Considering switching up my credit cards -- interested in travel rewards

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drmoo
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Considering switching up my credit cards -- interested in travel rewards

Postby drmoo » Mon May 26, 2014 4:15 pm

Hi

I've been thinking of switching up the credit cards that my wife and I use.

We currently have an SPG Amex ( received Gold status for spending the $30k this year) and a BoA 1-2-3 card jointly. I've got a citi MC thank you preferred card since 99 and a Discover card (use sparingly).

I'm more interested in building up travel rewards (if a credit card can get us upgraded seats) or hotel rewards/free nights. SPG has been great in this feature, but we aren't a huge fan of the spg properties overall, a lot of inconsistency in the brand.

I've though about switching to the Chase sapphire preferred card and/or hilton visa

Thoughts?

Worth upgrading to an Amex gold or platinum card?


Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Tue May 27, 2014 7:30 am

Depends. First of all, you won't be able to "upgrade" or product change (PC), your SPG AmEx to a Gold or Platinum AmEx because you can't PC from a revolver to a charge card, or vice versa. You'd have to apply for either PRG or Platinum and cancel your SPG. Depending on the type of places you like to stay, you may find the Fine Hotels and Resorts perks that the Platinum Card has to offer worthwhile. IMO, as far as free nights go, it's hard to top the SPG, I haven't figured out how. I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred, I transfer all the points I earn on this card to airline partners, so it's basically my free flight card, and it's a great card for that if you fly any of their transfer partner airlines frequently.

Sounds like you're looking at the right cards, you just need to decide what works best for you. For me, CSP for free flights, SPG for free nights, Platinum for travel benefits, but I don't put much spend on it, because MR points are not worth much to me. I'm not familiar with the Hilton Visa so I can't comment on that.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Tue May 27, 2014 3:48 pm

drmoo wrote:I've though about switching to the Chase sapphire preferred card and/or hilton visa

Thoughts?

Worth upgrading to an Amex gold or platinum card?

If you're considering UR or MR then you need to look into those rewards programs. See if either offers transfer partners that are more useful to you.

Worth is your call to make. Look at (all aspects of) the Gold and Platinum and see if they are a good fit for you. We can't tell you unless you make it very clear what would make it worth it to you or not. Neither of them are worth it to me since MR doesn't transfer to anything useful to me. Are you specifically interested in a charge card?

drmoo wrote:if a credit card can get us upgraded seats

Generally not unless its a cobranded card that earns miles on an airline's FF program which actually how the upgrades are obtained versus the card itself.

drmoo
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Postby drmoo » Fri May 30, 2014 3:00 pm

Thanks for the responses.

Still a novice at rewards cards.

Doesn't sound like the credit cards will really help me that much in Airline rewards. We travel prob 3-4 times a year or so. We do tend to fly United as we are closer to one of there hub cities.

Hotel - since we live in a small community, we usually like to spend a night or two in a hotel in a bigger city near by for food and shopping.

Marriott Rewards may be an option, last I read, the Hilton rewards program took a huge noise dive although we would rather be with them. We have SPG now, not thrilled with the properties.

Spending - mostly restaurants and housing goods (i.e. target and supermarket).

Leaning towards the CSP I guess then. Amex Plat is what I want, but not sure the $450 annual fee is justified.

rockyrock
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Postby rockyrock » Fri May 30, 2014 10:01 pm

drmoo wrote:Thanks for the responses.

Still a novice at rewards cards.

Doesn't sound like the credit cards will really help me that much in Airline rewards. We travel prob 3-4 times a year or so. We do tend to fly United as we are closer to one of there hub cities.

Hotel - since we live in a small community, we usually like to spend a night or two in a hotel in a bigger city near by for food and shopping.

Marriott Rewards may be an option, last I read, the Hilton rewards program took a huge noise dive although we would rather be with them. We have SPG now, not thrilled with the properties.

Spending - mostly restaurants and housing goods (i.e. target and supermarket).

Leaning towards the CSP I guess then. Amex Plat is what I want, but not sure the $450 annual fee is justified.


Both MR and UR are great programs but one may be a better fit for you--something only you can decide.

I love my CSP. It is a good match if you fly United as well. A co-branded United card will only get you 2x, the same as a CSP but you don't have the versatility of UR.

I have a Marriott card but it only comes out at Marriott properties. The free 1-5 night each year more than makes up for the AF though so I keep it around.

Amex Platinum is a little questionable right now. It certainly isn't good for earning rewards, the PRG or one of the Everyday cards would do you much better. My Platinum is up for renewal in August and as it stands now I will not be renewing it.

Of course YMMV. Good luck!
American Express (2005): Green & Blue Cash Everyday
Chase: Freedom & UA Club USAA: Signature Visa & American Express
Discover it Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines WEMC Synchrony Sam's MC
Navy FCU Platinum Visa Citi Double Cash & AT&T Access MC

drmoo
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Postby drmoo » Sat May 31, 2014 2:06 pm

Decided to apply for the CSP. App pending now.

May look to cancel my Discover card (00) and keep my city MC (99).

So I'll long term --

1. Amex SPG
2. CSP visa
3. Citi MC
4. BoA 1-2-3 --> may cancel or get a different card, like a HHonors or Hilton, etc

Will wait to cancel those cards those. Don't want to do too many changes at once

drmoo
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Postby drmoo » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:00 pm

Follow up ..

Approved with highest credit limit yet by a factor of 2! Not sure if good for my credit score or what...

Amex - CL of 15,600
BoA - cash rewards - 11,000
citi mc - 9,900
discover - 7200
CSP - 30,000 -- new

Thinking of canceling the discover card. Don't have a lot of reason to carry that many credit cards. Thoughts?

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kcm7
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Postby kcm7 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:51 am

Congrats! As for your Discover ... is it the It card? How much are you getting out of the 5% categories? I, personally, would get a whole lot of nothing out of them if I had that card, so I'd be inclined to cancel myself, especially if you want to concentrate your spending on other cards.
Cards:

-Capital One Quicksilver
-Barclaycard Arrival (no AF)
- US Bank (no rewards)
-IHG

drmoo
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Postby drmoo » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:13 am

Its not the It card. I've had this discover card since 00. Has 5% cash back on gas and home store stuff. I don't use it much. Picked it up when it was the only credit card you could use at Sam's club.

My other old card is the citi MC, since 99. I can use that at Sam's club as well.

Use my amex and the CSP as 2 primary cards. The boa cash rewards card would become more of an emergency card, maybe cancel in the future as well or replace it...Was originally the Schwab 2% card before it got sold to BoA.



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