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I’ve just applied – and was approved for – four new credit cards. Three of the approvals came instantly. And I have a lot of minimum spend to hit to earn initial bonuses. Here’s how I plan to do it.
The four cards are, in the order that I applied:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. I want to earn a Southwest Airlines companion pass in early 2022, valid for the rest of that year and all of 2023.
That requires 125,000 qualifying points – and this card has Chase’s best points offer ever for the card – 100,000 bonus points: 50,000 after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months. I found myself under 5/24, not having applied for many cards during the pandemic. [Offer expired]
- Capital One Venture X Rewards offers 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months plus $200 back in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account within your first year.
I was surprised to be approved for this card new card, but I’m hearing from readers broadly that they’re getting unexpected approvals.
- Citi Premier® Card offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. (Offer expired)
- Bilt Mastercard double points on unbonused spend for the first month.
I need to spend $26,000 to earn bonuses on the first three of these cards (and I actually want to get to my companion pass from Southwest right away (with spend and bonus hitting in January). I’ve taken on a lot, more than most and more than I usually recommend. But I also know I have a lot of spend that I can do. Here’s what I have planned.
- Property taxes. My property taxes are due in January. Since I refinanced during the pandemic at a super cheap rate, my property taxes aren’t escrowed any longer. I put the cash aside in my Bask Savings Account, earning American AAdvantage miles, keeping the money liquid. And Texas, which has no state income tax, has high property taxes to compensate.
I can pay these by credit card, but it’ll cost me 2.85% to do so using Plastiq.com to charge my card and send a check (my county would charge 3% to pay by card directly). I don’t normally recommend this just to earn miles, but it’s worth it to earn big bonuses.
- Quarterly taxes. These are due January 15 on money I’ve earned from this blog, consulting work, award booking service, and the like. I also received a bonus at work and withholding from it at standard bonus withholding rates leaves me owing tax. Plus I realized some capital gains. All of which means I have some big tax deposits to make. Online tax payment processors charge almost 2%, again that’s high but reasonable for earning bonuses like this.
- Car payment. I can use Plastiq.com to pay my car payment as well, at a cost of 2.85%.
- Pull forward expenses. I can prepay utilities, prepay a few months of car payment, and even prepay insurance.
I’ve been saving up, setting money aside, for taxes. I realize I’m in a unique situation, with income from a job that happened to give me taxes to pay, income from a website, and unescrowed property taxes in a high property tax state. I knew I had a bunch of money to give to governments at various levels, so I figured it made sense to put those payments to good use. And I can top off with my regular expenses – both monthly, and expenses from the next couple of months as-needed.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Earn 65,000 AAdvantage miles.