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Credit Card Application Results June 2016
A few weeks ago I applied for five credit cards across four banks in a mini round of applications. Since I am going to be getting a mortgage fairly soon, I didn’t want to have too many inquiries, so I kept the number of applications down and all were strategic. Here are the final results that netted me a painful denial, a free phone, 30,000 miles and over $700 in statement credits.
Citibank AT&T Access More Free Phone
Update: There are no known working links for this card.
I have been doing a fair amount of reselling and have been spending a lot of money online. My wife has the AT&T Access More card, however her limit is a bit on the paltry side and we have been cycling it multiple times each month. Having a second AT&T card is desirable to lighten the load, plus the phone bonus is valuable and we are AT&T customers.
The Offer: Free phone (up to $650) after $2K in purchases during the first 3 months.
Application Results: Approved after a phone call. Needed to shift credit from other accounts.
Takeaways: I have hit my maximum credit with Citi and they only gave me $1K in new credit for this card. That is fine with me since I am willing to shift credit for an approval. This is a card I will keep long term given the 10,000 annual bonus points after $10K spend offsets the $95 annual fee in my opinion.
I will admit that the Arrival Plus used to be one of my favorite cards, however with last year’s changes it has been lower on my list. The $400+ sign-up bonus is attractive, but with redemptions becoming tougher and cards like Double Cash and Freedom Unlimited around I’m not sure this is a keeper.
The Offer: 40,000 points ($400) after $3K spend in 3 months.
Application Results: Instant approval.
Takeaways: I closed my last Arrival Plus card awhile ago, so I was due for a new one. At the time of application I was down to just a single Barclaycard, the Aviator Red. This is the third time I have had the Arrival Plus and they gave me a fairly decent credit line. I’ll be happy to use it in Europe and I’m sure I can find a use for that nice bonus.
Bank of America
I used to joke that Bank of America hated me because every time I would apply for a card they would give me a $1K credit limit. That really hurt on Alaska Airlines cards where the bonus is reduced if you don’t get a $5K line. I applied for two cards from BofA during this latest round because in my experience the inquiries are merged.
I recently moved money around to earn Platinum Honors status at BofA so this card will pay 2.625% everywhere. That is the best up front rebate any card pays as far as I know.
The Offer: 20,000 points ($200) after $1K in purchases during the first 90 days.
Application Results: Instant approval.
Takeaways: Moving money into BofA seemed to really help with my latest applications. The credit line on this card was very generous and I am excited to have this card in my wallet.
I also applied for the Alaska Airlines 30K + $100 offer. This application was submitted about 30 seconds after the Travel Rewards card, however it went to pending. I still value Alaska miles highly and this is a great offer and card in my opinion. Of course, if I was to get another $1K credit limit, then the bonus would stink.
The Offer: 30,000 miles + $100 statement credit after $1K in spend during the first 90 days.
Application Results: Approval after a phone call. Received a very nice credit line.
Takeaways: It is official. BofA no longer hates me. Moving my money into their bank will not only net me 2.625% on the Travel Rewards card, but it also seems to have helped juice my credit lines quite a bit. That is a welcome change.
Chase United MileagePlus Explorer 75K + $50
As I wrote yesterday, I applied for this targeted card offer and was denied for too many new accounts. After being escalated to the top of Chase reconsideration, I was still denied. A sad result, but not one that was unexpected.
The Offer: 70,000 miles for $3K spend in the first three months + 5K for adding an authorized user + $50 statement credit after first purchase.
Application Results: App went to pending and then I received a denial letter for “too many new accounts” via the mail. Tried to escalate for reconsideration, but they won’t reconsider apps denied for this reason.
Takeaways: I knew applying for this card was risky given that I have many new accounts in the past two years, but the offer was targeted (and others have had success with targeted offers) so I decided to give it a try. Of course I am disappointed that I wasn’t approved given the incredible bonus, but life will go on.
My overall strategy for this round of apps was to spread around the inquiries and pickup products that fill a need for me and I feel like I was successful. I was able to get two BofA cards with one inquiry, while also getting the AT&T card for reselling and a nice bonus on the Arrival Plus with only a hit on my Transunion report which is underutilized. While the Chase denial hurts, it wasn’t unexpected, but I do need to figure out some sort of Chase strategy going forward.
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