Which credit card(s) should I apply along with SPG?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by mujakwi, Aug 9, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mujakwi

    mujakwi Active Member

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    Hi, everyone.

    Milepoint Newbie here!

    I would like to ask a few questions before applying for credit cards.

    I currently own Chase Freedom, Ink Bold, Sapphire Preferred, and AMEX blue cash. Although I was quite happy with the AMEX blue cash before when I was oblivious to the whole points and miles games, I realized cash back is generally worse than points and miles. I especially felt about the real values of points strongly when I found out about the UR points and I managed to garner around 250,000 UR points. That is roughly two RT first class plane tickets to Korea from NYC which can be valued at $10,000-15,000 per ticket.

    So I decided to ditch my AMEX blue cash and apply for the AMEX SPG with the new 30,000 promotion to go for the precious SPG points. While I'm at it, I wanted to maximize my sign-up bonuses with 1 inquiry. So here are my questions.

    1) Which credit cards would you recommend me to apply along with the AMEX spg? I do not have any particular allegiance to any hotel or mileage program. So I just want to take advantage of a GOOD DEAL and maybe start building up on it. I'm currently considering Two-browser trick Citi-AA credit cards with $50,000 bonus. But could you recommend some other cards as well? I want to stay away from the Chase credit cards for now. And I do not have problems with the spending limit since I learned a few tricks reading this board and other blogs.

    2) Most of my recent credit cards applications pulled from Experian. The latest one is for Chase Sapphire Preferred on Apr 4th. And most of the credit cards issues by the banks in NJ pulls from Experian. So would a red flag go up if I apply 2-3 credit cards that pull from the same credit bureau?

    3) If I apply on the same day from two banks (AMEX and CITI) that pull from the same credit bureau, would that be considered as one hard pull or two hard pulls?

    4) Considering no allegiance to any program, which points would you consider more valuable? Hilton HHonor or AA miles? The reason why I'm asking is I'm actually considering to apply for both Hawaiian Miles Cards from BofA and Hawaiian Bank since their 35,000 points transfer to Hilton Honors 70,000 points. So I'm comparing between 140,000 HHonor points vs 100,000 AA miles. In my cursory view, it looks like 140,000 HHonor points might be more valuable, but I'm new to this game.

    5) Regarding the SPG or other Hotel programs, would it be smarter to consolidate all the points into an account for each hotel program? My sister already has an AMEX SPG and a SPG account. I was wondering if it would be better if I also use her account number when I apply for my AMEX SPG. I'm guessing the upside is we can gather more points faster and thus can take advantage of more "luxurious" hotels. But I'm not so sure if she can book hotel rooms under my name or under another family member's name. If that's not possible, it's better for each family member to have their own SPG account.

    I'm so sorry for these multiple questions, but I would definitely appreciate if you could give an advice.

    Thank you.
     
    Jett Rink likes this.
  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I'll give it a stab.

    1. Citi AA x 2 trick. Considering you want to stay away from Chase/Amex(You just got the SPG I assume) You're left with Citi/BofA/Barclay.
    2. No real "red-flag" per say; just the next time someone pulls your credit they'll see 4-5 inquiries from EXP.
    3. 2 hard pull. They'ss list it as CBNA/AMEX etc.
    4. That really depends on what your plans on. Since you're flush with UR points that can go to UA/Hyatt & you have the SPG i would suggest doing the AA. Thus give you 2 airlines/2hotels. Also HHonor points are easy to grab ... AAmiles now not so much.
    5. If you guys travel together ... use your own and then transfer the poitns to another person (if lived in the same house). Not sure how adding an auth user would work ... but that might be able to let her/you book hotels using the same card thus getting the points but prolly not the stay/night credits.
     
    TheTravelAbstract likes this.
  3. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    Looks like you have a mix of hotel points and air miles in there. Which do you value more? If you're just looking at straight $/point valuations to make the decision, you should create a personal valuation of points instead of using retail price. Using the actual price of the ticket/room will skew your calculations (basically F tickets will almost always come on top).

    In your example of the two F tickets to Korea, I usually value those tickets at about $2500-3000 since that's about what I'd pay for it. An F ticket isn't worth that to me and I would never pay 10k for it so I value my points accordingly. Same with hotels.

    As for your questions:
    1. 2xAA will be good. You might also consider the SPG biz card if you qualify and the US barclays card since it mostly hits Transunion (check the credit pull DB for your state to be sure).
    2. What edekba said. You won't get "red flagged" but they will see those pulls. This will affect how easily you get approved
    3. Normally 1 application = 1 pull. Citi is the exception with the 2 browser trick.
    4. This goes back to what you personally value more. I might say AA but others might say Hilton. It all depends on what you like
    5. I'd say keep it separate for flexibility purposes. If you guys travel together, you can just book consecutive stays and ask the front desk to keep you in the same room.
     
    TheTravelAbstract likes this.
  4. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    I would do the double AA cards for sure. US Air Barclays is often TU pull as said above, so that could be a good decision. I think SPG + double AA + US Airways would be great. If you want to throw in the BoA to transfer at 1:2 to Hilton that is also good.

    As somewhat of an aside, while accumulating miles and points in multiple programs is great, I would really focus on creating some "goals" for these miles and points as that might help you narrow down what to apply for. I would plan out the next trip or two you want and then go for the offers that will help you most to meet those goals.
     
  5. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    For OP, I think what mommypoints says here is the most important advice and should be taken as more than just an aside.

    I always find the best method to earning miles and points is to have a goal in mind.

    Of course many people just like to hoard miles/points and that is a goal for them, I would not do that, but as we say in this community Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

    But if you want to get the best return on miles I would suggest outlining a couple of trips you have in mind, what you need to make it happen and go from there.

    All the other posters answered your questions well and not much more I could add there.

    I would say if you get 60,000 SPG points you are set for some luxurious hotels without having to consolidate your Starpoints. This is especially true when you use the Starpoints + Cash Copay options for hotel stays.
     
    healinginfluence and mommypoints like this.
  6. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    So does that mean I don't have to apply for the SPG Amex and the U.S. Airways Mastercard on the same day to minimize pulls? Will they still show up as two? Or does doing it on the same day just keep the companies from seeing the other applications?
     
  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    US Airways is from a different issuer than Amex. Thus there will be 2 pulls

    doing it on the same day will avoid Amex from seeing you applied for another card the same day.
     
    deant likes this.
  8. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    I believe Citi is the only one that "consolidates" pulls. Even with Cit, it is just if you apply for the same type of card (i.e. HHonors). If you apply for an AA card and a HHonors card, the pulls will not, to the best of my knowledge, be consolidated.

    Also, make sure you pay attention to the minimum spends on each of the cards. The worst thing in the world is to apply for some credit cards and not be able to make the minimum spends.
     
    edekba likes this.
  9. Jett Rink
    Original Member

    Jett Rink Silver Member

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    You won't hear this from The Bloggers, but one of the best rewards cards to have is the Priority Club Select Visa. Not for spending necessarily, but a free night for the $49 annual fee, Platinum status, etc.
     
    SC Flier likes this.
  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Chase pulled my EXP once during a 2 week period when I got 2 Personal Cards 11 days apart ... but w/Chase i think its a more YMWV
     
  11. Jett Rink
    Original Member

    Jett Rink Silver Member

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    If one is a Big Spender, the Hilton HHonors Surpass (Amex) card will make one a Diamond. It's another one of those cards that you don't hear too much about from The Bloggers.
     
    SC Flier likes this.

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