News of the Year? Chase Fights Churners with Denials

Chase is now denying applications for the Sapphire Preferred, Slate, and Freedom if you have five or more new credit card accounts total from any banks in the last two years.

This change does not affect your ability to be approved for other Chase personal cards that are co-branded with banks and hotels like the United, Marriott, Southwest, or British Airways cards or any Chase business cards.

What do we know about Chase's new churning rules?
How do we know it?
What's the new best strategy to open Chase cards?

Starting last month, Chase began to deny applications for its

Chase Ink Plus Split Testing $150 Annual Fee

The Chase Ink Plus, one of the best business cards on the market, has long offered new applicants no annual fee for the first 12 months, then a $95 annual fee.

Today I noticed two other offers on the Ink Plus being split tested by Chase (and there may be more.) By repeatedly going to the Ink Plus' page in a Chrome Incognito browser, I got three different offers.

They were:

$0 annual fee for first twelve months

Top Ten Credit Card Bonuses That Are About to Disappear

Update: Several--if not all--of these offers have expired.

Anatomy of an Award: Roundtrip from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires with a Free Oneway

The second you move abroad, you become a lot more popular! That far flung country looks a lot better to family and friends as soon as they know they'll have a free bed and tour guide. My sister wanted to come visit me in Argentina in mid-May, so we set out to find her the best award ticket possible. Only one minor problem. As of two months ago, she had zero miles.

We ended up booking her a roundtrip from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires for a weeklong trip for 60,000 United miles.

Anatomy of an Award: How to Book an Award on Southwest

Update 10/13/14: Southwest awards now cost 70 points per dollar of the cash fare instead of 60. Taxes are now $5.60 per direction within the United States instead of $2.50 per flight. Everything else is the same.

The other day I helped a friend book a roundtrip Southwest award from Los Angeles to Denver for 11,761 Rapid Rewards and $5, taking advantage of a 1,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer to make up a shortfall of points in her account. For some people, this post will be very basic.

What I Learned at the First MileValue Dinner

Friday night 12 readers and I met at Guelaguetza Restaurant near downtown Los Angeles for the first ever MileValue dinner. Eating, drinking, and socializing lasted the better part of three hours.

Before, during, and after the dinner I had a chance to talk with everyone about their upcoming trips, miles-redemption strategy, and miles-earning tricks.

Amazing tips were circulated by readers. One person brought a pen and paper to take notes, and I think we all wished we had. Two tips in particular stood out to me.

Nuggets 7/20/12

I'm busy preparing for the first ever live seminar in Honolulu that starts in 10 hours, so I'll summarize a few interesting nuggets you may have missed.

We all get jealous when we hear that other people have been targeted for better sign up bonuses than the best publicly available credit card offers. Thepointsguy has a way to check whether you've been targeted for any Chase offers lately.

The Five Types of Frequent Flier Miles

There are five basic types of frequent flier miles. I'll detail each, including how best to take advantage of them. Then I'll explain why it's important to diversify across the types (not just across frequent flier programs.)

1) Region-to-region based miles. American, Delta, United, US Airways, etc

Region-to-region miles are the most common type of miles. These miles can be redeemed according to award charts, so a flight from North America to Europe costs a certain amount of miles regardless of where in North America and where in Europe and regardless of the (valid) routing.