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Travel Tuesday Top 10: Current Travel Credit Cards (And 10,000 Chase Point Giveaway)

by on April 30, 2013 · 511 comments

in American Express, Barclays, Chase, Citi, Credit Cards, Top 10, US Bank

Over the weekend I gave a talk at Frequent Traveler University in Tysons Corner outside Washington, DC called “The Points Guy’s Credit Card Thunderdome.” As you might guess from the title, we had a lot of fun debating the relative merits of the various travel credit cards on the market at the moment and putting them up against one another in a points death match.

It was a packed room at FTU this weekend!

It was a packed room at FTU this weekend!

Before things got too boisterous, I walked attendees through the three types of travel rewards credit card points:
-Transferable
-Co-Branded
-Fixed-Value

The audience voting on their favorite cards.

The audience raising their hands when I asked who had more than 15 credit cards!

Then came the fun part – the Redemption Rally. Three teams of three people each were given a hypothetical 1,000,000 points to maximize in one of the top 3 programs: Ultimate Rewards (Ink and Sapphire) and Starwood Preferred Guest. Then audience voted on which team put together the best redemption. Ultimately they chose the team who put those 1,000,000 points to use with short-haul itineraries using British Airways Avios and Southwest Rapid Rewards points – both travel partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards – flying as many people as possible down to the next FTU in Tampa. The winners were awarded 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points each.

For those of you who were not able to attend FTU, here is my presentation in full, and then you can find details on the top credit card offers below. I’ve talked about a lot of these cards in the past, and I have every card, except the new Barclaycard Arrival and Chase Southwest Premier, but both are on my “to-get” list for future rounds of applications.

Giveaway
The rankings I came up with are based not only on the value of the sign-up bonus of each (which I explain below), but also on their various other perks such as the limited nature of some bonuses, bonus spending categories, other perks like lounge access or no foreign transaction fees and more. However, the value of these points is subjective and everyone will value them differently based on the redemptions they would like. So since value is in the eye of the redeemer, I’m asking everyone to comment on this post with their all around favorite travel credit card. On Friday I’ll pick a commenter at random to give 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to be transferred to your preferred transfer partner (United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Priority Club or Amtrak) – so even if you missed FTU, you won’t miss out on a juicy prize! One entry per person.

My Credit Card Presentation for those interested:

Top Travel Credit Cards:

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

1. Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Type: Business
Current Bonus: Limited-time 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months
Category Spending Bonuses: 3x points on airfare, 2x points on purchases in the U.S. for advertising in select media, gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, and shipping, 1x points on other purchases.
Perks: use Pay With Points to book flights, cruises, hotels and vacations packages with no seat restrictions or blackout dates on americanexpress.com/travel
Transfer Partners: Aeromexico, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), British Airways, Delta, El Al, Air France KLM, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic; Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton HHonors, Starwood
Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175.
Value: I value Amex MR at 1.8 cents a piece, so 50,000 points = $900.
Offer Expiration: None, though targeted and one-day bonuses have hit 75,000 points, so it might be worth waiting to get in on one of those.

The Chase Ink Bold is one of my personal favorites.

The Chase Ink Bold is one of my personal favorites.

2. Ink Bold and Ink Plus
Type:
Business
Sign-up bonus:
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months
Category Spending Bonuses:
5x points on up to $50,000 at office supplies/cell phone/internet/landline/TV; 2x on up to $50,000 at gas stations and hotels
Card Perks:
1.25 cents per point when redeeming for airfare, hotel, car rentals and cruises with pay-with points; no foreign transaction fees, 2 lounge passes per year; Ultimate Rewards shopping portal offers lucrative spending bonuses.
Transfer Partners:
British Airways, United, Southwest, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, Amtrak.
Annual Fee:
 $0 first year then $95
Value:
I personally value my Ultimate Rewards points at around 2 cents per point, so just the bonus alone would be worth around $1,000.
Expiration:
None from my understanding, no short term changes planned to this offer.

Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum Card

Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum Card

3. Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum Card
Type: Personal Charge Card
Current Bonus: 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months (this was recently increased from spending $1,000 in 3 months)
Category Spending Bonuses: 5x points on eligible Mercedes-Benz purchases, 1x points on other purchases
Perks: Airport club access including; Delta Skyclub and US Airways Club, no foreign transaction fees, $200 annual airline credit, Global Entry $100 statement credit, Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits, Priority Pass Select Membership for lounge access, automatic Starwood Gold Status, Premium Companion Ticket, $1,000 reward certificate towards the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz and $100 towards Mercedes-Benz accessories.
Transfer Partners: Aeromexico, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), British Airways, Delta, El Al, Air France KLM, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic; Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton HHonors, Starwood
Annual Fee: $475
Value: I value Amex MR at 1.8 cents a piece, so 50,000 points = $900. I’d value lounge access at $300 plus $200 in airline credit, $100 Global Entry rebate, $75 for Starwood Gold and $100 a year in FHR benefits for a rough total of $1,675 – $475 annual fee = $1,200, though that annual fee might be a big consideration for you.
Offer Expiration: None for the time being- it has been 50,000 since the card launched last year.

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Type:
Personal
Sign-up bonus:
40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months
Spending Bonuses:
2 points per $1 on travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, subway, parking, taxis, etc.) and restaurants (basically any food establishment and catering) with no maximum caps
Card Perks:
1.25 cents per point when redeeming with pay-with-points for airfare, hotel, car rentals and cruises; 7% annual points dividend even on points already redeemed; no foreign transaction fees; extra earning potential through the Ultimate Rewards earning mall; Ultimate Rewards Exclusives experience redemptions
Transfer Partners:
British Airways, United, Southwest, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, Amtrak.
Annual Fee:
$95, waived the first year
Value:
The 40,000 bonus points you’d earn meeting the minimum spending requirement plus the bonus are worth a minimum of $500 when redeemed for travel with pay with points. However, I’d put Hyatt and United redemptions at 2 cents per point, so you’re looking at $800 at least, and if you spend a lot of money on travel and dining, like I do, the 2.14 points per $1 total earning on those (including the 7% annual benefit) puts your earning potential even higher.
Expiration:
No expiration, but it used to be 50,000 points, so if it does change I hope it increases, but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

5. Barclaycard Arrival
Type:
Personal
Current Bonus: 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 in 90 days.
Category Spending Bonuses: 2x points on all purchases
Perks: 10% miles refund on redemptions; no foreign transaction fees; free year-long TripIt Pro membership World Mastercard benefits.
Annual Fee: $0 first year then $89
Value: Because of that 10% miles refund, your bonus miles are worth about $480.
Offer Expiration: None stated, but until recently the card only offered a 20,000-mile bonus, so if you have been thinking about this card, now is the time to apply.

The British Airways Visa offers 50,000 avios after spending $1,000.

The British Airways Visa offers 50,000 avios after spending $1,000.

6. British Airways Visa
Type:
Personal
Sign-up Ponus:
50,000 Avios after $1,000 in spend in 3 months.
Spending Bonuses:
1.25 Avios per $1 on all purchases, 2.5 Avios per $1 on all British Airways purchases
Card Perks:
“Travel Together” companion ticket with $30,000 spend per calendar year; 10% discount on British Airways purchases; Chip & Signature technology; no foreign transaction fees.
Transfer Partners:
Can’t transfer your points to other programs, but can redeem them on BA’s Oneworld partners like American, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, as well as non-alliance partners such as Aer Lingus and Alaska
Annual Fee:
$95
Value:
There are no fixed-value redemptions, so there really is a huge range here, though I conservatively value those redemptions at about 1.5 cents per Avios, so you’re getting $750 from the sign-up bonus.
Expiration:
None

Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here

7. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa
Type:
Personal
Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months
Spending Bonuses: 2 points per $1 on Southwest and AirTran, 1 point per $1 on everything else
Card Perks: Sign-up bonus points count toward Companion Pass qualification
Annual Fee: $99 not waived
Value: At most you’ll get 1.8 cents per point in Wanna Get Away fares. So 50,000 points is $900. The Companion Pass is difficult to value, but conservatively I’d say it’s worth at least $1,000 per year, and if you can snag the Companion Pass in January, it will essentially be good for 2 years until the end of 2015.
Expiration: None noted, though this card is outside the affiliate networks so it might disappear at any time.

8. Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express
Type: Personal & Business
Current Bonus: Up to 25,000 Starpoints – 10,000 with first purchase and another 15,000 with $5,000 spend in the first 6 months of Cardmembership
Category Spending Bonuses: 2x points on Starwood purchases, 1x on other purchases.
Perks: Get 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a frequent flyer program with more than 30 airlines; 2 stays/5 nights credit toward elite status qualification.
Transfer Partners: 30 airlines
Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
Value: I value Starpoints at 2.1 cents each, so 25,000 = $525, the 2 stay/5 night elite qualification is easily worth $100 for a value of $625
Offer Expiration: None, though hopefully the bonus will go back up to 30,000 points at some point in 2013.

