Un-Planned Credit Card Application Results

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Some of the best things in life are unexpected, and my most recent credit card applications probably falls into that category (well probably not truly in the “best thing in life” category, but you know what I mean). I often map applicationss out in detail beforehand, but did it a bit differently this time around and I kind of liked it. 😉 It all started because of a Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card that was available via the CARDMATCHTM feature on creditcards.com with a sign-up bonus that is approximately twice as generous as the standard bonus. It was a card on my radar, I didn’t know how long the offer would last, and so it became an unplanned application day. It had been approximately two months since my last application, but that one was just for one card (the Ink Plus Business Card as I was worried the minimum spending requirement would go back up), so I wasn’t too concerned about recent inquiries since I had been pretty conservative on the application front recently.

If you are unfamiliar with multiple credit card applications and how to prepare for one, then check out this detailed post. I quickly went through the main steps in that post, just to be safe. That means I checked my estimated FICO scores and they were all above 750 according to Credit Karma and my Citi IdenityMonitor service (see this post for more details on those services). I then surveyed the available offers and gave preference to those that were above the normal sign-up offer for that card, and/or were limited time offers. Finally, I looked at how the offers lined up with my travel goals and which types of points I wanted for future trips. Looking back at my 2013 credit card application plan also helped! I recommend everyone write down a plan so you can quickly reference it when good offers pop up.

Here is what I decided to apply for, and why.

1. Amex Premier Rewards Gold

The standard offer these days for that card is 25,000 Membership Reward points after spending $2,000 in the first three months, however via creditcards.com and their “Card Match tool” linked above I was offered a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Membership Reward points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. In both cases there is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175 in subsequent years. I wanted to boost up my MR balance so I could be ready if there are future transfer bonuses to British Airways and/or to transfer to a Star Alliance airline such as Singapore Airlines or ANA. There are lots of options with Membership Rewards and I have pretty much drained my balance, so time to build back up.

I got a “pending decision” answer for this card, and then was called by Amex the next day to verify I had applied for the card and to give my approval. Woohoo! If you are curious, for me in Texas Amex pulled my credit report from Experian.

2. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

EDIT: The offer I applied for and wrote about below has expired, but the best offer now is 50,000 Avios after spending $1,000 in the first three months.  There is a $95 annual fee.  

This is a limited time offer that I think will be ending in the near future, so I wanted in before it potentially goes away. My husband and I just recently had a very good experience on a short British Airways flight from Dublin to London (breakfast and tea on real plates and glasses on a 50 minute flight?!), so we wanted to up our stash of Avios to potentially use on a long-haul BA flight.  There are hefty fees associated with doing that, but might still be worth it for us.

We certainly wanted the 50,000 Avios that are awarded as a sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. If we want to go “all in” we can also get 25,000 bonus Avios after spending $10,000 in the first 12 months of account opening, and an additional 25,000 bonus Avios if we spend an additional $10,000 in purchases also within the first 12 months of account opening. I’m not sure how much we will end up putting on this card this year, but I know we will certainly at least get the easy 50K Avios for $1K of spending! These points are super handy for short flights on BA partners such as Alaska and American Airlines, so don’t discount this just because you don’t fly on British Airways. Very helpful for domestic travel as well. There is a $95 annual fee for this card.

I am still awaiting a decision on this card. I often get “slow approvals” with Chase that happen without my intervention, but take a few days. I will note that the last two times I have applied with Chase they have pulled my credit from both Experian and Equifax. I don’t like getting two pulls for one app, but it has now happened twice in a row for me with Chase. Anyone else seeing something similar? Once was for a business card and now for this personal card.

3. Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature

I wanted this card since it was introduced a couple of months ago as it comes with 85,000 sign-up bonus points (50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days) and it gives you the last night on your award redemptions for free. This means that if I had a two night award stay at a hotel like the May Fair in London that costs 50,000 Club Carlson points each night, that a two night stay now only costs me 50,000 points instead of 100,000! That is huge. I also appreciate the automatic Club Carlson Gold status and 40K points annually for renewal. That is worth the $75 annual fee in my book, so I plan to make this card a keeper.


