Doctor of Credit asked me for my ‘most underrated blog posts’ and I admit I had a hard time figuring out what to share.

Does that mean things I think are great but that didn’t get much notice? (That probably means I was wrong about their being especially good…)

You can generally find many of my best posts using the left hand sidebar of the side, and also archives of my trip reports — flights, hotels, lounges, food, and activities.

Thinking on my favorites, though, I’d suggest my primer on American financial reviews.

There’s also the basics of throwaway ticketing, constructing awards with American AAdvantage miles, and making sure you actually have a ticket when you redeem United miles on partners.

For best advice there’s probably hang up, call back, how to upgrade, and how to make sure your domestic upgrades clear.

I’ve explained fuel surcharges and also fuel dumps or the process of making those charges disappear when buying tickets.

Believe it or not the one post that got the most *views* ever was revealing that President Obama most likely has a Chase Palladium card (since he paid for lunch using a JP Morgan Select card).

I really hate it when people get snookered by that IdeaWorks study on which airlines have the best award availability.

I do love food – and I do love Asian food – so I personally like my introduction to Singapore Hawker Centers. (Although my best meal remains at the now-closed El Bulli.)

Were there any posts that particularly stand out for you as memorable or especially useful, or that you appreciated?

Or things you wish I would have written, so the next time I’m asked about this I can have a better answer?


Eat the roll with your fingers. Turn the sushi pieces on their side with your chopsticks before dipping fish into soy sauce. Definitely don’t eat the ginger slices together with the roll or fish! And don’t shake soy sauce off the sushi.


I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

The United Explorer Card has a 50,000 point signup bonus and it’s available through tomorrow only. (The standard public bonus is just 30,000 miles.)

The spend requirement is just $2000 within 90 days, there’s no fee the first year ($95 thereafter) and the card comes with primary collision damage coverage for rental cars.

You even get an additional 5000 miles for adding an authorized user and making a purchase within the same 90 day period.

Some folks can even get the card with a $50 statement credit — it’s something that Chase is offering through the purchase process of United tickets.

Similar offers that I’ve highlighted in the past have been targeted, but it’s been possible for many to maneuver and get targeted. I posted about those when there was no referral credit, such as as part of my list of top 10 credit card signup offers. Through tomorrow the offer is much easier for many people to get as a public offer.

And some previous United Explorer accountholders are eligible — if you don’t have the card and haven’t gotten a signup bonus for it in the past 24 months.

This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months

The card is great for the signup bonus. I don’t currently have it, and haven’t gotten the bonus for it in 24 months, so I’m going to sign up for it today.

The card is also great to have for the benefits, especially if you are a semi-regular United flyer who doesn’t fly them enough (or spend enough with them) to earn elite status.

Benefits like having elite status:

  • First checked bag free — for the cardholder and a companion on the same reservation.
  • Priority boarding — avoid having to gate check your bag.
  • Access to last seat availability when redeeming for ‘standard’ (extra miles) awards.

Benefits that improve travel, which elites status doesn’t offer:

  • 2 United Club passes each year.
  • United elite members become eligible for complimentary upgrades on domestic award tickets.

Other great card benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Primary collision damage coverage on rental cars.

I like this card a lot for the signup, and for the benefits. But I do not love it for ongoing spend.

In fact, for most people who aren’t spending exactly $25,000 on the card and who aren’t doing more than 40% of their spend on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is better even for earning United miles — and of course comes with the flexibility to transfer points to other airline programs (like British Airways, Southwest, Korean, and Singapore) as well as hotel programs.

And Sapphire Preferred also has no foreign transaction fees and primary rental car collision damage.

So – and not at the same time – I think you get the United Explorer for the bonus and benefits, and keep the card for the United flying benefits unless you’re a United elite. And get Sapphire Preferred for the bonus and the value it provides for ongoing spend.

United Explorer Card

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


Back in March I provided an updated link for the American Airlines co-branded business credit card from Citibank that included a 50,000 mile signup bonus.

That link seems to have stopped working.

sagy writes,

The link that you have gives a “Page Not Found 404″ error message. However aadvantagecards2.citicards.com still works and should be good until November 30,2014

I’ve gone ahead and updated the link I use for the card so that this working one will propogate out to previous posts.

