Daraius’ March 2013 App-O-Rama – 6 Cards. 265,000 Miles & Points

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Warning:  If you’re new to miles and points, you should NOT apply for more than 1 or 2 cards at time.  Much better to start small, gauge the impact for yourself and then work your way up to more.  Also read The 5 Dangers of Credit Cards before applying for a credit card!

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, to go to Michigan or Ohio to visit 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.

Daraius’ March cards

The minimum spending requirements may seem high, but you can meet the minimum spending requirements quite easily these days!

I applied for 6 credit cards and was approved for all of them without calling the reconsideration lines except for the Citi American Airlines Gold MasterCard which asked me to call in.  I also didn’t call the Chase reconsideration line (or any other) to get approved for the Ink Plus because I was curious to see how long it would take to get approved without calling in.

The good news was that I got approved after ~3 weeks without calling anyone.  The bad news was that Chase cut the credit line on my personal card by $10,000 and closed my British Airways, Southwest and Hyatt accounts to approve me for the Ink Plus!

They did all this without asking me, but since the miles and points were already in my account I didn’t lose them.  The letter (which looked like a form letter) said that if I had Ultimate Rewards points in my accounts, I could transfer them for up to 30 days.

In case you’re wondering, I have a ~12 year credit history and a credit score above 700.  These applications focused on international air travel.  We’ll use the American Airlines miles for a flight to Asia, transfer the points from the Chase Ink Plus to United and we’re running out of vacation to use the American Express Membership Rewards points!

I applied for the cards in the order of importance to us– first the Chase Ink Plus followed by the Premier Rewards Gold etc..

I have a Chase Ink Bold, but the annual fee is coming due, so I wanted to cancel the Ink Bold and get the Ink Plus.  The Ink Plus has a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 within 3 months and gets us 5X points at Office Supply stores and for cable/TV/Internet etc.

Next was the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card which had a limited time offer (no longer available) of 50,000 points after spending $1,000 within 3 months.   Followed by the Mercedes Benz Platinum card with 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 within 3 months.  I didn’t get instant approvals on either of these cards.

After that I applied for the Citi American Airlines Visa since it was 21+ months from when I was last approved for the personal Visa or AMEX.  I was approved instantly.

After a few days (because of the recent change in “rules with Citi applications), I applied for the Citi American Airlines Gold MasterCard with 30,000 miles after spending $750 within 4 months.

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.

Credit Card Resources

6 cards from 4 different banks

In general, we 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.

Business Cards

The credit line for Chase 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 personal cards have.

1.    Chase Ink Plus.   The Chase Ink Plus currently has a minimum spending of $5,000 within 3 months for 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.  We’ll likely transfer the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points to United, Hyatt or Southwest.

The Chase Ink Plus has all the same perks as the Chase Ink Bold (50,000 point sign-up bonus, 5X points for purchases at Office Supply stores & cable/internet/wireless).

The only difference is that you have to pay your balance in full on the Chase Ink Bold (which you should do in any case!), whereas you can roll it over and pay interest (which you should not do) on the Ink Plus.

I already had 1 Chase Ink Bold card when I applied for the Chase Ink Plus.  I normally call the reconsideration line a few minutes after applying.  However, this time I did NOT call the reconsideration line to get approved because I wanted to see how long it would take to get approved without calling.

I did get approved with a $5,000 credit line, but Chase closed my Hyatt, Southwest, and British Airways cards to approve me for the Ink Plus card.  I would have closed my Southwest and British Airways cards myself, but I planned on keeping my Hyatt account for the free annual night in a category 1 to 4 Hyatt hotel.  Oh well, I’ll just have to get the card again!

That said, I’m fairly sure that I could have called the reconsideration line and got approved for the Ink card without having to close 3 of my personal cards!

If you do call the reconsideration line the rep asks you the usual 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.  See this post for a list of questions which I was asked when I was last approved for a Southwest Business card.

You don’t need to be incorporated to get a business credit card and you may be approved with very low or no revenue as well.

Personal Cards

2.   American Express Premier Rewards Gold.   I’ve always thought that 25,000 points (the regular and current offer) on the American Express Premier Rewards Gold was too little to get me to apply.  So I signed-up for the (now expired) 50,000 point offer from the cardmatch tool on creditcards.com.

I didn’t get approved immediately, but was approved automatically in a few days.  I completed the $1,000 minimum spending and got the 50,000 point sign-up bonus.

3.  American Express Mercedes Benz Platinum.  I’ve never had an American Express Platinum card because I didn’t want to pay the $450 annual fee and the sign-up bonus was only 25,000 miles.

But I was running out of cards to apply for, so I applied for the Mercedes Benz American Express Platinum which has a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 within 3 months.

