January 2, 2017

Top 3 Cards For My New Year 2017's Resolutions

Redeem Miles Earned From Credit Card to Fly and Sleep in Cathay Pacific First Class
Over the past year, we have been fortunate to accrue many airline miles and hotel points to travel far with less money. We have slept in the Cathay Pacific First Class, I took my mom in Thai Airways Business class to visit my sister in New Zealand, I flew in Lufthansa Business Class from Scandinavia to US... We also stayed at top tier Radisson Blu, Holiday Inn Resort, Hyatt, Hilton...

I want to continue traveling far with small money spent as much as possible. Hence, these are the top 3 cards that I want to get in the year of 2017:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card: 

I have been wanting to apply for this card for quite some time now, but the timing has never been right. First I had over 5 credit cards in the past 24 months, Chase has this silly rule that they won't approve anyone that has at least 5 open credit card accounts with any banks. By the time the amount of my credit cards were less than 5, I had to apply for a mortgage so I still did not apply for this, to make sure it does not pose any bad impact on my mortgage application.

The perks of this card is insane! 100,000 points sign up bonus. Although the annual fee is $450/year, but with $300 annual travel credit, the annual fee really is $150. Then you have complimentary access to airport lounges, $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check... make the $150 annual fee is worthwhile.
  • Sign up bonus of 100,000 BONUS POINTS after $4,000 spend on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 3 points per dollar on dinning and travel expenses. 1 point per dollar on other expenses. 
  • Get 50% more value when redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,500 toward travel.
  • Access to airport lounges world wide with Priority Pass Select Membership. Authorized user will get his/her own membership as well. 
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre check. 
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • No foreign transaction fees. 
  • $300 annual travel credit. 
  • Annual fee: $450. $75 for each authorized user. 
We Redeem IHG Points For Free Night Stays Beachfront on Remote Phi Phi Island in Thailand

Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card: 

My relationship with Marriott is a love and hate thing. Their hotels and resorts are too overpriced when it comes to free stays using points. That's why I closed out my Marriott credit card long time ago. However, they recently joined one of my most favorite Starwood Hotels SPG program. For each 3 Marriott point, I can transfer to Starwood for 1 Star points. The ratio isn't that great, but Starwood points are incredibly valuable because it can transfer to several airline miles with 5,000 miles bonus for every 20,000 Star Points transfered. Another cool thing is I have GOLD status with Starwood, so I also get GOLD status with Marriott. The annual fee of this card is $85 annual fee, but waived for the first year. I'd be glad to pay for that annual fee every year because after each anniversary, Marriott gives me 1 free night stay at a category 1-5 hotel. So basically, I am paying $85 for a 1 night stay at Marriott each year. I just need to be creative on where to stay. This gives me a good excuse to travel more. 
  • Sign up bonus of 80,000 BONUS POINTS after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5 points per $1 spent at Marriott. 2 points per $1 spent on restaurants, car rental agencies and on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline. 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1–5 hotel every year after your account anniversary. 
  • $85 annual fee.
Dinning on ANA Business Class

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card: 

I now have American Express Business Platinum credit card. I applied for it when the sign up bonus was 100,000 bonus points. The annual fee is $450 but it comes with several great benefits that makes the $450 annual fee worthwhile. The only downside about this card is that, I cannot take my travel companion to Priority Pass Select airport lounges without paying additional fees. I can only take my travel companion to American Express Centurion lounges for free.  If I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it does not make sense for me to keep this Amex Business Platinum card as both cards have high annual fees. But what about all my American Express Membership Reward Points? If I close this card, my points will be forfeited as well. That comes the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. Although the current sign up bonus is only 10,000 Amex points, there's no annual fee to this card. The points earning on this card is not so great either, but all the points can transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs. Ultimately, I can transfer all my Amex points from my Business Platinum to this EveryDay card and can still transfer those points to airline miles.
  • Sign up bonus 10,000 Membership Reward points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. 
  • No annual fee. 
Free Stay at Radisson Blu in the Mall of America

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