hustler98 wrote:Hello All
Here is my dilemma, I only have 1 credit card now but I'm wanting to get a few more. I am a true believer of 1 credit card but I wanted to explore the money back,miles and other goodies. I fly quite a bit on SouthWest and they are actually offering a rewards program and wanted to take advantage of those miles but also as I was looking into the VISA signature benefits there seems to be lots of good benefits.
We eat out quite a bit, shopping, movies and will be traveling more on the road so gas will be a large part of my daily expenses which will be reimbursed. It's overwhelming with the amount of cards and options that are out there for consumers. I guess there isn't a right answer but I'm looking for the best combination of card for me to juggle around as most of you have done over the years.
A couple things to consider if you're still following the thread. As jeffysdad mentioned, Southwest is making major changes to Rapid Rewards -- I don't know your flight patterns or habits, but if you're like me you fly Southwest because they often have low fares. The new program (and associated Visa cards) are going to be more like a cash-back program, and generally less lucrative unless you're purchasing the most expensive fares.
I don't believe it has been announced yet, but one thing you could do is get the Starwood AMEX which allows point conversions to Southwest, and has the added benefit of "banking" points to eventually be deposited. I am unsure as to how this may change with the new Rapid Rewards, but banking is better as far as I'm concerned (as opposed to the automatic conversion with the Rapid Rewards Visa cards) because you could make a deposit to top-off for a needed award or accumulate over a long period of time to top-off for a Companion Pass (which I just did myself.) Starpoints can also be converted to miles in the programs of many other airlines -- (most at a 1:1 ratio) and Starwood also gives a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 20,000 transferred to most programs.
The American Express Blue Sky or Blue Sky Preferred cards have also crossed my mind as potential replacements to my own Rapid Rewards Visa -- both accumulate one point per $, and points can be cashed in at a rate of 7500 points for a $100 credit toward a travel purchase. The Preferred version of the card has a $75 annual fee, but also gives you an annual $100 "airline allowance" to be used toward baggage fees, meals, etc. Although you might not need much of that on Southwest, it could offset the cost of 10 "Early Bird Check In" fees. The Preferred version also gives double points on dining, hotels, and rental cars while the regular version has no annual fee.
I've been happy with American Express over the years, the people you get on the phone tend to be more professional than many of the agents at banks. Even the oursourced reps seem to know what they're doing -- my biggest complaint is that many small businesses don't accept the card.
In any event, good luck -- I'm new here, too but I hope that if you see this you'll report back to communicate your decision!