First Impressions

First Impressions: Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card

My second business credit card!

When I applied for my first business card, I only based it on my occasional reselling of items on Amazon or on Ebay.  Luckily, American Express was happy to stroke my ego, agreeing that I had a “business” and I snagged a Starwood Preferred Business Credit Card.

Now, I’m happy to say my side hustle is actually holding its own.

So much so, that I had to increase my spending power.  I not only requested (and was approved) for a credit line increase on my Starwood card, but I took out a new Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card from Bank of America!

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First Impressions: Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard

So, the latest weapons in my arsenal are two new cards from Bank of America.  One personal, one business.  On the personal application, I opted for the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard.

I actually plan on keeping the Amtrak card long-term.  Some of the benefits we’ll discuss below will be great for my long term.

Depending on your local rail scene, this card may not provide much value for you.  Since I live and travel in the Northeast corridor, I’m looking forward to adding more train trips to my itineraries!  There’s something nostalgic about trains to me, and I just took my first trip by train last month!  It wasn’t long, but Amtrak offered an easy way to get from Baltimore Washington Airport into Washington DC’s Union Station.

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First Impressions: American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

Last week, I added a new horse to the stable.

The American Express Platinum, Charles Schwab edition.

I’ll admit, this one was a bit of an impulse.  I’ve been shifting my focus from credit cards to bank bonuses, giving my credit report a bit of time to recover from the inquiries in the last year.  I’ve opened up more than 10 cards since I started travel hacking about 9 months ago.

Hey, go big or go home, right?

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First Impressions: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business

My first business card!

And shipped overnight, no less.  Long story.

At any rate, I’ve very much enjoyed the opportunity to get started on some business credit history, and have access to some of the benefits of a business card.  I do plenty of little “side-gigs,” and with a dedicated business card, I’ll actually be able to keep them on the side.  When mixing business and personal expenses, things can get a bit tricky, so this is a great addition to my wallet.  Not only for the valuable SPG points, but to help differentiate between business and personal expenses.

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First Impressions: American Express Premier Rewards Gold

This one is overdue:  I was approved for the Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express in December 2015.  Oops.

As I said in my last post, I thought these First Impressions posts were getting a little dry. So I’m going to switch up the format a bit.  You’ll still get all the pictures of the card and even the packaging if you want to check that out, but we’ll focus a bit more on how to actually use the card.

If you want to truly travel hack your way across the globe, you have to maximize your earning.  You have to have a few different cards in your wallet.  You have to know which ones to use, where and when to use them.

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First Impressions: Chase Southwest Plus

I took a break from my “First Impressions” posts on my new credit cards, as I thought they were starting to get repetitive.  Apply.  Get card.  Spend $$$.  Get miles.  Travel.

Obviously, credit cards don’t differ heavily from one to the next on the surface.  Sure, there’s a few different networks, different airlines partner with different banks, and then there’s fixed-value card, hotel cards, airline cards.  But they’re all the same shape.  Most are plastic.  All your cards will turn around and bite you if you’re not careful.

While reviewing some of the data on my posts, I realized the First Impressions category was quite a hit  Don’t worry, I use that term very loosely.  By “hit,” I mean that you know, a handful of people clicked on it.  The Southwest Premier vs. Personal post was particularly well-received.

So, this one is for you credit card nerds!

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