Morgan Stanley used to have a co-branded no-annual fee American Express card, but that card vanished early this year. A replacement came, but it was about as exciting as getting a job as a clerk in the county recorder’s office in Lubbock County, TX; useful and valuable to be sure, but wow there are many other more exciting gigs out there.

We’ve got a perfect storm brewing for this card though:

  • Its sign-up bonus increased to $400 earlier this week
  • It offers $100 statement credit after spending $15,000 each year
  • There’s a targeted (via chat or phone) offer for $200 for adding an authorized user card and spending $1,000
  • You’re now eligible for the card if you have an E-Trade account, which is trivially easy to get
  • The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year

To maximize this card’s value, you’ll want to manufacture some spend as follows:

  • $6,000 at grocery stores for 6% back ($360)
  • $9,000 at gas stations for 3% back ($270)

When all is said and done, this card will get you:

  • $400: Sign-up bonus
  • $100: Spending bonus
  • $200: Authorized user bonus
  • $360: Grocery
  • $270: Gas
  • $1,330: Total

Not bad, eh? I don’t have any data-points either way about the churnability of this card, but based on what I know about similar cards at American Express you can probably do this multiple times, just make sure you keep the card open for a year to keep you out of the penalty box. Depending on how long the offer sticks around, this card may be a contender for the next Unsung Hero.

Happy sugar hangover day!

Without further comment, I present the Lubbock County Clerk’s office.