My first App-O-Rama attempt. 7 cards, 510k points + perks

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After doing some research and with the help of FWF, I did my first AOR which will be used to purchase a new HVAC system and solar installation on my house.  Got the following:

105k Chase Sapphire Preferred after $25k spend (55k after $4k spend plus 50k more after $25k spend)
100k Amex Platinum after $3k spend
85k IHG rewards after $1k spend
70k Southwest Premiere Business after 3k spend*
50k Citi AAdvantage Personal MC after 3k spend*
50k Citi Business AAdvantage MC after 3k spend
50k Southwest Personal after 3k spend*
* mail offers that shouldn't apply to 5/24 rule

Total 510,000 miles/points.
If you add up the spending requirements and assume 1 mile/point per dollar spend, that's another 41,000 miles/points bringing total to 551,000.

Notes:
I applied for all cards except Amex on 7/29.  Both Citi AAdvantages were approved immediately but all three Chase cards (both Southwest and Sapphire) were denied because of "too many credit applications".  Called the recon line and convinced them to manually push all three through to approval one at a time.
Found an Amex 100k offer through cardmatch (https://www.creditcards.com/cardmatch).  Applied 7/31 and approved immediately.  Card match says no AF for first year then $450 after but the Amex app page didn't say that.  I took a screenshot but doubt it'll hold.
Both Southwest cards are tied to my RapidRewards number which gives me 120k points - enough for the companion pass.

Thanks for all your help!

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After a settlement a few years ago, that's no longer the case. There are a bunch of rules (have to let the processing ne... (more)

doveroftke (Aug. 04, 2016 @ 10:23a) |

That's true, however a remaining condition is:
"Q. Can I choose to surcharge Visa credit cards and not surcharge other ca... (more)

Bend3r (Aug. 04, 2016 @ 10:41a) |

Another update. For the Chase 55+50 offer, I got a letter in the mail referring to the offer, but without an invitation... (more)

jpfern15 (Aug. 25, 2016 @ 11:52a) |

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I remember your initial post, very well done! Is your wife applying for the same cards? 

Can we sell southwest points? Just curious

Or can we buy gcs with it?

OP how do you plan on converting points to cash? I am curious.

fwfisawesome said:   OP how do you plan on converting points to cash? I am curious.
  You get significantly better value out of these points by using them for travel. As I recall from OP's initial thread this is what he is planning on using them form.

If you have a Southwest Credit Card you should be able to convert Rapid Rewards points to Gift Cards. 5000 points will get you a $50 WalMart Gift card for example. Best Value is to use them for travel. It's not really allowed but if your freind or neighbor wants to go to Orlando and you "Give" them the ticket and they "Give" you some cash who is to know. Just don't do it too much you get shut down. A friend frequently uses his points to fly his Mom down for a visit.

Is the 100k Amex Platinum offer back on now? Or did you apply during the recent window last month?

FatMoneyClip said:   Is the 100k Amex Platinum offer back on now? Or did you apply during the recent window last month?
From the OP: "Found an Amex 100k offer through cardmatch (https://www.creditcards.com/cardmatch).  Applied 7/31 and approved immediately. "  

Yes I plan on using the points and not converting to cash. Between visiting wife's family in Brazil, tenth anniversary next year, and a few domestic sight-seeing places we've wanted to go to, it should be fine.

For the Amex Platinum, I put my wife's info in the cardmatch site and she only got a 60k offer.  When I put mine in I got the 100k offer. I thought the deal was dead but apparently it's still potentially available through this method.

For the Southwest Business 70k, go to www.RapidRewardsBizCard.com.  The invitation is 49441058xxxx with the x's being four numbers.I randomly put in various 4-digit combinations and my zip code until one came up.  Applied and then called recon to get it pushed through along with the standard 50k personal card.  Both combined get me the companion pass. (Credit goes to http://slickdeals.net/f/8883831-70000-point-southwest-business-c... 

Now if only I could find the 100k Marriott offer.
 

Good work, Jpfern!

jpfern15 said:   For the Southwest Business 70k, go to www.RapidRewardsBizCard.com.  The invitation is 49441058xxxx with the x's being four numbers.I randomly put in various 4-digit combinations and my zip code until one came up.  Applied and then called recon to get it pushed through along with the standard 50k personal card.  Both combined get me the companion pass.
 

  

Were you able to confirm the 70K with a rep?  This is posted on FW but nobody has been able to confirm it, AFAIK.

OP, not seeing the AMEX offer, checked every single card offer at site.
Any help please?
Thank You!

gremln007 said:   
jpfern15 said:   For the Southwest Business 70k, go to www.RapidRewardsBizCard.com.  The invitation is 49441058xxxx with the x's being four numbers.I randomly put in various 4-digit combinations and my zip code until one came up.  Applied and then called recon to get it pushed through along with the standard 50k personal card.  Both combined get me the companion pass.
  

Were you able to confirm the 70K with a rep?  This is posted on FW but nobody has been able to confirm it, AFAIK.

  Yes I confirmed.  When the rep manually approved my application, I had him read back to me the bonus details and it was 70k.  Note that they first were going to mail me a packet that required my tax ID and/or other info that would confirm the business.  The rep said they search the Secretary of State site to confirm legitmacy.  The site is here: http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/.  I told them that my business is sole proprietorship meaning I don't have a tax ID and it wouldn't be on the site.  So he put me on hold for 10 minutes and pushed it through as a sole prop.  Then read back the 70k bonus details after I was approved.

Alanmax, all I did was put in my info and the 100k Amex Plat was one of 5 in the 'Special Offers' section.  Note that for my wife it was only 60k so it doesn't work for everybody.  Also note that I've never had an Amex card other than a blue cash card that I cancelled over 5 years ago.  I heard that these MR offers can only be taken "once in a lifetime".  Pic of the offer: http://imgur.com/9MIUpE5

 

what recon number did you use for Sapphire?

bation46 said:   what recon number did you use for Sapphire?
  1-888-245-0625

Those random numbers that you enter to get to the app lead to a page with someone else's address and zip code... are you stealing someone else's promo code?

Any tricks to meet ~19k spend in 3 months?

I miss the US Mint days.

outofgum said:   Any tricks to meet ~19k spend in 3 months?

I miss the US Mint days.

  Replace your HVAC system .  

If you ever considered getting solar, that would help meet the spend, with a payback over several years.  My solar payback period is 6 years, but in a way the AOR helps shorten that even more.

tjguitar, all info that shows up in the app can be overwritten.

 

OP, just curious -
how many credit cards have you got in the past 24 months?
How may attempts did it take you to get it through chase recon?

outofgum said:   Any tricks to meet ~19k spend in 3 months?

I miss the US Mint days.

  Purchase $500.00 Debit Visa at grocery a few days apart with some other spending in between.  Get some groceries with so the numbers are not even $500.00.  Use the purchased cards to pay estimated taxes or property tax ... a few places do not save money with Debit Visa .... in those cases, just use the card to pay taxes.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/pay-taxes-by-credit-or-debit-card 

Prepay utilities ... several hundred $$$$

Depending on card (YMMV) do Bank-o-rama sign ups (same concept as CC App-o-rama)  and make deposit with card. Many bank signups that allow CC for startup deposit up to $500.00 per bank.
  Example Santander $150.00 reward for bank checking signup.  Savings account also required. Use card (IF NOT classified Cash advance) for $500.00 deposit in each account = $1000.00.

====================
My suggestions assume ability to pay or 0% APR for several months.

fattysaver said:   OP, just curious -
how many credit cards have you got in the past 24 months?
How may attempts did it take you to get it through chase recon?

  Maybe just one CC in past 24 months or it might have been longer than that.  Shameless plug:mMy main card is a Merrill+ Visa which IMO is an underrated card.  $500 airfare for 25,000 points, no annual fee and some decent perks.  Becomes as good or better as an Amex platinum if you put 50k spend in a year.

It took one attempt to get the personal cards approved.  Then I called back to get the southwest business approved.  

Update:

I was able to sweeten my AOR a bit.  Apparently Chase is trialing an mail-only offer where you get the usual 55k signup bonus, but they also give you an additional 50k points with $25,000 spend.  I called up Chase and asked them about it, and while they couldn't honor the offer over the phone, they opened a request with the marketing department to send me the mail offer which should arrive in 7-10 business days.  I simply call back with the RSVP code and they'll add the extra 50k bonus offer to my card.

Also, the IHG Rewards mastercard had an 85k points signup bonus plus $50 statement credit after $1000 spend. No AF first year.  This offer died a few months ago and the latest is 60k points with no statement credit.  I was able to find a phone number to the 'Chase Mastercard Application Processing' department through the IHG rewards hotline after talking with one of the reps.  That number is either 1-800-698-0120 or 1-888-238-2586 (she transferred me so i don't know which one I was sent to).  Once I was transferred, the Chase rep on the other end immediately began going over the terms and conditions including the 80k points etc etc and was approved over the phone - capping off my 5/24 rule.  This is a really good deal and of all the cards I applied for, I'll probably hang on to this one for the annual free night.

Here's the dead link for reference: https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/ihg/80plus50saml

Have you checked on your HVAC supplier if they will take the credit card without a fee?

I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. However, I tried a different employee (think I got the manager) and they didn't mention anything about it.

Just saying - may still be worth it, but that will eat into earnings.

brettdacosta said:   Have you checked on your HVAC supplier if they will take the credit card without a fee?

I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. However, I tried a different employee (think I got the manager) and they didn't mention anything about it.

Just saying - may still be worth it, but that will eat into earnings.

