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Okay, okay, I know that it’s February, but I wanted to report on our recent credit card “churn”. Credit card signup bonuses can be one of the most lucrative sources of points. The one caveat is that you need to make sure that you do it RIGHT – if you have any questions, you should first read our Beginner’s Guide, which talks about how you can apply for credit cards without cratering your credit score. (See a previous churn report here)
The first thing that I typically do when preparing for a churn is to look at what cards I have by each of the main issuing banks, and cross-reference those versus the cards that are available. The 5 major issuing banks are Chase, American Express, Bank of America, Barclays and Citibank. Typically (with a few exceptions) you can only get one business and one personal card from each bank at one time. Also, some banks do not allow you to have multiple versions of the same card (while some banks are perfectly fine with that)
So for various reasons, I decided to split up Carolyn and my app-o-ramas (apps-o-rama?). Here’s what we came up with for her
Chase: United Explorer Card – 50,000 United miles when spending $1,000 in the first 3 monthsBarclays: Arrival World Mastercard. I wrote a nice post about cards like the Arrival Mastercard that serves as more of a cash-back style card. For every $1 you spend, you get 2 “points”, and points can be redeemed for 1c towards travel. Additionally, you get a 10% rebate when you redeem points for travel, so it’s like 2.2c back for every $1 in purchase. The current offer for the Arrival card is 40,000 points which equates to $400 in travel.
Citibank: AAdvantage Mastercard: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles when you spend $3,000 in 3 months. I actually already have one of these and this is a particularly good deal to earn American miles.
I decided not to make any applications for American Express or Chase at this time. Carolyn already has the Chase Sapphire card and American Express gold card, and I decided to try and wait for better signup bonuses on those. I was also planning on getting the CapitalOne Venture card, which is another cash-back style card, but the offer for 50,000 points was no longer active, so again I decided to just wait until later.
Before applying, I spent some time deciding which links to use. As you may or may not be aware of, many bloggers (not including myself at this time) have affiliate links. The idea is that if you sign up (and are approved) for a credit card through that blogger’s link, then the blogger earns a commission (generally between $100 – 200). There are differing opinions in the travel hacking community about this, and different bloggers approach this different way (some bloggers really shill for their cards, and others just include them as part of other content).
I decided that I wanted to “reward” my favorite bloggers, and the ones that I enjoy the most, so I decided to apply for cards using their links.
So when i went to apply for the United card, the 50,000 mile link also seemed to be expired, so I decided to not apply for that either (and wait for something more than just the 30,000, especially given the recent United devaluation).
To get the 50,000 mile offer on the AAdvantage card, you have to follow the instructions in this FlyerTalk thread, so it ended up only being the Barclay Arrival card that I could apply for through an affiiliate link, so I decided to use the link from The Frequent Miler – who writes one of my favorite blogs, specifically focusing on money and point earning deals.
The results were that I applied for 2 cards and was approved for both. For the Citibank one, the page froze on me after I hit submit, but a quick phone call confirmed that “my” application had gone through and the application was approved. For some reason the Barclay Arrivals card took quite awhile to arrive (it only came in the mail yesterday despite the application being approved nearly 2 weeks ago) but both cards have been received and now it’s time to start planning for the next one!
What about you? What cards are you looking for next?
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