App Party! Thinking through Jordan’s next set of rewards card applications
It’s that glorious time again. App Party!
I’ve been itching to replenish some of our miles balances after burning through them, so Jordan’s App Party couldn’t come at a better time.
Jordan and I accumulated well over a million miles last year just by signing up for rewards cards. We sign up for multiple rewards cards on ONE day, every 90-95 days. This is what I refer to as an App Party, if you didn’t know. We do this for organization, to rack up mega miles, ensure a high approval percentage, and to protect our credit.
But, just because we throw App Parties doesn’t mean that you should. We always pay our bills off in full, and are always comfortable with meeting the minimum spending requirements for the cards we apply for (here are tips on meeting minimum spends). Even after all the credit cards we have applied for in the last few years – our credit scores remain in good-to-great condition.
Thinking through this App Party
It’s always wise to have a plan, so here are my thoughts on cards for Jordan’s next App Party…
Chase Ink Plus
Jordan already has an Ink Bold, but the Ink Plus is seen as a different product, so it’s possible to have both under the same business. I’m always excited about earning 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, AND the spend requirement is only $5,000 right now. The standard minimum spend requirement has been $10,000 in 3 months.
We’ve been burning through Ultimate Rewards points, so accumulating more is always a necessity. (You should always be earning and burning your miles.) Of course, I love the Ink cards for their 5x earning potential (even if that’s taken a hit recently) for office supplies, internet, phone services, and satellite. You also earn 2x points per $1 on gas and hotels (purchased directly from hotel). You can purchase Vanilla Reloads at some gas stations earning 2x points. Perkilicous.
The annual fee is waived the first year, but then it’s $95. There’s no foreign transaction fee on the Ink card, so it’s great for international travel. It’s a credit card, instead of a charge card like the Ink Bold, and you’ll get 0% interest for the first 6 months. Nice, but never charge anything you can’t pay off!
It’s easy to see why the Ink Plus is one of my go-to cards. I’m thinking we will use the points to help with an international trip later this year.
Link: Ink Plus® Business Card
I’m actually on the fence about this card, but it is possible to get two Chase cards on the same day. It’s preferred that you do one business and one personal application, but I’ve gotten two personals on the same day.
Jordan would apply [hell, we all know it's me applying] for the Freedom so we can take advantage of the 5x quarterly category bonuses. Plus, the Freedom doesn’t have an annual fee, so you can keep it f o r e v e r. That’s playing nice with your credit score and letting your account age to a full, robust age.
You will receive $100 or 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spend $500 in 3 months, and there’s no interest for 15 months. I wish the sign-up bonus was higher on the Freedom now, but I don’t want to miss out on the 5x opportunities anymore.
Citi AAdvantage Business Card
This is one of our go-to cards, and we will be rolling the dice on it again. It’s technically an expired link, but we will receive 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in 4 months. This offer is supposed to come with a $150 statement credit (after eligible AA purchase), and 2 Admiral Lounge passes too, but I don’t hold my breath for those extra perks on the expired offers. There’s no mention of the sign-up bonus or extra perks on the landing page, but many people have been approved with perks. I just can’t guarantee it.
Link: Citi AAdvantage Business
Club Carlson Personal Card
A card that doesn’t get talked about enough is the new Club Carlson Premier Visa card from US Bank. Yes, US Bank can be hard to deal with and they have been known to deny you for “too many recent inquiries,” or approve you for a lesser card. Boo.
However, I’m excited about Jordan applying for the Premier Rewards Visa because it comes with a sign-up bonus of 85,000 Gold Points. You will receive 50,000 on first spend and 35,000 more after spending $2,500 in 90 days. Don’t freak out too much, because 85,000 points sounds sexy, but they aren’t as valuable as many other programs. Yet, it shouldn’t be hard to find great value redeeming them.
You also get instant Gold status with Club Carlson which gives you these bennies:
- 50% Point Bonus
- 2,000 bonus points for online booking
- Late Check-out (based on availability)
- Early Check-in (based on availability)
- Best Available Room in the category booked
- 72- hour availability guarantee
- Special points plus cash offers
- Priority full-service Member Services telephone number
Ho hum perks in my mind, but I’ll take them!
The most exciting feature of this card is the “bonus award night” – when you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free. Fantastic. It’s a 50% savings! That’s huge… talk about being able to stretch out your hard earned points.
I’m really only interested in redeeming my Gold Points at Radisson Blu properties in Europe, Chicago, or their St. Martin resort. Jordan and I burned 50,000 Gold Points last year in Paris at the Le Metropolitan for one night and loved the location and boutique feel of the hotel. If we made this booking again and held the Premier Visa card, it would cost us 50,000 points for TWO nights.
I also love how easy it is to combine or transfer Club Carlson points. Plus, Club Carlson has made it easy to accumulate Gold Points by running numerous promotions each year.
Link: Club Carlson Visa
Sum It Up
Signing up for and using rewards cards is still the easiest way to accumulate miles and points, especially now that manufactured spending has taken an Office Depot-sized hit.
Remember to monitor your credit monthly if you apply for multiple cards, only apply for cards you’re comfortable meeting minimum spends on, and to pay your bills off in full each month.
Go at your own pace. You don’t have to apply for multiple cards just because we do. Start slow and see if this is something you can manage. Jordan and I always stagger our applications to make managing the spending requirements easier.
If you have any App Party questions, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t bite.
[Disclosure: I receive a referral for the Ink Plus and Freedom cards, but not the Citi AA business or Club Carlson Visa. Thanks for your support if you apply through the blog!]
— Noob Master