My New Credit Card Application Results – Four Cards 230,000 Points

Mar 14, 2014

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Yesterday, I wrote about my Credit Card Spring Cleaning and how I decide when to keep or cancel a credit card (or to try to get a new version of a card I already have in order to score the welcome bonus again) in anticipation of applying for multiple new points-earning cards. After I’d done my credit card inventory and analyzed the benefits and value of each, weighing them against the cost of their annual fees, I cancelled four cards (Delta Platinum Amex, Delta Business Platinum, Amex Business Rewards Gold, Chase Ink Plus (in order to get a new one) and the Citi Business AAdvanatage Card).

Here are my four new cards and why I got them:

Ink Plus Business Card
Current Bonus: 60,000 points with $5,000 spend in the first 3 months
Benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, cellphone, landline, internet, and cable TV services and 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations and on hotel accommodations, up to $50,000 annually. Receive a complimentary LOUNGE CLUB membership and 2 free visits each year with access to over 350 VIP airport lounges.
Annual Fee: $95

Why I Got It? I actually already have both an Ink Plus and an Ink Bold. These are my workhorse business cards because I use them to make purchases at office supply stores where I can buy gift cards for major retailers like Starbucks while earning 5 points per dollar. They also offer 2x points per $1 at gas stations and hotels, and no foreign transaction fees, making them good options for traveling internationally on business.

The way I was able to get another Ink Plus is that I recently registered another small business and need to get some new business credit cards for that, so I listed this new business on my application, and I was approved after talking to the kind folks at Chase and explaining my situation.. I have a ton of credit cards with Chase, but I am also a very diverse customer of theirs with all kinds of accounts from credit cards to home and auto loans, as well as business accounts, so it looks like they are ready to extend me even more credit on my future ventures, and this was a great way to snap up an additional 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points. I was at my limit with credit with Chase so they said I could either send in financials to get my credit lines increased or transfer over my existing Chase Ink credit line and then cancel that account which is associated with another business.

Application Result: Approved!

For more information, see these posts:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
Type: Personal
Current Bonus: 50,000 miles with $3,000 spend in the first 90 days
Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and receive 5% of your miles back when you redeem on travel. Receive a complimentary membership to TripIt Pro. No foreign transaction fees. For more information on this card, read my review here, and then check out this post for details on its Travel Bonus Category and Redemption Options, and this one for ideas on the Top 10 Ways To Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Miles.
Annual Fee: $89 waived the first year

Why I Got It? I’ve been talking about this card since the new offer on it launched back in April. The welcome bonus alone is worth $454 towards travel purchases and since there is no annual fee the first year, it is literally like free money. Not only that, but because you can put the miles you earn towards a variety of travel purchases, this card is great for covering costs you can’t otherwise use miles or points for, like award ticket fees, train tickets, car rentals, Airbnb rentals (which I’ve been doing a lot more lately), and more. Not only that, but cardholders get a free FICO score with their monthly statement, so it’ll help me keep track of my credit – which should help in future application rounds.

Why didn’t I get it before? I had the US Airways Mastercard when it was first issued by Juniper bank back in 2005 and when I moved to NYC after graduating college I missed a couple payments by accident due to a combination of stupidity and being overwhelmed with life. I applied for a BarclayCard in the past and the phone reps always said I was declined due to poor payment, or something similar. Luckily, I paid my time and have gotten my credit to a better place and BarclayCard is ready to have me as a customer again!

Application Result: Approved!

For more information, see these posts:

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
Type: Personal
Current Bonus: 50,000 miles with $5,000 spend in the first 3 months
Benefits: Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. Admirals Club membership privileges; 10,000 elite miles when you spend $40,000 on eligible within a calendar year; your first eligible checked bag is free, priority boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases; SmartChip technology; no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $450

Why I Got It? You might remember that I actually got this card when I received a targeted offer of 60,000 miles, but after hitting the spend threshold for the bonus and the elite-qualifying miles ($40,000 in a calendar year for 10,000 EQM’s), I was already thinking about canceling the card since the one main benefit it offers that no other card soon will was Admirals Club membership, but I usually get access anyway since I fly business or first transcontinentally.

Citi Exec AA approval
I was approved for the card a second time.

Now, the annual fee is steep at $450, but you get $200 worth of statement credits on any purchase the first year, which brings the annual fee to $250 in my valuation. Then considering that it will now get me access to American and US Airways lounges (which the Amex Platinum card will not after March 22, 2014), plus a historically high welcome bonus it was worth it to me.

Application Result: Approved!

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Type: Personal
Current Bonus: 40,000 miles when you spend $10,000 in 6 months (there’s also another offer for 30,000 miles with no spending requirement)
Benefits: Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases. Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. Coach Companion Fare every year from $118 (USD) ($99, plus taxes and fees from $19). No mileage cap. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card
Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases
Annual Fee: $75 annual fee not waived

Why I Got It? Given all of Delta’s recent negative changes including a revenue-based mileage-earning scheme, new elite revenue requirements, and hacking away at elite benefits, I have decided to dump Delta. However, it’s still likely I’ll have to fly the airline and many of its partners fairly regularly. So with that in mind, I was looking around for partners to whom i could credit mileage, and Alaska seems to be the best choice given that MVP elites enjoy benefits on both Delta and American, Alaska has some amazing partners in both SkyTeam and Oneworld like Cathay Pacific and British Airways as well as Air France and Korean Air plus non-alliance partners like Emirates and Fiji Airways – all of whom you can not only redeem miles on but also accrue full mileage and elite-qualifying miles on. All in all, it makes a lot of sense to me, especially because after the experience of redeeming Alaska miles for a flight in Emirates first class in November, I’m hooked and want the miles to do so again.

Now, there is a lower offer with a lower spending requirement, but hitting the threshold is no problem for me, especially by maximizing Vanilla Reloads, so I’d rather have more miles off the bat.

Application Result: Approved!

So there you have it – about 20 minutes of work and I’m four cards and 230,000 points richer – which I plan to put toward some amazing future travel experiences, so stay tuned. As you can see I didn’t get an American Express card, because I’m waiting to get one of their new EveryDay cards in April and also The Business Platinum Card® from American Express  at some point.

Good luck with your own credit card applications – there are some great offers out there at the moment including these, as well as the recently launched 40,000-point Platinum Card welcome bonus from Amex – so if you have any application or credit card questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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