I’ve Got Credit Card Application Fever

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My name is Mommy Points and I have credit card applicatoin fever.  I last signed up for a new credit card just to get the sign-up bonus in early November and I am itching to do it again.  Truthfully, I thought it would take longer to make it through the $5000 minimum spending requirement on the Ink Bold card that I got in November, but between Christmas shopping and some repairs we had to do on our Austin house to get it back on the market, it didn’t take long at all to hit that spending threshold.  So, I guess it was bad that we had lots of expenses, but good that we met the minimum spending requirement very quickly and on purchases we were going to make anyway.  Psst, there is a contract on the house…..we are holding our breath for another few weeks that all goes through.

So, since the only spending requirement I have to work on right now is $1,250 per month on the US Airways MasterCard in February, March, and April in order to get a targeted 15,000 mileage bonus, I am just counting down a couple more weeks until the three month mark comes and it is time to pick up another card or two.  I have found that getting a new card (or cards) every 3-4 months works pretty well in not raising too many red flags about the number of recent inquires you have had.  I certainly wouldn’t go after a new Chase card every three months indefinitely, but if you spread your applications out around the various banks and do a mix of personal and business cards (if you do something that can qualify as a business), then provided you have a good credit history, you will likely have a pretty high success rate with your applications.

The real question is what to get next.  I very much want to get a 50,000 United MileagePlus Explorer card using the method that Million Mile Secrets describes here.  I have a Continental OnePass Plus card and would love to pick up the United version of that card in order to get the sign-up bonus before my card converts to a United card at some point in the future because of the Continental and United merger.  However, I already have three Chase personal cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Freedom, and Continental OnePass Plus Card) and I don’t particularly want to give any of them up, so I think it will be iffy on whether I can get a fourth personal Chase card approved.  I know some people that have four or five personal Chase cards, but three seems to be where things start to get harder.

I also really want the new Chase Ink Bold Business card.  I got mine right before the benefits changed to include 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on cable and wireless service, and land line telephone service.  It also now gives 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually on gas and hotels.  I would love to be earning 5x on most of my telecommunications expenses – that would really add up for us over the course of a year!  However, I will probably wait until later in the year to apply for that one since I just got my “old” Ink Bold in November.  I tried to see if Chase would let me switch over to the new benefit schedule, but was repeatedly told no, no, and heck no.  I was instructed to apply for a new Ink Bold if I wanted the new benefits….I can’t help but wonder if I may end up with a new 50,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus as well since they kept telling me this was a new and different card.  I can promise I will test that theory at some point. 

I know for sure I want to apply for an American Express card, I’m just not sure which one.  I was targeted for a 50,000 Membership Reward points Business Gold card that is a strong contender.  That offer comes with a waived annual fee the first year (normally $175) and requires a minimum spend of $5000 in the first three months to get the sign-up bonus.  I would also receive 3x points on airfare and 2x on advertising on select media in the US, gas at stand alone gas stations, and shipping charges.  Currently there is no sign-up bonus for the public offer of that card, so I am not even going to link to it.  Unless you are targeted (or spend a ton on airfare) I would wait to apply for that one.  The 50,000 point personal Mercedes-Benz Platinum Amex is also a strong contender.  With that card I would retain the same Platinum benefits I have now, plus pick up some MB related benefits, and get another 50,000 point sign-up bonus.  I would have to pay the $475 annual fee and spend $1000 on the card within the first three months to get the sign-up bonus.

At some point before the end of 2012 I also need to get the Starwood Amex Business card so that I can get two more stay credits toward SPG Platinum status, as well as the 25,000 SPG sign-up bonus points.  However, my priority right now with Amex is a card that earns Membership Rewards points since I am now leaning toward cancelling my Platinum Amex card next month when it comes up for renewal.  I’m still undecided on that, but since I have already used up my $200 airline credit for the year, cancelling is looking like a better option.

By miles and points community standards, I am very conservative with my credit card applications.  While others get 4-6 new rewards cards every three months, I get only get one or two every 3-4 months.  I guess I’m just a little more risk averse than some others.   I also think that the impact is greater on my credit score than for some due to being “relatively” young and not having a credit history that spans 30-40 years.  However, since I don’t have any loans coming up in my near future, I am okay with having my credit score take the hit that comes from picking up 1-2 cards every few months.  You have to find a strategy that is comfortable for you and your family.  That may be 4-6 cards every quarter or one or two per year.  Heck, you could be like my dad and just have one rewards card period.  Though I think he will eventually go for another…. 

So, unless a new offer comes along in the next few weeks, my decision likely will come down to which Amex to go for, and then I just have to make a decision about whether or not to try for the Chase MileagePlus Explorer card.  Right now I honestly don’t know what I will decide to do about that.

What are your thoughts?  What cards do you plan to go for next?