The $475 fee was hard to stomach, but I will use the card to get $200 back in airline gift cards, and $100 back (the full cost) when I sign-up for Global Entry (to make it easier to clear customs and immigration when I re-enter the US).

I also get free access to American Airlines and Delta lounges when I am flying on those airlines, or to US Air lounges even if I am not flying on US Air.  But lounge access isn’t really a big deal to me since we often fly on Southwest.

I was curious to see how long it would take to get approved, and I got approved a few days later.  There was only 1 credit inquiry from both my American Express Premier Rewards Gold and Mercedes Benz Platinum applications.

4.  Citi American Airlines Visa.   It was 21 months since I was last approved for a Citi American Airlines personal card, so it was time for some more miles!

The “rules” for getting Citi American cards had changed, and I couldn’t get both at the same time.  So I first applied for the 50,000 mile Citi American Airlines Visa after spending $3,000 within 4 months.  I also get a $150 statement credit credit for any American Airline purchase – even a sandwich or drink on an American Airlines flight.

Unfortunately, the statement credit is no longer available and the best current offer is for 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 within 4 months.  I was approved for this instantly!

5.   Citi Gold MasterCard.   As I wrote previously, you can’t get 2 Citi personal cards on the same day, but you can get a second card a few days after being approved for your 1st Citi card, as long as you don’t apply for more than 2 cards within 65 days.

So I applied for the Citi Gold MasterCard a few days after I was approved for the 50,000 mile Visa card.  But I wasn’t approved immediately and was asked to call in.  I actually thought that I was going to be denied, but the call when quite well.

The rep pulled up my application, noted that I was just approved for an American Airlines card a few days ago, but then said that he could approve my application!

6.   Barclays US Air Card.   I applied for the 35,000 mile Barclays US Air card from this link on FlyerTalk.  My affiliate link is for 30,000 miles, but doesn’t waive the annual fee and is NOT the best offer.

I got an error message after submitting the application, but got an approval email after a few days!

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 us because we don’t want to spend money to get our official credit score.

Credit Sesame:

My credit score was 720 before my March App-O-Rama.  Credit Sesame gives me a substitute of my Experian score.

Credit Sesame Score

Credit Sesame Score

Credit Karma:

My Credit Karma score was ~757 before my last app-o-rama and was 754 in April after my app-0-rama.

Credit Karma Scores

Credit Karma Scores

Credit Karma gives a substitute of my TransUnion 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 with friends and family.

The minimum spending may seem high, but there are many ways to meet the minimum spending requirement creatively!

App-O-Ramas are 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.  Oh, and again read The 5 Dangers of Credit Cards before applying for a credit card!

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90 responses to “Daraius’ March 2013 App-O-Rama – 6 Cards. 265,000 Miles & Points

  1. Daraius,

    Thank you for your report. I have a question.

    How many chase cards before you apply including business?

    Since you sacrificed three chase cards for your business card, I want to check whether I have same risk. I have 8, 6 personal and 2 business. And I plan to get CSP MasterCard version and united business card. I have CSP visa and united explorer card. I know it is aggressive. But the only cards I like is from chase. And during last 6 months I only get 1 card from chase. I want to try my luck.

  2. Hi Darauis,
    I recently applied for the Aavantage Visa and MC (like you, on consecutive days). How long would you suggest waiting before I apply for the business card? Is 95 days still the rule of thumb? I still have one Aadvantage business card MC open.

  3. Wow, I can see shifting your credit line without contacting you to approve you for a card, but closing your accounts without contacting you seems a bit iffy. Did you not have any spend on the British Airways, Southwest, and Hyatt card?

  4. C’mon D, pimping CreditSesame for a FAKO credit score? Gimme a break.

    Funny that you blithely explain away Chase closing 3 cards unilaterally. Never even heard of that happening before.

  5. I’m not digging that Chase scenario much. Makes me wonder if they wanted to slim up the utilization by giving you less plastic to do it with. But if the overall CL remained untouched I suppose not. I fear I’m due a Chase reckoning.

    I hold (activation by quarter): SW Premier (4Q11), CSP Visa & Ink Bold (2Q12), Brit Air (3Q12) and Southwest Biz & Plus (4Q12). So 4 pers and 2 biz. I want to move into a Freedom and Ink Bold+, well and a Hyatt. I need to come up with an exit / swap strategy, but my Brit Air comes with 50k bonus at anniversary and the CSP annual fee hit in Feb so that’d be a loss without benefits if I bailed. Stink bugs.

  6. Hi Darius,
    Did you close your original Citi Visa/Mastercard cards before you applied for the new ones? I still have my original pair, but if it has been over 24 months, can I apply for another two without closing my original ones?

  7. Hi Daraius,

    I have the same question as Christine. I still have the 2 AA Citi cards from 2011 (1 of them was switched to no fee bronze MasterCard) and also an AA Citi Business card from 2011. Should I cancel them first before applying for more Citi cards?

  8. When I applied for the Ink Plus, they lowered by United Explorer Card line by $5000. I would have called, but they approved me after a day and I was just too busy to call before then… I can’t believe you waited three weeks (I am too impatient for that!).

    Anyway, with Chase, once you have a good number of cards and a sizeable credit line, it’s unlikely they’ll extend you more so they’ll start closing cards/lowering credit lines. Another reason to call right away so you can direct them what you want canceled/lowered so you don’t lose the wrong card. I am waiting for my 2nd year 50k on my British Airways Card and want to keep my Chase Freedom Card for example, but they can close my United card all they want.

  9. I keep reading your posts about the citi rules for 2 cards. When you applied a few days apart.. are there 2 seperate pulls on your credit report ?

  10. If you are closing a credit card with a high credit line, do you always open another card so the overall credit stays the same? If so should you close BEFORE, same time, or after making application so credit score is not reduced? What happens if you cancel a 12,000 upwards card with no replacement card?

    You also said you got the Chase Ink Plus to replace the Chase Ink Bold! Should you cancel the Bold before applying for the Plus?

    • @Jennifer – I had ~18 open cards from all banks when I applied. You could cancel the Visa version and apply for the MasterCard version.

      @Kay @ Travel Bug Diary blog – It used to be 95 days if you did NOT already have a Citi AA business card. And it used to be ~3 to 4 months after cancelling (not from when you got approved) to get the business card again. But I believe it may be longer because of the new rules. You usually can’t get the business card again if you have open open.

      @Wedding Spend – I’ll write more in a separate post, but I wasn’t spending much on those cards. That said, I was getting ready to pay my taxes using the British Airways card.

      @Paul – Credit Sesame is free, so is a good free way to get a proxy of your credit score. Let me know if you know of a better way!

      @Mike…H – I’ll write more, but I suspect I had a lot of extended credit which I wasn’t using. This was also an experiment to see what would happen if I didn’t call. You could just downgrade the CSP to the Freedom, and cancel some of the Southwest cards.

      @Christine @Stan – I had only the AMEX open. You could apply for 2 new ones, but if it doesn’t get approved manually, it could be tough trying to explain why you need 2 more AA cards. You could cancel one and reapply.

      @The Miles Professor – I normally call a few minutes after I apply, but wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t.

      @Jordan – Yes.

      @BFD – I have enough cards where I don’t worry about keeping the credit line. But if you don’t have a high amount of outstanding credit, it would help to keep the credit line so that your utilization ratio isn’t adversely affected. With Chase, I usually apply for a card and then call the reconsideration line and ask to be approved for the new card and mention that I want to close the old card.

  11. Is there a business version of the US Airway card with a good sign up bonus?

  12. What reason do you give them for wanting to close an old card and open a new one or when they ask why you need two AA cards, for example, what do you tell them?

  13. Darius…I want to get approval for Club Carlson cards. My wife and I have excellent credit scores (about 800). We’ve been rejected for having too many inquiries. I’ve some things on Flyer Talk about freezing an ARS which apparently is what US bank uses to make approval decisions. Do you know much about that and if it is a wise decision? Thanks.

  14. How often do you log into your chase account mms? I check it often and would immdiately know if a card had been cancelled. what was your reaction when you couldnt charge those cards anymore? Or account was put to $0? How long had those cards been in use? Seeing that kind of closure would make me worry of chase closing all my accounts. There was a guy on flyertalk who go 380k UR revoked when his account abruptly closed.

  15. Would you mind telling us what kind of credit limits you are getting with these churns? I was getting decent 10 -15K limits but that has drop drastically to 2-5K(I have always paid off my cards every month) and only applying for new cards when my outstanding credit is zero (and trying to always stay under 8 cards at any one time) thank you

  16. Daraius

    You have a great blog, really like it.

    Why did you let chase close down your accounts? Isn’t that bad on your credit report ‘Closed by Lender’?

  17. Why the amex gold with 50K when there are frequent but short 75K offers? My wife and I got multiple cards in Jan (including two 75k amex golds) that required ~35K spend in 3/4 months – as you know, it’s a snap with Bluebird. I will miss it when you are no longer able to buy reloads with credit cards. Can’t believe Chase closed accounts without your approval. VERY unusual. Call them, they will re-open them. You want to trans the credit to other cards and, in your case, perhaps keep some open. The US Air and American cards you’ve had before – what’s your general rule on closing a card when the fee comes due, i.e., which cards are closers and which are keepers? We both have about 20 different cards and wrestle monthly with which ones to close and which to keep (our travel uses parallel yours here and abroad). Also, you won’t see much impact to your credit score that fast. It will take several months before the closures, inquiries, and new cards fully affect your score. Thanks for the useful info day to day.

  18. The spending on the amex platnium mercedes is $1000, do u have to spend it at mercedes or can u use it for anything?

  19. Chase probably sent him an email with options, but he probably failed to respond to it. Probably much like the email I sent him that I’m still awaiting a response on 🙂

  20. Darius,

    I live in Colorado, where AMEX, Chase, and Citi all seem to use experian. Is there any way to get any spread across the credit bureaus?

  21. @Million Mile Secrets: Is there a site or could you write a post that shows the various companies/banks and the timelines you must wait for to apply for their cards after having them? E.g. I canceled the Starwood Amex 11/2011(opened in 2/08) but am unsure what the wait is and which date it’s based off of. I can’t locate a list like this online for all cards/banks. Thanks!

  22. Hi D,
    I hope you dont mind, but could you release some sort of data point with when you do your app-0-rama and the date you cancel the cards?

    So far we only see you just apply, seem like you have tons of cards and not needed to cancel much or any when you have a app-0-rama. If you keep all your cards.. your annal fees must be $$$$$$$$$$$.

    please advise.
    I’m only able holder of Chase PC, United, Ink, Sapphire, Amex Hilton, Ciit AA Visa, Discover. Have a fako score of 779, own our home, and make over 80k.

  23. I’d like to second Devon’s request/suggestion – a chart of “decent intervals” required between card applications across different programs would be very handy.

    • @Juli – To separate business and personal expenses.

      @Greg – Emily got rejected as well! You could try freezing your ARS report, but I don’t have any personal experience with that.

      @Webazoid – I was traveling and didn’t really log into all that much and came home and got the letter. I wasn’t carrying those cards when I was traveling.

      @jimmy – It varied from $3,000 to $10,000.

      @Rambo – It has no effect on my credit score, though someone could notice it during a manual review.

      @jimmyjoe – This was the personal Premier Rewards Gold card which is different from the Business Gold Rewards with the 75K sign up bonus. I’ll write a post on how I evaluate which cards to close, but I usually close cards which don’t give me a reason (miles/points rebate, free night etc.) to keep them open. The impact of a personal card closure won’t be felt for ~10 years when it drops off your credit report.

      @jake – You can spend it anywhere.

      – Can you email me again (if it isn’t about the iphone app to which I replied)? My inbox is very full. 🙂

      @Scott – Not really, unless you freeze a credit bureau, but I don’t do that.

      – I’ll write a post on that soon.

      @Devon @Arty– The Starwood card is based on the closing date. I could update an old post on this.

  24. Darauis, a few questions about your AOR…

    Re: the Barclay’s US Airways MC…
    1. Is this your first one of these cards? If not, how long has it been since you last applied for the same card, and did you keep the previous card(s) open or cancel it/them first before applying for this one?
    2. Do you have any OTHER Barclays cards? If so, how long has it been since your last Barclays card application of ANY kind?

    Re: the Citi Gold MasterCard…
    I assume this is a personal card. I got the personal AA Citi Visa and “Amex” cards in December 2012 (using good old the 2-browser trick, sigh…) – instant approval for both . About 65 days later I applied for the business AA Citi Visa; didn’t get instant approval but a quick call got easy approval. I’m coming up on my next 65-day Citi interval and was thinking about including the personal (or business) AA Citi MasterCard in my next round. It will have been well over 90 days since my last personal Citi application, over 65 days since my last Citi business application, and also over 65 days since my last Citi application of any kind. My goal is to get “one of each” flavor of each AA citi personal and business product (except for the super-high annual fee cards) – I think there are both personal and business versions of both visa and MC plus the odd personal citi “Amex” – 5 cards in all.

    Based on your understanding of the “new rules”, once I pass the 65-day mark for my next Citi app, would you suggest I…
    1) Apply for the personal Citi MC (then 65 days later apply for the business version of this card)?
    2) Apply for the business Citi MC (then 65 days later apply for the personal version of this card)?
    3) Either, since #1 or #2 would be equivalent so it makes no difference.
    4) Something else.


  25. Hello, I am trying to achieve status on AA and was wondering if the mile multipliers count toward elite status. Also are there any other quick ways to gain elite status on AA

  26. Daraius, I have an open Ink Bold and Plus. How do I get two new cards? Close and then reopen, or apply and sacrifice the open accounts? Thanks

  27. My four minor children have a few thousand united miles that are expiring soon. (about 16,000 miles total) Is it worth paying for the transfer of their miles to my account? The cost of transaction is $0.015 per mile. Minimum transfer 2,000 miles per account. So a transfer of 2,000 miles is $30, or 16,000 miles is $240. This seems expensive and is about the same price as just purchasing a ticket ($375 for 25,000 miles) Is this worth it or should I let them expire? Is there a better way to use these points or a free way to transfer? Thanks, Darius. I’ve checked your blog daily for the past six months for all your great and helpful info.

  28. Hi, Daraius, if I apply for Barlcays US Airways cards which gives 35000 miles, I was wondering that I have to redeem these miles before the Barlcays cancels this type of card? (as US Air is merging with AA and the new Arrival card seems to be the replacement as you mentioned in a earlier post). Or would these 35000 miles be automatically transferred to the new AA flyer program if I do not use them before the merger? Thanks.

  29. As a follow up to my question above….
    I have a citi aadvantage mc and visa. I haven’t had an amex in over 6 months. Would I be “safe” applying for an amex during my next churn this summer, or would you recommend closing the mc and visa and waiting a bit longer?

  30. Also, when I first got into the credit card game a long time ago and didn’t know about reconsideration lines, I would apply and wait. Several times, a representative from Chase would call me offering to move credit lines and ask which one I wanted to move. Never did they do it without asking first.

  31. Hello, Daraius, just wondering if I apply for the US airways card, do I have to use 35000 miles before Barclay discontinue that card? (as US airways is merging with AA , and the new Arrival card seems to be the replacement as you mentioned in an earlier post). If I do not have the chance to use up the 35000 miles, would it be automatically transferred to the new AA flyer program? Thanks.

  32. Darius, I applied for a citi honors reserve and was declined due to too much available credit. (50k available credit, utilization is < 4k ). My credit score is 787 ,and have a 20+ history with them ( I have 2 citi aadv and 1 sears card). How would you handle this?

  33. When can we expect the next round of big sign up bonus for American Express Premier Rewards Gold to be out?

  34. Jeff, to reset the date on united, u can do something simple like install mileage plus bar on browser to get a few minles, buy sometthing small from mp mall under their number like a gift card, etc

  35. I’m curious if you’ll get the AA miles bonus for the second card you applied for. Because the terms say “This Citi® / AAdvantage® card offer is valid only for new applicants for a Citi®/AAdvantage® account made pursuant to this offer and excludes prior Citi® / AAdvantage® credit cardmembers and any other
    Citi® / AAdvantage® credit cards offered.”

    So I’m wondering how you could get bonus miles for the Mastercard you applied for when the terms seem to say they wouldn’t. Or is it just something to cover their ass if they don’t give it to you?

  36. Did you already have the Barclays US Air card when you applied for this one?

    I just got my 10k anniversary miles but the annual fee doesn’t look like it will hit for another few weeks. Is it possible it to cancel the card now to avoid the annual fee and then get it again in the future?

  37. You mentioned that the Amex Mercedes Platinum comes with a $200.0o airline credit. However, in the online offers I had seen, I had not seen any mention of it. I even called Amex and the CSR I spoke with said there was no $200.00 credit with the card.

    Is this a secret perk?

  38. So you were able to get applied for the second citi card even though you applied a few days after applying for 5 other cards? They don’t decline based on too many recent inquiries for that?

  39. Could you tell me if you applied these cards on the same day (except the AA MC) or on several days? I understand some bank can combine the same day credit pull. Except this, does it really matter? I heard the credit pulls will show up on your report in real time, so a bank can tell if you just applied for a CC at another bank even on the same day.. Is it true? thanks.

  40. @ Ken – I’ve gotten the US Airways bonus, cancelled the card, and retained the bonus. It’s a great card.

  41. @ Allen, did you even read the post? He said he applied for them all on the same day except for the 30k Citi AA card.

    People are really blowing you up with questions on this D!! Your going to habe to quit your day job to respond to all this lol!!


    • @Sid – The mile multipliers don’t count towards elite status. And short of flying on American Airlines or spending a lot of money on the Citi AA Executive card there isn’t a way to earn elite status.

      @Andy – If you have a different business, you could apply using the business tax ID, but I don’t think you’ll get the cards again for the same business (unless you had an old Ink Bold from when the bonus spending structure was different).

      @Jeff Phillips – See this post for very cheap and easy ways to prevent your miles from expiring.

      @new – If you don’t use them before the merger, they will get transferred to your American Airlines account.

      @Kay @ Travel Bug Diary blog – I’d guess that you won’t get approved for the personal AMEX, because you got the Visa version recently. I’d wait at least 18+ months from when you got the Visa version to try again.

      – I’d write a letter to their executive office and explain that you don’t want new credit, but want to transfer credit to the new card to get approved. I’d also talk up your credit score and history and include a phone number for them to call you back!

      @zee – I really don’t know, but AMEX could have something else this month…

      @Vineet – You usually get the miles if you get approved for the card.

      @Ken – Yes, I did. You should be able to cancel it now, but I don’t know when you will be next approved.

