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Understandably (and justifiably) there are some cards that have become extremely popular, that just about anyone who is into miles & points has in their wallet. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card come to mind (here’s a post about how to decide which of the two cards makes more sense for you)
However, there are plenty of other great cards out there, so in this post I wanted to share several cards that I think a lot of consumers would get value out of long-term, but that all too often they don’t consider (for reasons I’ll share below).
In no particular order, here are the four cards that I think anyone who wants to maximize their credit card strategy should seriously consider.
There are so many things to love about the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card. At the moment the card has its best ever welcome bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months. The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.
Long term this could be a great card to use as well, as it offers triple points on travel and gas, double points on dining and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent otherwise.
Furthermore, I tend to think the relative value of ThankYou points is increasing over time, so this is a card that is even more worthwhile than before.
Why are many people not considering this card? I suspect for a couple of reasons. Probably because they have a Sapphire Card and don’t think it makes sense to have both. Also probably because historically many people have viewed ThankYou as being the weakest of the three transferrable currencies, but they’ve improved lately, so the points are worth considering more than ever before, in my opinion.
ThankYou points are great for redemptions on EL AL (by transferring to Qantas)
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is the single best credit card for non-bonused spend. The card has no annual fee and offers double Membership Rewards points for the first $50,000 spent each calendar year.
I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me the card offers a return of roughly 3.4%, which is unrivaled.
There are so many other benefits to having an Amex small business card. This card gives you access to Amex Offers, which can save you a lot of money or earn you bonus points for making purchases with select retailers. Further, anecdotally Amex small business cards are easy to be approved for, and applying for them won’t even count as a new card towards Chase’s 5/24 limit.
Why are many people not considering this card? Because it “only” offers a welcome bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months. That’s actually an improved bonus, because previously the card offered no welcome bonus. But this is a card you get for the value it will provide on spend, rather than the welcome bonus. You’re losing out on points every year by not having this no annual fee card.
I just redeemed Amex points for a great redemption in ANA first class
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers the best welcome bonus of any hotel credit card, as far as I’m concerned. The card offers 60,000 World of Hyatt points (which I value at $900) after spending a total of $6,000 within six months ($3,000 of that needs to be spent within the first three months, and the other $3,000 within the first six months).
The card has lots of great long term perks, including Discoverist status for as long as you have the card, five elite nights towards status annually, an anniversary Category 1-4 free night certificate, and much more. Personally I think the free night certificate alone more than justifies the card’s $95 annual fee.
Why are many people not considering this card? Two reasons, probably. First of all, I find that many people are focused either on transferrable cards or airline cards, though hotel credit cards don’t seem to get as much love from the average consumer, despite them being among the most rewarding cards to just hold onto. Second of all, Hyatt has a smaller global footprint than Hilton, IHG, and Marriott, but I still think most people should be able to get significant value out of a Category 1-4 certificate.
There are lots of great hotels where you can redeem Category 1-4 certificate
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is also offering an increased welcome bonus of up to 105,000 IHG Rewards Club points — this includes 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, plus a further 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within the same timeframe.
But this $89 annual fee card offers lots of great benefits, including IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, a fourth night free on award redemptions, and an anniversary free night certificate valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points.
A vast majority of IHG hotels are bookable for less than 40,000 points per night
There are lots of great credit cards out there, and no one is going to have all of them (understandably). However, the above are some of the highest value cards that I think many people don’t have.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has an incredible welcome bonus and is useful for everyday spend, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is the single best card for non-bonused spend, and The World of Hyatt Credit Card and IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offer perks that more than justify the annual fees.