Credit Card Resources

Disclosure:  Emily & I get a commission for banner ads and some credit cards on the blog.  You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do.  We don’t write about all the credit cards available in the US, but only the ones which get us miles and points or cash back for Big Travel with Small Money!

Here are previous posts which answer questions I get asked the most often!

Credit Card Denial & Reconsideration:

When to Cancel a Credit Card:

When To Cancel Your Credit Cards

Will You Lose Your Miles & Points After Cancelling a Credit Card?

Credit Card Applications:

Are You Ready for Credit Cards?

5 Free Ways To Find Out Which Credit Bureau Banks Use & Why It Matters

How to Complete Minimum Spending:

40+ Powerful Ways To Complete Your Credit Card Minimum Spending Requirements

Reader Request: How do you complete large minimum spending for credit card sign-up bonuses?

Using Bluebird to pay rent, mortgage, utilities, student loans, etc.

App-O-Rama:

2013

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

2012

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

Emily’s September 2012 App-O-Rama – 5 Cards. 170,000 Miles & Points + 4 Free Hilton Nights

Emily’s December 2012 App-O-Rama – 8 Cards. 355,000 Miles & Points!

Daraius’ March/April 2012 App-O-Rama – 7 Cards. 300,000 Miles & Points + 2 Free Hyatt Nights

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

2011

1 Million in 1 Year:  How I Earned 1 Million Miles & Points From Credit Card Bonuses in 2011

 320,000 Miles & Points. 5 Cards.  Daraius’ November 2011 App-o-Rama.

 July App-o-Rama. 6 Cards. 305,000 Miles & Points

How to apply for Business credit cards:

3 Ways You May Qualify For A Business Credit Card

How To Fill Out A Business Credit Card Application (Citi)

How to Fill Out a Chase Business Card Application

 

54 Responses to Credit Card Resources

  1. Where on the amazon payments website does it say that the limit is $1000 / month?

  2. @Gow – Try sending more than $1,000 and it won’t let you.

  3. @Noviceflyer

    You had a link on what companies check which credit agency. Where is it again please? :)

  4. @Noviceflyer – It is the 2nd post under “Credit Card Churning” above.

  5. when applying for credit cards for a new app-o-rama(or mini in my case) how close together should it be? the reason im asking is that i applied for 4 credit card about 3days ago and i wanted to add 1 more from amex (the hilton surpass CC), since i didnt hit their bank(1 chase, 2 BoA, 1 barclays).

    on a side note since im already asking here. how hard is it to redeem hotel stays on Hilton(hawaii 3-4days)?

    P.S. all of my apps are still pending approval btw…

  6. @daniel – I usually submit my apps on the same day, but I suppose you could apply for an AMEX card if you know that AMEX uses a different credit bureau from the other banks. You can make dummy bookings on the Hilton website to see award availability. Usually there are rooms available at the base rate. However, I wouldn’t pay the crazy amount of miles required for a premium hotel room.

  7. Chuck Parrish

    I have Chase Sapphire Preferred, Priority Club and Southwest Air.Yesterday, I called Chase and cancelled my Brtisih Airways card after 11 months. Chase offered to credit my account the full $95 to keep the card. I appreciated the offer but I gave it a good 11 months; not the right card for me. Cancelling now minimizes the hit on my overall credit card history as it was only 11 months. I immediately applied on line for the 50k-60K Chase United Explorer and the Chase Freedom card. The Freedom card will dovetail nicely with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and, because it has no annual fee, it will be a keeper. I waited a couple of hours and then called the reconsideration line. Within 2-4 minutes, I had approval for both cards and am having the cards expedited to me as I headed off for a long trip. I keep all cards well below 9% of CL, both individually and cumulatively and have all cards paid automatically so that there is no chance of a late payment. I appreciate how Chase handles my transactions. I also appreciate the heads up comments of TPG and D. Dubash with Million Mile Secrets which cued me to look into these cards. I have surprised myself by pulling in almost 400k air miles, hotel points and credit card points in the past 12 months. Attending Chicago Seminars in Oct.