Here are the key card benefits, in addition to the bonus:

There’s a $0 fee the first year, then $95.

No referral links were harmed (or used) in the making of this blog post.


Rocketmiles is a hotel booking site with a limited number of hotels and in a limited – but growing – number of cities. It rebates you a potentially large number of miles for your reservations. (You generally won’t earn hotel points for your stays booked through the site.)

You get to choose whose miles you want to earn for your stays.

In addition to the standard bonus they are now offering a 3000 mile bonus in your choice of mileage program for completing your first booking by October 10. How Good is This?

Delta has forced Expertflyer to remove access to all of its data from the website. Find Out If This Will Matter To You…

This video of a Delta jet making a rather amazing landing has been making the rounds. I’ve seen it on Facebook, and three readers sent it to me.

The strength of the nose gear on the Boeing 787 is very impressive! But… this didn’t really happen.

  • Delta has ordered 18 Boeing 787′s. None have yet been delivered.
  • This sure looks like a computer-generated background. Microsoft Flight Simulator? A training simulator? Definitely not a video of an actual landing.

Don’t try this one for real, pilots!


The meal service standards that US Airways went to in the spring — and American adopts tomorrow — call for an ‘enhanced snack basket’ in first class on all flights from 700 to 999 miles.

Fort Lauderdale – Washington National is 899 miles. So it gets an enhanced snack basket. It’s not an ‘exception market’ for a meal like the shorter Chicago O’Hare – New York LaGuardia.

Here’s the thing. There actually is some variation in the snack basket. Sometimes it has fruit. Sometimes there are shrink wrapped breakfast cakes.

And sometimes there’s not. Like on a 6:55 a.m. departure.

I appreciate catering, especially departing from a terminal where the only ‘restaurant’ offering hot food didn’t get the hot food ready for opening and where only one place offers something they even call a cappuccino (most espresso drinks not supported). Coffee matters.

But chips, pretzels, and mixed nuts? The flight is too dang early.


News and notes from around the interweb:


Reader Brian B. offers a good reminder:

Needed minivan + different city return… ended up with Budget @ [$600+] + $350 one-way fee!

…I fill out Autoslash’s form. I forget about it. 10 days later (4 days before my trip) i get a response.

Mid-size SUV @ $450 (instead of $950 for a minivan). Wow! Book immediately.

Two more emails and the price is $410. I would not have re-checked Avis four days before the trip. This saved me $600! But yet service remains shady looking. But I now love those guys more than usual.

I first covered Autoslash.com in June of 2010.

Back then there were two things this free website would do for you:

  • They would automatically test and apply coupons and discount codes to get you the lowest rate on your vehicle at booking
  • They would keep searching after you booked your car in order to find you better prices. Rental car prices change all the time, especially as time passes and the rental date nears, if rental companies have unbooked inventory

The biggest savings came from this second technique. Most people make car reservations and then leave things alone, but prices do drop, often significantly. I’ve seen folks report saving several hundred dollars on longer rentals, and reducing prices by more than half, as in Brian’s case above.

Testing discount codes, though really angered the rental companies. (It’s also gotten them unfairly chastised by so-called consumer advocates.) And one by one those companies stopped letting Autoslash make reservations.

Even though you can’t really book rental cars in a useful way on the Autoslash website, they’re still invaluable — most people don’t know it, though.

They’re still even one of the most useful travel websites and a key component of the 12 ways to save money on rental cars.

See, you just have to book your rental car reservation somewhere else. Then you enter your confirmation number on the Autoslash website. They will keep scouring for lower prices for you. They’ll email you when they find one, and can get you re-booked with the savings. You don’t make the initial reservation with them, that’s all that has changed. You still get the savings from changing prices. And that’s always been the best part of the service anyway!


Back in April I reviewed the W Austin. I led with it being a good hotel, but I had a few beefs.

I’ve reviewed several hotels in the Austin area: the Hyatt Place Downtown, Westin Austin at the Domain, and Hyatt Regency (also here and here).

The W is my favorite of those by far — right smack downtown, but not by all the 6th street bars (so quieter) and with a view of the river.

What I didn’t like was mostly housekeeping-related. There were usually room service trays sitting in the hallway outside of doors for most of the day, and room servicing was a bit less than thorough.

