My first foray into AORs

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by tulane09, Mar 26, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Just wanted to post my experience here.

    A little background... I've been traveling internationally (for pleasure) 2-3 times a year for the last couple years. I've had a couple credit cards for awhile and played the points game on a very minor scale. Then last year I got the Chase British Airways 100,000 Avios card and my life changed. I flew to meet my sister in Nice for a long weekend and smoothly upgraded both my flights to business on BA. Once I realized how nice business class was I never wanted to go back. Then in December my girlfriend and I went on a 10 day trip to Moscow (again to meet my sister who works there) and Paris. This trip from the start was a financial nightmare. It cost me $3,000 more (for various reasons, mostly poor planning on my part) than I thought and the upgrades didn't go smoothly (only on the return). On the way back I was researching travel and came across The Points Guy. Since January I've been on a credit card and travel planning spree. I've found milepoint and many other blogs.

    My travel goals are:
    - 2013 qualify for BA Gold (I need 600 more tier points before December), this will give me at least silver through 2015
    - Southwest Companion Pass
    - start accumulating hordes of MR/UR/SPG points
    - have enough Hhonors points to cover 8-10 nights in Tahiti September of 2014 (posted elsewhere about this)

    My initial credit cards - Chase Amazon (3 yrs); Citi Divident (7 yrs); Chase BA (9 mos); Amex PRG (3 yrs)

    My 3 month AOR (starting credit 786) - This is entirely poor planning and execution but it all worked out
    January
    - Chase Freedom ($100)
    - Chase Southwest (50,000 RR)
    - Amex Hilton (free) (50,000 Hhonors)
    - Penfed gas rewards (5% cash back on gas)
    - Penfed Amex Travel (20,000 pts good for $200 in gift cards)
    February
    -Barclay US Air (40,000)
    -Barclay NFL ($400 statement credit)
    -Amex Business Gold (75,000 MR)
    -Citi AmericanAirlines (50,000 AAmiles)
    March
    -Chase Ink Bold (50,000 UR)
    -Chase Business Premier Southwest (50,000 RR)
    Denied
    Club Carlson US Bank - January, too many inquiries
    Chase Marriott - February, didn't wait 30 days

    So my total 3 month haul is 75,000 MR; 100,000 RR (companion pass); $700 in cash equivalent; 50,000 Hhonors; 50,000 AAmiles; 40,000 USAir; 50,000 UR for a total of 365,000 pts/miles and $700 cash

    I'm now planning on letting my credit score recover, and will start looking for a more selective AOR in June/July.

    Thoughts or comments?
     
  2. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    You applied for 11 credit cards in a 3 month period? Not something I would advise doing again. My other advice would be careful applying for any cards directed by TPG. He doesn't put the best offers out there.
     
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  3. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Agree with sharris. Wow. That's a lot of cards in a short period of time. But hey, they didn't shut you down. Still like you said, you may need to sit out a while and wait for the credit to come back.

    Nothing against tpg personally. As with any card, research the available offers. If you're comfortable with the caveats, the best offers are usually in the flyertalk credit card masterthread under MilesBuzz. But I check everywhere myself--Gary at BoardingArea (View From the Wing), www.frequentflyermiles.com, flyertalk, here, etc etc.

    Course its easy to waste massive amounts of your life on this thing...
     
  4. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Yeah it was a mess. Jumped in with both feet. I did diversify across 5 banks though, plus Barclays pulls Transunion which the others did not. Also 3 cards are business cards. I also wound up with 5 no fee cards that I will keep forever. I'm not too worried about overall credit as I'm not looking to purchase a house until at least 2015.

    I'm looking to apply for 2-3 cards in July/Oct/Jan then stop until I get a mortgage.

    So while this was an unorganized round of apps, there was some method to my madness. But I would certainly recommend more planning for anyone looking to start out.

    I'm also not beholden to TPG at all, it's just where I started reading. I don't do a lot on FT but I follow almost everyone on twitter (including FT) and do verify best offers.
     
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  5. pilotb757

    pilotb757 Silver Member

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    Moderation !! You are overdoing it, especially with Chase and way too many applications over all. I only do 4 cards every 6 months , and only cards I have a use for.
     
  6. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    OP redefined what was once known as an AOR. I now call it: The Tulane09-rama
     
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  7. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Still going...

    Club Carlson Business (85,000 CC)
    Ink Plus (50,000 UR)
     
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  8. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    lol
     
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  9. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Just when I thought I hit my limit...

    Approved for Mercedes Platinum Amex (50,000 MR)
    Approved for SPG Business (25,000 SPG)

    Then I was denied for Barclay Arrival and Citi Hilton (no fee)

    It definitely seems like business cards are the way to go. I haven't been turned down for one yet. With all that said I'm officially done until October... EXCEPT

    I just got in the mail today 100,000 Business Platinum Amex offer when you spend $10,000 in 3 months. I'll be applying July 1. Then I'm done. Especially since it's going to be a struggle to meet all the spend requirements over the next few months.
     
