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Credit Card Recommendations - International Business Class (AA) - 200k spend per year

Credit Card Recommendations - International Business Class (AA) - 200k spend per year

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Old Jul 4, 19, 2:55 pm
  #1  
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Credit Card Recommendations - International Business Class (AA) - 200k spend per year

Hi,

If there's a thread that addresses this - please do point me to it. I'm not much good with search as I thought this would be a common question/discussion and found nothing.

1. I see a value of around $0.01 per mile for US-Europe American Airlines business class tickets
2. My AA branded credit cards have a value of 1%
3. I've seen 1 cash back card with 1% on purchase and 1% on payment and another card which used to pay for airline tickets provides a direct value of 2% per dollar spent.
4. Therefore I am thinking of switching my primary card to one of the two cards mentioned in 3

Question: For business class airfare to Europe, with an annual spend of around 150k per year on credit cards and around 80k miles earned flying American Airlines which credit card would you recommend as a primary card?

Thanks,

Pakse
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Old Jul 4, 19, 5:11 pm
  #2  
mia
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Many cards, including some AAdvantage cards, earn more than one mile/point/cent in specific categories, such as airfare, hotels, travel (broadly defined), groceries, dining, office supplies, etc. How does your $150/200,000 break out? Which specific AA card do you have now?

Last edited by mia; Jul 4, 19 at 5:17 pm
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Old Jul 5, 19, 9:20 am
  #3  
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I carry the following:
- Citi Executive World Elite (cheaper lounge access than paying cash as PLT)
- Citi Select Business (two of these for two separate business)

My purchases are wholesale goods, so they have not in the past qualified for anyone's 'bonus' categories for cash back.

It seems like if I spend 200k on a new discover card - I'll end up with $6,000.00 after the first 12 months.

If I spend the same amount with an American Airlines branded card - I'll have 200,000 miles - which when booking business class US-Europe will equate to around $2,000.00=$2,500.00 in value.

Given my spending and my goals - how would you recommend I purchase goods and services?

Thanks,

Pakse
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Old Jul 5, 19, 9:30 am
  #4  
mia
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Note that the Barclays AAdvantage business card awards a 5% annual bonus. For example $200,000 would yield 200,000 + 10,000 = 210,000 AAdvantage miles. That may not be enough of a difference to move your business.

You could consider diverting a portion of your business spending to other cards to earn the new account bonuses. This would generate more rewards than using any single card for all spending.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 7:06 am
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If your transactions regularly exceeed $5,000 I might suggest the Amex business platinum card. You’d earn 1.5x instead of 1x on those purchases over $5,000 and as a business card, it wouldn’t impact your personal credit score. Assuming $200,000 spend and each transaction is over $5,000, you’d end up with 300,000 membership rewards instead of 200,000. You’d then have the flexibility of paying with points at a rate of 1.54 cents per point using the pay with points feature. Or you could transfer points to any membership rewards airline partner of which Amex has the greatest variety of the big three.

Or or you could just get the spark miles for business and just redeem toward travel. Or the capital one venture card (which is the card I think you are alluding to?)

If you have to earn aa miles, I would suggest the Barclays aviator silver card since they have spending thresholds to get you a companion certificate and eqds (if you are chasing status it could help)

If your goal is to earn points as quickly as possible, you may have to get the Amex “trifecta” or chase “trifecta” or citi prestige and premier. I’m not sure what your spend category breakdown is, so hard to recommend.

good luck!

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Old Jul 6, 19, 9:19 am
  #6  
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Your goal is to achieve award travel to Europe in business class from the United States. I am regularly chasing award tickets in business. Until this spring, I was redeeming from my United account. Then I saw a seismic change in the points required to redeem for business. It jumped from 70K to 180K or thereabouts, one way, for one person. AA is also requiring a distasteful amount of points, 180K on weekdays and 240K on weekends. Again, this is one way for one person. And that's not considering the robust fuel surcharge fees often charged for European tickets. I do have an upcoming set of tickets, Europe to Doha, Doha to LAX, 45K for the first, 70K for the second, so a total of 115K for the one way. I found a sweet spot with Air France for awards to and from Italy for just 53K per person. The award landscape is changing and it will be challenging to get business class awards for points that are earned within a year. My advice is that as much as possible, earn your points on cards that can be moved to multiple programs. These are Ultimate Rewards, AMEX Membership Rewards, and Thank You Points. You can then transfer to the program with the best redemption values at the point that you redeem.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by Pakse View Post
Hi,

If there's a thread that addresses this - please do point me to it. I'm not much good with search as I thought this would be a common question/discussion and found nothing.

