1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Best travel credit card for Vegas trips?

Discussion in 'Las Vegas for the Frugal (not Cheap)' started by Bluegrass527, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Bluegrass527

    Bluegrass527 Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on the best travel credit cards for various Vegas trips. For example, I’m considering either a Southwest card or a United Mileageplus credit card. They both offer bonus miles based on a minimum spend. From what I can tell, it seems the United miles would go farther in terms of the number of trips to Vegas (from a city in the Northeastern corridor).

    However, I’ve also heard that the D offers a $50 matchplay if you have a Southwestern boarding pass. So that’s something to consider as well.

    Of course, there are also hotel cards. I like the IHG club premier card, as it comes with a bonus of 80,000 points when you complete the minimum spend. There are a number of good IHG Vegas properties that offer rooms from 20,000 points a night, with the fourth night free when you redeem 3 nights. So that would be 6 free nights. You also get a lot of bonus points if you actually spend money at IHG properties. So that’s my suggestion for a good credit card for the Vegas lover.
     
  2. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2016
    Messages:
    3,792
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    55
    There are many variables.
    A major one for me depends on what is available in my home airport.
    Flight times and schedules going to Vegas and/or other cities that I go to frequently are far less favorable with United than Southwest.
    Therefore the United card would be almost useless to me but for others it could be the winner.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. nhcris

    nhcris VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    36
    I used to use Southwest but they no longer have any nonstops to Vegas or anywhere else I want to to go. I switched to a Delta CC and have been very happy with their product. I added a JetBlue CC last summer when they had a great offer, and have been able to snap up a couple Mint Flights which have probably ruined me for every other airline. As vegasdev said, it really depends what airlines have the best options from your airport(s). I can't speak to Hotel cards as I have never had any interest in them.
     
  4. DBear

    DBear VIP Bear

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,045
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Interesting, I’d take the IHG card and the 80k points if it were available in my country but not sure if I’d redeem the points in Vegas. I am an IHG loyalist (spire, >75 nights/yr), but redeeming 70k/night at V/P is too much. I realize the Candlewood Suites at 20k is a relatively good deal depending on hotel rates during your timeframe but it’s still too off strip for me. I’d rather take a Linq or Harrahs at their usual low rates and be on strip. You’re right that the IHG card has the opportunity to build lots of points but I’d pick another card if solely redeeming them in Vegas. Unless you plan on taking the card and the bonus points, redeeming, then cancel the card. Then by all means.
     
  5. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,617
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    For hotel, flights and restaurants, the Chase Reserve card is best. You get 3x points and they can be transferred for SW or United miles (along with other options).
     
    • Love Love x 1
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    18,224
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Best card for us is the most recent one we rec'd that we need to hit the spend to get 50,000 miles. Will use the next on the next trip.

    As to which ones ..... you had mentioned United. First off, only get an airline card if you are sure you will be flying them. As to UA - I would not sign up for their card even with a 100,000 mile bonus ( I think it is 50,000 now)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. willowox

    willowox Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    Messages:
    124
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    We have used United mileage plus card for overseas travel from Chicago and have not paid airfare to those destinations in years. So a united card does serve its purpose. We also use it for travel to destinations in the states that our other credit card doesn’t fly to directly (southwest card).
    However for Vegas flights the United card seems to require a lot of miles each way. We primarily use our southwest card for Vegas travel.
     
  8. 3OfDiamonds

    3OfDiamonds High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2019
    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    For anybody who’s playing enough to get rooms suitable for them comped, I think either an airline-specific card or cards where the “miles”/points transfer to airlines at a good rate (AMEX cards that provide Membership Rewards points, Chase cards that provide Ultimate Rewards points, or Citi cards that provide Thank You points) depending on spending and flying habits would provide the most value :)
     
    Somehow, Someway, Somewhere (in Vegas) - My Birthplace On My B’Day
    Homecoming: B’Day 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition :D
  9. Lucky7

    Lucky7 Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Dallas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    I would go with the Amex platinum card. It come with either 60K-100K point sign up bonus. Depending on which one you are targeted for. The caer does have a high annual membership but comes with a ton of perks like $200 airline travel credit, TSA/Global entry credit, Amex centurion lounge access, $100 Saks credit, Gold status at Marriott and Hilton, priority pass lounge membership, national car rental emerald club status, etc....

    The chase reserve is also a good alternative as it comes with similar perks. With both the Amex and chase cards you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners so you are not tied in to just 1 airline. If you end up getting either one and want a referral code let me know and I’ll send you one. Also I can steer you in the right direction on how to book flights with points without over spending. Some airlines have flex cost while others have set mileage depending on distance. I haven’t paid for a flight cash in over 3 years, I just use points.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. topcard

    topcard Celebrating 40 Years of Vegas Trips in 2020!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    6,706
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    93
    This.
    I used to have the Virgin-America card, back when they were flying non-stops out of Love Field to Vegas...then they sold out to Alaska Airlines...first thing Alaska does is cancel the Vegas non-stops. :grrr:
    So, I cancelled the card.
    I also used to have an American Airlines card, as they had (and still have) a ton of daily non-stops to & from Vegas... but get this - they have become extremely tight on which flights you can book reward travel - as is NONE of the non-stops between 7AM and 4PM are "eligible" for reward travel. You have to connect in PHX, SFO or LAX.
    So, I cancelled the card.
    I'm now with a SW Airlines Chase card, and I actually cannot imagine ever running out of points. I've been over 100K points for well over a year... downside is no First Class available, but the upside is that they have almost as many Vegas non-stops as American does...and ALL of them are "eligible" for reward travel! :wiggle:
     
    Rebooked April trip to May, and now rebooked again - to June.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    18,224
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    The above post points out some of the reasons to be particular about an airline SPECIFIC credit card. Easy to get burned and have miles you can not use.

