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I wanna type out loud for a sec to assess which card offers I can still earn. Before I begin, I know there aren’t many.
After all, I currently have about 30 cards and have rotated through many others since I started the points & miles game in 2012 (and heavily in 2013).
So what’s left for me? I know it’s not much.
Let’s take a deep dive.
In This Post
Which cards are left that I can even get?
Arranged by bank, in order of most to least coveted cards. Typing as I think of each. 📓
LOL/24. Ever since the 5/24 rule came out, I’ve been toast. You can’t get most Chase cards if you’ve opened 5+ cards in the last 24 months. Some co-branded cards are exempt:
- British Airways – Current offer is up to 75,000 British Airways Avios points (I recently got it). Compare it here.
- Hyatt – 40,000 Hyatt points. Compare it here.
- Marriott small business – 75,000 Marriott points (25,000 Starwood points). Compare it here.
- IHG – 60,000 IHG points. Compare it here.
- Ritz-Carlton – 2 free nights at Tier 1 through 4 hotels. Compare it here.
I dunno if Chase will give me any more cards, though. I currently have 7 Chase cards (Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, Freedom, IHG, British Airways, United, and Hyatt). And was brutally denied for a Chase Freedom Unlimited. That one really stung.
If I could pick one NOT under 5/24, I’d probably go for the Ritz-Carlton card to get a $100 flight discount every time I fly with a companion on a paid flight. Although it’s also nice to get more Marriott/Starwood points. Hmmm… Fun to think about, anyway. 😝
Oh, Amex. That once per lifetime rule has taken so much from me (you can only earn the bonus one time per card – period).
I’ve had nearly every Amex card at a certain point in the last 5 years. Some I got for the bonus. Others I tried to like but couldn’t (ahem, the EveryDay Preferred), so closed them after a while.
Others, I’m saving for best-ever offers, like the Business Platinum Card Amex (see it here). Let’s see, I’ve had most:
- Membership Rewards cards (Premier Rewards Gold, Platinum Card, Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card, EveryDay, EveryDay Preferred)
- Hilton cards (all except Aspire and the small business version, which I’ll prolly get next)
- Delta cards (except Reserve and small business versions)
- Starwood cards
So there are 3, maybe 4 Amex cards I’ve never had. Real slim pickings, dang.
I currently have 6 Amex credit cards (SPG personal and small biz, Blue Business Plus, 2 Hilton no annual fee, and Hilton Ascend), so I’d likely have to close one or two of them to get another new one, though.
Ugh, Citi’s new rules exclude me from a lot. You can’t get a new Citi card bonus within each “family of brands” if you’ve opened OR closed another card in the family in the last 24 months. The biggest are ThankYou and American Airlines cards, which are the lion’s share of their arsenal.
I closed my ThankYou Premier card in the last 2 years. And opened a new American Airlines card within the same timeframe.
Not that I’d get approved for more anyway. I currently have 5 Citi cards (2 American Airlines card, Prestige, AT&T Access More, Diamond Preferred). I could maybe get one more. But nothing’s worthwhile (I don’t want an Expedia card).
So yeah, see ya around, I guess…
4. Bank of America
I did well jamming on Alaska Airlines cards for a long time. But now there’s a 2/3/4 rule with personal cards. (No approvals after 2 cards per rolling 2 months, 3 cards per rolling 12 months, and 4 cards per rolling 24 months). Here’s my link if you’d like to up an Alaska personal card if you still can – thank you for using it (it’s the best publicly available offer)!
You can still get small business cards every 90 days, though. It’s basically the only thing I have left. 😫
Barclays is a conservative bank. And will only approve you for 1, mayyybe 2 cards per year. I currently have the Arrival no fee and American Airlines Red Aviator cards. I’ve had my eye on the JetBlue Plus card. But like, JetBlue has literally one flight from Dallas (DFW-BOS).
And the Wyndham card might be worth a look. I’ll wait until it offers 45,000 Wyndham points, though. Until then, I’m gonna let Barclaycard marinate.
6. US Bank
Same for US Bank – conservative. I have the Altitude Reserve and Club Carlson no fee cards.
I could maybe get a FlexPerks card (never had one), so that’s in my back pocket. Man, how I miss the days of Club Carlson-ing through Europe with that BOGO deal. *wistful sigh*
So yeah, tapped out here – until next year.
8. Capital One
Guh. I have applied twice for Capital One small business cards and been denied both times.
Not messing with them any more.
To recap, I can get:
- No Chase cards
- An Amex card or two – waiting on best-ever offers because once per lifetime rule
- No Citi cards
- An occasional Alaska small business card from Bank of America
- Maybe a Wyndham card down the road from Barclaycard
- Maybe a FlexPerks card from US Bank
- No Discover cards
- No Capital One cards
Wowwww. So this is what it’s come to. I guess I’ll hit up that Hilton small business Amex and a new Alaska small business card. This is definition of “taking what you can get,” man. Woofers.
If I had a clean slate…
These rules all popped up within the last 5 years, since I started collecting points & miles cards.
Even still, I’ve done well to pick up ~30 cards along the way. So it’s not like I haven’t had a great time. Au contraire, I’ve had dozens of amazing award trips!
It’s just that, moving forward, I have to be cautious and tactical about which cards I apply for – what’s left, that is.
If I were brand new to points & miles today, I’d get:
- All the Chase cards I wanted that are under 5/24 FIRST (basically all Ultimate Rewards cards – Sapphire Reserve, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Preferred)
- 2 Chase Southwest cards if I wanted to earn the Companion Pass and travel domestically
- An Amex card or two (SPG personal or small biz for sure because those will likely be discontinued soon)
- A Citi card or two
- Fill in around the edges with cards from other banks (definitely the Discover It for that sweet Dublin!), or Barclaycard Red Aviator to get the bonus after a single purchase + annual fee payment
How different it would all be if I were starting over now. Funny to think about. A bit sad, too.
How I still play the game
- Referral links for bonus points – thank you so much for using my links!
- Bonus categories, especially travel & dining on the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Through my Airbnbs and paying rents via Plastiq
- Promotions and bonus offers
- Traveling (paid flights and hotel stays)
- Dining and shopping portals
- The occasional welcome offer on a credit card
And I gotta say, despite not being able to access most credit cards any more, I do pretty well. I already have a lot of travel booked for 2018. And that’s really all I ever hope for.
Seriously, thank you so much for using my links to get new cards over the years. It means the world to me – literally. 🌎
This was quite the walk down memory lane! I’ve come a long way in the past 5 years. And wow, opened a lot of credit cards.
But it started with just one card (the Chase Sapphire Preferred it was). And went on from there. I still can’t believe all the amazing places I’ve traveled. And looking forward to many more points & miles award trips.
I might be down to a couple of Amex cards, and the odd Alaska small business card here and there. It’ll be few and far between from here on out, I’m afraid. But I still do well to rake in the points, especially thanks to my Airbnb business and referral links.
Where are you in your points journey? Are there still lots of cards you want to (or can) get? Or like me, are you at the bottom of the barrel?
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