As you wander around the Internet, send me info on the newer obscure cards you find. Be sure to let me know if the offer you find is targeted so we can let all the other readers know as well. The interesting facts on the cards you find are:
minimum spend requirement $ amount and time frame
first year annual fee
Sharing the cards you find may just help a fellow frugal traveler take his or her trip of a lifetime. Maybe we can make a contest of it? Who can find the most obscure sign-up bonus card with the biggest bang for our application $$$?
Update: Steve found me the link for the Citi Forward Card that pays five points per dollar on dining and is not limited to the first year. Katy and I eat out all the time and at five points per buck with a max of 75,000 points in one year, we’ll add this one to our application batches as well. The 6K sign-up bonus is lousy but this category bonus even beats the Chase Sapphire Preferred two points on dining. Of course, if you have not received your 50,000 point bonus on the Chase SapphireSM Preferred Card, take that first then move on to the Forward card if you’re a big restaurant spender.
Dan H sent me his copy of the email offer for five free nights with Choice Hotel properties. You get enough points for three nights on first purchase and enough for two more once you have one stay paid for with your new card. Is this a top tier card? Clearly NO, but it is from Barclays for those of you who may have worn out your welcome with Chase and American Express as of late.
Hilton Honors Amex at 50,000 Points
This is offered directly through American Express and pays 50,000 points with $750 in spend in the first 90 days. It officially launches on the ninth but the application page is working fine now. I would wait until the ninth. No annual fee first year. This is not a link in my affiliate channels but is direct from American Express.
An Email String, RE: Minimum Spend Requirements
The best tips sometimes come from readers. This one should not be abused or overused. He sent the idea. I asked the pertinent questions. You make your own decision on acting on this one or not:
“Rick, We have had good luck meeting minimum spend by purchasing a couple $1000 Costco cash cards and then returning them for cash. They seem to be posted as purchases. I would not abuse this, but in small quantities it is nice. Too bad I can’t get 30k in this manner. I’d really like another two-for-one British Airways voucher. Cheers, Edgar”
My Reply: “Edgar: do you buy the Costco cash cards online? If you buy them at the store, don’t they just credit back to your credit card?”
His final reply: “Yes, we bought them online using the Chase Sapphire card. When I went in to the store to get a refund I volunteered to have the refund put on my debit card but they said it had to be cash. Darn. It occurs to me that having too many refunds on my account could raise flags but it did not occur to me to say I was not a member. –Edgar”
Remember: “Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.” Greed Kills.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95