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How I Built My Credit Card Collection & Spending Strategy

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Kellie Jez
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Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

6 Published Articles 1178 Edited Articles

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Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...
Edited by: Nick Ellis
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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

156 Published Articles 770 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
& Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

102 Published Articles 695 Edited Articles

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Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

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I recognize that “Points and Miles Expert” wasn’t a job presented at many career fairs, so often when I tell people what I do, they give me a look of bewilderment and then immediately ask: “Well, what cards do you have?”

My wallet contains a collection of cards that I’ve cultivated over the years and has pivoted with me through my different stages of life. Just because I have these cards doesn’t mean they work for everyone.

However, I firmly believe that anyone can learn to leverage points and miles to their benefit. It all comes down to knowing the answers to the following questions:

  • What do you get value out of?
  • What do you currently spend your money on?

Here’s a little bit about how I built out my wallet and spending strategy as well as some things to think about as you build out your own.

My Points and Miles Strategy

Value in Flexible Points

I find lots of value in having flexible points that aren’t tied to a specific airline, specific hotel, or cash-back. I like that I have a pool of points that can flex for a specific trip, specific flight, or another travel goal.

Knowing that I liked the flexibility of using points across different airlines, I looked into issuers that had the broadest range of transfer partners. When I started down my points and miles journey years ago, I saw that American Express and Chase had the most variety at the time.

With the right cards, I had great access to both American Express’ airline and hotel partners and Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

With this, I decided to build a strategy around building up a stash of Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, knowing I’d have good options when it comes to where I wanted to go, how I wanted to get there, and where I wanted to stay while there.

After I knew which types of points I wanted to start to earn, I had to take a look at where I was spending my money.

My Spend Strategy

Person looking at phone and printout
While it can seem overwhelming, taking time to figure out your points and miles strategy can really help make sure the right cards are in your wallet. Image Credit: jcomp on Freepik

I recognize that it can seem overwhelming when you look across all the cards available, what they earn, and their bonus earnings. So I started with a simple question: “What do I spend my money on?”

This, of course, changes over time, so I try to reassess these once a year or every other year to make sure I’m not missing out on any big categories. Taking an hour every so often helps me travel on points and miles, all making sure I’m getting the most out of all my card benefits!

For now, my big spending categories are:

Food

  • Groceries
  • Dining

Travel

  • Airline tickets
  • Gas
  • Tolls and parking

Miscellaneous Spending

  • Bills including utilities

Figuring out that my 2 largest spending categories were food- or travel-related helped narrow my search so I could match with credit cards that would allow me to make the most out of the money I was already spending.

My Top 4 Personal Cards

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

This was the first card in my wallet, and I firmly believe that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a fantastic card for beginners but will still provide value well after you’ve graduated from beginner status.

This card earns:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining purchases, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases
  • 2x points on all other travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases

When I was a graduate student, this card allowed me to take advantage of any dining out with 3x points earned per dollar. I also liked knowing that I was earning at least 2x points per dollar spent on my travel purchases to get back to see family out of state. The categories are also straightforward and simple to know.

Nowadays, this is my go-to card for all personal purchases since my spouse and I have a family budget in addition to our individual budgets without entangling family/personal purchases.

Take into account the extra benefits that come along with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and it’s easy to see how this card can easily keep a place in your wallet:

  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (simply activate by July 31, 2024), plus, Instacart+ members earn up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
  • Membership for both DoorDash DashPass and Caviar for a minimum of 1 year (activate by December 31, 2024)
  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
  • 10% anniversary points boost
  • No foreign transaction fees
Bottom Line:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a fantastic card for beginners to points and miles. Explore our guide for more tips!

2. American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.

All information about American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.
Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your American Express® Green Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
40,000 points
$880
$150
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Green Card is an excellent all-around travel rewards card thanks to earning 3x Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel and transit purchases and at restaurants, access to American Express transfer partners, and a reasonable annual fee.

Pros
  • 3x points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide, on all eligible travel purchases, and transit purchases
  • Up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits after you pay for a CLEAR® Plus membership with the Card.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits annually when you purchase airport lounge access through LoungeBuddy with the Card.
Cons
  • $150 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your American Express® Green Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
  • $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express® Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
  • Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit – you’ll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you’re traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

This was the second card in my wallet and was added when I wanted to start to build up American Express Membership Rewards. Since the Amex Green card had similar earnings to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I didn’t originally have a clear differentiation between the 2 cards but I knew I wanted to earn American Express Membership Rewards and this card came with good earnings, great benefits, and a reasonable annual fee.

