It’s that time of year again, and the results are in! About every 4 months, I like to replenish my points and miles balances by applying for a new round of travel credit cards because let’s just face it – credit card sign-up bonuses are usually the easiest and quickest way to rack up a nice portion of points and miles if you’re financially responsible and organized.
Before heading to Israel, I decided that I was long over-due for a new set of credit cards (my last app-o-rama was at the end of August), and all it took was a reader (thanks again, Adnan) to tweet me with a code for a American Express Business Platinum card with a 100,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus to throw me over the edge, since I had been on the prowl for a large sign-up bonus for that card for some time now.
I have been eying the AmEx Business Platinum Card because I was attracted to some of the awesome benefits such as: the Global Entry credit (especially necessary after getting drilled to death by El Al security recently – more on that after I return from Israel, thankyouverymuch), the $200 per-calender-year airline credit to help off-set the hefty $450 annual fee (aka $400 total in 12 months), and Priority Pass Lounge Access.
As always, I recommend checking your credit score before applying for new travel credit cards, so I went ahead and made sure I had the green light by checking my current score before applying. There are many sites you can use to monitor your credit score. Personally, I choose to monitor my credit score monthly for free using CreditSesame and CreditKarma.
My application strategy when applying for new cards is that I usually apply for 3-5 at a time from an array of issuers to lessen to “credit inquiry pull”. Multiple applications processed in the same day generally have a higher chance of approval because the 2-5 point hit per application does not usually show immediately, and card issuers can not usually tell that you’ve applied for different cards within that same time frame.
Of course, a healthy credit score is the key ingredient to maximize your chance of approval for travel credit cards, but don’t be afraid to apply for multiple cards if your credit is excellent since credit inquiries have a minimal effect on healthy credit reports. In fact, maintaining a good relationship with credit cards can actually increase your score all together. Even after having about a dozen or so cards, my current score still continues to fall in the “excellent” range because I responsible with my spending, and I pay off all of my balances in full and on time each month.
The Game Plan:
Since there are so many attractive sign-up bonuses at the moment, I decided to go for 5 cards in total. First, we have the the 100K MR AmEx Business Platinum code, and then add in the fact that I had oh-so-coincidentially received two pre-qualified offers for other cards that were also on my wish list, the stars aligned, and the app-o-rama games began.
- American Express Platinum Business Card: Instant approval! The only downfall is the $10,000 minimum spend by June 14. The normal public offer is for only 25,000 Membership Rewards points, so I recommend applying when there is a higher sign-up bonus or if you receive a special invitation code.
- Ink PlusSMBusiness Card by Chase: Instant approval! I receieved a pre-qualified offer for this card in the mail, so I was quite confident about this baby. It’s no surprise that I was very attracted to this card because of its generous 50,000 Ultimate Reward point sign-up bonus after completing the minimum spend ($5,000 within 3 months) and the ability to earn 5x points per $1 at office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. You can also earn 2x per $1 at gas stations and hotels, and the card comes with no foreign transaction fees. The Ink Plus Business credit card is definitely an attractive card with a phenomenal potential to earn tons of UR points very quickly (5x everywhere, BlueBird, etc.).
- Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Card: Pending review. Eeek, I received a pre-qualified offer for the Club Carlson Personal Visa, but I decided to opt for the business version of the card instead due to the lower annual fee. I cringed when I saw the “pending review” page, knowing that US Bank follows pretty strict guidelines with approvals. Crossing fingers on this one because it really is a phenomenal card on all ends. The waiting game begins…
- 50,000 Rapid Rewards Southwest Chase Visa: Pending at first, then approved by calling the reconsideration line. Though I’m not really a SW flyer, they do operate out of EWR and have excellent fares. Since they implement a revenue-based frequent flyer program, that means great redemption rates. What the hell – 50,000 points will come in handy.
- $400 Cash Back NFL Barclays Card: Instant approval! Not too long ago, reader Dan pointed me to a buzzing thread on Fat Wallet talking about the return of a NFL cash back card with a generous $400 sign-up bonus and low minimum spend ($1,000). Since Barclay cards only pull from your TransUnion score, I figured it would be a no-brainer to add this card to the mix. Of course, the offer only last a very short time, but I’m glad I got in on it!
In the end, I am really excited about my new additions to my wallet. The most fun part after applying/getting approved is actually seeing your daydreams about your next award trip come to life. The only thing that’s raining on my parade at the moment is the ~$20,000 in minimum spend I have to hit. Kill me.
In the meantime, here’s a little taste of my Israel trip (follow me on Instagram for more before the trip reports are posted):
What cards have you recently added to your wallet and/or are considering for your next app-o-rama? I’d love to know what cards you guys have up your sleeve!
Related Posts/Past App-O-Ramas:
- My Travel Credit Cards
- More Chase Myth Debunking: 2 More Approved Today
- Chase Matched Me to the 30,000 Freedom
- I Added Two More Credit Cards to My Wallet – What’s in Yours?