  8. @Chuck Parrish – I agree with you that the Freedom card is a great companion to the Sapphire Preferred – especially because of the no annual fee and the 5% categories. There is a $250 version of the Chase Freedom available, and you may get that matched to $300 by sending a secure message to Chase. Looking forward to meeting you in Chicago!

  9. I love your website and it has helped me and a few friends (whom I help) get some grreat credit card deals and you have gotten a number of referals as well. I have two questions, 1st, is there as list on your website of the credit cards which can be churned, if so, where do I find it, if not, that would be a great addition.
    2nd, since I live in Chicago, I am interested in the Chicago seminar, how do you register for it?
    Thanks in advance, David

  10. @david - Thanks for your kind words and for using our referral links! I don’t have a list of cards which can be churned since that changes, but this post may help. Here’s a link to the Chicago seminars.

    Please email me if you have any questions!

  11. Pingback: Churn Recommendations to a Reader « nolaflyer

  12. Pingback: Card recommendations for first time, large spend « nolaflyer

  13. Pingback: Card recommendations for first time, large spend « Points Unseen

  14. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all the great information and resources you have provided on your blog.

  15. Billy D | December 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

    I follwowed your advice to a T! I was denied for what they stated was “to many open cards and inquiries.” When I called and used your script the womans said I was intially denied because this is the second Chase card I applied for in the past 60 days (the other was the Chase Buisness Ink Bold); she had me hold and on came back on and said I was approved for the Southwest Business Premier Card.
    My only question to you is, when I applied for the card back in November the 50,000 bonus was in effect. When should I contact them to verify they will honor the 50,000 mile bonus instead of the current 25,000 mile bonus?
    YOU ARE THE BEST!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

  16. @Gery – You’re welcome!

    @Billy D – Glad it worked out! You can confirm the bonus when you activate the card.

  17. Need to add a list for card that give you elite status.

  18. @Tommy - Thanks for the suggestion!

  19. Everyone needs to double check their credit card bills when trying to reach their credit card thresholds. Make sure you include ANY and ALL credits to your accounts as my wife is presently in a dispute with Hilton regarding her Amex Surpass card. They are now saying because she returned an item in December, she fell short by $54.36. Yet, American Express confirmed in a secured message email last month that she had reached the spending limit.
    She has politely responded to the email from Hilton citing the email from American Express Customer Service (they are not very good about knowing the rules as this is the second time Amex has provided the worng information. She is now going to send a secured email to Amex and see if they will credit the account.
    Stay tuned

  20. Problem resolves. Sent secured email to Amex noting my outrage and Hilton points were transferred.
    Also, please note when transferring Hilton points to another account, if you want to use your card (as recipient), you should set up an “Event ID” to make the transfer. Just making the transfer from one account to another forces you to use the senders credit card number.

  21. I found a good way to meet minimum spending requirements; if you have Verizon internet or telephone or cable, you can over-pay your bill like I did for $1,000 and after the next billing cycle deducts your second payment, you can request your cash refund of the balance; they actually have a department and option on the phone for specifically requesting over payments.

  22. I have to put down a room deposit for $27,000 in a few days for hotel rooms at a Holiday Inn. What is the best way for me to maximize this purchase since I don’t have time to apply and use a new credit card. I have a PCR card but don’t want those points; I have a Chase Bold Ink Card was thinking about using via paying the bill by the 1% they allow me to use when paying my credit card bill; I have Hilton, United, Delta, USAIR and Southwest credit cards and prefer to use an airline credit card like United if there is no difference; what do you suggest, oh great one lol?

  23. I bought Gift Cheques on this website with my Amex card and it counted towards my bonus purchase and no questions asked

    https://www311.americanexpress.com/BOLWeb/bolfeOrder.do?request_type=orderProduct&promotion=GC&program=GC&selleracctnbr=2539481999I

  24. My mother has 52,000 Amex Membership Rewards Points and she wants to use them to book flights on United only. Is there a way somehow to get them over to United or if at the worst to a Star Alliance partner that is connected to the MR program?