  10. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I must remember to pull this thread up when the next inevitable round of hotels or airline awards devaluations come down the pike.:)
     
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  11. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Just applied, approved.
     
  12. Fishing4Deals

    Fishing4Deals Silver Member

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    You are on a roll. Time to plan another trip!
     
  13. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    I just discovered this thread today...cracked me up...is there a MCCA (Mileage Credit Cards Anonymous) we can get Tulane09 into...;) Have fun traveling!
     
  14. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Slight adjustment necessary. Shoulda posted it 2 weeks ago. I wasn't eligible for the platinum offer because I had the gold earlier this year. I called right after I got the card to verify the offer and they told me. They let me cancel with no questions asked. I'll be eligible next February for any other platinum offers. I thought bus plat and gold were separate entities because personal plat and gold are, not to be. And it did state it clearly in the T&C when I looked. No harm no foul. Funny thing is two weeks after I cancelled I got a 2nd 100,000 bus plat offer in the mail. go figure.

    Because that freed up some spend, in July I got

    SPG personal
    Virgin Atlantic BOA

    Next up is Oct/Nov round
    I really want to get Citi Hilton Reserve, Chase CSP, Chase Priority Club, Barclay Arrival, and Club Carlson Personal. US Bank/Citi/Barclay have all been tough because of all the new accounts so I'm crossing my fingers.

    Part of my success has been how varied I am across banks (citi/penfed/amex/chase/usbank/barclays). Also apparently every company wants to give me a business card (I do have a legit business, albeit small) because outside of Chase everything has been auto approved. And even Chase was easy when I got my last business card (Ink) with them, I just had to call. I posted elsewhere about it but when they ran the 60,000 UR offer earlier this summer they instantly gave me 10,000 extra points on both my ink and bold, all from one secure message.

    Amex has instantly approved all my cards too. It's a tie between them and Chase for best customer service so far.

    What I'm really excited about is I'm about to actually start using the points. I booked the Hyatt in Aruba already and this fall I will be booking a Vegas/Bora Bora honeymoon for next september.
     
  15. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Round 3 completed

    Denied Barclays Arrival
    Approved Citi Hilton Reserve (2 free weekend nights)
    Approved Chase Sapphire Preferred (Had to move credit lines around)
    Approved Citi Aadvantage Business (50,000 Aadvantage miles)
    Approved US Bank Club Carlson Premiere Personal (85,000 Club Carlson points)

    Better than I expected. I assumed I'd only get one or two approved. I think I'm giving up on Barclay's arrival, 3rd time I've been denied for it. Credit score was 740/735/735 before the latest round, not sure what it's at now.

    I'm pretty much done. In January I'll look at Chase United personal and business (waiting for 50,000 offer) and a couple of the chase hotel cards (hyatt/fairmont/marriott/IHG); but other than that there is nothing I'm looking at. And since they're all chase it's gonna be awhile.

    Have to say, I got way more in points/miles/hotel nights than I ever though possible in 10 months. And little damage to the credit score.
     
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  16. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    lol i love how you keep saying you are done. ;) great job though managing your credit. it has to be good to be approved for all these cards.
     
  17. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    nicely done. If and when you go for the hotels...I would look at the Hyatt and IHG ones first. They have the best bang for your AF. I have the Marriott one, and it pays for itself, but not worth a pull for the bennies it gives you.
     
  18. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    After the first sloppy round, I got it together. It also helps I live above a CVS that stocks VRs constantly. I'm getting married next fall and planning on a house in about 2 years, so outside one here and there I really am done.
     
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  19. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Nah, you just have to get soon to be Mrs tulate09 in the game now too. :)
     
  20. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    LOL, tried and failed.
     
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  21. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Ah, sorry. My wife is pretty good about it. :) She enjoys the spoils, so.....
     
  22. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    Have you tried showing her the "benefits" of what a few credit cards can do? One ride in a international first class may change her mind... :D
     
  23. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    You can have her 'participate' in a very limited way. You sign her up for the cards online (you'll need to know her social and other things). Get her permission of course. If she doesn't give you that, isn't comfortable with you messing up her credit or whatever then leave it alone. But if she just doesn't want to deal with the work you can do most of it. Don't do any reconsideration calls. Let the companies decide whether to give her a particular card or not like a normal person. Mostly she'll get the cards if she has good credit. Once in a while she might have to call but you can always let those cards go. Or maybe she'll change her mind over time as you start flying/staying for free. To cancel a card login and SM the company online. When the cards show up you can often put spend on them by using them online, say for bills. If there's too much spend, just give her one or two at a time. Put little stickers on them if necessary, saying "Gas 5X" or whatever to hint what to use when. Don't make it too complicated or she won't do it. And make sure you're not too anal--its okay if she messes up some. No biggie. If you have to, add yourself as an authorized user on her cards so you can use them too.
     
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