Which Premium Cards are Keepers? Version 4.0

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With Amex increasing the annual fee on their personal Platinum card from $550 to $695, they’ve raised the stakes.  It was already a bad idea to keep paying the Platinum card annual fee if you didn’t get good value from the premium card’s perks.  Now, it’s a really bad idea.

There’s no question that the Platinum card’s incredible welcome bonus is worth pursuing (125K plus 15x rewards! Whaaaaat?!!!).  The question is whether to keep the card in year 2 and beyond.  The Platinum card may be uniquely expensive, but it’s not alone in fitting this pattern: Many premium cards are worth signing up for because they have great welcome bonuses.  The question in each case is whether the cards are worth keeping past the first year. When the second year annual fee comes due, should you keep or cancel?

Premium and ultra-premium cards typically offer terrific benefits in exchange for high fees ($95 to $695 per year). Sometimes the value of the benefits far outweigh those fees, but not always.

Do the card’s benefits outweigh the annual fee? Everyone will have a different answer.  Each person should conservatively estimate the value of each benefit to them to figure this out. I recommend trying to estimate how much you’d be willing to pay for each feature if it was available stand-alone as a subscription. For example, if a card offers free checked bags, you could save hundreds of dollars if you use that benefit often enough. But how much would you pay in advance for an annual subscription to get free checked bags? That answer should be substantially lower than the amount that you think you’ll save. Otherwise, why prepay for that benefit?

To help you come up with your own estimates, I created a Google Doc spreadsheet with tabs for each of the most popular ultra-premium rewards cards (and a handful of popular premium cards). Click here to open the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet currently includes general estimates of how much each major card benefit may be worth, along with my own personal valuation to give you an idea of how I think about each.

To use the spreadsheet, create a copy of it and then overwrite the values in columns D and E on each tab with your own value estimates.

Tips for using the spreadsheet effectively

  • Be conservative with your estimates. Enter values that you would pay for a subscription for that benefit rather than the amount you expect to save.
  • Don’t double count perks.  Once you identify cards that you know that you’ll keep year after year, make sure to consider that when evaluating overlapping benefits on other cards. For example, I know I’ll keep my Ritz card which has a fantastic version of Priority Pass, so I assigned $0 value to every other card that offers Priority Pass.

The Card Roundup

At the time of this writing, the spreadsheet includes the following cards…

Bank Cards

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

FM Mini Review: With points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel, this card offers an excellent signup bonus. For ongoing use, this card is a winner for those who spend a lot on mobile payments (at 3X, rewards are worth 4.5%)


Annual Fee: $400

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Shop
Other

Earning rate: 5x prepaid hotel & car rental through Altitude Rewards Center ⚬ 3X travel and mobile wallet payments ⚬ 3X dining & food delivery through 6/30/21

Noteworthy perks: $325 in travel/dining credits per membership year ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel ⚬ Real Time Mobile Rewards (redeem points at full value at time of purchase) ⚬ Priority Pass Select airport lounge access (4 per year) ⚬ 12 free Gogo Wifi passes per year. Note: This benefit will be discontinued on April 1, 2022. You can continue to enroll until March 31, 2022 and passes will be valid for 12 months from issuance. ⚬ Primary car rental coverage ⚬ No foreign transaction fees ⚬ Free authorized user cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express for Schwab

Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel

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

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.

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley

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.


Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel

Earning rate: ⚬ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel

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 ⚬ $550 Annual Engagement Bonus for Reserved Clients

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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.


Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel

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

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline ⚬ $200 prepaid hotel credit annually valid on Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection bookings. ⚬ Up to $300 in Equinox credits. ⚬ Up to $20 per month rebate for select digital entertainment services (NY Times, ESPN+, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, Sirius XM, Audible) ⚬ $189 CLEAR fee reimbursement annually. ⚬ Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status for Basic Member only ⚬ $300 credit when buying a SoulCycle bike directly from SoulCycle (up to 15 bikes per year) ⚬ $12.95 monthly credit for Walmart+ monthly membership subscription credit. ⚬ Complimentary Uber Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months (must enroll by 12/31/21) ⚬ Up to $100 in credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $50 in credits semi-annually, enrollment required) ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement or $85 TSA Precheck reimbursement once every 5 years ⚬ Airport lounge benefits ⚬ Rental car elite status ⚬ Marriott Gold status ⚬ Hilton HHonors Gold status ⚬ Free Gold card AUs. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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.


Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Other

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.

Noteworthy perks: Up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees ⚬ Up to $400 a year in statement credits for Dell purchases ($200 Jan-June; $200 July-Dec) ⚬ Up to $120 in wireless services credits per year ($10 per month) ⚬ Up to $360 per year in credit with Indeed (up to $90 per quarter ⚬ Up to $150 per year in purchases with Adobe for annual prepaid plans for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement.⚬ Airport lounge benefits ⚬ 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

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

CNB Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card

FM Mini Review: This card's value is hobbled by an inferior Priority Pass membership (as of 1/1/20).


Annual Fee: $400

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X airline, hotel, taxi, limousine, rental car, train bus, restaurant, fast food and takeout food and dining purchases ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Get reimbursed up to $550 for airline lounge club membership after $50K calendar year spend.

