Jay U wrote:Hi there,
So I'm a little slow to get on board with benefitting from credit card rewards, but now I have 2 kids, I need to find ways to travel without the huge out of pocket expense. Anyway, I'm originally from NZ and now live in the US, so I want generate points toward travel to NZ every few years.
I have narrowed it down to two cards, but not sure if I should go with the larger sign-up bonus with CSP or go with 2xmiles with VOne on all purchases. I like the sound of CSP for their UR portal and the discounted travel also. Both have annual fees with CSP being a little higher. I read somewhere that VO travel redemption process was a pain.
Anyway, I would much appreciated any feedback on these two cards.
The Venture (with $59 annual fee) earns 2x miles on all purchases. The Venture One
which you mentioned has no annual fee, but only earns 1.25 miles per dollar. They are simply cash back points that can only be redeemed for travel. At the 1.25 per dollar rate you're better off with a Capital One Quicksilver for 1.5% pure cash usable for anything. I don't think the Venture process of redemption is a "pain" per se; you just redeem your points against travel charges like hotels, flights, cruises, etc. It's just a direct statement credit.
CSP is a completely different thing. You can redeem for statement credits, but the real value comes from transferring the points to airline frequent flyer programs. Yes, you do get a "discount" by booking through their portal, but be careful just assuming that the discount means it's the best deal. A lot of sources state that the UR portal is overpriced much of the time, which makes the discount meaningless. I wouldn't factor that into my consideration if I were you.
Anyway, to me the CSP is only worth paying for if you intend to transfer the points to airline programs. For statement credits/cash back, you can do much better elsewhere with no annual fee. I'm not a big Venture fan, since no fee 2% cards exist with no travel restrictions on redemption. I think a Double Cash or Fidelity Visa is a better choice as you get the same 2% with no fee and can use it for whatever you want.