In my last post I detailed which cards I used for each bonus category. I stated that I used the Amex Gold card for the dining category because it earns 4x Membership Rewards points. But Amex only offers the 4x points for US restaurants. When abroad I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve for its 3x Ultimate Rewards points.
Effective June 6th (Thursday), Amex will offer the 4x Membership Rewards points for non-US restaurants as well. Since there are no foreign transaction fees on the Amex Gold card, that’s a great deal!
But I will continue to use my Sapphire Reserve outside the US. Visa has a far greater acceptance rate worldwide than Amex. And the Sapphire Reserve also earns 3x points on other travel categories whereas the Amex Gold only offers bonus points on travel purchases made through the Amex portal. When I’m traveling I prefer to have one card for most of my purchases (hotel-specific cards notwithstanding) so I’ll continue to boost my UR balance with my Sapphire Reserve and will leave my Amex Gold at home.
How will the Amex 4x points on dining worldwide affect your credit card strategy when traveling?
Though I’ve not mentioned it here, the top bloggers in the world of points & miles have all let us know about Chase’s new offering that’s meant to compete with the Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum.
The card comes with a $450 annual fee – not waived the first year – which is similar to those cards. But whereas the Platinum comes with an annual $200 airline credit (and you must specify which airline) and the Prestige has an annual $250 airline credit, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 annual credit good on any type of travel. Since these credits are valid for a calendar year, that means that in the first year you have the card you can get $600 in travel credits which totally offsets the annual fee. In future years it knocks the annual fee down to $150, which is quite reasonable for a card like this.
Like the Freedom cards and the Sapphire Preferred, this new Sapphire Reserve card earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that can be transferred to a number of airlines and hotels:
- Air France/KLM
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
I don’t know if people are applying for this card at record rates or not but they’ve actually run out of card stock for it! It was supposed to be issued on a metal card, similar to the Sapphire Preferred but apparently the demand has far exceeded Chase’s expectations so people are receiving temporary plastic cards until the metal cards can be issued.