Airline CCs for low spenders | TigerDroppings.com

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fasdit
Member since Mar 2011
29 posts

Airline CCs for low spenders


I am considering opening a frequent flyer miles credit card, but I am not a big credit spender. Many of these programs appear to be skewed in favor of people who spend a lot and fly a lot. Is there any room for the little guy? I would appreciate some advice from the pros on Money Talk. The Delta Gold AMEX seems like a possible choice for my situation.

Here is my background:
I have ONE credit card. It is a Visa issued through a local credit union. It has no rewards, the customer service ranges from mediocre to terrible, and the interest rate is 8.15% purchases, 11.15% cash advances. I have had the card for 4 years and have never missed a payment. My credit rating was 719 the last time I checked. I don't think I would be missing out on much by discontinuing the use of this card in favor of a different one.

I am not a big credit spender. I am averaging $900/month on my Mickey Mouse Visa and I could probably up that to $1500/month if I moved over some recurring bills and routine purchases that are currently pulled from my debit card.

Now I do find myself flying 2-3 times each year and checking a bag at least 1 of those times. The prospect of free checked bags, discounts on inflight purchases like wifi and drinks, priority boarding (I'm always stuck in zone 3 or 4!), and possibly getting better kickbacks for delayed or canceled flights is very appealing.

Is there anything out there that is worthwhile for a low roller like myself?




This post was edited on 9/30 at 9:36 pm



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Golfer
LSU Fan
Coral Bay, St. John, USVI
Member since Nov 2005
56528 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

and possibly getting better kickbacks for delayed or canceled flights is very appealing.


This won't happen.

You should get the cap1 venture card or if you want to stick with one airline get the delta debit card from suntrust.






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foshizzle
LSU Fan
Washington DC metro
Member since Mar 2008
29838 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

I am not a big credit spender.


Credit card issuers give you rewards for putting lots on the card, they get money by charging the merchants. If you don't spend much, don't expect much in the way of rewards.






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Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Oct 2006
18359 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

cap1 venture card


If he's got better credit he should get the Barclay's Arrival World Mastercard, since it's better, but then again the yearly fee is a little more and he doesn't spend a lot.






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DrakeLSU
LSU Fan
Kansas
Member since Dec 2012
1348 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


I just got accepted for the AMEX Delta gold card last month. 30,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 in the first 3 months (easy). Also, first checked bag free is huge. You will break even on the $90 service fee after the first year if you fly roundtrip twice and check bags.

I don't fly much or spend much, but the 2x points on Delta purchases is nice, especially since I travel abroad once a year. Not a bad card if you plan to pay it off. The interest is killer if you don't.



This post was edited on 9/30 at 11:05 pm


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SpartyGator
Florida Fan
Member since Oct 2011
30991 posts
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re: Airline CCs for low spenders


thanks, i'm almost in the same boat as you. Primarily, though, I rarely use my CC (which is a Visa issued by my CU). Even with flights, I primarily use my debit card. I did have a CC debt issue for a couple months earlier in the year, but that is resolved (if I do have debt, it's extremely minimal, which wasn't the case earlier).

I looked at Delta Skymiles mostly, as I try to fly them more.






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fasdit
Member since Mar 2011
29 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


The Capitol One Venture card does look nice.
I'm still leaning towards the Delta Gold AMEX. I am going to plug both of them into a spreadsheet and attempt to estimate my real world rewards earnings minus annual fees over a period of 5 years.

I've heard that there is a way to get a targeted offer emailed to you from AMEX that will solicit a better bonus for opening the Delta gold card than the publicly listed offer. IE: Get 50,000 miles when you open the credit card instead of 30,0000. Does anyone know how to get an offer like this without selling your email soul the spam devil?






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BACONisMEATcandy
LSU Fan
Delta, Amex, & Über Threads
Member since Dec 2007
41271 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

The Delta Gold AMEX


If you take trips with others the Gold is never the way to go. Jump up to the platinum and get a companion certificate for the extra $55

Just my 2¢






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Golfer
LSU Fan
Coral Bay, St. John, USVI
Member since Nov 2005
56528 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

I'm still leaning towards the Delta Gold AMEX.


