There are plenty of criteria to determine what the "best" credit card is, but if you're interested in rewards, look no further. These five are the best for your everyday spending.
There are plenty of criteria to determine what the “best” credit card is, but if you’re interested in rewards, look no further.
Some you might get just for the awesome sign up bonus, but you might not want to keep it because of the huge annual fee. However, others reward your everyday spending with double or triple points. Boardingarea.com has found the cards that are rewarding day in and day out and are beneficial to frequent flyers.
Boardingarea.com makes the case that if you’re not getting two points per dollar or better on your spending, or if you don’t use your miles for international business or first-class tickets, then miles might not make sense for you.
If you’re looking for a new rewards card, check out the five below:
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card
The signup bonus is pretty nice — 10,000 after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 if you spend $5,000 in the first six months — but the card’s airline points transfer is even better. Starwood has the most number of airline points transfer partners where the transfer is 1:1 or better, according to boardingarea.com.
St. Regis Bora Bora. Photo from starwoodhotels.com.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Although the annual fee is $95, it is waived for the first year. Plus, if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, then you’ll receive 40,000 points, plus 5,000 more for adding an authorized user to the account.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program is one of the participating point transfer programs. Image from ritzcarlton.com
Travelers will be happy to learn that there are a number of travel program partners with which points can be transferred at full value. Plus, there are no foreign currency conversion fees, and cardholders will earn double points on all travel and dining. And there’s a 7% annual bonus on all the points earned. Boardingarea.com recommends this card most for beginners.
American Express Premier Rewards Gold
Cardholders only need to spend $2,000 in the first three months to receive 25,000 points. But even better, this card gets you triple points on airfare and double on gas and groceries.
The Upper Class cabin on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400. Photo by Phillip Capper.
But those perks will cost you. The annual fee is waived the first year, but $175 thereafter. According to Boardingarea.com, you need to spend a lot to make it work keeping — spending $30,000 a year gives you 15,000 points, though, which is worth it.
Ink Bold and Ink Plus
Both these cards are for small business owners. But Ink Bold is a charge card, which requires you pay off the balance each month, while Ink Plus is a regular credit card.
After spending $5,000 in the first three months cardholders will receive a 50,000-point signup bonus. Both cards also waive the fee the first year, but charge $95 every year after. You get double points when you book directly with a hotel (not through a site like Expedia) and when you purchase gas. Plus, cardholders receive quintuple points on telecommunications (internet, cell phone, XM radio, cable, etc.) and office supplies.
Park Hyatt Milan. Photo from hyatt.com
Points from these two cards can be transferred to British Airways, Korean Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak. Perfect for helping to pay for business travel.
United Club Card
The annual fee for this card isn’t cheap at $395. But that fee does come with United lounge membership, which is a $500 value per year, giving the cardholder and eligible companions unlimited access to United Club locations and participating Star Alliance lounges around the world.
Chicago O’Hare United Club. Photo from united.com.
For every dollar spent, you earn 1.5 award miles (a 50% bonus on the one mile per dollar you would typically earn) and tickets bought through United award two miles per dollar spent. First and second checked bags are free (which can really add up throughout the year). And if you travel outside of the country, then you won’t pay fees on purchases made with the Club Card outside of the U.S.