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Credit Cards Best cards for my situation?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by SammySnotnose, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. SammySnotnose

    SammySnotnose New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I'm trying to figure out the best cards to carry long term for my situation. I don't have a lot of interest in churning. Just want something to get a decent benefit for my spending activities.

    I travel from SFO/OAK/SJC once every couple of years to Asia (usually Thailand) with family. Once every 2-3 years to Brazil to visit family. And I would like to add the occasional trip to Europe (maybe once every 3-4 years). And, of course, I travel domestically, mostly to Florida for family once a year. I plan on doing more weekend trips next year, but nothing crazy.

    I currently have 150K+ miles on United due to some impromptu business trips this year. I don't normally travel for business, and I don't expect to have a repeat of this sudden windfall again.

    Finally, my largest spending category is dining out. Anyway, that's me. I welcome your suggestions.
     
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  2. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you are not going to churn, I don't think you will be able to accumulate enough miles to travel with your family on all the trips you've mentioned. I might pick something like the Chase Reserve for the benefits and 3x points on dining that can be transferred or used @ 1.5c toward paid fares or a straight 2% card and use the cash towards booking paid fares. Good luck!
     
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  3. AMB

    AMB New Member

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    You say you're not interested in churning, so take what I say below only to the point you're comfortable. None of this is technically "churning", this is just getting bonuses.

    In this order, I would recommend:
    -Chase Sapphire Reserve (Preferred is fine too, but as long as you can take advantage of the benefits, Reserve pays for itself)
    -Chase Freedom Unlimited and/or Freedom (figure out whether 5x rotating will do better than 1.5x for you, or just get both)
    -United MileagePlus Explorer (for miles and benefits only, not for spend)

    Your spend would be the following:
    Travel/dining = Chase Sapphire Reserve/Preferred
    Rotating categories = Chase Freedom
    All other spend = Chase Freedom Unlimited

    A few reasons for this:
    -If you're willing to get a bit more into the credit card bonus game, you're free to get other cards. If you got other cards and then decided to pursue Chase, you may be over their threshold for getting their cards (5 new cards in 24 months).
    -Ultimate Rewards are valuable for transfers to several partners, most notably UA and Singapore for travel to SE Asia and access to *A (which Thai is on).
     
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    SammySnotnose, No Name and rickyw like this.
  4. SammySnotnose

    SammySnotnose New Member

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    That seems very reasonable. Thanks.

    The reason I'm not keen on churning is that I'm not disciplined enough to keep up with all the details. I can pay off the cards every month without issue, but I'm just not all that into keeping a ledger with all of the ins and outs for minimum spends. I do understand that I would be missing out on some value.

    Thanks again!
     
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  5. AMB

    AMB New Member

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    Do you mean you're not trying to hit minimum spends? If so, you're missing out on a LOT of value. It's very easy to tally up. When your statement date comes, look at your statement, see how much you spent, and put it in a Google Sheet. Next statement date, do the same, see where you are at the end of your second statement. At that point, you know how much you have to spend during your third statement period. Once you're out of the bonus period, no more tallying. The only other thing to factor in is backing out your annual fee if you do the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

    If you just mean you don't want to do multiple at a time, I don't blame you. Do it gradually.
     
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  6. SammySnotnose

    SammySnotnose New Member

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    Yes, exactly that. One card at a time is more my speed. I would drown if I had to keep up with multiple at the same time. I'm certain I can make the minimum spend... one at a time. Thanks again.
     
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  7. AMB

    AMB New Member

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    Perfect - good luck! Remember to use referral links if you have a friend with the card or support your favorite blogger by using their affiliate links (i.e. Lucky's links).
     
    #7