Probably start with the Freedom Unlimited. Their intro 1 year returns are 3x points, then 1.5x after that. When you think you will travel within a year you can apply for the Saphire Preferred or Reserve to get the sign up bonus. After your travel is done you can downgrade it to the Freedom to avoid the annual fee.
I myself am getting the Unlimited next week to have a general spending card.
If you have over a year of history, the Chase Freedom or FU would probably be great all-around cards.
My oldest card is right under 2 years old at the moment. I will look into the Freedom cards.
What are your thoughts on trying to go for a United Explorer/MileagePlus card or the Marriot Bonvoy cards? I fly with United enough that I was thinking some of the benefits would be helpful for me. What are your thoughts on any of these cards?
First, I am not looking to brag in front of my friends. I personally pay every card in full every month and have never carried a balance so I am interested in the reward heavy cards because the APR does not matter when I am paying my cards in full every month.
Also, I already have a strong relationship with my local CU so thank you for your advice but you did not answer my question.
The brand specific cards are fine if you're only using them for Primary payment to those brands. Outside of those brands they suck for earning anything on them.
CFU is 3% first year on ALL purchases. The only other card that is doing that would be Disco Miles.
If you get the CFU and pull 3% for the first year and then say next year decide to go CSP or CSR w/ Chase you can transfer the UR's to the airline of your choice. Plus if you apply for either card you get a bonus as well.