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Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

IMO I like the SPG Amex. SPG has the most valuable points out there. they are valued at 2.7 cents a point. It has a 95$ annual fee but its waived the first year.

 

The SMG Amex isnt just a hotel card either, it works great for airfare too. Its points convert to miles at a 1:1 ratio with most airline. Not to mention, you get a bonus 5,000 miles when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints. So effectively you are getting 1.25 miles per SPG point.

 

I use this card for all of my non category spend.

Message 11 of 20
Shadowfactor
Valued Contributor

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

The USB FlexPerks are a good option
The Amex version has a better point earning potential then the Visa version but the annual fee is also a little higher.

As others have said. Amex PRG or ED/EDP are both great choices.




Total Revolving Limits $254,800

Message 12 of 20
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

OP it looks like you have the AMEX ED. That is your current points earning card. You should use that card to get 1.2 MR, potentially 2.4 MR depending where you get groceries. Work on improving your scores, increasing that AMEX CL. 

 

Sign up up for the main airline frequent flyer programs you might use, hotel loyalty programs. Earn points from actual stays that way, regardless of payment card. 

 

Are you travelling now? How often and are you able to use limited airlines and specific hotels?

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
March 2021 $33k on $312k EQ 796 TU 798 EX 801
May 2021 Paid all Installments and Mortgages, one new Mortgage EQ 761 TY 774 EX 777
April 2022 EQ=811 TU=807 EX=805 - TU VS 3.0 765
Message 13 of 20
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the USBank Altitude card.  That's what I got when I couldn't get the CSR because of 5/24.

 

It's got all of the usual premium travel card perks: TSA Precheck/Global Entry, airport lounge access, primary rental car coverage, etc.  Annual fee is $400, but the card has a $325 annual travel credit, so effective annual fee is only $75.

 

It has a typically generous SUB of 50,000 points, redeemable for $500 cash or up to $750 travel.

 

Long-term, it offers 3x points on travel and mobile pay transactions, 1x points on everything else.

 

One unexpected benefit of the card which was added after I got the card is 1.5x travel redemption using the real-time rewards feature.   I expected to have to use USBank's captive portal to redeem points for travel, otherwise resort to redeeming for cash at 1:1.  But with real-time rewards turned on with travel selected, I should be able to make travel purchases with the card, and redeem points at 1.5x on those purchases.  That means I'm effectively getting 4.5% cashback on travel and Android pay purchases.  For me, that makes paying the $75 annual fee worthwhile.  That's something I wasn't expecting when I applied for the card.  This was going to be a one-and-done card for me, but now I'm thinking I'll be keeping this one for the long-term.

 

Chris.

Message 14 of 20
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

Amex SPG = Can transfer to Marriott for 3 x the points.   Points worth close to 3 cents each.  Nice sign up bonus.  Good earn.  Great availablity to use points . This one is going away so get it first.   Used my Sign Up Bonus for 3 nights in Aruba Marriott in February. Nice thing is they charge you same points no matter when you stay at a hotel.  

Hyatt = Points worth around 2 cents each.  Good sign up bonus.  Free night stay on anniversary.

Citi Thank You Premier - Really easy to earn a lot of points.  Can use on travel portal to book hotels , flights, rental cars at 1.2 cents each.  Not a lot of transfer partners.  Make sure you get 50k bonus.

 

The rest of the travel cards I think are churn and  burn types.   Not a fan of AMEX PRG.  Don't have Delta hub anywhere near me. If I did this would be a valuable card.  I don't find much use for the points other than buying gift cards.  

 

Arrival Plus good first year than close or downgrade, BOA Premium rewards and Cap One Venture the same. 

Message 15 of 20
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

Chris, OP does not yet have a relationship with US Bank, and if you look at the OP card lineup, there is some more rebuilding to be done.

Others are promoting cards that fall under 5/24.

As so often happens, the thread branches because people want to list their favorite cards. OP has some limitations to what can be apped next.

And with three Chase cards in the dream line up, OP really needs to consider no new apps until one of those, such as Freedom, gets into 5/24 eligibility. By that time significant progress wiill be accomplished in the rebuild.
High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
March 2021 $33k on $312k EQ 796 TU 798 EX 801
May 2021 Paid all Installments and Mortgages, one new Mortgage EQ 761 TY 774 EX 777
April 2022 EQ=811 TU=807 EX=805 - TU VS 3.0 765
Message 16 of 20
UpperNwGuy
Valued Contributor

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?


@NRB525wrote:

OP it looks like you have the AMEX ED. That is your current points earning card. You should use that card to get 1.2 MR, potentially 2.4 MR depending where you get groceries. Work on improving your scores, increasing that AMEX CL. 

 

Sign up up for the main airline frequent flyer programs you might use, hotel loyalty programs. Earn points from actual stays that way, regardless of payment card. 

 

Are you travelling now? How often and are you able to use limited airlines and specific hotels?


This is the best advice.

Daily Carry: PenFed Power Cash • NFCU Flagship • NFCU More Rewards • Chase Freedom
Sock Drawer: PenFed Promise • NFCU cashRewards • Chase Sapphire Preferred • Chase Freedom Unlimited • United Explorer • UNFCU Azure
Message 17 of 20
Kree
Established Contributor

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?


@Anonymouswrote:

Amex SPG = Can transfer to Marriott for 3 x the points.   Points worth close to 3 cents each.  Nice sign up bonus.  Good earn.  Great availablity to use points . This one is going away so get it first.   Used my Sign Up Bonus for 3 nights in Aruba Marriott in February. Nice thing is they charge you same points no matter when you stay at a hotel.  

Hyatt = Points worth around 2 cents each.  Good sign up bonus.  Free night stay on anniversary.

Citi Thank You Premier - Really easy to earn a lot of points.  Can use on travel portal to book hotels , flights, rental cars at 1.2 cents each.  Not a lot of transfer partners.  Make sure you get 50k bonus.

 

The rest of the travel cards I think are churn and  burn types.   Not a fan of AMEX PRG.  Don't have Delta hub anywhere near me. If I did this would be a valuable card.  I don't find much use for the points other than buying gift cards.  

 

Arrival Plus good first year than close or downgrade, BOA Premium rewards and Cap One Venture the same. 


Plus SPG gives gold status for 10k spent in a year, which is matched by marriot, and then (I think could be wrong) matched a premier silver by united.

 

One of the best ways to buy yourself some elite status.

Message 18 of 20
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

Greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to reply. Lately, I have been using my Discover it for the 5% categories and cashback match for the first year, but the match is ending in a month or two, so I will be moving all my spend towards a travel card as cashback is nice, but I like the idea of traveling for free.

 

I actually work at an SPG property and am able to receive discounts and points through being an employee, however, based on the responses I may still have to pick up the SPG Amex card.

 

I do have the Amex Everyday card but I don't go grocery shopping that often, perhaps I could upgrade to the preferred for the increased rate on gas and 50% bonus but hitting the 30 transactions could be difficult for me.  Guess I could add my wife as an AU to help with that.  

 

I really would just like to add 1 additonal card to start earning travel rewards, and it sounds like the SPG Amex is the most popular among everyone here.  Havent updated my SIG in a bit so my scores are probably good enough to be approved.  Once I add that card, i'm definitely waiting until my accounts age to start looking at getting the Chase trio.

 

Again, thank you all!

 

 

Message 19 of 20
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Best travel rewards cards if you are over 5/24?

SPG Gold status is after $30,000 spend in a year not $10,000. If only it were so.
High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
March 2021 $33k on $312k EQ 796 TU 798 EX 801
May 2021 Paid all Installments and Mortgages, one new Mortgage EQ 761 TY 774 EX 777
April 2022 EQ=811 TU=807 EX=805 - TU VS 3.0 765
Message 20 of 20
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