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Up to $350 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees (as of 1/1/20) ⚬ 12 Gogo In-Flight Wifi passes per card ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement ⚬ Priority Pass lounge membership for 2 cardholders (guests are not free as of 1/1/20)

See also: CNB Crystal Visa Infinite loses valuable perks as of Jan 1 2020

Citi ThankYou Prestige Card

FM Mini Review: The Prestige card's best in class 5X rewards for dining, airfare, and travel agencies is hard to beat. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Annual Fee: $495

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ⚬ 3X hotels and cruise line ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: $250 travel rebate per calendar year ⚬ Free lounge access: Citi Properietary Lounges; and Priority Pass Select with free guests ⚬ $100 Global Entry application fee credit ⚬ 4th night free hotel benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent all-around card for frequent traveler. Best when paired with no-fee Chase Freedom Flex, no-fee Freedom Unlimited & no-fee Chase Ink Cash


Annual Fee: $550

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 10X hotels & car rentals booked through Chase ⚬ 10X Chase Dining ⚬ 5X flights booked through Chase ⚬ 3X Travel and Dining ⚬ 10X Lyft (through March 2025)

Noteworthy perks: $300 Annual Travel Credit ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel or Pay Yourself Back ⚬ Transfer points to airline & hotel partners ⚬ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Priority Pass Select lounge access ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee credit ⚬ $5 monthly DoorDash in-app credit through December 2024 ⚬ Free DashPass through 2025 ⚬ Earn 10X on Lyft spend

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

FM Mini Review: Great signup bonus. Unlocks ability to transfer points to hotel & airline partners. Solid option to pair with fee-free Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Freedom cards, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 5X Travel booked through Chase (2X all other travel) ⚬ 3X Dining ⚬ 3X Select streaming services ⚬ 3X Online grocery ⚬ 5X Lyft (through March 2025)

Noteworthy perks: Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Free DashPass through 2025 ⚬ Transfer points to airline & hotel partners ⚬ 10% annual point bonus ⚬ $50 annual credit for hotel stays booked through Chase (Those who opened card before 8/15/21 will have to wait until next account anniversary for this perk)

See also: Sapphire Preferred 100K Q&A: Everything you need to know

American Express® Green Card

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.


Annual Fee: $150

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X on travel & transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, and rideshares) ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. See

Noteworthy perks: $100 CLEAR credit annually ⚬ $100 LoungeBuddy credit annually ⚬ Complimentary Uber Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months (must enroll by 12/31/21). Terms Apply.

American Express® Gold Card

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.


Annual Fee: $250

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Grocery

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)

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.

American Express® Business Gold Card

FM Mini Review: This card is pricey for one with few perks. Keep only if you make good use of one or two 4X categories.


Annual Fee: $295

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Biz

Earning rate: Earn 4X on the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from the following categories: ⚬ US purchases at restaurants ⚬ Airfare purchased directly from airlines ⚬ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ⚬ U.S. purchases at gas stations ⚬ U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 4X applies to first $150,000 in combined purchases in your two categories each calendar year, 1X point per dollar thereafter and on other purchases. Terms apply.

Noteworthy perks: 25% Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you Pay With Points for flights with your selected airline (or premium cabin with any airline). Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Airline Cards

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
United Club℠ Infinite Card

FM Mini Review: While pricey, the Chase United Club Infinite Card is a great choice for those who want a United club membership and waived close-in award fees.


Annual Fee: $525

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 4X United ⚬ 2X dining & travel

Big spend bonus: Earn up to 4,000 PQPs per year: 500 PQPs per $12K spend (up to $96K spend)

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ United Club membership ⚬ Unlocks complimentary elite upgrades on award tickets, including companions on the same reservation ⚬ 10% discount on saver level economy awards within the continental US and Canada ⚬ 10,000 miles for signing up for CLEAR by June 30, 2022 using your card ⚬ IHG Platinum Status ⚬ $75 statement credit for IHG properties charged to the card between 1/1 and 12/1/22 ⚬ Priority check-in, security screening, baggage handling, and boarding ⚬ Free 1st and 2nd checked bags ⚬ Hertz President's Circle Elite Status ⚬ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Credit Card from American Express

FM Mini Review: Excellent choice for frequent Delta flyers who can make use of SkyClub access and companion certificate. Also a good choice for big spenders seeking Delta elite status.


Annual Fee: $550

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Brand

Earning rate: 3X Delta

Big spend bonus: Earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year ⚬ Complimentary upgrades ⚬  $100 Global Entry fee credit every 4 years (or 4.5 years for TSA Precheck) ⚬ Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver (up to Platinum status) with $25K
spend across one or more Delta cards (or $250K spend for Diamond status) ⚬ Terms apply.

Noteworthy perks: Domestic economy or first class companion certificate (subject to taxes & fees) after card renewal ⚬ SkyClub access ⚬ 2 Delta SkyClub one-time guest passes ⚬ Centurion Lounge access when flying Delta ⚬ Complimentary upgrades ⚬  $100 Global Entry fee credit every 4 years (or 4.5 years for TSA Precheck) ⚬ Priority boarding ⚬ First checked bag free on Delta flights. Terms and limitations apply. (Rates & Fees)

See also: Delta Reserve complete guide

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent choice for frequent Delta flyers who can make use of SkyClub access and companion certificate. Also a good choice for big spenders seeking Delta elite status.


Annual Fee: $550

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Brand
Other
1.5X
(1.8%)

Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 1.5X on all spend per calendar year after spending $150K

Big spend bonus: Earn 15K MQMs (towards elite status) after $30K spend up to four times per year ⚬ Throughout 2021, earn an additional 3,750 MQMs with $30K in purchases up to 4 times ⚬ Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver (up to Platinum status) with $25K spend across one or more Delta cards (or $250K spend for Diamond status) ⚬ After you spend $150K in a calendar year, earn 1.5X miles per dollar on eligible purchases for the rest of the year (excludes Delta purchases after you meet the $150K requirement) ⚬ Terms and limitations apply.

Noteworthy perks: Domestic economy or first class companion certificate (subject to taxes & fees) after card renewal ⚬ SkyClub access ⚬ 2 Delta SkyClub one-time guest passes ⚬ Centurion Lounge access when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve card ⚬ Complimentary upgrades ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee credit every 4 years (or 4.5 years for TSA Precheck) ⚬ Priority boarding ⚬ First checked bag free on Delta flights. Terms and limitations apply. (Rates & Fees)

See also: Delta Reserve complete guide

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Credit Card from American Express

FM Mini Review: Good choice for frequent Delta flyers who can make use of annual companion certificate


Annual Fee: $250

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ⚬ 2X restaurants ⚬ 2X US Supermarkets

Big spend bonus: Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year ⚬ Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver (up to Platinum status) with $25K
spend across one or more Delta cards (or $250K spend for Diamond status) ⚬ Terms apply.

Noteworthy perks: Domestic economy companion certificate (subject to taxes & fees) each year upon card renewal ⚬ Priority boarding ⚬ First checked bag free on Delta flights ⚬ Terms and Limitations Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

FM Mini Review: Good choice for frequent Delta flyers who can make use of annual companion certificate


Annual Fee: $250

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Brand
Other
1.5X
(1.8%)

Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ⚬ 1.5X on purchases of $5K or more (max 50K extra miles per year)

Big spend bonus: Spend $25,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn 10,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs); spend a total of $50,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn an additional 10,000 MQMs ⚬ Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver (up to Platinum status) with $25K spend across one or more Delta cards (or $250K spend for Diamond status) ⚬ Terms and limitations apply.

Noteworthy perks: Domestic economy companion certificate (subject to taxes & fees) each year upon card renewal ⚬ Priority boarding ⚬ First checked bag free on Delta flights ⚬ Terms and Limitations Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Citi AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard®

FM Mini Review: Excellent choice for those who need Admirals Club access (included for both the primary member and authorized users). Plus, it offers the usual collection of perks for flying AA (free checked bag, priority boarding, etc.).


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Brand

Earning rate: 2X AA

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ First Checked Bag Free ⚬ Admirals Club® access for both primary and authorized users ⚬ 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines and US Airways flights ⚬ Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

Hotel Cards

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

FM Mini Review: Decent ultra-premium option for Marriott fans, but Hilton fans may prefer the ultra-premium Hilton Aspire card.


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: 3X airfare charged by airline; 3X US restaurants, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus: Platinum Elite status with $75K calendar year spend

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ 50K Free Night Award each year upon renewal ⚬ $300 Marriott statement credit per membership year ⚬ Gold Elite status ⚬ 15 elite nights credit ⚬ Priority Pass Select with 2 free guests ⚬ Global Entry fee credit ⚬ Free premium internet at Marriott properties

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

FM Mini Review: This card is loaded with valuable perks that are more than worth the card's annual fee if you stay in Hilton resorts at least once per year, and other Hilton properties a few times a year..


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 14X Hilton spend ⚬ 7X US restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, select car rental companies ⚬ 3X on all other eligible purchases ⚬ Terms & Limitations Apply.

Big spend bonus: Second free weekend night after $60K spend in calendar year

Noteworthy perks: ⚬Annual Weekend Night Reward upon approval and every year upon renewal ⚬ Free Diamond Status ⚬ Priority Pass w/ 2 free guests ⚬ $250 Hilton Resort Credit per membership year ⚬ $250 Airline Incidental Fee Credit per calendar year ⚬ $100 on-property credit w/ Aspire Card package ⚬ Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees

See also: Amex Hilton Aspire In-Depth Review

Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite

FM Mini Review: While the card is pricey, the annual free night, plus $300 in ariline fee credits, plus other perks make this card a keeper.


Annual Fee: First year free, then $450

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 6X Ritz & Marriott.⚬ 3X airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: $75K spend per account year for Platinum elite status

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Annual 50K hotel certificate upon renewal ⚬ 3 club level upgrades. $100 hotel credit for each 2 night or longer stay ⚬ Priority Pass Select with unlimited guests ⚬ $300 annual credit for airline incidentals ⚬ Automatic Gold Status

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

My Personal Keepers

Here’s where I landed after analyzing each bank card (for brevity, airline and hotel cards aren’t shown):

As you can see above, I found that my Schwab Platinum card is a keeper and that the Morgan Stanley Platinum card is worth getting.  The regular Platinum card and Business Platinum cards are candidates for cancellation.  My Amex Gold card is still a keeper and the Business Gold card is still definitely not a keeper.  For the first time that I can remember, the Sapphire Reserve card no longer appears to be a keeper for me.  If they charge only $450 with the next renewal (as they’ve been doing during COVID), though, then it will be worth keeping another year.  And after that, a lot can change.

