Stefan’s Travel Rewards Card Picks

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I’ve partnered with Upgraded Points because the site has the most detailed, user-friendly online miles and points guides that they keep regularly updated. I frequently advise on content and contribute to improve and update articles for beginner to advanced audiences.

I write the blog Rapid Travel Chai, founded the Facebook group Every Passport Stamp, and speak on travel and frequent flyer programs at conferences and events around the world.

Always on the Lookout for More Rewards and More Travel

Smart investment of time to maximize rewards on personal and business spend can pay off in ‘once in a lifetime’ trips again and again!

Stefan Red Crab Migration Christmas Island
The red crab migration on Christmas Island, Australia, booked with Delta SkyMiles on Virgin Australia

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The most valuable credit cards for me have flexible rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards that have both airline & hotel transfer partners, and solid points for cash travel awards.

My Ultimate Rewards points go to:

  • Star Alliance carrier flights for my country collecting, booked with United MileagePlus
  • Business class flights for my wife on Korean Air (her favorite airline)
  • Romantic stays at Hyatts

I pool points earned from my personal and business Chase cards, maximizing category bonuses such as:

  • 3x travel on the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred
  • 5x category bonuses of the Chase Freedom and Ink Business Cash
  • 1.5x everywhere ease of the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Unlimited

My Recommended Chase Personal Cards

CHASE PERSONAL CARDBENEFITS & INFO
Best Offer Ever

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when redeeming points for eligible purchases with the new Pay Yourself Back tool, or for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $95
$2,000
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Annual Fee: $0
$200

My Recommended Chase Business Cards

CHASE BUSINESS CARDBENEFITS & INFO
New Offer

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases, then a variable APR of 13.24% - 19.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus pointsafter you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 25% more value when redeeming points through Ultimate Rewards® travel
  • Annual Fee: $95

American Express Membership Rewards

The American Express Membership Rewards program is also great value for me:

  • Delta is my primary airline and there are hidden gems with Delta SkyMiles when you know where to look
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is useful for awards on Delta that can be much cheaper than Delta charges
  • ANA Mileage Club is an underrated Star Alliance program
  • Air Canada Aeroplan works great for Star Alliance, too, on airlines where surcharges are not added
  • British Airways Executive Club is great for short-distance flights on Oneworld airlines and Alaska Airlines
  • Choice Privileges are a sleeper value for stays in Europe with breakfasts often included

The new American Express® Gold Card is incredible for spend at restaurants worldwide as well as US Supermarkets. See the details below!

Delta Elite Status

I love Delta Diamond Medallion status and the Medallion Qualification Mile (MQM) Boosts of the American Express Delta Platinum and American Express Delta Reserve get me closer to soon reaching 2 million lifetime miles!

I prefer the business versions of these cards because monthly spend does not show on credit reports. I frequently spend a lot on these cards and would not want my reported credit utilization to increase.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Limited Time Offer

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card


Learn More
(at Amex's secure site)

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles, and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/2021.
  • Additionally, take $100 off your next Delta flight – after you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you will earn a $100 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases, on every eligible dollar spent at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • Check or stow your bag with ease: First Checked Bag Free + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel overseas.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Delta Gold Business Card, click here.

$700
Limited Time Offer

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card


Learn More
(at Amex's secure site)


  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/21.
  • Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half mile per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to 2x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status.
  • Status-like benefits: First Check Bag Free on Delta flights + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Terms and limitations apply. For rates and fees of the Delta Platinum Business Card, click here.

$900

New from Hilton

The refreshed lineup of Hilton cards is worth a look, especially the Hilton Honors Surpass® Card from American Express or the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card for giving Hilton Honors Gold status and their earning potential.

A ‘No Brainer’ Card for Businesses

For business owners, the American Express Blue Business℠ Plus earns 2x points everyone up to $50,000 per year and has no annual fee, yet can transfer to all Membership Rewards partners. An incredible value!

For those who prefer cash back, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is a great small business option with a simple earning structure of 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% thereafter.

My Travel

Stefan on Tristan da Cunha
Reaching remote Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic on the final call by the Royal Mail Ship St Helena

I travel America and the world for business and pleasure. I got into rewards credit cards to achieve my goal of traveling to every country in the world – I’ve been to 190 and have 3 to go.

I am decades ahead of where I thought I would be before I learned the value of miles and points.

Miles and points mean that when my wife wants to celebrate her birthday in Hong Kong, a bit of nostalgia from when we were living in Asia and dating, we can do it in style. Or I can bring my family in for my father’s 70th birthday celebration this year during peak summer travel season.


The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 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 Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.

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