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We got two of the same credit card — reader mistake story

Sept. 11, 2019
4 min read
We got two of the same credit card — reader mistake story
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Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader Conrad, whose wife got a card that didn't offer them much additional value together:

My wife and I didn't maximize our options in regards to perks when applying for our travel credit cards. I was approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve just over two years ago. After six months of generating lots of points and getting great redemption values, my wife applied to get her own card (not as an authorized user, but on a separate account). Fairly soon after she received her card, I realized this move was not the best we could have made.

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My wife and I go almost everywhere together, and we do not have any kids at home. Most of the benefits we already had from my card apply to at least two people, so her getting the Sapphire Reserve didn't give us any new ones. Looking back on it, my wife should have applied for a different card, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express. Then we would have had all the Chase benefits from my card, plus others like Centurion Lounge access and hotel status.

Because my wife and I are frequently together when making purchases, we could also use whichever card was more beneficial for each purchase instead of just relying on the Sapphire Reserve earning rate. Just like with investing, it's to our advantage to diversify the benefits we receive from our credit cards.

When you start playing award travel as a multi-player game, you may need to tweak your approach to earning points and other rewards, including credit card perks. Getting cards with redundant benefits typically adds little value to your portfolio — for example, Conrad and his wife won't get much from both having primary car rental coverage on their Sapphire Reserve cards if they always travel together. Instead, target credit cards that offer complementary benefits. I personally have the Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum and think they go well together, but if the high annual fees are a concern, you can find other quality card pairings at a lower cost.

Some card benefits like annual free hotel nights and airline companion tickets are worth earning in duplicate, since having one doesn't inherently diminish the value of having another. You can also make use of seemingly redundant benefits such as lounge access and some travel protections when you're not traveling together. The key is to assess how a card and its benefits will fit with your travel patterns given the other cards already at your disposal. If you travel separately often, then addressing your individual needs may prove more valuable than maximizing your collective benefits.

Related: Should Couples Share Rewards Credit Cards or Get Their Own?

I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing us to post it online), I’m sending Conrad a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I'd like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to info@thepointsguy.com, and put "Reader Mistake Story" in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.

Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can't respond to each story individually, but we'll be in touch if yours is selected. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!

Featured image by (Photo by Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 3X points
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

670-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases