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This has got to be my most ridiculous headline yet. But if you’ve been around this “cuckoo” hobby of ours for a few months, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m itching to apply for another credit card bonus, of course. Believe it or not, “feeling churny” means something totally different in mommy circles. And no, it has nothing to do with butter.
Apparently, there is this Tula baby wrap that goes for $290 to $600, and thousands on the black market. Who knew there was a black market for baby wraps? Mine was bought for $10 and most of it was shipping charges.
And guess what? There is even a Tula community and Tula lingo. For example, TITW means “Tula in the wild.” When a Tula wearer sees another one, she will scream “Tula in the wild!” The other answers with the birdcall “Caw caw!” Hmm… Oh, and “feeling churny” describes a mom’s willingness to trade her Tula. Maybe our hobby isn’t that cuckoo after all.
Just look at that juicy worm!
Anyway, my husband just met minimum spending requirements for his Barclaycard Arrival Plus, so it was time for another credit card. As always, I turned to my own list of best sign-up bonuses. I’ve mentioned many times that I only recommend offers that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to suggest to my own family. In fact, when they ask, I usually send them a link to that page. That said, occasionally, there are targeted offers I may not put there, so I suggest you email me if you have any questions.
So, looking at that list, I narrowed it down to three credit cards: Capital One Venture Rewards, Chase British Airways Visa Signature card and Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier. The first two pay me referral, last one does not. There are other good bonuses on my list but I can’t get them for various reasons. See my post The issues of timing and applying for credit cards
I don’t really have any plans for Avios (British Airways currency) within the next three years, so I decided to eliminate their co-branded card from competition. A reminder: Book your 4,500 Avios awards by February 2nd. Some believe in speculative hoarding of points and there is nothing wrong with that. But it’s not my strategy. It drives me nuts to have a ton of unused miles seating around for years, and could prompt me to plan trips we can’t really afford at that particular time. So I eliminate temptation by having a plan first.
And then there were two
So, it came down to Capital One Venture Rewards and Chase Southwest card. As I wrote in this post, you can redeem Rapid Rewards points for gift cards if that’s your preference. Obviously, you will do much better using this currency for Southwest flights, since you can get around 1.6 cents per point on their Wanna Get Away fares. Rapid Rewards program is “awesome sauce” for middle-class families and most families, for that matter. Love it. You can also get points through transfer from Ultimate Rewards via cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus.
Incidentally, my in-laws and I are talking about doing some trips in USA that would almost certainly involve Southwest Airlines. So, it could make sense to hang on to the points rather than “sell” them at a loss. When you book airfare for 7 people, it doesn’t take long to burn through your stash.
However, I already have 120K Rapid Rewards and these trips may not even happen. Capital One Venture Rewards card offers a bonus of $400 redeemable for travel expenses or gift cards. I know for a fact I’ll be able to use it in a near future. There is a catch, of course. Capital One pulls all three credit agencies. So here is my dilemma. Let’s say my husband does get approved for Venture Rewards. I still want him to get Southwest card at some point in the future. And Chase is becoming very strict with approvals.
Chase, please, let me have my worm!
To be clear, I don’t think they will implement the same rule for their co-branded cards as they did for Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom (see my post for more on this topic). How come? Because they would have to explain to airline and hotel partners why so many credit-worthy individuals are getting denied for their co-branded cards.
I’m sure Chase has a quota when it comes to approvals, and if it doesn’t meet it, those partners may switch to a different bank. That said, I do believe they will continue tightening their requirements.
Will my husband’s three extra inquiries kill his chances with Southwest card down the road? I honestly have no idea. But I do know that I can use travel credit or gift cards within a year. The same can not be said for Rapid Rewards points. It’s more like two years. So, I think it makes sense to just go with Capital One at this time.
Readers, what do you think? Are you struggling with your own dilemma? Let me know, and maybe I can make a suggestion.
Image courtesy of Hal Brindley at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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.