Episode 14: Increased Credit Card Offers

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Thanks for joining me for episode 14 – Increased credit card offers. I’ll talk about credit card application strategy namely prioritizing cards with higher-than-usual offers.


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Thanks to generous patrons and fans of this podcast who help support my work. Have a great day.

Mentioned in podcast:

Watch me on daily livestreams for the month of March and maybe beyond on Cakeologi’s YouTube channel!

Visit Cakeologi’s website.

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with full-time business coach and YouTuber Cakeologi who can help you formally establish your business, build business credit, and get premium business credit cards. When you select from various paid services after the free consultation, I will receive credit for referring you. Listen to Cakeologi on episode twelve of my podcast.

Rough transcript:

You’re listening to the Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Vacula, here to help you travel the world at next to no cost through credit card points, miles, benefits, and rewards. Make money, save money, and take advantage of great deals!

Visit my website at HurdyGurdyTravelPodcast.com where you can read episode transcripts, complete a free credit card questionnaire to receive tailored recommendations, follow me on social media, view helpful resources, listen to past episodes, and contact me.

Thanks for joining me for episode 14 – Increased credit card offers. I’ll talk about credit card application strategy namely prioritizing cards with higher-than-usual offers.

Some personal and podcast updates: I’m recording today on March 20th of 2020 now day three of time primarily spent in my Philadelphia area apartment due to major economic and lifestyle changes brought by the Coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully you and your friends and family are safe and sane in these uncertain times. For the foreseeable future, at least for two weeks, I’ll be livestreaming daily at 8PM Eastern Standard Time from YouTube with supporter of the show Cakeologi. Join us for laughs, helpful tips, and a chance to have your questions answered live! Visit his YouTube channel at Cakeologi – C-A-K-E-O-L-O-G-I. More information can be found in the show notes.

I don’t plan on traveling in March or April and hopefully will be attending the Minneapolis May 1st airport meetup with members of the great Milenomics community and spending time in Las Vegas shortly after. I’m continuing to apply for credit cards saving miles and points for a later time. I was recently approved for the American Express Gold Delta Skymiles Business card I’ll talk about later in this episode. I’m also waiting for time to pass before applying for the US Bank Altitude Reserve card.

On with today’s topic…

A common question I get from people interested in credit cards is, ‘Which credit card should I sign up for?’ People brand new to what I often call the credit card space, not knowledgeable about what is a good offer, bank rules, and even the finer points of credit scores and credit bureaus…they’re at a significant disadvantage likely signing up for a card just because they saw an advertisement on TV, received a mail offer, and saw an offer at their primary local bank.

In order to excel in the credit card space, receive a great return per dollar spent much greater than 1-2%, if that, which is had by one having one credit card, it’s important to think strategically and get multiple cards which also give great benefits and statuses. One aspect of a strategic credit plan is prioritizing increased offers – applying for a card when an introductory offer or signup bonus is higher than usual.

Consider the Amex Gold Delta Skymiles Business card – until April 1st of 2020, the card gives a signup bonus of 60,000 Delta Skymiles for spending only $2000. Atop the signup bonus, there’s no first year annual fee, some bonus spending categories, and benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding when flying Delta. I planned to get this card before April during which time the offer may drop to about 40,000 miles. As someone who frequents Hilton hotels, I could also benefit from a Hilton card with American Express for some extra Hilton points, but can wait to apply for a Hilton card at a later time. In future weeks or months, an increased Hilton offer may come and, what seems very likely, a similar offer will still be around. Amex and other issuers, too, will release new cards and increase offers, so I’ll look to prioritize those offers. Right now, though, there’s no rush for me to get a Hilton card with the usual offer and there’s a cost to missing out on an increased offer with Delta.

