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Jerry's List of Credit Cards with $200+ Welcome bonus/Aeroplan & AMEX Churning FAQ

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  • Aug 17th, 2017 8:47 pm
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[OP]
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Sep 19, 2004
19802 posts
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Waterloo

Jerry's List of Credit Cards with $200+ Welcome bonus/Aeroplan & AMEX Churning FAQ

I want to start a Summary of all GOOD Credit Card offers, so nobody has to look too hard :)

Ground Rules
- None of the links are Referral links, so please, don't post any referral links. Some deals are better only via referral links, you can find those links from family/friend/ask a RFD'er/Google
- GCR = www.GCR.ca, their links are blocked by RFD so please Google it. In general, RFD source code = CAqD7. GCR source code = NTrSD
- I'll try to update it monthly, it's work in progress, and I'll try to link to relevant RFD threads if possible
- Let me know any feedbacks or comments

Card-Related Comments
- They're GOOD in my opinion for the WELCOME bonuses (e.g. I should get at least $200+ value), not necessarily good for everyone or daily usage. It also means I will NOT list EVERY card out there (like AMEX SimplyCash or Scotia Momentum)
- You should have decent credit score (700+) and income ($60,000+)
- If you are "churning" the same card (cancel & re-apply), I recommend minimum waiting period of 6 months. I know some do it 3 months, but YMMV. Also, I also suggest holding the card at least 6 months (some say that's when it becomes R1 status in your Credit Report, which looks better than R0, but who knows)

No Fee, or First Year FREE (FYF) = cancel before renewal
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  • AMEX Gold Rewards - 25,000 AMEX MR points after $1500 spending. FYF, $150/year after. $50 GCR Cashback. As of July 2017, this no longer earns ANY referral bonus, nor can it be referred from other AMEX MR cards. I guess best offer is just GCR then

    RFD Discussion
  • You have an annual personal income or a combined spousal/partner income of $20,000 or more. 2X AMEX MR on Gas/Grocery/Travel/Drugstore
  • Earn our American Express Gold Rewards Card of 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in the first three months of Cardmembership5 and an additional 5,000 Membership Rewards points for one approved Supplementary Card added to your account at time of online application6. That’s a total of 30,000 Membership Rewards points that you could earn! Offer subject to change at any time.
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  • AMEX Business Gold - 40,000 AMEX MR points after $5000 spending within 3 months (30,000 points if you do NOT use a referral link). FYF, $250/year after.
    RFD Discussion
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  • Chase Marriott VISA - 50,000 Marriott points after 1st purchase. $120/year, FYF. Get this for No FX Fee transactions (2.5% savings). English 50K link
    RFD Discussion
  • Minimum income $30K (??) and may need "no credit check in the last 90 days"?
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  • TD Aeroplan Infinite VISA - Looks like no good FYF offers now << always check the latest offer as TD updates it all the time, various sites = various offers
    RFD Discussion
  • ... 1.5X Aeroplan on gas, grocery and drugstore. $60,000 annual gross personal income or $100,000 annual household income
  • Expiry ???
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  • Scotiabank GOLD AMEX - 30000 points after $750 purchase in 3 months ($300 value). FYF ($99/year). Best deal is probably email GCR and they'll send you a link with $50 cashback (?) I haven't tried it myself, so plz report back
    RFD Discussion
  • Minimum income - ??
  • Expiry - 10/31, 2017
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  • MBNA Best Western Rewards MasterCard - 60K points after $2000 spending (read the promo page). No Fee. Value of $200~$300 CAD
    apply link
  • Minimum income - ??
  • Expiry - 8/31/2017
    RFD Discussion
    Another easier offer is 40K after 1st purchase. Apply link

Has Annual Fee (You pay it for Points)
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  • AMEX Personal Platinum - $699/year, 60K MR if using a referral link after $3000 spending in 3 months. $200 annual travel credit (increased 3/23/2017)
  • You have an annual personal income of at least $40,000 or more.
    RFD Discussion
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  • AMEX Business Platinum - $399/year, 75K MR if using a referral link after $5000 spending in 3 months
    RFD Discussion
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  • AMEX SPG Credit Card - $30 GCR cashback. 25K SPG points, $120 fee, after $1500 spending. (20K > 25K on 2017/7/18)
    RFD Discussion
  • You have a personal annual income of $15,000 or more
  • Expiry Oct 18, 2017
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  • MBNA Alaska Airlines MC - 25,000 Alaska miles after $1000 spending. $75/year. $60 GCR cashback
  • My guess is World Elite card is $80,000 personal or a household income of $120,000. If you make less and got approved, they'll send the non-WE version
  • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  • Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard - 40000 points after $1000 purchase in 3 months. $150/year.
    RFD Discussion
  • You meet the minimum requirement of either personal income of $70K OR household income of $120K