This card earns:

  • 3x points at restaurants worldwide
  • 3x points on travel, including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals
  • 3x points on transit, including trains, taxis, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
  • 1x points on all other eligible purchases

So while many of the categories overlapped with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I found it beneficial to have 3x earnings on travel (compared to the 2x on all other travel purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card).

This made the bonus structures easy to remember and I loved that Amex Green’s travel category includes purchases made with third-party providers.

This allowed me to earn 3x when I found great deals through online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia. It’s worth noting that Chase’s definition of travel purchases is also broad, so between these 2 cards, I was earning bonus points on nearly every travel purchase.

As my spouse and I have expanded our strategy, we still utilize this card for its broad definition of travel and transit, as well as to take advantage of the CLEAR Plus credit, which allows us to cover the cost of a CLEAR Plus membership (up to $189) every year.

Thanks to earning Amex Membership Rewards points with the Amex Green card, my spouse and I were able to book The Apartment on Etihad from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) to end our honeymoon. We redeemed 99,244 Membership Rewards points for our tickets which had a cash value of $9,260.

3. Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.

The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

When my now-spouse and I first moved into together, we recognized the need to have a joint card. Since we each had a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, we wanted a no-annual-fee card to put our joint purchases on. We settled on adding the Freedom Flex card.

We loved the idea of being able to transfer the cash-back earned on the Freedom Flex card to either of our Chase Sapphire Preferred cards as we started to travel together.

This card earns:

  • 5% cash-back on up to $1,500 combined purchases in rotating categories
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash-back on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases

Since the quarterly bonus categories were generally those that we were already spending within, this was a great way to put joint purchases on 1 card and still earn bonus rewards. It takes a little effort to activate the offers, but this was an easy win to earn more points on things we were already purchasing.

Nowadays, this card doesn’t play as large of a role, but since it’s a no-annual-fee card, we keep it in our wallets and take advantage of the Freedom Flex card’s benefits:

  • Complimentary 3-month membership to DoorDash DashPass (activate by December 31, 2024); after that, cardmembers are automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next 9 months
  • Complimentary 3-month Instacart+ membership and $10 quarterly statement credit

4. American Express® Gold Card

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Once we got married, we decided to beef up our card strategy. Since we were spending more on food from U.S. supermarkets, this was a big hole in our spending strategy. The choice was pretty clear: the Amex Gold card was the next card to be added to our wallets.

The Amex Gold card is a great all-around everyday earning card because it earns:

  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 a year)
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amextavel.com
  • 1x on all other eligible purchases

This brought our dining out at restaurants bonus to 4x points (compared to the 3x or 3% with other cards) and we could finally capitalize on purchases at U.S. supermarkets.

We rarely hit the cap, so we can earn big for grocery purchases most of the time. Not only did the card beef up our spending strategy, but I was also able to add my husband as an authorized user for no additional fee, making it easy for us each to have our own card (rates & fees).

Plus, this Amex Gold card’s benefits helped us get more value from adding a card with a higher annual fee to our strategy:

  • $120 Dining Credit: Up to $10 in statement credits monthly at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)
  • $120 Uber Cash: Each month, get up to $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year
  • Access to The Hotel Collection and a $100 experience credit when booking at least a 2-night stay
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)

My Top 2 Business Cards

1. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

NEW OFFER
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel
100,000 points
$2,000
$95
21.24%-26.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.

Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.

Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.

Pros
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
Cons
    • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24%-26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

As I progressed in my career, a business credit card was the next step in my credit card journey. First of all, I needed to ensure that business purchases were easily identifiable and kept separate from my personal purchases. As with my personal cards, I wanted my first card to be straightforward and easy to understand.

Since I already had a stash of Ultimate Rewards points, I explored the business card options offered by Chase. That led me to the Ink Business Preferred card. This card earns:

  • 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in:
    • Shipping purchases
    • Internet, cable, and phone Services
    • Advertising purchases with social media sites/search engines
    • Travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Since the majority of my early business purchases were internet and phone services, along with travel, this card aligned with what I was already spending. I appreciated that since the cap is combined, I didn’t have to keep track of each category since I didn’t regularly hit the annual cap.

