Credit Cards

Here's a little of my credit card background: Chase is my bank of choice; my dad uses it and had me open up my first savings account in fifth grade at Chase. I haven't experienced much grief with them (except for their stupid non-Chase ATM fees) so I'm rather loyal. In fact, I have five Chase credit cards (cue: gasp). The first credit card I opened was because I was starting college and I needed a credit card. But it offered no rewards so I applied for a bunch of rewards cards. I really only use one of my cards (because I want to collect as many rewards points in one place so I can get the best redemption deals) but it's fun to have backup. Plus, I'm a hoarder and I'm weirdly OCD about my debt:credit ratio. In total, I have a $44,000 line of credit on all of my cards combined and my typically monthly credit card spending averages $1,000, which I always pay in full because I think DEBT (acquired from irresponsible spending) IS UNATTRACTIVE; (student loan debt can be somewhat attractive.)

Anyway, I use my Chase Freedom card for pretty much everything (because it offers great rewards, though they've downsized the incentives) but a few months ago, I wrote a post about the Capital One Venture credit card (*flashback*), which I applied for because of one major feature: no foreign transaction fees, which I needed because I was going overseas. Well, enter Chase Sappire.

  1. No annual fee. This is pretty much the first criteria that has to be met when I choose a credit card.
  2. 24/7 customer service. No more waiting for an office to open, which is especially helpful when you're in a different time zone. You can pick up the phone and call whenever. Plus, you can bank online with Chase and all the same typical coverage for identity theft and unauthorized purchases is offered with this card.
  3. Receive $250 in rewards after you spend $3,000 in 3 months. All credit cards want you to spend money, but this is pretty good incentive. If you need a credit card for travel, it's not a bad idea to apply for this card and book all of your flights, hotel, etc. right away and earn those rewards.
  4. For every $1 spent, receive 1, 2, or 10 points. Dining and travel (e.g. airfare and hotels booked through Ultimate Rewards) will earn you 2 points per $1 spent. If you spend money at the Ultimate Rewards mall you'll earn 10 points for every $1 spent. And 1 point per $1 for everything else. In addition, these points will never expire so you can keep saving up for something really good. And the cherry on top is that you can redeem your points for airline tickets, car rentals, gift certificates, cruises, pretty much everything or you can get cash back.
  5. There are no blackout dates or travel restrictions when you're using your points to book flights.
  6. Insurance!
    • If you rent a car using this card and you get in an accident or damage the car, you are covered (up to the cash value of the vehicle).
    • If you're traveling and in an emergency (legal or medical), help will be provided for you (through the card).
    • If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours, your expenses (e.g. meals and lodging) will be covered and if your trip is cancelled, you will be reimbursed.
    • If your luggage is delayed for more than 18 hours, you will be reimbursed for emergency purchases. And if your luggage is lost or stolen, you'll receive full reimbursement.
  7. No foreign transaction fees. Yes, this is what drew me into the card and yes, I have already applied for one and am waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
My Capital One Venture card has been collecting dust lately because it doesn't offer great rewards so I have no incentive to use it unless I'm abroad. But with the rewards incentives that Chase is offering with this card, I may even drop my Chase Freedom for their Sapphire card.