Econfkids - for me, I use the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card. It comes with 15 elite night credits each year and gives you an additional elite night for every $3k spent. This is great for pursuing status year to year. As for points, you get 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott, 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. My wife and I put everything (normal spending) on the card and pay it off at the end of each month. Our points stash has grown considerably, and we take great vacations too. Additionally, the card/points accelerated our achieving lifetime platinum status. Oh, and one more thing, the annual fee is offset by the Cat 1-5 Certificate you receive each year on the anniversary date of opening your card.
Message was edited by: nationwide
Previously, was in the exact same boat as nationwide. It's a great way to rack up points and get closer to lifetime as he said. Now with a bit of uncertainty over lifetime programs and exciting approval of the Sapphire Reserve, I'm switching to all spend on the Reserve except leaving leisure hotel stays on the Marriott.
In the end, I should rack up points faster with dine and travel, and can always transfer to Marriott if Lifetime Requirements on the new program end up where I hope.
Although I have certain branded credit cards to maximize points-earning and elite status with different hotel and airline brands (Marriott/Ritz; American Airlines; Southwest Airlines), I use my American Express Platinum for some of my travel spending as well. It comes with benefits that are too many to list--including access to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program and to American Express Centurion Lounges at certain airports around the country. The Centurion Lounge will change your entire idea of what an airport lounge experience can be. Also, AmEx is currently running a promotion of 5x earning on flights so I have been booking flights on that card rather than on my cards branded specifically to certain airlines.
Hope this helps!
I'd always mostly used my Marriott Visa for most purchases, but recently switched to the SPG AmEx. Unfortunately, where I am at the moment doesn't there aren't many places that take AmEx. And, since I left the Marriott Visa at home I am left using my Citi Prestige (aside from a few times that I managed to use my Marriott Visa via ApplePay on my iPhone.