Chulalongkorn
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:00 pm

Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:56 am

Chase's United Mileage Plus program or American Express Business Platinum Membership Rewards. Which is better for travel. We have both, and have used both programs for some travel perks, but was looking for advice on how to maximize this. Is one better than the other? Should we switch to just one? SFO - BKK is the route we fly.

Thanks!
"feast like a sultan I do... treasures of flesh never few" - MJK
 
Delta732FF
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:14 am

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:03 am

Depends on which airline you like to fly more. If you like DL better than UA then just go with the amex and vise versa with the chase card. Since the route you fly is SFO-BKK id go with UA, but thats just me.
 
FireFly
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:38 pm

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:56 am

I have 3 -

AA with Citibank
UA with First USA (Now Chase)
Aer Lingus with MBNA

AA is the card I use the most, and I have racked up close to 200,000 miles on it in almost 4 years now.
EI, I just rec'd a letter from MBNA saying they have mutually ended their relationship and all miles will CANCEL the end of Sept. I am still looking into this, but looks like I may soon be reserving a flight to Ireland.
UA with First USA was a good choice - Chase I don't know about. I haven't noticed any changes, other than to the website where I make payments.

My biggest concern is tracking the miles. I am not the most organized person, and feel that miles have not been credited, when they should be. For instance, using a 3 rd party (like rental car) who offers a set number of miles for your business. Sometimes I use one of these offers, then forget to check the receipt of the miles in my account.

I have considered an Amex card, and should probably do it, as I spend a lot at Costco, but I think their cards are points based rather than miles...I have a bias towards miles based because (again keeping track) some things are worth more than a point, some things one point, some less than a point. There is a lot of trust involved to know if you are getting credited. Or else, a lot of time has to be spent tracking.

I like the UA card - I have yet to use the miles for a ticket, because I only want to use for a first class int'l and am still saving up. While I can imagine something happening to the Lingus - MBNA relationship, I can't imagine the same thing happening to UA or AA - I know for a fact these are huge money makers for both the airline and credit card issuer. Lingus was likely just too small to have a following for such a card.

So, go with the card that will cost the least to own (or use) per year (I think the Amex is free - UA is something like $50 a year?). Look into the AA and also, look at which will offer the most miles for signing with them.

After that, look at the one that has the most partners where extra miles are offered for business - If UA gives double miles for Avis rentals, and you rent lots of cars, that might be the best card for you.

Lastly, go to a website called FlyerTalk.com - That is the site where everyone who knows everything about F.F. cards, points, programs discusses the pros and cons in a similar forum to Airliners.com - enjoy free flying!!
"Bury me at sea, boys; where no murdered ghosts can haunt me" MacGowan
 
Chulalongkorn
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:00 pm

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:45 pm

Thanks FireFly.

I think the UA card is great due to the Star Alliance hook up. Amex has it's pluses too, converting points into miles of some great airline ff programs, but that's sort of the same thing with UA's Mileage Plus.

Cheers!
"feast like a sultan I do... treasures of flesh never few" - MJK
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5042
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:55 pm

I used to have the UA card, then Chase took over everything, and it went downhill, they couldnt find records of my cards etc. So I dropped it, I have been very happy with my WorldPerks Visa from US Bank, some of the best customer service I have ever had.
 
777fan
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:41 pm

Holy crap, go with the Chase (UA) Card! The new Choices program is brilliant and the annual fee (actually $65) is still cheaper than the DL Amex, IIRC. Various promotions waiving the annual fee for the first year and a 17,500 mile bonus sweeten the pot.

What Chase doesn't advertise too much is the option to upgrade to a Chase/UA Mileage Plus Platinum Visa. Yes, it costs $165 a year but automatically deposits 5,000 elite miles into your account each year, gives you a free companion ticket each year, and gives you mileage bonuses per purchase:

- United tickets and travel: 3 miles/$1
- Gas, groceries, food: 2 miles/$1
- Everything else: 1 mile/$1

777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
FireFly
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:38 pm

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:28 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 5):
What Chase doesn't advertise too much is the option to upgrade to a Chase/UA Mileage Plus Platinum Visa. Yes, it costs $165 a year but automatically deposits 5,000 elite miles into your account each year, gives you a free companion ticket each year, and gives you mileage bonuses per purchase:

777, thanks for that info - I'll change my card over.
"Bury me at sea, boys; where no murdered ghosts can haunt me" MacGowan
 
Zone1
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:47 am

RE: Which Credit Card Points Program Is Better?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:42 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 5):
Holy crap, go with the Chase (UA) Card! The new Choices program is brilliant and the annual fee (actually $65) is still cheaper than the DL Amex, IIRC.

Hold on there! American Express has a program that works like the Choices program and it is only $49/year. Plus they have more double points opportunities than United ever does. You get double points at grocery and drug stores. They often have double point opportunties for all purchases running monthly if you sign up for them on Amex's website. It's called the Delta SkyPoints credit card.
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