4 Cards. 110,000 Points, 75,000 Miles, & Something Unexpected!

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

I was recently approved for a 2nd certain hotel credit card while still having my 1st one open!  But the hotel did something odd…I’ll show you later!

It’s been a while since I applied for new credit cards.

I really wanted to get in on the 50,000 mile limited-time Barclaycard US Airways sign-up bonus and a few others, so last month I applied for 5 cards and was approved for 4 (I’m still waiting to hear back on #5)!

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

I Applied for 5 Cards in December…Guess Which Ones?

Read This Before Applying!

In the short term, signing-up for credit cards will reduce your credit score by 3 to 8 points per application.  But your score should go back to what it used to be or even increase.  That’s because you’ll have a lower debt utilization ratio when you get more credit.

I do NOT recommend applying for credit cards if you’ll be taking out a major loan within the next 1 to 2 years.

Emily and I pay our credit cards off every month.  Carrying balances on your cards and paying interest usually negates any savings you get with miles and points.

If you are new to this, please read the 5 Dangers of Credit Cards before applying for a card.

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

Don’t Apply for Lots of Cards Just Because I Do!

Note:  You should NOT apply for multiple cards just because I or other bloggers do.  As always, do what feels right for you!

And be sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements.  There is no harm in applying for just 1 or 2 cards at a time.

If I were applying for a big loan, I wouldn’t apply for any credit cards until I had my loan.  It’s much better, in my opinion, to do everything possible to get a low interest rate on the big loan 1st, and then apply for credit cards.

And to be as conservative as possible, I wouldn’t apply for many cards in the 2 years before a mortgage or refinance.

Set Travel Goals

Emily and I set travel goals and then we collect the miles and points we’re going to use.

Although some folks prefer to apply for the best credit card sign-up bonuses whenever they occur!

Our goals are simple.  We want to have enough miles and points to travel within the US in coach to visit friends, to go to Michigan or Ohio to visit family, and to have weekend getaways.

We also want to travel internationally 2 or 3 times a year.  We prefer Business or First Class, but we’ll choose a flight in coach if it means fewer connections and more time at our destination.

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

Our Travel Goals Include Visiting Family and Friends and Taking International Trips a Couple of Times a Year

We also need hotel points because we have to stay somewhere.  We’re not picky about the airline we fly or hotel we stay in, as long as we can save money while traveling.

So having points spread among different airline, hotel, and cash back cards gives us lots of options when it’s time to book our trips!

Credit Card Resources

Here are resources that list the best miles and points deals and tips on meeting the minimum spending.

4 Cards From 4 Different Banks

Emily and I usually apply for credit cards from different banks every 3 or 4 months, so we don’t have credit inquiries (which happens every time you apply for credit) hitting only 1 credit bureau.

I limit the number of inquiries with each of the credit bureaus.  Because banks don’t like seeing a lot of inquiries (especially in the last 6 to 12 months) on your credit report.  Applying for 1 or 2 cards at a time shouldn’t have much impact.

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

Banks Will Pull Your Credit Report When You Apply for a New Card

There are 3 main credit bureaus in the US:  Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Banks usually request your credit report from 1 (or more) of these credit bureaus.  The credit bureau used depends on where you live and from which bank you’ve applied for credit.

1.   Barclaycard US Airways

Link:   Barclaycard US Airways

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard US Airways Card

I applied for the Barclaycard US Airways card 1st, because Barclaycard doesn’t like seeing a lot of inquiries on your credit report.  I wanted to get this card again because for a limited time, the sign-up bonus is 50,000 miles after you pay the annual fee and make a purchase.

US Airways miles will soon become American Airlines miles.  And this card won’t be around for much longer.  Although existing cardholders will be converted to the new Barclaycard Aviator cards, which won’t be open to new applicants.

If you already have a Barclaycard, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, they like to see you using it!  And they don’t generally approve folks for more than 1 or 2 cards per year.

I was instantly approved for the card with a $12,500 credit limit!

2.   American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (Business)

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Link:   My Series on How to Use Starwood Points

American Express has limited sign-up bonuses on their personal cards.  Now, you can only get the bonus ONCE per personal card, per lifetime.

