At Miles For Family, we like to be transparent about the credit cards we apply for and keep in our wallet (see here and here). The longer you’ve been in this miles and points hobby, the fewer credit cards are available. Many long-timers have either already owned most cards or are no longer qualified to apply for certain cards due to bank approval restrictions.
While I’ve been travel hacking with miles and points now for over five years, there are still some decent credit cards I’ve never owned.
Note: Miles For Family makes a commission on some of these cards if you apply through our site. See How This Blog Makes Money.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card
When I first started travel hacking, I saw many hobbyists abusing the Alaska Airlines Visa. People would apply for it, get the bonus, and then apply for multiple rounds of the same card. And they would get the bonus multiple times! Bank of America has wised up, and data points show that these types of rapid multiple approvals are no longer possible.
The card currently offers 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2000 in the first 90 days. The card has an annual fee of $75, not waived.
A big perk of this card is the companion fare that you get once per year. When you pay cash for a ticket, you can get a companion ticket for $121 ($99 plus taxes). This is a big savings if you are going somewhere expensive, like Hawaii or Costa Rica. See this post for the scoop on the companion fare.
Alaska Airlines is one of the few airlines that allows stopovers on award tickets. See this post for more info.
I’d like to get this card at some point. In the past year, I’ve had at least 11 inquiries, so approval from Bank of America might be tough.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
I already have the Capital One Venture Rewards card, and I put most of my everyday spending on that card when I’m not working towards a sign-up bonus on a new credit card. Last year, I applied for the Capital One Savor card, but I was denied due to too many recent inquiries.
This card is attractive to me because the sign-up bonus is $500 cash after spending $3000 within the first three months. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. So that’s $500 in straight profit to use towards anything, $1000 if my husband could get one, too.
This card earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. We’re planning on going to Disney World next year, so I’d love to get 4% cash back on the money we spend for tickets.
If I don’t apply for many cards in 2019 (I’ve only applied for one so far this year), I may try applying for this card again later this year.
Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
This is another card I tried getting last year, but failed due to too many recent inquiries. This card has 50,000 bonus points after spending $3000 in the first 90 days. The annual fee is $95.
Points can be used for statement credit, deposit into BOA account or travel bookings. The card comes with a $100 airline credit that can be used for luggage, lounge access, in-flight food or in-flight entertainment, which effectively erases the $95 annual fee. So, this is another card with a $500 value.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
This card is only open to U.S. Bank customers, so if you have another credit card with U.S. Bank or a bank account, you qualify. I do have a U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa that I opened last year during the winter Olympics that I’ve kept.
The bonus is 50,000 points after spending $4500 in the first three months, worth $750 towards travel. The annual fee is $400, but the card comes with $325 in travel statement credits, effectively making the fee only $75. This card earns 3X points on travel and mobile wallet spending.
U.S. Bank is sensitive to recent inquiries, so I may have to wait a few months to apply. Leana got this card in 2017.
Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Card
I haven’t owned many business credit cards. I’ve never had the Amex SPG business card, so I qualify for this new revamped Marriott Bonvoy Business card.
The bonus is 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5000 in the first three months. This offer expires 4/24/19, and I’m not sure what the offer will be after that date. If you apply before 3/28/19, the annual fee is waived the first year and then it’s $95 the following year. If you apply on or after 3/28/19, the annual fee is $125.
The card comes with a free night certificate (at locations that cost 35,000 points or less) granted on your card anniversary date. I am tempted to get this card because I could make good use out of the free night by using it at our local Gaylord Texan resort. It has a terrific water park!
Even though I’ve had a lot of credit cards, there are still many options. I haven’t had many business cards, and I’ve avoided cards with larger annual fees. At this point in my hobby lifespan, I have to be more strategic about my timing and search harder for the best deals. But still, lucrative offers exist.
If you’ve been in this miles and points hobby for a while, what are some of the big cards you’ve never had? If you don’t qualify for them, are you changing your strategy to eventually get approved?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.