Churning after 2 years for a Euro trip

Old Apr 30, 16, 6:51 pm
  #1  
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Churning after 2 years for a Euro trip

Hi everyone!
I am hoping to get some help here on my rusty CC churning game. So far me and my husband have done two rounds of Credit card applications one in 2011 and one in 2013. Here are the cards I have open right now.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred - got in 2011 (kept for UR benefits)
2. Chase Freedom - got in 2010 (kept for UR benefits)
3. Chase Hyatt - got in 4/2013 (kept as we get free anniversary night)
4. Chase Southwest - got in 11/2011 should have cancelled but kept for domestic travel from points from UR. We did enjoy comp pass too.
5. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (not a CC)

Here are cards my husband has
1. Chase Freedom
2. Chase Sapphire
3. Chase Hyatt
4. Discover
5. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage(not a CC)

We only apply for cards if we have plans for a big trip which doesn't happen every year. We also bought a house in July this year so we did not apply for any cards since 2013. Now that mortgage is out of the way and we have our home, we are planning a London/Spain trip spring/summer 2017. We have not done this in a while so my knowledge is a few years old and a lot of things have changed. I am hoping all the experts here can guide us on our next strategy.

We are based out of SFO so our plan is to fly to London and take a cheap flight from London to Barcelona. We should be able to add an open jaw so we can return from Barcelona. We plan to go to Seville as well. The details are not solid yet as we have just started thinking about this. Any other better option here in terms of flights? We both have total of 50k UR points at this point. If we apply for United CC we'll get another 50/60k. This should cover the airfare for the two of us. We have a daughter who will be a year old in 2017 I saw in United's website that for the baby we'll have to pay 10% of adult fare. How does this work with points?

For hotel stay, we have relatives in london so we'll only need hotel nights for Barcelona/Seville etc. I see spg/IHG have good coverage there but all of these cards are provided by chase. Are there any other non chase hotel CC that have good coverage in Spain? We have mostly Chase credit cards so I am a little worried that if we applied for united and 2 other hotel cards we might not get approved for them. What do you guys think?

I am open to closing my southwest CC. Is it a good idea to close first and then apply for new cards? I would really appreciate any help.

Thank you for your time!
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Old Apr 30, 16, 9:50 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
We are based out of SFO so our plan is to fly to London and take a cheap flight from London to Barcelona.
You are aware of London and UK "carbon tax" on flights departing UK?

While not as high as Biz, those taxes do add up.

Haven't looked for reward flights, but most of my paid trips to Europe in last 5 years have been to MAD, even though I only spent a day there (and it is a nice place to visit).

MAD has consistently been cheapest place to fly to from US IME for last few years. Again, points may well be different. But UK taxes on flights FROM are rather high.
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Old May 1, 16, 2:48 am
  #3  
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The Tl;dr answer is you will have to cancel CSP and Freedom for both of you ASAP. Having active accounts will prevent you from receiving another opening bonuses again.

The UA 50K+5K will work for you.

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
How does this [pay 10% of adult fare]work with points?
It is based on a full fare ticket.

For example, currently a UA SFO-LHR economy ticket (Full Fare Y Class) is sold for $5023.26 ($4,794.00+$229.26 tax and fees).

The cost for the infant will be about $479.40+$229.26 (the tax for infant should be lower than adult)=$708.66.

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
Are there any other non chase hotel CC that have good coverage in Spain?
SPG is partnered with AMEX, not Chase.

What you should do is to have a rough plan about Spain so you will know what to get.


Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
Is it a good idea to close first and then apply for new cards?
No difference anyway.
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Old May 2, 16, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
The Tl;dr answer is you will have to cancel CSP and Freedom for both of you ASAP. Having active accounts will prevent you from receiving another opening bonuses again.
The CSP and Freedom are our most used cards. We def do not want to cancel them. Are you saying we might not be approved for new cards because of them? We have not applied for cards for over 2 years. I did not think having those two cards would be an issue.



For example, currently a UA SFO-LHR economy ticket (Full Fare Y Class) is sold for $5023.26 ($4,794.00+$229.26 tax and fees).
The cost for the infant will be about $479.40+$229.26 (the tax for infant should be lower than adult)=$708.66.[/QUOTE]
So even if we are on award flight we'll have to pay that much cash for our infant?


SPG is partnered with AMEX, not Chase.
But how about after the merger with marriot as it marriot is with chase? Will the merger have any effect on CC applications now?
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Old May 2, 16, 12:10 pm
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If you want to stay in an SPG property, I would sign up for amex spg cards now, and then book the rooms as soon as they open up. Once you have them booked its highly unlikely that they will mess with those bookings as part of the merger.

I would signup for Chase Ink cards first. If you each get one, thats another 120k+ UR points.

Then you can also pick up some chase United cards if you want.

Next I would apply for each of you a Chase Hyatt card. That will net you 4 nights in London.


Applying for all 3 cards might cause you to have to call into the consideration line. But its easy to explain the need for each of them since they are all in different categories.

Then look at where else you might want to stay over your time abroad, and apply for those cards over the next 6 months. If you have a solid credit history, and score, you each should have no issues opening 6+ cards over a 6 month timeframe
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Old May 2, 16, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
The CSP and Freedom are our most used cards. We def do not want to cancel them. Are you saying we might not be approved for new cards because of them? We have not applied for cards for over 2 years. I did not think having those two cards would be an issue.
To you, which of the following have earned the most URs so far for each card?

