Over the summer, I applied for and received a few credit cards: The Starwood Amex (30k signup bonus), the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card (75k signup bonus, after much argument with Amex), the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa (40k bonus), and the Continental OnePass Plus Mastercard (50k bonus). Amongst the cards in my wallet (or drawer), my “Schwab” Visa was the only card I had with a waived forex fee. That card is now dead and I’ve received a less rewarding BankAmericard instead.
As a result, I went in search for forex-free credit cards in this round of applications. The Points Guy has a recent list of these cards.
Amongst the offerings from Amex are the Mercedes-Benz Platinum card (50k bonus, $475 annual fee) and the ordinary, unbranded Platinum card ($450 annual fee) with reports of a 50k bonus application working. Unlike the “bump the bonus” nonsense of the summer, this application is actually advertises a 50k bonus. Ordinarily, the $200 annual airline fee credit the card provides is nearly useless to me: With elite status comes free checked bags, free standby, free same day changes and so on. FlyerTalk has numerous reports of elites using the credit towards buying gift cards on an airline of their choice. Since I expect to spend at least $200 more with American Airlines next year, my effective cost of the card is $250. The remaining perks are the signup bonus and lounge access. Needless to say, I applied and was approved for an Amex Platinum.
Chase has a few intriguing offers. The Hyatt Visa turns into two free nights in suites thanks to having Diamond status with Hyatt. The Priority Club offers one free night in any Intercontinental hotel each year and approximately 1.5 free nights as a signup bonus. Between British Airways gutting its award chart last week and the lack of a 100k offer, the British Airways visa lacks appeal. The Chase Sapphire has a 50k signup offer and provides reasonable earning rates for spending on travel and food (which account for most of my spending outside of my monthly rent check).
When I applied for the Sapphire, I got the dreaded “your application is pending review” message. I called the reconsideration line (888-245-0625) and shifted my credit line from the OnePass Plus card to a new Sapphire card. With OnePass being folded into Mileage Plus, my OnePass Plus card would likely turn into a MileagePlus Explorer card and disqualify me for any future signup bonuses from that card. Nonetheless, I’ve been loathe to give it up as its rental car CDW coverage seems better than my other cards. (When I called, they could enumerate clear terms and limits, but they could tell me whether certain cars were covered, cars that were beyond the limits offered by Amex, for example.)