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Top 5 Credit Card Signup Bonuses (Updated Regularly)

87 Responses to “Top 5 Credit Card Signup Bonuses (Updated Regularly)”

  1. Paul H says:

    Your “And don’t forget” section is confusing. I understand that you could be gaining 2% back in cash at all times using the Fidelity card. However, if you are simply earning 1 mile per dollar spent (and not satisfying introductory spending requirements) you are earning 1.8 cents (for American) and 2.5 cents (for Ultimate Rewards) according to your valuation of miles. Can you explain?

    • Brad says:

      hi paul, i’ve removed this for now since i think it only confused things. bottom-line: if you’re earning points AND moving towards a bonus threshold, there is *much* more value in points, in my opinion.

  2. jessica c says:

    These will be updated regularly has offers come and go… I believe “has” should be “as”

  3. Brittney says:

    I am just kind of wondering reading over these and reading your book I get the concept but which credit card do you think would have the best rewards for us to be able to fly out of West Michigan to Kauai, HI? We are planning out 10 year anniversary trip ther in October and of course would love to get the best deal possible, flying first class would be nice :) !

    • Brad says:

      hi brittney!

      there are two paths. both end with choices.

      one is to get a card that earns “flexible currency.” for example, starwood starpoints, amex membership rewards points and chase ultimate rewards points can all be transferred directly into the rewards programs of airlines. sometimes, there is even a bonus involved. 20,000 starwood starpoints transfer into 25,000 american airlines miles.

      the second is to just get that airline’s credit card.

      there is nothing stopping you from going down both paths, ie: getting multiple cards of different sorts. but if i had to get one, i’d get one that is flexible.

      the other consideration is personal preference or situation. what are the big airlines in western michigan? if delta is or is not there, that would obviously impact whether you’d get there card.

      all of that somewhat general stuff said, the best deal on first class to hawaii is oddly to take 60k chase ultimate rewards points, transfer then into korean air and then book a ticket through them on their partner hawaiian airlines. it is relatively easy to get 60k chase UR points via bonuses like these: http://www.bradsdeals.com/search?query=ultimate+rewards

      if that is a little too convoluted, i’d try and get 70k us airways miles, since they charge less than the other big us carriers who usually charge 80k. they have plenty of flights but you can also use their miles to book on united.

      a quick path to 70k us airways miles:
      -this is good for 40k us air miles: http://bdeal.me/usaircard
      -this is good for 30k starwood starpoints (25k from bouns, 5k from spending) which can then be transferred to usairways: http://bdeal.me/starwood

    • Preston says:

      Going to Kauai the end of april. Used amex starwoods to book St Regis Princeville. Cash+points comes to $600 total for a 4 night stay (not bad considering thats the nightly rate). Used BA for 2 roundtrip direct flights (from lax however) which came to 50,000 (25k each) with no extra fees. Hope you have a great anniversary!

      • Brad says:

        Preston, well-played all around. Cash and points at the St. Regis is a great deal and from LAX there is no better move than BA at 25k!

  4. Kathryn Sauls says:

    I have been reading the book by Brad Wilson. I decided to stick my “toe in the water” and apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I have it in my hand and I have been reading the literature that came with the card. It does not mention anything about “Cash Back.” Right now, I am not really interested in points—since I am experimenting. On the BradsDeal web site it states that if you spend $3000 in 3 months you can get $440 cash back. I was planning on spending that amount on that card—-collecting my $440 and stop. That is what I thought it said in the book about just eating the carrot and stopping. Am I interrupting this correctly? Before I activated the card—I was going to call customer service and see if the cash back offer is still in effect.

  5. Ramon says:

    Amex Gold business card currently offering 75k bonus points. I saw the banner on ebay. I just got an Amex Gold last month, though.

    • Brad says:

      thanks for the heads-up ramon. added it to the list at #1!

      by the way, you should call or message them about the 75k. they may give you the difference. it usually works for me.

  6. Debbie says:

    I am always pleased with the tips that you give me, used certainly are a very busy guy. Debbie Ricein the San Francisco Bay Area.

  7. Brian Shuman says:

    A question about the cards but first:

    I have read your book twice and loved it both times. I have since received the 50,000 mile British Airways card for me and my wife, the 85,000 miles Amex Gold card , the 50,000 point Marriott card and tthe 25,000 point AMEX Starwood card. I have also opened a usingmiles account (Thank you for the free upgrade) and started a spread sheet.

    Today when opening my Amex Starwood card it says,”Restrictions on Welcome Bonus Points” “If you open another card account with a higher welcome bonus points award, you will only receive the difference between the first and second awards.”

    My question is will the AMEX Starwood card’s wlecome bonus points conflict with the AMEX Business Gold card welcome bonus points?
    Thanks. Having a blast gathering miles..

    • Brad says:

      Hi Brian – glad you liked the book, thanks. I love that you hit the ground running and that you’ll have a few hundred thousand miles in the bank already!

      As for Starwood being conflated with the Amex Biz Gold, I highly doubt it. They are distinctly different products with different points.

      Amex’s bark is worse than it’s bite, anyway. I get more bonuses than I should, according to their updated fine print. This may change, though.

      Keep me posted.

      • Brian Shuman says:

        How nice and amazing that you find time to make replies. I will activate the Starwood card and the Amex Gold when it arrives. Will let you know if a conflict arises.

        Thanks for the advice for getting around the $650.00 charges to fly into Heathrow. Wow, that is a shocker.

        The British Airways card also comes with a companion ticket good for 2 years which makes the 125,000 miles for $20,000 spent an even more amazing deal.

        This is addicting!
        Thanks for the fun.

  8. Diane says:

    Hi Brad,
    The book is great, thanks! I was wondering what you think about the Club Carlson Visa deals? We enjoy staying at Country Inn and Suites, and this is one of the Club Carlson hotels. Thanks, Diane

  9. Becky says:

    Hi Brad: I’m reading your book and found the US Mint intriguing. What website did you visit? Everything I saw for purchase were commerative sets. I did receive an offer from American Express Gold Business offering 75,000 bonus miles also. Thanks for everything!

  10. John says:

    Hi Brad – Great travel tips in the book! I’m 20 years old and currently have 3 credit cards: A Discover Student credit card ($1800 limit), CitiForward Visa card ($800 limit), as well as a Visa card through my credit union with a $1,000 limit.

    The last time I checked, my Experian credit score was over 700 – I never carry a balance and make on-time payments every month.

    I will be taking a trip to Milan, Italy this coming September – Do you have any tips for which credit card I should apply for to earn bonus points or which website I should use to book my flight to get a great price? Thanks!

    • Brad says:

      Hi John, with 7 months to plan, my goal would be to accrue enough points and miles by then, or really by 3-4 months out, to book the trip for free. The quickest way to do that is by getting a bunch of different bonuses. I’d look at the list above and sync that with your personal preferences and, if necessary, any airline requirements, and then get started!

      If it was me, I’d get the two Chase cards above plus my wife would do the same. The almost 200,000 Ultimate Rewards points we’d end up with would get us 8 or 9 nights at the Park Hyatt, one of the nicest hotels there. Of course, there are many good options that don’t use as many points. Then I’d look either the BA or AA offers for flights.

  11. Greg Capatch says:

    Hi Brad.

    Really liked the book- opened our eyes to the possibilities. Here is where we are. Have 2 x Chase Sapphire Preferred (we get 50k points on each for a 2k spend because of Chase status). Also have a Bold- and I am in the process of acquiring a Plus from Chase (same incentives as Bold but you pay over time if you want). We also got the AmEx Gold with the 75k bonus.

    I have been planning to trade my car for a while. So…based on what you said in the book, I pitted several dealerships against one another and got 2 of them to agree to allow me to put the difference between my trade and a new car on the cards mentioned above (they pay the fees- of couse). Anyways, within a couple of weeks the minumum spend on the above cards will be met and it will be time for round two.

