Hilton HHonors and Citi are running a sweepstakes with the prize being a trip to L.A. for the Finale of the 2012 Charitable Golf Series at the Riviera Country Club.
While I’m not a fan of golf, I would love to visit L.A. again (I haven’t been there since I was 11) so I’ll definitely enter this sweepstakes.
- Roundtrip airfare for two to L.A.
- Two night stay at the Beverly Hilton
- Two rounds of golf for you and a guest at The Riviera Country Club
- $500 gift card
The event takes place October 8-10, 2012
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C.
Must be 21 years of age at time of entry
Must be a Hilton HHonors Member to enter
Enter by 11:59 pm ET on September 5, 2012
Enter the sweepstakes HERE.
You can also gain additional entries for each completed night you stay by 9/5/12
**Thanks to Rene from Delta Points for letting me know about this sweepstakes!
In 2011 I earned 775,000 miles from credit card signup bonuses which I wrote about here.
Getting close to that amount of miles in 2012 is not going to be easy and is going to take some creativity.
I wrote about my first credit card that I received in 2012 and my strategy of only applying for cards with bonuses of 50,000 miles/ points or higher. (You can read that post here)
I’ve been waiting for a new card to come out with a huge bonus (let’s say 75,000- 100,000) but nothing has materialized as of yet. I decided recently to rethink my strategy and went ahead and applied for two cards with a sub-50K signup bonus. (more on this below)
Here are the cards that I have applied for in 2012 and the signup bonus that go along with them.
(I’ve only applied for five cards so far and was approved for all of them)
- Chase Southwest Personal Card- 50,000 miles
- Chase Southwest Business Card- 50,000 miles
- Citi AAdvantage Business Visa- 50,000 miles
- Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa- 35,000 miles
- Barclays US Airways Mastercard- 40,000 miles (potential for another 10-20,000)
Once I receive all of these bonuses, I will already be at 225,000 miles earned in 2012.
Not bad at all if you ask me!
Why did I decide to change my strategy?
The days are flying by in 2012 and we are almost into May. If I keep waiting for massive offers to come out, I might be waiting until next year. Nobody knows for sure what new card offers are on the way. By going for cards in the 35,00+ range, I will be replenishing my accounts as I use miles for travel over the course of this year. I was also getting way too antsy waiting for new cards!!!
- I decided to apply for the Alaska Airlines card due to a few factors. I don’t really have any BOA cards. Most of the big offers over the last year have been from Chase and I don’t want to keep applying for their cards and get banned from cashing in on future offers with them. I’d also love to go to Alaska.
- I decided to get the US Airways card for different reasons. One common factor is the lack of cards from Barclays. I recently cancelled my US Air card and wanted another way to add to my Dividend Miles account. By adding 40-50,000 miles, I should have enough for 2 flights to Europe. I also plan to play the US Airways Grand Slam again this year and having this card is an easy hit.
At this point I don’t feel confident that 2012 will bring me as many miles as last year from credit card bonuses. However, if I can get to 500,000 miles I will definitely consider 2012 a very solid and productive year!
I decided to call Citi one more time to try for a retention bonus on my American Airlines business card. The rep was very helpful and gave me two very nice offers:
- 2,500 bonus miles to keep my account open & do nothing
- 10,000 bonus miles if I keep my account open & spend $5,000 in 6 months
Since I don’t have any new cards to reach minimum spends on, I went with choice 2. Spending $5,000 in 6 months is not too hard and well worth 10,000 bonus miles!
Just remember when you want to cancel your Citi AA card-call and ask for a bonus to keep your account open & it’s never too early to ask, this card was opened in June!
I decided to call Citi one last time to ask for a retention bonus to keep my American Airlines Business Card account open. The rep was very helpful and had two offers for me
1- 2,500 miles to keep my account open & do nothing
2- 10,000 miles to keep my account open & spend $5,000 in 6 months
I went with option 2. Spending $5,000 in 6 months will not be hard to do and is well worth 10,000 AA bonus miles!
If you are thinking of closing your Citi AA credit card don’t forget to ask for a bonus to keep the acount open. Take the bonus offer and then close it a couple of months later!
I finally have Lifetime Gold status on American Airlines!!!
I didn’t think that I would get there when changes to the AAdvantage program were announced in August. I did a couple of things to make it happen just in time.
I transferred a bunch of Starwood points to AA miles and then had my wife apply for the Starwood 30,000 point promo over the summer. I then linked my wife’s Starwood account to mine and transferred her miles to my account to turn into AA miles. This got me within around 130,000 miles. I had already received two 75,000 bonuses from Citi AA cards this year & read that Citi AA cards were only churnable every 17 months give or take. I decided to take a chance and apply again and was instantly approved within a few minutes for a Citi AA Visa! I then decided to open a new browser and apply for a Citi AA Amex card. I crossed my fingers and what do ya know, I was approved!
I did not have much time to reach the spend needed to earn each 75,000 bonus before the AA Advantage program changed. The AA Visa has a $1500 spend requirement, the AA Amex $4000. I ended up “charging” $1000 to myself/ my wife on each card for free through Amazon Payments, used an app called Square to charge $3000 to myself (which cost $83) and then actually used the cards to pay some bills.
Hopefully Gold status will be useful when I decide to fly with some of the AA miles I have earned!
I currently have a few Citi AA credit cards active and don’t really have a need for some of them. Before closing a Citi card, I always try to get a retention bonus.
A few months back instead of closing one of my cards I received 3,000 bonus miles and an offer to earn an additional 750 miles for spending $750 or more per month for up to 16 months. Not a bad deal if you ask me!
I have another older card that I’d like to cash in for a retention bonus but have had no luck with my calls after two tries so far. Each time I was placed on hold and the rep could not reach a retention specialist. I was told that I have two options- close the account or call back. I’ve been going with the call back approach and am now hoping that the third time does the trick! I am going to keep trying until I am given a flat out “no” to giving me a bonus to keep my business.
For personal cards you can reach the Citi Retention Line at 800-444-2568.
For business cards just call the # on the back of your card & you will get transferred if you are lucky.