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UAL News & Analysis
Practicing Prudence in Picking Travel Cards
10 Apr 2012 EDT - The New York Times
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With all these frantic credit card merchants beseeching me these days, I feel as if I’m a tourist wandering the Marrakesh souk. “Joseph! Last chance to earn 35,000 bonus miles!” implores a new e-mail message from Delta Air Lines for its Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card from American Express.

It also guarantees priority boarding and free checked bags for me and “up to eight others” who may be traveling with me — with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

But wait, there’s more. Just a few days ago, I got an offer for a “preapproved” Citi AAdvantage card with 35,000 bonus American Airlines miles, first-year fee also waived. Last year, I accepted an offer for a Chase British Airways Signature card that came with 100,000 bonus miles.

Then last month, I opted for a new Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Visa card (the names roll off the tongue, don’t they?) whose enticements included 50,000 bonus miles, priority boarding status, two passes to United Airlines’ airport lounges and waiver of the $95 annual fee for one year.

After I mentioned getting that Explorer card in a column a couple of weeks ago, a few readers admonished me because they thought that I had given bad information.

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