A question we get quite often: “Which miles should I earn?”
Our response is usually: “What are your travel goals?” — just as vague as the question asked.
The aim is to get the person thinking first about what they want to do and then earn points towards that goal. If the answer is “Europe or Asia someday” we always recommend transferable points. If you do not have a defined travel goal your best bet is to accumulate transferable points.
The most common transferable points currencies are:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Citi ThankYou Points
To simplify further we usually recommend to people who want a simplified plan to go with Chase Ultimate Rewards. They currently have most of the most useful transfer partners for trips to Europe and Asia (our top 2 destinations that we book for clients). They are also relatively easier to earn as they have the most commonly used bonus categories (2x, 3x, 5x per dollar spent) and have the widest range of cards on offer.
If someone already has a large amount of American Express Membership Rewards we recommend they stick with it until they have enough for the trip. We would then have them switch all future earning to Chase if possible. For Citi ThankYou Points they are the least useful of the three and usually tell them to switch to Chase. We would then find a use for their current ThankYou points and move forward.
Thus far we have been recommending Chase Ultimate Rewards as the best program. They are generally the best option based on our experience across hundreds of bookings for clients. There is nothing “wrong” with the other two programs we just found them to be less ideal for most of our customers due to their transfer partners, availability, and fees associated with awards.
No matter what points you decide to earn be sure to focus on a transferable currency. The three above are the most common and most flexible. As always once you have 2 years worth of points saved up switch to cashback earning on a 2% card. Cash is the most useful and there are lots travel-related expenses that simply cannot be paid for with points. Diversity is key in any good points earning strategy.
If you would like some 1-on-1 help with your own strategy we offer live video/audio chat sessions. Schedule one today!
If you are ready to book a trip you can Submit a Request to begin today.