But that’s not true of their business cards!  I’ve held this card in the past, but because it’s been more than 12 months since I’ve had the card, I qualified for the bonus again!

As sometimes happens with American Express business card applications, they needed more information from me before they would approve the card.

So I called, gave them the details they needed, and was approved!

3.   Bank of America Alaska Airlines

Link:   Bank of America Alaska Airlines

Link:   My Review of the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines card gets you 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles after approval and payment of the $75 annual fee.

I’ve had this card before, too.  I like Alaska Airlines miles because you can use them for award tickets on other airlines, like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates.

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

You Can Use Miles for Flights on Alaska Airlines or Partner Airlines

I didn’t get instantly approved for this card, either.

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

You Won’t Always Be Instantly Approved for a Card, but It’s No Big Deal – Sometimes You Have to Wait!

But after a few days, Bank of America let me know that they had approved my application!  Phew!

4.   US Bank Club Carlson

Link:   US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards

I took a chance applying for the US Bank Club Carlson card, because I actually applied for (and got) this card in June 2014.   So I wasn’t sure if they would approve me for a 2nd one.

One of my favorite things about this card (other than the 85,000 point sign-up bonus) is that you get your last night free on award stays of 2 nights or more.  So on a 2-night stay, you’re basically getting 2 nights for the price of one!

I applied using my existing Club Carlson membership number.  And I was approved instantly!

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

Instant Approval! Thanks, US Bank!

Here’s something strange…Even though I applied using my existing Club Carlson account number, they created a new account for me when they issued the card!

So now I have 2 different Club Carlson accounts!  I wonder if they’ll let me merge them?

4 Cards 110,000 Points 75,000 Miles Something Unexpected

They Created a New Club Carlson Account for Me, Even Though I Gave Them My Old Account Number!

Bottom Line

Many of the miles and points Emily and I use to get Big Travel with Small Money come from credit card sign-up bonuses.

Sometimes you can have 2 of the same card open.  In this case, I was able to get a 2nd Club Carlson card.

The amount of money you have to spend to earn the bonus points may seem like a lot, but there are lots of ways to meet the minimum spending requirements!

Credit card sign-up bonuses are great way to earn lots of miles and points, but you HAVE to be careful.  Don’t apply for credit cards if you can’t pay off the entire balance each month, or if you’re applying for a big loan in the next 1 to 2 years.

And before applying, you should read The 5 Dangers of Credit Cards.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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36 responses to “4 Cards. 110,000 Points, 75,000 Miles, & Something Unexpected!

  1. When you signed up for the multiple US Airway cards, did they give you the points promised for each of them?

  2. Don’t merge them! You can trade in and out from Emily’s account for free as a Gold. But this way you’ll be able to make back to back reservations with bogo. Might look odd to change numbers but the hotel likely won’t notice. And even so, it’s not your fault. Or better yet make the first reservation in Emily’s name. Then the second two nights in your name, explains the change of account.

    Anyways, Club Carlson blocks making bogos online pretty well. In other words you can’t book Mon & Tue on your account and get the bogo, and then made a Wed & Thur and get the bogo… the second made res will be full price. That is… unless it’s from two different accounts.

    Of course, none of this matters if Emily has a card also…
    Anyways, kudos for getting a second one.

  3. Did you get the points promised for the US Airways promo, 4x already? I’d hate to apply again, and not get any points out of it.

  4. Richard Hornback

    i really struggle with having to pay annual fees. Though it seems like more companies are doing this / few companies are waving annual fees.

    The problem for me is my plans stay fluid. If I could plan a vacation well in advance and stick to that schedule than I would pay annual fee cards and offset some of the costs of my vacations. However, this is very difficult for me to do.

  5. Hey Daraius, nice app o Rama! My question is about the us air card: how long ago did you last have this card? I currently have one which I obtained a year ago, and am curious if I can somehow cash in on this 50k bonus.

  6. why not get the Alaska card that gives $100 statement credit after spending $1k? you’d get back the annual fee and then some. plus the same amount of miles…

  7. No need to merge Club Carlson account. That way you can alternate your account to get 2 award night free back to back to back to back……As long as you want.

