Calling Credit Card Experts

Ok- I know I am not using my CC game to the best of my ability. I need some help. I currently have a reg Dis Visa(put about 3-4K a month) and pay off monthly. Credit score 810ish. Have one other credit card I opened in 2019(WF-) zero balance.

For domestic we generally fly SWA 80%, United, Am or Delta. 1-2 trips to fl a yr, we drive other places and I have 2-3 trips a year w DAR(so usually Marriott properties) and then we visit home1-2 times a year and stay at Hyatt (but could find Marriott). Spending is Food, Sams club, shopping(macys, TJmaxx, Homegoods), and medical bills.

I have a Oceania Cruise scheduled Sept 2022(so still about 8K to pay).


  1. Should I upgrade my Dis Visa?
  2. Should I get a card like SWA or a Card for travel rewards or cash back?
    What cards would you recommend, and sites you recommend(I am not on social media)
    Thank you!!

You can use the Disney rewards for airline expenses.

I just recently upgraded my Disney Visa to the Disney Premier card. I should have done it a couple years ago. I would have earned probably $1000+ more than I did…all because I didn’t want the $49 annual fee. (stupid, I know, in hindsight )

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Do you follow I’ve churned many, many credit cards in my day, but am on a hiatus bc we were moving.

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I think I have a free offer for 1 yr so I am considering it- I TA Im wondering why I didnt do it sooner

No, but I will look into it - thanks…I have kinda been head in the sand about rewards

If you really want to game the system, churning is the way to go. Get the introductory rewards, take advantage of no fee periods, get credit for limited time point multiples, etc.

But for me, that’s too much work. I find the American Express Blue Cash Preferred to be a good long-term option that gives a solid cash back percentage for the things I buy most often. Here are the stats:

If I didn’t already have the Amex, I would probably go for the Citi Cash Back card - 2% cash back on everything.

Personally, I think cash rewards are the best, because you can use cash for anything with no expiration or limitation. Any other reward is too hard for me to convert to cash value, so I never know exactly what I’m getting. I hate points-based rewards - I much prefer dollar-based rewards.

Here is a link to the Points Guy’s page on credit card rewards if you want to look into more options:


I use the AmEx Blue Cash for groceries and gas - 6% back.

Chase Sapphire Preferred had a 100,000 bonus point offer earlier this summer, not sure if it’s still good or not. Those are Ultimate Reward points which among other things can be converted to Southwest points. I use the Sapphire Reserve for 3% back on travel and dining.

Capitol One Venture gives 2% back on everything, so anything I don’t have a better card for goes on there. Those points can be used to “erase” travel and certain other purchases including Undercover Tourist ticket purchases.

I got the Southwest card when they had a good bonus which tends to happen around December and piled everything on that for awhile to get a Companion pass. DH was able to get a personal and business Southwest card so also got companion pass that way. I don’t have a business :weary:.

I have a base Disney card but don’t use it, except for special offers for cardholders. I think I get better payback elsewhere. I also highly recommend as a resource. I haven’t been in this long enough to “churn” cards but in the next year or so I might look into it.


Thanks Jeff! I think that is a good suggestion for me- I feel I am not experienced enough to jump all the hoops(and I really don’t have the knowledge that is needed to do) - I think cash might be easiest for me too. I always use my Disney Money as we are DVC- so we go annually

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Thanks Threeprincessesfourprinces- you seemed to echo Jeff’s suggestion. With the AmEx Blue- I spend 500 a month at traditional grocery stores. I do a lot of my grocery at Sams(i doubt it is coded grocery…but no problem). Do you write on your cards what to spend them on- Im afraid I would remember. I have gotten so used to using my disney for everything.

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When I started this I kept a card in my wallet to remind myself what was what. Probably still should since special offers come up periodically on different cards and it’s easy to lose track. But I’ve saved tons on airfare, rarely paying to fly, and gotten money back for several Disney tickets since I started this, plus general cash back with AmEx. Once I determined I wanted to visit WDW more, I had to figure out how to do it cheaper!


We decided in January of 2020 to get the SWA card to take advantage of the huge bonus points, knowing we would be using the card to pay for our 2020 WDW trip (2 parents and 3 kids) that September as well as some recurring bills to max out the bonus. We quickly earned a Companion Pass for my DW, which was awesome as we had plans on getting APs for the September trip and going back just the two of us again by Sept 2021.

Well, we all know what happened. We had all the points in the world, but had to cancel our Sept 2020 trip and reschedule for June of 2021. Still great as we flew for free, and DW flew on her Companion Pass. Of course, we never got APs, because Disney stopped selling them. We also probably won’t be going back to WDW anytime soon because of cost and it’s just not as attractive right now with so much construction…and we just went last month.

Long way to say…don’t get the SWA card unless you know for a fact that you will be flying a good bit. We went into 2020 thinking we’d take several big trips over the 24 months getting us to 2022. That doesn’t look very likely. So I think we’d go for either cashback or some other kind of credit card next time.

