My wife and I met some new friends last week during a neighbor’s backyard get-together. We’ll call them “Jack” and “Jill.” (We want to protect the innocent, after all. 🙂 )
Jack asked me a question I’m often posed in radio interviews, emails, text messages, meetings and appointments, and casual conversations:
“What’s the best credit card to get?”
It’s a great question. (Plus, I love discussing points, miles, credit cards, and travel!)
But answering it is rather difficult because (as I always say) everyone’s budgets, spending habits, travel goals, and travel needs are different.
This is sort of like, “What’s the best car?”
For example, I’m a Toyota Highlander guy: it works well for my family’s needs and our budget. Plus, I’m about the size of a football lineman. So it’s very comfortable for me. But someone else may say that a Porsche 911 or BMW Z4 is better. If they’re into sports cars and don’t have to transport a family (and all the strollers, bags, and everything else associated with that), then those cars are better for them. Neither of us are wrong. It’s all subjective.
See what I mean?
So here’s how we drilled it down for Jack and Jill.
First, she admitted she sometimes uses a debit card for some purchases. (She winced and said, “I know, I know!”) But she also occasionally pays with a Chase Freedom Unlimited.
I asked her a few questions about rewards interests them.
Jill wants something that features bonus points categories. She and Jack aren’t necessarily loyal to one airline or hotel chain. So co-branded airline or hotel cards won’t really do them any good. She’s fine with annual fees that aren’t too outrageous — as long as the card comes with good earnings potential and some decent benefits.
I suggested two cards.
What are the Best Credit Cards for Jack and Jill?
The American Express® Gold Card is great for their needs. They have an adorable two-year-old daughter. And another child on the way. So their grocery shopping and dining needs are only going to increase.
The American Express® Gold Card earns 4X Membership Rewards points on U.S. supermarket purchases (up top $25,000 in purchases each calendar year) and restaurants (including food delivery services) Plus, cardholders are eligible for monthly $10 dining credits at select restaurants and food delivery services (one-time enrollment required). Not to mention, Amex Gold Cards now receive monthly $10 Uber Cash deposits (enrollment requirement). Those can be used for Uber Eats deliveries.
While the card carries a $250 annual fee, they can easily earn that back between monthly statement credits and points they’ll earn. (See Rates and Fees.)
Meanwhile, I’ve long suggested people hold the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Its quarterly 5% bonus cash back categories are reason enough to have the card. The benefit maxes out at $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter. So the most you get back each quarter is $75/7500 Ultimate Rewards points (or $300/30,000 Ultimate Rewards points each year). That’s not bad for a no-annual-fee card.
Plus, the Flex pairs nicely with her Unlimited. She can combine her cards’ Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for cash back, travel, gift cards, or a few other options.
Everyone’s financial and travel situations are different. So deciding “What’s the best credit card?” isn’t as easy as we may wish. But I think I steered Jack and Jill in the right direction.
You’re probably your friends’ and family’s resident point expert. What cards do you usually recommend?
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