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa Signature

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa Signature

9. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa Signature
Type: Personal
Sign-Up Bonus: Two weekend night certificates, each good for one weekend night (standard room, double occupancy) at most hotels and resorts within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, after $2,500 in eligible purchases within the first 4 months.
Category Spending Bonuses: 10 points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio; 5 points for every $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases; 3 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Card Perks: Automatic Hilton HHonors Gold status; Diamond status with $40,000 annual spend; no foreign transaction fees, SmartChip technology; Visa Signature benefits; cardholders who spend $10,000 annually get an anniversary free weekend-night certificate as well that can be used at any property; GLON discount award redemption rates
Annual Fee: $95
Value: Those two free weekend nights are good at any Hilton property in the world (except the exclusions list) including top-tier Waldorf Astorias. You could be getting easily $400 per night out of them for $800 total just from the sign-up bonus.
Expiration of Offer: None

10. Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature and Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Signature
Type: Personal & Business
Current Bonus: 85,000 bonus points – 50,000 upon first purchase, additional 35,000 when you spend $2,500 in 90 days.
Category Spending Bonuses: 10 points per $1 at Carlson Rezidor hotels, 5 points per $1 on other purchases.
Perks: When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free; 40,000 renewal bonus points each year; automatic Gold Elite Status; existing elite members get 10 qualifying nights toward obtaining or maintaining elite status; Visa Signature benefits.
Annual Fee: $75 on the personal; $60 on the business.
Value: A top Radisson Blu free night is 50,000 points, so I’d peg their value at about .5 cents apiece since it isn’t hard for those free nights to be worth $250. That would make the 85,000 point sign-up bonus worth $425. However, since the second award night is free on two-night stays, I’d put the value closer to $500 (2 nights at $250 per night), even with the annual fee.
Offer Expiration: None.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Ethan

    Love the Sapphire Preferred! Can’t beat 2.14 UR points on dining and travel for everyday spend.

    Enjoyed meeting you at FTU!

  • raj

    Chase sapphire preferred

  • John

    My new favorite is Club Carlson. We’ll see how that plays out!

  • http://twitter.com/JW0327 J. Whitlow

    Love the Club Carlson Card. Making a trip to Europe this summer and the 2 for 1 nights deal is being used multiple times to save points

  • sil

    Club Carlson. Love both the personal and biz card for European Hotels. One free awards night for one awards redemption.

  • SaltyHoney

    Sapphire Preferred – no foreign transaction fees and I love the flexibility of the rewards.

  • http://twitter.com/tejashpatel Tejash Patel

    Chase Sapphire Prefered. No foreign transaction fees, United transfer partner, and a well designed card that always gets attention!

  • Natalie

    Sapphire Preferred! It’s been fantastic and I feel like I’m always racking up points.

  • DL

    Amex SPG

  • Kim

    Chase Sapphire. No doubt!

  • Robert P

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred has great partners and good value, making it my favorite.

  • Melinda

    Still trying to navigate the learning curve on points. Thanks for all the great info!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.horne.96155 James Horne

    My current favorite is the Club Carlson Business card. The free night on award stays, the availability of hotels in London and Paris, the bonus points on stays and extra credit toward elite qualifications make this a winner. Not to mention 85,000 bonus points.

  • Lauren

    Starwood AMEX

  • Andrew

    Chase Sapphire. It has gained in my book since I’ve been traveling on the Acela between New York and DC a lot, and the tickets on Friday nights have reached $250 each way! Transferring 8,000 points from Ultimate Rewards is a great redemption.

  • Carter29072

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite. I value Ultimate Rewards and have been able to use the UR Travel portal to book hotel rooms and air multiple times for great value.

  • http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/ Tyler S.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for me – just got my bonus!

  • Ralph

    Definitely Chase Sapphire Preferred. Double points on the two biggest categories I spend money on + no foreign transaction fees when I travel.

  • yang

    Club Carlson! for my coming stay in park inn in Iceland, 9k per night!! insane bonus!

  • J.T.

    My favourite used to be the British Airways since I needed to travel to UK to visit my girlfriend. 2.5 avios per dollar just can’t be beaten. Plus the regional short-haul flights are always expensive, especially not booked in advance. So redeeming the avios this way saves a lot of money. Now that I don’t have fly to UK, the best card is definitely Sapphire Preferred. 2 points on any airline and other travel expenses and the flexibility of points transfer makes it the best all around travel credit card there is to offer.

  • http://twitter.com/Goat__Rodeo Goat Rodeo

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. 2x points + no foreign transaction fees. Year end bonus. 1:1 Hyatt transfers (my preferred hotel.) Additional: being metal – it scrapes ice off rental car windows pretty well. ;)

  • Ben

    Chase United Explorer Visa – Sign up bonus, priority boarding, free checked bag and primary CDW rental car coverage.

  • Hao Tran

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. 2x dining and travel is mostly what I do so it works out perfectly

  • Ron

    Any of the Chase products that are in the Ultimate Rewards program. With 5x at office supply stores its easier to rack up healthy balances and the program has lots of travel partners to transfer points to.

  • Eric

    Chase Sapphire Prefered

  • Rebecca D.

    Hands down my Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Todd

    Chase Sapphire Preferred, hands down.

  • Bill Ovalles

    Sapphire Preferred is still my #1

  • Brett Albertson

    Amex Platinum for the lounge access, $200 airline reimbursement, and $100 Global Entry reimbursement.

  • Aaron Colwell

    Starwood Amex for me

  • Corey H

    Have to go with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Love my UR.

  • Evan B

    CSP – love it!

  • Kelly Richardson

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite travel card. The Amtrak redemption value from NY to DC alone is fantastic.

  • Jesse

    Chase Sapphire Preferred takes the win

  • Jessica S.

    Chase Sapphire preferred is absolutely my favorite.

  • jd

    I’d add $200 to the value of the AMEX MB Platinum card as the annual airline fee reimbursement is per calendar year, meaning you can get it twice before your 2nd annual fee posts.

  • LUV2TRVL

    I love my British Airways VIsa through Chase bank. The bonus points of 50,000 is enough for a r/t flight from USA to Europe. My wife also has a separate BA Visa and she too has 50K points. So guess where we are going in June to celebrate our 25th anniversary? You guessed right – Europe.

  • Evan

    Chase Ink Plus

  • http://www.milestothewild.com/ Miles To The Wild

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for versatility and no forex fee

  • Corey

    gotta go with the CSP!

  • Nick P

    Chase Ink Plus – can’t beat the 5x bonus on office/telecom

  • Nicole

    I do like my AmEx Gold. I like AmEx MRs.

  • Hilary

    Chase Sapphire Preferred definitely

  • Jason

    I’m a huge fan of the Ink Bold and 5x category bonuses!

  • K.Wink

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for sure! Because of your blog I have earned a booku amount of points in just the first few months! Ultimate Shopping Portal + Skymiles Dining + Travel = Winning!

  • Justin Does…

    Chase Sapphire Preferred, hands down, no contest!

  • DRSP

    Ink Bold

  • Elyse K

    As a frequent traveler, I love my Amex Platinum! I am loyal to both Delta and Starwood and now with the Crossover Rewards I can double dip on points/miles every time I travel since I have status for both (SPG Gold thanks to the Platinum card!) as well as enjoy the lounge access when I want to unwind before a flight.

  • Moshe

    Can’t beat southwest credit cards with the ability to get a companion pass!

  • JT

    Love Chase Sapphire Preferred. No Foreign Transaction fee make it awesome for use during travel as well.

  • RakSiam

    I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred. I earn a ton of points through the UR shopping portal which can be extraordinarily lucrative.
    But I am also enjoying the benefits of the Amex Platinum card. Just got my Global Entry.

  • rick

    The Barclay card for car rentals is a great way to absorb the cost.

  • Tim

    The CSP is my go to card. The 2x on dining/travel (now 3x dining on the first Friday) is the best redemption for me. No forex fees are so clutch for my international travel. UR points have the best transfer options IMHO. One of the best perks is that when I call in I don’t have to go through automated messages!

  • pwbeninate

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. Transfers to Hyatt and United make Ultimate Rewards point very valuable!

  • lor

    CSP is still the best!

  • Jeremy

    CSP for me. Also FYI the southwest cards are 1.67 cents per point towards WGA fares not 1.8 as you said above and at FTU. Otherwise great presentation!

  • Jimmy

    Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • jiefu

    I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • JL

    AMEX SPG for both hotel and airline is the best for me considering AA is the only one serving for my town.

  • Liz M

    The best travel card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. No foreign transaction fees, 2x points on a travel-related purchases, and a wide variety of travel partners to transfer all of your points to.

  • Omp

    Chase sapphire preferred!!!

  • Ed M

    Chase sapphire preferred by far, mostly for the double points on food and travel.
    Saving for Ana business class flights is actually fun!

  • http://twitter.com/k2peng Kenny Peng

    I’d have to go with Chase Sapphire, since the flexibility to transfer to multiple airline and hotel partners is great to have.

  • sri

    club carlson visa card

  • Lauren

    I still like the Starwood Preferred Guest. I’m occasionally able to transfer points to airline programs with a bonus and I stayed in some nice hotels in Asia this winter for 3k points/night.

  • Austin

    Southwest. I have to fly with them every week this year, and the sign up bonus made that much more affordable.

  • Mo

    Citibank AAdvantage Platinum because I can earn unlimited miles and double miles when spent on AA.

  • CHSDOC

    Chase Sapphire and Ink for me–just easy to keep up with.

  • Volfan

    My favorite card has changed with time–it used to be Hilton Hhonors Amex, but the devaluation of the benefits recently is so great (both on the card end as well as the hotel end) that it has lost my preference. Now, it is Barclays ChoicePrivileges Visa Signature. Granted that Choice hotels are not the Ritz, but they seem to be everywhere, and I seem to be able to redeem a minimal number of points (7000-8000) for a pretty decent room in the city I need to visit. Other pluses is that the card is free, I get Gold membership (granted, not worth a whole lot) and they have occasional card offers to boost your point totals.

  • Shane

    Chase Sapphire Preferred + Chase Freedom is the best combo which fits my spending structure well.

