Credit Cards Junk Mail

Junk Mail Saturday

Welcome back to Junk Mail Saturday! This is where I will review some of the junk mail (both postal and e-mail) that was received through the week. We call it “junk mail” but many times there are some golden nuggets in there (more often than not, they are targeted to specific individuals) so hopefully this will help you as we look at what the offers are. I have seen some very funny ones and some great ones. Feel free to send me yours to be included as well!

Citibank ThankYou Card Spending Promo

This offer was to my wife who already has the card (I have it as well but did not receive one – this is a “targeted” offer). She actually received two in the same day (with the same promo number on it for the same card). She hasn’t used it since opening it for the initial bonus.

The Offer: If you haven’t used your Citi ThankYou Card in a while, now is the perfect time to start. We’re doing even more to get you the rewards you want. Start earning 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on purchases including dining, entertainment, groceries, shopping, travel and so much more. Earn up to 2,500 additional points, through 03/31/13! Once this offer is activated, after you make your first purchase of $10 or more, you’ll also receive a 1,000 ThankYou Point bonus.

The Fine Print: This offer starts within 4 business days of when you enroll and will end on 03/31/13. Earnings associated with this program will equal 4 bonus ThankYou Points per $1 spent on purchases and may overlap with other special offers in which you are currently enrolled. Bonus points awarded with this offer are subject to a cap of 2,500 additional points, not including the 1,000 point bonus after your first purchase of $10 or more. Eligible purchases exclude balance transfers, cash advances, convenience checks, items returned for credit, fees and interest charges. All purchases must be posted during the promotional period.

The Summary: 1,000 ThankYou points equal $10 of redemption for gift cards, travel, certificates, etc. So, the limit you can earn with this promotion is 3,500 points that would equal $35 of value. To get that, you will need to spend $500 before March 31st (actually, because the purchases must post before then, you probably need to be safe and meet that spend by March 28th). This offer is tied to the cardmember and specific card referenced in the letter and has a invitation number that you need to use when registering for the offer. Many card issuers are running promos like this right now (hotel points, airline miles, etc). I kind of like this one because you can actually get something with the points. For example, last week we looked at a similar Hilton offer. Well, you are not getting any Hilton free night for 2,500 points. With this offer, at least you can get a $25 gift card for the $500 of everyday spend you will most likely do. That is a 5% rebate, basically. If you have this offer, I say sign-up!

The Verdict: Good

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

Junk Mail

This offer came to my sister as a targeted offer. It was 50,000 Membership Reward points after spending $1,000 in 3 months. My affiliate offer (which is currently the highest public offer available) is 25,000 Membership Reward points after spending $2,000 in 3 months. If you are interested in getting this card (which does have great category bonuses and is a strong card) at the public 25,000 point offer, here is a link for it – application (I do receive a commission for this card). You may be targeted for the 50,000 point offer at some point and you cannot get another card if you have had the same card within the last 12 months, so it is up to you as to whether you want to apply for the lesser offer at this time. I do not have the letter, so I will be only putting the highlights below.

The Offer: 50,000 Membership Reward points after spending $1,000 in 3 months. Annual fee is waived.

The Fine Print: This offer is only for targeted individuals. This is a charge card so statement must be paid in full. Annual fee is waived for the first year ($175).

The Summary: This is a great offer. It is a spending threshold that most people can meet and you get 50,000 points. In addition, this is one of the few cards that gives bonus points for grocery store spend (without it being a promo) as well as giving you 3x points on airfare. Be sure to check your mailbox for this one!

The Verdict: Very Good

Bank of America

Junk Mail

Bank of America publicly available 10,000 point offer

The Offer: 15,000 Bonus Points after spending $500 in the first 90 days. These points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, and travel. For travel and such, it comes out to 1 cent per point, so these 15,000 points are worth $150 towards something like travel and can also be used on merchandise and gift cards. Every purchase you make gives 1.5 points per $1 spent, so that means the bonus offer actually totals 15,750 points because of the minimum spend. Plus, you will also receive an automatic 10% customer points bonus on all purchases if you have a qualifying Bank of America account. There is no annual fee for this card, no foreign transaction fees and is issued by Bank of America as a Visa card.

The Fine Print: This is a one-time promotion for new customers and all purchases must post by the 90th day. The rewards from this card may be considered taxable income.

The Summary: I like this offer. This is a targeted offer, but you can apply for the same card with a 10,000 point bonus here if you are interested (I do not receive a commission for this card). There are a couple of good points about this card – 1) It is with Bank of America so it does not take away a valuable application from Chase and American Express (where you may be limited in the amount of cards/applications you have with them) 2) This is a straight $150 towards travel that can be used with no award rules or blackout dates 3)No annual fee 4) No foreign transaction fees 5) A 1.5% bonus everywhere, so it makes for a nice card at locations for which your other cards do not offer a bonus category. All in all, this makes for a nice additional card to your wallet. However, because we have other cards on our horizon, we will not be applying for this card at this time.

The Verdict: Good

Club Carlson Credit Card

Junk Mail

Club Carlson Credit Card – 85000 points

I have covered this card at length before (here) and it is a very strong offer. The offer I got was the same as the public offer so it is one that you can apply for here (I do not receive a commission for this card). The only negative about this card is the fact that it is issued by US Bank who can be very tough on customers who have multiple credit applications on their credit reports (even reconsideration calls can hit brick walls). Other than that, this is an excellent card and one I will be applying for (after some of my multiple applications fall off my report :)).

The Offer: Receive 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase plus 35,000 points after you spend $2,500 on your card in the first 90 days. 40,000 points as a renewal bonus each year. When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive award nights, your last night is free. Enjoy your upgrade to Club Carlson Gold Elite status.

The Fine Print: Neither New Account Bonus is available to applicants who have had this card or another Club Carlson credit card product within the last 12 months. If your account is not open for at least 6 months, Club Carlson and U.S. Bank reserve the right to deduct the New Account Bonus Gold Points from your Club Carlson account.

The Summary: As I mentioned above and before when I wrote about this, I think this is a great card offering. I really regretted not getting the card before my trip to Dubai since the Radisson Blu hotel was right next to the starting line and only cost 40,000 points! Also, with the Bonus Award Night, if I had stayed here for two nights, it would have only cost me the 40,000 points because of the bonus night on award stays of 2 nights or longer. Just make sure that you have not applied for a lot of credit cards recently if you go for this one.

The Verdict: Excellent

Thanks for following along this Saturday! Please feel free to send me your “junk mail” offers and we can go over them and maybe find a gem in there. This week was a particularly good week in my mailbox but who knows how next week will look! Remember, I have only included the biggest headlines of the fine print here, make sure you read the fine print on your offers thoroughly and do not take the summary I have made of them as the final word.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.