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Credit Card Strategy: These Are The 3 Credit Cards I’m Applying For (And Why)

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In the past five years, I’ve applied for a total of just six new credit cards, and for that, I should probably hang my head in shame. Such a low number of applications is tantamount to heresy in the miles and points world (I apologize unreservedly 🙂 ) but the fact is that up until now, I haven’t felt the need to make any significant additions to the credit cards I hold as I’ve been happy with what I have. This, however, has recently changed.

I’ve never been a credit card churner and my credit card portfolio has remained incredibly stable over the past few years. I take a long term view when it comes to my credit card strategy so once I’m happy with the cards that I hold, it will usually take a change of circumstances, a change of focus, or the introduction of a new credit card before I start playing around with applications.

Well, we’ve just seen an excellent new credit card released, an existing good credit card has just been made even better, and I’m reviewing my focus when it comes to the hotels I stay at and all of that has led me to one inescapable conclusion – I need to refresh my credit card portfolio.

Right now, and if I’m being realistic (more on my unrealistic thoughts some other time), there are five cards that I don’t currently hold that I would like to see in my portfolio. Three of these cards will require a new application (these are the cards I’ll be discussing in this post) and two of the cards that I want can be added via product changes (discussed in this post) so I’m only looking at 3 hard credit pulls in total…but that’s still three more pulls than my account has seen in the last 12 months 🙂

Here are the cards in question:

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

a close up of a credit card

Why I Want The Card

I’ve been very impressed with how Hyatt has treated its customers throughout the current crisis and I’ve loved watching the World of Hyatt expand through the partnership with SLH and the acquisition of smaller chains like Thomson Hotels, Destination Hotels, and Joie de Vivre. So, from where I stand, not only is Hyatt the only major hotel chain that appears to genuinely care about looking after its customers, but it also has an impressive array of properties that I’d really like to stay at and that’s the kind of chain I’d like to do more business with.

The World of Hyatt credit card would give me:

  • Entry-level Hyatt Discoverist status (good for minor upgrades, 2pm checkouts, and bonus points on all paid stays)
  • The best earnings rate at Hyatt properties worldwide (4 points/dollar)
  • Bonus points for spending at my gym (2 points/dollar)
  • 5 elite night credits every year to give me a boost towards higher elite status
  • A free night certificate valid at Category 1 – 4 properties every year

All of these benefits would considerably improve my future stays with Hyatt and, to me, are easily worth the $95/year annual fee that the World of Hyatt credit card charges.

On top of all these benefits, there’s another key reason why I’d like to add the World of Hyatt card to my collection – Hyatt’s promotions. Hyatt has published some very good promotions this year and in a significant number of these, the offering has been sweetened for World of Hyatt credit card holders.

  • In a promotion Hyatt launched in February, World of Hyatt credit cardholders were offered 1,500 bonus points for each qualifying stay that included a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night (starting with their second stay).
  • In a promotion Hyatt launched in June, all World of Hyatt elites (including those with Discoverist status courtesy of the World of Hyatt credit card) were offered 2,500 bonus points on their first stay.
  • In a promotion Hyatt launched in July (and which has been extended to the end of the year), all World of Hyatt credit card holders were offered 25% back on all award bookings (10% more than non-cardholders)
  • In Hyatt’s latest promotion, World of Hyatt credit card holders are being offered quadruple points for stays at over 350 resort properties across the world.

All of these extras are worth having and the extra 10% discount on award bookings that’s being offered to World of Hyatt credit card holders can easily cover the card’s annual fee many times over. If I plan to incorporate Hyatt stays into more of my plans than this is a card that can both improve my stays and save me points and cash too.

My Plan

This will be the first of my target credit cards that I apply for. The World of Hyatt credit card is issued by Chase and Chase doesn’t take too kindly to applicants whose credit files show numerous applications for other cards in the recent past. I haven’t applied for a card in 2020 and I only had one solitary application in 2019 so my file should be looking pretty good to Chase right now…but I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger.

I’ve got a Hyatt award booking coming up so I’d really like to have the World of Hyatt credit card in my wallet before I check in to ensure that I get a 25% rebate on the points cost of my stay…but I’d like an easily achievable welcome bonus too.

Right now the World of Hyatt credit card is offering a bonus of 25,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first three months after opening a new account and another 25,000 points after spending a further $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership. That’s not bad but I have a feeling we may be seeing a new welcome bonus announced soon.

In the past few weeks, Chase has refreshed the welcome offers on a number of the credit cards that it issues but the offer on the World of Hyatt credit card hasn’t changed since June. Will this be the next Chase credit card to get a new welcome offer? I hope so but I’m running out of time so I may have to settle for the offer that’s available right now.

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

a close up of a credit card

Why I Want The Card

It would be more than a little disingenuous of me not to admit that the massive 100,000 point welcome offer that the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is currently offering hasn’t played into my thinking about this card (I could put those points to great use with a 5-night stay at one of Hyatt’s Category 5 properties), but that’s far from being the only reason why this card appeals to me.

