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Old 01-17-2020, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Massapequa
324 posts, read 235,461 times
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I'm looking to jump into the travel rewards (and perks) game rather than simple cash back on my credit cards. I'm wondering which ecosystem people prefer and why. Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. Amex Members Rewards. Perks of Sapphire Reserve Vs. Amex Plat. And which grouping of cards and pooling of points people prefer. Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:57 PM
 
2,079 posts, read 775,119 times
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The answer really depends on what you value. What kind of travel are you interested in? What are your spending categories?
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Massapequa
324 posts, read 235,461 times
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Mostly domestic flights in the U.S. until the kids get older. It seems like both offer similar spending categories with the trifectas, but the old gas, groceries, travel, and restaurants certainly apply to me.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Do you have a strong airline preference? Chase has United and Southwest while AmEx has Delta. (If you want to take it to the next level, both have Air France/KLM, the Avios ecosystem, Jet Blue and Virgin Atlantic, which all can have usefulness for US domestic redemptions in specific circumstances)

Because I live in a place where when I die, I'll still have to connect through Atlanta in order to reach heaven or hell, then Delta and AmEx make sense for me in terms of travel rewards. I used a mix of the SkyMiles Platinum Card for Delta miles and Medallion-Qualifying Miles boost (made Silver last year from the card bonuses) and AmEx Everyday for grocery spend and some good AmEx promo offers that get me some good MR points. My MR point redemptions go to either Delta or their alliance partner Flying Blue because FB has some specific circumstances where they're a better redemption than Delta is.
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Old Yesterday, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Massapequa
324 posts, read 235,461 times
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I'm in the NY area, so I can use virtually any airline. I'm not loyal to any one in particular.
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
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I use Chase (CSR, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited). The Chase Sapphire Reserve just announced an additional $100 in the annual fee, up to $550. That has to figure in to your calculations. But they also started to give 10X on Lyft rides, and I spend hundreds each month on Lyfts, so that in and of itself will pay for the higher fee. And if you exchange Ultimate Rewards points for travel, you get a 50% bonus. As a side note, with Chase you can get an Ink Business card for 5X points on internet, phone, office supplies, etc. I haven't because of the 5/24 rule and my FICO needs a little bit of massaging.

I don't really know much about the AMEX platform other than you don't get access to Centurion lounges with the Platinum (IIRC you do get Delta Sky Club?) I don't do much international travel and so rarely even see a Centurion lounge.

I will add that I put the first $40K of spend each year on my Citi AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard... I have it for the Admiral's Club access, but the 10K EQMs helped push me over to Executive Platinum, and that's making a big difference for me.

If I lived in a Delta hub city, I'd take a strong look at AMEX.
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Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,535 posts, read 21,381,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagaroth View Post
...I can use virtually any airline. I'm not loyal to any one in particular.
But, you will be once you start playing the miles/points rewards game.

This is where you should start your research.
https://thepointsguy.com
Hours of fun reading.
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Old Yesterday, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Massapequa
324 posts, read 235,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
But, you will be once you start playing the miles/points rewards game.

This is where you should start your research.
https://thepointsguy.com
Hours of fun reading.
I've been looking on there, but thanks for the link. I thought one of the perks of both Chase and Amex was being able to transfer points to any airline that works for you at the time?
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Old Yesterday, 03:12 PM
 
3,072 posts, read 2,838,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagaroth View Post
I've been looking on there, but thanks for the link. I thought one of the perks of both Chase and Amex was being able to transfer points to any airline that works for you at the time?
No, rules are changing constantly, but as far as I can see, two of the three US legacy carriers will not accept AMEX points. Below is an outdated post which may help you. That website will provide you with hours more of fun reading.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guide...or-converting/

In my thirty years of getting credit card rewards, I have found it is easier to use a couple of cash back credit cards than to be constantly opening and closing accounts and transferring points to get travel rewards. I use the Double Cash card from Citi, which gives me 2% cash back on everything. It has no annual fee, but it does have a foreign exchange fee for purchases made outside the US. It also has Citi's fraud protection, which is probably the best in the industry. It's also a MasterCard, which is accepted everywhere, whereas AMEX is not. Capital One and Barclays have no annual fee cards which do not charge fees for purchases outside the US.

However, if you are a business traveller, or frequent certain airlines or hotels, it may well pay you to go the travel rewards route.
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM
 
12,511 posts, read 7,478,861 times
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I played the credit card rewards game for years, but now that I’m retired I’ve sorta simplified things and went with the Costco Visa...4% on gas year round and 3% on restaurants/travel. If one of my cards has a useful 5% category I’ll use that — otherwise it’s a card that gives 2% on everything.
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