Traveling with six & credit cards for four: a Card Talk intervention

4

a collage of a man with headset and credit cards

Frequent Miler’s Card Talk is a new bi-weekly series in which Nick and I meet with a reader to do a credit card intervention.  What credit cards should you get and which should you dump?  Our goal is to help!  We started Card Talk originally with a test card intervention with reader Jim.  Jim had way too many credit cards with high annual fees.  We successfully talked Jim through almost $3,000 in savings!  Read about the original Card Talk episode here: Saving $2,897 in annual fees: a Card Talk intervention.

Meet Jennifer & family

Jennifer applied to be a guest on Card Talk with this submission:

Two player mode here with one college student just starting in. We started Dec of 2016 after paying way too much for an Italy vacation. We’ve since taken all six if us to Disney World and Egypt and spent a nice week without kids in Jamaica all on points. Last year’s points were for a family trip to California and a couples trip to Ireland with friends, both on hold. This last few months we’ve lost focus and need some re-direction. What is worth paying the fee on, where should we be putting spend, how can we cycle in a second college student?
Travel goals:
Europe (two weeks) for all six of us
Prague and Budapest for just us
Sending one of the college kids to Oxford for a semester
Extended family beach trip (need an easy plan to share with novice family members.)

We thought Jennifer’s case would be interesting because it involves both a tough challenge (how to earn enough points to travel with 6 people), and a great opportunity (two kids are old enough to sign up for credit cards!).

After speaking with Jennifer, here were our recommendations…

Dump almost $1,400 in card fees

Two Sapphire Reserve cards

Jen and her husband each have their own $550 Sapphire Reserve card.  It sounds like they do get good value from having one card, but there’s no reason to have two.

Advice:

  • When the annual fee comes due, downgrade one Sapphire Reserve card to the no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5X everywhere) or no-fee Freedom (5X in rotating categories)
  • Move points from all other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to the one remaining Sapphire Reserve account so that the points will be worth the maximum value possible.

Savings:

$550 per year (or $250 per year if you account for the $300 travel credit they won’t get).

Ink Business Preferred

Jen’s husband picked up the $95 per year Chase Ink Business Preferred card early this year.  This card consistently offers one of the best welcome bonuses around, but its perks (such as 3X for travel and the ability to transfer points to partners) are mostly redundant since the couple plans to keep a Sapphire Reserve card.

Advice:

  • When the annual fee comes due, cancel (after moving all points to the Sapphire Reserve account) or downgrade to the no-fee Chase Ink Business Cash (5X categories) or the no-fee Chase Ink Business Unlimited (1.5X everywhere).
  • This advice assumes that Jen’s husband doesn’t highly value the Ink card’s cell phone protection which is the card’s one feature that beats the Sapphire Reserve.

Savings:

$95 per year.

Two Delta Platinum cards

Jen and her husband each have their own $250 Delta Platinum card.  Neither is seeking Delta elite status so the only real value to the card for them is the ability to get free checked bags and the annual companion ticket.  It’s unclear whether they’ll consistently use the companion ticket for good value.

Advice:

  • When the annual fee comes due for each card, wait for the companion ticket to appear in your Delta account and then cancel the Delta Platinum card.  When using the companion ticket, you have to pay with an American Express card, but it doesn’t have to be a Delta Platinum card.
  • After cancelling the Platinum card, if you need free checked bags with Delta, consider signing up for the $99 Delta Gold card (ideally when there’s a 60K or higher offer available).  After a year with the Gold card you can decide whether to keep as is, upgrade to the Platinum card, or cancel.

Savings:

$500 per year if both cards are cancelled (or $400 per year if Jen or her husband ends up getting a Delta Gold card)

Citi AA Platinum card

Jen’s husband has a fairly new Citi American Airlines card.  While the first year was free, Citi will start charging $99 per year upon renewal.

Advice:

  • When the annual fee comes due, convert the card to the no-fee Citi Double Cash card.  The Double Cash card is an awesome one to have, but it usually has no welcome bonus so this is a great way to get the card.
  • In the future, Jen’s husband may also be interested in picking up the Citi Premier and Citi Rewards+ cards in order to setup the awesome trio of cards that I wrote about previously here: Citi’s awesome trio: Double Cash, Premier, Rewards+

Savings:

You could say that we saved Jen $99 per year, but it sounds like converting to the Double Cash was her plan all along, so we won’t count this one!

