Churn Spacing

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by livefastdiefun, Jul 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    I have a couple of questions about churning. Here are the cards I currently carry, their affiliation, when I applied for them, and the current status of each card:

    Sky Blue Amex (1st card :oops:) – applied Jan 12 – active
    Hilton Hhonors Amex – applied February 1 – active
    British Airways Chase Visa – applied April 7th – active
    Citi AAdvantage Amex – applied June 22nd - pending
    Citi Advantage Visa – applied June 22nd – pending

    As of now, the Chase BA card is the only card with a yearly fee so there is no rush to cancel any of them.

    I have excellent credit and have never been late on a payment in my entire life or carried a large balance.

    What should my churn strategy be from here on out? Have I applied for too many? Did I apply to close together? How many new cards could I get this month if I were to apply? How often can I apply for new cards?

    I hear about people churning every couple of months (?) but I also hear that you should only cancel your cards after you've held them for atleast a year?

    I know this is a lot. thanks for any help.

    P.S. if there is a FAQ thread or a Primer on this topic you can point me there as well.
  2. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    First thing to do is check your credit reports and see which card pulled data from which credit reporting agency. In my case EVERYONE uses Experian so I am limited as to how many "hard pulls" I can manage in a six month period. In other areas, people are lucky and different banks pull a credit report from different agencies so they can get away with more hard pulls.
  3. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    Only you can determine what you churn strategy should be (I'm helpful, aren't I?!).

    By that, I mean that you have to consider your personal goals, likelihood of applying for large loans (Home, Equity, etc.) in the next 2 years, and how aggressively you'd like to pursue credit card sign-up bonuses.

    In general, you shouldn't close your cards immediately, because it may send a signal to the bank that you applied for the card only for the bonus, and you may be prevented from earning sign-up bonuses with that bank in future. I wrote more about that on my blog, but the short answer is that you should wait close to when the annual fee comes due, or cancel the cards only when you need it as part of a negotiation to get approved for another card.

    As deant said, you should find out from which of the 3 credit reporting agencies the different banks are using (this differs by location). And then determine how to limit your hard inquiries, per credit reporting agency, within a 6 month period.

    I recently applied for 6 cards in one evening, and make similar applications 3 to 4 times a year. I just find it easier to make big batches of applications, but still keep an application buffer in case a great offer comes up!

    You may want to consider the Chase Sapphire card with 50,000 bonus points or the American Express SPG card with 30,000 bonus points for a reduced spend of $4,500 (instead of $15,000).

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