300,000 Miles/Points from 4 Cards – My Latest Application Round Strategy & Results

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credit card churn may 2015

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Before applying I highly suggest reading the following posts: Slow & Steady Doesn't Make You A Loser and A Mandatory Waiting Period to Apply for Credit Cards?. You can find all of our credit card reviews here.

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

credit card churn may 2015

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

credit card churn may 2015

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

credit card churn may 2015

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.

Citi Prestige

credit card churn may 2015

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

credit card churn may 2015

The Offer: 25,000 Alaska MileagePlan miles instantly plus a $100 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases during the first three months.

Result: Denied

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.

Annual Fees

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.

Conclusion

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!


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23 COMMENTS

  1. Got Amex Biz Plat, Citi prestige, Chase IHG, BofA Alaska, Amex Everyday Preferred – so I think thats 310k miles/points

  2. Just applied for and was approved for Amex PRG (50k offer). Interesting though that you mentioned that multiple apps for Amex cards on same day are only treated as one inquiry. Any impact to the advertised bonuses? Supposedly if identified as an Amex card holder they say they might not award the bonus.

    I’m contemplating also going for the Everyday Preferred later today

    • That language is on every application, but has not been enforced. There should be no issue getting a second card and bonus as long as you follow their bonus rules which are:

      Personal cards: 1 bonus per lifetime
      Business cards: You can’t get the bonus if you have had that card open in the past 12 months.

      • It seems like if they recognize you, they will connect you to an offer without the bonus or with a lesser bonus. So, just be extra vigilant to be sure the landing page looks like it should with the bonus stated, or that it’s in the T&C. As long as you see the bonus listed, you should get it. As I said, the problem is that if you are logged in or still recognized by Amex when you click on an application link it may take you to a lesser or non-bonused offer.
        This happened to me with the SPG card 🙁 a few years ago.

        • Yes a good habit to have is to always apply in private/incognito mode for any bank. This way the cookies you have on your computer from already being a customer don’t affect the application.

          • Yeah, that was probably my second round of apps when I first got into this hobby.
            Older, wiser, and all that. 🙂
            I even SMed them and they were not budging.

        • When I applied it had the 50K in bright big letters so I took a screenshot before continuing 🙂

          Also made sure not to sign into my account before and after approval. Hopefully that bonus will be on its way soon 🙂

  3. Any idea why BOA doesn’t like you? They have the reputation of being easy and churn friendly. If things went south after you churned a certain amount, for instance, it would be great to know.

  4. Really regret not jumping on the Amex, but husband and I did get the Alaska…. our third time. Also interested in your history with BofA. Did you put any spending on the card? Did you and your wife handle the cards differently?

  5. Too bad there wasn’t a way I could trade you straight up American airline miles for your Delta miles. I have over 200,000 aa miles

  6. Hi Shawn,
    Wow! 300k sounds like a lot of miles to create some awesome memories! Thanks for sharing. Shawn, my wife just received a mailer offer for AMEX platinum 150k points for only $15,000 spend (100k for first $10k/50k for additional $5k). We’re still on the fence about it because quite frankly being newbies (3rd month into this hobby) we’re kinda of intimidated by the huge spend requirement, especially since Redbird is gone. We’re also not crazy about the $450 fee. Yes I know about the 2x $200 travel credit. If I could figure out how to convert those $400 back to cash in my pocket, maybe I’d convince her to apply. Also, I’d probably be in charge of meeting the spend requirement since my wife is more of a passive participant and AMEX charges $300 more for additional cards and won’t allow AU’s (this sucks!). Anyhow, you don’t have to respond but maybe I can get some words of wisdom from the more experience community here on MtM.

  7. Can you remind us which (if any) other cards offer the Priority Pass Select lounge benefit? We need a grid of card x benefit (no foreign transaction, etc.)…

    • The American Express Platinum does, but it only includes entry for the cardholder and not any guests. With the Prestige you get up to 2 guests as well. The Crystal Visa Infinite also has Priority Pass select with 2 guests as well.

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