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
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.
- Related: Citi Launches AT&T Access More Card
Barclaycard Arrival Plus
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
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
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.
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
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.