Category Archives: Credit Card Deals - Page 3

Wow, I’ve Been Giving 1 Bad Piece of Credit Card Advice, And I’d Like to Rectify It Now

I’m going to step up and be an adult and admit something. Pssst, come a little closer….I don’t want to shout. OK, that’s too close. Yes, right there.

Shhhh…I’ve been giving a piece of advice that, now that I think more about it, is, how do I put this….wrong. I’ve been giving a wrong piece of advice.

But I have good news – I’m going to correct myself. Here goes:

I’ve been saying for a while that for many people their best bet is to get a 2% cash back card as their everyday card, and to stop using it only to hit minimum spends on new cards where you’re going for a bonus (or if there are cards with a category bonus – say, the Sapphire Preferred on dining and travel – where you get at least 2% back in points on certain categories). For those who don’t use points for business class international travel, most people are best off getting the 2% cash back card as their everyday card. (The other way of looking at this is that all points you earn through spend cost 2 cents, which is what you’re forgoing by not getting the Amex Fidelity card that offers 2% cash back).

However, that advice is wrong. Or at very least, it doesn’t maximize your outcome.

If you have a 2% cash back card for everyday spend, your best bet is to buy Vanilla Reloads to satisfy your minimum spends on cards you’ve churned. Why? Let’s look at it this way:

If you have a card (like the Amex SPG) where you need to spend $5,000 to earn a bonus, you can purchase 10 Vanilla Reloads for a total of $39.50, then go deposit the money into your Bluebird account and pay off the $5,000 credit card bill with those funds.

If you do what I was previously suggesting – just putting $5,000 worth of regular spend on that Amex SPG to hit the minimum spend – you are forgoing $100 in cash back on that $5,000 spend. You’ve just cost yourself and extra $60.50 by listening to me.

It’s worth doing the math for whatever everyday card you use. I use the United Club card as my everyday card, where I earn 1.5 points for regular spend. If I shift $5,000 in spend from that to a card where I’m trying to hit a bonus, I’m forgoing 7,500 United miles. If I go the Vanilla Reload route, I’m basically paying $39.50 for 7,500 United miles. That’s not a bad cost per mile (roughly $5.64/1,000 miles).

So I take back my earlier advice and admit that perhaps I was just a little bit, ummmm, wrong.


Amex SPG 30,000 Bonus Point Offer Is Live

As mentioned before (and as they do every year, seemingly), the American Express Starwood card is now offering a 30,000 point bonus (rather than the normal 25,000 point bonus).

It’s 10,000 points after your first purchase, then an additional 20,000 after $5,000 spend in 3 months. $65 annual fee is waived.

If you’re new to this whole thing people love the SPG card because the points are enormously flexible – they transfer into a whole bunch of airline partners and you get a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 points. Plus, there are a TON of Starwood hotels at every level. People love this card for everyday spend for those reasons.

That said, I tend to remain cautious about churning, and if you’re within 90 days of your last churn I’d think for a bit before applying – it’s only an extra 5,000 points (which is great and all, unless it prevents you from getting another card in the future.

The bonus offer is good until September 3rd. You can’t get it if you’ve had an SPG in the last 12 months – you had to have canceled the card more than 12 months ago. (But if you’ve had a personal card in the past 12 months, you can get a business card – they’re considered separate cards.


The Easiest Way to Hit Minimum Spend on Chase Credit Cards

I’ve started to receive the credit cards from my churn a week ago, and I’m already starting to sweat — every time I do a churn I start to freak out roughly 7 hours after the cards arrive that I’m not going to hit the minimum spends. I always hit the minimum spends, but I’m immediately antsy that somehow this will be the time where I don’t.

This is ridiculous, of course, as there are a bunch of ways to hit minimum spends, all of which have been discussed on blogs ad infinitum.

Still, I’ve been reading about a really easy way to hit minimum spends on Chase credit cards (yes, I saw this on Flyertalk – where lots of us bloggers get information, so let’s skip the part where people complain about blogs writing stuff from Flyertalk — I’m talking to you, people who absolutely tore into Daraius at Million Mile Secrets in the comments of this post last week.)

And yes, others have mentioned this but for whatever reason people though this would expire on August 1st. It did not.

Here’s how it works:

– Chase will sell you gift cards up to $500 each with NO SHIPPING CHARGE (at least for the time being there is no shipping charge) and with no service fee at this website.

