Best card for Wash DC resident

Old Feb 24, 13, 1:49 pm
  #1  
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Best card for Wash DC resident

I'm based in DC. Aspirational travel in a few years (after retirement) is one or more biz class trips to Asia.

For years my primary card was Amex. I have about 500K MR points. After last years United card promotion, I got one and have been using it as a primary card. Through past flying and card points, I have a total of 200K united points with an accrual rate of 1-2K per month. I don't fly much anymore (by choice) so most of my points are through the card.

Any thoughts on pro/con of Amex vs United?

Thanks,

DC resident
klevin99 is offline  
Old Feb 25, 13, 3:55 pm
  #2  
 
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I personally suggest to people that they diversify, getting points on multiple alliances. MR's "primary" transfer partner is Delta, although you can book Star Alliance via Air Canada and Oneworld via British Airways.

Try picking up some new cards for the signup bonuses, like Chase Sapphire Preferred (transfers to both United and BA) and maybe a Delta Amex. Meet the minimum spend, get the signup bonus, then cancel the card before the fee comes due after a year.

If you're married, get your spouse in on the game too.

I'd suggest a preference for United since you are close to IAD. Sometimes the domestic gateway flight can be a bottleneck for an award ticket. (Example, this summer my wife wanted to fly from Europe to RDU in first class, we could get her to IAD as a low-mileage award but couldn't get the IAD-RDU leg.) But in practice if you wanted to go on DL, I imagine you could buy a ticket to ATL, JFK, or MSP, to get to their gateway.
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Old Feb 25, 13, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by redtop43 View Post
I personally suggest to people that they diversify, getting points on multiple alliances. MR's "primary" transfer partner is Delta, although you can book Star Alliance via Air Canada and Oneworld via British Airways.

Try picking up some new cards for the signup bonuses, like Chase Sapphire Preferred (transfers to both United and BA) and maybe a Delta Amex. Meet the minimum spend, get the signup bonus, then cancel the card before the fee comes due after a year.
I second this emotion. Having options is incredibly helpful, especially when an opportunity comes up unexpectedly as it might in retirement. I know the mantra is "earn and burn" but I like having a trip available in each alliance (including via transfers such as MR/UR/SPG).

OP, now is the time to start. Assuming the length of your credit history (retirement age, if you've been in the US for a majority of that?) and that you have decent credit, you can easily absorb a few apps each year.

To the above (CSP, Delta - wait for a good promotion on that one) I would add:
-AA 50k (might go away, with a "new" card offered; either way, can churn every 18 months)
- USAir 35/40k (WILL go away, grab it while you can, will be AA miles)
- BA 50k/100 (if you concentrate your spend on this card, you might get the 100k)

AA is great for Asia with partner Cathay Pacific.

People bash BA points, BUT they make sense from a diversification perspective. 1) You can use on AA within the US for short-haul; 2) no fees on Iberia and Aer Lingus; 3) I think some of the Asia flights are very reasonable for fees - but you'd have to check, my memory may be faulty. Even if not: for a credit card app, concentrating your spending, you end up flying first class for less than the price of economy. Winner in my book.
Mile-a-holic is offline  
Old Feb 25, 13, 6:13 pm
  #4  
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credit history is NO problem.

MR also has ANA as a partner. Some of their award structure is nice. Depends on distance. I should cruise over to their forum to see what I can learn.

Thanks for the advice of getting spouse going on the game too. Her credit history is pristine too. I should know - I pay the bills.

Time to look again at my recent emails. Thanks for great suggestions.
klevin99 is offline  
Old Feb 26, 13, 10:01 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by klevin99 View Post
Time to look again at my recent emails. Thanks for great suggestions.
If you mean look at your e-mail for credit card offers, don't forget to look at the sticky in Miles Buzz - usually I find better offers there.

Good hunting! Aspirational travel becomes addictive, so get a bit greedy If you aren't each getting at least 2 new cards a year with 50k points a go after the first round, well, we'll be very disappointed in you
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Old Feb 26, 13, 3:18 pm
  #6  
 
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Given how many MR points you have with Amex, which means Delta, I would look into United. They have a pretty good set of flights to Asia, plus code shares, but 200K isn't likely to get you two saver awards in biz. But with a 50K signup bonus and modest spend, you're already there for your first trip.
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Old Feb 27, 13, 6:49 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Given how many MR points you have with Amex, which means Delta, I would look into United. They have a pretty good set of flights to Asia, plus code shares, but 200K isn't likely to get you two saver awards in biz. But with a 50K signup bonus and modest spend, you're already there for your first trip.
I agree with beefing up United (via UR too), but MR doesn't equal Delta. There's ANA, Singapore, BA, and Air Canada for Star Alliance (granted fees on these from what I read).
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Old Feb 27, 13, 8:57 am
  #8  
mia
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Originally Posted by redtop43 View Post
... MR's "primary" transfer partner is Delta, ...
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Given how many MR points you have with Amex, which means Delta, ....
This is an interesting perception because Membership Rewards has transfer partners in all three alliances, and in this (unscientific) poll British Airways is actually used more often than Delta:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-partners.html
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