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.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49