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Under The Radar: Examining Two Awesomely Niche Card Welcome Offers

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Choice Privileges Select

Choice Privileges Select Mastercard

One thing I like more than elevated card welcome offers are such bonuses on wacky ones.  Two currently are sticking out the most for me – the offers on the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard and the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard.  Obviously, these cards aren’t for everyone.  But individuals who enjoy rewards with either of these programs can do extremely well.  I’m practicing what I’m preaching today.  I’ve already picked up one of these welcome offers, and I’m excited to pursue the other.  Let’s start with the latter.

Wells Fargo Choice Privileges Select Mastercard

Back in February, I was excited to hear of the Choice Privileges card’s future.  First, it’s Choice, which offers a hotel loyalty program I’ve enjoyed for years.  Second, Wells Fargo is the issuing bank, one I haven’t felt compelled to ever pursue – for credit cards, at least.  But I was a bit underwhelmed at February’s initial details of the card.  But to our surprise, two Choice cards rolled out last month.  The Select version of the card was new on the scene, and I’m all about it.

Choice Privileges Select

Th whopping 90k point welcome offer first grabbed my attention.  But I’m most interested in two angles from the Select (you can check DDG’s post for each Choice card’s full details).  The card earns 5x points on qualifying purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, and phone plans (bold emphasis mine).  With a bit of flexibility, I’m able to easily obtain well over one cent of value per Choice Privileges point.  An uncapped 5% return (at a minimum) in such staple categories as grocery stores and gas stations is music to my ears.

By now, some of you may be shouting, “what about the Citi Premier?”  Indeed, pairing up the Citi Premier’s 3x grocery store earning with the excellent 1:2 transfer rate yields 6x Choice Privileges points.  The no-fee Double Cash becomes a 4x everywhere Choice card.  That’s excellent.  Unfortunately, many aggressive players in the hobby don’t have Citi as an option anymore.  The Select’s 5x categories are the best Choice points alternative for those individuals.

Secondly, I’m a big fan of the Select’s 30k points every account anniversary.  Taking into account my >1 cent per point valuation, I make up for the $95 annual fee by a wide margin.  I haven’t applied for the Select yet, but I plan to soon.

Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard

I’ve enjoyed my Air France card the last few years.  And I picked up another one soon after the elevated offer appeared again last month.  The card normally offers a bonus around 50k miles and 60XP, Flying Blue’s elite currency.  The current offer is 70k miles and 100XP (60 of those XP at approval) with $2k spend within three months, plus a $100 statement credit when applying via dummy booking.  The card has an $89 annual fee, not waived the first year.

Choice Privileges Select

My redemption strategy is as boring as it is rewarding.  Right now, I enjoy the option of redeeming Flying Blue miles on non-stop domestic Delta routes.  I’ve historically found better deals and increased availability on such flights via Flying Blue.  (Delta award rates just keep getting worse, but that’s a different article.)  Everyday spend is definitely better on other cards, but I’ve found occasional uses to scale spending on this card due to it’s 1.5x everywhere earn rate and the extra XP at $15k annual spend, plus during excellent promos like More Rewards Day.

Further, Flying Blue status chasers may want to consider the current offer, also.  By meeting the elevated signup bonus terms, cardholders earn Flying Blue Silver, which also conveys to the Sky Team Elite level.  More importantly, the 100XP helps existing Flying Blue elite members inch closer to Gold and Platinum status, where one can achieve more substantial benefits.

a white airplane in the sky


Most can agree it’s worth pursuing some combination of Amex, Chase, and Citi welcome offers as a solid foundation in the points and travel hobby.  In my view, taking it to the next level involves supplementing one’s portfolio with more niche programs, rewards, and cards.  And quite often, that second level enables redemptions that are more unique and fulfilling than anything done at the basic, user-friendlier level.  Whether it’s Choice, Flying Blue, or other programs, I’m excited to hunt for more value around the edges.  What are your favorite under the radar card welcome offers currently?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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