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My favorite way to score free business class tickets is by earning Chase Ultimate Rewards and United miles. Everybody has been talking about the Chase Ink Bold/Plus cards recently because they get 5X points from office supply stores. People have been buying Vanilla Reload cards on Office Depot and loading them onto a prepaid card called Bluebird. For example, you could buy up to 5K in Vanilla Reload cards and haul 25k points and load them to the Bluebird card. Then, you could transfer all that money out to a checking account or pay bills such as rent with it. This offer is now dead because Office Depot does not sell Vanilla Reload cards anymore, probably because of people abusing this method. I never got into the Bluebird method, but I was doing another variation with AMEX prepaid card on Vanilla reload. Ever since Bluebird came out, Vanilla reloads were nowhere to be found. However,there are still other ways to leverage this deal, which I may talk about in subsequent posts.
I recently applied for the Chase Ink Plus Card and Chase United Mileageplus credit card on the same day. I submitted both applications at the same time with two different browsers so I would only receive one hard inquiry. I checked my credit score on Credit Karma and it only dropped by 2 points. I’ll take it, for 110K in points. I did not receive instant approval, so I had to call the Chase business and personal reconsideration lines.
For the Chase Ink Plus Card, I called the business reconsideration line 800-453-971. I applied for the 50K points offer after spending 5k, which can be found on Chase’s website. I explained to the representative that I sell a few things on eBay and Amazon. I also explained the very little revenue I expect to achieve next year. The whole process took about 5 minutes and I was approved! I was surprised they didn’t mention my other Chase Ink Bold card that I currently have.
For my Chase United Mileageplus credit card, I called the personal reconsideration line 888-245-0625. I applied for the 55k Mileageplus miles after spending $1000 in 3 months through this link found on Flyertalk forums. I was ready to give up one of my 4 Chase cards I currently have to get the new card. However, the representative approved my card without any questions asked after verifying my address! From my experience, I usually have to move credit line from one card to the new card or cancel a card to be approved. Note, that canceling a card to be approved for a new card has very little impact on your credit score. This is because you are technically moving all the old credit line to the new card.
My points haul is as follows:
Chase United MileagePlus card – 55k+1k spend = 56k Miles
Chase Ink Plus Card – 50k+5kspend = 55k or more if making purchases at office stores for 5x
Net: At least 111K
My favorite way to score free business class tickets is redeeming for lie-flat business class seats. 100K United Miles can purchase a free Business class ticket to Europe on Lufthansa’s new 747-8i upper deck from LAX-FRA or 120k miles can purchase a free Business class to Asia on ANA’s new 787 Dreamliner from SJC-NRT or SEA-NRT, both featuring lie-flat seats. I recently booked FRA-LAX on the 747-8i for 50k United miles and $100 in taxes per ticket next Summer!
Now I have to “spend” 6K to get all the miles. Stay tuned to see strategies how to achieve minimum spend quickly without actually purchasing things.