  8. Will US Bank let you have 85k bonus points again or unlike other personal cards, it’s once per lifetime.

  9. What was number 5 that you are still waiting to here from?

  10. Darius – I would wonder if you couldn’t use the 2 accounts for Club Carlson to do the 2+2 free. If that was the case than I would keep them separate as opposed to merging. Although I understand merging keeps all the points in one place the stay 1 get 1 being able to be accomplished by one person as opposed to having another person could benefit some.

  11. One thing I’ve never seen anyone publish is insurance rate increases. I did an app-o-Rama and my insurance company pulled my credit report that first month and got a rate increase!

  12. @Wes-I just applied again and was denied “because I already have a card open.” I’m not sure how strict they are at enforcing this, but that’s what happened for me. Please let me know if you have different luck!

  13. That’s a nice haul. I’m curious about the Club Carlson card – did you first have to close the one you obtained just seven months ago?

  14. Daraius Extremeley helpful. Can you talk about your card cancellation strategy? I get when you apply to cards, but Im still struggling to know how long you keep cards, when do you cancel them etc. Thougjts?

  15. Hi Daraius, I just received an offer in the mail for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard. This is the one that allows access to AA lounges. It is offering 60,000 AA miles now plus 10,000 elite qualifying miles offer a year, based on some hefty spending limits. I think this is the same card that offered 100,000 points last year. I have not seen this offer on any mileage websites. Do you know anything about it? Love your site and emails.

  16. Once you qualify for either the First Purchase Bonus or the Spend Bonus (collectively referred to as a “New Account Bonus”), please allow 6 to 8 weeks for the Gold Points to appear in your Club Carlson account. Neither New Account Bonus is available to applicants who have had this Card or another Club Carlson credit card product within the last 12 months. If your Account is not open for at least 6 months, Club Carlson and U.S. Bank reserve the right to deduct the New Account Bonus Gold Points from your Club Carlson account.

  17. Interesting… I too applied for the Barclays US Airways card after canceling it 12 months ago. I made 1 purchase and only got a 5000 bonus instead of 50,000. No annual fee was charged on the first statement, so YMMV! Let us know what happens on your second app to Barclays!

  18. D, did you have to cancel your spg business card? I too have this card and I was wondering what I can downgrade it to. The simply cash biz perhaps?

  19. @ David – I would call and ask why

    I just applied for the 50k US Airways card and was denied. I have had 2 in the past (currently just one open) and I do have the Arrival Plus so that may be why. I should have called in to move credit around but forgot and got the notice in the mail. 🙁

  20. Hi, if I got the Platinum Select / AAdvantage Visa card on March 1, 2013 when will I be able to apply for it again and get the bonus?

    Side question I applied in July 2014 from a target mailing and they said I was denied since I already got the bonus. Thanks! I believe it is 18months but wasn’t sure with my denial in July.

  21. So it looks as though the latest US Airways card offer (with 50k miles) no longer includes the 5k discount on redemptions that used to be there (nowhere on the web page or in the T&Cs). Can anyone confirm whether or not this is the case?

  22. I didn’t know the club c was churn able! How long does one have to wait until they can get the bonus again?

    • @Keith – You get the points if you’re approved for another card.

      @Drew – Good points!

      @ Wes – Can’t say for sure, but could be worth applying since the card is going away. Not having one open will likely make it easier!

      @ Vir – They do!

      @Houston Robert – The 1st one was open!

      @ Derrick – 60K is better than the 50K offer!

      @ Corey – I’d wait ~24 months.

      @Chance – Not sure on exact timing, but I’d wait at least 6 months.

  23. My husband and I just applied for the US Airways card both having an opened card since 1/2014. He was instantly approved and I was given an “Will receive info in the mail” status. It doesn’t look good since I wasn’t instantly approved. My question is when can I reapply? How long should I wait? My current card gives me 10k anniversary bonus so I would rather keep that card as its no longer offered. Any suggestions? I really want the 50k bonus!

