My first App-O-Rama

Back in October 2012, I decided I was ready for my first App-O-Rama. That’s when you do a round of multiple credit card applications with different banks on the same day, so that each bank doesn’t know you’re applying with the others. I planned my applications around the minimum spending I felt comfortable with, so my choices were the following:

Bank of America’s Hawaiian Airlines VISA, 20,000 Hawaiian miles after first use of the card, and another 15,000 miles after spending $1,000 within 4 months.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Amex, 10,000 SPG points on first use of the card, and 15,000 points after you spend $5,000 in 6 months.

U.S. Airways MasterCard, 40,000 U.S. Airways miles after first use of the card

I got approved for all three cards, and then went to work on my spending.

I used the Hawaiian miles to transfer them on a 1-2 basis to Hilton Honors, so I got 70,000 Hilton Honors points after the transfer, which I plan to use on a couple of stays this year. For additional details on how to do this, check out this post.

I got the SPG Business Amex because you can never have enough SPG points. They’re the most valuable commodity in my book, and I plan to use them in some stays this year. In addition, the card gets you 2 stays and 5 nights credit towards elite qualification requirements, and at this point I was already considering getting Gold status for 2013, and I finally achieved it with my December SPG mattress run.

I got the U.S. Airways MasterCard because since I was already doing a round of applications, it was just a no-brainer to just throw in an additional card that required no spending, had no annual fee for the first year, and awarded 40,000 miles. With this card I have already built up my U.S. Airways miles to just over 100,000 miles, and I will start thinking about some Europe trip redemption possibilities on the new U.S. Airways Envoy Suites.

This App-O-Rama was easy, since it only required a maximum of $6,000 of total spending in 6 months, or $1,000 per month, which I can easily do by taking advantage of a few tricks on the books, as detailed in our Minimum Spending Requirements series.

App-O-Ramas are not for everyone, since you have to be disciplined enough to manage your spending and staying on top of multiple credit card payments at the same time, but they are the best and most lucrative way of building up points in multiple programs in a hurry, especially when you have a specific redemption or trip in mind. As a rule of thumb, they can be done every 91 days, and they are awesome.

This entry was posted in American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Hawaiian Airlines, Hilton Honors, Starwood, US Airways. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My first App-O-Rama

  1. Micki says:

    I’m easing my husband into app-o-rams. We will have an additional 50K Delta points (to use for his business class ticket to visit our first grandchild in Italy after he/she is born this fall) from his shiny new BA Delta Gold card. Only $3K spending over three months. Mine will be be gotten with AS miles, about half of them gotten free in various methods and the rest bought at a 40% bonus.

    To make it easy to pay, we’re just going to go into his account as soon as the card arrives, and choose autopay, with “pay balance” as the default.

    There is no dumber thing that paying interest than doesn’t need to be paid, and autopay is your friend if you are like us, with great intentions and a short attention span.

    • travelguys says:

      Micki, that’s a great point. That’s the #1 thing I do when I get a new credit card, every time. Thanks for reminding me by the way. I got the Hyatt card in the mail 1 hour ago and haven’t done it yet!
      Congratulations on the birth of your first grandchild and have a great trip. You must be super excited!

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