End Of Week Triple

3 deals to end the week…

  • Pick up 10,000 United miles from Options House. Deposit money ($5,000) and make 10 trades to collect.
  • Get a pretty easy 7,500 American miles with 2 Radisson stays.
  • A fun Marriott promo with good deals going is Flash Perks.

Have a great weekend!

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milenerdEnd Of Week Triple

The Top 25 Credit Cards

(If you see any errors or missing cards, feel free to let me know. It’s a lot of information, so I tend to make some mistakes).

Time for the monthly edition of my Top 25 Credit Cards. Again, if you’re a newbie, make sure you read The Newbie Guide. Many of your questions will be answered there. Basic things like not applying for 3 Chase cards at the same time should be known before you continue. For people running out of cards, remember there’s often a Business card option. I listed a few here but not many, so it might be worth exploring more Business cards. Also, “churning” might be an option. The dates here are a guideline but things always tend to vary individually.

Miles and points aren’t an equal currency. 50,000 Delta Skymiles are worth less to me than 50,000 miles from pretty much any other airline. 25,000 Hyatt points are worth a ton more than 25,000 Hilton points. And so on. These links work right now (September 18th at midnight). If you read this later, many of the offers will have changed. Things move fast in this game so read the offer details before applying. Here we go! My Top 25 current credit cards in order are…

 

  • Ink Bold and/or Ink Plus (Chase)
    • Spend $5,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • The points transfer to United, Southwest, British, Hyatt, etc.
    • 5 times the points on purchases at office stores.
    • Go to a local Chase branch and ask about the 70,000-point Plus offer.
  • Sapphire (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Still very valuable points. See Ink cards above.
    • One of my favorite cards to use when I don’t have any spends to meet.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest aka SPG (American Express)
    • Spend $5,000 in 6 months. Get 25,000 points.
    • Incredible card. I really, really love cash + points for hotel stays.
    • I’m also a big fan of some of their 3,000-point properties.
    • Lower spend Personal and Business offers here.
  • Barclay Arrival (Barclays)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • One of the best cards for actual spending, as discussed here.
  • American Airlines cards (Citibank)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
    • Read the wiki post for the most current links.
    • The 100,000-mile Executive card is long gone. All that remains is 60,000.
  • US Airways (Barclays)
    • Spend $1. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Still a good time to grab your American and US Airways miles.
  • United Airlines (Chase)
    • Log in and see if you are targeted for the 50,000-mile offer.
    • This offer is also being pushed heavily in airports.
    • A good business version can be found here.
  • Southwest (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • Pretty much the worst time of year to work on getting your companion pass.
  • Mercedes Benz Platinum (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.
    • Big $475 fee but benefits like global entry credit and $200 credit.
    • A no-fee for the first year Platinum card  is here.
    • Be on the lookout for better targeted Amex offers in your mailbox.
  • Platinum (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Temporary increase from the usual 25,000 points.
    • Incredible benefits, but $450 annual fee. $200 in credits does help.
  • Ritz Carlton (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 70,000 points..
    • Read why applying by phone is probably the way to go.
    • Older offers discussed here. One for 140,000 points.
  • Marriott (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 70,000 points and a free night.
    • These point are a little underrated. Also a Business card links here.
  • Hilton Honors Reserve (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 4 months. Get 2 weekend nights. Best Hilton card.
    • Gold status while you have the card. Upgrades, breakfast, internet, etc.
    • They just added a $100 statement credit to this offer.
  • British Airways (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • 100,000-point offer recently ended (for now).
  • Club Carlson Premier (US Bank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 85,000 points.
    • Great hotel card and not from the usual issuers.
  • InterContinental Hotel aka IHG aka Priority Club (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000. Get 80,000 points.
    • One of the most underrated hotel cards out there.
  • Hyatt (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights at any Hyatt.
    • Even more valuable after the point devaluation.
  • Fairmont Hotel (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights and breakfast at any Fairmont.
    • Again, many of these hotels are very expensive.
  • Alaska Airlines (Bank of America)
    • Spend $1. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Offer with statement credit here.
    • Bank of America cards can be MUCH more “churnable” than most.
  • SimplyCash Business (Amex)
    • A very strong cashback card option.
    • 3% on chosen category (including gas) and huge 5% at office stores.
  • Premier Gold (Amex)
    • Possible 50,000 points, rather than the usual 25,000.
    • A bit of a pain, but you can see if you’re targeted.
  • Propel (Wells Fargo)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • A decent new offering, and again, it’s always good to see cards from different banks.
    • Here’s a solid Business card from Wells Fargo.
  • Hawaiian Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 35,000 miles.
    • Business version is here.
  • FlexPerks (US Bank)
    • Spend $3,500. Get 20,000 FlexPoints.
    • Thanks to Christopher F. for getting me to add this card to the list.
  • Venture (Capital One)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Up from 20,000 miles.
  • Frontier Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $500 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Frontier miles aren’t for everyone.
  • Thank You (Citibank)
    • Weird offer. 20,000 points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. Then 30,000 more points for spending $3,000 in first 3 months of 2nd year.
    • Bonuses on this card go up/down often.
  • Korean (US Bank)
    • Spend $1. Get 15,000 miles.
    • Down from 30,000-mile offer.
    • Business card is here.
  • Wyndham (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 90 days. Get 45,000 miles.
    • Offer goes up and down. We’re in an “up” time right now.
  • Hilton Honors (American Express)
    • Spend $750 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Hilton points are definitely not what they used to be.
  • Hilton Honors Surpass (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 60,000 points.
    • Get the previous card, and you’ll get tons of offers to upgrade to this one.
  • Hilton Honors (Citibank)
    • Spend $1,000 in 4 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Between the 4 cards, you have LOTS of Hilton options.
    • They added a $50 credit for this one.
  • Prestige (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 30,000 points.
    • Nice benefits including $200 credit, but huge $450 annual fee.
    • There is also a 60,000-point offer possible if you go into your local branch.
  • Asiana (Bank of America)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Meh.
  • Virgin America (Comenity)
    • 2 different card offers I discussed here.
    • Issued by Comenity Bank, which is the best thing about these cards.
  • Freedom (Chase)
    • Worth having in your collection for the 5% quarterly bonuses.
    • No reason to close this one.
    • Other semi-decent quarterly bonus cards are the Citi Dividend and Discover It.
  • LAN (US Bank)
    • 20,000 miles for opening. 3 upgrade coupons each year.
    • Down from a 40,000-mile offer.
  • Virgin Atlantic (Bank of America)
    • Skip this 25,000-mile offer and wait for 50,000 to return.
    • Again, Bank of America is more churnable than most.
    • Global Entry credit might still be working if you’re looking to save the TSA PreCheck fee.
  • Choice Hotel (Barclays)
    • You’re truly running out of cards if you’re still reading this far.
    • I keep this as the last card mostly out of tradition.

