Newbie Needing Help Picking Cards and Programs

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by Tamburgy, Aug 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Tamburgy

    Tamburgy Member

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    Long post incoming. (Sorry :) )

    I've just recently started to become interested in frequent flyer programs and credit card rewards. After spending some time trying to educate myself, I thought I'd seek some advice since I seem to be unable to come to a decision on what credit card to obtain and program to focus on. As of now, I have the following cards and programs:

    Cards
    1. Continental One Pass Card (Have put all my spending on this card for past 3 years).
    2. Amex Delta Gold Card (Have had this card for 8 years, but rarely use it - keep it b/c annual fee pays for itself through companion ticket and first bag free).
    3. Amex Blue Card (Have had this card for 7 years, never use it - but no fee).

    Programs
    1. United Mileage Plus (combined with my Continental): 35,000 miles (used up most of my miles last year by redeeming two roundtrip tickets to Europe and one domestic roundtrip ticket).
    2. Delta Sky Miles: 15,000 miles
    3. US Airways Dividend Miles: 7,000 miles
    4. Signed up for other programs (AA, etc), but don't have any miles with them.

    My originating city is NYC, so I have 3 major airports available (LGA, JFK, EWR). I do not travel for business. For personal, I travel twice a year to southern Ohio (Cincinnati or Dayton). For one of those trips, I usually do a multi-city trip, going from NYC-area to Cin or Dayton, then to Orlando, then back to NYC.

    Over the next 4 months, I'll be taking at least 3 flights: NYC to Las Vegas; NYC to Dayton/Cincinnati; and the multi-trip I mentioned (NYC to Dayton/Cincinnati to Orlando). I have not booked any of these 3 flights yet, I'm trying to take that into consideration when choosing CCs and airline program.

    My goal for my frequent flyer program is international award tickets (coach, not first class, and mainly to Europe). This past year I used my Mileage Plus miles for 2 roundtrip tickets to Europe (coach). That's all I'm really looking for is just being able to take international trips with rewards (and I prefer quantity rather than quality - at least for now :) ).

    I pay for all my travel and I have complete control in choosing flights, airlines etc. I'm not really concerned with elite status ad I don't have a preference or imposed requirement of hotel/rental car/credit card partners.

    I'm not sure what other information I should provide. I'm basically just trying to decide what credit cards to apply for, and what airline I should focus on. I'd like to apply for 2 cards since it's been over 3 years since I've last added a new card to my wallet. I have a good credit score (730) and should not have a problem with any CC minimums (usually spend between 2500-4000 per month).

    Sorry for the long post. If there's any other information I can provide that would be useful, please let me know. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Hi my suggestion,

    1) CSP & Chase freedom. Using that combo you can transfer into your UA account, which seems to have the highest balance so far.
    2) Also if possible get the Ink card for the sign on bonus & the 5x in some spend categories.
     
  3. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Would not get the Chase Freedom card because of the low sign up bonus. I agree with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (50K sign up bonus). 45 days after getting the Chase Sapphire I would apply for the United card. Reason for the 45 days between applications is that both are Chase and Chase tends not to want to issue more than 1 personal card in any 30 day period.

    You might also think of some hotel cards to help with the hotel bill when you fly. You can easily rack up a ton of Hilton points from their sign up bonus. Do a search and you will see the "two browser" trick that can get you up to 100K Hilton points with just one credit pull. Since Hilton is Citi, the application can be done at the same time as your initial Chase application.

    If you want to go for a business card, the Ink card would give you additional Chase points that can be transferred to United. Since it is a business card, it can be done shortly after your first Chase application.

    Overall, I try not to have more than 1 credit pull (average) in any 30 day period.
     
  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Freedom for the 5x rotating return.
    Also I had 2 cards from Chase in 15 days using one credit pull. Just had to call in for the 2nd approval. Then I applied for the Ink card 15days afterwards & it went to EQF instead of EXP.
     
  5. Tamburgy

    Tamburgy Member

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    Thanks for the advice. A couple of follow-up questions.

    1.) I thought the CSP sign-up bonus was 40k, not 50k. Is that right?
    2.) Is there a good article or writeup somewhere discussing how one can signup for a business card?
    3.) So you think I should stick with United? If I had 0 points for all programs, would you still agree?
    4.) My continental credit card was "changed" to the United Mileage Explorer card. Could I "upgrade" that card to the Mileage Plus Club Card and still get the signup bonus even though I previously got the signup bonus for the explorer card?

    Appreciate the help.
     
  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    1) It is 40k however there was a 50k a few months back. I think its too far back to ask for a bump but that might be possible.
    2) http://millionmilesecrets.com/2011/06/10/how-to-fill-out-a-business-credit-card-application/
    3) Looking at CVG/DAY it looks like only Delta/United flies into it from NYC. CVG is also a hub for Delta ... thus if you had no United Miles, I might look into Delta Cards & Amex MR cards (MR can transfer to delta). Also it seems like only delta/southwest flies from CVG/DAY into Orlando ... so yeah I would probably go with Delta if you had 0 UA miles.
    4) Unsure about upgrading to get the sign on bonus of the ClubCard. Sorry. I have no exp there.
     
  7. Tamburgy

    Tamburgy Member

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    Thanks for the response. Very helpful.
     
  8. vjetti

    vjetti New Member

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    I got the 50k on CSP less than a month ago, so it's worth a shot. Also, my fiance and I each got the Chase United and I emailed Chase to ask them for the 65k bonus instead of the current 40k and they gave it to us both. That was an extra 50k.

    As a sidenote, my fiance got approved for three chase cards in two days: United, CSP, and Marriott rewards; so it is possible.
     

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