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  1. #1
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    Default Airline branded credit card vs. travel rewards card?

    My questions are about rewards cards, specifically air miles...
    • I was wondering why one would apply for a credit card from an airline, such as the JetBlue credit card, when instead you could get another card that is not just for one specific airline? Because then couldn't you use the reward miles for any number of other airlines? So why would one limit themselves to only being able to retrieve their miles from one specific airline?
    • Also, when they refer to 'Points' or 'Miles', do these literally equal one actual mile for redeeming travel rewards? For example, if a flight was 1,000 physical miles to a destination each way, that would be a 2,000 mile roundtrip. And if the card states you earn 1 'point' or 'mile' per dollar charged on the card, would that mean you would only have to spend $2,000 on the card to use it for a flight of that distance and would cover the airfare?
    I am just now recovering from a very bad credit situation. Some years ago I was something like a 480. Now 660 or so. I know, not great.... or good and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to be approved for one these cards for quite some time, but on the slow road.
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  2. #2
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    The reason is some people travel for work and get better deals with hotel and airline cards than with travel cards.

    For example have you seen the commercial for the Chase United credit card? Do you know of any travel credit cards that let you into any of those airport clubs for under $100.00? You have to have seen that commericial.

    On the Gold Delta Skymiles card you get up 9 passengers with a free first checked bag if on the same reservation. If somebody uses a Venture card and they fly on Delta and they need to check 5 bags, how much would that cost?

    If you stay a lot at Starwood hotels you might want to see what they offer. They might offer free upgrades, reduced rates and other benefits depending upon the area and what type of Starwood Preferred Guest card you have. The Chase Sapphire or any of those travel credit cards won't offer perks there.

    So for anybody who travels on business these cards are great. But if you are just looking for a card that is executive looking and you don't travel on business, only travel on vacation once or twice a year, the airline and hotel cards are not for you. I would be looking at the Venture Capital One and Sapphire Chase.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks! Seems that the cards from the airlines would be of benefit if you knew you would be traveling with them and that the cities they service are places you would need or want to go, and you basically get standard airline miles rewards + discounted airfare... if I'm hearing (reading) you right...

    Regarding the second question.. in hindsight it seems like a stupid question. I think the better way to ask would be.. are the 'miles' like points and basically worth $.01?
    (10,000 in charges on card = $100 in airfare credit)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Money card View Post
    The reason is some people travel for work and get better deals with hotel and airline cards than with travel cards.
    It doesn't matter if you travel for business. In fact, if you travel for business the airline cards are LESS attractive. I do travel for business and charge my tickets to a company account. I get the frequent flyer miles myself. I have enough status that my bag fees are waived anyway but I would prefer to get charged bag fees for business travel since they would get reimbursed. I could then charge them to my Amex platinum and have them reimbursed for a cash profit to me.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Money card View Post
    For example have you seen the commercial for the Chase United credit card? Do you know of any travel credit cards that let you into any of those airport clubs for under $100.00? You have to have seen that commericial.
    You don't get lounge access on a $100 Chase United card. I believe you need the $395 United Club Card. You can also get lounge access on the Amex platinum card. Or, you can just pay about the same amount for the lounge access. Basically, if you want lounge access you are going to pay around $400 a year. Again, if you are really traveling for business and are of any significant rank in your company, the company will pay for your lounge membership.

    Quote Originally Posted by Money card View Post
    If you stay a lot at Starwood hotels you might want to see what they offer. They might offer free upgrades, reduced rates and other benefits depending upon the area and what type of Starwood Preferred Guest card you have. The Chase Sapphire or any of those travel credit cards won't offer perks there.
    Actually they do. The Amex platinum gets you Starwood gold. Some airline cards will get you status at Marriott, Hyatt, or other high end hotels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Money card View Post
    So for anybody who travels on business these cards are great. But if you are just looking for a card that is executive looking and you don't travel on business, only travel on vacation once or twice a year, the airline and hotel cards are not for you. I would be looking at the Venture Capital One and Sapphire Chase.
    For business travel my vote would probably be for the Amex platinum. The travel cards make a lot more sense for personal travel. At least in my opinion.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fl_226_2 View Post
    Thanks! Seems that the cards from the airlines would be of benefit if you knew you would be traveling with them and that the cities they service are places you would need or want to go, and you basically get standard airline miles rewards + discounted airfare... if I'm hearing (reading) you right...

    Regarding the second question.. in hindsight it seems like a stupid question. I think the better way to ask would be.. are the 'miles' like points and basically worth $.01?
    (10,000 in charges on card = $100 in airfare credit)
    You don't get discounted airfare.

