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Are There Credit Cards You Should Wait to Apply For? (Apologies for Dangling Preposition)

On a post on another site about the 75,000 point bonus for the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Biz card, I saw that a reader had written a snide comment about how that particular blogger had included that card on his “best signup bonuses” list the prior week when it was 50,000 points and how can it be the “best” when a bigger bonus came along, etc. Snotty implications of that aside, I thought it might be helpful to list out the credit cards that do seem to have occasional bonus promotions so you can decide whether you should wait for it before applying for these cards in your next churn.

– Amex Premier Rewards Gold card has a normal offer of 25,000 points after minimum spend. But several times over the past year they have run a bonus for 50,000 points. I would wait for those to come along.

– Amex Premier Rewards Gold Business card. That also used to have a 25,000 point bonus after minimum spend, though it’s been at 50,000 points for a few months now. That said, several times a year they run a 75,000 point bonus (as they are right now). I would wait for the bonus.

– Amex Starwood business and personal cards. Each of these have a 25,000 point bonus after minimum spend, but late summer/early fall they generally run a promo bumping that up to 30,000 points. 5,000 points doesn’t mean a whole lot, but they’ve run this promo like clockwork so unless you absolutely need the points now, why not wait til August?

– Amex Delta gold card. There’s a 30,000 point offer on this all the time, but they ran a 70,000 point promo in the past year, and have targeted 45,000 point promos out there now. And there were 35,000 point bonuses floating around for a while. I’d wait to see if you qualify for a few months.

– Virgin Atlantic Amex. The normal offer is 25,000 points after minimum spend, but they have regularly offered a 45,000 point bonus for the past couple of years. I’d wait.

– United Explorer has a 30,000 point bonus, but many people are offered a 55,000 point deal. If you do not get that offer now, and you plan on flying United in the next few months, I’d wait to see if it becomes available to you. If you don’t plan on flying United, I would just take the 30,000 points.

– Southwest Visa. Their regular offer has been for 1 free flight, but they have frequently offered a deal for 2 free flights after minimum spend. I’d wait.

– Alaska Airlines’ credit card offers a 25,000 mile bonus, but they used to have a 40,000 mile offer available during promo periods. Unfortunately that seems to have gone by the wayside. I’d just take the 25,000 miles.

– Chase Freedom card has a 10,000 point offer, though they used to offer as much as 35,000 points. Unfortunately, it seems like those offers are gone. I’d just take the 10,000 points.

What’d I miss?

– Per a reader: The Amex Platinum card usually offers 25,000 points (though their Mercedes Benz version offers 50,000 points). Earlier this year there was a 100,000 point public offer — that’s level of offer is rare, though they do send out 100,000 point targeted offers frequently. If you’re in the market for a Platinum, I’d wait a few months and see if you receive a targeted offer — if not, and you’re an Amex member, it doesn’t hurt to call them and ask if you’re eligible for any 100k offers.

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  1. You missed that the aforementioned dude was a total douche…

  2. How about the platinum Amex, which had a 100,000 point one-day bonus a little while back? If you’re not in a rush, any reason to expect a repeat of that?

    • Good question – I added to the post. I think the 100k public offer is a rare bird, but they do send out targeted 100k offers frequently. I’d wait a few months to see if you get one…That 50k Mercedes version offer has been around for a while – you can always fall back to that.

  3. This is excellent thank you. I have been keeping something like this of my own.

    Some others that come to mind are
    Air Tran 16 vs 32 credits
    Virgin America 10000 vs 20000
    Marriott 70000 (or more?) vs 50000
    JetBlue 10000 vs 20000
    Priority club had something too didnt it like 90000? vs something else?

  4. The sapphire has been 50k for a long time before. It is now 40k but it could easily go back. this is probably the most frequently touted card but people never seem to mention that it was 50k not that long ago.

    douchebag or not, I think that guy had a valid point. I’m not sure I’d list a card in my best cards list without at least mentioning that there is a chance a better offer for the same card could appear because it has in the past.

  5. Thanks for listing all these in one place. Benefiting from your long experience. This will be helpful in timing credit card applications, like for the Starwood Amex card.

    Yes, I’d love for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus to be bumped up too.

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