Tag Archives: Amtrak

My Upcoming App-O-Rama Credit Card Strategy – I need your Feedback!

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great Father’s Day weekend.  It’s been about 3 months since my last (mini) App-O-Rama.  I successfully got a Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card and my second Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card back in mid March.  The sign up bonuses have both posted, so now it’s time to think about my next credit cards.  I received the following targeted offer for the US Bank Korean Air Skypass Visa Signature Credit Card that comes with 40,000 Korean Air Miles after spending $2,500 in 3 months ($80 annual fee).  What other credit cards am I considering?  Scroll down to find out.

I never considered signing up for the US Bank Korean Air Skypass Visa Signature Credit Card before now, but here are the card benefits.  I asked on Twitter if this was a newsworthy credit card offer and several people said it was the highest sign up bonus they have seen for this credit card.

Targted US Bank Korean Air Offer 3

The currently available public offer is 15,000 Korean Air Miles after your first purchase, so 40,000 Korean Air Miles is a much larger sign up bonus.  I’m not sure if the Korean Air award chart has had any/many devaluations in the last few years, but this Travel is Free post from 2014 has several great uses for Korean Air Miles.

Standard US Bank Korean Air Credit Card Offer


The next credit card I am considering is the Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard that comes with 20,000 Amtrak Points after spending $1,000 in 3 months ($79 annual fee).  I went on 2 great Amtrak sleeper bedroom trips (Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles and California Zephyr from Denver to San Francisco) but I haven’t touched the new Amtrak Guest Rewards (AGR) 2.0 program.  Since each Amtrak Point is worth 2.9 cents per point (CPP), the sign up bonus is worth $580 in Amtrak travel.  I have my eye on the Empire Builder route from Seattle to Chicago (or vice versa).

Bank of America Amtrak Rewards Landing Page

If I get instantly approved for the above credit card, I might go for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card.  I have 150,000+ Alaska Airlines Miles, so I am not in a big hurry to earn more, but if given the chance to earn 30,000 Alaska Airlines Miles, I will not turn down the opportunity.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Landing Page


Since I have practically every Citi credit card available, my options are limited.  I have had my eye on the Citi AT&T Access More MasterCard that comes with a $650 cell phone credit after spending $2,000 in 3 months ($95 annual fee).  I currently have the iPhone 6S, but I know the iPhone 7 is coming out soon.  Can I wait a few months to purchase the iPhone 7 after the initial 3 month sign up period ends or do I need to purchase the new phone during the first 3 month period?  I don’t do much manufactured spend (MS) anymore, but the 3x online shopping might come in handy from time to time.

Update: thanks to Emery for the Flyertalk link. regarding the Citi AT&T Access More MasterCard.  14. Does the phone purchase offer expire?

The minimum spending requirement expires in 3 months. The phone purchase requirement is indefinite. It says “now or later”.

“You may redeem the Phone Offer using the link at any time after your Card account opening.”

“Offer is valid for a one time statement credit up to $650 for one eligible phone, is not transferrable and so long as your card account is open and current,does not expire.”

Citi ATT Access More Landing Page


I was recently approved for a Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card in mid March, but I am eyeing the Chase Southwest Airlines Premier Business Credit Card that comes with 50,000 Southwest Airlines Miles/Points after spending $2,000 in 3 months ($99 annual fee).  Since Southwest Airlines Miles/Points are worth roughly 1.4 CPP, this sign up bonus is worth $700 in Southwest Airlines travel.  Does anyone know if this Chase business credit card is affected by the Chase 5/24 rule?

Chase Southwest Airlines Premier Business Landing Page


A few months ago, I did a status match to Virgin America gold elite status and have a few upcoming flights on Virgin America.  I like their 2 credit cards issued by Comenity Bank, but I need to decide which credit card is better.  For the record, each Virgin America Mile is worth 2.2 CPP.  Here are the 2 credit card options:

  • Comenity Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card comes with 10,000 Virgin America Miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months ($49 annual fee) (10,000 Virgin America Miles = $220)
  • Comenity Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Credit Card comes with 15,000 Virgin America Miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months ($149 annual fee) (15,000 Virgin America Miles = $330)

Both credit cards provide a $150 discount off a companion ticket every year and earn 3x on Virgin America flights.  I don’t really care about elite status, so the status points do not mean anything to me.  The one big perk of the premium credit card is the ability to cancel or change flights for free (you just pay the difference in airfare or have the canceled flights credit your Virgin America travel bank for future flights).  Since the premium credit card has a 5,000 mile higher sign up bonus (worth $110) plus the ability to change or cancel flights for free makes the premium credit card worthy of the $100 higher annual fee.

