Credit Card App-O-Rama: 5 Approvals, Heartbreak from Chase, Lots of Cash, Points, A Phone & A Hail Mary!

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credit card app-o-rama

Credit Card Apps

Towards the beginning of January my wife decided to apply for a few credit cards since it had been quite awhile since she had done a concentration of apps. (I am not a fan of the term app-o-rama, but it seems to be what has stuck.) In total she applied for six cards from six different banks. Approvals for five of the six came fairly quickly, while the 6th was a painful denial from Chase that I am now appealing. Let’s take a look at the apps, the bonuses and why each card was applied for.

Citi AT&T Access More

credit card app-o-rama

Bonus: $650 towards a new phone after $2,000 in spend during the first 3 months.

Annual Fee: $95

Why We Applied: We recently switched to AT&T since they paid us more than $1,500 to do so. Since we are now AT&T customers, we won’t have to endure a 2nd hard inquiry when purchasing the phone. Also, this card earns 3X ThankYou points for a lot of online merchants which is the real draw of this card for us.

Result: The application went to pending and my wife waited a couple of days to call. Citi asked her to shift around credit from other cards and then she was approved. For some reason it took a couple of weeks for the approval to process, because I just received the email saying the card was mailed out and it has been almost a month.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

credit card app-o-rama

Bonus: 40,000 points ($420ish) after $3K in spend during the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $89 (Waived the first year.)

Why We Applied: My wife and I have each had this card before and in fact, she cancelled hers just a few months ago. It is hard to argue with a $400+ bonus and I do love this card for its true chip & pin functionality in Europe. We now have several 2% options, so I don’t know if we’ll use it regularly or not given the increased redemption thresholds.

Result: Instant Approval

BBVA Compass NBA Amex

credit card app-o-rama

Bonus: 20,000 points ($200) after $1K in spend during the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: None

Why We Applied: This card has no annual fee and gives a $200 bonus. If that isn’t enough, we will earn 5X on NBA All Star Weekend (coming up) and during the NBA Finals. I also recently picked up this card so my wife and I will be ready to hit the stores to earn 5X!

Result: Automatically approved after 5 days.

American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass

credit card app-o-rama

Bonus: 80,000 HHonors points after $3K spend during the first 3 months. (Link no longer available.)

Annual Fee: $75

Why We Applied: My wife and I are both Hilton Diamond members thanks to the recent status match and we have a need for some points for upcoming stays. Add in the ability to earn 6X Hilton points at grocery and gas and this card is good for us. Oh and there are Amex Offers too!

Result: Automatically approved after about an hour.

Discover It

credit card app-o-rama

Bonus: $50 after first purchase. (Doubled after the first year.)

Why We Applied: My wife actually applied for this card a couple of days before the others since she wanted to get her app in before the end of the year which was supposed to be the end of Double Cashback from Discover. (It is still going though.) The main reason for the application was to gain another year of double cashback.

Result: Approval after a brief phone call with Discover.

Chase British Airways Visa

credit card app-o-rama

Bonus: 50K after $2K spend in 3 months + 25K after $10K spend during 1st year + 25K after $20K spend during 1st year

Annual Fee: $95

Why We Applied: 100K Avios is a great bonus for us since we use Avios all of the time. (Especially to Hawaii!) Yes the program just became less valuable with the elimination of 4,500 Avios bookings in North America, however it still has a lot of value. There is a high spend requirement for this card, but that shouldn’t be a problem for us thankfully.

Result: My wife called in after two weeks of waiting for the app to be processed. She was denied for too many recent inquiries and too many new accounts.

Pursuing Chase Reconsideration

My wife did call Chase reconsideration, but was still denied for the above reasons. I have been successful before with getting credit card applications reconsidered via Secure Message, so I have an inquiry in to Chase about that. (Our Hail Mary.) I’ll follow up with the results, but for now it is a denial.