Good for Travel (In my opinion)
  • AMEX Gold
  • BMO World Elite
  • TD First Class Travel
  • AMEX Platinum - for its lounge benefits

Aeroplan 101
For anyone who needs some help on Aeroplan, please read below links as a start
FAQ: How to Save Money/YQ on Aeroplan Europe/Asia redemptions - FlyerTalk Forums
What Is An Aeroplan Mile REALLY Worth? | HowToSaveMoney.ca

8/12/2015 - added RS's article on CC Churning
Churning Credit Cards: The Pros and Cons - MoneyWise
Last edited by jerryhung on Feb 27th, 2015 3:51 pm, edited 56 times in total.
9612 replies
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Sep 19, 2004
19802 posts
2933 upvotes
Waterloo
AMEX F.A.Q. and Referral Guide
As many have questions on AMEX, I've summarized the negative changes in the last 6 months
7/1/2015 change to T&C where welcome bonuses MAY NOT be given if you re-sign up the card you previously cancelled
For example
1. AMEX Personal Cards (Gold, Plat, SPG) T&C = For current or former American ExpressR Gold Rewards Cardmembers, we may approve your application, but you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus
2. AMEX Business Gold T&C - so far, no such conditions YET

Referral Guide as of today (May 26, 2016).
All referral bonuses are based on the card you referred FROM, not the card applicant applied
  • Personal Platinum >TO> any Amex MR card = 15K referral bonus (25K since 3/23/2016, back to 15K after 6/29/2016)
  • Business Platinum >TO> any Amex MR card = 25K referral bonus (25K since 3/23/2016)
  • Business Gold >TO> any Amex MR card = 10K referral bonus
  • Personal Gold >TO> any Amex MR card = 5K referral bonus (new rule from 1/11, 2016 was 0 referral bonus; 5/19 changed to 5K referral bonus)
    ..
  • When are Welcome/Referral bonus get posted? AMEX MR cards = usually NEXT DAY after approval, others (SPG/Air Miles/Aeroplan) = NEXT statement
  • Cards with BETTER offers ONLY VIA REFERRAL LINKS = Personal Platinum (60K), Business Platinum (75K), and Business Gold (40K)
  • It's easy to calculate yourself how to maximize self-referrals
Image
Other Notes
  1. There are NO CROSS-Card-Type referrals between different types, such as AMEX MR, Aeroplan, Air Miles, SPG, SimplyCash - so you're best to apply via GCR or via a referral link to maximize return
  2. AMEX Cards are CHARGE cards unless stated otherwise. CHARGE = AMEX MR cards, Aeroplan* cards / CREDIT = SPG, Air Miles, SimplyCash
  3. One can have max. of 2 AMEX CREDIT cards plus 5+ AMEX CHARGE cards
  4. Premium cards (like Platinum*) arrive in 3-5 business days or faster; others take 7-10 business days
  5. When will you see the points/miles posted AFTER crossing the minimum spending threshold? For AMEX MR cards, it ranges from NEXT DAY to 8-10 weeks officially. For other cards (SPG/Air Miles/Aeroplan), it'll come on the NEXT monthly statement
  6. When will you see the points/miles posted AFTER REFERRAL (i.e. your applicant got approved)? For AMEX MR cards, it ranges from NEXT DAY to 8-10 weeks officially. For other cards (SPG/Air Miles/Aeroplan), it'll come on the NEXT monthly statement


How To Reach $500-$5000 minimum spending?
- GIFT CARDS: Gas/Grocery/Pharmacy/Electronic/Amazon
- Pre-pay your bills (Phone/Internet/Utilities/whatever)
- Insurance bills (home & auto) <- this is a big one usually
- Worst case, use Plastiq.ca to pay things you couldn't pay with AMEX (like property tax, CRA, etc...) for about 2% fee
- or PayPal yourself/friends (2.5% fee?)

