With travel beginning to thaw, the industry is pulling out all the stops these days to try to get people to sign up for their rewards cards. With Delta’s 90k sign-up bonus, Capital One Venture’s 100k, and Amex’s 75k, it can be hard to decide which one to sign up for. After some research, I was able to decide on one. Since I fly exclusively with Alaska and JetBlue domestically, I have no use for Delta’s card. Unlike Chase Sapphire and Amex, Capital One Venture’s partner transfer isn’t always 1:1, which makes the points less valuable.
That leaves me with the Amex Platinum charge card. The public offering is 75k, but if you input your information into a credit card match tool, you can potentially get a higher sign-up bonus. The tool does a soft pull of your credit score so it doesn’t show up as a credit check, which means your score isn’t impacted. Only when you actually apply for the card, does the the card company do a credit check. Through the card match tool, I was able to prequalify for the 125k sign-up bonus, which sealed the deal for me. For me, the benefits of this card is not as good as Chase Sapphire Reserve’s, but it does offer unbeatable lounge access at the airports. I don’t plan to pay for 2 premium rewards cards, but I love my Sapphire card. However, if Chase doesn’t have a retention offer for me come July, I will have no choice but to ask for a product change to the Chase Slate no-fee card (cancelling a card negatively impacts one’s credit score, so downgrading is always preferable). I can always re-apply for the Sapphire card after I use up the Amex points.
Amex, however, does one thing very well – service. I had my new card in hand 24 hours after I hit the “Apply” button.
In the meantime, I’m still waiting for my Alaska Airlines card that I’d applied for 5 days ago. I got an email from them yesterday, stating that I will be receiving the card in 5-7 business days.
There are 2 options to combine my Amex and Alaska points, along with some of my Chase points: A) redeem 2 economy round trip tickets on Singapore Airline to Taiwan, with a 1-month stopover in Singapore to hit a few of the SEA countries, B) redeem 2 business round trip tickets on ANA/EVA to Taiwan +/- a stopover in Japan, with enough left over miles for a trip to Hawaii. Just waiting for Asia to open up…