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Which Credit cards do you recommend?

jmatias

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Lot of changes lately to credit card programs and reward redemptions has got me re-analyzing my credit cards again.

Here is what we use daily:

Citi Aadvantage Master card for personal and business
- find using American Miles easiest for flights from HNL

Delta Amex for personal and business
- used to fly Delta a lot and used to be able to use their FF miles pretty easily but now its a pain

Have some various other cards but those are for specific uses like when we stay at Marriott or go to Disney, etc.

For the AMEX replacement, I've read a lot about the Starwood card but there isn't a business "companion" card to that.

And I like having either a Mastercard or Visa card for those places that don't accept the Amex.

Any ideas for me?

Thanks,
Jen
 

Icarus

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For the AMEX replacement, I've read a lot about the Starwood card but there isn't a business "companion" card to that.
What do you mean by "companion"?

I have both a personal SPG Amex, and I also have a biz SPG Amex when they had a big point promo to get it. I'll eventually cancel the biz version.

Personally, I dumped my Delta Amex years and years ago. they don't do much for me. I'm totally invested in UA, though. (And I'm not saying that's what you should do.)

I have too many cards. I use my SPG Amex a lot, but I only use the points in that program for hotel stays. They transfer well to some airlines, but either not at all or badly to others, including UA. They have several other ways to redeem for flights though, but I've never used it. Check it out on the Amex web site to see if it works for you. I'm also totally invested as a traveler in SPG.

-David
 
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jmatias

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Hi David,

I didn't realize there was a SPG biz card. Didn't see it on the Amex site the other day.

Also considering the Hilton Amex card as we recently purchase a Hilton resale. Will have to see if there is a Hilton Amex biz card.

The SPG looks good but right now we stay at a lot of Marriotts b/c of our timeshare weeks. Used to use the Marriott Visa for personal/biz but Marriott keeps devaluing their program.

Majority of our points airline points are with American and Marriott hotel points are very small since we cashed out most of our Marriott points 2 weeks ago.

We also have too many other cards and plan to downsize:

United
Disney
Marriott
Delta Amex
Citibank Aadvantage
 

DeniseM

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There is a lot of good info. in the old posts on this topic - Credit Cards

We use the Starwood AMEX - points transfer 1:1 with most airlines and when you transfer 20K points, you get 25K miles.

We use a Hawaiian Air Visa for businesses that won't take the AMEX.
 

Icarus

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There is a lot of good info. in the old posts on this topic - Credit Cards

We use the Starwood AMEX - points transfer 1:1 with most airlines and when you transfer 20K points, you get 25K miles.

We use a Hawaiian Air Visa for businesses that won't take the AMEX.
That's good advice. But make sure to check the SPG Amex conversion tables. Not all airlines are 1:1. Also, I still think SPG points are better used on hotel nights, but that's just me. Most of the people here don't need free hotel stays since they own lots of timeshares.

I also carry the Costco business Amex, which gets 5% rebates on gas purchases. (has to be standalone gas station, and less than 75 gallons per purchase.) It only makes sense if you spend enough at Costco so you get a larger rebate than the difference between the standard membership and the executive membership. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to get it. I pretty much just use that card at gas stations. I spend a small fortune at Costco. Harry's Organic Tomato Soup anybody? lol.

-David
 
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DeniseM

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That's good advice. But make sure to check the SPG Amex conversion tables. Not all airlines are 1:1.
You are absolutely correct, and that's why I said "most airlines." ;)

As you said, we don't need hotel nights, but we do need (and get) free airfare to Hawaii every year! :cheer:
 

jmatias

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Yup...don't need hotel stays but the airfare, especially living in Hawaii is the biggest expense for our vacations.

Will research the SPG and Hilton Amex cards.

Thanks,
Jen
 

DeniseM

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Thanks, Dave! It makes me feel a lot better to know, that you know, that I know! :D

(And yes, I am just teasing you! ;) )
 
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Icarus

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Thanks, Dave! It makes me feel a lot better to know, that you know, that I know! :D
Just make sure you find that sandwich shop on your next Kauai trip, Denise. :p

-David
 

DeniseM

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Just make sure you find that sandwich shop on your next Kauai trip, Denise. :p

-David

I'm ready to go now! Did that poster ever find his shop?
 

Carol C

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I still keep Delta Amex even though they've gone downhill (I live in a hub city, that's why). I have AAdvantage MC and NWA Worldperks Visa (the latter I'm going to ditch due to devaluation of Worldperks miles via the merger with Delta.) I don't like Marriott Visa & their points anymore...I just downgraded to a non-points, cashback card on same account. It is *not* worth paying an annual fee for cards anymore...imho. Anyone disagree?
 

