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Which reward card is best for me? (I spend over $6k per month.)

Which reward card is best for me? (I spend over $6k per month.)

Old Feb 17, 14, 1:49 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 22
Question Which reward card is best for me? (I spend over $6k per month.)

Hello,

I am totally confused by all the different reward cards and programs available. I read the sticky threads here, and I'm still confused. (My wife says I'm a little slow... )

My brother said I should consider getting a "rewards" card to try and get either cash back or free plane tickets since I spend so much on my card.

I normally spend over $6k per month on my current credit card (USAA basic card with no benefits) through my business. I put all my business's expenses through my personal card, and then pay it off each month. The charges are for things like website server hosting ($4k/month) and supplies and materials from various stores, etc.

My credit is excellent. I have a $25k limit on my current card, and also have two other cards with a $10k limit each. I pay everything off in full each month, and I have no outstanding debt or mortgage.

We live in France at the moment (although we are American citizens) and so we fly back to the every summer. Total yearly airfare for my family is usually around $7k, so any savings would be fantastic.

We normally fly using whatever airline is the cheapest, using orbitz, kayak or travelocity to find and book the flights. So sometimes it is AirTransat, Lufthansa or Air Canada, or whatever is cheapest. (So a reward card that is tied to one airline would not be beneficial.)

One thing to also point out is that I spend about $1k/month on items here in France, so I need to also consider the foreign exchange/transaction fees of the card. (I think the CapitalOne cards have %0 foreign transaction fees?) So about $5k/month is spent on USD purchases and the rest is overseas/foreign spending.)

What do you suggest is the best credit card reward program for me? Should I go for a cash-back card or an airmiles card? Which one?

Thanks!
hstraf is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 2:00 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: LAX
Programs: AA, TY, UR, UA, US, WN, MR, SPG
Posts: 1,453
From what you've said, it sounds like flexibility is valuable to you. A cashback card or a transferable/cashable point-based card would probably be most valuable to you, based on that.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of answers, but you might want to look into the Chase Ink business card, depending how the merchants you buy from for your business (especially the server hosting) are classified. The Chase Ink Bold/Plus earns 5x points per $1 "on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services." If you can find the merchant code/classification for the $4K web server hosting charge, you can determine if Chase would classify it as a 5x category and, if so, that's a no-brainer. Otherwise, many would probably either recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or the AMEX Fidelity 2% cashback card. Assuming you'd be using the card in France, the AMEX card might not be for you, as there are foreign transaction fees on that card.

Chase UR points earned by the Ink/CSP can be redeemed for cash at 1 cent per point, travel at 1.25 cents per point, or transferred to many different partners (airline, hotel, amtrak), if you want to play the mileage game a bit.
roki is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 2:36 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tri State Area
Programs: HH Diamond, Sixt Platinum, IHG Spire Ambassador, Marriott/SPG Gold .....
Posts: 1,921
Chase Ink to have UR and for longer term
then what ever card has a good offer
start with BA 100k then ClubCarlson 80k then Amex Plat up to 100k then (whatever a good offer is at that time) .... with your expenses you should be able to a) spread between cc providers and b) get one every few month for a nice sign up bonus
blitzen is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 2:58 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: BOS
Programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards
Posts: 624
Which reward card is best for me? (I spend over $6k per month.)

Chase Sapphire Preferred.
augustus21 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 3:09 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Gold, DL Silver, SPG/MR Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 1,149
If I'm correct in understanding, your priorities are no FTF, and flexibility to book the cheapest coach flights to and from Europe. Given that criteria I think the best bets are the Chase Sapphire Preferred ("CSP"), Chase Ink Bold, and/or the Barclaycard Arrival.

The CSP has no FTF, gives 1 Ultimate Reward (UR) point on every dollar spent, and 2 points on travel and dining. You also get a 7% annual bonus on all your points earned that year. Each point is worth 1% as cash back, or if you book flights through the UR portal a $500 flight is 40,000 points.

The Ink Bold has no FTF, gives 1 UR point on every dollar spent, 2 points on gas and hotels paid directly at hotels, and 5 points on office supply stores, cable and internet and phone bills. I'm not sure if your ISP charges would count for the 5x category. If they did, that would be huge, if not, still a good card. The Bold is a business card but that sounds like it's just as good if not better for your situation.

The Arrival gives 2 points per dollar spent, period. The points are redeemed by buying a flight, paying with your card, and then applying the points towards statement credits. You get a 10% rebate when doing this, so effectively 2.2% back on everything. Also no FTF

These are all good options, if you get the CSP and Ink as a combo you'll get a ton of sign-up points. The other caveats are you can combine CSP and Ink URs into one big pool of points, and the URs can also be transferred 1:1 to any of the other programs where Chase is the card issuer (Southwest, Marriott, Hyatt, etc etc).

A lot of people will throw out suggestions which give points for things like hotel stays and miles for airline programs, but these are generally better if you want to book free hotel stays and first or business class award tickets, for cheap coach tickets getting around 2% back on everything is the ticket.
WheelsFirst is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 3:27 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by hstraf View Post
Hello,

I am totally confused by all the different reward cards and programs available. I read the sticky threads here, and I'm still confused. (My wife says I'm a little slow... )

My brother said I should consider getting a "rewards" card to try and get either cash back or free plane tickets since I spend so much on my card.

I normally spend over $6k per month on my current credit card (USAA basic card with no benefits) through my business. I put all my business's expenses through my personal card, and then pay it off each month. The charges are for things like website server hosting ($4k/month) and supplies and materials from various stores, etc.

My credit is excellent. I have a $25k limit on my current card, and also have two other cards with a $10k limit each. I pay everything off in full each month, and I have no outstanding debt or mortgage.

We live in France at the moment (although we are American citizens) and so we fly back to the every summer. Total yearly airfare for my family is usually around $7k, so any savings would be fantastic.

We normally fly using whatever airline is the cheapest, using orbitz, kayak or travelocity to find and book the flights. So sometimes it is AirTransat, Lufthansa or Air Canada, or whatever is cheapest. (So a reward card that is tied to one airline would not be beneficial.)

One thing to also point out is that I spend about $1k/month on items here in France, so I need to also consider the foreign exchange/transaction fees of the card. (I think the CapitalOne cards have %0 foreign transaction fees?) So about $5k/month is spent on USD purchases and the rest is overseas/foreign spending.)

What do you suggest is the best credit card reward program for me? Should I go for a cash-back card or an airmiles card? Which one?

Thanks!
do you have a us address or one in France?
kburges is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 9:48 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 146
Originally Posted by hstraf View Post
I normally spend over $6k per month on my current credit card (USAA basic card with no benefits) through my business. I put all my business's expenses through my personal card, and then pay it off each month. The charges are for things like website server hosting ($4k/month) and supplies and materials from various stores, etc.

One thing to also point out is that I spend about $1k/month on items here in France, so I need to also consider the foreign exchange/transaction fees of the card.
As has already been noted, the web hosting category is a key driver for your decision since the bulk of your monthly spend is in that category. You can try the Visa Supplier Locator tool to find the MCC (Merchant Category Code) of your web hosting provider:
https://www.visa.com/supplierlocator/search/index.jsp

Then you should be able to confirm with Chase whether that particular MCC is included in the bonus category for "internet".

Assuming that $4K+ of your spend falls into the 5x bonus categories of the Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards, then I too strongly suspect you'll have a hard time beating those cards' rewards for your categorical spending profile.
joelmeu is offline  
Old Mar 27, 14, 6:17 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 24
I'm very curious what you went with hstraf, mind sharing it?
I'm in a comparable situation
jbxx is offline  
Old Mar 27, 14, 6:49 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 50
If you use rackspace as your hosting provider, I believe Chase Ink qualifies that for the 5x reward.
linuxmachine is offline  
Old Mar 27, 14, 10:42 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 424
Originally Posted by linuxmachine View Post
If you use rackspace as your hosting provider, I believe Chase Ink qualifies that for the 5x reward.
Interesting.. I wonder if AWS qualifies.
vinhboy is offline  

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