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300,000 Points/Miles from 4 Applications
Last week I wrote about the amazing 150,000 point bonus on the American Express Business Platinum card. I had actually heard rumblings about that offer for a few weeks before it surface publicly, but when it came out, I decided to jump on it.
Since I was already applying for that card, I decided to add in a couple of other applications. All told, I am going to get 300,000 points/miles after $26k in spend over the course of three months. Here is a breakdown.
American Express Business Platinum
The Offer: 150,000 Membership Rewards points after $20,000 in spend in the first three months. Annual fee of $450 is not waived the first year.
Result: Instantly approved over the telephone
Experience: Since this offer could only be applied for via the telephone, I quickly called American Express up shortly after writing my post. (Readers come first!) By that time a lot of people were calling in as well, so there was about a 20 minute hold time.
Once the agent answered, she asked me about my business, income and other information. Since I already have a business card with Amex, it made things a little easier. The entire application took about 25 minutes via the telephone and I was instantly approved.
Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card
The Offer: 50,000 miles + a $50 statement credit after $1,000 spend in the first three months. $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Result: Instantly approved online
Experience: After getting approved for the Business Platinum card, I decided it was probably a good idea to get an additional American Express card since they tend to merge credit inquiries when done on the same day. While Skymiles isn’t my favorite program, I have about 50k Skymiles orphaned in my account. These additional 50,000 will give me enough for some sort of a decent redemption (hopefully).
The choice of which personal card came down to whether I wanted to go for a Hilton card or Delta. At this point I have quite a few HHonors points, so Delta won out. As you can tell this offer is quite a bit better than the normal public offer of 30k. Frequent Miler describes how to get it on his Best Offers page. I think 50k + $50 is about as good a bonus as we will see on this card.
Chase Southwest Plus Credit Card
The Offer: 50,000 points after $2,000 spend in the first three months. $69 annual fee is not waived the first year.
Result: Application went to pending. Approved within 24 hours without needing to call in.
Experience: Earlier in the year I applied for the Southwest Business Premier card’s 60k bonus. Since I know I will have use for the companion pass, I decided to get this card which will put me over the 110k needed to earn it. I chose the Plus card over the Premier since it has a lower $69 annual fee and I don’t really care about the anniversary miles.
The Offer: 50,000 ThankYou points after $3,000 in spending in the first three months.
$450 $350 annual fee is not waived the first year.
Result: Application went to pending. Approved a few days later after Citi called me.
Experience: Citi no longer likes to automatically approve my applications. I always get a message to call them to process my application. Fortunately that is normally a technicality since calling generally just results in an instant approval. This time I waited to see if they would approve me without calling. Unfortunately that didn’t work and a few days after the application they called me and it was a quick 5 minute approval conversation.
I chose this card, because of the Priority Pass Select lounge benefit. Last year I got the Ameriprise Platinum with AU cards for my entire family and a $0 first year annual fee. This meant that we all had Priority Pass lounge cards. I will be cancelling that card soon, so the Prestige with its Priority Pass membership allowing 2 guests, ensures my entire family can get into the lounge.
Since I am a Citigold member, the Prestige’s annual fee is only $350 for me, which is more than offset by the $250 airfare credit each calendar year. I also have a lot of ThankYou points, so the ability to book at 1.6 cents each on American and US Airways is pretty valuable. There is also an in-branch offer that gives 60,000 points after $15k in spend, but I decided against that because of the spend requirement and the fact that I hate applying in branch.
Bank of America Alaska Airlines
The Offer: 25,000 Alaska MileagePlan miles instantly plus a $100 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases during the first three months.
Experience: Bank of America simply doesn’t like me. Even when they do approve me for a card it has a $1,000 limit and I get a reduced bonus. I had hoped that eventually they would try to give me a better credit line, but I guess not. I will write a letter to reconsideration, but I am not expecting much. At this point even a $1k CL approval means 5,000 Alaska miles & $100, so it is better than nothing if I can get it.
As you can see, I am paying $869 in annual fees on these four cards. In exchange for those annual fees I am receiving 250,000 points/miles, $900 of airfare credit over the next year ($450 in 2015 & $450 in $2016), Priority Pass and Centurion lounge access for my family and more. It is worth it to me, but I can understand why many people might question paying so much in fees.
In the end, this application round was a success despite Bank of America and their hatred of me. It is a good day anytime I am able to get 300,000 points/miles in one shot! Since I kept my other three applications to lower spend requirements, I only need to spend $26k over the course of three months which is a lot, but manageable.
Did you take advantage of any of these credit card offers? Anything else to add to the conversation? Let me know in the comments!