Which card (in my wallet) would YOU use for general spend?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by servo, Dec 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    It took me all of 1 month to meet the minimum spends on 5 credit cards from my last app-o-rama (Thanks CVS!), so now I'm stuck trying to think about where I should put my general spending for at least the next 2 months now that I've meet the MSR on all the cards, and have at least that amount of time before I can comfortably go for the next round of cards. I plan to get the 2 Citi Hilton cards, maybe the CSP, and if the bonus is at 30k by then, the SPG Amex in my next churn, but until then, which of these cards would you put general spend on considering that I've already acquired the AA miles I need for my Europe trip, but still need a LOT more miles for 2 tix to the Asia region (3-4 stops: Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Phuket), which we're trying to do on *A.

    I have:
    AA Visa & AmEx
    US DM Premier World MC
    Hilton NAF AmEx
    Ink Bold
    PC Visa
    United Explorer
    BOA/BOH Hawaiian
    AmEx Blue Sky
    Navy Federal Platinum (oldest card - not using other than if I HAD to xfer a balance - no xfer fees/charges) I don't hold any cc balances currently.

    I plan to pay my utilities, cell phone bill and office related spend on the Bold, some Vanilla purchases still on the Hilton NAF (6x points), but will likely still spread this out on US DM and United Explorer so that I have 3 different banks getting my $5k per month spending, so as to not throw up as many red flags. I pretty much see no use in spending further on the BOA/BOH cards, as we have little aspiration for Hawaiian miles other than for the xfer to Hilton points, and I get a better value from the HH NAF AmEx.

    We'll use the Hilton NAF card at grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores to continue the 6x points there.

    My guess is that I'd use the United Explorer for all other spending categories, as I don't believe I have a card that bonuses the restaurant and general travel purchase categories, and United miles are considered more flexible (because of the UR points xfer) than the US miles.

    After all the points post from the min spends of recent cards, I should have:

    AA- 121k
    US - 70k
    UA - 60k
    UR - 65k
    Hilton - 230k
    PC (between the wife who also has this card, and myself) - 213k
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    If you need *A points then ... UA/Ink/US are your only options. Out of that group i would do Ink/UA/US in that order.

    Also ... remember the Ink gets 2x @ Gas stations ... so you might want to switch gas to that. (esp if you think you have enuf HHonors)
     
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  3. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Thanks - I forgot about the 2x @ Gas for the Ink. Would this thought process change a little once I get the SPG AmEx, as they're widely regarded as the most valuable points out there?
     
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  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Not if you wanted *A points. 2SPG = 1UA :(

    After you get SPG/CSP then I would shift to those two cards ... + if possible the 5x Freedom catagory bonuses. Keep Ink for Gas/Office & HHonor for Markets/CVS

    That's actually what I keep in my wallet and how I spend
     
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  5. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    I can't remember who did the analysis but I think the winner for non-bonus general spend went to the Freedom at 1.25 points per dollar. On top of that like Edekba said, you get the 5% quarterly and you can transfer UR to another Chase card for *A. But, it looks like you don't have the Freedom ATM so this may not be the answer you were looking for... ;) I'll try to find the thread and post the link.
     
  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I think that was the case for purchases under $10 ... if you have chase exclusives
     
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  7. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    I second that...
     
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  8. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Sadly, I had Freedom at one point and didn't understand what I had in my wallet back in '08-'10. I might be nearing the 24 month mark of when I closed it, so that might be back on the list as well soon. However, the points for non-bonus/non-MSR purchases isn't a top priority. Has anyone downgraded a CSP to Freedom? I might do that if it's allowed. I know people downgrade to the plain Sapphire from SP, but it seems like the better deal in a NAF card would be the Freedom.
     
  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I upgraded a naf Washington mutual non reward to freedom. So I think you should be able to downgrade csp to freedom
     
  10. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    From my past experiences, I've rarely been restricted from doing program swaps on my Chase accounts. I don't see why you wouldn't be eligible as long as you haven't already done a program swap on that card within the last year (also assuming the account has been open at least a year).
     
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  11. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Take a look at this thread. My answer, and that of several folks in that thread, is not simple -- there's no single card that does most things. And none of the ones I recommend are on your list.

    Observing that you want UA miles, my first thought is Chase Sapphire Preferred. More UR bonus to start, then 2x points, convertible to UA, on ALL airline, hotel, and dining spend.

    For "general spend", I'm fond of the FIA Fidelity Amex: 2% cash back across the board. An alternative is the Costco Amex: it offers 2% on travel, but not everything else, but it's also a real Amex, so you get their customer support and dispute resolution.

    And the other card I'm very happy to be keeping in my wallet is the Hyatt Visa. It's not so much for the points. In fact, I'm hardly putting any spend on it at all. But it's a no-international-transaction-fee chip card, and the free category 4 hotel night easily pays for the annual fee.

    Of those in your wallet, possibly the Ink Bold: UR points may be the most useful to you.
     
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  12. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    wait doesnt the UA Club card give you 1.5 miles/$ ... i thought i read that somewhere
     
  13. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Yes, that is true - but I only have the Explorer card.
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, it does. It's currently my go-to card for general spend.
     
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  15. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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  16. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  17. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Gleff also explains his strategy here: The Cards Worth Carrying in My Wallet — and Those Stuck in My Sock Drawer
     
  18. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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  19. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    To answer the original question: The pre-paid bounty is so rich right now that my "usual spend" card is just a rotation of all of the others.
     
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  20. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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