– You must pay for the purchase with a Chase credit card (so you can’t use this for minimum spends on cards issued by other banks, which is a bummer for my last churn).

– You can purchase up to $2,600 in cards in a rolling 30 day period on a give card.

– When you receive the card, you call the number on the back to activate it. Use the automated activation and they will assign you a PIN.

– Unfortunately you have to call each time individually to activate each card. IE, you cannot activate multiple cards in one phone call – you’ll have to call once for each call.

– Oh, and you’ll want to change the PIN on each card, because you’ll never keep all of those PINs straight.

– Wait to hear confirmation on the phone that the card is activated and the PIN has been changed.

– Go to Wal-Mart and load your Bluebird account with the Gift Card (it will work because there is a PIN — you cannot load a Gift Card with no PIN).

A Few Quick Notes:

1) Will this last forever? Nothing lasts forever.

2) What if you suddenly can no longer use these cards to fund the Bluebird account? Unlike the previously-mentioned Home Improvement Card Fiasco (HICF) these are just gift cards — use them anywhere, or use them on Amazon Payments if you really need to unload quickly.

3) So there’s no risk? There’s never no risk – but the risk here seems considerably lower than with the HICF since these cards can be spent like cash.


Amex Starwood Credit Card Will Offer Improved Signup Bonus Starting on Tuesday, August 6th

Just a heads up that the Amex Starwood personal and business credit cards will have a bonus offer beginning on Tuesday, August 6th. Just about this time for the past few years they’ve offered a 30,000 point bonus after $5,000 spend (rather than the normal 25,000). This seems to lead to a blogger frenzy, but remember – it’s just 5,000 extra points. That said, I’ve told most of the clients of my free Credit Card Planning Service to wait for this offer each year, so I hope you’ve built it into your churn schedule.

I’ll let you know when it’s live.


Summer Churn-i-versity Day 3: American Express Membership Rewards Points

Yesterday we looked at everyone’s current favorite points program (Ultimate Rewards), and today we’ll look at everyone’s former favorite points program, American Express Membership Rewards. If you’re new to credit card churning you missed what is kind of looked back on as the golden age of Membership Rewards when they had more transfer partners (like United), and the transfer partners they had had great redemption values (like Air Canada’s Aeroplan). There are still some decent-to-very-good redemption opportunities with Membership Rewards, though it really isn’t what it used to be.

Q: Let’s start with the most important part: Where can I redeem Membership Rewards points?
A: Amex allows you to redeem the points for gift cards (generally a terrible idea); to pay for travel (terrible); to “buy” products from their catalog (awful); for cash (pretty terrible); and to transfer to partners (some terrible, some good, some great).

Their airline transfer partners are Aeromexico, Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, British Airways, Delta, El Al, Air France/KLM, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic.

Their hotel partners are slim: Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors (terrible redemption rate), and Starwood (terrible redemption rate). Let’s just assume you won’t be transferring points to hotels from Membership Rewards.

Q: Does every Amex card earn me Membership Rewards points?
A: No. Amex Platinum Cards, Gold Cards, Green Card, and the elusive Centurion Card all earn Membership Rewards points. The rest of the Amex cards out there do not. The Green Card has the lowest annual fee ($95) if you were wondering.

Q: What about the free Amex Blue card? Doesn’t that offer Membership Rewards?
A: This is where things get a little confusing. The Amex Blue card offers Membership Rewards EXPRESS points, which can be used almost the same as regular Membership Rewards points EXCEPT for hotel and airline transfers (ie, the exact reasons you would get Membership Rewards in the first place.).

However, those MR Express points can be useful. If you cancel one of the cards that earns regular MR points and you still have MR points in your account, they are lost forever (unless you transfer them somewhere). If you don’t want to transfer them, you can open an Amex Blue account (which isn’t a bad thing, since it’s free and you can just keep it open forever), and transfer those MR points to MR Express points. Just have them sit there. When a good deal comes along for one of the regular MR cards, open one of those cards up – you’ll then be able to convert the MR Express points to regular Membership Rewards again. Like magic. Or something.

Q: That’s kinda confusing, no?
A: Yes. Just remember the short version: Membership Rewards points disappear if you cancel the card and if you don’t have an Amex Blue card.

