Whats the one card you would recommend.. loaded question

Heres another “Chat With Friends Post”. This is my friend, lets call her M.E. who had some questions about what the best cards are and some ways of saving on her honeymoon travel.

PS [please excuse spelling/grammar/punctuation, etc. this convo took place on facebook chat]

PPS [please do your OWN research or contact me directly before making any decisions regarding your own credit cards, travel plans etc. information, details, offers, etc may change. i am also not an expert and do not claim responsibility if you find better offers then the ones that I discuss]

And here we go!

M.E. – hi Seth!!  Hope all is well!

I’ve been noticing all your posts about travel Credit Cards.. if you were to recommend one, which would it be?

BTW- Your upcoming trip looks AMAZING!!!   I hope you have a great time!!!!

M.E.

Seth Meyerowitz – hey!!! thats a good question. but i need more info.

Seth Meyerowitz – what are you looking to accomplish. what kind of spending do you do (travel, dining, bills, etc). are you looking to put a trip together, if so, where. etc. lol

M.E. – honeymoon travel next June!  not sure where yet…  I (we) spend most dining, local travel (cabs, gas etc) and don’t normally put our bills on a credit card, but prob can…

Seth Meyerowitz – great info! more questions  what cards do you have currently and which ones do you use. do you have any frequent flyer points with airlines or hotel points with any chains.

M.E. – umm…. i have a Chase Freedom card with some points back that i ALWAYS use. a BOA that i never use, and he has Amex and BOA, nothing with miles persay…but he uses both sparingly

Seth Meyerowitz – ok. so tip number 1: use your cards for EVERYTHING you can. even if its $2.50 at cvs. use it. if youre using your freedom card all the time that’s great! tell him to put everything on his amex until you get your new cards.

next…

you and him should apply for the hyatt card from chase. this card is AWESOME!!!!

gives you (per card) 2 free nights at any hyatt in the world. no blackout dates. and its legit. i am using it at the park hyatt vendome in paris which normally is $1,000/night++. ive got 2 nights there.

Seth Meyerowitz  – the reason i recommend this card to everyone, especially couples getting ready for a honeymoon. is they have really beautiful hyatts just about everywhere. and if you and him get 2 free nights you can combine them for 4 nights.

M.E. – ok! we can def look into the Chase Hyatt card… any Amex suggestions?  we were thinking about getting a joint Amex (bc i like the fact that Amex gives you credit and fraud alerts). so my Freedom card i should keep using?

Seth Meyerowitz – here is the link to the chase hyatt.  it has a really good minimum spend requirement $1,000 in 3 months to get the 2 free nights. just transfer all your spending to the card for 1 month and you should be able to reach that.

http://thepointsguy.com/go/HyattVisaL/

Seth Meyerowitz – so amex. people may not realize but there is the amex card (that most people think of where you can carry a balance month to month). but there is also lots of cobranded cards (like a strawoods card, or delta, or jetblue, etc).

M.E. – right! i hear starwoods is a good one?

Seth Meyerowitz – starwoods is very good: starwoods has it’s own reward system. (if you read that post i just put up, it has more info). its a pretty strong system that lets you transfer those points to a lot of places, or just them on hotels.  in addition to paying for a hotel outright with points, you can also do points and cash which really gives you a big bang for your buck.

M.E. – whats the best for miles? or is it more effective to go the hotel or cash back point of view?

Seth Meyerowitz – furthermore  amex has THEIR OWN system. [as do some chase cards [chase ultimate rewards are the strongest of these 3 (amex, chase, starwoods])

amex is still strong because it lets you transfer to lots of partners (as does starwoods points).

so that means you can take your amex points and transfer to airlines, hotels, etc.

Seth Meyerowitz – i prefer to stay away from cash back. that is my opinion. some people like it if they arent traveling much. but you get more value when you get mileage/hotel points.

all makes sense so far?

M.E. – i think haha. so basically Chase Hyatt  seems like a good one. but i like that Amex can transfer to airlines and hotels

Seth Meyerowitz – ok. quick recap. amex, starwoods, and chase all have point systems that can be used to transfer to partners like airlines and hotels.

chase being the strongest, starwoods second, amex third

M.E. – Ah

Seth Meyerowitz – the hyatt card is highly suggested because if you ARE traveling (especially for a honeymoon) the value you can get for those 2 (or 4) nights is SUPER HIGH! however, once you hit your minimum spend and get your reward nights, you can stop using the card (maybe put a small monthly bill on it that autopays).

M.E. – great!

Seth Meyerowitz – so if you wanted to go to paris, or hawaii, you would have FOUR nights already comped with a card from each of you. youre then saving 3500-4000++ on your cost right there for the honeymoon

awesome right!?

M.E. – yup!

Seth Meyerowitz – so you each have the hyatt card that you get your rewards on and stop using.

next you would want to find an airline co branded card. this will allow you to get a free, roundtrip flight to europe/hawaii/asia, etc.

same deal with that. you hit a minimum spend, you get 40-50K miles and youre good to go. it would help if you had an idea of where youre going, but you have some time so i wouldnt worry too much.

