I’m so excited today! And not just because the NCAA tourney starts tomorrow, but because I’m due for an App Party.
Jordan and I earned over a million miles and points from credit card sign-up bonuses alone last year (and our credit is still in great condition). That doesn’t even include the miles and points we received from using our cards.
I plan out my credit card applications on one day, every 90-120 days. This helps me stay organized, increases my approval chances, and protect my credit. The only time I break my cycle is if there’s a great LTO offer. Then, I just reset my app schedule from the date I applied. It takes a really awesome offer for me to make an exception like this.
But just because Jordan and I do App Parties doesn’t mean that you should. Only apply for credit cards if you’re responsible enough to pay off your bills in full at the end of each billing cycle, your credit score is in good condition, you’re monitoring your credit score, and you can handle the work it takes to manage your new accounts.
All that being said, here’s what I’m thinking for my upcoming rewards card apps.
Delta Gold 45,000
I had already applied for the American Premier Rewards Gold card last year, so the 50,000 offer was off the table. It appears that the 50,000 Amex PRG offer is no longer available, anyway. Plus, I already have the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express card which I believe to be the best American Express option. I always try to throw in an American Express card to diversify between banks and because of their great backdating which increases my average age of account. So the Delta Gold card it was.
The Delta Gold 45,000 offer is still being offered through creditcards.com and their CARDMATCHTM tool. Just click the link, then —> “Offers Matched For You” in the upper left corner of the site —> enter in your information (you can leave out your social security number), and see what offers you get.
I like that you have 6 months to meet the minimum spend requirement and the free checked bags for up to 9 people. That’s a pretty slick feature. I can use 45,000 Delta Skymiles to add to my somewhat deplenished account. I do also like that Delta is a transfer partner of Membership Rewards and although it’s been awhile I hope there’s eventually a transfer bonus.
Chase Ink Plus
You know how much I love my Ink products. Maybe too much. But I have a new little project that I’ve been working on, so I’m going to apply for the Ink Plus® Business Card to help me manage/separate my spending. I already have 3 Ink cards, so we will see. There’s only one Ink card that I don’t use that often, so maybe I’ll have to close that one out in order to open this new one.
I’ll be applying as a sole proprietor. Here’s my post on how to apply for a business rewards card as a sole proprietor and how to handle the business reconsideration phone call.
Although the 5x earning potential took a hit when OD quit selling Vanilla Reloads, and Visa Gift cards in $500 increments, there are still some good opportunities. I run all my phone, internet, and cable through my Inks. Plus I enjoy earning 2x points on gas. Hell I love my Inks so much that I recently downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom.
I’m all about earning Ultimate Rewards points because of how uber versatile they are, and I’ve been burning so many that it’s to rebuild. Stacks on stacks.
Citi AAdvantage Business Card
This has been one of our go-to cards, but Jordan was denied during her last App Party for being a previous card holder! Boo. I’m pretty sure that I will roll the dice though because I’m lusting after some AAdvantage miles before the merger and I did personal AAdvantage apps last fall.
This is an expired link, but I 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, and there’s risk involved since I’ve held this card recently.
Link: Citi AAdvantage Business
These are the cards that I’m definite on applying for, but I could throw in the Club Carlson card but probably not. I love the CC cards features, but I don’t think US Bank and I will work out. They are sticklers for having “too many recent inquiries” and approving you for a lesser version of the card you applied for.
Signing up for multiple rewards credit cards and using your card is still the easiest way to accumulate miles and points. True story. But only apply for credit cards if you’re monitoring your credit and are responsible enough to pay your bills in full. If that’s you then you reap the rewards of maximizing your credit for tremendous travel.
If you’re new to the blog and are looking for some great starter cards – check out my sick deals page or shoot me an email at email@example.com I don’t bite.
— Noob MasterRead More
I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I’ve been out enjoying the SXSWi festivities and I’m pumped about next week’s music portion.
Anywho, here are some recent haps in rewards card world. The 75k Business Gold offer didn’t go away Friday, and the other LTO Amex offers are still around (for now).
50,000 American Express Premier Rewards & 45,000 Delta Gold
Edit: Cardmatch doesn’t guarantee this offers. All offers are different based on each persons data.
If you’ve been in a cave or haven’t heard – there are some limited time offers through creditcards.com for the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card and the 45,000 Delta Gold card.
The feeling is that these offers will be ending sometime soon, because they have been live for a couple of weeks already. To see if you qualify for the offers, click the CARDMATCH tool and then click “offers matched for you” on the top left of the page. From there, you will need to fill in the form, but you don’t have to enter in your Social Security Number.
Important: On the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card, the terms say:
“Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card or Platinum Card® account within the last 90 days.”
British Airways 50,000 Offer
The 100,000 British Airways offer went away a couple of weeks ago and has been replaced by a 50,000 British Airways offer. The 50,000 Avios are earned after spending $1,000 in 3 months. You no longer have the option to earn 50,000 more Avios through extra spending requirements. I know this is a bummer for some, but for others who weren’t going to hit the additional spending thresholds, things remain the same. The full card details are below:
- You will get 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Plus pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad
- You will also get 2.5 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1.25 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years
- Chip with Signature Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home
- The $95 annual isn’t waived
US Airways Card Drama
The links to the US Airways card seem to change every week. Now, it appears that people were being denied for the last offers because they didn’t have Preferred status with US Airways. I’ve updated the sick deals page with the most current offer that seems to be working.
The link below isn’t my affilate link so I can’t guarantee it, but it is better than my affiliate link (which I’ve removed from the site a while ago).
If it doesn’t seem to be working, check the Flyertalk thread for an updated link (and to read success stories). This offer is for 35,000 Dividend Miles on first spend and no annual fee. Read the T&Cs at the bottom of the application.
There’s also a business version for 25,000 Dividend miles and $79 annual fee.
75,000 Business Gold American Express Offer
Just a couple of days ago, Amex came out with another 75,000 Business Gold offer. You can read my full write-up here and you have until March 14th to apply. I like the 75k bonus, but there’s a spend of $10k to meet.
Throwing an App Party?
Here are some options to add to an App Party if you’re looking to take advantage of the Amex or Barclays cards offers before they disappear. [Remember, you should only be applying for cards with minimum spending requirements that you're comfortable with and if your credit score is in good condition. Also, if you're paying interest, you're not truly traveling classy on pennies.]
My top picks for Chase are the Ink Bold® or Ink Bold®. Jordan was just approved for the Ink Plus this week. We are pumped about the 50,000 sign-up bonus! Gotta restock the Ultimate Rewards balance. Plus there’s still great value with the 5x earning and 2x earning the card gives you. If you’re looking to top off your Southwest account for the Companion Pass, then there’s the Southwest card options. Best domestic value out there.
For Citibank, I would recommend looking at the AAdvantage offers before the merger in October is complete. If you’re maxed out on AAdvantage cards then I would look at the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card where you still get Gold status and two free weekend nights. Good thing there wasn’t a points sign-up bonus with Reserve.
I hope this helps as you weigh through your options, and don’t hesitate to email/comment if you have any App Party questions.
[Disclosure: I do receive a referral for some of the cards mentioned in this post, but do not for the AAdvantage offers, US Airways, and Amex offers. Only apply through my links if you're satisfied with the service I provide. Thanks for the support if you do!]
— Noob MasterRead More
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.
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.
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.
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 MasterRead More