Help! Which Card to Apply For Before Making a $22,000 Purchase?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Div commented:

I have an opportunity to pay a relative’s $22,000 medical bill with a credit card and get reimbursed.  I want to apply for a new card before making this purchase so I can earn a new cardmember sign-up bonus.  I already have have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, and a few other airline and hotel co-branded cards.  Also, I’m NOT impacted by Chase’s “5/24” rule.  Which card would you recommend?

Reader Div is thinking wisely.  Miles & points enthusiasts know that applying for a new card before making a large purchase is an easy way to meet minimum spending requirements and unlock a lucrative new cardmember bonus!  This is the fast track to Big Travel with Small Money!

Planning Your Credit Card Application Strategy Around Large Upcoming Purchases Can Help You Earn Valuable New Cardmember Sign-Up Bonuses!

The minimum spending requirements for most personal rewards cards is usually less than $5,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.  With an upcoming $22,000 purchase, this means Div could actually consider applying for multiple cards to earn more than 1 sign-up bonus.

Based on Div’s situation, there are 2 card recommendations that come to mind.  But there are also some things to consider before making a large purchase.

Use Large Purchases to Quickly Meet Minimum Spending Requirements and Earn Valuable Sign-Up Bonuses

We like to remind folks of a few beginner credit card tips when applying for a new card.

First, only apply for a rewards card if you plan to pay your balance in full each month.  Carrying a balance means you’ll pay interest and fees, which can easily offset the value of any sign-up bonuses and rewards you might earn.  It sounds like reader Div will be getting reimbursed from a family member for a large purchase.  As long as the money is set aside for the purchase, applying for a new card is a really easy way to unlock a sign-up bonus and earn valuable rewards.

The other thing to consider is the credit limit you’ll get when you sign-up for a new card.  The amount of credit an issuer extends to you on a new card will depend on a few factors, including your credit history.  It’s important to keep in mind, that reader Div might NOT get a $22,000 credit limit with a new card.  So if possible, I’d recommend using multiple cards to make the large purchase.  This way you won’t max out the credit limit with any 1 card.

Now for the fun part!  Here are my card recommendations for reader Div based on the cards already in his wallet.

1.   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Apply here:   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Read our full review of the Capital One Venture Card

The Capital One Venture card is extremely popular with readers because the rewards you earn are really easy to redeem.  Simply make a travel purchase with your card.  Then, log into your account to use miles to offset the purchase.

Capital One Venture miles are worth 1 cent each and you never have to worry about searching for available award seats or hotel nights!  These miles are useful for covering travel purchases you can’t pay for with other credit card rewards, including cruises and sightseeing excursions!

The Capital One Venture Card Is Worth Considering Because the Miles You Earn Can Offset Travel Purchases You Can’t Book With Other Rewards, Like Cruises!

Plus, when you sign-up for the Capital One Venture card, you’ll earn 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

In addition to the valuable sign-up bonus, you’ll get:

  • Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • NO foreign transaction fees

And the card has a $95 annual fee.

This was one of the first cards I got when I started in the miles & points hobby.  And it came with an enormous credit limit of more than $50,000!  I can’t guarantee reader Div or others will receive the same limit.  But it’s worth mentioning because this would be ideal for a large purchase!

2.   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Apply here:  Chase Freedom Unlimited

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

Reader Div already has the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is the top card we recommend to beginners.  It earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to fantastic airline and hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

To boost his Chase Ultimate Rewards points balance, reader Div could apply for the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited card.  When you sign-up for this card, you’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

With the Freedom Unlimited, you earn unlimited 1.5% back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on ALL purchases.  Meanwhile, Sapphire Preferred cardholders only earn 1 point per $1 on purchases that are not in the travel and dining category.  So paying a large medical bill with the Freedom Unlimited will earn reader Div more points than he’d earn with the Sapphire Preferred.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Reader Div Can Earn Valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards Points With the No-Annual-Fee Chase Freedom Unlimited Card and Use Them For Trips to Fun Destinations Like Seattle!

Bottom Line

Reader Div can pay a family member’s $22,000 medical bill with a credit card and get reimbursed.  This is a great opportunity to apply for a new card (or multiple cards) because the purchase will be an easy way to knockout minimum spending requirements.

Div already has fantastic rewards credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  So I recommend the Capital One Venture card because this card earns miles you can use to offset travel purchases typically not covered by other cards.  And the card has a valuable sign-up bonus worth $500 in travel!

Or the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns 1.5% back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1).  Reader Div can move these points to his Sapphire Preferred account and transfer them directly to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

Which card would you recommend to reader Div?

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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