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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Capital One Venture Rewards Card, Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

TPG reader Dan emailed me with a credit card quandary this week:

“I enjoy reading your blog and I had a quick question. I currently have a great credit score (780+) and have 2 credit cards. I have the Capital One Venture and the Barclaycard US Airways Mastercard ( I live in Philly and have Preferred status on US). I tried getting the annual fee waived for the Capital One card, and it was a no go. They said they could change my card to the VentureOne that earns 1.25 miles per dollar spent with no annual fee. I’m considering doing this to keep my credit score intact because Capital One is my oldest card open. Do you think it would be a good idea to change my card to the no annual fee Capital One card and getting something like the Chase Sapphire Preferred?  I’d get the attractive sign up bonus and get 7% point bonus and travel discounts etc.”

Dan has the right idea – it’s time for a wallet revamp! If I were him, I would downgrade my Capital One Venture card, which has a $59 annual fee, to the no-fee VentureOne card to keep your line of credit open and your credit history intact. That’s because your credit history accounts for 10% of your FICO score, so keeping an account open with Capital One will be beneficial. Yes, the VentureOne only earns 1.25 miles per $1 as opposed to the Venture’s 2 miles per $1, but there are actually better credit card offers out there that you should consider instead.

If you want an even better return than the Venture, get the Barclaycard Arrival. Its $89 annual fee is waived the first year, and the sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in 3 months is worth $440 toward travel. You earn 2x miles per $1 on all purchases and can redeem those miles at 1 cent apiece toward travel purchases plus get a 10% mileage refund on travel redemptions, giving you a 2.2% return on spending. For more information and a comparison of how the Venture and Arrival stack up, as well as other fixed-value points, check out this post: Maximizing Fixed-Value Points.

There are 10 great travel transfer partners of Ultimate Rewards.
Think about getting a card with transferable points, like Ultimate Rewards’ 10 great travel transfer partners.

While you’re applying, you should also consider getting Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Bold or Ink Plus to build up and diversify your points portfolio. Right now you have no transferable points, so you definitely want to start maximizing other programs that will give you  more flexibility with redemptions – especially if you ever consider premium travel where transferable points and their travel partners can come in handy. Plus remember that Ultimate Rewards points earned with these three specific cards can be redeemed for Pay With Points at 1.25 cents apiece towards travel – and all have category spending bonuses (2x on travel and dining with Sapphire Preferred, 5x on office stores and telecommunications and 2x on hotels and gas with the Ink cards), so even if you used this fixed-value redemption system, you are still potentially getting a better rate of return on your spending that can be worth as much as 6.25% if you max out those Ink 5x categories.

Since these cards are issued by other banks, you should be able to get a Barclaycard and a Chase card on the same day with no issue since you have such a strong credit score and relatively few cards.

Have any other questions? Let me know by messaging me on Facebooktweeting me or emailing me at info@thepointsguy.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.