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App Party #1

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I applied for my first App Party back in May of this year. I have been meaning to write a post about the credit cards I applied for, since enough time has now elapsed to allow for me to collect on all the points (benefits).

App Party

My preference is to apply for 4-5 credit cards at any given time. This helps, since my credit score won’t be pulled unnecessarily, over and over again. Also, I like to cycle through credit cards before or after I purchase a property. I don’t think it’s a good idea to get your credit pulled repeatedly when your loan file is going through underwriting.

Here are the cards I signed up for:

1) Chase Sapphire:

The Sapphire card is a real popular one, and a good one to get started with in the travel game. The offer I applied for is still valid today. By signing up, you can collect 40,000 Ultimate Reward points for spending $3000 in 3 months.

https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/sapphire-preferred-card.aspx

Chase_Sapphire_Offer

2) Citi AAdvantage:

The next card I signed up for was the Citi AAdvantage Visa Card. I was able to collect 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $2500 in 3 months.

The original offer I signed up for in May is no longer valid, however, a similar alternative can be found. There is a Citi AAdvantage Mastercard that will reward you with the same 50,000 miles, only you now have to spend $3000 in 3 months. Still an awesome deal!

http://www.aa.com/pubcontent/en_US/disclaimers/BP-PLATHV.jsp

Citi_AA

3) Citi Business AAdvantage:

Similar to the last deal, the third card I signed up for was a Citi Business AAdvantage Visa Card. The offer was also for 50,000 Advantage bonus miles for spending $2500 in 3 months.

Again, the original deal is no longer valid, however, a Mastercard variety also now exists. Like the regular card, there is a 50,000 miles offer for spending $3000 in 3 months.

https://creditcards.citicards.com/usc/Travel/AA/2013/August/CBAA/MC/50k/default.htm?BT_TX=1&ProspectID=9A2EAF531D134CBDBE74B64E2FB66D80

Citi_AA_Business

4) U.S. Airways Dividend Miles:

The last card I signed up for was the U.S. Airways Dividend Miles Card. The same deal still exists today — earn 30,000 bonus miles for using the card once for a single purchase.

This card is nice and worth pairing with the other cards since there is no minimum spend for this card. Simply buy a stick of gum at the grocery store and you will collect 30,000 miles. Awesome!

By teaming up the U.S. Airways card with the previously mentioned 2x Citi AAdvantage cards, you can earn enough miles to book a FREE first class international flight.

https://www.barclaycardus.com/apply/Landing.action?campaignId=1894&cellNumber=11&prodidreq=CCMWC56744&referrerid=CFOPPF516317127

US_Airways_Offer

Summary

These four cards are the same (similar) ones I applied for in May. Luckily, the deals are still around and just as good as they were earlier this year! For anyone else interested in extensive international travel post-FI, I would strongly recommend you start looking into accumulating travel points now. These will be extremely useful once you are ready to check out of the rat race.

I am already planning on pairing the 2x Citi AAdvantage Cards + U.S. Airways Dividend Miles card to purchase a ticket for a first class international flight to Asia. The Chase Ultimate Reward Points are also very handy, and I have accumulated over 100,000 points this year. I earned 40,000 Ultimate Reward Points using the Sapphire card, and added more during App Party #2. These Chase points can be transferred to purchase flights, hotels, etc.

Lastly, I’ll add that the whole credit card travel points game has become even more addicting once I started using them to pay off rental property expenses. Things like mortgages, property taxes, insurance, utilities, etc. are ALWAYS going to have to be paid, one way or another. The beauty behind all this is now I am able to rack up travel points each time I pay these expenses! To be clear, mortgages cannot be paid directly using credit cards. However, if you sign up for Bluebird, you can use the credit cards to purchase gift cards (Vanilla Reload, Chase Gift Cards, etc.), and then load the gift cards to Bluebird to allow for Bluebird to pay the mortgage.

*Bluebird functions like a debit/checking alternative.

Sweet! Oh, and I’ll confess the absolute best part of all this is that these expenses are all paid for by my tenants, not me. I simply reap all the benefits. 😉

As previously stated (although an understatement), rental property + travel hacking is a match made in heaven!

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • MartinNo Gravatar September 26, 2013, 8:26 pm

    I have never been interested in travel points as I do not travel that much. But your post made me curious about collecting and using those travel points. My question is, once you have a few of the cards, can you then combine those points together when buying a ticket (for example to Asia as you plan)? Or how does that work?

  • FI FighterNo Gravatar September 30, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Martin,

    It’s possible to combine points, but it depends on what points you are combining… they don’t all mix and match.

    For example, you can use Chase Ultimate Reward points and combine those with United to book a flight. Or you can convert Chase points to Hyatt points to pay for a hotel. But you can’t combine Chase points and Starwood points (American Express).

    So, you have to do research to figure out which programs are compatible. It’s worth the work though!

    Cheers!

  • SarahNo Gravatar July 29, 2014, 7:04 am

    This sounds amazing! I have good credit but the miles points offered by most cards never tempted me enough to apply because I didn’t know you could combine them!

    I don’t know if I really understand the “App-Party” part though. Do you just apply to 4-5 cards in one day? They don’t each individually pull your credit score?

    • Living ProofNo Gravatar July 29, 2014, 10:49 am

      Sarah,

      Yes, you apply for 4-5 cards in one day. You can read more about how opening more cards will help you in the long term here:
      https://www.fifighter.com/travel/travel-hacking/2014/07/will-opening-multiple-credit-cards-hurt-your-credit-score/

      With regards to the credit pull:
      The banks will get your credit score from one of the 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). Each bank uses a different credit bureau. Also, these days, you can only be approved one card from each bank on the same day. So spread out the application to different banks. IE: apply one card from Citi, Chase, and AMEX on the same day. Therefore, if you do multiple cards on the same day, you will most likely only get one credit pull from each credit bureau, and that’s good!

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