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Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

mjb12
Established Member

Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

Hi - my credit is 745 Equifax, 750 TransU, 728 Experian.

I only have two Visa credit cards, both with limits under $2k. I have a small handful of store cards (Lowes, Macys, Nordies, etc.).

 

I would like to start using a credit card for things, and pay off in full (or close to full) monthly, in order to earn Airline points/miles. Any suggestions and/or insights? I've never had an airline-reward card before.

 

Thank you!

Message 1 of 11
10 REPLIES 10
Remedios
Moderator

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

Could you provide a bit more information such as age of the cards you have, income, what you're spending money on, which airline (where are you planning on traveling) etc 

When someone asks you *What's wrong*, and you're not sure if you want to start listing it in alphabetical or in order of importance.
Message 2 of 11
mjb12
Established Member

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

Thank you, Remedios - history are all over 5 years. Income is about $165k/annual. Travel would be domestic, specifically Vegas, Hawaii, and instate (California). thanks again!

 

ETA: I spend money on household bills, car payment, gasoline, groceries, just usual day-to-day things. Also, spend money often ordering household items, clothes, etc., on Amazon.

Message 3 of 11
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

Home airport(s)? Any preferred airlines?

 

I fly out of LAX or ONT, rarely SNA. I have Amex Schwab Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Delta Platinum, and Barclays AA Aviator. I'm not especially loyal to any one airline, simply because I can usually fly to most destinations nonstop if I don't care about the airline.

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 4 of 11
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

As alluded to, the right choice for you will probably come down to home airports and airline choices. An airline-specific card can be great, although something with more flexible rewards might be right for you. Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve if you qualify) and Amex Platinum or Gold immediately come to mind. You did mention paying in full or almost in full... with rewards cards you will always want to pay in full as the APRs can easily consume what you earn in rewards much of the time, and if a statement balance is not paid in full you lose your grace period on new purchases.
Message 5 of 11
mjb12
Established Member

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

Thank you - I almost always fly out of SFO...once in a while out of Oakland. I saw a good card for Southwest travel but I do think I need more flexibility. I like Virgin and Alaska best.

Thank you for your help!

Message 6 of 11
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points


@mjb12 wrote:

Thank you - I almost always fly out of SFO...once in a while out of Oakland. I saw a good card for Southwest travel but I do think I need more flexibility. I like Virgin and Alaska best.

Thank you for your help!


Well, I'd skip Amex Platinum. That would be more for a Delta/United flyer out of SFO. Alaska and Southwest have decent cards with ~$100 AFs.

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 7 of 11
alohawinn
Established Contributor

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

I suggest United card then since SFO is United major Hub.





Amex Platinum NSPL || Amex Everyday $2k || Amex BonVoy $10k || Amex HH Surpass $16k|| Aviator AA $7.6K || Citi AA $7.2K || Citi Costco $5.5K || NFCU CashReward $26K || Blispay $5K || Discover $12.8K || Paypal Credit $7.6K || VS card $4.6|| Walmart store $8.5K
Message 8 of 11
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

Also determine roughly how much spend you would put on the card and how flexible your travel plans generally are.   In most cases, the idea behind an airline card is to earn points in the reward program which can then turn into flights/upgrades etc.   You need to make sure that you will earn enough (including bonus) and will be able to use the rewards you want given constraints.

 

And then compare whether say a general 2% cashback card would be more value!   You have to take into account any perks of the airline card, such as free checked baggage for a group, and any companion ticket type stuff, making sure you can use those perks.

Message 9 of 11
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Recs for applying for CC with airline miles/rewards/points

I would consider starting with Chase Freedom Unlimited, if the 3 UR offer is still available. With primarily domestic travel, FTF is not a concern. The spend categories will get 3 UR, and you begin building a file with Chase. Then a year from now, the CSR may be available to convert those points ( plus the SUB on CSR) at a 4,5% value on simple booking redemptions.

With no specific airline, having the flex of UR seems reasonable.
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
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