The 5 New Credit Cards in My Wallet

It’s been about six months since I’ve applied for a new credit card.  The reason is threefold:

  1. I’ve been busy with a move to Montana.  Also, I wanted a little time to establish my residency.
  2. I had some trouble getting a couple of cards (Barclay Arrival World MasterCard and Club Carlson Visa) that interested me, and I wanted to put a little more distance between my applications.
  3. With a more limited travel schedule, I simply don’t need as many points these days.

I knew that I needed to do a little preparation before my round of applications.  I had read a report that it is beneficial to freeze your IDA/ARS bureaus for the Club Carlson Visa.  I’d been denied for both the personal card and the business card in the last year.  Both times it was because of too many recent applications.  As such, I followed these instructions and wrote a letter to both credit bureaus.  Once I received a confirmation letter from both, it was time for application day.

Barclay Arrival World MasterCard

This card has been on my wish list for several months.  After spending $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll get 40,000 points.  The points are worth $400 or $440 if redeemed for travel.

I’ve wanted this card for a couple of reasons:

  1. The 2% back (actually 2.2 if used for travel) is a pretty decent bonus for everyday spending.
  2. The card compliments all the points I have.  When you book flights using your frequent flyer miles, you’ll pay the taxes and fees.  If you use this card to pay the taxes and fees, the trip is 100% free.

I applied for the card and was automatically approved.

Application Link: Barclay Arrival World MasterCard

Chase Ink Bold (Visa)

My wallet is already home to the Ink Bold MasterCard and the Ink Plus MasterCard.  However, with the 5x category bonuses and a great sign up bonus, there is always room for one more.

When I first heard reports that the Ink Bold card is now issued as a Visa card, I immediately wondered if it would be possible to get the bonus again.  I read several reports online that if you had the Ink Bold you could get the Visa version because it’s classified as a new card product.

The Ink Bold offers a 50,000 Ultimate Rewards sign up bonus after spending $5,000 in the first month.  With the help of Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads, I knew that wouldn’t be an issue.

I applied and received a pending status notification.  After a week, I called reconsideration and was approved for the Ink Bold Visa.  I had expected to be asked to close my old Ink Bold account, but I wasn’t.

I’ll confirm if/when the points post that I received 50,000 bonus points again.



Club Carlson Business Visa

As I mentioned above, I froze my credit before applying for this card.  The status went to pending, and then I received an email stating that they were unable to approve my account.  My original conclusion was that I wasn’t going to be able to get the card.

However, when I received a letter, it said they weren’t able to verify some information.  My business address is different than my residential address, so when I showed them proof of my residential address, I was approved for the card.

This is one of the most exciting credit card products on the market because it gives one free award night with every stay.

This is in addition to 50,000 points after your first purchase and 35,000 points after spending $2,500 in 90 days.  The card offers 40,000 bonus points each year you renew your card ($60 annual fee).

Application Link: Club Carlson Visa

Priority Club Visa

This is one of those Chase cards that I’ve always said I’d get ‘at some point’.  Since there wasn’t anything else more appealing when application time rolled around, I decided to take advantage of their 80,000 point sign up bonus offer.

Actually, one of the reasons I really wanted this card is because each year you’re a card holder ($49 annual fee), you get a free certificate to use at any Priority Club location.  My wife and I were looking into the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden since that seems like a great place to use your one free night certificate.

Application Link: I used the link on this FlyerTalk page.

Citi ThankYou Premier Visa

Since I knew that I wanted to squeeze in a Citi application, I decided to get this card.  I already have both American Airlines cards (Visa and American Express) and don’t have any immediate plans for a Hilton stay (or I’d look into the Hilton Reserve).

As such, I decided to get this card.

Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.  Earn an additional 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of your second year of being a cardmember.

The annual fee is waived for the first year ($125), but in order to get the second batch of points (30,000 worth $300 or more if used for travel), I’ll need to spend the $125 for the annual fee for the second year.

It means walking away (after annual fee cost) with $500 worth of travel.

Application Link: Citi ThankYou Premier 

Downgraded Chase Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Card

My annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card just came due.  Instead of paying $95 to keep it, I downgraded it to a Chase Freedom card.

The Total Haul

  • 5 credit card applications all on the same day
  • $10,500 minimum spend in 3 months (I’m glad I can buy Vanilla Reload cards!!); then $3,000 in one year
  • 305,000 award points or miles


  1. Charles says

    I have an Ink Bold MC (opened 11/12) and am interested in getting either the Ink Bold Visa or Ink Plus Visa. Which one would you suggest?
    Also, I was denied the Chase SW Plus Business card in October because of too many recent inquiries and accounts opened. As far as timing goes, would you suggest I wait until around April to try for an Ink product?
    Lastly, are you receiving the Chase Freedom Visa or MasterCard?
    Thanks for your advice.

  2. A Dellaventura says

    Could you please send me links or any info so I can learn about ” Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads” and how to use them!
    A Dellventura

  3. says

    HI Craig:

    Just starting to use your suggestions for gathering travel points. Am considering applying for the Barclay card. I am certain I can qualify for the card, and others. Is the Barclay a good place to start or do you suggest something else.

    • says

      There are so many factors in determining the best credit cards. Your preferred destinations and class of service are usually the biggest factor. Are you wanting a card for domestic travel or international? Business class or economy class?

  4. Casey says

    My family is in Billings…any other mileage tricks for MT? I’m based in DC so I can get around, but I always want my mom or sis to join, and often flying from Billings is just prohibitively expensive.

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