Daraius’ November 2012 App-O-Rama – 6 Cards. 205,000 Miles & Points + 4 Free Hilton Nights (~200,000 Points)

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Emily and I set travel goals and we then collect miles and points to get to those   goals.  Our goals are quite simple.  We want to have enough miles and points to travel within the US in coach to visit friends and family and to have weekend getaways.

We also want to travel internationally 2 to 3 times a year – ideally in business or first class, but we’ll choose a flight in coach if it means less connections and more time on the ground (like we did when we visited Brazil during Carnival).

We also need hotel points since we have to stay somewhere.  We don’t really care which airline we fly or hotel we stay in as long as we can save money while traveling.  I’m partial to Hyatt because I’m a Hyatt diamond, but I won’t say no to free or cheap hotel stays.

I applied for 6 credit cards the day before Thanksgiving and was approved for all of them after ~1 hour on the phone, so I had extra reason to be grateful on Thanksgiving.   In case you’re wondering, I have a ~12 year credit history and a credit score above 700.  This application focused on domestic US travel and hotel stays.

I wanted to apply for an American Express card as well, but decided to wait for a higher offer on the American Express Premier Rewards gold card.  The current offer is for 25,000 points, but I may apply for it during my next application.  I already have the American Express Hilton and Starwood cards and didn’t want to spend $475 for the American Express Mercedes Benz Platinum card with 50,000 Membership Rewards points since all the other cards which I applied for had annual fees due in the 1st year.

I applied for the cards in the order of importance to me – first the Southwest Business Card, then the Southwest personal card for the Southwest Companion Pass for domestic US travel, next were the 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards for 2 sets of 2 free weekend nights, followed by the Barclays Frontier Airlines for domestic flights and lastly the Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines card for more Hilton points.

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!

Note that you should NOT apply for multiple cards just because I or other bloggers do.  As always, do what is comfortable for you!  Make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements comfortably.  There is no harm in applying for just 1 or 2 cards at a time.

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.  And to be as conservative as possible, I wouldn’t apply for many cards in the 2 years before a mortgage or refinance.

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.  I may also buy Vanilla Reloads at CVS and use them them to fund my Bluebird and pay bills.

Credit Card Resources

6 cards from 4 different banks

In general, I apply for credit cards from different banks, every 3 to 4 months, 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.  If you apply for 1 or 2 cards at a time, I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

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

Personal Cards

Update:  Citi NO longer lets you apply for 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards at the same time.

1.   Citi Hilton Reserve.  I like this card so much that I applied for 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards at the same time!  It offers 2 free weekend nights at almost all Hilton hotels.  Thanks to Rapid Travel Chai for leading the way!

The card also gets you Hilton gold elite status (free breakfast and internet).  I have Hilton gold elite status from a virtual move to Australia, but I will now be able to extend her Hilton gold status.  We plan on keeping this card because the $95 annual fee is well worth the Hilton gold elite status.  For example, I saved ~$80 per day in Bora Bora by not paying for breakfast and internet!

I plan on using one card for personal expenses and the other card for business Hilton stays since the card gets you 10 points per $1 spent at Hilton.  You earn 3 Hilton points per $1 spent and the card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees for using it outside the US.  Big Spenders can earn top-tier Hilton Diamond status, 1 free weekend night & at least 120,000 Hilton points after spending $40,000 within a calendar year.

Citi usually lets you apply for 2 personal cards (besides the American Airlines cards) at a time within a 65 day period, so I applied for 2 cards at the same time, but I got a message to call the reconsideration department.  I called and the rep asked me questions and kept placing me on hold.  I suspect he was new because it took 25 minutes to approve me for the card.  I immediately called backed to process my second application, and the rep approved me in only 5 minutes!

The free weekend night certificates are valid for only 12 months from when they are issued, so I see several weekend getaways for us in 2013.

We’ll use these free nights at a top tier category 7 Hilton which usually cost 50,000 points, so 4 free nights is worth ~200,000 Hilton points to us.

2.   Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines.  I last applied for the Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines card in July 2011 and and cancelled the card in March 2012.  I was interested in booking a ticket on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class with Hawaiian Airlines miles, but Hawaiian Airlines increased the price of award resumptions for Virgin Atlantic flights.

Oh well.  I’ll just have to transfer the 35,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles after spending $1,000 within 4 months to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio, so I’ll get 70,000 Hilton points.

Here is a link to the different Hawaiian Airline partner airlines where you can use Hawaiian Airline miles.

I called the Bank of America reconsideration line at (866-458-8805) to get approved for the card.  The representative told me that my application was automatically declined because of too many inquiries (fancy that), but he transferred me to a lady who kept thanking me for my business and approved my application.

3.   Barclays Frontier Airlines Card.  I recently wrote about the Barclays Frontier Airlines card which offers 35,000 miles after spending $750 within 3 months and decided to apply for the card since Frontier Airlines flies to Kansas City and has a few non-stop flights from Kansas City.

I didn’t have any open Barclays credit card at the time and had cancelled my Barclays US Air credit card in June.  I was debating whether to get the Barclays Virgin America, US Air or Frontier Airlines card.  Virgin America doesn’t fly to Kansas City, and we’ve got lots of US Air miles so I chose the Frontier Airlines card.

I was thrilled to be approved instantly with a $5,000 credit line because I didn’t want to have to call the Barclays reconsideration line if I didn’t have to.

4.    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.  What can I say?  I love the Southwest Companion Pass and want to earn it again in 2013.  Earning the Companion Pass in 2013 means that Emily can fly for free, up to the end of 2014, on every Southwest ticket I book using either miles or points.

Read this post for a detailed rundown on the Southwest Companion Pass and how to get one.

Currently the points from the 50,000 point credit card sign-up bonus counts towards the Companion Pass, but that could change anytime.  I’m hoping that the points which I earn will count towards the Companion Pass in 2013!  Even if I don’t earn the Companion Pass, 50,000 Southwest points are worth ~$833 in flights on Southwest.

I won’t cross the $2,000 minimum spending until January 2013 so that my points post to my Southwest account in January and count towards the Companion Pass then.

I had the Southwest Premier personal card before (now cancelled) so I applied for the Plus card this time.  I called the Chase personal reconsideration line to get approved for the card since this was my 2nd Chase application within a short period of time.  The representative verified my income, occupation and my rent payment before asking me how much credit line I wanted for the card.

She noticed that I had also applied for a Southwest business card, and I mentioned that I wanted the business card for my business travel and the personal card for personal expenses.

I said that $5,000 would be enough and she transferred the credit line from my British Airways card.  I was prepared to close my British Airways card if needed to get approved for this card, but didn’t have to!  This call took only ~ 10 minutes.

Business Cards

The credit line for business cards does not show in my personal credit report and impact my credit utilization or credit aging, so it doesn’t impact my personal credit score in the long term.  However, the credit inquiry does show in my  personal credit report, but the effect drops off after 3 to 6 months.

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 even though we don’t realize it.  However, business credit cards may not have all the consumer protections which personals cards have.

1.    Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (Business).

I was initially going to apply for either the Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus with the reduced minimum spending of $5,000 within 3 months for 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.   But I applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card to get another 50,000 points towards the Southwest Companion Pass.

At first, I kept getting a “This application is unavailable” when I clicked to the application page.  I switched browsers from Firefox to Chrome and the application loaded.

I applied for the card using the Million Mile Secrets Tax ID (if you don’t have a tax ID, you can use your social security number).

I called the Chase business reconsideration line at (800-453-9719) to get approved for the card.  I applied for the business Southwest card first and called the reconsideration line to get approved and later applied for the Southwest personal card.

The rep was friendly, but it took 20 minutes to get approved.  I’ll write more later, but the representative asked lots of questions – how long has your business been established, is it a full time job for you, revenue projection for 2013, how much experience do you have in your business etc.

In the end, I was approved for the card without having to reallocate credit from my other Chase cards.

Credit Score Impact

Credit Sesame and Credit Karma 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:

My score of 742 was last updated in July before my November App-O-Rama.  Credit Sesame gives a substitute of my Experian score, but for some reason is not updating after July 2012.  Credit Sesame also categories my credit as “excellent.”

Credit Karma:

My Credit Karma score is 757 and was updated on November 26, 2012 – 1 day after my applications, though I don’t suspect my score reflects my recent applications.

Credit Karma gives a substitute of my TransUnion score.

My Credit Karma Credit Score

Bottom Line

Many of the millions of miles which Emily and I use for Big Travel with Small Money have come from credit card sign-up bonuses.  We use our miles and points for a mix of domestic travel, international travel, and to spend time time with friends and family.

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.