  25. @Billy D - I got your email with the same question and will send you a reply.

  26. Thanks! I look forward to reading it

  27. Had interesting thing happen to me today. Applied for Starwood Amex last week. Currently have 9 Amex cards including personal and business. Have a 790 credit score. Amex said they would be happy to approve my Starwood card but they are now limiting how many credit card one person has. I asked them if they could just shift some of my credit instead of me eliminating one of my cards and they said no. I just eliminated one of the cards I used the least and got the card approved. Just wondering if anyone else every experienced that?

  28. @Billy D – That is common with AMEX now. They limit you to 4 credit (not charge) cards.

  29. Used AMEX AXON award to book 4 nights Hilton in Bora Bora this summer. Do I need the Hilton AMEX card to check in or would I be safe in cancelling that card before the trip. Thanks.

  30. @Rick – You don’t need the card when you check in, but it is a fee free card, so no harm in keeping the basic Hilton AMEX card for a long time.

  31. Just wanted to thank you for your suggestion last week; my mother had 52,000 Amex MR points; we did what you suggested and transfered them to Aeroplan/Air Canada (1:.85 ratio), then exchanged them via points.com to USAIR Dividend miles; and as a bonus, USAIR has a promotion until April 30th, if you share miles with another Dividend Miles customer, you get a 25% bonus, so mom shared them with me; long story short, I ended up with 45,000 USAIR miles; thanks again D!

  32. @Billy D – Glad it worked out and thanks for sharing!

  33. Thanks. I apologize. I ended up with 67,500 Dividend Miles

  34. Oh good lord — a word of warning to folks who aren’t careful (enough?)! So, I’m trying to arrange flights to a friend’s wedding on the other (west) coast. I have an Alaska Air FF number, but when I tried to use it (to get flights between LAX and Sonona, up near the wedding), I ended up having to call. Turns out the FF account is inactive from four years ago — and there are some 12k miles in it. The nice AK Air lady suggested she could re-create the account and for $75 get my points back; or I could apply for the AK Air VISA and get the miles back with no fee. (So much for proceeding with no planning!! Greed for points has really tripped me up!) So, she switched me over to the banking arm, and we filled out an application and then I was referred to … an underwriter? reviewer? whatever.

    Had a nice chat with the lady, pointed out how I was ever-so-carefully managing my debt: my husband died in mid-2011 and left me $52k in CC debt, which I’ve paid down to $38k; and just got my (actual) scores on the 23rd April: Experian: 734; Equifax: 730; TransUnion: 755 (so I am no credit slug!). I pointed out that the reason my credit cards look weird is I’ve consolidated the various balances onto three cards: two at 0%, and one at 1.9%, so the others (I have 10) are mostly or entirely empty. After some discussion, (“I both own a manufacturing company and am an employee — so I get a salary, AND all the profit is mine as well, whether or not I take it out…”) She mentioned the $14,500 credit limit I have on another VISA Signature card (with no current balance), and I said I’d be happy to split the limit between two — the (current/empty) VISA Sig was one of the cards I’d consolidated onto the 0%-interest cards…

    She put me on hold, and when she came back, not ONLY was I turned down for the AK Air card — but they are ALSO completely closing that $14,500-limit card!!! (Oh fer cryin’ out loud!!) And that drops my ‘current credit ceiling’ from $102k to $88k! So, now I am waiting for the other shoe(s) to drop! I suppose the Citi Biz card with the $14,700 limit may not be pulled, because it’s a biz card (no harm, no foul? Maybe?). But I’m waiting to hear from the other (personal) cards that they, too, are going to yank either the card, or my high (and empty) limits! (Envision me swearing a truly blue streak — I’m ex-Navy: I really know how to swear!!)

    I am going to call tomorrow asking for reconsideration on the “newly closed” current high-limit card. I have had it since 2005, I have NEVER EVER been late on any credit card payment, and I am doing a bang-up job of managing my credit and finances in a hard situation. I’m (mostly) okay with them turning down the AK Air card, but closing this other card? Not cool.