M.E. – maybe Hawaii. or somewhere in the carribean… not too far

Seth Meyerowitz – ok. the caribbean is easy. youd have points to spare lol. you could even get a business/first class ticket with the extra points. hawaii is just a little more tricky because you have to see what airline works best.

BACK TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION: if i had to suggest one, everyday, card. it would be ….

M.E. – hahaha

Seth Meyerowitz – the chase saphire preferred. (http://thepointsguy.com/go/SapphirePrefTD/) chase is AWESOME. they have great customer service and remember, they have one of (if not THE) strongest points ‘system’.

M.E. – AWESOME! thanks!   one more question….

Seth Meyerowitz – this card gives you 40,000 ultimate reward points (their system which can be transferred to lots of partners). your minimum spend is more then the hyatt at 3,000 in 3 months.

sure! shoot…

M.E. – should i switch from freedom to sapphire … and than if we get a joint CC, go for another chase? or try and Amex? i guess the question really is- do i stick with freedom and open a joint Sapphire

Seth Meyerowitz – DONT get a joint card. in my opinion.

M.E. – really? bc you can double on points

Seth Meyerowitz – open TWO saphire cards. you can keep the freedom card (i have 5 chase cards). EXACTLY.

M.E. – cool  great !  thanks!!

Seth Meyerowitz – if you open a joint, youre only getting 40K. if you open separate, youre essentailly getting 80K to share

M.E. – you should be a Credit Card Coach!

Seth Meyerowitz – lol. there is still a lot for me to learn. but i appreciate it.

Seth Meyerowitz – here’s what i would do:

open a chase hyatt and a chase saphire on the same day. (each of you). thats $4,000 each in 3 months. (there are some tricks if you cant quite reach the spend) but, living in the city you shouldnt have a problem).

then, around january, lets chat and figure out where you want to go for your honeymoon and find an airline card (s)

Seth Meyerowitz – (if you need to open them and then have him open them once youve hit your spends, that is fine. but you should open both cards at once. it gives less of a ding to your score)

M.E.- ok good plan. i don’t know if i want to open 4 cards at once… so maybe we will each open one.

Seth Meyerowitz – lol. dont think of it like that. think of it as 2 for you. and 2 for him. i know its a bit scary. but trust me. the only thing you have to do is pay your cards in FULL each month. if you do that you wont get into trouble, it wont hurt your credit, and youll have your honeymoon practically comp’d before you leave.

once you take the leap youll never look back. i have 16 (yes 16!!) cards. i manage them all, carry no balances, and have 500K miles/points across all my accounts. my credit is still around 720-730 (depending on the day).

M.E. – and LAST question….  how do you check your credit score for free? i run my report once a year on the gov website, but never pay for my score

Seth Meyerowitz – good question. and something you should do at LEAST every 6 months.

freecreditreport.com freescore.com youll have to enter a CC number. youll then get a trial for either a week or two and then theyll start charging you. go to the sites, get your scores/reports, print everything out. call up and cancel the next day. they make you call to make it harder. but just tell them you are NOT interested in their service moving forward and you do NOT want to be charged for anything.

the cancelation numbers are usual on the help/faq pages.

i use creditkarma to monitor everything (all loans, cards, etc) on a weekly basis. credit karma is FREE and pulls your transunion information (score and report, etc). its AWESOME and lets you track your score and spending and everything across all your credit cards and such. all the credit card bloggers use it.

M.E. – ahhmazing…  one of the reasons i wanted an  Amex is b/c of the credit fraud alerts…. so maybe ill just go to credit karma.

Seth Meyerowitz – yea, credit karma lets you link CC, car loans, mortgages etc that are on your report to your credit karma account. so i have ALL my CC’s transactions in one place on CK. its great. and you can see if there is something that doesnt look right.  (i know amex is great!! with fraud alerts and stuff. i wouldnt be surprised if chase offered the same type of thing).

Seth Meyerowitz – btw, are you concerned about your identity being stolen or something lol

M.E. – its my biggest fear   haha  that, and bed bugs.

Seth Meyerowitz – LOL!!!

ive had a couple of instances where my card numbers were stolen and being used by someone. one on amex and they called me about it. took care of it right away and overnighted me a new card. and another on chase. same deal. stay away from the hertz in phoenix lol. think the guy there stole my numbers and gave them to someone in miami.

M.E. – yeah, it happens all the time with my Corporate Amex…..NO- hahah that’s insane!

Seth Meyerowitz – you have a company card?

M.E. – not in my name (don’t want one), but i manage everyone elses cards.

Seth Meyerowitz – o. you SHOULD get one in your name and then submit expense reports. thats a very easy way to rack up more miles/points that you dont have to pay for. i tell everyone that. if you CAN, get rid of the company card and just spend on your personal

M.E. – unfortunately….  any points on the Corp Card… stay with the founder of the company…. haha   he likes to keep it that way!

Seth Meyerowitz – right. but if you could convince him (ask nicely lol) if he would let you submit expense reports?? lol

M.E. – always worth a shot! THANKS FOR THE HELP!!

Seth Meyerowitz – of course!! anytime. talk soon

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