Supporting Cast

Monkey Miles Supporting Cast Credit Cards

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How it Works – Supporting Cast

Supporting Cast credit cards are added to your wallet once your main cast is set. They should yield benefits that outweigh the annual fee and can be used when flying or staying at hotels. The benefits I use most are: Free hotel nights, elite status or reduced elite status requirements, free bags, lounge access, earlier boarding, etc.

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IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

4.6
4.6/5

For the $99 annual fee, the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card yields IHG One Rewards Platinum Status, a 4th night free when booking with points, an annual anniversary 40k night, and a $50 United Travel bank credit. Been in my wallet since it was released.

*Note if you have a Chase IHG One Rewards personal card or you’ve received a welcome bonus in the past 24 months you’re ineligible to add this to your wallet

Welcome Offer

5 free nights ( up to 60k a piece ) after $4k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$99

Points Earned

IHG One Rewards

  • Massive Welcome Offer:
    • 5 free reward nights ( up to 60k a piece ) after $4k spend in 3 months
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus
    • Good on properties up to 40k per night
    • You can add points to this certificate
  • Enjoy a fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn Structure
    • Up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
    • 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on
      • travel, 
      • gas stations, 
      • restaurants.
    • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier cardmember
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • Member FDIC
  • No Foreign Transaction
  • $99 annual fee

175k after $3k spend in 3 months is the best we’ve seen.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

4 reasons I keep this card in my wallet

  • A free anniversary award night every year you keep the card, worth up to 40k IHG One Rewards ( you can add unlimited points to this award night as well ) This easily offsets the annual fee for me.
  • 4th night free when redeeming points
  • Cardholder award night sales where you get notice to book in advance or exclusively for cardholders
  • The United credit offset roughly half the annual fee
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IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

4.6
4.6/5

For $99 a year, this small business card yields IHG One rewards Platinum Status, a free night award certificate every year, 4th night free on award stays of 4 consecutive nights, and a $50 United Travel Bank. 

Limited Time offer!

Earn 140k Bonus Points after $4k in 3 months

Annual Fee

$99

Points Earned

IHG One Rewards

 

  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts
    • These are currently valid at properties 40k points and below
    • You can now add points to these nights should you want to stay at a pricier property
    • Spend $60k on the card + 1 purchase and get another anniversary night
  • 4th night free when redeeming points on a 4 consecutive night point redemption
  • 10x at IHG Hotels & Resorts worldwide ( this is on top of the bonus you get as a IHG Rewards member )
    • 5x
      • travel
      • gas stations
      • dining/restaurants
      • social media and search engine advertising
      • office supply stores
    • 3x everywhere else
  • Spend your way to Diamond with $40k in annual purchases
  • Get a 10k bonus points and $100 statement credit when you spend $20k + one additional purchase in a year
  • $50 United Travel Bank credit
  • 20% off purchased points
    • Can’t be stacked with points sales tho
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® Fee or NEXUS Statement Credit –
    • The primary cardholder receives a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Fee Credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to the Card
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier Business cardmember
  •  
  • No Foreign Transaction
  • $99 annual fee
  • Member FDIC

140k after $3k spend in 3 months is the best we’ve seen

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

It’s so easy to see how the annual fee is recouped. I don’t have this card quite yet, but it’s on my list to pick up in the near future.

  • A free anniversary award night every year you keep the card, worth up to 40k IHG One Rewards ( you can add unlimited points to this award night as well ) This easily offsets the annual fee for me.
  • 4th night free when redeeming points on stays of 4 consecutive nights
  • Cardholder award night sales where you get notice to book in advance or exclusively for cardholders
  • The United credit offset roughly half the annual fee
a close up of a credit card

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IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

3.9
3.9/5

No annual fee, no fx fees, IHG Silver Status, & Get a 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights with points.

*If you carry a IHG personal card you are ineligible or if you received a bonus in the past 24 months + 5/24 rules apply.

