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My name is Mommy Points and I have credit card applicatoin fever. I last signed up for a new credit card just to get the sign-up bonus in early November and I am itching to do it again. Truthfully, I thought it would take longer to make it through the $5000 minimum spending requirement on the Ink Bold card that I got in November, but between Christmas shopping and some repairs we had to do on our Austin house to get it back on the market, it didn’t take long at all to hit that spending threshold. So, I guess it was bad that we had lots of expenses, but good that we met the minimum spending requirement very quickly and on purchases we were going to make anyway. Psst, there is a contract on the house…..we are holding our breath for another few weeks that all goes through.
So, since the only spending requirement I have to work on right now is $1,250 per month on the US Airways MasterCard in February, March, and April in order to get a targeted 15,000 mileage bonus, I am just counting down a couple more weeks until the three month mark comes and it is time to pick up another card or two. I have found that getting a new card (or cards) every 3-4 months works pretty well in not raising too many red flags about the number of recent inquires you have had. I certainly wouldn’t go after a new Chase card every three months indefinitely, but if you spread your applications out around the various banks and do a mix of personal and business cards (if you do something that can qualify as a business), then provided you have a good credit history, you will likely have a pretty high success rate with your applications.
The real question is what to get next. I very much want to get a 50,000 United MileagePlus Explorer card using the method that Million Mile Secrets describes here. I have a Continental OnePass Plus card and would love to pick up the United version of that card in order to get the sign-up bonus before my card converts to a United card at some point in the future because of the Continental and United merger. However, I already have three Chase personal cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Freedom, and Continental OnePass Plus Card) and I don’t particularly want to give any of them up, so I think it will be iffy on whether I can get a fourth personal Chase card approved. I know some people that have four or five personal Chase cards, but three seems to be where things start to get harder.
I also really want the new Chase Ink Bold Business card. I got mine right before the benefits changed to include 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on cable and wireless service, and land line telephone service. It also now gives 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually on gas and hotels. I would love to be earning 5x on most of my telecommunications expenses – that would really add up for us over the course of a year! However, I will probably wait until later in the year to apply for that one since I just got my “old” Ink Bold in November. I tried to see if Chase would let me switch over to the new benefit schedule, but was repeatedly told no, no, and heck no. I was instructed to apply for a new Ink Bold if I wanted the new benefits….I can’t help but wonder if I may end up with a new 50,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus as well since they kept telling me this was a new and different card. I can promise I will test that theory at some point.
I know for sure I want to apply for an American Express card, I’m just not sure which one. I was targeted for a 50,000 Membership Reward points Business Gold card that is a strong contender. That offer comes with a waived annual fee the first year (normally $175) and requires a minimum spend of $5000 in the first three months to get the sign-up bonus. I would also receive 3x points on airfare and 2x on advertising on select media in the US, gas at stand alone gas stations, and shipping charges. Currently there is no sign-up bonus for the public offer of that card, so I am not even going to link to it. Unless you are targeted (or spend a ton on airfare) I would wait to apply for that one. The 50,000 point personal Mercedes-Benz Platinum Amex is also a strong contender. With that card I would retain the same Platinum benefits I have now, plus pick up some MB related benefits, and get another 50,000 point sign-up bonus. I would have to pay the $475 annual fee and spend $1000 on the card within the first three months to get the sign-up bonus.
At some point before the end of 2012 I also need to get the Starwood Amex Business card so that I can get two more stay credits toward SPG Platinum status, as well as the 25,000 SPG sign-up bonus points. However, my priority right now with Amex is a card that earns Membership Rewards points since I am now leaning toward cancelling my Platinum Amex card next month when it comes up for renewal. I’m still undecided on that, but since I have already used up my $200 airline credit for the year, cancelling is looking like a better option.
By miles and points community standards, I am very conservative with my credit card applications. While others get 4-6 new rewards cards every three months, I get only get one or two every 3-4 months. I guess I’m just a little more risk averse than some others. I also think that the impact is greater on my credit score than for some due to being “relatively” young and not having a credit history that spans 30-40 years. However, since I don’t have any loans coming up in my near future, I am okay with having my credit score take the hit that comes from picking up 1-2 cards every few months. You have to find a strategy that is comfortable for you and your family. That may be 4-6 cards every quarter or one or two per year. Heck, you could be like my dad and just have one rewards card period. Though I think he will eventually go for another….
So, unless a new offer comes along in the next few weeks, my decision likely will come down to which Amex to go for, and then I just have to make a decision about whether or not to try for the Chase MileagePlus Explorer card. Right now I honestly don’t know what I will decide to do about that.
What are your thoughts? What cards do you plan to go for next?
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