Author Topic: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep  (Read 1753 times)

Offline iam4liberty

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Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« on: September 03, 2018, 02:42:53 PM »
There is a general tendency in the prepper community to dismiss or denegrate credit cards.  But for those of us who travel often for business, a premium credit card can be one of the most powerful preps we can carry.  As an example, a colleague of mine was in New York City during the September 11 attacks.  All the flights were cancelled but because of his premium card was able to jump to the head of the line for a car rental which sold out in minutes after the attacks. He and some travelling companions got out of dodge while thousands of others were trapped.

What is a premium credit card?  Generally it is a credit card that for a high annual fee provides certain benefits. The credit card I primarily use has these features:

Free access to airport lounges.  This is a savior when storms run through.  It gets you out from the masses to a place with food, drink, comfortable seats, high speed internet, and electrical outlets to keep everything charged. The lounges also have teams of advisors to keep track of flight changes and notify you of them.  They also will give you a premium toiletry kit with clean t-shirt to help you keep clean.

Concierge service.  This is how my colleague got out of NYC.  While others spend time talking to computers and waiting for an hour to talk to a customer service rep, you will quickly get passed through to an expert staff person who has special means to reserve cars, hotel rooms, dining reservstions, and other flights.

Purchase protection and automatic extended warranties.  Everything purchased is automatically covered.  For example, in the last year i had both a fitness band and a car jumpstarter/battery pack fail outside of normal warranty.  But because of extended warranty I was reimbursed for both in a couple days saving me $250.

Travel insurances.  No need to pay for car rental, flight, and other insurance.  This is automatically in effect.

Fraud protection.  Had my credit card info stolen by a restaurant worker in LA who used it to order $5k of bike parts to send to Malaysia.  No problem, the credit card company handled everything.

Airlines miles, early boarding, and tie-breaker status for upgraded seats.  All purchases roll into miles and credit towards bonuses.  This produces so many miles that even if I am not updated for free, I can use to upgrade. For the last two years i have flown first class for free because of this.  This means free meals and drinks on flights, and elctrical outlets, and close seats to exits in case of emergencies.  It also means getting off flights first maximizing chances of making connections.  Most important this reduces the number of people to pick up illnesses from sitting next to them.  Also, you never are forced to check carryons when flights are filled.

Free checked bags and first at baggage claim.  It is crazy how much airlines are charging for bags.  But this free.  Plus, your bags are put first on baggage claim.

Free companion tickets.  My wife travels free with me once a year.  This is worth about $700 each year.

Floats business expenses.  Instead of money coming out of my pocket for business expenses they go on the card.  My reimbursement schedule is set to be reimbursed before card is due.  So it is always paid off before it comes due.

No foreign transaction fees.  i can use it worldwide at decent exchange rates with no foreign transaction fees.

Higher credit rating/lower interest rates.  Since it has a higher credit limit it significantly improves my credit score lowering interest rates by about half a percent (if I decided to get a car, home, or other loan).

These are just some of the benefits.  In the end the $450 annual fee is recouped many times over every year.

Net, a premium credit card can be a great, essentially free prep. If nothing else I hope this gives some food for thought.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 02:49:28 PM by iam4liberty »

Offline CharlesH

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 03:12:32 PM »
Interesting.  I was not aware of these.  My major traveling days are over so it is probably not something I need, but I can see the value.  Do most banks and card issuers have these for the cards they offer?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2018, 05:38:37 PM »
I think it's a great idea.  Got any links on Premium CC's you'd recommend?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 11:55:04 AM »
There are quite a few premium cards with different combinations of credit card networks (American Express, Visa, Mastercard), Banks, and partners (airlines, hotels, Uber, etc.) 

It is hard to reccomend one over another.  The key thing is to find one which matches your behavior and needs.  For me that is a card that gives me access to first class on one of the two major airlines for my local airport (delta and american) and gives me access to their lounges. The American Express Delta Reserve Card proved best for me: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/benefits/view-all/delta-reserve.

But if I was traveling by land and staying at hotels regularly, a premium hotel card would be better like one of these:

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/best-hotel-credit-cards/

Then there are cards which try to balance across properties like AE Platinum.  It gives airline, hotel, and even uber credits:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card/platinum/





Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 03:50:35 PM »
I've had an Alaska Airlines Visa for twenty years, it's $75 per year for one companion fare and frequent flyer miles on purchases, along with some extra insurance.  But the extra perks you're getting have me interested in looking at these Premium deals.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 08:34:50 AM »
This story just popped up on my linkedin.  It gives some perspective why getting out of coach is so valuable for those of us who fly often.  if nothing else getting enough status on flights (either by airline loyalty or by credit card programs) to choose seats is important.  Getting stuck four people deep in window seat at back of plane could be deadly in an emergency.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2018/08/30/these-eye-popping-numbers-tell-us-how-shockingly-full-flights-really-are-these-days/

These Eye-Popping Numbers Tell Us How Shockingly Full Flights Really Are These Days



Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2018, 06:33:57 PM »
Talk about coincidences:

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/jfk-airport-quarantine-emirates-flight-from-dubai-reports-sick-people-passengers-today-2018-09-05/
Plane isolated at JFK airport after passengers, crew members fall ill

A traveler in the business section of the aircraft, Raghida Dergham, said in an interview that sick passengers were in a "lower level" economy section of the plane.

"I feel great. I feel fine," she said. "Nobody was alarmed. ... It was handled very well."

But other passengers said they suspected that some passengers were sick before they got on the plane and that the airline should have done more to protect others.

"Why did they allow them on the flight? ... I sat with them for 13 hours. If it's a virus, we're all getting sick," Srinivasa Rao said.

Sykes partly faulted the ill passengers themselves.

"These people should know not to travel in a confined space with other healthy people," she said.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 12:32:33 PM »
Should have mentioned if you dont need perks of premium card, dont get one. The high annual fees will not be recouped.  Instead, look at a cash reward/cash back, no annual fee card and use it like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVWdeuYa03U

Offline David in MN

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Re: Premium Credit Cards as a Prep
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 02:23:38 PM »
Should have mentioned if you dont need perks of premium card, dont get one. The high annual fees will not be recouped.  Instead, look at a cash reward/cash back, no annual fee card and use it like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVWdeuYa03U

Almost nobody "right-sizes" their credit card to their lifestyle. We changed ours when my wife got pregnant. Before that she traveled for work (I did too but much less) and she would travel to Europe twice per year. Northwest was bought by Delta and Minneapolis became a Delta hub so using a credit card that doubled down on miles was awesome. She got bumped up to first class and we got free trips.

Fast forward and she has a new (non-travel) job and we do a lot less vacationing so a boring cash back card makes more sense. It's amazing how quick you make back a return if all boring household stuff is filtered through the card and paid off monthly.

The only hangup I've had with credit cards is the limit. In the past I've called to have my limit raised and they refused. I have maxed out a $20k limit by booking flights, hotels, trains, buying art, jewelry, and guns all in one month. In the years since we get our limit raised when we don't ask. I *think* we're up to $100k. I guess $20k in a month sounds nuts but if you book a European vacation and attend a couple art auctions it's not that hard. Gets even worse when the art auction is on a ship in the Mediterranean and you've been drinking Champagne since breakfast but I digress...

If you can make better use of a credit card, DO IT. Millions are giving up free money. I know there is the prepper mantra of paying cash and credit is for suckers. Well, if a credit card will make you drink Dom Perignon instead of Budweiser it's a problem. If I pay my normal household stuff through it and it helps either on travel or cash back it's a solid win.