    Here's an example of what you might get with a United card:

    Say you will ply from Chicago to Denver, and because I'm too lazy to check, let's say it is 1500 miles each way and the ticket costs $400. Let's also say your card gets you 3X points for spending on United.

    The total points you get for your trip will be 3x$400+1500+1500=4200 points. A typical round trip reward ticket (supersaver) on United will cost you 25000 points. You would need to make about 6 paid trips to earn 1 free trip.

    I have gotten many free trips for leisure (I would never use FF miles for business!) over the years but I find that I typically use miles for upgrades rather than for free travel. It's a much better deal in my opinion and far easier to do.
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  6. #6
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    Airline miles can be better than pay with miles. Pay with miles cards being: Venture, Escape, Sapphire... etc. The big difference with like a PRG or Delta card is that you're buying a mile ticket, not offsetting a ticket cost. There's a big difference.

    Pay with miles are great for domestic flights that are around $200-300 because they only require 20,000 to 30,000 miles; where as on an airline card they'll be similar in miles, but you rack them at a slower rate.

    Airline cards are much, much better for international travel because flying to Europe is only 60,000-75,000 miles on Delta, but if you were to use a Venture card you'd be offsetting a $1,000-1,500 flight, which would run you 100,000 to 150,000 miles.

    I have the PRG for the sole fact that I rack up 2x miles on Gas and Groceries and I can then transfer them to Delta at 1.5 at select times of the year, and I primarily fly internationally, so it works better for me.
    American Express '02: Platinum, Blue Cash Preferred 6k, SPG 2k, Delta Gold 1k
    Barclaycard '11: Apple Financing Card 2.5k
    Citi: Diamond Rewards 1.5k
    Chase: Freedom 500
    Discover '12: Discover IT 1.5k
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoingHomework View Post
    It doesn't matter if you travel for business. In fact, if you travel for business the airline cards are LESS attractive. I do travel for business and charge my tickets to a company account. I get the frequent flyer miles myself. I have enough status that my bag fees are waived anyway but I would prefer to get charged bag fees for business travel since they would get reimbursed. I could then charge them to my Amex platinum and have them reimbursed for a cash profit to me.
    Doinghomework have you seen that commercial with the 2 guys, the one guy says to the other I know a quiet place and when they get on the plane the other guy looks at him and says how did you get here so fast, on the commercial it states 2 free guest passes to the United lounge. Annual fee 95.00 with all other credit cards you're correct, you can't get into those lounges but with this card you can 2x.

    With your platinum American Express you no longer get airport lounge access to united or continental, as of Oct 30th either 2010 or 2011.

    You don't get lounge access on a $100 Chase United card. I believe you need the $395 United Club Card. You can also get lounge access on the Amex platinum card. Or, you can just pay about the same amount for the lounge access. Basically, if you want lounge access you are going to pay around $400 a year. Again, if you are really traveling for business and are of any significant rank in your company, the company will pay for your lounge membership.
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    Doinghomework I'm not saying that airlines and hotel credit cards are a company card I'm just stating that they are more business like.

    When you stand on line at stores do you ever see anybody using any of these cards? You never see anybody using any of these cards, I once saw somebody using a gold Delta Skymiles at Walmart, I've seen quite a few people using there Citibank American Airlines. From time to time you see people using a Citi Thank You card, Chase Sapphire or Capital1 Venture card.

    I have the Venture card but I don't have any of those airline or hotel credit cards you get more points in their place.

    So with a Delta gold 9 bags checked if on the same itinerary, 2 or more points per dollar anywhere on Delta property including buying headsets on the plane. With the Starwood you explained, with a Chase Marriott 2 points per dollar at any Marriott owned property.

    To me it doesn't make sense to have any of these cards if you don't travel on business. But for the people who do travel on business they're good cards for them.
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  9. #9
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    DoingHomework have you looked into that Delta Reserve card? Do you have any opinions on that card versus your American Express Platinum card?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Money card View Post
    Doinghomework have you seen that commercial with the 2 guys, the one guy says to the other I know a quiet place and when they get on the plane the other guy looks at him and says how did you get here so fast, on the commercial it states 2 free guest passes to the United lounge. Annual fee 95.00 with all other credit cards you're correct, you can't get into those lounges but with this card you can 2x.
    Ok, sure, you get 2 guest passes but that's not really the same thing. With the Amex or with the higher end card you get in any time you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Money card View Post
    With your platinum American Express you no longer get airport lounge access to united or continental, as of Oct 30th either 2010 or 2011.
    It was last October (2011) that they made the change when United rebranded the Red Carpet Club into United Club.
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