Planning for my next card round and my current credit score

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I am starting to get the itch. I get this “thing” I can not scratch always at the 2 month mark. I have by now met the spend on my last round or am just about to, so time to start salivating over the next opportunity that will happen mid October just after the Chicago “DO”! I have my current credit score posted with the results of my April and July rounds on my score. I have started to recover from my last set of hits and will very soon see a jump up as you can see in the past as I pay off my balances from this month.

How does this round compare to last? You can see my last post on what my credit score was pre-round and compare to now. I also have learned to not be DUMB with my math and cost myself a ton of points and flush a card down the drain like my 3 weeks too soon SPG card since the new AMEX rule is you must not have had the same “type” card for 365 days to get the new card bonus again (the close date is the key now). I have 100% checked and I am past the 365 days since I have had a PERSONAL Delta AMEX Reserve card. I have the INK BOLD, but have not yet had the new INK PLUS card. So here is what I am thinking to go for:

#1) The Delta AMEX Reserve card. 10K MQM plus my milage runs and I rollover 40k MQM’s to next year!

#2) The Chase INK PLUS business credit card. I have the BOLD charge but not the INK PLUS 5ok card.

#3) The US Bank Business Flex Perks 15k card.

Why these? One of the big reasons is SPEND. I have only about 15k left to spend on my business AMEX Reserve to get my last 15k MQM’s I need there. I will also get 10k MQM’s on just $1.00 spend on my NEW personal Reserve card so that ROCKS. The Flex card requires just $500 spend so that is very nice. The INK PLUS is the big one with $10k in 3 months – Ugg. To make this better I will push my round to the end of October so that in January I can buy about $5000 in AMEX gift cards to spread out my spend for an extra month or two. 50k Ultimate Rewards helps build up the bunch I spent for my 25th Anniversary trip I have booked. More Flex Perks will pay for more Delta trips in 2013 to earn RDM’s and MQM’s!

So now you see some of my thinking. I am always thinking. I am always planning. Points and rounds are like chess; always think 3 moves ahead and enjoy the rewards! – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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  1. so when you are working to meet minimum spend for the credit card sign up bonus, purchasing ax gift cards count as a purchase and not a cash advance on all ax cards (or just some cards)?

  2. @Gary – Only CiTi (that I know of) treats them as a cash advance. So, with AMEX or CHASE you can buy yourself some time and then spend the gift cards, well, just about as long as you want. I try to not push more than 2 months as I know I have a new churn on the way again, and again, and again – 😉

  3. FYI, Citi does not treat purchases of vanilla reloads as a cash advance.

    I’m slightly surprised that you’re going for the FlexPerks card. I understand that you’re getting a card that you can redeem points for airfare and get your MQMs. but the 15k will be at best $300 worth of airfare. you didn’t want to try Citi Premier (higher spend) or something the the PenFed travel AMEX?

  4. i got an email fo a pre-approved Business Plat with 50k bonus, $5k in 3 months with this:

    “charge $5,000 of eligible purchases on the Business Platinum Card in the first 3 months of Card membership. Eligible purchases are purchases of goods and services minus returns and other credits, and do not include fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of reloadable pre-paid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. “

  5. Funny sidenote……… I just starting reading this or any travel blogs for that matter. Looking at all the milage cards since I spend a ton on CC’s each month. And now on my way in when I go by the billboard from the casino, offering 60,000 jackpots…. all I see are miles and I say hmmmm I wonder if thats the new sapphire card LOL

    This forum has been very helpful in getting my mind wrapped around what I can get for free.. Thanks!!

  6. Like you say with your SPG experience – timing is everything. I am working on the $2500 spend for the FlexPerk card. It came with the 31K points Olympics bonus. For me that’s right up there with in my best deals, along with Chase Hyatt (2 free nights anywhere) and $75 credit to cover annual fee (alreay credited even though the annual charge hasn’t shown yet.

  7. @Carl – I have not yet test US BANK and AMEX gift cards. I will have to try and report back unless another reader has feedback on how they treat them. Txs – Rene

  8. yes the bonus was good, just wanted to point out that the fine prints says “Eligible purchases … do not include fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of reloadable pre-paid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents”

    Its different from my SPG which i called several times to confirm there was no such limitations.

  9. I get the new cards – but are you canceling any cards or keeping them open with no balance. In order to requalify for the same bonus again in the future, don’t you have to cancel the cards?

  10. I called Amex today to close my personal Delta Platinum before the next annual fee hits. I was surprised that they made no effort to get me to keep the card. “That will close immediately. Can I do anything else for you?”

    I have two new SPG cards and am well on my way to making the spend requirement, one personal Platinum MR card, and a Business Gold MR. Since I just closed my only Delta card, if there is a bonus for a business or personal Delta card, when will I be eligible?

  11. @Chris – Be careful. Too many cards can trigger the Financial Review by AMEX and that may be why they just closed your old card quick. I would work on other banks for a while but your call. If it has been 365 days since you closed any DELTA BIZ AMEX you can get the new card bonus again for that type card – Rene

  12. I have no issues with min spend on cards due to business. Renee-Do you normally go for three cards every few months. I am due to apply for a few but I have to be selective because I have several cards with all the top companies except Chase (for various issues) One issue is that I need to expand some total avail credit with other banks. I will try at least one of the credit union cards that are 2%, maybe Penfed. It has a bonus also.

  13. By the way AMEX has never tried anything to keep me from closing a card. I have never heard of any sort of retention from them. I had some cards where we charged gigantic numbers. They eally dont care. they have improved customer service for me with any issues and frankly there have not been any in a long time.

  14. For the US Bank Flex Perks points, the small print says that they are lost when the card is cancelled. Do you know if these points can be transferred to an airline points program in order to retain them, or do they have to be used directly for a specific flight. i.e. can I transfer them to one of my airline mileage accounts and hold them there if I decide to cancel the US Bank credit card? Thx!

  15. @RobertW – Yes, for me, for my spend, since I also go for 2-3 for Lisa every 3 months, I limit myself so I do not go beyond what I can do. If you are a big spender you should think about 3-6 cards each time blending both personal and biz cards!

  16. @carol – no you need to spend them to buy a flight for max value. You can if you want to cash out get 1 cent per point statement credit but IMO this is a bad move. Fly is better on DELTA.

  17. I should mention that I have done well with usbank flexperks also. The customer service is very good. While the point earning is fairly standard they offer one additional perk when you book tix using the card points. You get a 25.00 credit toward baggage or on board food. That is one $25.00 credit. You must charge it to the card and call them later to get the credit. I am sure most people forget to call them.

  18. I would consider the new promotion on the Barclay NFL card $400=40,000 points after $1000 spend instead of the US Bank.

  19. Is there any reason NOT to try for two cards from the same bank in the same round? i.e., delta gold amex and starwood amex in the same round? I’m guessing whichever is the second app might probably be rejected?

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