  • SR

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. All around the best travel card for my spending.

  • cathyc

    Great article. i just got the bold ink and amex biz cards and love them!

  • http://twitter.com/craigchu Craig Chu

    favorite travel credit card? It’s gotta be the Sapphire Preferred! Stick with the classics, then make them United miles or Hyatt points (or Amtrak or Southwest…)

  • AM

    Ink!

  • Charlie

    Chase ink plus and bold for me.

  • Alex

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for sure!!

  • FlyerM

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best by far.

  • http://www.robhensley.com/ Rob

    My go to card right now is the Chase Sapphire Preferred due to the United and Hyatt transfers.

  • lori

    I have the United Select Visa ( no longer offered) . 2x points for gas and groceries every day. My old standby card for getting united miles.

  • Larry

    Ink Bold by a landslide. 5x at office supply (they sell more than just ink and paper!), 5x for utilities, 2x for gas, no foreign transaction fee…. yes please!

  • Heidi

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Robert

    Starwood Preferred Guest … but I am drifting towards Chase products that convert into United … Robert

  • darrellr

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred and any of the business cards from chase. The ultimate rewards partners keep getting added, Hyatt and United are great transfer partners and Amex seems to be loosing its touch lately.

  • Daniel M

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankurjain2310 Ankur Jain

    Amex business gold – points on Marriott stays + 5% cash back. Cannot be beat.

  • blake

    gotta go with chase sapphire preferred for its flexibility and valuable transfer partners

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1601581 Brian Beneke

    Well, I’m loving my Chase Sapphire Preferred….

  • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.olson.7906 Michelle Olson

    Starwood s Preferred American Express

  • Christy Reaves

    Chase Sapphire is a recent addition for me, but has already earned favorite travel card status for us. I love that I can transfer points from my Chase Freedom card, and then move points to a number of travel partners depending on my needs. I’ve also gotten fantastic deals on rental cars through Ultimate Rewards travel booking!

  • Harold

    AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericlipkind Eric Lipkind

    I gotta say, lately its the AMEX Starwood as 20,000 points will get you a $600 room at a St. Regis, along with the bonus on airline transfers.

  • David Horowitz

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best overall!

  • Lisa K

    British Airways card

  • frenchman619

    AmEx Premier Rewards Gold for the 3x on airfare

  • John B

    chase saphire is the one

  • navin

    Definitely Sapphire Preferred

  • ZachD

    British Airways Visa

  • Sean P.

    Ink Bold for me.

  • Dayna B.

    Definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred! I love that there is no international transaction fee!

  • a330fly

    Chase Sapphire Preferred! Love the way it feels too – hotel folks around the world always give me a WOW when they try to swipe it :)

  • Pat F of DCA

    My favorite travel card is Chase’s AARP credit card that provides 3% cashback on all travel. Even if you value Ultimate Rewards points at close to 2 cents, this is still a better deal and you have complete freedom as to how to spend your cash back.

  • Michael

    Definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Sterling

    Chase Sapphire preferred for 7% point bonus, 2x categories, and overall point use flexibility.

  • Ben

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for me.

  • VM

    Chase Sapphire Preferred simply because of its flexibility and value.

  • Stephen

    The Sapphire Preferred, for sure! Not only is it flexible enough to transfer to all of the above, but I can spend on it while I’m on my trips and continue earning points towards the next getaway!

  • Erin S.

    Although its not the best travel card all around, the southwest rapid rewards visa (personal and business) earned me the companion pass. It’s a fantastic benefit!

  • Landon

    Ink Bold all the way. Love the 5x on Cellphone+Internet services =)

  • Armando86

    I´m going to say the new Barclays Arrival. As a fixed value card with no foreign transaccion fees! Really nice!

  • Nicole Meyer

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. And it’s pretty, too!

  • Jack

    Chase Ink Plus or Bold are my favorites .

  • Dale Rausch

    Chase Freedom. No annual fee and 5 point quarterly bonus categories.

  • Emma

    I agree – Chase Sapphire Preferred is fantastic. Ultimate rewards points have been incredibly valuable to me!

  • Jay

    I Personally like the Ink Plus and other 3 flavors of Ink (Bold, Cash, Classic).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47702630 Christopher Lesko

    Chase Sapphire Preffered for the win!

  • sweetrose

    love my CSP

  • tiffany l

    spg amex!

  • Taryn

    A shiny blue metallic Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Espan

    Mix of Chase Ink biz and Sapphire Preferred

  • Wendy

    Starwood American Express – it meets our travel needs, and we love the 5000 mile transfer bonus.

  • LT

    Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • http://www.livefullyblog.com/ Evan Forester

    Sapphire Preferred is brilliant for us – we live overseas and love the lack of a foreign transaction fee. The annual bonus is pretty sweet too!

  • Dan

    Sapphire Preferred

  • Todd

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for me personally. Plus it just looks and feels cool!

  • http://twitter.com/mrpwthoma Paul Thomas

    Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Jamie

    Even though I don’t have it, I think the Amex Mercedes Platinum wins. The extra perks are so great, the signup bonus is top notch, and then you can combine that with a transfer bonus to get even more value out of the points.
    Only wish they had some category bonuses.

  • Flyerdad

    My favorite at the time was chase British airways. Got 100,000 points, 1.25 per dollar while meeting minimum spend, and chip technology when we went to Europe (and no foreign transaction fees).

  • Dora

    Chase sapphire preferred is awesome!

  • Tobias

    My favorite travel card is the Amex Platinum because it has the best perks overall. I love getting free lounge access

  • Lea

    I like the Sapphire Preferred

  • AW

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Josiah Lamz

    Chase Ink Bold is my favorite – just booked 5 people round trip to Cancun from LAX in AirTran business class by transferring just 192k Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest, then converted to AirTran credits. Yes, please!

  • seathis

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. Love all the 2x categories, the 7% bonus, and the card just looks awesome :)

  • Jared

    Chase Ink Bold currently.

  • Kathy M

    It would be a tie between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink. I currently have both cards. I have earned the bonus on the Preferred and I am working on the Ink bonus.

  • Ellen

    Chase Sapphire Preferred, hands down.

  • Phil

    Chase sapphire preferred and Amex Platinum are my vavorites. Onde for the rewards and the other for the perks.

  • Federico

    Starwood American Express, I like to have a lot option to transfer my points (and the Points+cash is the best)

  • Dan

    I love the Chase Sapphire Preferred – flexible and valuable points!

  • Lively

    The readers here are right: it’s either Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink. Love both. But in the next few months, I’ll be spending on Club Carlson card…I have my eye on a hotel in Switzerland for 75K points per night.

  • jbt

    spg amex is a staple, you can’t go wrong earning the most valuable points!

  • brian s

    chase ink cards. the 5x on telecom really shines!

  • Caroline

    I like the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card for the 3x points on airfare. I like to book tickets for my family so I can get the points :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.wie Matthew Wie

    British Airways Chase Visa – when I travel to Europe, because points are used on a distance basis, I can travel around Europe for free after buying a ticket at 10% discount, without even eating into my points!

  • http://twitter.com/ewwiccc Eric N

    I’m definitely torn between the Ink Bold and the sapphire preferred. With the bold, i love the extra 50k points possible through just normal spend, however I do eat out a ton and fly quite frequently so the sapphire is great for just normal spend. And chase UR points are just so flexible!

  • CarefulWilliam

    No doubt: INK BOLD (Plus). I love earning Ultimate Rewards at 5 points per $1 spent. With every gallon of gas (Shell), everything purchased at Amazon I now earn 5 points per dollar, thanks to the gift cards I buy at office supply stores.

  • alvin

    Chase Ink Bold card.

  • Dave

    SPG Amex – easy!

  • nikdro

    I love my Chase Sapphire card!

  • Rich B

    Sapphire Preferred!

  • Michael

    INK CARDS, just booked a $180 Amtrak ticket for 4000 Ultimate Rewards points, 4.5 cpp valve.

  • davep

    For points one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards – I have 3. While traveling AmEx Platinum.

  • Eric

    CSP. Outside the states, almost every use comes with a wtf kind of card is this?

  • Evan

    Ink Bold!!

  • Hiro

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for sure!

  • https://twitter.com/ProfCharlotte Charlotte (TYR)

    Chase Sapphire Preferred! Ultimate Rewards transfers to lots of partners and the 7% dividend is just icing on the cake.

  • Carey

    Chase Ink because of the 5x on telecom and cable/internet is huge. I like using it at office supply stores for gift cards to Amazon, Shell gas and Southwest Airlines too. Practically 5x on everything!

  • Jared

    CSP – 2 points on travel which is where I do a majority of my spending

  • Aleks K.

    Amex Platinum is always with me for lounge access and fee reimbursement

  • Phillip

    Chase shappire for double points on what I charge the most

  • Brenda

    Chase Ink Bold/Ink Plus

  • Daw

    Amex Premier Rewards Gold for 3x airfare.

  • TerryH

    sapphire rules!

  • Nick D.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred takes the cake for three reasons:

    1) A multitude of points-earning opportunities including the UR mall, the ability to combine points from no-annual-fee Chase cards such as the Freedom, and extra points when booking travel through the UR portal.

    2) Incredible flexibility when it comes to using points, including cash back statement credits, the option to book travel at 1.25 cents per point, and access to a novel menu of exclusive events.

    3) High value transfer partners in United and Hyatt, with points sometimes delivering as much as 5 cents worth of value apiece.

  • SC Parent

    Ink Bold, hands down.

  • TDuc

    Amex SPG has been my go-to card!

  • Joey

    I like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa!

