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My last-minute business trip to Shanghai happily disrupted life and blogging, back to the follow-up post on my recent 11 approved, 2 pending credit card churn.
In my post on Freezing you credit report, I noted that my Experian report is frozen, meaning that Amex and Citi were out of the picture, while Chase and some others either pull from Equifax or TransUnion or can be requested to do so via a reconsideration call.
Here is my process and reasoning, in order of application.
I have never had a US Bank card. Reports on the forums are that they can be strict and finicky, so I submitted applications for the new Radisson personal and business cards (85k each). Personal was auto-approved. Business I have not heard or received anything in 9 days. My personal phone on the applications I did not have on roam, China meddles with Google Voice, and the banks usually don’t leave voicemail, so I do not know if they tried to call.
The personal card is primarily for the annual Club Carlson gold status and the free second award night feature. Business was principally to see if I could get it.
On my international business travel I encounter a fair number of Radissons, but am forced to use my employer’s corporate card, so the spend features are of little use to me.
Bank of America:
One year ago I got the triple of BOA Hawaiian, BOH Hawaiian and BOA Virgin Atlantic. I still have those cards, planning to cancel this month when annual fees hit. I wasn’t comfortable trying for more of the same so soon, so looked for business cards.
The BOA Hawaiian business has the same 35k sign-up bonus as the personal. I also applied for BOA Alaska business to double up the applications and hopefully combine the credit inquiries. That only has a 25k sign-up bonus. I went for business instead of personal, even though never having had the personal, in the hope that a 40k bonus for the personal appears, though it has been a long time since one has floated around.
Both went to pending; I was called the following day and approved for both.
I wrote a detailed post on Barclays. I was curious how many I could serially get. I got 4 auto-approved, the 5th is pending and no info yet. I do not plan to call because the 5th was an experiment and I don’t care about the card.
- Priceline (5k bonus): 5x on Priceline Name Your Own Price transactions, which I use a lot for hotels and rental cars. Plus, William Shatner on the card.
- Choice Hotels (32k bonus): points for use in Australia/New Zealand, or maybe Europe.
- US Air (40k bonus + 10k each anniversary, offer now expired): a good all-around card.
- Virgin America (20k bonus, card no longer available): an award ticket from Hawaii to American Somoa.
- Best Western (10k bonus): terrible card, terrible bonus, just did it to see if the string could continue.
Applied for the Ink Bold and Ink Plus 50k offers for $5k spend. I am not so enamored of Ultimate Rewards and many people, seems it takes a lot of work to make these pay off, so I have not yet had a card with Ultimate Rewards, instead building my portfolio of other Chase cards like the elite-status laden hotel cards. The only Ultimate Rewards transfer partner that interests me is British Airways, though I may dabble in United. Now that I can pay rent and other bills with Bluebird, the minimum spend is feasible. Too many words have been spilled on these cards by others, no point in rambling.
With my Experian frozen I knew I would get sent to pending, which I understand happens to most everyone, so I called reconsideration and was quickly approved for both after they pulled TransUnion. I have never previously had any Chase business cards. I did move some of my personal banking to Chase 6 months ago to strengthen my relationship with them.
Final step was to temporarily unfreeze my Experian report, waited an hour to be safe and then submitted 2-browser applications for the (now expired) ThankYou Preferred 40k offer. This was at the behest of a friend, I have no prior experience with ThankYou Points. Both said more processing was needed and I activated chat to push them through. It was fun chatting with two different agents, each looking at a different pre-existing card to move credit in order to get these approved. Both approved via chat.
With my Experian pants down, so to speak, I could have gone for Amex but nothing from them interests me at the moment and I want to keep my card count low in case I am targeted for any great offers.
Returning today from a week away I was greeted by quite the stack of mail!
In terms of credit inquiries, I use Citi Indentity Monitor and the following results:
- Bank of America, TransUnion, 1 merged pull for 2 business cards
- Barclays, TransUnion, 1 merged pull for 4 auto-approved personal cards
- Chase, Equifax, 1 pull for 1 business card
- Chase, TransUnion, 1 pull for 1 business card, too, so it seems the agent manually pulled one each for Ink Bold and Ink Plus
- Citi, Experian, 1 merged pull for 2 personal cards
- US Bank, TransUnion, 1 merged pull for 1 personal and 1 business card
- Barclays, Equifax, 1 pull, I am guessing this is for my 5th card that went pending, since I have not heard anything yet. This means that the serial application approach can merge all pulls same-day but any that go to pending may be pulled at a later date.
Hopefully this is helpful to readers. Be smart and realize that taking on credit has risks that you should fully understand prior to application.
(sorry if not fully edited, my wife is making the throat-slitting motion, I will revise in the morning!)