To understand the above results, I recommend clicking into the spreadsheet to see the details on each tab.  While reviewing the details, keep in mind the following dependencies:

  • The Ritz card (not shown above) is an obvious no-brainer for me since it offers many perks that I highly value. As a result, other cards that offering duplicative benefits were not valued as highly. For example, I don’t value getting Priority Pass from any of the other cards since this one gives me Priority Pass with unlimited guests.
  • I currently have multiple versions of Platinum cards: regular consumer Platinum, Schwab Platinum, and Business Platinum.  After analyzing these cards, I decided that the Schwab Platinum was the most likely keeper this coming year, so I zeroed out the duplicate benefits on the other Platinum card tabs whenever there’s no value in having the benefit twice. For example, there’s no advantage to having two multiple cards that offer Emergency medical evacuation, so I only assigned value to that feature for the Schwab card.  Then, even without these duplicative features, I found that the Morgan Stanley Platinum card is probably the best fit for me.  So, once I get that card, I’ll redo the analyses with the Morgan Stanley card as the primary one that gets assigned the value of duplicative benefits.

Also keep in mind:

  • I’ve gotten very good at getting full value from credit card travel credits, so my net cost on many of these cards is far less than it appears.

Update 7/6/21 Version 4.0: Updated consumer Platinum cards with new perks and new annual fee. Added Schwab and Morgan Stanley Platinum cards on their own tabs. Updated business Platinum card with new perks. Updated Gold card to clarify a few perks.

Updates to Versions 3.5.1 to 3.5.6: Added Citi Premier card. Added Citigold rebate for AA Exec cards.  Added Uber Eats benefits to Gold, Platinum, and Green cards. Removed Roadside assistance from Hilton Aspire. Added Emergency Evacuation to Hilton Aspire, Bonvoy Brilliant, Delta Reserve, Delta Reserve Business.  Removed Gogo benefit from Amex Business Platinum (benefit ended in 2020)

UPDATE 10/25/2020 Version 3.5: Added Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature. Added Refer-A-Friend to all Amex cards.  Added a placeholder for an expected new Amex Gold feature. Changed many of the recommended valuations.  Changed how I value Sapphire Reserve 1.5 cents per point redemptions.

UPDATE 5/18/2020 Version 3.4: Changed name to “Premium Cards” (previously “Ultra-Premium Cards”). Updated screenshots in this post.

UPDATE 2/2020 Version 3.3: Worksheet only changes.  Added Sapphire Preferred. Added row in Sapphire Reserve for valuing ability to transfer to partners.

UPDATE 1/9/2020 Version 3.2: I added recent changes to the Sapphire Reserve.  The annual fee goes up to $550 and they add Lyft and DoorDash benefits.

UPDATE 11/4/2019 Version 3.1: That was fast!  I last published this post 5 days ago with Version 3.0 of the spreadsheet.  Since then, we learned of the CNB card’s massive devaluation (click here for details).  So, I’ve updated the spreadsheet to version 3.1 with the new CNB info.  Personally, this meant that the CNB card is no longer a keeper for me.  As a result, my valuations of other cards increased. I’ll now be leaning on my US Bank Altitude Reserve card for free in-flight Gogo passes.  And I’ll switch to my Ritz card for Priority Pass and for the Discount Air Benefit.

UPDATE 10/30/2019 Version 3.0:

I last published version 2.0 of the ultra-premium card analysis spreadsheet in February, but things have already changed enough to warrant an update.  One critical change was Citi dropping their purchase and travel protections.  If you thought the Citi Prestige was worth keeping before, you might want to take a second look.  Personally, I’ve retreated back to my Sapphire Reserve card for most travel purchases.

Another motivation for version 3 was the announcement about huge changes coming to Delta Amex cards.  The version 3 spreadsheet includes all Amex Delta features and annual fees that kick in on Jan 30 2020.  The previous version only included Delta Reserve cards, but the new spreadsheet includes the Delta Platinum cards as well.

Finally, the introduction of the Amex Green card was another motivator.  I decided to include the $150 Green card in the Ultra-Premium analysis since its features seem targeted directly at the Sapphire Reserve card (see my analysis of the new card here).  A number of people have told me that they are considering the Green card not as a replacement to the Sapphire Reserve, but as an add-on to their card collections.  That’s counter-intuitive to me.  In my mind the only exciting feature of the Green card is the $100 annual CLEAR rebate.  Why would you pay $150 per year for a $100 feature?  By adding the Green card to the spreadsheet, it is easier to make rational decisions about whether or not the Green card is a keeper.

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[…] $700.  The guys over at FrequentMiler.com are tremendous at travel analytics (travelytics?); here’s a link to their guide to valuing benefits, including a spreadsheet for your personal […]

[…] Which Premium Card Should You Keep?:  With all of the recent changes happening to the “Big 3” premium cards on the market, you should take a second look at what’s in your wallet.  Perks and annual fees have changed so you may need to make a switch. […]

Andy

Can you add the Amex Corporate Advantage Program to the XLS?

$150 annual statement credit on Vanilla Platinum
$100 annual statement credit on Gold
$75 annual statement credit on Green

No doubt some people will be eligible. Thanks!

Retired Gambler

Greg – good recap and I understand your analysis. Personally, I value the cards a little differently in that I don’t only look at bottom line savings to offset the AF but also additional value I get from the card (or relationship with the company). I have around 10 credit cards and 5 are higher AF cards (Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, CSR, Marriott Bonvoy Amex and DL Platinum Amex). Others are no fee or less than $100 and typically come with free night at hotel which more than offsets it so I only look at the 5 w higher fees.

