It’s not very often that I come across a person in real life who shares the same passion for finding financial deals, especially considering that I spend the majority of my time at playgroups with other stay-at-home moms. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that another playgroup mom, who has also become a close friend, wanted in on some of my money making adventures! I asked Annie to share her story as she embarked on her first credit card application spree recently. Annie writes:
Credit Card Application Spree
I started planning my credit card application spree before Christmas but then decided to refinance instead  (and did it a week after refinancing.) I made a plan to sign up for cards requiring a total of $3000 – $4000 in spending requirements. That is what we typically put on credit cards between groceries and gas and life in a 3 month period. I went through the lists of free money  reward deals and picked all the ones that had a $500 spending requirement in a 3 month period and had a sign up bonus of $100. The cash is going to be my little nest egg for our travels this year.
Credit Card Application List
I came up with:
- Chase Freedom. $100 cash back after spending $500.
- Chase Sapphire Card. $100 after spending $500.
- Capital One $100 Sign Up Bonus . $100 cash back after spending $500.
- Citi Dividend . $100 sign up bonus after spending $500 and 5% rotating quarters.
- Bank of America $100 Sign Up Bonus . $100 cash back after spending $500.
- Barclay NFL card . $100 statement credit after one purchase. I thought about this one for a long time since it was a $100 statement credit and sounded like it could be a hassle. I am going to use it at the spa for an even $100 and then request the statement credit, even steven trade.
- Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. I signed up for the Citi ThankYou Preferred since it was the same $500/$100 deal but in gift cards. I was planning to buy $100 in gas cards but they are too limited so I’m planning to buy gift cards for the weekly birthday parties that my daughters seem to attend.
Additional Cards. Because this is super addictive, I added a few more cards that had no spending requirement (and just to see if I could get them):
- American Express Business Green : $50 gift card bonus.
- Chase Disney: $50 Disney gift card.
- Williams-Sonoma : $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card.
The last 2 were just for fun…because they were free! I also got a Kohls card and a Fidelity AmEx  (for the 2% cash back).
More on the Application Spree
Meeting the Spending Requirements. I made a spreadsheet and started designating what expenses were going to be paid with each card. Since I did this in January, it worked perfectly for weird yearly expenses we have…$500 for our home warranty, $700 for our home insurance (being split between 2 cards), $500 for a major tune up and brakes on the car, etc. I realized I was going to roll through the requirements very easily, so I could have added a few more cards but I figured I should see how I managed these for my first round of credit card sprees!
Limits on Applications. I also tried for the Citi Forward  but was denied because of too many inquiries. Now I understand the application limit Citi has for 2 cards at a time.
Planning Ahead and Exploring Miles. I am planning to wait 2 months and then apply for the Hilton Visa Signature  and stay in a super swanky level 6 Hilton in Stockholm for free! I’m also signing my husband up for it too because we need 2 nights. In addition, I’m planning to do a round of applications for him in the summer so we have Christmas covered with gift cards. The cash in hand is so sweet! I might need to reevaluate and start planning a trip to London instead (my brother is moving there). I haven’t decided on that one yet; it seems like the miles are going to be a lot harder to keep track of.
In a month and a half, (I’ll have met the spending requirements by Feb. 15), I’ll have made $825, set aside cash for travel, paid for part of my spa trip, and taken all the stress off of getting birthday gifts! And I didn’t go over our budget or have to do any money shifting…. although I already have my wheels turning on that though!!!!
More on Credit Card Application Sprees
- How to Collect Multiple Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses 
- How Much Do Credit Inquiries Really Matter? 
- Avoid Joint Credit Cards to Double Your Sign Up Bonuses 
- How to Prioritize and Maximize Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses 
- Credit Card Application Spree Q & A