Time to Decide Which New Credit Card to Get!

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It’s an exciting time around the Mommy Points household this week.  Not only is Little C about to fly with us this weekend (yay!), and not only are we about to turn our house into “Santa’s Second Workshop”, but it is also time to get a couple new credit cards!  This is especially exciting as I will be applying for my first business credit card.  It’s the “little” things that excite me.  🙂

I have my ideas about which cards I think I am going for, but am always open to input.  First, let me do a quick rundown of what’s already in my wallet.

Here are the cards and sign-up bonuses that I already acquired this year:

Amex Platinum – March 2011 (100K sign-up)

Chase Sapphire Preferred- May 2011 (50K sign-up plus 50K bump the bonus)

Citibank AAdvantage Amex and Visa – June 2011 (150K total)

Amex SPG – August 2011 (30K)

A few were bunched together this summer due to the great offers that were out, but I am now back to spacing out my applications approximately every 90 days.  I am not at all a huge credit card churner compared to some, but I certainly open more new cards in a year than the “Average Joe”.  Since I may have to take out a loan to sell a home we have in the Austin area for a loss  sometime in the next few months (ugh), I don’t have any desire to go crazy with tons of new applications right now.  Prior to this year, my main credit card work horses were the Continental OnePass Plus card and a Chase Travel Plus Rewards card (I don’t even think they offer that one anymore, but it is my oldest account).  Those are both still active cards that I use.

I am in the market now for one additional personal card and one business card.  Since I have been a rapid US Airways Grand Slam participant, I am leaning towards getting the US Airways Dividend Miles Premier World Mastercard.  It is issued by Barclay’s, who I have not heard very good things about, but it is a bank that I don’t already have multiple accounts with, so that is a good thing.  Here are the reasons I want this card.

Personal Card Choice – US Airways Dividend Miles Premier World Mastercard

  • 40,000 bonus miles upon first use
  • No annual fee the first year
  • $89 annual fee each subsequent year, but you also receive 10,000 bonus miles at each anniversary
  • 5,000 mile discount on reward tickets booked solely on US Airways and US Airways Express flights
  • Preferred check-in (very useful with a little one)
  • Zone 2 boarding (you know you aren’t the last one on the plane!)
  • $99 Companion Passes (things like this are often not so easy to redeem, but you never know if they might come in handy)
  • Likely hit in next year’s Grand Slam
  • One lounge pass plus $75 off a US Airways Club membership

I would love to add 40,000 more US Airways miles to my miles from the Grand Slam, and I would really love to be able to use 5,000 fewer miles when I redeem those miles for flights on US Airways.  I also love that there is no minimum spending requirement with this card – that will be important for my personal card selection as my business card selection does have a pretty hefty minimum spending requirement. I do not plan to use my US Airways card for everyday spending, but I may keep it around for a while just for the benefits.

Business Card Choice – Chase Ink Bold

I really love my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, so I like the idea of getting the business equivalent to that card.  I have found Ultimate Reward points to be my favorite type of points, so I would be more than happy to add 50,000 more UR points to my account by getting this business card.  I also actually need a business card to make my financial life a little more stream-lined, so I want my business card to earn points that I actually want!  Since there is a $5,000 minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months, I will obviously have to put personal expenses on this card at first, but after that I hope to keep personal expenses off of this card.  Here are the reasons I think this card makes sense for me:

  • 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee waived the first year
  • Points are transferable to the same partners as the Chase Sapphire: Hyatt, United, British Airways, Marriott, etc….  (Hyatt and United are two of my favorites right now)
  • Points can also be used as cash to pay directly for travel expenses (I actually like this option for inexpensive domestic airline tickets when cash is tight)

There are some drawbacks to this card.  For one, it is a charge card not a credit card.  I don’t think that will be a big deal in my case, but it may be an issue for some people.  Also, this card does not earn bonus points the way the Sapphire does.  So, I will probably be reluctant to put all business expenses on here since so many of my expenses are eating out and travel – both of which earn 2x points on the Sapphire.  This card also still charges foreign transaction fees, so I won’t be using this while overseas.  If I were designing the perfect business card for myself, this would not exactly be it, but it is as close as I have found.  Even if I don’t use if for all business expenses – I certainly will love the 50K Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus!

