The art of churning

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by michael21, Mar 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Hey there

    So a couple pretty basic questions. Firstly, right now I have 9 hard inquiries on my credit score. I've heard that those fall off after 2 years so does that mean without doing anything 2 years from it will say 2 or 3 or 4 because some just went by 2 years?

    Second, I know it's objective but I've opened like 5 cards recently, a couple very annoyed because they're kinda useless but I see people talking about having like 3-5 a quarter! So can I keep it going with no ill-effects? How many is too many in what time period?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    First, each credit bureau will show a different number of inquiries for you since most lenders only query one bureau and not all of them. (Capital One pulls 3 different credit reports, when I got a mortgage they pulled all 3, but otherwise it's been only 1.)

    The folks at creditboards.com track which lenders pull which bureau depending on which state you're in.

    But yes, consumer-generated inquiries will fall off after 2 years.

    There's no absolute right answer to how many is too many, when you say you opened 5 recently what time period is that? What's your credit score? What are your other plans for credit, e.g. getting a mortgage or refinancing?
     
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  3. IkeEsq

    IkeEsq Gold Member

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    I think the short answer is "no."

    You should not be getting credit cards for no reason, or at least no better reason than "I can." You should plan out what you are going to get and when. Getting a card you don't particularly need with a bonus of 10K miles may preclude you from getting that same card in the future when the bonus goes up to 50K, 75K, or 100K. Getting a bunch of cards for no really good reason can preclude you, in the short-term from getting other cards from the same issuer (e.g. Citi only allow two applications every 60+ days).

    I think the better question is "what credit cards should I get in order to achieve my travel goals?" Of course, first you need to determine what those goals are. :)
     
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  4. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    I completely agree. Honestly, I wouldn't get cards that didn't help me bank up miles and points that I knew I'd use in the future. If you do just get cards "willy-nilly" you'll find yourself screwed out of cards that you may want in the future. Set a plan of what miles or hotel points you want to acquire. Once you do that, set up a goal of how to get them. You can get 3-5 a quarter IF YOU ARE VERY CAREFUL!

    Apply only for cards that will pull different bureaus, which you can find out about by looking at what they pulled for you before or visiting the credit pulls section of creditboards.com.

    Also, limit to 1 or 2 (if you get a business one) per lender. Don't apply for 3 Chase cards all at once, or you'll get denied. Yes, they have the best bonuses out there, but instead of 3 Chase ones, do 1 Chase, 1 Citi, and 1 other one. Patience is key. You can't usually use up all your miles and points in 3 to 4 months between App-o-ramas anyway, so just focus on getting the ones you want.

    Lastly, unless you have an aversion to USAirways, I'd ALWAYS consider throwing in the USAirways Barclays cards, since it is churnable (meaning you can get the sign up bonus over and over again).

    Best of luck!
     
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  5. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I got one maybe a year ago...another 6 months later and then 3 in a 1 month time frame. I have monitored my score and it seems to be staying steady at 762...so plans for new mortgage or refinance...and I totally agree about timing...The card that got me into this was the Marriotts card for 50k...I thought that was awesome that all points were created equal...then I met united and ultimate rewards and was like oohhhhh....Speaking of which I got declined by Chase for the United card because I had too many cards open with them...Can I call them, have them close the marriott and then approve me for the united for which they declined me?

    And my goals are in general to fly to Europe...preferrably business class, at least once a year

    Thanks
     
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  6. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I find Chase reconsideration line very reasonable, although lately they got pretty tough. On my last go around they agreed to move credit around, but then starting talking about reducing the credit line, as "I don't really need it. I've looked at your spending and you are always much lower than the credit limit." Ouch. I resisted and they relented, as I do need that line for the next churn!
     
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  7. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    What works for one person may not work for someone else. It doesn't hurt to give them a call and find out. It may depend on your personal situation - sounds like you have a relatively new credit history, or at least that's implied by this post as your first card was only a year ago.
     
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  8. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Lol no...my first recent card was a year ago...my credit history says longest card is like 17.5 years.
     
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  9. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    LOL oops. Give them a call then. :)
     
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  10. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Hey... I just called and since I got the continental card a little before the merger and now they've merged, I can't get the "real" united card :-(
     
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  11. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Bummer. What about switching the CO card for the UA card? Would they swap that? (provided you've already hit your spending and gotten your bonus)
     
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  12. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Good thinking but I've done my spending but i'm waiting on the bonus :)

    Also my wife has had ZERO credit so we're just starting her out on my cards because she got declined on a few cards already...so hopefully next year we can use her score to get 20 cards lol
     
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  13. Toula
    Original Member

    Toula Gold Member

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    Personally I wouldn't get carried away with all these reports of people who apply for 3-5 cards every quarter and get approved. I think there has been a change over the past 6 months with Chase, they do not seem so keen to approve every application, regardless of credit scores.

