Approved for 90,000 more miles and points – barely! (Ink Bold and Dividend Miles MasterCard)

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I recently outlined my plans to get my final two credit cards of the year.  I set my sights on the Ink Bold by Chase and the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard.  I outlined many of the reasons why in this post earlier this month, but I will review a few of the main features here as well.  I’ll also tell you how the process of getting approved for both cards went so that it may help you if you find yourself in a similar position.

US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard:

I wanted this card mainly for the 40,000 miles at sign-up, especially since there is no annual fee the first year and no minimum spending requirement to get the card.  Just make one purchase and the bonus is yours.  There are a couple of other features that make this card useful as well.  For example, you get a 5,000 mile discount on reward tickets booked on US Airways flights.  You also get preferred check-in and Zone 2 boarding.  Additionally, it comes with a $99 companion ticket, $75 off US Airways Club membership, and using it will probably score me an easy hit in next year’s Grand Slam.

I will potentially be keeping this card for a while since it will be a likely hit in the Grand Slam and it comes with 10,000 miles upon each anniversary.  It will carry an $89 annual fee after the first year, but it might be worth it to me.

This card is issued by Barclays and pulled TransUnion for my credit report.  It was a very simple instant approval for a modest credit line.  The card arrived just over a week later and I have already made my first purchase.  Very straight forward so far, so no complaints from me on this one.  Thanks, Barclays!

Chase Ink Bold:

I really wanted this card because I value Ultimate Reward points very highly and this one comes with 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5000 in the first three months.  This is a business card, and will be used as such in my case, but I will have to put some non-business expenses on it at first to hit the minimum spending requirement.  There are many stories of people getting approved for business cards without having “traditional” businesses.  Check out this great post from Million Mile Secrets to get some tips to see if maybe you have a business and didn’t even realize it.  The annual fee is waived the first year on this card, but I may be keeping it around long-term for actual business spending.

As is usual for me, Chase pulled from Equifax.  For this one I did not receive an automatic approval.  That was not a surprise to me since I already have three personal accounts with Chase and they seem to have gotten a little gun-shy about handing out the fourth or fifth card (or more in some cases).  Back in May I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and I did not receive an instant approval then either, but I was approved without any action on my part a few days later.  I was hoping the same would happen here, but when I hadn’t heard back in over a week I went ahead and called to check my status .

I was told that my status was “pending” and that they would transfer me to the business department.  I am pretty sure I spoke with the most no-nonsense person ever.  He pretty much had the personality of a wall, but hey he is a credit analyst, and boy was he analyzing my credit.  🙂  He asked me several questions about my business.  Here are the ones I remember:

  • How long had I been in business?
  • What does my business do?
  • How many employees did I have?
  • What is my annual revenue?
  • How much of that is profit?
  • How many liquid assets did I have (personal assets count)?
  • He made note that I have a pretty hefty about of student loan debt (really, I hadn’t noticed!) and then asked about each of my two mortgages and the current valuations of both houses.
  • What do I do for my “day job” (not what the business the card is used for)?
  • How long have I worked at my “day job”?
  • What is my personal yearly income including my “day job”?

He seemed okay until we got to the last question.  My best guess is because Chase had been pretty generous with my credit lines on my other three cards because those applications had all asked for household income whereas he was very specific in wanting to know my personal income.  He was very clear with that question, so the only way I could have included my husband’s income would have been to lie, which I wasn’t going to do.  I can see why my income alone didn’t really support the amount of credit that Chase had given me.  It made sense given our household income, but not just my income.  He very much wanted to “limit Chase’s liability” and lower the credit lines on all of my cards.  This is when it got really fun.  He said he would approve me for a $10,000 line of credit with the Ink Bold, but we wanted to take $4,000 off the credit limit on my first account, $2,000 off the credit limit of my second account, and $13,000 of credit off of my third account.  That is losing $19,000 in credit just to get $10,000.  I could have just said I had to go and hung-up, but as concerned as he sounded about “Chase’s liability”, I think hanging up might have back-fired on me.  He noted that I never got anywhere near my credit limits and pointed out that no other bank had extended that amount of credit to me.

I asked if we could just reduce my personal credit by $10,000 since that is what I would be given on the Ink Bold.  To that he said a very definite, “no”.  I can’t even tell you how many times he said “I’d be more comfortable if…..” when we were negotiating about lowering my credit limits.  Remember when I mentioned this guy had no personality?  Well, that made this negotiation much more challenging for me.  I guess no personality makes him very effective at his job, but it was getting me nowhere.  In the end I got him to leave one card alone, drop $4,000 on one card, and $11,000 on another.  I’m still unhappy I had to give up $15,000 of credit to get $10,000 on a charge card.  Ugh.  I think the October credit card law changes where personal income is often requested instead of household income were really working against me here.

The good news was he didn’t seem to care about the fact that I had three other Chase cards (just the high credit limits), nor did he card about the several other credit cards and credit report inquiries that I had.  Assuming all goes well and I get the card and sign-up bonus, it was worth it to me, but it was also more painful than I expected.  Consider yourself warned about the whole personal vs. household income issue with credit limits.  For my two cards, I netted 90,000 points and miles that I will put to very good use.  I know that some of these UR points will likely get transferred to Hyatt and will go towards nights at an Andaz in NYC next year, and the US Airways miles will hopefully help us get off-peak awards to Europe in early 2013.  As always, it is important to have goals in mind with your miles and points.

Are you getting any more cards this year?  Is the Ink Bold on your wish-list?  Have you had any similar experiences with Chase recently?

Disclaimer: I do get paid for approved credit card applications when you apply using my affiliate links.

Pingbacks

  1. […] I can’t promise you will get the 50,000 point sign-up bonus for the new Ink Bold if you had the old Ink Bold, but I can tell you it is looking pretty good so far!  I think that there are some easy explanations you can provide to the reconsideration line in the event you are initially declined for the card.  For example, the new bonus categories line up with how you plan to use the card and/or you need a card with no foreign transaction fees for your business expenses.  Remember, this is a business card, so you need to have some sort of business to apply.  Do you sell things on eBay, Etsy, etc….?  If you want a peak at the questions they asked me when I applied, check out this post. […]

Comments

  1. Good for you for not lying in order to get approved. I have a hunch that not all in the same situation would have acted the same way.

  2. I also got the 3rd degree detailed questions about my business when calling the reconsideration line for a pending approval status. I got someone with personality however and agreed to move $5K from my personal line to my business line to get approved

  3. I’m still waiting for my decision for ink bold and am hesitant to call in. Chase gave me the min line on Chase Sapphire and I had canceled my continental earlier (which probably wasn’t the best move). I don’t have any finangle room on my credit line, and i have no intention of closing my sapphire card. I really like that card!

    I’m a one income earner (single) so I don’t have the benefit of the ‘household income’. I have great credit and good income, so I’m not sure why Chase grilled me on why I applied for certain cards (personal). My sapphire card got approved eventually without my having to call, and I hope it’s the same here too. My business is fine and has decent revenue this year (not so much in years past) but profit is quite small so I hope that won’t kill my chances of getting the card. My credit & personal income alone should make me a good risk, though.

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the Chase biz cards. The new rules will reduce my wife’s ability to get credit for her small business while my salary gets me credit I don’t need. Great job Congress!
    Also, if you want your US points to hit faster, you can call and push up the closing date. That got my Gran Slam hit in under the wire…

  5. I applied for the Ink Bold as well maybe a week ago but haven’t heard anything back. I had five Chase cards so maybe I need to call as well and see what’s going on.

  6. I got the us airways card too and can’t wait to couple it with grand slam miles to go Europe in feb 2013! Those off peak awards are amazing!

  7. Congrats. I had a similar end of year bonanza with the us air card and the 70,000 point Marriott (my second in 2011). It provided a good fix to end the year with.

  8. As an added bonus for the Barclays’ US Airways MasterCard, they are offering 15,000 points if you spend $1250 in each of the months of Dec, Jan, Feb. (May be targeted)

  9. I have a question. I’ve just started the credit card/mileage thing this year. I have the Delta AMEX gold card, the American Airlines Citi Amex card, the British Airways Visa and the Chase Freedom. I would love to edit these cards down to one or two cards (mostly because I don’t like having to pay an annual fee).

    I have heard great things about Chase Sapphire and I want to still open more cc accounts to earn the miles. My question is….which card should I keep for the long haul? I have great credit (798) and make a decent living. I know canceling the cards will hurt me in the short run, but I have no plans to make major purchases.

    This is what perplexes me. I got the cards, but can’t figure out which will help me in the long run. I love to travel internationally if that helps and I have no airline preference really (which may be part of the problem). I really want to just stick it out with the absolute BEST card and I will be ok with the annual fee.

