High end card, in search of

Old Mar 17, 19, 11:58 am
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High end card, in search of

Don't mind paying a high annual fee for benefits. Which are some of the more popular program options?

We fly 5/6 times a year (maybe half international) and spend a lot on food. (what else about our spending and travel would be helpful here?)


I see many of the posts in this forum are older. Any tips on how to find more current credit card offers?


Thx

Last edited by bukzin; Apr 1, 19 at 12:51 pm Reason: typo
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Old Mar 17, 19, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Don't mind paying a high annual fee for benefits. Which are some of the more popular program options?

We fly 5/6 times a year (maybe half international) and spend a lot on food. (what else about our spending and travel would be helpful here?)


I see many of the posts in this forum a older. Any tips on how to find more current credit card offers?


Thx
Do you spend a lot on food in restaurants, or in supermarkets?
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Old Mar 17, 19, 12:05 pm
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Both.
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Old Mar 17, 19, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Both.
That complicates things.

There are cards that earn 2X or 3X points for restaurant charges (Google "best dining credit cards" and see what other benefits those cards offer). The US Bank Altitude Reserve card offers 3X points on travel and on "mobile wallet" purchases, so if your supermarkets accept Android Pay or Google Pay and you have an NFC-capable smartphone, that card could be good for grocery purchases.
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Old Mar 17, 19, 2:11 pm
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What are your goals for card(s) you acquire?

For instance, is there a particular airline or hotel chain that you favor?

Do you prefer maximum flexibility for points usage?

There are other things to consider, but I think you get the general idea.

For me, flexibility and relative ease of earning makes the Chase Ultimate Rewards program the best, but there are plenty of folks that feel otherwise. In other words, YMMV.

I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and I like it a great deal. We spend a fair bit on travel and dining and it works well for me. I also have the Ink Plus (no longer available) and itís a great combination.

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Old Mar 18, 19, 3:17 am
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If you do a lot of restaurant spend and a decent amount of air travel then I suggest the Citi Prestige. Also, up until September, you can still use the very awesome 4th night free benefit through the concierge. After September, the benefit will be getting a significant downgrade, but 5x dining and 5x air travel is still pretty awesome. Comes with Priority Pass "for up to 2 guests or your immediate family" making it a good card if you have a bunch of kids. Citi Prestige also has better air travel insurances than Amex.

However, for other benefits the Amex Platinum is generally more highly regarded with Marriott and Hilton status, Uber and Boingo credits, and better concierge service and certain other special member privileges. The travel credit is total crap compared to the Prestige though, and overall I like the Prestige better... at least until September.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is good for car rentals, but is frankly losing to the other two cards right now in my opinion.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Do you spend a lot on food in restaurants, or in supermarkets?
Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Both.
American Express Gold awards 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar at -both- domestic USA restaurants and domestic USA supermarkets, and 3 points per dollar on airfare. The card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, but food purchases outside the USA do not earn bonuses, only the base one point per dollar.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:10 am
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Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on dining and travel, includes foreign locations... very liberal travel definition... planes, trains, taxis, ubers, parking, tolls, etc all count) and American Express Gold (4x dining in US only, 4x in supermarkets up to 25k/year, US only, otherwise 1X everywhere else, 3x on airfare booked direct). Chase earns Ultimate Rewards, Amex earns Membership Rewards

I personally use the CSR for all travel and dining at a bar/stadium/place that may not be a "traditional restaurant" since Amex gold has some issues giving 4x on them. I use the Amex Gold for dining at places I know get 4x (including Seamless, Caviar, Delivery.com, etc) and supermarkets. CSR is 450/year with 300 travel credit + global entry credit and Amex Gold is 250/year, with a 10/month dining credit (easy to get if you eat at Seamless since that's one of the places, other places are Ruth's Chris, Shake Shack and Cheesecake factory) and 100 airline credit (can be used for gift cards on Delta). That's 700/year in fees, or just 180 if you can maximize all the credits minus global entry.

