My MVP Cards

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I have several dozen active credit cards (heck I have more than 2 dozen active cards just from AMEX and Chase) but only a handful are actually regularly used.  People always ask me which card is “best.”  Unfortunately there is no best card out there but by determining the value you get from spending you can figure out which cards will be best for you.

Some of the cards that I have that typically gather dust include The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN which have awesome benefits ($400 fee refund, global entry, 2 lounge membership programs, Starwood Gold status, etc) but aren’t what I would use for spending on a daily basis because of the lack of bonus categories.  The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express  may give free luggage, but you can do better by spending on Starwood and transferring miles to Delta with a 25% bonus (though I sincerely hope you don’t.)
The Chase Chase British Airways card has a fantastic signup bonuses, but they’re just not compelling cards for my spending as their point values can’t compare with more valuable cards.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® has a very nice signup bonus and 2.11% miles back for spending isn’t bad for most people’s needs, but I personally prefer earning airline miles. I prefer real airline miles (or points transferable to real airline miles like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Starwood Starpoints) because they allow me to book expensive last minute domestic tickets that can otherwise cost over $1,000 for 9,000 miles or even less. I’d have to shell out over 100,000 bank miles for such a ticket. I also love airline miles because I can take business and first class trips that I could otherwise never afford. Spending $20,000 to fly in a suite is ludicrous but using 110,000 airlines miles is a steal. I’d need some 2 million bank miles to pull off such a trip!

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Here are the cards that I consider to be my Most Valuable Plastic as they’re the ones I go to depending on the purchase type.  Below I will endeavor to explain my target value system for each currency and how that helps me determine where every single one of my purchases is made in order to always maximize the value I get from every purchase.

Chase Ink Bold Charge Card and Chase Ink Plus Credit Card
What’s great? The 50K signup bonus is fantastic of course and you can get both of these cards for each business that you run to keep expenses for each separate.
But what really shines on these cards are the bonus categories which is where I primarily use this card.
You earn that on internet/cable service and telecom purchases, so that’s a nice rebate when you purchase a new cell phone an off your cable bill. More importantly you also earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores. With hundreds of gift cards sold by office supply stores you can earn a ton of miles for anything from buying gas, online shopping on Amazon or Groupon, buying clothes from Gap Inc, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls/TJMaxx, or Nordstrom, and much more. Plus you can buy $200 Visa gift cards that earn 1,000 points and can be uploaded to Bluebird or used for cash back, bill pay, money orders, etc.
Gas and dining purchases earn 2 points per dollar.
Fringe Benefits: No foreign transactions fees, 2 free lounge visits per user even on free additional user cards.
In dollar terms: I value Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.9 cents per dollar, so 5 points per dollar purchases mean a 9.5% rebate. 2 point per dollar purchases would mean a 3.8% rebate. I use this card for all of the 5x categories and for gas. I don’t use the card for 1 point per dollar purchases as they only earn 1.9%.

Yes, the Ink cards are business cards. But anyone can open a business (a little side income never hurts!) and there are several huge advantages that business cards have over consumer cards as you can read here.

For example if your name is Joe Smith and you want to sell or you do sell items on Ebay or on Amazon, or if you have any other side business/hobby and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field as well as in the social security number field.

But most importantly the Ink cards are rare in that they offer awesome offer signup bonuses and awesome spend bonuses which makes them the current kings of the credit card world.
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-Chase United Club
From the United Explorer card you can click on the Club tab.
What’s great? I get this card free via SM but normally there’s a hefty $395 fee meant to cover the full United lounge membership, 2 free checked bags per person, and waived award expedite/close-in fees.
From a spending standpoint this card is great for everyday purchases as you earn 1.5 miles per dollar on everything.
While other cards offer more points per dollar on car rentals this card and the United Explorer card offer free primary car rental insurance in almost every country in the world besides Israel. In other words if you dent your rental car on other credit cards you’ll have to file a personal insurance claim and only if that’s rejected will the credit card coverage kick in. With the United cards you won’t have to ever inform your personal car insurance of the accident.
Fringe Benefits: Non-expiring miles, expanded saver, and last seat standard award availability.
In dollar terms: I value United miles at a minimum of 1.8 cents per dollar, so 1.5 miles per dollar mean a 2.7% rebate everywhere.  I use this card for most purchases over $25 unless I’m trying to hit spend thresholds elsewhere, the purchase is in a bonus category elsewhere, or it’s a purchase that I want to be covered by AMEX’s awesome purchase protections.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you spend $25,000 in a year on the the United Explorer card that you get a 10,000 mile bonus, meaning that you will have earned 1.4 miles per dollar (2.52% at 1.8 cents per mile), or nearly as much as on the Club card if you stop spending there.
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-Chase Freedom
What’s great? On all versions of this fee-free card you get 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. Currently that includes Restaurants, Movie theaters, and Lowe’s. In July it will be Gas stations, Theme parks & Kohl’s. Lowe’s also sells gift cards to hundreds of other stores, which means you can earn 5 points per dollar there as well.
There are also 2 versions of Exclusives programs on this card if you also have a Chase checking account. The old program gives 10 bonus points monthly per transaction and 10% bonus points monthly on base spending. The new program gives 10% bonus points annually but it’s good even on bonus spending, so that means 5.5 points per dollar in the rotating categories. The catch here is that the bonus points are limited to $1,500 in spending per quarter, but if you’re like me and downgrade Sapphire cards into Freedom cards then you probably have a few cards and don’t need to worry about that.
In dollar terms: I value Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.9 cents per dollar, so 5 points per dollar purchases mean a 9.5% rebate.  I have the old Exclusives program so on a $10 purchase in a bonus category I earn 61 points or a 11.59% rebate.  Of course when I send a penny via Google Wallet I earn 11 miles or a 2,100% rebate 😀
I use the card for all the 5x category purchases and for everyday purchases under $25 as a $20 purchase for example earns me 32 points or a 6.1% rebate.  When the everyday purchase is more than $25 I shift over to United Club which will offer more miles per dollar in those cases.
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-Chase Sapphire Preferred
What’s great? The 40K signup bonus is pretty great of course, but there are a plethora of bonus categories with this card to take advantage of.
-You earn 1.07 points per dollar spent and 2.14 points per dollar spent on restaurants, airfare, hotels, car rentals, charges in airports, travel agencies, caterers, timeshares, trains, buses, taxis/limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking. On the first friday or every month you’ll earn 3.21 points per dollar on dining.
Fringe Benefits: No foreign transactions fees, no phone-tree to speak to a live rep, plus the heavy metal card is sweet looking. Convert the card to a Mastercard and you’ll get free primary car rental insurance in Israel.
In dollar terms: I value Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.9 cents per dollar, so 3.21 points per dollar purchases mean a 6.1% rebate. 2.14 point per dollar purchases would mean a 4.45% rebate.  I use this card for the 3.21x and 2.14x categories except for airfare which typically goes on AMEX and car rentals go on United though if I have time I’ll switch the car rental from United to Sapphire Preferred at the end of the rental (assuming I didn’t damage the rental car of course :D). I don’t use the card for 1.07 point per dollar purchases as they only earn 2.03%.
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-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
What’s great? This used to be the best card out there. Now it faces serious competition. Still nothing ever comes close to the AMEX protections so whenever I buy an item that I might need to return, may need extended warranty coverage, is a final sale item, or that is from a merchant where it may need to be disputed this is my go-to card. Sure you only get 1 point per dollar but really that’s 1.25 miles per dollar as 20K points converts into 25K miles with dozens of airlines.  Or use the points for hotel stays with no capacity controls at high values.  On the business card you also get Open Savings benefits which means cash back on top of points at places like Hyatt, Hertz, HP, Microsoft, Fedex, OfficeMax.com, Barnes & Noble, and more.  That means it’s better to use your Starwood card at a domestic Hyatt over a Hyatt card.
Fringe Benefits: Having the card entitles you to room upgrades and 4pm late checkout.  It also gives you credit towards earning lite status. Plus for the past 3 years AMEX has allowed you to spend $25 for free on Small Business Saturday.  Free additional user cards also qualify for the $25.
In dollar terms: I value Starpoints at a minimum of 2.2 cents per dollar (which means I value the miles I get from the points at 1.76 cents per dollar), so 2 point per dollar purchases mean a 4.4% rebate and 1 point per dollar purchases mean a 2.2% rebate.  I use this card at Starwood hotels, on purchases that qualify for Open Savings, and for any purchases that may need any of the AMEX purchase protections.
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American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN
What’s great? The business card currently has a 50K signup bonus (bumpable to 75K)  The kicker with these cards are the bonus categories.  Both offer 3 points per dollar on airfare.  The consumer card offers double points on gas and groceries.  The business card offers double points on advertising, shipping, and gas.
Fringe Benefits: You can get a 15K annual point bonus on the consumer card by spending $30K in a year.  AMEX MR runs promotions throughout the year like the current 35% bonus for transfers to British Airways.
In dollar terms: I value Membership Rewards points at a minimum of 1.5 cents per dollar, so 3 point per dollar purchases mean a 4.5% rebate, and 2 point per dollar purchases mean a 3% rebate. Don’t forget that if you can get to $30K spend that you’ll bump those numbers significantly. I use the consumer card for airfare and groceries. The Ink cards are better for gas whether you buy gas gift cards or pay at the pump.

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134 Comments on "My MVP Cards"

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danfan

last seat standard award availability.
from United. (as above). what does that mean?
I use my United card as my #1 card and my amex spg as #2

Chaim

@Dan please clarify your statement in regards to Ink card bonus points that “You earn that on internet and telecom purchases”, does this mean ANY internet purchase one gets bonus points or you mean internet SERVICE?

Rots5

Amazing, timely post Dan! Great write up!
Why would anyone go for the SP over the PRG (or vice versa)? Besides the sign up bones? Its the same 2ble points on travel, and use the ink on restaurants/airfare.

