Emily’s February 2012 App-O-Rama – 6 Cards. 350,000 Miles & Points. [Expired]

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express is a Million Mile Secrets advertising partner. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

 [Emily and I get a referral for links to the Chase Ink Bold and Credit Sesame in this post.  We’re very grateful to all readers who apply using our links.]

Emily applied for 6 credit cards (only the Chase Ink Bold pays me a referral) in February.  So far, she’s been approved for 4 cards for 240,000 miles and points.  In case you’re wondering, Emily has a 6 year credit history.

Emily's February App-O-Rama

Emily’s new cards on the left, and two old US Air & Virgin Atlantic cards on the right

She also got approved for the US Air MasterCard and Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card for a second time as you can see in the picture, though as always, your experience may be different.

As I’ve written before, Emily and I don’t have any big loans in the next 2 years (equity, house, student, etc.) so we regularly apply for credit cards to earn millions of miles and points.  We also pay our cards in FULL each month because paying interest will negate the benefits of earning miles and points.

We then use these miles and points to have lots of Big Travel with Small Money!

If I were applying for a big loan, I wouldn’t apply for any credit cards until I had my loan.  Much better, in my opinion, to do everything possible to get a low interest rate on the big loan first, and then apply for credit cards.

Many credit cards require you to complete a certain minimum amount of spending before receiving the sign-up bonus.  I am careful to see that I can complete the minimum spending and use the 40+ ways to complete minimum spending requirements.

Credit Card Resources

6 cards from 4 different banks

In general, we apply for credit cards from different banks so that we don’t have credit inquiries (which usually happens every time you apply for credit) hitting only 1 credit bureau.

I want to limit the number of inquiries on each of the credit bureaus, because banks don’t like seeing too many inquiries (especially in the last 6 to 12 months) on your credit report.

Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the 3 main credit bureaus in the US.  Banks will usually request a copy of your credit bureau from at least 1 (sometimes more) of these credit report.  The exact credit bureau used depends on where you live and which bank you’ve applied for credit from.

App O Rama - Emily February 2012

Emily’s February 2012 App-O-Rama

Business Cards

1.   Chase Ink Bold.   As I’ve written previously, the Chase Ink Bold is a great way to get another 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.  I’m a big fan of Ultimate Rewards points because they have a great airline partner, United, which doesn’t charge fuel surcharges for Star Alliance award travel and Hyatt which has some very expensive hotels which I wouldn’t stay in without miles and points.

Business cards are an easy way to get extra miles and points, and as I’ve written previously, many of us may qualify for businesses.  However, business credit cards may not have all the consumer protections which personals cards have.

Emily applied for the Chase Ink Bold card using the Tax ID (if you don’t have a tax ID, you can use your social security number) from Million Mile Secrets, but she wasn’t approved instantly.  But we called the Chase business reconsideration line and after answering questions about Million Mile Secrets, she was approved.  The telephone representative was very thorough in his questioning (how long has the business been running, what do you do, what is your salary from your regular job etc.), but was very friendly.

We asked to close a previous Chase Southwest business card (the fee was due in a few weeks!) and to transfer that credit line to the Chase Ink Bold.  The rep closed the Southwest credit card and approved the Chase Ink Bold, but only with a $5,000 limit.  But since this is a business card, the credit line does not show in our personal credit report and effect our credit utilization or credit aging (however the credit inquiry does show in our personal credit report).

2.   Citi American Airlines business card.  Emily applied for the Citi American Airlines business card for 50,000 miles using the Tax ID from Million Mile Secrets, but she wasn’t approved instantly.

But we called the Citi reconsideration line and was approved after verifying information on the application regarding Emily’s salary.  We weren’t asked any questions about the business.  We’ve been using up our American Airlines miles quickly so we were thrilled to get approved for the Citi American Airlines business card.

Emily cancelled her last Citi American Airlines business card in June 2011.  In our experience, the rules for getting another Citi AA business card are a bit quirky.  We used to be able to get one 3 months after cancelling our last Citi AA business card, but lately we’ve had to wait at least 6 months after cancelling to get approved for another Citi business card.  This is different from our experience with the Citi AA personal cards which we’ve managed to get again after at least 18 months since we were last approved.

However, Citi does often ask folks to submit proof of the business such as a bank statement or utility bill so read my post on how to fill in a business card application before applying.

Personal Cards

3.  Barclay’s US Air MasterCard.  Emily had an earlier US Air MasterCard from February 2011.  But we were curious to see if we could get approved for another one despite already having the card.  We submitted our application, but it wasn’t approved instantly.

So we called the reconsideration line and the phone was answered immediately.  The telephone rep asked us a few questions about income on the application, and mentioned that we already had an existing US Air credit card!

But before we could explain why we wanted a second US Air personal credit card, she said that she would close Emily’s existing US Air card which had only a $2,000 credit line (Platinum version) and approve her for a $5,000 credit line (Premier version).  She mentioned that Emily consistently paid her student loans, which suggests that she was reviewing our credit report while we were chatting.

This was extremely unexpected, and I have no idea why the telephone representative suggested closing one version of the card and approving us for another version.  Unless she collected miles and points as well and understands why folks would want a second card!  But we’re not complaining.

Note that Emily’s experience may not be your experience if you apply for the US Air MasterCard again.

4.   Bank of America Virgin Atlantic.  Emily applied for this card in August 2011 and still has the card open.  I was curious to see if Bank of America would approve her for another card despite already having the card.

Emily’s application was pending, so we called the reconsideration line and verified personal and income information on the application.  The telephone representative approved her for another Bank of America Virgin Atlantic credit without even mentioning that she had an existing card.

This is one of the most underrated credit cards to apply for, because 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles can get you a one way trip from most of the US to London in Virgin’s Upper Class (yes, the fuel surcharges are ~$400), or you can transfer them to 100,000 Hilton hotel points.

I actually received 80,000 points for my last Virgin Atlantic card (no idea why), and so did some readers.  I’m hoping that Emily will also get 80,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for this card.

Note that Emily’s experience may not be your experience if you apply for the US Air MasterCard again.

5.   Citi Thank You Premier.  Emily applied for the Citi Thank You Premier Visa in August 2011, and we wanted to see if she would get approved for the Thank You Premier MasterCard.

Her application was pending, and when we called the reconsideration line, we were told that her application was denied because of too many recent inquiries.  Well, she only had 3 recent inquiries in the past 3 months  (2 of which were from Citi for applications in this app-o-rama), so we wrote a letter to the Citi Executive offices with a copy of her credit report which we were able to get for free because her application was denied.

We’re still waiting to here back from the Citi Executive office.  In my experience, Citi has a terrible telephone reconsideration experience, but is quite helpful if you write them a letter.

What’s interesting to me is that Emily’s application wasn’t immediately declined because she already had a Citi Thank You Premier, which could be a sign that you can get more than one Citi Thank You Premier card.  We like the Citi Thank You Premier because the 50,000 point sign-up bonus can be used towards $665 worth of airfare with no blackout dates, which makes this great for domestic US travel.

6.   American Express Hilton (60,000 point offer no longer available).  Emily has never had this card, but we wanted it for 2 reasons.  Firstly, it is a no-fee card, so Emily doesn’t have to worry about cancelling the card and will show American Express that she’s a long time American Express customer.

Secondly, we’ve accumulated lots of Hilton points by transferring points from Hawaiian Air and the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.  50,000 Hilton points gets you 1 night in the top category 7 hotels, but as Loyalty Traveler often points out, you can get a 28% discount if you book a 4-night category 7 AXON award for only 145,000 Hilton points (instead of 200,000 points).

You’re eligible for an AXON award if you have an American Express Hilton card, so this was another reason why we applied for this card.

However, American Express wants to see Emily’s tax returns (again), so we’ve asked the IRS to send American Express the tax returns.  I’m pretty sure Emily will eventually get approved for the card, but it will take a few months.

Credit Score Impact

[You should know that I get a referral if you sign up for Credit Sesame using the links in the post.  Emily and I have been using Credit Sesame for years and are very thankful to readers who use our link!]

They are not official FICO credit scores which lenders usually use, but substitute scores or “FAKO” (as in fake) scores.

But these are good substitutes for me because I don’t want to spend money to get my official credit score.

 Credit Sesame:

Emily’s score of 755 was last updated in January before her February App-O-Rama.  Credit Sesame gives a substitute of her Experian score, but for some reason is not updating for February or March.

App O Rama 3 - Emily February 2012

Emily’s Credit Sesame Credit Score

But despite applying for credit cards for years, she still has a score in the 740 range last year.

Credit Karma:

Emily’s Credit Karma score is 736, but her official TransUnion score is 746 which was in the material which Barclay’s sent with her credit card.  Credit Karma gives a substitute of one’s TransUnion score.

App O Rama 1- Emily February 2012

Emily’s Credit Karma Scores

Bottom Line: Most of the millions of miles which Emily and I use for Big Travel with Small Money have come from credit card sign-up bonuses.  And it is nice to know that we can potentially get the US Air MasterCard and Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card again (though your personal experience may be different).

This is a great way to earn lots of miles and points, but you HAVE to be careful.

Don’t apply for credit cards if you can’t pay off the entire balance monthly.  You’ll likely be paying more in interest than the value of the miles and points.  And don’t apply for credit cards if you will be applying for a big loan in the next 2 years.

What’s your experience getting the same type of card again?

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These responses 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.

94 responses to “Emily’s February 2012 App-O-Rama – 6 Cards. 350,000 Miles & Points. [Expired]

  1. Congrats on a productive app-o-rama! Do you have any idea if it’s possible to apply for two AA business cards in one app-o-rama? It’d be nice to be able to get both a Visa and MC in one swoop.

  2. Ryan from MA

    Wow! So I thought you couldn’t churn AMEX cards

  3. I was unable to find 60K American Express offer with no annual fee. I only see or 60K AMEX with $75 fee. Is that offer still active? Could you please post a link?

  4. Tammy Horvath

    Daraius,
    I tried to sign up for Credit Sesame through your link and it says unable to locate credit file. Did you or Emily have any trouble when you signed up? I’ve had credit for 20+ years and I know Experian has a long file on me.

  5. D – two questions:
    1) Can you report on which CC app pulled which credit report? ie, Barclays United card probably pulled TU. I’m looking at a couple of these cards for my next AOR and I’m curious. I know it varies by state and bank, but the more data points, the better.
    2) What address did you use for the Citi Executive office letter?

    Thanks! Great post!

  6. Prior to this , when was the last time Emily applied for CCs?

  7. Please post the link for the 60k Hilton offer with no annual fee.

    Below is the link for for no annual fee 40k points offer.
    http://www304.americanexpress.com/getthecard/learn-about/Hilton-HHonors/25330

  8. What credit agencies were used for Emilys appltions? Personally I have a hard time doing more than 3 applications a cycle because chase citi and amex all hit experian for me. Any tips?

  9. what is the address of Citi’s executive office? could you provide a template/draft or main points i should make in the letter?

    Thanks.

  10. Axon?

  11. I read your blog post on the limited time 75K mile promoitno for amex small biz gold card. Applied and then was Financial Reviewed about 3 days later after approval. Complete bull crap. Please caution readers before recommending something that will trigger an amex FR!!

  12. @Kay – I believe that you can apply for only 1 Citi business card within 95 days, so I doubt that you’ll be able to get both the MC and Visa at the same time. Please let me know if you find out otherwise.

    @Ryan from MA – I know this may be confusing, but the Virgin Atlantic AMEX is issued by Bank of America, not American Express bank.

    @Eugene @syed – I didn’t post a link in the post, because the offer has reduced to 40K after Emily applied. I’ll update the post to make that clear.

    @Tammy Horvath
    – We haven’t had any issue signing up except that our score hasn’t yet updated for March. Thanks for using our link!

    @Steve – It really does vary by state, and you’ll get a better sense of what’s applicable for you by looking at your credit report. Citi and Barclays use TransUnion, Chase uses Equifax, and Bank of America uses Experian for us in Kansas. But you could get different results – even if you stay in Kansas. The Citi Executive office address is in this post.

    @sil – In October 2011.

    @Tom - It really depends where you stay. Emily and I are lucky that the banks use different credit bureaus for us. Citi and Barclays use TransUnion, Chase uses Equifax, and Bank of America uses Experian for us in Kansas. But you could get different results – even if you stay in Kansas.

    @Allen - Coming up soon!

    @karen cagle – That’s the discounted award for American Express Hilton card holders.

    @steve – Sorry to hear about the Financial Review, but I have no way of knowing how and who American Express targets. Other readers applied for the card, and haven’t had a financial review. But I do agree that it is very annoying.

  13. So I’m still struggling to understand what approach to take when applying to credit cards. I really have no use for the hotel credit cards (we almost never stay in hotel chains). I also don’t get why it’s important to apply for virgin airlines when I never have flown with that company. Because we are a family of 4 I tend to focus my efforts on the main airlines that we usually use (in case I have to purchase one ticket and get 3 with miles). So the question to you guys is: what’s better for keeping a good credit and getting approved easily: to apply for a bunch of cards at once, regardless of the bonus miles offered at the time, or to apply for a card or two every few months with large sign up bonuses (75K and up)?
    My main airlines are Delta, AA, United, USAirways (mostly for international travel all of them).

  14. WOW, that’s awesome! But how can one spend $13,750 in 3 months?

  15. Mariana, I benefited from hotel cards in my last round of apps recently. I was hesitant as well, since like you I do not typically use a lot of hotel points. I read this post and figured that I should still apply b/c the few times I do stay I can stay at a high status – http://www.noobtraveler.com/status-match-hyatt-gold-passport-diamond-priority-club-platinum/ Just a thought you may want to consider…

  16. For the 2nd US Air card, did they make you pay the annual fee?

    Wife canceled her long held Hilton standard AMEX yesterday. When can we reapply for it? Or go for the Surpass card…now? I wondered if these two are considered the “same” product or completely different cards?

    We all know about the AA Citi cards. How is the “churn schedule” for their other cards: Thank you cards and Hilton Visa cards? Same or something different??

    We need more competition in this field…Capital One ain’t it:-)

  17. @mariana – The #1 rule is to do what makes sense for YOU. If you never stay in hotel chains, don’t apply for a hotel credit card (unless you can transfer them to airlines, like the SPG card)! If you’re interested only in airline miles, apply for airline credit cards, or cards which allow you to transfer points to airlines (like the Chase Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards cards).

  18. To Mariana: Family of 4 “we almost never stay in hotel chains”

    Why not???????

  19. @Brian – We pay our rent using WilliamPaid and Student Loans using Chargesmart. Yes, there is a 3% fee, but it is worth it, but only to get the sign-up bonus. There are other creative ways in the 40+ ways to complete minimum spending.

    @Randy - Thanks for sharing & helping out!

    @gpapadop
    – The fee is currently waived on the US Air card, so we don’t expect to pay the fee. Even if we did, it would be worth it for 40K US Air miles. I believe that you may be able to get the other Citi cards again, but not sure what the specific timeline is.

  20. Is there a chance of getting accepted for a lesser value card for the Virgin Atlantic? IE signature visa/platinum visa. This has happened to me in the passed with BofA.

  21. What would you have said to US Air reconsideration line if they had asked why you wanted a 2nd card? I’m considering getting a 2nd US Air card. I believe I currently have the Premier version.

  22. It looked like she was wearing a hat in the picture! :) I noticed it was just the background.

  23. @Gkrebs – I believe there is only 1 type of BOA Virgin Atlantic card, unlike the other BOA cards which have different versions.

    @sudeep – To keep business expenses separate from personal expenses, for a benefit which wasn’t available on the earlier card (etc.). But it is a tough one to answer.

    @Jason – Ha. A very point hat…

  24. How many credit cards does Emily has in total? The picture shows Emily’s 2 old credit cards. Does that mean you cancel existing cards before applying for new ones. The reason I am asking is I have already reached 10 credit cards, so just want to make sure that there is no max limit before I apply for a new offer.

  25. Very nice app-o-rama Emily! Very helpful post as always D! I am itching to do an app-o-rama, but my gut is telling me to hold out a couple more weeks…sigh.

  26. Thanks D – Citi definitely doesn’t pull TU in GA, I wish! I pretty much can only do Barclay’s cards (and Sallie Mae) in GA.

    Also, thank you for the reminder for the link for Citi Executive Office. I thought it was in here someplace, I wasn’t sure though.

  27. @Dinesh - The 2 old cards were the US Air and Virgin Atlantic card (which she got for a 2nd time). She does have ~10 open cards currently. Each bank will likely have a limit on the credit line and/or number of cards you have open, but you can negotiate either transferring the credit line or closing the account to get approved for a new card.

    @Corinne – It doesn’t hurt to wait. Perhaps we’ll have something new then.

    @Steve – We’re really lucky in KS! It was harder when we were in IL, because the inquiries were not evenly distributed.

  28. I have the US Airways premier card (got it in november 2011) and tried to apply for the second one but they said they don’t allow anyone to have two identical cards. That’s probably why Emily’s old account got closed, and I just got declined, since I already have the current best card.

  29. When Emily applied for the second US air card amd Virgin Atlantic Card, did she provide the same dividend miles # and Flyer Club # as she did on the first of those cards? Or did she use different miles # this time?

  30. Where’s Emily’s engagement ring?

  31. Does the whole wait however many months for Citi AA to churn, apply to Citi Business as well as Citi Personal? In other words if you applied for a Citi Personal AA card in the last 2 months, and would like to do the citi businesss AA now, is that possible?

  32. you guys never comment or help on the important stuff…..what can these cards be downgraded to in order to keep them open long term without the annual fees…
    the biz cards are easily cancelled without much implications to credit scores and histories….but how about that Citi Premier thank you card….what can that be downgraded to for a no-fee card?

  33. CanadianMillionMiler

    @steve- Did you get financial review after a large spending charge to the card or you haven’t even spent anything on it as of yet? How many additional users do you have on the card? From what I understand, those two factors may trigger an FR. But please do share your specific situation.

  34. Israel Husarsky

    I could not hold back – I did the Ink card-

    hated the third degree questions but got approvrd after moving a slice from my saphhire preferred.

    another card to remeber about a $95 in ayear.

    Is there a way to see the credit cards both personal and business on the same log-in.

    What about at ultimate rewards can you see the business with the personal to make easy point combining like I do for my freedom and sapphire?

  35. You know, last night I was literally thinking to myself, “I wonder when Daraius will do a new App-o-rama” because I am trying to put one together myself. And here it is! Thank you. Can you post an follow-up for those cards Emily was still waiting to be approved for?

  36. Question! D!
    Getting approved for the second time guarantees a second time bonus? Is it possible approving the card for the second time but without bonus again?

  37. @Atxtravel – Nice to know and thanks for sharing! I have their best card and I’ll try getting another one in a few weeks.

    @Peter S – She put in her regular membership numbers in the application.

    @Chris S. – She prefers the one she’s wearing in the picture.

    @dazed – Yes, you can get the Citi Business if you have the personal AA cards, provided you don’t currently have the Citi AA business card. However, you should wait at least 65 days before applying for the Citi business card because Citi allows only 2 apps every 65 days.

    @Daniel
    – You can always downgrade a card to a no-fee version once you get the bonus. I avoid doing that, because it may prevent me from getting a sign-up bonus on the card which I transferred to. I haven’t tried downgrading the Citi Thank You Premier, so I dont’ have any personal information to share.

    @Israel Husarsky - Ha! And thanks for using our link (if you didn’t, no worries). It is hard to resist the applications. I got some coming up in a few days. If you have a business bank account with Chase, you may be able to call them and have all your accounts show up together online. It is annoying to have to log into separate accounts.

    @Ryan – I’ll definitely follow up on the 2 cards which are pending. However, there are better cards to apply for than the ones in the post, but since Emily has all those cards, we had to be creative.

    @Li - Not necessarily. But Citi in my experience does award the bonus a second time if you’ve been approved for the card.

  38. Thanks! Keep us updated whether Emily gets her second time bonus with US Air, BOA Virgin, and Citi Thank You Premier Master! Good luck!

  39. I need to close my chase shappire card do I loose the miles, do you have a article on this?

  40. Marriott Marty

    Hi D-
    You mentioned that recently it has taken at least six months to churn the AA Business card [from prior cancellation], but that it used to be 3 months [and may be 3 months for some folks? I am wondering whether it is worth trying to apply after 3.5 months or whether I should wait until after 6 months. Have you heard of any recent applicants that were approved in the 3-4 time frame churning a Citi bank AA Business card? Also, why not cancel the US Air card [after getting the 10,000 bonus at the year anniversary] and then applying again after a few months? Any intel on that? Thanks and see you in Chicago in Oct.

  41. Hey Darius! Awesome blog – love learning bout new stuff!
    Got a question about “a loan in two years” – why is that?
    I got the two Citi AA cards following ur advice – but during a call with City rep – I asked to move the credit from my existing AA card to the new cards. And also I got approved for Cap1 Venture. My Fico was 778 and now it probably b around 750 – still ok for a loan? (I’m planning on a new car lease – which is around 15-17k in Dec 2012) – could you plz share your thoughts?
    Thanks!!!

  42. Interesting fact, on which I’d like to “hear” your thoughts: after approval of 3 credit cards (2 Citi personal and Cap1 Venture) – my score increased by 10 points – from 768 to 778 although Citi hit Experian for approval and Cap1 – all three. Is it normal?
    Thanks!

  43. I opened an amex premier rewards gold card for a 75k point offer in Feb. I didn’t notice there’s also a 50k amex/air canada/aeroplan offer that expires on 3/16. Is it too soon to apply for another amex? Are 50k aeroplan offers common?

  44. AlwaysTravel

    I have been churning for a year now but I am still uncertain as to how long to wait to call the reconsideration lines after I get a “pending” response on an application. Is it best to call the day you apply? The reason I ask is this – sometimes when I have waited a few days or a week to call, even if I get approved in the end, I find there is more than one pull to my credit report for that card. No one wants that! Do you always call the reconsideration line the same day you apply if you don’t get instant approval?

  45. Thanks so much for the information that you posted in this article. I love pulling up your blog every day and reading all of your wonderful info and have been trying to use as much of your advice as I possibly can. The credit card churning game is fun but I am still learning each time I read. We have gotten several new cards in the last 6-8 months but I have tried not to get too many at one time so there is no problem meeting the minimum spends. We have a small-med size local business so I put all of our personal and business expenses on our cards but I strictly believe in paying off all credit cards every month. If one is not careful, the use of credit cards can get out of hand and interest rates can out way the miles earned. What fun is that? I love your list of “ways to meet minimum spends”. I charge everything on our cards–even give my husband a dirty look when he pulls out cash Ha ha! Thanks for all you do. Keep up the good work!

  46. @Alex-
    Yes, Capital One pulls from all 3 credit agencies. Most other credit cards will pull from just one…on rare occasion they may pull from an additional credit agency if they need more info or if you request it.

  47. @Li - Will do!

    @Mark – I don’t have an article on that, but if you have the Chase Ink Bold you can transfer those miles over. Or if you have a Chase Freedom you could transfer those miles to the Chase Freedom, but won’t be able to transfer to airline or hotel partners. If you don’t have any other Ultimate Rewards earning card, you should transfer the points over to a hotel or air partner because you’d lose them when you close the account.

    @Marriott Marty – You could have a different experience from me, so I can’t tell you what to do! If you can spare the inquiry, it could be worth a shot to see what works for you. A 3.5 month churning window means opportunities to get the card than a 6 month window. I believe the FT thread does have some folks getting the card earlier than 3 months. Also, some folks have had success getting another US Air card after cancelling, but others haven’t so it isn’t clear what needs to be done to get another US Air card.

    @Qlex – Thanks for reading! In general, credit inquiries stay on your credit report for 2 years. If you’re applying for a house loan it is much more prudent in my opinion to get your house loan and then apply for credit cards. I can’t comment on your car lease, b/c I don’t know the criteria that will be used to evaluate you, but your score is certainly in the ballpark to get approved, but you can look for more information on creditboards.com

    @Alex - Ha! That likely happened because your credit utilization ration decreased because you had more available credit, so it looks like you’re using less of your credit lines (which increases your credit score). On the other hand, each inquiry decreases your score by a bit, but that effect fades away after a few months. I’ve seen a similar increase in credit score myself!

    @MBK – They aren’t that common, but isn’t it only for Canadian residents? You can usually get 2 AMEX cards close to each other, but there are lots of other factors which banks look at so I can’t specifically comment.

    @AlwaysTravel – I usually give them a day or 2, and then call the reconsideration line. Citi sometimes pulls my credit report a second time, but I’ve not had an issue with the other banks.

  48. @Qlex-
    The reason behind “if you are planning on applying for a loan in the next two years” is in regards to credit inquiries. Most credit inquiries, or hard pulls, stay on your credit report for two years before being taken off of the report. Banks want to see as few inquiries as possible when you are applying for a loan-say a mortgage. You want as few inquiries as possible to get the best possible interest rate and prove to lenders that you are financially responsible. More inquiries affects your credit score slightly. For example, most of my cards are issued by Chase bank. In my area Chase pulls my report from Experian. So, I currently have 7 inquiries under my Experian score, however, 4 of those hit their 2 year mark between now and June 2012. Meaning my Experian score is likely to go up 20-22 points in the next few months due to the low number of hard pulls. Hope this helps!

  49. @Qlex-
    Sorry for the repeated info…D and I were typing at the same time!

  50. D, I’ve been waiting for this post as well. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! It’s so well written and informative. Keep up the great work!!

  51. Hi Daraius,

    I love your blog and have learned a lot from you. I applied for 7 CC’s in one day and got approved for 6. I have an online business so I applied for the AA Citi Biz Card but was declined via email for too many inquiries. I wrote a letter directly to Citi to try to get approved and they responded with another decline letter for too many inquiries ( I have a Citi Hilton, AA Amex and Visa). They used Experian also. So I was just wondering should I just stop trying to get them to approve me or call the reconsideration line? Thanks for your time

  52. Hi
    is there anyway to purchase the chase ink points? I am interested to buy a few for my coming flight

  53. Marriott Marty

    D – Thanks for your comments, I will check out the FT thread on that and will probably go for it at 3.5 months [particularly because only Citi and Barclays pull from Transunion for me in the Los Angeles area – Long Beach]. I also got the US Air Business card for only 25,000 [with an annual fee of $79] because it stacks with the personal 40,000 card and with 60,000 miles [really 55,000 with the credit card] one can get a business class trip to Paris during low season [January 15-Feb. 28, 2013 for 60,000 miles [unfortunately for me no business class is available for Belgium, but I got a ticket for a cousin in coach for 30,000 miles [35,000 – 5,000 for using the US Air personal cc. Of course, I would rather have more AA miles, but… thanks again.

  54. Marriott Marty

    FYI – when I got reconsideration from Chase on my second SW card [within 30 days] the first credit pull was with Experian [normal for Chase in my area] but the second ‘reconsideration” pull was from Equifax. I assume that others have had similar experience?! Got my companion pass in the mail, sput a big grin on my face!

  55. Joe Rodriguez

    where’s your area Marty?

  56. @canadian

    nope, hadn’t yet spent a dime on it. only got approved for the biz card for a few days, and was hit with the FR. only applied for myself and have been an excellent client of amex since 2007, have 2 other cards with perfect paying history

  57. So – once again – you’ve overstated the miles and points earned in the headline. You earned 300k, not 350k. Whatever transactions you do or do not decide to perform afterwards are irrelevent and simply cloud the transparency of your piece.

  58. Marriott Marty

    @joe Rodriquez I live in Long Beach, California. If you pull all three credit bureaus from annualcreditreport.com you will see what companies pulled from which credit bureau for your past cards. You can do that once a year for free [you do not get your credit score for free, but everything else].

  59. Marriott Marty

    @User Name – get a life, the app-o-rama color breakdown clearly states 50,000 and in parenthesis 100,000 Hilton points.

  60. @Corinne - Thanks for helping out!

    @Kendra – Thanks! Hope it helped out!

    @Bryan – You could write to them again and explain why you had so many inquiries. I got declined from them the 1st time as well, though there is no guarantee that you’d get approved if you write to them again.

    @Yang – You can purchase Ultimate Rewards points from the Ultimate Rewards website for 2.5 cents per point.

    @Marriott Marty – I’ve never had Chase pull from a 2nd credit bureau after calling their reconsideration line. Congrats on the Companion Pass, and please let me know how your Citi Business application goes.

    @User Name - I guess we’ll have to disagree on this. We apply for the Virgin Atlantic card because it offers 100K easy Hilton points and I mention the transfer ratio more than once. Actually, we’ve earned less than 300K, b/c we weren’t approved for 2 cards, which is mentioned right at the beginning of the post. The ability to transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton points was the main reason why we applied for that card.

  61. Thanks guys for commenting – I understand the “qualitative” part of “too many inquiries” don’t look good when you apply for a loan. How will it affect it quantitatively? through a credit score? so if those inquiries reduce the credit score by 5 points each – not such a big deal if you credit score went down from 780 to 770 right? Or am I wrong here?
    Thanks!

  62. What I tried to ask in the previous comment was: whats more important for loan consideration: amount of inquiries or credit score?

  63. @Alex-
    When it came to our mortgage consideration both the amount of inquiries and credit score were a factor. Banks DO NOT want to see a number of inquiries in a short amount of time. The bank will wonder why you are applying for so much credit in so little time and might see it as overextending yourself. That may make you more of a liability in the banks opinion and they may choose to not extend you the loan/mortgage or give you a higher interest rate. So, the credit score dropping from a 780 to a 770 not that big of an issue because the FICO score is higher than most banks want in order for you to qualify, but because of the way the housing market has gone in the past couple of years the banks pick through your finances with a fine tooth comb.

  64. Hi Darius,
    I love reading your blog. I really don’t know your blog not until i read it at the Free Frequently Fyer Miles (which is another bolg).I’m so glad that i checked it. Anyways, i have questions for you. First is there a type of credit card you can suggest that i should apply first? I want to earn miles to visit my family in the Philippines but i don’t think we can do it anytime soon ( like by the end of this year) because i don’t have much vacation days my husband and i would like to visit there for like a month so we are saving are vacation time. The type i want to get is something that will give you a miles points but with no expiration. the possible time we can visit probably sometime in 2013. I have a 5 years of credit history. thank you and more power to you!!! :)

  65. @Alex – The exact quantitative impact will vary from person to person, but in MY personal experience it is ~3 to 5 points per application. Also, each bank has their own evaluation process, so I don’t know which they’d prefer. Much better to be cautious and have both a high score and low number of inquiries. Corrine is right that banks will look at your finances closely before approving a loan.

    @Corinne - Thanks for helping out!

    @Chess17
    – Thanks for stopping by and welcome! I’d suggest applying for 2 American Airline cards (VISA and AMEX) for 50K miles each for a total of 100K miles. That should be enough for 1 person to fly to the Philippines. American Airlines points don’t expire for 18 months, but any activity (even credit card purchases, signing up for netflix, dining, etc.) will extend the life of your miles.

  66. Hi Darius,
    Thank you very much for your quick reply. I hope you won’t mind I have more questions for you regarding the credit card application. Here are my questions: About the American Airline CC do I need to apply both at the same time (using the 2 browser technique)? Or I can apply to them one @ a time? Also my husband wants to apply too. But I don’t think we can do 4 cards at the same time like 2 card for me (Visa & Amex) and 2 of the same thing for him. I believed that you have to meet the spending requirement(s) in a certain period. Will it be Ok for example I will apply to AA card –visa and my husband will apply with AA card –visa also. Then once we satisfy the spending requirement and received our reward points we will move to the next card you have mentioned? What bank/credit card company offer this American Airline credit card? And one last thing do you have the link(s) in your blog for these cards you suggest for me to apply? I can’t think of anything else to ask. I think I’ve said enough.. But I want to thank you for your patience answering my questions. Have a great weekend. :)

  67. @Chess17 – You should apply for both the VISA and the AMEX for 1 person at the same time or 1 after the other to be able to get both the sign-on bonuses. If you apply for the VISA now, you won’t be able to get the AMEX for at least 18+ months. So you could apply for both now, and then a few months later have your husband apply for both the cards as well, so that you get 100K miles each. This card is issued by Citibank. The cards are listed in the “Hot Deals” tab. Have a great weekend too!

  68. Re: Virgin Atlantic – I also got the 80K bonus but hubby got 50K, so YMMV !
    Re: Hilton – I had a “regular” HH Amex (hubby has the Surpass, so we have been Diamond through that for the past few years). I called Amex to see what their deal was to convert to the Surpass and they gave me the regular Surpass bonus and prorated the fee. I had 40K spending on it from the coin deal in 2011, so I am Diamond too now. A few months later, I “downgraded” to the “regular” no-fee card, and they prorated the fee and issued me a refund. Points were safe. If you are concerned about this, you can make a reservation using your points far in the future and cancel it when you know your points are safe. I’ve done that for Priority Club points when I canceled a card prematurely in a Chase reconsideration shuffle.
    P.S. We’ve been “down under” for a month and I’m still catching up on all of your deals.

  69. @PatMike – Thanks for sharing! I hope Emily gets the 80K bonus and not 50K! Good to know that I can upgrade the basic AMEX to Surpass and get the additional points as well. Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

  70. Darius,

    Do you recommend the Citi Hilton Visa Signature Card? 40K Hilton Points just for signing up, and no annual fee. Its on Hilton’s website as a way to get 40k points. I felt like I read in some of your previous posts, that you don’t typically recommend their Hilton card. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

    Second question,

    Could someone hypothetically apply for these 4 cards at the same time:

    Visa Signature-Hilton (40K)
    American Express-Hilton (Current Points Offer YMMV)
    BOA Virgin Atlantic (100K Hilton Honors)
    Hawaii Air (Current Points Offer YMMV)

    I am thinking about doing this as a possible churn, just to rack up a ton of Hilton Points right away. What are your thoughts?