Welcome Offer

100,000 Points after $2k in purchases within 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Points Earned

IHG One Rewards

  • No annual fee,
  • no fx fees,
  • IHG Silver Status
    • Spend your way to Gold
  • Get a 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights with points.
  • Earn up to 17 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • 3x on dining, gas stations, utilities, cable, internet, phone, cell, and select streaming
  • services
  • 2x everywhere else

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, but still get a 4th night free when using points on 4 consecutive nights…this is a great option. 

Personally, I think the IHG One Rewards Premier is a much better card for $99 and comes with a free night good up to 40k points. If you didn’t feel like you got the value out it, you could always downgrade to this card after 12 months to enjoy no annual fee.

One thing to note… you can hold this card in tandem with the IHG Rewards Business card

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Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card

4.2
4.2/5

Get a category 1-4 free night every year + 5 elite night credits, and earn more elite nights via spend. It’s one of the most valuable hotel credit cards available.

Welcome Offer

See Benefits – up to 60k after $15k spend

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

World of Hyatt points

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
  • 5 Elite nights next year
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays
    • 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels & up to 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2x points at:
    • restaurants
    • airline tickets purchased direct from airlines
    • local transit and commuting
    • fitness clubs and gym memberships
  • Every Account Anniversary you’ll get a Free Night at category 1-4 hotels
  • Bonus Free Night at category 1-4 hotels when you spend $15k a year
  • Get Discoverist Elite status as along as your card is open
  • 2 Elite night credits for every $5k you put on your card.
  • Annual fee of $95

We have seen 60k after $4k spend in 3 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The World of Hyatt credit card comes with an annual category 1-4 award night which I have always found a way to redeem on a property that is worth more than the $95 a year I pay for the card. That alone makes it worth it to me.

It comes with 5 elite nights every year which can be helpful if you’re shooting for status. 

Hyatt points are also the most valuable hotel points around coming in somewhere in the 1.5 to 1.8 cents per point value.

This makes putting everyday spend on the card a decent value proposition if you’re angling for Hyatt status and card spend can help boost those elite nights as well. Every $5k you put on the card yields 2 elite nights. 

Don’t forget that $15k spend yields an additional category 1-4 night.  

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Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

4.5
4.5/5

Hilton Honors Diamond status, annual night anywhere in the world, $400 Hilton resort credit, $200 airline credit, Priority Pass select… this is one bad mamma jamma of a card

Welcome Offer

175k Hilton Honors after $6k spend in 6 months + Free Night Certificate

Annual Fee

$550 *Rates and Fees; terms apply

Points Earned

Hilton Honors

This is hands down the best hotel card available. 

Not only do you get top tier Hilton Honors Diamond status, but you get an free night certificate that you can use anywhere in the world, $200 Hilton Resort credit Jan through June and another July through Dec, $200 airline credit broken into $50 quarterly credits, and the list goes on. 

If you’re at all thinking of staying at International Hilton properties, get this card ahead of time to enjoy the executive lounge access and free breakfast that comes along with Diamond Status.

This is a card we’ve had since it debuted and we get a lot from the annual night cert and top tier status to recoup the $550 annual fee.

  • Free night certificate after hitting minimum spend + on your account anniversary every year
  • Diamond status, top tier, as long as you maintain the card
  • Up to $400 resort credit
    • ( not good on prepaid rates)
    • Semi Annual – $200 January to June another $200 July to December
  • Up to $189 Clear® Plus Credit
  • Get up to $50 in statement credits each quarter, for a total of up to $200 back each year, on flight purchases made directly with an airline or through amextravel.com using your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • Book a 2 night minimum stay at hiltonhonorsaspirecard.com and get up to $100 in credits for qualifying charges at participating Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts and Conrad® Hotels & Resorts
  • 14x points at Hilton Hotels
  • 7x points
    • U.S. restaurants,
    • airfare booked directly with the airline/Amex travel, select car rental agencies
  • $550 *Rates and Fees; terms apply

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Reader Referral

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

3.8
3.8/5

Hilton Honors Gold, Hilton Property Credits, and a free night anywhere in the world after $15k annual spend

Welcome Offer

130k Hilton Honors + Free Night after $3k spend in 6 months

Annual Fee

Points Earned

Hilton Honors

 

 

This would be an advantageous card to hold if you’re planning on taking any international trips. Why? 

Outside the U.S., Hilton Honors Gold, which comes as a perk of this card, is valued much higher than in the U.S. You’ll often get a decent upgrade or even executive lounge/breakfast. 

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points + Free Night after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • NEW Get up to $200 back each year on eligible Hilton purchases after you use your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Points for each dollar of purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • NEW Earn 4X Points for each dollar on U.S. Online Retail Purchases.
  • Earn 3X Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors(TM) Diamond Status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • NEW Enjoy complimentary National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club® program is required. Terms apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • *Rates and Fees; terms apply

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Learn More

Reader Referral

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy

Hilton Honors American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

No fee + Hilton Honors Silver status which means you get a 5th night free when redeeming points. 

Welcome Offer

70k Hilton Honors + Free Night after $2k spend in 6 months

Points Earned

Hilton Honors

No fee and comes with Silver status. 

The reason this is worth noting is because often you can buy Hilton points for less money than the cash rate and Silver status opens up a 5th night free with points. 

Remember if you have an Amex Platinum you get Hilton Gold as a perk…

  • Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points + Free Night after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Points per dollar on purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates and Fees/Terms App8

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Learn More

Refer a Friend Link

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

3.7
3.7/5

Get comped Hilton Honors Gold status as long as you hold the card and a free night certificate after $15k spend

Welcome Offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 175,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after $8,000 in purchases in the first 6  months of Card Membership.

Offer Ends 6/5.

Points Earned

Hilton Honors

 

Since this is a business card, it may be advantage to hold this for Hilton Honors Gold status since it doesn’t count against your 5/24 number and you can earn a free night certificate after $15k spend each year. 

Don’t forget that you need at least Silver status to get a 5th night free on awards, and if you’re thinking of purchasing Hilton points, this is quite advantageous on longer stays to reduce overall cost.

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 175,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $8,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card within the first six months of Card Membership.
    • Offer Ends 6/5.
  • Annual fee is $195
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points
    • on eligible Hilton purchases.
  • New: Enjoy up to $240 back each year for eligible purchases made directly with Hilton.
    • Up to $60 in statement credits per quarter
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases made using the Hilton Honors Business Card on the first $100,000 in purchases each calendar year
    • 3X points thereafter.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors™ Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card. 
    • As a Gold member, earn an 80% Bonus on all Base Points you earn on every stay getting you to free nights faster.
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status
    • If your total eligible purchases on your Card Account during a calendar year reach $40,000 or more.
  • New: Enjoy complimentary National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club® program is required.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Learn More

Reader Referral Link

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you’re looking to get perks on Delta like a free checked bag, or 15% off Delta award tickets this is the entry level Delta Amex cobrand card.

Welcome Offer

Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$0 first year then $150 *Rates and Fees; terms apply

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

 

This card is for the Delta customer who flies a few times a year with a checked bag, but doesn’t hit elite status. You could easily recoup those fees with this card and enjoy 15% award flights on Delta. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

  • Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $150.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • You can check your first bag free on Delta flights, saving up to $70 on a round-trip Delta flight per person. For a family of four that’s a potential savings of up to $280 per round-trip flight.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • $100 Delta Stays Credit: Get up to $100 back per year as a statement credit after using your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to book prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • With Send & Split®, you can send money and split your Card purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Learn More

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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you’re a Delta loyalist looking to earn some MQMs for status, want an annual domestic main cabin companion certificate, free first checked bag, and 15% off award flights.