      @John – Ha! it isn’t a secret perk, but the airline reimbursement is a standard perk of all AMEX offers.

      @Elliot – Evidently not.

      @allen – The same day, and I’m not sure if it really matters or not.

  42. @Troy. where did he state that?

  43. Hi, I did an AOR on Tuesday which included applying for the Ink Plus. I have the Ink Bold, Priority Club, and Sapphire card with Chase. I didn’t get an instant approval so I called Chase on Wednesday morning and the CSR went over my credit history and said he couldn’t approved me/give me more credit with Chase because I didn’t use the Priority Club card enough ( I used it sparingly over the past year) and and because I’ve applied for 10+ cards over the past year. He didn’t ask any business or income questions at all. What do you suggest I do when I call back for reconsideration or an explanation for not using my other Chase cards much? Thanks

  44. @Daraius, the $475 for the AmEx MB Platinum can be totally offset by the Global Entry ($100) and the $200 reimbursements, because the reimbursements are based on the calendar year, not when you apply. So you get reimbursed $200 before Dec 31, 2013 and then another $200 after Jan 1, 2014. So, 100 + 200 + 200 means the card more than paid for itself, before you even start taking into account the value of the MR points.

  45. Elana,
    I’m not one of those blog-haters at all, but bloggers never point out that getting a Nexus card with a Global Entry add-on gives you both entry options for $50 with the same 5 year duration as the $100 Global Entry only. And you only need to do it once every 5 years. So to anyone thiking about the GE option, which is fantastic, consider getting the Nexus card w/Global Entry, save $50, and zip into and out of Canada by car as well.

  46. @D – My apologies, I just saw your response. It found its way into my spam folder. Thanks for the response.

  47. @ Allen , see number 5- “So I applied for the Citi Gold MasterCard a few days after I was approved for the 50,000 mile Visa card. But I wasn’t approved immediately and was asked to call in. I actually thought that I was going to be denied, but the call when quite well.”

    • @Bryan – You could call again and explain that you don’t want new credit, but just want to move credit from 1 card to another. Or you can offer to close your Ink Bold in exchange for the Ink Plus.

      @Elana – Yes, that’s true, but I still had to pay $475 this period, but the statement credits will make up for it.

      @Brian(J) – We know you’re not of the “blog-haters!” But Nexus interview locations are far more limited than regular Global Entry locations so isn’t of much use to folks in much of the US away from the Canada border. But it could be a better option for folks close to a Nexus interview site.

      @texasguy77 – No worries. BTW, whic iOS version are you using?

  48. So you can still apply two citi cards at the same day based on the citi’s new rule. Can that be one person and one business, or two personals?

  49. Hi MMS,
    I recently received a chase business card for my side job. I only need to put about $500/month on it but would like to make minimum spending by putting my personal mortgage payment on the card for this month only. Do you see any problems with this? thank you!

  50. I have the citi AA mastercard platinum level which I recieved 30,000 points for in Nov. 2012, I also had the AA visa and Amex which I was approved for in Aug. 2011 and have just recently cancelled both. I’m not sure what the difference is between the gold and platinum level mastercards? Do you think if I applied for either the visa or Amex I would get the bonus since it has been 20 months since last approved even if I just got the bonus on the AA platinum level mastercard in Nov. 2012?

  51. Going off the question & answer from @new , So if the points are do get transfer over to AA account, if you dont use them, How would they know to transfer the points? Since when we sign up for the US air card they only have that info? Would they contact us and ask if we have an AA account. Or is it something they try to do automatic?

  52. Just applied for the AAdvantage Mastercard, which instructed me to call after applying, and then instead automatically loaded up a chat window where I could get approved over the chat. No need to call! 🙂

  53. datapoint: This was interesting… so I apply for the US airway mastercard from the link you provide to flytalk. I use the third link from flytalk, didn’t get an error but it say it will need to be further review. i’m like OK

    So I decided to call into the to speed up the approval., but the CS could not find my app and as ask if I apply using a link from a message board or of some sort. Per CS, she said that those link are invalid and the app will not get process. The “system” will automatic reject/decline those app via link. And if I want the card I should visit the their site and re-apply..(O.o) Have you hear about this? did I use the wrong link to apply… 🙁 I’ll just wait to see if I’ll get an approval email like you.

  54. My BB checks are due to arrive tomorrow. My understanding on using them is:
    Mix reload purchases with ordinary purchases on any given cc, and don’t go overboard
    Use BB checks as much as possible in place of cash transactions { ie AAA car insurance will not take ccs}
    Don’t deposit BB checks in my bank account {I have no cards issued by my primary checking acct bank}
    It’s okay to pay off credit card balances with BB checks, but better not to pay off cc balances created by buying VR cards

    So since I have ccs from 4 different banks, I can buy VR cards with ccs from say bank A and Bank B, and pay off balances from bank C and bank D with BB checks. Can I then switch around next month and buy VRs with ccs from banks C and D, and pay off balances with banks A and B ? Is that too soon, or perhaps should I only reload with cards from banks A and B, and only pay off cc balances from bank C and D ?