    We have an AA card - only because they gave us 50,000 miles. It is in the drawer now. And free luggage if needed, though we have been flying Southwest almost exclusive with the companion pass.
    We have a DL card - same reason. 60 pr 75,000 miles.

    We did sign up for two SW cards recently - so we can earn the companion pass again in January for the next two years. My wife dropped her business one, and will probably drop the other, but it does come with 4 "upgrades" and some miles each year.
     
  12. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,829
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Generally, the best card is one that fits your specific travel goals/needs.

    But, in a vacuum, the airline cards are generally not as good as the transferrable point cards unless you (a) are getting the WN companion pass and getting a lot of value out of it or (b) you really value the free lounge access you get from an airline card like the Citi AA card that costs $450 a year. The transferrable point cards generally earn more points for everyday spend in key categories like dining or groceries, and they give you more flexibility to travel to other places or to even use the points as cash in a worst case scenario. E.g. it's nice to have Chase points that you can use to pay for Hyatt hotels or to use at 1.5 cents a pop through the travel portal if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve.

    You can get even better value by continually signing up for cards and using the sign up bonuses to pay for your travel.

    In particular, you mention United...the United cards are generally less valuable than the Chase cards. Chase points transfer 1:1 to United. Why hold something that is locked into United miles and that earns at a worse rate vs. earning Chase points? The Chase United card offerings are pretty weak, IMO.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  13. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,829
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Remember you can book Delta flights with Virgin points, often at better prices if they are direct flights. And AMEX points transfer 1:1 to Delta and Virgin at all times.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. mdm4sfest

    mdm4sfest VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    I only charge about $12,000-$15,000 a year so Ive been using the Total Rewards card---not a true travel card I know but with no annual fee, I seem to rapidly earn pts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,829
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Someone flying from a United hub in the Northeast isn't going to get much value out of the Centurion Lounge. The hubs are Newark and DC...airports with no CL. Their LAS gates are in Terminal 3, making the LAS Centurion lounge pretty worthless (it really works best for AA and Delta.)

    A Chase card makes a ton more sense for this person, especially since Chase points transfer to UA but AMEX points do not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  16. 3OfDiamonds

    3OfDiamonds High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2019
    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    AMEX Platinum also offers access to Delta SkyClub (have to be flying Delta) and Priority Pass lounges, as well as some others (along with the Centurion lounges, of course :)). With the airline incidentals, Uber, and Saks credits, along with the lounge access, bonus Membership Rewards offers, Marriott and Hilton gold elite, and all the other odds and ends, I’m glad I have one in my wallet :thumbsup: (and thankful I have the money to invest in one:nworthy:).
     
    Somehow, Someway, Somewhere (in Vegas) - My Birthplace On My B’Day
    Homecoming: B’Day 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition :D
    • Like Like x 1
  17. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,829
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Platinum is weaker than CSR unless you fly Delta a lot, can use the Cent. lounge a lot, or you really value the transfer partners. The fee is higher, the incidental credit is much less useful than the Chase travel credit, and Chase lets you use the points against travel at 1.5 cents a pop all the time.

    Honestly, AMEX Gold is a better card than AMEX Plat for the average person
     
  18. 3OfDiamonds

    3OfDiamonds High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2019
    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    Fair enough... I think I made the right decision for me :)
     
    Somehow, Someway, Somewhere (in Vegas) - My Birthplace On My B’Day
    Homecoming: B’Day 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition :D
    • Like Like x 1
  19. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    1,537
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    I was almost convinced that I was going to get the Delta card because they are one of only 2 choices here and I dislike American which is the other. But if I'm not mistaken, due to points transfer, the non-branded Amex platinum actually earned more points that can be used as Delta points than the Delta branded platinum which also has a high annual fee and not the rest of the perks. I still havent gotten any of them but seems like the Amex platinum probably makes the most sense for me, and added bonus, I almost always fly through Atlanta which has Delta lounges all over the place.

    I totally agree with everyone else though that which card is right for you depends on your location, wants, and needs, as well as how often you can use whatever benefit comes with it. The 400+ annual fees on some of these platinum and preferred cards is a net loss for most people that travel once or twice a year I'd think. But in my research, I've found that in most cases, the non-airline-branded cards have better airline benefits than some of the branded ones. Again, mileage will vary based on what's available in your area and your travel and spending profile.
     
    Legendary Independence Day Fashion Porn!
    Beau Rivage - If I keep booking trips, one of them is bound to happen!
    • Like Like x 1
  20. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    18,224
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    We have done this for the past 3 years. But, effective Nov 1st - it is only good if you have a same day AA flight. As a result, we will not renew that card. We made very good use of it.