Which card for United miles is best?

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Sara22
 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:57 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Which card for United miles is best?

Postby Sara22 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:03 pm

I'm looking for the best reward card to get for United Mileage points. I fly 5-6x per year from VA to CA roundtrip (average ticket cost $550 to $700). We don't dine out often and we stay in hotels about 5-8 nights a year max. I have a United Mileage account and Priority Club accounts.

I'm not sure we travel enough to justify AF cards, but was looking at the Chase Sapphire Preferred, United Plus Explorer and the Barclay.

I have two cc now - BofA with rewards (1% on everything) and a credit union account with no rewards. Both have 8.99% and 8.5% interest and no AF. The BofA has airline rewards, but when I go to redeem them, a flight is 50K-60K points, so I just end up using them as statement credits. When I go to my United mileage account, the same flight is only 25K points. This makes we want to go with CSP or United's card, but actual user experience would be appreciated.

We are building a home and will be putting furniture, lights, etc on the cards over the next year ($50K+) so want to maximize points and rewards. DH also has a Chase Freedom card in his name only and a Fico score above 750. The two cards mentioned above are in my name only and since most house expenditures are going on mine, my Fico score varies monthly depending on the balance - ranges from 725-767. Whatever card we end up applying for, we want it ajoint account, with me as an authorized user.

Based on our usage and travel, what would you recommend we apply for?

Thanks in advance.


whit
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Location: ca

Postby whit » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:22 pm

If you're purchasing those flights on united directly, I would go for the explorer card since you have a good intro bonus (50k miles) and it gives you 2 miles for every dollar spent directly w/united

If you dined out a lot, I would have suggested the sapphire preferred since you can do 1:1 conversion to united, and earn faster that way but,

Since you're planning to do home spending and the freedom card, there's a good possibility it will have home supply store on it, where you get 5%..you can apply for the sapphire preferred still, and change points from your husband's freedom to sapphire preferred and from there do the united mileage conversion

Unfortunately you cannot do freedom points to united miles directly (pretty sure the AF makes the difference)

Up to you to decide whether you want to take that gamble, that lowes or Home Depot or that type of category will be there again, and that you'll be able to do the majority of your house buying expenses within the three months

Personally, I would apply for both, since it's no fee first year, and decide to keep whichever earns more points at end of year.

There are no joint owners, only authorized users, meaning only one party's ss# will be on the line,

The good news is it means both can apply for the same card individually and then have each other as AU on it to earn extra points/miles (when you add an AU)

40k+50k sounds nice (;

rockyrock
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Location: Ventura, CA

Postby rockyrock » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:24 pm

CSP all the way. It will get you the same amount of miles as the MP on airfare plus all your other travel related expenses. It won't matter what hotel you stay at either. On the chance you have to fly an airline other that UA, you will still earn 2x...

Not only that it will give you access to the UR Mall and the opportunity to earn oodles more points. Chances are all the stuff you will be buying for your home will be available in the UR Mall so you will clean up on the UR points.

Of course YMMV.
Sapphire Reserve: travel & dining
Blue Cash Preferred: groceries & gas
Freedom: 5% cats
Double Cash: everything else

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:57 pm

whit wrote:If you're purchasing those flights on united directly, I would go for the explorer card since you have a good intro bonus (50k miles) and it gives you 2 miles for every dollar spent directly w/united

If you dined out a lot, I would have suggested the sapphire preferred since you can do 1:1 conversion to united, and earn faster that wa

CSP is 2x on travel. Untied counts as travel.

Sara22 wrote:Whatever card we end up applying for, we want it ajoint account, with me as an authorized user.

It's either joint (credit of both applicants is considered for approval) or AU (AU's credit is not considered for approval). Chase doesn't do joint but you can certainly be an AU.

From a miles perspective both cards will get you 2x on United purchases. You just have to perform a 1:1 transfer with the CSP. The UMPE will get you benefits on United so take a look at them and see if you value those benefits. CSP will get you 2x not only on United but travel and dining. Plus it can be paired with the Freedom so you can take the Freedom's 5x earns and also transfer them to United. It's really up to you to determine which is best. I find both useful.

Sara22 wrote:I'm not sure we travel enough to justify AF cards, but was looking at the Chase Sapphire Preferred, United Plus Explorer and the Barclay.

It's not just a matter of travel but spend as well. You really just have to do the math to see if your spend makes sense for you with these cards.

rockyrock wrote:Not only that it will give you access to the UR Mall and the opportunity to earn oodles more points.

UMPE also has a shopping portal with bonuses.

Sara22
 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:57 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby Sara22 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:38 pm

Thank you all for the replies. Very helpful. I think we will do both since we can transfer Freedom UR points to the CSP and it gives us the ability to use other airlines if necessary. We like the free baggage benefit from UMPE also and since we will have lots of expenses, we can use both cards to earn points and get the free bonus miles to boot.

Since they are both Chase cards, will they do 1 credit pull? I want to keep fico high since we haven't finished the house yet and mortgage company "may" do another credit check at end of construction.



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