First Churn, need advice.

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by Travel Greg, Jan 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Travel Greg

    Travel Greg Active Member

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    I am a fequent traveler but new to the credit card churns. I am planning a trip for a family of 5 to Washington DC. I will fly out of New Orleans. I was hoping for some advice on which cards would be the best to get started. Here is a little about me. I am silver on US Airways and platinum with Marriott. I already have the US Airways Mastercard with Barclays and the Marriott Chase card.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

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    Is one of the other family members a spouse or partner? If so, whatever you decide is the right set of cards, it might make sense to get them involved in the churn also- double your potential points earning ability...
     
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  3. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    How do you feel about flying on Southwest? That's a pretty good domestic option if you're starting from scratch if the 50k offer is still around. With 2 cards (either one business and 1 personal or 2 personal - 1 for you, 1 for your spouse) you'll easily get 4 tickets out of that. Not sure if the 50k offer is still there.

    Does American fly from MSY nonstop to one of the DC airports? If so, the British Airways card might be a good option.

    What are your current mile/point balances from each airline?
     
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  4. Travel Greg

    Travel Greg Active Member

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    Thanks Global and Mikus for your responses. Here is my follow up information. The wife will not be doing this with me. Yes United, US Air and SW all fly direct into DC from MSY.

    US Air, I have 14,000 miles. American 6,000 and SW 8,500. I am reading alot on churning. I take it I should get cards that give miles to these airlines?
     
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  5. RapidTravelChai

    RapidTravelChai Silver Member

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    Be careful with the spouses, ease them in or risk alienating forever! My rule, unless it is a superb offer, is for my wife to only do cards to keep with tangible benefits like elite status that she can see and appreciate, and to only have her do cards that I have already tried and understand the pros and cons, especially of the application process.

    I agree that Southwest may be good to try to get all 5 on the ticket in the near future, US Air it is hit-or-miss to get additional cards with the bonuses, I just got my second and did my first purchase yesterday so not sure if I will actually get the bonus, but even with a second card you would need more miles. Your US Air card comes with some $99 companion certificates that may work if you are willing to buy tickets.

    The new US Bank Radisson card may help with hotels, a generous bonus and each 2 night award stay with the card the second night is free, so if you are willing to move to a new hotel every 2 nights, that can stretch the award. Complementary Club Carlson Gold status gets you free internet.

    How many cards to go for is a personal decision, with good credit and few prior inquiries you could go for a big haul on the same day, 2 each from several of Amex, Barclays, BoA, Chase, Citi, US Bank, but it may be more comfortable to steadily wade in, since a big haul requires a lot of work to manage and meet the minimum spends.
     
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  6. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    I've been at this for a short while, but I'm just easing my spouse into the game as well. Travel Greg, PM me if you want to compare notes. ;)

    If you're already a US flyer and like to stay in Marriott properties, then I would steer you towards the Chase UR cards -- both for you and for the wife. If your wife is skeptical, consider going after the "big guns" (i.e. Ink Bold/Plus, Sapphire Preferred) yourself while getting her into the game with the no-fee versions of the same cards. The "normal" Ink still earns 5x at office supply stores ... only on the first $25k instead of $50k. That'll get her started with "no risk."

    Obviously, both of you should get the Freedom. :)

    Since UR allows you to transfer between spouses/partners, both of you can transfer everything into your IB/+ or SP bucket for redemption. (There was some hype a month or so ago about SP account closures, but so long as you stick to the rules you'll be fine.)
     
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  7. Travel Greg

    Travel Greg Active Member

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    I am ready to do a big app. I have 9 inquires the last two years on my credit report. Credit score of 731. I dont know how to tell the difference between a hard or soft inquiry. I am a little hesitant to do the churn because I dont know if 9 is alot for the credit card companies. Any experience with this.
     
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  8. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Depending on how old those inquiries are, and when they'll start dropping off your report, I might take it easy for a couple of quarters and see what you can do to bring that number up a bit. However, you're absolutely doing the right thing -- read, learn, network with others who have experience.

    Everyone is different, but I start planning an AOR right after my last one, so ... roughly 90 days ahead of time. (My next one is tomorrow, BTW.) In some cases, I have plans two or three quarters out. I don't consider myself "sophisticated" in my planning, but my point is that I have a plan. Always have a plan. Of course, there will occasionally be the "too good to pass up" deals that cause you to change your plan, but those are the exception. Frankly, when you're just getting started it ALL looks too good to pass up, so ... again ... read, learn, network.

    So before you do anything else, I'd do this: Pretend that points are no object. Sit down and plan out the vacation, itself, in every detail -- plane, hotel, etc. Calculate how many points/miles your vacation will cost (roughly). Once you've got that rough plan, THEN look at cards that will help you get there. For example, if you figure you want to fly on US and stay in Marriott properties, then the math should be pretty easy.

    Remember: "Experience" is learning from your own mistakes. "Education" is learning from the mistakes of others. Choose the latter whenever possible.
     
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  9. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Update: Five apps, two instants, two more after recon calls, one still pending. (Cross your left- and right-clicking fingers for me.) For the benefit of the OP, and to my earlier point, this was all "to plan." Every one of those plays a particular role in an already-planned trip.
     
  10. theresa_don

    theresa_don Active Member

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    I will be interested to find out how this AOR goes E.C. Keep on posting!
     
  11. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Will do ... once I hear back on the "pending" one.

    Don't want to jinx myself. :)
     
  12. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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