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Premium Credit Card Comparison

There are a number of premium credit cards available and each one has it’s own set of benefits. Depending on your travel and spending patterns, one may be a significantly better choice for you than another. In some cases it may make sense to have more than one.

In this article we’re going to compare the major premium credit cards from American Express, Chase and Citi. U.S. Bank has also just entered the premium card market with the launch of it’s Altitude card. We’ll have more on that one next week.

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Which Card Is Better – Amex Platinum Personal vs. Business?

Amex has been announcing a series of changes to both the personal and business versions of the Platinum card over the past several months. The pace of these announcements has increased in recent weeks, and now the differences between the two cards are greater than ever before.

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Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Credit Card Review

cathay pacific card review

Who Is the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Credit Card Good For?

The Cathay Pacific Visa Signature card from Synchrony Bank is good for anyone looking to rack up some Asia Miles, especially for those currently limited by sign-up bonus restrictions imposed by larger banks. Asia Miles is a transfer partner of both American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You points. However, American Express has a once-in-a-lifetime rule for earning sign up bonuses, and Citi limits sign up bonuses to once per 24 months per rewards family.

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BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

Who Is the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card Good For?

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card is good for anyone who wants to earn statement credits toward travel purchases. This card has no transfer partners, but it does have a generous earning scheme, a decent sign-up bonus and no annual fee.

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2017’s AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card Review

Who Is the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature Card Good For?

If you have a AAA membership and you want to earn cash back on credit card purchases, you should consider getting the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature from Bank of America. The card comes with a small sign-up bonus, generous bonus earning categories and no annual fee.  If you spend a lot on travel or at AAA, this card might be right for you.

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The Travel Rewards World MasterCard Business Credit Card Review

Who Is the Travel Rewards World MasterCard for Business Credit Card Good For?

The Travel Rewards World MasterCard for Business from Bank of America is designed for any small business owner or independent contractor who wants to earn WorldPoints travel rewards. It comes with a generous sign-up bonus and earning scheme, particularly for a no-fee card. You’ll be saving money on travel expenses in no time with this WorldPoints credit card.

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Avianca LifeMiles Vuela Visa Credit Card Review

Who Is the Avianca Vuela Visa Card Good For?

Avianca, the second largest airline in Latin America, offers two co-branded credit cards to U.S. residents. The Avianca Vuela Visa is the carrier’s premium card, offering more perks and benefits than the lower cost Avianca Vida Visa. If you often fly on Avianca, or if you’re planning a trip to Central or South America, you should consider getting the Vuela Vista Visa with its superior earning potential and bigger sign-up bonus.

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Amtrak Credit Card Review

Who Is the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard Good For?

Whether you’re planning a dream trip along the scenic California coastline or you’re a commuter in the busy Northeast Corridor, you should consider getting the premium Amtrak rewards credit card. It has some great perks, including a companion ticket, a lounge pass and a free ticket upgrade.

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AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard From Barclaycard Review

Who Is the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® Good For?

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is Barclays’ midrange American Airlines co-branded card. If you often fly on American, this card comes with some nice perks, including an annual companion certificate, free checked bags, priority boarding, in-flight discounts and access to Reduced Mileage Awards.

The Aviator cards were originally only offered to US Airways cardholders after the merger with American. New customers had to get their AAdvantage credit cards from Citibank, American’s long-time partner.

That changed thanks to a July 2016 agreement that gave Barclaycard the ability to sign up new AAdvantage Aviator cardholders at airports and on American Airlines flights. Citi retained the rights to get new customers online, through the mail and at airport lounges, making American the first carrier to offer co-branded cards from two different issuers.

The AAdvantage Aviator Red is very similar to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. The most notable difference is that the Aviator Red comes with an Anniversary Companion Certificate after spending $20,000 on purchases in a year. The Platinum Select, on the other hand, has a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount for spending $20,000 or more in purchases, that is not available with the Aviator Red card.

Sign-Up Bonus:

This Aviator Red card comes with a rather generous sign-up bonus: you can earn 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days.

In addition to the welcome bonus offer, the card also allows its cardmembers to earn a Companion Certificate for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees). To qualify for the certificate, you will need to spend at least $20,000 on purchases and account should remain open for 45 days after your anniversary date. The certificate can be earned each anniversary year.

Miles Earned:

  • 2 points per dollar spent with American Airlines
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Earn rewards with the AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard

What Do Your Miles Get You?

The AAdvantage program once offered four different award levels: MileSAAver Off Peak, MileSAAver, AAnytime Level 1 and AANytime Level 2. However, Saver and Anytime awards were eliminated and replaced with a new pricing chart for American Airlines flights in 2023.

American Airlines now has a new award chart that presents pricing as “starting from”. This form shows the minimum pricing and does not show the exact price to expect, which is not a surprise as most American awards were already dynamically-priced. Now you can find awards for domestic flights for as low as 7,500 miles each way.

Usage Perks:

  • Up to $25 back as statement credits annually on inflight Wi-Fi purchases
  • Receive 25% inflight savings as statement credits on food and beverages
  • First checked bag free
  • Preferred boarding
  • Travel and lifestyle services
  • Travel coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees

Get access to Reduced Mileage Awards with the AAdvantage Red MasterCard

Usage Quirks:

  • High yearly minimum spend of $20,000 to receive a Companion certificate
  • Bonus miles for American Airlines purchases only

How Far Do Your Miles Go?

