What’s In My Wallet?

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What’s In My Wallet?
Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to accumulate miles and points and there are some amazing deals out there. I can actually trace my mileage obsession back to the original American Airlines Citi AAdvantage MasterCard. I remember being about 10 years old when my friend Peter’s parents from down the block had just signed up for the card.  They had a conversation with my parents about how they used their card for all their purchases and were planning a free trip for the entire family to Disney World. My parents soon signed up (yes, they were allowed in those days to sign up for cards without my input) and so began our yearly December vacation to Florida followed later by the Caribbean, care of Citi and American.  The offers weren’t as generous back then, but the award tickets were readily available at low redemption levels.  Things have changed quite a bit, but credit cards are still one of the easiest ways to earn free travel and anyone not utilizing these offers is silly.  I’ve easily earned over 20 million points with cards.  I’m constantly asked by colleagues, friends, and family what my favorite cards are and which ones will allow them to earn the most points for an upcoming trip. In fact, at Juicy Miles, we’ve helped countless clients obtain completely free trips and honeymoons, flights and hotels fully booked with miles and points.  Below you’ll find my favorite cards, feel free to email me at adam@pointmetotheplane.com with any questions or to share a better sign-up offer. Remember, these are per individual so you can obtain even more points if each member of the household applies.

Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
While the Chase Ink Plus has come and gone, Chase has ushered in the newest Chase business product, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. The card is offering 80,000 bonus points after spending $5K on purchases in the first three months. This is the current highest sign-up bonus across all Ultimate Rewards cards and my favorite current sign-up offer. The card has a $95 annual fee which is not waived for the first year. You’ll also earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.

The best news is that if you’ve had the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash cards, you can still receive this bonus as the Ink Business Preferred is considered a completely separate product. However, the 5/24 restrictions do apply to this card. Trip cancellation / interruption, purchase protection, extended warranty, and cell phone protection are all included with the card. These points are combinable with the Ultimate Rewards points that you’ve earned with your other Chase personal and business cards. Like the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred below, benefits include 1 to 1 point transfers with United, Southwest, British Airways (oneworld), Korean Air (SkyTeam), Singapore KrisFlyer, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt,Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, and Amtrak.+

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

Learn more about this card here

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (current favorite card and FEE Free)
This card has many of the same benefits as the Ink Business Preferred above, but without the fee!  The sign-up bonus is 50,000 points after spending $3K within the first 3 months. You’ll earn 5x points for internet, cable, and phone service as well as office supply stores.  2x points is offered for gas stations and food. The card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule…but it wont’ count towards your 5/24 total!

  • Earn $500 bonus cash back (50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Named “Best Rewards Card for Small Business Owners” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2017
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

Learn more about this card here

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
If you’ve not yet had the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll appreciate  the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4K within the first 3 months. If you’re new to the points / miles hobby, with no annual fee for the first year, this should be your go to first card! You’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining and points transfer 1 to 1 to United, Southwest, British Airways (oneworld), Korean Air (SkyTeam), Singapore KrisFlyer, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt,Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, and Amtrak.+

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card’ by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

As mentioned above, if you’re new to the hobby, signing up for this personal card with the Ink Business Preferred above would net you 130,000 points and only a $95 fee for your first year.  After meeting the spend requirements, you would have enough points for a roundtrip business class ticket from the US to Europe!

Learn more about this card here

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
Okay, this is clearly the card that people are most excited about, but let’s discuss the fee and specifics first. The card offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $4K within 3 months. There is a $450 annual fee, but you can negate it quite quickly. Specifically, each year you’ll receive a $300 travel credit (good on airfare, hotels, taxis, Uber, train, etc) which brings the fee down to $150.  You’ll then receive a Global Entry / TSA Pre® credit up to $100 (good for anyone if you already have these), this brings the fee down to $50.  For $50 you’ll earn an amazing 3x points on travel and dining and you’ll receive Priority Pass Select membership which allows you lounge access at most airports worldwide with free guests! The premium card will also get you 50% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.  Like the other Ultimate Rewards cards, 1 to 1 point transfers are offered with United, Southwest, British Airways (oneworld), Korean Air (SkyTeam), Singapore KrisFlyer, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt,Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, and Amtrak.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Learn more about this card here

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
Amex has increased the standard offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card, now offering 50K Membership Rewards points after spending $5K within your first 3 months instead of the normal 25K. There is no annual fee for the first year. You’ll also earn 3x points on either airfare from airlines, gas station purchases, shipping, advertising in select media, and computer hardware / software / cloud computing purchases. You earn 2x points on those categories that you don’t select.  You can see full details and apply for the card here.

