The best, fastest and easiest way to collect points is through credit card sign up bonuses. It’s even possible to rack up dozens of credit card applications without negatively impacting your credit score, if you do it right.
In fact, having been in this business for almost five years, opening and closing dozens and dozens of credit cards to help me earn millions of points, my credit score has never been higher.
But lately, I’ve held back on credit card applications because I needed to bring myself back under 5/24 in order to open new Chase cards. As you’ll recall, Chase will not approve credit card applications for most of its name brand cards for anyone who has opened five or more new personal accounts in the last two years.
I closely follow my credit report and knew that, this month, I would fall back under 5/24. I was interested in getting in on Chase’s newest best offer – the Chase Ink Business Preferred, a fantastic card that comes with a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after hitting the minimum spend. I was also interested in quickly earning new points, since I just blew through a ton to book our upcoming trip to Bali.
So, earlier this week, I decided it was time to take the plunge and see if Chase would let me open up a new card. And, since I was already going to be exposing my credit report to one inquiry, I figured why not make the most of the day, and try to earn even more points with some of the other top offers out there.
In the end, I set myself up to earn 280,000 points and a Southwest Companion Pass for two years, all in a few minutes. Here’s what I did:
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is a standard card in Chase’s small business card lineup. As I am self-employed, I am able to apply for business accounts in my own name, with my social security number. You would be surprised at how easy it is for you to do the same too, whether or not you are self-employed! The card comes with a sign up bonus of 80,000 points after $5,000 in minimum spend.
Application: I was not instantly approved, but received my card and welcome kit in the mail only a few days later!
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Alaska Airlines points are my favorite airline point right now. Sure, you shouldn’t use them for First Class Suites on Emirates anymore, but they are still incredibly valuable on a host of international carriers and are very easy to accumulate. This Bank of America card is a fantastic value because, in addition to the sign up bonus of 30,000 points, it also provides you with a voucher once each year good for a companion ticket (only cost is $22 in taxes). The voucher is easily worth $300-$400 if used correctly, which more than offsets the annual fee of $75. This is a card that I plan to keep, and Bank of America is notorious for allowing this card to be churned.
Application: Instant approval.
Citi Advantage Platinum Select
I do most of my traveling on American Airlines, so this card from Citi is a no brainer. In addition to a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles, having the card gives you a 10% redemption on award purchases (up to 10,000 miles total) each year, and lets you save 25% on all on-board purchases, with no annual fee for the first year. Unfortunately, in the days since I applied the sign up bonus for this card has dropped back down to 30,000 points.
Application: Instant approval.
Rapid Rewards Premier
Here’s where I got a little greedy. Knowing that I was now going to be well-over 5/24 for most of the next two years, I decided to try my luck with Chase’s Southwest Cards in hopes of earning a Companion Pass. Danielle’s expired at the end of last year, so it seemed like a good time to try my luck with it. First stop was the Southwest Premier card.
Application: I received a notice that my application was pending, and that I would receive further information within 30 days. This is normally a nice way that banks tell you that your application was denied. But, low and behold, I received an email notification two days later that my application was approved!
Rapid Rewards Business Premier
Earning the Companion Pass necessitates accumulating 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in one year. This is made easy given the 60,000 point sign up bonus currently offered for the Business Premier card. Worried about getting this final application approved given that I had just applied for another business credit card with Chase, I opened this one for another business – this blog – to increase my chances.
Application: I received a notice that my application was pending. Two days later I received a call from Chase to tell me that my application was being denied because I had so many accounts with Chase and had just opened another business card. No s&*#. I explained to the friendly representative why I needed this card – for my travel business – in addition to the one for my self-employment expenses, and offered to close another Chase business card that I have had for many years but never use. It took some finagling, but ultimately he relented. Winning!
These five new credit cards will net me a total of 280,000 points after hitting the minimum spending requirements. The spend needed is quite steep – $14,000 in three months – but I’m confident that I have in place the right strategies to hit this requirement without spending a dime that I don’t need to. It will take some work, creativity and diligence, but I can do it (I’ve met more difficult requirements before!).
Five applications over the course of a few minutes, creativity and planning (along with the minimum spending requirements) will bring me 280,000 points as well as a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for almost two years. It’s crucial to stay on top of your credit report and score in order to succeed like this, but with the right effort, almost anything is possible!