Welcome Offer

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

 

There are a few ways I can see keeping this card in your wallet if you’re a Delta loyalist that can recoup the $350 annual fee. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

  • You take advantage of the domestic main cabin companion certificate for flights that price over $350
  • You can make use of the new statement credits that went into effect 2/1/24
  • You don’t have status that wavies bag fees, but fly enough with checked bags to recoup a few first checked bag fees a year 
  • You’re sitting on a lot of Delta miles and the 15% savings comes in handy when redeeming Delta award tickets
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $20 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • $120 Resy Credit: When you use your enrolled Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card for eligible purchases with U.S. Resy restaurants, you can earn up to $10 each month in statement credits.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: earn up to $10 in statement credits each month after using your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $350 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

The biggest reason to get this, aside from SkyClub access which you can get from the Amex Platinum, is the potential MQM boost via spend + the domestic companion certificate that includes domestic 1st class. 

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

I think most people are attracted to this card because of the SkyClub access when traveling on Delta and access will change come 2/1/25. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

However, you can get that via the Amex Platinum card which I’d argue is a much better card dollar for dollar.

The biggest reason I’d take a closer look at this card is 

You purchase at least 2 first class tickets every year for more than $650 a piece. This card comes with a domestic companion certificate that you can use on first class. You’d still need to pay taxes on that extra ticket, but that could pretty easily recoup the annual fee right there.

  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter. Once all 15 Visits have been used, Eligible Card Members may purchase additional Delta Sky Club Visits at a per-Visit rate of $50 per person using the Card.
  • Receive four Delta Sky Club® One-Time Guest Passes each year when you fly Delta so you can share the experience with family and friends.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • $240 Resy Credit: When you use your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card for eligible purchases with U.S. Resy restaurants, you can earn up to $20 each month in statement credits. Enrollment required.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: Earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month after you use your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to pay for U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers. Enrollment required.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you’re looking to get perks on Delta like a free checked bag, or 15% off Delta award tickets this is the entry level Delta Amex cobrand card.

Welcome Offer

Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$0 first year then $150 *Rates and Fees; terms apply

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

 

This card is for the Delta customer who flies a few times a year with a checked bag, but doesn’t hit elite status. You could easily recoup those fees with this card and enjoy 15% award flights on Delta. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

  • Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $150.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • You can check your first bag free on Delta flights, saving up to $70 on a round-trip Delta flight per person. For a family of four that’s a potential savings of up to $280 per round-trip flight.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • $100 Delta Stays Credit: Get up to $100 back per year as a statement credit after using your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to book prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • With Send & Split®, you can send money and split your Card purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you’re a Delta loyalist looking to earn some MQMs for status, want an annual domestic main cabin companion certificate, free first checked bag, and 15% off award flights.

Welcome Offer

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

 

There are a few ways I can see keeping this card in your wallet if you’re a Delta loyalist that can recoup the $350 annual fee. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

  • You take advantage of the domestic main cabin companion certificate for flights that price over $350
  • You can make use of the new statement credits that went into effect 2/1/24
  • You don’t have status that wavies bag fees, but fly enough with checked bags to recoup a few first checked bag fees a year 
  • You’re sitting on a lot of Delta miles and the 15% savings comes in handy when redeeming Delta award tickets
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $20 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • $120 Resy Credit: When you use your enrolled Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card for eligible purchases with U.S. Resy restaurants, you can earn up to $10 each month in statement credits.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: earn up to $10 in statement credits each month after using your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $350 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

The biggest reason to get this, aside from SkyClub access which you can get from the Amex Platinum, is the potential MQM boost via spend + the domestic companion certificate that includes domestic 1st class. 

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

I think most people are attracted to this card because of the SkyClub access when traveling on Delta and access will change come 2/1/25. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

However, you can get that via the Amex Platinum card which I’d argue is a much better card dollar for dollar.

The biggest reason I’d take a closer look at this card is 

You purchase at least 2 first class tickets every year for more than $650 a piece. This card comes with a domestic companion certificate that you can use on first class. You’d still need to pay taxes on that extra ticket, but that could pretty easily recoup the annual fee right there.

