Here are several of my favorite credit cards for earning points and miles to use towards future travel. The cards are listed in no specific order and are all part of my current wallet.
American Express Platinum Card
Annual Fee: $550
- Lounge Access with American Express Centurion and Priority Pass
- 5x on flight purchases directly on airline websites
- Excellent help line and amazing customer service
- ability to earn additional points via Rakuten cashback shopping portal
- discounted premium flights through the American Express Travel Portal
- ability to transfer points to airline and hotel programs
- Expensive Annual Fee
- Poor Earning Rates for Non Airline Spend
The American Express Platinum Card is one of my favorites due to the lounge access and the 5x on paid flights. I also maximize my earnings via rakuten so I tend to get very good value for the card. In addition, because my family travels frequently I was also able to add 3 authorized users for $175. I think this card posses great value for more seasoned travelers and those who live near major hubs where lounge access can make a difference.
Chase Ink Business Cash + Chase Sapphire Preferred
Annual Fee: Ink Business Cash = 0 Chase Sapphire = $95
- Great combination for beginner travels and small business owners
- 5x on phone bills and business supply stores with Ink Business Cash
- 2x on food and travel with Sapphire
- Ability to transfer points to airline and hotel programs or redeem through Chase’s travel portal
- 5x Categories are a bit limited
- 2x on food and travel is not as much as other credit cards
The Chase: Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Business Ink Unlimited, Business Ink Cash are all free. While I have all but the Business Ink Unlimited, the signup bonus and the ability to earn 5x on several categories make this one of my favorite beginner cards. The business cards have a signup bonus of $500 or 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points, far better than what the Freedom and Freedom unlimited are currently offering. The Sapphire Preferred by Chase is their standard travel card, giving you access to point transfers and their travel portal. Having a combination of chase cards will help increase your point earning potential.
Discover It Miles Card
Annual Fee: None
- 3x on all spend for the first year
- easy to earn and use
- Not accepted everywhere
- no transfer partners
The Discover It Miles is a wonderful credit card especially for the first year. You earn 1.5 points per dollar spent, and at the end of the first your points are doubled resulting in 3x for all purchases. In addition, there is also no annual fee. After the first year, the card loses most of its value. The Discover It Miles credit card is perfect for beginners especially college students, since Discover tends to be easier to get approved.
Unlike all the other cards, you are unable to transfer your points to other airlines or hotels. Rather, your points are essentially cash back and contain a fixed value of 1 cent per point. Unlike American Express and Chase where you can get out sized value for your points, Discover points will always be fixed in value.