Ink

Dan, how do you get a domestic ticket for 9000 miles? which card gives that?

thanks for your article!

sky121

@Chaim: he means paying for the actual internet not all purchases made online.

Ink

buying a cell- how would card know what I purchased? it would come either from cell provider $200 charge, or from wirefly, staples etc. how would they know what I got there?

Dan

@danfan:
It means there are additional saver awards available if you search on United.com from a United account that has a United credit card attached to it.

Plus as long as there’s 1 seat on the plans you can get a standard award which typically costs double miles.

@Chaim:
Service.

@Rots5:
PRG is triple only on airfare.
SP is 2.14x on hotels, car rental, dining and more.
Ink Bold and Ink Plus don’t offer a bonus for dining though Ink Cash does. However SP gives 2.14x which is higher than the 2x on Ink Cash.

@Ink:
British Airways, just booked one myself.
All 3 transferable currencies in this post also transfer to British Airways though AMEX currently has a 35% bonus making ticket under 7,000 each round-trip.

@Ink:
It would have to be directly from ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, etc.

Monsey Guy

@ink you can book a short haul round trip on BA.com for a AA flight for only 9,000 avios

Monsey Guy

Dan, thinking over whether to apply for the united club card or not. How to you justify to yourself in paying the $395 annual fee? You get a $100 statement credit so your left with $295 annual fee.
Also does the spending 25,000 for the 10,000 bonus also apply for the club card or only the explorer card?
Thanks

Yitz

How long after closing a ink bold card, can you open a new ink bold.

itsyehuda

@Ink:

If you buy from the carrier

Yitzy

PRG cards give 2 points for GAS ?
never got that on my statement …

Dan

@Monsey Guy:
You can SM to get the fee waived the first year.

The 10K bonus is only on the Explorer.

@Yitz:
You can open an additional Bold card for another business if you want.
You can also apply for a Bold and Plus at the same time for the same or different businesses though you’ll probably have to talek or send an SM to Recon.

@Yitzy:
Yes.
Call/SM them.

Sara

Is the United card still matching to 55,000 miles?

Sam

Yes, you can send a secure message to get 55K and $50 cash on the United Explorer. Just write that a colleague got 55K+$50 and that you’d like to get matched to that offer as well. Only works within 90 days of approval.

Wolf

When do you have time to spend on different cards when you ALWAYS need to meet spending threshold’s?

Al

@Dan,

My United Club card is coming up for renewal with the $395 fee. What should I do? Can I close and reapply? Please help. Thanks!

Yehudis

Dan. Do u knw if i cud buy somthing for 3k to get my spending bonus & then return the item after my statment cycles will i lose the signup bonus? Or once they give it they dnt take it back? Did any1 ever try this?

Dan

@Wolf:
Usually I can meet those with gift cards, etc.

@Al:
You can ask for a retention bonus or use it as leverage to get approved for other cards and get it again later on.

@Yehudis:
Signup bonuses aren’t clawed back though miles for spending will be taken back.

Yehudis

How about saphire points?
& do u knw if i have 2 wait 4 my statment 2 cycle or i cud return it rite away?

Anonymous

@Sara:
Yes

Al

@Dan,

How long do I have to wait to re-apply for United Club card?

I have Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Sapphire Preferred & United Explorer (Personal & Biz), so what would you recommend applying for now? I don’t want to give up my credit line on my Club card when I close it down.

Monsey Guy

Dan, SM chase “after” I apply or before? Also what do you tell them? I am a good chase customer & I want please the first year waived at least on my club card I applied or will apply?
Thanks

chase

dan how can you downgrade a Sapphire to a freedom? if you have already a freedom card, normally they wouldnt let you have 2

yoel

dan, if i have a amex starwoods and a chase freedom card, on which would flight booking be more valuable?

itsyehuda

@Yehudis:

I wouldn’t recommend this strategy. Better to do as others are doing and use the new Google Wallet, Amazon Payments, and VRs for these spends.

PK

@Dan.
I read through this post a few times to get it clear but I dont understand the value of the Sapphire card and the United card for regular purchases when you can buy Visa Gift Card at a 9.5% rebate at Office stores with the Ink card.
Wouldnt it make sense to use the freedom card for purchases under $25 as well as 5x categories and use the Ink cards for every thing else by buying Visa cards in office stores?
Also when concerned about big purchases and getting protection does it make sense to have the Starwoods card just for that and pay the yearly fee or would any Amex free card suffice?
Thanks!

matt

What do you mean by “Convert the card to a Mastercard and you’ll get free primary car rental insurance in Israel.”

How does one convert to MC? Is the rental insurance only in israel other countries too? Domestic? Thx!

Chaver

Great Comprehensive Post. What do you recommend the best card for churning to earn cash (either selling miles or other)?

Yide

Could I open for different businesses using the same ss # ? And does the free 25 for additional user for small business Saturday work on any amex charge & credit card ?