  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter. Once all 15 Visits have been used, Eligible Card Members may purchase additional Delta Sky Club Visits at a per-Visit rate of $50 per person using the Card.
  • Receive four Delta Sky Club® One-Time Guest Passes each year when you fly Delta so you can share the experience with family and friends.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • $240 Resy Credit: When you use your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card for eligible purchases with U.S. Resy restaurants, you can earn up to $20 each month in statement credits. Enrollment required.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: Earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month after you use your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to pay for U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers. Enrollment required.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Learn More

Refer a Friend Link

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

3.7
3.7/5

Get 15 elite nights every year + Anniversary Night up to 35k, and Marriott Gold Status

Welcome Offer

Limited Time Offer:

Earn 3 Free Night Awards, valued at up to 50K points each for eligible stays after $6k in 6 months

Resort fees & terms apply

Points Earned

Marriott Bonvoy

Life with Marriott Bonvoy really starts at Platinum status where you get breakfast and club access. That requires 50 elite nights, so having a Marriott credit card can help by starting the year off with extra elite nights.

This is an easy way to pick up 15 Marriott Elite nights, Gold status, and the annual night can help offset the $125 annual fee. Don’t forget that you can also add up to 15k Marriott Bonvoy points to the anniversary night certs now.

  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Redemption level up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy(R) points for each bonus Free Night Award, at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy(R). Certain hotels have resort fees and terms apply.
  • 4x at
    • restaurants worldwide,
    • U.S. gas station,
    • and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2x on all other eligible purchases
  • 1 Free night every year after you account anniversary ( up to 35k a night )
  • A 7% Marriott Bonvoy Room Rate Discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy when booked directly
  • If you spend more than $60k in a year, you’ll get another free night ( up to 35k a night )
  • 15 Marriott Bonvoy Elite nights per year
  • Now comes with Gold status ( that used to required $35k spend )
  • $125 annual fee
  • *Rates and Fees; terms apply 

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Non – Affiliate Link ( Reader Referal )

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant®  American Express®  Card

4.0
4/5

This card comes with Marriott Platinum Status, 25 elite night credits, $25 a month dining credit, an 85k Marriott Anniversary Free night award, Priority Pass, and more

Welcome Offer

Earn 95k Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after $6k in 6 months

Points Earned

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott life begins at Platinum status where you get executive lounge access and breakfast at most properties. This card unlocks that status just having it in your wallet.

Is it worth $650? That’s a lot, but if you’re planning Marriott stays, value breakfast/lounge access, it definitely could worth it. Just remember that Ritz Carlton doesn’t honor those benefits…

Get up to $25 monthly dining credit is worth setting a calendar alert, even it it just means loading your Starbucks account.

Another thing to note is that the Platinum status that comes with this card doesn’t include the Choice benefits extended at 50 nights. One of those is suite night upgrades, but you’ll start the year with 25 elite nights as a perk, so you’re half way there. 

  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit:
    • Each calendar year, get up to $300 in statement credits (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
    • Marriott Platinum Status is where life truly begins with Marriott because you’ll gain access to club lounges, free breakfast, upgrades, etc. Note there are some properties that won’t guarantee some of those benefits like Ritz Carlton, Edition, Bvlgari, but they are widely honored.
  • 25 Elite Night Credits
    • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • $650 Annual Fee
  • Marriott Brilliant 85k Free Night Award
    • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month.
    • Valid on redemption levels up to 85k Marriott Bonvoy Points ( however you can add 15k Marriott Bonvoy Points to it 
    • Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Earn Rates
    • 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy(R).
    • 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines.
    • 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant(R) American Express(R) Card, you will be eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit.
    • You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year.
    • See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit:
    • Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges
      • The Ritz-Carlton(R) or St. Regis(R) when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck(R):
    • Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck(R) (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant(R) American Express(R) Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass(TM) Select,
    • Unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Cell Phone Protection
    • $800 per claim
    • $50 deductible
    • damage or theft ( like a cracked screen ) 
    • cell phone line must be listed on a wireless bill and the prior month’s wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account.
    • Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
    • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. · Please visit americanexpress.com/benefits guide for more details
  • rates and fees;terms apply
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

3
3/5

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status, 15 elite nights, and an Annual Anniversary Night at properties 50k or less after spending $15k or more. Honestly…I’d think twice about this card

Welcome Offer

85k Marriott Bonvoy points after $5k in 6 months

Points Earned

Marriott Bonvoy

Honestly… this card is a conundrum. For the annual fee premium over the Chase Marriott Boundless you don’t get a whole lot. You have to spend $15k to get a 50k or less free night, and Marriott Gold isn’t all that great.