Q: What are the differences between the different Amex cards?
A: Glad you asked. And the good news is that this isn’t particularly confusing.

There’s a Business Platinum Card and a Personal Platinum Card. They both offer the same benefits:

-There’s a $475 annual fee, and they don’t waive it the first year. I would not get either card unless there was a significant bonus attached (they have, on occasion, offered 100,000 point bonuses for the personal card – unless you need the Platinum for some reason, I would wait for the bonus).

-There are 2 significant benefits to the card. First, you can get lounge access with Delta, American and US Airways (though you’ll need to be flying either Delta or American that day to gain access to those lounges) Secondly, they’ll refund you $200 worth of airline incidental charges over the year, and in most cases airline gift cards are reimbursed (so you’re getting a $200 airline credit as part of your annual fee, basically).

-There’s a 25k bonus after you spend $2,000 on the personal card. However, you are better off getting the Amex Mercedes-Benz version of the Platinum card, as it offers a 50,000 point bonus after you spend just $1,000 in 3 months. The Business version of the Platinum card earns you a bonus of 25,000 points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months.

There is a business version called the Business Gold Rewards card, and there’s a personal version called the Premier Rewards Gold. They both have a $175 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year.

-The personal card offers triple points on flights and double points at supermarkets and gas stations. You’ll get a 25,000 point bonus after you spend $2,000 in 3 months, and they’ll give you another 15,000 points when you spend $30,000 in a year (though it’s not worth trying to hit that – there are better cards where you should put that kind of spend – including a 2% cash back card we’ll talk about in an upcoming post).

-The business card offers triple points on airfare, and double points on advertising, gas stations and (oddly enough) shipping. The card offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months.

-Amex offers occasional increased bonuses on these cards (generally up to 75,000 points), so I would wait for these offers before applying.

Bleh. No bonus points. Not even worth talking about.

Q: Can I churn these cards?
A: Amex explicitly tells you that you can. In general, you can get a bonus again if you haven’t had a similar card in 12 months. Meaning you canceled the card at least 12 months ago. And in the Terms they’ll tell you which cards prevent you from getting a bonus again. But generally, yes you can get these bonuses repeatedly (though not frequently).

Q: What about the Starwood Preferred Amex? I’ve heard great things about that card.
A: It is a very good card, but it earns Starwood points, not Membership Rewards points.

Q: So what ARE the good redemption options for Membership Rewards?
A: Hm, that’s a good question. Amex will, from time-to-time, offer bonus points for transferring to partners. It seems they generally do this with British Airways and Delta, though they’ve done it with other partners as well. Delta’s points are so useless (because they make so few seats available at low redemption rates) that it’s rarely if ever worth that transfer. Because Singapore Airlines miles can be used for United Airlines flights, those can be a great option – they only require 60,000 miles for a roundtrip business class ticket to Hawaii (where United charges 80,000 miles for the same ticket). Here’s their award chart. ANA is a good option for some flights, because their distance-based award chart has some gems on it (including 63,000 miles for a business class roundtrip ticket from New York to London on United). And British Airways has some great short-haul redemption options where they only charge 4,500 miles each way. We’ll talk about these tomorrow.

Q: That gets a bit confusing.
A: Agreed. Unfortunately Membership Rewards points don’t transfer to United, American or US Airways so you have to be creative about how you can redeem on those airlines. ANA and Singapore can both be redeemed on US Airways and United. And British Airways can be used for American Airlines redemptions (though they charge a ridiculous fuel surcharge on flights to Europe).

Q: So are Membership Rewards points really worth getting?
A: Yes – when Amex offers large bonuses they’re definitely worth grabbing. You just have to be slightly creative about where you decide to transfer those points.


Credit Card Churn-i-versity, Part 2: Chase Ultimate Rewards

On the last day of this week I’ll present some ideas about how to decide which credit cards to get, but I think it first makes sense to take a deeper dive into the primary rewards programs out there in the marketplace. We’ll look at 2 programs run by banks that offer considerable flexibility because the points transfer into a number of different airline and hotel partners. Tomorrow we’ll look at Amex Membership Rewards. But let’s start with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Q: Why do bloggers talk about Ultimate Rewards all the time?
A: It’s a favorite for a few reasons: First, the points transfer into a bunch of programs. Second, the points transfer into the incredibly flexible Mileage Plus program run by United Airlines (and Membership Rewards points do not transfer into United). Third, there are lots of ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points through credit cards.

