I talk about recent Amex ‘no lifetime language’ offers allowing business owners to have multiple copies of the same cards, a departure from the usual one welcome bonus per lifetime American Express guidelines.
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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!
Thanks for joining me for podcast Episode 66: Multiple Business Platinum and Business Gold American Express Cards. I’ll talk about recent Amex ‘no lifetime language’ offers allowing business owners to have multiple copies of the same cards, a departure from the usual one welcome bonus per lifetime American Express guidelines. More cards lead to more welcome bonuses, possible 0% APR offers, lines of credit, and benefits.
American Express has to be one of the most generous and lenient credit card issuers. For those unfamiliar with American Express, one is typically able to simultaneously have five credit cards and ten charge cards or pay-over-time cards. After you have one card with American Express, future cards typically only soft pull as a credit check, so personal credit reports stay cleaner – not so many inquiries. Clean credit reports usually allow you to get more credit cards and even fill in gaps between applications. Even better, business cards with American Express don’t appear as opened accounts on personal credit bureaus.
The recent flurry of invitations to apply for more Business Platinum and Business Gold Cards, typically delivered through e-mails or offers on one’s American Express online account, further establishes Amex as an amazing card issuer. One concern I get from people outside of the miles and points hobby is whether I would run out of new cards to apply for. Does the payoff fizzle out after a few cards? How much are you making per month? What’s your hourly earning looking like? Is it really worth it? What is the meaning of life?
Because America Loves Math, let’s consider the value of adding an extra Business Gold Card. A welcome bonus of 90,000 points minus a $295 annual fee is a profit of at least $605, valuing Membership Rewards points at just one cent per point cashing out with an American Express Business Checking account. See my recent episode delving more into Amex Business Checking.
In some cases, spending on the American Express Business Gold Card will earn 4x points on up to two categories: dining, shipping, gas, and computer technology providers like Newegg that for unknown reasons often sells gift cards at discount. You should choose to shift bonused spend that you would have put on your old Business Gold Card to your new Business Gold Card not only for more bonused spending, but also progress towards your minimum spend requirement.
You may not be able to reach the minimum spend requirement with only bonused spending, so put unbonused spend on the Business Gold Card while not giving up bonused spend, like US Supermarkets giving 4x on the American Express Gold Card for example. Bonus spending aside, let’s now talk more about how much those Membership Rewards points can be worth.
With a current 30% transfer bonus to Hilton Honors for a 1.3 cent per point transfer rate, that’s $1170 minus a $295 annual fee for a profit of $875. In many cases, we can get better than 1.3 cents per point for Membership Rewards, but here I provide a conservative valuation.
Maybe you’ll transfer Amex Membership Rewards for huge value, like a recent trip to Italy I booked with 160,000 Delta SkyMiles – a first class round-trip flight with a lie-flat bed and private quarters that would have cost about $6000 in cash. If I were to have transferred Membership Rewards to Delta Skymiles, I would have redeemed for about three cents per point. Some also travel internationally at an even better redemption, but these sweet spots aren’t always available.
A lowball profit of about $900, a 1.3 cent per point rate, just for signing up for a card and putting spending on that card, is a no-brainer in my book and hopefully yours. Those who have already had a Business Gold card and are waiting for more time to pass between new card applications with other issuers especially have lots to gain.
My last application spree or app-o-rama was in April of 2022. I got approved for five cards with different issuers and am waiting until December to apply for more cards. I’ll be eligible to open more cards with Chase and giving about 7-8 months between opened accounts and inquiries should improve my approval chances. Credit is king, so keep wearing the crown!
That I can now add more American Express Business Platinum and Business Gold cards while waiting for December to come allows me to expand my card portfolio, redeem more benefits, and gain more welcome offers allowing for more travel. Applying for more cards is better than just sitting on current cards and not earning as much.
At the moment, I have three active Amex Business Gold cards and have canceled some when Amex was unwilling to waive the annual fee after year one with the card or offset the annual fee with a retention offer. People new to miles and points worry about annual fees, erroneously thinking they are stuck with the card forever. Perhaps they are unaware that they have options following year one.
I’ll gladly pay a $295 annual fee when it comes with a hefty welcome bonus, but when it didn’t make sense to pay an annual fee in year two, I canceled the card causing little to no impact on my credit reports or relationship with Amex. After all, Amex is still approving me for cards and inviting me to apply with special offers. Going forward, I’m happy to spend on new cards with Amex rather than playing a losing game paying an annual fee for no good reason.
The no lifetime language offers have been plentiful in recent months, but it’s not a situation of unlimited power. One must wait 90 days between having one particular card to get another card of the same name – 90 days or 91 days between Business Gold Cards. Additionally, the multiple signup bonuses are only allowed when special invitations to the Amex party that hopefully never stops come. Ideally, one would apply for a card in the usual way, and then 91 days later they would apply with a no lifetime language offer. One can get a Business Gold and, I’ll delve into this next, a Business Platinum card, in the same day.
I like to apply for multiple cards on the same day so it’s easier to keep track of application times and clocks are continuing to run (rather than just not getting new cards). I also like to work on multiple welcome offers at the same time, splitting transactions between cards rather than hammering one card and possibly facing adverse action from banks for too much spend in a short time. It’s a marathon, not a race, is a common good piece of wisdom in points and miles. In some cases, I need different credit cards to scale transactions. Extra lines of credit really help when pushing volume. Now finished with the Business Gold card, let’s move on to the Business Platinum.
My most recent no lifetime language Business Platinum offer gave me a whopping 160,000 Membership Rewards points worth $1600 on a one cent per point cash out, $2080 for a Hilton transfer, and possibly more when used for international travel. This card comes with a $695 fee, but that’s offset by $200 Dell credits, $200 airline incidental credits, and many benefits.
For paying just one annual fee, acquiring this card in September, I’ll get $600 in Dell credits and $400 in airline incidental credits. Valuing these credits same-as-cash, I’m flipping Dell credits into laptop reselling rather than gift card orders that often get canceled for some mysterious reason, and I’ll travel at some point. Dell is like the old Cartmanland episode of South Park – here’s a gift card amusement park, but no one’s allowed to come in. We’re up about $300 on the annual fee plus the big Membership Rewards points welcome offer. If you value the credits at even half for some reason, the annual fee is effectively about $200 and offset by the welcome bonus worth maybe $2000. Easy money!
People like Dave Ramsey I covered in my previous episode, are skeptical of credit cards stating, among other things, that one has to spend $100,000 to get $1000 on a Discover card totally missing the point, but in this example of just two American Express cards, we’re ahead about $2000 on the Business Platinum card and about $600 on the Business Gold Card. This $2600, again, is a lowball estimate and also doesn’t consider category multipliers for certain spending or benefits (although these benefits overlap with other American Express cards).
We need about $25,000 in spending for both welcome offers – a nearly 10% return on spending – spending that most people already do for their businesses or would put on other credit cards. Rather than settling for just one credit card like the Citi DoubleCash getting 2% on all spend, we can add new cards to the mix to have more options, more travel benefits, and points that can easily be worth more than cashback. If you’re really worried about return on spend percentage for some reason, cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred give 60,000 points for $4000 spend, another fun math problem subtracting an annual fee and adding benefits.
I don’t recommend that people start with spend goals of $25,000 in 90 days unless they already have a spend goal or big expenses. After all, this is a more advanced play of applying for multiples of the same card over time, but this level is very achievable when considering business expenses, paying taxes, buying inventory, selling new items on eBay, and many creative spending methods. For people new to the game, premium cards with high spend goals will offer you far more than junky credit cards like the Apple credit card, currently with a $50 welcome offer. Getting your personal credit in order, too, allows for big wins from premium credit cards. Many puzzle pieces come together and many wins add up to even bigger wins.
My first premium credit card had a $3000 spend goal in three months, and, at that time, I wasn’t deep into miles and points. I hit this spend goal with so-called everyday spend and was motivated to find ways to spend more for more credit card welcome bonuses. As I learned more and more opportunities opened, fast forwarding to today, $10,000 spend a month isn’t difficult or time-consuming.
I’ve scaled up getting many credit cards, currently 35 or 38 depending on how you count them, and including canceled credit cards, it’s far more. I still have loads of fun with this hobby meeting new people, learning new tricks, figuring out a massive puzzle, and bolstering my everyday life, especially when traveling, with better experiences. There’s no more random or sketchy Red Roof Inns. There’s no more ‘I can’t afford to travel, so I’m going to skip this.’ There’s no more, ‘I’m going to be broke after this trip.’
The promise of next to no cost travel keeps shining with American Express and many other banks. My plan of getting multiple credit cards to make money, save money, and travel the world is much better than Dave Ramsey telling people to pay cash-in-full for vacations. On September 8th, Ramsey endorsed someone who suggested people take on four jobs and get seven roommates to be debt-free. No thanks, Dave, I’ll happily use credit cards, pay my balances in full to avoid interest, and acquire a newfound freedom that’s often not going to come with a pay for everything with cash type of life. With discipline, organization, and strategy, you can make it happen with a modest income and lifestyle.
Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for future episodes.
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