All of our Sunday Success Stories serve as a living example that all of us average Americans can, indeed, see the world at prices we all can afford. We can do this by working together and sharing our stories. Send your story to me at email@example.com. Include your first name and last initial, along with your occupation and a photo, if you wish. - Rick
I was introduced to the Frugal Travel Guy when I saw Rick’s Nightline interview. I’ve always had an interest in easy ways to make money and an even greater interest at the time of the airing because my wife was expecting and she was unemployed. The prospect of being the only money maker in the family was a little scary.
So I went to the site and emailed Rick with me and my wife’s credit scores, list of credit card limits, balances and what not. He emailed me back with his recommendations but I decided to go with 0% APR cards because I didn’t think I would be able to make the minimum spends. This was a big mistake. After I had been approved for the cards I realized I could have gotten all the cards Rick suggested, bought gift cards to meet the minimum spends and then sell them to Plastic Jungle, or on eBay, or use one of the many other sites available. Epiphany to late I had to wait 90 days until my next batch of credit cards. This was brutal because I was obsessing about it for the entire 90 days. Of course, it wasn’t all for nothing. The 50,000 card from Southwest gave me about $400 in Walmart cards, Forward Card $100, Wyndham $50 which I sold to plastic jungle for around $500.
Anyway, this past Thursday was the day I had been waiting for … my first huge batch of credit card applications. I was nervous because, like vacations, new jobs, restaurants … I was worried that I built this up so much I would be disappointed. Here is a list of the credit cards I applied for:
Citi Thank You Premier cards using the two browser trick: I was approved instantly for both. That’s $1000 in gift cards.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Approved Instantly
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN: Delayed. Tried calling but they said I had to wait 72 hours before I could do anything because they had to be sure it wasn’t a duplicate. I told them I applied for both on purpose but they said it was policy. The rep was very nice.
Chase Sapphire PreferredSM: Delayed but approved after I called up. $500 in gift cards. The conversation went something like this:
REP: It looks like you have had a lot of recent inquiries. He went through a few of the cards I was approved for 90 days ago.
ME: Is there anything I can do.
REP: You have too many cards with us. Are you willing to cancel some?
REP: How about the Southwest card and another card?
ME: Cancel both.
He put me on hold for a minute, came back on the line and approved me. I’ve heard Rick say he has never been denied for too many inquiries and I wasn’t either but the fact that they were mentioned was a little scary. Note: None of the other cards I applied for said anything about recent inquiries.
Chase Ink BoldSM: Delayed but I called on it and was approved. $500 in gift cards. The conversation went something like this:
REP: Tell me about your business.
ME: I search eBay, Craigslist, garage sails, and inquire family and friends trying to find undervalued items and then reselling them on eBay.
REP: What kind of products will you be selling.
ME: Electronics like phones, televisions. I have a printer I am selling etc.
REP: How much money have you made this year?
REP: How much money do you think you will make this year?
ME: Anywhere from one to three thousand dollars.
She put me on hold for a minute and I was approved but not before I had to take 5,000 of my limit on my amazon card to put on my Inc Bold. Note: I didn’t lie about anything because I intend to do this.
Bank of America Hawaiin Airlines Card: Delayed
Bank of Hawaii Hawaiin Airlines Cared: Delayed
I called on this and it was very simple. She made sure I intended to apply for both and split the $7,000 I was approved for on the Bank of America Card so I had 3,500 limit on each. I plan on turning these points into Hilton points and it looks like I can get about $250 in gift cards.
Barclays US Airways Premier World Mastercard for 40,000 US Airways miles: Delayed. I tried to call but they don’t allow you to expidite until a decision is made. I asked the rep and she said I can negotiate a denial with a representative after the decision is made. So I’ll be calling them up next week to see my status.
If approved for all cards I’m estimating that I will convert my points into around $2,500 at least.
If anyone has any suggestions on a better way to convert airline miles into cash let me know.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases