When it gets to the end of the year, people get reflective. I usually look at how many flights I took or how many nights I stayed in hotels and I’ll still do that year in review.
Since most of my points earning in 2020 was from spending on credit cards, I figured it would make sense to look and see which card I used the most. There were so many changes in 2020, with cards introducing limited-time bonus categories on dining, supermarkets and gas stations. Those made sense from travel cards because people weren’t traveling and if they were at home, they were getting food from Grubhub or using their quarantine time to learn how to bake homemade bread.
Like most of you, our travel and dining expenses went down to almost zero for most of 2020. However, most of our everyday expenses did not go away. The same can be said for the costs of running a website.
When I looked at which credit card I used the most in 2020, it wasn’t even close.
Our favorite credit card in 2020 is the American Express Blue Business Plus.
The Blue Business Plus card’s reward structure isn’t complicated. You earn two Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on the card for the first $50,000 spent each year. We were also able to add an AMEX offer to the card where we earned an additional 8 Membership Rewards points per dollar on Amazon.com purchases.
While many people have switched to earning 2% cashback with a card like the Fidelity Rewards, I still think earning two Membership Rewards points per dollar is a better value. I’m not alone because ever American Express has said that people are hoarding points during the pandemic.
Why do I think this is a better value than earning cashback? Because there’s so much more value to be had with Membership Rewards than with cash. Here are all the places you can transfer Membership Rewards:
- Are Lingus Aerclub
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia Millemiglia
- ANA Mileage Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Delta SkyMiles
- El AL Madmid Points
- Emirates Skyrewards
- Etihad Guest Miles
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- Iberia Plus Miles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Choice Privileges Rewards
- Hilton Honors
- Marriot Bonvoy
If you’re able to find a use in any of those programs for more than 1 cent per point, you’ll be earning more than you would with a 2% cashback card. In a fixed value program like JetBlue, any redemption is worth more than 1 cent. Even in programs like Marriott or Hilton where points are valued less than 1 cent, you can still find uses for points worth more than 1 cent each like when we stayed at a Residence Inn in Manhattan for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
So while I thought I’d shift our spending to a cashback card during the pandemic, in practice I ended up putting most of our expenses on a card that earned two Membership Rewards per dollar. I regret nothing.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary