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First time advice for a domestic trip in 4 months
My girlfriend is running in the Boston Marathon this coming April. I don’t have any current credit cards, nor have I ever used miles. I’ve enjoyed looking through this site, but still find it pretty intimidating to get started.
I own a very small business in Mississippi and would love to start taking a domestic trip once or twice a year with miles.
My question is should I just start out with one card (like the ink plus business card which is no. 2 in the December recommended list), or two cards (maybe one business and one personal) to combine the points ? Also, is it too late to do this for a mid-April trip three and a half months away ?
Tom–it’s a little late for an April trip. You could accumulate the necessary points by being aggressive but that is also a very busy travel weekend into Boston–a bad combination for award travel. In general, miles aren’t the greatest value for domestic travel. Although they can certainly have their uses domestically, they really provide the most value on long distance international trips. While I would certainly consider the Chase Ink and Sapphire preferred cards, I would also look at cash back cards like the Barclays Arrival Plus (for sign up bonus) or the Citi Double Cash (ongoing spend) both of which provide ~2% cash back and will give you the most flexibility to get the domestic flights that work for you.
If you have been reading up you are aware of the tightening of the rules around the Chase UR earning cards like the Ink and SP so I would still apply for those first and then a cash back card afterwards. For flights they offer a fixed value option (1.25cpm through the Chase portal) or they can be transferred to UAL for award tickets.
Hope you’re able to make it to Boston and cheer on your girlfriend, it’s a lovely event!
Agreed, for domestic flights that aren’t super short or require connections I like a cash-back card, or the Citi Thank You Premier. The bonus categories on the latter mean the points add up more quickly, and you can redeem points towards nearly any ticket that you could otherwise purchase, so aren’t constrained by award availability.