What would you do?

Am I overlooking a great card offer?  What will your next card be?  Is it an offer that is already out, or are you waiting for a fantastic offer to come out before adding to your credit card collection?

If you are in the market for a new card yourself, I recently added a “Top 5 Family Credit Card Deals” tab to my home page.  I know we could all debate for days about which offers should be in the “Top 5”, but these are cards that I feel are the top offers for most families.  It is not (yet) a comprehensive listing of all available cards, but it is a good place to start if you or a friend are looking for a simplified listing of some quality points and miles earning credit cards.  Just as with the links in this post, some of the application links on that page are my own, and some are not.  I will always only display the best offer that I am aware of for each card. 

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Comments

  1. If you are approved for the Platinum version of the US Airways MasterCard instead of the Premier World, you do not get Zone 2 boarding.

  2. How about Southwest? Great for flying out of Austin, and you can get personal and biz together for 100k points ($1600 value).

    • @atxtravel, I actually love this idea and strongly considered it. However, I am a little leary about getting approved for two additional Chase cards right now – and they don’t fly into the airport most convenient for me. If I were going to do this I would do it in January so that I could have the companion pass for almost two full years. It really is a phenomenal deal. Love the way you think. 😉

      • I’m doing the same, got 2x Southwest cards, USAir and just went through an interrogation to get Ink Bold. I’m holding out for 2x United cards rumored to be coming up, and holding off for higher AA bonus…no 50k for me. I suspect there will be an opportunity for a big bonus with only 5-6 cards early next year.

  3. I like your choices in your situation, MommyPoints. Personally, I’m sitting it out for the rest of the year since I had quite a few hits from credit cards and other stuff like car financing. Looking forward to the UA Explorer card offer next year. Supposedly, there’s speculation for a lot of great offers early next year?

  4. .
    Ms. Ike and I each just got the US Airways 40K and Chase Sapphire Preferred 50K. I got Ink Bold 50K and she got AmEx HHonors 60K.
    .
    Due to my quest for AA LTG, we’ve wracked up ~800K AA miles in the last 6 months and we are locked out of new AA cards until year-end due to the unfortunate timing of the demise of the 75K cards. So I decided to pickup some US miles as they are useful domestically, especially in our area.
    .
    I considered the Marriott 70K card but we are big Hilton fans, so this is our third total HHonors card for the year. We’ll each be grabbing 50K Club Carlson points with the Radisson promo tomorrow night, and with the 100K+ SPG points and two HHonors free nights we picked up during their recent Social Scavenger hunt, we should be set for hotels for a while.
    .
    When taking out new cards you should look at:
    .
    1. How useful is this to me? 100K BA miles are worth a lot less to me than 100K AA miles because I don’t have to pay fuel surcharges on AA. 50K SW miles have no value to me because I don’t fly SW.
    .
    2. How good a bonus is this? A 30K bonus on AA is lame compared to the 50K-75K offers. If the bonus can only be received once, you want to get the best bonus you can.
    .
    3. Can I make the spend? 40K US Airways card is for first purchase, same with the 70K Marriott card. Ink Bold is $5K spend, Sapphire Preferred is $3K, both in 3 months.
    .
    4. What other perks does the card get me? Club passes, preferred boarding, free luggage, hot chicks/hunks who dig the sweet-looking Sapphire Preferred card? What is the value of those perks to me?
    .
    5. Credit pulls. Barclays pulls TransUnion, it is like a free pull for me as it is the only card to date that pulls TransUnion. Discover pulled Equifax. Citi and AmEx both pulled Experian. Not sure about Chase yet. It is good to spread out the pulls across different credit bureaus if you can. How can you say “no” to the Barclay’s US Airways card with a ‘free’ credit pull, no fee first year, and bonus on first spend?
    .
    All that said, what do you need? Mor flights? More hotels? Lounges? Better flying experience? Points that can be used on anything (UR/MR points)?
    .

