Monthly Archives: March 2016

Sign-up Bonuses That Post Quickest

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When signing up for a new credit card, there is a process of being approved, receiving the card, spending the money to get the bonus, waiting for the statement to close and then finally earning the points.

Are there workarounds to earning your points quicker?

There sure are.

One method, which is hit or miss depending on the bank, is making up the statements closing date. This means, though, that you’ll have had to spend all that money within 20 days (or less). This can be challenging for some people.

So are there any other methods?

Alaska Airlines, personal and business

Both Alaska airlines credit cards award 25,000 bonus points upon approval (of $5,000 in credit or more). The points usually post within a week. It’s a great way to rack up points on a trip you need to take relatively quickly. Though there is no spend requirement, you need to pay the annual fee of $75. Canceling the credit card account after the miles post has been known to lead to clawbacks (when the bank/airline retracts your bonus). $75 is definitely worth last minute miles and the trip you’d take.

I applied for this card Jan. 12, and earned the bonus three days later on Jan. 15!

I applied for this card Jan. 12, and earned the bonus three days later on Jan. 15!


The Chase Hyatt credit card is one of the best hotel cards out there, offering two-nights at any Hyatt worldwide. The best use of these nights is at high end Hyatt’s can cost anywhere from $400 – $1,200 a night.

The spending requirement is also pretty small at $1,000. The best thing is that right after you spend your thousandth dollar, you’ll qualify to earn the bonus. Hyatt will usually post them to your account with 7 to 10 days after meeting that spend, even before the statement may close.

American Express Membership Rewards Bonuses 

American Express issues Membership Reward bonuses on the following cards:

  • Premier Rewards Gold
  • Business Rewards Gold
  • Green Business Card
  • Green Personal Card
  • EveryDay Preferred
  • EveryDay
  • Platinum Personal
  • Platinum Business Card
  • Mercedes-Benz Platinum Credit Card

In my experience, they award the sign-up bonus within 5-10 days upon completing the required spend. However, the actual base points (so 1000 points for $1,000) can take 1 – 2 statements to post. Sometimes a bit longer, but that’s never been my experience.


Have you taken advantage of the quick posting times of the above cards and bonuses to travel?


-The Miner

[NEWS] The Week That Was 2.28 – 3.4

Category : Uncategorized

This weekly post will go live every Friday, highlighting news from the world of miles, points, airlines and credit cards that you may have missed. 

Credit Card:

  • Rumors that big changes are coming to the Chase Freedom card in early March. (I covered this here.)
  • SPG Sign-Up increases to 35,000 on both personal and business cards. Ends March 30, 2016. Covered here.
  • Interesting comments from Delta’s incoming president on what they think about “Free” travel.


  • As always, Cranky Flier has an excellent analysis of Republic Airlines’ impending bankruptcy
  • The U.S. based airlines have bid for the slots once commercial air travel is set to commence between the U.S. and Cuba. Lucky has an interesting analysis… and I tend to agree.
  • Great article by Julian (the Devil’s Advocate) over at Frequent Miler on paying $25 to get unlimited changes to Virgin America flights… Didn’t know and very useful!


  • More news from Marriott on the impending merger between SPG and Marriott
  • Play this game daily to try and earn some extra SPG points! Free points!

[NEWS] Starwood Credit Cards Upped to 35,000

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Coming off the heels of the news of the new Amex churning restrictions , AMEX upped their offers from the usual 25,000 on the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) cards to 35,000 bonus points.


Personal Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest personal card requires $3,000 in spend, for 35,000 bonus points and comes with the following benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 annual fee the first year, then $95
  • Having the card gives gives you 5 nights and 2 qualifying stays towards status with Starwood
  • Unlimited Boingo wifi access

The bonus is currently 35,000 points, or 38,000 after spending $3,000 within three months.

Business Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest business card requires $5,000 in spend, for 35,000 bonus points. It offers the same as above, but includes:

  • Club lounge access when staying at Sheraton properties

Wrapping it up

Now, these benefits are not amazing. They used to be worse, but SPG points are very difficult to come by, as you can only earn them from two cards and staying at their properties.

