We’re all gamblers to some degree. With the US Airways card soon to be replaced by American ones, I’m trying to grab another 50,000 miles this week. Why not? If it works, I spend a buck and get the miles. If not, we’ll see what happens with the new versions soon enough. Until then, a little gambling could be fun…
Odds are, Spirit Airlines will screw up. I mean, we’re talking about Spirit here. Why not make some miles for it?
We all know how applying for bunches of credit cards can be VERY beneficial. Over the course of a year, it brings some of us hundreds of thousands of points. Others earn well over a million points per year through signup bonuses alone. It’s a gravy train, right?
But it would be a lie to say things are the same as always.
The truth is, it used to be even easier. Much, much easier. People were applying for American Airlines cards every few days, Barclays cards every couple weeks, and on and on. Minimum spends were low and bonuses were high. Those were the glory days.
(Insert cranky old man voice above)
So where do we stand now?
In my opinion, it’s absolutely still a game worth playing. We can travel beyond our means because of credit card bonuses. How amazing is that? Through a little hustle and organization, our lives are enriched. We experience moments we couldn’t otherwise afford. Clearly, I’m not sounding the doomsday alarm here. But there are some new realities I’m seeing in the 2015 version of our card game:
- The 91-day application cycle isn’t gospel anymore. Not too long ago, it was definitely the “right way” to play. Now, many people don’t believe in it. They apply whenever a good offer comes along.
- Barclays – These guys used to have some of the most churnable cards around. Now, they’re a pain. I’m lucky to get 2 cards a year from them. And I have to show a little spending on their cards to have a shot at that.
- American Express – They still have cards I like. But since they made so many of their bonuses once-in-a-lifetime…I feel like a hungry, fat kid staring through the bakery window. If only they would sell me that cupcake. I want to eat it so badly…
- Chase and US Bank – Some of you big manufactured spenders are getting closed down. And, when I say closed down, I mean all accounts gone. Personally, I’m still rolling along with Chase. No issues with US Bank Personal cards either. Their Business department has always been a little trickier for me.
- Bank of America – Still churnable. You can get that Alaska card all day long. But…and it’s a big but…they’ve finally gotten sneaky. “Approvals” have resulted in a weak 5,000-mile version of that Alaska card lately. Blah.
- Citibank – Still pretty solid. But I guess they’ve gotten a little tougher with me. Of course, you’re going to have a hard time getting the number of American cards you used to.
- Manufactured spending – The easiest way to meet minimum spends. No doubt about this one. It has been an all-out assault on our most popular methods. We are in a MUCH worse spot than we were a year ago.
Overall, this all might seem like a bummer. But the game goes on. And remember…there will always be new deals right around the corner.
Recently, a couple of you sent me this link to Opoli. I don’t know much about them but apparently you can negotiate the price with your driver. If you have experience with these guys, let me know. I reached out and tried to get some free money for readers, but their customer service has been…questionable. Let me know more information if you have it. The concept of negotiating price seems interesting. To be continued…