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Old 01-11-2018, 12:58 PM   #1
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Default Credit Cards

Title says it all
Havenít seen anything in awhile about this and was wondering what do you guys use as a credit card for our type of work/best rewards?

I currently have the Navy Federal cash back visa but Iím looking to see what you all have.
Bare in mind this isnít to build debt itís a pay it off monthly, use the benefits type deal
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:11 PM   #2
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You did not qualify this as airline pilot or corporate pilot. Spending patterns can vary greatly making the choices different. As do travel habits of various airline and corporate jobs.


Chase Sapphire Reserve would easily be number 1 for the Priority Pass Select lounge benefit. Costs $150/year after $300 annual travel credit. Also has great car rental coverage. Was better at the intro with a 100,000 point UR bonus. Maybe wait until the bonus offer comes up a little from it's current level.

My list also includes:

American Express Platinum - Centurion Lounge and 5 X MR on airline tickets. If you use the $200 Uber credit and $200 airline credit costs $150/year. Also gives you Hilton Gold and SPG Gold (thus Marriott Gold) status. Can sometimes get a 100,000 MR bonus offer so worth waiting for that to come around.

Chase Ink (not available any longer). Good only if you know how to work the office store spending category bonus. I can clock 10,000 URs/month pretty easily with this card.

Chase Marriott card - the free annual night pays for the card itself plus the 15 night credit helps keep Marriott Platinum within reach each year.

Chase IHG card - another one with a free annual night and status attached.

I have more, but all are targeted for specific reasons. I keep my original Amex Delta Gold Skymiles card for length of credit reasons. Citi and Barclay cards get rotated for earning AA miles. B of A Alaska cards also get rotated for earning Alaska miles.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:07 PM   #3
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Chase Sapphire Preferred has the best points for travel...


https://creditcards.chase.com/reward...hire-preferred
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:59 PM   #4
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Chase Sapphire Preferred has the best points for travel...


https://creditcards.chase.com/reward...hire-preferred

You're on the right track, but not quite. The CSR points are worth 1.5 Cents each versus 1.25 for the CSP. Since you can now only have one Sapphire family card the Reserve is the one to get.

American Express MR points are also quite versatile with many different partners available for transfer. Transferring to BA Avios when there is a bonus is a great way to increase the value of the points for redemptions on USA domestic travel.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:50 PM   #5
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It would be for the airline travel - not really worried about collecting miles because of benefits, but more of hotel/rental car/rewards. Looks like chase would be the winner?
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:31 AM   #6
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You're on the right track, but not quite. The CSR points are worth 1.5 Cents each versus 1.25 for the CSP. Since you can now only have one Sapphire family card the Reserve is the one to get.

American Express MR points are also quite versatile with many different partners available for transfer. Transferring to BA Avios when there is a bonus is a great way to increase the value of the points for redemptions on USA domestic travel.

By and far the best bang airline points for the dollar United Mileage Plus points.

The Chase Saphire Reserve is a ripoff. Don't get me wrong, in theory all of the benefits it has sound good, but when you have to pay an annual fee of $500 then that card just became a ripoff!

The Chase Saphire Preferred is the card you want. Unlike the CSR you do not have an annual fee for the first year. I think the sign up bonus is 50k miles.

Another good card is the Chase Explorer United Mileage Plus card. It has a 50k mile introductory bonus. 1 free checked bag on United flights. 2 complimentary United Club passes each year. United Clubs are found in airports and they are a great place to kill time if you have a long layover.

The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express is the only offer besides Chase where you can get United Mileage Plus points. You get 25,000 miles for signing up.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:21 PM   #7
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I had been mulling the credit card thing for the past year and recently went with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The others in the running were the Amex Platinum and the Ritz.

The nail in the coffin for the Amex was the annual fee of $550 + $175 for my wife. The CSR is $450 + $75 which is easier to swallow, although I truly believe that charging for a second card on the same account is absurd no matter what the card is.

Anyways, I'll tell you why I went with the CSR based on my requirements:

1. 3x points on travel and dining. That's a good chunk of my spending (dining) when I'm on the road...which is a lot.
2. 1.5% point redemption value. I use all my credit card points on hotels and that sort of thing for vacations.
3. Priority pass select for all cardholders and no limit on guests. I think platinum allows 2. This is important for me appx. twice a year.
4. The lower annual fee vs the Amex plat.
5. $300.00/yr gets wiped out for all travel related purchases. Amex offers $200 for airline specific charges and $200 uber. I rarely use uber and as a non rev I don't pay to check bags etc. typically. So the $300 basically wipes out most of my annual fee. Not the same with the Amex platinum (this was a big factor).

That's pretty much it. The only downside to the CSR vs. the Amex is no hotel status. It would be nice to get some Marriott lounge access for free breakfasts as United keeps us in a lot of Marriotts, but I'm a west coast guy and most of my layovers are east coast, and I'm usually asleep past the lounge breakfast hours which IIRC, end pretty early.

The Ritz benefits are a little more vague. You get only 2x points on dining and travel, but a 10% bonus at the end of the year and it's hard for me to compare value that way. You get Marriott status, but the $300 annual travel credit appears to be more restrictive. It's possible that it is worth it so you may want to take a closer look at that one.

Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:28 PM   #8
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How are the Priority Clubs? I have never seen those before. How do they compare to say the Delta Skyclubs? Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:20 AM   #9
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How are the Priority Clubs? I have never seen those before. How do they compare to say the Delta Skyclubs? Thanks for the input.
Variable. From useless to fantastic.

Amex Plat also gets you in Delta Skyclubs when flying DL btw.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:26 AM   #10
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By and far the best bang airline points for the dollar United Mileage Plus points.

The Chase Saphire Reserve is a ripoff. Don't get me wrong, in theory all of the benefits it has sound good, but when you have to pay an annual fee of $500 then that card just became a ripoff!

The Chase Saphire Preferred is the card you want. Unlike the CSR you do not have an annual fee for the first year. I think the sign up bonus is 50k miles.

Another good card is the Chase Explorer United Mileage Plus card. It has a 50k mile introductory bonus. 1 free checked bag on United flights. 2 complimentary United Club passes each year. United Clubs are found in airports and they are a great place to kill time if you have a long layover.

The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express is the only offer besides Chase where you can get United Mileage Plus points. You get 25,000 miles for signing up.

I'm very cost conscious and would not call the CSR a "ripoff" by any means. It effectively costs $150/year out of pocket because any spending you do on travel (hotel, airline, bus, train, boat, etc) results in $300 statement credit every year. The Priority Pass select is extremely useful for me, but that may not be the case for most airline pilots. The ability to transfer URs to numerous different partners makes that currency much more versatile than a single airline like UA.

Common consensus among the bloggers is that Alaska miles have the highest value for a stand alone airline "currency". The B of A Alaska cards are still churnable to an extent, but not as easy as in years past.

That said, the United MPE is in my card line-up and is useful for increased award space by being a card holder and United miles can have some reasonable redemptions on partner airlines. I just did a TPE-SHA trip on EVA for only 8000 UA miles while doing it on China Eastern would have been 17,500 DAL miles by comparison.
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