I'm not in the market to roll over a CD, but the home page's AMEX offer did catch my eye. Is this new?
* Earn 5 points per dollar spent on airfare purchases.
* $50 annual fee (waived first year)
* 20,000 bonus points after $650 in purchases on the card
Points are worth about 1 cent apiece as $100 gift cards are offered for 10,000 points. The choices in gift cards aren't unlimited by any means, but there were several vendors where I will be spending money anyway, like with rental car companies.
Normally, I don't get much interested in rewards cards. I agree with most posters here that a cash-back card is at least equal in benefits and infinitely more flexible in spending the reward.
But I have a special circumstance - I will be spending $2500-$3000 on plane tickets sometime in the next few months, for a family vacation in Europe.
So, Harry figures, for the modest pain of a hard credit check hitting my credit report (the first in 2009), I can get the card and use it to buy the tickets (which I need to charge somewhere) and get rent-a-car gift certificates worth $350.
The linked web site also says a "Travel Privileges" feature will get me "10% off lowest published airfares". If legit, that would be another $250-$300 in savings. (On this this part, I'm more skeptical.)
Hmmm...this may not be the best deal for maxing out the side benefits on my rare big air ticket purchase, but I can't imagine others beating it by much. AMEX is known for the usual CC company tricks, of course, so I'll need to check it the details. Time for some due diligence!