This post is more of the long range plan that I have for my credit cards, hence the long winding road picture. Earlier this year, I wrote about my latest credit card applications, and I don’t like the idea of closing cards and opening cards unless I don’t find a use for the card like what I did to the Chase United Explorer card. Because of that, I open only cards that I think I would have a long term use and manufactured spend for the points.
My open cards with annual fees:
- Chase Ink Bold ($95)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95)
- Chase British Airways ($95)
- American Express Starwood Preferred Guest ($65)
- US Bank Flexperks ($49)
- Barclay’s Lufthansa Miles and More ($89)
I recently readded the Barclay’s US Airways. I originally thought I’d make good use of the Barclay’s Lufthansa Miles and More card more than I do now, the reason I keep the card is Lufthansa’s miles bargain and can save lots of miles if my travel needs line up and having this credit card would be great to have to pad the account without using any SPG points.
I decided to go back with the US Airways card because I saw the news about current cardholders will be switched to either the Aviator Red or Silver card and the benefits were a compelling reason to grab the card again. While the rebate limit is kind of low, 10,000 miles, it is a great benefit to get back some miles for the annual fee. However, if you keep the Barclay’s US Airways card with the potential 10,000 anniversary miles would be easier than the 10% rebate especially if you have a light year of travel or can’t spend 100,000 miles in the year.
For a recap on why I keep the other cards: Ink Bold, 5x at Office Supply and Lounge Club access. British Airways, companion pass + short haul flights with the Avios. American Express Starwood Preferred Guest for the SPG points. Flexperks because of the unique ability to redeem up to 2 cents per point for flights.
For the long time readers, you will see my Citi AAdvantage card disappeared from the list, I followed Kenny’s advice and downgraded for the Dividend Select card so I have another avenue for 5% cash and before it goes away permanently because of the Double Cash card. When the time comes again, I will apply for the AAdvantage card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred:
This card is getting tougher to keep. The loss of the 7% dividend after 2015 and the fact that I have an Ink Bold which gives me the ability to transfer points to the travel partners.
I used to use the Sapphire Preferred because of the 2x on dining, then Citi introduced transferrable partners and I have the Citi Forward for 5x on dining. That leaves travel for 2x, but I now have the Fidelity American Express for 2% cashback. Sure, Ultimate Reward points could be worth more than 2 cents per points, but I would need to spend a pretty penny to make up for the $95/year annual fee. Unfortunately, my membership year is in November. I am thinking of waiting until after the points dividend of 2015 hits my account, and hoping to see if I fall within the grace period of the annual fee before changing the product. If not, then I’ll use it through 2016 before the annual fee hits again and do the shift to the Fidelity AMEX.
I want to sign up for a >$300 annual fee credit card for the benefits, but I haven’t decided which one is right for me.
The American Express Platinum sounds compelling with the Fine Hotels and Resorts, free SPG gold, and gives me the ability to transfer my Membership Rewards to travel partners as I currently don’t have that ability.
The Citi Prestige for similar reasons to transfer out my Thank You Points and added TYP worth when redeeming for American Airline flights
The Chase United MileagePlus Club card for free Hyatt Platinum, Avis status, and plethora of United benefits. Fortunately, I am not hub captive so I could benefit either the Club card or the Prestige.
The Diner’s Club elite for it’s 3x bonus in the important categories as well as the point transferability. Unfortunately, that’s the only benefit I see with having this card.