My Discover card is expiring soon and so I’m thinking about trying another card. Discover has been fine and, of course, they’ll automatically mail me a new one before this one expires; but, this is the card that I have setup to auto-pay many of my monthly expenses and I’ll have to contact each of those companies which are setup for auto-pay anyway (since they’ll need the new expiration date). So, it would be just as easy to tell them a new credit card number if I found one which I liked more than the Discover.
I’ve given some thought to getting an airline miles card since that would give me something back for my purchases. Of course, I already get 1% back with Discover, but I’m curious whether I might be able to get a bit more from another card. It seems that each airline has its own card and there are also some any-airline cards; and, I’m currently leaning towards a non airline-specific card since I rarely use the same airline from one trip to the next.
I thought there might just be a handful of cards from which to choose, but there seem to be several dozen :-/. I picked out a few of them to compare:
TravelerMiles is a card from Travelers Bank. In addition to tickets at 25,000 miles (up to $500) and 32,000 miles (up to $600), this one also offers discounted tickets at 8,000 miles ($100 off) and 28,000 miles ($400 off). However, I’m couldn’t find a yearly fee listed anywhere (or even a link to apply for the card).
CapitalOne has two airline cards — their Go Miles and their Go Miles Ultra cards (the difference is that the Go Miles Ultra card doubles miles on the first year). And, their maximum ticket values are calculated on a multiple of 90; so, for example, 9,000 miles are needed to get a $100 ticket. Calculating for some of the more common mile-amounts, 25,000 miles would work out to a $278 ticket and 30,000 miles would be about $333. Hmm, come to think of it, this card is starting to look kinda lame.
After looking over those, I then found this article at Kiplinger from last August about airline mile cards. The article is fairly general but they also suggest a couple cards for those who are undecided (like me, natch). From Kiplinger:
Quicken offers a MasterCard which, contrary to the Kiplinger article, apparently has no annual fee. Interestingly enough, their rewards program is called TravelerMiles and it links to the travelermiles.com site as well — it looks like this is the card that’s tied to the TravelerMiles program. As before, this has tickets at 25,000 miles (up to $500) and 32,000 miles (up to $600.
The WorldPoints Visa from MBNA is the other card mentioned. This one has no annual fee, which is a plus, but the lesser maximum ticket values aren’t as high as some of the others — 25,000 miles gets a $400 ticket while 35,000 miles gets a $600 ticket.
Looking over them, I’m still not entirely decided. But, considering that it would probably take me a few years to rack up enough miles to get a free flight, those annual fees may more than offset the higher ticket amounts. So far, the Quicken Mastercard looks tempting — it has no annual fee and its maximum ticket values are on par some of the annual-fee cards. I’m open to any suggestions here.