TPG Reader 2018 Travel Goals: Getting a First Rewards Credit Card

Jan 11, 2018

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Whether or not you’re a fan of New Year’s resolutions, January can be a great time to wipe the slate clean and take inventory of what you’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months. To get you inspired, we’ll be tracking several TPG readers’ progress toward various travel goals. First up: Heather P. Here’s what she’s hoping to accomplish in 2018:

I’m looking to finding my first travel rewards card. Marriott or Southwest Chase are what I’m deciding over.

Luckily, this is one of the more attainable travel goals — Heather simply needs to decide on a credit card, apply for it and get approved.

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card and Chase’s Southwest cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card can be great picks if you’re looking to boost your account balances for hotel or flight redemptions. Plus, if Heather’s hoping to earn the Southwest Companion Pass to get free travel (minus taxes and fees) for a friend or family member, Southwest cards can provide a convenient way to meet the 110,000-point requirement.

However, given that we generally value transferable currencies higher than hotel points or airline miles, we think she might be better served by applying for a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which earns Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to both Marriott and Southwest in addition to 11 other travel partners including Hyatt, Korean Air and United

Of course, what matters most is how Heather wants to use her travel rewards, so our next step will be checking in with her to see why the Marriott and Southwest cards made the top of her list. We’ll also want to get some basic info on where she spends the most — since a card with bonus categories that align with her spending habits will help her work toward free travel the most efficiently.

We’ll be following up with Heather and reporting back, so stay tuned!

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