  10. What’s really bad about your scenario with Chase is that you gave up $15k in PERSONAL credit lines, to get $10k in BUSINESS credit. As you probably know, business credit cards don’t show up on your personal credit reports, so that lost $15k in personal credit will really hurt your utilization percentage on your 3 credit scores. Even if you pay your credit cards in full each month, say for example you previously had $50k total in personal credit and charged $5k/mo, then your monthly utilization was 10%. Now, with the reduced personal credit, that same spend equals over 14% in utilization each month ($5k/35k), something the credit bureaus will definitely take notice of.

  11. That’s the game that Chase plays between the Business and Personal sides. I had a quid pro quo offset of Personal Credit of $5k to cover the Business Card that I got from them. Fortunately I did not run into the situation that MP had with more Personal than Business credit line. It will be interesting to see what I run into when I pursue the Ink Bold and Chase Sapphire cards next year (I have to wait for some Experian credit pulls to drop first).

  12. Ouch, that’s rough having to lose that much personal credit for business credit. We just went through the same thing this month with the Chase personal and business Continental cards. Luckily though, we weren’t required to close any personal lines for business lines, just personal for personal with the same credit limits. Congrats though on building up your mileage arsenal!

  13. Great post thanks for the detailed info. I understand why Chase are being tight like this. Business credit lines are terrible credit risk. I know they tell you that you are “personally guaranteeing” the debt but legally that is not the case, it’s either your debt or the business debt and you can find on FatWallet plenty of people racking up large amounts of debt on a business card and then not paying it and then negotiating a settlement with the issuer (and many mentions of Chase). There is one case of a guy racking up $100k debt and settling it with Chase for $22k and nothing showed up on his personal credit report.

    In the ABS market deals backed by businesses trade way lower than personal debt, and that is exactly why $10k biz is worth $19k personal. They can likely only sell the $10k biz exposure for the same $ amount as the $19k personal exposure

  14. I, too, had a streamlined quick approval process with Barclays when I signed up for an AirTran card earlier this year (to get 16 credits bonus – that will transfer to Southwest Rapid Rewards in 2012). The only drawback with Barlclays was a ‘hit and miss’ when I had to challenge a fraudulent transaction. The CS rep told ME to contact the merchant/vendor and tell them it is in error and to credit my card. I told the CS rep it was a charge I did not make. So I hung up, waited 10 minutes, and called back and got a CS rep more informed about processing a charge dispute. I never had that happen on a charge dispute – I guess a first time for everything.

  15. Thank you for letting us know your experience. Chase is getting much tougher. Had issues getting approved for the Southwest card (had to sacrifice my long held Amtrak card!). I could probably go for the Ink card but I am laying low for the United card in early 2012 and then go for the Ink in mid 2012 (if still available).

  16. @Phil – Thanks, for this. This definitely helps me understand the higher degree of scrutiny from the Business Dept. I have experienced the same type of
    ‘third degree’ when I applied for Business cards with Chase, AMEX and Citi. Makes sense now.

  17. Thanks for the warning. I have a targeted offer of 40K UR points for the Ink Classic, no min spending, I’m thinking of applying for. My business is definitely small, and non-traditional, and I’m a SAHP too. Will be prepared for the 3rd degree upon application.

  18. @Helixcardinal, thanks. Lying just isn’t worth it in my book – especially not for a credit card. 🙂

    @Quickroute, I’m glad you made out better than I did.

    @Waiting, it sounds like it should work itself out one way or another in your situation. Keep up posted!

    @Tim, yeah I’m not a huge fan of this particular change. I wasn’t able to get in on this card during the GS this year, but I will be ready for next year!

    @Benny, I would probably call, but if you aren’t in any rush you could always give it a little more time. I would expect you will have to talk to them given how many Chase cards you have.

    @Kris, see you in Europe in 2013. Ha ha. It is a great deal.

    @Richard, congrats to you as well!

    @Mars, I am betting that one is targeted, but I would be happy to be one of their targets.

    @Renee, if you like to travel internationally and you don’t have an airline preference, then the winner is absolutely the Chase Sapphire Preferred. As you probably already know, it earns super valuable UR points (2x on dining and travel) and has no foreign transaction fee. That would be my “keeper” in your case. You can also ask if some of your cards offer a “fee free” lesser version when you call to cancel. That way, you keep the account/credit line, but you don’t have the annual fee. Either way, get the Sapphire. I don’t think you will regret it!

