In my conversation last week with the gang at Internet Brands, we got to discussing the best cards for readers these days to fly to far off lands free or as close to free as possible.
As I rattled off in my aging and decaying brain the offers from the other banks and co-branded credit cards, it became as clear as a bell that Chase has really taken over the market for airline cards with the Sapphire Preferred card, Ink Bold card and Ink Plus card. In a two month time span with good credit and the ability to meet the minimum monthly spend, you can amass a nice pile of Ultimate Rewards points and because of the transfer options available, transfer them to Korean, United, or British Airways for some nice long haul premium cabin flights.
With the ability to get one personal and one business card per month, month one you can generate 90K points with a Chase Sapphire card and Ink Bold card and follow up a month later with an Ink Plus card for another 50K if your scores are right. I’ll know next month if I can hold both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa and Mastercard simultaneously when I apply March 17th. I’ve read conflicting reports. The Chase airline cards have fallen from grace with me for now. I don’t need the Mileage Plus cards as long as the Ultimate Rewards program stays as structured. And I don’t have a Southwest Airlines airport anywhere near me.
It’s time to call on Citi, Barclays, American Express, and all the other card issuers if they are reading.
Chase is indeed running the show here and our travel challenges for long distance flights in either coach or premium cabins, must recommend Chase products for the foreseeable future.
Competition is a good thing here in America. I hope the co-branded cards and other card issuers will start to up their game to compete for the airline miles crowd.
The hotel programs are heading in the wrong direction with devaluations on all fronts. Let’s hope that they too notice the example set by Chase, asking for our business with good solid offers, will filter back into the hotel loyalty programs once again.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by 11:59PM ET (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49