    Not sure what direction to go- or how many cards are too many. I will be downgrading where possible on most of the ones mentioned to no fee cards- but when you have a lot of cards cancellations are going to happen. I have outstanding credit- and get any card I apply for- so, in your opinion should I just get as many as I can- downgrade where possible and let my credit rating take a hit on the ones I cancel- or is there a ‘sweet spot’ for number of cards per year? I noticed AmEx will let you reapply and get the incentives if you haven’t had a card in a year- so thinking about cancelling the gold with the 75k bonus as soon as it posts and I transfer the rewards. I will get the starpoint cards before I do that, though.

    I know there is a lot here, just a noob trying to navigate the water as efficiently as possible. Thanks for any thoughts you may have.

    • Brad says:

      Hey Greg – apologies for my slow reply!

      Great to hear DMSL opened your eyes.

      Smart move with the car dealers and the cards.

      Most importantly, how best to move forward: I haven’t observed any practical limits for number of cards from a credit score standpoint, and I’ve really pushed the envelope. I get as many as I can, downgrade or reallocate when possible, but occasionally cancel without much of a hit.

      The real issues are: 1) how many can you manage (I highly recommend a simple spreadsheet and autopay); 2) as you mention, what are the limits with a given institution.

      It sounds like your spouse or someone else is involved, as you have 2 Sapphire. I’d suggest that the second person gets their own Ink Plus and Ink Bold.

      You could each also get Amex Starwood personal and business cards, despite the bonuses for the AmEx Gold. Starpoints are one of my 3 favorite flexible currencies, along with Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points http://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/2010/06/29/american-express-starwood/

      Depending on where you live and fly, the American trifecta here for 150k miles may be worth a look. http://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/2013/01/16/top-5-credit-card-signup-bonuses/

      Also, I was able to a bonus from both an Amex Platinum Card and a Mercedes Benz Platinum card in the same year. Worth a shot. Link in the top 5 list above.

      You should also be able to qualify for the lucrative bonuses on any other hotel cards like hyatt (http://bdeal.me/hyatt), marriott (http://bdeal.me/marriott), and hilton (http://bdeal.me/hiltonreserve).

      I also like the US Air card from Barclays (http://bdeal.me/usaircard). The card is solid plus it isn’t one of the usual banks.

  12. Meghan says:

    Hi Brad,

    I am Canadian, and I just finished the travel section of your book. I have started to do what you suggested- apply for credit cards- but it seems that bonuses for Canadian cards seem to be much less than their American counterparts. I was just wondering if you have any tips specific to your friends north of the border regarding which cards to apply for etc?

    P.s. I love the book so far- you really have done some amazing things!


    • Greg Capatch says:

      I’m not Brad- but my wife is Canadian, and her father still lives in Toronto. Came across this deal yesterday and emailed it to him.

      America Express Aeroplan Plus Platinum Card – Canada Only
      •Limited Time Offer: 50,000 points – 25,000 after first purchase plus an additional 25,000 when you spend $1,000 within 3 months.
      •Earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you charge to your Card. Accelerate your earn rate to 1.5 miles for every dollar in purchases over $25,000 annually.
      •Enjoy a 2-for-1 short-haul flight reward when you redeem 15,000 Aeroplan Miles, with the Partner Ticket benefit.
      •Access to Air Canada Maple LeafTM Lounges & Arrivals Lounges.
      •$499 annual fee – $199 annually for AeroplanPlus Supplementary Platinum Cards.

      Here is the link to apply:

      America Express Aeroplan Plus Platinum Card – Canada Only
      •Limited Time Offer: 50,000 points – 25,000 after first purchase plus an additional 25,000 when you spend $1,000 within 3 months.
      •Earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you charge to your Card. Accelerate your earn rate to 1.5 miles for every dollar in purchases over $25,000 annually.
      •Enjoy a 2-for-1 short-haul flight reward when you redeem 15,000 Aeroplan Miles, with the Partner Ticket benefit.
      •Access to Air Canada Maple LeafTM Lounges & Arrivals Lounges.
      •$499 annual fee – $199 annually for AeroplanPlus Supplementary Platinum Cards.


      • Meghan says:

        Greg- that’s a great link! I am applying immediately. Thanks for the heads up!

        • Greg Capatch says:


          Here is another one that I sent my father-in-law. Since big offers are starting to show up other cards may follow suit. Would get these if they fit your liestyle, meet the minumum spends, then hopefully other companies will start feeling the pressure of these big bonuses and there will be more to apply for down the road.