How To Refer to a DIFFERENT card?
- Referrer: go to "Rewards > Refer a Friend" page, login, and copy the link or send to yourself
- Applicant: Go to the link in new window
- Applicant: change card to THE CARD YOU WANT at the bottom where it says "Not the right Card for you? Take a look at our other Cards..."
- Note: you can still only earn referral bonus WITHIN the same card type. AMEX MR -> AMEX MR, SPG -> SPG, and so on. No referral bonus for cross-card-type, like AMEX MR -> SPG


AMEX Referral Footnotes T&C (from Platinum card)

Code: Select all

Your account must be in good standing. If this is a personal referral, you agree to only make recommendations to known friends and family members with whom you have a relationship and who have confirmed to you that they want to receive this communication. If this is a referral in the context of your business, you agree to only make recommendations to business contacts who you know and who have consented to receive this recommendation from you. You must not send recommendations to people you do not know. You can only receive a [B]maximum referral bonus of 225,000 Membership Rewards points per calendar year for approved referrals[/B]. Bonus point maximums may change at any time and if you change card products. Should the referral bonus amount change during the calendar year, you may receive a partial bonus depending on the available maximum bonus points. You are not eligible to receive this referral bonus offer if you have already reached your maximum annual referral bonus limit. The referral bonus will be awarded to you based on each eligible referral for which American Express receives an application that is subsequently approved, subject to all applicable terms and conditions. Due to the confidential nature of the approval process, you will not be notified when applications are approved or declined and any individual you have referred must agree to allow your account to be bonused upon approval or you will not receive the referral bonus. If our records indicate that any person you have referred has opted not to receive e-mails from us, your referral will not be sent and you will not receive the referral bonus offered as part of this program. Referral program varies by product and may be modified, suspended, cancelled or otherwise terminated without notice. Cannot be combined with any other offer. If the people that you refer have already applied for the product that you are referring without participating in this program, neither you nor they will be eligible for any referral bonus that may be offered as part of this program. Likewise, if the people you refer decide to apply for a Card through this referral program other than the one you have specifically recommended, the referral bonus for which you and they may be eligible will vary. Referral program participants should allow 8 to 10 weeks for the award of the referral bonus once program criteria have been met and must be enrolled in the corresponding loyalty program (if applicable) when the referral bonus is awarded. All products and services are subject to applicable Terms and Conditions. 

I used Equifax.ca to check my credit score. I signed up when Home Depot was giving out 1-year plan codes. You can sign up for their 30-day trial

As of 2017, you can get FREE credit score from these sites (monthly or every 3 months?)
Equifax - https://www.ratehub.ca/free-credit-score
TransUnion - www.creditkarma.ca

Cards I Own
I own these cards already
  • CapitalOne Aspire World Travel MC
  • TD First Class Travel Infinite
  • Chase Amazon.ca VISA

========================================
My Card History with Monthly Updates
========================================


Jan-Feb 2015
I applied these cards, and my credit score did not change much, range from 710~730 (I closed 2 cards also: MBNA and TD Aeroplan)
  • Chase Marriott - got my 50K points
  • AMEX Air Miles - got the 2000 Air Miles
  • AMEX Business Gold - working on spending $5000
  • TD Aeroplan Infinite - spent $1000, waiting for 15K+10K Aeroplan miles, and $50 GCR cashback
  • Canadian Tire Options MC - only got it to pay bills.
    RFD Discussion
March-April 2015
I applied these cards, and my credit score did not change much, range from 710~730
  • AMEX SPG - 20K, $120 fee, $50 cashback from friend for using her referral
  • MBNA Platinum - 0% BT for 12 months, hopefully $50 RFD cashback later

May 2015
Score @ 730
  • CIBC Aerogold for Business. 20K Aeroplan after 1st purchase
  • CIBC Aventura Infinite. 15K Aventura after 1st purchase. FYF from YYZ branch only
  • MBNA 0% with $50 RFD cashback arrived
June 2015
Score @ 726 after 2 CIBC cards hit

July 2015: 715~711
  • AMEX changed the T&C on July 1st - no welcome bonus to previous cardholder - ending the churning possibility in future
  • Family applied 3 AMEX Gold after July 1st (3 different persons) - got 25K on all 3 cards eventually (2 were instantly after $500, one took a month)
  • CapitalOne IHG before it goes away - approved
Aug 2015: 705~710 score
  • Applied BMO Cashback WE as part of BMO.com/425 promo
  • Got Scotia Gold AMEX as part of pre-approval
  • Canceling my AMEX Platinum as renewal $699 got charged, only got $499 back as they deducted my 2nd $200 credit used (note: cancel BEFORE $699 renewal fee hits)
Sep/Oct 2015: 697~699 score
No new CC applied, ready to close some, and let my score go back to 710~730 range hopefully
Canceled and re-applied CIBC Business Aerogold (approved) :)

Nov 2015: Score 700
Got CIBC 25K bonus :)
re-Applied for MBNA Alaska, pending -> approved. No GCR rebate yet

Dec 2015: Score 702
Waiting for GCR's $60 cashback for MBNA Alaska card >> received

========================================2016========================================

Jan/Feb 2016: Score 714
Re-applied AMEX Platinum and crossed $1K, but only saw 10K bonus, waiting for the other 50K ...

