Free Flights To Europe from Credit Card Promotion
In the next step to planning our extended international trip - I signed my wife and I up for a British Airways Chase Visa Signature Card last week. Hattip to Jonathan @ MyMoneyBlog who alerted me to the deal. I hope to leverage this credit card promotion to get us to Spain for the start of our transatlantic cruise.
The promotion gets you 50k miles with your first purchase and an additional 50k miles if you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months on the card. I've never signed up for an airline credit card before as I wasn't convinced they were worth the work, but given our interest in traveling and the amount of bonus miles we decided to bite to see if we can make it work.
Its going to be a bit of a challenge to put $5,000 ($2.5k on each card) of purchases on these cards in 3 months. I'm weighing a couple ideas and usual tactics that leaves me fairly confident we can do it. Our normal spend rate is arout ~$1,200-$1,800 in purchases on all our credit cards each month, but that includes all our cards with other credit card promotions that we'll have to balance in this equation.
Some options Im assessing:
- Moving as much of our current monthly spend to the new cards as possible. I think we could put $500-$800 per month on the new cards while still maximizing our other credit card promotions.
- Accelerating large purchases - My wife and I keep a to purchase list of large purchases that we pace ourselves - typically buying 1 large item a month. We could look at purchasing those items sooner to ensure we hit this deal. Items on our short list include a new dryer, updated chandeliers for our home (in major need of an update). However both these purchases are home improvement purchases which I would normally direct to our Discover card to earn 5% cash back this quarter
- We could look at giving up on maximizing other credit card promotions we are currently using including 5% Discover cashback on home improvement purchases, $10 rebate for the first $100 in purchases each month on our Chase Freedom card, 2% rebate on gas and groceries on our Capital One Card, 5% discount on Target purchases on our Target credit card.
- Buy gift cards or other prepaid cards for future purchases. We could easily consume prepaid cards at grocery stores and certain gas station we frequently use.
- Prepaid hotel nights - Perhaps we can pre-purchase hotel nights before and/or after our transatlantic cruise. Unfortunately we didn't have time to put the cruise itself on our new cards - that would have been the best scenario.
- US Mint circulating $1 coin direct ship program. You can purchase from the US mint $1 coins in $250 sets at face value on your credit card in this program to promote circulation of these coins.
- Amex Gift Cards - nearly as good as cash, but there is a $3.95 purchase fee and a shipping fee when you order. Provides a lot more flexibility to consume the gift card, but it comes at a small cost. Could also help us accelerate earning the bonus miles if we immediately purchased $2500 worth of gift cards which will help increase the odds that we can find flights. Also need to confirm that the purchase will not be treated as a cash advance.
I'd like to book our flights as soon as we can as there are no guarantees we'll be able to find flights that will work for us. We'll likely use a combination of the options above to hit the $5k worth of spend in the next month.
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