    I think as others have mentioned you have to have a plan. Once you know where you want to go and who with, you can tailor your credit card applications accordingly.

    Make sure you can meet all the spending requirements on each of these cards and that you can pay them in full each month.

    Personally we don't bother with the quarterly schedule. Unless there is something significant to be gained from signing up, I'm not interested. It has to be a decent amount of points, a companion pass that I would use or something like the US Airways card for a GS hit. I don't bother with applications for 25k. The problem is if you are constantly signing up for new cards with spending requirements you may find your points become diversified to the position where you don't really have enough in any program for anything meaningful.
     
  14. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Agreed 110% ... there is so much BS out there that you have to sift through it very carefully and always remember that YMMV! ;)
     
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  15. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Ymmv?
     
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  16. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    A term used here and elsewhere: your mileage may vary ... meaning your experience (or results) might not be the same as mine or others!
     
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  17. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I totally agree. You must have a plan, yet with enough flexibility that when the next big unexpected bonus comes you will be able to apply.

    Frankly, there are very few cards out there I have my eyes on those days. I do want to have another application with Chase but waiting for the right moment and in no rash.

    I think newbies should take into consideration that most of us here have been doing it for quite some time, and it takes time to amass the amount of miles you need for a given trip. Don't expect to magically apply to 5 cards in one month and have the miles to take your dream vacation around the world in First class. Reality just doesn't work like that. It is possible to take that trip, but it will take time and planning to position yourself correctly. Also remember that if you want to make it more than one time thing, you must play this game smart. Pulling too many triggers too fast could leave you on out of the game for a very long time.
     
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  18. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    You've added her as an authorized user to your cards, right? This way she builds up a credit history and it will make it easier when she applies next year.
     
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  19. In case anyone needs it, here is the Chase Reconsideration Line (888) 245-0625
     
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  20. nolamom

    nolamom Silver Member

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    As a newbie, I will agree with MDDC, above, and also add that the process of learning how to strategically use the miles/points is also very time consuming, and quite a learning process in and of itself. I find myself getting all excited about a points/miles deal, booking it and then evaluating if I have used the points/miles well. (I am very forgiving of myself, at this point.) Thank you, milepoint experts, you have been VERY KIND.

    However, I will say since last summer -- almost entirely via credit card deals -- I have been able to get (all economy) 3+ WN MSY flights, 70% of an AS SEA trip, a UA CDG trip for this fall (I was miles, hubby was dollars), and 75% of a forthcoming UA CUN trip, along with three free nights @ the CUN Hyatt. Oh, and some free MSY nights (Four Points/Sheraton thanks to SPG Amex). So the Chase experience has been good for me, so far, and it is fun even if I am not always getting the best deal for my bonus points. Chase gave me a very small limit on my last one (PC) and I can't wait to get those points.

    OP: I also have a CO card - I got a recent letter from Chase saying they will send me the new UA card sometime in 2012.
     
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  21. smitty06

    smitty06 Silver Member

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    You can however get Chase to match the bonus. Just send them a secured message and ask for a mileage bump. I just did it and they gave me an extra 20K miles.
     
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  22. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    +1 Great advice.

    People need to reflect and decide where they want to go. I know this can be more overwhelming than applying for CC's but it is an important first step that is overlooked. Otherwise you don't know which CC's to get and how it will help you acheive your "Someday..." travel.

    I would also add that people should be careful with USAirways card. I too endorse it as churn-able card but I know that this card is SUPER YMMV. I know people have gotten it several times in a year, others who get two a year and some who can't get the card at all when they have excellent credit scores.

    Also if you wan to churn this card make sure you use the card. Many times they will deny ppl a 2nd card from lack of utilization rate. It can't hurt to put some spending on the card every now and then to improve your chances of getting approved on your churns.
     
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  23. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    Just applied for the USAirways card again after getting it back in November. Unfortunately, I haven't used it much at all, so this will be a good case study to see just how lenient they are with giving out the second. I'll report back and let you all know how it went!
     
  24. knvinvest

    knvinvest Silver Member

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    regarding the US Airways card, when we churn and apply for multiple cards, do we have to close the previous card?
     
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  25. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    There are some reports of people being successful without canceling previous cards. There are also a few reports of them needing to close the old account on reconsideration. And finally, there are some reports of people being denied the card because of another open account. So, YMMV.
     
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