March-April 2016: Score 709~707, 704, 700, then 713
Applied NBC World Elite, spent $2K, got 23K points, used 22K points as credit
Saw another 50K AMEX MR posted on my AMEX Platinum
Self-refer Personal SPG -> Business SPG. Referral manually posted, Welcome bonus received
Opened CIBC Smart Checking for $300 promo, got CIBC Aerogold 15K FYF in-branch
Paid off MBNA 0%, re-applied again via RSM $100 GC

May 2016: Score 707
Applied TD Aeroplan via RFD, approved, $70 cashback pending

June 2016: Score 721
Consolidated MBNA credit limit, did 0% balance transfer (1% fee) for 12 months
Opened Meridian account online for $100 bonus
TD Aeroplan - got 15K points, $120 fee credit

July 2016 Score 694 (ouch)
Self-referred Plat > Biz Gold in anticipation of cancelling my AMEX Gold card
Filed $90 airport parking claim with NBC WE card, let's see how fast it comes (officially 6-8 weeks)
Cancelled Cap1 IHG, CIBC Biz Gold, Scotia AMEX Gold soon
Got 1 of 2 AMEX 75K welcome points on AMEX Plat (on 7/26, surprise)

Aug 2016
Re-applied MBNA Alaska (after 2 months), no instant decision, but called automated phone line and found it approved. Got $60 GCR cashback (pending), Received today & activated
Re-applied Chase Marriott 50K offer 6 months after last cancellation, got declined (didn't say why)

Sep 2016
Equifax free 1-year is due, final score 711
AMEX Plat - Got 50K welcome bonus manually credited instead of 75K, asked and AMEX said it'll show up (still hasn't). Called on 9/15, 9/16 extra 25K showed up. Conclusion = call instead of secure message
applied & approved AMEX Air Miles - 2000 AM after $500, FYF
AMEX manually credited me my missing 10K SPG referral bonus (since mid-July, after 10 weeks/3 statements), let's see if it shows on Oct statement
Cancelled my Scotia AMEX Gold renewal $99 fee

Oct 2016
Credit score - 713 (still free, nice)

Nov-Dec 2016
Credit score - between 713 and 730 from TU/EQ (Credit Karma/RateHub now offer free credit score)
Applied Tangerine CC via RSM $100 GC offer, got it
Pre-approved for Scotia GOLD Amex (20K, FYF), applied via RSM ($75 GC) too and seemed approved -- let's see if I get double :)
Closed TD Aeroplan Infinite, CIBC Personal Gold, MBNA Alaska

========================================2017========================================

wow, soon to be 2017, 2 years of my CC history
Jan 2017
Applied AMEX Biz Plat (arrived next day), referred family to AMEX SPG cards before $500 changed to $1500 spending (got the 2x10K referral bonus)
Used Plastiq to help meet the $5K spending and two $500 spendings by paying property taxes. Current promo is 2% till 2/28
Cancelled AMEX Plat last minute, no surprises :)
I have SPG Biz. Referred 2 SPG Personal before the $500 -> $1500 minimum spending change. Spent $500 on both (Plastiq 2.5% sadly).
Results: 2 x 10K referral + 2 x 20K welcome bonus (took a week for both to arrive) = 60K SPG with out of pocket 2x$120 ($240) fees. All linked to my SPG account too ;) no SPG internal transfer needed