Not only does the card come with strong bonus earnings, but it also offers great benefits. While the Ink Business Preferred card’s benefits include fraud protection, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, I found particular value in the cell phone protection and the roadside assistance.

It was this combination of the points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Ink Business Preferred card that built me a big enough stash of points so my spouse and I could book 2 Emirates first class tickets for 112,000 Ultimate Rewards points total. If we’d paid cash, it would have cost over $2,000 — cheers to flying in style on points!

2. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

150K OFFER
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)
This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!
Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
150,000 points
$3,300
$695
19.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel rewards card tailored toward business owners who are frequent travelers with a high number of annual expenses.

When you factor in the large number of perks that the card offers like the best airport lounge access at over 1,400 lounges, along with tons of annual credits, it’s easy to see why this card can is a top option for frequent traveling business owners.

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 150,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Pros
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels at Amex Travel
  • Access to over 1,400 worldwide airport lounges as part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards points (1.5 points per $1) on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more (cap applies)
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695 (rates & fees)
  • Airline fee credit does not cover airfare, only incidentals like checked bags
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless in the first year of membership with the Business Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. See how you can unlock over $1,000 annually in credits on select purchases with the Business Platinum Card®, here.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to the Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use the Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

After a while, I wanted to really ramp up my travel earnings and take advantage of travel luxuries to make traveling that much easier. In my opinion, nothing fits the bill quite like the Amex Business Platinum card.

This card earns:

  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com
  • 1.5x points on eligible purchases at:
    • U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers
    • Electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
    • Shipping providers
    • Purchases of $5,000 or more (up to $2 million in purchases per year)
  • 1x points on all other eligible purchases

And it also comes with stellar statement credits and luxury travel benefits such as:

This was the card that took me from savvy traveler to savvy luxury traveler. While some may find the annual fee to be a bit of a shock, I find that I’m able to take advantage of the statement credits and travel benefits, making this card a must in my wallet.

Final Thoughts

With a little bit of homework and an honest look at what you’re currently spending, anyone can build a card strategy to fit your points and miles goals. While the strategy above works for me, you should ask yourself:

  • What do you find value in — points, miles, or cash-back?
  • What are your current spending habits?

There’s no right or wrong way to build a points and miles strategy so long as you’re getting the most value out of whatever strategy works for you.

If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few guides to show you that there are great cards out there for whatever you want to optimize for:

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best credit card?

For better or for worse, it depends. What do you value? Are you looking to earn points, miles, or cash-back? Are you loyal to a particular hotel chain, airline, or retailer? What are your travel goals? Are you wanting to focus on domestic flights to see the grandkids, looking for luxury international first-class flights, or both? What are your current spending habits? It can seem very overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Here are a few guides to show you that there are great cards out there for whatever you want to optimize for:

What's the best credit card for beginners?

I went with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as my first foray into the world of points and miles. This card makes it easy up to 5x points on travel and 3x points on dining, which covers a lot of what you might already be spending your money on. The bonus categories are straightforward and simple to know. Plus, you get other great benefits with Instacart+, and DoorDash, as well as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit and a 10% anniversary points boost. If you’re new to the points and miles game, make sure you explore our ultimate beginner’s guide to points and miles to make the most out of your first card and ensure you’re set up for success.

What’s the best credit card strategy?

The short answer is: it depends. However, you can elevate your credit card points and miles strategy by ensuring you have credit cards that work together to build your stash of points and miles. The objective is to maximize your rewards with what you’re already spending.

The Amex Gold card and Amex Green card are favorites because you earn 3x on eligible transit and travel with the Amex Green card and 4x at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) with the Amex Gold card. That covers a large portion of monthly expenses, making accruing Membership Rewards points second nature.

Take a look at the best credit card combinations to make sure you’re getting the most out of your credit cards and which combinations will set you up for even stronger earnings.

What credit cards should I open?

This depends on what you value most — you have to decide whether you value cash-back or travel rewards more. If the answer is travel rewards, you’ll then need to decide what kind of rewards you want to earn — is it airline miles or is it flexible points that can be transferred to any one of a number of partners?

These are the types of questions you’ll need to ask before deciding on which cards to fill your wallet with.

Kellie Jez's image

About Kellie Jez

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s compliance operation.

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