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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.
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?
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