The Next 6 Credit Cards I Want To Apply For

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A few days ago I shared the 21 credit cards that I have in my wallet right now. Overall I’m very happy with my card portfolio, and each of the cards serves a specific purpose. A vast majority of the cards I have are ones that I’ve had for quite a while and plan to hold onto long term. This is either because of the bonus categories they have that allow me to maximize my spend, and/or because of the perks they offer, that more than justify the annual fees.

While I’m happy with my current setup, in this post I wanted to look at the next six credit cards that I want to pick up. Five of these are already available (and I’ll explain why I haven’t applied for them yet), and one isn’t yet available, though will be released soon. In no particular order:

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (card review here)

Welcome bonus: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months

Annual fee: $95

Why I want this card: This is probably the most well rounded business credit card out there. It offers the best welcome bonus of any card, triple points in useful spend categories, and has a cell phone protection plan that is unrivaled, and that I’d really like to start using.

Why I don’t have this card yetI’m currently just slightly over 5/24, and should fall under in a couple of months, at which point I’d be eligible for this card.

80,000 points is enough for a one-way first class ticket between the US and Asia

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card (card review here)

Welcome bonus: 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months

Annual fee: $0

Why I want this card: The card offers 1.5x points on everyday purchases, which I can convert into Ultimate Rewards points in conjunction with any of the three cards earning Ultimate Rewards points directly. Since I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, I can redeem those points either for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or transfer them to the Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline partners. This will be one of my go to card for everyday business spend.

Why I don’t have this card yet: I’m currently just slightly over 5/24, and should fall under in a couple of months, at which point I’d be eligible for this card.

25,000 points is enough for a free night at the Park Hyatt Maldives

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (card review here)

Welcome bonus: 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $2,000 within the first three months

Annual fee: $89

Why I want this card: I already have the old IHG Credit Card (which is no longer accepting new applications), and this one would complement it nicely. By having this card I’d receive a second anniversary free night certificate every year, and a fourth night free on award redemptions, which makes this card worth more than the annual fee.

Why I don’t have this card yet: I’m trying to not apply for any personal credit cards right now so that I can get under 5/24, but once I’m under I plan on picking up this card and keeping it long term.

I value the anniversary free night certificate and fourth night free on award redemptions

The World of Hyatt Credit Card (card review here)

Welcome bonus: 40,000 World of Hyatt points after spending $3,000 within the first three months, 20,000 World of Hyatt points after spending a total of $6,000 within the first six months

Annual fee: $95

Why I want this card: Hyatt and Chase really hit a home run with this new card, which was just recently introduced. The card offers five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, an anniversary free night certificate, a second anniversary free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card per year, two elite nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card, unique bonus categories, and more. The catch is that I have the old Hyatt Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants), so I can’t apply for this. I guess I’ll just need to upgrade my existing card, I just haven’t decided when to do that yet.

Why I don’t have this card yet: I guess I’m going to upgrade to this card soon, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I figure there’s no immediate rush, as long as I make the switch before the end of the year.

This card is ideal for anyone who is going for Globalist status

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire (card review here)

Annual fee: $450

Why I want this card: This card is a no brainer, as it offers Hilton Honors Diamond status for as long as you have the card, a weekend night reward each anniversary year, a $250 airline incidental fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort statement credit, a Priority Pass Select membership, and much more.

Why I don’t have this card yet: I’m trying to not apply for any personal credit cards right now so that I can get under 5/24, but once I’m under I plan on picking up this card and keeping it long term. Furthermore, at the moment I’m maxed out on how many American Express credit cards I can have, so I’ll need to cancel at least one before applying for this.

It’s tough to beat top tier Hilton status just for having a credit card

SPG Luxury Card from American Express (card review here)

Welcome bonus: unknown

Annual fee: $450

Why I want this card: This will be Amex’s premium Marriott/Starwood credit card, and it will offer all kinds of perks, that more than justify the annual fee, including an anniversary free night certificate valid at a property retailing for up to 50,000 points per night, Platinum status when you spend $75,000 on the card in a calendar year, a $300 annual statement credit for eligible Marriott and Starwood hotels, 15 elite qualifying nights towards status annually (starting in 2019), a Priority Pass membership, and much more.

Personally I probably won’t need to earn Platinum status this way since I’ll be earning Starwood lifetime Platinum status in a bit over a year. However, given the card’s $300 annual credit that I value at face value, this is like paying $150 per year for a card offering a free night at a property retailing for up to 50,000 points, which is an excellent deal.

Why I don’t have this card yet: This card is being introduced in August, so I can’t even apply for it yet.

Bottom line

While I’m happy with my current card portfolio, I think getting some of the above cards would put me in an even better position to maximize my credit card spend. I think what’s most remarkable is the innovative products we’ve seen introduced from credit card issuers lately. Five of the above six cards have been introduced this year, and they’re all phenomenal products, so that really shows the amount of innovation we’ve seen.

As you can see, right now I first have to wait to get under 5/24, which should happen within a couple of months. Once that’s done, my strategy is to pick up the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, and then to pick up the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

My biggest challenge with getting the two Amex cards that I want is that Amex limits you to having five credit cards, not including charge cards. I have five right now, so realistically I think I’m going to cancel the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express, and then I guess I’ll need to cancel one of my SPG Amex Cards.

Are there any other cards that should be on my radar? What credit cards are you planning on applying for soon?

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  1. Hi
    How do you find out when you will be released from 5/24 restrictions. I went gangbusters on this hobby a few years back then hit the 5/24 wall. Want to be more strategic when I am out from under the 5/24 rule, but not sure how to know when that is exactly.

  2. @Lucky Since you usually fly businesses or first, and rarely check luggage, what do you spend the airline incidental credit on?

  3. In your review of the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card, you say “it looks like you should be eligible to apply for this card if you currently have another version of the IHG Card, which is good news.” Any data yet to confirm that Chase is honoring the bonus for those of us keeping the “old” IHG card?

  4. @ Craig U — I can’t guarantee this will continue to work in the future, but historically buying airline gift cards in small increments has been reimbursed, so that’s generally how my credit has been used.

  5. I find this 5/24 thing so confusing. I thought business cards didn’t apply towards 5/24? So given your example above, you’re going to apply for the biz cards when you’re under 5/24 and they will count towards your 5/24 at that point or will not?

  6. @lucky why would you get the ink business unlimited given you already have the chase freedom unlimited. Same 1.5x points on non-bonus spend and no incremental perks past the signup bonus.

  7. p.s. I love how you link back to other articles. I was able to answer my own question (above) by reading your other articles. Thanks Lucky!

  8. I’m not as excited about the new SPG Luxury card, unless it has an outrageous signup bonus, and even then it’s not a keeper to me. First off, there is no way you should value $300 Marriott credit at face value. That is just bad advice. You are prepaying for an expense and restricting yourself to having to use this card. Second, the free night is only after your anniversary, so you will have to pay 2 annual fees to get the free night. This card is extremely underwhelming unless those 15 elite qualifying nights mean a lot to you.

    The Aspire, on the other hand, is definitely a keeper. I wish the SPG Luxury card was more like it.

  9. I was at 5 Amex credit cards and last month I applied for the Hilton Business card expecting to close out my personal Hilton card to get it but I was approved and now I have 6 credit cards plus the MB Platinum…

  10. @ julie — Fascinating, thanks for the data point. Just to try and make sense of this, do you mind sharing which five credit cards you have with Amex?

  11. @ Jack — Because I have both personal and business spend, and my tax guy is a lot happier when I separate out my expenses properly.

  12. I hope the high-end SPG Luxury AmEx is nothing like the Hilton Aspire…go-forward Marriwood actually has a top tier worth earning, unlike Hilton’s which is bottom tier (unsurprising as it’s now basically a free status level)

  13. “I hope the high-end SPG Luxury AmEx is nothing like the Hilton Aspire…”

    So do I, but I am not too worried because it won’t be. It takes a no-nonsense program with vision, gut and generosity to come up with a true HIGH-END loyalty card as thoroughly rewarding as the Aspire.

    Speaking of “basically a free status level”, I and every single UA elite from Gold on up who want it will become ‘Marriwood’ Plats as of this August — a lot of folks with “basically a free elite status”… 🙂

  14. Do you have an estimate on how many points/miles you earn each year from flying, and more importantly, credit card spend? Ever write a post about it? I’d be interested to hear, and super jealous too.

  15. @Lucky – I guess the Marriott card is goner for you even if the business one gives 75k bonus.

  16. CS which is weird to say since that’s my initials, Lucky’s situation is entirely different. I find use in half a dozen cards but if I really tried hard I could justify holding 12 at once. Considering what he does for a living it absolutely makes sense. Any card that provides a benefit with a value exceeding their cost without requiring spending is often worth it . I would not utilize the value of every card,I imagine he does or really close to it.

  17. Does the Amex card provide access to Amex lounges? If not hard to justify the $450. Most people in this hobby already have multiple cards with PP memberships.

