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My 2019 Credit Card Signup Bonus Strategy

First post in a while as at least someone in my family has been sick for the last few weeks. My son vomited on me twice, including once pretty much right into my mouth. Alright, TMI and that’s not what you’re here for. Since it’s the first day of 2019, I figured I’d outline my personal strategy for the year when it comes to credit card bonuses.

Now my strategy almost certainly shouldn’t be your strategy as I am more limited in the cards I can get since I have had so many over the years. For example, American Express now only lets you receive a signup bonus once per lifetime per card. There are still several Amex cards I have never received a bonus for, but none of them have a signup bonus that’s worthy of using a credit inquiry on at the moment.

Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning you can’t be approved for any Chase card if you have gotten 5 or more credit cards from any bank in the past two years, is a big factor in what cards I will be applying for. Up until a few years ago, I could apply for 12 cards a year and not have to worry about being limited by Chase. Now I have to be more careful. Over the past two years I have applied and been approved for 7 credit cards. But 3 of those cards have been business cards and those do not count toward the 5/24 rule.

So basically I want to hit as many business cards as I can this year, thus “aging” my personal cards so come next year, I should be at 2/24 and able to apply for two new Chase cards. The beauty of Chase cards, at least for most of them, is that you can receive a bonus for the same card every two years. The one exception that I know of that was recently added is on the Chase Sapphire, which has a four year waiting period to get a second bonus.

My last credit card application was for the Southwest Premier Business card, which gives you 60,000 Southwest points after $3K in spending. I will complete the minimum spending later this month and then I am considering applying for the personal version of the Southwest Premier card. That would put me right at 5/24, but after hitting the minimum spending, I will have earned 120,000 SW points, which is enough to obtain a Companion Pass. That pass, which allows a family member or friend to fly free with you an unlimited amount of times on Southwest through the next calendar year after you earned the pass, can be worth thousands if you fly a lot.

I also have my eyes on the Citi AA business card. It’s currently offering 70,000 AA miles (those can easily be worth more than $1,500 in travel if used wisely) if you spend $4K in four months. The $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.

A reminder that many things count as businesses when it comes to applying for business credit cards.

That’s basically my plan for the first half of the year. During the second half, I will keep my eyes out for any huge bonuses and then I will have to decide if they are worth going after even if they are going to add to my 5/24 total and possibly delay my next Chase application.

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