    I’m not actually ‘active’ in the FF/card churning game. I only began messing about on the edges in order to get to my best friend’s wedding. The Ink Bold I could get and meet min. spend because I ran $40k (mostly biz spending) through one of my cards last year. I needed specific miles to specifically get flights to the wedding. But this cancellation ‘against my will’ has really got me worried!

  35. @Elenor – You could try calling Bank of America again and seeing if they will let you keep the card open. You could also contact an attorney to find out if you are liable for the debt on your husband’s credit cards (varies by state and assets held jointly). Good luck and thanks for the reminder that there are sometimes unintended consequences with credit cards.

  36. {sigh} Thanks Daraius, Tried twice — Friday and again today (Monday). Friday, I was transferred to a senior acct representative by the nice lady who took the application (who had reported they had cancelled my OTHER BofA VISA Sig. card). Today I called 800-310-3346 and got right to a (different) sr. acct. rep. They were both nice, but unhelpful.

    (My husband’s debts were all “washed away” by probate (I am thankful to write! The cards in his name I was not liable for because I was not on those accounts) — the $52k debt I “inherited” were just the cards in MY name! As I pointed out to today’s rep: *I* would not have handled our money the way he did and I’m fer shure not handling my money now the way he did (but I will speak no ill of him because he gave me a great life!) (right up until he died oh-so-suddenly of a heart-stroke-related heart attack, at just age 60). (Don’t waste time, folks — be very, very conscious of how important your loved ones are to you — because you will not always have them!)

    BofA closed the card (as they said twice) because the “terms and conditions of that account are no longer available” (by which, I assume, they mean they no longer have the 5.24% interest; guess I shouldn’t have paid it all off!). I asked if they could put into the credit reports that *I* had closed the account (on the theory that it would do less damage to my credit than if they put that they closed it). ‘No, that would be falsifying public records.’

    He offered me several times that I could ‘rebuild my credit but it takes time’; wait wait, says I — my credit scores are 734, 730, and 755; I don’t NEED rebuilding — my credit is excellent, my credit history is excellent, my credit history specifically with BofA is excellent (which he acknowledged — but which made no difference {sigh}). The problem is this action by them is going to damage me — and I was trying to find an exception that will at least lessen the damage! There is no exception.

    (In the meantime, because I had to have my AK-Air FF number working, I paid the stupid $75, got the 12.5K miles back, got my reservations RT from LAX to STS for $121.30 + 10k miles. Worked with PointsPro to get the ATL to LAX stuff handled (Chase UR TRF to United for the flight out, biz class; $$ to Delta for LAX to ATL coming home, biz class. Doggone best friend for deciding spur-of-the-moment in Feb. to get married in June! But it did make me get the Ink Bold, which I really like! Was a mistake, I think, to get the Delta Gold AMEX at the same time, but I was used to always flying Delta.)

    So, I’m expecting one-helluva hit to my good credit scores. {shrug} I wasn’t planning on doing anything other than continuing to slog through paying off “my” debts, and continuing to reduce my financial footprint so that once I AM once more free of debt, I can leap into the miles-and-points game wholeheartedly! I WAS hoping for another 0% interest offer to show to to ‘cover’ the 1.9% CC balance, which expires in Nov. But even if not, that card will only go…oh… it WAS only going to go up to 9.9% again… but after B0fA has finished screwing me… I wonder if they, TOO will, will screw me on interest rates… Oh well, one more reason — if one is needed — to NEVER EVER leap on a credit card application without long and careful thought! (Or better — without carrying any balance!)