Davidd

@Dan: Dan, expanded saver does that mean if you have a United credit card linked to your mileage account you will see more availability than general public? Are saver awards the awards that require least mount of miles? when i called united, united club reps they had no idea what expanded saver awards are

also you state “It means there are additional saver awards available if you search on United.com from a United account that has a United credit card attached to it.” any united credit card or only the exclusive club card?

Fineberg

Great post Dan!

“You can buy $200 Visa gift cards that earn 1,000 points and can be uploaded to Bluebird or used for cash back, bill pay, money orders, etc.”

1. What is the limit of gift cards one can upload to Bluebird at a Walmart store?

2. Besides traveling to a Walmart store (or paying $2 for every $100) is there any other alternative to uploading gift cards on to a Bluebird account?

ely

@Dan: Just double checking, can you get the ink bonuses multiple times if it is for a new business?

Jeff

I would just like to share tough lesson that I learned the hard way. I used to have many more cards until I left them too long in the draw gathering dust, including a bofa card with a $54,000 credit limit, until the card issuers cancelled them all after one year of inactivity. Now it has been an uphill battle getting cards approved for me since my credit utilization is now considered too high. Also, unless a card is used once a month, many times the credit score does not factor in that credit line as available. Therefore, in my humble opinion, I would suggest that every card should be used at least once to get the maximum benefit to your credit score.

ink

my chase continental coming up with renewal fee. chase said they cant waive, but offer a new VISA instead, new bonus etc, but will lose WMC. Would I be able to come back to continental wmc in a year? or is it over?
why are they eager to covert to visa?
why arent they willing to waive annual fee?

Moish

can chase UR go to avios?
if want to buy a ticket for a friend, would it be possible to transfer from UR to avios on a diff name, or better to book avios for a friend? would they allow use avios on my account to a friends ticket? (gift, no $)

dude

dan
I saw you said that I can use visa gift cards to refill BB cards. is there an advantage to vanilla cards cover this?

dude

one more question
whats the best card to use for everyday gas purchases?
thanks

David R

Does Chase Sapphire Preferred belong on the MVP list? Maybe it should be on the MVM (Most Valuable Metal) list.

Eli

the chase ink classic gives an extra %20 bonus UR points if you have a Chase buisness checking account. so that would be 1.2 points per dollar, better than the freedom card

jacob

how often can you get the bonus for chase cards such as saphire?

BarryL

Great post Dan. You mention that “I have several dozen active credit cards (heck I have more than 2 dozen active cards just from AMEX and Chase) but only a handful are actually regularly used.” Can you please explain how you “churn” these cards if it appears that many are still active? I was under the impression that you have to cancel, wait a period of time then reapply to get the various bonus offers. How are you able to keep the cards active, but still churn for offers?

Mark K

I was recently charged the $85 annual fee for my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I called Chase to get it waived and spoke to a supervisor and was told they no longer will waive the fee. I then sent a SM to Chase and they responded the same way,that they will not waive the annual fee.

David Raccah

@Matt:
The cool thing about Sapphire Preferred is that you get FULL CDW with a few Mastercard World cards in israel. Most cards do not cover CDW in Israel – only a few Mastercards, and SP is one of them. I just did it yesterday, I got a normal SP and then called customer service and they were VERY helpful and converted my card from Visa to MC Worldcard. For all other parts of the world, I use my explorer card to give me primary insurance coverage on my rental cars

Dan

@Monsey Guy:
After.
Ask to get matched to first year free as your colleague got.

@chase:
Just call to downgrade Sapphire to Freedom.

@yoel:
Neither of those offer a bonus for flights, time to get another card like Sapphire or AMEX Gold.

@PK:
It’s 9.5% on regular gift cards as those have no fees.
However the $200 Visa has a $6.95 fee, so the calculations for that would be 206.95×5 points per dollar=1,035 pointsx1.9 cents per points=$19.67 worth of points less $6.95 fee=$12.72 which means that you get 6.36% on the Visa cards not 9.5%.

So that is still the most lucrative way, but the downside is that it will be very hard to keep track of purchases and you won’t have dispute resolution, etc.

Personally I buy those Visa cards and then cash them out at WalMart but you can do all your spending on them if you’d like.

The $65 Starwood fee after the first year free is worthwhile as the points are very valuable and you can pay the easily with a couple free additional user cards.

@matt:
Call Chase to convert.
It does cover in other countries as well but it does not offer primary coverage in the USA like United does.

@Yide:
Yes.
Yes.

@Davidd:
Yes.
Yes.
The United Explorer card gives the same expanded saver awards as the Club does.

@Fineberg:
$1,000 per day or $5,000 per month.
You can also use it unlimited for money orders (4 cards for 70 cents) or bill pay ($1 for 4 cards).

You can try using it for money orders at cash back at other stores and let us know how it goes but only Walmart allows you to upload to Bluebird.

@ely:
You can even get it again for the same business but you can have multiple of the same kind of Ink card with different businesses.

@Jeff:
True, it’s good to use your cards every now and then lest that happen.
It’s rare but it does happen.

@ink:
Why do you need the Continental WMC? It does not cover Israel.
Just close it if they won’t waive your fee or better yet use it as leverage to get approved for another card.

