Which Card for Suzy?

In the next installment of Which Card, we’ll be helping another one of my coworkers, Suzy, out. Ideally, Suzy would like a card for travel redemptions, ideally on flights to Italy (or Europe in general) or buses and trains from New York City. Additionally, the lower the annual fee, the better. These are two different goals, so my goal was to find a good card for travel to Europe and a good card for buses/trains in the NYC area.

First things first: Italy! One of the best cards for NYC flyers is the Delta Gold SkyMiles card. Right now, the targeted bonus is 60,000 miles for spending $1,000 in 90 days PLUS a $50 statement credit when you make a Delta Air Lines purchase. Check here to see if you’re targeted! If you aren’t targeted, the bonus is only 30,000 points for spending $1,000 in 90 days. This card comes with a $95 fee, which is waived the first year.

If Suzy’s targeted for the 60,000 point bonus, she could be well on her way to a week in Milan in October, courtesy of Delta and Alitalia:

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Sadly, the AMEX does have a sort of high annual fee, but nothing out of the ordinary when compared to similar co-branded airline cards.

Next, staying around NYC and taking the bus and the train. You all know how I feel about Amtrak, so I won’t rehash that here, but another good option might be either the Capital One Venture Rewards card or the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card. Both of these cards earn points that can then be redeemed for travel purchases, such as buses, trains, or even flights! I’ve detailed the differences below:

Attribute Capital One Venture Rewards Capital One VentureOne Rewards
Point Earning 2.0 points earned per dollar spent. 100 points = $1.00 1.25 points earned per dollar spent. 100 points = $1.00
Bonus Points 40,000 ($400 value) 20,000 ($200 value)
Spending Required Spend $3,000 in 90 days Spend $1,000 in 90 days
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $59 a year $0

With either of these cards, Suzy can charge trips to her Capital One card, and then use her points as a statement credit to pay for those travel charges. If she travels between New York and Boston (for example), the fare is roughly $60.

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With the Capital One Venture, she can redeem six free roundtrips (The VentureOne is only three roundtrips) with the sign-up bonus. Not too shabby, especially since charging these trips to her card also earns points!

NOTE:  The Venture cards are also good for travel, as you can use points for airlines, and can also do partial redemptions, depending on your point balance.

So there you have it, Suzy! I would recommend either the Delta card for travel to Europe or either one of the Capital One Venture cards for trolling around NYC.



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