Fall 2013 Credit Card Strategy and Results

Note: No links in this post are affiliate links. All links are to the best offers that I am aware of at the time of writing.

 

There are a few above average offers out there right now, and a few personal goals I have in mind for the next year. These two considerations pushed me towards certain cards for my churn.

I ended up deciding to apply for 4 cards initially, and then a friend pointed out a card that I may be missing out on. So, my churn ended up being a 5-card churn.

 

The cards I applied for and the result of my applications are detailed below:

1. Amex Mercedes-Benz Platinum – I applied for this card mainly for the benefit of getting Global Entry (and TSA Pre-Check) for free. Normally it costs $100 to apply for Global Entry, but if you charge it to this card, you are provided with a statement credit. Now, that only goes so far to reimburse the $475 annual fee that isn’t waived the first year, but luckily you can also get a $200 statement credit from airline incidentals each year of card membership. There has been much success in buying gift cards from airlines and still getting the credit. Because I applied late in the year, I will get my $200 statement credit before the end of this year, and again at the beginning of 2014 before I cancel this card. You are also given access to a variety of airline lounges, each of which has their own fine print that I won’t detail here. This card currently comes with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in 3 months.

Normally, I would have applied for the non-Mercedes-Benz version of this card, but because I have applied for both the Personal Gold and Business Gold in the past year, I am not currently eligible for the bonuses on those cards.

Results: Pending. Called the reconsideration line 2 days later and was approved with no hassle.

2. Amex Starwood Business – This is currently a limited-time offer (until September 3) that awards 30,000 Starpoints after making $5,000 in purchases in the first 6 months of card membership.  Starwood is the one program, for me, that I have not invested a lot of effort into even though there are some wonderful properties to redeem at. The extra 5,000 points convinced me to apply now. There is a $65 annual fee, but it is waived the first year. This offer seems to be brought back around this time every year, so it may make sense to apply for either the Business or Personal version this year, and switch it up next year. I chose the Business version because my other Amex application was for a personal card.

Results: Instant approval.

3. Chase MileagePlus Explorer (30,000 Mile Public Offer, 55,000 Mile Offer) – I used the method detailed on the FlyerTalk page for the 55,000 mile offer, however, you will not see a landing page to double check the bonus. I cannot tell you at this point how it worked out for me, so YMMV. This card was chosen to be part of my churn because by the end of the year I will have my first airline status with United. Next year, United added a spend requirement to their status levels, that for Silver, Gold, and Platinum can be waived with credit card spend. This card will be used by me to waive that requirement, assuming that I plan to go for Gold or Platinum next year.

Results: Instant approval.

4. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select – I applied for this card with the expectation of applying again in 8 days for another cards. It seemed that, for a while, the cards were churnable again. Well, as of August 25, 2013 that seems to no longer be the case, so I will be happy with my 50,000 miles for now, of course after spending $3,000 in 3 months. There is a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year. Any updates on the churnability of these cards, and the current offer, can be found here. Note that I have never had this card before, so I have no insight into the 18 (?) month rule and whether or not it has changed, etc.

Results: Instant approval.

5. US Bank Club Carlson Business – A lot of people seem to be having relative trouble with getting approved for US Bank cards, but I decided I would go for it even though I already have two cards issued through them. I want to be able to make the most use of Club Carlson as I can while they essentially have a BOGO when redeeming for free nights. The current sign-up bonus is 85,000 points after $2,500 spend in 90 days. This is enough for 2 nights (BOGO) at their top properties, with 35,000 points left over! The annual fee is $60, and it is not waived the first year.

Results: Instant approval.

 

Overall, I was pretty happy with this churn! I definitely can’t complain about 5 for 5, even though I was hoping to get to get a 6th in there (Citi AA Platinum x2).

 

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