Forum Thread

Looking for a Travel CC - Max Sign-up Bonus w/ Lowest Annual Fee

Cavball9 167 49 September 21, 2015 at 06:26 AM in Travel
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Looking to secure a new travel credit card in which I can max out my sign-up bonus and not have a $450 annual fee.

I'm currently holding the following cards:
SallieMae MC - 5% Gas ($250), 5% Groceries ($250), 5% Amazon ($750)
US Bank Cash+ - 5% on cell phone bill, 5% Fast Food
Chase Freedom - 5% quarterly categories
Citi DoubleCash - 2% on all transactions - backup card + monthly bills
Citi Simplicity - Space Eater old card they won't let me product-change but I have a $6K limit so it helps util %

Wife holding:
SallieMae MC
Discover IT

As you can see, I have most of my transactions covered. I do not, however, have a travel card. I'm planning a couple of trips next year and want to score at least one of them on-the-house.

Was specifically looking the Chase Southwest, Chase Sapphire and the Barclay Arrival Plus card. Open to other options as well. Wanted to heard the SD opinions on this.

Fire away!

6 Comments

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#2
British airways has their 100k sign up offer right now. You can get really good value out of that with some leg work. It does require a 20k spend though.

Depending where you are trying to go, getting two southwest cards and obtaining the companion pass (if you are trying to travel with someone like SO or friend/family) would probably be the best bang for your buck.

Otherwise I'm a big fan of the CSP, the flexibility to xfer points is great. I use a lot of the point on british airways and hyatts.
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#3
I think travel CC cards really depends on individual situations and if you plan on keeping the card or cancelling it later. I agree with bta15 about the southwest companion pass if it fits your needs. Other than that you have all your other basis covered well.
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#4
we don't have flexible schedule to travel at whim so what works for me is saving UR pts because if we can't use them for travel, I can always redeem for a check. we also have AS miles for which I got paid $25 via statement credit per card (we have 2 cards each) after meeting the required minimum spend and earning 25K miles per account so DH and I have 100K miles plus the companion pass we can use for kids.

it is best to look at the airlines that will take you where you want to go. If you live in one of the major cities that are serviced by different airlines, you will have a lot of options but if not, you may have limited choices. Check also your schedule if you can travel anytime; regardless of what most bloggers who pimp CCs say, earning the points and miles is not the difficult part, it is redeeming them that is difficult and only then will you realize they're not as easy as others make it seem like. That's why I'd rather go for the 2%, 5% cashback since it suits our situation best. Should we find time to travel, all the CBs I've earned will come in handy to shop around for the best rates where we want to go w/o having to consider black-out dates and other nuisances.
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#5
Quote from Cavball9 View Post :
As you can see, I have most of my transactions covered. I do not, however, have a travel card. I'm planning a couple of trips next year and want to score at least one of them on-the-house.

Was specifically looking the Chase Southwest, Chase Sapphire and the Barclay Arrival Plus card. Open to other options as well. Wanted to heard the SD opinions on this.
You'll probably also want to consider the Citi ThankYou Premier card with 50K TY point bonus worth $625 toward travel. It also earns 3X points (i.e. 3.75% toward travel) on travel expenses like airfare, hotels, etc.

You might want to plug your expected travel expenses into the reward calculator at http://www.creditcardtuneup.com/ to get ideas of which cards might reward you the most for those expenses. (Gotta convert total anticipated travel expenses to be "monthly" (i.e. total category expenses expected in a calendar year divided by 12) for the calculator.)
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#6
Plenty of other forums that specifically discuss this topic in great detail.

However, to sum it up:
Chase United MileagePlus Explorer
Chase Sapphire
Amex SPG
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#7
Thanks for the help!
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