One is Not Enough

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The basic number of points or miles you earn on any given card is one lousy point per one lousy dollar spent. I mean, it’s better than getting rocks in your mailbox, but can’t you do better? The answer is, how would I know? I’m not you. I barely even care. But I still have opinions, and you know what they say about opinions.

Obviously, if you can spend in a category that earns you 2 points or 3 points or 5 points, do that. Know what categories pay off better for you so you are not a sad loser that no one wants to talk to and instead you can be the widely admired leader who always has the right card for the right occasion.

If you have a Sapphire Preferred, but not a Freedom Unlimited, don’t be a dickface. Get a Freedom Unlimited. Then you get 1.5 points per dollar on everything that would otherwise be 1 point. Hooray.

If you are an Amex whore, or you can’t get a Freedom Unlimited, then get an Amex Everyday Preferred, which will also allow you to get at least 1.5 points per dollar on everything, and sometimes 3 points or 4.5 points for the right purchase categories. But you have to make 30 charges a month to get that, so it needs to be a card you use regularly. Some cretins go to CVS in the middle of the night and ring up one item at a time at the self checkout to make this happen. This is not a joke. If you ever see me doing this, please shoot me. My guess is that the CVS staff won’t even care. The self checkout machine certainly won’t.

If neither of those floats your fucking canoe, do you have a card that gives you some kind of bonus once you spend a certain amount of money? Like the MileagePlus Explorer gives you 10K bonus miles when you spend 25K. So that’s a fine idea until you reach that number. Then it’s a less fine idea.

Or, if you’re gonna earn one point per dollar spent, you could stretch it farther by making it an SPG point on the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card. You can’t earn ’em faster than a point a buck, but you can transfer them at an advantageous rate (0.8 points for 1 mile) to nearly any airline program. Except United.

Or don’t do any of the above and just use your one card and get what you get in the program you like. Like I said, it’s your life.

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