  • pssteve

    CSP!

  • Daniel

    I’m all about that Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Goosh

    SPG Amex

  • Matt T.

    Absolutely love the Chase Sapphire Preferred…can’t beat the United and Hyatt transfers.

  • emily

    Chase BA…I can’t believe the value of the shorthaul redemptions!

  • Chao

    Chase Sapphire all the way!

  • Kara

    Have to go with the Sapphire preferred!

  • http://www.facebook.com/malka.shapiro.1 Yossi-Malka Shapiro

    Chase Sapphire Preferred – love the flexibility and category bonuses

  • Dee

    Chase Ink. I love getting 5 pts/$1 at Staples on the gift cards I buy for Amazon, Hulu, Starbucks, Home Depot, Groupon, etc.

  • Trajan81

    Chase Sapphire Preferred with my SPG Amex a close second. Like the UR point value, but the SPG point is much more flexible.

  • MrWho

    Chase Ink Bold. Ability for cash back or transfer to participating airline miles/hotel points is nice on top of the 5x categories.

  • Phil

    I think the UR transfers to BA & SWA are da bomb.

  • Nick

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Kaushal

    My fav around travel card is **Chase Sapphire Preferred**. I haven’t traveled to Europe so I haven’t missed it not having the chip. I can use my Chase British Airways card when I do go to Europe. It may sound lame but I like the Chase Sapphire Preferred firstly for its minimalistic looks and card thickness, and then 7% annual dividend, being able to be transfer points from my Chase Freedom and no foreign transaction fees.

  • Rob F.

    Chase BA- easier for short flights in US!

  • JDA

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. Great for travel and food purchases, no foreign transaction fee and 7 percent bonus each year!

  • David M.

    Sapphire is my workhorse card, but I’ve been very impressed by the Club Carlson VISA’s 2-for-1 redemptions. That might be the most generous of the offerings!

  • ParkTraveller

    Sapphire Preferred for me

  • Ahmed

    Amex Platinum card! Can’t beat the lounge access.

  • HaLev

    Brian, the Mercedes card is 50,000 points with $3,000 spend in 3 months

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.howell.5473 Tim Howell

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite.

  • http://vday.org/ Carl Cheng

    I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred because of the ease of points for a lot of my everyday use (taxis, restaurants, subways) and the no foreign transaction fees and dividend are major bonuses.

  • Daniel

    Sapphire preferred! I eat a lot so the dining bonus helps

  • Ranjit S.

    Chase Ink Plus

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.soundy Elizabeth Soundy

    Is there anymore information about the MasterCard version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

  • emily

    sapphire preferred. All I spend money on is travel and dining.

  • Paul Schrader

    Southwest Rapid Rewards! So fresh! So sweet!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ricky.miller.3532 Ricky Miller

    My wife and I love our Chase B.A. card. We’ll soon be flying first class to Europe using the companion ticket option. Can’t wait!

  • Dimitar

    Chase Ink Plus… can’t beat the versatility.

  • Chris b

    Amex bus gold!

  • http://twitter.com/panxustc PAN XU

    I think the best is the Sapphire Preferred, because it is so flexible with so many partners to transfer the points.

  • Yan

    Chase Sapphire Preferred, all day. Gold business AmEx is a close second.

  • Ecw

    SPG-transfers to United (and star alliance partners) and BA for LAN South American connections. And no foreign transacton fee. i

  • http://twitter.com/adelantando A. S.

    The British Airways card allowed me to travel within South America for pennies compared to the published fares. It is by far my most valuable card

  • jivepicnic

    Amex Platinum for the travel benefits

  • jedge

    CSP/Freedom combo

  • Ecw

    Mean sapphire preferred

  • http://www.facebook.com/holly.rylee Holly Rylee

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for so many reasons …

  • DannyJ

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for sure

  • joejabjab

    Chase Sapphire is also my favorite

  • http://www.willrunformiles.com/ Kathy K

    Assuming no spend requirements, or special category, Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite go-to travel card

  • Maggie Keller

    Sapphire Preferred – not only great rewards, but people always comment on how cool a card it is too. :)

  • Marc T

    I love the AMEX SPG for the amazing redemption value. The Chase Saph. is my go to card for travel and restaurants. I got all of these cards thanks to the Points Guy. Thanks to him, Ive been able to travel to places that I thought I would never get the chance to go to!

  • pegsioux

    …”if you can snag the Companion Pass in January, it will essentially be good for 2 years until the end of 2015.”

    You’re referencing acquiring the CP in January of 2014, correct? Because anyone who snags it now will have it run through the end of 2014.

  • http://twitter.com/doa61006 Deal Hunter

    While I have Ink Bold, CSP, Amex Gold, SPG, Freedom, et al, and enjoy the benefits of sign-up bonus, my advice is to always evaluate them in the eyes of redemption value. As OP puts it, he values the points up to 2 cent/point. In that case, you could save yourself a lot of efforts by simply charging all your expenses to American Express Fidelity card, which gives you 2% cash back to your Fidelity account.

    The only time it makes sense to forego Amex Fidelity is when you value your points at more than 2C/p. That’s what I’m aiming for. I’m sure there are plenty of discussions on particular routes/carriers that give you way above 2C/p. If you routinely fail to beat that ratio, think again about the whole scheme. You may be better off staying with Amex Fidelity, simple and efficient.

    Of course, sign up bonus involves different calculation. It usually run you 30-50k points with up to $5k in purchases, achieving a ratio of 10 points per dollar spent, or 10 points for every two cents in foregone cash benefit. I will trade one cent for five UA miles or SPG points anytime!

  • Josh

    Sapphire Preferred for me too! Just booked business class international on United for a steal for my wife and my vacation to Croatia and Italy.

  • miffSC

    Chase Sapphire Preferred….

  • http://twitter.com/maxi_russia MaximusDecimus

    I have had AMEX Business Gold and enjoyed earning 3x on travel but the point redemption is not as good as Ultimate rewards. I was traveling from FLL to ATL last Thanksgiving and was shopping for an award ticket. To redeem miles for this flight (one way) DL asked 27K, AMEX 25K, Ultimare rewards 17.5K for the same delta flight!!! Go Chase!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/awindenberger Aurelien Windenberger

    I definitely agree with many of the other posted, the Chase Sapphire card is the best all-round card to use.

  • TRAVELER

    Chase Ink Bold!

  • DJ

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is my all-time favorite!

  • http://twitter.com/Frea_O Frea O’Scanlin

    Definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Palooza

    Mercedes Benz Amex Platinum for Lounge access.

  • JTP

    hands down… Chase Sapphire Preferred. About to get the MC version!

  • GF

    chase sapphire pref!

  • Steve

    Last month I got an offer for the Amex Platinum with 100K points; needless to say I grabbed it and now chalking up charges there. I also love my Sapphire preferred card but here’s a caution: I was in Okinawa Japan in November and had two occasions where the card would not scan! It wasn’t rejected – just wouldn’t scan. My hotel had to revert to the old paper transaction type. So be sure you carry another card!

  • FF

    I vote for Chase Sapphire, hands down.

  • Loweeel

    Chase Sapphire — transferrable to all sorts of accounts, can redeem lower amounts for tickets with a 25% bonus (and still get miles), no foreign transaction fee, 2% at restaurants, airlines and travel, and 7% annual bonus.

  • Ivan

    I like AMEX PRG because it gives you 3x points on Airline purchases and for a family of five, that is a lot of points. Then transferring to British Airways Avios when they have bonuses like now (35%), is great. Short Haul trips on BA are the best!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1817524 Daniel Rudov

    Chase Sapphire Preferred (+ UA/WN), to be certain.

  • Beth S

    my favorite is the Chase Sapphire for all-around use!

  • E Scott

    My fav card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Sam

    I like the Sapphire because I can transfer the points to all kinds of usefull places. Also, it’s pretty. ;-)

  • Saif

    Chase Sapphire preferred is hard to beat with its 2x in travel categories, 40k sign-up bonus and great Ultimate Reward transfer partners!

  • Andy

    Amex PRG for the x3 airfaire and x2 gas and groceries.

  • Mari

    My card of choice is Chase Sapphire Preferred – I have the MC version, husband has the Visa – because it offers great transfer options, gives 7% annual bonus and the 2x category bonuses, plus no foreign transaction fees. Since we travel infrequently but mostly overseas, this card gives us the best use and redemption options for our travels.

  • AS84

    Sapphire Preferred, no question.

  • Doug g.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred hands down rules them all

  • David Dam

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top choice.

  • Rebecca

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is our card of choice.

  • jdshscja

    Chase sapphire preferred is definitely my favorite.

  • oneeyejack

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Colleen K

    CSP. While my husband and I are “those people who used to travel a lot and had status then had a kid and lost their status” we’ve found that the CSP has been good to us. Since we don’t travel for business, we can accrue double points at restaurants locally and at hotels in short getaways – add in the 7% bonus – then redeem on business class airfare and more spend-y hotels as if we had our old like back. Sort of.

  • Chris

    Gotta stick with the Chase Sapphire card.

  • AirD0c

    If I have to pick only one, it has to be Chase Sapphire Preferred. Combination of sign up bonus (40k after 3k in spend), earning potential (2x travel/dining purchases as well as bonus points mall and 7% annual dividend), flexibility of points (United, British Air, Hyatt to name a few of my favs), no foreign fees (great for travel), and relatively low annual fee at $95.