Last but not least, I am considering apply for the Barclays Arrival+ World Elite MasterCard.  Why?  I am 0/6 on Barclays credit card approvals, so I want to see if that streak can be broken.  I need to spend $3,000 in 3 months to get the 40,000 Barclays Arrival points sign up bonus, which is worth $400 in travel (no annual fee the first year).   Is this currently the best Barclays credit card to apply for?

Barclays Arrival Plus Landing Page

I left out American Express since I am currently waiting for a good offer on the American Express Platinum Business Charge Card.  I currently have the personal platinum charge card, but I have never had the business charge card.  Is there any other increased sign up bonus I am missing?  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

P.S. If you are interested in applying for any of the credit cards mentioned in this post, please check out my credit card affiliate links.  Thank you for your support and good luck with your application!

My Recent Credit Card Applications: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve & Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards

Good morning everyone, happy TGIF (Thank Grant it’s Friday).  I want to share my recent experience applying for 3 credit cards on March 11, 2016.  Here are the 3 credit cards I applied for, along with their bonuses as of 3/11/2016:

  • Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card – 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points after spending $5,000 in 3 months.
  • Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card – 2 free weekend night certificates after spending $2,500 in 4 months.
  • Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Credit Card – 20,000 Amtrak Points after spending $1,000 in 3 months.

I applied for all three credit cards at the same time and got 2 pending decisions (Chase and Citi) and a denial (Bank of America).

Chase Ink Plus Pending Status Citi Hilton Reserve Pending Status BofA Amtrak Denial Status

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California Zephyr Part 3: Amtrak Lounge Car, Snack Bar & Stunning Views

Good morning everyone, here is the last part of my California Zephyr Amtrak trip.  I will put together a summary post with links to all previous parts in a few minutes.  In this post, I will show you pictures of the lounge car, the snack bar, and some stunning views of Mother Nature from the train.

The lounge car is the place to be.  If you enjoy staring out the window at the beauty of nature, then you will definitely want to get to the lounge car early to secure a table.  The tables comfortable seat 4 adults, but I saw a few tables with a few more people squished together.  The tables are open to all passengers on the train, including coach, roomette, and bedroom passengers.  Like I said, get there early before all the tables fill up.

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California Zephyr Part 2: Amtrak Menu, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great Presidents’ Day Weekend.  I just got back from my Amtrak trip from Denver to Emeryville (near Oakland/San Francisco) and will share my experience.  First up, I will cover the meals offered on the California Zephyr.  If you are traveling in a Superliner Roomette, Superliner Bedroom, or Family Bedroom, all of your meals are included with your ticket.  There were 2 dining cars on the California Zephyr with 8-10 tables per car.  Each table can fit 4 people.

Amtrak Menu

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California Zephyr Part 1: Planning an Amtrak Trip from Denver to Emeryville (San Francisco)

Good morning everyone.  A few months ago, I wrote about my experience taking the Coast Starlight Amtrak from Seattle down to Los Angeles.  I am very excited for my next (and probably last) “premium” long-distance train ride from Denver to Emeryville (near Oakland and San Francisco) on the California Zephyr Amtrak.  I have a few friends in Denver/Boulder that wanted to experience a “premium” Amtrak experience before the January 24, 2016, Amtrak devaluation, so we planned to go on Presidents’ Day Weekend / Valentine’s Day / NBA All-Star Weekend (shout out to the BBVA NBA Credit Card).

Long before the Amtrak devaluation, Chase lost Amtrak as a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Reward Points on December 7, 2015.  Since I was 99% sure I was going to use the Amtrak Points before the Amtrak devaluation, I transferred 25,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Amtrak Points.  With 25,000 Amtrak Points, you can get a Superliner Bedroom for 1 zone on any long-distance Amtrak route.  Denver is right on the border of zone 1 and zone 2, so you can go in a Superliner Bedroom from Denver to anywhere in the Western Zone or anywhere in the Central Zone for 25,000 Amtrak Points.  Since my friends are in Denver and I live in San Francisco (easy access to Emeryville), we looked at routes between those cities.  After coordinating schedules and checking availability on the Amtrak website, we decided to go from Denver to Emeryville during Presidents’ Day Weekend (only Presidents’ Day on Monday was blacked out, but the weekend was fine).

Amtrak Zone Map

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