Such a Thing as a Good Travel Rewards Card
Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:29 PM
This only popped into my mind as I recently got a new set of pre-approvals from Penfed. The only options that interest me: 1) I can choose a new $9200 credit card, 2) a $9200 CLI on my current card, or 3) an $18k PLOC. I currently have the Platinum Rewards card with a $23.5k limit. Now I only use this card for gas and groceries, which amounts to no more than $400 monthly spending. So I really don't need a higher limit on this card, which is why I thought that perhaps I could go with the $9200 Penfed Amex if it is a good card for such limited spending.
Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Thanks everyone,
Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:39 PM
I don't know what hotel chain(s) you like but Amex has good options of hotel rewards cards, some with no AF.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:09 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something? I hate to give up this new set of pre-approvals I have, but I'd also hate to be adding more credit to a card that really doesn't need it (and ultimately wouldn't really do me any good).
Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:34 PM
You would be far better off using your good credit to chase sign up bonuses rather than on going benefits -- i.e. one of the $400 offers from Chase, etc. Do two or three offers per year, plus whatever rewards those purchases earn on the card of the month (probably 1-5% depending on the card and purchase type), and you'll do much better than rewards with your current spending. Barclay has been doing $200 for the NFL card with the only requirement being a single purchase of any amount. From time to time Discover floats $300 offers, etc.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:58 PM
If that's not something you'd want to do and would be looking for something more long-term, your best bet might be something like the Capital One Venture card or, without the annual fee, Capital One VentureOne rewards or the AmEx Blue Sky. The Venture outclasses the Venture One after $7866.67 of spending in a year, disregarding signing bonuses, taking into account annual fee and rewards rate differences. The Blue Sky has about a 1.33% rewards rate, bringing the break-even point against the Venture to $8850.00 annual spending, about as close as you had specified in your original post. Plus, you'd get the perks of being with AmEx vs. Capital One.
If you're looking for something a bit more specialized, you can definitely find some various hotel or airline specific cards out there without an annual fee.
All this said, my recommendations stand at: Chase Sapphire Preferred for the short-term, AmEx Blue Sky for the long-term.
Edited by patz2009, 01 April 2012 - 09:58 PM.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:38 PM
1. A card that will reward you for travel
2. A card that will upgrade your traveling experience
3. A card with rewards you can redeem for travel
4. A card with no FETF
Various cards have various benefits, but it is important to clarify what you want from this card.
The PenFed Amex is a great card to get. The SPG Amex is also pretty good, but it's hard to justify the AF at your spending level.
The AMEX platinum is also a great card, and I would argue that the card's benefits aren't for high spenders.
IF I had an AMEX Platinum, I think I would still swipe my Fidelity AMEX most of the time because it has a rewards program that is 2X as good, and most of the same protection the Platinum has. To me, the main reason to get the AMEX is to be a cardholder with access to all the benefits they will offer you.
The Venture is also a decent product, and the Priceline 2% visa should be considered.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:21 PM
I've looked at the SPG Amex and a few other travel rewards cards, and also came to the conclusion that the AF would eclipse any rewards I would be earning. For this reason, I'm trying to stay away from any card that carries an AF.
Lack of an AF is the main reason that the Penfed Amex caught my attention. However, I don't see myself racking up a significant amount of rewards on the card without much spending or traveling.
Maybe I shouldn't even be bothering with any travel/airlines rewards cards until I win the lotto and can afford to travel 24/7 hm?
Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:40 PM
Chase/Southwest had a killer deal for a free roundtrip plus $500 in vouchers with minimum spending.
Make sure you cancel before the AF hits!
Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:15 PM
if you want lounge access, the $150 annual fee Ameriprise world elite mastercard might work for you.
if you buy a lot of airfare the penfed amex is the best card in the world.
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