Southwest Cards

Late last year, Jenn signed up for both the $199/year Southwest Performance Business card and the $149/year Southwest Priority card.  She signed up for those cards in order to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

Advice:

  • Jen values the Priority card’s perks more than the annual fee so she’ll keep the card.  Those perks include: 7,500 anniversary points each year; $75 Southwest annual travel credit; Four A1-15 boardings every year; and 20% back on in-flight drinks, Wi-Fi, messaging, and movies.
  • We recommended cancelling the Southwest Performance Business card since it doesn’t offer any meaningful perks above the other card other than 9,000 points per year.

Savings:

$199 per year.

Hilton Cards

Jen and her husband each have the $450/year Hilton Aspire card.  Jen says that they get full value from the cards’ $250 in airline incidental fees and the $250 in resort credits.

Advice:

  • Even though the annual fees are steep ($450 x 2 = $900), Jen and her husband each get $500 back per year from the airline and resort credits, plus they each get a free weekend night good at almost any Hilton in the world.  And they each get top-tier Hilton Diamond status!  These cards are keepers.

Savings:

None.

New cards & opportunities

With two kids in college, ages 18 and 19, there are four adults in the family who can sign up for credit cards.  Currently all four are well under 5/24 and so are eligible for new Chase cards.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

After talking with Jen, we identified four objectives:

  1. Start building second oldest daughter’s credit so that she can earn welcome bonuses
  2. Get two Southwest Companion Passes at a time.  This will make it possible to fly the family of six for the price of four.
  3. Continue to build up the family’s Chase Ultimate Rewards points
  4. Start earning Amex Membership Rewards points

Build teen credit

Once a kid turns 18, they are eligible to sign up for credit cards.  That doesn’t mean that they’ll get approved though.  I always recommend that 18 year olds start with the Discover It Student card as their first card.  Jan’s 19 year old already has that card.  Jan should encourage her 18 year old to sign up for the card right away.  Of course, she also ought to help her daughter learn to handle credit responsibly.  That’s outside of the scope of this card intervention, but important nevertheless.

Jan can also help her two youngest children (age 14) to begin building credit by adding each as an authorized user.

Please see these posts for more detail:

Southwest Companion Passes

In most cases, the easiest way to get the Southwest Companion Pass is to wait until late in the year (October or November) and sign up for both a business and consumer Southwest card.  Southwest credit card welcome bonuses change regularly and it is often possible to earn the required 125,000 points from two bonuses.  But, when signing up late in the year, you don’t want to meet the spend requirements just yet.  Wait until January to meet the spend requirements so that the points will post in January.  In this way, you get a Southwest Companion Pass good for as many flights as you want for the rest of that year and all of the next.  In other words, by timing it carefully, it’s possible to earn a companion pass that is good for nearly two full years.

There are some complications with trying to do this repeatedly.  One problem is that once you are over 5/24, Chase won’t approve you for any additional cards until you drop below 5/24.  Another problem is that you cannot get a new cardmember bonus if you’ve received a bonus for a Southwest card in the past 24 months.  This latter problem can throw off the ideal timing described above.

Assuming that Jen’s companion pass is good until the end of 2021, the family can start a companion pass rotation that looks something like this in order to keep 2 companion passes at all times:

  • Jan 2021:
    • Jan’s companion pass is good for the rest of the year
    • Husband acquires companion pass good until end of 2022 (by signing up for cards in November 2020)
  • Jan 2022
    • Jan’s companion pass is expired
    • Husband’s companion pass is good for the rest of the year
    • Oldest daughter acquires companion pass good until end of 2023 (by signing up for cards in November 2021)
  • Jan 2023
    • Husband’s companion pass is expired
    • Oldest daughter’s companion pass is good for the rest of the year
    • Second oldest daughter acquires companion pass good until end of 2024 (by signing up for cards in November 2022)

There are many different ways to do this, but the above suggestion is designed to give extra time for the daughters to build up their credit so that they’ll be more likely to be approved when it’s their time to sign up.

The above plan assumes that the companion pass and associated credit card rules stay as they are today.  Of course, change happens regularly and so the plan will likely have to be adjusted to accommodate.

Ultimate Rewards

Regular readers know that we are big fans of transferable points programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.  When you build up points in these programs, you are then free to take advantage of sweetspots, award sales, and other opportunities that pop in in a variety of loyalty programs.