I was worried about getting approved for this card since US Bank is notoriously a bit tough on approvals since they don’t like to see a bunch of recent inquiries. However, I got approved for their FlexPerks card back in August without issue, and I got approved for this one instantly, so who knows. I will point out that I am pretty conservative when it comes to credit card applications, and did not have many recent inquiries on my report until this app, so that probably helped. Here in Texas they pulled my credit from Equifax.

If all goes as planned, I can potentially get as many as 235,000 sign-up bonus points from these three cards (if I want “all in” on the British Airways card’s spending for the full 100K). I’m pretty happy with the three cards I went for, and look forward to getting them in the mail so I can start making progress on the minimum spending requirements. Are any of these cards on your radar? I’d love to hear about what your next series of applications will look like. Also stay tuned for more details on how this is impacting my credit score.

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Hey

    How many inquiries you had in past 6 months …I have 4 inquires …one in Oct , 2 in Jan and I got pre-approved offer for club Carlson and really want to apply but after reading folks experience ..I am a bit hesitant ..so wanted to get your opinion whether I should hold of for another 3 months before I apply ..Thanks

  2. This post amused me since I essentially did the same thing. It had been 91+ days since my last churn but hadn’t really thought hard about what cards i wanted next. Then the Amex gold card offer came out and I felt a sense of urgency since those offers don’t last long. I ended up with the Amex gold 50k offer, the Chase Hyatt card, and the Club Carlson card. I did the Chase BA card last year and the Hyatt card was on my list of wants. The recent Club Carlson cards have sparked my interest so I went for it.

  3. The same thing happened to me. I have yet to really churn but just a month ago I applied for the club carlson for myself and hubby. Country Inns are great for the long drives back up to New England. He received the 85000 and I received the 60,000. I also got him the priority card. Well just yesterday I tried for the amex and was approved for myself, tried for my husband and then figured I might as well try for something else if they are pulling inquiries anyway. I have not had the sapphire so I applied and got it immediately, hubby got the standard we will let you know. So all in 140,000 points. Now how to talk my husband into moving credit lines to get himself the sapphire. Whatever will I bribe him with.

  4. Funny, I also have a chart that I update with my planned churns… and then ignore. I churned in December, then two months later got two more AAdvantage cards. I was booking a bit of travel on AA and wanted the 10% mileage rebate, lounge passes, and statement credit. I now have 12 inquiries for the last 12 months. I’ve been approved for everything, but I do need to give my credit report a rest. Just as well, since I’ve gotten every single bonus on my wish list, and don’t see any temptations on the horizon.

  5. Chase has been pulling both Equifax and Experian on my applications ever since I got my first card with them. The only time is hasn’t happened was a couple of times that I got instant approval.

  6. Much good has already been said about the Chase BA card and the general viability of Avios, and it’s a great card/bonus to combine with Amex MR as you can transfer MR to Avios. Also don’t forget about Avios’ family plan, where you can essentially share miles with anyone who lives at your address. That’s a good reason to sign up the hubby for his own card too if you haven’t already!

    Through a combination of signing up for the Chase card myself, my GF, and a recent generous MR=>Avios bonus (+33% I think), I had more than enough miles to book the GF and myself R/T from SF to Hong Kong on Cathay first class for our upcoming wedding banquet in Guangzhou next November. I can’t wait!

  7. I got the Chase BA card this month. I waited 11 or 12 days before calling the reconsideration line, they moved credit from another card to approve me. I also got pulls on Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, not sure which bureaus those are. Credit Karma listed it as a Chase pull, but I didn’t see on Credit Sesame a way to see who pulled it. In only know it was Chase because that was the only card I’ve applied for in 2013.