  5. The $99 Companion pass (up to 2 companions at $99 plus taxes/fees) is simple to use with US Airways. Just as easy as the Alaska visa companion pass. (Though Alaska permits first class fares but I know that’s not generally your preference.) It pays for and exceeds the annual fee in benefits which is why I keep it even in years the card sits in the drawer.

  6. Do you have a post, or a link to another post for this bump?

    Chase Sapphire Preferred- May 2011 (50K sign-up plus 50K bump the bonus)

  7. If you’re looking to get a loan in connection with a home sale, I would NOT apply for another credit card! These days, banks are VERY tight with large (home) loans, and having a string of credit card inquiries in the past year will not look good! Large (home) loan underwriting at banks now are MUCH more strict than credit card underwriting (I’ve gone through the wringer twice in the last year and a half; and that was before I started grabbing credit cards, thankfully).

    That said, if you want to go forward with card apps, I’d say: (1) good call on Barclay’s US Airways card; it likes the cards you got this year likely pulled Experian and most reports are that Barclay’s pulls TU (a nice +). (2) Good call on Chase Ink (esp. since it seems you do concentrate on UR points) unless you want AA miles — but then again, I assume you’ve considered the AA biz card (50k). HOWEVER, there are reports on FlyerTalk that the purported 1-day Amex Gold Open Business card bonus ($10k spend for 75k MR points) is actually good until mid-November. Kind of risky, but 75k MR points (85k+ including the spend) is quite valuable!

  8. Mommypoints, Thanks for the info on the US Airways card! I didn’t know they had a 40K (essentially) sign-up bonus. I applied, instantly approved! Thanks and good luck with yours!

  9. I hear mixed things about the US Airways card because of Barclays being the ones who manage it. My friend applied and didnt have any problems, but I’ve heard more negatives then positives such as being approved for a lower version of the card and missing out on any bonuses.

    Nonetheless, I think you should go for that Chase card! Thats what I have my eye on right now 😛

  10. MP: I would love to apply for the Bold but I don’t have a business. This is the second time I hear that if you apply, you get an interrogation from Chase . I have recently applied and was approved for the Amex Biz Gold and had no problem from Amex.

    • .
      FWIW, I do not have a formal business and I applied for Sapphire Preferred, instant approval, and three minutes later applied for the Ink Bold, deferred (normal when I applying for more than one Chase card at a time). I called two weeks later and they said I had already been approved, no questions asked. I have never had a Chase business card before. YMMV.
      .
      Ike
      .

  11. Re: $99 Companion Passes (things like this are often not so easy to redeem, but you never know if they might come in handy)

    This was totally easy to redeem, but you do have to buy a full fare ticket to do it. Made sense in our case and you do earn miles on the flights.

    • Thru 11/17 this one actually seems to have a 75K MR points sign-up bonus if you spend $10K in 5 months (based on comments from the Amex rep when I called to confirm mine).

  12. I thought I had posted but chase ink bold is targeting some folks (received it) for a 50k ur points upon first use. The code looks unique but it may be coming to others.

  13. @Katherine, you are correct. If you don’t qualify for the Premier, but get the Platinum you will not get Zone 2 boarding or First Class check-in. At least you still get the bonus miles though. 🙂

    @atxtravel, I think you are right about next year! I like your recent card selections!

    @Jimgotkp, the Explorer card offer will be exciting if/when it comes out! I have also heard rumblings of some great offers early next year. 🙂

    @michael, I’m not sure I 100% understand the question. Do you mean can it be used on Business/First class tickets or on tickets that your business purchases? If it is the former, then yes it can be used as a 5,000 mile discount on any reward ticket that is solely operated by US Airways. If it is the later, the terms say that the purchase must be made on the US Airways card. Hope this helps!

