Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, 12:15 pm
Is The Mega Sapphire Bonus Going Away, Bonus Offer Matching, And Other Thoughts On My Credit Card Lineup.
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For now you can still use the following links to get 50K for the Sapphire Preferred card and 25K for the plain Sapphire card, but those are advertised as a limited time offer and you never know when those will stop working, so don’t wait if you want to get in on them.
I’ve received the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred card a few times already and I currently have an active Sapphire Preferred Mastercard (which was a Visa when I received it late last year but I called to convert it to a Mastercard for Israel car rental coverage) and I just recently got approved for a Sapphire Preferred Visa. I was initially rejected for the Visa, and I called credit reconsideration (888-270-2127) who told me that I could not have 2 active Sapphire Preferred cards even if I needed a Visa and a Mastercard for the various stores that only take Mastercard or Visa (like Sam’s and dollar stores). However I then called the credit analyst department (888-245-0625) and they approved me right away when I offered to have my Mastercard credit line split into 2 to get the new card approved.
2. Chase offer matching is still alive and well and based on numerous DDF reports seems to be working perfectly for everyone. Between my wife and myself we have also just received a Freedom card, Southwest card, a United MileagePlus Explorer Visa, and a United Mileage Plus Explorer Mastercard (which was a Continental card at the time of application), and Sapphire cards.
The reconsideration reps and analysts always laugh when I call that I have pretty much every card Chase has to offer. But I give them the rundown (that I’ll give you below) about when and where I use each card and how my entire wallet now belongs to Chase and they love that!
We got the Freedom card matched to 30,000 points, the Southwest card matched to 50,000 points, and the United cards matched to 50,000 points.
The secure message I sent when logged into my chase.com account was fairly simple. “I heard there is an offer for 30,000 points for the freedom card that I just opened last week. Can you please match it?” and the answer, “I would like to inform that, as per the original offer on your account you will receive 20,000 bonus points after spending $500.00 in purchases in the first 93 days from the account open date. Further to match the 30,000 bonus points offer I have added 10,000 points. These points are effective immediately.”
Quite painless, and the process worked exactly the same for the other cards. The only thing to keep in mind is that you can only request a match within 3 months of opening the account.
3. With the new cards, here is the lineup of my currently active Chase credit cards that I have as primary cards under my name.
(I used my British Airways card and a Continental card opened last year as leverage to get new cards approved during my more recent 3BM)
1. Sapphire Preferred Visa Signup bonus: 50K. Primary use: Airfare, hotels, taxis, and dining spend of $10 or more (which earn 2.14-3.21 UR points per dollar, anything less than $10 and all other purchases will do better on Freedom) and any spending overseas (no foreign exchange fees). Allows all UR points to transfer to airlines and hotels. This card was previously churned.
2. Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard Signup bonus: 50K. Primary use: Car rentals in Israel (Free CDW coverage) and Airfare, hotels, taxis, and dining spend of $10 or more and all spending overseas. Allows all UR points to transfer to airlines and hotels. This card was applied for as a Visa and then converted to a Mastercard and was previously churned.
3. Ink Bold Business (with Chase Exclusives linked) Signup bonus: 50K. Primary use: Purchases over $100 (which then beats Freedom due to 1.2 UR points per dollar) and when trying to hit 25K/50K/100K thresholds (which raises the points per dollar for 1.5-1.675). Note that this benefit package is grandfathered and not available for new applicants. The new benefits now mirror the benefits of the Ink Classic card below but also adds no foreign exchange fees. Allows all UR points to transfer to airlines and hotels.
4. Ink Classic Business Signup bonus: 25K. Primary use: Office supplies (including gift cards to tons of stores like Amazon or Lowe’s sold at office supply stores), cell phones, landlines, and cable services (5 UR points per dollar) and fuel (2 UR points per dollar)
5. Freedom (with Chase Exclusives linked) Signup bonus: 20K matched to 30K via secure message. Primary use: Smaller transaction (which earn 1.1 points per dollar and 10 points for every separate transaction) and rotating spending categories (which earn 5.1 points per dollar and 10 points for every separate transaction). This card was previously churned.
6. United MileagePlus Explorer Visa Signup bonus: 30K matched to 50K via secure message. Primary use: Rental card outside of Israel (Free Primary CDW coverage) and when trying to hit the 25K spending threshold to bump up the points per dollar on all past spending to 1.4. This card was previously churned under another mileage number.
7. Continental/United Presidential Plus. This card is currently unavailable, but provides various premium benefits when flying United.
8. United MileagePlus Explorer Mastercard 30K matched to 50K via secure message. Primary use: Rental card outside of Israel (Free Primary CDW coverage) and when trying to hit the 25K spending threshold to bump up the points per dollar on all past spending to 1.4. This card is no longer available for application, though you may be able to switch a Visa into a Mastercard and apply for a new Visa. This card was previously churned under another mileage number.
9. Southwest Signup bonus: 25K matched to 50K via secure message. Primary use: Gathers dust but will help as leverage for getting a new card in the future. If you’re a Southwest fan the points are actually quite valuable and you get double points on Southwest purchases and a built-in points retention bonus every year. If you’re not a Southwest fan you can redeem points for gift cards to stores like Amazon and they even have sale periods where points are worth 25% more for gift card redemptions. This card was previously churned under another mileage number.
10. Hyatt Signup bonus: 2 free nights worldwide, even at hotels that cost more than $1,000 per night, but suite nights if you’re already elite. Primary use: Triple points at Hyatt hotels and Platinum status as long as you’re a cardholders. Plus you get another free night at category 1-4 hotels every year upon renewal.
4. So where does that all leave Starwood? I still use my trusty Starwood card on larger purchases (usually over $90) and on any purchases where I might need American Express’ awesome services, like online dispute resolution, purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty coverage. And I use my Starwood business card on Open Savings partners. Those cards also give me stays towards qualifying for Platinum status. Plus I have a ton of additional cardholders on both of my Starwood cards for all of the benefit programs (think Small Business Saturday, Link, Like, Love, Foursquare, Twitter, Gift Chain, NYC Mix-n-Match Promo, Vente-Privee, etc, etc) that American Express runs all year long from which I have literally made thousands and thousands of dollars and so can you!
And of course American Express Premier Rewards Gold has a higher annual fee than any of the other cards in this post, but it too can be churned for 25K points, has awesome promotions like 50% bonus points to British Airways, and while it’s free for the free year you can take advantage of triple points on airfare and double points on gas and groceries. Plus purchases made on the card are covered even once the card is cancelled as long as you have another active American Express card. And then of course there’s the American Express Platinum card that gives free lounge access (which makes air travel fun again) even after the card is cancelled, $200/calendar year airline fee and gift card reimbursement (so that can be done twice a in cardmember year), and global entry express immigration reimbursement, etc.)
Yes, believe it or not almost all of these cards are in my uncomfortably full wallet along with my other elite travel cards. It ain’t easy being a mileage addict but it sure is fun!