As a travel junkie and someone who booked not just travel for myself but for all sorts of friends and colleagues, I like the American Epxress Premier Rewards Gold card which earns triple Membership Rewards points on airfare purchases.
And I do like my Membership Rewards points, especially for transfers:
- To Continental, which will hold Star Alliance awards when you don’t have enough miles in your account. Points transfer instantly, as well. This partnership ends September 30.
- To Aeroplan, because of their favorable award chart (e.g. 80,000 miles for business class from the US to much of Europe, or 120,000 miles for first class from the US to as far South in Asia as Singapore. Points transfer instantly.
- To British Airways, because of their 100,000 mile business class awards on Cathay Pacific from the US to Asia and the current 40% transfer bonus through March 31.
- The first thing to know is that Travelocity points are worth 2 cents apiece when redeemed 20,000 at a time (20,000 points is a $400 credit to spend on Travelocity).
- Spending with the card on Travelocity earns 5 points per dollar, so that’s a 10% cash rebate to spend on travel.
- Spending in your chosen category (choose restaurants, gas, groceries) earns 2 points per dollar, a 4% cash rebate to spend on travel.
- Spending in all other categories earn 1 point per dollar, a 2% cash rebate to spend on travel.
So in the worst case, it’s a 2% cash rebate card where the funds can be spent on travel. So at the bottom end it’s like a Capital One Venture card that they pump on TV. But I wouldn’t use it for regular spend.
The card comes with an annual fee of $39 (folks have reported getting it waived for the second year) and a signup bonus of 7,500 points (worth uo to $150) after first purchase. They say it’s a $75 value but you’ll save the points for a higher value redemption…
Not a bad card for sure for travel spend, especially if you can stomach using Travelocity for your bookings. I’m not a huge fan of the booking engine myself but that’s just an aesthetic preference. Though I think I could get over that!
And of course whenever you book your travel through a site like Travelocity (or Expedia or Orbitz) you should start at a cash back site like Big Crumbs or e-Bates for additional cash back for your purchases on top.