Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I know which card is best for me?
Sometimes the best reward is the highest number of miles, but miles don’t equal travel unless you use them. Considering the places you want to go, what airlines you travel (and their partners), and the hotels you want to stay in will help you make the decision. If you want to go everywhere and do everything, you’ll like the flexibility of our top picks.
Which card should I get first?
Our current favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card because of its flexible reward program and awesome 60,000 points sign up bonus. Chase Sapphire points accrue in the lucrative Ultimate Rewards program which you can transfer for high-value redemptions on United, British Airways, Korean Air, Hyatt and many more partners. There’s also no international fees and double points on everything related to travel and food.
We also like the flexible Starwood Preferred Guest American Express personal card and business version from our partner American Express. These are also great everyday cards because their points transfer to more than 30 different airlines.
Can I apply for more than one card at once?
Yes, and it’s often beneficial to do so. However, be aware that many cards require what’s known as a “minimum spend” before you earn the bonus. Be sure you can meet the minimum spend on any cards you apply for.
What if my application is declined?
Good question. Sometimes a decline is not really a decline—approval systems are automated, and the odds are at least 50% that you can get it approved after an initial rejection if you call in to request a manual review. When you receive a letter stating that you’re declined, there is often a number listed for questions. Call this number and say that you’re eager to get the new card(s) because of the great benefits. The representative will ask you a number of questions, then let you know if they can make it work. As mentioned, at least 50% of the time, this strategy will work as long as your credit score meets their minimum standard.
Will this hurt my credit? How do you manage multiple credit cards responsibly?
Credit cards are a great way to maximize mileage but must be handled with care. Apply for the best offers, keep track of the cards you have and be sure to meet any required minimum spending so you get your miles or points. The best way to manage multiple cards is to be sure you can pay off the balance each month. If you’re trying to get out of credit card debt, this probably isn’t the best way for you to get miles.
How can I check my credit score?
You can receive a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com. However, this information doesn’t include the crucial FICO score, which is what measures your overall creditworthiness. For that, visit MyFico.com.
When will my miles post?
Bonus miles tend to post fairly quickly, usually within 30 days after activating the card and completing any minimum spending requirements. In some cases, it will be quicker, and in other cases it may take 6-8 weeks.
Can I get the same card more than once?
This depends on the issuer; some allow it and some don’t. In some cases you can have the card, cancel it and after a time period, reapply for it again. In other cases, if you reapply for the card you may not be eligible for the bonus a second time.
I don’t live in the U.S. — are there any international cards?
You cannot get cards from American banks if you aren’t able to bank in the U.S. but you can get the credit cards that are offered in your country. The easiest way to find them is to research via your bank or through the national airline program in your country.
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