    Thanks so much for all your help with Citi cards, and VR/BB !

    • @Michelle – You can definitely NOT apply for 2 Citi personal cards on the same day. I’ve got mixed feeback on whether 1 business or 1 personal card is okay, so I’d personal wait 2 to 3 days between applications – both business and personal.

      @Steve D – The terms and conditions say that you should put only business expenses on the cards, but I’ve occasionally put personal expenses on my business card. As always do what you feel comfortable with.

      – You may be able to get the 50K bonus on either the personal AMEX or Visa since it is 18+ months from when you were last approved for the personal AMEX/Visa.

      @Tommy – You’ll get the option to transfer your miles from US Air to American Airlines as the merger progresses.

      @Ryan – Nice!

      @Tommy – Very strange. I don’t know if anything has recently changed, but I’d wait a week or so before reapplying.

      @Robert Hanson
      – Your plan looks good and mixing up the cards and bills you pay is a good strategy.

  55. Let me know if my logic is faulty? I did the 2-browser AA trick for the personal Visa and Amex about 4-5 months ago. Based on your experience, I should apply fairly soon for the AA Gold MC so that the 18-month clock can start ticking asap. And of course, because they might wise up and enforce the “New AAdvantage Card Members Only ” clause.

  56. Very worthwhile post D. Thanks!

  57. D: if the rep had pressed you further for why you needed two personal AA cards, what would you have responded?

  58. I have 4 chase cards Freedom, UA, Saphire and personal southwest. The last one was the Southwest and they gave me only 2K credit but told me I could move credit of cards around. How long should I wait to try to get other chase cards? I am interested in the Ink, Southwest business and also priority club. Should I cancel some before I apply for a new one.?

  59. ok so another datapoint update from above: So even after CS took me that the app will get rejected due to a “bad/shared link” US Airway card.

    Today I receive an email “Congratulations! You have been approved for the US Airways Dividend Miles® MasterCard®”

    very interesting.. so for the US airway card.. once apply.. if you get an error like MMS or a decision page.. just wait.. dont call in yet. wait for the email either decline or approval. then call if needed.

  60. Thanks so much. Staying in lockstep with your churns with some personal variability based on my own goals. I had a 5 card app-o-rama: 4 cards approved, 1 pending.

    1) Amex Business Gold Rewards, —Instant Approval

    2) Barclays US Airways, –Instant Approval. Want this card before merger is complete, as it will hopefully be added to my AA bank.

    3) Chase Airtran, 32 credits, — Pending Approval. Also want this card before merger is complete. Never got this Chase bonus and want it before it goes away.

    4)Citi AAdvantage Visa –Instant Approval. Last approved for this card in Aug 2011

    5) Citi AAdvantage MC–Instant Approval. Followed the How to get 2 Citi cards advice. Will go for the Business Visa in 65 days.

    Thanks for the info and advise. Love the site.

  61. Hey Darius,

    Why do you apply for so many cards on a quarterly basis, as opposed to applying for one on a monthly basis? Is there a benefit of doing so? Thanks again, as always I am a big fan of your blog!

  62. Hi
    Applied for citi advantage 50k on wed with an instant approval. then on sat applied for world mc 30k, got an application pending. now i got a letter requesting irs form 4506-t.
    Will i get a second pull if i send it in.
    is it worth it?
    the income i put down on the application was about 15k less then my taxable income that is on my return will that be a factor?
    will this effect my other cards from citi
    please let me know if you have any info on this or if it happened to other people
    thanx so much for all your help

  63. so you have any idea what could cause this?
    also is there a way to cancel an application?
    what do you think will be the effect on future apps if i ignore this
    thanx so much

    • @Texan – I do it every 3 to 4 months because it is easier to keep track of that way. I wouldn’t worry about it if you apply for only 1 or 2 cards every 3 to 4 months.

      @Max -I wouldn’t worry if you have more income on your tax returns than on your application. I don’t know if they will pull your credit again, but your application will be automatically cancelled if you don’t send the information. I don’t believe it should impact your future apps with Citi (though if AMEX asks for tax information, you have to send it otherwise your account is closed).

  64. How are you getting points from chase on cards you have had in the past? I reapplied for united card after it had been cancelled 9 months and got a letter from chase saying they wouldn’t give the bonus points because I had this same type of card in the past. Yet I’ve seen ink plus,ink bold and sapphires on several of your AOR’s. Thanks for clarification.

