Newbie question....want 1 main credit card

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Gocubs418, Apr 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35
    What I have now:

    American Express Blue Cash (No Annual Fee)(Main Card)
    Chase Freedom
    Discover Card Cashback Bonus
    Citibank Forward

    My spending habits on my Amex:
    Total: $4051.86 (through April 9th, and its actually probably 2k higher since I pay for my GF's AMEX too )
    Supermarket Spend Year To Date: $194.41 (3%)
    Department Store Spend Year To Date: $6.47 (2%)
    Gasoline Store Spend Year To Date: $550.71 (2%)
    Other Eligible Purchases Spend Year To Date: $3300.27 (1%)

    As I am coming to understand is: The majority of my purchases are getting a lousy 1% reward. I might as well save it up for something worthwhile like plane tickets to get out of this lousy state of IL every once and a while.

    I have been looking at Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture.

    Anyone with advice? Be much appreciated. I only plan on using one credit card so I feel like I should maximize my program. Feels like I am losing out with Amex

    Chris
     
    SuperKirby and GoodBoy like this.
  2. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    If your main goal is to use points as miles, then the answer is quite simple. If you plan or want to stick with 1-2 airlines, then choose a card that transfers to that airline(s). If you love the freedom of not being glued to one airline and want to spend your points as cash to book tickets, then thats the Capital Venture card. Most people would agree that transferring to airlines/hotels will give you more bang for your buck. So if you want to go the MilePoint (xfering points) route, then:

    Amex Membership rewards transfer partners: http://www.membershiprewards.com/ca...pnav:TravelFreqFlyerProg&ResetBreadcrumb=true

    Chase Ultimate rewards transfer partners: https://www.chase.com/ccp/index.jsp?pg_name=ccpmapp/shared/marketing/page/ultimate-rewards-transfer

    For just ONE CARD: with Amex the card u want is Amex PRG, with Chase it would be CSP (+ your Freedom).

    If you happen to love or want to stick with American Airlines, then get the Citi AA card or Amex SPG card. OR wait (a long time) till you see AA's future transfer options (possible Citibank Thank You rewards program). Don't be afraid to shoot a Q if u got one. I am unemployed right now so I spend too much time online. lmao
     
    ThereseKhu likes this.
  3. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35

    I don't really have a preference on airlines. I currently live in Chicago. Plan on Moving to Houston in the near future. I would switch my Freedom over to CSP (if that was the best choice). I just want to earn more points than I currently do now AND have those points get me free (or cheap) travel rewards. I don't travel often so I want to make a habit of it. The main difference I see between CSP and VentureOne is that you have much more flexibility with CSP, however at the loss of that "double miles".

    Thanks for the input.

    Edit:

    Ahhhh, just so I understand it correctly. The CSP does not get bonus categories like Freedom so if Gas is 5% for the quarter, I would use my freedom and combine my points.
     
    SuperKirby likes this.
  4. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    Sorry I misunderstood, you want to make a habit of not traveling much? Or you want to make a habit of traveling? If you do plan to travel more or you eat out a lot (usually goes hand in hand), then the CSP is much better. If not, I personally would go with the Venture. How many times a year do you travel (or plan to)? If you don't travel or eat out much, then essentially the only points you're gaining is from your Freedom's 5% quarters.

    Yes the Venture is a very simple card, 2 points for everything. Then you use those rewards to redeem as cash to buy airline tickets with any airline. With CSP you are transferring those points to airline miles, thus using airline miles to earn free flights. Most people on MP would agree that redeeming for miles/hotels earn a bigger bang for your buck, but it all depends on your travel lifestyle.

    Yes, correct. But just to be technically clear, you're not combining points: if you use the Freedom for a 5x category (this quarter is restaurants, movies, and Lowe's) you get 5% back on points and you can transfer those to your CSP, thus transferring those to airlines/hotels. The CSP is the headmaster, only he can transfer to airlines/hotels, not the Freedom. You definitely want to just keep the Freedom regardless of what you do, its a no AF card anyway.

    And just FYI, the Venture advertising can be misleading, it's not technically "double miles", its double points on purchases. if you spend $40,000 a year, you get 80,000 points NOT miles. You use your 80,000 points to buy plane tickets. The 80,000 equals $800 dollars to buy whatever ticket you want.

    Actual miles, like transferring your points from CSP to an airline becomes REAL miles. I.e. I spent 60,000 miles last year for a rounttrip to Paris.

    P.S. You're very nice to your gf. lol
     
    ThereseKhu likes this.
  5. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35

    Thanks for responding. We WOULD like to make it a habit of traveling. I think you made up my mind to go for the CSP. Also, how many miles will one RT plane ticket cost estimate?

    Chris
     
  6. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Status Points:
    1,445
    If you go with the CSP then you will likely transfer your points to United. Use this to help determine potential mileage needed.
     
    SuperKirby likes this.
  7. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    ^^^What TB said. If you book for Econ saver awards like me (cheapest possible), you want to book early in advance (one of the drawbacks of this, but most def worth it).
     
    ThereseKhu likes this.
  8. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35
    Thank you to both of you. Why wouldn't I just get an United Explorer card then over the CSP?
     