The 50K points will be combined with your current Membership Rewards.  This card is considered a different product than the Premier Rewards Gold Card and you can obtain these points even if receiving a sign-up bonus for the personal card.  In addition, you’re eligible to apply even if you’ve had a Business Platinum Card.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points – Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection(SM) offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 6/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Let’s start out with the cost, it’s $550 a year!  Yes, that sounds outrageous but you make up the initial outlay extremely quickly, especially if you’re a frequent traveler with no lounge access.  With membership comes complimentary Delta Sky Club lounge access, access to Priority Pass Select lounges around the globe, and American Express Centurion Lounges. If you are someone who buys any of these memberships, then this card is definitely worth the membership fee. Prices for annual club memberships at airlines vary based on your status level, however Delta charges $300-$450. Even more valuable, you can add up to 3 additional members for only $175 total, which means 4 people can enjoy these benefits for $625 or $156.25 per person for access to all of these lounges for the year.  The card also includes $200 airline fee credit per year.  You select an airline to receive up to $200 annually in statement credits for incidental fees such as checked bags, in-flight refreshments, and change fees. Finally, the card also comes with Global Entry registration, which normally costs $100. You’ll also receive SPG/Marriott Gold status, Hilton Gold status, and GoGo and Boingo wifi access while traveling. Additionally, a special Platinum concierge desk that can help with special dining reservations, sold out event assistance, and shopping services. You also get VIP treatment at thousands of hotels in the Fine Hotels and Resorts Program booked via AMEX, including upgrades and late 4pm checkout. No foreign currency conversion fees and the standard purchase protection plans are also included. You earn 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or AmEx Travel, and in March 2017 the same was added for eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.  As noted with the AMEX Gold Card above, Membership Rewards points are extremely flexible and can be transferred to several partners including some of the largest airlines. Do the math, first subtract the $200 airline fee credit from the annual fee.  Now, if the remaining cost is lower than what you pay each year for an airline membership, the card definitely makes sense, even without taking into consideration Global Entry or the hotel benefits. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $5000 in purchases within three months.

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Already have/had The Platinum Card? Consider the business version below.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The updated sign-up is now 75,000 points after spending $3K within the first 3 months.  That’s 5K less than the old offer, but the annual fee was also dropped – now waived for the first year and $85 thereafter. Remember, these points will be added to your combined SPG and Marriott balance come August 2018. In addition, you’ll earn 15 elite night credits and a free category 1-5 free night stay after your account anniversary every year. The card earns 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott and SPG properties worldwide, 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased with the airlines, restaurants, and car rentals, and 1 point on everyday spend.

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $85.
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.

Learn more about this card here

The Hyatt Credit Card
40K after spending $2K within the first 3 months. PLUS you’ll get another 5K points after you add the first authorized user and they make a purchase within 3 months of opening. The card automatically comps you Discoverist status within the World of Hyatt program and you’ll earn 3x points at Hyatt properties worldwide and 2x points at restaurants, car rentals, and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and 1x points on all other purchases.  This card is truly worth keeping since you earn an annual free night certificate, more than offsetting the $75 annual fee (not waived for the first year).

  • Earn 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • Get 5,000 Bonus Points after you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase with your card during the first 3 months as a cardmember.
  • Plus, receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.
  • Get Bonus Points on every purchase. Free nights start at just 5,000 points.
  • 3 Bonus Points for every $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts.
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines and at car rental agencies, Plus 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on purchases elsewhere.
  • Keep all the points you earn – your points do not expire as long as your Hyatt Credit Card account is open.
  • As a Hyatt Cardmember, you’ll enjoy Discoverist status in World of Hyatt for as long as your Hyatt Credit Card account is open.

