posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
14568 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’d get a hotel rewards card, I heard the Starwood one is really good, especially if you can stay with them too.  For cash back I have Bank of americard cash rewards… that is the best I found for everyday rewards – 3% gas, 2%grocery and 1% everythign else, plus if you have a savings account wiht them, you get 10% bonus on your cash back , so effectively 3.3%, 2.2% and 1.1%.  But Citibank and Chase freedom have good revolving 5% back, and usually they do a quarter that’s 5% on travel, but then they are just 1% otherwise.

Post # 5
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@MASPA:  My boyfriend has the platinum Amex. We can justify the fee because we do a lot of traveling. One of the best things about the card is that you can use the nice airport lounges in tons of airports around the world (the lounges you get when you buy first class or biz class tickets, but you can use these even if you buy normal tix). I don’t know all the perks.. but it is definitely a good one. They also have the rewards points you can use to get a ton of stuff… everything from flights to gift cards. The key w. these reward cards is to put practically every purchase on them to make them worthwhile.

I used to have an Air Miles Mastercard (Air Miles are reward miles in Canada that you can use to get flights, etc.). Lots of retailers give bonus Air Miles… like Safeway for groceries. I loved the card but ended up canceling it when I stopped spending so much on credit because then I couldn’t justify the annual fee.

Post # 6
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My dad travels to Europe a lot for work. The companyrequires him to fly first class or business class because of how long the flights are. We have the deltaI airlines reward card and I usually don’t have to pay for my flights because of his miles!!

Post # 8
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@MASPA:  I have the gold and it’s a lot cheaper than the platinum. It’s $699 Canadian so really steep… but my bf did the math and worked out that for us it’s worth it. You’d have to look into it further, but I am guessing since you’re in the airline industry it might not be worth it for you. I see a lot of business ppl in the lounges when we travel.. it’s nicer than sitting in the terminal waiting for flights.

Post # 9
11366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I have a rewards card that pays me one percent cash back on all of my transactions.  I love it, and we pay off the card each month so that we do not ever have to pay any interest on the balance.  There is no annual fee for the card.

I actually put as many of my wedding expenses on it as I could and earned enough cash back to purchase Darling Husband a gorgeous and expensive watch for his wedding gift.  I recently cashed in my points just to have some additional spending money.  If I can also earn a little bit of money while spending money, why not? 🙂

Post # 10
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I carry a US Airways mastercard from Barclays ($59/year, 1 mile per dollar spent plus a bunch of various bonuses through the year, and 1 certificate per year that gets me a companion fare of $99 when I buy a ticket) and a Hilton HHonors visa from Citibank (6 points per dollar at Hiltons, 1 point per dollar everywhere else, no fee).  But I am very brand loyal.  The US Airways miles are EXTREMELY valuable when compared to other airline miles as you can redeem on their partner airlines (you can do this on most airlines as long as they have partners), they have a huge partner network, and their partner awards levels are significantly lower than other members of the network like United.  

If you can’t be brand loyal to hotels or airlines then go with Amex Platinum. $450 annual fee is pretty steep but you usually get around 25k points as an account opening bonus; free lounge entry at a crapload of airline lounges (worth the annual fee right there), $200 statement credits for airline expenses (bag fees, change fees or meals you buy in flight); a big discount/statement credit for enrolling in Global Entry (even if you do not travel outside the US, this is how you get your “TSA Pre-check” enrollment for domestic airport security). Best part is their points transfer everywhere, and can transfer as points, meaning I can convert Amex points to Virgin Atlantic points and my 70k points becomes enough for a proper transatlantic ticket, rather than just 1 cent per point off of the airfare. 

I’d recommend figuring out what kind of reward you want to get— cash back, free hotel nights, free economy airfare, free luxury airfare (and in the airfare, domestic or international?) then pick the card based on those things. 

Post # 12
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Darling Husband travels for work too and we, by far, get the best rewards on our Delta card and our Marriott card.  But it sounds like neither of those will really work for you.  🙁

Post # 13
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I have a Discovercard that I use for all of my daily purchases. I get 1% cash back on everything, and then they run promos each quarter to get 5% cash back on specific things like groceries or gas…stuff like that. I usually save the cash back bonus to help pay for Christmas presents! No fee with Discover. The only problem that we sometimes run into is that not everyone accepts Discover. But, we find that less and less these days.

