Just wondering what the best flight/hotel rewards card would be for myself and my wife. We make combined about 60k and have virtually no expenses such as transportation/housing (we both live walking distance to work and live in a family owned apartment building). We both love the W hotel so I was thinking perhaps the Starwood Amex? Most of our money is spent on groceries stores, department stores and dining. So those would be the best points categories for us. Thanks!! Obviously would like a nice sign up bonus and waived annual fee the first year if possible.
Do you travel a lot? because otherwise Amex Blue Cash Preferred capturing your 6% Grocery, 3% Department Stores, and 2% Dining out would probably outway hotel rewards unless you are in higher tier stay levels to maximize the upgrades and such...
I wouldn't say we travel a lot but a couple times a year. We both have relatives on the opposite coast and in Canada so we fly probably twice a year. Sometimes train up to Canada. We have plans to do some overseas in the next couple years as well.
Personally outside of maybe a sign up bonus that gets you a free night in a little bit higher end... I would bet your cash off something like the Blue would transfer a lot better! (transfer to your statement as cash I mean)
I don't know the structures really well but I think you need to be spending like $40-$60k a year on that card to make yourself the next tier within the hotel rewards and at the base gold or what ever level they give you just to be a cardholder you are not going to really get much extra thrown in so once you use that free be, you will charge all year to get another free one... while over at Blue you get the bonus that pays the AF and some and then of course the return!
BCP does not do 2% on dining FYI.
sorry, my bad... was getting a head of myself and trying to replace the gas 3% that I was typing... does it even have a 2% category! lol I have the card!
If you like Hilton hotels, the Hilton Surpass Amex offers 6pts/$ on grocery store and dining spend, which matches up with your stated spending patterns. It currently comes with a 60,000 point sign-up bonus after spending 3k in 3 months. Granted Hilton points aren't as valuable as they used to be, but you'll probably still be able to get Gold status and a couple free nights out of the card if you concentrate most of your spending on it.
If you have an airline carrier which you tend to favor on your yearly trips, I would also look into that company's credit card, if they offer one.
EDIT: There is also a no-AF version which offers 5pts/$ on the same categories and a 40,000 point sign-up bonus. The Surpass is only worth the $75 AF if you actually have paid stays at Hiltons.
We both love the W hotel so I was thinking perhaps the Starwood Amex? Most of our money is spent on groceries stores, department stores and dining. So those would be the best points categories for us. Thanks!! Obviously would like a nice sign up bonus and waived annual fee the first year if possible.
If you like the Westin, sign-up bonus, first year fee waived, then the SPG card would be an excellent choice. Here's what I would do:
1. You apply for an SPG for 25K sign up bonus.
2. Then, your wife applies for another SPG for another 25K sign up bonus.
3. Within the same household, spg allows for free and seemless transfers.
When it's all said and done, you and your wife will have a combined 60,000 spg points. When used for the "cash + points" option, you'll receive tremendous value. Of course, this is assuming the spend requirement isn't an issue; however, there are many ways to meet a spend requirement.
I'd focus on the sign up bonus before concering yourself with rewards on actual spending. Next year, if you cancel the card because of the fee, then you can look at the rewards for spending to maximize on what you spend most.
The highest rewards spending will always been meeting a spend requirement for a sign-up bonus.