Plus, with the Boundless you can upgrade into the Ritz Card after a year which is arguably the best card on the market. 

Personally, I think this card is a pass and would steer you towards the Boundless from Chase or the Brilliant from Amex.

  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy(R) points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points
    • at restaurants worldwide
    • and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • 1K Bonus Points Per Stay:
    • Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy(R) bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy(R) on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award:
    • Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy(TM) Card in a calendar year.
    • Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy(R) points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy(R). Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits:
    • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy(TM) American Express Card(R) you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy(R) Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Rates and fees; terms apply

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Chase United Gateway(SM) Card

3.8
3.8/5

No annual fee and earn 25% back on United in flight beverages or premium beverages in United Clubs

Welcome Offer

30k United Miles after $1k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Points Earned

United Miles

 

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United(R) purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United(R) purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and on commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
  • Member FDIC

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

If you occasionally fly United and you’d like in flight food/beverage discounts, then I guess this is one to consider.

Personally, if you want some real United perks, start with this card’s big brother the United(SM) Explorer Card – it has an annual fee, but there is much more substance to it.

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Chase United(SM) Explorer Card

4
4/5

The Chase United(SM) Explorer Card offers Free first checked bag, Priority Boarding, 2x United Club passes + 1 year of Comped DashPass.

Welcome Offer

Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Annual Fee

$0 first year; then $95

Points Earned

United Miles

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United(R) purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck(R) or NEXUS fee credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag – a savings of up to $160 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Member FDIC

We have seen 70k after $3k spend in 3 months with a waived annual fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

If you occasionally fly on United, but don’t have status or care about earning it, this card could come in handy. 

You and a companion get your first checked bag fee waived which could = $140 roundtrip combined, or if you travel alone, $70 roundtrip.

Priority boarding could be helpful in getting overhead space, and you’ll get two United Club passes each year you keep the card. 

You’ll get 25% back on food, beverages, WiFi that you purchase on board

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Chase United Quest(SM) Card

4
4/5

Chase United Quest(SM) Car is a United Airlines premium card offering $125 flight credit, two 5000 mileage credits, 2 free checked bags, and more.

Welcome Offer

Earn 70,000 bonus miles + 500 PQP after $4k in 3 months

Annual Fee

$250

Points Earned

United Miles

  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3x miles on United(R) purchases
  • Earn 2x miles on dining including eligible delivery services, select streaming services, and all other travel
  • Earn 1x mile on all other purchases
  • Up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits each year (terms apply)
  • Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Two 5K-mile anniversary award flight credits. 
  •  1st and 2nd bag roundtrip
    • For you and companion = up to $360 roundtrip
  •  Enjoy priority boarding privileges
  • Global Entry, TSA Pre Check, Nexus Fee Credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks 
  • Member FDIC

We have seen up to 100k after $5k spend in 3 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

$250 is a lot for an annual fee and the same as the Amex Gold…so you want to make sure you’re extracting value. 

The biggest areas you’ll find that value are the $125 United purchase credit and the two 5000 mile award flight credits. 

These credits are refunds when you book United award flights, so effectively, if you use United miles two times in a year, you’d get 10k miles back.

If you bought United flights, you’d get up to $125 back.

So…if you’re spending more than $125 a year on United and taking more than two award flights, it could make sense to have this card over the Explorer since you’re netting out at $125 vs $95 and getting 10k miles redeposited in your account.

If you value United miles around 1.25 cents a piece, you’d effectively erase the annual fee

You could also consider the perk of getting 2 free checked bags roundtrip, for you an a companion, but in all honesty…how often are you checking two bags?

