Using credit cards can be a great way to earn miles quickly. Always exercise prudence. Cards should be paid off, in full, every month so as not to accrue any interest.
That said, it makes sense to drive as much of your existing spending through credit cards. Every time you use cash, that money is gone forever. Each time you spend that same money on a card, however, you’ll get a few points floating back to your account which, over time, will be worth thousands.
Here are a few of the top cards I keep in my wallet and why you should consider doing the same:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred (US)
$95, waived for the first year
Sign up Bonus:
- Earn 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points ($400 cash value) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- No foreign transactions fees – this card is ideal for using abroad.
- Rental car coverage – I know (first hand…) how great this can be. Even a small scratch on a rental car can add up to to a lot. Making your rental car booking with this card will cover you should accidents happen.
- Double points on travel and restaurants. I.e. you will earn 2% back on all travel/dining purchases.
This is my go-to card for all general spending. The points earned more than outweigh the annual fee.
2. Chase Freedom (US)
Sign Up Bonus
- Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- The Chase Freedom card has rolling quarterly bonuses where instead of receiving 1% back on purchases, it’s 5%. It’s not uncommon for categories to include gas stations and dining, so consumers can save a good deal using this card wisely.
This is a great card to start off with (it’s not hard to get accepted for) but you’ll want to hold on to it, too.
3. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card (US)
$95, not waived for first year
Sign Up Bonus
- Earn 2 Weekend Night Certificates each good for 1 weekend night after you make $2,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. These can even be used at catagory 10 hotels (Conrad Ko Samui was our choice) so this sign up bonus is potentially worth 180,000 points.
- Enjoy HHonors Gold status for as long as you are a cardmember. Benefits include free breakfast, room upgrades and more.
- No foreign transaction fees
4. MBNA AAdvantage Card (UK)
Sign up bonus
- 5,000 miles if you make a purchase within first 90 days of card membership
Card members receive both an Amex and a Visa card. Use the Amex wherever possible (1.5 miles per £1 vs 1.5 miles per £2).
A good solid card for earning AAdvantage points while in the UK.