Showing posts with label Bank of America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bank of America. Show all posts

August 15, 2015

What's in My Wallet? August 2015 Edition

It's been a couple of months since I've posted about the credit cards currently in my wallet.  You can check out other posts here:

What's in My Wallet?  June 2015

What's in My Wallet?  March 2015

What's in My Wallet?  October 2014

What's in My Wallet?  April 2014

1)  Alaska Airlines Visa Signature

Emily and I are working on racking up enough Alaska miles (360,000 - 400,000) for a roundtrip first class itinerary on Emirates...So I recently picked up this card to pad my my balance.  If you make a phantom booking on Alaska's website (book a flight and select the CC offer on the last page before purchase) you'll receive 25,000 miles after first purchase and a $100 statement credit after $1,000 in spend.  A great deal that offsets the $75 annual fee.  I've had this card before - BofA is generous in terms of giving out the sign-up bonus multiple times.  We're roughly half way to our goal of 400K Alaska miles so may have to pick up a few more of these cards to ensure we get there.

2)  Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom card offers "rotating" 5x spend categories by quarter.  For this quarter (ending 9.30/15) Freedom is offering 5x at gas stations and Kohl's.  I likely won't spend a dime at Kohl's but the 5x on gas is pretty great.  Fortunately (unfortunately for more points) we only have one car, both walk to work, and don't drive all that much.  But for the $50 - $100 a month we do spend on gas, it's worth keeping the card in my wallet.  No other spend this quarter though.

3)  Chase Sapphire Preferred

All of my extra (not contributing to sign-up bonuses) travel and dining spend goes on the CSP.  I've had the card for over 3 years and gladly pay the $95 annual fee given my credit history, limit, and the earning power of the card.  Don't forget to leverage the CSP for 3x points on dining on the first Friday of each month.

4)  Amex Starwood Preferred Guest (Business Version)

I recently picked up this card for ATRP.  Actually the second time I've had the card and earned the signup bonus.  I'm working on earning the signup bonus ($5K in 180 days) although the signup bonus actually just increased to 30,000 bonus points after $3K in spend - an amazing deal!  

February 25, 2014

Emily's Latest Round of Credit Card Applications

Last weekend, Emily applied for her quarterly round of credit card applications.  If you haven't already, check out these posts for my last round as well as background on the whole process.  Here is the overview and results.

1)  Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card

One of the best all around cards out there.  The current bonus is 10,000 SPG points after first purchase and an additional 15,000 SPG points after spending $5,000 in 6 months.  I will also receive 5,000 SPG points from the SPG Amex referral offer I posted about last week.  The $65 annual fee is waived for the first year.  30,000 total SPG points is good enough for 2-3 nights in a high-end Westin or W hotel in the US.  Or you could use 28,000 points for 5 nights (fifth night free) at the Le Meridien Bangkok!  I value SPG points at around 3 cents each so the value of this approval is $900.

Result:  Pended and then approved after waiting two days

2)  Citi Executive American Airlines World MasterCard

After getting in on this offer last month, I wanted to make sure Emily got to take advantage before the offer expires in March.  The $450 fee is not waived for the first year but the offer comes with a $200 statement credit and 100,000 AA miles after spending $10,000 in 90 days.  The annual fee and minimum spend are steep but it's well worth it in my book especially given the statement credit takes almost half the "sting" out of the annual fee.  100,000 AA miles is good enough for a free roundtrip business class ticket to Europe!  I value AA miles at 2 cents so the value of this approval is $2,000!

Result:  Pended.  Emily had to call, answer a few questions and was approved over the phone in about five minutes.

3)  Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card

I got in on this offer as well last month.  Emily was able to pick-up 30,000 miles with no spend requirement for a $75 annual fee.  For some reason, the offer is not showing up so the link above drives to an offer that provides 25,000 miles and a $100 statement credit after $1,000 in spend in 3 months.  Both pretty good deals.  We'll use these Alaska miles for a future first class flight on Emirates.  I value Alaska miles at 2 cents so the value of this approval is $600.

Result:  Auto approved.

Not a bad haul (three for three!) for about 30 minutes of work on Saturday.  Total "value" of approximately $3,500.  We'll need to spend $15,000 in 6 months but $6,000 out of that will be taken care of by Amazon Payments.  So $1,500 per month for 6 months is easily done.  And the end result will be well worth it.  Including minimum spend, we'll earn 175,000 miles and points for $325.

A very successful quarterly round of apps!

January 23, 2014

My Latest Round of Credit Card Applications: Results

Over the weekend, I applied for the following cards (read this post first if you haven't already).  This was one of the easiest rounds of applications ever.  I was done in less than 30 minutes all all three cards were auto approved onscreen.  It's not always this easy - sometimes you have to fight for an approval by calling the issuer and explain why you want the card.  In some cases I've had to move credit lines around when I have multiple cards with the same issuer to obtain an approval.  But at the end of the day, the banks want to approve vs. decline and keep you as a customer.  Agents are typically super friendly, knowledgeable and genuinely want to find a way to earn/keep your business.

I managed to grab screen caps of 2 of the 3 but missed on the Amex Surpass upgrade.  I'm always shocked at the credit lines these companies doll out. 

Barclays Arrival Auto Approval
Alaska Airlines BofA Auto Approval

All in, I value the points/cashback earned on these cards at $1,190.  Not my best haul but after a couple years of doing this, there aren't unlimited earning opportunities.  I am looking forward to diversifying my point mix a bit and earning Alaska miles definitely plays into that strategy.  I hope to be riding on the Emirates A380 one day soon!!  Stay tuned for the next round of applications in 90 days or so.

January 22, 2014

My Latest Round of Credit Card Applications - January 2014

As I discussed in this post, I apply for a new round of credit cards every 90 days.  Remember, this is not for you if you are a) working on improving your credit b) planning on applying for a loan such as a mortgage in the near future or c) if you periodically carry a balance on your cards.  The rewards that you'll gain in these cases will be heavily offset by either not being able to qualify for the lowest lending rate (due to recent inquiries on your credit report) or actually paying interest if you carry a balance.  Each application will typically ding your credit 2-5 points (those inquiries fall off over time and your score will go back up) thus the reasoning for applying for cards every 90 days on the same day.  The inquiries fall off roughly at the same time and on the day you apply, the other banks don't see that you applied for a card earlier in the day.  My FICO score has only approved over two years of doing this every quarter.  Before this round of applications, my score ranged from 765 - 780.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way...My quarterly "churn" happened to be this past weekend so here's an overview of the cards I applied for and why.  I'll provide an update on the results later in the week.

1)  Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature(R) Card

This card offers 25,000 miles upon approval.  Meaning no minimum spend required.  The card does offer an annual fee of $75 which is not waived for the first year.  I've been meaning to start stocking up on Alaska Miles since they introduced their partnership and award chart with Emirates.  For 100,000 miles, you can fly (one-way) from the US to the Middle East in First Class on the Emirates A380.  Not a bad way to travel especially when you know you can shower on-board.  I value Alaska miles at $.02 each making the sign-up bonus worth $500.