Frogger27

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
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Medical Student
Looking at opening up a new credit card to put my residency applications and a couple other upcoming expenses on. Looking for a card that has a good initial bonus (for spending 3-4k in first 3 months) and rewards. Currently have chase preferred.

Thinking of the Capital One Venture. 50,000 bonus miles for 3k in first 3 months, $95 annual fee, 2x miles/dollar.

Any other recommendations?
 

ciestar

All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
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The Reserve is better than the Preferred!
 

Dantes

2+ Year Member
May 12, 2017
196
294
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Medical Student
The Reserve is better than the Preferred!
The Reserve is better for rewards for sure but I don't know if it justifies the $550 annual fee.

OP do you want another travel card specifically or just any card with a good starting bonus?
 
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ginsengreset

2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2018
183
211
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Medical Student
The Reserve is better for rewards for sure but I don't know if it justifies the $550 annual fee.

OP do you want another travel card specifically or just any card with a good starting bonus?
Most credit cards with an annual fee of $400+ have reimbursements/perks that essentially bring the card down to an annual fee of $100-$200 or less. The first year I got the Reserve, the (back then) $450 was compensated by the fact that it reimburses you $300 for travel expenses (e.g. train tickets, flights, hotels, etc), pays for your $100 TSA global entry application, and accepts *any* return within 90 days of purchase (I mailed a jacket that I couldn't return to Chase and they fully refunded me). Additionally, you get a free Priority Pass for airline lounges also gives you $28 off per person at restaurants in a lot of airports, and I got a lot of (almost) free meals that way.

So in summary, whether these cards are right for you really depends on how well their perks/reimbursements fit into your existing spending. The Reserve now offers free DashPass for Doordash, so if you were paying $10/month anyway that's another $120 saved.
 
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jurassicpark

Sith Overlord
Oct 19, 2018
397
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Chase Sapphire Reserve is what I use. Has a good return, services, etc. Allows access to Priority Lounges on those international flights. Had a long layover in Singapore and believe me, we milked it good. We a little ingenuity you can transfer the points to use for most airlines for free flights or upgrades. They recently increased the fees, so you have to really evaluate how you spend your money to see if it's worth it for you, plus the perks they offer. If you do a lot of traveling and dining out (pre-COVID), great card and the fee was totally worth it. If you have your own business, you can link it up with their business reward card. Some of my colleagues with private practices put all their expenses through these cards and use the points to pay for first-class travel with their family all the time.

Some of my friends have the American Express Platinum. While it gives access to the Centurion club, I think the card only makes sense if you're routinely traveling for business. Not the once a year crazy blow out vacation.
 

NotaCop

5+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2015
533
917
Status
Medical Student
Below is my current wallet, DM me if you’d like a direct referral link to any of them, in some cases it gives better sign up bonus. Happy to talk about pros/cons of any of these cards

- Citi Prestige
- Citi AAdvantage (American Airlines)
- AMEX blue cash preferred
- AMEX blue business cash
- Barclaycard cash forward
- Bank of America cash rewards
- BofA Alaska airlines
- Capital One quicksilver
- Apple Card
 

ChymeofPassion

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
1,323
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Chase Sapphire Reserve. 550 dollar fee sounds expensive till you account for the 300 dollars you get back after spending 300 on travel. So it's really 250. This includes benefits like dashpass (saves me 50 bucks a year at least), lyft pink (another 25), priority pass lounge (last year saved me >100 from lounge access and not spending a dime on airports). Also the TSA precheck and global entry is a 100 dollar value over 5 years That's already 195 dollars of value. So at 1.5 points per cent (if redeemed at Chase), you need to get 3,600 points per year for it to be worth.

I use this card to pay for my housing, all groceries, travel, etc, which easily hits this. Friends going out to dinner? You cover and get venmos, 200 dollar bill = 600 points from one night out! All from truly spending maybe 40 dollars. Last year a few friends and I went on vacation to Croatia; covered the flight and get venmos, 8000 dollar flight bill = 24000 points (360 dollar value). Also my medical school allows me to pay tuition using my credit card! So that's 40,000-60000 points per year from that (600 to 900 dollars of value). Back to that, this card gives insanely high limits (mine is 20,000 and I'm a medical student) which helps your credit score (lower utilization percentage).

On top of all of that, when you sign up and spend 4000 dollars in 3 months, you get a 50,000 point bonus (750 dollar value). Now that I've sold it, if you wanna sign up lmk and I'll give you my referral code.
 