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  73. Hey Daraius,

    For churning the Citi Biz AA do you know if the date that matters is my application date or the card closure date?

  74. Jacob – You can get 2 Citi Hilton 50K cards at the same time, which could be nice if you’re running out of options. You could potentially apply for all those cards especially if the banks use a different credit bureau.

    @HoKo – It is the card closure date (unlike the personal cards where it is the application date).

  75. Got it and do u have any recommendations on how long to (1) keep the card open before canceling and (2) how long to wait after canceling before re-applying? I think I remember hearing 60-90 days for #2.

  76. @HoKo – It is about 60 to 90 days after cancelling for the Citi biz card. Here’s a post on when to cancel.

  77. @D Perfect, thanks!

  78. So did Emily end up getting 50K or 80K from the BOA VS? I’ve had 1 statement close, but didn’t meet the minimum spend so I’ve only seen ~20K.

  79. @Wings – We’ve also seen only 20K so far, but I’ll post an update when the next statement closes.

  80. Can you PLEASE blur out Emily’s Credit Karma log in ID? It’s not hard to do!

  81. i have a few question for an App O Rama
    1) can i do with citi BofA US bank and other banks the same as chase with recon to close old cards to open the new card
    if no do i need to close old cards before applying for new cards
    2)why does all apps from all banks need to be in one day can i do one bank at a time or its need to be all banks at one shot
    3)can i do 2 us airways or virgin Atlantic with 2 browser or its need to be 2 different type of cards
    4) i have citi aa visa and amex i want to do an aa biz card do i need to close one of this before i apply
    5) is there a 80k virgin card i can’t find it
    Thanks for ur help

  82. @Anon – Will do tonight!

    @miles – In my experience, Citi doesn’t have a good recon department so I close my Citi cards before applying, but BOA and Barclays have decent recon departments. If you do few apps, you can space them apart. I usually do 3 to 5 apps and prefer to do them on the same day, though I sometimes space them apart. The 2 browser trick works mainly with Citi cards. I’d apply for 2 different BOA and Barclay’s cards at the same time (if that’s what you want to do). You may get the biz card AA card even if you have the personal cards and it has been 65 days since your last Citi application. There is no 80K BOA Virgin card – only a 50K version. Good luck!

  83. will closing my citi cards lower my score cuz i lose theat CL, can i do 2 Browser trick with citi biz card or its need to be 2 different cards , why u prefer same day , i see Emily did 6 cards not 3-5 any reason not to go more then 3-5

  84. Hello, this is a great post and site. I have one question though. When I add up the minimum spend for all the cards it comes to over 13K in 3-4 months. How do you manage to spend all that even using the tips you give it would be hard for most people (me). Just curious if I’m missing something or there’s a way to meet the spending that I’m not aware of. Keep up the great site!!

  85. Joe Rodriguez

    Did Emily receive her TY Premier card after appealing to the Citi Executive Offices?

  86. @Miles – Apply for whatever feels right for you. There’s no need to apply for 6 cards if you can’t meet the spending requirements. In my experience, you can’t get the 2 Citi business cards at the same time.

    @Chuck – Thanks! I use Amazon Payments for $1K a month fee-free and pay my rent using William Paid for a small fee which is worth it for the sign-up bonus. These 2 activities alone are about $8K in 4 months, and the remaining are usually groceries, gas and other living expenses.

    @Joe Rodriguez
    – She did receive another Citi Thank You Premier, so we now have 2 of them each.

  87. How frequently can one re-apply for the BofA Virgin Atlantic and Bank of Hawaii cards? I just was approved for the VA card and would love to work that same 100k deal again in the future!

  88. @BigTex – In our experience, every 3 to 4 months.

  89. I am sort of a new to point collecting. I have over a million Hilton Honors points mainly because I plan meetings and get large chucks at time. Growing my Priority Club points which are 150,000 and Club Carlson I cashed in 400,00 for gift card (took advantage of the three brand promotions which will get me 138,000 points). I applied for a citi Aadvantage card for business and it was kinda crazy to get approved. I complained and got the points even though the spending minimum was not met (got approved for $1,000). Are there any other American Airline card that are not CitiBank? They look at your credit limits from all of your Citi cards and because I have a personal Citi cc that has a high credit limit (25K) I can only get cards with a low ($1,000-$2,000) which make it hard or impossible to meet the spending limit to get the points.

  90. When you do an app-o-rama how close together do you apply for the cards (excluding things like the two browser trick that have to be done simultaneously)? Is it back-to-back in a few hours or days? Thanks so much!

  91. @Mark – I don’t know of any AA cards which aren’t Citi and which have a sign-up bonus. You can either reduce the limit on your personal card or pay off your new cards mid cycle to be able to meet the minimum spending on them.

    @Sara K – We usually do it back to back unless there is a great new offer available.

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