  • shindou2006

    Chase Sapphire Preferred hands down – redemptions with Hyatt and United (for Star Alliance partner travel) gives this card amazing value

  • peggypebbles

    chase sapphire preffered

  • Z06Biker

    I have a lot of what’s considered some of the best travel cards out there, including the Amex Business Platinum, Amex SPG, Amex True Earning (Costco) Business, the Barclays Arrival World Mastercard (annual fee version) and the United MileagePlus Club card…and yet, the best card because of the transfer partners, 7% dividend, and the fact that “travel” even consists of taxis, parking meters and subway, is unequivocally the CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED.

  • Travel Stud

    Chase Ink!

  • tpat

    Chase Ink Plus. I like the UR transfer options, and the 5x earnings are lucrative

  • leonew6s

    My pick is the Sapphire Preferred. I love the flexibility to transfer to Hyatt or United.

  • Sung

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is best for me !!

  • Charles G

    Overall, like many others I contend that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the card I would still carry if I only could have one credit card. The earnings categories are strong, and the 7% annual bonus is a nice little gift at the start of each year – it always makes me happy to see the extra points post. Plus, as many preach, the flexible points approach to earning allow you to not have all your eggs in one basket to face a potential devaluation.

  • Jeremy

    Going with the Ink Plus – BA & SWA transfers + staying at high end Hyatt properties… 50k signup bonus, 5x on office supplies and 2x on gas? done.

  • Kevin Pollack

    Love my Chase Sapphire Preferred! Really easy to build miles with the double points on travel and dining during business trips.

  • janet mcconnell

    I like the Chase SW cards for the companion pass, but once I reached that goal, I prefer the Sapphire Preferred card because of the 2x dining.

  • Jacob

    The Amex platinum by far!

  • Andy O.

    My all around favorite is my SPG Amex.

  • Haldami

    SPG for all the transfer options.

  • Gordon

    British Airways Visa : I got the 50K sign-up bonus, my wife got the 100k sign-up bonus – between us that’s a nice little chunk of Avios. The fact that there’s no foreign-transaction fee is also very helpful (though that is becoming quite common now). With two of these cards in our family, we also get 2 companion certificates per year – although the value of those is not as high as you may think at first, it still saves a few hundred more bucks.

  • Rob H

    Definitely the Amex Platinum. Lounge access, $200 credit, and Global Entry are all unbeatable benefits.

  • Sol

    Chase Ink Bold! 50K bonus and 5 points for office, cable phone bills!

  • Mac

    Chase Sapphire preferred for 7% point bonus, 2x categories, and overall point use flexibility.

  • bobby

    Amex PRG card!!
    Benefts – 3x Airfaire and 2x gas and groceries and of course bonuses for transferring points!

  • skyfly

    Chase Sapphire is my favorite.

  • Mar

    I like the Club Carlson Visa… 5x the points on everything is really nice.

  • Hal

    Is it even debatable?? Chase Saphire: 7% bonus, no FT fee, and united 1:1, whooey!

  • http://twitter.com/gogafon D

    Chase United Mileage Plus. If you live near united hub and travel just several times a year but want to maximize points this is one of the best cards. Plus, you can do online shopping through United online mall and use that card to maximize points even more.

  • Nguyen

    My favorite is Chase Ink Plus. It gives 50K bonus, 5 points for office, cell phone, and cable related bills. In addition, I buy Shell gas gift cards from Office Depot to earn 5 points and get reduced gas price at the Shell gas station. Thanks.

  • Charles

    I think the Freedom card is the best points earning card, providing you have another card (ink, sapphire) that allows partner transfers, and you have the exclusives program. I’m still on the old exclusives program, and the combination of 10 points per transaction, 10% bonus on base spend, and 5% rotating categories cannot be beat! Especially for small purchases!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7934739 Jimmy He

    Club Carlson Visa card Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is
    free (stay one night and get one free using mpoints); 40,000 renewal bonus points each year; automatic Gold Elite
    Status; existing elite members get 10 qualifying nights toward obtaining
    or maintaining elite status and plus Visa Signature benefits.

  • Derf

    Chase Sapphire Preferred of course!

  • Lmandrake

    My favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Great redemption transfer options and no Forex fees.

  • Elteetrav

    Chase ultimate rewards have gotten me to Istanbul and Hawaii. And I’m just getting started. They are my fav so far.

  • David

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. So flexible. Just transfer some UR for a one way business class on KE and will transfer some to UA for another one way in business also when I couldn’t find RT in a single alliance.

  • John Draz

    Chase ink Bold plus!

  • Naif

    I would say Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature. I just applied for one last night! It’s going to be one of the best cards in 2013. Thanks TPG

  • Evan

    Ink Plus, gotta love those 5x points

  • bena

    Citi Aadvantage MC. Good perks and 10% rebate on redeemed miles up to 10,000 per year.

  • Ivan

    Have to go with the Chase SP for the dividend, travel bonuses, and especially the AMAZING customer service!

  • Ang N

    I like my Sapphire Preferred for the 2x dining and travel!

  • PJ

    I already burned off 5 SWA signon bonuses @50K and am digging into my huge UR points from Sapphire Preferred. A very happy Chase UR supporter

  • TStern

    Starwood Amex…I get a lot of value out of SPG points.

  • Jessica M

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for the 2x in travel and dining since that’s where I spend the most, and also transferability, especially to united for both domestic and interational awards! Also 7% bonus, also no foreign transaction fees…just great for travel all around.

  • shonuffharlem

    Chase Sapphire by far. 7% dividend makes up for most or all of the fee. Customer service top notch.

  • Jason

    Definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Reason 1: UR points are so flexible and allow me to transfer, almost always immediately, to many partners that I use frequently. Reason 2: When I travel I always dine out, so the 2 times points for dining are always a nice plus for something I’d be doing anyway.

  • Sarah W.

    Chase sapphire

  • Mark

    My top pick is the Chase Ink Plus for the 5x categories and transfers to travel partners!

  • Ken

    Chase Sapphire Preferred.Transfer partners are amazing!

  • Bjorn_ca

    Starwood Amex – although points may be harder to accumulate, getting a value of 6-9 cents on select cash and point redemptions or promotional offers from Starwood, can’t go wrong.

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  • Marc W, JFK

    Just got the Ink Bold and already I’m sold that it’s the best car out there!

  • rambi

    Chase Sapphire All day!

  • Will

    Definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The earning potential through transfers from the Freedom card and the Ultimate Rewards Mall makes it my top card for spend, hands down.

  • CodeAdam10

    The INK siblings! :D

  • Jeremy H

    Starwood Preferred due to the outstanding number of transfer partners and the 5k bonus on 20k transfers!

  • Jose

    I love my MileagePlus Club Card actually. I find that I draw enough value from the airport / airline benefits and lounge access to make the fee worth it. The 1.5 miles per $ spent is awesome, so it’s my everyday un-bonused spend card.

  • Paul W

    Starwood Amex is the top of the heap. I have a big pile of UR points from 50K sign up bonuses but never seem to have as many SPG points as I need and other than paying for hotel nights in SPG hotels, the only way to get them is actually spending on the card.

  • mlmdmv

    Ink Bold — 5x points and no foreign fees.

  • Shannon Anderson

    My favorite card by far is the Starwood Amx. I’ve found that hotels are my biggest travel expense (when flying coach at least). Redeeming Starwood points is simple, cancellation policies are very liberal, and the point value is stellar especially when compared to Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott. I will gladly pay the yearly fees for both my personal and business card as long as the current policies are in place. 12k points a night in midtown Manhattan? Yes please!

  • JR

    TPG – I think the AMEX Premier Rewards card for a variety of reasons but mostly because I think it is the best card for current manufactured spend techniques. My reasons in detail: 1) It has the best earn rate for airfare at 3x and that doesn’t even include transfer bonus promotions which could bump up the earn rate to almost 4.5x 2) With respect to transfer promotion bonuses, British Airways is a common promotion partner and the short-haul itineraries using British Airways Avios have AMAZING value and transfer immediately compared to SPG 3) It earns 2x at Kroger (groceries) which not only allows for double-dipping into fuel perks (up to $35 off) when buying two variable Visa gift cards in denominations of $500 but you can also take those gift cards and load to Bluebird at Walmart with a PIN as Million Mile Secrets and others have outlined recently! 4) It earns 2x at Speedway (gas) and you can also purchase OneVanilla Visa gift cards in denominations of $500 and liquidate through Bluebird at Walmart just the same! 5) Merchant gift cards can be found at both groceries and gas stations so if you can be disciplined you should just buy Subway, Panera, Best Buy, etc. cards at either of those places 6) Once you reach the $5,000 limit for Bluebird loads in a month then you could just continue to buy the $500 gift cards with a small fee and use those cards for everyday spending. 7) Once you spend $30,000 in a year you get 15,000 bonus AMEX Membership Rewards points!

  • CheapTricksToTravel

    Sapphire Preferred! Love the flexibility and 2x dining.

  • chasingelite

    AMEX Platinum, hands down. $200 Travel Credit, Global Entry (worth millions), Priority Pass Select, Free room upgrades, late checkout, and typically $100 credits at “fine resorts”. It definitely pays for itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stellaky Melissa Morrison-Webb

    My favorite card is Chase Sapphire Preferred. I recently switched to that, from the Delta Amex Gold and am so very glad I did! Thanks for all the advice – it helped drive my decision! I appreciate that I can use the card with multiple partners and has the 7% bonus at the end of the year.

  • Andy

    My Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite

  • jangu

    Chase Sapphire Preferred hands down!

    and please pick me! :)

  • US Tour

    chase ink plus

  • Mahbubur Khan

    Sapphire the best…!

  • Sayyid C

    Before, it would have been Chase Sapphire Preferred but now I would say Chase ink plus due to how easy it is to attain UR points by buying gift cards at staples with merchants I frequent anyway.

  • edward

    I like chase bold. 5X categories and high sign-on bonus.

  • Nachama Soloveichik

    Chase Saphire and Chase Ink Bold. Chase rules.

  • Chris

    Chase Saphire for the Win…

  • http://twitter.com/contestsjb j

    I’m a Chase lover. Can’t beat the no-overseas bank fees.

  • Treewin82

    No brianer CSP for everyday spend… UR is best for united and Hyatt flexibility.

  • Treewin82

    No Brainer; although brian would prob agree

  • Jay O

    Favorite is Chase Sapphire Preferred, with all the travel points and all the Visa Signature benefits

  • Russell F.

    Amex Platinum for lounge access and fine hotels and resorts.

  • joeypore

    AMEX Plat for benefits hands down. But in points, any UR card. Probably Chase Ink Plus!

  • Bob

    Chase Ink Plus not only provides an amazing $50,000 signup bonus (good for two round trip saver domestic tickets on United), but very lucrative spending bonuses when you purchase gift cards at office supply stores. I have routinely racked up 5x on cards for Starbucks, Panera, Babies R Us, Bed Bath and Beyond, Southwest, Shell…just to name a few

  • Annie Conley

    When I decided recently to get a business card, which I’d use mostly for travel expenses, I went for the Ink Plus: no foreign transaction fees and United as travel partner. Great so far.

  • Elaine

    Chase Sapphire Preferred remains my fav!

  • bmp412

    Chase Sapphire preferred for sign up bonus, 7% annual bonus, plus monthly X categories.

  • David

    Chase Sapphire card: No foreign transaction fees, 7% bonus, 2x categories, and it looks awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1218429980 Iliana D Blair

    I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and it seems to have the best rewards all around and perks. I would love to win thanks for the giveaway!

  • Steve

    I love the Southwest Plus and Premier cards for the companion pass and free bags. With a baby in tow, it has helped a lot!

  • Sharon

    Love the CSP for its flexibility and “wow” factor…I still get comments from people every time I pull it out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tamara.faurote Tamara Faurote

    SPG Amex Card is my go to card!

  • BleuStriker

    Sapphire Preferred 2x dining, airfare, hotel and 7% annual bonus

  • lostgravity

    United MileagePlus Club, since they gave it to me for free for the first year. ;-)

  • Pianocat

    Chase Sapphire Preffered and Freedom

  • jgcgtravel

    Ink Plus followed by Sapphire Preferred… Chase FTW

  • mangoManFT

    Starwood Amex: effective 1.25 AA mi/$, plus low annual fee, plus good redemption opportunities at Starwood hotels.

  • Eddie boy

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best!

  • DaveW

    Chase Sapphire Preferred – can’t wait to get triple points this Friday!

  • Jonathan

    Chase INK Bold!!!!

  • Heather

    Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold, I just love my UR.

  • sri

    club carlson visa

  • Eli104

    Got my Business Platinum Amex a few weeks ago, with a 100,000 point offer (after $10k spend in 3 months). Still a good deal (but I can’t find the part about a companion ticket on this one).

  • Drew

    My go to card is the Starwood Preferred. I love the bonus that comes wit the miles transfer.

  • DJ

    Starwood Preferred Guest Amex! The redemption value and hotel options are best in class.

  • Dustin

    Sapphire preferred is still the best because of the partners and flexibility, especially when tied to the freedom card.

  • Scott M

    Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom combo

  • Mitul Sarkar

    I loved the 5% reward that had made the US Bank Plus Visa card my favorite. Recently, US Bank has removed airline purchases from the categories eligible for the 5%. However, restaurants and car rentals are still among the 5% categories. Between 2 people in a household, with 2 cards, you can have 4 categories at 5% – very useful.

  • Trevor

    Ink Plus – 5x for internet and phone spend per month that I’m spending anyway, although the CSP is great too!

  • Scott

    My favorite card is the chase sapphire preferred!

  • Rob

    Has anyone gotten the Chase Sapphire bonus more than once? I applied/got the bonus for the card about 14 months ago and cancelled 6 mos after. I’d consider keeping the card for good this go around. I’m surprised so many people feel that the $95 is worth it!

  • Tiffany

    Chase Sapphire contines to be the best one for me, especially since I put A LOT of money on dining!

  • Yan

    Sapphire for no foreign transaction fees and 2x travel is the best

  • Hal

    Ink Bold sign-up bonus, 5X useful business purchase categories, and UR transfer flexibility make it a winner. The ability to combine points to another UR account, perhaps belonging to a spouse or child, can be very useful.

  • Ryan

    Chase Sapphire Preferred…7% dividend on points earned and 2x on travel and dining.

  • Kyle

    Definitely the Chase SP.

  • Todd

    Chase ink bold. Can’t beat a 5x category.

  • Karl

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is hard to beat overall, though it is nice to have airline-specific cards during non-elite travel.

  • GetToThePoints

    SPG AMEX

  • Raymond_G

    the sapphire preferred card from chase… without question!

  • Jason

    I like Chase Sapphire because of the transfer options and the looks I get when I use a “heavy” card

  • meghanb904

    Chase Sapphire Preferred transferred to United for the win!

  • Brandon

    I think the AMEX Platinum is great for international or frequent flyers. The lounge access alone with the Priority Pass is wonderful when you are waiting for flights and in between transfers. The “no international transaction fee” is great as well. Combine that with the other great travel benefits and purchase protections, I think this is the best card for international flyers. If Chase Sapphire Preferred could incorporate a similar lounge program, I’d probably choose their card.

  • Colin

    Club Carlson Premier Rewards for redeeming one night and getting one free!

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.ronning Randy Ronning

    Sapphire Preferred – definitely. Sure – there’s the points and all – but when a merchant FEELS the weight of the card – you just seem to get – R-E-S-P-E-C-T – and that’s hard to beat. It’s a weighty card – I’ll miss it.

  • Dave Procuk

    Ink cards. 5x on tv, phone, Internet – paying for it anyway!

  • Jon

    Have to go with the Sapphire Preferred – Can’t beat the travel and dining bonuses!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbwilcox James Wilcox

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently the best for my spending habits (dining and travel at 2.14 points per dollar). Adding further value, I was able to get the Southwest Companion Pass earlier this year, so each dollar I spend on the card’s 2x bonus categories equates to more than 7 cents back in “fixed value” Southwest travel.

  • MJH

    Sapphire Preferred, easy. Especially of for those of us who got the 100k points offer a while ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.mansour.5 Joseph Mansour

    Chase sapphire is the best no foreign fees and double on travel and dining!

  • MV

    Missed out on the giveaway at FTU – hoping for better luck here.
    Chase Sapphire preferred all the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7606496 Ernest Shahbazian

    Chase Sapphire Preferred, especially when combined with a Chase Freedom card and Chase checking account! That’s my UR points earning trifecta!

  • Debo Chowdhury

    Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite for flexibility to transfer to large number of valuable partners.

  • m l

    i think most will choose Chase Sapphire preferred and transfered to united

  • pwtravelblog

    Our go to card is the Chase Sapphire. We got in with a 50K sign on with another identical bonus, the service is superb, there is no foreign transaction fee and the relative novelty of the card creates interesting conversations!

  • Yao

    Amex Plantium is the best choice for airport lounge lover

  • Devon Pack

    It has to be the Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Sacha Litman

    I’m a “long time listener, first time caller.” In my view, there is no better redemption rate card than the Amtrak Chase Mastercard — assuming you need to travel on the train between major cities on the Northeast corridor (and I suppose Midwest and West, but I don’t travel those). The cost of a round trip train ticket between Washington DC and New York City is typically around $250-300 on the regional train if you buy it last minute. I can redeem 8,000 points for the round trip ticket, *with no limited availability and last minute booking.* That’s a redemption rate of 3.5% and full flexibility for last minute booking. The Acela trains are more points, but it only saves an extra 25 minutes on the trip, so it usually isn’t worth it when traveling on miles.

  • RomanHans

    I’ve gotten a Citi Aadvantage card — and 50,000 miles — nearly every year for the last five years. They’ll always have a special place in my heart!

  • Sarah C

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for transfer partners like Hyatt & United!

  • Biggles209

    Chase Sapphire for United and Hyatt transfers

  • Mr. Selfish

    I use my CSP for nearly all my purchases while abroad. If only SPG would get a card with 0 foreign transactions fees!

  • Dave M

    For every time I’ve stepped off a short red eye with a layover in Atlanta or Detroit and been able to take a shower and pick up a Wall Street Journal in the Delta club, definitely the American Express Platinum card.

  • DavidLAX

    Tough call, but I’d have to say Amex Plat: Lounge access; SPG status; no forex; awesome customer service, fraud protection; concierge; $200 towards airline incidentals (or gift cards); and tons of transfer partners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dina.lapoint Dina LaPoint

    sapphire prefered – can’t beat the chase flexibility and the no foreign transaction fee plus the amount earned and 7% early bonus

  • Sajer Guy

    Chase Ink Bold…5x at office supply stores. Be creative, ‘nuf said.

  • BobChi

    Don’t overlook the Club Carlson card. It would not be my only card, since I’m more interested in airline tickets than hotel nights, but the bonuses are big; the renewal bonus more than covers the annual fee; and the extra free night on all reward redemptions is great. Just $900 in everyday spend (which is all bonused at 5x) gets you the equivalent of one reward night, since 9,000 is the lowest tier, and you can get the second night free.

  • thepointsguy

    Thx- fixed!

  • Lewis

    Hmmm. Sapphire Preferred for the 2x points on travel and the sexy card (and no foreign transaction fee and the bonus!).

  • http://twitter.com/charlesg charlesg

    The Starwood Preferred Guest Amex. Had it for a long time, still one of my favorites.

  • thepointsguy

    Interesting- good value, but I rarely take Amtrak… but a no brainer for those who do!

  • thepointsguy

    I like no Brianer.. had a nice ring to it!

  • thepointsguy

    I like the PRG too! But I don’t think it would be #1.. hate those darn foreign transaction fees and relatively high fee

  • Michael

    Chase Inc Bold/Plus for United transfer or Cash Back

  • Mars9800

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for United and Hyatt transfers :)

  • Dustin

    Sapphire preferred by far. No transaction fee and double points on travel make it and awesome international travel card!

  • Evan

    I guess it would be CSP! I just got it and I’m very excited :)

  • Lantean

    definitely Ink Plus…can’t beat 5x at Staples.

  • drock

    ultimate rewards to BA is my favorite redemption option.

  • Doug

    I think that if booked correctly one can get the most trips and benefit from the Southwest points

  • Lori

    Love the Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa–who doesn’t love the companion pass?

  • Tova

    I love the Amex Platinum for the benefits, particularly the lounge access. On one hand, I feel rich when I’m sitting in the lounge. But on the other hand, I feel like everyone knows that I don’t really belong there;)

  • Guacamole

    I like chase business ink card because of its 5x points on office supplies and its transferability to various airlines. Customer service is also exceptional.

  • Rob P

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • LZ

    I think my Chase Sapphire works overall the best for travel with it’s double points for travel and dining. Very solid!

  • Dingo155

    Gotta be the AMEX Platinum. Love the $200 credit, priority pass, DA/AA/US lounge access, preferred car rental memberships, SPG status, transfer partners, concierge and no foreign fees! If you fly international a lot it is hard to beat!

  • Steve

    Definitely Chase Sapphire preferred for 7% point bonus, 2x categories, overall point use flexibility and transferability (particularly to Hyatt and United).

  • Ryan

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. Everyone has to eat and commute so the double bonuses in those categories are great. Many transfer partners with more on the way (Ex. Virgin). Also, double dipping by linking the card to a dining program like United or Delta. Finally, 24/7 customer service to a real person instead of a machine and the Ultimate Rewards Mall offers bonus points (up to 20x!) on almost every single vendor so you are really almost always getting more than 2x on every purchase!

  • Jimmy

    Chase Ink..great 5x rewards on office supplies and telecommunication bills, both of which I make heavy use each month. Chase UR overall has a great program and excellent transfer partners, without a fee as well! (unlike Amex which carries a nominal fee per point)

  • JAG

    CSP… 2x UR points on travel + 2x more for booking through Travelocity

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.j.knight.1 Nicholas Knight Jr

    At this moment, my two favorite and most active cards are the British Airways card, as I work to complete the 20k in spend by the end of the year, and the Ink Plus card. I’ve already received the 50k UR points from that, but it keeps on giving at 5x for my cable and cell family plan!

  • mbcca2300

    Chase Sapphire Preferred. Among my favorite perks include the zero foreign transaction fee, 7% annual bonus, and excellent customer service with a zero computerized rabbit hole path to service. Not even the AMEX Platinum avoids the dreaded robot voice menu options to welcome your call.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.stem.9 Carol Stem

    I like the Chase Sapphire because of restaurant at 2x and the 7% annual bonus!

  • Jason Benton

    Currently, my favorite is the American Express Membership rewards card, especially since I banked in on the 75,000 bonus points. I also like the 3x on airfares.

  • Ryan

    SPG Preferred is my go-to travel card for the flexibility of transfer partners

  • Dmh12011

    Chase Ink!

  • Sam

    Haha, I thought I had to comment on Facebook. Interestingly enough, my friend saw the post and pointed out that we went to Pitt together. So, my favorite card/travel program is this: When US Airways and Barclay’s (US Air Card) teamed up and offered double PQM’s on flights purchased between August and October 31, 2012 and flown prior to 12/31/12 I became a huge fan. This promotion alone slingshot me from Gold to Chairman in about a month!! Better yet, my travel plans got squirrelly at the end of October and I had to move some client travel to November and December to accommodate new business, meaning I purchased new tickets for the spur of the moment trips and was able to travel on the original purchased ticket the later and rack up the miles.

  • http://twitter.com/beautydealsetc Vicky C

    Chase Sapphire preferred for 7% point bonus and 2x categories plus no forex fees!!!

  • ASaunders

    I am relatively new to the points game with credit cards, so currently my go to card is the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature card. However, if the SPG sign up bonus does hit 30,000 points at some point this year… I will definitely be signing up for that with all its flexibility.

  • Mary M

    Chase Sapphire Preferred – 7% bonus and flexibility of transfer partners

  • brody

    Chase Sapphire Preferred!!!

  • Ro

    I love my Chase Sapphire preferred for 7% point bonus, 2x categories, and overall point use flexibility. Its the best card out there.

  • Ray

    Chase Sapphire – because you can actually transfer to United unlike Amex!

  • shonuffharlem

    I would like to know this too. What is the strategy after you meet minimum spend with this card?

  • http://twitter.com/theriverchica Ramsey

    Chase Sapphire is my go-to international card.

  • Tom

    Southwest Premiere! Combine it with the biz card during one of the frequent 50k promotions and you almost have the companion pass.

  • Amy

    Chase Sapphire Preferred — i never realized how much I spend on restaurants and travel until I got the card and started seeing the bonuses points pile up. And the online mall is great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5401534 Chris Min

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for its double travel points, no foreign transaction fees, and the nice heft to the card.

  • mipo777

    Chase Sapphire preferred for the multiple GOOD transfer partners

  • colby

    Amex Platinum

  • Jenny C.

    American Express Gold Premier! Love the 3x on airlines, 2x on gas and supermarkets and 1x on everything else. Also love the occasional transfer bonuses offered by AMEX.

  • Julie

    Chase Sapphire Preferred – flexibility of transfer partners.

  • Joe

    Barclay Arrival Card – nothing beats $400+ in reimbursable travel and after a year you can downgrade to the fee-free version and keep the no-foreign transactions fees perk

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9420560 James Andrews

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for 7% point bonus, 2x points on travel and dining, and now First Fridays!

  • Yodel

    I agree with Mac below … I love the 7% point bonus on the Sapphire Preferred, 2x categories, easy flexible redemption through Ultimate Rewards, and another big PLUS is no fees for overseas charges

  • Nevafazeme

    I can’t go anywhere without my Chase Sapphire Preferred card…

  • dave goodwin

    Chase Sapphire because of multiple transfer partners.

  • Ryan

    Definitely Chase Sapphire Preferred. I spend a lot eating out so the 2x points plus the 7% annual dividend are key. Also, the Ultimate Rewards Mall combined with the relatively large number of transfer partners adds earning and redemption flexibility.

  • Glen

    AMEX Mercedes Platinum for the 50k points and $200 airline incidental reimbursement !

  • Jay

    my favorite card is the American Express Platinum – i’ve been working mostly from the UK for the past 2-3yrs and this card i s amazing in easily racking up points and hidden perks such as using the EuroStar Lounge!

  • Johnny B

    The Ink cards are my favorites. Love that 5x bonus @ office supply stores!

  • Candy Cane

    Sapphire Preferred!

  • Stephen

    Chase Sapphire Preferred – the combination of no annual fee, double points for travel, and the 7% bonus is pretty strong. And Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite point currency.

  • Stephen

    I meant to say no foreign transaction fee – not no annual fee.

  • Wardell

    I’m a big fan of the Ink Bold, Freedom, SPG and now Club Carlson Visa (though I rarely spend on it.)

  • Seth

    I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The first time I have ever paid an annual fee for a card! Its gotten my wife and I to Thailand and will be getting us to Europe this fall.

  • R Sonny

    I like the UA Club Card because of the benefits, including Group 2 boarding priority and access to the UA Club

  • Mark R.

    American Express Platinum, hands down for flexible points and lounge access!

  • The Montane Vole

    For me it’s the Club Carlson Visa, because of the 85K sign-up bonus, 5 points per dollar, and especially the buy-one-get-one-free hotel nights, particularly in European top-tier hotels. For example, my room at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London, which retails for at least $450 per night and is directly across from Parliament and Big Ben right on the Thames, is a Category 5 hotel (their top tier) available for 50K per night, yet REALLY only 25K per night on the two-for-one deal, 100K total. So the sign-up bonus ALONE gets me almost four free nights there (two separate 2-night stays), @ a retail value of $1800 minimum. Unbelievable and, for me, unbeatable!!

  • http://www.Fishing4Deals.com/ Fishing4Deals

    Southwest Credit Card for the 50K bonus when signing up. Worth up to 2 roundtrip tickets!

  • snakedoc1

    Love Chase Sapphire Preferred! Can’t beat 7% annual bonus plus the flexibility moving points to United or hotels when needed.

  • VR

    As of today it would be Chase Freedom. It is average by itself, but combined with checking account and sapphire preferred it gets pretty good.

  • Wayne

    Chase Sapphire preferred for the GREAT flexibility and travel partners

  • Laurie

    I’ll say Chase Sapphire preferred because we used it recently in New Zealand with no foreign transaction fees. Also racked up more points in the travel and dining categories!

  • http://twitter.com/elnorman Elizabeth Norman

    My favorite is Chase Sapphire Preferred because of the transfer partners, bonuses, and no foreign fees.