I need a new business credit card to help me keep certain business spending separate from any other spending I make, and it’s the earning rates and select benefits that the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers that single it out as a card that I’d find very useful to have.

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card earns cardholders Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all the spending put on the card (I love Ultimate Rewards) and in the following spending categories it offers 3 points/dollar on up to $150,000 of spending every year:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

I already earn 5 points/dollar on internet, cable, and phone services courtesy of my Ink Business Plus Credit Card (a card which is no longer available to new applicants), but the bonus points available for shipping, and online advertising would be incredibly useful to me as none of my other credit cards offer bonuses for spending in these categories.

Also, unlike my Business Plus credit card, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card would offer me up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection for any phones whose monthly bill I pay with the card so, while I’m not about to give up the 5 points/dollar for spending on internet and cable services that my current Ink card gives me, I may well choose to pay my cell phone bills with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card just to get the cover.

My Platinum Card from American Express will almost always be the credit card that I use to book flights because it offers both great earnings (5 points/dollar) and great travel protections (including trip delay protection) that the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card cannot match, but the 3 points/dollar that this card would earn me on everyday travel relating to my business (taxis, ridesharing, trains, buses, ferries, tolls, etc…) would not only help me to keep that expenditure separate from my other travel spending, but it would also be as rewarding as if I’d put the spending on the only other card I’d use for that type of travel – my personal Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.

Lastly, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers primary auto rental collision cover when the entire rental cost is charged to the card and when the vehicle is being rented for business purposes so, as I occasionally rent cars when I’m working and as this card is as rewarding as any other when it comes to paying for rental cars, this would be a good card to use as I try to keep my business spending separate from everything else.

My Plan

This is likely to be the second card I try to get for but as it will be the second Chase card that I’ll be applying for in close succession, I’m probably going to wait at least a month (possibly longer) after applying for the World of Hyatt card before I submit my application for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card just to make sure that I don’t fall foul of Chase’s ofter over zealous vetting process.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

a close-up of a credit card

Why I Want The Card

I’ve been considering getting the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card for at least 2 years because its a card that anyone who loves Chase Ultimate Rewards as much as I do should have…but for one reason or another I’ve never actually gone ahead and filled in an application. Now, what’s finally pressed me into action is the makeover that Chase has just given the card.

The two best aspects of the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card have always been that it comes with no annual fee and it earns 1.5% cashback on all purchases. As that cash back can be converted into Ultimate Rewards Points when this card is paired with one of the Chase Sapphire Cards or the Ink Business Preferred Card I discussed above (1.5% cash back = 1.5 Ultimate Rewards Points), this can be an extremely valuable card to hold.

I value Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents each (based on the value I know I can extract from the currency with little to no effort) so the 1.5% cash back that the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card offers is, in effect, worth 2.25 cents (2.25%) to me. That’s a cash back rate that few other no annual fee cards can match.

Now, on top of the great 1.5% cash back rate on all spending, Chase has added bonus spending categories to the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card’s offering:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase’s travel portal
  • 3% cash back on dining (includes take-out and delivery)
  • 3% cash back on spending at drugstores

I’m unlikely to use the card to pay for travel through the Chase travel portal with any great frequency (I generally only use the portal to redeem points), and I already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (which earns me 3 points/dollar on dining worldwide), so the first two bonus categories make no difference to how I feel about the Freedom Unlimited Card. The 3% cash back (3 points/dollar) at Drugstores, however, is definitely something I can use.

No other card in my portfolio offers a bonus for drugstore spending and as I look to ensure that I always earn a bonus on my spending whenever I can, the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card will fill a gap that I’ve had in my portfolio since I applied for my first credit card.

My Plan

Ok, yes. This is a little bit risky. This is the third Chase card that I’ve said that I’d like to apply for and I don’t really know how the bank will react when I put in my application. The things that will stand me in good stead are the following:

  • My credit score is in the 800’s
  • I’ll wait at least 45 days from my last application before I apply for this card
  • I have quite a bit of credit that I can move around from other Chase cards if, as I suspect will happen, Chase says that it would rather not give me even more credit.
  • These will have been my first applications in over a year

None of that guarantees me success and there’s as much chance of Chase turning down this application as there is of it agreeing to give me another credit card, but I’m happy to try my luck nonetheless. What’s the worst that can happen? 🙂

Bottom Line

The time has come for me to freshen up my credit card portfolio and to apply for a few new cards as I continue to try to make sure that I have the right cards at my disposal all of the time. The card I most want to get is the World of Hyatt Credit Card as that will pay for itself almost instantly with the points rebate it will get me on my upcoming award stays, but the Ink Business Preferred with its huge welcome offer and the Freedom Unlimited Card with its excellent cash back are both cards I’d really like to have as well…I just have to hope that Chase is in a good mood on the days the applications go in!

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