    SuperKirby likes this.
  9. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    7 reasons for me (in order):

    1. I spend way too much going out to eat. When I travel, i love spending on new restaurants (both expensive & cheap).
    2. Your Freedom points cannot be transferred to the Explorer card, as I said earlier, the CSP is King.
    3. Sometimes when I have extra points, I transfer them to Hyatt hotels. Can't do that with Explorer.
    4. I like booking hotels through CSP, you get 3x points for doing that with Chase online.
    5. No foreign exchange/transaction fees (ForEx Fees).
    6. Extra 7% points earned at the end of the year on all points already earned.
    7. It's a nice metal card

    Remember, everyone uses different cards for different reasons.

    BUT with all that being said, I plan on getting the Explorer in ADDITION to my CSP. I'm applying on my next App-O-Rama.

    Only reason I want the Explorer is because I want the free baggage fees for me and my companion. Explorer costs $95 a year, but one round trip with my gf and we have already spent $100 in baggages. You fly two RTs a year with your gf and you've already spent $200 in baggage fees. One year we spent $400 in baggages, so why not spend $95 a year for free baggages? I don't fly enough to earn status (which gives you free baggage) so this card would be a perfect fit for me as well as my CSP.
     
    TravelBear and ThereseKhu like this.
  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    Hmm Not a good call ... but your choice.

    #1 - UR gives you more flexibility. You can redeem them for 1cent each for cash, or 1.25cents for travel through UR or like other ppl have said, transfer them to Southwest/United/BA/Hyatt/etc/etc/etc
    #2 - Bonus points on all travel/dining out vs just for flying UA. If you get UA card ... you would either get it for the signup bonus; or commit to flying UA more. Since you said you just want one card (hopefully 2 w/the freedom) and are not loyal to any airline in particular ... having the CSP would get you 2x UR on any airline tix you purchase out of ORD (AA/UA/etc).Also 7% at the end of year so basically 1.07UR vs 1.0UA on base spend.
    #3 No Forex but not sure if that applies to your situation.
     
    ThereseKhu and SuperKirby like this.
  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    Just as an add on, if you do decide the UR route, look into getting a Chase Ink classic card. That too gives you UR points you can combine, has no annual fee, and gets 2x at gas & 5x for office supplies and cell phone type things
     
    ThereseKhu and SuperKirby like this.
  12. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    Lol, let me rephrase this. My next job won't start for another 6 weeks (then at the end of the year, AOR). Therefore I am killing lots of time traveling (and weddings), lots of tennis, lots of videos games, and lots of online forums. So in the next 6 weeks I am not getting paid, am I technically unemployed?

    Anyways enough about me....
    +1
     
    TravelBear, ThereseKhu and edekba like this.
  13. jazzmanfl

    jazzmanfl Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status Points:
    45
    I realize you may be leaning in a different direction, but I thought I'd share my experience in case it helps. I had been considering a Capital One Venture at one time too but opted for the Priceline Visa Rewards, which offers 2% cash back but without an annual fee. (I'm thankful to this forum for helping me discover that card.)
     
    ThereseKhu and SuperKirby like this.
  14. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35

    Thanks for the input everyone.

    It seems like if I go Chase UR method, I will be getting CSP and the Ink. The Priceline Visa is VERY enticing. We are going on vacation at the end of May. I envision planning 2-3 grand. It would be nice to get 0% interest and pay it off slowly. However, I would like to get all of those points..... so many decisions. Can't choose!
     
    ThereseKhu and SuperKirby like this.
  15. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    AND you get a picture of William Shatner on the card!
     
    ThereseKhu likes this.
  16. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    Ink is a business card ... FYI
     
    TravelBear and ThereseKhu like this.
  17. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    Yes, if you have some kind of business, the best combination is actually: CSP, Freedom, Ink Classic/Cash, and Explorer (assuming you don't travel enough to earn status). You wanted one? we gave you 4, lol.
     
    TravelBear and ThereseKhu like this.
  18. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35
    Went into Chase for CSP. Got approved. Only have to spend 2000 to get my 40k points vs online at 3000 spend. I will get my explorer closer to the time I am using the points. In order to get bags for free, do I charge my plane ticket on explorer through UR? Or can I use CSP to get 20% off and get bags fly free just for holding the card?

    Thanks for all the help!
     
    TravelBear and SuperKirby like this.
  19. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    Congrats on the CSP,
    Officially, you HAVE to charge your Explorer card anywhere in order to obtain the free baggage(s). However, many people in the past have successfully used a company card or CSP and as long as their MP # is attached to their BP, they received the waived baggage fee. However again, there has been stories that this is working less and less this year as UA is becoming a little more strict.

    Personally, I would use the Explorer card for UA purchases.
     
    TravelBear likes this.
  20. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35
    And lose the 20% discount??
     
    SuperKirby likes this.
  21. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    What 20% discount?
     
  22. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Status Points:
    1,200
    I think what he means is.....

    You only get the 20% discount through UR when redeeming points while booking your flights. Are you going that route? Or transferring your UR points to UA miles? Those are two different methods.
     
    edekba likes this.
  23. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35
    Which is better?
     
  24. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    Define better
     
  25. Gocubs418

    Gocubs418 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status Points:
    35
    Save me more cash.
     

Share This Page