Another Spring 2014 App-o-rama! This time my turn.

Just over a month ago my wife successfully completed a four card app-o-rama going 4-4. Now that we are in May I am due for a proper app-o-rama!!  Now I mentioned prior that I have in fact applied for a Citi Executive card in late January and another one in mid February.  I hit the spends on those and received the 220,000 AA miles that come along with it.  This is my first multi-application day since early November 2013.

What did I apply for???

  • Citi American Airlines Executive card:  Yes!!! I applied for this card for the third time!!  I cannot believe the offer is still alive this long and that some people on Flyertalk are on their 4th cards plus!!  I submitted the application and did not get an instant decision just like the past two times I applied for the card.  I was asked to call to speak to a live Citi rep to get the application reviewed.  I called and spoke to a nice Citi employee and after exchanging pleasantries he put me on hold and advised he could approve me for $5000 or I could move credit from one of my other Citi cards if I wanted a larger limit.  I decided to take $10,000 of credit from my first AA Executive card to open this card.  He put me back on hold for 2-3 minutes and I was all set! The card should arrive any day now and another 110,000 miles will be mine!
  •  American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card: I always need more hotel points and Hilton points are fairly easy to grab and I need them for trips this year.  The offer I applied for expired on May 5th so this was the last day I could apply for it. The offer was for 75,000 Hilton points after spending $3000 in 90 days.  Now if you click on the offer it is only for 60,000 points. I applied just in time and did not get an instant approval but I got an email a few hours later letting me know my card was approved and is being rush mailed to me! After hitting my spending requirement I will have 84,000 Hilton points for this offer (you receive 3 Hilton points per normal dollar spent). That is enough points for just about any Hilton property in the world except for a small handful of them.
  • Bank of America Alaska Airlines card: My wife applied for this card last month so I want to stay mile-for-mile with her so when its time to redeem for a flight we have about the same number of miles.  This offer is slightly different as you get the 25,000 miles after $1000 spent but you get a $100 statement credit which negates the $75 annual fee and puts $25 in my pocket. I was instantly approved for this card after hitting the submit button! These miles will hopefully eventually be redeemed for an Emirates or Cathay First class flight some day.

All in all this was a successful round of credit card applications!  I am debating throwing in a Barclays US Airways card or the Lufthansa card that is now up to 50,000 miles but Barclays is so dang fickle with approving credit apps. One positive is that they always pull Transunion for me and I am certain the three applications I just did are Experian pulls so they won’t see these new applications.  My only credit card denial came last year when applying for a Barclays Arrival card which I ended up getting six months later. I am going to debate a few more days to see if I really want those cards though. I will be redeeming these points for Thousands of dollars worth of travel!!!  Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading!



Virgin Atlantic changes Hilton transfers AGAIN

Another sneaky change in the terms for Virgin Atlantic to Hilton transfers!  It devalued back in January from 100% transfer bonus to %50 transfer bonus (50,000 points used to equal 100,000 Hilton points now it is 75,000 Hilton points).  Now the transfer amounts must be in 10,000 increments!  The old rules were that the transfer must be:

  • minimum of 10,000 points
  • increments of 5,000 points

Now you must transfer 10,000 at a time, check it out:

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.27.35 PM
Virgin Atlantic transfer terms as of April 1 2014

The reason I am writing about this is that I don’t want others to end up like I did today!!!! I had around 4,000 orphan Virgin Atlantic miles  and I was looking to use them with the American Express Membership Rewards 30% bonus going on now.  I figured I can use the Hilton points and the transfer ratio is 1:1.95 so 1 Membership reward point=1.95 Hilton points with this transfer bonus and the 50% transfer to Hilton.  I made my transfer and I ended up with just over 15,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.  I then called Virgin Atlantic at 800 821-5438 and spoke to a customer service agent to transfer my miles to Hilton. He asked “how much would you like to transfer”, and I responded, “as much as possible which I believe is 15,000”.  He then took a look and tried to make the transfer but he then replied, “I can only do increments of 10,000”.  I was perplexed and stated “it should be increments of 5,000 after a 10,000 minimum”  and he said, “as of April 1st the increments changed to 10,000 at a time.”

I was angry as this is another sly devaluation or at least makes your miles harder to use and had I known I could’ve transferred less Membership Rewards points to make it as close as possible to 10,000.  I simply told him to transfer the 10,000 which left me with 5,000 orphan miles now.  So tonight I am going to need to transfer another 4,000 Membership rewards points to get back to 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and call Virgin Atlantic again to make another separate transfer.  I am just about out of Membership Rewards and I was waiting for a British Airways bonus but it has been about six months since any transfer bonus with them.

I know many of you are hanging on to your Membership Rewards for transfers to Singapore for a suites redemption or to Avios for short haul flights.  I only had about 12,000 Membership Rewards points left and my Business Rewards Gold card is about one year old and the annual fee is going to kick in at which point I will cancel. I needed to transfer these points out as I have no other Membership Rewards earning cards at this time (but it was nice to get 175,000 with the personal plat and the biz gold card).