It's a passion from SMB, and today we're going to talk about the cards of the month for October of 2017. It's about how to maximize the value of your credit cards, basically how to get the most cash back and also how to travel for free. Let's get started.
There are quite a few cards this month and also some of the cards from last month are still available, specifically the Southwest one, the JetBlue one, and also the cafe one. We're not going to discuss those ones because we've pretty much discussed them, so we're going to focus on some new cards. Those seven cards were looking at, but it's really going to feel more like four cards, just because for some of them they both have a personal version and the business version, and the cards are pretty much identical.
The first one we're going to dive into is the Amex Delta Gold Card, this offer goes until November 8th of 2017, and again it applies for both the personal card as well as the business card, and year one you do not have an annual fee, and then after that you have a ninety-five dollar annual fee with the gold card as well as the Platinum Card.
One really good strategy that you can take is to basically apply for the one that makes sense for you and then after the first year to downgrade it to the new no annual fee card, that way you get a higher signup bonus and then you can still keep your credit history alive by downgrading it. For the gold card, it works really well since the annual fee is waived in the first year, meaning that you basically don't need to pay an annual fee. If you downgrade it either right before the next annual fee hits or ideally afterward, so even when it hits you typically have about 30 days to downgrade it, and you still get refunded.
I typically recommend people do that rather than beforehand, just because it looks worse if you do it before hands. If you do it afterward it's like the annual fee hit the card doesn't make sense for me anymore, and that's why I'm downgrading it.
MX also has a bunch of different terms and services, that says that if you either cancel the card or downgrade the card before the end of the first year you basically end up potentially losing those points, so they have to write to clawback. Again I'd recommend waiting until the annual fee hitting and then afterward downgrading it if it doesn't make sense. But either the personal card or the business card you get a fifty dollar credit after you make your first Delta purchase, and again this is really easy. You can buy the lowest denomination Delta gift card, and that's what I did this year. You get fifty thousand Delta points after hitting two thousand dollars in minimum spend in the first three months, and then you get an extra ten thousand points after hitting an additional one thousand dollars a minimum spend in the first six months. This means that for the first minimum spend you're getting a thirty percent return on spending and for the second one a twelve percent return on spend.
If you want to look at it together as a total amount then again you're basically getting sixty thousand points for three thousand dollars a minimum spend at a twenty-four percent return on spend. If you're debating between the personal card in the business card it really depends on mainly two factors. The first one is whether you have a side business, so even if you don't have something incorporated in a lot of different states, even if you just have the intention of starting something that would count as a sole proprietorship.
I have a few friends who are helping other people of side projects, and they're either getting paid for it or again they're thinking about starting it and they haven't gotten paid yet, but they've still been able to get business cards because you're operating under themselves. If you do the first name last name consulting or software development or whatever else you're typically fine and don't need any additional license with the MX platinum Delta card.
There are two different versions, both a personal one as well as a business one. Here you do have a hundred ninety-five dollar annual fee and it's not waived in the first year, this increased offer also ends on November 8th of 2017. Something that I didn't really a cover of the first gold cards is that we're valuing Delta points at one point two cents per point, so you can obviously change that valuation if you feel that's either too high or too low.
But again just something to consider that this valuation is up for interpretation, and again if you do want to download this you can modify it yourself. They're basically just formulas jumping back to the platinum cards, you're going to get seventy thousand points for spending four thousand dollars in the first three months at one point two cents per point, you're getting eight hundred and forty dollars in value, meaning that you're getting a twenty-one percent return on spending the Platinum Delta card also has a few other benefits.
I'm probably going to dive into that in a separate post just because for this one I really want to focus on the sign-up bonus part and any other thing you might want to think about in terms of downgrades and not really on the long-term value of the card.
Before jumping into the last three cards I do want to mention that we have referral links on our site and it's going to be the same exact offer, if it isn't then obviously don't go for it, go for the highest offer possible, but it's going to be the same offer that you're going to get. Anyways going through one of these links really helps us out and it gets you the same great offer. In case you were wondering I do have two dealt a gold personal card.
The next card we're going to talk about is the Amex SPG business card, the annual fee is $95, and it's going to be waived in the first year. This current offer is only going until November 1st of 2017, so you do have a bit less time than Adulto cards. If you want to go for this one I would go for it sooner for our calculations.
We're going to be valuing SPG points at 2.7 cents per points for the sign-up bonus, you get 25,000 points after hitting $6,000 in minimum spending the first three months, and you also get an additional 10,000 points after hitting an additional $4,000 in minimum spend in the first six months. For the first part of the minimum spend you're getting eleven point three percent return on spend and for the second part six point eight percent return on spending.
If you look at it together then you're getting nine point five percent return on spend, for a lot of people this card might not make the most sense just because the minimum spend is relatively high, so we did see this historically high offer earlier this year, but the total minimum spend was only eight thousand dollars and not ten thousand dollars. If you have big expenses coming up then I think this might be fine.
Given that it is a historically high offer, but again I think it's relatively aggressive, it just really depends on your ability to hit the minimum spend. If you're someone who has a tax payment coming up or a property tax payments or again maybe you're paying off your mortgage, we're using these credit cards to hit the minimum spend, then I think this is a pretty good opportunity for a lot of other people, it's just very aggressive.
The final two cards were going to talk about are the American Airlines platinum selects card by Citi as well as the Citi business American Airlines Platinum select card, basically the same cards, just one is a personal variation and one is a business variation. Both cards have a $95 annual fee, and it is waived in the first year and there's no set offer expiration date.
I currently value American Airlines points of 1.2 cents per point, for some people this might seem aggressively low, some other people still evaluate at one point four or one point five cents per point, but using the points is getting very difficult since there's not a lot of award Redemption availability, especially for domestic flights.
If we're looking to do international flights and specifically first-class as well as a business class then this is a lot more availability, but I guess it really just depends on what you're looking for and how you want to redeem these points. Both cards have a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points, and at one point two cents per point, that's worth seven hundred and twenty dollars if a three thousand dollar minimum spend that's a twenty-four percent return on spend.
Overall I think it's a fine card in a pretty good sign up bonus, but you really just need to figure out your Redemption strategy. There's a lot of people out there who have maybe half a million or a quarter of a million of American Airlines points that they can't really use, just because the availability for award redemptions for the good ones aren't really there, and again like I mentioned before if you do want to apply for any of these cards we do have referral links on our site.
They're the same offers that you're going to see, otherwise, anyways, so it really helps us out if you go through them. I hope that was helpful.