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Better book your 2021 trips earlier than later.

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by deepsea21, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. jonhall

    jonhall Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    I believe cards vary. We have had great success in talking to customer service of our various cards no matter the reason for the call, so a person can always call to get info about their card. We have kept cards until the annual fee (if it had one) was due and cancelled just before that. Several times, when we called to cancel, the issuer waived the fee for another year. They will charge it and then credit it back. We have recently received miles for using our card in various ways of spending - such as spend X amount by X date top receive X miles.

    A few years ago I saw a news story about people who use spreadsheets to keep track of the credit cards they take out and cancel so that they can receive the maximum rewards - some people had 50-80 cards - now that's playing the game.
    deepsea21 and living4experiences like this.
  2. FishWatcher747

    FishWatcher747 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lake Placid, NY
    The game of having lots of new cards got shut down by the big banks 4 or 5 years ago. Now it is at most 4 new cards in 48 months. Or more accurately 4-5 new hard pulls on your credit every 2 years. Read all the fine print before you try this. Some cards you have to wait 4 years. Some are one bonus in a lifetime.

    If you are worried about making the minimum spend on a new card see if you can buy a $500 gift card at a supermarket with a credit card. Cost $6. Then use the gift card to cover your monthly expenses going forward. Compare the $6 cost to a free long haul plane flight cost.
  3. deepsea21

    deepsea21 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
    If I can remember properly, over the past 3 years or so we've grabbed 2 Barclay's cards when they offered 60,000 bonus sign-up miles (keep one of those cards to this day as our primary card). 2 Citi cards that offered like 50,000 miles each. 1 Citi business card under my wife that offered 70,000 miles. (next card will be another Citi business under my name but I'm waiting for the bonus miles offered to hit 70,000 again from the current 60,000). So, total bonus miles has been about 290,000 and we run EVERYTHING through the primary Barclay's card as soon as we meet the minimum required to grab the miles on the other cards. We cancel the other cards the year we got them then before the $99 annual fee hits the following year. Since we run everything we can through the cards that's around 30,000 miles per year so we're up to almost 400,000 miles over the past 3 years - all American Airlines miles that tends to offer the best routes out of Norfolk, VA. So if we stick to the Carribean or Hawaii, we're looking at around 60,000 total miles used per trip for us. That's enough miles for about 7 trips to the Carribean and/or Hawaii. Now, we do still get stuck with the international fees and those ridiculous baggage charges since our dive gear goes with us but it still certainly beats buying tickets for every trip.

    If you fly American, listen to the credit card specials they pitch on the plane. Those are usually some pretty great deals with the annual fee waived the 1st year and next to no requirement to charge so much $ over the first 3 months or whatever. Grab one for everyone in your family you commonly travel with and start flying cheap. As soon as the bonus miles hit, cancel the other cards and keep 1. I've found the Barclay's Aviator card to offer the best benefits so we've kept 1 of those all the way through. We get a $99 companion fare voucher anywhere in the US every year with that card so when it doesn't make sense to use miles for a domestic 48 state flight 1 of us flies for $99 RT.

    When if you find you've burned through all the sign-up bonus miles cards for 1 airline in the time frame before you can apply again, there's always other carriers you can start working through to bridge the gap until the time frames to re-apply reopen for your preferred carrier.

    Also, don't listen to anyone who says multiple pulls of your credit report (within reason) will materially impact your credit score in an adverse way. That is absolute nonsense started by credit card companies who don't want you ditching their cards. May drop a couple points and then recover a few months later but that's it.
    jonhall likes this.
  4. Saxonjd

    Saxonjd Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    deepsea21, jonhall and DandyDon like this.
  5. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    Like I said, I have been weak on the new credit card game. I applied for a United card, 40,000 bonus miles spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months account is open. I can do that. I recently got the $250 cash rebate on an American card, and come September I'll do a bank card with transferable 60K miles.

    Any other good ideas? How often can you repeat these? Spending to get a mile per dollar does not appeal to me compared to 2% rebates.
  6. FishWatcher747

    FishWatcher747 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lake Placid, NY
    DandyDon, I think you are doing very well. You have a 2% card for all spend not related to getting sign up bonuses. You can churn the UA and AA cards every few years. When you get a new one make the initial spend make sure the miles have deposited in your account then cancel to reset the clock so you can get a new one in a few years.

    If you have a specific trip planned you can get a Hawaiian Airlines card for Hawaii or an Alaskan card for Alaska or where they fly.

    It helps a lot if you can fly out of a major hub.

    The Delta card is a one time bonus.

    If one has a spouse you can double up on cards which helps a lot.

    However, the golden era of 5 years ago when one could really milk the bonuses has ended. That is what I meant when I called you an amateur. That was the era of serious credit card churning.
    jonhall, deepsea21 and DandyDon like this.
  7. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    They could just stamp a special visa in your passport. A "covisa"! Ba-dum-tsh. I'll be here all year (probably... wish I could get my vaccination and go somewhere else).
    jonhall and sefuchs like this.

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