  Yes I checked and have it in writing  Good point though for others who may be looking to do something similar.

So, on a related note, since you are going to Brazil.

I have found the sapphire card to work best for me traveling internationally. No foreign transaction fees and they are primary coverage for rental cars.

They are also the only card to not lock up on me for suspected fraud and require me to call to get it working again. This can very frustrating, especially when you already put a travel notification on the cards.

Also, on international travel, chase has been the quickest to send me text notifications of every charge. Very Handy to see what the charge was in dollars right in the spot (it dies drift a little from the authorization to posted charge).

Most major card issuers have setups to preannounce to them your travel plans. You would be wise to take advantage of this option .... especially for any cards that are relatively young in your card portfolio.
Credit card security was my former profession.

jpfern15 said:   
brettdacosta said:   Have you checked on your HVAC supplier if they will take the credit card without a fee?

I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. However, I tried a different employee (think I got the manager) and they didn't mention anything about it.

Just saying - may still be worth it, but that will eat into earnings.

  Yes I checked and have it in writing  Good point though for others who may be looking to do something similar.

  
You are still paying it, your contractor just has it baked into his rate.

gatzdon said:   So, on a related note, since you are going to Brazil.

I have found the sapphire card to work best for me traveling internationally. No foreign transaction fees and they are primary coverage for rental cars.

They are also the only card to not lock up on me for suspected fraud and require me to call to get it working again. This can very frustrating, especially when you already put a travel notification on the cards.
 

  I haven't had this problem with Cap One (my main card for foreign travel) or Citi AAdvantage, fwiw.

brettdacosta said:   
I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. 

  
This is against the TOS of their merchant service account.  I'm a business owner that has paid over $500k in credit card fees in the past 7 years.  It annoys me tremendously when I try to buy something with a credit card and the merchant tries to tack on a fee.  It's the cost of doing business!!!

JMann2380 said:   
brettdacosta said:   
I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. 

  
This is against the TOS of their merchant service account.  I'm a business owner that has paid over $500k in credit card fees in the past 7 years.  It annoys me tremendously when I try to buy something with a credit card and the merchant tries to tack on a fee.  It's the cost of doing business!!!

  
I'm not sure you are correct about this being against the TOS. It seems like in some states this is illegal (see https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/surcharge-fees.html). Note that in California the law is not enforceable at the moment, so merchants can charge surcharge fees at this moment in time. 

Also from the above link, it says that "merchants can not impose surcharges on purchases made on a DEBIT or PREPAID CARD". I wonder, since some prepaid cards work as both debit and credit, does that mean that for those prepaid cards you can avoid the surcharge fee even if the card is processes as credit?  

Nicely done OP. Many great offers there, but the IHG offer stands out as particularly impressive.

JMann2380 said:   
brettdacosta said:   
I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. 

  
This is against the TOS of their merchant service account.  I'm a business owner that has paid over $500k in credit card fees in the past 7 years.  It annoys me tremendously when I try to buy something with a credit card and the merchant tries to tack on a fee.  It's the cost of doing business!!!

  
After a settlement a few years ago, that's no longer the case. There are a bunch of rules (have to let the processing network know in advance, have to clearly disclose it to the consumer, etc.), but you can add a surcharge to credit card transactions. Deets from Visa: https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/merchants/surcharging-faq-by-merchants.pdf

doveroftke said:   
JMann2380 said:   
brettdacosta said:   
I just replaced mine, and was told that it'd be a 3% fee to pay by cc. 

  
This is against the TOS of their merchant service account.  I'm a business owner that has paid over $500k in credit card fees in the past 7 years.  It annoys me tremendously when I try to buy something with a credit card and the merchant tries to tack on a fee.  It's the cost of doing business!!!

  
After a settlement a few years ago, that's no longer the case. There are a bunch of rules (have to let the processing network know in advance, have to clearly disclose it to the consumer, etc.), but you can add a surcharge to credit card transactions. Deets from Visa: https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/merchants/surcharging-faq-by-merchants.pdf

  That's true, however a remaining condition is:
"Q. Can I choose to surcharge Visa credit cards and not surcharge other card brands? Yes, however, merchants must surcharge Visa on the same terms and conditions as any equal or higher cost competitor that imposes limits on surcharging. "

The settlement was only with Visa (And .. mastercard??? I don't know, you'd have to go look it up...) leaving American Express.  If they accept Amex, Amex still has no surcharge allowed, which means they can't on Visa either. (Again, referencing this from memory though...)

Another update. For the Chase 55+50 offer, I got a letter in the mail referring to the offer, but without an invitation code. The letter says to provide them with the invitation code to "research your request further." I called the number on the letter (1-800-436-7937) and while they are aware of the offer, they can't generate a new code for me and won't escalate to get a code created. Looks like this extra 50k is more difficult than I originally anticipated.

Anybody else want to try this?



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