Q: What programs do they transfer into?
A: For airlines they transfer 1:1 into United, Southwest Airlines, Korean Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways. For hotels, they transfer 1:1 into Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and Priority Club. They will also let you use the points to purchase travel with a 25% bonus; meaning, if you buy a ticket (or a hotel room; or a car rental) for $625, you can pay for it with 50,000 miles.

Q: Are all of those transfer partners equally valuable?
A: There’s some controversy about how to use Ultimate Rewards points. I believe there is no bad way to use your points (except not using them). Some people only like to use points to fly first class internationally. Great. Some people never travel internationally, and find it better to use the miles for a ticket on Southwest. Fine.

Personally, I’ve used the points to transfer primarily to United because (as we’ll see tomorrow) of the flexibility and award availability offered by the program. But I’ve also used the points to pay for travel. There are times where it would require fewer points to just pay for a ticket or a hotel room than to transfer the points to a Hotel program and reserve a room that way. Some folks disagree with me about using points this way, but they are wrong ☺

For hotels, I think that transferring points to Hyatt is a good idea – their top tier hotels only require 22,000 points a night, where Hilton, for example, charges 95,000 points. Hm – where would I rather transfer points?

Q: Alright, let’s get to it: How do I earn these points?
A: Chase offers 3 primary cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.

-The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 2 points for travel and restaurant spend, and 1 point for everything else. It’s $95/year, though the first year is free. They also give you a 7% point bonus at the end of the year, so you’re effectively earning 2.14 points for every dollar spent on travel and restaurants. There’s no fee for using the card overseas, either. They will give you 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months.

– The Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus are both Business cards, with the only difference between them that you can pay charges off over time with the Ink Plus. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on your cable, phone, internet, and cellular phone bills; as well as 5 points for every dollar spent at office supply stores. You’ll get 1 point for just about everything else. It’s also $95/year, with the first year free. You’ll get a 50,000 point bonus after you spend $5,000 on the card in 3 months.

Q: Great, I’ll take all of those cards.
A: Slow down, hoss. I generally only suggest getting 1 Chase personal card and 1 Chase business card per churn. And Chase offers a bunch of great cards tied to airlines (United, British Airways) and hotels (Hyatt, Priority Club), among others.

If you do decide to get the Sapphire Preferred card and you have a spouse, I generally recommend getting a card for yourself (or your spouse) and adding yourself (or your spouse) as an authorized user. You’ll both be putting spend on the card so you can hit the minimum spend faster. And you are still eligible for the bonus if you’ve been an authorized user.

I would do the same with the Ink Bold or Ink Plus (it doesn’t really matter which you get first). Get 1 card and add your spouse as an authorized user.

Also, Chase does not seem to allow you to get a bonus on the Ink Bold or Ink Plus if you have the other card opened. To get that 2nd bonus, you’ll need to close down one account (say, the Ink Bold) to be able to earn the 50k points for the Ink Plus.

Q: Oh good, so I should just get the cards and cancel them after I get the bonus?
A: This is a key point about churning: ALWAYS keep your cards open for at least 11 months. Never cancel a card right after you earn the bonus. Banks have been known to take back points for doing that. Keep the cards open 11 months. Repeat that to yourself.

Q: Can my spouse and I combine Ultimate Rewards accounts?
A: Good question. You’ll actually have separate Ultimate Rewards accounts for the business cards and for the personal cards. You can move points freely between those accounts. You can also move points between your accounts and your spouse’s accounts, no problem. You can also transfer your points to a spouse’s frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program account. Chase frowns on transferring points to someone else’s Ultimate Rewards accounts, and they’ve been known to shut down accounts for doing that.

Q: What happens to my points if I cancel my credit cards?
A: The points will disappear. You should always transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to your spouse or to an airline or hotel partner before closing down a card.

Q: What about these other Chase cards I’ve seen: The regular Chase Sapphire, the Chase Ink Classic, and the Chase Freedom cards? Are they worth getting?

A: The primary difference between those cards and the others mentioned here is that those cards all earn cash back rather than Ultimate Rewards points. EXCEPT, if you have EITHER a Sapphire Preferred card, an Ink Bold card, or an Ink Plus card: if you do, then you can transfer those “cash back points” (100 points = $1) you earned with the regular Sapphire, Ink Classic and Freedom cards and move them to your Ultimate Rewards account.

