Sign-up bonuses on new credit cards are a great way to get a large number of miles/points quickly. So that’s why I sign up for new cards every few months.
It used to be that app-o-ramas, also known as AORs, were a good strategy because it meant that the card issuers (banks) might not see all your new inquiries at the time of application. Now, with everything so instantaneous, not sure if that’s still the case.
However, I still like to do AORs because it means the hard pulls should fall off my credit report all around the same time. Also, I find it easier for tracking and spending purposes to get new cards around the time, preferably when I know I have some large purchases coming up. Occasionally, I’ll apply for a “one-off” if it’s a great bonus that’s about to expire or there’s some reason why I feel like I need that card right away. But generally, I apply for multiple cards at a time.
It’s been almost 3 months since my last AOR, and there were a few new cards I had been eyeing. Here’s what I applied for and my results.
Result: instant approval
I actually have no existing TD Bank or Aeroplan relationship. Though the sign-up bonus is small, this card will help me start building a stash of Aeroplan miles that can be redeemed on a Star Alliance airline for a first or business class flight.
Sign-up bonus: 25,000 miles
Minimum spend required: $1,000 in the first 3 billing cycles
Card features that I find beneficial: $95 annual fee waived for the 1st year, no foreign transaction fees
Result: pending (I will probably wait to hear back. If I’m denied, I’ll call and see if I can shift credit from another card to get this approved)
The Wyndham Rewards Visa from Barclaycard has been on my radar for awhile and I had heard the 45,000-point sign-up bonus was expiring soon and would be reduced. Award nights at any Wyndham are only 15,000 points per night, so 45,000 points would be enough for 3 nights. Though none of their hotels are what I would consider “aspirational,” there are some expensive hotels in New York City and some decent all-inclusive properties in the Caribbean that I would use points at. There’s also a promo going on now that will give you 15,000 points after a 2-night paid stay through Masterpass, regardless of if you have the Wyndham credit card. Barclays can be selective about the number of cards one person can have, but they have no hard and fast rules like some other banks. I currently hold 2 other Barclays cards.
Sign-up bonus: 45,000 points
Minimum spend required: You get 30,000 points after the first purchase, and another 15,000 after spending $2,000 in 90 days.
Card features that I find beneficial: 2x points on gas, utility and grocery purchases, 5x points at Wyndham, 6,000 annual anniversary points, Platinum Wyndham membership, no foreign transaction fees
Negative: $75 annual fee is not waived
Discover it Miles
Result: instant approval (though with a fairly low credit limit)
This was my first-ever Discover application. Discover hasn’t really been on my radar, due to the lack of sign-up bonus and that I have other cash back credit cards. After some research, I found there’s a $50 bonus when signing up through a referral link. But what really helped sway me is the fact that this is essentially a 3x card since all “miles” (cash back) earned is doubled at end of the first year. The plan is to maximize the cash back as much as possible through some creative spending techniques.
Sign-up bonus: $100 ($50 if you use a referral link and all cash back earned is doubled at end of the first year, including the $50 bonus)
Minimum spend required: First purchase within 3 months
Card features that I find beneficial: 1.5x on all spend that is doubled at the end of the first year (making the card 3x), $30 annual in-flight wifi credit, no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee
This is what I consider a small AOR. My last AOR in May was for more than 200,000 miles/points. The sign-up bonuses this time are not large (total of 70,000 miles/points+$100), but I found these cards worthwhile for their other benefits that I plan to maximize.