New job where I travel all the time. Need advice!

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New job where I travel all the time. Need advice!

Postby NonstopTraveler » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:56 pm

Hi everyone,

I just got a great job where I will be traveling for quite literally 95% of the time. My hotel stays, rental cars (gas too!), and food for 3 meals a day, and any flights as well, will be completely paid for by my company in the form of reimbursement.

I will be at customer sites for quite literally 3-12 months at a time with the entire time all the above being paid for.... I have never had a reward card in my life, let alone the know-how on how to properly use them.. I have attempted to read and have picked up a little, but am still a little confused on which cards to get based off my particular circumstances I listed above... Considering that a hotel+car+food stay for 3+ months is guaranteed, what cards would you get to maximize rewards?

If it helps, my goal would be to get as many free hotel stays or airflights as possible for my own personal vacations.

In the meantime, I will continue trying to wrap my head around all this stuff. It gets a bit confusing!

Thank you,

Money card
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Postby Money card » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:20 am

looking at your vacations would be up to you where do you stay? business is another thing will you be staying at Marriot Marquees for business but staying at sheraton or other starwood property for vacation? if you answer yes to this you might want to look at the starwood perfered guest card. however this card doesn't come with concierge service.

with flights if you were to get the United card it comes with airport lounge that the chase sapphire doesn't get you only can use this in the united airport no other lounges. if you were to get the platinum card you can go into any airport lounges except united and continental and
jet blue, you also get concierge service and a free airline ticket but the annual fee is 450.00.
now you mentioned that you will be getting reimbursed for restaurants the chase Sapphire gives you 2 points per dollar spent on dining, airlines and hotels the card is free for the first year and after that theres a 95.00 annual fee.

with the united card you get 2 points per dollar spent anywhere that is united owned obviously dunkin donougts and starbucks don't count
but if you bought head phones with a united card 2 points per dollar I would think the same with the Chase sapphire.
when going on vacation would you be flying on united? after the first year would you still want to keep the sapphire preferred?
if not you wouldn't get the 2 points for hotels and airline travel just dining. with the basic sapphire.

with some of the airline cards like the United you also may get some free or discounted checked bags.
have you looked at the southwest card?

when redeming airline miles most cards you can only redem for there carrier in other words if you have a united milege you can't redem
a free hotel room in times square for marriott marquee, you can't redem a free united ticket if you have a chase Marriott card.

but if you have a Capital1 venture, Chase Sapphire or Citibank thank you card you can redeem what you want.

with the capital1 venture card you can't break up your miles you have to have all of your miles or you have to wait.

let's say you have to take a business trip to Columbus Ohio and the round trip ticket is 500.00 and you have 10,000 miles you wouldn't be able to use your miles, you would have to look for an airline that cost 100.00 however the Blue venture card is 2 miles per dollar spent on everything after the first year the annual fee is 59.00.

looking at the the chase sapphire perfered, the basic the capital 1 venture card blue level gold level , American Express cards.

if you went to New York city on vacation and you bought some souvenirs at both the basic and preferred would earn 1 point per dollar
if you used the gold venture card it would be 1.25 miles per dollar the Blue venture card would be 2 miles, the American express cards
would be 1 point. if you were staying at the Sheraton you used the basic sapphire you would get 1 point per dollar, the Sapphire preferred
2 points, the gold venture card 1.25 miles per dollar the blue venture card 2 miles, the American express cards 1 point per dollar
the starwood preferred guest would depend upon the level you were to get , united , southwest citibank American airlines, chase Marriott
1 point per dollar. Delta to 1 point per dollar
obviously you can figure out when traveling on business if you went to a place like Ruth Chris steak house for restaurants you would be better off with the chase Sapphire or blue venture card. even the hotels except if the hotel has a card like the Sheraton or Marriott
because you get 2 points and miles spent , having a airline card is executive looking but will get you points and amenity for there carrier and hotel stay only. you wouldn't redeem any faster using a united mileage card while dining at any local restaurant or checking into the Marriott marquee. but if you got the Gold premiere card you get 3x the points on airlines and 2 on gas stations.

like you mentioned it gets confusing.

with your job i'm sure your not the only person that will be traveling to save your company money will they be having you stay at any holiday in express?
I guess when you know what airlines and hotels you will be staying at and flying that will help you decide which card is for you as far as business and vacation goes.

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Postby MOC » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:26 am

First for anyone that travels a lot, American Express Platinum actually pays you to get it. With all the benefits you get including Starwood Hotels Gold which usually requires staying something like 40 nights. It costs $450/ year and $175 for additional cards, but that includes US airways, Delta, and Priority Pass Select lounges. It also includes car rental membership upgrades. I can't remember all the names but you are automatically upgraded. Then you get $200 towards airline fees which includes baggage fees or really anything that the airline you pick for the year bills you other than the ticket purchase. Then you'll get double points on travel and a lot more benefits. The only downside is they no longer have a points mall. You also have to have really good credit to qualify for the card but hopefully that is not a concern. If you do not travel alot, then you won't get your $450 back, but when you do its like its paying you. Lounges are a few $100 / year so with the $200 airline credit, you can easily see the cost is paid back.

Then for any other rewards cards, I would say it is up to which hotels and airlines you fly. With the Amex Platinum card, I would say maybe just get one hotel card and maybe an airline card. I have and Amex Platinum and Chase Marriott Visa.

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Postby jeffysdad » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:55 am

Like MOC said, the Amex Plat. is your best bet. You really do sound like someone who needs that card. It would be wasted on me now, but if I were in your situation, I would get it, too.

As for hotel and airline partner cards, pick the provider you like best (if you have a choice), and then pick the card. As for hotels, you know where your customers are, mostly, so find out what hotels would be most convenient for you in those cities. Also, what kind of leisure travel would you like to use the rewards for (discount with family, resort, etc.?). Some chains have better options than others depending upon what you want.

The Starwood rewards program and companion Amex card are very highly thought of by many (the best?). I'm not a fan of Starwood, though; as an infrequent traveler, they deactivated my account (very annoying when I went to use it). Marriott has kept my account open with no activity for years.

I'm currently using IHG PriorityClub rewards card. I think IHG customer service and website are fantastic and they have a nice range of hotels, but their program is probably about the least generous among the big ones.

With regard to expenses, since you'll be racking them up, keep in mind that you might have to carry some of that for a while if your company is tardy with reimbursement. Keep enough liquid cash in the bank to cover yourself if you need to, or use a revolver card when you're starting out if you're not sure how quickly those reimbursements will come.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Postby Moneytalks » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:40 pm

Agree with others, Amex Platinum has a ton of perks over the other cards mentioned, if I were you, I would go platinum. Oh, and the $450 is worth the value of relaxing in a lounge with wifi and no crying babies, loud obnoxious people, etc.
Wallet: Amex BCE & Chase Freedom. (Credit Card dieting since 2014)

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Postby jlam572 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:27 pm

Id pay 450 a year just to get away from the crying babies. They should make a American Express Unobtanium card...airport lounges with no babies, flights with no babies, and restaurants with no pay 1k a year annual fee for that.
American Express Platinum
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Hawaiian Airlines BOH MC
Capital One Visa Platinum
Citi Diamond Preferred MC

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