At the end of May I wrote about a much, much better experience there where they had seemingly fixed their issues. But they had also given up the game: they had clearly read my review and were trying to do better. I didn’t have a way to know if they had actually improved, or were putting on a one-time show for me. Was I in a position to give any advice? I wrote about the experience because it was interesting in its own right, about the only time a hotel was clearly treating me differently because of an online review.

It turns out I’ve needed to be in Austin fairly regularly this year. I’ve stayed at the W five or six times now. And my most recent visits have been on par with the last one I wrote about, albeit without the ‘special treatment’ that had the W trying too hard (although there’s something in my profile, clearly, because they continue to put a coffee machine in the room that I do not recall being there earlier on).

Joe Brancatelli gave me some good, obvious, advice I should have thought of myself but didn’t. Since the real symbol of the issues I was having with the hotel were those darned room service trays, it’s possibly they could have cleaned them up on my floor.. but it’s unlikely they were cleaning them up on every floor, every day, and each time I stayed and yet weren’t doing it at other times. So I gave the hotel the ‘stop on every floor test’ and they really had improved, at least in that dimension. That seemed worth noting.

I don’t know whether it was my review, but the message I sent through my review was clearly heard (perhaps they heard it from others, too). And they did something about it.

Maybe that shouldn’t matter, but it was just a visible sign of a larger sense that the place wasn’t as good as it could be. I appreciate their fixing that.

And it’s my go to in Austin. It’s across the street in one direction from Lamberts Downtown Barbecue and a block in another direction from a good chain wine bar (Cru). There’s a Starbucks in the building (entrance around the corner), and across the street is one of the better minimarts I’ve ever seen.

Room rates can range from $350 to well over $400 much of the time (although they’ll frequently have AAA rates and corporate rates in the low or mid $200′s). It’s a reasonable value at category 5, but hard to justify now that it’s a category 6 redemption for those looking to use points.

Some will dismiss this impression, but taking Joe’s advice the improvements seemed real, and that struck me as worth noting.

The pool is still a scene, though.


I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

Earlier today I wrote about downgrading a card you no longer want to a bank’s no annual fee offerings.

You don’t have to leave a bank just because you decide you don’t want to keep one of their cards, if the fee is no longer worth it to you to do so.

For instance, the new Citi Double Cash card has no annual fee and doesn’t have a signup bonus. Downgrading doesn’t get you a signup bonus generally (although American Express will often make offers to switch cards for you instead of your cancelling, and the offer may include a bonus). In the case of a no-bonus card you aren’t missing anything. (Speculation is this card will be open for switching from another product in a little over a week.)

The same thinking could apply to the no fee Amex Everyday card where the bonus is 10,000 points after $1000 spend in 3 months — and will let you keep accrued Membership Rewards points earned via another more expensive Amex cards, still transfer those points out to miles as you wish, without costing you anything on an ongoing basis. The low bonus could make sense for a switch.

Unfortunately you can’t change a charge card to a credit card — a card that you have to pay off each month to one you merely should. That’s why you’re not going to be able to downgrade an Ink Bold (charge card) to an Ink Cash (credit card) for instance.

But what about the other way around?

What about ‘upgrading’ from a card with no or a low fee, to a more expensive card?

You cannot do that during the first 12 months your account has been open.

But why? Why wouldn’t banks want you to have their premium products, get a bigger fee from you, and not have to make you go through the application process (and give you a bonus, if applicable)?

Put another way, say you have the Amex Everyday card. You can’t switch it over to Everyday Preferred within your first 12 months, because you wold be going from a $0 fee card to one with a fee.

That’s because 2009′s CARD Act (which oddly enough removed a ban on carrying firearms in national parks) prohibits changes to credit card pricing for the first 12 months after a consumer is approved for a card. We usually think of pricing as interest rates, something that if you’re in the points game you probably don’t care much about because you pay off your bill in full every month.

But pricing also includes annual fee.

If you apply for a United Explorer card and decide that you really, really wanted the United Club Card — you can’t just call Chase and have them switch you because the latter has a higher fee.

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


The Westin Diplomat outside of Fort Lauderdale has been sold and it is leaving Starwood and will apparently become a Hilton.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS

Leaving Starwood At 11:59 PM On October 29, 2014
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, FL will be leaving the Starwood system at 11:59pm on October 29, 2014. Reservations for dates on or after October 29, 2014 will not be eligible for Starwood Preferred Guest membership benefits, award redemption or accrual.