1. I see a value of around $0.01 per mile for US-Europe American Airlines business class tickets
2. My AA branded credit cards have a value of 1%
3. I've seen 1 cash back card with 1% on purchase and 1% on payment and another card which used to pay for airline tickets provides a direct value of 2% per dollar spent.
4. Therefore I am thinking of switching my primary card to one of the two cards mentioned in 3

Question: For business class airfare to Europe, with an annual spend of around 150k per year on credit cards and around 80k miles earned flying American Airlines which credit card would you recommend as a primary card?

Thanks,

Pakse
Chase ink unlimited or cap1 spark miles.
You can start with Amex BBP, and switch to one of the above after finishing $50k allowance. If you can get 2 BBPs, then $150k spend will net you 275k miles.
If you have a lot of inperson charges I would look at US bank Altitude Reserve, which nets you 4.5% on all mobile charges, which is all the charges if you use Samsung pay.
Too bad Citi AT&T Access More is not available anymore, otherwise you could use it for online purchases.

Last edited by yugi; Jul 7, 19 at 11:57 am
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:51 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Pakse View Post
Hi,

If there's a thread that addresses this - please do point me to it. I'm not much good with search as I thought this would be a common question/discussion and found nothing.

1. I see a value of around $0.01 per mile for US-Europe American Airlines business class tickets
2. My AA branded credit cards have a value of 1%
3. I've seen 1 cash back card with 1% on purchase and 1% on payment and another card which used to pay for airline tickets provides a direct value of 2% per dollar spent.
4. Therefore I am thinking of switching my primary card to one of the two cards mentioned in 3

Question: For business class airfare to Europe, with an annual spend of around 150k per year on credit cards and around 80k miles earned flying American Airlines which credit card would you recommend as a primary card?

Thanks,

Pakse
Im in the same boat.

Few things.

1. Aviator Silver card (have to apply for the aviator red, then get invited to join silver) gives you 3x points when purchasing AA flights. This is the most you will find for a pure AA card.
2. You can buy Admirals club access with 55K miles instead of $550 or the AA Citi card
3. If you use Amex or say Chase Saphire Reserve (i hear their current ultimate rewards program is a nightmare) you get "Points" that can be redeemed for purchase air travel. This means... Instead of using AA points, your using let's say Amex points or CSR points to buy a "rewards" ticket. You will still be buying an actual revenue ticket, meaning you will earn miles on these flights. This is the no brainer for me.
4. Primary Crash Damage Waiver seems hard to find on a good travel card. Citi is getting rid of it, Amex Plat requires you to purchase extra benefits. CSR has it but again... they switched over to expedia for ultimate rewards which is a non starter for me. I have been looking at the US Bank Visa Infinite for Primary CDW or just biting the bullet and going with Amex Plat.

One consideration you might have is getting to Exec Plat... you're gonna need to do it with segments or miles (in addition to dollars, which it sounds like you have). The Extra 10,000 EQM's that the AA card provides may be worth while for you to keep the card, at least until you hit those minumums. You could also get up to 20,000 EQMs by splitting your spend between the AA Citi Exec card and the Silver Aviator Card. Which would get you into Exec Plat range....

If you just want straight cash back on travel, you'll find that Costco offers 3% back on travel.

Cheers
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:26 pm
  #9  
mia
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Originally Posted by waterskifly View Post
I....
4. Primary Crash Damage Waiver seems hard to find on a good travel card. Citi is getting rid of it, Amex Plat requires you to purchase extra benefits. CSR has it but again... they switched over to expedia for ultimate rewards
Personal Citi AAdvantage cards never included primary CDW, it has been secondary, the same as American Express.

