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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by LXJenkins, Mar 2, 2011.
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Do you have a system/schedule for churning cards? How many cards is too many?
Depends on a few things: your credit history, your history with the particular bank/company. Certain cards require (both anecdotally and officially) a certain number of days before you "churn."
How many cards is too many? I let the bank decide that .
I'm a pretty conservative churner. Since January 2008 I've churned 12 Citibank cards and opened about 10 other accounts with Amex and Chase. My credit score has stayed above 800.
I keep an Excel spreadsheet that lists the application date, date of approval, anniversary date (so I know when to cancel cards with an annual fee), card type, annual fee, bonus details, etc.
I've been toying with getting more aggressive with churning this year. I need to study the current offers though.
Too many credit cards? Haven't found that number yet.
To a large extent, the ability to churn depends on the bank. Citi used to be very easy to churn. 1 new card every 30 days like clockwork. However, Citi, just over a year ago, locked that down for many of us. Some people still get a couple of churns from them but they are pretty good at not allowing churning.
Chase has been much more difficult to churn. They tend to "like" you to only have one Chase application in a 6 month period. However, there is flexibility in this.
As to how many cards, that, again, is up to each bank to see how much credit they will give you. No set rule.
Key is to keep track of your credit score and make sure that you do not lower your score too much with new applications.
Exactly right. Your credit score will go down with cards that are not carrying a balance that are being paid regularly. So there may not be a limit on how many cards you can have, but if you don't use them it can adversely effect your credit score.
Personally I have made the decision that I only apply for credit cards that enhance the programs I currently participate in.
Our credit scores are great, we have never been refused so far, but we probably have about 10 cards each. Recently as they have come up for renewal I have been cancelling the cards I no longer require. We intend to pare it down to AMEX gold (great points for flights), BA Visa (our preferred carrier) and Priority Club Visa (free night).
Reason I decided to minimise is because we got caught at short notice with having to make an emergency trip to Australia. Imagine that your mother has died and you have 8 hours to work out your travel plans and get to the airport and instead you have to think which of my credit cards might become due whilst I am gone. We always sign up for auto payment but if it is the first billing cycle it is easy to get caught with your pants died.
Never thought about the emergency issue. Good point. Thanks for sharing.
Is there posts which provide the wait times between applications for different companies? I didn't find any when I search. Can anyone build on this post?
Chase: Once every six months
To build on this discussion, does this mean that it is possible to cancel a card (my Chase United Miles Plus Signature, for example), wait six months, and then apply for the same card again for whatever new reward being advertised?
AMEX has basically locked down churning of specific cards. Most are "once in a lifetime". However, it is believed that if you leave enough time between specific card applications that you can churn (maybe a year or two???).
For Citi, some people have reported that they applied after about 1.5 years and still were turned down due not being a new customer.
Again, there seem to be no rules on many of the cards now.
I just need to interject to say that I love your Avatar. I bet they love it in Germany even more....
I believe that there is mounting pressure on banks to make credit more available then it has been since the financial crisis.
The Government bailed out the banks only to see the banks receive practically interest-free borrowing and only loan out to the select top tier credit customers. Marginal assistance to small businesses and mortgage re-modifications.
I've seen subtle instances that banks are willing to take on a little more risk and approve credit cards to applicants that would not have qualified just 6 months ago.
Based on the discussion above, please verify I understand this correctly. My wife and I both applied for and were awarded the Citi AA cards in June 2010. If we cancel those cards today, we can reapply for an AA card and receive the award in March 2013 (2years after canceling)? Are any of the banks quicker than that, BofA, Chase, Amex, Barclays, etc.?
Yes, that's my understanding 2 years for Citibank after you severing the CC relationship. Also, from my personal experience, by keeping balances under 50% of credit line with good payment history, you can apply for and get up to 6 AMEX cards (Costco, SPG, HHonors, Delta, etc.), one at a time after every six months without the need to cancel any.
I also have 6 AMEX cards (2 Delta, SPG, Hilton, AA & Amex Business Gold). I was denied on my most recent application for amother Amex with the reason given that I had the maximum number of their porducts I could receive.
This is one spreadsheer I DON'T have created. That is a great idea. I will add it to my list.
Oh - to actually answer the question. I have ummmmm, lots of credit cards. My MP visa is the one I use the most. I use my Hyatt card when traveling out of the country, use my Hilton Amex at Costco and my Citibank Honors card randomly just to keep it from being cancelled. The bad thing about the Hyatt card is that I just got the card a few months ago and I want the CO card too for the miles. I am hoping they hang onto the promo until the summer so I can apply for it. In addition to the cards above, I have a treasure trove of MCs, Visas, Amex's, Discover and a few store cards mixed in.
Even though I have lots of cards, my credit score is around 800 too. So I don't nececessarily agree that having lots of cards that you don't don't use adversly impacts your credit. I pay mine off each month and I haven't been impacted. Though, I think that atleast half my cards are signature cards which don't report the credit limit, so maybe I don't look like I have too much available credit.
Catgirl -- I also recently applied for and received the Hyatt card. I applied for the Continental Chase card a month after the Hyatt card and was approved -- even though I now have a total of 6 chase cards (all but 1 opened in the past 2 years).
Wow, 6 Chase cards. Ok, then I will give it a try. I am planning to consolidate one of my Chase cards across my MP Visa and my Hyatt card, which will leave me with 2 - I know I can do this, I have asked a few times, I have just been lazy, lol. I wonder if I should that and then apply for the CO card....something to think about. I know Chase likes to limit the amount of cards people have. I do have 5 Citi cards, so I thought it was strange when I heard that Chase likes to limit.
I am NOT a credit card churner. I am a credit card miles maximizer.
I've gotten 14 in the past 9 months. Same cards most here got. That's 5 Chases, 5 AmEx's , 2 Citi's, 1 Barclays & now 1 CapOne. My credit score went up considerably because of the new unused credit lines.
I'd love to get some advice from churners about the best options for new Mastercard and Visa credit cards for my parents. See my thread here: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/325k-spend-per-year-which-card-s.5939/
Frugal Travel Guy http://frugaltravelguy.blogspot.com/ is a great site for info about credit card churning. He also talks about credit pulls.
Wife applied for 2 Chase cards. Got one, turned down on the other. Called the number on the reject letter, offered her UA Visa (converted to no annual fee--in sock drawer) for 2nd card. Over for review, should be OK. Will cancel UA card, get 2nd card. (applied for Hyatt card, 2nd card was 50K CO miles).
FICO's mid/high 700's. No negatives.
2 free nights @ Hyatt & 50K CO not too bad. She has received almost 300K AA miles mainly from CC bonuses and a little spend.