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I’ve often said that one of the best ways to get miles and points is signing up for credit card bonuses.  While that can be a lucrative source of miles and points, you should absolutely not sign up for a credit card just because some guy on the Internet said that you should!  Make sure and figure out what works for you and your situation BEFORE just randomly signing up for new credit cards

(SEE ALSO: Begin with the end in mind – a beginner’s primer to miles and points)

In any case, as an example, I thought I’d share the 2 cards I recently signed up for (and was approved for).  I share them not as what YOU should necessarily get, but what worked for ME in MY situation.  If you’re interested in my thoughts on the top 12 current credit card offers, you can check out my page of the best travel credit card offers (I keep this periodically updated)

Barclay Arrival card

barclayarrivalFirst card I signed up for was the Barclay Arrival card.  This is actually my 3rd different Arrival card (though I have had to close down my previous 2 before signing up).  Last time I had the Barclay Arrival card, I screwed up the requirements for meeting the signup bonus and ended up not earning it 🙁

[ How I lost a $400 signup bonus]

The Barclay Arrival card signup bonus IS at a historical high.  Whereas the previous high was 40,000 points ($400 towards travel), the current offer is 50,000 Arrival points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of having the card (good for $500 towards travel).  We are planning on using that to pay for (part of) flights on Frontier to San Francisco some time next year to visit family.

(SEE ALSO: Looking for tips on flying Frontier with a family)

I was approved automatically.

Chase Hyatt credit card

I was targeted a few months ago for a different type of bonus on the Chase Hyatt credit card.  The typical signup bonus is for 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt.  My wife was approved for that card a few years ago, and we used it to stay at the Hyatt Regency in Nice, France on our trip to Europe.

Hyatt Regency Nice

Hyatt Regency Nice

It was a nice hotel, but without any type of elite status, I don’t know that it was really worth it – I often wonder are free hotel nights a good idea?

The bonus I got offered 40,000 Hyatt points in lieu of the 2 free nights.  Since I typically favor the so-called “budget” hotels over “fancy” hotels anyways, this bonus could be worth 5-8 nights for me at a Category 1 or Category 2 hotel, which in my mind is way better than 2 free nights.  Though again, it depends on how YOU want to use them!

Another nice feature is that the Chase Hyatt card is NOT subject to Chase 5/24 – so even though I am way over that, I was still able to be approved.  I was not approved automatically, but instead Chase called me and after going through some basic verification questions, I was approved.

(SEE ALSO: Why I don’t recommend calling the reconsideration line)

(SEE ALSO: Chase reconsideration phone number and website)

You can compare the Chase Hyatt card with other hotel cards at this link

Readers – what cards have YOU been signing up for lately?

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