Can You Play the Credit Card Game Forever?
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One of my best friends, Mike, follows my lead and plays the credit card game for mileage bonuses. (In fact, he just flew business class for almost nothing to meet up with me here in Dublin for a vacation.) Having read that I got four new credit cards and 230,000 points last week, he asked me a question soon after he arrived:
"At what point does the credit card game stop? Should I just keep going?"
I told him that if he's savvy about doing his research and careful about which credit cards he holds onto and which he lets go, then yes - he can absolutely keep collecting credit card mileage bonuses!
Some credit card companies are starting to catch on to people getting multiple cards and bonuses, but you can still take advantage of exceptions if you have good credit. For example, while you can no longer get two Citi cards in one day, Citi is still good about giving multiple bonuses. Recently, despite the fact that I still had a Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard open, I was able to get the same exact card at the current 100,000-mile bonus.
Likewise, I already have the Ink Plus and Ink Bold from Chase, but I applied for and was approved for another Ink Plus card again and its 50,000-point bonus again because I applied for it for another business I have.
American Express is getting stricter about their customers getting bonuses on the same card over and over again. The issuer explicitly states on their applications that if you've previously held that particular card, you must have closed it for at least six months before re-applying. Keep in mind, though, that while Amex occasionally comes up with new restrictions - like the one rumored to be coming in May, allowing only one bonus per card per lifetime - savvy cardholders have always found ways to work within them and keep scoring bonuses.
Even when you have a lot of credit cards open, you can usually get the business version of each one, and those cards' bonuses, as well. With so many cards out there, so many issuers and new products coming out all the time - for instance, the two American Express EveryDay cards are coming out in April - there are plenty of exciting new bonuses to apply for, as well as cards you can get over and over again. And remember: if your spouse or partner also gets in the game, that will double the amount of points and miles bonuses you could earn.
I don't know exactly what will happen in the future, but while the credit card landscape remains particularly lenient, I'd say to strike while the iron is hot. If you don't get approved for a particular card right away but you really want its mileage bonus, don't be afraid to try talking your way into an approval. There will probably always be exceptions and ways in which you can push the limits, so be sure you do your own research on forums and blogs like this one, and see what other people are doing to get a credit card's bonus numerous times!
Start keeping yourself informed about the credit card bonus game by taking a look at the following posts:
- Top 10 Current Credit Card Bonuses for A Round of Applications
- The Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards
- Top 25 Travel Credit Cards With The Lowest Bonus Minimum Spending Requirements
- The Top Credit Card Spending Bonuses for 2014
- American Express Platinum Card – Getting Bonus Points and Statement/Airline Credits As Compensation