Does Capital One now have a knockout 1-2 credit card combo that can take its competitors to the mat? Is the Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited combo worth enough more to justify the higher annual fee outlay? What about the killer Amex combo? This week, Greg and I discuss the best 2-card combos, the crazy Cardless card offer that was anything but cardless after all, whether there are new Amex application rules, and more. Watch or listen to Frequent Miler on the Air below or read on for more of this week at Frequent Miler.
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This week at Frequent Miler
Capital One keeps crushing it: Now 3% grocery and more on both Savor and SavorOne
Capital One continues its fight to compete for a place in the conversation for best rewards program with the addition of an uncapped 3% grocery bonus category on both the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card and its no-fee lookalike the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card. Given that you can transfer cash back to Capital One miles (and on to airline miles) if you have a Venture-family or Spark Miles-family card, you can suddenly have a powerful 1-2 combo with a Venture or Spark Miles card and a SavorOne card given that your base earning would be 2x everywhere with the Venture (for example) and you’d also get 3x dining and grocery via the Savor card with no foreign transaction fees on either card and only a single $95 annual fee on the Venture side. That’s a compelling argument for a great 2-card combination. Is it the best? Watch or listen to Frequent Miler on the Air above to get our take.
We Want Your Amex Platinum 100k Referral Links
The long-standing policy of Frequent Miler is to make an effort to make sure that our Best Credit Card Offers Page only displays the best publicly-available offers whether or not that means affiliate commissions for us. The best available offer on the Amex Platinum card has only been available via referral for many months, so we long ago asked members of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group to share their referral links only for the 100K offer and only in a dedicated Facebook thread. By earlier this week, we had cycled through the links of every member who followed directions about where and how to post, helping many, many readers max out their referral bonuses for this offer. If you have a link for the 100K Platinum offer (or want to know how to check if you do), click through to this post and find out where to post your link so that it might end up on our best offers page (hint: don’t post your link in the comments on this post as it’ll just get caught in our spam filter and will not post).
Hilton replaces breakfast benefit for elite members in the United States
Hilton Gold status has long been the “Gold standard” if you will in terms of mid-tier hotel elite status because members with Gold (or Diamond) status could count on free breakfast at almost all Hilton properties worldwide. Unfortunately, Hilton has announced that from July to December 2021, the breakfast benefit will be replaced with a daily food & beverage credit for up to 2 people per room and the amount of the credit will vary by brand and market. That’s a huge bummer to me. Hotel breakfast is a luxury of convenience
“Forced” to adventure due to free night certs… On my mind
Many of us find ourselves with a wealth of free night certificates. Rather than feeling pressured about how to use them, Greg is flipping the script and using his certificates to hunt for adventure within the US. If you have an argument as to why Greg should use a free night certificate for one type of adventure or another, he wants to hear about it in the comments of this post. And as I said on the show this week, hook me up with your comments about where to use Radisson free night certificates since I’ve now got a few more months to use mine and I need an inspiring domestic Radisson adventure.
Best Hyatt Category 1-4 Hotels & Resorts
Based on reader suggestions from the post above, Greg began to compile a list of the best places to use Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificates in the US. As the son of a former gymnast, the Chicago Athletic Association had me at the pommel horse benches — the place looks very cool to me. I rarely stay in hotels in Chicago since we’re either there visiting friends or staying at an airport hotel for a conference, but I’m going to have to carve out a night or two for that place. Which is your favorite among the reader suggestions?
What are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?
I was somewhat surprised to see the value of Marriott Bonvoy points dip, but I’m not sure I should have been given our methodology of major city hotels in the US as those haven’t usually been the places where I have been most likely to redeem my Marriott points. I tend to find better value either for more rural locations or international destinations, but if you primarily travel domestically to major cities, which is a fair assumption to make for most readers, points are worth a little less than they were before.
What are Best Western points worth?
Truthfully, I have a hard time getting excited about the value of Best Western points. That’s not because I have anything against Best Western. On the contrary, before my miles & points days, I stayed at plenty of Best Western properties and actually preferred them over other budget brands because I found properties to be more consistently clean and comfortable. But with no programs transferring points to Best Western, I’m just unlikely to ever accumulate enough of these points to care much. Still, it’s nice to have a value for the purposes of evaluation promotions and for those who do choose BW as a primary program.
Is FoundersCard worth the price? How are the free trial benefits?
As someone who uses free Internet resources and credit card benefits to bag bargains, I’ve long wondered why I would want to pay hundreds of dollars per year for what looked like a glorified coupon program. However, after I finally checked out a free trial of FoundersCard, I was pleasantly surprised by the benefits. It still probably isn’t for me, but I could totally see how a small entrepreneur could save a substantial amount depending on their spending patterns. See this post for more on why it might be interesting to you.
Also think you left off the Altitude Reserve + Altitude Go combo especially since you can combo it for shopping with the slide app.
Plus since tap to pay is basically universal internationally, the AR is the best card for international travel.
Pod roast: you guys didn’t talk about the Hilton breakfast devaluation? Could have been the main topic of the pod, or the “What crazy thing did Hilton do” segment
We recorded on Wednesday before the news broke.
Great podcast this week! I really enjoyed the conversation. A few thoughts….
-To me the ultimate chase combo is the ink preferred and the freedom unlimited. $95 for the same earning rate as the CSR/unlimited combo. Did you pick the CSR over the CIP purely based on getting 1.5 cents per point instead of 1.25 cents? I’d be curious to hear why you picked the CSR over the CIP.
-This may be a dumb suggestion – and might not count since you’re really just talking about transferrable points – but what about the Wyndham rewards earner plus and the wyndham rewards business card? For $170/year, this combo gets 4x on dining and groceries, 5x on marketing advertising and utilities, 8x on gas and wyndham stays, and a bonus 22.5k wyndham points each year for having the two cards. Since these two only earn 1x everywhere else, you would still need a different card in another program for that, like the blue business plus, but I’m seriously considering making this our household’s primary combo as long as vacasa is alive. Am I crazy? I am the same person who suggested the radisson card was the third best hotel card….
-Finally, to add to the topic at the end of the podcast, I have also experienced getting the popup through a referral (for the hilton business card) but it went away when I applied without it two minutes later.
Thanks again for the interesting discussion this week!
@Nick Reyes, Radisson Blu Aqua hotel, Chicago?
Also… Amex Offers are another strength their 2 card combo would have in comparison to the other banks.
It’s too bad you didn’t cover the BoA cards in your two card combo discussion; is it because they are more cash back focused rather than being transferable points?
Yup! But that’s a great point. Particularly if you have Platinum Honors status a Bank of America-centric strategy would make a lot of sense. There’s something to be said for a premium Rewards and cash rewards combo!
I just listened to the podcast and thought it was good but I was disappointed that you kept the 2 card combo to the same brand cards. You should do another take on this with mix and match 2 card combos like CSR and Amex Gold or Surpass and Venture one, etc. I’m really interested in the absolute best gas card, best big box (Walmart type) card, best travel card. I like the CSR and Amex Gold but surely I’m overlooking some stuff.
I got my cardless card. It is definitely not cardless but interestingly it is a swipe only card and does not have my card number information on it.
Video is marked private…can’t watch.
Weird. I definitely made it public and it showed up public when I just pulled it up in YouTube studio, but then when I clicked through it said it was still a draft. Not sure why that happened, but I have re-saved it as public, so you should be able to see it now. Sorry about that!