Best Order for Card Applications to Maximize Bonuses Over Your Lifetime

Updated 9/21/16 with consideration of Citi's new sign up bonus rule. 

If you're just getting into the miles hobby or coming back after a break, it's important to realize that there is an order in which to apply for credit cards that can help you maximize your award earning potential.

The Top 5 Business Credit Cards

Many people can get a small business credit card. Opening small business cards roughly doubles the number of amazing miles and points cards available to you.

Every small business credit card I’ve gotten I opened by putting my social security number as the tax ID, and by saying that my business is a sole proprietorship.

Currency Conversion Fees: Use MasterCard Not Visa Abroad

Just because your card has "No Foreign Transaction Fees" doesn't mean you won't be charged any premium for using it abroad.

"No Foreign Transaction Fees" is a perk commonly included in a credit card's benefits to attract more customers in an increasingly globalized world. But there are typically two ways in which payment processors (i.e.

Rundown of Retention Bonus Offers for Citi AAdvantage Cards

Retention bonuses are not automatically offered by the Citi AAdvantage cards, but are still possible to get if you call and speak with a Citi representative. All it takes is a little of knowledge of what they want (or don't want) to hear.

Six Limited Time Credit Card Offers and Their End Dates

The Citi Prestige offer mentioned in this post is expired. See the new offer and analysis here.


The Hilton HHonors Signature Card's sign up bonus has expired.

Limited Time 50,000 Delta SkyMiles Bonus

Until November 17, 2015, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is offering 50,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase during the same period.

The normal bonus is 30,000 miles and no statement credit.

Contents of this article:

Offer details
My valuation of the offer
Are you eligible for the bonus?
Best uses of SkyMiles

Offer Details
The Gold card is the “standard” airline credit card.

50,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months
2 miles per dollar on

50,000 Hawaiian Mile Sign Up Bonus, and How to Use Them

Log into your Hawaiian Miles account or create one and log in. You should see an offer of 50,000 bonus Hawaiian Miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days on a new Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard from Barclaycard. The offer expires November 30, 2015.

This offer is a big improvement on the normal 35,000 mile sign up bonus on the card.

What to Do If You Aren’t Instantly Approved for the Citi Prestige

This offer is expired. See the new offer and analysis here.


A few readers have reported to me that they applied for the Citi Prestige® Card and either got a response that their application was pending or denied. What are their options?

The Citi Prestige® Card has been one of my favorite cards since I got it in March.