    @Ike, 800K AA miles in 6 months is quite impressive! I agree completely with your points to consider. As to your last questions…”What do you need? More flights? More hotels? Lounges? Better flying experience? Points that can be used on anything (UR/MR points)?”
    I guess I don’t technically “need” anything, but I can always make good use of all of the above. If I had to pick the area I am most concerned about, it is always flights. So often we are going to visit family or could Priceline/Hotwire a good hotel rate if we had to, but we always need the airline seats to get us there. 🙂

    @ArizonaGuy, glad to hear it has been easy to use in your experience. I had read things about the certificate not getting sent timely and having to mail it in and other logistical challenges. I am happy to see if I can put it to good use though!

    @Simon, yeah sadly that bump the bonus opportunity was a very limited time thing back in May or June. Chase cracked down hard on it after a couple of days.

    @Andy, I totally hear where you are coming from with the caution due to likely needing a loan to sell a house. Fortunately, we won’t need a loan to buy another house and we do have a few options if getting a loan to sell our other house proves difficult. I really think we are still going to be credit worthy for a loan, if needed, but it is always important to be very careful with your credit if you are going to actually need it for credit in the near future.

    As for the Amex deal, I thought hard about that one when it came out (I personally would not trust it now – Amex has just been too unreliable with honoring promises recently), but I just didn’t want to have to put 10K spend on the card. It is a good deal for those who can do the 10K though!

    @Glen, happy to help. Congrats!

    @Mike, Barclays is notorious for not having the best customer service…or at least that is also what I have been told. The good news is that both versions of this card now offer the same sign-up bonus. Only the early boarding and first class check-in are reserved for the Premier version now. Good luck with that Ink application. Let me know how it works out!

    @Maury, I think most people who get “interrogated” by Chase have had several recent applications with them. If you don’t have several recent apps or many open Chase cards you will hopefully be okay.

    @Ike, that is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    @Jen, I can see how it would be valuable in some situations. I will have to see if I can put it to good use. Thanks for the info.

    @AS, always worth considering. I think I am on an Amex break right now, but it is one I will probably add to my collection in the future. 🙂 Thanks for the info!

    @Singapore flyer, that would be awesome to be targeted for that offer. I think I read about some who received targeted 80K offers for this card as well. If I received either of those offers I would be thrilled!

    • @Maury, I did see that offer and thought about it. It was a great deal for many, but I just didn’t want to spend 10K to get the bonus and I am a little burned out on MR right now. Awesome deal for many who jumped on it though! 🙂

  14. Started CC schemes Spring 2011.
    Have achieved bonus “spends” on
    AmEx PRG, citi AA Plat, Chase Sapph Pref, CapOne Venture;
    Am working on ChaseFreedom 25K pts for $500 spend in 3mos.;
    Yesterday accepted for citi ThankYouPremier 50K pts for $2.5K spend in 3 mos.;

    As one who spends ~$1.2/mo, am realizing a series of ~25K bonus CC’s with smaller spend triggers are easier than 50K or even 75K bonuses requiring $5K+ spends in 3 mos. & still might bring as much points longterm…?

  15. I am considering the hawaiian airlines card 35k after $1000 spend. Not the typical 50k offers but I am earning miles for shopping at their portal for amazon and they have been running $300+ roundtrip fare from the west coast.

  16. If you want the US card for the GS hit next year and you’re not planning on renewing it, iI’d wait so you’re not doing the GS hit in month 10 or 11 of the card’s “life”.

    One less thing to obsessively worry about as you ponder needing safety hits or not next year… :-O

  17. HI Mommy Points: just want to throw in a couple of other options: Citi ThankYou Premier and/or Preferred (50K each), Hyatt Visa (2 free nights), Marriott Visa (70K), Amex Business Gold (50K, too bad that 75K offer is gone).

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