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Best rewards card for "lite" travelers

Valued Contributor

Re: Best rewards card for "lite" travelers

As a general rule cash back cards are good for light travelers, but you may also want to look into a card with <$100 AF like the United Explorer. If you travel even 4 times a year, the free checked bags will already save you more than the AF. Delta and American have similar cards as well, so if you use one airline consistently you might want to look into this. Also the Hilton Reserve by Citi will offer free breakfast and Internet, which can easily run $25-40 per night depending on what property you stay at. Yes it has an AF, but it could be worth it if you're brand-loyal.
EX 798, EQ 789, TU 784
American Express Platinum (NPSL) || Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard - $20,000 CL || Chase IHG Rewards World Mastercard - $25,000 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL || Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa Signature - $20,000 CL || J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Message 11 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: Best rewards card for "lite" travelers


CreditScholar wrote:
As a general rule cash back cards are good for light travelers, but you may also want to look into a card with <$100 AF like the United Explorer. If you travel even 4 times a year, the free checked bags will already save you more than the AF. Delta and American have similar cards as well, so if you use one airline consistently you might want to look into this. Also the Hilton Reserve by Citi will offer free breakfast and Internet, which can easily run $25-40 per night depending on what property you stay at. Yes it has an AF, but it could be worth it if you're brand-loyal.

Thanks, I will look into these cards.

 

Looks like a spreadsheet is needed to compare benefits vs AFs.

Message 12 of 16
Moderator

Re: Best rewards card for "lite" travelers

BOFA Travel Rewards.

$0 AF, not tied to any given airline.
Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 758, EX 2 758, EQ 8 795, TU 8 762, EX 8 786 (7/28/17)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 750, TU 4 750, EX 2 750, EQ 8 800, TU 8 Blah, EX 8 800 (01/01/18)


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Message 13 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: Best rewards card for "lite" travelers


FocusedAndDetermined wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:
As a general rule cash back cards are good for light travelers, but you may also want to look into a card with <$100 AF like the United Explorer. If you travel even 4 times a year, the free checked bags will already save you more than the AF. Delta and American have similar cards as well, so if you use one airline consistently you might want to look into this. Also the Hilton Reserve by Citi will offer free breakfast and Internet, which can easily run $25-40 per night depending on what property you stay at. Yes it has an AF, but it could be worth it if you're brand-loyal.

Thanks, I will look into these cards.

 

Looks like a spreadsheet is needed to compare benefits vs AFs.


You may also want to look at some of the hotel cards that offer a free night annually. This will easily compensate for the AF and then some. Chase's Marriott Premier, Hyatt and Priority Club all fall into this space. US Bank's Club Carlson offers 40k points annually upon renewal, which essentially does the same thing.

EX 798, EQ 789, TU 784
American Express Platinum (NPSL) || Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard - $20,000 CL || Chase IHG Rewards World Mastercard - $25,000 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL || Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa Signature - $20,000 CL || J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Message 14 of 16
Valued Member

Re: Best rewards card for "lite" travelers

Consider the chase Hyatt card. I've had the chase hyatt card for about a year now. There are two free nights, plus 2 free upgrades, and a free room once a year (anniversary). That makes up for the $75 AF. 

 

As far as the perks, whenever I've given my hyatt number to the hotels, I've literally always been given a free room upgrade. On New Years, I received an upgrade at the downtown hyatt hotel in Chicago, to  a junior sweet for free. Don't be afraid to ask for upgrades to rooms!

 

I'm a "lite" traveller too. In fact, most of my hyatt stays have been with my girlfriend for weekend getaways in the city.

Starting Score (2/15/13): EX (fako) 583// EQ FICO 634// TU FICO 658
Current Score (5/27/14): EX FICO 719// EQ FICO 742// TU FICO 729
Goal Scores: 740 on all.
CSP- 10K, United mileage explorer- 9k, Freedom- 5k, Barclays Arrival+ W.E.- 5k, Nordstrom- 6k, Chase Hyatt- 5k, Discover it- 5k, Slate- 4.5k, Amex Blue Cash- 1k.
Message 15 of 16
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Re: Best rewards card for "lite" travelers

If your scores are super good, I would recommend PenFed Travel Rewards. I'm a pretty light traveler (fly maybe 2-3 times a year) and I love it.  5X points on flights. I used the sign up bonus for a r/t flight NY->FL two years ago (which also covered taxes and fees!), and I almost have enough points for another free flight. $0 AF too. 


Starting Score (07/2011): EQ 706 TU 709
Current Score (6/2013): EQ 740 TU 732 EX 740
Goal Score: 750+ on all 3


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Message 16 of 16