Let’s put on a pot of Bourbon and settle in next to the fire…

This will be a long discussion, so let’s clear our minds and go down the Rabbit Hole together.

They’re many ways to solve problems.  In this business, I like to identify the problem and work backwards to the solution.

My daughter has a travel problem.  My kinda Problem.  She needs to fly from A to B on a Thursday and return the following Sunday. Sounds simple enough right?  We need to get a ticket.  How hard can it be.  If you’re loaded and don’t care call a travel agent and pay cash. If you want a money-saving challenge (and you are cheap like me) read on.

In today’s world, buying a plane ticket can be overwhelming.  There are so many ways to buy them (Orbitz, Priceline, Delta etc…) and they all have “The Best Deal”.  I don’t count on deals, I count on smart (or at least my version of it).  Random Scenario Time….

You have to choose 4 credit cards.  That’s  It.  Which 4 do you choose?   They must give you the best of everything with Hotels and Airlines and they must be sustainable. Sustainable means that once you use up the points they give you, the card must provide extraordinary  value for you to keep using it to earn points, perks or SOMETHING.  This is where it gets subjective and everybody has an opinion.

Here is my 4:  Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Business Platinum, Starwood (SPG) and American Express Everyday Preferred.

What does this even have to do with the Airline Ticket Problem?  Lots…Below is a brief description of some of the benefits of my 4.

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve:  3 pts per $ on Travel/Dining, $300 annual Anything Travel Credit,  Airport Lounge access, 50K sign-up pts and when used for travel, it’s worth ~$750.00.  Value per point ~.021
  2. Amex Business Platinum:  1 pt per $, 2 pts if you book through the Amex Travel portal, $200 Airline credit (cannot be used to buy ticket, good for luggage etc…), lounge access, Automatic Gold with SPG (also Marriott and Ritz) and Hilton, 50% of Arline Points back (Wow) and GOGO and Boingo. Wifi-Airplane and Wifi-Airports and elsewhere,  respectively. 75k sign-up points.  Value per point ~.019
  3. SPG is easier, it’s the best way to earn points in non-Dining/Travel.  You also get great value when you use it at Starwood, Marriott and Ritz Hotels.  It has a quirky perk, 20k SPG points becomes 25k points at over 150 Airlines. 25k sign-up points   Value per point ~.027
  4. Amex Everyday Preferred:  This is my Gas and Grocery card, 3 amex (MR) points per $ at Grocery stores and 2 points per $ for fuel.  15k sign-up points Value per point .019.

Quick Note, Chase Points are called Ultimate Reward Points (UR) and Amex Points are called Membership Rewards Points (MR).  Check out each card for details (I just covered a few of the details that apply to our long forgotten problem).  Keep in mind this list does not include all benefit etc…and is subjective;  Translation, no whining if you disagree.

Tomorrow let’s get back to the “problem” and it’s solution.  This is a two-parter…





About Travelinggump

Avid World Traveler who uses Points and Miles to enhance the Travel Experience. If you want to learn how, follow my Blog for Tips, Reviews and Ideas to get started.

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