Last week, I got a new credit card. I know that all of the anti-credit card bloggers would have a vein popping out of their forehead for this one, but it makes sense for me. It might also make sense for you.
I really like to travel. I like to travel a lot. I just got back from two weeks in Europe. I am planning trips to Arkansas, Omaha, Washington DC (I hope), and Texas (if I can work it out) for next year in addition to a family vacation to Costa Rica. Traveling and exploring the world is one of my favorite things, so I try to optimize my finances to allow that freedom and mobility I desire.
I am always on the lookout for the best credit card for my needs, and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is constantly rated one of the top travel rewards cards. Here is why I picked this card and why now was a good time:
- FOR A LIMITED TIME: earn up to 25,000 bonus points — 10,000 with your first purchase and another 15,000 when you spend $5000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership – enough for a weekend getaway
- Points can be used for free nights at 1,000+ hotels or converted to miles at 350+ airlines. Some convert at 1 point to 1.25 miles
- Bonus points for spending at Starwood hotels
- Free upgrades at Starwood hotels when available
- Late 4:00pm checkout time at Starwood hotels
- Amex benefits including travel and entertainment reservations, travel insurance, fraud and purchase protection,
For me, that is a winner. I am using this to replace my British Airways Visa as my primary card. Because Amex is not accepted everywhere, I am still using the BA Visa as a backup. (My flight for my recent trip to Europe was purchased with BA miles from that card)
The only downside that scares many people away is the annual fee. For me, however, I get a lot more value than $65 from the miles and benefits of the card. The first year’s fee is waived and I am happy to pay for great service and rewards.
I have several blogger and travel hacker friends that carry this card, and last week I gave in and signed up. I have been happy so far. Who knows where it will take me?
What is your favorite credit card? Do you use it for cash back, travel, or other rewards? Please share your thoughts in the comments.