $300 travel credit anyways. So the benefits are huge as long as you are not limited. Hope this helps!

    Ben also did a post on those 3 no-annual fee cards that I mentioned, here in case you wanted to read his thoughts on it as another perspective: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2017/03/04/best-no-annual-fee-cards/
     
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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  10. GalpalVal

    GalpalVal New Member

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    WOw, thank you so much, that is exactly the kind of information I was looking for! I'll let you know how it goes!!
     
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  11. Rohit Deshpande

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    Glad I could help! Please ask if you have any other questions
     
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  12. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Just a minor edit on all this great info, the freedom only earns the bonus on $1500 per quarter, not $1800.
     
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