We do know that Chase’s 5/24 rule doesn’t apply to co-branded cards, but they still have tightened up approvals it seems. For the record my wife has a long history with Chase and of course always pays her bills off in full & on time. Hopefully her history with the bank will get the application approved eventually. We will see.


Here is what my wife will receive in bonuses:

  • $300 in cash (Discover, NBA Amex)
  • $420ish towards travel (Arrival Plus)
  • $650 towards a phone (Citi AT&T)
  • 80K Hilton points (Amex)

In exchange, she will pay a total of $170 in first year annual fees and be required to spend $9,000 during the first 3 months with the cards. That works out to just $3,000 per month which is very doable. If the Chase application somehow is approved, then the spending goes up, but so does the bonus.


Overall this is a successful round of applications for us. We have quite a lot of points now, so our shift has been to cashback and earning potential. The Discover It with Double Cashback, the NBA Amex with 5X days the Citi AT&T with 3X for online purchases and the Amex HHonors Surpas with 6X gas and groceries all give us the potential to earn points in a variety of programs for our regular purchases. Earning sign-up bonuses is nice, but maximizing earnings in the long term is just as lucrative.

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. I was approved for 7 Chase cards within the past 6 months, 3 (Hyatt, British, IHG) in the last 2 months alone for a total of 8 cards. Had no affiliation with Chase before until I opened a Checking & Savings account this past September to get the $500 sign up bonus so I dunno if that helped me being approved for the last 3 cards. I’ve also been approved for the SPG, Venture and Arrival + during the same time frame and my CS is less than 700 now after all the HPs. So Chase restrictions are really YMMV. Was denied for the Ink Plus though, and that is the last Chase card I really need to have before moving on to other banks.

  2. Does “re-apply” cause as fraud, misuse?

    T&C of Thank You Para 9 said so


    Tells you that we may take action in response to account fraud, misuse or abuse, including taking away Points and suspending or closing your account. This section also tells you more about the Program and your rights under this Agreement, including information about how we may contact you.

    Fraud, Misuse, Abuse, or Suspicious Activity. If we see evidence of fraud, misuse, abuse, or suspicious activity, we’ll investigate and, if we determine that fraud, misuse or abuse has occurred, we may take actions against you. These actions may include, without limitation:

    Taking away the Points you earned because of fraud, misuse or abuse
    Stopping you from earning Points
    Suspending or closing your ThankYou Account
    Taking legal action to recover Rewards redeemed because of such activity and to recover our monetary losses, including litigation costs and damages
    Cancelling your Enrolled Card
    Some examples of fraud, misuse, abuse and suspicious activity include:

    Buying or selling Points other than as permitted under the Program
    Repeatedly opening Citi Accounts for the primary purpose of acquiring Points
    Using your Enrolled Card Account or Citi Account in an abusive manner for the primary purpose of acquiring Points
    Points redemptions that you didn’t authorize

  3. Shawn, I need your advice. I applied for INK+ month ago and my application is still pending. I didn`t want to call since many other sources recommend not to call … however, this one takes too long. What do you think? I have a very “bad” history with Chase. One year ago they shutdown my cards because I applied for 3 cards in 1 month.

    • Find it hard to believe Chase shut you down for applying for 3 cards in a month. There’s gotta be something else to the story. If you do call Chase for the Ink expect a tough interrogation about your business history, etc. I did it and it wasn’t pretty. Got approved though.

      Get this, wife has had Ink before and we closed it.
      We have also clearly violated the 5/24 rule. Wife is more like 24/24.
      Got the generic pre-qualified Ink offer letter in the mail. We get these at least once a month, even when we had the cards oddly. She applied a week ago using the offer code. She was immediately approved, no call necessary, 60,000 point offer. So I’m inclined to think an “offer code” may negate the 5/24 rule as mentioned above. 2 days ago I applied for the Fairmont card. I did have this card before as well but well past 24 mo since last bonus. Immediately approved. Scores are 790-815.

