470,000 points after $48K spend


UPDATE 10/1/2015: Please note that the 30K SPG offers described in this post have expired.

In the post, “319,000 points after $33K spend” I wrote about my wife’s latest round of credit card aplications.  Unbeknownst to her, she applied for 8 cards in total and was approved (at that time) for 5 of them.  For review, here were the 5 that were immediately approved:470,000 points

  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic: 75K bonus after $12K spend (at 1.5 miles per dollar) results in 93K miles
  • Citi ThankYou Premier: 50K after $3K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 53K points
  • CitiBusiness AA: 50K after $3K spend (at 1 mile per dollar) results in 53K miles
  • Amex Business Gold: 75K after $10K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 85K
  • Amex SPG Business 30K after $5K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 35K

And here were the applications that were still under review:

  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic: 75K bonus after $12K spend (2nd application)
  • Bank of America Alaska Business: 25K bonus after first purchase
  • Amex SPG Personal: 30K after $3K spend

I can now happily report that all three of the pending apps have been approved!


I do not recommend signing up for this many cards at once.  Only sign up for cards if you know that you’ll be able to pay off the balances in full each month, and that you can meet the minimum spend requirements.

Virgin Atlantic second application

This one required a call to BOA’s customer acquisition team (phone number found here).  The application had been closed as a duplicate.  After confirming over the phone that a second card was really wanted, the application was reviewed and approved!

Alaska Business

The application for this card never showed up on BOA’s online application status checker (maybe that page doesn’t show business apps?).  Anyway, the approval letter and the new card appeared in our mailbox a week later.

Starwood Personal

This one was held up by my poor counting skills.  Of course I knew that Amex has a strict 4 credit card per person limit (plus any number of charge cards).  The place I failed was in counting my wife’s current credit cards.  It turns out that 1+1+1 = 3.  That’s how many credit cards she had before this round of applications.  Then, she applied for two more (SPG personal and SPG business).  So, Amex approved the business card immediately, but held onto the personal card until they could find out if my wife wanted to give up an existing credit card to get this new one.  She sacrificed her EveryDay card.  Luckily her new Business Gold card will keep her Membership Rewards points alive.


Here are the newly approved cards and the expected rewards from each:

  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic: 75K bonus after $12K spend (at 1.5 miles per dollar) results in 93K miles
  • Bank of America Alaska Business: 25K bonus after first purchase results in 25K miles
  • Amex SPG Personal: 30K after $3K spend (at 1 point per dollar) results in 33K points

Total points/miles from newly approved cards: 151,000

Total spend required from newly approved cards: $15K

Final tally

With the cards that were initially approved, I reported the following totals:

  • Total points/miles: 319,000
  • Total spend required: $33,000

Now, with the above subtotals added in, the final total comes to:

  • Total points/miles: 470,000
  • Total spend required: $48,000

Was this a good haul?

470,000 points & miles is pretty awesome, but $48,000 spend is ridiculously high.  As I explained in the prior post, I can handle this level of spend because I’ve built up my manufactured spend techniques over time.  Those less comfortable with big spend would be better off signing up for fewer cards and by limiting to cards with smaller spend requirements.

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Kevin Hong

Hi, has your wife ever had a SPG personal card before? The reason I ask is I had a AmEx SPG personal card, opened in 2007, closed in 2008. I am wondering if they are still imposing the one sign up bonus per lifetime rule or I have a shot at the card again 7 years later.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Kevin Hong

I just saw your reply to someone else’s question. Looks like once in a lifetime limit is still enforced by AmEx….sigh.

[…] three banks.  After a few phone calls, all 8 cards were approved.  You can read the full details here and here.  Currently, we’re still working on the minimum spend requirements for some of these […]


You inspired me…
Today netted 3 approvals:
Lufthansa 50K
AA 50K
and 2 pending:
BoA Alaska 25K points and
Miles and More/25K points,
for a total of 225000 + spending

We had to dig a little deeper into Star Alliance territory since the low hanging fruit over at Chase is drying up.


Congrat on the successful churn! Questions about the churn:
You wife never got the Amex SPG Personal? Isn’t amex personal once in a life time now.
Is this her first CitiBusiness AA? I heard all active links have the “valid only for first time CitiBusiness” language in the landing page now..

[…] 470,000 points after $48K spend by Frequent Miler. FM is getting closer and closer to his Necker Island trip, can’t wait for the trip report! […]


That’s a horrible spend to points ratio. Having to spend that much is asinine for that paltry amount of points. My summer spend was 30% of that for just shy of 400k points. I need to start a blog..……

Kent C

Another big talker




@Mike — it’s totally worth it if your goal is a free week on Necker Island!


As FM and any MSer will probably tell you, none of this is *really* free.

Carl C

I personally am planning on doing some of the virgin cards to simply gather more hilton points.


With the Amex cash back portals down…. What MS technique is going to provide the majority of your spend?


Have a great trip! We did the same ages ago when our kids were in middle school/high school. Now I want to go back and stay in the lodges. I look forward to reading your trip report about where to stay.


How many VS cards did you already have? Or did you cancel the cards you got earlier this year before applying?

Mike H

Do you find with manufactured spend, outside buy & sell, some card companies are more tolerant than others? Like, would you work BOA all day on gift cards but less so on, say, AMEX?


I have no idea why you went for the virgin atlantic cards. Especially 2???!!!! Not worth it.


Two reasons-
1- He’s trying to rack up points for Necker Island
2- If it were me (and I’m not there yet) I’d transfer them to Hilton with the bonus built in. With two of these, and a no AF Amex, Plus the No AF Citi you could have several hundred thousand HHonors points with a reasonable amount of spend.


Necker Island – Boring