  37. Oh, and let me just pass on an additional lesson that — unlike this BofA one! — I lucked out hugely on! When Michael died, he was $50k in credit card debt; and I was (unknowingly) $52k in credit card debt. (As I wrote above, *I* would not have handled our financial lives the way Michael did.) We both had up-to-date legal wills — we were careful to try to make sure I was taken care of “in case he got hit by a bus.” (Ha. How naive we were!) Thankfully, we live(d) in Georgia. Georgia is the ONLY state in the entire U.S. that has what’s called a “Petition for Award of Year’s Support.” (Pennsylvania has sometimes slightly similar, but WAY less helpful.) This legal structure allows the widow (or widower) or minor children to apply to the court for *money out of the estate to provide a year’s worth of support at the level she/he/they were living prior to the death*. If the petition is granted, then the family is moved AHEAD of the credit card companies and other debt-holders in the legal “who gets paid out of what’s left” list. There was no money in Michael’s estate; but there was a house (whose title I was not on), a car (whose title I was not on), a motorcycle (whose title I was not on), and furniture and the like; plus the business that supported us (a small manufacturing biz I have taken over). Since there was no money, when my Petition to the court was granted, I was awarded “tangible goods” in support: so, house, car, motorcycle, business — THANK YOU, GA! He died in July — it took till the end of Nov before I actually OWNED the house I was living in, the car I was driving, (the motorcycle I was trying to sell!) (I now own the house; but the mortgage is still in his name; I wasn’t on the mortgage either! Chase wanted/wants me to, essentially, apply for a mortgage as a stranger, which, with ~$38k in CC debt, they most likely won’t give me! — but since the house was awarded by the courts (i.e., not sold), as long as I keep paying it, they can’t touch me (my lawyer says).

    You’ll be unsurprised to know that the credit card co.’s got Congress to move them AHEAD of everyone else in the line to get paid out of what is left in an estate! In every single state in the Union — save only GA, and to a minor degree PA: If there is credit card debt (cards solely in the name of the deceased) the CC co’s can TAKE THE HOUSE (and car and whatever else is in the estate) and sell it — and the family gets **what’s left over** after the CC debt is paid off! (Oh yes, indeed! Congress fer-shure looks after the little people!) (Cards in both our names would have remained my legal liability, thankfully (?) there weren’t any: just his cards, which ‘went away’ by court action and my cards which I am having to pay off.

    All my friends and neighbors and acquaintances, after watching me go through this hell, have made sure they’re on all the legal documents, joint tenancy with right of survivorship; car titles and house titles; mortgages and liens — whatever! Thankfully, I was the company’s treasurer ‘on paper’ — I never actually DID anything, but I was listed — so I could carry on the business “as him” until I inherited it legally.

    Oh! And Michael paid all our bills online — he got, and carefully filed, all the paper bills and he even printed out the ‘paid’ receipt webpage when he paid the bills (so I had SOMETHING to look at, to try to figure out what to do!) but *I* did not have the passwords to any accounts online! Because I knew his brain, I was able — over about a month and a half — to figure out his ‘codes’ in his browser: A******* and n***** and the like. And yes, I forged his signature on some personal checks to mail payments, when I had to! Thankfully, I figured out how to print company checks; then I could deposit money into his personal bank account (forging his name on the back and using the drive-through!), so I could pay the bills out of his account online. That went on for about 2-3 months, before all the banks caught up with his death. (Social Security sends out a death notice.) I also made a point to pull nearly ALL the money out of his acct before they slammed it shut!

    Have you — have your readers — tried to look at what might fall through the cracks if someone dies unexpectedly? Do you know where each other stores passwords and account numbers? Y’all are good at spreadsheets for points and miles — what about bank accounts, bills, and online account passwords? (I actually had and have all my stuff in KeePass — a free password vault. LastPass is also good.) And related to miles — we had, just the month before he died, paid $120 to transfer MY miles from my Delta acct to his {sigh}… and I got Delta to pass his total back into my account after his death. Which of you, in your spreadsheets, tracks whether or not you/your partner can inherit hundreds of thousands of points? I managed to TRF 2,800 Iceland Air points from Michael’s ICE acct over to a new made-up United account, figuring I could get United to merge his and mine? Ha. Yeah, for $175!! (They, apparently, don’t consider points inheritable, only buyable!)

  38. @Elenor – Thanks so much for the very detailed response and for the reminder to make the most of the short time we have with our loved ones. Your credit score isn’t impacted by who closes the card, but it may raise a few questions if someone does a manual review (but you can always explain why).

