Thanks for the input, all. I'm not feeling much enthusiasm for the Blue Sky. Maybe it just doesn't have that much to offer...or it's just too boring...
djrez4 wrote:Forget the Blue Sky. Arrival+ kills it in every way, earning 2 points per dollar on all spend that you can use to offset travel expenses.
Having a no-fee MR card is great. You can always sign up for or cancel another MR-earning card without losing your MR points. MR is up there with UR, but not quite as good, only because it lacks powerful domestic transfer partners, i.e., Delta sucks.
I do like the Arrival+ but I kind of have my heart set on an American Express card. Really, I just want to get in early so I can get the most out of backdating.
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Or, if you don't want to track points, maybe a BCE? BCE would go well with the IT.
I agree Blue Sky is not good. 1.33% for travel appears good, but most people either like to earn rewards more quickly, or get travel perks. It's not a terrible card, but I think BCE or ED would be better.
The BCE was actually the runner up to Discover back when I was deciding which prime card I wanted to go for first (the free FICO scores and my lack of supermarket spending is what pushed Discover over the edge for me). At this point, though, I feel like another cash back card won't really benefit me since I already have a strong one. Discover's cash back program is more versatile than Amex's, too.
I'm wanting my second card to be a travel one mainly to get more out of the rewards. I don't travel much, but I'm planning on taking a trip in a couple of years. After that, I probably still won't be traveling much but there will always be the occasional trip. And, let's face it, it takes quite a bit of time racking up 1%, 2% or whatever back to offset much in traveling expenses.
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I think Blue Sky has its own reward system - not cash back or MR points. You just get $100 of travel credits for each $7500 spending, and no other options.
At that level, why not just get something like a NFCU 1.5% cash back Visa (or a QS for CO fans)? If you want a no-AF Amex, there are better options.
That is my understanding, yes. It doesn't get MR points, just it's own generic points (maybe they have a name like Blue Sky points, I'm not sure). I believe You CAN redeem for cash, but there's no point in it.
I mentioned my (perhaps irrational?) desire for an Amex, but it sounds like you would consider the ED a good option?
TheSwarm wrote:If you aren't opposed to closing a card before the annual fee, maybe snag a PRG. Then see if they add some juice to the Everyday card in the next year. Apply for the ED when they're running a better sign up bonus or they change something on it to make it better. And then you will have racked up a bunch of MR points through the PRG and won't lose them if you get the ED and have to cancel the PRG. All while beginning the backdating process.
I love the idea of churning cards to maximize rewards, but I am hesitant to do it because of its impact on my credit score. Does Amex take kindly to people canceling cards to get out of paying AFs? I guess if you call and say you're canceling your card there is not much they can do, but they may treat you less than favorably in the future?
MemberSince99 wrote:What you guys are forgetting about Blue Sky is no annual fee. The Arrival + has a 89 annual fee. It's waived the first year, but after that you have to consider it. And if you don't use the points for travel, it's a 1% cashback card, which given the fee means not a good choice. On the other hand if you do plan to use it for travel, then it surely has to be considered, as you mentioned, but you have to make sure it covers the annual fee in value, or just that it's worth that to you, which is all that really matters.
Just further points to consider. If you can transfer MR points, you may be able to extract more value out of them, it just depends on the travel partners and the rate of exchange that you can make use of.
It's hard to go wrong really any way except to get something you just can't make use of - if you can't use MR points, then the Blue Sky doesn't make sense, just like if you don't plan to use the Arrival Plus for travel, it's a bad choice. Otherwise, anything you can make use of should be good.
This is why I'm set on a non-AF card. There is no chance of a net loss, and I'm confident I can make use of either the ED or Blue Sky (less so of the ED due to my lack of experience with the MR system, but at the very least
they are good for a value of $.01 each). Given that, I just can't figure out which will be more valuable to me.