Skip to content

TPG Readers Reveal Their Favorite Credit Cards

May 06, 2018
7 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Whether you've got a modest number of credit cards in your wallet or, like some members of The Points Guy's editorial team, have more than 40, everybody's got a favorite. Mine happens to be the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has come in handy for all the travel and dining purchases I've been making while living abroad in Australia.

Last month we asked our TPG Lounge readers to reveal the credit cards they regretted signing up for. This time around, we asked them to share their favorite credit cards and why they deserved such an honorable title. A whopping 212 comments later, here's what folks had to say. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Sign up for our daily newsletter

The Usual Suspects

We weren't surprised to see a few of the crowd favorites mentioned regularly. After all, The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Citi Prestige and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are often near the top of our own lists of favorite cards.

"Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR). The 3x points earnings on dining helped me get the points I needed for my honeymoon. I always find myself eating out with guests so it works out." — Wil L.

"CSR. [I have] just about enough miles to book PHL–SYD for New Year's." — Timothy O.

"CSR, especially with the numerous ChasePay/BestBuy promotions that have been going on. I stocked up on gas and grocery gift cards so I am getting 10 points per dollar on those purchases in addition to the 3x points per dollar on travel and dining. It was just a partnership with Best Buy, 10 points per dollar up to $300 and what I did was buy $300 gas or grocery gift cards each time." — Paul G.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is definitely a crowd-pleaser — and a TPG staff favorite as well.

"Citi Prestige. [With the] 4th Night Free, we got $650 back while staying at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. This summer we are going to Hawaii [and are looking at getting] $725 back for a night at Aulani, a Disney Resort, and $750 back for a night at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui." — Peter J.

"I love my Citi Prestige. It is not my favorite but it is my most profitable card because I travel for four nights every week for work and my travel expenses are reimbursed so I get to pocket the 4th night free rebate from the card. I get thousands of extra dollars from that and it's completely legal/ethical to keep a rebate!" — Shana G.

"Amex Platinum for the Fine Hotels & Resorts deals, Centurion Lounge access and gold status with Marriott/SPG/Ritz-Carlton." — Alex L.

"Amex Platinum for GE/PP reimbursements, upgraded hotel status, Centurion Lounge access, 5x points on airfare, Uber reimbursement, $200 travel credit, plus the Concierge is awesome! They email me recommendations for great restaurants and make reservations for me." — Shey T.

Other Cards With Great Perks

We were a little surprised to see the variety of credit cards that people said were their favorites, but given the reasoning behind their choices, it's easy to see why they made the cut.

"The Uber Visa card! No annual fee, good points redemptions and no foreign transaction fees." — Kevin D.

"Because I live three minutes from an American Airlines hub, I like the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. Paired with my platinum status, the benefits in the airport and on the plane are excellent." — Jacob B.

"I'm actually loving my Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card because I'm combining it with the 10x miles offer for hotels.com. With that combo, I'm wracking up the Venture Miles and free nights on hotels.com." — Julia T. (Offer ends Jan. 31, 2020)

"The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card [gives you] 3x points on Apple Pay transactions and travel, including Uber. Stellar customer service with no hold time and reps that know their stuff. Real time rewards redemption using whatever travel site I want. Happy as a clam." — Bryan S.

"Oddly enough, The Amex EveryDay® Card From American Express. It’s not the biggest earner but with no annual fee, a solid welcome bonus, free AU, 20% bonus after 20 transactions, 2x points at grocery stores and the ability to transfer to travel partners, it’s been holding it down! A keeper card everyone should have." — Randall W.

"The M Life Rewards Mastercard. I am from Las Vegas and it gives me free parking at the casinos, plus I can use the comps points to take the wife for free nice dinners, shows, concerts or [use them for] free staycation hotel rooms. The card just looks cool. My favorite was the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express until they changed the MQD wavier requirement for Diamond from $25,000 to $250,000." — Art H.

(Photo by Rebecca Ang via Getty Images)
If you're a frequent Vegas visitor, the M Life Rewards MasterCard might be a good option. (Photo by Rebecca Ang via Getty Images)

"Chase Freedom because I get 5x points this quarter for groceries I have to buy anyway. I reach the $1,500 limit very easily." — Kathy R.

"If you can get it, the JP Morgan Reserve is the best. All the CSR benefits plus United Club access. What’s better than that?" — William B.

"The Amex Hilton Aspire Card. With 7.2% return on Hilton purchases, 3.6% on restaurants/groceries/gas, 1.8% on everything else, it's quite well-rounded." — Adam B.

"I actually love my FoundersCard. Finally got to use it a bunch this year. Great value." — Derek K.

"How about my Disney debit card from Chase? I like Mickey Mouse and magic!" — Fanxing Z.

Why Pick Just One?

Of course, no one said you only had to have one favorite card. Sometimes a couple of them deserve the top spot in your wallet.

"Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel and dining, and The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express for everything else. 2x Membership Rewards up to $50,000 in spend (then 1x) with no annual fee makes it an amazing card." — David K.

"[Chase] Sapphire Reserve and the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. If I don’t have any minimum spend, then the CSR for food, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express for gas. Everything else, Chase Freedom Unlimited and SPG Amex, and 5% category freedom only for bonus." — Sunny K.

"The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express for non-bonus spending for the 1:3 transfer to Marriott (until August) and for the Amex offers I load to my account. CSR for 3x points on travel and dining." — Ann W.

Featured image by OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TPG featured card

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

1 - 3X points
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

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
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

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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.

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
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