My latest credit card churn, and why

With the new American and U.S. Airways merger going forward, and the time that had already passed since my last credit card churn, I was ready for another one, and the main theme for this particular churn were American and U.S. Airways miles (for the most part). I want to build up my AA and U.S. Airways balances as well as my wife’s, and take advantage of some credit cards that could be going away as the merger progresses. Here’s a summary of what we applied for, and further down is a breakdown of my thought process:

My cards

  • Citi Platinum Select Mastercard, 50,000 AA miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months
  • U.S. Airways Platinum MasterCard, 35,000 miles after first purchase
  • Chase Sapphire Visa, 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in 3 months, and 5,000 points after adding an authorized user
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature, 25,000 miles after approval, and $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in 3 months

My wife’s cards

  • Citi Platinum Select MasterCard, 50,000 AA miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months
  • U.S. Airways Premier World MasterCard, 35,000 miles after first purchase
  • Chase Sapphire Visa, 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in 3 months, and 5,000 points after adding an authorized user
  • Chase Marriott Visa, 70,000 points plus one free category 1-4 night after spending $1,000 in 3 months

The $14,000 minimum spending is steep, but should be no problem with the holidays coming, a combination of manufactured spending, using Amazon Payments, and some other minimum spending methods, it should be a walk in the park.

Final results

After all is said and done and all minimum spending completed, we should end up with 176,000 “American Airlines” miles, 110,000 Ultimate Rewards points, and 70,000 Marriott points plus a free night. I decided to take this approach since we need to build up our AA miles in preparation for the merger, and take advantage of the easy U.S. Airways MasterCard sign up bonus, which requires no minimum spending and those cards will eventually go away. In the case of the U.S. Airways MasterCard, I was able to sign up for a second card while my first one is still open, and will get the bonus a second time.

The Sapphire card is in my opinion the best overall credit card out there since it pays 2 points per dollar on all travel categories, 2 points on restaurants, and it has no foreign transaction fees. This card also represents future planning for when my Ink Plus annual fee comes up, as I may downgrade that card to a no annual fee card, but want to keep the ability to transfer points to airlines and hotels. The Miles Professor has a very useful article on this subject.

I also signed up for the Marriott credit card under my wife’s name and added myself as a user, since I do have a few Marriott stays coming up through work, coupled with the recent Marriott promotions like the Megabonus, so a Marriott credit card makes sense.

Finally, I applied for the Alaska Visa Signature card since I’m building up my Alaska miles as they are useful for flying partners like Cathay and Emirates, and I have a business or first class trip on my radar to Asia in the mid-term future.

This entry was posted in American Airlines, Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, Citibank, Marriott, Minimum spending, Ultimate Rewards, US Airways. Bookmark the permalink.

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