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All I use are Fidelity credit cards (Visa). 2% on everything. It gets deposited automatically to the Fidelity account of your choice.


I have the same story. I had plans to go with DH to visit friends on Boston, go to Niagara Falls, and take him on a work trip with me. Then covid hit. So far, I have used the companion pass once, to go with DH to my grandfather’s funeral (not covid related).

We may do the companion pass again in a few years. However, with regards to the points, they are still worth a good deal of money, and I do have plans to use the points on a trip to Orlando next February, even if DH won’t have a companion pass then. I plan to use the points to get flight for myself, DH, Sis in Law and MIL. That will save us a decent amount of money on the trip.

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I made myself treasurer of my DH’s LLC and used that to get the business card. Also, the rules on what makes a business can be very flexible.

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I think the card you churn needs to meet your goal(s). What do you want from the card? Does the card give you what you want? Does the card give you good value for the annual fee? DH hates all the different credit card statements but shuts up when I show him how much free money we get! :laughing:

I primarily hold Citi Costco Visa and AMEX Hilton Honors. Between the 4 adults in our family, one of us holds a SW Visa to rotate through the bonus sign-up points each year. We would fly anyway SW goes that doesn’t require a layover and is no longer than a 2 hour flight time. Depending on where we are planning to travel, we can hold Alaska, Disney, Hawaiian, and United (DH has is for work) also. I love the design of Disney Visa but I’m not sure I’ll get a Disney Visa for our next trip because other cards, mainly Costco Visa and AMEX, have better cash values. I’ve been toying with getting a Marriott credit card to churn for Swan and Dolphin for our next trip in 2022.

Disney Visa – I’ve held Disney Visa for the 12 months leading up to a WDW trip. The biggest perks for me are the $200-$300 statement credit, and 10% off at shopDisney, Disney store, and select dining.

The cash value for my 2019 trip from my Disney Visa was a little over $200.

Hilton Honors – With the credit card, we are gold members that come with perks (including the 5th night free, if you book 4 nights on points; and no resort fees, if you book with points or vouchers) and additional points.

The cash value for my 2019 trip to FL for our WDW trip from my Hilton Honors AMEX was about $4,500. It took us less than 2 years to save enough points. We stayed further away the first 5 nights because we didn’t need the WDW perks. The next 10 nights we stayed at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek, where we had WDW perks. The final 4 nights was a last minute add on because I had the flu and couldn’t fly home. We stayed near the airport.

Alaska Visa – The cash value for my 2019 WDW trip from Alaska Visa was about $700.


I’ve known for a while that I might be doing it wrong, but, to be fair, there were years when we were paying off big debt, suddenly had three new babies, and dropped to one income.

Touching any credit cards then would have been a terrible idea.

But a couple of years ago I opened a chase United Card (bonus points for opening) and used it to pay for our whole Disney package - double points for paying a hotel directly. This year I’ve been slowly increasing the amount I spend on it each month. Now I’m beginning to think I need to re-evaluate my card game to better work towards a couple of big international trips we’d like to take.

Or Disney. :woman_shrugging:


wow that amex is great rewards, I may have to look into it…


I’m in a little different position than most of you being single, childless, and not having all the expenses that come with it. For me, points cards are the way to go. My annual cash spend is generally under $20k which would only amount to $400ish in cash back, even less with a $95 annual fee.

I have an AA card bc that’s the primary airline I fly (Charlotte is a hub) and I use it primarily for the free bags and priority boarding (worth the $95 annual fee). I also have a Marriott card that is my primary hotel chain for conferences I attend and I get a free night every year for my $95 annual fee. My points accumulate very quickly and even with my lowish annual spend I have enough points for a couple free nights a year which is better than $400 cash in my book.

I’d really figure out what you hope to achieve and then run some figures based on your usual monthly/annual spend to see if it’s worth it to you.


I would describe myself as a “light churner”, but I’m pretty good at it. (Good enough that I actually used to freelance write for the Points Guy and was also featured on Million Mile Secrets).

Given your preference for SWA, it seems like their card is a no brainer. My husband and I rotate their top-fee card every 2 years, so that one of us can always either be earning or have the Companion Pass.

In addition to that, I have the Hilton Aspire card. I don’t really love Hilton, but it’s a lot more valuable than the Marriott card. Plus, all the DS hotels qualify for early extra magic hours.

If you’re solely looking at domestic travel and maximizing trips to Disney, that’s probably all you need or even really want. Serious points churners don’t even mess around with the Disney card, it has so much lower rewards than other cards for most people (unless you buy a TON of stuff on Shop Disney…)

Our trip to Disney in September will be on free flights, free hotels for 5 nights, and so our only real expenses are park tickets and meals. This will be one of roughly 5 total trips (not all to Disney…) this year, and we won’t pay for flights or hotels on any of them, actually.


I have the Fidelity Visa (2% cash back) as mentioned by @bebe80 for regular stuff, and I took advantage of the Chase Sapphire Preferred deal mentioned above by @threeprincessesfourprinces and I have been VERY satisfied with that for travel.

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