Which Travel card should I get?

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8 posts
Vii
 
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:09 pm
Location: NYC

Which Travel card should I get?

Postby Vii » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:18 pm

Hi everybody,

I have read these forums for awhile but am new to posting. I was wondering if someone could recommend a travel rewards credit card for me.

I currently have a Citi Forward with a $3,500 limit. I have a car loan being payed off, and a small Cap One card at $275 or so.

I really would like to get a travel card to earn and use frequent flier miles from NYC to Europe. Business class if I could swing it. If it works well for domestic travel as well, that is great.

I was looking at two: The Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the British Airways Visa.

Both seem good for earning miles. However, I don't know enough about the frequent flier programs - is United a good one? How many points can I expect to spend for a flight to Paris, or London, or Zurich?

The British airways card has the cool free companion ticket feature, but it seems you have to pay taxes. How high are the taxes if you go from NYC to Paris, for example? Are they as high as going to London?

I appreciate any info people might have - I am having trouble finding these details.


luvbullmarkets
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Postby luvbullmarkets » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:21 pm

You should first ask yourself "how often will I find myself at the airport?" Once or twice a year? Once or twice a month? These questions will best help you access the pros and cons. Be warned that most travel cards are accompanied with annual fees. Therefore, you really have to milk these cards with travel expenses to reap the benefits.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good choice as Chase has many airline partners. You also get the 7% dividend on total spending for every year of membership. Plus you could always pair this card with the Chase Freedom Card for additional points.

Another card you should consider is the Barclays Arrival MasterCard. You book the air travel, hotel, car rental, etc of your choice. Then redeem miles to pay off selected travel charges.

Read the reviews on this site to better get a glimpse at what is out there.
Amex EveryDay, Amex BCE , Barclaycard Arrival+ WEMC, CSP Visa Signature, Discover it, Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex

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takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:51 am

Vii wrote:However, I don't know enough about the frequent flier programs - is United a good one?

If you intend to regularly fly United for rewards, yes. I live in a United hub city and already travel mostly on United so they're good for me. YMMV.

Vii wrote:How many points can I expect to spend for a flight to Paris, or London, or Zurich?

Take a look on their site. You can go to the redeem miles section and look up flights and the miles required.


You also need to consider your spend and the earn rates. CSP is typically better suited for those that are pushing a large amount of spend through it and earning points at 2x and higher (via the UR mall). For smaller amounts of spend a cash back card may be better suited.

Vii wrote:I am having trouble finding these details.

It's really not that hard for your question about United. Go to the United site. On the nav bar at the top there's MileagePlus which is their FF program. Place your mouse there and a menu pops up. Click Use Award Miles. On the next page, click Book award travel now. Fill in the details and you'll get options with the miles required.

Vii
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:09 pm
Location: NYC

Postby Vii » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:41 pm

Thank you both for responding.

luvbullmarkets, that is good info. I have heard of the Barclays card, but I was under the impression that I could get more bang for my buck with frequent flier miles, rather than credit card points.

takeshi, thanks for the info on United. Do you think things will get a lot harder using United miles though? I heard they just drastically upped the amount of miles required to redeem rewards. You still think it is worth it?

Any other suggestions are also appreciated. The array of frequent flier programs and hoops you have to jump through to use them make the decision difficult.

MB131174
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Postby MB131174 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:55 pm

From my experience - you'll need at least 60,000 points to get a ticket to Europe in cattle class, upwards of 100,000 for business. On European carriers the fuel surcharge and taxes that have to be paid on award tickets are almost as much as the ticket itself. For example, I once scored a round trip Washington to Amsterdam for around $850 and the fuel and taxes were over $500 worth of the cost. FF miles on European carriers for transatlantic flights are almost always a rip off.
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PowerMan572
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Postby PowerMan572 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:08 pm

I know I'm new to this forum, but after doing all my research over the past week I decided to go with the Barclaycard Arrival because of the 2% cash back on all purchases. It was between Barclaycard and Chase Sapphire. Glad I went with the Barclaycard after seeing how much talk there is for this card.

lexrj
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Postby lexrj » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:09 am

PowerMan572 wrote:I know I'm new to this forum, but after doing all my research over the past week I decided to go with the Barclaycard Arrival because of the 2% cash back on all purchases. It was between Barclaycard and Chase Sapphire. Glad I went with the Barclaycard after seeing how much talk there is for this card.



Good choice! Arrival is great, got the card 4mo ago and I'm loving it. My CSP is currently at my socks drawer.
Now, I'm not sure of your credit profile, but it seems that you have a thin file and not a CC above 5k CL, which might be a problem to get you approved for the Arrival. If that's case you should have a long term strategy for your credit in order to make sure you can get the cards you want, I would suggest getting an AMEX revolver so you can quickly grow its CL with their soft CLIs. Once you passed the 5k CL on it, then go for whatever "premium" card you want. Not only it will highly improve your odds of approval, but it will most likely get you a higher starting CL, assuming obviously your UTIL is low and haven't had any derogs.
---------------------------------------
Current in my Wallet
Amex BCP - 25K (02/12)
Barclaycard Arrival WMC - 15K (10/13)

Future
US Bank Cash +

Socks drawer
Crap One Quicksilver - 1.7K (04/11)
CSP - 15K (03/13)

Scores
FICO EX 772 / TU 765 / EQ 762 - (09/14)
AAoA 2.1

Indymac
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Postby Indymac » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:40 pm

FYI, in order to justify the annual fee they charge after the first year you will need to spend at least $8091 on non travel and dining expenses every year. ($89 / 1.1%)



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