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Last month my good friend and CPA wrote to me with various  questions regarding the hobby. He touches on a few pertinent topics that I think are worth sharing with you guys.

My response is in normal font and his original questions are in italics. Anything I added to the email to better explain something to you guys is in blue and in parentheses.


Hey Vinnie!

Hope India was great. We’re freezing our a$$es off in Maryland. The United States is miserably cold right now. Man. (This email was written during the BOMB CYCLONE, perhaps the most dramatic name for a storm, ever.) So, to answer your questions…


  • If I apply for the Amex Platinum regular (I already have the Platinum Mercedes Benz) will I get the bonus? Same question applies since I got a phone call about a Platinum Business.
In regards to Amex’s “once in a lifetime bonus rule”, it applies separately to each product. The normal Platinum and the Mercedes Benz Platinum and the Business Platinum are all different products. So yes, you can get the bonus on each of those once. (The “once in a lifetime bonus rule” refers to the fact that once you’ve earned the bonus on a Amex card, you typically aren’t eligible for it again. I say typically because the loophole to this rule is targeted offers)
  • Should I sign up for both?
Personally I wouldn’t, but it depends. I would stretch out that lounge access over the years unless you just plan on keeping one open indefinitely (Amex lounge access is primo, especially for US travelers that can enjoy the Centurion Lounges). Also, various benefits that help outweigh the annual fee like airline credits, Uber credit, etc. might be hard to fully take advantage of if you double down and get multiple Platinum cards at once. But if you think you can take full advantage of airline credits, uber credits, etc., and it doesn’t matter to you about spreading out lounge access over the years, then yea. Do it if you’re being offered big bonuses.
  • Do you know how someone could transfer chase rewards points to me? Essentially I want to book my return flights via United (on Ethiopian Airlines) and I have no rewards or United miles to do so.

Just get them to book it in your name. That’s totally fine. Or if it’s a complicated booking and you don’t want them to have to do it, get their login info for all the necessary accounts and you book it, in your name.

  • Final question. Of the following cards, which ones should I get. I don’t have them nor have I in two years. And keep in mind I only really use points for airlines and not hotels.

> 25k bonus Starwood Preferred Guest from Amex

> 50k bonus British Airways Avios Visa card 

> 80k bonus Marriott Rewards card

> 50k bonus Bank of Ameria Premium Rewards card

The SPG Amex, BA Avios, and Marriott Rewards Chase cards are all good cards for you. The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is meh… unless you want basically $500 travel credit to cover cash flights. Read my review to see what I mean. You’re definitely going to want to get all of the SPG, personal and business, as well as both Chase Marriott cards, personal and business, at some point in 2018. Probably the sooner the better, as Marriott has announced that they are coming out with all new cards for their SPG and Marriott portfolio which means the old cards will disappear at some point. That means the ability to get their bonuses will disappear too. (I wrote about these new cards how to strategize applications to maximize current products inNew Marriott Credit Cards Coming From BOTH Amex & Chase.)

SPG points are awesome because they transfer to a million different airline programs–I never use for hotels, only as miles, personally–and when you transfer in increments of 20k to an airline partner program you get a 5k bonus in that program.

Marriott points transfer 3:1 to SPG which is why I also recommend collecting them for flights. The only catch with getting the Chase Marriott personal card is that the Chase 5/24 rule applies to it, meaning if you’ve opened any five personal credit cards in the last 24 months, you won’t be approved for it. So don’t apply if that’s the case. If it’s not the case, apply for it before applying or any of these other cards. Luckily the 5/24 rule doesn’t apply to the Chase Marriott Business card–I know that for sure as I was approved for it and obviously have a million cards.

If you have any other questions let me know! Saludos to Aleja and John!


Bottom Line

I hope you can pick up a few pointers from this email. I know Vinnie did… he ended up with a solid strategy for his next round of credit card applications.
Certain miles and points are better for travel to certain parts of the world, and it’s important to have an understanding of the big issuing bank’s sign up bonus eligibility and other application rules and how they apply to your situation. Use our Free Credit Card Consultation Service for help opening the right cards for you.

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