If you're only flying 2-3 times a year then your travel is going to be based of off cost and not a single carrier/convenience. Because of that, I would encourage you to get a card that allows you to earn miles on any flight.

The 30,000 miles "good for one free flight" is a sham. Delta's 25,000 mileage inventory is very small.






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40 Rouge
LSU Fan
Red Stick
Member since Feb 2009
1762 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


Since you don't use a credit card too much, it's not going to matter if you get an airline specific card or just an overall rewards points card. You're not going to realize any perks any time soon.

I would suggest the Barclay Card Arrival to start building up points, but it'll take forever with the figures you gave. I put everything possible on my credit card and I am able to have a huge chunk of my annual big vacation paid for. It's almost pointless at your spending rate.






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SpartyGator
Florida Fan
Member since Oct 2011
30991 posts
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re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

The 30,000 miles "good for one free flight" is a sham. Delta's 25,000 mileage inventory is very small.



That's the one things, I noticed too. Once for kicks and giggles wanted to look up mileage to go to a west coast city from Detroit, it was like 40k miles.

Thankfully, I'm racking up miles to go to Japan at 70k






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SpartyGator
Florida Fan
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re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

40 Rouge


Good point as well.






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DrakeLSU
LSU Fan
Kansas
Member since Dec 2012
1348 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


Damn, once I pass my $500 in 3 months I will have like 90,000 miles. Didn't realize I could get out of country with that





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foshizzle
LSU Fan
Washington DC metro
Member since Mar 2008
29838 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

Once for kicks and giggles wanted to look up mileage to go to a west coast city from Detroit


One should leave Detroit very quickly for either coast regardless of points.






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fasdit
Member since Mar 2011
29 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

40Rouge
Since you don't use a credit card too much, it's not going to matter if you get an airline specific card or just an overall rewards points card. You're not going to realize any perks any time soon.


That was basically the same conclusion I came too after a quick calculation of my 'rewards' after 3 years of spending at my estimated rate. Although in all honesty I'm single, detached, and pounding the career front pretty hard. I'm optimistic that I will be making more money in the next couple of years and presumably spending a little more too.

I think what I liked more about the Delta Gold AMEX was that it included a few passive rewards like the free checked bag and priority boarding. I usually get forced to check my carry on at the gate because I board last and the overhead bins fill up. I also tend to underpack for most trips because I'm too cheap/poor to pay $50 for a checked bag.






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DrakeLSU
LSU Fan
Kansas
Member since Dec 2012
1348 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


That benefit alone is worth the $90 service fee.





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Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Oct 2006
18359 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

I am not a big credit spender. I am averaging $900/month on my Mickey Mouse Visa and I could probably up that to $1500/month if I moved over some recurring bills and routine purchases that are currently pulled from my debit card.



Just to reiterate, the solution to some of your problems is in bold.

There is no good reason to be paying for something with your debit card, that you can pay with rewards credit cards, unless you just can't help yourself financially.



This post was edited on 10/1 at 6:07 pm


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BACONisMEATcandy
LSU Fan
Delta, Amex, & Über Threads
Member since Dec 2007
41271 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


I have still yet to make a purchase with my debit card this year. I have contemplated not even carrying it with me anymore unless I know I will be grabbing cash but can't get myself to do that just yet





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SpartyGator
Florida Fan
Member since Oct 2011
30991 posts
 Online 

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


quote:

I have still yet to make a purchase with my debit card this year


I'm the opposite, pretty much do a majority of my purchases with the DC.

quote:

I have contemplated not even carrying it with me anymore unless I know I will be grabbing cash but can't get myself to do that just yet




I always keep both my CC and DC with me, just in case.






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yellowfin
Illinois Fan
Coastal Bar
Member since May 2006
69000 posts

re: Airline CCs for low spenders


$1,500 a month is 3,000 points so after 10 months that's a $300 flight





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