          The Canadian Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express has its highest-ever sign-up bonus of 21,000 Starpoints when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months- apply now through April 11, 2013. You will earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 in purchases charged to the card. Receive a Free Weekend Night Award at hotels and resorts worldwide when you reach $40,000 in purchases on the card each year. $30,000 in purchases each year = an automatic upgrade to Starwood Gold Preferred Guest membership. Cardmembers can also earn 10,000 Starpoints by referring a friend. $120 annual fee. The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from Amex is offering 20,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership with similar benefits. Do a search to find the site, then decide if it might be worth double dipping to get both cards.

          • Meghan says:

            Greg- Thank you so much- I have gotten 2 cards since your last post, and will be applying for this one as well. My husband and I are saving up for a trip to New Zealand next year, and hopefully all these points will get us there first class!

    • Brad says:

      Hi Meghan, I’m glad Greg stepped in here with those great offers. Bonuses are generally less but there are still some good ones, as we’ve seen here. This Platinum offer is better than the US one!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Hi Brad,

    Loved the book and most of the ideas. However, I am a bit disappointed in the TravelHacks website you have recommended. I received the very first newsletter and was so excited to see the deal that can be made with Turkish Airlines via Star Alliance. I do not have status with any of the airline, but was even more excited when TH states that it didn’t matter and they could deal with that too. So I submitted all my info to TH to get everything need to submit to Turkish Airlines…..and here I wait. Is this site and all they have to offer to good to be true?

  14. [...] note: these are the top 5 credit card signup bonus offers that I cited in the segment. About the Author: Brad WilsonBrad is the founder and Editor-in-Chief [...]

  15. Raxit says:

    I currently have about 200K BA Avios miles or so. I do not have the BA card anymore. I am planing a trip to Hawaii from NYC for 2 people round-trip, mostlily on AA. How and what is the best way to go about this? Also, the AMEX Platinum card. I uderstand that there is that hefty fee. What is the best way to avoid that fee if I wanted to try out that card or something? You mentioned to get a business card, a person should put in their name as the business and as a sole propetieor.

    • Brad says:

      200k is sufficient for the flights, even in first class. It should be about 75k roundtrip per ticket in business class on AA via BA.

      So now it is a matter of finding seats. I took a quick look just on AA.com and see availability all week of 2/25-3/1, for example, for the outbound flight. Any American Milesaver fares should be bookable via BA.com.

      If you want some help with the heavy lifting here, signup for expert flyer (http://bdeal.me/ef) and setup alerts for award seats for the days/flights you’d like. That is what I usually do to save me from spending too much time at this.

      The Platinum card (http://bdeal.me/axp) is a good card. I carry it. There is no way to avoid the fee but the $200 airline credit partially offsets it, as do other things.

      Yes, I always get both the personal and business versions of cards I like in order to get double the bonus!

  16. Raxit says:

    Few more questions. What book are these people referring too? How can I get that book? LOL
    Also, applying to credit cards is bad as far as it checks the credit history and what not…

    • Brad says:

      Hi Raxit, the book is Do More, Spend Less: http://bdeal.me/amzn

      In it, you’ll see my extreme test of applying for 17 credit cards on one day and what that did to my credit score. It dropped but quickly came back and within a few months was actually higher than when I started.

  17. Dan says:

    Hi Brad,

    I have read your book and thought it was awesome. I found a lot of things useful, thank you. I was hoping for some advice on how to set this up. I’m looking for a card/s for my wife and myself where we can accumulate airline points and use those points to visit family and friends in Poland. Any idea which card/s would work the best for us?(I usually used the polish airlines LOT to fly to Poland, but I don’t think they have a cc., or does that matter)

    • Brad says:

      Hi Dan – great, glad to hear.

      The good thing is that almost all cards could be used.

      There are just a ton of airlines that fly to Poland. All three major networks (Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam) are represented and having miles for one airline in a network means you can fly any of the other partners. Also, my three favorite flexible currencies (Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Starpoints) can be turned into a flight on almost any airline.

