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Frequent Contributor
mikka1
Posts: 269
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

As I will soon again face some large one-time expenses (around $5k or so at once, but can split in several transactions), I want to use it for spending requirements on new cards and apply for a couple of them.

I mainly want to consider Chase and Amex (Chase - because I already have 2 cards with them and potentially can sacrifice my Amazon if needed; Amex - because it will be SP if declined, so I can start with it and look what happens).
I absolutely can't apply for any Citi card (they don't like me, long story) and I'd better not apply for Barclays (have another card recently got from them)

So, just wanted some advice on what cards will be best in terms of "value" they can give in their sign-up bonuses:

What I'm looking at now:

AMEX (1 card from the list):
1) Delta Gold (45k miles after $5k spend; don't really like it, probably the last option)
2) SPG - (25k points after $5k) - have never stayed in Starwood properties, so have no idea what it is worth
3) Hilton - (50k points after $750 spend) - have heard bad feedback about Hilton program in general, but card itself looks good, especially with 0 AF

CHASE (1 card from the list):
1) United Explorer (potentially 50k miles or so from Flyertalk thread after $1k spend) - my primary option, wanted it long ago because of primary car rental insurance and potential to transfer my UR points to UA miles and accumulate around 100k UA miles
2) Chase Priority Club (60k or 80k after $1k spend) - heard a lot of good things about this program, especially about their recent campaign of offering some hotels for 5000 points a night (effectively making a signup bonus worth almost 2 weeks in hotels, though not the best ones obviously)
3) Chase Hyatt (have no idea about this card and never stayed at Hyatt)

Potential other options:
1) US Bank Club Carlson - (85k points after $2500 spend), $75 AF not waived - have no idea about this card as well
2) US Bank Flex Perks - 17500 flexpoints after $2500 spend - NO idea
3) BofA Virgin Atlantic - 50k miles after $2500 spend - miles can be potentially transferred to Hilton at 1:2 rate (so 100k Hilton points) - other than that have no idea about this card

So, I'm interested in your opinions - if YOU had this choice (2 cards max) what would've you applied for?
Mainly from my list above, but other options are greatly appreciated!
Thanks!

In my wallet now: Amex PRG NPSL, Amex BCE $15k $17k (thanks to recent CLI), Chase Freedom 11k, CSP $6k, Chase United ME $5k, Citi Dividend $5.6k, Discover It $4.5k and a handful of other cards...
TU Dec 2013 - 752Sep 2013 - 764 - new all time maximum
Valued Contributor
ryanbush
Posts: 1,299
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
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Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

If it was me I would go with Chase United and Amex SPG, but those points partners fit my patterns the best.  You have to make the decision on what fits your needs/wants the best.

 

Are you planning on keeping these cards or canceling them in a year or so?  if you're planning on keeping them you're not really churning per say...  if you are truely planning on churning how soon are you wanting to do your next churn? if within the next six months I would wait until your score got a little higher.  I have had problems with too many new accounts (6th in the last year) with Chase this week when I opened my Freedom card and my scores are 720 ex 720 eq 710 tu. 

 

Most people that churn every 90-180 days say you need a score north of 750 and to only apply for one card for every 5 points about 750.  this is to offset the problems the banks will give you with too many new accounts.

Chase Sapphire Perferred | Chase Freedom | AMEX Platinum | AMEX Delta Platinum | AMEX SPG | Capital One Venture | Capital One Quicksliver | Discover IT | ABFCU Visa | Citi AA WEMC
Established Contributor
thelethargicage
Posts: 541
Registered: ‎09-19-2012
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Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

Are you sure Amex is still doing the SP if denied thing? I applied for the Green in January and got denied and they still did a HP.
       
"The family who apps together files for bankruptcy together." - Dave Ramsey
Frequent Contributor
mikka1
Posts: 269
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

ryanbush, thanks for detailed answer.

 

I'm not planning to churn heavily (every 90-180 days or so), but I still don't plan to hold many cards with AFs beyond 1 year mark. E.g., I will definitely kill my Amex PRG in December as I see no value in this card that would justify almost $200 of AF.

In essence, I don't want to become a maniac gathering millions of miles, but 200k-250k different miles/points a year is something I think I can go for (unless lenders realize that this is not a good way forward for them)

 

I agree about United, and probably this will be the first card I'll try. 

BTW, what can one get for 25000 SPG points? Is it worth at least 2-3 nights in any of Starwood properties?

 

In my wallet now: Amex PRG NPSL, Amex BCE $15k $17k (thanks to recent CLI), Chase Freedom 11k, CSP $6k, Chase United ME $5k, Citi Dividend $5.6k, Discover It $4.5k and a handful of other cards...
TU Dec 2013 - 752Sep 2013 - 764 - new all time maximum
Valued Contributor
bs6054
Posts: 1,673
Registered: ‎11-11-2012
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Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

Just remember the advice that you often see on FlyerTalk., that a newbie mistake is to apply for lots of stuff, and get lots of miles, but not enough of any one kind to be usable.  So make sure you avoid that.