 

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Comments

  1. Mommypoints, I’m in the same boat with the Chase Ink Bold Business card. I got the card right before it switched over to the new card and for me, the main selling point of the new card is the no foreign transaction fees. I’d love to be able to get the new Chase Ink Bold card and the 50,000 sign up but I’m wondering if they will actually honor the sign up bonus? I know they call it a “different” card but….

    Looking forward to knowing how it turns out when you decide to pull the trigger on it.

    • @Extra Pack of Peanuts, I certainly am not going to apply for that card just because I think it’s likely to get the bonus, but it clearly wouldn’t hurt my feelings it it happened! I plan to do that in the second half of 2012 – hopefully we will see some reports before then. 😉

  2. I had no problems getting Chase to approve me for the Sapphire and I already had freedom, BA, and CO. Additionally, I just received approval during my recent churn for Southwest and although they were not going to require it, I cancelled my CO card so I could get the United card in the future. I say go for it!

  3. .
    I am a little surprised that you think getting a fourth Chase card will be difficult. I got three in just over two months and already had an old one. No issue getting the first two, applied on same day and had to wait a couple of weeks for one of them. Called in the reconsideration line on the last card and moved some CL around.
    .
    That seems to be the general process. From all that I hear, Chase is far more interested in your total credit line with them than with the number of cards you have. If you are interested in another Chase card or two, just be ready with a reason why you want the new card and be ready to move $5K of CL from an existing card.
    .
    Ike

  4. Hi Mommy.
    I heard recently on Flyertalk that if you cancel your Amex cards (the ones that earn MR points anyway), you have 90 days to use up your points or they are forfeited. Is this true? Wondering why I’ve never heard this before since everyone raves so much about MR points being so valuable. Not so much if this is the case. If it’s true, what’s a good way to get around not losing them without having to pay those hefty annual fees that are looming after the first free year goes away? Are there any fee-free versions of the Gold cards that would allow you to keep your MR points forever?

  5. What do you do to get targeted for any of these promos? I really could use Amex Business Gold card as I spend a ton on airfare every year.

  6. MP, the most Chase accts I’ve had opened at one time was and is 5 – I have the Slate, Priority Club, Hyatt, Southwest, and Sapphire. When I applied for the Southwest card which was my most recent app, they closed my British Airways card so I could get that one. I’d say you should be fine with one more account!! I want the Ink Bold Business (received a 50000 pt offer in the mail) but figure I have to be prepared to give up one of my other cards to get that one. It will probably be the Slate – the only reason I held on to that one was a high credit line and also I frequently get 0% balance transfer offers which are nice to take advantage of to float some money.

  7. Great post! I’m interested in whether your husband applies for cards as well, and how it fits into your overall strategy. I’m managing the cards for my wife and currently we do our spend on “my” credit cards mostly, with her as an authorized user. However she has done the Hawaiian Airlines 2 cardsx35k signups, and the 2 browser trick for the 150k AA miles as her application. I applied for the Alaska Airlines card, the Starwood personal, Chase UR (we had Freedom already)and upgraded my Hilton Amex to Surpass. Our net result after lots of research into this is 4 nights AXON award at Hilton Hawaiian Village, 3 nights Sheraton Maui, and 2 nights Hilton Grand Wailea all on points/free nights. Oh and we’re both flying first class on Alaska air for less than the coach fare thanks to the Alaska Airlines companion certificate! Thanks to you and your readers for all the informative posts and advice!

  8. I have SPG Amex and Chase Sapphire cards I got through your sign-up links. Still far away from the minimum spend thresholds, but I have a certain large purchase coming up that I should be able to spread around.

    After that? Probably a Hawaiian Airlines card and anything else I can convert to Hilton points (since I have free Hilton gold status this year…)

  9. The fine print for the Mercedes Benz Amex Platinum card says that those who’ve already been awarded 50k MR points for the standard Amex Platinum won’t get another round of points.

  10. I just received my new United Explorer card (50k miles after first purchase). I’d cancelled my previous United MP card about 18 months ago, and honestly did not expect to get approved without going through the reconsideration line. But I was approved; perhaps had something to do with responding to the 60k offer via united.com

    My wife was also just approved the Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50k points (3k spend in 3 months), but needed to call the reconsideration line. We were expecting to close her Continental One Pass card, but that was not required. That said, her last statement includes the annual fee, so I think we’ll try for the annual fee to be credited otherwise we will cancel it.

    My wife is also up for the SPG Amex this year (August) – she cancelled her previous card Aug 2010.

    Not anticipating as busy as year as 2011, but that can always change.

  11. I have been thinking a lot about my credit card strategy for 2012 also. I am trying to not apply for any cards that offer less than a 50k bonus. The problem is that I am getting antsy waiting for new offers!