  8. I’d really like to get into the 50k Amex but am unsure if my credit history is good enough. I have 729 on Creditkarma, 36k income, and around 20 months of credit history. Never had a late payment or anything. In the last year, I only had one cc application which got approved (chase sapphire preferred in early January).

    Any idea if I should try and go for it?

  9. Nice! I did a similar churn yesterday. Here are my results as another data point for your readers. It had been 3 months since prior conveniently. Yesterday, I got the same AMEX Gold offer, Club Carlson personal Visa, Club Carlson Business Visa (same bonus), 2nd Barclays USAir. All instant approval. I got rejected on a CSP Mastercard because i already have the Visa. The reconsideration lady said there was no credit pull because of this and the only way to get it was to close the CSP Visa first and call back within 30days and they should allow it. I told her it was for Sams Club.

  10. Good work on the cards! After getting the Chase Ink Plus as my only card last time I also did an unplanned churn a couple of days ago. I also was approved for the 50,000 AMEX Premier Rewards Gold and the Club Carlson Premier Rewards. In addition I netted a 50,000 Citi AAdvantage AMEX and a 50,000 Citi AAdvantage Business Visa card.

    I was worried about the Club Carlson card because I did not get instant approval and of course we are dealing with US Bank here. However, I checked my US Bank Flex Perk account and the Club Carlson card is now showing up underneath it on the screen.

  11. Between Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, which one is more accurate? I have 820 on Credit Sesame and 710 on Credit Karma, so I am really confused.

  12. Is there a reason that people do several applications on one day? Should I do that too? Or can I spread them out, e.g. one per month?

  13. Last year Oct Chase only pulled EQ, this month Chase and Citi pulled EX and EQ might be something new, oh yeah from Georgia.

    US Bank pulled EQ
    Barclays pulled TU

  14. I did a churn last night also. For 11 cards. I saw this post and remembered that I wanted the gold delta card and that was what started me thinking I needed to do a churn. Get 7 of the cards denied 2 (citi advantage visa and business-they said multiple cards) others I’m waiting approval until the weekdays when open. Thanks for the pst reminded me that I needed the delta gold. Got instant approval on it.

  15. Jan – people do it all on one day because the if I want 5 cards each bank checks the credit report and doesn’t know that the other cards were just applied for. If I apply today for a card and wait a week to apply for another then the bank sees I just got a credit card and why would I need multiple cards unless I have a credit problem. So higher chance of denial on second application. Also usually your credit score will dip a couple points when you apply. It takes a few months for it to go back to normal. Then you can apply for more cards.

  16. -I hadn’t had BA before, but have read some success stories of a second a year or so after the first on FT. No guarantees, but I have read that for this card.
    -I can tell what bureau they used by checking my credit report. Will post more about that process one day next week.
    -Not all that exciting to hear that others are getting double pulls for some credit card applications as well.
    -Travis – 11! Wowzers!

  17. FYI- checked my free credit on credit Karma and it reported my credit score 50 pts lower than what Experian reported when I paid $10 for my credit from all 3. Not sure what the deal is with the reporting differences. We are refinancing our house and I thought I had ruined our chances with churning- still had 750 with 8 cards over last 6 mos.

  18. Oh, and is one credit card application in January 2013 already too much to start such a mass application day? Should I wait until April or something? I had not a single CC application in 2012.

  19. I got the BA Visa and 100K miles promo back in late 2009 I think before Avios was implemented and closed it in November 2011. Can I apply for it again and get the bonus, especially since the program has changed since then (can’t recall if the earn rate was 1.25 but don’t think it was).

  20. Thank you for this post. Churn replicated by one member of family + Amex charge card snagged by spouse who just did a recent App-O-Rama. Love the low spend reqs, particularly for the Amex product. Keep up the good work!

  21. Was planning to apply anyway, but saw your post and was happy to use your BA Visa link to help support one of my favorite bloggers. 🙂

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