Confused. Which card for me?

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Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 4:34 am
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Confused. Which card for me?

Postby Xizenta » Wed May 12, 2010 4:41 am

Hi, I'm from California and I'm going to be going to grad school in Washington D.C. starting next year, for at least a year and possibly more.

I would like to come back to Cali as often as possible and it would be nice if I could spend as little as possible on airline tickets.
Between this August and the end of the year I'm sure I would like to make 4 or 5 flights one way.

How much would someone typically have to spend to get all of that for free (coach is fine, any airline is fine.)

I have a credit score of 705 and Amex just sent me a pre-approved offer for their standard gold card in the mail. Is that probably the best I can do with my credit score? 23 years old, never a late payment, almost five years of credit history.

Lastly, let's say I charge 10,000 dollars to my card this year - approximately how many flights from LA to DC does that get me, on Amex Gold? on other cards?

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Postby alsteig » Sun May 23, 2010 6:34 pm

Umm Maybe I am missing something but that is a big zero (0). Usually you need to spend approx 25k for a free domestic. (Southwest you can do 19k) For your lower spending you should do a card that does not charge a yearly fee Yes the Amex gold does. I would go for the Bank of America rewards 1.5% cash back and or the Amex blue cash. Generally the benchmark is 1-2% cash back. Paying fees with your low spending just denigrates your return.

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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Tue May 25, 2010 3:16 am

Alsteig is right. It tends to be around $25k per ticket and that is for a base ticket. For off peak, etc it runs even higher.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

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American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
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Postby DoingHomework » Tue May 25, 2010 2:15 pm

You'll need at least $25000 to earn 1 free ticket and it will be a very restricted ticket.

Many of the airline cards will give you 30000 miles or so once for a $100 or so annual fee so that is like getting 1 free ticket.

I suggest you pick an airline and concentrate your flying with them. After 5 flights in a year you will be close to a free ticket just from FF miles.

Some of the airlines let you get really good benefits if you prepay all your flights for a year, say pay $$5000 up front for yoru 5 flights, they might five you double or triple miles.

But really, it is going to be hard fro you to earn enough rewards in a year or two to get more than 1 free flight.

I used to fly from the west coast to DC or Boston 1-2 times a month for a couple of years and rarely got more that free first class upgrades and regular FF miles.

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