    Last year I did amazing. I earned 775,000 miles/ points on bonuses alone. (40k were deposited in my Amex account after receiving the 75k Gold bonus offer. I have no clue why)

    If big offers don’t start coming in soon I plan to apply for Hawaiian Airlines- personal & business, Alaska Airlines & look into some other US Air cards.

  12. Hey what a coincidence! On the Chase Ink Bold, I am in the exact same boat as you…applied right before the switch, but would rather have the new version. I’ve been told no on the phone and no over secure message. And they keep telling me to apply again instead. So I am also curious if I can get a second sign up bonus (since it is a different card). What I’ll probably do is in a few months, call Chase to cancel the old Ink Bold, hopefully roll the line back onto my sapphire preferred, then apply for the new Ink Bold. If I do it before you, I’ll let you know what happens!

  13. Yesterday, sat down to do a churn, and started with Chase Southwest. So bummed out that they give you the “we’ll see” response which means I have to negotiate for the card down the road. Then went to the Amex Mercedes Platinum, and instantly approved. Was headed to the Citi AA business card, and could not find a working 50,000 link and called it a day. Probably would have received an F grade by a Points and Mile Teacher, but figured I’d stop there and see if some home run offers come out soon. My wife’s apps will be Chase Sapphire, SPG business (which I get a referral bonus), and US Air (and Citi AA if I can get an attractive link).

  14. Hi MP!! I have 3 chase cards – sapphire, british air, hyatt. To get the sapphire last year, I had to offer up an old united visa that I had for years but never used. I’d like to get a United Explorer card (though may wait for the next offer) and the Ink card. I’m assuming that I’ll have to offer up my BA card to get it.

    on the Amex front – I want to keep an amex card, but think I don’t want to pay the 175 fee on the gold premier. I’d like to cancel it – but not sure which card I should get.

    finally, I have most of my bank accounts at citibank, but almost no credit cards that I use. I have the AA Amex – which I probably won’t keep. I think citibank would approve anything for me – do you have a recommendation?

  15. Typically I maintain 6 Chase cards and rotate them around. Have even been known to have double accounts of the same Chase cards. Unfortunately at this stage of my travels (passed 100 countries) the miles and points are coming in faster than I can use them. Even the generic travel accounts, like FlexPerks, cannot be used to buy tickets on the offbeat airlines and small independent lodging choices needed when your travels take you away from the “A” countries into the “Bs” and “Cs” where you need more than a passport and VISA for entry.

  16. When I select the Chase Freedom card it shows 300 cash back with 500 spend in 3 months, instead of the 30,000 points. Did they just change the offer?

  17. MP, I am in a similar situation. I still have my Continental card that I am holding off closing so I can use it as a bargaining chip when I apply for the United card. However, my next “churn” is not until March and I am worried they will automatically convert it to a United card before then. arghhhh. the pressure…….

  18. I know you already have the Sapphire Preferred, but for your readers who are also considering a churn, you might pay attention to reports of a recent targeted mailing by Chase for a 75k UR point sign-up bonus for that card. I’m really crossing my fingers that I get the targeted offer or that it becomes a public offer in the next month or two–I have a trip to Europe in April and would love to take it and my Amex Platinum as my two cards so I have no foreign transaction fees for any of my charges.

    Does chase have a similar referral program like Amex does, where a current cardholder can get a bonus for referring a friend and the friend gets a decent-to-good sign-up bonus?

  19. @Michael, thanks so for sharing and congrats on all the approvals!

    @Ike, I had a pretty hard time getting the Ink Bold approved. I know it is a business card, but I had to give up a ton of personal credit it get it. I don’t have tons left to bargain with, so that is my hesitation. I don’t want to put myself in a bad situation just to get some miles….but I do want the miles. 😉

    @Michael, it is normal with pretty much any issuer that once you close the account you won’t have access to the points. You can transfer them out first. With Amex you have 90 days if you still have another Amex open. If you close your only Amex they are gone immediately. You can downgrade to their free card (I forget the name right now) and then keep the points safe there until you get a MR earning card and then you can again use them as MR points.

    @ikonos, I wish I knew! It happened after I got an Ink Bold Business card. Not sure if that was related, but it was my first business card.

    @Jennifer, thanks for sharing. My parents have a huge line of credit with that Slate card, too. Sometimes we do actually need credit cards for credit (imagine that?!)

    @BothofUs2, he had a bankruptcy on his report because of a messy divorce many years ago. It comes off of his report (finally) next year, so he will be fresh meat to all these offers then. He has a few cards in his name now, but still can’t get these great rewards cards.

    @Scottrick, thanks so much! Those BOA cards may be on my radar for later in the year, too.

    @Eric, I can’t make any promises, but there are many reports of people getting approved for that after having the regular Amex and they got the points.

    @Simon, thanks for sharing. 2011 is starting a little slow, but hopefully it will pick-up soon.