      See this first and then tailor it to your personal preferences and location and I can help refine further if needed:


  18. Caroline says:

    Hi Brad,

    I got your book a while ago and devoured the entire thing in basically one sitting. All the travel opportunities are so exciting, but I was really inspired by your ideas about taking charge of your credit score. Frankly my credit is kind of a mess, mostly because I’m only just starting out so my (not horrible) student loans must look very steep with no credit to compare.

    So my problem is I’m having trouble getting any credit at all… like, any… and I was wondering if you knew of a legitimate avenue that might extend credit to a shady character like me, because the only ones I find like this are shady characters themselves. I’m aiming low benefits-wise since if I read this portion correctly I can build it up once my foot is in the door, but I need credit from an actually legitimate institution, right?

    I’m also still a (law) student, so this may be a big part of the problem. I also think it’s pretty fantastic that you answer question so much and so thoroughly! Thank you!

    • Brad says:

      Hi Caroline, I’ve been in the same position, granted with difference circumstances.

      So you have a fair amount of legitimate student debt that is not late but little other credit. Yes, the gameplan is to load up on (but not use) as much credit of any type as you can get. The more you get, the easier it will be to get it, the sooner you’ll get the good stuff with the big rewards.

      There are really two things to do.

      One is what cards will be good to start with. The bank where you have a checking account or any other account, is a good start. When you do move to the major institutions, get a few basic cards that don’t have rewards, like these:


      Conversely, you might also have luck getting a card with a high annual fee like the Amex Gold. I have no proof but have always felt like Amex isn’t as stingy as those b/c they get the fee.

      Another path is secured credit cards. These can be a little shady but these two are fine:

      The second is the approach. I certainly advocate as aggressive an approach with your applications as possible. Push up right next to the edge of your personal comfort zone. If you’re still in law school and presumably have little or no income, don’t put that on the app! I’d go with the broadest form of “household income” you can pull together. Then I’d round up. Parents, significant other, roommate, etc. You’re going to have a hard time saying “student” and “$0″ and in my experience the income listed is more influential than it should be both on getting approved and on what limit you get. This is, after all, a big game. In 9,999 of 10,000 cases they won’t ask for supporting documents (I’ve never seen this personally) and if they do you’re no worse off than you would have been otherwise.

  19. Rob says:

    Hi Brad,

    I have the Chase Bold Ink card and am closing in on the spend requirement for the 50k bonus points. Are you saying I should dump the card thereafter, wait awhile and apply for the Chase Sapphire? And that my wife should apply for the new pair of cards too? It didn’t occur to me that we could actually do that.

    Folks, I have met and interviewed Brad and he is the real deal. Somebody said this is addicting and I concur!

    • Brad says:

      Hi Rob – you can have the Ink Bold and Sapphire cards at the same time so you do not need to cancel and wait. Your wife can ALSO have them at the same time. It’s an easy 200k UR points!

  20. Tracy says:

    Hi Brad, Truely enjoyed your book DMSL. Will probably read and reread as I start this journey of earning airline points. My question is how do you spend so much in the limited time frame to get all those points? Im considering putting one of my auto drafts on one which is roughly 600.00 a month. I’m sure I either missed something or its so simple I cant figure it out..LOL. Will a balance transfer count as a purchase? Do I apply for me and hubby at the same time? That would actually make it harder to accumalate the required purchases within the time frame. Lastly, do you use your own name or a version of your name for the business card so you can have 3? We are wanting to go back to Hawaii next May for our 30th Anniv and it would be great to have the flight for free! :) Thanks in advance for your time.

  21. Susan says:

    Hi Brad. I am a huge follower and refer ma. You are brilliant.

  22. Susan says:

    Hi Brad…this is Susan again. I refer many, many people to your website. Love the book. And, I do think you are brilliant. My question..I signed my hubs up as a second user on two of the credit cards I own…Starwood and AE Gold business. Can I sign him up for his own cards to receive the sign up bonuses, since he is a user on my account?

    • Brad says:

      Hi Susan – yes, you can sign him up for his own ACCOUNT and he will get a bonus. Whether he has his own CARD on your account is immaterial. It doesn’t count for much and won’t earn a separate. There is a small possibility that it gets in the way of his own application. It does help you hit the spending threshold, though.

