My Next Credit Card Applications

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At the beginning of this month I finally fell under 5/24, which is one of Chase’s limits where they typically won’t approve you for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.

So the first thing I did on October 1 is apply for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which I’m really excited to finally have. This is a card that will help me long term, and that offers an excellent welcome bonus, triple points in select categories, and an excellent cell phone protection plan.

Now that I have this card in my possession, what’s my plan from here?

My strategy from here

Early November: Apply for the Ink Business Unlimited

The next card I want to apply for is the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card. This is the only card subjected to 5/24 that I want, and when I have it, I’ll have six cards in the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem, which is pretty awesome.

This card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months, and offers 1.5x points on all purchases, so will be one of my go-to cards for business spend (more details here).

Next up: two Amex Cards

After I get the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, my plan is to go for two Amex Cards:

  • I really want to get the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which has a $450 annual fee, and offers Honors Diamond status for as long as you have the card, an annual free weekend night reward, a $250 Hilton resort credit every cardmember year, and a $250 airline fee credit every calendar year
  • I then want the American Express® Gold Card, which offers 4x points at U.S. restaurants, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 of spend per year), plus a $120 annual dining credit and $100 annual airline fee credit

The good news is that I should be able to apply for both of these cards the same day. That’s because the Hilton Card is a credit card while the Amex Gold Card is a charge card, and Amex will typically approve you for a credit card and charge card the same day.

I can’t wait to get easy Hilton Diamond status and also earn 4x points at U.S. restaurants.

After that: three more hotel cards

The above three cards are my top priorities, but then sometime between now and the end of the year (or so) I’d ideally like to get three more cards:

  • The $95 annual fee The World of Hyatt Credit Card, which offers lots of great benefits, including five elite nights towards status annually, a further two elite nights for every $5,000 spent, an anniversary free night certificate valid at up to a Category 4 property, and more
  • The $89 annual fee IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is a great complement to the existing IHG Card I have; the card offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at a property retailing for up to 40,000 points, and offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, so I’d get a lot of value out of that
  • The $450 annual fee Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, which offers a $300 annual statement credit for spend at SPG and Marriott hotels, plus an annual free night at a property retailing for up to 50,000 points per night; realistically I’ll have to cancel my existing SPG Personal Card to get this, since I’m at my five credit card limit with Amex

I’ll have to play it by ear as to the timing of these applications. I don’t want to be too aggressive, so my plan is to space these out. I’ll probably apply for the SPG Luxury Card 30 days after my previous Amex application, and will probably apply for one of the Chase cards around the same time, and will wait a couple more months for the next one.

Bottom line

After a credit card hiatus for a while, I’m really excited to finally get some of the fantastic cards that have been on the market for a while. I’ll wait a couple more weeks before applying for the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, and once that’s approved plan to pick up the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and American Express® Gold Card. All three of these will be fantastic long term cards.

After that I’ll regroup a bit, though will have three more cards on my radar after that.

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  1. @Lucky Don’t you spend a significant amount of time outside the country? Isn’t a Chase Sapphire Reserve a better proposition for you than the new Amex Gold Card?`

  2. Lucky,

    A financial analysis showing how these cards exceed a 2% cash back no annual fee card annual return would be greatly appreciated. I suspect you can write off the annual fees as a business expense which would help greatly with the rationale for keeping so many high annual fee cards which is an option not available to most folks. We do not travel as much as you so most of these cards are not as attractive. Even with a $200 credit on the AMEX Schwab Platinum card, I would put more money in my account with the no annual fee 2% cash back card.

  3. Lucky, did you cancel your original Hyatt credit card, shown in the picture? I thought you can’t have both.

    Also, my older Marriott Chase visa is going to be charged the AF soon. Should I upgrade for the better night certificate before the AF hits? Or should I go it after the AF and 25k free night hits?

  4. I am not seeing an airline credit of 250$ in Hilton Honors Aspire AMEX card. Am I missing something on their official page?

  5. @ T — Interesting, I don’t see it on the benefits page anymore either, though it’s described in the terms, so I’d trust it’s still a benefit.

  6. @ E — I had the Premier Rewards Gold Card in the past so wouldn’t be eligible for the welcome bonus, but think the card is still worth getting.