To me keeping Amex Platinum and Gold are no-brainers. The earning alone on the Amex Gold card is worth $250 a year (to me) but the Uber and dining credits (which I do use) pretty much cover the fee. I get over $700 in value from my Amex Platinum (have SiriusXM in 3 cars on monthly pay plan so that was an easy $240 pickup for example) but even if I didn’t I would likely keep the card. I’ve been a member since 86 and value what Amex has done for me in the past and also I value the non-monetary benefits (lounges, International Airline Program, etc) more than you apparently do. Also, I will keep the Marriott Bonvoy Amex card. Around $450 AF (as I recall) but with a $300 Marriott credit (lifetime Titanium here) the annual free night pretty much covers the cost then I get other benefits.

The 2 I am thinking of dropping are DL Amex Platinum card. I’m lifetime elite on DL and get Skyclub access through my Amex Platinum card so only real benefit for me is annual companion pass. However, I live in an AA fortress hub, have around 1,000,000 Advantage miles and am also lifetime elite on AA so have to go out of my way to fly DL. I also am strongly considering dropping the CSR (or maybe downgrading the preferred if that is possible). Net cost is $250 (travel credit for $300 is easy to use) and unless they retool it and extend some of the temporary credits (like Doordash) I don’t see any value outside of being able to redeem my Ultimate Points at 1.5 cent each (which I would do before downgrading or canceling). Whatever CSR offers (outside of 3X on non-airline travel that isn’t a chain hotel where I have a card for better earning) I can duplicate or better with other cards.

David

A bit off-subject, but thank you for having never posted videos of (or mentioning) the latest argument/fight/bad behavior incident in an airport/airplane. For the last several years my morning routine has been to go to Boarding Area to see what you, Gary, and Ben all have to say. Gary can often be informative, but he posts National Enquirer content every other day now, and Ben just posted one the other day too. Live and Let’s Fly (who can’t write as well as the three of you anyway) always has a beef with someone/something or a need to sensationalize something that happened to him to an airport/hotel that day

Last week I signed up for your daily morning feed, and have taken Boarding Area out of my bookmarks. You are now my daily source for everything travel. Thank you for the content you provide, and for enhancing travel in all of our lives!

[…] Obviously, each of these credits isn’t worth face value to every card member. So, using the Frequent Miler Premium Credit Card Worksheet is key to seeing if this card is a keeper for […]

Miles

GoGo Inflight Internet is no longer available on the Amex Biz Plat.

PeterC

Just a data point… My Amex Bonvoy Brilliant annual fee is due. Did a retention chat. They offered 60k points with no spend required to keep it open. Pretty decent offer, I thought.

[…] Continue Reading: Source Link […]

iamhere

Most people have a dollar and cents conversion of what they think the points are worth, but I actually prefer to consider my redemption habits and my overall strategy. For example, where or for what will I redeem the points and what is the cash value. Devaluations are also important to consider. Many hotel and airline rewards have been heavily devalued in recent years. Credit card rewards remain more stable and are more flexible.

Furthermore, I think people need to consider their habits more often and their long term strategy. It is relatively easy, even this year, to get a value equal to the annual fee on most major credit cards.

Importantly it depends how you accumulate points too. Chase CSR combined with the two freedom cards work well for matching, and given that the freedom cards are free, this could also be considered.

If you give up on these cards now and then you want them later, you have to re-apply and some of the higher end cards have a “cooling off” period of which you cannot reapply within.

It is generally NOT a good idea to apply for a new card just because of the sign up bonuses.

eponymous coward

Thanks! I had to hack this to support my own card (Cathay Pacific VISA by Synchrony), but it was easy to do so. It basically confirmed what I thought:

  • AMEX Green and Gold work for me
  • AMEX Platinum is a churn card if I go for it
  • Cathay Pacific Visa is a churn card
  • AMEX Hilton Aspire and Bonvoy Brilliant are better cards than AMEX Platinum for me (I have Aspire, I can justify Brilliant based on year 1 and year 2 with the current offers).
  • The ideal end state of AMEX cards (based on how I value them right now): Green, Gold, and one of the Hilton Surpass or Bonvoy $95 cards (probably the AMEX Bonvoy $95), and one of the Aspire/Brilliant (probably the Aspire).

I won’r be under 5/24 until Q2 2022 (even longer if I go for Citi cards) so Chase/Citi aren’t factors right now…

eponymous coward

Oh! The Hilton Aspire shows roadside assistance is included. AMEX eliminated it in 2020.

Oliver

The Ritz no longer offers the $100 airline discount.
“Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Annual 50K hotel certificate upon renewal ⚬ 3 club level upgrades. $100 hotel credit for each 2 night or longer stay ⚬ Priority Pass Select with unlimited guests ⚬ $300 annual credit for airline incidentals ⚬ $100 discount on multi-passenger ticket purchases. ⚬ Automatic Gold Status”

bill

One note on version 3.5: the Green Card tab doesn’t have the sum rows updated, so it’s only summing rows 5-9 when it needs to be adding rows 5-11.

Dan

Very useful!

king

New uber benefits from Amex

Jeff

Green and CSP but no Citi Premier? I mean Citi is crazy but you gotta respect the Vicki Mendoza Diagonal.

