Churning Blizzard

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Portland has received an uncharacteristic amount of winter weather over the past few days.

Usually once every 1 to 2 years there’s a dusting of snow, and the kids sled, and the grown ups drive like amateurs, and then the temperature rises and the snow melts, and it’s back to the gray fog and drizzle that mark eight months of a typical Portland year.

This year we got dumped on for a few days and then last night experienced an ice storm.

I’d never really experienced an ice storm before, but from what I can gather, these occur when there are high-altitude layers of relatively warm moist air where rain forms which then falls through subfreezing layers of air closer to the earth. The rain droplets become supercooled along the way but do not turn into snow or sleet.

When they hit the ground or a tree or a power line they instantly crystallize into ice and cause havoc.

The point of this Weather Channel Summary is to say that Portland was relatively paralyzed today, and I was too. My only activity was walking six blocks to Trader Joe’s and fighting all the way there and back to stay upright.

So I used my captive weather day for a good purpose. I sent off seven applications for new credit cards. The churn was on.

The cards I applied for were as follows.

1. The Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.

50,000 miles for $2000 spend in three months. With a $69 annual fee, not waived.

2. The Chase Southwest Airlines Business Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.

50,000 miles for $2000 spent in three months with a $69 and your feet, not waived.

3. Citi Hilton Hhonors Reserve.

Two free weekend nights at any Hilton for $2500 spent in four months. $95 fee not waived.

4. Citi Aadvantage American Airlines Business Card

50,000 miles for $3000 spend in three months. $95 first year fee waved.

5. Us Bank Club Carlson Business Card.

85,000 points for $2500 spent in three months. $60 first year fee not waived

6. Barclays Bank Us Air Card.

40,000 miles after first purchase. First year fee of $89 not waived.

7. The old American Express blue cash card.

(My plus one pick for manufactured spending.)  No annual fee. One cent per dollar rewards for The first $6500 spent, Then five cents per dollar at drug stores, grocery stores, and gas stations for the remainder of each card year.

So if I am approved for all of the cards then I’ll end up with 275,000 miles/points, +2 free weekend nights at any Hilton, for $382 in fees, plus $12,000 in spend over four months.

My main goals with this churn were to try to get the Southwest companion pass for short-haul family travel , to continue to collect the American Airlines miles (And soon to be American Airlines miles; I’m looking at you USAir,) for next years trip to Japan, to give myself some flexibility with hotel options, and to secure some 5X cashback goodness going forward.

The one offer I had to regrettably say no to was the much-hyped new American Airlines Citi Executive Aadvantage World Elite Mastercard. This is a sweet deal where you get 100,000 American Airlines advantage miles for $10,000 and spend in three months.

The reason I decided against it is that the $450 annual fee (With $200 American Airlines statement credit) was a just little rich for my blood at this point.

In the future I may need to go after these more expensive, high mile card offers, but I’m not there yet. Too many fish in the sea at this point. And laying out big cash for a trip I’m not positive I will need was just a little too against the grain of my early retirement ethos today .

It goes without saying that I will report back to you with all of the results of this churn good and bad.

As of now I was instantly approved for the Citi Hilton card, and the Chase personal Southwest Airlines card.

More excitement to come!

For links to these card offers and many others try Frequent Milers excellent credit card referral page. It’s A convenient one-stop shop for churn planning.  I simply offer this as a page that I frequently use,  (I’m not in the affiliate link business yet and get absolutely nothing if you click it.)

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