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Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-01-2015, 10:06 AM Reply   
What cards are you guys using to get the most out of your reward programs? looking at capital one spark business. 2 miles per $ is what they're offering now with a moderate annual fee. I typically run the other way when I hear 'annual fee' but the one without it only credits 1.5 miles per $.

My big question is when it comes time to redeem them, how easily do you get the flight/dates you want without getting hosed? never done the reward/points game and looking to maximize our monthly credit card payment and bonuses they offer. I'm sure Sammy L Jackson is a very reliable source, just want a bit more info

FYI I don't carry a balance on the card beyond 30 days purchases so any high balance stuff wouldn't apply. if that even exists....

going to look at AMEX now

Last edited by denverd1; 09-01-2015 at 10:11 AM.
Old     (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-01-2015, 10:14 AM Reply   
I'm interested in this as well. Have been with a Costco AMEX card forever, but with their change, assume so will we.

I had considered changing before, as I wondered if I could get more benefit from travel as opposed to what we receive in cash back.
Old     (lhlocal)      Join Date: Jun 2003       09-01-2015, 1:47 PM Reply   
I use the southwest card for business. I think the annual fee is $69? You get decent points for your everyday purchases and for your airfare purchases. Where it really kicks in is using their partners. From rental cars to hotels. Theres a site called rocketmiles which is similar to priceline. I booked a hotel in So Cal and for a 5 night stay I received 23,000 points. This pretty much paid half of my families airfare. There also an online shopping portal. If you're going to buy online, you might as well buy thru here. You can get anywhere from 1 pt per dollar to 20 pts per dollar spent depending. So far this year between, flights, hotels, and online spending, I've earned 83,000 points. I'm less than 30,000 points away from a companion pass. This means a person I designate will fly with me for free the next year. I buy a ticket and they fly for free. I may not make it this year, but I will for sure next year now that I know how the game works. If you like or dont mind Southwest, look into it.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-01-2015, 2:23 PM Reply   
Southwest card gave me 50,000 points and easy to redeem. I traveled round trip from Orlando to Utah for 16,000. Traveled round trip to Dallas for 18,000. $99 annual fee. I'll cancel before the end of the year and then wait a while to apply again. I just looked and it's 25K points now. Still worth it.

Barclay Arrival card gives you $460 in travel expenses after charging $3000. $400 + 2 points per dollar. First year fee waved. Cancel before the end of the year, wait a few months, and apply again. You can cash in points for half of travel.
Old     (Flavadave)      Join Date: Oct 2013       09-01-2015, 2:30 PM Reply   
I have 3 different cards for rewards points. Chase Southwest, Chase Sapphire, and Cap1 Spark. In short, all 3 have their pros/cons. I use the Chase cards the most because I can use the points for most things (flights, hotels, online shopping, etc..). The Cap1 card was my favorite until I went to use my points...the way it works is kind of screwy. First you have to use your card for travel, then you have to call in for the credit. The kicker here is, your points have to "completely" cover the travel expense...no partial credits. Ive looked into other travel credit cards and only sign up for them if their bonus points are worth it. Hope this helps.
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-01-2015, 6:20 PM Reply   
I have the chase southwest card. Flying southwest sucks, but you can't beat a free flight. Also, if you dont have the points to cover a flight, you can buy the ticket with your southwest card and get a discount. My offer when I recieved mine was 25k points, but I called in and asked for any other promotions, they bumped me to 50k. So far it's been the best travel card dollar for dollar.
The sapphire card is cool, because if you have the chase freedom card, it links your points together.

My parents switched to the delta amex card and they prefer it over the southwest card obviously, but I believe that has a higher fee, and I don't fly often enough.

Last edited by Jmorlan; 09-01-2015 at 6:23 PM.
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-01-2015, 6:28 PM Reply   
Also, the companion pass is cool, but it is YEARLY qualification. Meaning, you have to accrue 100k pts yearly. I don't spend a 100 grand a year on the card. First year would be attainable with the 50k bonus points, but I don't see it happening after that lol.
Before the southwest card, my best reward card would be probably the freedom card, it's a great reward card imo.
Quicksilver cap one is always 1.5% back, no annual fee.
I also have an amex plum card that comes with a 1.5% early pay bonus. But with a $250/yr fee.
Dollar for dollar, I think the southwest card wins
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-01-2015, 9:35 PM Reply   
Ok thanks guys I'll check into a few of those.

