$3000 value - Last Round of Credit Card Bonus Sign-Ups for 2014

As year-end of 2014 is coming close, we gave one last great run in early November.  Isa applied 3 credit cards and I applied 2 credit cards on the same day.  All five credit card applications were approved immediately.

Why We decided to Apply
  • Year-end typically has more attractive credit card sign-up offerings. 
  • We plan NOT to apply new credit cards at least before September 2015 to let our FICO score to recover to high 700s.  
  • After the Hawaii Honolulu trip, I like to plan for a Maui trip using our remaining Hilton HHonors points at Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Resort about $400 per night. Initial investigation indicates do-able with four free weekend nights from Citi Hilton Reserve.

What We Applied and Why These Cards

For Isa and I
  • Two Citi Hilton Reserve Cards - Two Free Weekend Nights Worldwide + $100 Hilton credit. $95 fee non-waivable first year, $2,500 minimum spending in the first 4 months. (The $100 credit link already expired.  Another link now offers two nights without $100 credit.  Two free Hilton weekend nights worldwide for $95 is still a bargain).  We love our Hilton Huntington Beach Resort experience, a $500 value savings.

  • two Chase IHG MasterCards (Holiday Inn) - 80,000 IHG points (~$470) each. $49 annual fee waived first year. $1,000 minimum spending in the first 3 months.  IHG points also never expire, even without any activities.  The application link does not have a landing page to guarantee 80,000 points, yet seems to work per flyertalk thread. We plan keep the IHG credit card because of its low annual fee $49 to receive one annual IHG hotel night worldwide certificate, and it has two IHG properties in Taiwan near where my parents-in-law live.  By applying IHG cards on the same day, we know our future annual IHG certificate expire on the same date.  Think Paris. 

For Isa only
  • American Express Hilton HHonors Card - 50,000 Hilton HHonors points + $50 statement credit after first use.  No annual fee and only $750 spending in the first 3 months.  Isa has not applied this AMEX credit card before, so she is eligible for the bonus points.  Current public promotion is 40,000 points.  To get to the 50,000 HH points promotion link is a little tricky,
    • Go to www.hilton.com
    • Search to select any Hilton-branded hotel
    • Select any room, click continue
    • On the lower right-hand side, the banner ad for 50,000 Hilton HHonors points would show (see below)

Together, we applied 5 credit cards, have $7,750 ($2,500 x 2 + $1,000 x 2 + $750) spending requirement to fulfill within the first 4 months, and then will receive 4 Free Hilton Nights Worldwide (~ $1,600 value) + $200 Statement Credit + 160,000 IHG Points (~ $950 value) + 50,000 Hilton HHonors points (~ $300 value) + $50 Statement Credit

I define the following as my target long-term non-business credit card portfolio; credit cards that we will not cancel.  There are five.  I am almost there.  Isa's already is.  I currently have 9 credit cards.  The remaining four slots (per year) would be reserved for churning excellent credit card bonuses.  For 2015, my goal is to apply maximum only 4 credit cards when sign-up bonuses each is at least $500 value.
  • Chase Freedom card (visa signature) (no fee) - $12,000 credit limit
  • Chase IHG ($49 per year) - $7,000 credit limit
  • AMEX Costco ($55 per year) - $5,000 credit limit
  • AMEX Everyday (no fee version) - $10,000 credit limit
  • Barclay Arrival (no fee version) - $10,000 credit limit

Get ready for 2015 vacation.  Good luck and have fun.

Updated January 2, 2015. 

Isa and I each have received 80,000 IHG pts, about six weeks after we met our minimum spending requirements of $2000 for 2 cards.

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