This is a credit card pimping post in the sense that I want to remind people of a limited time chance to sign up for some cards. This is NOT a credit card pimping post in the sense that I don’t have Chase or AMEX affiliate links so I get nothing from doing this. NONE of these links are affiliate links, I found them via Google but if for some reason you don’t trust me feel free to Google for links yourself. Saverocity readers are savvy and I’m sure everyone has heard of these offers, but personally I’ve always found I’ve needed reminders in order to not miss the good ones from time to time. Please also remember to do your own due diligence as well and don’t apply blindly. Also DON’T APPLY if you can’t pay your credit card bills in full every month.
United Mileage Plus Explorer Card: 50K bonus miles after $2000 in 3 months, $50 statement credit
If you click the above link before September 2nd, you should be taken to a landing page offering 50,000 United Miles after $2000 in spending. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and you receive a $50 statement credit on first purchase. Some other benefits worth considering to me:
– No foreign transaction fees
– 1 free checked bag on domestic itineraries (does not stack with other free checked bags you have via other means)
– 5,000 bonus miles for adding an authorized user within 3 months <= easy money
Some things to note, via Chase: “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.”
So don’t try to apply if you have the personal version of this card already or if you received the bonus for this card within the last 24 months.
As a point of reference, I signed up for this card in February 2012 and I just applied for it again.
Some reasons not to get this card? Well, if you don’t have any Ultimate Rewards points, 50,000 United miles aren’t going to do you too much good on their own. I try to sign up for cards as part of a strategy for my next year (or two). I’ve got around 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points lying around, so adding the 50,000 I get from this card plus some spending should get us one way to Europe in business class at worst (or roundtrip in coach).
I’d especially encourage you to think it through if there are other Chase cards you are interested in – Chase has a LOT of good cards in my opinion. So make sure the card fits into your overall strategy and don’t just apply for the heck of it. That being said, 50,000 mile bonuses don’t grow on trees anymore so keep that in mind! Though there is one more…
Delta Gold Skymiles Card (Personal and Business): 50K bonus miles after spending $1000 in 3 months, $50 statement credit after first Delta purchase
The above page has links to both the personal and business versions of the card; the improved bonus expires 9/8. They both have the same bonus and spending requirements – $1000 for 50,000 in 3 months. They both also come with a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within three months. $95 fee waived for the first year on both. Other benefits worth considering to me:
– Free checked bag
A huge list. I have a bunch of caveats for these cards.
First and foremost, the terms on the personal card say this: “If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”
I can tell you for sure that if you have had this card before, don’t expect to get the sign up bonus. What I’m not sure about is whether you’ll get it if you currently have another AMEX account. Again, full disclosure, I applied for the personal version of this card – I am just hoping that the “may” in the “may not be eligible” clause has me covered. I am fairly confident that the bonus will come through, but who knows. So, I applied for this card even though I have other AMEX cards; please think about whether you feel comfortable according to the terms and conditions before you do.
A second thing to note is that you only get the $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase – the terms say it has to be coded by Delta. I’m going to try to buy a movie or a drink or something on my Delta flight next week and see if that triggers the credit. If not, I am going to try to buy a $50 Delta e-certificate. I think both those transactions should do the trick, but I don’t know. I’m just telling you it’s not as simple as in the United offer.
For the business card, the terms are a bit more lenient: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.”
I applied for one of these too, just so you know. Everything else is pretty much the same. There’s a 50,000 bonus on the Delta Platinum card as well, but a higher $195 annual fee that’s not waived. That’s a hard pass for me, but in case you’re interested.
Some reasons not to get this card? If you don’t have any AMEX Membership Rewards to transfer and top off your account (and don’t forget those transfers cost money), or aren’t going to apply for both (if you’re going to do that, I think you should apply on different days and you’re running out of time), then having 50,000 Skymiles lying around is kind of useless. Also, if you get frustrated trying to redeem Skymiles, then don’t bother – though here are some posts to help you.
Personally, I got both cards (one a few weeks ago, the other a few days ago), and plan on using the 100,000 in conjunction with the 30,000 Skymiles I already have in the bank. That’s enough for two one-way business class tickets to Europe – I’m just counting on Skymiles 2015 one way redemptions to not be a complete mess (ha!). If they are, I’m diversified enough; I’m not relying on them. You may have noticed that by applying for the United Explorer card and these two cards I have basically set us up to get to Europe next year for vacation (Jess has enough Skymiles in her account for a third ticket). I’m not banking on using these, but I’m using them to create options, which is important since we’ll likely travel in the summer.
Edited to add: It’s best to apply in an incognito browser or window – AMEX has cookie issues sometimes
I wrote this post because I think these credit card offers are worth strong consideration. I don’t think you should apply for them blindly and I hope I’ve laid out some of the risks you should be considering when deciding whether to apply or not. I applied for the United card and both the personal and business Delta Gold, but literally pondered for days and mapped out how they would fit into my overall travel plans next year (potentially). Please be especially mindful if you decide to apply for the Delta cards due to AMEX’s increasingly stringent conditions. And again, don’t apply if you can’t pay off your bills in full every month. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!