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My mom has been focusing on improving her credit over the last few years, and her credit score is finally up to ~730! This means that she can start to apply, and hopefully get approved, for the best travel credit cards!
I recently checked the current credit cards she has, and they include a Costco credit card, a JC Penney credit card, and a Home Depot credit card. More experienced miles & points enthusiasts will know that these credit cards aren’t the best for earning lots of cheap flights and hotels.
Here’s how I set out to give my mom a credit card makeover that include earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points from our #1 small business credit card, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card!
How to Prepare for a Credit Card Makeover & Earn Valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Determine Home Airport Airlines & Identify Credit Card Rewards Miles & Points to Collect
My mom’s home airport is Traverse City, Michigan, so she prefers to fly out of TVC. The main airlines that fly out of Traverse City include American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines. Any of these airline miles would be good to collect for her.
She can also get Chase credit cards because Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to United Airlines for free! Chase gives her added flexibility because she can choose to use her Chase Ultimate Rewards points toward several airlines (including United Airlines!), but she can also use them towards hotels like Hyatt. Transferring points to Chase partners will (usually) give her the best value for her Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Identify Travel Goals
I asked my mom to come up with 1 to 3 travel goals for the upcoming year. She has hopes of visiting her sister in Arizona, and flying her best friend (who currently lives in Alabama) to come visit her! It would also be nice to have extra miles & points for a vacation to Hawaii, and of course, to visit me in Texas!
Make a List of ~2-3 Credit Cards
Now that I know my mom’s home airport, the airlines with availability and have identified her travel goals, I can select a few credit cards that meet her needs.
My favorite credit cards include:
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
I’ll be staggering her credit card applications so that she has enough time to meet the minimum spending on the cards. We’ve compiled a detailed list of all the ways you can meet the minimum spending requirements for new credit cards. Remember that if you don’t meet the minimum spending, you will NOT earn the bonus!
What You Can Do With American Airlines Miles
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® credit card is currently offering a welcome bonus where you can earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. The annual fee is $99 which is waived for first 12 months.
This credit card is a business credit card. You may quality for a small business without even realizing it! My mom has a smaller business that earns her just a few hundred dollars in revenue, but she still plans on applying for this credit card.
Saver domestic round-trip flights in coach on American Airlines cost 25,000 miles. It helps to be flexible when planning flights to get the cheapest points price. That means that my mom can get almost 3 round-trip flights on American Airlines, just for signing-up and completing the $4,000 minimum spending requirements for 1 credit card! All she has to do is pay the taxes and fees for the flights, which is a considerable reduction from the original price she would have to pay for a round-trip flight.
What You Can Do With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
If my mom gets both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, she’ll earn a total of 130,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points as long as she completes the minimum spending requirements (currently $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months on the Ink Business Preferred.) Again, we plan on staggering her credit card applications so that she will have enough time to meet the minimum spending requirements.
These are valuable points that she can easily redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, or she can get even more value for her points by transferring them to airline and hotel travel partners.
Domestic round-trip flights in coach cost 25,000 miles on United Airlines. This means that my mom could take 5 round-trip flights!
She can also redeem them for a fancy hotel stay, like for a 4-night stay at the Park Hyatt in Paris. These hotel rooms usually cost ~$900 per night, making it an excellent way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Have you thought about giving someone a credit card makeover? Share your experience with us in the comments below!