  24. Thanks for the info. Didnt knew I could apply for second Club carlson.

    I applied for US Airways and Club Carlson and approved instantly for both. With club carlson not sure what would happen in manual review. Now looking for valid reason to provide if they ask why I would need active Club carlson cards?

  25. I wouldn’t have applied for the second US Airways (first one cancelled) if not your post; got an instant approval using your link. Thank you 🙂 My husband didn’t get an instant approval for he has the Arrival card that he uses occasionally. He has decided to wait for the letter instead of calling.

  26. My wife and I each applied for a 2nd US Airways card and were instantly both approved. Our first cards have been open about 2 years and we don’t charge that much on them.

    Also each year when the $89 annual fee comes due, we call and ask that it be waived and it is! (unlike Chase and others). This year we said we already had Citi American cards and didn’t need both due to the merger. Seems like Barclay wants to keep our business! Plus in my case I also received an offer to get 10,000 bonus points if I charged $3,000 in 90 days! Just waiting for the bonus points to be applied.

  27. One comment on the Alaska Airlines card. I have churned this a fair amount, sometimes waiting 90 days, sometimes not. Once, just after 30 days, we got a call to ensure it wasn’t a duplicate application, but card was ultimately approved after simple explanation. Lantean’s suggestion of using a $100 statement credit is a good one and the best way to go if you can; but it’s not always easy to find an offer with a statement credit. When it isn’t available, at the very least, we use the ‘refer a friend’ link on the Mileage Plan page, which gives the referrer a small bonus if the referred person is approved. Currently it is 2500 miles. So I refer my wife, she applies and gets 25k miles and I get 2.5k. Then visa-versa. The helps a little bit to justify the $75k annual fee. Cancel the card whenever you get around to it, having multiple cards doesn’t seem to be a problem (we currently have seven.)

  28. I have applied today for 5 cards. However, the one I really wanted I was not able to get. Barclays seems to not want me to have the US airways card (I applied 4 times for it over the last year and I was always denied). Got the pending message. I do not think I will even bother with reconsideration. Other than that, I was approved for AA 50k card, alaska card (I will call tomorrow to either up the limit to 5k or cancel it), Bankamericard (pending) with 175 dollars cash back and the flexperks from US bank ( pending). I am new to this game and I am starting to like it lol

  29. Darius, I visit this site on a daily basis for new ideas and deals. My wife and I each have 2 out of 4 listed cards US Airways and Club Carlson. We just booked spring break vacation for 5 (5 round trip air on US Airways and 2 rooms in Radisson) using points and miles with only $1500 out of the pocket. Thank you for priceless (at least to me) information.

    We applied for a 2nd US Airways card each and were instantly approved.

    Also, I think the reason for a NEW club number on your Club Carlson card is different name on the application. One has middle initial and other one doesn’t.

  30. Club Carlson won’t let you merge accounts between personal and business cards either. Signed up for business card after getting the personal card, applied using the same member number. They assigned a different one and wouldn’t merge, told me that’s just how it had to be. They offer free transfers though.

  31. I just got the 50k with $1000min Amex premier gold, and i always chat with them after i signup to make sure the promotion was loaded correctly. While making small talk with him, i mentioned I pay rent from time to time, and he told me that paying rent would not be a “qualifying” purchase. i asked really? and he showed me the list, which really didnt say i couldnt. Have you ever run into this with AMEX? should i ask another CS rep?

  32. I have had the Alaska Airlines card for a year and was recently charged the $75 annual fee. I did a balance transfer 6 months ago with 0% interest until November 2015. If I close this account now will I receive a refund of the annual fee? Will I be able to maintain the 0% interest on my remaining balance until November??

  33. @TJ
    I always assumed when you close the card, banks will send final statement with all of remaining amount due. I have zero percent on two citi cards which I am planning to close before next renewal. I would love to hear otherwise.

  34. Only 1 Alaska card? Sheesh. I did 4 last week! All approved

  35. Will I be eligible for the 50k Amex premier gold gold if I had it 4 years back? And the Amex Business gold. Does the 12 mths starts from the last application or closing? Canceled mine last May. Thanks!