Learn more about this card here

A few other cards currently in my wallet

Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card 
The 100K British Airways card offer may be long over, but the current 50K Avios offer now has a much lower spend requirement of only $2,000 within three months of account opening. Looking to spend more, you can earn up to 75K Avios when you spend up to $10,000 on purchases within your first year. Why should you take advantage of this offer if you live in the US and you know of BA’s ridiculous fuel surcharges? I recently went to Barbados round-trip on American for only $47.50 in taxes and 12,500 Avios points each way (instead of 17,500 AA miles). This past New Year’s I traveled with AA to Antigua also for only 12,500 Avios!  BA offers amazing redemption opportunities on short-haul flights (not as great as they once were) and points can be used for cheap awards on American Airlines award redemptions within North America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. There are even some good long-haul opportunities that avoid the outrageous taxes and fees that BA has become known for.  Check out this post for the short haul opportunities and this post with the long haul opportunities. Also, Avios has some great unexpected airline partners who are not partners with BA or Iberia, see this post. Finally, remember that BA allows household accounts where up to 7 members residing at the same address can combine and pool their points together. The annual fee of $95 is not waived for the first year.

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

Learn more about this card here

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Want to keep your Membership Rewards points active without paying an annual fee, this is your opportunity. This is an AmEx Membership Rewards card that is fee free and these points will combine with points that you’ve earned with any other AmEx Membership Rewards card

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
This card presents another opportunity to keep your Membership Rewards points active without paying an annual fee. This is an AmEx Membership Rewards card that is fee free and these points will combine with points that you’ve earned with any other AmEx Membership Rewards card, plus you get 2x points on select business purchases!

  • Get rewarded for business as usual. Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • More buying power for your business* means more opportunities to earn points. That’s everyday business with the new Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Here’s a no-fee card that can compliment your Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ or Chase Sapphire Preferred® cards and provide additional Ultimate Rewards points for signing-up, plus it has no annual fee! This card earns 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent – yes you are earning 1.5% cash back (1.5x points) per $1 on ALL spend, no special categories required.  You can strategically use this card for all spend that doesn’t fall into a bonus category with one of your other cards. Plus, you’ll earn a $150 bonus (15,000 points) after you spend $500 within 3 months. These points can of course be combined with your current UR balances. If you’ve had or have the Chase Freedom® card, this is considered a separate product and you are eligible for the sign-up bonus.

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it’s automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49-25.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

Learn more about this card here

Chase Freedom®
Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® above, this is a no fee card that is a very nice companion to your other Ultimate Rewards cards.  This card is special in that there are rotating 5% cash back (5x points) categories up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter (that’s 7,500 UR points) you active. In addition, you’ll receive a $150 bonus (15,000 points) for signing up. If you’ve had or have the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, this is considered a separate product and you are eligible for the sign-up bonus.

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49-25.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) – that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first 3 months.†
  • Earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in the calendar year.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding and enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.‡
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club® Access.‡
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first 3 months with your new Card.
  • Earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fee

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
This card is offering 40,000 points after spending $2K within 3 months. The annual fee is waived for the first year ($95 after that), but you still get all the benefits including a free first checked bag, priority boarding, and a full-sized carry on bag even when purchasing a Basic Economy fare. You’ll also receive 2 United Club passes each year on your account anniversary. If you’re an elite, the card allows you to snag domestic upgrades on award tickets and all cardmembers get extra saver award availability that non-cardholders don’t have access to.

  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $100 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn

Learn more about this card here

  • Make business travel more rewarding. Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding and enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit when you use your American Express Delta Card.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Receive a 20% In-Flight Savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (Partner Offer)
The major selling point of this card is that you will ALWAYS earn triple Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines and double points on US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets.  You will earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 on the card within 3 months.  You’ll also get up to a $100 airline fee credit. While the sign up bonus may not be as high as the other cards above, the triple and double earnings are key.  Additionally, AMEX consistently runs transfers bonuses where you can earn up to a 50% mileage bonus on miles transferred into a given partner program. That means your actually earning more than the double and triple points listed above. Membership Rewards has a ton of airline partners including: Delta, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Alitalia, ANA, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Frontier, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue Singapore, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin America. Under a recent promotion you could earn 1.5 British Airways Avios points for every Membership Reward Point transferred.  Hence, the bonus points earned actually became 37,500 British Airways Avios miles.  Delta tends to have similar 50% bonus transfer promotions that would amount to the same 37,500 miles.  The card also offers extended warranty protection, purchase protection, return protection, and rental car insurance.  There is $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195 thereafter.

