Old Feb 8, 20, 2:46 am
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SEA, or BOS, or other places. What day is it?
Programs: DL DM/1MM, NEXUS/GE, CLEAR, Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,166
I have the Schwab Amex Platinum, Bonvoy Brilliant, and Delta SkyMiles Platinum (downgraded from Reserve after the increase in the Diamond waiver requirement).

For me, this is pretty much the sweet spot:
- Schwab card for 5x MR on flights, airline fee credit (even if it's a bit harder to monetize now), lounge access, UberEats, Schwab appreciation discount on the AF, MR conversion to cash, Hilton Gold, and the occasional offer. I get most of the AF back in cash or near-cash benefits even if I don't make it to Saks; with that credit and a few Hilton breakfasts I'm ahead of the game.
- Bonvoy Brilliant for Marriott stays (6x), Bonvoy Gold (though it overlaps with the Schwab card), and a 15-night headstart on Platinum if I'm getting enough travel in. This year I got the $300 credit and a $25 anniversary appreciation credit even before the annual fee posted, meaning that I only need to get $125 in value from the free night to break even on the AF. Easy.
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum as the daily driver (groceries, restaurants, non-Bonvoy hotels now get bonus SkyMiles) with the goal of hitting the $25K line for the Platinum Medallion MQD waiver (which I wound up not needing last year) and 10K MQM bonus, plus allowing Pay With Miles to keep a 1cpm floor on the value of my SkyMiles. Once I hit that (usually late in the year) I move non-bonus spend to a 1.5% no-fee cashback card instead.

I don't use the Global Entry/TSA Pre credits because Amex won't apply them to NEXUS (sigh), rarely use ShopRunner, etc.
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