Jen and her husband currently have 150,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  We think they should get more.  One good way to get more Ultimate Rewards points is to sign up for Chase Ink cards.  Chase offers three different Ink cards and all three have great welcome bonuses:

Card Offer
75K points ⓘ Affiliate
75K after $6K spend in 3 months
No Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: You may be able to get an offer of 120,000 points after $6,000 in purchases via a Business Relationship Manager.
Recent better offer: 90K after $6K spend in 6 monthd (expired 1/17/24)
Up to 75K points ⓘ Affiliate
35K after $3K spend in 3 months and an additional 40K points after $6K spend in 6 months. In addition, 10% Business Relationship bonus if you have the Ink Business Cash and a Chase Business Checking account on your first anniversary.
No Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: If you have a household member with an Ink card, you may prefer the referral offer whereby the referrer can earn 40,000 points and the new account holder can earn 75,000 points after $6,000 in purchases in the first 3 months since it will yield more total points.
Recent better offer: 90K after $6K spend in 6 monthd (expired 1/17/24
100K points ⓘ Affiliate
100K after $8K spend in 3 months
$95 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: 80K after $5K spend. Many preferred the 80K offer due to the much lower spend requirement

Even though the Ink Business Preferred card has an eye popping 100K offer, that’s not the one we recommend at this time.  Chase has been harder on business card approvals lately.  And it has long been more difficult to get approved for the Ink Business Preferred than either of the no-fee Ink cards.  Plus, the no-fee card offers have much lower spend requirements.

My bet is that Jan and her husband could each pick up an Ink Business Cash card now and that she can pick up an Ink Business Unlimited card later in the year.  If her husband plans to sign up for Southwest cards at the end of this year (see the Southwest section, above), then he shouldn’t go for a second Ink card.  If this plan goes well, Jan and her husband will add another 150,000 points to their Ultimate Rewards mix (plus points earned through spend) by signing up for those three cards.

Towards the end of this year, their oldest daughter may want to try getting one of those 50K Ink offers too.  You can read about how my son signed up for a Chase Ink card as a college sophomore, here: Chase Business Ink as a student starter card.  Please click through to read that post for a discussion about how students can apply for business cards.

If the oldest daughter does successfully get an Ink card, she could move her points to her parent’s Sapphire Reserve card account in order to maximize the value of the points.  Note that with multiple people in a household wanting to move points, you may have to create a loop.  For example, the daughter transfers points to Jan’s account and Jan transfers points to her husband’s account (if her husband has the Sapphire Reserve account, for example).  Nick detailed this process in our Ultimate Rewards Guide, here.

Amex Membership Rewards

Jan and her family haven’t yet gone after Membership Rewards points, but we think they should.  There are many different cards that offer Membership Rewards points and since each is a different product, it’s theoretically possible for one person to sign up for each and every one.  This means that a single person could pull in many hundreds of thousands of points on their own.

Interestingly, a couple working together can pull in more points than two people working alone.  This is true because you can get points for referring each other.  For example, Jan can sign up for the Business Platinum card and then refer her husband, and then her husband can refer her to another Amex card.  With each referral, the person who sends the referral earns a referral bonus (sometimes as high as 20,000 points) and the person who receives it is eligible for a full welcome bonus.  For details, see: Maximizing value from Amex multi-referrals.

In general, Jan and her family should concentrate mostly on signing up for business cards since those won’t add to their 5/24 count.  That said, we recommended that Jan take a look at the Amex Gold card to see if it is a good fit for her family.  With its 4X category bonuses, it’s one of the best point earning cards around for those who spend a lot at supermarkets and restaurants.

Here’s the list of currently available Amex Membership Rewards offers (make sure to click “Next” to see more):