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77 responses to “Daraius’ November 2012 App-O-Rama – 6 Cards. 205,000 Miles & Points + 4 Free Hilton Nights (~200,000 Points)

  1. Good for you !!!!! I am waiting for my next one in Feb. When was your last app-o-rama?

  2. I have reached my spending on the Citi Hilton Reserve, will I get the 2 free weekend nights certificate via mail or will it be deposit in my Hilton account? How long does it take to receive them?

  3. I was just approved for the Chase Ink Bold Nov. 11 and would like to apply for the Chase Hyatt in Dec. (since my Hyatt platinum status ends in Jan.) this should get me two free nights in a suite. Is there any rule of how long to wait to apply for a personal card after receiving a business card?

  4. Actively open- 2 Citi HH Visas for total of $24k CL, just opened another 2 Citi HH visas for total of $6k CL. Would like to apply for 2 Citi AA -one visa , one amex next summer. Do I need to cancel any Citi HH cards? I already closed 2 Citi AAs cards within the last 5 months (total CL of 24k for 2 cards I closed)

  5. Does the Citi Hilton Reserve get free breakfast for just the cardholder, or everyone that is in the hotel room for that night? Thanks.

  6. I have a similar question to @traveler. What is your process for closing accounts before applying for the cards again? How long do you wait after opening (and after meeting requirements) to close the card… and then how long do you wait after closing to re-apply?

  7. On Thanksgiving I also gave thanks for my sucessful churn the day before ~ it was hard to find cards I hadn’t had before but with some searching it worked: 4 for 4. I churned for my husband too – 3 for 3. Didn’t you have the SWA before? I thought you did the 2 x 50 for the pass last year.

  8. Good point about postponing completing the minimum spend on the Southwest card until January so that it counts towards the 2013 Companion Pass. 🙂

  9. @mike-In general with hilton free breakfast as a gold is good for 2 people. as a diamond theyll probably go to 4 people. with hyatt diamond breakfast is for everyone registered in the room.
    @doug- if you are a plat when you apply you dont get 2 free nights in a suite. you get 2 free regular nights plus 2 suite upgrades on paid stays. to get free nights in a suite you need to be diamond when you apply.
    @traveler. my opinion- You dont NEED to close. however if you think your credit line is exhausted you should close bec thatll give you a better chance at an instant approval on at least 1 card. I hate citi reconsideration. Only barclays is worse

  10. @pete
    I got my 2 free night 2 weeks ago. It was delivered to me through 2 separate emails in the form of a certificate. There is a number on the certificate that you will need when calling in to book a room. From the wording it sounds like you have to make the reservation over the phone to use the certificate.

  11. Mike Fein, thanks for taking the time to reply. Mike

  12. So are the Bank of America cards churnable within 8 months from cancellation? it seems like you cancelled your Bank of America Hawaii card in March and were approved in November for a new one. Did they see it in your records? That’s good to know. Free 75k Hilton points almost yearly (35k hawaiian miles x 2).

  13. I did not know Chase considered the SW Premier and Plus cards as different products. That is good to know.

  14. I applied for both Barclay’s frontier airlines and US airlines cards at the same time, but was rejected by both. I applied for both Hawaiian Airlines cards at the same time but was rejected for both. I think I should’ve applied for one of each. Bank of America and Barclays hate me, but citi, Chase, and AMEX are my best friends.

  15. Spending $10,000 on the Citi HH will net you a free weekend night on account anniversary. No need to spend $40k to get Diamond/free night (unless you want Diamond). Also, at a minimum, spending $10k will get you 30k HH pts. 30k HH pts is enough for a Cat 5 Hilton, so spending $10k in a year will give you one free weekend night + 1 Cat 5 night (in pts). I look at that as 2 free Cat 5 nights/year + free breakfast/Gold ammenities for $95/year. If you can’t meet 10k, then it’s basically just $95/year for free breakfast/Gold ammenities (I’m kind of torn as to whether or not that’s really a good deal).

  16. @ Mike…sorry I do have diamond, but I go back to plat. in Jan.

  17. Very nice. My recent app this last week netted me 5 cards. Citi AA Visa and AMEX, Hilton Surpass upgrade, SW Plus and SW Plus business. $11,500 spend in the next 3-4 months. $213 in annual fees (69+69+75) for 240,000 pts. Had to move some Citi credit around and answer some questions regarding the business card, but well worth the effort. I’ll be churning again with you in February.

    • @onecoolrt – I didn’t do a traditional app-o-rama the last time. I applied for a few cards over about 1.5 months. I’ll write on that soon.

      @pete – I believe you should get an email with the e-certificates in about 6 to 8 weeks after the statement in which you completed the spending closed. You could call Citi as well if you’ve been waiting for a bit.

