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An End of Summer Appfest

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s a busy week for the P2PB family, at least in terms of credit card approvals. Personally, I tend to stay away from huge churns, since I’m rather conservative with my fairly young credit history and would rather apply for limited-time offers as they pop up. I’ll do a maximum 2 cards at a time. This also helps me deal with large spend requirements by keeping them manageable. On the other hand, my parents are the type who don’t like to switch up credit cards that often, so I try to sign them up for a glut of cards at once so that we can deal with the annual fees and card-switching all at once. With their businesses, it’s not too difficult for them to hit high spend thresholds.

Me:
US Bank FlexPerks Visa
: Approved, luckily for the Travel Rewards card and not the less lucrative Select card (judging from posts on Flyertalk, my non-churning habits might have helped me here). I signed up for this card because it was a limited-time promotion. It was also a non-Citi/Chase/Amex card, the ones where I’ve been getting the brunt of my CC bonuses. The Olympics promotion allowed me to earn 33,150 points after I spend $2500 in 5 months, which is certainly doable. It’s best to have FlexPerks points in multiples of 10K, since

20,000 FlexPoints = Up to $400 ticket value
30,000 FlexPoints = Up to $600 ticket value
40,000 FlexPoints = Up to $800 ticket value
50,000 FlexPoints = Up to $1,000 ticket value

Since I’ll have a minimum of 35,650 points after meeting the spend threshold, it makes sense to me to go for 40K points and earn an additional $200 worth of travel. In fact, if I were to concentrate $3425 of spend on 2x categories, I’ll earn 40K points for not that much more than the required spending. For $3425 of spending, that’s up to $800 of return, or 23.36%. Even if I do 50% at 2x and 50% at 1x, that would be a bit over $4566 to spend. While not as lucrative as some mileage bonuses, cash is more liquid, and trips paid with these points earn elite and redeemable airline miles. It should help with my “re-run for Gold” early next year.

The card earns 2x on either gas, grocery, or airline purchases, depending on which has the highest spend that month. Methinks I’ll be going with grocery, since I can buy prepaid gift cards to use elsewhere. Gas currently earns 5x on Freedom, and I still have a bunch of ARCO gift cards I purchased in Q2, where Chase had grocery at 5x. Meanwhile, I get 2x for airfare on my Chase Sapphire Preferred and will get 5x on my Chase Freedom starting in October.

The card earns 2x on cell phone purchases, including monthly bills, which is less than the 5x earned on the Chase Ink cards. However, AT&T allows me to pay my cell phone bill whenever I want for whatever amount, so I might prepay a bill if it comes down to just wanting to finish the spend ASAP and get the points.

Lastly, you do earn 3x for charitable donations, which is great since the spend deadline is after December 31, which is around the time most people make charitable donations. I donated $25 to Kiva and it showed up as 75 points.

The $2500 by mid-January 2013 is more than doable for me, which is great since I’m still working on finishing up my Delta Platinum Amex $25K spend to hit 10K MQMs before my fee is due in October. I decided pretty late in the year to go for $25K spend to get the 10K MQMs, and am OH SO CLOSE.

;

Mama P2PB + Papa P2PB:

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Visa: Approved! for 55,000 United miles after $1000 of spending in 3 months (total: 110,000 United miles after $2000 of personal spend).

I think this is a great signup bonus – I got it earlier in the year when it was 50,000 miles on first purchase + 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user + $50 statement credit. The bonus now isn’t as great as it once was, but I value 55,000 United miles at over $1,000, so the $1000 spend isn’t bad. The folks have a few rental car days coming up in the next 3 months, and this card will get that activity thanks to its Primary CDW. The rest of the spend threshold conveniently fits within the monthly limits of a certain payment system. Once we hit the spend threshold, it’s back to Chase Freedom for personal spend, since that earns 1.1x + 10 rather than 1x for United miles.

Chase Ink Bold Visa: Approved (after calling in to reconsideration)! 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points on first spend, plus 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points for $10K spend within 93 days (total: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $20,000 of business spend).

Both of my folks got American Express Business Gold cards last year, as both were targeted with 75K Membership Rewards bonuses for just $2K spend. We quickly hit that target, then transferred all the points to Continental before that partnership ended. However, AmEx’s $125 fee just hit and we aren’t that interested in keeping the card, since Ultimate Rewards points are better for our purposes (love that United partnership). While the $10K spend is high, it’s certainly more than doable for the nature of the two businesses, and we plan on using this for all of our major business expenses. (I applied for each card through Frequent Miler’s referral link, just because of the great work he’s done to help people maximize the earnings out of this card).

I was home for the long weekend, and so applied when Chase was open in order to facilitate any reconsideration calls. Since I applied for the personal United card first, this card went into a waiting period. I called Chase for my mother’s card first, and the representative verified my her info. She authorized me to talk to the representative, and I gave information about the business. The Ink Bold is a charge card which must be paid off every month (if you’re not paying the card off every month, you shouldn’t be doing non-0% interest rewards cards). However, we were given a credit limit that was more than what was needed. Lather, rinse, repeat with my father’s information.

The questions asked were:
1) what type of business is it?
2) what were sales last year?
3) what are this years projection?
4) what was the profit?
5) how much is your monthly spend?

Lastly, since these are Ultimate Rewards points, we really did earn 100K as a family, since UR points can be transferred freely between Chase accounts and to any partner accounts.

Barclay’s US Airways Mastercard: Approved for 40,000 US Airways miles after first purchase (total: 80,000 US Airways miles after 2 purchases).

I totally forgot about this card until I was actually doing the applications. I signed up for it last year and was successful in getting the 40K miles + a hit during the grand slam. However, I couldn’t sign up for a second card myself, but forgot to sign up my parents for one. Plus in California, Barclay’s pulls Transunion, which is sort of like the forgotten middle child of the 3 credit bureaus. This was basically a free credit pull and free 40K miles for purchasing a pack of gum. No idea what I’ll use the miles for, but US Airways offers 5K award discounts on US metal. That means that it’s only 20K for a domestic roundtrip on US or 55K for a off-peak roundtrip business class ticket to Europe. (Or with the merger talks, maybe I just scored 80K future AAdvantage miles ;)). Whatever the case, applying for this card was very low opportunity cost, so it just made sense to go for it.

Old cards:
As for the 2 American Express Gold Business cards, I called Amex for retentions. I was able to get 15K Membership Rewards to keep one card for $125, and got a $125 credit for the other account. I posted those here.

So all in all, a good weekend, more so for my parents than for me. Two 55,000 mile United bonuses; 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points; two 40,000 US Airways bonuses; and 15,000 Membership Rewards points for them, and some mileage run funds for me.

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  1. February 8, 2013 at 5:00 am

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