When I put together our Credit Card Application Spree to Maximize Sign Up Bonuses I skipped the travel credit cards.
I mentioned that we’re going to be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary next year, so I was planning to wait until early next year to make a hotel and mileage run.
However, I got questions from readers who wanted to know if I would put together a travel application spree right now, what would it look like?
After some thought, here’s my prioritized travel application spree!
Travel Credit Card Application List
- British Airways Visa Signature Card. The 100,000 Avios (miles) from the Chase British Airways card would be my first app. It expires tomorrow, so you’ll have to act quickly on this one. A reader Todd suggested that using the Avios on hotel stays is pretty good and 50k miles (after the first purchase) should get you about 4 free nights ($400-$600 value). Great tip Todd!
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. We’ve had this card multiple times. I sign up for it every time we plan to fly on Delta to take advantage of the free bags and then cancel after a year to avoid the annual fee. It also has a 30,000 mile sign up bonus, which can easily get us out of our local airport on the days we want.
- United MileagePlus Explorer. Next up is the Chase United card for 40,000 miles. United is our other airline of choice, although we have to fly through Chicago O’hare, so I’d much rather use this for a flight when I’m flying without kids. When we travel with the kids, I do everything I can to avoid a layover there! But the first 30,000 miles on this card are easy to earn, so it’s near the top of my list. After you sign up, you can get 500 more miles by enrolling in the United Mobile program.
- Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. The Starwood is my favorite hotel card right before we plan a trip. The 25,000 sign up points can be used for 2 nights at a category 5 hotel. I usually try to time it so that we can use the points to stay at a nicer hotel on the last 2 nights of our trip. Of course, I cancel the card after our trip to avoid the annual fee.
- Miles by Discover Card. In an effort to spread the credit card application spree across different card companies, I’m throwing one on the list for Discover. There’s a 20,000 mile sign up bonus and they claim no restrictions on travel, that you can fly on any airline, book any hotel or car, with no blackout dates. That seems a little too good to be true, but I’m willing to test it out to see if it’s true. And since there is no annual fee, it couldn’t hurt.
- Hyatt Credit Card. Ever since Kate brought my attention to the Hyatt card from Chase, which offers 2 free nights as a sign up bonus, I’ve had it in my back pocket waiting for our next travel spree. Since the offer is for first-time Hyatt cardmembers with new accounts, we can’t cancel and repeat this offer like the other ones, so I want to make sure I can time it to enjoy it!
- Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card. The Hilton sign up bonus is worth 40,000 points. Since it doesn’t have an annual fee, I usually keep a Hilton card open in one of our names after an application spree. The points stretch a little further, so when I’m planning a trip, we use the Hilton nights first (before transferring to the Starwood hotel for the last 2 nights).
- Marriott Rewards Credit Card. Now it’s time to push the envelope and see how far we can get. At this point, we’ve probably maxed out the new applications with Chase, but I’ll keep going until I get denied. The sign up bonus for the Marriott card is worth 50,000 points.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card. We typically don’t fly Southwest since they rarely serve our tiny regional airport. However, I wanted to put it on the list since I know many of you use Southwest all of the time. The sign up bonus is for 25,000 points good for a free flight.
- PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express. Finally, I’ll scoop up the 20,000 points from Penfed with the final application.
Additional Business Cards
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express. Whenever I apply for a new travel card, I also throw in the matching business card. It’s an old habit that I still use. The Delta business card is good for another 30,000 miles.
- Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express. For the same reason as the Delta card, I’ll also add the Starwood Business version for an extra 25,000 miles to my list.
Assuming we can qualify for all of the sign up bonuses, we should be able to rack up 260,500 airline miles and 140,000 hotel points (plus 2 additional nights).
After planning it out and putting this all together… I’m really tempted to just go ahead and do the travel application spree right now! After all, who couldn’t find a way to use and enjoy all those mileage and hotel stays?