  7. @ Nate Nate — I haven’t canceled it yet, I need to figure out what I’m going to do there, as I may just upgrade. For the Marriott Card I’d wait until the AF hits and the certificate posts and then upgrade.

  8. @ JimT — Happy to address this in a separate post, and it’s a valid point. For a lot of people a 2% cash back card is the best. However, for those who spend a lot in categories that are eligible for bonuses, I think you can do better with other cards. If nothing else, the duo of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited should get anyone a minimum return of 2.25% towards travel:

  9. @ Jeremy — I don’t intend to cancel the CSR, but rather plan to additionally get the Amex Gold for the 4x points on U.S. restaurant purchases.

  10. Isn’t the CSR already effectively a 4.5% card since UR points are at least 1.5 cents whereas MR from AMEX are .7-.8 in value? I do not see how a 4MR card beats a 3UR card….ever.

  11. I think it’s a $200 airline credit. At least that’s what it shows on my amex dashboard. I just got the aspire recently. The $250 resort credit takes some advance planning. There are only 250 Hiltons worldwide where the credit applies based on their own search page for the credit.

  12. Lucky, other blogs are saying that the premier card 60k sign up is still available. That is unbelievable fake news. You told us the sign up was expiring and of course you would tell us if it was not. You always put your readers interest first. Always.

    You should write an article proving other bloggers are giving false news.

  13. Yes the airline fee credit is definitively a benefit of the Amex hilton aspire card along with many more that makes the card well worth it!

  14. @Lucky. I can’t believe you’re getting the Gold Card if you aren’t even eligible for the sign up bonus. One extra per dollar on restaurants in the US, and two fewer on restaurants outside the US. How is that even worth the hassle of monitoring and paying on another card? Plus you’ve admitted that the monthly Gold Card restaurant credits/coupons are near worthless to you, so you’re digging out of an annual fee to chase that one extra point. Gold Card should be at the bottom of your list.

  15. @SEAguy totally agree. For a person who is hardly in US restaurants, I find this card not worth it without the signup bonus. Good news is monitoring AMEX family of cards is simple. The only rationale behind this is using the full 100+120 credit (without change of habits) and charge food over 2k (which is not too hard). All of this for a hit to a credit history + new unknown AMEX version of the 5/24 bonus rule, I would avoid it.

  16. Random thoughts…just my own 2¢, and probably worth less (keep the change)….

    I, too, am finally under the dreaded 5/24 Rule, but I won’t be going after the Amex (new) Gold card. Each of the Amex cards I *do* have (Hilton Aspire, SPG [personal] Amex) do *not* earn MR points, and I see ZERO reason to start a new “collection” of points. There is something about diversifying one’s portfolio…and OVER-diversifying one’s portfolio.

    I have both Chase UR points and Citi ThankYou points; Alaska, jetBlue, and Virgin Atlantic¹ points; Marriott (SPG) points and Hilton points; as well as a smattering of points from a dozen other airlines and hotels — none of which really matter. I’m already feeling over-diversified. (It’s like that Monty Python bit where someone owns the largest amount of string in the world, but it’s in one-inch lengths.)

    That said, my wife *does* have an old Amex Green card, and I’ve already suggested she get the new Gold card.

    ¹ These are a holdover from when I could use VX points on VS and vice-versa. Early on, I got both co-branded cards (I got the AS card to continue earning points when the VX card went off to credit card heaven, and for the annual Companion fare), and now I have too many VS points to let them expire. I’ll probably end up transferring some points over to VS and then we’ll fly to Japan.

  17. @RyanSpencer hahaha. so you think MR is worth 0.8 cents and always beats UR pts? are u a TPG fan or what? do u always redeem for GC? you dont see how 4MR beats 3UR because u dont know how to use transferable points.

    @Joe its $100 credit bruh.

  18. @NinjaX You could be nicer in your explanation. I am not insane to ask such a question:

    Based on these non TPG sites it is not a foolish question to ask why a Chase Sapphire reserve at $150 annual fee isn’t better (be honest and acknowledge that the $300 travel credit is extremely easy to redeem compared to these $10 here and $10 there credits for this new card)?

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