By smartly using Credit Card sign up bonuses and maximizing travel rewards our family has been able to take several vacations around the world while paying pennies. But I always like to remind my readers that this game may not be for if you are poor in managing finances (sorry if I sound blunt) as I was in my 20’s. Also, please ONLY ONLY ONLY apply for new credit cards if you have no plans of getting a car or home mortgage at least six months from time of your application.
Here is my app-o-rama from June 2015. I was approved for all these cards instantaneously (which has not alwasy been the case and I had to call recon lines). You may apply for any of these cards and more at creditcards.com. But I suggest always having a strategy in place to maximize your reward benefits.
|Credit Card||Sign-on Bonus||Minimum Spending Required||Annual Fee|
|Total||100,000 Points + $650 Cash + $600 Airline Credit + $100 Global Entry Fee||$9,250 in 3 months||$254 Waived for 1st year + $450 Not Waived for 1st year|
|Capital One Spark Cash for Business||$500||$4,500 in 3 months||$59 Waived For 1st Year|
|American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card||50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Airline Credit||$1,000 in 3 months||$195 Waived For 1st Year|
|Citi Prestige Card||50,000 Bonus Points +$250 Airline credit each year +$100 Global Entry fee waiver||$3,000 in 3 months||$450 Not Waived|
|Discover IT Card||$150 Statement Credit||$750 in 3 months||No Annual Fee|
The reason I apply for multiple credit cards in 1 day (and if possible within the same time frame) is because it has least impact on your credit score and also other banks are not able to see your inquires in real time. Note that you should NOT apply for multiple cards just because I or other bloggers do. As always, do what is comfortable for you! Make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements comfortably. There is no harm in applying for just 1 or 2 cards at a time.
The reason I applied for the credit cards I did in my latest applications is to earn a combination of cash back and points from different banks (Thank you Points from Citi and Amex membership points from Amex).
Discover IT is a cash back card that offers cash back in rotating categories throughout the year and also has no annual fees which is great to build credit as you don’t have to cancel the card. Another reason I applied for Discover IT card is because they offered me a targeted offer for $150 cash back by simply spending $750 in 3 months and they recently upped their game by offering doubling cash back on all your earnings for the year i.e if you earn $300 in a year then at end of the year Discover will throw in another $300 to double up your earnings. Watch out for Junk mails (credit card offers) in your mail box as this one turned out to be a treasure for me.
Capital One also has fantastic offer on their Spark Cash Business card for a limited time. Earning $500 after spending $4500 in three months is no brainer of a deal. We are currently finishing a few house projects and all the cash back earned from credit cards and the bank bonuses (~$1500) I mentioned in my previous post would go a long way and help us spend least out-of pocket. Also, this card is definitely a keeper as it offer 2% cash back on ALL PURCHASES. I have friends who got approved for The Spark Cash card by simply using their SSN instead of the EIN, FYI.
On my bucket list is to travel from NYC-Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines Suites which retails for $6000 one-way. Both Citi and Amex points are transferable to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer. I only need 55,000 KrisFlyer to fly one way sleeping all the way to Frankfurt and enjoying luxury second to none. With the points I’d earn from Citi and Amex cards I can easily score a return ticket on these suites making my sign-up bonus worth $12000 just from two cards!!!
Also, some may question reason I paid $450 upfront for the Citi Prestige card but check out the benefits –
- $250 in Airline Credit (Each Calendar year) i.e total of $500 so I am already $50 ahead!!
- $100 Global Entry Fee Credit (No more standing in long lines at airport)
- Three Rounds of Golf at TPG golf courses (I don’t know anything about Golf but who cares when you have a few free rounds)
- Free Access to Priority Club lounges and American Admiral Lounge at Airport (value of ~$200 or more).
- 50,000 Thank you points – If used to redeem on American Airlines that is equal to $800 in Airfare or $600 on other Airlines, Cruises and car rentals
As you may realize it is always good to evaluate full benefits and worthiness before applying for any card. A $450 annual fee may scare some away but getting a value of $2500 (or higher) from one card is awesomeeeee!!!
I have been able to help several friends and family member plan fantastic vacation to Disney, France, Italy, South America to name a few while paying few hundred dollars out-of -pocket. I’d be glad to help you plan your next vacation. Fill in the below form for a FREE 15 minutes phone consultation.