150,000 Points: AMEX Premier Gold (1 card), Citi AA Platinum Select 50,000 (2 cards)

During the two years period of 2012-2013, I received approval of 17 credit cards.  This is a beautiful experiment and I bid farewell to the fun.  We plan to apply for credit cards with high sign-up bonuses only, targeting only 4 new cards annually from now on.

Now, our first round of 2015 card application has come.

Why now is our best time

  1. It has been quite a big struggle for Isa to make up her mind to take a 2-year break from work, to say bye to her financial-rewarding job.   It is time.  Sorry, I kind of "forced her" to quit; I requested a 2-year break.  I saw her growing fatigue from intensive business traveling.  She still has excellent financial eligibility to apply before mid-March for new credit cards.
  2. The AMEX 50,000 points with $1000 spend requirement is too good to pass.  50k AMEX membership points is worth at least $500.  It used to be a target promotion; now is a public one.
  3. It has been 3 months since our last credit card application, so eligible to apply again.
  4. We both want to take vacation to Europe, then realized, from our perspective, American AAdvantage miles are more valuable for flights to Europe than United Airlines' offers.
  5. It is time to pay property tax with a 2.3% convenience fee.  If a property tax bill is $2000, then $45 to fulfill $2000 minimum spend is very convenient to earn 50,000 AAdvantage mile.

Isa applied

Patrick applied

Q1. Am I eligible for the AMEX 50,000 bonus points?

"If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product."

I was able to apply AMEX 25,000 bonus point promotion in the past.  You would not be eligible if you had this card before.  If you don't but have other AMEX cards like my case, then you are likely eligible.  My online chat with AMEX customer support confirmed our case.

I also called AMEX New Account Service to confirm. 1.800.952.7560

Q2. Am I eligible for the Citi AA 50,000 bonus points?

The Offer says:
"*50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles can be earned by new Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® cardmembers approved through this offer. Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Card opened or closed in the past 18 months"

I had Citi Executive Card in 2014, fewer than 18 months from now, so I called Citi Customer Support.  They said Executive card is different than the Platinum Select card, so I am eligible.

We applied online and were approved for the new credit cards within a couple minutes.

Q3.  How to meet the minimum card spending?

The three new credit cards above requires $5,000 spending in 3 months.  With Isa no longer working and traveling for business, I was for a moment concerned about our ability to meet the requirement.  I posted in 2014 "7 Effective Methods to Meet Minimum Spend of Credit Cards".  All methods are still good, except Amazon payment and AMEX Bluebird which are no longer considered my recommended approaches.

How about paying $50 to earn 50,000 points?  One of the benefits of our last mortgage refinance is our account is free from impound condition.  Impound means our monthly payment includes property tax and home insurance.  Now we can pay our property tax and home insurance by ourselves.

Upcoming Maui trip including car rental is expected to half of the $1,000 minimum spend of American Express Premier Gold.  She can purchase Shell/Chevron gift card (with no surcharge fee) from Safeway grocery store with x2 reward points.  (bet you don't know, Shell/Chevron gift card is treated as debit card in gas station such that some gas station automatically charges 1% less for self-service gas compared to paid by credit card, so essentially x3 reward points)

My parents want to expand their automatic utility payment; they have been tired to write checks and mail out payments.  Great, I will pay using our new Citi AA MasterCard to pay online.

This is it for Isa's credit card holdings.  I also look forward for her rest.

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