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Chase United Club(SM) Infinite Card

4.1
4.1/5

The Chase United Club(SM) Infinite Card comes with United Club access, IHG Platinum status, 10% off on saver flights, 2 free checked bags, and the ability to earn PQPs via spend to help earn United status

Welcome Offer

Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after $5k in 3 months

Annual Fee

$550

Points Earned

United Miles

  • Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • United Club Membership
  • $525 Annual Fee
  • United Premier Access
  • Earn 500 Premier Qualifying points for every $12k spend you put on the card
    • maxed at 8,000 PQP ( goes to 10,000 PQPs in 2024 )
  • IHG Rewards Platinum Status 
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre credit
  • Free first and second checked bags – a savings of up to $360 per roundtrip (terms apply) – and Premier Access® travel services
  •  
  • Clear perks
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points per calendar year (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • 10% back on Economy Saver Award tickets
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on premium drink purchases made in United Clubs with their United Card.
  • 4x United Miles on:
    • Gas
    • Office Supplies
    • Restaurants
    • And Local Transit ( to include taxis, mass transit, tolls, and ridesare)
  • 2x United Miles on
    • travel
    • restaurants
    • eligible food delivery services, including Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Seamless
  • No blackout dates
  • Member FDIC
  • No foreign transaction fees

We have seen 120k after $6k in 3 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

This is the flagship United credit card and really only makes sense if you travel a lot on United and want lounge access.

Typically, lounge access is going to cost you $650 a year, but this card comes with it as a perk and only has an annual fee of $550.

The other big perk, and this is really important if you like United but don’t have status, is the 2 free checked bags for you and a companion. Those fees could add up fast, and with status requiring higher and higher spend, could end up saving you quite a bit of money.

Other notable benefits: You’ll also get IHG Platinum status with a $75 statement credit towards IHG hotel purchases and 10% back on Economy Saver flights

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Chase United(SM) Business Card

4.0
4/5

Chase United(SM) Business Card comes with United perks including first free checked bag for you and a companion, 2 United Club passes per year, and a $100 United credit if you fly United more than 7x in a year

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Annual Fee

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Points Earned

United Miles

 
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Receive a 5,000-mile “better together” bonus each anniversary when you have both the UnitedSM Business Card and a personal Chase United® credit card.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining including eligible delivery services, at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting.
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, employee cards at no additional cost – miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account so you can earn rewards faster.
  • Enjoy a free first checked bag – a savings of up to $160 per roundtrip (terms apply), 2 United ClubSM one-time passes per year, and priority boarding privileges.
  • $100 United® travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more each anniversary year.
  • Member FDIC

We’ve seen 150k after $20k spend in 6 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

This card is kind of the business version of the United Explorer card.

It comes with a $100 United travel credit if you buy more than 7 flights in a year.

It also comes with 2 United Club passes, first checked bag for you and a companion, and if you carry it alongside a United personal card, you’ll get 5000 bonus miles.

For $99 a year, I’d say this is a better card than the Explorer and doesn’t count against your Chase 5/24 number.

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World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

4
4/5

If you spend big, you’ll get 5 elite nights every $10k in spend + earn 4 bonus points per $1 on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels. 

Welcome Offer

60k World of Hyatt points after $5k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$199

Points Earned

World of Hyatt points

 

  • Earn  60k World of Hyatt points after spending $5000 in 3 months
  • Up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels & up to 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2x at fitness clubs and gym memberships
  • New Adaptive Accelator – Earn 2x on the categories you spend most each quarter
    • Until 12/31/24 you’ll 2x at the top 3 categories
      • dining;
      • airline tickets purchased directly with the airline;
      • car rental agencies;
      • local transit and commuting;
      • gas stations;
      • internet, cable and phone services;
      • social media
      • search engine advertising;
      • shipping
    • Starting in 2023 you’ll get 2 bonus points at the top 2 categories
  • Earning Elite Nights via spend
    • Earn 5 Elite nights with every $10k in spend
  • Discoverist Status while you hold the card
      • World of Hyatt Business Credit cardmembers can gift up to 5 Discoverist statuses to their company employees
        • They don’t need to be Authorize Users
  • Spend $50k in a year and get 10% back on all point stays after hitting that spend threshold
  • Get $100 statement credit each year at Hyatt hotels
    • This is divided into two $50 credits
    • No stay requirement needed
    • Valid Interanationally
  • No fee for employee business cards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary roadside dispatch
  • Primary rental car collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Trip cancellation/travel interruption insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Access to Hyatt Leverage, Hyatt’s global business travel program that offers special rates to qualifying small and mid-sized enterprises at participating Hyatt hotels worldwide
  • $199 annual fee
  • Member FDIC

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

 If you’re going to have just one World of Hyatt credit card, my choice would be the personal version.