One really popular card, the American Express personal Gold Card, probably because of its 4x points categories on dining and grocery purchases atop its signup bonus, airline credits, and dining credits, is indeed a good card for many. However, I often advise people not to get it largely because there are better offers at the moment and said people don’t spend a large amount to reach multiple signup bonuses. Why miss out on a bonus 20k miles with Delta to get the personal Gold Card now when you can get the increased offer on the Delta card today and wait a few weeks to get the personal Gold Card especially when Amex may have a better personal Gold Card offer in the future? Further, the personal Gold Card may lock you out of getting cards with other issuers like Barclay’s, Chase, and US Bank especially when you’re earlier in the credit card game. I think about a long-term approach able to delay gratification, plan ahead, and carefully time my applications rather than making quick decisions and make mistakes.

The increased Delta offer, too, played a large role in leading me to cancel my American Express Aspire card I had for one year – a move which has drawn some criticism – how do you give up such a great card? Well, long story short, after crunching the numbers with Aspire, I wasn’t too far ahead of the annual fee especially given recent changes to terms and conditions American Express made which makes it more difficult for customers to get full value and even use the credits. A person can only have five credit cards at one time with American Express – Aspire was taking up one of those slots. Cancel the Aspire card which would have generated maybe $200 in value for a year or get the Delta card which gives more than $750 in value? Easy decision. Here, the increased offer on the Delta card gave me an extra $250 in value, so I made the very easy call to American Express while driving to cancel the Aspire card after sadly getting no huge retention offer.

Increased offers, though, won’t always be present. In the absence of increased offers, you’ll probably still want to work on signup bonuses getting new cards, at least I just don’t settle for just 2% back on spend I have with multiple cards. If there are no increased offers at the moment, it could make sense to add cards which don’t add hard inquiries and haven’t had increased offers in the past. A bit of internet research, mainly on Doctor of Credit, should help with this. American Express is special in that, for most people, cards after the first don’t add hard inquiries to your credit report. If American Express cards aren’t an option, especially when you’re later in the game, it can be prudent to wait just a little longer for time to pass between inquiries to attain cards which are harder to get, cards from banks which are more inquiry sensitive. As always, I’m here to help you in the process with free credit card consultations – use the form on my website at HurdyGurdyTravelPodcast.com under the questionnaire tab at the top.

However, sitting on the sidelines not getting more credit cards comes with cost as you miss out on signup bonuses, benefits, bonus categories, and so much more. For me, a six month wait with issuers other than American Express happened towards the end of 2019 as I planned to get three more difficult-to-get cards with an app-o-rama on January 2nd of 2020 also putting me in place to get more cards with Chase and Barclay’s. I recouped some of the waiting time with great cards. When I’m able to get cards with Chase again, I may experience some increased offers, but don’t plan on getting Chase cards forever because I’d miss other opportunities.

As you see, the credit card space can seem complicated especially when starting out, but I view the effort as well worth it reflecting on so much travel booked with miles and points in 2019 and 2020. I look forward to flying and staying in hotels once again and I’ll be well-equipped to do so especially with a large Hilton and Delta balance thanks to American Express. Travel for next to no cost as I do and you’ll have been happy to make that call to a bank, reach that signup bonus, and juggle multiple cards.


Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more content!

Visit my website at HurdyGurdyTravelPodcast.com where you can read episode transcripts, complete a free credit card questionnaire to receive tailored recommendations, view helpful resources, listen to past episodes, and contact me.

Support my work through Patreon, PayPal, the Cash App, and referral links by visiting the donate tab on my website. Subscribe on YouTube at Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast; like my Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast Facebook page; follow HGtravelpodcast on Twitter; and follow Justin Vacula on Instagram.

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with full-time business coach and YouTuber Cakeologi who can help you formally establish your business, build business credit, and get premium business credit cards. When you select from various paid services after the free consultation, I will receive credit for referring you. Listen to Cakeologi on episode twelve of my podcast.

Visit my other podcast at stoicsolutionspodcast.com where you can find practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome.

Thanks to generous patrons and fans of this podcast who help support my work. Have a great day.

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