    @Michael W, that is a lot of miles and points – good job!

    @Frequent Flyer Collector, yes keep me posted!

    @bluto, there are always some risks. That is one reason I stay on the relatively conservative end of things. Thanks for sharing.

    @Larry D, you would not get a F from me! Sometimes conservative is a good mood. Good luck on your wife’s apps!

    @Kathy, if you want a different Citi card, maybe go for the Citi ThankYou Premier card. It is listed as #4 on my Top 5 Family Credit cards if you want more info about the card/bonus.

    @AlohaDaveKennedy, oh the problems we have! Maybe the Citi ThankYou Premier card is a good one for you, too. Use the points as cash to book travel. Just an idea. 😉

    @Rookie10, it is the same thing. You can redeem them for $300 cash or use as 30,000 points. You do need a Ultimate Rewards earning card paired with it to use them as Ultimate Rewards points. Hope that helps!

    @Em, just keep your ears open. Hopefully it won’t change before March.
    @

  20. I too would like to apply for the United Explorer card and add to my Rapid Rewards but I have 8 Chase cards one of which is a United Mileage Plus which I’ve had for 5 years and which got me a very small bonus when opened. But I want to move away from AmEx which I think has treated me badly with the denial of 100k MR by adding 5 members and doing a 15x a month spend from Aug through Dec. They lost a lot of Integrity in my view. Chase has the best offers but while I’m willing to give up my Continental and My Amtrack cards I suspect I’m going to have to just close some cards before applying for a new one.

  21. Hi everyone! I can refer anyone for the AMEX Platinum 50,000 point offer. Just send me an email at vimaury@hotmail.com. I recently used the card to buy an American Airlines giftcard for $200 and I was reimbursed three days after. Thank you.

  22. Well, I just got the Freedom card last month so now I’m on hold for 3 months and probably will wait till the summer. At present I’m strongly considering United b/c of the ultimate rewards program although Alaska Airlines and Hawaii Airlines credit card offers are interesting b/c we want to go to Hawaii summer 2013. We’ll see! In the meantime, I’ve booked a fun redemption trip in May to go to Niagara Falls with the family, something my eldest son (10) has wanted to do for a couple of years now. He’s a big miles and points fan now too! 🙂 Thanks to the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus for that one!

  23. great post and perfect timing as i’m gearing up too! any thought on holding out for united to offer more? 75k or maybe 100?

  24. i’m going with chase: priority club 80k, chase united mileage plus 60k and possibly a hilton amex card..just trying to figure out which one I want..I’m focusing in on free or no annual fee 1st yr cards with low or no min spending.

  25. Hi MP!!
    My husband just got the sapphire in november I’m currently working on getting it also. I applied & was declined :(. My mother & I share the same name & I have 1 of her delinquent accounts & 1 of her maxed cc on my report. (annoying!!) I found this out when I called the recon line to get approved for my SW card! Do you/anyone know of a service that can get that fixed? I’ve had to do it before & it’s a pain in the bootie!! Anywayzzzzz, I’ve also opened a chase checking & my husband will be applying for the freedom card soon (but he doesn’t know it yet 🙂 ). I’m closing my CO card so hopefully I can get the united later. I’m hoping they’ll offer a big bonus later in the year!!

  26. Chase won’t let me have more than 2 cards at once. 🙁
    I also have a mortgage with them, however, so that makes three credit lines in all. The mortgage balance is pretty small though– less than $10K– so I wouldn’t think that would worry them. I have excellent credit, a decent household income, and no black marks on my credit history, ever.

    Any tips on how I might get them to ease up?

  27. Since you are trying to get the $1250 per month spending requirement satisfied, you should probably wait to apply for a card because most of the cards you are thinking about all require $5K spend in 3 to 6 months.
    I am going after the Chase sapphire as my 8th active Chase card that I use. I believe the difference to being able to have so many Chase accounts and not having to close any is my high credit lines on all of the Chase cards and using all of the Chase cards that I currently have. My wife has 4 Chase cards all currently active and she is going for the UAL card if she can find a 50K link.

  28. I think I forgot to mention this before…but again, I’m in the same boat as you. in my correspondence with Chase, they’ve told me that i have to wait 12 months before they’ll convert my card to a different one. just FYI.

  29. I love your postings, I’ve really enjoyed reading them!

    I have a question about churning – I did 5 credit card inquiries on/around 2/25, and was approved, or pending approval (then ultimately approved), but going into this I thought I would receive all of my inquiries on the same day. However, even as late as yesterday, I have an inquiry posting on my credit. So my question is – Is that your experience as well?

    • @Shawn, that does happen sometimes. Was the last one to appear one that you weren’t instantly approved for? That real benefit of applying for all on the same day is that the banks won’t typically see each other’s inquiries when you are doing the applications as they won’t yet then be on your credit report. Congrats on the approvals!

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