Starwood may have to re-accommodate guests that have booked award stays past October 30 elsewhere, Find out what to expect and what happens next!

To complement Ben’s Chili Bowl at National airport we have Five Guys re-opened on the fa US Airways upper gates pier.

I genuinely don’t understand the closure for the better part of the last year, the re-model looks… just like it did before.

The real mystery, though, that took me several minutes to figure out was why I was seeing this American plane on the far US Airways pier.

There are American regional jet flights now leaving from the far pier, utilizing US Airways bus gates. But I hadn’t seen any American mainline aircraft re-positioned.

When I got to the gate, I saw it wasn’t an American flight after all!

It was a US Airways aircraft that had been repainted in American’s livery. Well that’s confusing!

Change is coming to National airport in many forms!

There’s even finally going to be a Starbucks that’s airside… but not on the US Airways or American piers, so the lines at the Dunkin Donuts stand will continue to look like this in the mornings:

It almost makes you think these people are trying to rent a car from Alamo rather than get themselves some coffee!


I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

The new Citi® Double Cash Card offers the biggest cash rewards credit card — a 1% rebate when you make purchases and then 1% more when you pay off the purchases (which you should do always do, and not carry a balance).

Yesterday I wrote that I like this better than the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express because — while that card has been the benchmark, offering 2% real cash back — this new Citi cash rewards credit card product is a MasterCard and so gets you the great rate of return while also giving greater acceptance.

It’s simply a straight play on earning the highest possible cash back for ongoing purchases. It’s not a card for signup bonuses (it doesn’t have one), and it’s not a card for benefits (no lounge access, no waived foreign transaction fees). But it looks like the new standard in that space bar none.

My post yesterday shared that the product is a MasterCard (although the card’s landing page is silent on this).

A few folks asked in the comments about the mechanics of the rebate on the card.

So I connected up with a Vice President at Citi who explained some details that turn out to be interesting.

The rewards are provided in the form of your choice of statement credit, check, or gift card. Redemptions can be done online, or over the phone.

There is a $25 minimum for redemption. You can redeem for $25 or any amount over that.

Some folks have asked about downgrading or exchanging other Citibank cards to this one, something to consider since there’s not a signup bonus you would be foregoing in order to get it. Doctor of Credit says that Citibank will start allow cardmembers with other cards to switch or downgrade to this product starting September 7.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


Vice President Joe Biden thinks New York LaGuardia is a national embarrassment.

It’s home to a new American Express Centurion lounge. Terminal C is much-improved, and the new US Airways club there is no longer the worst airline lounge in North America. The Marine Air Terminal, home to Delta’s Shuttle to DC, is super easy in and out (and the other terminals aren’t bad in this regard). Plus it’s close-in to Manhattan, I’ve frequently left midtown after 3pm and had no problem gliding onto the US Airways Shuttle to DC at 4.

No, the truly worst airports in the US feature long travel distances to their respective city centers, are difficult to navigate especially for connections, and are often dilapidated as well.

Here are my six worst airports in the US.

  1. Miami There’s very little redeeming about this airport. There are long walks inside of terminals, long walks to the train out to the rental car center, and insanely long walks to immigration. The lines for customs are absurd (but then I suppose they figure everyone coming into the airport is smuggling cocaine?). Security lines are quite random, and I’ve seen TSA PreCheck closed when it should have been open. Check-in lines are long as well, delayed by the volume of baggage being checked.

    worst airports in the US

  2. Los Angeles. LAX isn’t just awful for connecting between terminals, it is awful for ground transportation. Getting in and out of the airport is tough, shuttles can easily take 15-20 minutes at peak times just transiting the various terminals.