Joe Schmo

Greg – have you considered adding the fact that a card has periodic spend bonuses? For example, I assessed whether the Citi Prestige card’s benefits exceeded the costs, but decided that the periodic 5x (like the one going on now for up to 7500 points) tipped the scales in favor of keeping it.

Also, maybe another consideration is whether you would use Amex Offers for cards that are on the bubble. That is, if I have the Amex Gold card and determined that’s clearly a keeper on its own merits, I may then decide to use any/all Amex Offers on the DL Reserve to move it from a loser to a keeper.

Billy Bob

The Ritz card also lets you eat at PP restaurants $28/$56. Trying this out in Seattle in a week.

Last edited 1 year ago by Billy Bob
ed1chandler

I realize Greg puts a $0 valuation on Global Entry/Pre-check because there are NAF cards that offer it, but for those who don’t have those cards and therefore *do* give it a dollar value, remember that you only get the benefit once every 5 years. So for purposes of offsetting an *annual* fee, it’s not really a $100 credit … it’s a $20 credit, etc.

Byron

Now that we are past year end, most credit card companies offer a year end analysis of your cards. Look at these and see if you are maxing out the bonuses. This is the best way to see if that card is really working for you. I was not sure the Amex Gold was earning its weight. Sure enough, I earned about 30K points from supermarkets and eating out. At a conservative 1.5 cpp that is $450. Better yet, that is about 4 round trips to Chicago for us, which is alot more than $450.

For me the Amex Bus. Plat is gone when the fee comes up next year and it clearly paid for itself through Dell things, airline fees, but not worth a keeper unless quite the good retention. Amazes me how Amex only gives. 1.5x points for this card and 2x for a no fee BB+ card.

Those club certificates on the Ritz card are so nice when you find a cheap Ritz (look around at DC), plus the authorized user Priority Pass, and $300 incidentals.

oleg

Useful sheet, thanks for sharing. One item I’d add to CSR is Miles Transferability. Just like 1.5c redemption, this has value depending on other cards.

Robert

I apologize for what is likely a dumb question, but why is the CSR travel credit valued at $270? With the 900 point reduction at 0.015/point based on your valuation, that’s comes out to -$13.50. What am I missing?

Robert

Ah, makes more sense now. Thanks Greg!

[…] do not exceed the annual fee, in my opinion).  Greg @ Frequent Miler recently wrote a post about how to value credit card benefits and annual fees, that I recommend reading.  I would keep these credit cards if I get a sweet retention offer that […]

Michael Roberts

That’s the most thorough breakdown of several credit cards I’ve ever seen.
Could you help me with something???
Credit score 751. 50k income-for now.
I’m going into owner operator expediting next year. I’ll need a card, preferably not a charge card that’ll cover
Gas up to 50k a year.
Hotel up to 5k a year
Dining including fast food up to 10k a year
Rental car up to 3k a year.
I’d be living on the road 45 weeks out of the year. (Not truck driving, but in a sprinter van), so fuel, hotels, food, and rental cars need to be included, preferably all categories with a minimum of 3x points per.
Thank you

Javier

Thanks for the awesome work. One update: Ritz no longer has unlimited guests with their Priority Pass membership. Complimentary entrance for Card holder + 2 guests, any additional guests at $27.

Javier

I spoke with Chase Exec line this past weekend and they confirmed its only Card holder + 2 guests.

F. Torres

One of the best perks I get with the AMEX Business Platinum card is the Emergency Medical services if anything happens while I am abroad, which is quite frequent for me, the 100% coverage when renting a car in foreign countries for ~ $20 per rental and the life/disability insurance for up to 1.5 million dollars for ~ $20 per trip. I’ve used car rental protection several times and it was terrific. The $450 annual fee is diminished by the $200 credit for airline fees. I’ve been a cardmember since 1993 and never leave home without it. BTW, thanks for the great spreadsheet.

Omer

How come you value the CSR at $720 per year versus only $275 for the prestige, when the later gives almost double the points of the first per dollar in more or less the same categories?? I wonder…

CaveDweller

Did get 10K points on my Citi prestige card in Oct. booking 3x points from Hotels.com . I just Hate paying the AF but my Have To spending is just getting warmed up..
CHEERs

docntx

Wow!
Amazing work.
Would you MS your way up the ladder with the Hyatt card?

JJ Lee

Have you or Nick thought about writing an article on that topic? I’ve thought about whether it’s worth MSing up the ladder with the Hyatt card.

Sam B

It’s been said already, but thank you for this! It’s one of the rare resources I’ve seen that take into account how the interactions between various cards and their benefits. I appreciate the time and effort you took to produce this and it’s been helpful to me as I consider which cards to downgrade/close and to consider which ones I might pick up!

Do you have any plans of including some mid-tier cards in the future? I’d imagine many of us aren’t limited to just the premium cards 🙂

Ben

So since you decide in the spreadsheet to product change the Presitge, would you then place a value >$0 to Amex Gold 4x restaurants and in turn decide to keep it?

AlexL

Your question was answered in the last paragraph. “But if I drop the Prestige card, I’ll have to add value to the Gold card’s restaurant benefit. That will, in turn, increase the value of the Gold card enough to make it a keeper for me.” per Greg.

Ben

Oops. Focused mostly on the spreadsheet, missed that part.

