The 2022 Winter Olympics are starting in a week and a half, which means Olympics related deals and product tie-ins will start zooming across our TCAS for the next month. The first one showed up yesterday:

US Bank has a sign up bonus between $825 and $900 after spending $7,500 in four months on the Business Leverage Visa card, and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year too. (The bonus depends on on how many gold medals the US Olympic team wins, but not to the same extent as it has in years prior.) How to play this:

  • Freeze your SageStream and ARS credit reports before applying
  • Lower the credit limit on existing US Bank cards and wait one business day after doing so before applying
  • Apply for multiple cards on the same day, hard pulls are combined
  • Pending applications are likely to be approved, keep going if you’re not explicitly denied
  • Park at least $1,500 in a US Bank personal checking account for better approval odds, and this is almost a must-do if you don’t have a physical US Bank branch in your city
  • Set a reminder in your phone to cancel or product change the cards to something else in 366 days
  • Consider going for a personal card after your business card applications too, but realize that card will impact 5/24

US Bank cards are more friendly to shenanigans than most issuers, so there’s value in having these cards beyond the sign-up bonus. If you play this right and you’re a bit lucky, you could be looking at four to five approvals, or somewhere north of $4,000 in sign-up bonuses. Not bad for a Tuesday eh? Too bad there’s no churning event at the Olympics.

Note: There’s also an increased bonus on the US Bank Altitude Connect card, but don’t let anyone sell you on it. The points can’t be transferred to a premium card for any uplift so they’re just worth a penny a piece. You can do better with other US Bank cards.

Maybe a Churning event at the Olympics wouldn’t be as exciting as shopping cart racing, but it’d be a little fun, right? Right?


We talked about Bank of America shenanigans about a year ago, and US Bank shenanigans about six months ago. As a result I think many of you have card anniversaries and half-anniversaries to consider and it’s probably worth a re-read of both. That said, today we’re going to do the same for Barclays because they’ve just increased sign-up bonuses on three of their main four co-brand cards:

  • Wyndham Earner Business: 65,000 points after spending $2,000 in 60 days and another 10,000 points after a single purchase on an employee card (Update: corrected bonus from 60,000 to 65,000 points. Thanks to Miles)
  • JetBlue Business: 70,000 points after spending $2,000 in 90 days and another 10,000 points after a single purchase on an employee card
  • Hawaiian Business: 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in 90 days

If you live in New England or Florida, the JetBlue card is a great option. If you live near a Speedway, the Wyndham card is a stand out. If you like churning satire, the Hawaiian card can’t be beat.


Barclays doesn’t have as many loopholes as legacy banks, but there are some. Here’s what you should know:

  • Barclays will combine hard pulls in the same day
  • Barclays will approve up to three credit cards in the same day
  • Barclays business cards won’t appear on a credit report
  • Barclays’ reconsideration department will work with you more than most banks will
  • Barclays won’t let you have multiple versions of the same card

To contact Barclays reconsideration, dial (866) 408-4064 for business cards or (866) 408-4064 for personal cards. When you call, a simple “I was hoping that you’d take another look at my application and help me find away to get approved. I’m happy to provide any additional information you may need!” may be enough to negotiate your way into an approval after you’re denied.

How I’m Playing It

I don’t need more JetBlue points and I really don’t need more Hawaiian points, but Vacasa redemptions via Wyndham are hard to beat. So even though the AA Business co-brand card offer isn’t at a relative high, I’ll be pairing it with the Wyndham card application for a combined hard-pull without messing with my quest to drop below 5/24.

Good luck!

Barclays reconsideration staff is much friendlier than it looks.

I heard more feedback from yesterday’s last bullet point about the dangers of opening a checking account with American Express than I’ve heard on any single topic in the past, which I guess means Larry won the churning prize? The tone of the feedback was all over the place like a Nine-Inch-Nails jazz fusion concert put on by a collaboration between N’Sync and Taylor Swift, so I think more discussion is in order.

The General Rule

Holding deposit accounts at banks with valuable credit cards typically can’t do you much good, but it can do you plenty of harm. This is especially true at Chase, Citibank, and Capital One, and probably other banks whose first letter starts with a “C” (if correlation equals causation). At these banks, there are dozens of reports of shutdowns on the credit card side of the business after investigations started on the banking side.

Why might banking get involved and look at your account?

  • Lots of transactions
  • A SAR form filled out by an employee
  • An insufficient or returned funds transaction
  • Too many phone calls
  • A deposit from a new source
  • Too many ACH pulls from the account

But, there are less obvious reasons that you can get eyes on your gaming, even if you haven’t made a single transaction in your bank account. These are the insidious ones:

  • Escheat and unclaimed property laws
  • Routine Know Your Customer checks
  • A fraud alert from a credit card charge that triggers an internal system
  • A general audit
  • The results of a periodic soft-credit pull (Chase is especially notorious for this)
  • In response to an inquiry from the IRS, regulator, or law enforcement

Deposit fraud investigators are typically quicker to shutdown and more easily triggered than their credit card counterparts. I believe this is principally because deposit accounts are by-in-large a necessary cost-center at a bank, while credit accounts are largely a profit-center. Of course regulation and federal funds requirements also play into this too.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are times when deposit accounts can still make sense. For example, Bank of America deposit accounts help a churner because:

U.S. Bank deposit accounts can also make sense because:

PenFed deposit accounts can make sense because:

And, you may find that to get a great credit card at a local credit union you may first have to hold a deposit account. In that case though, a shutdown is rarely catastrophic.