    @Scott, yeah it is unfortunate. The good news is I have obtained so much new credit this year, that I am still in a much better position with credit limits than I was a year ago. It will be interesting to see what happens with my score once the limit chances appear though. I plan to do a post on what the inquiries did soon, but I think there is more temporary damage to come. The credit line I obtained at the same time with Barclays does off-set the Chase loss some as well.

    @Christopher, I wish I could have negotiated a quid pro quo. I would have been happy with that!

    @InACents, yeah it stinks, but it will all work out in the end.

    @Phil, geez. I hope those folks weren’t doing that intentionally and making it harder for those are legitimately trying to obtain credit. The risk exposure make sense though. Thanks for sharing.

    @Christopher, I have heard negative remarks about Barclays quite a few times. Thanks for sharing your experience. I don’t think this card will be in my “regular rotation”.

    @gpapadop, I am certainly laying low with Chase as well. Might try for one more next year with them, but that would be the max and I will be waiting quite a while to do it.

  19. Does anyone know if getting denied for a Chase biz card will affect your applications for a future Chase personal card? I’m trying to decide whether to chance it with a biz card application, or save my Chase applications for the 30K Freedom card or the 70K Marriott card.

    • @MJLouise, I do know that at the top of each Chase application you have to answer the question “I have not been denied credit by Chase within the last 6 months.” That said, I personally think that the 50K UR points are worth far more than either of the two other cards in the running, so it might be worth the risk (though everyone’s travel needs are different).

  20. I don’t think they are doing you many favors to your FICO score by this approach if you carry any balances. Example: You have 3 Chase cards and 2 other cards total. Let’s say Chase card 1 has a limit of $6k and you carry $3k on average. Chase Card 2 has a $10k limit and you carry $2k and Chase Card 3 has a $15k limit and you carry $3k. So your FICO score looks great. You use the cards but the debt to credit limit is great. So you apply for the 4th card and they tell you great we will approve you but let’s drop card 1 to $4k limit, Card 2 to $4k limit and Card 3 to $5k and we’ll give you $10k on the new 4th card. You just moved your credit balance % from like 20% to 80% or something. FICO doesn’t like those ratios and it will kill your score. If you don’t carry balances it won’t matter much of course. I’m just saying.

  21. I just went for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. I was not instantly approved either. I don’t suppose that’s all that surprising since I already have a United and Marriott Visa with them with some pretty generous credit lines. We’ll see how it goes. I REALLY want the Sapphire card.

    • @MJ, hopefully if you only have those two cards you will be okay. Sapphire was my third and it ended up eventually being approved without me having to do anything – it just took a couple days. Good luck!

  22. I have a question about the Us Airways card. Do you know if it has a foreign transaction fee? I got an offer in the mail which has less sign up bonus but no transaction fee. Not sure if they eliminated the transaction fee for all versions of the card or just the new one? – Also, How does the companion vouchers work? Do you get one as soon as you receive the card? Are they based on the calendar year or your anniversary? Do they expire? – Just trying to figure out if it would be better to wait until January to apply for this card (using the link you provided) Thanks a lot in advance!

    • @A, the ones I see online still have a foreign transaction fee, so I’m not sure. I haven’t seen one without yet. I have not yet received my companion voucher, but my understanding is I think you get them after a month or two. I would assume they are based on anniversary and I would also assume they expire after a year or so, but I have not received mine yet so I don’t know for sure. I don’t really think it would matter when you apply – just do it when it makes sense for you! Thank you so much for using my links! This particular one isn’t one of my affiliate links, but it is the best offer for this card that I know of. Good luck when you decide to go for it!

  23. Thank you so much for the quick response! I still haven’t decided if I should apply or not but I really appreciate your advice. Keep up the great work with the blog 🙂

  24. Just wanted to chime in my experience with Barclay honoring the bonus. I received the 40,000 miles bonus about a week after the first charge, even before I pay for the charges.

  25. Thanks for the list of questions. I just went through the exact same thing you did, and it was very helpful to know in advance what they would ask. I have a targeted 40K with single spend, so am looking forward to a 100K UR balance shortly.
    Thanks for all your great information!

  26. Just wanted to give a quick update. I applied around the last week of December and was approved! I’m really happy on getting the 40,000 miles and the anniversary bonus should be great as well. I really enjoy reading to your blog, keep up the great work 🙂

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