Another newbie snared...

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by Andycat, Aug 3, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    I stumbled into this rabbit hole a few months ago when looking for a CC with free baggage benefits. Lucked out and got the UA Club Card with first year fees waived, which will work great for a couple of upcoming trips, but the more I read the more I realized what I was missing.

    I figured I’d wait 90 days from the previous application, which will be coming up at the end of the month, and I’m starting to plan a round of apps. I’ve read the cautions; we have good credit, no outstanding loans, no plans for big purchases in the next 24 months, always pay off the CC in full every month. I’ll pull credit reports just prior to submissions.

    Our home airport is JAX. We are at a point in life where we have both a little time and a little money, so we’d like to travel more. The next couple of years’ plans include Europe and Argentina, then who knows (probably more Europe, and South Pacific, but we’ll see) – so churning for points is going to become an earnest hobby.

    DW and I each have a couple of CCs of various flavors from Amex, Chase (Freedom), and Citi (please don’t laugh – does anyone remember the AT&T Universal Card?). So here’s the initial plan:

    Chase Sapphire Preferred - 40K / $3k spend, 3 mo
    Chase Marriott – 70K / first use
    Citi AA Business - 50K / $3K spend, 4mo
    Citi AA Amex - 50K / $3k spend, 4 mo
    Citi HHonors Signature - 40K / $1K spend, 4 mo
    AMEX Starwood Preferred Gold - 25K / $5k spend, 6mo
    AMEX Delta Gold Business - 30K / $.5K spend, 3mo
    Barclays USAir - 40K / first use

    Totals: 345K miles/points; $3.5K/3mo + $7K/4mo + $6K/6mo = $16.5K spend

    One question is how to integrate DW’s apps – apply on the same day or split up the applications? We’ve been co-applicants on mortgages (now paid off) but the bulk of the credit has been in my name.

    This is probably long enough for a first post – thanks for all the great posts I’ve been reading these last couple of months!
     
    Sweet Willie, Kalboz, Toula and 2 others like this.
  2. hopscotch1
    Original Member

    hopscotch1 Silver Member

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    Depends on what you see when you pull the credit reports.

    As long as your wife's credit is strong, I would say do it on the same day.
     
  3. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    +1

    If her is good to, then why not just split it up. Seeing that you have 2 Chase and 3 Citi you're going to want to split them up.

    Also I don't see any BofA. Why not through in a VirginAtlantic/Hawaiian Airlines for HHonor points.
     
    hopscotch1 likes this.
  4. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Waves to someone else in JAX! Welcome to Milepoint. I was a charter member of the AT&T Universal Card - still have it. I only had 2 cards, AMEX and the Universal card. I only kept it because the card was so old (it would be in college by now!)

    I think that you want to only apply for the Marriott or Sapphire Preferred. I would lean towards the Sapphire Preferred, since you already have the freedom card.

    Don't apply for the Citi AA business card - use the two browser trick to apply for the Citi Visa and AMEX. You can then apply for the Citi business later. Three Citi cards in one day is probably not going to happen, so save the HHonors card for later.

    You could then have your wife also apply for the 2 Citi AA cards (as long as you can meet the minimum spend), the Chase Marriott and the Citi HHonors. You could then add in Amex HHonors for 50,000 points for $750 spend. This would then give you access to the AXON rewards. Since Barclays is first use, I would add in that card for her as well.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint Andycat! :)
     
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  6. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Thanks, all. I appreciate the suggestions and will put them in the mix. Not certain how I left BofA off the list, I'll certainly have to rethink that.
     
  7. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    Starwood Amex bonus will be 30,000 points starting tomorrow until I believe Sept 7th according to multiple bloggers
     
  8. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Based on the comments, I'll apply for myself and DW at the same time. Here's the revised plan:

    Card / points / spend / spend time limit

    ME

    Chase Sapphire Preferred / 40,000 / $3,000 / 3mo
    Amex HHonors / 50,000 / $750 / 3mo
    Citi AA VisA / 50,000 / $3,000 / 4mo
    Citi AA Amex / 50,000 / $3,000 / 4mo
    Barclays USAir / 40,000 / 1st spend / -
    BofA Hawaiian / 35,000 / $1,000 / 4mo

    DW

    Citi AA Visa / 50,000 / $3,000 / 4mo
    Citi AA Amex / 50,000 / $3,000 / 4mo
    Barclays USAir / 40,000 / 1st spend / -
    Chase Marriott / 70,000 / 1st spend / -
    AMEX Delta Gold Business / 35,000 / $500 / 3mo
    BofA Alaskan / 25,000 / $1,000 / 4mo

    Total / 535,000 / $18,250 / 4mo

    So just over 1/2-million points/miles with a little more initial spend. I did see the bonus bump for AMEX Starwood, but as this is my round of apps and the substantial initial spend, I'm going to pass on that one. I'm still open to ideas, though; otherwise watch for the results after Labor Day!

    Thanks again,

    Andycat
     
  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    just FYI 30k SPG comes once a year usually and only for a few month. Just food for thought
     
  10. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on my app run, but things didn't go as smoothly as I expected:

    First I checked my credit score at myfico.com. It was not only better than expected, but the score is free when you sign up for a 10-day trial of their Score Watch service. How nice - I can check my score before the app run and a few days later to see exactly what the impact is. On to the fun stuff.

