My Application Plans For The 1st Quarter Of 2021, A Lot Of Moving Parts
I am mainly writing this out to help me work through some stuff. But I hope you also find it entertaining and informational. I wanted to take some time to break down my application plans for the 1st quarter of 2021. Usually, I have a loosely designed plan and leave some wiggle room for when increased offers pop up. That is mostly what I want to do here but there are some mental hurdles I need to get through too. I will break it down by bank and share my thoughts on each. This will include applications for myself and my wife. So, let’s dive in then!
First up is Chase. My wife is currently at 5/24 and will have two cards fall off on 1/4 and 1/7. I had originally planned on waiting until February to do anything about it since common knowledge was the cards wouldn’t drop off her 5/24 count until the following month. But, with the recent realization that you may no longer need to wait till the next month that has changed my thought process a bit. Chase also recently announced the offer end date for the Freedom Flex and you can see where I am going here.
Another Freedom Card?
The awesome offer on the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited ends a few days after she drops under 5/24. So my thinking is to have her apply for the Freedom Flex before it ends and hope it has been long enough for the cards to drop off.
There is another problem though, she already has 7 personal cards. I don’t really want to go for number 8 with how Chase has shut people down in the past. This would also be her 4th Chase personal application in the last 12 months, not great.
Which Card Should I Close?
I could close an account before applying to increase my odds. The card that is ripe for closure is her World of Hyatt card because she is eligible to get the offer again. The problem with that is her $15K spend category 1-4 free night hasn’t posted yet. We finished the required spend before the December statement cut but there has been no email or award posted. In the past it only took a few days to happen but it appears it is going to be taking longer this time around.
The other option is her IHG Mastercard, which is no longer available for new accounts. It also comes with a valuable $49 anniversary night. The anniversary nights are not what they used to be but can still be used most everywhere, at least for the time being. And there are some solid choices overall so there is still really good value there. Add in the fact I would hate to close something that I can no longer get and I am hesitant to go this route.
So that leaves me between a rock and a hard place. If the World of Hyatt free night posts over the next week I still may have an easy way out of this. If not, then I think I will just ride it out and let the Freedom Flex offer expire on me. As much as it hurts I don’t think it is worth pushing my luck any further.
Once that expires I could try to grab on of the increased Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited increased offers. It seems like sole proprietor applications are having better luck these days and it may be worth a try. I could also go with the close and reopen the World of Hyatt card plan. The last one I had my eye on was the increased offer on the United Explorer card that would come in handy for some international travel. It is likely that one, or two, of these options will be slotted in once the dust settles.
I have been patiently waiting for another shot at the Citi Premier card. If you remember, I had a well laid out plan that Citi blew up with its new application rule. I should drop under their new 3/6 rule (3 hard inquiries or less in the last 6 months) in February. There is an Amex Green Business card mixed in there but since Citi bases it on hard pulls, and Amex doesn’t do hard pulls for current members, it shouldn’t factor in. Only worrying about hard inquiries is a different process from what we are used to with things like Chase 5/24 etc.
My wife is also past the 24 month clock from when she last closed her Citi Premier card. It seems likely that we both may become the newest Citi Premier card holders. What is that saying? Couples that Citi Premier together, stay together? Something like that 😂.
My wife recently picked up the Hilton Business card that puts her right at the 4 credit card limit. She has a couple of cards that we will have to decide on long term. The Everyday Preferred becomes somewhat redundant with her Amex Gold and Blue Business Plus so that could be an account we close to free up a spot. She still has the Aspire card as well but we can’t do anything with that for another 10 months after her recent retention offer. But I think she will stand pat and see if anything interesting from Amex comes out.
For myself, I only have 3 credit cards right now. I have been wanting to get the Delta Reserve card when the increased offers come back around. With the Delta MQM rollover this year I am focusing more on that part of the offer. The MQM spending bonuses and spend waiver play a big part in it as well. With those things combined, plus my current and past flights, I should be able to get some Delta status. The fact that I currently have the Charles Schwab Platinum means there will be some lounge access overlap, which isn’t ideal. Because of that I may hold off on this one for a bit. If the increased offer for the Delta Reserve comes around early in the year, as it often does, then I may need to pull the trigger.
Bank of America
My wife only has one Bank of America card at this point so it may be time to adjust that. She is once again eligible for the Premium Rewards card so that is the option I will most likely have her grab. We all know the Virgin Atlantic card is out. This would be after we work out our Chase decisions and she crosses over the Chase 5/24 threshold again. It could end up being as early as late in the first quarter.
I know this was a little bit like a livestream of my consciousness but it is what has been rolling around in my brain the last few weeks. Hopefully you found it interesting and informative. I like to paint a fuzzy picture that has a loose game plan but I am usually open for adjustments along the way.
Let me know what you think of my application plans for the 1st quarter of 2021. Would you do anything differently? What is your game plan for the first part of 2021? Let me know in the comments below.