Change Your Altitude
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CHANGE YOUR ALTITUDE

Not everyone is willing to spend $450 per year on credit card fees, but that doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your everyday spending. See below for some of our favorite low-fee credit cards (less than $200/year) that can help you earn the most points to redeem towards travel:

 

American Express Premier Rewards Gold

Best Use: Travel and dining
Annual Fee: $160 (waived the first year)
Sign Up Bonus:
25,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Travel Credit: $100 statement credit per calendar year on airline fees (airline must be pre-selected prior to incurring charges)
Bonus Points: 3 points on airfare and 2 points on dining charges.
Redemption Bonus: None. Points earned through this program can be used for rewards as part of the Membership Rewards program.
Transfer Options: Transfer to airline and hotel partners (rates vary):

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Alitalia Millemiglia
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al Matmid
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Flying Blue  (Air France and KLM)
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • jetBlueTrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Americ Elevate
  • Virgina Atlantic Flying Club
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Plenti

Other Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, access to the Hotel Collection ($75 hotel credit to use on in-property amenities on stays of 2 nights or more when booking through Amex Travel.)
Great For: Frequent flyers, those who dine out often.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Best Use: Travel and dining
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Sign Up Bonus:
50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Bonus Points: 2 points on travel and dining charges.
Redemption Bonus: None.
Transfer Options: 1:1 transfer to airline and hotel partners:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport®
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®

Other Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, travel & purchase protection.
Great For: Newly minted travel enthusiasts (particularly those not willing to drop $450/year on the Chase Sapphire Reserve), people who dine out often
Apply Here

 

SPG American Express

Best Use: Charges at Starwood properties, every day spend
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Sign Up Bonus:
50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Bonus Points: 2 points per dollar spent at every Starwood property (in addition to any base points earned by being a SPG member).
Redemption Bonus: 5,000 point bonus for ever 20,000 points transferred to airline partners.
Transfer Options: Transfer to airline partners (rates vary):

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Aeroplan/Air Canada
  • Air Berlin
  • Air China Companion
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Alitalia MileMiglia
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Asia Miles
  • Asiana Airlines
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club
  • Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways
  • Flying Blue
  • Gol Smiles
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
  • Jet Airways
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass
  • LifeMiles® of Avianca
  • Miles and More
  • Qatar Airways
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Virgin America Elevate
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Virgin Australia

Other Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, travel & purchase protection, extended warranty.
Great For: SPG loyalists, anyone interested in a 25% bonus when transferring to over 30 airline loyalty programs
Apply Here

 

Other Cards

These cards alone may not make the most sense for you and your travel needs – don’t forget to check out our other favorite credit cards for maximizing points and miles: