What credit cards should I get on my next App-O-Rama?

I’m getting ready for my next App-O-Rama, and I’m trying to formulate a strategy for what credit cards I will be getting next. The one thing I know is that barring any insane last minute offers like this January’s American Express Platinum deal, I will be limiting my applications to hotel cards only.

Checking my AwardWallet profile, between me and my wife we currently have the following:

– 756,481 frequent flyer miles

– 356,723 hotel points

– 387,413 American Express Membership Reward points

Based on the above and the trips that we’re planning for the next 18 months, I can already tell that we’re short on hotel points. Membership reward points can be very valuable, and they usually don’t have the greatest redemption value when trading for hotel points, so I’d like to stay away from that.

That being said, I’m eyeing the following credit cards:

– Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards. 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after $5,000 spending in 3 months. I really want one of these cards because Ultimate Reward points are very valuable and transfer 1:1 to several programs, including Hyatt, which I have my eye on. They can also be transferred to Priority Club and Marriott.

U.S. Bank Club Carlson VISA Signature card. This card is a must for me, but I’m concerned about not getting approved for it, since U.S. Bank is difficult granting credit and does not like to see a ton of inquiries on your credit report. Regardless, I will most certainly take my chances with them, since we have a ton of Club Carlson points, and this card, besides the 85,000 points sign up bonus, offers the best benefit of the hotel industry right now, which is the second night free on a reward stay, so for instance, a two-night hotel stay at a top Club Carlson property such as the Radisson Blu in Chicago, which goes for 50,000 points per night, would only cost 50,000 for the two nights.

– Chase Hyatt VISA card, which already comes with two free nights at Hyatt properties worldwide when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership, plus an additional free night each year on your card anniversary. Coupled with the Ink Bold and Plus cards above, this makes for a pretty solid Hyatt redemption at some of their top properties in the world.

– Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines VISA signature card. Issued by Bank of America, this card is valuable to me because of the ability to transfer Hawaiian miles at a 1:2 ratio to Hilton Honors, so with the 35,000 Hawaiian miles sign up bonus, I can turn that into 70,000 Hilton points. However, based on the latest Hilton Honors points devaluation, I will probably skip this card this time, as I cannot get a lot of value out of 70,000 Hilton points.

So that’s it. This is what I’m thinking of doing in the next few days, once the calendar turns and it has been 91 days since my latest credit card application round. I’m curious to see if anyone has any better offers they are considering, or if there are any flaws in my strategy, so any comments are really welcome.



This entry was posted in American Express, AwardWallet, Bank of America, Bonus points, Chase, ClubCarlson, Hawaiian Airlines, Hilton Honors, Hilton Honors, SPG, US Bank, Visa. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What credit cards should I get on my next App-O-Rama?

  1. Grant Pingel says:

    I am a little new to churning but why do you have to wait 91 days?

    • travelguys says:

      Grant, you don’t have to per se. Sometimes a great offer has come along and we’ve pulled the trigger in less than that time. The reason for the 91 days is because hard credit inquiries usually drop off from your credit score calculation after 90 days, so it’s easier for a bank to approve you, but you don’t have to be as aggressive and you can space out your applications a lot longer if you want to. It’s all about preference and travel goals, and also whether you can handle being organized and managing several credit cards, annual fees and renewal dates at the same time. Also, if you have a big purchase coming up, such as a home, you might not be as aggressive with churns since that’s more important.

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