319,000 points after $33K spend

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UPDATE 10/1/2015: Please note that the 30K SPG offers described in this post have expired.

Yesterday, my wife applied for 8 new credit cards and was instantly approved for 5 of them.  At the time of this writing, the other 3 are pending.  Here’s the story…

I realized yesterday that my wife had never signed up for SPG cards (yes, major lapse on my part!).  So, with the current 30K SPG offers, it was time.  And, I figured that she might as well throw in a few other applications as well.  Here are the cards she applied for:

  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic: 75K bonus after $12K spend
  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic: 75K bonus after $12K spend (2nd application)319,000 points
  • Bank of America Alaska Business: 25K bonus upon approval
  • Citi ThankYou Premier: 50K after $3K spend
  • CitiBusiness AA: 50K after $3K spend
  • Amex Business Gold: 75K after $10K spend
  • Amex SPG Business: 30K after $5K spend
  • Amex SPG Personal: 30K after $3K spend

Caution

I do not recommend signing up for this many cards at once.  Only sign up for cards if you know that you’ll be able to pay off the balances in full each month, and that you can meet the minimum spend requirements.

Bank of America

Soon after I successfully signed up for 4 Virgin Atlantic cards in one day, I started hearing that BOA had changed their approval process.  I experienced the new process myself when I tried again in July (see: New BOA approval process and a stumble on my way to Necker Island).  My wife, though, hasn’t applied for any cards in a while so I knew she could easily get at least one card, and hopefully two.  My theory was that she could get one personal card and one business card in one day.  Not wanting to leave any points on the table, though, I thought it made sense for my wife to at least try to get two of the same cards as well.

She applied first for a Virgin Atlantic card and was instantly approved.  An hour later she applied again for the same card.  As expected, the application went to pending status.  Finally, she applied for the Alaska business card.  Since many banks handle their personal and business cards separately, I thought she had a chance of an automatic approval.  No luck.  That application is now pending as well.

If I was applying for cards for myself, I would call to see if I could encourage approval of the pending applications.  My wife hates to make calls like that, though, so we’ll just wait and see how it turns out.

Result: 1 card approved; 2 pending (and likely to be denied)

Citi

People will tell you that Citibank has the following credit card application rules:

  • After applying for a card, you must wait at least 8 days before applying for another
  • You can apply for no more than two cards within a 65 day period

As far as I know, those rules are true, but the 8 day rule does not apply when mixing personal and business cards.

My wife signed up for the Citi Premier card first and was instantly approved.  A few hours later she applied for the CitiBusiness AA card and was instantly approved.  Awesome.

Result: 2 cards approved

American Express

My son keeps getting offers in the mail from American Express, thanks to having setup a web domain (see: How to (maybe) receive targeted Amex business card offers). Previously, the offers were unexciting, but he finally got a decent one: 75,000 points after $10K spend for the Amex Business Gold card.  The offer came with a single-use offer code.  I (on behalf of my wife) entered the code online and changed the business name on the application from our son’s domain name to her business name (which happens to also be her own name).  After filling out the application, the web page said that the application was pending, but in reality she received a congratulations email immediately.  Let’s call that an instant approval.

Next, she signed up for the SPG Business card which may actually come in handy not just for the points but for Sheraton lounge access as well (see: New SPG card benefits: Do they work for award stays? Authorized users?).  She was instantly approved (no need to look for an email this time).

Finally, she signed up for the personal SPG card.  This one went to pending.  The web page suggested that she call, but I decided we would just wait it out to see what happens.  After a few hours, she got this via email:

We are excited that you’ve decided to apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card, and we’re reviewing your application now. We promise to let you know when we’re finished, or if we need more information.

While we’re reviewing your application, please don’t apply for another Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card. Thank you for your interest in American Express.

I’m pretty sure this application will be be approved.

Result: 2 approved, 1 pending (but likely to be approved)

Totals: 319,000 points after $33K spend

Without considering the 3 pending applications, here are the approved cards and the expected rewards from each:

  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic: 75K bonus after $12K spend (at 1.5 miles per dollar) results in 93K miles
  • Citi ThankYou Premier: 50K after $3K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 53K points
  • CitiBusiness AA: 50K after $3K spend (at 1 mile per dollar) results in 53K miles
  • Amex Business Gold: 75K after $10K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 85K
  • Amex SPG Business 30K after $5K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 35K

Total points/miles: 319,000

Total spend required: $33K

How we’ll meet the minimum spend requirements

For most people, $33,000 in spend would be a huge challenge.  However, I’m used to manufacturing more spend than that every month.  Some of the spend may be accomplished by paying bills (see: How to increase credit card spend from your couch, (almost) fee-free).  The rest will likely be accomplished by buying gift cards and loading them to REDbird (see: Managing multiples: Bluebird, REDbird, Serve).

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