Hi, my first posting. I’m finalizing a decision to go with either the United Explorer or Gold Delta Amex card. I’m now retired and looking to do more travel. I do realize this will be directly related to which airline I ultimately will fly. Where I currently live there are airports where both have hubs. I thought I would ask the community for your experiences and advice on both of these cards. Thanks
Hi Jim! Congratulations on the recent retirement, and welcome to the community - we’re excited to have you!
This is a great question! There are advantages to both cards, you can read our reviews of each here:
Co-branded cards can be a good way to earn status with a specific airline, but if you’d like more flexibility when booking and you aren’t very loyal to just one carrier, then a general travel card might be a better fit.
When booking travel, do you typically look for the most convenient and/or cheapest flight? Or do you tend to book with one specific carrier?
Looking forward to others chiming in with advice, too!
Hi, Jim! Welcome to the world of travel rewards. There’s no one right card for everyone, because we’re all looking for different things. I’m one of the people who a) travels a lot and b) really values flexibility, so I use travel cards that give me points that can be transferred to different frequent traveler programs (American Express Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards), a card that “erases” travel purchases (Capital One) and cards that give me elite status and good value at hotels (the Starwood Preferred Amex is a big favorite among rewards hounds).
I used to think airline-branded cards were only a good idea for road warriors who have elite status, because it can be hard to use the rewards if you’re not. But credit card Nerd Greg Karp changed my mind, pointing out that most such cards allow you to check bags for free, which often pays for the annual fee after a trip or two.
If you can tell us a little bit more about how you like to travel, we can provide more thoughts. Again, welcome!
I use Amex Gold Premier Rewards and Chase Sapphire Reserve. The annual fee is high, but you receive travel credit and other perk like Global Entry, road side assistance and others that can make up for added cost. Highest reward points of most cards that can be transferred to other travel clubs. Bonus points for signing up. Check them out.