Tuesday begins a month of heavy spending for a bunch of my travel cards. While some of these cards you can get, some you likely can not (no longer in the marketplace or hard to get, etc.). Let’s start with the simple one first.
Delta Amex Reserve card (learn more). I will, in about a week, spend 30k on this card. I will pay my quarterly taxes and a bunch of creative spending (much still works as before but I would avoid Simon Malls). Why? We all know upgrades are REALLY going to be hard in 2019 with Delta. Holding the Delta Amex Reserve card (learn more) helps as does spending $25,000 per year across all your Delta Amex cards (#ProTip – the upgrade tiebreaker is 25k spend NOT 250k and that is confirmed on Delta.com). Also, once I get 25k spend done I am MQD exempt to Platinum. Lastly, my 30k spend will get my first round of 15k bonus MQMs to keep or give away. I will take my time on the next 30k as I have other cards to focus on.
Non-Delta Amex Platinum Business card (learn more) I will, as this has worked for YEARS, buy 4x$50 Delta e-Gift cards to trigger the annual $200 travel credits (see this post for tips you need to know). I am NOT looking forward to the jump in annual fee for this card (going from $450 per year to $595) and I may dump it unless the new perk of the $200 Dell credit can be flipped some way – call that developing.
Expedia Voyager+ card. Sorry, but you can not get this card anymore (it seems to be gone from the market). If it comes back – you want this card. Why? It costs $95 per year and I get $100 travel credit (I simply buy 2x$50 Delta e-Gift cards). So it net pays me $5 per year to have yearly Gold+ status with Expedia that gives me a 30% pop in points I earn. I book all my cruises via Expedia after starting at TopCashBack to get 12%+ cash back on top of the points and perks!
City National Crystal Card. Here is another card you likely can not get. It is without question one of my favorite EVER travel cards and for years now buying AA $250 e-Gift cards works just fine to trigger the credits for this $400 a year fee card. I plan on really ramping up my spend on this card in 2019 and will tinker with booking cruises with the points. Can’t wait to test and blog about the results.
Chase Freedom Flex card (then known as the Chase Freedom card — Chris). I love earning 5x Ultimate rewards points that I send over to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card resulting in a net 7.5% return (both these cards, due to 5/24, you are unlikely to be approved for). There are so many creative spending ways to max this out for max 1% cost each quarter. You want this card, along with the Reserve, if you can get them and hold them forever (unless they destroy the benefits that is).
I do have to work to keep track of all my Delta e-Gift cards because as we know, Delta does not let you store them anywhere so if you lose them they are gone! Bottom line is all these cards have huge perks and by utilizing all of them paying the annual fee for the cards becomes much more palatable. – René
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