  • Ana

    I prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Ryan

    Also, it is a Visa Signature card so you get many perks for that like travel accident service, buy one get one free movie tickets on fandango, and much more!

  • Margaret Hubeny

    We’re required to use our business issued AmEx for work travel but I’ve been searching for the best CC option for personal travel. Think I may sign up for Chase Sapphire Preferred based on this article!

  • Jason

    I actually paid the annual fee just to keep my Chase Sapphire Preferred. Looking forward to using it in Europe in 2 weeks.

  • Saran

    Chase sapphire preferred card!

  • shonuffharlem

    I’m curious why people feel its worth it to pay, or if you can cancel and reapply after at time. Also, can you have the Visa version and go and get the Mastercard version?

  • Ricardo Seir

    I still love the SPG card. Their hotels redemptions are the best value in the market.

  • Dina

    I have been using my Chase Sapphire Preferred for about 5 years now and love it! Even if I don’t keep my points for very long, especially now that Amazon lets you use points for purchases, I love knowing there is a stash of points I can count on if I need them

  • shonuffharlem

    Thanks for the extra Travelocity bonus, I didn’t know about that one! Just tried it today for 4x points instead of 3x (that you get on UR Travel site)…hope it works.

  • FlavCity

    Amex platinum,thx to TPG, I got in on that 12 hour window back in jan. 100K points, but the benefits r amazing. $200 airline credit, gold status SPG, lounge access. have been taking advantage of all that!

  • PRH

    The flexibility of Chase Sapphire points is the best.

  • RJ

    Capital One – best flexibility on redemption, but I just used all of my Chase Sapphire, so I need more!

  • JFA

    Club Carlson Visa cannot be beat if someone travels to europe

    that free night on any 2 night booking CANNOT be beat

    makes up for horror that hilton has become

  • MATT A

    the chance for a companion pass makes the Southwest visa awfully attractive

  • PC

    AMEX Mercedes Platinum costs upfront but by adding on cards, i have 4 adults with lounge access and Global Entry to boot

  • Raphael

    Priority Club Chase card. Much maligned, but still great.

  • DanR

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for its great flexibility to transfer to good programs.

  • welovekimberly

    HANDS DOWN-Southwest!!! . Frequent fare sales/promos, no baggage/cancel fee. 50K goes a long way, 100K even further! 6K annual bonus (negates annual fee) Companion pass valid near 2 years, with proper manipulation of business/personal 50K bonuses. Flew R/T SEA to MKE n/s $125 late Feb (yes R/T).

  • Encore Traveler

    Great list! I just got the AMEX Mercedes Benz Platinum and the Club Carlson Premier Rewards VISA Signature but was turned down by Barclays for the Arrival Mastercard — what’s up with Barclays??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2325091 John Young

    Its a toss up between the Ink Bold and Sapphire but the best program out there is Chase Ultimate rewards.

  • David Hotz

    Frontier card for those sweet Kansas City to Denver redemptions

  • Kristine

    My Chase Sapphire preferred!

  • MissMiles

    toss up between Amex rewards and Chase UR. Amex just for the ability to do an instant transfer to Aeroplan, which allowed me to book a ticket NYC-LAX-JAC-NYC during xmas/NYE time the NIGHT before flying out. I didn’t have to pay a last minute fee, and the allowed domestic stopover was a nice touch. Was 35k miles + $10 taxes. Definitely good value, since the plane ticket was north of $1k. Obviously Chase UR for all the reasons mentioned by everyone else

  • Jean

    Ink bold, hands down.

  • http://twitter.com/paul_rhoads Paul

    Chase Sapphire preferred! I love the no foreign transaction fees!

  • http://www.facebook.com/doshivk Vivek Doshi

    I love my Chase Sapphire Card. The points are so flexible and easily earnable.

  • RST782

    Ink Bold or Ink Plus. Since I opened the card over a year ago, I purchased whatever I could at office supply stores such as cleaning supplies, retailer gift cards, Visa gift cards, FAR items, and even some office supplies ;) I racked up a TON of points and took an international trip almost every month last year. I flew business for most trips, and only paid cash for one flight. And I still have UR points remaining! Granted, I also have the Sapphire Preferred card and recently got the Freedom so I maximize my earning potential with the combination, but the majority of points I earned in the last year were from the Ink Bold. And no international transaction fees don’t hurt the case either :)

  • ben

    Amex SPG because of the bonus 5000 miles for each transfer of 20000 points

  • joanna

    Club Carlson because of the free night.

  • ben

    Amex SPG because of the bonus transfer points.

  • jen-w

    Chase Sapphire Preferred for me.

  • http://twitter.com/mrd4430 Monica Z

    Chase Hyatt with the sign up bonus for 2 nights at any Hyatt (including Park Hyatts) on any night of the week with no blackout dates.

  • Yati

    *pick me* favorite travel card….definitely Ink Plus. No foreign transaction fees, 5x categories, and 2 free Lounge Club passes. I’ll actually keep this one and pay the annual fee. *pick me*

  • Laura T.

    Without a doubt, my Chase Sapphire Preferred, for the 7% annual bonus, the 2x travel categories and no foreign transaction fee.

  • jason

    chase sapphire preferred. 2x dining because i eat out a lot and 2x on travel spending.

  • Darin

    Chase Sapphire, most flexible with great transfer partners

  • Souti Chatterjee

    Chase Freedom…no annual fee and 5x UR points!!!

  • Rahul Bhartia

    3 words – Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Hota

    Chase Sapphire Preferred, I used it when in US, I am using it when in Australia, I will use it wherever I am.

  • Jonathan

    Chase Ink. cant go wrong with 5x

  • MHess

    Can’t beat using the Starwood Amex for free stays at the St. Regis in NY. Free romance!

  • Tony

    Just got the Hyatt visa and the two free nights at any Hyatt it comes with. Then I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink Bold business cards for another 90,000 points that I am transferring to Hyatt. That’s enough for 6 free Hyatt nights that I will use next year in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Tough value to beat there when those rooms are $400+/night.

  • TC

    Starwood Amex for me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.lomakin Nadine Lomakin

    Thanks for the info. We have friends who set-up these types of plans for two of the major banks. It is interesting to see the comparison. I will pass this to to them!!! Personally, we have done the best with AMEX especially having our personal and corporate cards linked.

  • http://twitter.com/memedude Matthew J

    Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • http://twitter.com/TheMarcBaker Marc Baker

    My Chase Sapphire Preferred is my go-to travel card because the points are flexible and easy to earn while I travel. I will say though that this year I have beeb loving the 5x on my ink for cable, phone, and internet charges.

  • Lee B

    Chase Sapphire Preferred! Love UR program, getting an Ink and Freedom next.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vanessa.varvarezisrumsey Vanessa Varvarezis Rumsey

    Club carlson card. Gotta love the book 2 nights with points get the last night free perk. Also luv the sign on bonus points and renewal points.
    This saves a lot of money at the Radisson Aruba!!!

  • http://twitter.com/billyrrrr bill

    SPG Amex- luv the 5k bonus miles they add when
    You transfer 20k miles to your airline partner !

  • http://www.facebook.com/nadineangress Nadine Angress

    Sapphire preferred because I love that I can transfer points to so many different programs including Amtrak!

  • http://www.facebook.com/drlspears Linda Weyrich Spears

    I did tons of travel bonus cards. Went to Europe in 2012..and two of us are going to South Pacific this year, with some excellent waterfront hotels. Of the short list above, I like Hilton Honors. I got gold status which put me in Executive level in Venice Italy (Priceline room) and gave me a free waterfront stay at Auckland Hilton. Keep up the great work Points Guy…now that I found you…the sky is the limit.

  • Taylor

    Definitely the CSP. No foreign transaction fee and 2x categories makes sure the card is always in my wallet. Will always hold a special place for me due to it being the first card I got after learning about playing the points game!

  • http://gotravelzing.com/ Jeff Broman

    My favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. I just booked 4 nights at a Hyatt hotel for 32,000 points. If I had paid for the hotel it would have been over $1200.

  • Gomie

    Chase Sapphire preferred 2x categories, and ultimate rewards

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidrae David Rae

    Chase INk is my favorite….5% back is fabulous, and already used miles to fly first class to the inauguration via United. Got the card after you recommende xo

  • Jun

    Just booked today, Three first class round trip tickets on United from East Coast to Hawaii for my wife and son in February 14. Would have been $10,700+ but paid just $22.50, thanks to Chase Sapphire’s 44K, Chase Ink Bold’s 50k and United Explorer card for 30k bonus miles (plus the 120K miles I had accumulated by purchasing through United and Chase’s portal for online shopping, to total 240k miles. I have print out to prove it. Flying that far, i want to go in First class.

    I love Fixed value redemption. if it was like how Southwest does it, It would have cost me over a MILLION miles for these 3 tickets.

    Now it’s time for HIlton points to add on to my 80k bonus points I got from AmEx Surpass cards to pay for hilton hotels.. and time for my wife and I to get Hyatt cards to get 2 free nights each. Trip isn’t for another 10 months.. I’ve got some time to accumulate!

  • Robert Patton

    Chase Sapphire, Ultimate Rewards has the best partners and no foreign transaction fees

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  • Eddy

    Hands down – Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Eddy

    Hands down – Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • http://oneorganizedbusiness.com/ Alaia Williams

    I’m a fa of Southwest as well!

  • Steven

    Freedom with the chase exclusive benefits and it quarterly bonus and no annual fee

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  • shonuffharlem

    How do you get this yearly?

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