The Aviator Red card comes with a few benefits that will help you earn AAdvantage miles faster.

With the new AAdvantage program you will earn Loyalty Points for one eligible AAdvantage mile. Now you can earn Loyalty Points when you fly and when you buy (AAdvantage eShopping, AAdvantage Dining, SimplyMiles and more). And once you have AAdvantage status, you’ll earn more miles and Loyalty Points when you travel with American and their partners.

Earned miles can be redeemed for flights, as well as hotel stays, rental cars, vacation packages and other retail products.

You’ll get 10 percent of the miles you’ve redeemed back. That means you’ll save 2,500 miles on a 25,000-mile redemption, which is the cost of a domestic roundtrip. The net cost of the flight after the discount is only 22,500 miles. You can save up to 10,000 miles a year with this perk.

Cardholders also get access to American’s Reduced Mileage Awards. These awards are available for different routes at different times of the year. If you book a qualifying flight, you can save up to 7,500 miles.

Additional Cardholder Benefits

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • $0 fraud liability protection

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The Best Credit Cards to Get to China and Hong Kong With Miles

travel credit cards

You can get to China and Hong Kong for as little as 60,000 miles. So save your cash for a nice new bespoke suit from the world famous tailors of Hong Kong. Or head straight to Beijing and start your journey in the Middle Kingdom with a trip to the Great Wall. With the right rewards credit card, you can earn enough with just the sign-up bonus.

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Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard Review

Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard Review

Who Is the Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite Card Good For?

The Citi / AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard(no longer available) has the smallest annual fee and least benefits of all the co-branded American Airlines cards offered by Citi. However, if you’re primarily interested in getting the sign-up bonus, or if you’re just looking for a solid introductory card that earns American miles, it might be for you.

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The Best Credit Cards to Get to Japan With Miles

The Best Credit Cards to Get to Japan With Miles

You can easily earn a free flight to Japan in less than a year, but you’ll have to get the right credit card. Find out which card you need and which frequent flyer program can get you there the fastest.

For most airlines, award flights cost the same from either the East or West Coast to Tokyo, Japan’s main international hub. There are a few frequent flyer programs, though, that charge notably less if you fly from the West Coast.

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The Best Credit Cards to Get to the Middle East With Miles

travel credit card

Have you ever wanted to experience the over-the-top luxury and outrageous architecture of the Middle East’s top tourist spots? You don’t have to be a jet-setting playboy or prince to visit five-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants, the world’s largest malls and man-made island resorts.

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The Best Credit Cards to Get to Australia and New Zealand With Miles

The Best Credit Cards to Get to Australia and New Zealand With Miles

Planning a trip Down Under? A flight from the U.S. can be expensive, so it’s worth saving your miles and getting your ticket for nearly free. It can take as little as 15 months to earn an award ticket to New Zealand, and as little as 18 months to Australia if you channel $1,500 a month through a recommended credit card.

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The Best Credit Cards to Get to South America With Miles

The Best Credit Cards to Get to South America With Miles

Were you inspired by the Olympics to see more of South America? Maybe you want to party during Carnival in Rio? Or perhaps you’re drawn to the continent’s stunning natural wonders, such as the Amazon River, Galapogos Islands and Iguazu Falls. Whatever the reason, you can get there for nearly free in as little as three months with the right credit card.

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Airport Lounge Access: How Do You Get it and at What Cost?

Airport Lounge Access: How Do You Get it and at What Cost?

Have you ever been stuck waiting for a flight in an overcrowded terminal with overpriced food and drinks, unbearable noise, and nowhere to plug-in your phone? You are not alone. But there is a solution: get access to an airport lounge. In this post we will compare the lounge access benefits offered by a variety of credit cards. A warning in advance: they all come with a $450 fee. But the lounge access and all the other benefits you get are worth it for many travelers. The intro bonus alone usually pays for a free flight. To see of one of these cards is the best choice to help you fund the flight of your dreams, register at RewardExpert.

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Allegiant World MasterCard From Bank of America Credit Card Review

Allegiant World MasterCard

Who Is the Allegiant World MasterCard Good For?

If you live in an area served by Allegiant Air, you should consider getting the Allegiant World MasterCard from Bank of America. It’s the only way you can earn points with the airline, and the card comes with some nice perks, including a free companion ticket and double points for dining out.

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United MileagePlus Explorer Business Credit Card Review

Mileage Plus Explorer card

Who Is the Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card Good For?

If you’re considering a co-branded United Airlines card and you’re a small business owner or independent contractor, you should consider getting the Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card. It has better earning potential than its personal card counterpart and it doesn’t come with a hefty annual fee like the premium MileagePlus Club card.

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United MileagePlus Club Business Credit Card Review

Mileage club

Who Is the United MileagePlus Club Business Card Good For?

The United MileagePlus Club Business card is a credit card for small business owners or independent contractors who often fly on United and are looking for a premium travel credit card that’s packed full of perks.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

With the recent debut of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Chase now has two personal credit cards which carry the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to Chase’s network of transfer partners. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards has the best combination of credit cards, diversity of transfer partners, and overall value among the transferable points programs, holding one of these two cards will be part of a long-term strategy for many travel enthusiasts.

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