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Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Best Credit Cards to Own by Category - Part One

Today we are going to start a short series on the best credit cards by category. 

The first category is the best sign up bonuses on a card with no minimum spending requirements.  In today's environment, there really is no reason to worry about meeting minimum spending requirements with a new credit card.  There are so many creative ways to meet them, that even someone who doesn't typically spend thousands of dollars every month can easily meet the minimum requirement necessary to obtain a sign up bonus.  However, I realize that some people don't want to manufacture spending.

Here are my favorite Airline cards that happen to have a great sign up bonus and no minimum spending.

1) US Airlines Premier World MasterCard provides up to 40,000 bonus miles, 10,000 miles toward status, 1 free club pass, and two certificates every year for a $99 companion ticket.  Having the card also gets you 1st class check-in and priority boarding.  These days with everyone trying to avoid baggage fees, the competition for overhead space is getting fierce.  Having priority boarding assures that you will have premium space in the overhead compartments.  All this for an annual fee of $89.  Well worth it.  This card falls into the category of one that you get for the perks.  I don't recommend putting everyday spending on this card.  Issued by Barclays Bank so it doesn't tie up an application to one of the major card issuing banks like Chase, AMEX, or Citibank. 

2) Alaska Air Visa Signature Card provides 25,000 bonus miles on approval.  Some people report if you call 1-800-654-2584, you might get 40,000 miles.  (As always, your mileage may vary.)  This card also comes with a $99 companion pass. (plus $11 in fees).  It's part of the OneWorld Alliance so booking partner awards is very easy.  This Card is issued by FIA card services, so it also doesn't tie up application with the major card issuing banks. I do not personally own this card.

3)  Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines Visa card and the Bank of America Visa card both provide 20,000 miles with your first purchase.  After $1000 of spending in the first 4 months, you will receive another 15,000 mile bonus as well as 2,000 miles on your anniversary.  The annual fee of $79 is not waived the first year.  These cards are both issued by FIA card services.  Hawaiian Airline miles can be converted to Hilton points at 1:2 yielding up to 144,000 Hilton points.

4) Virgin Atlantic American Express card is also issued by the Bank of America.  With the current offer you receive 20,000 miles with 5,000 miles added for an additional card holder and 15,000 miles on you anniversary.  I would hold out on this one for now.  There have been offers in the past up to 65,000 miles.  As Virgin Atlantic also converts to Hilton 1:2, those can be turned into 130,000 Hilton points.  Annual fee is $90.

I like all of these cards since they don't tie up applications with Chase or Citibank.  That means that you can apply for those cards on the same day as those above.  Chances of approval of all applications is much better when you spread your applications across different banks.

I have no affiliation with any of the above banks. 

Tomorrow, we will list the best cards to use for different spending categories. 

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About The Points Doctor

The Points Doctor is Bruce J. Wilderman DDS of Artistic Expressions Dentistry.Dr. Wilderman has a practice limited to Cosmetic Dentistry, serving patients of the Philadelphia Area since 1986.He and wife of 30 years enjoy traveling the world for little or no money with the points and miles they have earned from the credit card companies. Dr. Wilderman would love to teach you how to do the same. You may reach him at

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