Which credit card bonus is fairest of them all? That is the question I found myself asking lately. I mentioned before that I don’t do any manufactured spending. Simply put, its when you buy prepaid Visa gift cards or Vanilla reloads for the sole purpose of earning points.
The fee on those is usually 1 percent, so a 500 dollar card will add 4 or 5 dollars in cost, depending on the type. Then you liquidate them via Bluebird and pull the money out. So basically I plan my card apps around my regular expenses.
Which is why I signed up for only two cards in my husband’s name around the same time: Chase Southwest visa and Amex SPG card, when the bonus was increased. I felt we could easily handle minimum spending requirements, without complicating our life needlessly. Well, unfortunately we had some unexpected medical bills. In turn, fortunately I could sign up for another card sooner, than planned. The big question was, which one?
Naturally, I went to my “Best deals” page. As I said before, I only recommend cards, I would consider myself. Some of the offers I have already gotten in the past. So there were several choices left. They were:
1) Lufthansa Miles and More card with 50000 miles bonus, minimum spending requirement of 5000 dollars in 3 months. Annual fee is 85 dollars, not waived. Offer expires December 15th.
2) Delta Amex targeted offer of 50000 miles bonus after 1000 dollars spent in 3 months. Annual fee waived.
3) United targeted offer of 55000 miles bonus after 2000 spent in 3 months, annual fee waived.
4) Citi Thank You Premier visa. You get 20000 Thank You points after 2000 dollars in purchases in the first 3 months of your first year. Then additional 30000 points after 3000 in purchases in the first 3 months of the second year. An annual fee is waived in the first year, after that 125 dollars. So essentially its a bonus of 375 dollars in gift cards or 500 dollars towards airfare.
5) Chase Southwest Visa with 50000 points sign-up bonus. The offer was supposed to expire yesterday, though it looks like it has been extended. Will update, when I find out more.
I hope for my blog to benefit you, the reader. So I will explain the logic behind my thinking. Perhaps it could provide some direction for your decision as well. Since I could realistically only handle about 2000 dollars in spending in 3 months without resorting to manufactured spending, that eliminated Lufthansa offer. I don’t see myself needing United miles anytime soon. Besides, I could not get that targeted offer to pop up for me anyway.
I thought about getting Delta Amex card. But here is the problem. Right now we are working on minimum spending on Amex SPG card. My power company and my doctor’s office do not accept American Express. That would take care of at least 1000 dollars in spending in 3 months. Besides, I am not sure we could use Sky miles within a year.
So the choice came down to Chase Southwest visa and Citi Thank You Premier card. That was a tough decision to make. On one hand Southwest bonus will probably come back. Thank You Premier card 50000 points offer has not been a regular staple in this hobby as of late. And CITI has been complicating bonus requirements, in order to encourage a long term usage of this card.
On the other hand, I may not have my affiliate links in a few months. Yes, I do get commission on my own apps as well, which is a nice perk. That’s actually how I thought I would eventually cover my overhead expenses. I never expected anyone else would apply. But quite a few of you did! Hard to believe, seriously.
Which reminds me. Several people have applied in the last week alone, but no one came forward. Please do let me know, so I can send a “thank you” email. My sister-in-law makes a point to send all her clients a “thank you” card( not to say you are my clients 🙂 ). I am too cheap and lazy to do that, but I will send an email. Its a good business practice. Of course, if you are not comfortable doing it, I understand.
Anyway, since I do have a decent stash of Rapid Rewards points, I reluctantly decided to go with Citi Premier visa, which does not pay me commission. I was approved for it and they did let me count my husband’s income. Yes, the bonus scheme is a bit complicated and I will have to divert 3000 in spending next year in order to get the second part of the bonus. But I know for a fact, I will use those points within a year, either on flights or Walmart gift cards.
That was the swaying factor to me. I prefer cash or gift cards to miles, because we don’t have a lot in savings. I know my family will need groceries, whether we have a vacation planned or not. Though I do hope that Southwest card increased sign-up bonus sticks around for another month or so!
P.S. A quick thank you to Hack.Travel blog for including one of my posts in their curiously curated collection. I got a ton of views from it!
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Photo credit goes to beyuwellbeing.wordpress.com
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.