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95) includes primary CDW. If that's important to you, and you do not want Sapphire Reserve, apply for Sapphire Preferred, use it to pay for car rentals and nothing else. However, first make sure you understand what primary means and how it interacts with your personal auto insurance. Primary is not "better" insurance, it only means that it pay first.

Chase Ultimate Rewards does allow points to be redeemed for travel through their portal, which is operated by Expedia, but that is not the only way to use UR points for travel. They can be transferred to various airline partners and redeemed for award tickets, in the same way as American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by yugi View Post
Chase ink unlimited or cap1 spark miles.
You can start with Amex BBP, and switch to one of the above after finishing $50k allowance. If you can get 2 BBPs, then $150k spend will net you 275k miles.
If you have a lot of inperson charges I would look at US bank Altitude Reserve, which nets you 4.5% on all mobile charges, which is all the charges if you use Samsung pay.
Too bad Citi AT&T Access More is not available anymore, otherwise you could use it for online purchases.
Actually, the Access More should still be available for PC. I just did this within the last year or so. That will give 3% for AT&T wireless and retail and 3% for online purchases.

Also, a clarification on the Altitude Reserve... it's mobile wallet charges. The rest is correct, so I'm just clarifying to help prevent confusion.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Personal Citi AAdvantage cards never included primary CDW, it has been secondary, the same as American Express.

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95) includes primary CDW. If that's important to you, and you do not want Sapphire Reserve, apply for Sapphire Preferred, use it to pay for car rentals and nothing else. However, first make sure you understand what primary means and how it interacts with your personal auto insurance. Primary is not "better" insurance, it only means that it pay first.

Chase Ultimate Rewards does allow points to be redeemed for travel through their portal, which is operated by Expedia, but that is not the only way to use UR points for travel. They can be transferred to various airline partners and redeemed for award tickets, in the same way as American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
Thank you for the info. for some reason i thought Citi cards had primary CDW, with out looking i believe that applies only to foriegn car rentals (YMMV).

Not being terribly familiar with chase, at first glance it appears the points transfer to other airlines is less than optimal than say using Chase UR points to buy revenue tickets. 1. you lose out on the miles you would gain by chase buying a revenue ticket for you versus redeeming miles. 2. the transfer ratio is hardened and provides less flexibility to get the most out of your points 3. a lot of airline partners arent included, and while yes, you could set up an account with a 3rd party transfer airline, then use one world, etc to redeem a mileage ticket, it's just too much risk, and frankly too complicated for me. I don't want to spend my time and effort trying to hack through awards when im paying for a premium product.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 11:46 am
  #12  
mia
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Originally Posted by waterskifly View Post
Thank you for the info. for some reason i thought Citi cards had primary CDW, with out looking i believe that applies only to foriegn car rentals (YMMV).
Unless your personal auto insurance provides coverage outside North America, the distinction between secondary and primary collapses for international rentals. However, most cards exclude rentals in some countries, and we should pay attention to those restrictions.

Transferring points from American Express, CapitalOne, Chase, Citi, or Diners Club offers the potential for a much higher financial return than using the booking portals provided by those same programs. There is a tradeoff of complexity for value, but if your objective in intercontinental premium class flights it's unrealistic for most people to book through a points portal.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by baroqen View Post
Actually, the Access More should still be available for PC. I just did this within the last year or so. That will give 3% for AT&T wireless and retail and 3% for online purchases.

Also, a clarification on the Altitude Reserve... it's mobile wallet charges. The rest is correct, so I'm just clarifying to help prevent confusion.
No, it's not available for PC anymore. And it gives 3 TYP for online, travel websites and AT&T.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 11:26 am
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The two obvious cards seem to be:

Amex Blue Business Plus - $50,000 spending for 100,000 MR points which usually equals 100,000 Airline Miles
Capital One Spark Miles - $150,000 spending for 300,000 Cap One Miles which usually equals 225,000 Airline Miles

Given you earn AA miles already, if you want AA miles for a certain kind of redemption, you may be better off using one of your AA cards to buy miles when they go on sale
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Old Jul 10, 19, 11:31 am
  #15  
mia
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
....may be better off using one of your AA cards to buy miles when they go on sale
Inasmuch as Pakse values AA miles at $0.01 each this will not work out. The sale prices always net higher than a penny.
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