Card Offer and Details
150K points ⓘ Affiliate
150K points after $20K spend in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$695 Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: Targeted online offer of 170K points after $15K spend in the first 3 months See this post for details.
FM Mini Review: This card is absolutely loaded with high end perks. Depending upon your situation, those perks may be worth the annual fee or much more. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: 5X flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com ✦ 1.5X points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5000 or more (on up to $2 million of those purchases per year) ✦ 1.5x on US construction/hardware stores, US electronic goods, and US shipping ✦ 1X elsewhere ✦ Terms apply.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Other: 1.5X (2.33%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: Select one qualifying airline and receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for qualifying charges ✦ Up to $400 a year in statement credits for Dell purchases ($200, twice-yearly) ✦ Up to $120 in wireless services credits per year ($10 per month) ✦ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement.✦ Priority Pass membership (Lounges only) with 2 guests and other airport lounge benefits (Centurion and Delta) ✦ Rental car elite status ✦ Marriott Gold status ✦ Hilton Gold status. ✦ $189 CLEAR fee reimbursement annually ✦ 35% Airline Bonus: Get 35% points back after you Pay With Points for flights with your selected airline (or premium cabin with any airline). Enrollment required for select benefits
125K points ⓘ Non-Affiliate
125K after $8K spend in first 6 months. Terms apply.
$695 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 125K points after 6k spend [Expired 11/8/23]
FM Mini Review: In my opinion, this is the best of the consumer Amex Platinum cards when you need two cards thanks to Morgan Stanley offering one free authorized user. Unfortunately you do need to have a Morgan Stanley account to apply.
Earning rate: ✦ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ✦ 5X prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 5X (7.75%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: $500 after $100K cardmember year spend
Noteworthy perks: This card includes all of the great perks that come with the American Express Platinum Card, plus: ✦ 1 Free Authorized User ✦ Redeem points for 1 cent each into your Morgage Stanley account ✦ $695 Annual Engagement Bonus for Platinum CashPlus accounts
130K points after $10K spend in 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$375 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: (Expired 2/1/24) 130K referral offer after $10K in spend
FM Mini Review: This card may be a keeper for those who use the monthly credits, but keep only if you also make good use of one or two 4X categories. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: Earn 4X in combined eligible purchases in the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle (capped at $150K spend per calendar year, then 1x): Electronic goods retailers or software and cloud system providers in the U.S. ✦U.S. purchases at restaurants ✦Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S. ✦ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ✦ U.S. purchases at gas stations ✦ Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways. ✦ 3x on eligible purchases through AmexTravel.com ✦ 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 3X (4.65%)
Dine: 4X (6.2%)
Gas: 4X (6.2%)
Shop: 4X (6.2%)
Phone: 4X (6.2%)
Biz: 4X (6.2%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: Earn up to $20 in statement credits each month for eligible purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores. Enrollment required. ✦ Monthly Walmart+ Membership credit after you use the card to pay for one monthly Walmart+ membership ✦ Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)
100K Points ⓘ Non-Affiliate
100K points after $8K spend in 6 months + 10x on dining for 6 months (on up to $25K in purchases). Terms apply.
$695 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 175K after $8k spend (referral only, expired 4/8/24)
FM Mini Review: This card is absolutely loaded with high end perks. Depending upon your situation, those perks may be worth the annual fee or much more.
Earning rate: 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ✦ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 5X (7.75%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: Up to $200 a year in statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline per calendar year ✦ $200 prepaid hotel credit per calendar year valid on Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection bookings ✦ Up to $20 per month rebate for Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and/or The Wall Street Journal ✦ $15 monthly Uber or Uber Eats credit ($20 in December, use it or lose it each month) ✦ $189 CLEAR (R) Plus fee credit per calendar year ✦ $12.95 (+tax) monthly credit for Walmart+ monthly membership subscription credit when you pay with Platinum card ✦ Up to $100 in credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $50 in credits semi-annually) ✦ Priority Pass membership (Lounges only) with 2 guests and other airport lounge benefits (Centurion and Delta) ✦ Rental car elite status ✦ Marriott Gold status ✦ Hilton Honors Gold status Enrollement required for some benefits. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)
75K Points + 20% back at restaurants ⓘ Non-Affiliate
75K points after $6K in purchases in the first 6 months + 20% back at restaurants for the first 12 months up to $250 back. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$250 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 90K after $6K in the first 6 months + 20% back at restaurants for the first 12 months up to $250 back [Expired 6/8/22]
FM Mini Review: This card offers an awesome return on US supermarket and worldwide dining spend, putting it at or near the top-of-class in both categories. Dining credits and Uber / Uber Eats credits go a long way towards reducing the sting of this card's annual fee.
Earning rate: 3X points for flights booked with airlines or on amextravel.com ✦ 4x points at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 1x) ✦ 4x at restaurants worldwide ✦ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 3X (4.65%)
Dine: 4X (6.2%)
Grocery: 4X (6.2%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: Up to $10 in statement credits monthly with participating dining partners (Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, Shake Shack, Seamless/Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory) ✦ $10 monthly Uber or Uber Eats credit (use it or lose it each month) ✦ $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges on stays of 2 nights or longer, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc ✦ Enrollment required for select benefits.
80K after $8K spend in first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$695 Annual Fee
This card is only available to clients that maintain an eligible Schwab brokerage account.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 100K points + 10x when you Shop Small in the US & at restaurants worldwide [Expired 1/20/22]
Earning rate: ✦ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ✦ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 5X (7.75%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: This card includes all of the great perks that come with the American Express Platinum Card, plus: ✦ Use Membership Rewards® points for deposits by Schwab to your eligible brokerage account. (For example, 10,000 points = $110) ✦ $100 credit with Schwab holdings of $250,000+ or $200 credit with holdings of $1,000,000+ on approval & each year.
40K after $3K spend in first 6 months. Terms apply. See Rates & Fees
$150 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 60K after $3K spend in first 6 months + 20% off travel and transit purchases for first 6 months. [Expired 8/21/23]
FM Mini Review: This card is worth considering as your go-to travel card, but only if you value its CLEAR and Lounge Buddy credits. Also note that Amex cards continue to have limited acceptance in many international destinations. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: ✦ 3X on travel & transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, and rideshares) ✦ 3X dining ✦ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. See
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 3X (4.65%)
Dine: 3X (4.65%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Noteworthy perks: $189 CLEAR credit annually ✦ $100 LoungeBuddy credit annually Terms Apply.
15K points + 0% APR for 12 months ⓘ Affiliate
15k points after $3k spend within the first 3 months + 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 18.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening. (Rates & Fees)
No Annual Fee
FM Mini Review: 2X rewards for all spend (up to $50K per year) with no annual fee makes this card a winner. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
Base: 2X (3.1%)
Card Info: Amex Credit Card issued by Amex. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
10K after $1K spend in 3 months. Terms apply.
No Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
FM Mini Review: Great choice for keeping Membership Rewards points alive if you choose to cancel other Membership Rewards earning cards. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: ✦ 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) ✦ 1x on other purchases
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Grocery: 2X (3.1%)
Card Info: Amex Credit Card issued by Amex. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
Noteworthy perks: ✦ Make 20 or more purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points, less returns and credits ✦ Points transferrable to many airline programs (unusual feature for no-fee card) ✦ Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 24.24% ✦ $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening. Terms apply. See Rates & Fees
15K after $1K spend in 3 months. Terms apply.
$95 Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: Some people click through and find that they are targeted for an offer of 30K points after $2K spend in 3 months.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 30K after $2K in first 3 months
FM Mini Review: Thanks to the 50% bonus on points earned, this is, in my opinion, one of the strongest mile-earning cards available. Click here for our complete card review
Earning rate: ✦ 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) ✦ 2x points at US gas stations ✦ 1x points on other purchases.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Gas: 2X (3.1%)
Grocery: 3X (4.65%)
Card Info: Amex Credit Card issued by Amex. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
Noteworthy perks: Earn 50% more points: Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms apply. See Rates & Fees
15K points after $3K spend in first 3 months. Terms & limitations apply.
$95 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Earning rate: ✦ 2X at AmexTravel.com ✦ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 2X (3.1%)
Card Info: Amex Pay Over Time Card issued by Amex. This card imposes foreign transaction fees.
Noteworthy perks: None

Conclusion

There’s so much more to consider about Jan and her family’s situation and how to maximize opportunities.  For example, if Jan ends up getting the Gold card (which offers 4X dining), should she consider dumping the one remaining Sapphire Reserve card (3X travel & dining) and instead keeping an Ink Business Preferred as a way to keep 3X travel?  But, we try to keep these Card Talk Interventions to about an hour, so we left things where we did.

Overall, I think we helped Jan with concrete plans for cancelling cards, and general go-forward plans for establishing her second daughter’s credit, earning new Southwest Companion Passes, increasing their Chase Ultimate Rewards totals, and amassing Amex Membership Rewards.

Watch the Video

Want to see the complete Card Talk conversation with Jen?  You can view it here:

How to participate in Card Talk

If you’re interested in participating in a future Card Talk, please leave a comment on our Card Talk page.

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[…] appealed to us because we spent the first couple of Card Talk episodes with Jim and then Jen focusing more closely on trimming down wallets that had gotten a little unruly with annual […]

ktenorman

This is awesome! Keep up the great content.

Dima

Even if they have a business that’s not a sole prop it’s going to be a challenge to open multiple business cards with Chase. Several DPs on reddit about people with legit businesses, that have years of verifiable business documentation, going through 1hr+ reviews and often being rejected.