Sometimes you come to a point in life where you just have to do what is right within the realm of the travel world. Airline and reward programs play a vital role in our families development and allow us to travel to places we may not be able to afford without. As an example, there is no way we could have swung 2.5 weeks in Hawaii last year, if it was not for the free flights and hotels we earned from using credit cards.
We are a normal, middle class family. Both Mrs. InACents and myself have full-time careers. Plus we manage two rambunctious boys (ages 3 and 2), with a third child due in a couple of months. All this means that traveling as a family will inevitably get more and more expensive. We were fortunate that when we traveled to Hawaii last year, we only needed three (3) seats, with Lan-Shark (1 at the time) getting to be a lap child. However, there is only limited time before Lan-Shark, and the new baby will require seats.
How we are able to travel so much is by making sure our credit scores are as high as possible. This means paying your bills off on time each month. Responsible credit management means checking your credit reports to make sure they are accurate. Then by utilizing our positive credit scores, we are able to open a handful of new credit cards each year, awarding us piles of miles and points that can be used to offset our travel costs. Pair our credit with some great promotions that may come along during the year, and you can travel for near free throughout the year with very little work outside of what you do already.
In May 2012 I elected to open my first US Airways Premier World MasterCard because of the 40,000 miles offered after first purchase, the 10,000 mile bonus each year, and the possibility to use the card towards my advantage for the US Airways Grand Slam promotion, which I surprisingly discovered would never happened in 2012. Then, the kicker was reading the obituary the other day on the official death of the Grand Slam. I balled my eyes out.
Perhaps the great aspect of the US Airways Premier World MasterCard is the ability to open the card again, earning the bonus repeatedly. Other card issuers are not so gracious. Chase will not let you get the bonus for a card you already received. American Express will at least let you get the bonus typically once per year to 18 months, as stated in the terms of the particular card. Citi tends to also use an 18-month rule. However, Barclays will allow you to earn the bonus on the US Airways Premier World MasterCard as soon as 90 days later. What is even better is the bonus is awarded after first use, so no having to put hundreds or thousands of dollars is a huge savings.
That is why last weekend I went ahead and applied for a second US Airways Dividend card. As we announced two weeks ago, quite a bit evolved with the US Airways and American Airlines merger news. Then almost immediately, the partnered credit cards offered by Barclays, who manages the US Airways credit card program, started to go haywire. You can read our article More Modifications for US Airways Premier World MasterCard®, which highlights the latest offers and changes.
I went ahead and applied through one of the offers we listed on the above page, which offered 35,000 bonus miles; 1st year annual fee waived; and 10,000 bonus miles each year. There was no point in applying through one of the higher bonus offers we listed because they came with an annual fee that was not waived the first year.
I opened the new card, granting me another whopping $14,000 credit line, without closing my old US Airways Premier World MasterCard®. So I will effectively have two versions of the same card, and will have no problem earning 35,000 additional Dividend miles, after buying what amounts to a perfectly chilled Coca-Cola. Beautiful!
Now that I have two (2) of the US Airways Premier World MasterCard® and my wife has one,, we will be well on our way towards having enough miles for a future vacation. I only wish there was a way to open these cards in my kids names, to also start building balances for them.
In my opinion, Barclays, who happens to be one of the small guys in the reward program card space, deserve to sit in the kings chair. It is time to kick Chase out as the card issuer with the mostest, as they limit the amount of times you can get a bonus on a card, and treat their affiliates poorly (yes I am still bitter). Barclays at least wants your business, so much so that they are willing to let you play in the game over and over again. Long live Barclays!
While I have a financial relationship with Barclays, none of the links in this post are my affiliate offers, as they are not necessarily the best ones. Again, it is recommedend to read our article More Modifications for US Airways Premier World MasterCard®, which highlights the latest offers and changes to help you make the best decision on which version of the card is best for you and your family.
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