  65. Thank you Daraius,

    Quick Question: I will be doing a credit card app o rama soon with the below four cards. Any advice or insight on the credit bureaus pulled, issuing banks, etc?

    1. SPG personal amex ( to swap with SPG business, to avoid annual fee)
    2. Hyatt Visa (to get free nights in upcoming travel to Sydney)
    3. Priceline Visa (to replace regular spend on CSP)
    4. CSP mastercard (for sign up bonus)

    my last app o rama in December 2012 resulted in CSP Visa, Amex SGP Business, Ink Bold, and Southwest RR Plus Visa. That was my first round.

    • @Ivan – The credit bureau used varies by the bank and where you stay. The CSP MasterCard is no longer available (at least I can’t find a link). For regular spending, the Priceline Visa is good with 2% cash back, but if you’re going to redeem for travel, the Barclays Arrival card with 2.2% (only on travel though) could be better. That said, it may be better to put the everyday spending on the SPG or an Ultimate Rewards card if your goal is international first class/business class travel.

  66. Thank you, Daraius,

    My air travel goal is convenience (priority boarding, skipping long lines) and I don’t mind economy flights. I’d rather spend my points/money on two economy flights rather than one business class flight, for example. My hotel goal is to maintain simple, Westin – level, comforts in most of my travels. And I live in California.

    With that in mind, would your travel-highness concur with the continued spend on SPG/UR cards, or should I shift my spend to Priceline/Arrival?

  67. Hi Darius,

    I just applied for the Citi American Express Visa card for my husband using the link you have here. He was approved instantly, but it said on the approval page that there will be an annual fee of $85. I thought the fee is waived in the first year?
    (He had this card before- however it is has been over 22-23 months since he last applied, and nearly a year since he cancelled)
    Look forward to hearing from you!

  68. oops, I meant Citi American Airlines Visa:)

    • @Ivan – If you redeem for coach flights within the US and usually redeem for 2 cents per point or less, you’re better off with the Priceline or Arrival card for everyday spending. But note that you use the sign-up bonus on other cards, and put your extra spending on the Arrival or Priceline card.

      @Sushma – The fee should be waived for the 1st year. You can confirm when you call to activate the card.

  69. how often do you do an “app-o-rama?”

  70. goals^n^dreams

    I did my first churn 5 months ago. Right now, my FICO scores is around 765.

    My last churn was on 02/10/13:
    Citi Business AA
    US Airways
    Chase Ink Plus
    Hawaiian BOA/BOH
    United (personal)

    On May 1st: I did 1 card: Citi thankyou

    [color=red]My next churn is:[/color]
    United (business) 50,000 point
    Priority 85,000 point
    Amex SPG (personal and business) 25,000 points + 25,000 points
    Citi Gold AA 30,000 points
    Penfed Cash Reward ( 5x on gas, but no bonus sign up)

    I really want to wait late summer to apply for Amex SPG. I have heard that the bonus will be increased to 30,000 points for personal and business. However, there is 50,000 points for United business version. I dont know this United business version with 50,000 points will last long. So is it ok, if I do a mini churn first for Chase cards such as United business and Priority, and Citi Gold AA. Then 1 or 2 months later if I see SPG bonus increase, I will apply the rest of my cards such as Amex SPG (personal/business), Penfed cash Reward.

    Any help please, I appreciate it ^_^

  71. */≥!π∞ SneakyFees

    Bad news.

    Just got denied on the Barclay US Air card.

    Called the reconsideration line and was told how many of their US Air cards I’ve had over the last 3 years (4 total)….

    They also said that they’d like to see them held longer than my 10 month average, and used more closely to the 7-10k credit limit I’ve been given each time.


    The worse news is, this was followed by a call to CitiBanks AA Business card line (last cancelled in Dec2012). They said, “Since you -just- cancelled the Business card, and I can’t tell you exactly what the rule is as that’s propriety information (‽), we’re going to decline this application at this time and I’m not allowed to alter that decision.” And this was a supervisor who I just happened to get.

    I was hoping to build up both AA and US Air miles so that the merger could put me over the top for plans through Christmas.

    But now… I guess I’m looking for a way to do KOA from IAD for about half the mileage I’d hoped to have for four travelers. Unless there’s someone with a magic wand out there… that may mean kayaks!

    Ideas anyone?

    (I’m afraid to apply at Chase and AmEx and making it a shut out)

    • @*/≥!π∞ SneakyFees – Sorry to hear about that, but Barclays is getting tougher to sign-up for. You could try for the Citi Executive card with 100,000 miles if you haven’t had 2 Citi applications within 65 days.

  72. This is my latest round of 7 cards Darius, what do you think? http://bitly.com/1q0dmXj I would have never applied for a business card without your recommendation. Now I am building business credit in addition to improving my own.

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