Earning points while my better half waits

I recently signed up and was approved for four different credit cards, with the following signup bonuses:

  • Amex Blue Cash: no bonus
  • Barclaycard Arrival: 40K bonus after $1K spend
  • Citi Executive AAdvantage: 100K  after $10K spend
  • Chase Ink Plus: 50K after $5K spend

You can read about the Blue Cash card here, and read about my experience with the Citi Executive card here.  The Arrival card is one I’ve wanted for some time and so I finally bit the bullet and applied.  As to the Ink Plus, of course I’ll be thrilled to get the 50K signup bonus again, but my primary motivation was to get a Visa version of the card (I already have a MasterCard version assigned to a separate business).  With the Visa version, I can enroll the card in the Visa Savings Edge program so as to automatically earn cash back at certain merchants (including Staples, where the Ink card also earns 5X).

For my wife, I’m very tempted to sign her up for the 100K Citi offer, but I’m holding off for now.  The reason? I feel like something else big is coming. Yes, the Citi offer is a big score, but I keep thinking that we’re going to see another big score soon.  It’s just a hunch.  I have absolutely no inside knowledge nor psychic powers in play here.  Anyway, for whatever reason, I’m waiting for that something else.  I’m hoping that my wife will be able to snag both the Citi offer and the next big thing.  We’ll see.

In case my imaginary next big thing doesn’t materialize, here are some offers I’m considering for my wife:

  • Two Southwest 50K cards in order to nab a companion pass (which requires 110K points earned in a calendar year).  Now that Southwest will be flying to Aruba and other interesting tropical locations, I’m more interested than ever.  And, my companion pass from the big Sears 15X deal in 2012 has expired.
  • An Amex business Gold card or business Platinum card.  We need to cancel her personal Platinum card soon because the second year annual fee just came due, so she’ll need another Membership Rewards card to keep her points alive.  I might even take a chance on the Platinum Mercedes card, even though she technically wouldn’t qualify for the 50K bonus since she currently has the regular Platinum card (I don’t know if they really enforce that restriction with that card).  Another good option would be the Blue for business card (offer temporarily expired)It only offers a 10K signup bonus, but it has no annual fee and it earns a respectable 30% annual bonus on points earned.  On the other hand, with that card she won’t be able to transfer points to airlines, so it would really just be a stopgap approach to keeping her points alive until a better opportunity arises.
  • Citi Executive AAdvantage 100K
  • Barclaycard Arrival 40K
  • BOA Alaska Airlines 40K (here’s my Quick Deal regarding that offer)

How long should I wait?  We have until late March to cancel the Platinum card to recover the full second year annual fee, so we could wait that long.  On the other hand, I don’t know how long the Citi 100K offer will remain in play.  I think I’ll wait at least until late February and maybe even until mid March.  But, hopefully, I won’t have to wait that long.  Hopefully, the next big thing will appear soon.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. If you do end up going for the Mercedes Benz Platinum, would love to hear an update in a future post about whether you received the 50k bonus or not. I was tempted to try that myself this month but decided on other options in the end.

  2. Greetings from rainy Rome. I think the 100k AA offer will end suddenly and without notice, so if you want that card, I would apply soon.

    How many current Ink cards do you have Greg?

      • Hi Greg, is the Visa Ink Plus considered a “new” product? I.e. If I canceled my mastercard Ink Plus a bit over 1 yr ago, I would qualify for the 50K bonus? Thanks!

        • And to clarify, I only have one business – my sole proprietorship – so I don’t have the option of applying under another business.

        • Yes, the Visa version is considered a new product, so if you had a MasterCard version and cancelled it you can get the bonus on this one (if your app is approved, of course). With one business, like yours, you can have both an Ink Plus and an Ink Bold at the same time (and Ink Cash and Classic too). So, there are many variations you can utilize.
          .
          Edit: I should have said that I believe it to be a new product based on information from readers. I can’t verify that for sure. The business that I used to apply for the Ink Plus this time around has had the Ink Bold before, but not the Ink Plus so my case is not proof.

      • Were you offered a retention bonus before you cancelled (or did you not ask)? I am debating canceling my Ink+; just looking for data points on what people may’ve been offered.