1) Opening bonus; or
2) Everyday purchase.

Even some cards are nice to keep, the principle of churning is to aim for the opening bonus.

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
So even if we are on award flight we'll have to pay that much cash for our infant?
Yes.

But good news. Per UA, the cost for the infant is $182.36 for SFO-LHR (10/5-10/12) regardless of how you book it (paid/award).

I found a blog post illustrate where the black holes are:

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.c...-award-travel/

In short - as soon as you stay away from BA (a Chase UR partner), you should be fine.

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
But how about after the merger with marriot as it marriot is with chase?
1. The merger of Marriott and SPG is still subject to regulatory approval (like from the U.S. (DOJ, FTC), EU). It is not yet finalized.

2. Per SPG, even the merger can be finalized, the new program will not be ready until 2018.

3. AMEX's contract with SPG was just re-upped 2 years ago. Marriott/SPG will have to pay big to release the contract.

4. A split situation can occur in Marriott/SPG's situation (like what Hilton has now).

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
Will the merger have any effect on CC applications now?
Yes. An opportunity. Usually a new product will be introduced. So you can practically earn 3 opening bonuses in a short time (2 old program+1 new program).
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Old May 2, 16, 5:08 pm
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Seems you've worked the Chase angle rather thoroughly. You should look to Citi For AA and/or the Thank You point cards and Amex for SPG and/or the Membership Rewards system. BA Avios are great for short flights in the US & EU as the redemptions are distance based. Also there are many other partners that transfer from the MR program from all 3 major alliance and beyond.
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Old May 3, 16, 10:27 pm
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Thank you for your responses.

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
To you, which of the following have earned the most URs so far for each card?

1) Opening bonus; or
2) Everyday purchase.

Even some cards are nice to keep, the principle of churning is to aim for the opening bonus.
Are you saying we can cancel SP and Freedom and reapply to get the bonuses again immediately? Is it risky?

Also Hilton Honors card from Amex is available right now. Can we get approvals for two Amex card in one churn (SPG and hiton)?
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Old May 4, 16, 5:33 am
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Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
Are you saying we can cancel SP and Freedom and reapply to get the bonuses again immediately? Is it risky?
In theory, you can. Per Chase:

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
Since your last bonus was 2 years ago, so as soon as you cancel the card, you are supposed to be qualified again.

However, I will still wait for a bit to get under the radar.

Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
Also Hilton Honors card from Amex is available right now. Can we get approvals for two Amex card in one churn (SPG and hiton)?
It is best not to do so. Beside:

1. AMEX implement 1 offer per lifetime restriction. So there is no rush unless you need it.

2. Citi offers Hilton as well.
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Old May 4, 16, 3:58 pm
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Keep in mind that United allows a free stopover on an award ROUNDTRIP--So, no free London stopover on way to Spain if you book two one ways.

IMHO, BA avios are good for "free" flights from UK to Continental Europe. In fact, one of the few decent uses for avios. Might be time to get a couple of BA cards from Chase.

IMHO, waiting until a trip is being planned to start looking at miles cards is not so good an idea. This is long term thing to build up miles balances to can fly in Biz or F.

And, as mentioned above UK departure tax is a killer. Remeber, you don't pay the tax on flights to UK--only on flights out.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 12:27 pm
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I want to take advantage of the new increased United offer that expires end of this month. I have not yet cancelled any CC. I agree I am not a good planner or a serious churner to have taken care of these things. I am a new mom and do not have time to do a lot of research/planning. All I want are free/almost free tickets on economy and free nights at decent hotels for my trip for my family.
What would be the best course of action for me now? I could cancel southwest and wait a week to apply for united. Also southwest is one for which I have the highest line of credit but I never use the card. My two main cards are freedom and SP and they have relatively low credit lines for me. Will closing SW card which results in my credit line decrease affect my approval? I also want to apply for the IHG card for hotels so that will be 2 Chase CC. What are my chances of getting approved for these? I am looking for one more non chase CC to apply that'd help me towards this trip. Any suggestions for me?
I really appreciate you guys helping me out.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by blueflower22 View Post
I am a new mom and do not have time to do a lot of research/planning.
Most people overthink this, either too simple or complicated.

Ask yourself this:

1. Domestic/International?
2. Your current location?
3. Specific travel plan, if any?

It is not about applying and getting whatever bonus you can get.

It is about applying and getting bonuses you can use.

For example, applying for a DL AMEX card may be a good idea if you live near MSP. But it definitely needs some justifications if you live near ORD.

The so-called planning nowadays is more about self-control.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 2:41 pm
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In case it helps, I found Alaska miles to be useful for flying to Europe. I booked a one way home from an Alaska trip with a 4-month stopover at home (DC) in April with Paris as the final destination in August for 20k Alaska miles. SFO to LHR looks to be 20k Alaska miles in April.
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Old Jun 23, 16, 11:35 am
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Thank you for your responses.
I'd love to hear any suggestion around closing my southwest card as I have 4 Chase cards with me. I really want to get approved for the united and the IHG chase cards. Will closing my SW card increase my chances?
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Old Jun 24, 16, 2:14 am
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Not really.

It practically has no impact.

Some people suggest this to avoid speaking to reconsideration.
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