  3. New York JFK. Some terminals are worse than others of course. Terminal 2, Delta’s C gates, is probably the best remaining example of the ‘old’ JFK. I actually like terminal 7 and its short walks. This is an awful connecting airport. It is an awful airport for transportation, having to take the Airtrain to get to the stop where you can pick up transportation shuttles (always fun with luggage). And it’s a schlepp from downtown.

    worst airports in the US

    worst airports in the US

    worst airports in the US

    worst airports in the US

    worst airports in the US

  4. Washington Dulles. It is a very bad airport. They don’t use the moon buggies anymore to get between all terminals, but the new airport train drops off United passengers where they’ve wanted to build a new terminal for decades rather than where the passengers will fly out of. They’re building metro and in a few years it should be kind of sort of connecting via public transport to the rest of the city. But a single taxi company has a legal monopoly, meaning it’s tough to get picked up by anyone else and it means twice the cab trips (those cabs drive into the city and return empty, while all other cabs go to the airport and can’t efficiently pick up passengers and take them back to the city). That’s a terrible environmental decision. Plus immigration queues can be nightmares.

    worst airports in the US

    worst airports in the US

  5. Chicago O’Hare. It’s certainly bad connecting international-to-domestic. Immigration queues can back up hours-long. And Chicago weather can prove challenging at times. I actually like it, though, when weather isn’t cancelling or delaying flights. American’s terminal is reasonably compact, so good for making connections. And you’ve got Tortas Frontera sandwiches.

    worst airports in the US

  6. Atlanta. The walks between terminals, the distance from the international terminal to the domestic ones (although international flights arriving concourse E are better for connecting). Delta is running probably the best airline operation in the U.S., but their primary hub isn’t keeping pace.

There was a time that Newark would make this list, but I think it’s gotten better. It’s still not my preferred place to fly in and out of New York from. And it suffers from New York airspace congestion as the other two area airports do. But I don’t think it’s in the top 6 of bad.

Denver gets an honorable mention for distance from the city center, but isn’t in this league of bad.

Overall, the worst airports seem to be in the biggest cities. That’s not an accident.

  • They’re legacy airports, these cities have been major transportation hubs for decades.
  • As major cities they’re super-congested.
  • Building projects can be difficult, not just because of availability of surrounding land but also because of local politics.

While JFK’s terminals themselves have been improving (Delta’s 2013 JFK renovation is quite good and the American Airlines terminal is bright and modern albeit too sprawling without much decent food) it would take truly starting over — not in the cards — to make it right there. Meanwhile, Miami has been practically re-done as it is, isn’t really better, and is already too costly to operate at. I don’t see these airports making more than incremental improvement, although LAX’s Bradley terminal itself is better than it used to be. They’ll no doubt dump billions into special projects to try, but the fundamentals there are runways, airspace, terminal connectivity, and ease of transportation — problems that are more intractable than simply refreshing a terminal and improving the lounges and bathrooms.


Aeroplan is an American Express transfer partner. Points transfer instantly in my experience over the years.

The Aeroplan program is great for booking awards on Star Alliance partners. Nearer Europe is just 45,000 miles each way in business class.

But not all partners are created equal when using Aeroplan to book awards — because three years ago they started adding fuel surcharges onto awards booked with some airline partners.

Aeroplan does not impose fuel surcharges on all of its airline partners, though. Find Out How to Avoid Fuel Surcharges

I’ve learned a few things, from the time I traveled frequently as a kid (my parents were divorced and lived on different coasts), to when I first started traveling for work in the mid-1990s. But the very best learning has come from other frequent flyers.

So I’d love to hear from you.

  • What is your best travel tip?
  • What you you learned – about travel, or anything else – this week?

But also,

  • What are you wondering, or what would you like to know?
  • Have you booked any great awards recently?
  • Have you found any great restaurants or off-the-beaten path spots in your travels?

If instead of offering a tip or idea, you decide you have a question, leave it in the comments. It would be great if other readers had answers.

Hope your weekend has started out great so far! And thank you for sharing your time here.


I receive compensation for many links on this blog. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

Back in March I spoke with David Rabkin, American Express Senior Vice President of consumer lending, about the biggest new credit card product launch from American Express we’ve seen in a long time.

What Amex had in store was:

Amex Everyday: It’s Not Even Called American Express. For Many Folks, It’s Better.

The Amex EveryDaySM Credit Card from American Express is a no fee, true Membership Rewards-earning card.

One of the interesting things is that Membership Rewards itself used to come with an annual fee to earn and redeem points, and then some cards started bundling the program — but it was a premium program for premium cards.

