First and only churn for a family of 5 vacation . Please critique my card choices.

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by martinguitar, Jan 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. martinguitar

    martinguitar Member

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    I am wanting to try a churn to take the family of 5 on a budget vacation . Will most likely be the only time I try this. Here's a little background. Credit score 806 , currently have a Chase Southwest card that I am awaiting points on and a Citi card I have owned for a year . I am thinking of trying to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Aadvantage Visa , and possibly the Citi Aadvantage Amex . Most likely this will be a vacation to Orlando and or beach . The 50,000 southwest points will potentially pay for 3 roundtrip tickets so I am looking to cover the cost of the remaining tickets and pay a chunk of hotel and rental car cost . Am I on the right track with the cards I am looking at ? I appreciate all input
     
  2. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    Welcome to milepoint martinguitar!

    Questions:

    What is your home airport? What type of spending requirement can you handle? When did you apply for the Chase Southwest?

    1. There is no good reason not to get both Citi AA Visa and Amex at same time, if you can meet their minimum spend.

    2. Are you the only one applying for cards? No other family members can?

    3. If you want hotel you could use Chase Sapphire Preferred or try a co-branded hotel card. Priorty, Hilton, Marriott...

    I think it is a good plan and I think you are track for a good round of credit card applications.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. alohastephen

    alohastephen Gold Member

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    Welcome to milepoint martinguitar!
    As a general recommendation, I would add the US Airways Mastercard which waives the 1st year annual fee and has no minimum spend (40K points post with 1st purchase).

    "the only time I try this"

    Word of Caution: This hobby is addicting. ;)
     
  4. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    The Sapphire Ultimate Reward points can be transferred to Southwest, giving you enough to pay for all of the flights.

    Consider a Hilton Visa since you could use it at a Hilton Garden Inn and it would be from Citi, avoiding the risk of getting rejected after too many Chase applications.
     
  5. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    My best advice is if you are a two income family make sure that you apply for the SW card in the second spouses name so that you get the 50,000 point sign up bonus twice. And do the same thing for all cards.
     
  6. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint martinguitar!
    Like others have said, I would recommend looking at hotel credit cards.
    In my experience it pays to have some flexibility with both hotels and airlines, i.e. have points/miles in more than one.
     
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  7. martinguitar

    martinguitar Member

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    Home airport will most likely be CMH Columbus , Ohio

    Wife is a homemaker so I take it that its no longer possible for her to get a card or am I wrong ?

    I think I could meet the min. spend on both Citi cards and the Sapphire but not 100% sure , all 3 cards would be pushing it .

    Thanks Again
     
  8. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Many cards ask for household income, so yes it is possible for her to get cards, too.
    Some cards have very low minimum spend requirements. You could consider:
    the USAir card from Barclays for 40,000 miles after first purchase
    Choice Privileges card from Barclays for 24,000 points after first purchase
    Priority Club Visa for 80,000 points after first purchase from Chase
    Marriott Visa for 70,000 points after first purchase from Chase
    I believe there are some Hilton cards with low (under 1000) minimum spend.
    You won't be able to get all of these in a short time period, but you could get 2-3.
     
  9. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    First, congrats for planning a family vacation in this manner! (it is addictive)
    Second, I would strongly consider getting a Southwest card in her name. It makes sense since there is no minimum spending issue and you are flying SW anyway.
    That should then cover your flights. You can then concentrate on hotels. I love the Sapphire Preferred card for flexibility (Hyatt, Priority Club, Marriott, etc....) and the Starwood Amex for the value of the cash/points hotels.
    I would not get the Citi cards until you are in a position to get both at the same time.

    Hope that helps some and good luck! Sounds like a great trip for your family!
     
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  10. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    I would check her credit score for free on creditsesame.com and creditkarma.com before making that assumption.

    That could be clutch in helping you earn the necessary miles. She could get the Southwest 50k offer too.

    You both can also apply for the Southwest biz card. I do not think there is a 50k offer but it is something to consider.

    You might want to consider some hotel cards that get you buckets of points on first use; Marriot 70k or Priority Club 80k.

    I would go for the most manageable min spends. Do not over reach and miss the spend.

    Good Luck.
     
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  11. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    OMG I soooo agree. Its like a drug....

    I would go with the CSP as you can now transfer those points to SW. I have both AA cards (Visa and Amex) and they arent really doing anything for me. The only plus is that I can use the Amex at Costco. The CSP is by far the best card in my wallet. Maybe at some point I will get the Amex Platinum. As far as hotels, the Hilton Amex card has no fee and 60,000 points after $750 spend and complimentary Silver status. Million Mile Secrets has a great post regarding the best hotel cards: Hotel Credit Cards. Good luck!!
     
  12. martinguitar

    martinguitar Member

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    Do you happen to know what cards will allow you to state household income ? Her credit score is in the 790's . I looked at the Chase Southwest and homemaker is on the pull down tab in the source of income section . But it still asks for gross annual income and employer . Any suggestions ?
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    There was some talk in another thread that recent legislation has forced or driven card issuers to no longer ask for household income. People argued that that wouldn't stop them from entering the household income. I suppose you could pay your wife a generous salary for home making. The problem is (potentially) that the applications I have seen (e.g. Chase Sapphire) ask for the employer and time at the employer. Your wife could, of course, work at the Martin Guitar household for X years, but I don't know if that will raise concerns. The income field is defined as income that you may be able to repay debts, so I'd say as long as your wife is able to use your salary to pay for her credit card charges, it wouldn't be unreasonable or fraudulent to list it (but I am not a lawyer).
     
  14. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    As far as the rental car component is concerned, you would likely be looking at a card that gives points and permits redemption for future travel or previously-booked travel. If CapitalOne were to renew a good offer on the Venture Card (some of us got in on a deal that was redeemable for $1,800 in hotel certs last year), this is an example of a card that could provide flexibility on hotel, airfare, and/or rental car.
     
  15. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Sure, as long as she files (and pays) the appropriate income tax.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    But then it's a deduction for the OP, no? And if they file jointly, doesn't it just zero out?
     
  17. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Would not really be a net sum zero game. If she was being "paid" someone would need to pay Social Security, Unemployment, SDI etc.
     
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  18. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    No, individuals cannot deduct money they pay other people for services. Only businesses can do that, and only for services that are part of conducting the business. Of course, some businesses cheat (the business provides personal services to high-ranking executives) although even in those cases the individual is supposed to report the services as taxable income (if you're a big enough executive your contract sometimes includes the clause that the company will reimburse you for the taxes on your non-cash compensation).
     
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  19. fewtreezy

    fewtreezy Active Member

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    I'm still waiting to confirm that the biz link is working (I've been approved from a credit perspective but am waiting on some EIN stuff to finalize). If it is, you could do the sw biz, get the companion pass and drastically reduce the amount of miles needed (miles for 3 instead of 5). Not sure if you have a biz and/or are comfortable applying for biz cards.
     
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  20. martinguitar

    martinguitar Member

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    If I were to apply for the SW Business card and receive the 50,000 points (for a total of 100,000 points) what would be the easiest route to obtain the extra 10,000 points for the companion pass ? Any credit cards that I could apply for that would give me a sign on bonus of points that would transfer over to Southwest ? Also once you obtain the 110,000 points and are eligible for the companion pass does it use any of the 110,000 points . What I am asking is will I still have 110,000 points to use for free travel as well as a companion pass ?

    A big thanks goes out to everyone who has posted on this thread.
     
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  21. fewtreezy

    fewtreezy Active Member

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    Hyatt is a good option. It would take 21,250 to get 10,000 sw miles (shout out to mommypoints for that info). You could get that by transferring ultimate rewards (if you have them) to hyatt. The best offer for the hyatt card right now gives 2 free nights at any hyatt, not points. There are other hotel transfer options but I think this is the least of transfer evils...
     
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  22. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    And if you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred you can transfer some of those sign-up bonus points to Hyatt and then from Hyatt to Southwest.
     
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  23. fewtreezy

    fewtreezy Active Member

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    Like a hawk! Man, you're on top of miles and points :)
     
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  24. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Southwest is now a partner with Ultimate Rewards and you can transfer directly to Southwest. ;)
     
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  25. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    True, but if you are looking for Companion Pass qualifying points you can't go directly from UR to Southwest. Works great if you just need points to redeem, though!
     
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