2017 was a good year for me in terms of getting some of the credit cards I was looking forward to most. I picked up both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Preferred. That being said, there are always more credit cards that are worthwhile to pick up. There are a few additional cards I’ve been eyeing for a while now. 2018 may be the year I finally make the jump and apply for these cards. These cards either provide added value with the Core Credit Card Concept, or have benefits that make them worthwhile.
Amex Everyday Preferred
Sign Up Bonus: 15,000 MR Points after $1000 in spend, but you can usually find targeted offers for 30,000 MR points after $2000 in spend. I will not apply for this one until I find a targeted offer.
Annual Fee: $95, not waived first year
Long Term Benefits: If you make 30 or more transactions in a month with this card, you get a 50% bonus on all points earned that month. I’m going to assume that I will always hit this threshold.
I plan on only putting grocery store and gas purchases on this card. I will make small Amazon gift card purchases/reloads to get up to 30 transactions a month after accounting for grocery store and gas purchases. That means I will earn 4.5 points per dollar on grocery store purchases and 3x points per dollar on gas purchases. Right now, the best I earn on grocery store purchases is 2 points per dollar. This will be an increase of 2.5 points per dollar. If I spend $3000 a year on groceries with this card, I feel I’d come out ahead with the $95 annual fee.
I’ll also earn 3 points per dollar on gas purchases. The best I can do right now is 2 points per dollar. I view this as an added bonus because I will be able to easily make up the annual fee on grocery store spending alone.
Amex Platinum Card for Schwab
Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 MR Points after $5000 in spend. I no longer dabble in Manufactured Spending. This $5000 spend will be tough for me to meet organically. I probably will wait to apply for this card until right before I need to make a big airfare purchase.
Annual Fee: $550, not waived first year
Long Term Benefits: This card has a myriad of benefits that I’m excited about. I’m my opinion, this is the best version of the Amex Platinum card. Once I get this card, I’ll keep it forever (assuming the benefits are not devalued).
- This card offers 5 points per dollar on airfare purchases. My next best card offers me 3 points per dollar on airfare purchases.
- Ability to cash out MR points at a value of 1.25 cents per point to a Schwab brokerage account. You can almost certainly get better value out of your points another way, but this is a really cool/interesting feature. This will put a floor to my valuation of MR points. If an award redemption ever gives me below 1.25 cents per point in value, I should book with cash instead.
- Delta SkyClub Access when flying Delta. I will be giving up my Amex Business Platinum Card this month and will be losing my SkyClub access. I fly delta a few times a year and love the ability to use a lounge before my flight.
- $200 Uber credit. You get $15 every month besides December. In December you get $30. I’ll be able to use this benefit, so I view this as subtracting $200 from the annual fee.
- $200 airline fee credit. You get $200 annually reimbursed for airline fees. There are ways to redeem this for airline gift cards. I view this as taking another $200 off the annual fee.
- If I ever get over $250,000 in assets with Schwab, they will drop the annual fee by $100.
Chase United Club Card
Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 United miles after $3000 in spend. This card didn’t used to have a sign up bonus. I don’t think I would look at this card if it did not have a sign up bonus.
Annual Fee: $450, not waived first year
Long Term Benefits: After meeting the minimum spend for this sign up bonus, I will never spend a dime on this card again. The benefit of this card is that it gives you a United Club membership. We currently live in Chicago and we are thinking about moving to Denver in the near future. Both airports are United hubs, so I would be able to get good use out of the United Club membership. Once I leave a United hub city, I will cancel this card.
Amex Hilton Honors Aspire
Sign Up Bonus: This credit card has not been released yet and the sign up bonus is unknown. I think I’ll only apply for this one if it has a massive sign up bonus. I am eyeing some Hilton properties I would like to stay at and this could give a nice boost to my Hilton points balance.
Annual Fee: $450, unknown if waived first year or not
Long Term Benefits: Not applicable to me. I would get this card purely for the sign up bonus and then cancel after the first year. I do not stay at Hiltons often enough to justify the annual fee.
This should be another great year to rack in the miles and points with credit cards! I’m looking at a few cards that I believe I’ll hold forever, one that I’ll have at least for a while, and another that I’ll dump after a year. Also interesting – my list only has cards from Amex and Chase. Amex MR points are, as of right now, my favorite points, so I am excited to get a few cards that will help me earn even more of them!
Have you started your 2018 credit card plans? If so, which credit cards are you going to apply for?