I get asked all the time by folks who decide premium products like the American Express Platinum or Premier Rewards Gold isn’t for them, they want to downgrade their card so they still have an American Express product and can keep their Membership Rewards card active, what should they do? But there’s only been one no fee card that can house your Membership Rewards points, and that was a business card (which didn’t allow points transfers out to miles, so you’d have to get another Amex card later in order to do that). As a result many people wind up transferring points out of their account to a mileage program just to not lose the points.

All of this points to American Express missing part of the market with their consumer cards. And I think they’ve filled that gap with Amex Everday.

  • No annual fee
  • Earns full membership rewards whose points transfer to airline and hotel programs
  • 20 charges per billing cycle on the card earns a 20% bonus on points earned for the month
  • The card also earns double points at supermarkets (up to $6000 spend per year)
  • Signup bonus is 10,000 points after $1000 spend in 3 months

The Premium Version of the Card Can Earn 1.5 Points Per Dollar on All Spend — Or More

The Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express is a premium $95 fee version which offers more bonuses and up to 1.5x on ALL spend.

  • Earns 3x at supermarkets, and 2x at gas stations. Supermarket bonus earn is capped at your first $6000 in spend each year.
  • 30 swipes in a billing cycle will get you a 50% bonus on all of your points-earning for that month — and the bonus even applies to the supermarket and gas station bonus categories (so supermarkets are up to 4.5 points per dollar).
  • 15,000 point signup bonus after $1000 spend in 3 months

I attended the launch party for the card in April and got a sense of what they’re after.

The cards aren’t “American Express” and they don’t use the logo of the Centurion (Roman Soldier) — too masculine.

They set out to design a card primarily marketed to women, multi-taskers, a card to use for all their purchases, large or small.

    Amex Everday

And they wound up designing the strongest travel rewards card in their arsenal, which seemed pretty ironic to me.

The cards are chip and signature. Both cards will offer additional cards on the account for free, and spending by secondary cardholders will count towards the 20 or 30 uses per month to earn that month’s bonus.

These aren’t all-purpose killers, they don’t waive foreign transaction fees which makes sense because their target market isn’t international travleers. They don’t have the biggest bonuses. And while they come with standard American Express protections, they aren’t premium benefits cards like Platinum.

What they are is the strongest cards for earning American Express Membership Rewards points for ongoing spend. 1.5x earning on all spend (for making 30 charges in month) on the premium version of the card is huge, and that’s before we even get to the category bonuses. Triple points with 30 swipes in a month at gas stations is really strong.

Unless the vast majority of your spending is already getting bonused, then Everyday Preferred gives you the best rate of return for your spend – and it earns one of the three most valuable currencies.

Meanwhile, for someone just getting started and looking for a no fee card (or a card to use to retain Amex points already earned), there’s no other no annual fee card that offers full transferable points.

My favorite Amex points transfer partners are:

  • Air Canada’s Aeroplan: good online booking of Star Alliance awards; points transfer instantly; US – Western Europe is just 45,000 miles each way in business class, and about half of their airline partners can be booked without fuel surcharges.
  • British Airways: Short-haul, non-stop flights are super cheap. I frequently redeem 4500 points each way from DC to New York, Chicago, etc.
  • Singapore Airlines: Singapore’s award availability for their own members is really good, and the points are useful for US domestic flights including Hawaii.

I still have the Premier Rewards Gold card, and put $30,000 in airfare spend on it each year at 3x points-earning. That threshold gets me bonus points that I consider cover its annual fee. On the whole, though, Everyday Preferred is probably the better card and I’m thinking seriously about changing my strategy here.

The Amex EveryDaySM Credit Card from American Express
The Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.


.. this started as, and in many ways, just remains my personal blog. That lots of folks join in and read, for which I’m extremely grateful.

With that I offer News and notes from around the interweb:


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View from the Wing is a project of Miles and Points Consulting, LLC. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

Advertiser Disclosure: Many (but not all) of the credit card offers on the site are from banks from which we receive compensation if you are approved. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards other than in banner advertising (we do not currently control the banner advertising on this blog). We don’t include all US credit card offers available on this site. Instead, I write primarily about cards which earn airline miles, hotel points, and some cash back (or have points that can be converted into the same).

Editorial Note: The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine and not provided by any bank including (but not limited to) American Express, Chase, Citibank, US Bank, Barclaycard or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.