Travel Hacking has become more challenging as most banks have realized they need to be careful with what customers they end up with.
I've slowed down my hack game so I don't run into the too many applications game. I've become very picky with what I sign up for. I can't recall the last time I signed up for something that was only a $100 benefit.
$300 value is my absolute minimum, but even now I don't tend to apply for things that don't provide at least $500 of value. My latest cards were $1200+ and $1000+ of value. At this moment, I'm not earning any signup bonus which does annoy me, but I'm more interested in not missing a big haul because I settled for too many little ones.
Admittedly I watch my 5/24 rule now so I can cash in. Chase does tend to have the best sign-ups. I've yet to own a single Capitol One or Discover card because they never have anything worth the effort.
Well again I'm not planning to travel anytime soon so to me $100 cash is worth more than any amount of travel rewards.
Lots of "travel awards" can be turned into CASH. All the Chase cards can dump into cash. Example: Chase Sapphire Preferred. 50,000 points, which you can take as $500 CASH. Add an AU and you get an extra $50 CASH.
...and even with the cards you did get, it's not that uncommon to see $200 CASH back on $500 spend from BoA. You just have to keep you eyes open for the offers. Instead, you settled for $100 on $500. In the past year, there have been $200/$500 on a variety of cobranded BoA cards. MLB, NBA, Teacher unions, etc.
Barclay also had a $200 on $500 offer (wife and I both did that one, same day as Arrival+ - and since I travel for work and get reimbursed, it was easy for me to turn the Arrival+ rewards back into cash. )