Should I get airline card over PRG?

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Obi-dan
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Should I get airline card over PRG?

Postby Obi-dan » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:18 am

So I have a Marriott Rewards for Hotel and use the Amex PRG rewards mostly for airfare. I like the flexibility of the different rewards options. However, I now live in Houston and the two main airlines are United and Southwest. Should I drop my Amex and get either a United Card or a SWA Card? I don't want to pay for three rewards cards but I don't want to have to fly multiple stops every time I fly out of Houston. Also, Amex is my longest card so I don't really want to close that either. Thoughts?
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AMEX BCE (member since 95)
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takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:59 am

IIRC MR doesn't transfer to United or Southwest so there's certainly some potential benefit to getting something other than the PRG.

The benefits of the UMPE and the Southwest card are on Chase's site so you can review to see if they seem to be a good fit. I'd also suggest considering travel cards like the Sapphire Preferred. I actually have both the CSP and UMPE. I don't fly very often but wanted the free checked bag, priority boarding, club passes, etc. Travel purchases tend to go on the CSP though. UR with the CSP transfers 1:1 to United (and to Southwest but I don't fly Southwest generally). CSP looks like it still comes with a 40K bonus if the spend requirement is met. CSP would also allow you to transfer points accrued with your Freedom to UA and SWA.

Obi-dan wrote:Also, Amex is my longest card so I don't really want to close that either. Thoughts?

You could keep the PRG open. Or, with backdating, you could app for a non-AF AmEx. Even if you close the PRG your AAoA won't be impacted until the PRG falls off your reports.

Obi-dan wrote:I don't want to have to fly multiple stops every time I fly out of Houston.

How is this relevant to selecting a card? I'm just confused as that seems to be more of a matter of flight selection than the card used to pay for the flight.

Midori
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Postby Midori » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:06 am

It's been a while since I was in that area-- do you use Hobby (HOU) or Bush (IAH)? I thought Delta and American Eagle used to be big at Hobby, and American was big at Intercontinental.
Would you use them enough to make the $69/$99/whatever a year worthwhile?
Do you tend to be loyal to a particular airline, or do you just fly whatever's most appealing?
I'd keep the versatility and stick with the Amex unless there was a really great sign-up bonus.

Obi-dan
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Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:35 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Obi-dan » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:35 am

Thanks for the replies. Hobby is pretty dominated by SWA and while there are lots of airlines flying out of Bush Intercontinental most American and Delta flights seem to want to stop by their hubs on way to final destination. United has two of the four domestic terminals at Bush now and offer the most flight options out of Houston.
Cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Marriott Rewards
Citi Hilton
Barclay Arrival
AMEX BCE (member since 95)
Chase Freedom
Discover It
Wells Fargo Platinum
Barclaycard (Apple)
Local Credit Union Visa (buy local!)


FICO Scores:
TU: 824 (Aug 2014)
Experian: 789 (Aug 2014)
Equifax: 807 (Aug 2014)

Obi-dan
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:35 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Obi-dan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:44 am

Thanks again. Thought you might want to know so Here is what I did: I did some research on flights out of Houston. 80% of all flights out of Hobby are Southwest.

Bush Intercontinental has 5 terminals. Terminal A has all domestic flights except United. Terminal B is solely for United Express Jet. Terminal C handles nothing but United domestic. Terminal D (or IAB as we often call it) handles non-United International. Finally Terminal E is mostly United international and some domestic.

So as you can see, if you want a flight of out Houston chances are I am going to fly United or Southwest.

So I went ahead and got the UME. The fee is waived for a year, same with the Marriott I just got. My Amex PRG just paid its fee so I have a year to see which one I like best.

Plus I have the Wells Fargo card that been open since 1998 so even if I close Amex I think my AAoA will be alright.

Make sense to you guys? I guess I should add our goal with rewards is travel. Thoughts always welcome.
Cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Marriott Rewards
Citi Hilton
Barclay Arrival
AMEX BCE (member since 95)
Chase Freedom
Discover It
Wells Fargo Platinum
Barclaycard (Apple)
Local Credit Union Visa (buy local!)


FICO Scores:
TU: 824 (Aug 2014)
Experian: 789 (Aug 2014)
Equifax: 807 (Aug 2014)



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