RateHub (EQ) - 713; Credit Karma (TU) - 720 score > 718

Feb 2017
Re-applied Chase Marriott - no decision, probably a decline. Frustrating!
jerryhung wrote:
Feb 24th, 2017 2:21 pm
Data point
2/14 Referred Biz Plat #2 (He already has Personal Plat, SPG), applied WITHOUT providing any AMEX card #
2/15 called in to answer 4 ID Q's, approved ^maybe b/c didn't provide AMEX CC # above?
2/16 I saw 25K referral bonus
a long week later
2/24 received via FedEx overnight (they only shipped out 2/23), activated online, BRAND NEW AMEX MR account 0 balance
March 2017
2/28 Got the delayed Personal Plat referral points (2x15K)
3/1 Got the delayed Biz Plat 75K Welcome bonus ($5K spent met in mid-Jan)
3/4 Applied TD Aeroplan Infinite before new change. I think it was 15K+FYF offer+$50 GCR cashback
3/20 re-applied AMEX Platinum before jump to $3000 spending. APPROVED

RateHub (EQ) - 713; Credit Karma (TU) - 718

April 2017
AMEX Platinum: Got 60K welcome bonus right after $1000 threshold (new AMEX MR account). $200 credit used also
AMEX Biz Plat: Got 75K right after $5K spending. New AMEX MR account

RateHub (EQ) - 713; Credit Karma (TU) - 699 (ouch)

May 2017
Wife got the TD Aeroplan via GreedyRates - 15K+10K after 90 days, FYF
Got 20K points from Scotia Gold. May cancel and hopefully re-apply by 7/31 for new $75 GC + 30K FYF offer
$100 GCR cashback for Scotia Momentum® VISA* Infinite Card (FYF)

June 2017
RateHub (EQ) - 713; Credit Karma (TU) - 729
Wife got the Biz Plat, I got the 15K referral
She referred me to AMEX Gold, approved, spent $1500 and got 25K
Wife got her TD Aeroplan 15K miles and $120 credit on 2nd statement. Got 10K on 4th statement

July 2017
RateHub (EQ) - 713; Credit Karma (TU) - 699
Applied MBNA Best Western card 40K offer after 1st purchase. Approved, used, waiting on 40K now
Wife Biz Plat crossed $5K and got 75K as expected

Aug 2017
RateHub (EQ) - 713; Credit Karma (TU) - 699 (same as July, wow)
Quiet month? may re-apply AMEX Personal SPG 25K/$120
Last edited by jerryhung on Feb 27th, 2015 3:53 pm, edited 32 times in total.
Sr. Member
Apr 2, 2010
947 posts
320 upvotes
GTA
No fee
Amex CashBack - 5% on restaurant, grocery, gas for 6 months (limits apply), 1.25% for other things. After 6 months 1.25% on everything. GCR rebate available.
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2014
1121 posts
292 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Scotiabank doesn't sync with mint.com for me, so keep that in mind if you're a minter.
Deal Addict
Jun 29, 2007
3571 posts
733 upvotes
Great idea and summary. Thanks!
Newbie
Feb 9, 2014
49 posts
6 upvotes
Montreal, QC
Amex business gold is only 30000mr if not using a referal.
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Sep 19, 2004
19802 posts
2933 upvotes
Waterloo
tsimpson76 wrote:
Feb 27th, 2015 6:48 pm
MBNA Alaska Air is a good one
True that, although $60-$75 GCR cashback would be even better, I'll update the post
westaust wrote:
Feb 27th, 2015 10:42 pm
Amex business gold is only 30000mr if not using a referal.
Yep, thanks, OP updated
Which Credit Cards to sign up? >> Jerry's List of Credit Cards with $200+ Welcome bonus/Aeroplan & AMEX Churning FAQ
AMEX Personal 60K || Business Platinum 75K || Biz Gold 40K || SPG 20K
Sr. Member
Aug 31, 2010
517 posts
54 upvotes
Good summary! I want to apply TD Aeroplan Infinite VISA , but I didn't use my Aeroplan account for a long long time, and it indicated expired. Could I still use it when applying for this VISA card? Thanks!
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Sep 19, 2004
19802 posts
2933 upvotes
Waterloo
qianquan wrote:
Feb 28th, 2015 4:34 pm
Good summary! I want to apply TD Aeroplan Infinite VISA , but I didn't use my Aeroplan account for a long long time, and it indicated expired. Could I still use it when applying for this VISA card? Thanks!
Yes you could/should (otherwise TD will create one for you)
Remember to not let it become INACTIVE this time (ie. do some activity once in 12 months) :)
Which Credit Cards to sign up? >> Jerry's List of Credit Cards with $200+ Welcome bonus/Aeroplan & AMEX Churning FAQ
AMEX Personal 60K || Business Platinum 75K || Biz Gold 40K || SPG 20K
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
3657 posts
475 upvotes
Richmond
the td offer for the sony card got reduced from 100 to 20 now. :(

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