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Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

Bay Area, California
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195 posts
11 reviews
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Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

Thanks to ATA -- and a bit of confusion from our cc co., -- we rebooked airfare without the help of rewards points. Now, I'm rethinking which credit card we may want to use for travel points in the future.

Seems like more limitations are being placed on many travel point programs.

Does anyone love the travel rewards they receive with their credit cards?

New Jersey
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1. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

I travel frequently, and I have an AMEX for Starwood (Sheraton, Westin, etc.) and a Visa for Marriott. I really like both, and getting free hotel rooms from them is really easy. I have both because sometimes the location I am traveling to does not have both.

In using the rewards, I find that Marriott has a really good hotels in the US, but Starwood has better ones abroad and in Hawaii.

I am not a big fan of airline points, and in my experience, its a pain to try to redeem them.

Orange, CA
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2. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

I think what works out best for us is to use a Costco American Express card for everything we can to get a nice rebate every February. The card doesn't have any $60 or $80 or any other annual fee attached to it - it's free if you are a Costco member.

You get 3% back on dining out, 3% back on gasoline, 2% back on travel, and 1% back on everything else.

We can just take that rebate (last year ours was $535) and buy or put it towards whatever airline ticket we want w/o being at the mercy of the airlines. You can take your rebate voucher to any Costco and get the cash back. Then we use it to pay off a ticket when the statement comes in.

We don't travel enough to rack up enough miles on an airline credit card. The only reason we did get one free ticket to Maui this coming November is because you get 21,000 bonus miles after your first $250 Mileage Plus Visa purchase. You only need 35,000 miles for a RT ticket to Hawaii (if you can get a super saver seat). The annual fee of $60 is waived the first year.

Orange, CA
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3. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

Meant to add that I was talking about United Airlines Mileage Plus Visa.

Bay Area, California
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195 posts
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4. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

Thanks for your suggestions so far...

Funny coincidence how I JUST went to the mailbox and found 2 invitations from AMEX and Capitol One for their travel point programs. They're offering me lots of points with no annual fees -- a must for us -- to sign with them.

So while we don't travel a lot, I DO feel it's beneficial to use a credit card for the sole purpose of earning points to help defray airfare costs when we do fly. Our current cc is usually really easy to use for airfare -- can use any airline, no blackouts, etc. I'm just thinking that if I can get tons of extra points to sign up with another card, maybe it's worth a look. ??

Thanks again -- I welcome your experience and advice.

Minneapolis
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5. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

I use my Capital One MasterCard for all expenditures that I can, including paying insurances, cell phone bills, utilities, ect. Points accumulate and you can use them for airline tickets on any airline (just charge the ticket on your card and you will be reimbursed when you cash in the points).Can also be used for cash back or merchandise. No fees and accepted everywhere.

They also have an FDIC insured money market account that you earn not only a fair market interest rate, but accumulate monthly points based on the average balance.

Minneapolis
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6. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

To add one other note - by direct depositing payroll checks into a normal Wells Fargo checking account, then setting up an automatic debit into into the money market, that money is earning points and interest while all bills and expenses are put on the credit card till the end of the month.

Then one month end electronic debit from the money market to the credit card to pay it off. It's a great double dip for points and virtually no checks to write and reconcile each month.

Iowa City, Iowa
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7. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

I use the United Milage Plus Visa-we have been going to Hawaii, every year-I charge everything on it. However, when I go overseas,I use capital One Card-they have no fee currency conversion-that is a saving of 3-5% on most cards.

Florence, Oregon
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for Oregon Coast
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8. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

When I got my AMEX Gold card, they credited me with 50,000 points and triple rewards for the first year. It took about 6 months to get the 50,000 points, but it was worth it in the long-run. AMEX points can be used on all domestic airlines and they also have a rental car program that I used last time on Maui.

No annual fees either :~)

Temecula, California
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9. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

My family and I don't travel often, but I chose to get a Capital One Miles Credit card and earn points for our next family trip (maybe to Hawaii). You get 1.25 for every dollar you spend and their are no restrictions on what airline you choose to travel with. The credit card has no annual fee. I filled out an online application and my credit card came in the mail 4 days later. Already racking up points :-).

Los Angeles...
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10. Re: Slightly OT ~ Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

I like the Starwood Amex card as well. You can transfer your miles to airfare if you like, most airlines are 1-1 and sometimes there are bonuses. I just booked a trip to Maui on American transferring 20K miles to which Starwood added 5K for 25,000 total. I had 10K in there already so used 35K for the economy ticket.