The two signup bonuses alone will net you 100k+ in points.

Citi prestige earns 5x on dining, but I value the points you get from American Express or Chase way more than Citi's thank you points, due to a wider variety of transfer partners on Amex/Chase. Both programs are great and you should research them (tons of threads) on which program is a better fit for your travel patterns. For me, I'm able to fit in both and reap the rewards from each
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Old Mar 18, 19, 1:31 pm
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It's pretty easy to get value out of the first high end card you get. It's as you start adding them that the benefits start overlapping, and stop being value accretive. Global Entry credit is handy the first year. But its not so useful as you get more GE perked cards unless you coax your family / friends to use the credit. (and even that, is hard to do I find!)

For our situation, despite everyone loving the CSR, we found it duplicative to other benefits we had and I ended up downgrading that to a Freedom. And even that, despite its 5x categories, really doesn't do all that much for us, when compared to the USB AR 3x (4.5x for travel) on mobile payments. I find that most places that would offer Freedom quarterly multipliers typically take mobile pay anyways.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 1:43 pm
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You don‘t actually say what you are really looking for. Is this for specific benefits or wallet candy?
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Old Mar 20, 19, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
You donĎt actually say what you are really looking for. Is this for specific benefits or wallet candy?
Not wallet candy (love the term though!)

Guess I am mostly looking for air miles (prefer non-US carriers to Europe)

and cash back.


Tend to not rent cars much and like AirBnB and VRBO over hotels.

LondonElite, is this what you meant?
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Old Mar 20, 19, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by 1120 View Post
What are your goals for card(s) you acquire?

For instance, is there a particular airline or hotel chain that you favor?

Do you prefer maximum flexibility for points usage?

There are other things to consider, but I think you get the general idea.

For me, flexibility and relative ease of earning makes the Chase Ultimate Rewards program the best, but there are plenty of folks that feel otherwise. In other words, YMMV.

I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and I like it a great deal. We spend a fair bit on travel and dining and it works well for me. I also have the Ink Plus (no longer available) and itís a great combination.

Originally Posted by akr1970akr View Post
It's pretty easy to get value out of the first high end card you get. It's as you start adding them that the benefits start overlapping, and stop being value accretive. Global Entry credit is handy the first year. But its not so useful as you get more GE perked cards unless you coax your family / friends to use the credit. (and even that, is hard to do I find!)

For our situation, despite everyone loving the CSR, we found it duplicative to other benefits we had and I ended up downgrading that to a Freedom. And even that, despite its 5x categories, really doesn't do all that much for us, when compared to the USB AR 3x (4.5x for travel) on mobile payments. I find that most places that would offer Freedom quarterly multipliers typically take mobile pay anyways.

What is meant by 'CRS' and 'USB AR' ?
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Old Mar 20, 19, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
What is meant by 'CRS' and 'USB AR' ?
CSR = Chase Sapphire Reserve

USB AR = US Bank Altitude Reserve Card
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Old Mar 21, 19, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Not wallet candy (love the term though!)

Guess I am mostly looking for air miles (prefer non-US carriers to Europe)

and cash back.


Tend to not rent cars much and like AirBnB and VRBO over hotels.

LondonElite, is this what you meant?
Then you might wish to consider an American Express card and Chase Sapphire Rewards, although I'm honestly not up to speed with the signup bonuses at the moment.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 5:20 pm
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CSR and Amex Gold combo seems ideal for your situation. Amex Gold gets you 4x on dining and groceries, currently with 50k MR signup bonus. CSR gets you 3x on dining and travel, currently with signup bonus of 50k UR. UR you can cash out if you want cashback, so essentially 3% cashback for dining and travel. The Amex Platinum gets you 5x on flights and hotels, but only if you directly book/purchase from Amex portal, which may not be ideal. Since you mention cashback, a Freedom Unlimited may be a good addition since you can use the UR for travel or cashback.
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