I suggested about 6 years ago at the Ann Arbor DO that we all consider diversifying our frequent flyer accounts and holding miles and points in numerous accounts. The advice is still valid today but for a different reason:
“Pigs get Fat and Hogs get Slaughtered”
The frequent flyer game has turned to credit card signups and manufactured spending, and one of the most asked questions is:
“How much can I get away with, without raising a red flag?”
Here is an elegant way to avoid the issue: Diversify your manufactured spending.
Granted most of my spending now is done to donate to charity, and I’m working cash back cards harder than frequent flyer miles, but the principle is still the same. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Here is our family’s set up:
Katy and I each have Bluebird cards
Vanilla Reloads are easy to find in my neck of the woods. Equals $10K per month
Katy and I each have grandfathered in Amex Blue Cash Preferred cards and she has a Citi Preferred card.
I have a Fidelity Investments 2% cash back card and like TopCashBack (let me refer you and the referral bonus will go to charity) and the GiftCardMall.
My new AccountNow account allows $1500 per day and $9500 per month. (Katy will add one when proven to be successful)
I’m currently working on the Fidelity Investments 50K United Airlines bonus and an account with Fidelity that accepts deposits.
There is a Walmart nearby that sells money orders both from the kiosk and the counter. I still collect Delta miles for my trips to the WSOP.
Many blogs are criticized for spilling the beans on deals in too great of detail. I try not to go down that road and with this post, hope you can see that I’m playing way more than one game. And in doing so, averting putting all my eggs in one basket and causing suspicion. If you are playing the miles game exclusively, you are missing out on some decent category bonuses with the bank rewards programs.
I fully realize that the game has changed significantly from the days of big hotel and airline programs, and as such I need to move to what’s hot in the market today. If you look hard at this post, you’ll see I have unlimited opportunities to earn cash back and miles without causing suspicion. Some deals won’t pay me 6 points per dollar, but some will. I just need to stay a pig with every program and hope that in moderation, I don’t get slaughtered.
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