This is actually openly editable, I invite people to tweak my reward formulas, update signup bonuses or fees, and even add additional products for comparison:
Link to product comparison spreadsheet
Sheet 1 (Rewards)
- Granular breakdown of rewards by spend type (emphasis added to bonus categories), annual bonuses with conditional logic, and signup bonuses.
- Projected earned rewards earned each year, annual fees, and any secondary benefits with real cash value (not figuring insurances).
- Calculation of both initial and subsequent year returns, factoring annual fees.
- A couple interesting metrics include the cost/return "efficiency" as an effective rate of return, and the "value retention" or how well the product performs after the first year
- Long term totals given a prospective number of years
Sheet 2 (Benefits)
This is an attempt to capture in one place a comparison of non-rewards perks and benefits, including specific insurance limits and timeframes, travel programs, etc. I found it interesting to see where some issuers have differentiators, such as the $1M travel accident insurance on the USAA, included primary rental car coverage on United Presidential Plus, and a 5 year maximum to extended warranties through Amex. It is also a decent reminder of how good the Platinum still holds up in features over its alternatives.
Terms on paper aside, these would be tremendously more valuable to consumers with anecdotal experiences with the respective underwriters and travel programs. How does World Elite MasterCard really hold up to Amex?
Sheet 3 (Spend)
You can play with actual spend numbers here. These are just dummy figures. I may not have categories down completely but it's decently broken out. I've also set up fields to adjust the valuation on different program points.