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After recently signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom cards, I am now contemplating signing up for an AmEx card for a fairly limited purpose: purchases at Costco, which require either a debit or an AmEx card. We will spend about $300/mo at Costco, so its not a huge amount, but I can’t stand spending money and not getting some points for it. Since most of our spend will go on the Chase cards (and most of our points are with chase rewards), Im unwilling to have a large annual fee, so that eliminates the platinum and the premier gold cards. Im basically deciding between the AmEx everyday ($0 annual fee) and the SPG Preferred Guest ($95 annual fee). Ultimately the difference is that the SPG card gets me Starwood Points while the AmEx everyday would get Membership rewards. Both seem to have good airline transfers while Membership rewards seems to have more hotel partners (not just SPG, but also Hilton, Best Western and Choice). Am I missing anything? Are there other significant advantages of Starpoints over Membership rewards or vice versa? Any guidance you can offer in helping to choose between these cards/programs would be appreciated. Thank you.
Will you hit a minimum number of transactions (20) on the AmEx everyday for the 20% point bonus?
If yes, do you have enough small transactions (30) that it might be worth it to get AmEx everyday preferred at 95$ and 50% bonus?
You mention Hilton, do you stay a lot/prefer to stay with them? Amex do offer Hilton cards that would give you Elite status.
Keep in mind that Amex and Costco have broken up and after 31 March 2016 Costco will accept Visas instead.
I like the SPG card unless you’re going to have enough transactions for the Everyday Preferred to make sense, personally.
And there’s a workaround for using your Visa at Costco today: [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/06/30/costco-is-switching-to-visa-in-2016-this-trick-lets-you-use-visa-today/[/URL]
Thanks for the info about the breakup and the workaround; super-helpful. I’ll likely use the workaround in the time being and then use one my visas come 2016. Given that most of my spend goes to my sapphire preferred and freedom cards, I likely won’t be applying for a new AmEx at this point. Thank you!
[USER=892]@steven97[/USER] I see that you have mentioned that the Amex has better hotel partners like Hilton, Choice, and BestWestern. That should never be the approach to apply for MR earning Amex cards. Sorry to be blunt but no offense. Those are horrible redemption options. In my opinion, they come in handy only to top off accounts in case of meeting the redemption limit or very rare situation.
If you ever decide on applying for the Everyday cards, you should not worry much about the 20/30 transaction limits. There are ways to meet that limits. One such example is amazon allowance. You can search for it.