  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 per calendar year for baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
I sat out on the hype over this card when it was first released, but it now plays a role in my wallet…though a very different one. The benefits -double points on all purchases / no worrying about category spend, waived annual fee first year, free subscription to TripIt, and a free copy of your FICO score. More importantly, no worrying about award availability as you are actually buying a ticket with your points. The points are valued at 1.1 cents per mile when redeemed for travel and you receive a statement credit for their value. Since you are buying the ticket, you’ll actually be earning miles on your award ticket. That’s all great but I sign up for credit cards to fly in business / first to international destinations, quite difficult to achieve when my points are only worth 1.1 cents. So why did I apply? Incidental travel costs, positioning flights for mileage runs, and some potential domestic trips that I don’t want to burn my valuable airline miles on. Little known fact, you can actually redeem the miles for anything labeled “travel” on your statement and so that means they are great for seat upgrades, rental cars, club memberships, etc. When you apply you’ll receive 40,000 points (which equals $440 when redeemed for travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months. You’ll also receive 5% of your redeemed points back each time you redeem for an award. There’s an $89 fee that’s waived for the first year. There’s also the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® (not elite) which has no annual fee and provides 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in 90 days.

Citi Prestige® Card
This card has benefits similar to the Platinum Card from American Express below. You’ll receive a welcome bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months after opening your card. In addition, the card comes with access to both the American Airlines Admirals Club lounges (a new yearly membership would cost you $400-$500 from AA depending on your status) and Priority Pass Select lounges as well as a $100 Global Entry fee credit every five years. The card has some awesome bonus categories too including 3x points on airfare and hotel purchases and 2x points on dining and entertainment purchases. Points can be transferred 1:1 to Cathay Pacific, Singapore KrisFlyer, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Qantas, Thai Airways, EVA Air, Virgin Atlantic, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, and Hilton HHonors. Each year you’ll receive a $250 air travel credit which can be used on any airline for any type of charge (including airfare). Even cooler, you receive your fourth night free for all hotel stays…at any hotel. There are no foreign transaction fees with the card and ThankYou Points earned from the Citi Prestige Card can be applied toward airfare at 1.6 cents per dollar (60% more value) on flights with American Airlines and at 1.33 cents per dollar (33% more value) on flights with all other airlines. Cardmembers receive special benefits at Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons hotels as well when booking via Citi’s travel concierge. Now the fee…it’s $450 and not waived the first year.  Though, if you take into account the $250 air travel credit, the $100 global entry credit, and the AA Admirals Club benefits, it’s quite an enticing offer.Citi ThankYou Premier Card
This card is sort of the Citi version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Upon approval, you’ll receive a sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card is all about the spend categories…you’ll earn 3x points on travel purchases (airfare, taxis, train, bus, parking, and gas) and 2x points on dining and entertainment transactions. Points can be transferred 1:1 to Cathay Pacific, Singapore KrisFlyer, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Qantas, Thai Airways, EVA Air, Virgin Atlantic, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, and Hilton HHonors. When using the Citi ThankYou travel booking portal (thankyou.com), your points are worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare, hotels, and other travel purchases. There is no annual fee for the first year and a $95 fee thereafter. The card has no foreign transaction fees.Card Match Tool: Want to see if you’ve been selected for special targeted sign-up offers that are larger than the currently available public offers? Click here to use the free Card Match Tool with no impact to your credit score.

Worried About Your Credit Score? Did you know you can actually increase your credit score by applying for additional credit cards? Check out this three part interview series for Credit Card App Advice from a Senior VP of Credit Approval & Risk.

Family Time Credit Card Applications? See here for tips on tracking, providing spending guidance to parents and loved ones, and why your continued involvement is so important when making this a family event!

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