Post # 14
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Mr TTR and I are semi-retired, and we travel a lot !!

We are always looking for ways to benefit while on vacation, as well as to accumulate freebies towards vacations when we are at home living our day-to-day lives.

Here in Canada, NOTHING can beat the Air Miles Reward Card (Canada’s extremely popular Blue / Gold Cards). They are truly amazing when it comes to accumulating points, travel & cash rewards (cannot comprehend folks who don’t have one… think it is because some people think they are only for Airmiles / Flights … which they are not… although their travel awards are awesome… ALL Airlines, Train, Bus, Car Rentals, Cruises, Hotels and virtually no restrictions)

Unfortunately, the Air Miles Program isn’t available to Non-Canadians, and for whatever reason, when it was launched in the USA didn’t catch on (for the life of me I cannot understand why not… here out of 35 Million Canadians, they say that about 10 Million of us are Air Miles Members… a pretty high number, when you take into consideration that you have to be 18+ to have one).  Air Miles is a points for purchase program… when you shop at a particular retailer you get points… and there is a long list of stores to choose from including Canada’s most popular stores (and a bunch of US ones accessible on-line).  Along with Gasoline, Drugstores, Hotels, Car Rentals, Car Repairs, Home Repairs, Home Heating & AC, Real Estate Agents, etc etc etc  Which makes using it so easy (and probably why it is so successful here in Canada)

Mr TTR and I also have a wallet full of Hotel Reward Cards… these are also a highly overlooked. Many people don’t get them because they assume they’ll never accumulate enough stays for a FREE Night.  BUT that is just a small reason for carrying a Hotel’s Loyalty Card.  First and foremost, Hotel’s give their best customers (those who have Loyalty Cards) their best rooms… when you check in, you present that card, and they’ll give you the best room for the category you’ve booked… so chances are you won’t get the crappy room next to the Elevator, Ice Machine, etc.  Also, oftentimes you’ll get upgraded for FREE just because you have the card in hand… booked a room with 2 Doubles at a low price, but they have a Queen or King Room (which online was listed for more).  Mr TTR and I have gotten many such “unannounced” upgrades… of course there are usually other perks to membership as well… oftentimes, Complimentary Newspapers, Shoeshines, Parking, Internet, Welcome Bags, etc.  And lastly, almost all the Hotel Loyalty Programs are linked up to other Reward Programs (so one can earn air miles with Airlines too)… you can just transfer your points from one to the other (ie Hilton Points to say American Airlines)… and many Hotels WANT you to stay with them (especially Business Travellers), so they’ll offer DOUBLE Points to those who are linked with an Airline Loyalty Program.  And most of the Hotels also run BONUS Points (or FREE Stays) Promotions at different times during the year… November & December are one such time, as they are trying to attract the many Travellers who are on the road during the Christmas Season.

The only thing you have to be aware of when you have a Hotel Loyalty Card, is which Hotels have “points expiry” vs those who’s points never expire.  This is when, trading in one’s points for OTHER items is a good idea… be that transferring to a Airline Loyalty Program, or taking a “Retail Partner Award” (we’ve done that… for example a Gas Company Gift Card)

As others have mentioned, there are also Credit Cards that offer Rewards, be they a percentage of cash back, or Airmiles with a specific Airline.

The trick to finding which of the various Loyalty Programs works best for you, can be complicated with so many airlines and so many variables.

I know in Canada we have a website that can do the calculations for you (and there are even websites that can help you keep track of your cards and track their usage etc) … there is probably something similar in the USA(and overseas for those in the UK, Australia, New Zealand etc).  Just GOOGLE the Question – Which Airline Rewards Program is best – and you should get some info.

Hope this helps,

PS… As is the case with all Reward Cards, you have to use them to their full advantage.  No good to have one in your wallet, if you forget to use it to book Hotel Rooms, make purchases at associated Retailers etc.  It has to be a conscious thing you do each and every time there is a place where you can accumulate points.


Post # 15
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I have a Chase cash back card.  I like it 🙂  I get 1% cash back on all purchases, and every 3 or 4 months they have certain categories that offer 5% cash back (gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters, etc…)  I use my card for just about every purchase throughout the month to get the rewards, then before the end of the month I pay it all the way off so I don’t have any interest.

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