I wrote a short book summarizing this site. Check out the reviews on Amazon. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. It's free and creates a one stop shop for checking your portfolio.
Updated March 2018.
- American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Bonus: 25,000 SPG points ($675)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Reward points ($750)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited Bonus: 15,000 UR points ($225)
- Chase Freedom Bonus: 15,000 UR points ($225)
Signing up for credit card bonuses is the fastest way to earn cash back rewards, travel and hotel points, and airline miles. I earn $1000+ worth of bonuses every year and my credit score never varies by more than 10 points. American Express offers US military members no annual fees on all of their credit cards.
I apply for a new card every 2-3 months and rotate my spending to the new card to meet the minimum spend requirements. If I need to make a minimum spend faster, I buy Amazon gift cards or use Plastiq to pay bills, rent, and student loan payments with a credit card.
American Express Starwood Preferred Guest
The AMEX SPG credit card is free for US military servicemembers, a $95 annual value. The bonus is 25,000 SPG points worth $675 after $3,000 of spending in 3 months. That’s only $1000 of spending per month, which is pretty easy.
If you transfer 20,000 points to an airline partner, you get a 5000 point bonus, making this sign up bonus actually worth 30,000 points. I transferred my points to Singapore Airlines for business class tickets to New Zealand and also cashed in a free night at a 5 star resort. The best benefits of the card are no foreign transaction fees and up to 5x points on SPG stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite travel credit card. The bonus is 50,000 Ultimate Reward points worth $750 after spending $4,000 in 3 months. No foreign transaction fees and 3x the points on travel and dining, my two favorite luxuries. You also get a $300 annual travel credit, which effectively reduces the $450 annual fee to $150. Your UR points can also be spent in the UR travel portal for a 50% bonus, making your UR points even more valuable.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is my go to card when I’m CONUS. The bonus is 15,000 Ultimate Reward points worth $225 if you transfer them to your Chase Sapphire Reserve or $150 if you just cash them out. The card offers a simple 1.5% cash back on every purchase and no annual fee. Great to use for online purchases or anything other than travel and dining which you should get 3% back on with your Sapphire Reserve.
The Chase Freedom card offers 5% back on rotating categories and no annual fee. The bonus is 15,000 Ultimate Reward points worth $225 if you transfer them to your Chase Sapphire Reserve or $150 if you just cash them out. I’ve had this card since I joined the military. I keep it open to age my credit history with no annual fee. Usually gasoline is one of the categories for half the year, making this a great card to use to fill the car up. I usually put whatever the 5% category is on this card, then travel and dining on my Sapphire Reserve, and then everything else on my Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The Best Website I Found to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.