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Let’s Go Again! Our Next Three Credit Card Applications

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Three Credit Card Applications

Let’s Go Again! Our Next Three Credit Card Applications

Well, it’s about time.  Time for more.  The wife and I have been pretty quiet lately on the new credit card application front.  Since April, we have obtained the Amex Business Platinum Card and the Citi Business AA Platinum Mastercard, but nothing otherwise.  There’s been much news and noise in the hobby over the last few months.  Consequently, we have stayed focused as we plot our next moves – this applies to both ongoing spend and new applications.  I’ve talked about ongoing spend recently; now let’s review our next three credit card applications!

Three Credit Card Applications

First…

We have our eyes set on the Amex Blue Business Cash card as our first upcoming credit card application.  Here are the welcome offer details and highlights of the card:

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $5k within the first 6 months of card membership.
  • Earn an additional $250 statement credit after spending an additional $10k within the first year of card membership.
  • Referral Bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points (targeted). We are using the two player referral offer game
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening.
  • $0 Annual Fee.

Analysis

From my perspective, the Blue Business Cash card is “sneaky good”.  On its face, the details aren’t eye-popping.  But by looking a bit closer, one can see undeniably solid rewards return on this card.  Taking into account the welcome offer and ongoing spend, a cardholder earns 7% cash back on the first $5k of spend and 4.5% cash back on the additional $10k of spend in the first year.  Put another way, we would earn 5.33% cash back on exactly $15k of first cardmember year spend.

As always with Amex, we include the referral bonus into any decision-making.  My wife has a referral bonus of 20k Membership Rewards points from her Amex Gold card, which we value at $250 minimum via Schwab Amex cashout.  After incorporating this bonus, we would earn 7% cash back on exactly $15k of first cardmember year spend.  That’s pretty impressive!  Plus, we always like holding another 2% cash back credit card.

Three Credit Card Applications

Then…

We next plan to apply for the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard.  I have a soft spot for mid- and lower-tier hotel credit cards.  I never did get around to the Red Roof Inn credit card, though!  Here are the welcome offer details and highlights of the Best Western Premium card:

  • Earn 50k Best Western points after spending $1k within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional 20k points each cardmember year after spending $5k.
  • Earn 10 points per dollar on Best Western stays.
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on all other spend.
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status.
  • $59 Annual Fee.

Analysis

I essentially consider this card as offering a 70k point welcome offer, plus an extra 30k points for year two and thereafter with exactly $5k spend in return for a $59 annual fee. We will easily obtain worthy rewards for each year’s $59 annual fee.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were road-tripping more, and we see that trend continuing and increasing.  Best Westerns are widely available and convenient on our travels.  Yes, their properties can be a bit of a mixed bag.  However, with a bit of prior research, we’ve had great experiences at Best Westerns.  The Best Western Santee Inn in South Carolina is a recent favorite.  This card is also issued by First National Bank of Omaha, who we haven’t had a card with since our La Quinta Returns Visa.  My affinity for smaller banks equals my love of mid- and lower-tier hotel credit cards!

Three Credit Card Applications
The previous version of the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards credit card. The new version will be Visa.

Finally…

Once released, we plan to apply for the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card.  The previous version of this card is an Amex, and the launch of the Visa version has been delayed.  Here are the expected details of the Pathfinder card:

  • To be determined welcome offer.  In the past, the welcome offer has been 25k points after spending $2.5k within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn up to 4x points on travel spend.
  • Earn 1.5x points on all other spend.
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck Credit.
  • $100 Annual Airline Credit.
  • $0 Annual Fee.

Analysis

I have long been interested in this card but never gotten around to applying for it.  Additionally, we have enjoyed our PenFed membership, particularly the rewards and flexibility from the PenFed Power Cash Rewards card.  While the past 25k point welcome bonus is a bit pedestrian, this card shines in the 4x travel spend category.  Most impressive is the inclusion of a Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit and a $100 Annual Airline Credit on a no annual fee card.  Points have been worth approximately 0.85-0.9 cents in the past, and that valuation will seemingly continue.  I look forward to the relaunch of this credit card, particularly due to the great benefits, 4x travel category, and the overall PenFed experience we value.

Our Next Three Credit Card Applications – Conclusion

That’s our new card plan for the near future.  The theme for this round of applications is “looking beyond the obvious.”  One card is a lesser-known offering from a major issuer, while the other two are products from smaller entities.  I look forward to obtaining these cards and getting travel value from a different angle.  Do you hold any of these cards?  What do you like about them?

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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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Um, I am not concerned as I don’t cash my MR out. But I am asking because since you seem to be urging this card, as to what your thoughts were on the likelihood there will be changes coming. Banks arre tightening up in lots of place and this could be one.

    Trying to make conversation, that is all. You seem touchy.

  2. The recent move this week by Schwab to eliminate Hard pulls for opening brokerage acct, as well as tightening by banks, etc., has me wondering.

    How solid do you think is the CONTINUING of the ability to cash out MR at Schwab at all, let alone at 1.25 per point?

    I have this feeling in my gut that this relationship may have a limited lifespan. I was a big fan of the Mercedes Plat and that is gone now so have been looking at this one, but am thinking it might be gone soon.

    Thoughts?

    • Carl,

      I don’t have a strong feeling whether or not Schwab cashout value is devaluing or disappearing. But the value and cashout has been steady. That said, I usually don’t delay cashing out MR’s. If you are concerned about it disappearing and are sitting on a pile of MR’s, why not go after the card?

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