Q: Why would I do that?
A: Because those cards all have no annual fee. You may remember from yesterday’s post that having long-term open credit is good for your credit score. An easy way to accomplish that is to open a no-annual fee card (like the Freedom, regular Sapphire, or Ink Classic) and just keep it open forever.

Here’s my strategy with those cards: Once my wife received the bonus for the Sapphire Preferred and kept it open a year, we closed her card. We will then get her a regular Sapphire card — because she has an Ink Bold, she’ll be able to use the Sapphire card (which also earns 2 points for dollar spent at travel and restaurants) to earn Ultimate Rewards points. In other words – she’s getting the benefits of the Sapphire Preferred without paying an annual fee.

You can do the same with the Ink Bold – if you close that account and keep your Sapphire Preferred card open, you can “downgrade” to the Ink Classic and still earn 5 points per dollar on the bonus categories without paying for an annual fee.

Q: Can’t I just churn these cards, re-opening them after I close them so I can keep getting bonuses?
A: Unfortunately not – unlike some other issuers, Chase does not let you churn cards. I know, bummer.


Summer Credit Card Churn-i-versity: Part 1, The Basics

I was out to dinner with a friend last week, and after I was probably blabbering some nonsense about travel she asked me a few basic questions about credit card churning. I thought to myself, “sheesh, can’t you just go back 2 1/2 years ago and find some post I wrote about that in 2011?” Then I thought to myself, “Hey schmuck (me = schmuck). Who is going to go searching 2 1/2 years ago to find some random point I made about credit cards?”

Good point, my brain. Wouldn’t it be nice if I put together an overview of credit card churning during a nice slow summer week? Yes, yes it would be nice.

I know that lots of people have read this blog (and/or others) regularly and have a pretty thorough knowledge of the details of churning. That’s fantastic, and a hearty congratulations to each of you. Mazel Tov. But there are newbies to this thing all the time (as I find out from my credit card planning service) – it’s difficult to learn where to start.

So with that, let’s start the OTR Summer Credit Card Churn-i-versity.

Part 1: The Basics

Q: What is credit card churning, and why are you talking about it?
A: Most people think of credit cards as ways to pay for stuff. Or, perhaps they open a credit card tied in with their favoriate airline and put all of their spend on that card in hopes of earning enough miles for a trip one day. Churning is the idea that you can open many credit cards to earn miles and points. Your focus is on earning the bonuses associated with opening those cards, rather than on opening one or two cards and trying to earn points by spending.

Q: Wait a minute there, mister. I’ve always heard that opening credit cards lowers my credit score.
A: If there is one consistent fallacy about churning, it’s that the act of opening credit cards hurts your credit score. Let me say this unequivocally: opening credit cards does NOT hurt your credit score if it’s done smartly. Your credit score is made up of several factors, including how long you have had credit open; whether you have gone delinquent on credit payments; how many credit inquiries you’ve had; and how much available credit you have.

It is true that your score will take a small hit (usually 5-10 points or so) when you open a credit card (because the credit check – called a “hard pull” – costs you those points). However, over time you will earn those points back (if not more) by having additional open credit that you are not using. Let me put it this way: I’ve probably opened upwards of 50 cards over the past few years, and my score it still hovering around 800.

Q: Awesome, so even if I have bad credit and don’t pay off my bills each month I can get lots of free miles for travel?
A: Hold on, Sparky. Here’s the bad news: if you have credit scores below around 720 or so you should not be playing with credit card churning. If you do not pay off your credit card bills each month you should not be playing with credit card churning. If you are making a large purchase (say, a home) in the next 2 years, you should not be playing with credit card churning.

Q: Aw, you are a party pooper.
A: Yes I am. This brings up an important point about churning: you should feel comfortable with what you’re doing. There are people who churn 6 or 8 cards every 3 months. There are people who churn 2 cards a year. There is no right answer – you need to be able to sleep at night. You should feel free to start slow and ramp up from there once you understand the details. Again – don’t worry about what you read others are doing with the credit card churns. YOU have to live with the decisions you make.

Q: How do I keep track of all the credit cards I’m opening?
A: Some people just manage to remember. Some people put things in their iPhone calendar. I find it easiest to use this spreadsheet sent in by a reader that allows you to keep track of every card you’ve opened, the associated bonus, when you need to close it, and more. I couple that with iPhone reminders for when I need to close cards. That’s served me exceptionally well, except for the one time I was a moron about it and forgot to pay a $6 bill on one of my wife’s cards, and it caused a seemingly never-ending fiasco that I’m still dealing with 14 months later.

Q: Wait, what was that?
A: Yeah, many of us who churn have some sort of similar bout of stupidity. Use the spreadsheet, set up calendar reminders, and always set your payments to auto-pay. You’ll be fine.

Q: OK, this sounds fantastic…where do I start?
A: I think the first question you should answer is this: Where do I want to go on my first trip? We can start opening cards willy-nilly, and that’s fine too — lots of people just do that and accumulate points. If you’re a newbie, though, I find it easiest to decide on a trip and earn points specifically for that. Why? First, so you can quickly see the fruits of your labor. And second, because airlines and hotels tend to devalue their points over time, sitting on a ton of points you’re not using (like I do!), tends to be a poor strategy.

Q: That’s fine, but even if I decide I want to go to Hawaii, how do I know the best credit cards to open for that?
A: I guess there are a couple of ways to learn that. You are certainly free to ask me — that’s probably the easiest way. You can check my handy-dandy single chart of how many miles every airline requires to each destination. I’ll also be spending the next few days going over the various points programs, airline programs, and hotel programs to help show you the pro’s and con’s of each of them.

Q: Can I really earn enough miles to take a good trip? I’ve been putting my spending on a card forever, and I barely have enough miles for a trip to Florida.
A: Yes, absolutely! One example: I helped someone last year earn 500,000 miles to take 4 people in business class to China, just by opening credit cards. My family and I are going business class to Hawaii next month, with 12 hotels nights all for on points that I’ve earned with credit card signups. This is an incredibly powerful tool that opens up the entire world to you – really.

Q: So what’s the plan here?
A: In general, you’ll be opening cards and focusing on getting the minimum spend met on those (in other words, the minimum spend you need to earn a large mileage bonus). You’ll also want to pick a so-called “everyday card” for when you’re not trying to meet a bonus. Then there are purchase-specific cards (ie, cards that earn large cash back amounts for, say, groceries) that you’ll keep open when you make specific kinds of purchases. At the end of these tutorials, we’ll help you figure out the best card combination for you.

For Tomorrow: Let’s get started and talk about Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, two programs that allow you to transfer points to a number of different partners.


Yes, Chase Will Give You the 60,000 Points for Recent Ink Bold and Ink Plus Apps

As discussed ad infinitum, Chase has upped the bonus on Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus to 60,000 points. I had applied for (and received) an Ink Plus about 2 months ago and hit the minimum spend on it already when this promo launched.

I was initially a tad annoyed, but I sent the fine folks at Chase a secure message yesterday asking whether they could match the 60,000 point offer. Within a few hours they wrote back and offered me an extra 10,000 points to match the offer.

Lesson? I have no idea. But if you’ve recently (I have no idea what “recently” means here – certainly in the past few months) gotten an Ink Bold or Ink Plus, you should sent Chase a secure message asking them to match the 60k offer.


Just a Quick Reminder about Credit Card Companies Bumping Bonuses

I just wanted to remind everyone that credit card companies are often (though not always) happy to match a higher bonus that’s available after you’ve applied.

This isn’t new news by any means, but I received an email from one of my credit card planning clients yesterday to say that he had applied for a Southwest Visa 2 weeks ago where the bonus was 25,000 points. After he saw the post here about Southwest now offering 50,000 points, he called Chase at (888) 245-0625 and they agreed to give him the higher bonus.

Like I said, it doesn’t always work, but just remember that if you see higher bonuses, always call.


2 Free Tickets Deal Is Back for Chase Southwest Visa Cards

From time-to-time Chase offers a 50,000 point bonus (good for 2 tickets) on their 4 Southwest Airlines credit cards. It’s been gone for a bit, but it’s now back. I don’t have time (some of us have jobs!) to type all the details here about free companion tickets etc, but for all 4 of these cards you’ll get 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after $2000 spend in 3 months:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card
$99 annual fee not waived

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card
$69 annual fee not waived

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card
$99 annual fee not waived

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Business Card
$69 annual fee not waived

(Thanks, Slickdeals)