Ju an car

I do not MS, so many high speeding cards does not work for me. I wish I know how to MS (I am planning on MS riz for platinum on Marriott)

WR2

How in the world did you get $720 as a CSR value? Are you including the value from 3x on your organic spend? That to me is incorrect. You should look at it from an opportunity cost standpoint. You can easily get 4% back on travel or restaurants with no AF, so the only value CSR is providing is anything over that. Also, like you said (as I often do too) you need to value the benefits as a standalone benefit. That means the $300 travel credit is not worth $300, if no other reason than the loss of the 900UR. PP and GE are available on so many cards that it’s hard to value that much at all. So I’m curious how you got to $720. Perhaps I missed it in the post somewhere.

WR2

Yeah I overcame my laziness and looked at the spreadsheet after posting. It’s interesting that you still value PP at above $0 since you will have that with many other cards. The travel insurance valuation seems steep, but then again you travel a ton so fair enough. The math on the 3x value is difficult because the base case itself requires a $95 AF. One curious piece is your valuation of the 1.5 cpp travel portal. If you didn’t have CSR( and presumably had CSP or CIP), then highly doubtful you would use the travel portal at all, instead you would transfer to partners…so I’m not sure about assigning the full difference in rates between CSP and CSR travel portals as a CSR value.

In any case, the more you spend on travel, the better the value CSR has. I tend to travel mostly on points intl F/J and stay in hotels on points too, and try not to spend too much in cash, so my valuation of CSR is much different, and definitely not a keeper. My strategy is to downgrade/upgrade every other year to get two credits and transfer points to Hyatt.

Ben

You arent reading the spreadsheet right. He values PP at $0.
Travel credit: $270
Travel portal: $300
3x for travel: $50
Travel insurance: $100

Total: $720

George

Two minor corrections:
1. Altitude card – you comment that there is a Gogo benefit with the Flexperks card (not any more).
2. AmEx Gold – you comment on the $200 Uber and Uber Eats benefit which is not directly relevant to the Gold card.

Arny

Greg, I think the UBS Visa Infinite should be a contender (both personal and business versions). Like the Ritz and CNB you get authorized users for free that have access to Priority Pass (exactly like the Ritz card). And redeeming for airfare can be more lucrative than with CNB at the right purchase price. Insurance is also pretty decent but not as good as Ritz/Sapphire Reserve. Category bonuses not as good as CNB and also of note is that the airfare reimbursement is only for the primary cardholder unlike CNB (and setup more like the Amex credit which is a bummer). As a bonus, UBS charges a maximum of $500 in fees, so if you pay $495 for the annual fee, you could get free brokerage or IRA accounts. This might also apply to multiple credit cards, say if you had the personal and business version but I can’t confirm that. Also, like both the Ritz and CNB, this card (at least the personal version but not sure about business) comes with the Visa Infinite $100 round trip airfare discount. Current bonus as of last week is 85k for clients and 25k for non-clients. I’m not sure if there’s a certain monetary requirement with them to be considered a “client”. It’s a card that’s worth a deep dive review.

Johnny

How do you manufacture high level elite status on Delta? Grocery stores? Doesn’t AmEx search for these purchases?

CJ R

I also would like to know this. I read your article a few years ago about you doing this but you didn’t go into detail for obvious reasons.

Julian

Really helpful analysis. After looking over your valuations, I see why you consider Amex Green a competitor to CSR, with limited value to most people who want to hold both past year 1. As such, I’ll likely want to cancel the Amex Green past year 1. Am I risking a potential Amex clawback of my points if I do so (in which case, better to wait to year 2 or 3)?

Adam

One thing I added to my version were two columns on the summary page. One calculated Difference = (Your Value – Annual Fee) then another column Return on Investment = (Your Value / Annual Fee).

These two columns put it into more concrete terms. On the dollar amount you are gaining by “pre-paying” for those benefits and the other total percent you are gaining on that “pre-pay”.

Am I willing to pay $450 for the Bonvoy Brilliant for a 11% return? Probably not. 98% return on the Ritz? Absolutely!

Adam

https://www.cnb.com/content/dam/cnbcom/documents/cards/crystal2020.pdf

Looks like you might want to release a new version pretty soon. CNB just nerfed the Crystal

Miles

Greg, something I think you should include somehow is the tax benefit of a business card. Say you have a real, legit side business and say get a Delta Platinum Business card to use in it, you can take a tax deduction for the annual fee — so that’s an effective discount of like $75 off the AF ($250 * 30%). Obviously depends on your tax bracket and state, of course.

finalprestige

Greg, curious, did you not book any 4NF stays with the concierge before the changes went into effect? I’ll likely have to eat a $495 fee unless my grandfathered $350 pulls through again, but the savings from the many 4NF stays I already booked for 2020 far outweighs the fee,.

CaveDweller

finalprestige
I called Citi ur Fee is prorated $495 divided by 12 so IF u cancel early u can get the rest back . I may or may not cancel after booking my (2) 4 nite stays and spending my $250 travel credit by 1/5/2020 . Like 2/8 and get 6 months back Interesting ..
I Booked my whole May 3 week EU Trip before 9/1 as Smiles and lots saved over Hotel.com !!!!
CHEERs

finalprestige

thanks for the tip! all my booked travel ends in june so would be nice to get the rest back

JJ Lee

Greg, I feel like I’m missing something here. Why would you value the personal DL Reserve more than the Biz Reserve? I really don’t get it. I agree with your assessment on the DL Platinum cards though. I rather keep the business version.