      • That happened a year ago, I was new to this “game” and applied for Freedom and Ink+ and was approved with HUGE LC. And then I did a mistake and applied for British. All my accounts were closed since Chase didn`t like the length of my history, although they loved my annual income.

  4. How do you secure message on a card you don’t have? I’m assuming that you have another Chase card, but aren’t the messages tied to that specific card?

  5. I am trying to take a break from applications, but I had 19 in 24 months. I have now waited five months since an app. You mentioned it had been some time since your wife had many applications. I have been eying the BA card as well. Would be interested in any further information you are comfortable with sharing. Thanks for the post!

  6. Had a similar experience with Chase. Haven’t had a card with them for a few years, then picked up the BarclayCard at the end of 2015. Needed to pick up a few new bonuses for spend coming up so I applied for the Sapphire(first because I’ve heard it can be tougher) and then immediately followed by a Marriott Business card.

    Got the Sapphire. Didn’t get the Marriott. It went to pending and I spoke with the business line for 30 minutes and was told it was approved.

    While waiting on the Marriott decided that we wanted to go for the SW Companion pass and applied for the SW Personal and Business. Both went to pending.

    At this point my Marriott card hadn’t showed up after 2 weeks, so I first asked about that. Was told that it hadn’t been approved 2 weeks before, got put through the ringer again and was denied. SW cards also came back denied.

    So good credit, used to being approved instantly, and I was able to get 2 chase cards.

  7. Wow.. denial on a co-branded card? Do you think it would have made any difference had you applied for the Chase BA card first? before all the other cards? I wanted to get Chase Hyatt card now that I am a freshly minted Diamond with bunch of hyatt stays coming up.. but now I am getting nervous after your run in with them.

    • I’m not sure. She did apply for that before all of the others except for the Discover. She does have quite a few Chase cards so I am not completely shocked, but her long history with the bank had me hopeful.

  8. Chase’s 5/24 policy is really tricky. It’s very YMMV and not written in stone, of course, but it’s really hard to tell when Chase CC dept enforces it for co-brand card or biz card.

    I just signed up CSP with 18.6k CL successfully yesterday in branch. The reason I did in branch is I was hoping the banker could help if the app was declined. I received a targeted email in December and the banker told me I was pre-qualified. I had 10 HPs on EQ and 13 HPs on EX (Chase pulls EQ/EX in WA), 11 new accts in last 12 months. I have both checking and savings. None of each has more than 2yrs history, but I set up direct deposit of my monthly wage and have been keeping total balance of 30k for a few months.

    • Persons on multiple sites have reported approvals on chase apps despite the 5/24 rule when the person is PRE-QUALIFIED. Your ability to get around the 5/24 rules is likely directed related to fact you were pre-qualified for the credit card you applied for.

      • I agree and I don’t think I would be lucky again for Chase CC app. I have another pre-qualified offer on Chase United Club card but since I don’t fly on United I don’t think I will get on it…Wish I could be pre-qualified for BA or Hyatt, even IHG.

        Now I want to figure out how I can get INK plus.

      • I’ve heard this as well, but when I check the Chase Prequal site –

        I get this message –
        “We are unable to locate any offers for you at this time.

        This may be because you have opted out of “prescreened” offers from Chase and other companies or you have recently responded to another offer from Chase.”

        Not sure If I am just on the bad list for awhile or if I am opted out of prescreened offers, but I couldn’t’ find anywhere to opt in/out.

        • Same for me. No online offer for me. However my banker told me I was pre-qualified for CSP and United Club card. He showed me the info on the screen. Try to call your local Chase branch and ask a banker?

          • I haven’t tried that. There is a branch just down from my office but I’m exclusively a Credit Card customer for them.

            I did speak or chat with a customer service rep who wasn’t helpful. Might call back in to ask if I prequal for any.


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