I’ve been writing about this occasionally for several months, but credit card signup bonuses have been incredible over the past year. First there was the 100,000 mile signup bonus offer from Chase for a British Airways Visa, then Citibank came out with their 100,000 mile offer for their American Airlines cards. Chase even had a 50,000 mile offer for the United Visa.
Just incredible. Sign up for a credit card, maybe grab a second one (a small business card, most people are able to get one e.g. Their Name & Associates) and go anywhere in the world. In a premium cabin. Sometimes for an annual fee, other times even that’s been waived.
Those banks, they must really think acquiring a customer is valuable.
Well, the current big offer is 75,000 miles for an American Airlines credit card, bonus posts after spending $4000 on the card within six months, and annual fee is waived the first year. The offer runs through February 28.
Will it be extended? Who knows. It’s certainly true that bigger bonuses have become the new normal. I remember when 15,000 mile signup bonuses were a nice offer, 20,000 miles was a big deal. Most offers are better than that these days.
But will 75,000 or 100,000 come right back? Why risk it? If you haven’t had a American Airlines credit cards from Citibank, now is a pretty darned good time to sign up, unless perhaps you’re going for your mortgage this year. Credit score issues have been discussed in the past on this blog, they’re beyond the scope of this post, but in general best advice is if you have a good score then get these really good offer credit cards and the only reason to hold off is if you plan to get a mortgage within the year. (On the whole getting more unused credit available will push your score up over time, but credit applications temporarily ding your score a little bit and that on the whole this temporary ding won’t matter at all to your credit costs. But that’s a whole separate discussion. I had a pretty darn sweet score when I got my mortgage and I’ve been churning cards for years…)
My advice really is to grab these cards if you haven’t had them. Some people who have had them can get them again successfully, but Citibank isn’t automatically giving everyone the card and bonus if they’ve had those in the past.
I do find that people who have had a personal card in the past can get the business card usually, at least.
And if you haven’t had either, get both.
If you get both cards and meet the required minimum spend, you’d have 158,000 miles. You could fly first class from the US to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, stopover, and continue in business class to Bali. And return on Cathay in business/first as well (there’s no first class service from Hong Kong to Bali).
And of course a spouse or significant other could do the same thing by getting the two credit cards as well.
Boom, instant honeymoon. Ok, not instant, it takes a little while to spend the $4000 on each card and have the miles post, then you have to find availability. But Cathay Pacific has outstanding availability from Toronto and from San Francisco, they’re adding Chicago flights, and you can always grab an American or Alaska flight to the Cathay Pacific gateway.
Maybe I’m a bit over the top in this post but it’s only to reach out and grab you and shake you and say this one is just too good to pass up, and there’s only about a month left to grab onto it.
(The current 50,000 mile signup bonus offer for the British Airways Visa is pretty good too, but I’ll be happy if you just grab those American miles.)