A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time for my wife Jasmine & I to apply for a few new rewards credit cards. We hadn’t done a big application spree in almost a year and a bunch of our existing cards were coming up on annual fees.
I felt this was a good way to shift our card portfolio and earn some great bonus points. The purpose of this post is to explain some of the thought processes behind our applications.
Credit Card Applications
Here is a breakdown of the cards that we applied for.
Jasmine – Chase Ink Bold, Citi AA Executive, Discover It, Old Amex Blue
Shawn – Chase Ink Plus, Citi AA Executive, US Bank Lifemiles
I have switched from a “apply for a bunch of cards every 90 days” strategy to one which is more modest and tempered. I want to be able to get a great offer when it comes available and I am not as interested in getting cards just to get them. This means that not every bank has to be built into a round of applications and that it is alright to do a one off application without applying for other cards.
The last time we applied for several cards together like this was back last August. Since then we have taken advantage of good offers, but haven’t felt the need to apply for a bunch of cards at once. I like this strategy and it works well for us and ensures we don’t have a lot of random points in programs that we may never use.
We both applied for Chase Ink cards (my thoughts) before the bonus increased from 50,000 points to 60,000. I fully expect Chase to give us the extra 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points since they have historically been good at matching bonuses. Jasmine was approved for the Ink Bold after a call to Chase reconsideration and shifting some of her credit. I was not instantly approved, but got the approval email before having to call in.
Chase has many good cards and we each have several of them. (This is my first Ink card while Jasmine currently has the Ink Plus.) At this point it is difficult to obtain new cards without either closing old ones down or shifting credit. Chase is almost always willing to work with you and has a very friendly reconsideration department.
We both already have a Citi AA Executive card so this application was for a 2nd for each of us. Since Citi is essentially offering 100,000 miles for $250, this is a no-brainer for me. We will use the AA miles gained from these cards to fly to South America next year along with another big trip we have planned. I am not sure how long it will continue for, but Citi is letting people get this same card over & over.
Neither of us was instantly approved for the card, but I have never heard of anyone who was. We just waited a few days instead of calling in. Citi approved both of our applications without the need to shift credit or do anything else.
Neither Jasmine nor I have ever had a Discover card. When I received an offer for $150 cashback on the Discover It card, I figured it was time to jump in. There are times when the Discover portal has better payouts than anyone else so I feel this card is worth getting. With no annual fee & shifting 5% bonus categories, it is a card we will keep forever.
There is a 0% APR offer floating around, but it doesn’t stack with the $150 bonus. I would much rather get the money since I don’t carry balances and don’t really have a need for 0%.
I wasn’t sure whether to go for the limited time LifeMiles offer of 40,000 miles, but I bit. (Offer is now expired.) The LifeMiles program is always running great promotions so I felt this card got my foot in the door with their program. Additionally there are some great redemptions in the program, although I have heard that they are tightening up a bit.
I already have a Club Carlson card with US Bank and decided against getting the business version since my points balance keeps building up. The LifeMiles card wasn’t instantly approved, but I have learned that calling US Bank doesn’t make much of a difference. Their reconsideration department isn’t empowered to approve applications, so they just tell you what is in the computer. In the end, I waited five days and was finally approved.
Jasmine was instantly approved for the Old Amex Blue card (my thoughts) which pays 5% cash back at drug stores, grocery stores & gas stations after you spend $6500 in a year on the card. We do a lot of shopping at those places and foresee the 5% cash back to be pretty lucrative.
You may notice that there isn’t a Barclay’s application on the list. Neither one of us has opened a new Barclay’s card in nine months, so we would probably be approved for one. We both currently have only the Arrival card after closing our US Airways cards last October.
I considered the 50,000 Miles & More offer, but don’t feel like I have a great use for those miles. The US Airways offer is not as strong as it once was and I am going to wait it out to see if they release a new offer that waives the annual fee the first year.
We now have 7 new cards that we must meet the minimum spends on. All told, we will earn 360,000 points/miles plus $150 in cash from the bonuses. We are also better positioned with the Amex Blue & Discover It cards even though they didn’t pay very big bonuses. Coming up in the next week or two I will go over which cards we are getting rid of and some strategies for getting a retention bonus.