        • With one of my cancellations I was offered $95 if I kept the card. I asked if I could get points instead and was offered 20,000 points (Yes, please!). With a later cancellation, I wasn’t offered anything.

        • Well I called and they offered 10k points if I spend $5k in 3 months (AF not waived). I guess that’s fair enough if not nearly as compelling as your 20k.

  3. My annual fee just came up due but can’t cancel card yet since I have some bonus miles that are supposed to post within the next few weeks. How long after can I cancel the card and get fee refunded?

    • Yeah, so I sort of changed my mind. My Million Mile Madness adventure made it more clear than ever how much more you can do with signup bonuses than manufactured spend except under unusual circumstances. That said, I do usually look for cards that have both a great bonus and help with manufactured spend options, or have great perks that are worth paying for. The Citi AA card is an exception to that rule.

  4. do you if there are any no fee AMEX cards that earn membership rewards? I have a premier rewards gold card that has the annual fee due soon and I’m looking to downgrade the card so I don’t lose my points.

    • The Amex Blue has no annual fee and earns Membership Rewards Express points. Not Blue Cash, Blue Cash Preferred nor Blue Sky, just plain Blue. It’s kind of like the Chase Freedom, the points can’t be transferred to airlines, unless and until you get a normal MR card as well (Green/Gold/Platinum).

      I just got one because I’m cancelling my Plat but want to preserve my MR points. In 90 days I can apply for the 50k Gold offer if it’s still around.

    • There are two Blue cards to choose from: personal and Blue for Business. The latter one has a 10K signup offer, so I’d recommend that you go for that if you have a business. As DBest said, you should think of these cards as just a way to keep your points alive until you can get a “real” Membership Rewards card that allows point transfers.

  5. The 100k AA offer is very tempting but I am holding out for something else. I am hoping Citi will bump couple of the AA cards to 50,000 sign-up bonus and with 1k spending and annual fee waived first year.
    Hubby just got targeted offered of the Amex PRG,50.000 sign up bonus with 1K spending,annual fee waived first year. Now,that is a GREAT offer!
    But I have to admit that I am asking myself everyday if I should pull the trigger to the current 100K. Hm…I might give in.

  6. Strike while the iron is hot on the AA IMHO. Even if “something big” comes it probably won’t be from Citi, so who cares? Even if is Citi, its just an 8 day clock unless you just got something else. You can’t be worried about inquiries are you? Unless your credit is new or weak those are a paper tiger.

  7. FYI…I recently cancelled my Blue for Business card, even though I had no other card that earned Membership Rewards (oops!).

    I called Amex and they said the balance is still there, I just didn’t have access to it online because I had no active cards with Membership Rewards.

    I was able to redeem all the outstanding MR points over the phone for GCs!

  8. Hi FM,
    Can I apply for Chase Ink Card using my SSN as a sole proprietory (because I do not have any company/business)? Thanks in advance.

  9. Here is why something BIG in the game should happen. It is Febuary. Worst month of the year for retailing anything….except perhaps cough medicine….most are dealing with horrible weather and huge holiday bills that have just come due. Febuary is Squirrel Time! This is why Retailers and Banks must consider something extraordinary to capture attention to their products. Otherwise they resign themselves to weak Febuary sales which is not uncommon. Sad for the consumer…as the big boys just ride out the weak periods like Febuary. It is possible to have record Febuary Sales with a compelling bargain deal! Time will tell! How about $200 off an iPad Air:)

  10. Applied the citi executive on the 28th, receive the card today, 1/31, in Fedex, in a black folder, similar to the hyatt or fairmont packaging.

    • I keep getting 50k with $5,000 spend business gold rewards in the mail too, but if I go to amex.com, click on Small business cards, then at the bottom there will be a section to enter your information to search for targeted offers, I get 50k after $2,000 spend.

      On a different note, the upcoming big thing may be coming from Barclay.

  11. @M Thanks for the tip to find targeted offer for the business gold. That is exactly what I am looking for right now to add to my collection.
    I am sitting out the 100K AA offer since it isn’t my priority. I am focusing on flexible rewards like URs,MRs,and hotel points.

  12. FM you made me a believer with your hunches! you were on point in your post earlier in the week… soon thereafter the 100k offer launched.

    btw if you have any hunches on the lottery, please share 🙂

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