I’ve been battling a cold for the past week and going to Walmart to liquidate gift cards has been really tough. I’ve been agonizing over my drop in manufactured spending until some good news came along: At least 20 of my family members in Australia are flying to India for a wedding and they want me to charge their flights to my credit card. That’s very easily a minimum $20,000 worth of free credit card spending! While I’m super grateful that they’ve offered to let me charge everything to my card, I’m now facing a conundrum of sorts: Which credit card do I put all of this spending on?
The obvious choice seems to be the Amex Platinum Card, since it pays out 5x points per $1 on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. It would earn me over 100,000 Membership Rewards points – enough to hitch a ride on Singapore Suites. The problem? I don’t have either of these cards right now. And I can’t remember which member of my family has had one (or both) in the past, deeming them ineligible for another sign-up bonus. So I gotta do some digging and wait for a new card to arrive in the mail. Not a huge problem, but just a fleeting thought.
My options right now, in terms of the most lucrative travel category bonuses, are as follows:
Chase Sapphire Preferred = 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card = 100,000 Club Carlson points
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card = 60,000 Hilton HHonors points
Discover It Miles Card = $600 cash back
Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard = $420 travel cash
Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express = 20,000 SPG points/25,000 airline miles
While I initially got excited about this $20,000+ in travel spend, I’m now realizing the picking are pretty slim in terms of credit card rewards. To put it into perspective, I do around $100,000 worth of manufactured spending every month, which amounts to a minimum of 100,000 points and miles. A single trip to my local mall earns me at least 10,000 miles or points with little effort. So it’s kind of disappointing to see the lack of travel category bonuses out there.
I am considering getting an Amex Platinum card because 1.) this presents an opportunity for me to legitimately meet the spending requirement (and avoid the claw-backs that have hit other gift card churners). And 2.) After completing the spending requirement on the Amex Business card, I would end up with a total of 200,000 Membership Rewards points! That’s not nearly as great as 200,000 Ultimate Rewards, but it does get me a roundtrip ticket on Singapore Suites.
Of all the credit cards I do currently have access to, my dad’s Sapphire Preferred that I’ve been meaning to downgrade is offering the most appealing bonus. I’m headed to the Middle East in December and 40,000 points will cover about half of a one-way business class award. Or three hotel nights. The $600 cash back from the Discover It Miles card is also not bad. Putting $20,000 on the Citi Hilton Reserve Card wouldn’t turn up much in the way of rewards, but it would be get me halfway to Hilton Diamond status and complete the $10,000 annual spending requirement for earning an annual free night.
I’m still deciding whether to get a Platinum card for this and whether I even have enough time to wait for a new card to arrive. In any case, this saves me at least two trips to Walmart, so I’m happy to get a chance to earn a decent stash of miles without a lot of work.
Which of these credit cards would you charge $20,000 worth of airfare to?
Subscribe to Blog via Email