Valued Contributor
ryanbush
Posts: 1,299
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
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Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards


mikka1 wrote:

ryanbush, thanks for detailed answer.

 

I'm not planning to churn heavily (every 90-180 days or so), but I still don't plan to hold many cards with AFs beyond 1 year mark. E.g., I will definitely kill my Amex PRG in December as I see no value in this card that would justify almost $200 of AF.

In essence, I don't want to become a maniac gathering millions of miles, but 200k-250k different miles/points a year is something I think I can go for (unless lenders realize that this is not a good way forward for them)

 

I agree about United, and probably this will be the first card I'll try. 

BTW, what can one get for 25000 SPG points? Is it worth at least 2-3 nights in any of Starwood properties?

 


If would use them for stays at aloft, or transfer them to Delta to boost my skymiles account.

Chase Sapphire Perferred | Chase Freedom | AMEX Platinum | AMEX Delta Platinum | AMEX SPG | Capital One Venture | Capital One Quicksliver | Discover IT | ABFCU Visa | Citi AA WEMC
Frequent Contributor
mikka1
Posts: 269
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
0

Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

OK, just got approved for United Explorer.

Second one to go, but still undecided on what it should be - SPG looks great, especially with the idea of transferring SPG points to Delta. 

ryanbush, by any chance do you happen to know what the transfer ratio is? (If it is 1:1, then 25k SPG bonus does not look really attractive...)

In my wallet now: Amex PRG NPSL, Amex BCE $15k $17k (thanks to recent CLI), Chase Freedom 11k, CSP $6k, Chase United ME $5k, Citi Dividend $5.6k, Discover It $4.5k and a handful of other cards...
TU Dec 2013 - 752Sep 2013 - 764 - new all time maximum
Established Contributor
scenery_guy
Posts: 958
Registered: ‎07-24-2012
0

Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

SPG to Delta transfers are 20,000 = 25,000 as you get a 5,000 point bonus for moving from SPG to Delta. Still it's not the best use for Starwood points. Keep them to use at hotels. If you want Delta miles get the Delta Gold card at creditcards.com as they have the best bonus going as long as you can make the minimum spend. 

Contributor
nickn86
Posts: 130
Registered: ‎11-26-2012
0

Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards


bs6054 wrote:

Just remember the advice that you often see on FlyerTalk., that a newbie mistake is to apply for lots of stuff, and get lots of miles, but not enough of any one kind to be usable.  So make sure you avoid that.


Definitely true.  Best idea is probably to get the United card at 55k miles and then a UR earning card (since you already have Sapphire, get the Ink at 50,000 UR bonus).  If transferred to United, that's 100+ miles.

 

Could also do a MR earning card with a UR earning card and transfer both to British Airways (preferably when Amex has a transfer bonus).

Chase Sapphire Preferred - 5.6k (3/13) | Amex Premier Rewards Gold - NPSL (1/13) | Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Visa Signature - 9k (1/13) | Amex Delta Gold - 6k (9/12) | Citi Forward Visa - 10k (10/12) | Discover It - 2k (2/12) | Chase +1 Visa - $300 (2/11)
Frequent Contributor
mikka1
Posts: 269
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
0

Re: Churning advice needed for Amex, Chase and possible other cards

Thanks to everyone!

 

In the end, decided to get Chase United Explorer with 50k+5k bonus after $1k spend using a link from FT and Amex SPG with 25k after $5k spend in 6 months.

Both instantly approved.

 

I currently have around 50k UR points and 50k MR points. At some point I plan to transfer UR to United (so I will probably have ~110k United miles in total).

A couple of years ago I was flying a lot on United, but was dumb enough to collect UA miles on Aegean Air program (it was the fastest one to get Gold status). I wish I could turn back time and rack all those miles with United :-)

 

Not decided yet what to do with MR - most likely will transfer them to Delta, close PRG and apply for Delta Gold... (or wait several months and apply for Platinum, not decided yet, depending on what promos will be active at that point)

 

I hope to rack up enough points/miles for my trip to Antigua later this year, so will try not to spread them to different programs. My next card sometime soon will probably be Freedom (but not sure if Chase would like the 4th Chase card in my wallet) to be able to use their 5% and transfer it to UR.

 

I need to do something with Citi. I wrote some time ago that they wanted my tax records and I decided not to comply, but it seems that this way I cut possible chances to get any of Citi cards in future...

 

Btw, nickn86, I thought Ink is a business card, right? 

In my wallet now: Amex PRG NPSL, Amex BCE $15k $17k (thanks to recent CLI), Chase Freedom 11k, CSP $6k, Chase United ME $5k, Citi Dividend $5.6k, Discover It $4.5k and a handful of other cards...
TU Dec 2013 - 752Sep 2013 - 764 - new all time maximum

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