How we got 100,000 miles, a year of lounge access, $440 cashback and two nights anywhere in the world for only $250! 9


It’s been over 91 days since The Villain’s last churn, so first thing Tuesday morning I decided to do a new churn for him. In less than half an hour of my time, and a few minutes of his on the phone with Citi, he ended up getting approvals on all three cards! Below are the three cards I signed him up for, which I believe to be three of the best offers out there right now!

Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard

  • 100,000 American Airlines miles after you make $10,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn up to $200 in statement credits
  • Admirals Club Membership Privileges (up to a $500 value)
  • Earn up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles per year
  • No foreign purchase fees
  • First checked bag free
  • Enhanced airport experience, including dedicated check in and priority screening and boarding

The annual fee on this card is $450 a year, which is by far the steepest we’ve ever paid. Because we will get $200 in statement credits, we’re viewing the actual cost of the annual fee as $250. $10,000 seems like a high minimum spending requirement, but we can easily do it in 2 months using Amazon Payments.  There is an Admirals lounge at our home airport, DIA, so we will use the lounge access benefit quite a bit! 100,000 miles are worth, at a minimum, $1,000 if you value them at 1 cent per miles. Typically we are able to get redemptions for much better value than that though.

Caleb did have to call Citi for his approval to go through, but he said it was a fairly quick and painless process.

Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on all purchases

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers
  • Annual fee waived the first year

I was actually declined for this card myself about six months ago, so unless your credit score is over 740, I’d use caution when applying. I was happy he was approved though because not only it is an easy $440 cash back in our pockets ($400 off + 10% back), but it’s a good card for everyday spend, since it earns 2x miles on ALL purchases.

Chase Hyatt Visa Signature 

  • Receive 2 fee nights after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months with the Hyatt credit card (for first time Hyatt credit card members)
  • 3 points for every $1 spent at all Hyatt properties with your Hyatt Credit Card.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.
  • 1 point for every $1 spent anywhere else you use your card
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Upgrade to Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum membership: maintain status for as long as you are a cardmember
  • Free night at any Category 1-4 property every year on your cardmember anniversary
  • Annual fee waived the first year

We I hope to be able to use his two free Hyatt nights at one of the two new all-inclusive Hyatts in Mexico. Food and booze being included in the free nights is too good of a deal for me to pass up! Because of the annual free night bonus, this is likely a card we will keep open. The Villain stays almost exclusively in Hyatts for his work travel, so the free internet offered with Hyatt Platinum status will also be nice.

The Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico

The Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico

I was on a definite points high after getting all three approvals! I think The Villain was even on a bit of a points high himself as the Citi Executive card is his first “high roller” card approval. This churn is the perfect example of how a good credit score and a little research and organization can save you thousands of dollars on travel expenses! 100,000 AAdvantage miles (actually 110,000 after hitting spend), is more than enough for a business class roundtrip ticket to Europe, or four domestic roundtrips. The Hyatt nights can be used at ANY Hyatt, even the extremely nice Park Hyatts in Paris, Kauai and Tokyo, many of which have rates for over $600 a night.

We are so thankful that miles and points allow us to travel the world for (almost) free! The points we earned off this credit card churn will allow us to have travel experiences we would never be able to afford otherwise! The perks and benefits such as elite access, lounge access, and priority screening and boarding that come with these new cards will make our travel much smoother, and let’s be honest, make us feel pretty cool too.


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9 thoughts on “How we got 100,000 miles, a year of lounge access, $440 cashback and two nights anywhere in the world for only $250!

  • Allison

    HI Beth! So how many credit cards do you actually have in your name currently open? I’m thinking of opening another one after I hit my minimum spend on my Chase Sapphire card. Chase Sapphire is good for points transfers to United, so do you recommend I go for another card that partners with United, or is there a good general card that will transfer to any airline? Thanks!

  • Allison

    Hi Beth! I’m wanting to open another card after I hit my minimum spend with my Chase Sapphire Preferred. I know those points will transfer best to United (want to use these points to go to Africa). Do you recommend I open another card that transfers with United (like the actual United Airlines Card), or is there a good general points card that will let me transfer to any airline?

    I just love the blog!!

  • Heather

    My favorite is American Express Membership Rewards. I hoard them and the paybacks are awesome. I prefer not to have so many open credit cards, but that’s just a personal choice. I can use Amex for so many hotel chains/airlines, so it’s great. I also rack up the points and miles through all of my business travel – so most of my personal travel is next to nothing. Of note is a ten day trip for just over $300 (during the holidays last year) and the weekend I just booked for my husband’s daughter’s graduation ($24.86). Such an important message to spread that these programs do work if used responsibly – and if people would just sign up for them! – Heather, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife

    • btegtmeier

      Heather,
      A 10 day trip with airfare, hotel and rental car for $300-wow! Definitely agree that if used responsibly points and miles can allow people to travel for a fraction of the cost! I also travel quite a bit for business and it’s so nice to have most of our personal travel covered thanks to the points I earn while flying and staying in hotels for work trips. I don’t have any cards that earn Membership Rewards yet, but it’s definitely on my list for a future churn! Thanks for reading.
      Bethany