Opinions and Advice Sought on my Credit Card Application Strategy

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by TexasFlyer, Oct 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I am preparing for an application spree and wanted to get some other folks' thoughts and advice on my strategy. My goal is AA miles (or any other high mile initial bonus), and upper mid-range (Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood) hotel points. Of course I would prefer no fee cards but accept that some annual fees may be necessary.

    I have frozen Experian because of my indiscriminate applications before I realized how much of an impact too many inquiries would have. Apparently almost all banks initially pull Experian for Texans. I currently have 18 Experian inquiries so I will not unfreeze it until they almost all drop off. Thanks to USAA's CreditMonitoring Service I now have 0 Equifax and only 3 Transunion inquiries.

    I do realize that I will have unusual results because of my Experian freeze, but with 18 inquiries I am just going to go ahead and hope for the best with alternate pulls.

    I have good FAKO scores: 770s Experian and 780s EQ and TU.

    I put child care and insurance and household expenses on my cards so spending requirements are not much of an issue.

    My plan is to apply for these cards:
    (1) Citi AA Cards using two (or three?) browser method. I've never held the cards and want to make sure I get in before the 75K deals disappear.
    (2) Hawaiian Air with the purpose of converting to HHonors.
    (3) Citi HHonors no fee card (I think 50K points)
    (4) Amex HHonors no fee card
    (5) Chase Hyatt card with anniversary free night
    (6) Amex SPG

    Thoughts? Advice? Opinions? Thanks so much for reading and sharing info!

    TexasFlyer
     
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  2. goheerow

    goheerow Silver Member

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    I can only speak to your Hhonors card sprees, but I think it's a good move. Personally I have both the Amex and Citi no fee cards and am contemplating about getting the HA card. I hate taking on fee cards, but like you said, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. Good luck and update us on your successes.
     
  3. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    Thanks, goheerow, for weighing in.

    I think I am going to add another card because it seems likely from what I've read elsewhere that Barclays does not pull Experian:

    (7) Barclays US Airways card with 40K initial bonus
     
  4. Jane Chan

    Jane Chan Member

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    When I applied for my Barclay U.S. Airways Credit Card last month, TranUnion was pulled. I live in CA
     
  5. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    I guess, if nothing else, this will serve to see how certain creditors respond when Experian is frozen in Texas. Maybe I will even get a few points or miles for my efforts!
     
  6. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    I agree that it is best to jump on the AA cards now, since the links are gradually expiring (The $1,500 AMEX personal and Visa Business card have both expired now).

    Chase Hyatt card is good for 2 free nights, but you have to use them within a year.

    Barclays usually pulls from TransUnion so is a good option given the low inquiries on your TU report.

    I'm very curious to see what happens since you've locked your Experian account. You'll probably have to call in and ask the rep to pull a different credit bureau report.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  7. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    I think that if you go for the Citi AA cards (and you should do those soon), you will have to wait 60 days + before you can apply for the Citi HHonors card.
     
  8. Gary Steiger
    Original Member

    Gary Steiger Silver Member

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    The 75K business card offer for $1,500 spend is gone, and the same for $4,000 is currently suspect.
     
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  9. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Sounds like the party is ending after 15 months. I never imagined it would go on for so long.
     
  10. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    Well, the initial results were not stellar. I applied for the eight cards shown above, and all but one were pended decisions. US Airways clearly pulled TU right away and I got an instant approval for 19K. Amex sent me a fraud alert email and asked me to call in; I did so and they explained they were concerned because I had submitted several applications back to back.

    I've never called in for reconsideration or any other reason (like asking to pull from another credit bureau) but it seems pretty clear that I am going to be getting plenty of practice soon. I will let you all know how it pans out.
     
  11. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    Today I got the "your credit is frozen, we can't proceed" email from Citi. My first attempt at reconsideration with Citi was totally unsuccessfull. They said the only way to proceed was to remove freeze, and they can't pull from another agency mid-application. I tried to convince them to pull from my existing other Citi lines, but that didn't fly either. I will try again, though.

    Hopefully the other creditors will be more flexible.
     
  12. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I think applying for 8 cards all at once may have been ambitious. 1-2 a month would be the most I'd try.
     
  13. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    Well, I don't think I am actually going to get eight cards or even eight credit inquiries from these applications because of the Experian freeze. I would have been much more conservative without the freeze.

    Right now it looks like I may come out of this with only 1 or 2 cards. Experian seems to be used by the overwhelming majority of creditors for Texas applicants.
     
  14. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    UPDATED WITH WHAT WILL HOPEFULLY BE HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR OTHERS:

    1. Citi absolutely would not play ball. They pulled from Experian and two different CSRs both refused to pull from another agency. Their "your credit is frozen letter cited only Experian." Their script was that they can not change the reporting agency mid-stream in a single application.

    2. Chase automatically pulled from Transunion after Experian was frozen. I know from extensive personal experience (18 inquiries!) that Chase pulls from Experian for Texans. Three days after my application, I received an inquiry from Chase on TU. So that somewhat destroys the "same day application" advantages, but still is a good data point. I got the Hyatt Card with 20K limit.

    3. Bank of America was the most amenable. They sent me a letter saying "we can't proceed; your credit is frozen." The letter cited all three credit agencies. The CSRs were extremely easygoing and even asked me "Which agency did you unfreeze? Which would you like us to pull from?" Frankly I was somewhat floored that they gave me the complete say-so on which agency they would pull. Having 0 Equifax inquiries, of course I responded with Equifax and was approved for the Hawaiian Air card wtih a 5k limit.

    With the addition of the Hawaiian Air card, I am pretty happy with the results of this experiment. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, and I really hope others might benefit from the above info!
     
  15. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Active Member

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    I forgot to add that Amex declined because of frozen reports. Frankly, I've heard way too many horror stories about their erratic behavior to risk calling for reconsideration. I will let that one be and re-apply when my Experian inquiries drop off.
     

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