Recent wrote:Hello, I started this account a while back but came to conclusion I couldn't get any cards. Its been 2 years now and I have a perfect record on my only credit card with WF.
I would prefer a card that I could start using for traveling (flights, hotels, etc), but I'm not sure what is the best card I could apply for. I see all of these cards that give great first deal if you apply for them but is the card worth it in the long run?
As LG mentioned above, we need some more info about you.
Broadly, there are 3 kind of cards with benefits: (a) cashback or points-equivalent-to-cashback (e.g. Chase Freedom, Citi DoubleCash, Barclays Sallie Mae, Discover It, Barclays Arrival, Cap One Venture); (b) partner-transfer cards (airline / hotel specific like Chase UnitedMiles, Citi AAdvantage, more generic like Chase Sapphire Preferred, AMEX Everyday Preferred); and (c) high-end perks for big spenders and frequent travelers (AMEX Platinum, Chase Ritz-Carlton)
In general, the (a) kind has either 0 or low AF, and don't require much thinking when it comes to earning and burning rewards. You spend money (sometimes think about category specific extra cashback), earn the cashback or points, and redeem them for plain cash or against your purchases.
The (b) kind has some AF ($50-$125) and needs some thinking; do you know which partner airline or hotel serves your needs best, whose points have best value, whether award stay or tickets are easily available, etc. Once you have figured out how to play the game, rewards are higher than type (a) cards.
The (c) kind has very high AF (talking $300-$500 here) and are meant for serious high-ballers. They have generous airline credits, lounge access, top-tier concierge programs, plus a good chunk of benefits that you get in type (b) cards.
You might also look at sign-up bonuses; many cards give good sign-up bonuses (linked to some min spending in say 3 months) and the bonuses generally increase with annual fee. In many cases, the bonuses are good enough to cover for 3-5 years of annual fee; beyond that your spending will tell you whether the card is justified or not.
One final thing. You told us you only have one card. Are you going to remain a low-number-of-cards person? Some people believe in simplicity and carry 1-2 cards; some other want to maximize every potential rewards and might carry 8-10 cards and have another few in their sock-drawer.
AMEX BCE | PRG || Barclaycard Sallie Mae || Capital One QuickSilver | Venture || Chase Freedom | Sapphire Preferred || Citi Dividend || Discover It || UFCU Great Rate || US Bank Cash+ #1 | Cash+ #2 | Club Carlson Plat | REI || Total CL $144.2k + PRG NPSL, not counting AU