Goodbye frequent flyer miles, hello cash back?

George Hobica, December 27, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:
     

    $25000 spent on a frequent flyer credit card vs. an Amex Blue Cash cash back card

      Grocery Gas Drugstore All other purchases

    Annual Fee

    Fee to obtain ticket Total cashback (total miles plus cash cost of "free" domestic flight)
    The Spend $10,400 ($200/week)
    $3000 $1000 $10,600      
    American Express Blue Cash (5% on groceries, gas, pharmacy; 1.25% on everything else after you spend $6500 annually) $520 $150 $50 $132  $0 $0  $852
                   
    Airline credit card (miles earned)  10,400  3000  1000  10,600  up to $100  up to $50 (25,000  plus $150 in fees)
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