@Moish:
Yes.
You can transfer the points to your friend though you’re not supposed to. However nobody has gotten in trouble for transfers to other people’s mileage accounts.
Don’t transfer UR points directly to other people’s UR cards (except for your spouse) though as they will shut you down for doing that.

@dude:
Nope, same thing.

@dude:
Buy gas gift cards at office supply stores with Ink or at Lowe’s with Freedom to earn 5x points and pay the cash price instead of credit.
Or use Ink at the pump for double points.

@David R:
🙂

@Eli:
That isn’t offered anymore.

@jacob:
As often as you want.

@BarryL:
You don’t need to close to churn, it’s just easier to get approved for a card if you don’t already have it.
But having a lot of cards means lots of leverage to get more cards.

@Mark K:
So downgrade it to Freedom and apply for a new one.

@David Raccah:
Indeed.

David Raccah

@Yide:
Yes you can get different Amex card types with the same SS. However, to get more cards on the same Amex Type card (say SPG) – you need new SS#. So if you and your wife want a card on your SPG Amex card – you need two SS#. However, you can use just your SS# to open many Amex accounts, SPG, Platinum, Gold Delta, etc.

rots5

thanks!

David Raccah

@dude @Dan spoke about visa cards because finding VR or MVD cards for 500 bucks at OM/OD, etc are getting harder and harder, if not at all. So, 5 x 200 for 4 dollars is a great deal versus, VR at a drugstore that does not have solid reward cards for drugstore purchases.

Igor Ivanovich

@David R: 😉
You probably explained this once but why get the Chase SP Visa and then switch to their World MC (by SM that you want the coverage etc.) Can you not just get the Chase SP WMC straight?

TIA!

robert

@David Raccah: when you convert the visa to master card over the phone, do you get the signup bonus again. the chase rep says no. are they right?

Mottelleim

@Dan
if my credit score is not amazing but pretty good, can i still apply for the Chase ink Charge Card and the Credit Card Simultaneously, or that would be as applying for two credit cards? TY!

BarryL

@Dan

Thank you. Am a bit confused – how does having more cards give you leverage to get more cards?

And second, as far as the cards you do have go, I assume that you have multiple versions of the same card (ie Amex Plat for yourself, your wife, businesses; SPG for you, your wife and businesses), am just confused as to how to get multiple versions of the same card….

robert

is there an advantage to converting from sp visa to sp mastercard by sm rather than by calling a rep?

Yide

But if I use same ss # & same name as sole proprietorship how will they think its a different business ?

efflpetzel

dan i added a couple of additional users to my amex cards for small business saturday, now amex keeps sending me email and letters asking for ssn, is there anything to worry about?, thanks

PK

@Dan
Im not a traveler and mainly sell my points so United is not really an option. What is the best card for purchases over $25?
Also Till now I have been using the Sapphire for purchases over $25 but being that I dont travel much is it worth it being that there is a yearly fee?
Thanks again!

PK

Also how do you arrive at 1.9 cents a point dont people buy them on average for 1.5 cents?

Dan

@robert:
You don’t get it for converting, you get it if you signup again.

@Yide:
New business name on the card.

@efflpetzel:
Nope.

@PK:
So downgrade the Sapphire to Freedom.
Sounds like you should signup for Ink.

@PK:
If you’re only getting 1.5 you’re getting ripped off, you should be able to get 1.8.

If you use them then it should be easy to get 1.9 in coach or far more in business or last-minute.

PK

@Dan I signed up for Ink is that what I should use for purchases over $25 or something else?
Where can I get 1.8? never got that before!

PK

I was using Sapphire because of the 1.07 is there card that offers more on a non category purchase?

RH

Dan,

How do you keep getting signup bonuses with so many open cards? Don’t you have to close cards and wait a bit before applying again for those same cards? I thought you couldn’t get two or more of the same card Particularly with Amex the card has to be closed for 12 months in order to get another signup bonus and they are strict about it.

Thank you.

David Raccah

@robert – like I replied to @Igor with. The reason why you go with the Visa and then convert, is because it is the easiest to find and the one linked to from Dan’s SP link. The MC version is hard to get a link to, so just use Dan’s link and then go on the phone and convert. Maybe you can SM, but I called and they helped me yesterday just fine.

Ink

Hello Dan,

Continental wmc – whats best to get instead? have ink already.

if i decide in the future to apply again for another continental wmc, are they still doing biz?

May want some united, in the future, if I travel united.

E M

Does chase UR convert to ANA?

transfer before plan a trip or asap? (so UR wont confiscate for whatever reason…)

best way to convert UR to ticket to israel?

Is it complicated to get amex biz card? whats best?

David Raccah

@Dan – to repeat two questions here:

1) Kind of new to the churn concept, but do you churn and keep the cards or churn and close them? Is there a link to how you handle the churn and the cards you buy in order to have gaps between the first year and second year of cards?

