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, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. 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).
Reader Vinhsynd asks,
Alternate reality: people are only allowed 1 credit card at a time, there are no other loyalty restrictions.
Which card would you pick?
Would you focus on cashack, points, benefits, insurance?
How would you go about leveraging that card for your business trips and vacation plans?
What would parts of travel would you be willing to compromise?
I would choose points rather than cash back because I value the leverage, especially for premium cabin travel.
Limiting myself to personal cards, rather than business cards, the one I would pick is Chase Sapphire Preferred. I’d argue it’s:
- The first points rewards card to get
- The best card for beginners
- The one card to get if you’re only going to get one card
It has a fantastic signup bonus, earns points quickly, and the points you earn are really valuable and flexible. And the card’s benefits are really strong, too.
- Double points on travel and dining are perfect for me (and folks who travel a lot, who travel for work and can use their own card, etc). It’s what I spend the most on.
There are great transfer partners… in all 3 airline alliances.. United for Star so no fuel surcharges, Korean for Skyteam so great pricing for Europe business class (80k roundtrip) and access to amazing first class available on Korean, plus Singapore which means access to their premium cabin seats. And the best value hotel transfer partner of any of the transferrable points currencies in Hyatt.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Suites Class
- I earn extra points making online purchases through their shopping portal. It’s a Visa for acceptance and good insurance [I like primary collision damage, and trip delay coverage that only requires a portion of a ticket being charged to the card].
Bedroom of Suite at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
So for me it’s the best one card solution especially for someone interested in premium cabin award travel. It has a $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter.
If you’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card before and don’t any longer, you’re eligible to apply again and still receive a bonus provided it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus.
Given one card to choose I’d take what I consider the best-rounded card, strong on signup bonus and earning and redemption with strong coverages as well. It earns fast on business (double points on travel and dining) and is great for redemption since you get to pick where you want the points to go when you know what points you need for an award. I’d use the one card for everything.