  18. @Lucky I am new to this, but just today I found out that my citi thank you card, is offering an additional 4 points for online shopping, which is great because it is usually 1. So I get 5 points on every online purchase from now until 9/30/18. Also, any new purchase will have a APR of 0 until March 1, 2019. No annual fee. If you have the business and personal, the welcome points give you the unlimited free buddy passes for a year.

    Thank you points transfer to several airlines, including some Star Alliance. Jet Blue (air france and KPM) are offering a 30% bonus on transfers until 8/29/18. Sears is currently offering a 12 to 1 value so that would be a total of 17 points per dollar!

    So how did I do?

    Thank you,
    April west

  19. @ DCS

    I thought UA Gold was continuing to get the new Marriott Gold through Rewards Plus, not Marriott Platinum?

  20. Isn’t anyone who already has a ton of Chase, and other banks’, cards concerned about the Chase shut downs some people have been getting after going for … that … one … more … card….

  21. @Joel — Unlike the MR Gold status earned through a credit card or status match from SPG Gold, the Gold Elite status earned by UA elites Gold and up through the MR-UA joint venture known as RewardsPlus is a bona fide MR Gold Elite status that should convert to MR Platinum Elite in the merged program. We’re about to find out for sure in about two weeks…

  22. @ DCS

    yes, I am talking about true UA Gold status. I have heard otherwise, but I hope you’re right!

  23. @Joel – There has been some confusion but unless RewardsPlus is discontinued or Marriott/UA issue explicit T&C that state that UA elites will continue to receive the MR Gold Elite status in the merged program, the best info we have about what might happen is the following:

    – Existing Elite members will continue to be Elite and will receive a new, but similar, tier level in August. See chart below.

    – Note, the chart below ***does not apply*** to SPG Gold and SPG Platinum members who received Rewards Elite status due to linking and status matching. Click here to see SPG Elite status chart.

    I am an EXISTING Gold Elite” and I DID NOT get this status as a SPG Gold and SPG Platinum through linking and status matching, therefore my spot on the chart of HOW MEMBER TIERS WILL CHANGE IN AUGUST would (should) be in the cell showing ‘existing’ MR Gold Elites converting to Platinum Elites.

  24. @ DCS

    this is where I got my info. Again, I hope you’re right but I guess we’ll see soon.

    Who definitely doesn’t come out ahead with the new Marriott program
    United RewardsPlus members
    Currently United MileagePlus Gold members and above receive complimentary Marriott Gold status through RewardsPlus. That perk will be sticking around, though going forward Gold status won’t be worth as much as it currently is. Right now Gold status comes with guaranteed late check-out, and executive lounge access and/or breakfast at most brands, though that will no longer be the case.

    Instead Marriott Platinum status will have the same night requirements that Gold status currently has, though United elite members won’t be comped that.

    This is of course frustrating for anyone who benefited from this, but if we’re behind honest, we can’t really blame Marriott. They’ve improved the perks you get at 50+ nights per year, and it’s unrealistic to give that to all United MileagePlus Gold members and above.

  25. The reason I care a decent bit is because I specifically booked the Marriott Marquis Doha because they have a decent lounge and Gold got me in. Now with this uncertainty, I tried to switch to the Hilton Doha where Gold would at least get me at least breakfast.

    Oh well, first world problems. Discover Qatar bookings are still incredibly cheap, so I can swallow some meals. 😉

  26. Lastly, I am using a Travel Certificate at Marriott Marquis Bangkok starting on July 30 and ending on August 6. Hopefully since I am checking in before August 1st they will honor the old Gold benefits the entire visit … if my UA Gold doesn’t get me new Marriott Plat.

  27. @ Elizabeth — Any purchase made directly at a Hilton Resort could be reimbursed, up to $250. This could even include room rates. The key is that it has to be categorized as a resort, so a standard hotel wouldn’t qualify.

  28. @Joel — In a subsequent post @Lucky did walk back, at least a bit, the claim that UA elites with the Gold Elite status through RewardsPlus would not be converted to Platinum Elite in the merged program. The only Gold Elites specifically mentioned as not being converted to Platinum elite are “SPG Gold members who received Rewards Elite status due to linking and status matching.”

    I will cease to patronize Marriott Rewards if I am not my Gold Elite status through RewardsPlus as a UA 1K/1MM is not converted to Platinum elite to keep getting lounge access and free breakfast. The new MR Gold Elite status will be as useless is the SPG Gold status…

  29. Lucky, if you currently have the Hilton Ascend card (and you got the welcome bonus last year, IIRC), are you still able to get the Aspire card and get the welcome bonus?

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