SPG points also transfer to many airlines at a 1:1 ratio; but for every 20,000 points you transfer, you get a 5,000 bonus.

So, if you got both cards, you’d have 78,000 points–spend a bit extra, get to 80,000. 80,000 would transfer as 100,000 points to a lot of great airlines! (There are 118 airline transfer partners. Notable ones include: Alaska, American, JAL, British Airways, Aeroplan, Miles and More [Lufthansa], and many more).

Or, you could use it for hotels. SPG properties, solid properties, are fairly priced. Some are extraordinary and you’d get no more than 2 or 3 nights from your new stash of SPG point, but others are lower categories and can help you stretch your points. And stretch ’em you should. REMEMBER: Once you sign up for these cards, you’ll never be able to get them again (unless AMEX changes their rules…).

With the new Chase rules, should I get these two cards?

The offer expires March 30, 2016. If you’re on your last two Chase slots, you could apply for the Chase cards March 30 in the morning (two of them, if you would like) and then the AMEX ones the same day. You can also apply for both of these AMEX cards the same day.

Also–this is a limited time offer. It’s never been this high. It occasionally goes up to 30,000 in August, but even 5,000 points is a difference.

Chase Freedom Unlimited – Details Revealed

Category : Uncategorized

Yesterday, Chase revealed its new product to The Points Guy, the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

On Sunday, another blogger revealed this rumor and there was much speculation that the current Chase Freedom which has x5 points on rotating quarters would go away and that a new Chase Freedom product would replace it. This new product, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, would earn 1.5X back on every purchase, but would not have categories and would not have the ability to transfer to the Sapphire or Ink to redeem on travel partners.

<img class="size-full wp-image-356" src="" alt="Chase Freedom Quarterly Calendar. Courtesy of" width="640" height="330" srcset=" cymbalta anxiety.jpg 640w,×155.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px” />

Chase Freedom Quarterly Calendar. Courtesy of

However, yesterday, Chase confirmed the following:

  1. The Chase Freedom Unlimited will be a new and additional Chase product; the current Freedom is not going anywhere. Great news.
  2. The 1.5X points per dollar earned on the Freedom Unlimited can be used for cash back, or transferred to the Sapphire/Ink to be redeemed on travel partners. Again, great news.
  3. Current cardholders of the Freedom will be able to convert their products to the Freedom Unlimited. Excellent!

With no actual card available for sign ups just yet (I believe it will be in April), it’s hard to accurately review it and recommend it over another card.

Does converting your Freedom to Freedom Ultimate make sense? 

Scenario 1: Less than 5 cards in 24 months and no Freedom, Sapphire or Ink

  • If you have no credit history, or little credit history, your best bet will be to start off with one of the Freedom products.
  • Which one? Why not both. They’re separate products. They provide great return, one of them offering 5X on common categories every quarter; the other, providing a great return of 1.5X/dollar on everything else.
  • Then, get the Sapphire or Ink so you have the ability to transfer to partners.

Scenario 2: More than 5 cards in 24 months and currently holds Freedom and Sapphire OR Ink.

  • With two Ultimate rewards cards, and only one that has the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners, this is a bit of a conundrum.
  • If you convert your Sapphire or Ink to the new Freedom Unlimited, you will lose the ability to transfer to partners; if you convert your old Freedom to the New Freedom, you’ll lose the category bonus.
  • Determine if you max out the bonuses:
    • Do you earn ($1,500)(5) = 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points, for a total of 30,000 a year?
    • If not, will you, or do you spend at least $20,000 in unbonused spend? $20,000 in unbonused spend, at an earning rate of 1.5X, will earn 30,000 points.

Scenario 3: More than 5 cards in 24 months, holds the Freedom, Sapphire and Ink

  • You hold all Ultimate Rewards earning cards
  • Keep the old Freedom, convert the Sapphire to Freedom Unlimited and keep the Ink for the ability to transfer to partners.

These are my recommendations. I fall into the second category and need to decide what’s a better rate of return for me: 5X each quarter on different categories, or 1.5X on each dollar, always.

What will you do?

-The Miner