    AMEX Starwood Preferred Gold - hmm, I forgot to note my SPG number when I signed up. No problem, I'll just log into the SPG website... which is down! Grrr. Called customer service - their computer system is down! Ok this one is my fault. (I decided to take LAM's and edekba's suggestions given the current bonus offer)

    AMEX Delta Gold Business - planning to wait a couple of hours until I get the Starwood mess straightened out.

    Barclays USAir - Instant approval - now that's more like it.

    BofA Hawaiian - application pending - called reconsideration... They're closed, call back during normal business hours! Gee, I wonder if they authorize charges on Sunday... Grrr

    Chase Priority Club Visa - application pending - called reconsideration... All the analyst would tell me is that it's under review and it could be two weeks. Hmm, wonder if the decision makers have Sunday off at Chase, too?

    Citi AA AMEX/Visa - appication pending - called reconsideration... success!! I had forgotten to update the address on my AT&T Universal card from last year's move. I'm on electronic statements, so I never noticed. I was a little worried when I called back on the second application, but that call was successful too!

    US Bank Visa Flexperks - under review - called reconsideration... Recorded message that application is under review; tried for representative and told to call back during normal business hours. Grrr

    Totals - out of 8 planned apps, 2 are on hold due to my mistake (I'll probably apply for the AMEX Hilton if SPG doesn't come back on line in the next couple of hours); 3 under review, 1 instant approval, and 2 approved after review (lack of instant approval probably due to my own error).


    Well, it's been informative, at least. I'm going to hold off on DW's applications until things get sorted out on mine. And on the churn I won't submit applications on Sunday afternoon!
     
  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    You should use something like award wallet. Keeps your spg and other ff# handy.
     
  12. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Good point... and funny enough, I do use Award Wallet - I just haven't gotten around to updating with all my accounts. Guess I should go do that now.... (newbie slinks away....)
     
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  13. DJP_707
    Original Member

    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    I do, and for some unknown reason I still have it. At the time you could use it to pay you att phone bill, and it was free for life, and you get thank you rewards points. It also has a better interest rate then some cards I've seen, at 12%. Haven't used in a couple years but still have just in case.
     
  14. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Phew! All's well that ends well, I suppose. Here are my results:

    AMEX Starwood Preferred Gold - instant approval (applied one day after all other apps because of Starwood problems)
    Barclay's USAir - instant approval
    BofA Hawaiian - initially pending; approved 3 days after app, after calling reconsideration
    Chase Priority Club Visa - initially pending; approved next day, had to call to get results
    Citi AA Visa - initially pending; approved after call to reconsideration
    Citi AA AMEX- initially pending; approved after call to reconsideration
    USBank FlexPerks - initially pending; approved after call to reconsideration

    Some additional details...
    BofA hadn't gotten to my app by the time I called three days later, and while the analyst's decision was quick, there was a fairly lengthy secondary interview after the analyst approved the application - "security questions" they said, from the fraud control department. BofA gets low marks for "Bankers Hours" - they aren't even available weekday evenings.

    Chase had already approved my application but not notified me, I had to call reconsideration to get the decision.

    Citi - both cards were initially pending but approved same day as application (Sunday). Kudos to Citi for having the reconsideration line staffed when working class folk have time to call.

    USBank FlexPerks - application was approved the next day, but I had to call to get the decision. Another firm that works "Bankers Hours"

    And a special brickbat to Starwood. The problems I was having weren't mine - it seems there is a 14 character limit on the password reminder answer. That detail is not mentioned anywhere on the application, and if one's answer is longer than 14 characters, the extremely helpful error message is, "a system error has occurred". AGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! BAD PROGRAMMER! NO DOUGHNUT!!!

    The 10-day free ScoreWatch trial has only shown two hits on my credit report. I think it's only checking Experian, and it's showing hits from Chase and USBank. My FICO score to date has dropped 11 points from the pre-app level.

    Next task - DW's applications. The USBank and BofA cards could be a problem, as while she's willing to allow me to sign up for cards in her name, she's not interested in making the follow up calls, and we generally don't cross paths during the workday. Hopefully AMX has after hours analysts; with the problems I had with my applications I decided drop my AMX business application and move that one to DW.
     
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  15. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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  16. Andycat

    Andycat Silver Member

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    Final score…

    Well, it took a while for DW’s applications to resolve. Here’s her results:

    Amex HHonors – instant approval
    Barclays USAir – instant approval
    Chase Sapphire – instant approval
    Citi HHonors Visa Signature – approved two days after application
    BofA Alaskan – approved two days after application
    USBank FlexPerks (Olympic bonus) – declined

    So I tried Million Mile Secrets idea of calling the analyst, letting DW identify herself, and directing the analyst to talk to me. Except she didn’t want to turn over the call, and she had problems with some of the questions (I gave her cell number as her work number, and she didn’t know what security questions /answers I used).

    But the big problem with USBank is that they wanted to verify our address, since we moved within the same condo complex last year and both addresses showed on our credit report. That took several days to arrive in the mail. Once we straightened that out, she was declined for “too many recent inquiries on this ssn”. An analyst probably only looked at the ap two weeks after all the others had gone through because of the delays.

    So our process is a little rough around the edges, but we will still snag over 500,000 miles/points for this first round, so we can’t complain.

    Thanks to all that offered encouragement and advice!
     
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  17. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Great job on your App-o-rama! Consider utilizing the Chase trifecta (Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Checking Account) after you meet your initial spend requirements. It helps maximize your Ultimate Rewards earnings.
     

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