January 21, 2014
Lots of miscellaneous things going on…
Delta award bookings
Last week I reported a way to book multiple saver level awards when Delta shows just one saver level seat available (see “Booking Delta awards when you love your spouse“). I ran a simple test to see if I could repeat the process and I was half successful. First, I booked a saver level business class award to Asia for my wife. Then, the next day I logged in again to try to book the same award for myself. I found that, at the saver level, I could get myself on the same outbound flight, but not on the same return (in business class). I didn’t really want this award (it was just a test), so I went ahead and cancelled both. If I did want the award I would have booked myself into business on the outbound and coach on the return then I would have looked each day for the return business class award. If/when that opened up, I would change my award accordingly. With Delta Platinum or Diamond status, a change like that would be free, otherwise it would cost $150.
FX International Payments 30K offer
In the recent post “A different kind of signup bonus” I showed that American Express was offering 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up for their small business international payments program and making four international payments. It turns out that my application to this program was denied so I won’t be able to provide any more first-hand updates about this program.
US Airways card to keep going
Last week, View from the Wing reported that “The US Airways Card from Barclays is NOT Going Away Due to the Merger.” He reports that Barclays will continue to accept new applications for the card until American Airlines and US Airways combine into a single program in 2015. After that, the card will be rebranded as an American Airlines card and will remain active, but Barclays will stop accepting new applications. There are a few reasons I’m excited about this news:
- I think there’s a good chance that Barclays will be more aggressive about trying to signup new cardholders throughout 2015. This would likely mean larger signup bonuses!
- Some versions of the US Airways card offer a 10,000 mile bonus each year upon renewal. I have two such cards and so happily “buy” 20,000 miles each year for $178 (.89 cents per mile). I’ll be thrilled if this benefit continues and earns AA miles in the future.
- Some versions of the US Airways card offer 10,000 elite qualifying miles when you reach $25K spend in a calendar year. For those seeking elite status with American Airlines, this will be a great benefit.
Office Supply goodies
Yesterday I reported on all of the great things going on at Staples (see “Staples Rocks“). Take a look, in particular, at the sections regarding Amex Sync offers and Visa Savings Edge! Also, via my Quick Deals page, I reported that OfficeMax is offering $20 off $300 worth of MasterCard gift cards this week. Best bet: buy three $200 MasterCard gift cards to get $40 off.
In the past several days I’ve received a flood of questions about Chase Ink cards (probably due to the deals referenced above since the Ink cards earn 5X at office supply stores). Here are some answers:
Q: I don’t see “Visa” anywhere on the Ink application. Are Chase Ink cards really now issued as Visa cards?
A: Yes, when you click through to the application, you should be able to find the following text in the terms:
By becoming a Visa Business Card cardmember, you agree that the card is being used only for business purposes and that the card is being issued to a public or private company including a sole proprietor or employees or contractors of an organization.
Q: Do I need to have a business to get an Ink card?
A: Yes. I have two businesses that I’ve used to successfully apply for Ink cards: my blog and rental property that I own. For the latter, I do not have a business tax ID, so I used my SSN instead. Details can be found here.
Q: Will my application get approved?
A: Maybe not. Since late summer 2013, I’ve received numerous reports from readers who’s applications were denied even after they called for reconsideration. On the other hand, many other readers were approved. Apply only if you’re willing to take the risk of a forfeited hard inquiry on your credit report. You could reduce the risk a bit by also applying for a personal Chase card the same day. If Chase uses the same credit bureau for both inquiries, the two “hard pulls” should get combined into one (this happens after the fact).
Q: I’ve applied for the MasterCard version of the Ink Plus (or Ink Bold) in the past and received a signup bonus. If I apply again, will I receive the signup bonus again now that the card is issued as a Visa card?
A: Most likely, yes (assuming your application is approved). I don’t yet have personal experience with this, but several readers have reported receiving signup bonuses again. This works because the Visa version is considered to be a new product. I will apply myself for the Ink Plus Visa sometime in the next month or two and I’ll report my findings then.