    It is never a surprise to see whose interests Congress puts ahead. I have a spreadsheet with username and passwords of both financial and frequent flyer information and Emily knows that she can use the miles in my account to book flights (I told her to hire an award booking service since it will be easier for her). I also use LastPass, but have a (sometimes out of date) excel sheet as well.

  39. “Your credit score isn’t impacted by who closes the card, ”

    Thank you SO MUCH Dariaus! That makes me feel ever-so-much better! I’ve been really stressing over what this unexpected closure will do to my credit scores…. I even decided to wait a few weeks before getting my free “you-got-turned-down” credit report from Experian — to give BofA time to do whatever damage they were going to do… (I may also put in a comment pointing out that they closed it because of the end of the “terms and conditions,” NOT because of anything I did!)

    Everyone may already know this, but I managed to get all three of my actual credit scores for $11. I started the online process with my credit union to apply for a mortgage re-fi…. *After* I had authorized them to pull $11 (out of my savings acct) to pay for the credit scores, I decided to chuck the process. They had already pulled the scores, and (snail-)mailed them to me. (Don’t know, and right now don’t much care, if those were hard pulls or something else. I’ve got my tix to my friend’s wedding, and now I’m back to head-down and slogging to pay off the CC debts. By the time they’re paid off, all this stuff will have fallen off my credit history anyway!)

    Glad you’re taking care of passwords (and Emily!). It’s SO important!
    Warmly, Elenor

  40. I have churned alot of Chase and Amex cards successfully the past 12 months; just applied for the Carlson Visa card and was declined last night; my credit score is 770 and I assume their reason is going to be to many inquiries; never dealt with US Bank before; any suggestions before I call their reconsideration line? Thanks

  41. @Elenor – Your actual credit score isn’t impacted by WHO closes the card (though your credit score will reflect the impact of having less available credit, but that may not matter if you have a low utilization ratio.) Safe travels to the wedding!

    @Billy D – It is very tough to get US Bank to reconsider, but you could call them and write letters to explain why you have recent inquiries and point out your high score.

  42. Do you know of a website where I can buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards or prepaid cards using my Amex card?

  43. @Billy D – You could buy them at a grocery store or at CVS with your credit card.

  44. Hi, D
    So how could you have 2 app-o-rama in a year? (or even 19 cards for Emily in 2012!)
    I got denied from a chase card and be told that i have too many cards this year, 8 different cards from different banks. I have 3 years history though.

  45. @zhao – Banks are toughing up on approvals unless you use their cards.

  46. Hi Darius
    I’m looking to apply for an American Express card but am not sure which one to get. I am looking at either the Starwood one, American Express Membership reward one, or the Delta one. I don’t fly Delta that often so not sure if that would be the right choice. I already have a bunch of the Chase cards and the United one. If I am to only apply for one at the moment, are you able to recommend which one?

  47. I have a question about the American Express 4 card limit. When I was on the phone with them the other night they told me there was no limit to the number of cards you can have and that there are a lot of people out there that have MANY cards. Where did all the talk about a 4 card limit come from?

  48. @Lesli – I believe you can have as many charge cards as you want, but only 4 AMEX credit cards.

  49. Darius, do you have a post anywhere describing the churn rules for getting cards more than once form each bank? I.e. how long to wait (and from what milestone, original app or card closing) before re=applying for Barclays/Chase/AmEx etc. I’m having trouble finding a concise list anywhere.

  50. I also would be interested in a list describing the churn rules (period necessary between applications/closing) for different credit cards.

  51. Hey, I created a tool to help people track their credit card applications. It’s free, no-revenue based tool, so give it a try. Daraius, I hope it can be a great tool for the churners community that you can highlight in your blog.

    Thank you!

  52. Daraius, I was recently approved for the Amex Delta Gold Sky miles and Amex Delta Delta Gold Business Sky miles cards. Can I apply for the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card?
    How do you know which cards are different products?

  53. @Don – You can apply for that card as well. The terms and conditions mention which cards are considered similar.

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