Which is the best credit card for travel rewards:... - Travel with Credit Cards Questions


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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Travel with Credit Cards » Which is the best credit card for travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95/year),...

Which is the best credit card for travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95/year), the Discover it Miles ($0/year), or the Citi Premier Card ($95/year)? Cost is not an issue. Since the Sapphire card is good for British Airways is it also good for American Airlines? Also, is the 1:1 exchange rate under Chase lower than what you can exchange for a ticket with Discover? I don’t know if they use different conversion rates for free tickets. Thanks

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is good for travelers and those who also spend a lot on dining as it gives 2 points for travel and dining purchases. All other purchases earn only 1 point per dollar. The sign-up bonus is quite standard for travel cards - 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. Where this card stands out is redemption options. Redemptions through Chase's Ultimate Rewards site have the best value - if you redeem for travel, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece. If you decide to transfer your points, you will be able to do it at 1 to 1 value. American Airlines is not the Sapphire's balance transfer partner, but there are other 7 partners including British Airways and United MileagePlus.

If your spendings are broader, the Sapphire card won't perform at its fullest potential. You may want to earn more than 1 point in the general spending category. Both, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and the Discover it® Miles cards will let you earn rewards and can be a better overall option. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card earn 3 points on travel and gas, 2 points on dining and entertainment and 1 point on all other purchses. As for Discover it® Miles card, you will get unlimited 1.5 miles on all purchases. The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers a fixed sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus miles which you will get after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. The Discover it Miles does not have a fixed bonus offer but offers a mile-for-mile match, which means all miles you’ve earned first year will be matched at the end of the first year (only for new cardmembers). Thus, if for example, you earn 30,000 miles, you get 60,000 miles. Both cards have equal redemption value for all airlines: 1 mile is 1 cent. One common good thing about these two credit cards is that if you redeem for travel, such expenses like taxes, surcharges, and fees, that are included into a travel transaction, they will be included in the overall redemption as well.  

All in all, we would recommend supplementing the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with either Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or the Discover it Miles card as both cards allow cash redemptions and can cover travel expenses that are not covered by the Sapphire card.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
Excellent, Good Credit
Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Excellent Credit
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Excellent, Good Credit

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