It’s been a while, I haven’t signed up for a new credit card in about seven – whole – weeks. What better time than the present? I signed up for nice batch of credit cards in April, you can read about the results here.
In my latest AppORama I tried to take things a little easier. Here were my target cards:
Citi ThankYou Preferred – 15,000 points – Pending review
Barclay Aviator American Airlines – 50,000 miles – Approved
Amex Delta Platinum Personal card – 70,000 miles – Approved
Card #1 – Citi ThankYou Preferred
Citi is very sensitive to applicants who apply and open credit cards often. I am certainly guilty of that. I am not surprised that this card, even being a beginner card, is under manual review.
I normally would not apply for a credit card with a small bonus but it was now or never. Since I signed up for the Citi ThankYou Premier card 25 months ago, I had a short window for opening another ThankYou card without paying the Premier card annual fee.
Citi changed their rules allowing only one new card bonus per “card” family every 24 months. The 24 month clock restarts anytime you open OR close a card within the family, like ThankYou or AAdvantage. If the bonus later increases from 15k to 30k in the next few months I will write Citi as they are good with matching offers.
I opened the Citi ThankYou Premier card in May 2015 and received 50,000 points. As long as I keep that account open I can receive another ThankYou card bonus starting in June of ’17 (more than 24 months later).
I did not close the Premier account and will not until I hear back on my pending application review of the Preferred card. Once I hear back, either way, I will close the Premier account so the annual fee will be refunded to my account. This is one way to skirt their LAME 24 month clock.
Card #2 – American Express Delta Platinum card (personal, not business version)
I was waiting for this 70,000 mile offer to come back around. Since you can only receive the sign up bonus ONCE per lifetime on Amex cards, it is worth holding out.
This card does have a first year annual fee of $195, but you also receive a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase. So effectively, for me, it comes in at $95 first year cost. Considering these points are worth roughly $1,000, paying $95 is not a big deal.
A round-trip from the US to Europe in economy is 60,000 plus fees, which range from $50-$80 for most European countries. (though London is $200). You can also fly within Mexico for 10,000 Delta Skymiles one-way. Fees are much cheaper flying within Mexico, around $20 one-way.
My favorite use of Delta points is for cheap short-haul flights in the US. For example, I can fly from Phoenix to San Francisco for just 5,500 miles one-way. That means I can fly 12 one-way flights between San Fran and Phoenix with this sign-up bonus. The cash price for a one-way from PHX to SFO is $105 on Delta. If flying 12x on this route one-way and saving $105 each time, that is a sign-up bonus value of over $1,200! (from one card)
If you’ve considered the Delta Platinum card, I would recommend it with the 70k bonus. If you’ve already received the bonus on the personal version of the card, you can still receive a bonus for the small business version of the card. (and no, you don’t need to own a business to be approved, I have many amex small biz cards)
Offer ends 7/5/2017*
Card #3 – Barclay American Airlines Aviator card
I just posted about this deal, and it is a NICE deal. You’ll receive 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after making a single purchase with your card and paying the $95 annual fee. Basically you are paying $95 for 50,000 AA miles easily worth over $600. We used AA miles as part of our journey around the world. American has great OneWorld partners like Qatar and Cathay Pacific that give your points much more value and flexibility.
Perks of the card:
— Priority boarding – zone #4
— Free checked bag for you and up to 4 travelling companions
— 10% points rebate, up to 10,000 per year (redeem 30k points receive 3k back)
— No foreign transaction fee
— 25% off in flight purchases
You can only receive this Aviator bonus offer every 24 months from Barclay. This 50k offer and rules are totally separate from Citi’s American Airlines credit cards, so get both cards if you can!
I will earn at least 120,000 bonus points, possibly 135,000 if Citi approves my Preferred card offer. I value the 120,000 miles at over $1,600. Considering my total annual fees are $280 and I’ll receive a $100 statement credit, $180 effectively for $1,600 in travel is a great return.
If you add in the perks, like free baggage, priority boarding, and in-flight savings, that makes things a lot sweeter!