To end out the year, I recently cancelled by Marriott Premier Card. I really liked that it gave me a free night every year (category 1-5), beside the fact that I could never use the stupid night. Those coupons only last for six months, and the last couple of trips have been for work. So I successfully lost 3 nights over the life of the credit card, which pains me. Needless to say, I just couldn’t stomach the annual fee anymore.
I’m still glad I got the card, as it covered our nights in Naples when we went to go visit Pompeii. But the time had come to say goodbye. They did offer me another free night to stay, but given my track record in using those free nights, I declined.
My new card acquisition is boring, but a good deal: the American Airlines Gold Card. Yea, the benefits leave a bit to be desired, though reduced award tickets may be a good one. No priority boarding, and no lounge passes. Annual fee ($50) is also waived the first year. This card currently has targeted offers for 50,000 miles; I need a minimum spend of $1,500 in three months. Low spend, decent haul of miles. I plan on cancelling the card before the annual fee comes around next year.
I was thinking about opening the American Airlines Platinum Card, too, with an offer of 50,000, 2 free lounge passes, and priority boarding. However, the offer I received required $3,000 in spend in three months, so for now, I decided not to. If I foresee a large expense coming up (i.e. a trip purchase…cough….Galapagos?!…cough) I may go ahead and get this card as well because it would really boost my American miles.
I’m also eyeing a Chase Sapphire Card, if I see a good offer come through–particularly since I cancelled my other Chase card. I’ve not had a lot of flexible cards which allow you to transfer to different programs (other than my Amex Platinum), so I think I need to start seeing if these cards will work better for us given my total lack of airline loyalty.
Now I need to remember that hoarding miles is silly, especially as devaluations seem as common as rain. But we are hoarding some miles for a return trip to Asia, since both DH and I agreed that the best way to enjoy a trip home for over 20 hours of flying was in business class. I loved ANA, so we might stick with the United miles for that one (we still have the United Explorer Card, too). But that’s going to be at least a year or two away, given that there are some other travel priorities in the nearer future.
Any good targeted offers you’ve seen? How do you like flexible cards versus branded?