  23. tracy says:

    Where can I find the using miles acct? Will I see it when I sign up for one the credit cards?

    Thanks again!!

  24. Raxit says:

    Hi Brad,
    Question. What is the major difference between the American Express Platinum of Mercedes Benzs VS the regular American Express Platinum card? I know that the MB has an offer for 50K points while the regular has only 25K. Other than that are there any other major differences?

    • Brad says:

      You get a few MB perks such as $1,000 of a MB and extra points on MB charges, be it service or if you can talk them into putting a vehicle on the card.

  25. Ray Traub says:

    If I already have a Citi AAdvantage Visa on the gold level, will I still get signup bonuses for the other AAdvantage cards?

  26. Greg Capatch says:

    Hi Brad.

    Another question. I am going to sign up for those services you mentioned in the book to get rid of all the hard inquiries so I won’t have to wait 90 days for my next churn. Are the ones you mention in DMSL still viable for this use?

  27. Aaron says:

    I signed up for the MB Amex Platinum card last week and activated it a couple days later. Yesterday, I got an offer from Amex for the standard platinum card with 100,000 points bonus! I tried calling to see if they could retroactively apply that bonus to the benz card but they said no. Do you think I should try to cancel the benz card and go for the 100,000 bonus? The dilemma is that I may be purchasing a mercedes this year and the $1000 certificate would help.

  28. Jim Fowler says:

    Brad – FYI : The Chase Ink card on your top 5 has expired. Any new offers?

  29. Matt says:

    I ran across your site today and found it extremely interesting. I will be looking to get your DMSL book!
    I currently have a Priority Card with Platinum status (currently 320k points) that I have been using to bank points on for an anniversary trip (next winter) to someplace warm (Hawaii, Aruba, DR, other). I would like to go first class and also use the points for our accommodations. First, how easy is it to convert these points into miles? Second, is this a card that I should continue to use or should I be looking to get something different (like an AA / BA / Starwood card) instead? I use this card for a small business I own.
    Thanks in advance!

  30. Beth says:

    I have been trying to sign up for the travelhacks.com and am having trouble. Bought and read box and like it a lot. Any ideas what is wrong.
    Thank You!!

    • loa337 says:

      I am having the same problem.
      The book is a great resource – thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      I had the same problem too! I was really looking forward to signing up after reading the book and loving it! But when i tried to do the travelhacks I just got a note about being put on a waiting list. :(

      • Kenneth Thomas says:

        Yes, the three months free travel hacks subscription is just get getting a “404-page not found error message,”

  31. BP says:

    The Citi AAdvantge Visa Business Link is not working for me. Is it still valid? If so please send me a link.

  32. Rich says:


    My question is what do you do about bag fees? I read your book and I got enough Delta miles last year for 6 tickets for my family to fly, but the renewal on my Delta Am-Ex card with the $85 fee came due a couple of months before I could fly. I checked about going to a no fee card, but they didn’t have the perk of waiving bag fees. So I reluctantly paid the $85 fee because it was less than paying the fees for the 5 bags we brought. But I thought “Brad has got to have a way to either avoid this.” How do you get around paying one fee or the other? Thank you.

    • Brad says:

      Rich, great question.

      I would have either had my wife get the same card for the next year (new signup bonus, no fee for 12 months) or I would have tried to get elite status on Delta and avoided the fees that way.

  33. Chris says:

    Brad, how is it that 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,075? It looks like they can only be redeemed for $400.

    • Brad says:

      I’m not saying you can redeem them for cash worth $1,075 (you can’t), I’m just saying that I value them at that because I can redeem them for travel worth that much or more. Cash is only 1:1 but it is a bad deal since you could have just used a 2% cash back credit card.

  34. Heather says:

    Hi Brad,

    First of all, I love the book and my husband and I are planning on using credit card points/miles to fly are family of four from the west coast to the east coast to visit family this summer. Which cards would you recommend applying for to accomplish this? I did see that southwest gives 50k points for their crefit card so I’m wondering if I should combine that one with one of the ones on your list. Any feedback would be vety helpful.

    Also, with all the cards you sign up for, you must end up paying quite a bit in annual fees, is there a way around that?


  35. Alana says:

    Hi Brad,

    Love the book! Quick question, I currently am a stay at home mom and I have got my husband to apply for a few credit cards. I have gotten the complementary credit cards for the last two that he got. My question is, do I stand a chance applying for any credit cards myself since I don’t work or do I have to wait until I start working? I lived in the UK prior to moving to the US, so my credit history is pretty much non existent here. Is there anything else I need to do to be able to apply for any of these cards? Also, I read somewhere that applying for business cards when you technically don’t own a ‘business’ in the traditional sense can cause the IRS to look into you – is that true?

    • Brad says:

      the lack of credit history is the bigger issue, but it is solvable. and you may be OK as is. i’d just try once and see.

      i wouldn’t worry about the income part. apply using your household income.

      no on the IRS thing. i haven’t heard that and am unaware that credit card companies report anything to the IRS.

  36. Kenneth Thomas says:

    All American Express cards with MR points now carry this disclaimer: “If you are identified as a current American Express® Cardmember, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer.” Is Amex cracking down?

    • Brad says:

      interesting and thanks for sharing. but I don’t see that, for example, on their Platinum Mercedes Benz app linked above and I have not experienced this to be the case in practice. If anything, it is if you have had the same card, or a narrowly related card. for example: the green/gold/platinum charge cards are sometimes bucketed together.

      • Kenneth Thomas says:

        If you click your link for 30,000 Starwood points, the language I give is right there on the landing page.

  37. John Johnson says:

    What impact on your credit score does opening and closing credit card accounts? There are very lucrative offers and ways to gain points/miles for frequent user programs that we would like to take advantage of but don’t intend to maintain the card after the incentive has been reached. What are the consequences on our credit rating by utilizing this strategy to gain extra miles/points? Thank you.

    • Brad says:

      Hi John, great question.

      I played guinea pig in a few large scale tests of this. I walked through one in Do More, Spend Less (http://bdeal.me/amzn). The short: I applied for 17 cards on one day; scores dropped quickly by 40 points but gradually over three months came back 60 points and ended 20 higher. Middle and long term, you’re credit score gets stronger with more available credit on your report. Don’t do it if you’re about to apply for a mortgage but otherwise it is a smart move with little downside.

      I also broke down the many alternatives to fully closing accounts, which you can usually avoid.

  38. MALIK says:

    hi brad, i have 55000 american express points from the gold buissness card and i would like to know if i am not travelling right now where should i transfer those points and close the card thanks

  39. Robert says:

    Be careful of AmEx Starpoint offer. I took it and received the initial purchase 10K points; they refused the additional 15K after spending $5K – they state I did not apply for it. With 2 other AmEx cards since 1965, I had no need for this card except for the points offer.

    • Brad says:

      Hi Robert, I’m not aware of ANY amex starwood offer that is 10k points on initial purchase and nothing else so getting the 10k should be all the proof you need to get the 15k. I’d try again with customer service. Unfortunate that happened but my two cents is that it is not related to this card or offer, just a random thing that happens to us all from time to time.

  40. Jodi says:

    Hi Brad, I am looking at all your research (thank you) and I was wondering which offer do you think best in terms of trying to transfer a balance for the 0% APR and still getting some points value with the new card? I was looking at the US Airways but do they have a steep transfer fee?

    • Brad says:

      Hi Jodi, I wouldn’t try and cram both objectives into one card, at least not with current options. Get two, one each that does their main thing the best.

      Best balance transfer is probably chase slate: http://bradsdeals.com/go/p/151044

      Best points/spending cards are above…and always spend towards a bonus, not towards just the 1 point per $1…are a ;)

  41. Baron says:

    Brad — can you clarify on just what “spending” is? Example: as is often the case, my child has roommates, and they pool their $$$$ and submit one payment to the Landlord. Now, I think they just use that transfer mechanism from one to another. So, does rent payment count as spending? And if it does, I suppose she would be losing out if she is the roommate in the earlier part of the chain, right? Or is just spending straight out retail?

  42. Bryan says:

    Brad– what are your thoughts about the new Amex Everyday cards?

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