Credit Cards

My latest round of travel cards – 3 of the 4 went great. What cards did I go for this time?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


bad cc card page

I have a very simple way of earning a bunch of points each year as I out line HERE in the rookie tab. I have been doing this for years and years. I have no need to go for a MASSIVE amount of cards when I apply for them as 3-5 every 91-ish days for my wife and I does meet our travel needs.

inside the app is link to biz card

But this round I ran into some trouble with one of the applications. As you can see from the opening I got an error. And as you can see above, I got the link from inside the Club Carlson personal card link that I already hold and got a free night cert for just recently. Now the Club Carlson card is not what it once was with 1JUNE16 devaluations but either card is well worth it for the bonus points for the first year. After that, if they make this one night free at ANY Club Carlson hotel a permanent perk, it could still be worth keeping just for that and the other perks. I will update this post if I ever get anywhere with the business application page.

bofa alaska

The next one is a simple one. Bank of America just keeps handing out new cards to me year after year for Alaska Air with 25,000 points and $100 credit after $1000 spend (NOT MY LINK). Simple. I do not do many apps at once, as some folks do, I just keep the card until close to the time for the annual fee as Bank of America has a tendency to do a credit pull when you do simple things like consolidate credit lines or anything else so I just cancel with them each year and get new cards now and then (personal and business btw). Result was approved clearly.

The next two cards I do not have direct links so you will have to go the extra step and e-mail me if you want to support the blog and I thank you in advance if you make this extra effort! Also, it reflects my current needs for points. I have a boatload of airline points (too many really). I have well over 1 million American. I had over 1 million Delta at the start of the year and am working to spend them to ZERO (or almost zero). I don’t need airline points. I need flexible points and hotel points. So one would think I would be going for the current AMEX SPG card deal but…

As you all know, and I found out by checking (see E2 post), what AMEX cards I have and have had over time. I still hold my personal AMEX SPG card so I can never get that bonus again under current AMEX rules. The business AMEX SPG card I would have to wait 365+ days to get the bonus again so that will be on deck for next summer if the promotion returns!

citi approved

So I looked at other good choices that would net me $1000 for a few clicks of my time. The first one I chose was the Citi Thank You Premiere Card. Why? I like Thank You points for flexibly to transfer or spend very similar to Ultimate Rewards points that I never can seem to get enough of. 🙂 To get 50,000 points after just $3000 spend is very manageable with BlueBird in a month to score the points. Again, instant approval as you can see.

approved spark for biz

The next one is one you just about never hear bloggers talk about but it was the most simple choice. Capital one, that can be persnickety and a real pain at times for personal approvals, has a SPARK for business card. They are just giving me $500 cash if I spend $4500 inside of 3 months. No problem, I can do that one next month after the Citi card on my BlueBird. I don’t intend to keep using the card but I will take the $500 and put it to good use on my upcoming golf trip to northern Michigan (it will pay for the trip actually). So thanks to this instant approval that weekend away will be free!

So there you are. No fuss, no muss, no big deal. I wanted 4 cards and ended up with 3. I will maybe keep working with US Bank and see about getting the business Club Carlson card but I do not want to call to get it as I want to click a link to confirm I am getting the points promised. I like a “paper” trail and do screen shots of everything I ever apply for (I have been burned by phone offers in the past – never again).

my score

Some words of caution to end with. I have a very good credit score despite my MANY travel cards as I never EVER miss a payment EVER! I always always always pay my cards off in full each month. I never EVER pay credit card interest EVER as if you do pay a penny of interest you are not winning but losing at this travel game. I also don’t extend myself to ever buy anything I do not need. I am happy when I can keep card spending, both real and “other” spending manageable and not become a “job”. I am happy to go out of my way a bit but I have a life beyond making points each and every day.

how to win at the points game

I only pay an annual fee for a card if I get enough value back to justify the fee. I call, many times, to see about sometimes even getting HIGH $450 annual fees for some cards waived as I run big spend on them each year and, if the fee is too high, I cancel or downgrade to a no fee card and move on.

Next month it will be Lisa’s turn for a new round of cards. It will be fun to see, once I get a good overview of what our points across the board look like, to see what cards will yield us the best points and perks for our personal travel needs for 2016! – Rene

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

7 Comments

  1. @deltapoints
    interesting.
    is it easier to get approved for a cap1 biz card than a cap1 personal?
    thanks!

    • @Gene – That has been my “personal” results but YMMV. Then again I have run my own small business successfully for many years.

  2. Rene how often do you churn the Alaska cards? I assume you get the biz and the personal at one time and hold them for a year. Do you only do this once a year or so you apply for a new one every 91 days or so netting ~200k Alaska miles a year?

    • @Dave – I am a bit on the conservative side and just don’t push it. I normally go for 2 personal and 2 business each year. But yes, for the two of us, that does net 200k Alaska each year. Do what you are comfortable with.

  3. Hoe many hard pulls do you have in the last 6 / 12 / 24 months?

    Are you avoiding Chase because of your hard pulls?

    • @Maddie – I have a bunch let’s just say. Chase I only avoid for their non-co-branded cards and I HOLD them all right now anyway. I have a Freedom, Sapphire, INK Plus and old BOLD so really am all set with Chase for now. I will be looking at other Chase cards next round however 😉

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