It comes with a more streamlined set of benefits and ability to offset the annual fee. 

The big miss on this card to me is the lack of baked in elite nights ( you need to spend $10k to earn 5, but can do so over and over again ), and it doesn’t come with an annual free night award.

Where this card could come in handy is if your business spends a ton of money. You need 60 elite nights to hit Globalist status and you could hit that purely by spending $120k a year on this card. 

You’d also get 10% back on all your award redemptions after spending $50k…but honestly, I think there are much better places to throw your spend.

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Learn More:

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 Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

4
4/5

Earn 15 elite nights every year you keep the card, Marriott Silver Status + an annual 35k point anniversary night.

Make sure you read the Marriott application rules as they can be tricky

Welcome Offer

Limited time offer! Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after $5k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Marriott Bonvoy

  • 3x points in combined purchases on gas, groceries, and dining
  • 2x points on all other purchases
  • Automatic Silver status and get gold if you spend $35k+ on the card
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
  • 1 Elite night for every $5k in purchases
  • No fx fees

We have seen offers as high as 5 nights, up to 50k per night, for $5k spend in 3 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

As I mention in many of my breakdowns for hotel cards…the annual anniversary night usually outweighs the annual fee. 

For $95 a year, you’ll earn an anniversary night good at properties up to 35k a year. You can add 15k to these certificates as well, but keep in mind, this point range will probably be useful on road trips or nights near a hotel…not uber luxury properties.

You’ll also start get 15 elite nights per year which is fantastic if you’re chasing Marriott status.

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Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card

4.1
4.1/5

The Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card earns Aeroplan 25k status, pathway to elite status boost, free 1st checked bag you + 8 companions, and more

This is arguably the best airline credit card for the money

Welcome Offer

Earn 70K bonus points after you spend $3K in the first 3 mos.

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Aeroplan Miles

 

  • 70,000 bonus pointsafter you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points for every dollar spent on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
  • 3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
  • 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases
    • Bonus 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month
      • Max of 1500 bonus points per month
  • Aeroplan 25K Elite Status for the remainder of the first calendar year + following calendar year
    • Retain 25k status by spending $15k in a calendar year
      •  Earn 25K Status through the next year after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Status Level Up through Spend
    • Earn a one-level status boost next year after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
  • $100k Spend Bonus
    •  50% off Priority Rewards + companion benefits
  • Aeroplan travel bennies:
    • Free first checked bags on Air Canada flights
      • 1 for primary cardholder and up to 8 additional travel companions
  • $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS every four years (as reimbursement for the application fee charged to the card)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits
  • Member FDIC

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program and has more partners than any other program in the world ( yes, including credit card programs ) with more than 50 ways to redeem your miles. 

If you’re looking to take longhaul flight in the near future on one of their partners, this could be a great way to stack up some points, get 25k status to unlock Priority Award, and earn enough points to be well on your way to roundtrip business class to Europe or Asia.

If you do a lot of work in Canada or fly Air Canada quite a bit, this is chock full of bennies for you, and is well worth the $95. 

For everyone else…I’m not sure it’s worth using up a 5/24 slot, or prioritizing above other transferrable card products.

How it Works – Supporting Cast

Supporting Cast credit cards are added to your wallet once your main cast is set. They should yield benefits that outweigh the annual fee and can be used when flying or staying at hotels. The benefits I use most are: Free hotel nights, elite status or reduced elite status requirements, free bags, lounge access, earlier boarding, etc.

Miles' Top Credit Cards

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