In case you’d like an ELI5: Holding deposit accounts at popular churning banks is probably bad, but sometimes it can help you churn enough to make the risk worth the rewards.

Pictured: What the sound of N’Sync and Taylor Swift riffing on jazz inspired by NiN looks like.

Let’s ketchup catchup on a few deals from the weekend (err, and yesterday):

1. Office Depot/OfficeMax has $15 back on $300 or more in Visa gift cards until Saturday, which makes your net cost $398.90 for $400 in gift cards or $394.90 for $400 gift cards if you buy the “Everywhere” variety. To maximize:

  • Link each of your cards to Dosh for an extra $10 back, but watch out for shutdowns for repeated gift card transactions
  • Try and run multiple transactions back-to-back with the same cashier

Thanks to reader Jim for the tip.

2. US Bank has a $400 sign-up bonus for opening a personal checking account and adding $5,000 in “direct deposits” in the first 60 days through March 28. Taking the bonus could be even more useful because having a checking account with a balance of at least $1,500 is a good way to get approved for lots of US Bank credit cards at once.

3. Another offer for 20,000 Membership Rewards for adding an authorized user to an American Express Platinum card and spending $2,000 within six months has surfaced. To see if you’re targeted, login to American Express and then check this link.

4. In addition to the increased Delta American Express card offers last week, another has surfaced for the Gold card and it’s interesting because the sign-up bonus is:

  • A $400 statement credit
  • 50,000 SkyMiles
  • A waived first-year annual fee

To get the offer, you’ll need to make a dummy airfare booking at and you’ll see it on the checkout page. To make things annoying though, sometimes the offer shows as a $300 statement credit and other times a $400 statement credit, so you may need to try different browsers or routes to find the $400 offer. Also, don’t actually buy the ticket. As Sam says, “it never pays to play it straight”.

Are we kaughtchup caught-up now?

Crimes against humanity in pasta form.

How about that sportsball team in the big match yesterday? Time to move on yet? Ok, let’s go:

1. There’s an increased bonus on the Bank of America AirFrance / KLM FlyingBlue Mastercard: 55,000 points and a $100 statement credit after spending $2,000 within 90 days. The annual fee is $89 and is not waived for the first year.

To see the offer, make a dummy award booking with KLM and when you make it to the payment page you’ll see a banner with the increased bonus. (The public offer lacks the $100 statement credit). If you’re going to go for this, go for more than one and see this post, and this post for tips on how to get approved for multiple cards with a single credit pull.

2. J.T. sent me a copy of his US Bank Altitude Reserve statement and there’s some bad news: Starting on May 1, there will be a 3% foreign transaction fee on foreign purchases made either in US Dollars or in another currency.

I guess they had to make up for some of their expenses in the all-you-can-eat $4,000 US Bank Olympics special.

3. Watch your postal mail for a targeted offer Bank of America Business Cash Rewards for double cash back for up to $150 in rewards, registration required. I think I got this earlier in the week, thought it was spam, and tossed it. Reportedly I’m not the only one and the envelope looks like the worst kind of spam. Oh well.

(I first heard about this deal from Robert Dwyer on the excellent Milenomics podcast, but the first public article I’ve seen was at DoC.)

Pictured: US Bank retooling their money making strategies with foreign transaction fees on their most “premium” card.

This weekend will probably be a great weekend for portal bonuses so check the rates at Dell and at Saks to help offset the pain of liquidating American Express coupons credits.

With that out of the way, there are a few items to note:

1. Yesterday’s Chase Southwest Visa offer for 30,000 Rapid Rewards points and a Companion Pass through February, 2023 is now available as a public link, no need to find someone with a targeted referral.

2. Reader Dean let me know that Capital One waved the annual fee on his Spark Business credit card after calling and asking. So as always, don’t forget to give card companies a call and say something like “I’m considering closing this card, but before I make a decision on what to do, I was wondering if there were any spend bonuses or retention offers?”

Just make sure you watch out for Citi being Citi when you try retention offers with them.

3. On the subject of retention offers, word on the street is that Chase has recently started offering them on more cards than just the Sapphire line. I for one applaud Chase becoming more like American Express (in this regard).

4. I’ve talked to a few of you that have already done the US Bank $4,000 special, and a few more that are still in the planning phases. If the latter category describes you, consider adding a US Bank Cash+ card into the mix because the card has no-annual fee and now has 5% back on flights, cars, or hotels booked with the US Bank travel portal, up to $2,000 in spend per quarter.

Good luck out there!

As reader and Southwest pilot Ryan tells me, every seat on Southwest is first class. I’m not sure if he had these in mind though.