This post is from early Summer 2014, but I thought it would be helpful to re-post again since I know many of my friends are considering a new round of card applications soon.
Well, another round of credit card applications has come and gone, this time with both cards being successfully approved.
The other day I applied for 2 cards, the American Express SPG, and the Barclaycard World Elite Mastercard. I’m thrilled to add both into my collection as the rewards from each are invaluable.
For the SPG Amex:
- 30,000 points – 10,000 after your first purchase, and an additional 20,000 when you spend $5,000 within 6 months.
- Receive up to 5 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible spend charged directly with Starwood hotels & resorts – that’s 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on the Card in addition to the Starpoints you get as a Starwood Preferred Guest member.
- Get 1 Starpoint for every dollar of eligible purchases.
- $65 annual fee, waived for the first year.
Why did I apply for this card?: The 30,000 Starpoints bonus is great, as it allows up to 5 nights at an SPG Category 3 hotel, or can transfer into airline miles with a 25% bonus when transferring 25,000 points.
What are the downsides to the card? The card isn’t packed with a ton of cool features, though the 1.25 points per dollar earning ration when transferring into airline miles is worth it. When done properly, and when transferring at least 25,000 miles a year, the annual $65 fee can pay for itself easily.
Were there any issues in applying for the card? For me, no. American Express knows my current biographical and financial information, and the application took less than 1 minute to complete.
For the Barclaycard Arrival:
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from accounBarclaycard Arrival t opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
- Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
- Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
- Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
- Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers
Why did I apply for this card?: I have an upcoming trip to Spain with a very expensive hotel rate in Pamplona to see the running of the bulls. Naturally, this is peak season, and a popular festival, so the 40,000 mile point bonus will provide some relief from this pricey rate.
What are the downsides to the card?: I’m not a fan of transferring points into statement credits, however since this card earns 2 points per dollar spent, it can provide a quick way to negate minor travel expenses such as taxi fares, tips and other miscellaneous expenses.
Where there any issues applying for the card?: Other than the unusually slow internet connection for the few minutes I applied, no. The application was simple to complete and took seconds to approve.
That’s the latest round of credit card applications for me, totaling about $8,000 required in spending to earn the proper bonuses. It’s a lot, but there are some unique ways to complete this spend in such a short amount of time that will allow me to reap the benefits of the card in no time.
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