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Frogger27

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
2,015
3,870
Status
Medical Student
The Reserve is better than the Preferred!
Yeah it’s a great card but going to avoid it for now due to the annual fee, but can’t wait to get it some day

Welp, nvm. May need to reconsider given that everyone has recommended it. Just seems like I wouldn’t use it enough as a 4th year medical student/future intern to justify the annual fee
 

jurassicpark

Sith Overlord
Oct 19, 2018
397
819
Death Star III
Status
Attending Physician
Also my medical school allows me to pay tuition using my credit card! So that's 40,000-60000 points per year from that (600 to 900 dollars of value). Back to that, this card gives insanely high limits (mine is 20,000 and I'm a medical student) which helps your credit score (lower utilization percentage).
That is extremely lucky. That's like a free vacation every year, or a major blow out when you graduate. Just be sure there's no credit card processing fee your school is using. I would love if I could pay my taxes, mortgage or car lease with the car. But most mortgage or car leases will not take credit card. Taxes takes 1.85+% for credit card which would negate any value.
 

jurassicpark

Sith Overlord
Oct 19, 2018
397
819
Death Star III
Status
Attending Physician
Yeah it’s a great card but going to avoid it for now due to the annual fee, but can’t wait to get it some day

Welp, nvm. May need to reconsider given that everyone has recommended it. Just seems like I wouldn’t use it enough as a 4th year medical student/future intern to justify the annual fee
Then don't. Chymeofpassion did a good job selling the card, and how a medical student can squeeze the benefits from it. Make sure you examine your spending habits and budget and do the same. A lot of their big benefits like TSA/Priority Pass are for the robust/frequent traveler, which is hard to do as a student/resident.

If your school allows you to pay tuition by card WITHOUT processing fees, then that is a GOLD mine and you should definitely consider doing it.
 
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ChymeofPassion

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
1,323
3,284
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Medical Student (Accepted)
That is extremely lucky. That's like a free vacation every year, or a major blow out when you graduate. Just be sure there's no credit card processing fee your school is using. I would love if I could pay my taxes, mortgage or car lease with the car. But most mortgage or car leases will not take credit card. Taxes takes 1.85+% for credit card which would negate any value.
No credit card fee. I'm aware I'm very lucky. I actually didnt believe it and called my medical school to confirm.
 

Huggy

2+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2016
920
2,131
Status
Medical Student
If you have good enough credit and are under 5 new credit cards within the past 24 months at the time of each application:

Chase Freedom
1-2 months later
Chase Freedom Unlimited
1-2 months later
Chase Sapphire Reserve
1-2 months later
World of Hyatt
 
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ChymeofPassion

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
1,323
3,284
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Medical Student (Accepted)
You know what. Pay for multiple students tuition and have them pay you back, omg. First class round trip to singapore or tokyo yearly!!
If this was socially acceptable I would xD imagine being the credit card plug for 10 students, 600k points per year...
 
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ChymeofPassion

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
1,323
3,284
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
If you have good enough credit and are under 5 new credit cards within the past 24 months at the time of each application:

Chase Freedom
1-2 months later
Chase Freedom Unlimited
1-2 months later
Chase Sapphire Reserve
1-2 months later
World of Hyatt
What's the point of getting this many credit cards?
 

Scrubs101

2+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2015
1,789
3,423
Status
Medical Student
+1 to reserve, got it at the beginning of med school. More than worth the hefty fee, paid for basically my entire post step 1 trip with points built up from m1-2

3x pts + 1.5x value if spent on chase travel + airline credit + priority pass + various perks and travel protections = med student ballin on a budget life

i think amex gold is pretty good if you spend a decent amount on groceries, theres like enough $ in straight up airline/dining credit to pay for itself (Super limited on how the credit can be used tho)
 

Huggy

2+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2016
920
2,131
Status
Medical Student
What's the point of getting this many credit cards?
Chase Freedom gives 5x back on rotating categories. $0 annual fee. Usually can get $100-$200 sign up bonus.
Chase Freedom Unlimited gives 1.5x back on all purchases. $0 annual fee. Usually can get $100-$200 sign up bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 3x back on restaurants/travel. $550 annual fee. Ridiculous amount of benefits. $300 travel credit every year. $750 sign up bonus.
World of Hyatt. Upwards of 10 free nights at tier 1 properties as sign up bonus. Free hotel room, up to tier 4 properties every year for $95 annual fee.

That's mainly a very basic overview of the benefits. But I've probably gotten up to $2,000 in rewards in less than a year because of like six credit cards
 
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calivianya

2+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2017
1,081
1,575
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Medical Student (Accepted)
What's the point of getting this many credit cards?
Churning.

First, you make a list of cards which do hard pulls on which bureaus - transunion vs experian vs equifax, because you don’t want to have too many hard inquiries at each bureau because it will lower your score. Most companies only pull your report from one bureau. You apply to a couple that pull each bureau to keep everything nice and balanced, then you spend enough to get the sign up bonuses, pay the cards off in full, and cancel them.

Most cards will offer the sign up bonus to anyone who hasn’t held that card in at least two years (varies by card). So you just have to wait two years from the time you cancelled and you can sign up and get all of the free stuff again. By that time your previous hard inquiry from that card will have fallen off anyway, so you don’t have to worry about it.