I’m assuming that going forward, you’ll keep just two DL AMEX cards?

I’m surprised you didn’t mentioned or discussed the WoW Hyatt card. Is that card not worth getting?

Do you try to MS your Platinum status with Marriott or you actually do stays? I would love to hear your opinion on whether it’s worth putting $75k/year just to gain Platinum.

AlexL

I think Greg did not mention WoW Hyatt card because the post is focusing on Ultra Premium Cards and WoW Hyatt card is not considered Ultra Premium Cards.

JJ Lee

In other words, once I’ve got the SUB from both of the Reserve cards, then it doesn’t matter whether I have Personal or Business? I don’t see any distinct advantage to either one of them either.

Do you care about lifetime status? Maybe use the second Reserve to get you that much closer to LT status? Say 4 million MQM?

Have you thought about creating an article about which cards you have in your lineup? Besides he ultra luxurious article that you just created.

Jerod

The spreadsheet is missing the 1yr WeWork membership for the Amex Biz Plat. For those who can use it (me) – that alone makes it worth it for this year.

Loving the spreadsheet thought – thanks!

LKay

This omits Amex offers. I keep a list and found I get and use a lot of high offers on the Business Platinum (Staples, AT&T, hotels, airlines). Not so much on the other Amex cards.

flyernick

Tallying up the fees of the cards that you say you’d probably keep, it comes to about $5000 (that counts the Hilton one that it sounds like maybe you don’t actually own). Anyway, that’s $5000 you’re pre-paying for travel before you even leave your front door. I’m not saying you don’t get value out of that and yeah, I understand you get cash back credits for a lot of that. But still, I think this deserves a bigger disclaimer that this is what works for you because of your unique job and lifestyle. I mean I travel more than most people I know, but if you asked me if I would prepay $5000/year for some travel benefits, my first instinct would be to laugh in your face. Even though I do pay typically a few hundred in CC fees each year for such benefits. So people really need to take a broad view of what is realistic for them.

CaveDweller

flyernick
That is your job to watch your spending not Greg ,Nick nor Steve’s job . I think like a Zillion times FM has posted are you sure you want to buy this or do this . Look at his ” Tool Box ” as in ” IF YOU CARRY A BALANCE DON”T DO THIS ” ..The monthly interest will out weigh the Gains quickly . I have made a Ton of Money on my Prestige Card and got a lot of 4* lounges and Hotel rooms for next to NOTHING (nutthing).. ..
Thanks FM keep going.
CHEERs.

Mike

Hey Greg – Do you mind explaining where you’re getting the value out of your Ritz? Since I’m assuming you don’t value the 50K cert for the entire $520

Joel Alejandrino

Thank you Greg for this article and spreadsheet. How do you use $300 fee reimbursement? Can I use southwest GC? Any link article that can help me. Thanks.

CaveDweller

Greg
What is a Citi Proprietary Lounge and where’s the list . I’ve used the P-lounges and P-Restaurants many times or is it the same thing ?
CHEERs

AlexL

According to Gary from View from the wing, “there are four airports with Citi Proprietary Lounges where Prestige card members receive complimentary access.

Mexico City
Guadalajara
Monterrey
Jakarta”
However, the report is from 2016 and multiple people reported that CGK lounge is only for Indonesian Prestige card holders only.

In addition, readers from One Mile At A Time reported that they are able to access citigold lounge at Prague back in 2016.

Resource:
https://viewfromthewing.com/citibank-airport-lounges-prestige-cardholders-get-free/
https://onemileatatime.com/citi-proprietary-lounges/

CaveDweller

Alexl
Good Homework I’m Looking.
Thank You.
CHEERs

ktc

I had asked the same questions. Per VFTW there are just a few (in 2016) https://viewfromthewing.com/citibank-airport-lounges-prestige-cardholders-get-free/

Captain Greg

How do you use the rakuten card to get 4x on groceries? Do you just buy visa gift cards online and use them for groceries?

Captain Greg

And in terms of buying gift cards, both of those options are inferior to using the CIC at office stores. It seems like the gift card availability mostly overlaps at different retailers, so I basically focus on that option. I suppose bigger MSers who hit the $25k limit need backup options, but I feel like that could be done with a partner’s CIC or getting another card for another business. I’d sell a book once a year on amazon if it meant I could get the whole range of ink cards again and use them. But I suppose nothing would shock me in terms of how far the higher-end MSers go…

Ben

Only inferior to CIC if there is a OM/OD or Staples deal. Say you do $1000 with Amex gold at grocery and $1000 at Office depot with CIC.
Gold: ($500 VGC + $5.95) x 2. 4048 MR earned for paying $11.90 in GC fees. Only 2 swipes to liquidate.
CIC: ($200 VGC + $6.95) x 5. 5174 UR earned for paying $34.75 in GC fees. 5 swipes to liquidate means at least 2 money order fees.

So the difference there is an extra 1126 points for an extra $22.85 in gift card fees. Plus the extra hassle of liquidating 5 cards as opposed to 2.

Lilyun

How do you get a guaranteed 4x on gift cards thru Rakuten? It’s that with Raise plus Rakuten visa?

plat4life

Wow! I missed the v1.0 & v2.0 posts, so this is my first look at the spreadsheet. Wow! This must have taken *so* much time to gather/record/update. Thank you, Greg & FM team, for all you do.