For whatever reason, some of my most popular posts (and maybe other bloggers can weigh in if this is true for them as well) are posts about the credit cards we chose to apply for. I wonder if its a phenomena of “well that blogger applied for it, so it must be a good deal and we must follow!” Or maybe just curiosity to see what the “experts” are doing? I always find it interesting as what I chose to apply for will most likely not be the right solution for you. We are all at different stages in the points/miles game with different needs for points/miles based on our current balances and future trip goals. I’m happy to share what I’ve done but please remember I am an experienced travel hacker with years of knowledge and I understand the risks involved. Do not apply for credit cards just because I did!
As some of you might recall, my wife’s latest round of credit card applications was back in early July and she just about hit the minimum spend on all of them. While I like to stick to a 91+ day application cycle (others will say this is not necessary and they are correct to an extent but this is what I like to do), we will be away for the next two weeks starting Thursday (2nd anniversary trip woohoo!) so I wanted to complete a small round of applications for my wife. Here is what she applied for:
Card 1: Chase British Airways Visa Signature – 100,000 Avios – $95 Annual Fee
I posted about this offer when it came out last week and let me stress, this card is NOT for everyone (see that post for why). It works for us because we live in an AA hub and we love using AA miles to fly to the Caribbean for cheap. We’ve been to Antigua and Puerto Rico in the last year using Avios for 20,000 Avios roundtrip instead of using 35,000 American AAdvantage miles. The other big reason to get this card for us is the upcoming devaluation of Amex Membership Rewards transfers to British Airways. While we could still transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to BA, I like using my Chase UR points for United & Hyatt so picking up a 120,000 Avios (including the spending requirement) will not force us to rely on flexible rewards from either Amex or Chase.
- 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 in 3 months
- 25,000 additional Avios for spending $10,000 total in the first year
- 25,000 more Avios for spending $20,000 total in the first year (so 100,000 total Avios if you spend $20k or more in a year)
- 3x Avios earned on British Airways Purchases
- 1x Avios earned on All Other Purchases
- $95 Annual Fee (not waived)
- Travel Together Ticket after $30,000 in spending in a calendar year
Neither of us have had a British Airways credit card before so I didn’t have to worry about the 24 month rule nor does Chase’s 5 recent inquiries rule apply on non Ultimate Rewards cards (the rule does apply to the Chase Slate however) as my wife would have failed this requirement. She applied online and got a message asking to call Chase right away to verify some information. She called and after moving some credit lines around from other Chase cards, she was approved.
Card 2: Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature – 75,000 Hilton HHonors Points – $0 Annual Fee
This offer (which expires today by the way) is the highest ever on this card that I am aware of. I actually got this card for myself last year when it was 60,000 points but this offer is obviously better. My wife has just shy of 100k Hilton HHonors points now so this will be a nice little infusion that will cover a few nights at mid tier Hilton hotels.
- 75,000 Hilton HHonors Points for Spending $2,000 in 3 months
- No Annual Fee
- 6x Points earned at Hilton Family Properties
- 3x Points earned at Supermarkets, Gas Stations & Drug Stores
- 2x Points earned on All Other Purchases
- Complimentary Hilton Silver Status (basically you get 15% bonus points that’s about it)
It’s a shame Hilton devalued their program a few years ago but the program isn’t totally dead for our travel needs. I like that this is a no annual fee card that my wife can keep and it ensures will she will always have some status with Hilton, even if it is only marginally worth something. She applied online and was approved instantly.
This was a quick and painless round of applications that netted us another 175,000 points for $95 out of pocket. I’ve been waiting to apply for the British Airways card until a 100k offer returned and while it is a bit more spending than I’d like, I have no doubts I’ll accomplish it within a year especially with some new reselling venues I’ve started to get into (post coming once the items sell and I can calculate my profit).
The Citi Hilton makes sense (especially with the bonus at its highest point ever) for us since we tend to stay in Hiltons that average 40,000 to 50,000 points a night so we will hopefully get 2 nights out of this signup bonus. At the worst, we get one night and some leftover points but my wife will now finally have a no annual fee card from Citibank that she can keep forever. This will help her establish a better relationship with Citi as she has been cancelling many of their cards before the first year is up.