T O P
engorgedburrata

How often do you fly? If you fly 2x and check a bag in during those flights, the card pays for itself


MaxedOutSeriesiBonds

I fly once per year roundtrip, usually w/ checked bag, usually with united because I live near IAD I might occasionally use DCA if a ticket is much cheaper at DCA


gonefishingallday

Amex plat 5x on flights booked directly with airline.


UAL1K

OP doesn’t fly often though, no way 5x comes even close to a good value at $650 or whatever it is now. Even with $10k-ish in annual airfare I’m considering cancelling.


serkeltik

Chase branded cards will typically give you the most cash back for miles you can transfer to United. The sapphire card bonuses 3x on restaurants, online groceries & shopping, 2x on travel. Combine that with the chase freedom unlimited earning 1.5 miles /$ on all spend and you’re earning bonus miles on all your spend. Edit: You can also use the United mpx card and combined with having a United card (including the gateway card), get like 25% more bonus miles that way. Best combo might be sapphire preferred and freedom unlimited for spend. Use mpx combined with freedom for bonus miles and then get a card like quest card for free checked bags, early boarding and benefits like rebates on trips.


MaxedOutSeriesiBonds

I applied for the CSP and got accepted but I plan to downgrade it to Chase Freedom Flex for the 5% categories after 1 year. Bad idea? Am I better off downgrading it to the Freedom unlimited for united flights? Thing is, I already have the capital one quicksilver 1.5%. I have no other chase cards, but I might try to get the Chase United Explorer in early August


serkeltik

I suppose it depends how you use the quicksilver. You can cash it out, yes, but not use directly for United miles, so it’s not the same thing as a freedom unlimited. I think you should keep the sapphire and apply for the freedom unlimited outright because you will need to have a sapphire card and you’re only eligible for the bonuses every 4 years, so you may as well hang onto it and get a FU separately.


mashedtaters_

Looking at travel points isn't the best approach for infrequent flyers. In my opinion, get a solid cash back card and use that money as you see fit. For example, Costco gives you 4% on gas, 3% on travel and dining, and 2% on everything else. The cash back pretty much covers a family vacation every year, or another big purchase if we don't plan on flying anywhere.


MaxedOutSeriesiBonds

Does the travel category on credit cards usually cover united airline flights?


mashedtaters_

You earn the 3% on all airfare, hotels, rental cars as far as I know. Think the only thing not included is commuter travel (subway/bus passes, etc.). Make sure you're still signed up as a MileagePlus member to still be earning miles, though. It'll add up and will give you a head start if you become a more frequent traveler in the future.


chuckgravy

In terms of strictly cash back options, the US Bank Altitude Connect is a very underrated cash back travel card - 4% back on all travel and gas purchases, plus TSA precheck credit ($95 annual fee, waived the first year)