Reader Question: What is the Best Credit Card for My Family?

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Reader Angie recently asked, “What is the best credit card for my family?  We are a couple from Los Angeles with two toddlers.  We aren’t interested really in international travel, we like to take short road trips.”

The first thing I asked her was how much does she spend on her family cell phone, cable, internet, and gas per month.  She responded with the following estimates:

  • $145 on cell phone bill for two people
  • $150 for cable internet and tv
  • $450 on gas for two cars

That’s about $750 in expenses for the family per month for those 3 categories only.  I recommended that she could maximize the rebate on her purchases with a good rewards credit card.  The card I recommended was Chase Ink BoldWhy?

Chase Ink Bold earns 5X points on her cell phone bill, cable internet and tv, and all purchases at an office supply store.  I told her that she could buy $50 Shell or Chevron gas cards at Office Depot!  Therefore, she can get 5X on gas as well.  In total for spending about $750 a month on gas, she would earn the following amount of points per year:

  • $750 per month * 12 months * 5X points = 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

That’s 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points for not much effort at all, in addition to earning the 50,000 point sign up bonus after spending $5,000 in 3 months !  The only hassle I mentioned would be buying gas gift cards at Office Depot, but she said she works right next door to Office Depot. She also stated she shops often on Amazon, so I told her you can earn 5X points on Amazon by buying Amazon gift cards at Office Depot as well!

Find These at Office Depot for 5X Points on Gas!

Find These at Office Depot for 5X Points on Gas!

Her next question was, like most people, “Is there an annual fee to the credit card?” 

I told her that the first year is free and the 2nd year is $95.  I then pointed to the example above that her family is earning 45,000 points a year with hardly any effort.  45,000 points can get her family 3 nights at the Hyatt Santa Barbara or Hyatt Mission Bay.  Since she lives in Los Angeles, these two hotels are perfect a good value for a road tripping family.  Average rates for each hotel are about $200 to be conservative, but sometimes a lot more.  Therefore, she’s paying $95 for at least $600 in value!

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay - 15,000 Hyatt Points, Right Next to Seaworld!

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay – 15,000 Hyatt Points, Right Next to Seaworld!

Of course, you can also call for a retention bonus like I did, to get 5,000 to 10,000 extra points when you pay the annual fee.

You don’t need to put in too much effort to earn points and miles with the Chase Ink Bold card.  For a busy family who likes to road trip, the Chase Ink Bold is the best card for their family.   Of course international business and first class yields better value per point, but everyone’s value of points is different depend on their travel needs.

Do you have a reader question that could be beneficial to others?  Send me an email at

Disclosure: I may be compensated if approved for the Chase Ink Bold using the CreditKarma link listed below.  The current 50,000 offer is the best offer available at the time of this post.

14 comments for “Reader Question: What is the Best Credit Card for My Family?

  1. Scott
    August 13, 2013 at 7:19 am

    They shouldn’t worry about the annual fee because they could just switch to the Ink Plus at the end of the year. And if those first two cards were using the husbands social then they can get 2 more years repeating the two card cycle with the wife’s social.

    • August 13, 2013 at 7:41 am

      That’s a very good point.. you can rotate cards and spouses. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with details, but that’s a good strategy I use as well when the annual fee hits. I use both cards to spread out manufactured spend.. 🙂

      • rob
        August 14, 2013 at 5:43 am

        “Switch” meaning convert Bold to Plus? or cancel Bold and apply again for Plus? If converting from Bold to Plus, will you get the bonus points again?

        Another question. Applying for a business credit card, while i don’t really have a business. What happens during tax season? I mean i sell a couple of items on ebay…

        • August 14, 2013 at 6:34 am

          I meant cancel bold and sign up for plus.

          It’s doubtful IRS will come after you for eBay sales unless your business is profitable, you depend on the income, and you run eBay like a business. If you make significant profit on eBay and it is more than a hobby, you might have to declare it on schedule C.

  2. chris
    August 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Side question…
    I need to book airline ticket for my god mother using united. and she doesnt care much for the miles.
    What is the best way so i can accumulate the mileage for me?
    I am using my united card to pay the airlines…how can I get miles for the travel?

    • August 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

      You could use Chase Ink Bold or Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 2X on travel, better than United, because Ultimate Rewards are more flexible (can transfer to United/Southwest/Hyatt/British Airways/etc). AMEX Premier Rewards Gold gets 3X on airfare, but I don’t think the sign up bonus is particular great (25K) at the moment. I’m not too sure what cards you have right now, but I would use the first two cards I mentioned.

  3. Scott
    August 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to cancel a Chase Ink card, wait x period of time, and qualify for the sign-up bonus again? Or to have qualify for the bonus with multiple businesses under the same social? (I’m already aware that you can get both an Ink Plus and Ink Bold per social).

    • August 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

      You will need two different Tax IDs.. you cannot get 2 Chase ink bold cards with two sole proprietorships.

  4. Jay
    August 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

    My wife and I will be going to Vegas for an education convention with my job. We will be staying at the Embassy Suites by the convention center. We’ve never been to Vegas and need money saving advice on things to do. I just completed my first churn and will get her airfare paid with my Barclaycard Arrival points. Since my meals are reimbursed, we’ll only be paying for her lunches and dinners (free breakfast at Embassy, I think). We plan to tour the Hoover Dam. Other than that, we’re wide open. We’ll be there in early December on a Wed-Sat. Thanks for any advice anyone has.

    • August 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Just walk around the hotels.. see the Bellagio fountain show, walk around Fremont street to see the light show, treasure island show, volcano at the Mirage, and walk around the strip. If you have a car, venture off the strip to eat. I usually eat in Chinatown or downtown. Paradise Buffet is a decent $15 buffet or so. Try korean-mexican food and in n out burger. I’m not a Vegas expert even though I live in Los Angeles.. maybe others can chime in.

      • Paul
        August 21, 2013 at 3:12 am

        Just came back from 4 days at the Bellagio for my first time in Vegas. Enjoyed shows (couple of Cirque du Soleil/Celine Dion). Fountain show was good – probably the best free thing in Vegas – but there’s only so much you can stand before it gets boring.

        Vegas is a dump outside a few select properties (Bellagio/Venetian/Ceasar’s Palace) – you couldn’t pay me to stay in most of the hotels – some famous names were amazingly filthy – I’ve seen hotels “by the hour” that were cleaner. You can tell by the size of the “talent” of the dealers what sort of hotel you are in – hotties in Bellagio/Ceasar’s etc. Worn out, unsmiling hags everywhere else.

        And it sucks to be in a place where so many smokers seem to go – Asians and dirtbags who still suck those cancer sticks (plus the usual douchebags smoking cigars). My throat was raw by the second day even though I avoided the casinos as much as possible.

        Hoover Dam was good ($30 for a so-so tour) even though it was 115 in the shade the day we went. The rest of the sites are tourist traps.

        I’m amazed anyone goes back to Vegas. And more amazed any women with any self respect go there at all – it’s incredibly sexist – all the T&A makes it creepy – I’m no prude but I was uncomfortable – my wife cringed at all the ads for peepshows/massage with “guaranteed happy endings”/pole dancers. If I were a woman and worked in Vegas, I’d quickly learn to hate men.

        Never again.

        • August 21, 2013 at 7:20 am

          Hence the name Sin City. I’m not a big fan of Vegas either… I would rather to go to San Francisco from Los Angeles.

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