DebBrown

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I also use the Starwood Amex primarily. I have both the personal and business cards. If I don't use one often, I will get promos fo it. ;)

Since we are in Chicago, we primarily fly UA and AA but I use my AA citibank card more than than UA one.

I've been wondering if we should switch to some type of rebate card since the ff miles are continue to devalue.

Deb
 

Cathyb

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jmatias et al: Remember if you cancel alot of the credit cards, it may affect your FICO score if you are planning any refi or new home purchases (or autos).
 

jmatias

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Thanks for all the comments.

Decided to go with the Starwood Amex.

Jen
 

roadsister

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Now I have a question: My son has this card that he uses as a credit card BUT when I looked at his statement it is being treated like an advance and he has charges every month...YIKES...I almost died when I saw that and told him don't use that card again.

He is 20, almost 21 and would like a regular credit card that either gives cash back, or has a low annual fee for FF miles that don't expire.....I thought about the Southwest card BUT if you don't make the quota for earning a free ticket within the alloted time you lose all....not everywhere takes American Express, he isn't interested in free hotel stays....he is heading to UC San Diego in the fall....

Can I get a couple of ideas from you guys on what to look for?

Thanks a million
 

SDKath

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Thanks for all the comments.

Decided to go with the Starwood Amex.

Jen
Great choice! I have the same cards as you. Citibank AA Advantage card for V/MC and Starwood Am Ex (plus Starwood business Am Ex) for anywhere Am Ex is accepted. I love the 20,000 points = 25,000 miles on AA. It supplements my Citibank AAdvantage card perfectly!

I put as much of my business expenses on the card as I can. You can tie it all into one SPG account for simplicity's sakes.

Katherine
 

Rose Pink

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Now I have a question: My son has this card that he uses as a credit card BUT when I looked at his statement it is being treated like an advance and he has charges every month...YIKES...I almost died when I saw that and told him don't use that card again.

He is 20, almost 21 and would like a regular credit card that either gives cash back, or has a low annual fee for FF miles that don't expire.....I thought about the Southwest card BUT if you don't make the quota for earning a free ticket within the alloted time you lose all....not everywhere takes American Express, he isn't interested in free hotel stays....he is heading to UC San Diego in the fall....

Can I get a couple of ideas from you guys on what to look for?

Thanks a million
I suggest looking at a Visa card or maybe a MasterCard. As you mentioned AMEX isn't accepted everywhere and usually comes with fees. When I was looking into cash back cards, AMEX did have the best payback but it just wasn't as useful to me. As I've mentioned before, I went with the cashback VISA offered by my credit union. Since I pay it in full each month, I don't worry about the higher interest rate. If your son isn't going to pay in full each month (meaning paying off the entire balance), you might want to forego a rewards card and just get him the lowest interest rate you can find. It seems to me that rewards cards have higher interest rates and often an annual fee. Just find a card that doesn't have an annual fee and has low interest rates. You don't want to get stuck paying through the nose for "free" rewards.
 

SDKath

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Do you mind saying what credit line you received? I dumped the card after they reduced my credit line to $3k.
You know you can ask them to move your available credit from one Am Ex card to another. I had an old Optima card that I never used that had a lot of credit on it so I moved it over from that the the Starwood card. :) Katherine
 

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Jimster

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Credit cards

I will pass on a tidbit I saw in this month's Money magazine which I think is relevant here. I have several CC most of which have no balance and I don't use them very much. I don't want to cancel them as pointed out already that could hurt your credit score. HOWEVER the comment in Money made perfect sense. They said if you just have CC's that you don't use, because of the credit crisis, they anticipate that many of the lenders will close those accounts so that unemployed people don't use them to sustain themselves during this economic crisis. In fact, the article gave figures as to how many cards would be canceled and it was substantial. Thus, if you are not using the cards (at least nominally), you may find them canceled and that too will affect your credit score. So, you should be aware of this problem. Money recommended using these cards, from time to time, just to make sure the credit line stays open and your credit score remains unaffected.
 

roadsister

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Ok, looking at Blue by American Express...no annual fee....what do you think??? pros or cons???
I know I said Am. Exp. can't be used everywhere but is that a lot of the time??
 

Jimster

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BLue

If you are traveling to Europe, you can leave home without it- especially in places like Scotland and Ireland. The merchants have to pay to much to use it and it is not readily accepted.
 
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