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Camp Signup Time = Time for a New Card!

Because the holidays were busy, I ended up charging a considerable amount of money for the kids’ spring activities on an old credit card.

That’s bad. Why? It’s not that I don’t loving getting one Southwest mile per dollar on my current main card. It’s just that, when you’re about to make a major spend, that’s a good time to get a new card account so you can hit the required spend to qualify for the signup bonus.

Now that camp catalogs are arriving in the mailbox (yes, I JUST paid for spring classes), I was determined not to make the same mistake again. Besides, after nearly a year of not paying for airfare and scarcely paying for travel lodging, I am getting low on miles and points. So, I got my husband a nice little card that I already had, the Barclaycard Arrival+ World Elite Mastercard. It’s offering a 50,000-point bonus right now after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The other neat thing about this card is that you redeem the miles as a statement credit for any travel purchase over $100, including Airbnb. Just today, I spent 35,000 miles to have $350 lopped off the Airbnb bill for a pricey ski condo that we’ll be sharing with my parents Presidents Day Weekend.

But remember: If you’re just getting started in the miles game, don’t get this Barclaycard first. Get a Chase card, like Chase Sapphire Preferred (that’s my referral link), which is currently offering 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. The reason is that Chase, unlike other banks, will not give you a card if you have already opened more than five bank cards in the past 24 months. It doesn’t matter what bank the cards are from; they’re on your credit report, and if you have that many, Chase will recognize you as the “churner” you are and bar the door.

So, if you’re just getting started, get the Chase Preferred, and then use a referral link to get one for your spouse, too. Then, apply for four other Chase cards before you get any other bank credit cards. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is amazing if you travel a lot, and like I said, I love the their Southwest card.