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Best credit card for Sign up miles

AceKumar 20 14 March 25, 2016 at 10:55 PM
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can someone suggest best credit card to apply for sign up air miles.. note that I never had credit card and planning to get one before I plan for long trip and save some money ..

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#2
Quote from AceKumar View Post :
can someone suggest best credit card to apply for sign up air miles.. note that I never had credit card and planning to get one before I plan for long trip and save some money ..

Depends on a lot of things.

How much can you afford/are likely to spend in a 3 month period?

How good is your credit score?

Do you know where you're intended to go/what airlines you want to use?


There's 3 major "flexible" programs for points (well, sorta 4, get to that in a second)


Membership Rewards (MR) from Amex- this has the most different cards that can earn them...so the most sign up bonuses available and the points are reasonably valuable, they have a decent number of transfer partners, though not all partners transfer at 1:1.

They do have some bonus categories, but they're usually in the 2x or 3x range so racking up points can be a little slower than the UR offerings below.

NOTE- All Amex sign up bonuses are ONCE PER LIFETIME per card. If you get a PRG sign up, ever, you can't get another, ever. This means you usually want to wait for relatively high sign up offers before jumping on one for Amex. (the best example here is the Amex platinum, it's 40k MR normally... once in a while that jumps to 100k)




Ultimate Rewards (UR) from Chase- Probably the most valuable of the big 3 points, lots fo good transfer partners that transfer at 1:1, and the best program for racking up points relatively quickly from spending-as there's a lot of ways to earn 5x on spending... but there's a smaller number of cards to sign up for bonuses on.

NOTE: Chase also has another limitation- the 5/24 rule. This used to only apply to personal non-branded Chase cards, but it's in the process of apply to all their cards (business and co-branded ones). It means they will deny any application if you have already gotten 5 new cards in the last 24 months.

This means if you plan to apply for a lot of cards (10-20 in a 6 month period aren't unheard of for folks churning sign up bonuses) you want to get your chase cards FIRST.

Bonuses are churnable generally, as long as its been 24 months since last bonus.



Thank You (TU) from Citibank- Probably the least valuable in that they have fewer transfer partners and none are domestic airlines- also fewer 5x opportunities compared to Chase.

Their prestige card has some really nice benefits for the money apart from points though- $450 annual fee but you can easily make a lot more than that back per year on the benefits alone... ($250 a year airline credit, $100 global entry credit, and the best one- your 4th night of any hotel stay is free, and you can use that as often as you want in a year)

Bonuses are churnable generally, as long as its been 24 months since last bonus.



The 4th program worth mentioning is Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)- It's a hotel loyalty program, but has an insane number of airline transfer partners so they're the most valuable points.... but the hardest to get.

Amex has 2 cards that earn SPG- until March 30 you get 35k SPG for signing up for either (one is personal one is business but you don't need a "real" business to get it)

40k SPG becomes 50k miles at just about ANY airline

The downside is after the sign up bonuses you get 1x on all spending other than at starwood hotels... so unless you stay at them a LOT they're not worth keeping beyond the initial period to get 40k on each (required spend is 3k personal and 5k business, so just spend another 2k on personal and you're done)
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Last edited by Knightshade March 26, 2016 at 10:44 AM
Joined Jan 2016
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#3
Quote from Knightshade View Post :
Depends on a lot of things.

How much can you afford/are likely to spend in a 3 month period?

How good is your credit score?

Do you know where you're intended to go/what airlines you want to use?


There's 3 major "flexible" programs for points (well, sorta 4, get to that in a second)


Membership Rewards (MR) from Amex- this has the most different cards that can earn them...so the most sign up bonuses available and the points are reasonably valuable, they have a decent number of transfer partners, though not all partners transfer at 1:1.

They do have some bonus categories, but they're usually in the 2x or 3x range so racking up points can be a little slower than the UR offerings below.

NOTE- All Amex sign up bonuses are ONCE PER LIFETIME per card. If you get a PRG sign up, ever, you can't get another, ever. This means you usually want to wait for relatively high sign up offers before jumping on one for Amex. (the best example here is the Amex platinum, it's 40k MR normally... once in a while that jumps to 100k)




Ultimate Rewards (UR) from Chase- Probably the most valuable of the big 3 points, lots fo good transfer partners that transfer at 1:1, and the best program for racking up points relatively quickly from spending-as there's a lot of ways to earn 5x on spending... but there's a smaller number of cards to sign up for bonuses on.

NOTE: Chase also has another limitation- the 5/24 rule. This used to only apply to personal non-branded Chase cards, but it's in the process of apply to all their cards (business and co-branded ones). It means they will deny any application if you have already gotten 5 new cards in the last 24 months.

This means if you plan to apply for a lot of cards (10-20 in a 6 month period aren't unheard of for folks churning sign up bonuses) you want to get your chase cards FIRST.

Bonuses are churnable generally, as long as its been 24 months since last bonus.



Thank You (TU) from Citibank- Probably the least valuable in that they have fewer transfer partners and none are domestic airlines- also fewer 5x opportunities compared to Chase.

Their prestige card has some really nice benefits for the money apart from points though- $450 annual fee but you can easily make a lot more than that back per year on the benefits alone... ($250 a year airline credit, $100 global entry credit, and the best one- your 4th night of any hotel stay is free, and you can use that as often as you want in a year)

Bonuses are churnable generally, as long as its been 24 months since last bonus.



The 4th program worth mentioning is Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)- It's a hotel loyalty program, but has an insane number of airline transfer partners so they're the most valuable points.... but the hardest to get.

Amex has 2 cards that earn SPG- until March 30 you get 35k SPG for signing up for either (one is personal one is business but you don't need a "real" business to get it)

40k SPG becomes 50k miles at just about ANY airline

The downside is after the sign up bonuses you get 1x on all spending other than at starwood hotels... so unless you stay at them a LOT they're not worth keeping beyond the initial period to get 40k on each (required spend is 3k personal and 5k business, so just spend another 2k on personal and you're done)
Thanks for the reply.. Smilie
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#4
i'd agree with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, they currently have 50k points with a 4 month spend. it's a great card with great features and i personally use it as my daily card
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