I’m an avid collector of credit card points and miles, with 14 open credit cards.
I think that flexible points are the most valuable, despite the fact that their associated cards often have annual fees. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express® Gold Card are examples of cards that can be worth it.
The other cards that I recommend to friends and family, Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited, have no annual fee.
See Business Insider’s list of the best rewards credit cards »
I started with credit cards like many people do: I found a favorite rewards card that didn’t charge an annual fee and excitedly redeemed cash back every time my balance reached the minimum $25 to cash out.
But after working as a bank manager and doing a bit more research, I started apply for new cards to earn large bonuses and earn even bigger rewards on my everyday spending. After all, the big credit card issuers regularly release new innovative cards with great features, or make updates to existing ones.
Counting my wife’s cards where I’m an authorized user, we currently have 14 open cards. Here are some favorites that I regularly suggest to family and friends and cards I would never go without.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve
One of the cards I’ve held onto for the longest length of time is my Chase Sapphire Card. It started as a Sapphire Preferred card years ago, and I eventually upgraded it to the ultra-premium Chase Sapphire Reserve.
While this card charges a $550 annual fee (up from $450, as of January 12, 2020), I find it to be totally worthwhile. It pays me 3x points per dollar on all travel (excluding a $300 travel credit) and restaurant purchases and 1x everywhere else. (On January 12, it also added 10x points on Lyft rides.) While I really only use it for travel purchases (read the next section to learn why), its benefits are great for a frequent traveler.
The card gives you a $300 annual statement credit for the first $300 you spend on travel per year. Because I would spend the $300 anyway, the annual fee is effectively $250. Depending on how you value the Reserve’s new benefits with Lyft and DoorDash (you can get up to $120 in credits for DoorDash food delivery), that effective annual fee could be worth it.
The Sapphire Reserve also includes a Priority Pass Select membership that gets me access to airport travel lounges around the world. …read more
Source:: Business Insider