...I’m too lazy to churn, but I like having a metric ton of cards because it increases your overall available credit. Which makes your utilization crazy low, which in turn keeps your credit score awesome. Like when you have $100k+ in available credit, having to do emergency car repairs for $3k or something stupid isn’t even going to put a blip on your score if you have to carry it for a month, because you’re only utilizing 3% of your available credit.
 
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Frogger27

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
2,015
3,870
Status
Medical Student
Hmm so it looks like I wont be able to take advantage of the Sapphire Reserve initial bonus since I already have the Sapphire Preferred...

Other cards I am thinking of:
Amex Gold: 35,000 bonus, $250 annual
Amex Platinum: 60,000 bonus, $550 annual
Chase - Marriot Bonvoy Boundless: 100,000 bonus. $95 annual
Capital One Venture: 50,000 bonus, $95 annual
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select - 60,000 AA miles. 99annual (waived year 1)

I am kind of thinking of the Amex gold, Marriot bonvoy or Citi AAdvantage platinum. I am not sure I will be traveling enough to take advantage of the awesome perks with platinum. Anyone have thoughts on some of these cards?
 
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Aug 7, 2019
351
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Medical Student
I have the platinum and it basically pays for itself with all the perks. Like it gives you 200 per year in Uber credit, 200 yearly for airline travel credit, tsa precheck, an allowance for streaming (I get Netflix covered this way), 100 for sach’s fifth avenue, as well as all the perks such as status with rental car companies and hotels plus the 5x travel points. Their purchase protection Is one of the best. If you buy something that breaks within a year, they’ll refund you the item if it’s not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty or send you someone to fix it. Last but not least and arguably the most important, you get platinum concierge which makes anything possible. If you want a reservation at a restaurant that’s sold out for the next 6 months, they’ll make it happen even there’s no tables available. Trust me, that’s saved my —- several times. Also, if you want an iPad or something that’s sold out, they’ll find you one even if it means calling every store that sells them in the state. Basically, if you want a card with a 10 million dollar limit that makes you feel like a boss, pays for itself, and comes with stellar service, this ones the one for you. Is it the best cash back card? Nope but it doesn’t have to be
 

ciestar

All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
7,574
9,851
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Resident [Any Field]
Chase Freedom gives 5x back on rotating categories. $0 annual fee. Usually can get $100-$200 sign up bonus.
Chase Freedom Unlimited gives 1.5x back on all purchases. $0 annual fee. Usually can get $100-$200 sign up bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 3x back on restaurants/travel. $550 annual fee. Ridiculous amount of benefits. $300 travel credit every year. $750 sign up bonus.
World of Hyatt. Upwards of 10 free nights at tier 1 properties as sign up bonus. Free hotel room, up to tier 4 properties every year for $95 annual fee.

That's mainly a very basic overview of the benefits. But I've probably gotten up to $2,000 in rewards in less than a year because of like six credit cards
People think my husband is loaded...
What you described here is why we do what we do.

Only I have the Hilton Aspire which has really come in clutch a few times now
 
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AMEHigh

10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2008
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1,857
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Attending Physician
Hmm so it looks like I wont be able to take advantage of the Sapphire Reserve initial bonus since I already have the Sapphire Preferred...

Other cards I am thinking of:
Amex Gold: 35,000 bonus, $250 annual
Amex Platinum: 60,000 bonus, $550 annual
Chase - Marriot Bonvoy Boundless: 100,000 bonus. $95 annual
Capital One Venture: 50,000 bonus, $95 annual
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select - 60,000 AA miles. 99annual (waived year 1)

I am kind of thinking of the Amex gold, Marriot bonvoy or Citi AAdvantage platinum. I am not sure I will be traveling enough to take advantage of the awesome perks with platinum. Anyone have thoughts on some of these cards?
I have the Amex platinum and loved it until now only because Covid has halted all immediate travel plans.

I’m honestly not sure if it is THE absolute best in terms of point returns, but when I did sign up I think I got something like 80,000 points.

It was very easy to convert to use for flights. I took a lot of Delta flights and 80,000 points essentially equaled $800 so a pretty good deal in my mind.

Plus all the other travel perks with delta specifically and lounge access. The Amex lounges specifically are great. Reimbursement for global entry. Small credit for Uber/Uber eats each month.

There are extra perks/bonuses throughout the year as well. Like spend $50 at X place and get $10 back. There’s dozens of those. A few times they’ve just randomly sent me essentially coupons in the mail where I could spend $100 at X store. I always made just to spend exactly the amount for the coupon and not get sucked in to spending more, ha.

Again a lot of this is now a moot point as I haven’t flown anywhere since Feb :( But their customer service is great as well so I plan to stick it out with them and just continue to earn points for my regular spending.
 
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ciestar

All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
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Ooh, speaking of good airline perks.. the Southwest Companion Pass.
 
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