2) Have you been maxing out your Ink cards with GC/VC/MC and getting away with it? If I go hog wild (new Ink owner thanks for the links), and buy 5K in cards a month – per card, will they revoke the card and the miles? I want to know if it is safe to use the ink cards to buy GC galore or to not do that?

Thanks!
David

NMN

I have a chase card that the year is almost over and I want to avoid paying annual fee. Is it better to convert to Freedom (and avoid lowering my score due to cancellation) or cancel and apply for Freedom to get 10000 signup bonus?
Thanks for all this info!!

dude

@Dan:
I dont have any type of business though so I cant get ink can I?

fay

@Dan

Thanks for an informative post.

I was just told by Amex that I can only have Amex credit cards (not charge cards) with them- and other applications for Amex cards will be cancelled. How do you have dozens of active Amex cards?

Eli

@Dan: i guess my account was grandfathered in cause i get that bonus with ink classic

David Raccah

@Ink – The Continental WMC is useless, you got the miles, bail on it. Get a Chase United card for 55K + 50 and then get a Sapphire Preferred and switch to WMC and you are set! Just repeating what @Dan said here.

David Raccah

@dude: @Dan already posted above that you do not need a real biz to get a biz card – read what he wrote below the Ink cards – he explains what to do

Jack F

Why don’t you mention the United Mileage Plus Club from Chase I earn on every dollar 1.5 united miles that’s equivalent to 2.25 on every dollar

Moishe

Dan or anyone else that knows:

I need to hit 10,000 in spending in 2 days for the american express 75000 point bonus.

If I spend $2,000 on zappos for shoes and then send them all back in a few weeks will that work?

fred

Dan,
You told me at the lakewood seminar to avoid annual fee on sapphire preferred to convert to a mastercard. the rep mentioned that the annual fee will still be charged when its due. Is he wrong?
thanks

Chaim

Whats the besst & least miles to book from antwerp to ny

E M

@moish, buying and return will get you lose your card and get on a black list. not a good plan!

aw

what are you gonna do when the free year on united club runs out?

2cents

It would be nice to have a guest post from others as to what they think their MVP’s are since what is MVP for your may not be MVP for others.

People are gonna go around saying this or that card is the best based on your post, but in reality these cards are MVP for your situation.

In my life style I do not care that much about redeeming for first class flights so therefore my MVP’s are totally different. (for example Chase BA is a MVP for me because I use the miles alot for short haul aa flights and getting 1.25 mpd is a great deal.)

Additionally I do not play the whole VR/GC/AP game since I do not have the time for it so many of the cards listed do not apply to me. – I realized that I can make more money sitting at my computer working vs. going to stores and buying GC. To each their own.

It would be nice to see some guest posts from some DDF’rs like asherO and helpme so that we can get MVP explanations from different type of usesr

Yakov

Would the ink honor the bonus 5% for purchases at overseas office supply stores?

Dan

@PK:
Buy Visa cards at office supply stores with Ink?

@RH:
YMMV. Look on DDF for strategies.

@Ink:
Why do you care about CO WMC? Tons of better cards out there.

@E M:
No.
Transfer when you’re ready to book in general.
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/23168
Yes, good cards include Starwood, Gold, and Plat.

@David Raccah:
1. Depends on my mood, I test out different methods and they usually work for me either way.
2. You can do up to $50K in Ink Bold and Ink Plus per year at office stores, I haven’t read of any problems with that.

@NMN:
Convert Sapphire to Freedom and get the Sapphire again. 40K>10K.

@dude:
Sure you can, read the post.

@fay:
Never heard of that before, did you ask why?
I don’t have dozens of AMEX, I have a dozen AMEX and over a dozen Chase.

@Jack F:
Umm…that’s the 2nd MVP card that I wrote about!

@Moishe:
Erm, no comment.

@fred:
I didn’t talk about what officially should happen I speak about my experiences.
Note that it can take a month for a fee refund.

@aw:
Get it free another year 😀

@2cents:
So start a thread on DDF called the MVP thread and ask for DDF members to talk about their MVP cards, should be fun!

I love BA, but he BA card isn’t the best way to earn BA which is why it’s not an MVP in my book.

You can transfer AMEX to Ink now with a 35% bonus plus you can earn double or triple points, that means 2.7 or 4.05 BA miles per dollar.

You can transfer Starwood to BA with a 25% bonus and you are not locked into BA miles like if you use the BA card.

You can transfer Chase UR to BA and earn up to 5 points per dollar.

@Yakov:
Yes.

Fred

Dan,
Did you convert it before or after the annual fee hit? Do you think it makes a difference in terms of getting the fee refund?

Dan

@Fred:
After.
Beats me.

yanki

Just wondering why the chase British card is not good for spending card for out of bonus categories. They give 1.25 everywhere

yanki

Sorry. Got my answer @2cents

SoWhat

So here is a question not addressed: What is the best bang from a dollar value assuming I am not flying much?

Jeff

If I may go off topic for a moment… there is an offer for at least 50,000 flyer club miles of Virgin Atlantic from the BOFA Amex. Are these miles just as good as the Virgin America points available from Barclays, who is only offering 15000 points ? If so, then isn’t this a great offer ? My apologies, but I’ve been searching for a clear answer and not sure when it will be dead.

Dan

@SoWhat: Probably the Barclay 2.2% I mention in this post.

@Jeff:
No Virgin Atlatic points stink.

moishe

How long does it take bonus points to post to membership rewards after I hit my threshold?

I want to take advantage of the 35% bonus on transfers to BA

Dan

Just pay the bill and you can SM them to post the points immediately.

You can also borrow points and pay them back with future spend or sign up bonuses.

moishe

From what I see you cannot borrow points on a new account.

Dan

I’ve been able to with HUCA.

Wondering

Can I open up a 2nd Chase Southwest and still get the 50K bonus? My current card is already open about 8 Months.

martin

dan I cant understand ror what purpose you keep 2 amex plat open for a fee of 495 each, even after the 200 back its still “bal tashchis”

gita niess

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card is enhancing your travel experience with a rewarding new benefit. Effective June 1, you pay no foreign transaction fees on Card purchases outside the U.S. Plus, you still receive all these great benefits and more when traveling internationally:

Chaim

An u tell me how or were to look on your blog to book a flight with miles from Antwerp to ny

ben

@Dan

You say that your prefered cards are those that offer miles because you want to use the miles for flying. Can you make a post coming from the position of just making the most money back for your points.

Thanks

Canadian admirer

Dan,
Pls help us out here in Canada!!!
What are the cards with comparable sign up bonuses and mileage rewards???
We follow you here in Canada too and we need your expertise and advice!!!!

howard

Dan,
I have been listening to you. Had the chase sapphire preferred free for a year while son in yeshiva in Israel. Cancelled and picked up united club free for a year, had one also in wife’s name for free. The year is almost up. What do you suggest? Like united mileage, also have a regular american air master card, have gold for life already, don’t need the extras.

fred

dan,
I am sorry – still dont understand what best option is to churn sapphire preffered and avoid annual fee should I convert to mastercard after fee hits , get refund and reapply for visa or downgrade to either sapphire regular or freedom and then reapply for preffered and if option b which is better to downgrade to freedom or regular sapphire ?
thanks

fay

@Dan

embarrassed grin- I left out a word before.
I meant I was told by Amex that I can only have 2 credit cards with them.

GadgetDeals

Dan,
I have been trying to convert my SP from Visa to MC the last few days via HUCA, the reps are all telling me the same thing – they do not offer anymore the SP in a MC version and I cannot convert it anymore.
Is this true and is there a way around it?
Thanks!

Yisroel

Can you let us know whether you can transfer AMEX GC over to bluebird?

THANKS!

Dan

@Wondering:
Try another flavor of the card.

@martin:
You get another $200 back in January, though these days it does seem better to close sooner.
Alos the fee is 450 not 495.

@Chaim:
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7986

@ben:
You can get 2.2% on everything with Barclay Arrival.

@Canadian admirer:
It’s not me, it’s that the American market is just much more competitive than the Canadian market.

@howard:
Ink? Another Sapphire?

@fred:
Better to downgrade to Freedom.

@GadgetDeals:
Don’t think that’s true-keep on trying.

@Yisroel:
They do not.

GadgetDeals

Dan,
I must have called close to 20 times in the last two days, I have received the same answer straight through – they have discontinued the SP MC. I am going to Israel in a few weeks and I really want that card, any other ideas?
Thanks.

My08701

I tried ANA for the first time & it seems (& they confirmed on their 800# as well) that you can not check flights online unless you have miles in the account. I don’t want to transfer miles if it will not work out. What is the minimum amount of miles I can transfer to try out different flight options to Tel Aviv?

Fred

Dan,
Can u explain y downgrading to freedom is better than sapphire if I already have freedom?

Tolch

How long should u wait from opening cards
3 6 12 months
Also how long should u wait from reopen in same card

Dan

@GadgetDeals:
Try SM.
Someone on DDF supposedly converted yesterday. Hard to believe it’s totally gone.

@My08701:
100.

@Fred:
Because the Freedom 5x is limited to $1,500 per card. And if you have a Sapphire they won’t approve you for a new Sapphire Preferred.

mordy

I have a sapphire and freedom. Should I downgrade now my sapphire to another freedom and apply right away for a new sapphire?

M

Dan,
Will reapplying for another SP card after you’ve cancelled a previous one really get you another sign up bonus? I thought Chase was pretty strict about only giving their sign up bonuses once; unlike AMEX who will give you a signup bonus for the same card if you haven’t had it in the past 12 months?

M

How long should one wait (from the time they received their previous sign up bonus and/or the time they cancelled the card) before reapplying? Thanks

Ava

I need to purchase several thousand dollars of theater tickets for a fundraiser. Which card is best–SPG, United Explorer or United Mileage Plus or Continental MC?

My08701

100 seems like a no brainer that for sure I should transfer. Any reason not to? Thanks for all!

howard

Dan,

If I go ink or back to sapphire preferred, I will then loose United perks.

howard

Dan,Anyway to roll my chase united club credit limit over to american citibank mastercard

Anonymous

Please let me know how I would manage to obtain 6 tickets to England in July using the lowest possible points on either AMEX gold or Starwoods? Thank you

Mark

Dan, You mention on Chase United Club “this card and the United Explorer card offer free primary car rental insurance in almost every country in the world besides Israel”. You also mention on the Saphire Preferred “Convert the card to a Mastercard and you’ll get free primary car rental insurance in Israel.
Q1- which mastercard are you downgrading from Saphire preferred in order to get primary coverage in Israel?
Q2- What cards are good for secondary insurance in Israel or elsewhere?
Q3- I have the Chase United Milaege plus explorer is that the same card which covers Primary all over but not in israel?

GadgetDeals

Dan,
I just got the same message via SM, they do not convert to MC anymore.

Bais Medrash

Dan,

I ordered staples visa cards using coupons I had.

Got order confirmation, and processing. was mailed to wrong address. when i called to ask to resend, they said they would cancel order and re-order.

Now, staples rejected re-orders, and refunded the purchase.
should I dispute with ink, or just lay low?

Do they have a right to refuse an order that was processed and shipped wrong?

can they reject coupon for gift cards?

yuppy

you mentioned you value sapphire points at 1.9 where can you get such a offer i called around the highest offer i recieved was 1.8

Dan

@Mark:
1. I converted a Sapphire Preferred Visa to a Sapphire Preferred Mastercard.
2. Very few cards cover Israel at all.
3. Correct

@Bais Medrash:
DDF was created for off-topic questions.

@yuppy:
When I say value, that’s the minimum level at which I redeem my miles.
I aim to get anywhere from 2 cents to 50 cents from each of my miles, thus that’s my value. I attain that by redeeming for flights and hotels.

If you flip them and your broker pays 1.8 then that will be your value. Obviously the broker is then flipping them for more than that, but that’s because he has the connections to others that will pay him more.

mo

hi there!
1. I might buy a car($12k) from a privet guy who would like to get paid in a bank check there is anyway I can earn some points?

2. if I downgraded my sep to a free version of the card do I still hearn point as before? can I still switch to mc or freedom(instead of the visa)and whats the benefit of doing that?

3. i wrote a NICE sm to chase to get approve for the ink plus and united they replayed that they will get back to me….and when they did get back to me they replayed we”ll get back to you…what should I do?send another sm or just wait???

thanks!

Bais Medrash

mo, wait. they will get back to you. be patient.

Yakov

So chase ink doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees, but what kind if rate will they give? The real rate or so they take a shtikle? (The Aud in particular )

Chaim

Dan,
I have the AMEX gold business and consumer cards and the chase ink and freedom cards. I use them for my business and currently have approx 2 million amex points and several hundred thousand chase points. I usually sell my points but for a lower rate than you posted. Is there a mileage broker you can refer that buys them for the rate you write?
Thank you for your informative post.

David Raccah

Dan – I received a 100K platinum letter, is this the best deal so far? Also, you state above:

The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN which have awesome benefits ($400 fee refund, global entry, 2 lounge membership programs, Starwood Gold status, etc) but aren’t what I would use for spending on a daily basis because of the lack of bonus categories.

Do you get 400 fee refund and 2 lounge memberships – because of the two cards? The lounge memberships are the same – just for you or another person (flying separately), I suppose? If so, there is really no extra reason to get both – is there?

David Raccah

Dan – also what is the best deal that has been given for the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card? I would not upgrade to platinum as then you lose the 3x for travel – or do you? You carry a gold card two platinum? Sorry to bug you just do not get the finer details of the amex bonus options here.

Thx
David

Mark

I have a Chase British that i opened on my wife about a year ago with the 100k bonus. I am being charged a fee and want to cancel the card since i have no use for it.
Before i cancel:
1. Would i lose my BA points? I still have over 90k laying there.
2. Do the points expire?
3. I would like to open her a 2 or 3bm Chase, what would be the best options( I myself just got the Busines Ink and Business Bold in a 3bm)for the value of the points.
I was thinking maybe the Saphire Preferred for the bonus. Any other good options?

Davidd

Dan for purchases under 3 dollars at staples would you use freedom card and chase ink business

jayzee

one small “kashia”: You right that you value united points 1.8 cents and ultimate reward points at 1.9 cents. Personally i convert my ultimate rewards points to united miles. What do you do with ultimate reward points that makes you value them more?

davidk

you write here about opening a buiseness card- “joe smith sole propeirtship”. one quick question- is it illegal to do, i do have small side buisness/hobby, but the expenses and charges to my card will be my personal expenses? thanks.

davidk

one more question. whats with the Hilton HHonors card? i see you can get 60000 bonus for signing up, is it a good card, is it worth it?

Dan

@jayzee:
The flexibility/transferrability makes them more valuable.

@davidk:
It’s not illegal.

@davidk:
HHonors points are nearly worthless.

Josh

What is the best way to book a Hilton hotel? Thank you

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