Last week, I wrote about options for my last App Party of the year – and the results are now in. A cool “4 for 4!”
I stuck with my gut and ended up applying for the two Citi AA cards, Ink Plus, and the American Express Business Gold card.
Things went down like this:
Citi AAdvantage Cards Two Browser Trick – 100,000
I applied for two Citi AAdvantage cards at the same time via the double browser trick. One Citi AA card was a Visa and the other card was an Amex. This took some faith because the offer details are listed on the landing page, but I confirmed the 50,000 sign-up bonus when activating my cards.
I wasn’t instantly approved for either card, but was able to move along through all the steps of the applications. Which, in my experience, is just as good of an approval when it comes to Citi AAdvantage cards. Step 3 is where you receive their decision, and their decision for me was, “we have received your information, blah blah blah.” I was still able to go to steps 4 & 5, where I signed up for paperless statements, set up an account name, etc.
This year, Citi and American Airlines released new benefits for Citi AAdvantage cards. They are:
- Your first eligible checked bag is free
- Priority Boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year
Jordan and I use our American Airlines miles a little bit differently. I’ve earned so many of them, that I’m a little loose with them. We burn some AAdvantage miles every summer at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. It’s a family tradition, and we always have a great time. The “miles gods” out there with their calculators are throwing up a little bit, but always redeem YOUR miles and points in ways that suit you and your family.
Jordan is teaming up with a non-profit and visiting Haiti in January, and I was able to book her ticket with AAdvantage miles. This helped us save some $$$ and ensure that she could go.
American Airlines has a great award chart too, especially their Off-Peak dates. Check out this killer post for more info. Also, you need to know about “The legendary extra one-way flights with American Airlines miles.”
American Express Business Gold Card – 50,000
I took advantage of the 50,000 American Express Business Gold card before it expired. I was instantly approved. Yeah boy! Unfortunately, for those who missed out on this deal, the offer is now at 00000000. Amex has been running random one-day offers for 75,000, but the minimum spending requirement is $10,000 instead of the $5,000 on the previous LTO.
I prefer to use my Membership Rewards points when there’s a bonus to transfer them into a travel partner. For example: there’s a 35% bonus to Virgin America, and an upcoming 30% bonus to British Airways.
And, as I’ve mentioned numerous times – I’m really stock piling my Membership Rewards points to transfer them to Singapore Airlines for premium cabin flights.
Ink Plus – 50,000
This was the card I was most excited about getting, even though I already have one Ink Plus AND an Ink Bold.
I applied for the Ink Plus as a sole proprietor (which means I didn’t use an EIN) by using my Social Security number. I also used my personal name and address on the application.[Check out my post about how to apply for business rewards cards, with tips on the reconsideration phone call and how to expedite a decision.]
Ultimate Rewards points are the most valuable points out there. And as you know, I lust after them. They are just so darn flexible. You can transfer them out to United, Southwest, Marriott, Amtrak, Ritz-Carlton, and Priority Club. Oh, the options.
I prefer to use my Ultimate Rewards points to transfer to United so I can fly Star Alliance partners internationally in a premium cabin. Yea – I’m a diva, I guess. I also will use my Ultimate Rewards points to transfer to Hyatt, since they are my hotel group of choice. You can redeem Gold Passport points at a pretty great rate, and I love their properties.
Beyond the nice sign-up bonus with a lower spend – I love Ink Plus’ earning potential. You get 2x points on gas, which isn’t too shabby, but we all know the real value is in the 5x earning categories. You will earn 5x points on satellite, cable, office supplies, and phone services.
Tell it Like it is
Even with all the Bluebird hype, Visa gift cards, and Vanilla Reloads – the truth is, signing up for rewards credit cards is still the easiest way to pad your miles account. But don’t sign up for any credit card if your credit score isn’t in good condition, and if you aren’t responsible enough to pay your bills in full at the end of every month.
These are just the cards that I picked out for this app party. If you’re looking to do an app party, your cards will probably look different. I have applied for almost 20 cards this year, so I already have a lot of the good ones. And guess what? My credit score is still in great condition. Awesome sauce.
Shoot me an email or comment below if you have any app party questions.
— Geoff Whitmore