Plenti is spending some ad $$. Anyone looked into them? They claim you can get/spend points on everything, like groceries

Just got Southwest rewards setup for actual flight miles. Good to know they have a rewards c. card too. Only thing is fly American Air and Southwest about 50-50. So id be better off with a chase sapphire or cap1 spark I'm thinking.

Although i like southwest having partners. Guess I'll have to check on flight options to our typical spots to see if SW can cover our needs
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       09-01-2015, 10:12 PM Reply   
Curious too.

Been using Starwood Preferred Guest amex for personal and business for years, with a Virgin America visa for the few things that don't take amex.

Was able to do a round-the-world honeymoon first/biz class with free hotels (with some nice suite upgrades) at most of our stops in NY, Italy, France, HK.

Most airlines transfer 1:1 from SPG but unfortunately United is 2:1. Despite that it's been great for hotel stays and flights. Domestically I typically fly Virgin so having that visa supplementing has been helpful.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-02-2015, 7:42 AM Reply   
ok just booked a SW flight. wouldn't let me enter rapid rewards # for my wife's flight. said it was duplicate #. not sure yet if I get the points on her flight or not.

I was really leaning toward the SW Rapid Rewards card. Especially if I never have to set foot in DFW again. But if the points only apply to my flights, that may be a deal breaker. I'm just using a rapid rewards #, not the Rapid rewards card. is there a difference?
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-02-2015, 9:39 AM Reply   
I use my points to get tickets for my gf all the time. Hell, I was even short some points so I used my mom's rewards #. They make it pretty painless to do, so I'm thinking something wasn't working right.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-02-2015, 12:15 PM Reply   
Just got off the phone with SW. pretty cool to have that conversation handled and done in around 7 minutes. A+ customer service.

so since I don't have the c.card yet, I can't use my rewards # for her flights. It's based on each traveler. If I'd purchased the both tix with a SW c.card, I would get points for buying and for travelling, I'd also get her points for buying. She needs her own rewards # to get points for travelling. If I had a card in my name AND one in hers, then I get ALL points for all purchases, since I'm primary cardholder. so that's where we'll likely end up along with her own rewards #.
2x points for using their partners
1x points for everything else

Had NO IDEA i could use points to buy golf clubs???

Last edited by denverd1; 09-02-2015 at 12:21 PM.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-02-2015, 12:16 PM Reply   

TaylorMade AeroBurner: 36,600 points
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-02-2015, 1:58 PM Reply   
Hmm. She doesn't have a card, or rewards account. I just list her as a traveler like i would if I were actually buying the tickets. At the end I choose to pay with points instead of dollars. So that's new news to me?
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-04-2015, 12:54 PM Reply   
im sure there's a way around it. probably could have bought them separate with the same #, but didn't think about it at the time.

BTW i don't have a stack of points to use, just getting into the points game
Old     (Shawn)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-07-2015, 3:56 PM Reply   
I have a SW card and use it for all my travel. If you purchase both tickets, you get the purchase points for both on you r credit card account. The actual passenger gets the flight points, so you get yours, she gets hers. There is no way for you to get her points for her flight regardless of who pays.

Back to he OP, you will get he MOST bang for your buck as a casual spender getting a dedicated card to someone that you will use...like Southwest. I have a SW visa, Marriott Visa and Virgin America Visa that I use exclusively for each to rack up the points then all the rest goes on my American Express Plat, but running a large business volume on each.

All of the citi and catch all cards will give you much less usable points per dollar.
Old     (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       09-08-2015, 8:39 PM Reply   
Denverd1, pretty much all the airline memberships have a merchandise catalogue you can buy stuff out of. The caveat is you have to have the credit card to have access to the online store. I have memberships with SW, United, and Delta (only have cards with the first two). Between SW and united, I think you get much better bang for your points with SW. SW also has some really good gift card options, such as Amazon, Walmart, and a bunch of specialty stores. In my mind basically good as cash if you choose to redeem going that route. Every 5000 pts is a $50 gift card.

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