Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

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OnBoard
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Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by OnBoard »

Business travel is looking to pick up over the next couple of years. I’m in the market for a new credit card to make the best of the cost of travel expenses. In typical boglehead fashion, I’m looking to optimize benefits. Most signs and blogs point to Amex Platinum (annual fee is steep at $695). But I already have Global Entry so the generous benefit of covering that is not useful to me at this time.

Open to suggestions. Annual fees okay if benefits outweigh the cost.
brad.clarkston
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by brad.clarkston »

What cards do you already have?

The best bet is to stack ether Amex or Chase cards for transferring points (travel & hotel) so it's very dependent on what your already using.
Cruise
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by Cruise »

GE is only valued at $20/year, so lots of other considerations are more important: What is your spend, what is it on, and is there a card that will help you maximize value to your natural spend?

Just for example, if you dine out and travel a lot, getting 3X on restaurant, hotel, airline and cruises can add up to massive benefit, especially if the points can be transferred to an airline that you naturally use. Another example, if you stay at properties in the Amex FHR program, using their card can get you really nice free breakfasts, F&B or property credit, and guaranteed late check out. Possibly hundreds of dollars of benefits for each stay.
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OnBoard
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by OnBoard »

brad.clarkston wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:02 am What cards do you already have?

The best bet is to stack ether Amex or Chase cards for transferring points (travel & hotel) so it's very dependent on what your already using.
Put the majority of our spend, approx $50K per year, on 2% cash back card and Discover (depending on quarterly category).
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ResearchMed
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by ResearchMed »

OnBoard wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:16 am
brad.clarkston wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:02 am What cards do you already have?

The best bet is to stack ether Amex or Chase cards for transferring points (travel & hotel) so it's very dependent on what your already using.
Put the majority of our spend, approx $50K per year, on 2% cash back card and Discover (depending on quarterly category).
First, I've just recently added a Chase card (Chase Sapphire Preferred) to jumpstart it with that 100k points bonus.
I'm adding that to our Amex and CitiCard accounts, with the latter accumulating awards/points for AAdvantage (American Airlines).

Between Amex and AAdvantage programs, we have access to most (not all) major airlines and can thus use awards to fly internationally on top international airlines in Business (J) or First (F) class.
We tend to use AA partners rather than flying with AA themselves, and at least in the recent past, the use of AA points can be better on partner airlines than on AA itself, and the partners often have superior equipment and service.

Will your business travel be international, and do you ordinarily fly J - or are you hoping to do so?

Some of the "best" use of awards, in terms of dollar valuation of what would have been spent instead of using the awards, is usually getting J or F tickets on international flights.
But that has less "value" if you wouldn't have otherwise paid for at least J class to start with, or if you hadn't decided that you specifically wanted to fly at least J class.

If you aren't interested in this, then double check what you can "get" in terms of hotel stays, and see if it beats the approximately 2% cash back. Some cards offer more than one point per dollar spent, so take that into account as well.

My new Chase card points can be transferred to some of the same partners as in the Amex or AAdvantage partners, and I'm still exploring if there might be any new partners we'd be interested in using.

We also (pre-Covid!) used Amex Platinum to get some nice perks at some nicer hotels, as Cruise mentioned above. Those include, frequently, a food/beverage credit, and a guaranteed late check-out. We often also get an early check-in. Upgrades are nice, but they aren't key; those hotels are already quite nice.

A lot depends upon what "use" you want for those points.

RM
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fuddbogle
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by fuddbogle »

What is your home airport and where do you plan to go?

Targeting airline miles and/or hotels miles specific to your wants will depend on the credit cards.
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OnBoard
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by OnBoard »

brad.clarkston wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:02 am
We also (pre-Covid!) used Amex Platinum to get some nice perks at some nicer hotels, as Cruise mentioned above. Those include, frequently, a food/beverage credit, and a guaranteed late check-out. We often also get an early check-in. Upgrades are nice, but they aren't key; those hotels are already quite nice.
Worth noting that family vacations are primarily booked through Costco Travel. I’ve found that they’re more often than not the best value/deal.

Do AFR or Chase UR portals offer better pricing?
atdharris
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by atdharris »

If you travel, it's best to really devote yourself to one ecosystem of points (outside of SUB). The best cashback you can find is through BofA's Preferred Rewards program. Otherwise, a flat 2% back card is sufficient.
tev9876
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by tev9876 »

Global entry isn't a perk I worry too much about. I actually get it on my Chase IHG card with an only $89 annual fee and free hotel night every year. I'll probably gift the one on my Amex Plat to someone since I won't need it.

The current offer for Amex Platinum through Resy is the best I have ever seen in my 15+ years of credit card shenanigans. It is 125K points after $6K spend and 15 points per dollar for the first six months at restaurants and small businesses, up to $25K. That is a half million points if you can max it out. Many caterers/banquet halls count as restaurants while many contractors count as small businesses, so if you have a wedding or home improvement planned it can be easy to hit that $25K spend.

For planning purposes I consider a MR point as $.02, making this offer worth $10K. I just transferred points to Avancia Life Miles and Air Canada for a business class trip to Europe and got $.033 in value - $16.5K!

The $695 fee is steep but it has good perks. I will use the $200 hotel and $200 airline credit. I would have not paid $179 for Clear, but I signed up for free. I'll call the $20/month streaming credit $10/month ($120 year) since most of it goes to Sirrius XM which can be found much cheaper than the full price monthly fee you have to pay to get the credit. I'll find a way to use the $!00 Saks offer, but whatever I get will be overpriced so I'll call it $50. I'll probably use the Uber credit for about $100.

I've already covered my annual fee and haven't even set foot in an airline lounge yet. Access to Centurion and Delta lounges plus Priority Pass beats other cards that only offer Priority Pass. Will definitely get value on this as my domestic travel ramps up.

I'm also a big fan of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Once I wrap up the Amex spend next year I will start looking for a good Sapphire offer - I should be outside the four year window for canceling the last one by then.
brad.clarkston
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by brad.clarkston »

OnBoard wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:16 am
brad.clarkston wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:02 am What cards do you already have?

The best bet is to stack ether Amex or Chase cards for transferring points (travel & hotel) so it's very dependent on what your already using.
Put the majority of our spend, approx $50K per year, on 2% cash back card and Discover (depending on quarterly category).
Well I didn't see that one coming :)

I'd at least take a look at the Amex lineup it's pretty well rounded for general business perks:

American Express Gold Card ($250 AF / 60k bonus) - 4X points at restaurants / 4X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $25K / 3X Points on Flights / $120 Uber Cash.

and ether the

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass ($95 AF / 180k bonus) - 12X points on Hilton purchases / 6X points at U.S. Restaurants / 6X Points on Groceries & Dining / 6X points on Gas / Hilton Honors Gold Status

or

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ($450 AF / 150k bonus) - 6X points at Participating Hotels / 3X points at U.S. restaurants / 3X on flights booked directly with airlines / $300 in statement Credits Each Year

depending on what hotel chain you like best. Then pick a airline card that's a bit more complex and depends on what airport you use primarily.
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by drk »

Lots of conversation in this thread: viewtopic.php?p=6220994#p6220994
Topic Author
OnBoard
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Re: Best Credit Card if You Already Have Global Entry

Post by OnBoard »

tev9876 wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:33 am Global entry isn't a perk I worry too much about. I actually get it on my Chase IHG card with an only $89 annual fee and free hotel night every year. I'll probably gift the one on my Amex Plat to someone since I won't need it.

The current offer for Amex Platinum through Resy is the best I have ever seen in my 15+ years of credit card shenanigans. It is 125K points after $6K spend and 15 points per dollar for the first six months at restaurants and small businesses, up to $25K. That is a half million points if you can max it out. Many caterers/banquet halls count as restaurants while many contractors count as small businesses, so if you have a wedding or home improvement planned it can be easy to hit that $25K spend.

For planning purposes I consider a MR point as $.02, making this offer worth $10K. I just transferred points to Avancia Life Miles and Air Canada for a business class trip to Europe and got $.033 in value - $16.5K!

The $695 fee is steep but it has good perks. I will use the $200 hotel and $200 airline credit. I would have not paid $179 for Clear, but I signed up for free. I'll call the $20/month streaming credit $10/month ($120 year) since most of it goes to Sirrius XM which can be found much cheaper than the full price monthly fee you have to pay to get the credit. I'll find a way to use the $!00 Saks offer, but whatever I get will be overpriced so I'll call it $50. I'll probably use the Uber credit for about $100.

I've already covered my annual fee and haven't even set foot in an airline lounge yet. Access to Centurion and Delta lounges plus Priority Pass beats other cards that only offer Priority Pass. Will definitely get value on this as my domestic travel ramps up.

I'm also a big fan of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Once I wrap up the Amex spend next year I will start looking for a good Sapphire offer - I should be outside the four year window for canceling the last one by then.
Sold! Thank you.
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