Recently Dropped:

  • Delta (Amex) – The 50,00 mile offer just died.
  • Business Gold Reward (Amex) – The 50,000 to 100,000 offers will be back.
  • Lufthansa (Barclays) – 50,000-mile offer ended. Again, I expect it back.
  • LifeMiles (US Bank) – Dropped from 40,000 to 20,000 miles.
  • AirTran (Chase) – This one looks to be gone for good.
  • Best Western (Barclays) – Again, who really cares?

*Beyond this mile/point list, the following are some great cashback cards*

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milenerdThe Top 25 Credit Cards

Why I’m Not Buying IHG Points

The short answer…

…because I don’t need the points right now. Specifically, I don’t have a fancy trip coming up to…say…Bora Bora, Paris, or Hong Kong. This current 100% bonus is great. And if you’re looking to book one of those luxury hotels, it’s a killer deal. But if you’re planning on hoarding the points (as I often do), then this is far from a no-brainer.

Maybe I’m a jaded old fart, but I agree with my buddy Tim. He wonders if all the recent IHG promos are leading to the “D word.” Could it be another…gulp…devaluation?? Without basing my answer on any information whatsoever, I’d have to guess the answer is yes. And probably pretty soon.

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milenerdWhy I’m Not Buying IHG Points

Investing In Miles

My posts tend to be tailored to anyone regardless of net worth. But I’ve gotten quite a few questions about what to do with investments recently. Specifically, how to earn miles with a good-sized pile of cash. The short answer…

As always, Fidelity offers up to 50,000 miles for investors – United, American, and/or Delta. As far as banks go, BankDirect offers American miles for checking accounts. You get 100 miles per month for every $1,000 in your account. The negatives? This is only up to the first $50,000. Plus, there’s a $12 fee each month. With the limit and fee, it’s a good offer where there used to be a great one.

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milenerdInvesting In Miles

Quick Clicks

I’ve been told the free AwardWallet codes I post are disappearing in a hurry. Some of you guys have gotten frustrated. Honestly, I’m a part of the problem on this one. If I had comments set up here, it would be an easier system for all. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. So what I’d like to do is try to help in a different way. I’ve hoarded some codes and will continue to put a few more aside as they come in. If you’re missing out, just let me know and I’ll try to get one to you as soon as I can. Sorry about the trouble with this!

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milenerdQuick Clicks