Podcast: Best cards for grocery, dining, gas, travel, Costco, and more | Frequent Miler on the Air Ep256 | 5-24-24

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Everybody loves a one-size-fits-all answer, but today we’re discussing which cards are best for which kinds of purchases: grocery, dining, gas, travel, Costco… Sure you can just keep one card in your wallet and earn on that card exclusively, but many of us switch it up depending on what we’re purchasing. That’s what we’ll discuss in today’s episode.

Watch the full episode below, or listen on your favorite podcast platform. You can click the timestamps below to navigate directly to a specific part of the episode within YouTube.

For a transcript of this episode, click “Watch on Youtube” on the video below, then click the “…more” link in the video description. This will expand full video details. Scrolling down past the timestamps and chapters, you’ll see a “Show Transcript” button. If you’re an Apple Podcast listener, you can touch and hold a podcast episode to reveal an option to view a transcript.

Mailbag

(01:45) – Datapoints about AA companion certificates (Mail Bag)

Crazy Thing

(05:32) – Hertz charging people to refill Tesla gas tanks (Crazy Thing)

Award Talk

(12:07) – Frontier and Spirit eliminate change fees (Award Talk)

(13:41) – Cool Alaska trick (Award Talk)

Read more here: https://thriftytraveler.com/news/airlines/book-business-class-less-alaska-miles/

(17:31) – Current Kimpton Hotel Secret Password May 24, 2024, to September 2, 2024. (Award Talk)

Main Event: Best cards for grocery, dining, gas, travel, Costco, and more

(18:54) – Best cards for grocery, dining, gas, travel, Costco, and more

(19:45) – Big box stores including Costco, Sams Club, Target, etc

Read more about the US Bank Altitude Reserve here.

(22:55) – Grocery Stores

Read more about the Citi Custom Cash here.

(23:44) – Read more about Amex Gold here.

(24:49) – Read more about the Citi Strata Premier here.

Read more about the Capital One Savor card here and the  SavorOne here

(25:28) – Read more about the Aeroplan card here.

(26:18) – Dining / Food Delivery

(27:38) – Read more about the Amex Business Gold card here.

(29:13) – Read more about the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card here.

(31:06) – Gas

Read more about the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card here.

(33:36) – Read more about the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card here.

(38:38) – Travel: Many cards offer enhanced rewards for travel booked through bank portal

(39:03) – General Travel

(39:50) – Read more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve here.

Read more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred here.

(39:58) – Read more about the Amex Green Card here.

(40:00) – Read more about the Wells Fargo Autograph card here.

(41:37) – Airfare

Read more about the Amex Platinum card here.

(43:33) – Hotels

(43:44) – Read more about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey card here.

(45:44) – Read what cards Greg keeps in his wallet here and what cards Nick keeps in his wallet here

(46:07) – See our Best Credit Card Category Bonuses resource here

(46:54) – Other notable category bonuses

(47:08) – Read more about the Ink Business Cash card here.

(47:58) – Read more about the Chase Freedom Flex card here and the Freedom Unlimited here

Question of the Week

(50:35) – One of our readers is interested in becoming a content creator and has questions about things to consider. If we were starting out today, what would we do differently? (Question of the Week)

(54:20) – Check out our Coffee Break episode on the origin story of Frequent Miler here.

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Andy

Hi team, enjoy the blog and podcast. Surprised you didn’t mention the Blue Cash Preferred for 6% cash back on groceries, capped at $6000 spend per year. I max that every year for $360 back on a $95 annual fee card.

Eric

Did I miss something (entirely possible, I was listening while exercising) or did you guys not mention the CFU or CFF in the dining segment? You mentioned SavorOne being a no AF card with 3x dining, but that’s true of both CFF and CFU.

I know rotating quarterly categories aren’t the focus of this question, but 7x dining on CFF this quarter is as good as it gets.

BRIAN

Y’all mentioned the Custom Cash throughout the episode for it’s various (capped) 5x categories, but when you mentioned the Freedom cards for drugstores, don’t forget the Custom Cash also gets 5x drugstores!

Worth mentioning it might be the best return on spend for transit and live entertainment (?) for either the cash back or points game, too, depending on one’s category spend and how many Custom Cashes one can acquire over time. Plus they’re the most flexible compared to the other 5x rotating cards, so you can flip it around as needed, which is nice.

DaveS

I can’t imagine why people would still rent from Hertz. It is a disaster. Zero effort to do the right thing.

Lee

Greg, how about an article on purchasing a stand-alone travel insurance policy? Are there policies that match the CSR’s coverages? If yes, how much do they cost per year? Thanks.

Greg The Frequent Miler

That’s something people often ask for but we don’t have any experience with buying stand alone travel insurance. So it would require a significant amount of research. Hopefully we’ll get to it eventually but it’s not in our short term plans.

Lee

A person’s strategy for Big Box purchases depends on what one’s intended redemption is. For example, consider Citi Double Cash transferring to (say) Emirates or Singapore, with an underlying redemption rate of 5cpp, gives a person a 10 percent overall reward rate. Just an alternative point of view.

Regarding airfare, the WF Autograph Journey is 4X. Honorable mention.

Last edited 30 days ago by Lee
Frank

I think the Ink Cash is all you need.for everything that does not need insurance or similar, like travel protections. It gives 5 Chase points per dollar. But fee-free Visa cards and use them everywhere.

I use my Chase Sapphire for travel. And Amex Gold for restaurants because it’s easier than using a debit card.

Lee

The challenge with the VGC strategy is bandwidth. That is, larger purchases.

Frank

That’s true, but large purchases I put in that category where you may need protection from the credit card company.

Also, I have 28 credit cards which I use strategically, spending a bare minimum to keep them active. Hotel cards, where the value of a free night outweighs the annual fee, etc.

But you are correct for some purchases where I use my Amex Blue card, utilities and gas on the Wyndham business card, and so on. Exceptions are the Hyatt cards, $15K on the personal one each year, and multiples of $5K on the business one to keep Globalist status.