      @Doug – If you apply for the Hyatt card as a Platinum, you do NOT get the 2 free nights in a suite – they are 2 free nights in a regular room. You do get 2 free suite upgrades to be used with paid reservations, though, as a Platinum. If you want the 2 free nights in a suite, apply for a Diamond trial membership and then apply for the Hyatt card. You can usually get 1 personal and 1 business Chase card around the same time, but as always, your miles may vary.

      @traveler – If you’re bumping against the maximum credit which Citi will allocate to you (the lower credit limits could be an indicator), it may be best to close a few of the Hilton cards in preparation.

      @Mike – What mike fein says!

      @Kevin – If a card doesn’t offer a benefit which is worth the annual fee to me, I will cancel the card after ~8 months. For example, I’ll keep the Citi Hilton Reserve becuase paying $95 for Gold status is well worth the free internet and breakfast which I’ll get. See the Credit Card resources for similar posts.

      @Acker – I’m running into the same problem – not enough cards to go around! You have a good memory – I did have the Southwest cards before, but they were different versions (Plus vs. Premier), so I should be able to get the bonus again.

      @Debbie Schroeder – I timed it for only 1 year the last time I got the Companion Pass, so I don’t want to make that mistake again!

      @mike fein @Travis – Thanks for helping out!

      @mariana – You may be able to get them sooner than 8 months if you wanted (~3 to 4 months).

      @Scott H – That’s been reader’s experiences, but I’ll report on my experiences soon.

      @Grant – Did you call the reconsideration line? The BOA reconsideration line has been pretty good to me!

      @Ben L – There’s no need to spend $40K on it for Hilton Diamond, but some may find it useful – especially with buying Vanilla Reloads and using Bluebird. I would gladly pay $95 to save money on breakfast and internet. I’d recover the annual fee in a 3 or 4 night stay.

      @DrSifu – Congrats! It is indeed well worth the effort.

  18. Just curious, but how do you manage to meet all of the minimum spends, especially AmEx, if you don’t have the Vanillas as a fallback anymore?

    I’m having a hell of a time…I did find one, and only one, CVS in my area with the Vanillas and bought one as a test a few days ago. When I just went in today to get another the register must have been reprogrammed because it wouldn’t accept any credit cards when the cashier tried to enter the last 4 of my cards. This was the exact same register that was successful only a couple days before. Bummer…


  19. To expand a little more on the 10k bonus…if you were to use gift cards ($4.95/$500) to meet the 10k spend, it would cost $99. Plus the AF ($95), brings the cost of 1 free weekend night (after 10k spend) + 30k HH pts to $194 ($99 + $95). Therefore this is $194 for 2 nights at a Cat 5 Hilton. Not too bad ($97/night), but not spectacular either. However, the first year (in which you already spend $2500 for the 2 free wknd nights) would only need to spend an additional $7500 to reach $10k. Using gift cards for this would cost $74.25 + $95 annual fee = $169.25. Therefore, meeting the $10k spend in the first year of the card using only $4.95 gift cards will give you 2 nights at a Cat 5 for $85/night. I think I will not cancel this card until near the end of year 2.

  20. Thanks D, I am on the BOA Recon line right now….

  21. Approved! Sweet, 35K Hawaiian miles here i come 🙂

  22. @Daraius – Did you do the 2-browser trick for the 2 Citi cards? I tried this with these same cards last month – one was approved after calling the reconsideration line (they provide that really long reference number to use) but the other had no reference number, so I was unsure what to call back and say to the reconsideration line about it. I was concerned that they would see that I had applied for two at the same time. Any insight on what to do when using two-browser trick and one gets denied without a reference number?

  23. @Daraius, I want to apply for SWA cards (personal and business) in order to achieve a companion certificate. But since I did too many Chase applications recently, I have to postpone my apps untill January-February. If I get them that time and get 110K SWA points (after sign up bonuses and spending), will I have a companion certificate ONLY until December 2013? In other words, when should I apply in order to use companion certificate until December 2014?

    Thank you!

  24. Daraius, I would like to thank you for all the help you have given me. This is what myself and partner did two weeks ago. I never would have thought about SW RR points at all, however, it makes all the sense in the world, being able to use RR points and still have the companion fly free, is a no brainier.

    Southwest Chase RR Premier Business 50K— Instant approval
    Southwest Chase RR Plus Personal 50K —- Instant Approval

    This will give me 100K towards Companion pass, and the extra 10K I need is an easy slam dunk.

    Citi Hilton Reserve Card- Instant Approval
    BOA Hawaiian 35K to switch it to 70K Hilton points. Instant Approval
    BOH Hawaiian 35K to switch it to 70K Hilton points. Instand Apprival

    Citi American Personal Aavantage 50K + 2 lounge pass’s. —-Instant Approval
    Citi American Personal Aavantage 50K + 2 lounge pass’s. —-Instant Approval
    Chase Ink Bold 50k —— Instant Approval
    Chase Prioity Club 80K —Instant Approval
    Amex SPG Business for 25K — Instant Approval

    Our next App-o rama will happen in Late Feb, I plan to get Chase Shapphire Prefered, AMEX SPG, and the Citi AA cards. Partner will go after Citi AA business cards and Hilton Card.

    I’m waiting for Chase to announce the BA card with 100K bonus points..

    I have the CC app-o-rama thing down, but would love to learn how to maximize the usages of miles in regards of alliance carriers. So lets say my partner and I have 200K AA miles, and would like to go to Asia, China, Singapore, Thailand what would be the best way to use our miles, and learn the ins and outs of award tickets.. I am signed up for the FT University in DC in April to learn even more, but would love to have a basic understanding of it so in DC, I can asked more specific questions.

    Again thank you for all your help

  25. I plan to apply for the two Citi Hilton cards (double browser) but before I do, I would like your advise on the following:

    I have two AA cards renewing in January. I wouldn’t mind keeping the AA AMX but do not need the Visa. Should I first apply for the two Hilton cards and leverage moving the credit line from the AA Visa to Hilton? Or work the retention angle on the two AA cards first and then apply for the Hilton cards? Or cancel the AA visa and then apply for the two Hilton?

    Chase is great about moving credit lines, but I’m not so sure about Citi or how they look at recent cancellations. Thank you!

    • @Doug – You can still get Vanilla Visas at CVS, Walgreen’s and a few other stores. There is also Amazon Payments, Chargesmart for loans and Wiliam Paid for rent. I’d try that CVS store again – perhaps at a different checkout lane or when there is someone else at the register.

      @Ben L – Good point. For me the value is the Gold status and free breakfast/internet.

      @Grant – Congrats. You could also call again for the 2nd card.

      @Dan – I applied for them together. You can always call the reconsideration number and give them your social security number instead of your reference number.

      @Sergey – If you earn the 110K points in 2013, the companion pass is valid until the end of 2014. You can apply in December or wait for the offer again in early 2013.

      @Tony – Thanks for reading! Award booking is harder than earning the miles. I’ve written a series on AA awards and you can also search a few other blogs – View from the wing, One Mile at a time & MileValue for award booking tips. Or you can hire an award booking service to book the tickets for you. I also suggest making dummy award bookings as practice.

      @Jaime – I usually cancel my Citi cards before applying again, because they aren’t very good with reallocating credit in my experience.

  26. Don’t use your chase cards this year because the points will not count towards a companion pass in 2013. All points must be earned or awarded in the same calendar year. I got hosed on mine because they awarded me 50K points Dec. 27th 2011 and 50K points Jan. 4 on my other card. Several phone calls and pleading but no luck.

  27. Hi Daraius (finally got correct spelling!),

    ok. so if the Citi Hilton Reserve proved the 2-browser trick applies using the exact same card twice, then maybe we need to rethink the strategy on the Citi American Airline Cards. Current process is to do simultaneous Citi Visa/Citi Amex, then 45 days later Citi Business. Repeat process in 18 months from initial approval. However, it appears you could do simultaneous (2) Citi Visa, wait 45-90 days, then simultaneous (2) Citi Amex, wait 45 days, then simultaneous (2) Citi business. Repeat in 18 months. Every 18 month cycle nets 300k points. Thoughts?

    You could come out ahead doing two

  28. Great post.

  29. Hi Darius. Applied and was approved for both SW Airlines cards (personal and business). I have some holiday shopping to do. I know my statements close January 7th. So if I make any purchases in mid-late December, will they post in 2013 with January statement or should I just wait until after the 8th. It would be easier to meet my spending requirement in December though.

  30. I recently got Saphire Preferred, Starwood Amex and Ink Plus (with calling, of course). I have a question about card benefits (may turn out to be a tip if answer is in affirmative). If there is some Starwood hotel which participates in Visa Signature benefits program (meaning free wifi, etc.), can I handover Saphire Preferred at the time of check-in and get the Visa Signature perks and at the time of settling bill at checkout, I can give my starwood Amex to get bonus star points?
    Will it work this way, or I can get Visa Signature benefits only if paying with that card?

  31. Is it 2 citi CC applications total at a time? Independent of Business or personal? Or can you do 2 personal and 1 business?

    • @Ron – That’s a good reminder.

      @DLuke – The Citi AA personal cards require an ~18+ month wait since you were last approved to get them again. Though you may be able to get the other cards every 3 to 4 months.

      @Jose A – Thanks!

      @Dave – I’m not sure when they will post. They usually post a few days after the statement in which you complete the minimum spending closes. But they could post immediately after completing the $2K spending. It could be safer to spend, say, $1,900 in December and meet the remaining spend before the statement closing date.

      @Picmeup – No personal experience doing that, but I don’t see why not!

      @Zz – It is 2 Citi personal or 1 Citi biz and 1 personal within a 65 day period. However, the interval between 1 biz card and another biz card should be 95 days.

  32. Daraius, please re-read my last post. I agree it is 18+ months wait to re-apply for the exact same Citi card. But its much less of a wait between applying for different types of Citi cards (I said earlier 45 days but I’m guessing more like 90 days). My alternative strategy for churning the 3 Citi AA cards should work I think and generate more points. Is there a flaw in my thought process?

  33. @Daraius – Thanks for the post! You write, “To be as conservative as possible, I wouldn’t apply for many cards in the 2 years before a mortgage.” I am probably 6-9 months away from applying for a mortgage. My credit score is 800. I am pretty confident that even if by applying for credit cards my credit scored dropped to 780 (or even much lower) it wouldn’t affect my ability to qualify for the same low interest rate I could qualify for with my current score. If all that is true, then do you see any reason to refrain from applying for credit cards at this time? Is the only reason you advise the conservative approach because applying for cards can slightly lower one’s credit score (which in many situations will result in a person getting a worse interest rate on their mortgage), or are there other reasons you are aware of why applying for cards prior to applying for a mortgage is a bad idea? Thanks!

  34. What about Emily? When is her AOR? 🙂

  35. @Tony @MMS Award booker? Of course, my ears perk up. For some more info on my history, see last week’s interview 😉 In any case, Tny, it seems as though you may be in a perfect position for an AA Explorer award. Want more info/advice? Want to use an award booking service? Feel free to check out my site (shameless plug)!

  36. @DLuke: one problem is that after having 2 Visa, they may (probably will) consider you an existing card holder and therefore won’t get the sign up bonus for 2 Amex. People like safety, so they just do Amex/Visa or 2 Visa and then Business. And I don’t think you can do two brower trick with Citi Business card (1 application every 95 days). Remember, it’s a trick/glitch or whatever you call it, but not an entitlement.

  37. So 8 months between BOA HA cards before you cancelled and another 8 months before you reapplied? When people say the Hawaiian airlines cards are churnable, is this the typical time frame for card usage, cancellation, and reapplication? I think there was 8-9 months before I cancelled my BOA HA card. Still have the BOH HA card.

  38. Have you tried buying other reload cards? There has been mention of buying a couple of other reloads that allow you to load directly to your Paypal account. From there it’s a matter of getting a Paypal debit card and loading your BB account at Walmart. I have no experience, so if Paypal has all the same features as BB (mainly bill pay), not sure why you can’t skip this whole BB thing. There are a few reloads that work for Paypal that you can get from supermarkets. Time for a step-by-step so we can piss of the haters some more???

  39. @amdg As long as your credit score is above 750 with no delinquencies or other red flags then you should be fine. Your credit score should improve after a short period following any new apps unless you begin to utilize a higher percentage of your credit availability. The minimum range is 740-760 to obtain the best rates.

    If you are considering a mortgage or refi, then it is prudent to discuss the potential impacts and what they are wanting to see (i.e., x $’s sitting in your account to cover any down payment for so many months). It’s always wise to have a financial advisor help determine the best product.

    Be sure to negotiate all the fees and let them know you will talk to more than one broker. I negotiated a no fee refi company down a 1/2 point (5 minute conversation) by talking with more than one broker. I went with the most upfront broker, not the one trying to match. Most companies resell their mortgages to a mortgage servicer that pays them a premium based on quality of borrower. Mortgages are a whole other manifestation. Beware of the predatory practices because they are alive and well out there even after the crisis.

    • @DLuke – I’m confused when you say ” do simultaneous (2) Citi Visa, wait 45-90 days, then simultaneous (2) Citi Amex” With the Citi AA cards you have to get both the Visa and AMEX at the same time otherwise it is 18+ months wait. So you can’t get 2 AA Visa and then after 65 days another 2 AA AMEX. Outside of the AA cards you can get 2 personal cards every 65 days.

      @amdg – There are other factors besides your credit score and lenders usually go through your credit report as well. One card may not be a big deal, but I’d stay away from multiple applications 6 to 9 months before a mortgage. It doesn’t seem worth it to me, but you’ve got to assess the risk for yourself.

      @phil – Hers is at the end of December, but I have to write about her summer AOR.

      @webazoid – You can get it sooner if you want (3 to 4 months).

      @DrSifu – There are cards which you can load to your PayPal account, but I wouldn’t mess with PayPal since they close accounts down and freeze the funds in them. I haven’t been able to buy the GreenDot cards with a credit card, but some have had luck at Rite Aid.

  40. So you would say 8 months is good number to keep card w/o raising eyebrows and then cancelling?

  41. and then wait 3-4 months before reapplying for HA card?

  42. @D
    “@Grant – Congrats. You could also call again for the 2nd card.”
    Thanks for the advice, I called back today and was able to get my B of A Card cancelled to open my Virgin Atlantic card. Those guys ask a lot of questions when you talk to them.

  43. I did for my brother

    1)citi AA visa 50k (Approved)
    2citi AA amex 50k (Declined)
    3)citi AA visa biz 50k (Approved)

    4) us airways 50k (Approved)
    5) us airways biz 35k (Declined)

    6)Amex PLT open 100k (Approved)
    7)Amex Delta Gold 50k (Declined)

  44. How long after cancelling my Rapid Rewards Plus card should I wait before applying for the Rapid Rewards Premier card ? Also, will Chase pull back the 3000 miles awarded at anniversary date upon my cancelling the Plus card in order to get the $69.00 fee credited ?

    • @webazoid – Some have had success with shorter intervals, so it depends on how much risk you want to take.

      @Grant – Glad it worked out!

      @Miles – You can usually do only 2 Citi personal or 1 personal and 1 business card at the same time. If they are AA personal cards you usually need to wait 18+ months to be approved again.

      @David – Usually if the miles are in your account, they are yours to keep. I’d wait a few days (perhaps a week) before reapplying.

  45. I’ve had my United card 11 months, I plan on cancelling it to avoid the fee. I won’t be flying United until Nov. 2013. How long should I wait to reapply? I assume the points I have are safe in my United account.

    • @Tammy – The points in your United account are yours to keep. You usually can’t get the bonus on the same Chase card type, but it may work with a different frequent flyer number.2

      @Alex – The Southwest offer has been around every 2 to 3 months for the last 2 years. I wouldn’t worry about missing it because it should come back, but no guarantees.

  46. Hi Darius, I was just approved for the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Southwest RR Premier Personal. I was conflicted about which Chase cards to apply for given that I really want that prized Southwest companion pass, but opted to get the Ink card rather than the Southwest Business card so that I could secure the reduced spending minimum for the Ink card. Do you know if Chase will be pulling the 50k bonus for the Southwest cards anytime soon? Is it unwise to apply for the Southwest Business card now (third Chase card in one week?) I have two businesses and a large credit line with Chase, but I just don’t know if the two Chase cards per churn rule is hard and fast. Trying not to be greedy, but want to secure that second 50k Southwest points for my companion pass goal. How should I proceed? Thanks. Love your blog!

  47. Did my first every app o rama. Applied for 7 cards (Chase United explorer, Chase Sapphire Preferred, American express and Citi bank Hilton, Barclay’s US Air, Chase Southwest, and Bank of Hawaii). Approved for the first 5. Declined for the last two. Already reached my limits and paid off the cards. Worth 240,000 miles/points. Just waiting for all of them to post. Thanks for all the info.

    • @Robert – You can call the reconsideration lines to get approved for other 2 cards, though 3 Chase cards in a short stretch could be very hard. The Bank of Hawaii reconsideration line is the same as the Bank of America.

      @Maury – I’d wait until next month (to minimize the impact of the recent inquiries), but as always only you can decide what’s best for you.

  48. Hi Darius: I need your advice. I last had my churn on 09/14/12 and today I applied for the limited time Amex Hilton 65k card. My question is, should I apply for other cards today and basically move up the churn date or wait till next month when the 3mos hits? Thank you

  49. Thanks. I did call twice for chase but no luck. Didnt realize BOH is BOA. BOA and I had a rocky history 6 to 7 years ago and with the letter I received they have not forgotten=) Even though my credit score is over 700 now I will still have to wait for BOA products for a little longer. I also did get the Citi AA card!! So 6 for 8 and 280k points/miles not bad for a beginning.

  50. @Daraius and Andy. I think I understand now that there are some Citi cards (e.g., Citi Hilton Reserve), where you can apply for two EXACT SAME cards using the two browser trick, but there are some other Citi cards (the three AA cards), that for some reason you cant do this. Why is this? Just curious because it would be valuable info to know what cards are out there that I can get two of using two browser trick?

    • @Robert – They have a long memory, but 6 for 8 is very good!

      @DLuke – I don’t know why it is. Folks were aggressively churning the AA cards every 2 or 3 months when it was possible and I know I got more than 1 million miles from those cards, so I can see why the “rules” changed for the personal AA cards. I’m not that interested in the Hilton & Thank You cards which you can get every 3 or 4 months (ymmv as always). With the AA cards, you can get 2 Visa or 2 AMEX at the same time instead of 1 Amex & 1 Visa. But you can’t then get another Citi AA personal card for 18+ months from when you were last approved.

  51. Hi Darius. Do you think the 2 Southwest card is good? I’m need to do a 2nd app for my husband. He’s not into southwest. (But i don’t want to miss out) He doesn’t have the ink bold or plus. (Seems good since they have a lower spending now) It would be between those 2 for chase. Here’s what I was thinking AA citi business, 2 spg personal/ business, since i missed the MX gold, BOA hawaii, US airways. Can I do one more citi, chase personal, what do you think about the american express plat? It has a high fee but you get $200 back this year and next? Been debating. Thank you.

  52. Hello Darius,

    I earned 50,000 Southwest points on 1-20-12. If apply for one of the Southwest credit cards in January 2013 for another 50,000 plus transfer 10,000 from a hotel, do you think I will earn the companion pass?

    • @dc – If your husband doesn’t like Southwest, the Ink Bold/Plus with the lower spending requirements could be the better choice. You usually can get 1 personal and 1 business Chase card and also 1 business & 1 personal Citi card.

      @RZ – You have to earn the 110K points in 1 calendar year, so it wouldn’t work out, because your companion pass points will reset to 0 on Jan 1, 2013.

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  54. Thanks Darius, so I will also lose any accumulated points. I better use them before 1-1-13.

  55. Pingback: Chase Business Reconsideration | Million Mile Secrets

  56. Thanks Darius for the clarification.

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  58. I live in Southern California and I’m planning out another app-o-rama. When I look at creditboards.com for likely pulls from Chase, Citi, Amex, and BOA — while applying from a SoCal city — they seem to ALL pull from Experian. When I pulled my Experian credit report a month ago, it also seems that all of my previous app-o-rama inquiries were taken on Experian too.

    My question is… is it too shady to use an alternate address (my “other” hometown located in Ohio–my parents still live there) when I apply for certain cards so that they aren’t always pulling Experian? (I checked out Ohio’s credit pulls for the same cards and they all pulled from Transunion or Equifax!)


  59. Pingback: HIlton Reserve Credit Card | Million Mile Secrets

  60. If I apply for 2 personal Citi Hilton Visa card using double browser trick, would that just be 1 hard pull from my credit or would that be 2 hard pull?

  61. Citi Reserve does it require the browser trick? Now this is what I am thinking, I have two Citi AA card, now if I apply and do not get approve, I will ask citi to close one of my AA card to approve the 1st card, then move a credit like from Citi AA amex to get the 2nd one approved ? The one above are those your affiliate links, will do app-o-rama today or by tomorrow.

  62. I just phoned Bank of America re: my new Hawaiian visa. They told me I HAD 36,000 points but they expire every monthly cycle. WHAT??? So, unless you’ll transfer points immediately to another program or have your bags packed to leave in a month, I wouldn’t recommend this card! Never heard of such a thing. Should I cancel this useless card even tho I’ve already paid the I waived $79 fee a d done the spend? 46 min. wait on hold wasn’t much fun either.

  63. Pingback: 2 Citi Hilton Reserve Card Updates | Million Mile Secrets

  64. I did the 35k Hawaiian miles x 2 for both my wife and I, now I have 140k Hawaiian miles between two accounts and don’t know what to do with them as the redemptions for a round trip to Hawaii require a minimum of 40k – any suggestions?