My New Credit Card Application Results – Four Cards 230,000 Points

by on March 14, 2014 · 47 comments

in Credit Cards

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Yesterday, I wrote about my Credit Card Spring Cleaning and how I decide when to keep or cancel a credit card (or to try to get a new version of a card I already have in order to score the sign-up bonus again) in anticipation of applying for multiple new points-earning cards. After I’d done my credit card inventory and analyzed the benefits and value of each, weighing them against the cost of their annual fees, I cancelled four cards (Delta Platinum Amex, Delta Business Platinum, Amex Business Rewards Gold, Chase Ink Plus (in order to get a new one) and the Citi Business AAdvanatage Card).

Here are my four new cards and why I got them:

I launched a new small business - so it was time for another Ink Plus!

I launched a new small business – so it was time for another Ink Plus…and 50,000 more points!

Ink Plus Business Card
Current Bonus: 50,000 points with $5,000 spend in the first 3 months
Benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, cellphone, landline, internet, and cable TV services and 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations and on hotel accommodations, up to $50,000 annually. Receive a complimentary LOUNGE CLUB membership and 2 free visits each year with access to over 350 VIP airport lounges.
Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year

Why I Got It? I actually already have both an Ink Plus and an Ink Bold. These are my workhorse business cards because I use them to make purchases at office supply stores where I can buy gift cards for major retailers like Starbucks while earning 5 points per dollar. They also offer 2x points per $1 at gas stations and hotels, and no foreign transaction fees, making them good options for traveling internationally on business.

The way I was able to get another Ink Plus is that I recently registered another small business and need to get some new business credit cards for that, so I listed this new business on my application, and I was approved after talking to the kind folks at Chase and explaining my situation.. I have a ton of credit cards with Chase, but I am also a very diverse customer of theirs with all kinds of accounts from credit cards to home and auto loans, as well as business accounts, so it looks like they are ready to extend me even more credit on my future ventures, and this was a great way to snap up an additional 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. I was at my limit with credit with Chase so they said I could either send in financials to get my credit lines increased or transfer over my existing Chase Ink credit line and then cancel that account which is associated with another business.

Application Result: Approved!

For more information, see these posts:

The Barclaycard Arrival was a popular choice thanks to a historically high bonus and other card perks.

The Barclaycard Arrival is a great card to cover incidental travel costs.

Barclaycard Arrival
Type: Personal
Current Bonus: 40,000 miles with $3,000 spend in the first 90 days
Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem on travel. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening – after that, a variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Receive a complimentary membership to TripIt Pro. No foreign transaction fees. For more information on this card, read my review here, and then check out this post for details on its Travel Bonus Category and Redemption Options, and this one for ideas on the Top 10 Ways To Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Miles.
Annual Fee: $89 waived the first year

Why I Got It? I’ve been talking about this card since the new offer on it launched back in April. The sign-up bonus alone is worth $454 towards travel purchases and since there is no annual fee the first year, it is literally like free money. Not only that, but because you can put the miles you earn towards a variety of travel purchases, this card is great for covering costs you can’t otherwise use miles or points for, like award ticket fees, train tickets, car rentals, Airbnb rentals (which I’ve been doing a lot more lately), and more. Not only that, but cardholders get a free FICO score with their monthly statement, so it’ll help me keep track of my credit – which should help in future application rounds.

Why didn’t I get it before? I had the US Airways Mastercard when it was first issued by Juniper bank back in 2005 and when I moved to NYC after graduating college I missed a couple payments by accident due to a combination of stupidity and being overwhelmed with life. I applied for a BarclayCard in the past and the phone reps always said I was declined due to poor payment, or something similar. Luckily, I paid my time and have gotten my credit to a better place and BarclayCard is ready to have me as a customer again!

Application Result: Approved!

For more information, see these posts:

I got in on the current 100,000-mile offer.

I got in on the current 100,000-mile offer.

Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard
Type: Personal
Current Bonus: 100,000 miles with $10,000 spend in 3 months
Benefits: Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. Admirals Club membership privileges; 10,000 elite miles when you spend $40,000 on eligible within a calendar year; your first eligible checked bag is free, priority boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases; SmartChip technology; no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $450

Why I Got It? You might remember that I actually got this card when I received a targeted offer of 60,000 miles, but after hitting the spend threshold for the bonus and the elite-qualifying miles ($40,000 in a calendar year for 10,000 EQM’s), I was already thinking about canceling the card since the one main benefit it offers that no other card soon will was Admirals Club membership, but I usually get access anyway since I fly business or first transcontinentally. After reading some reports that this card was “churnable,” meaning you can get the bonus multiple times, I decided that it was worth trying to cancel and reapply for the current 100,000-mile offer and seeing what happened – and lo and behold, I was instantly approved! That’s right- I currently have an Executive AAdvantage card open and I was still approved to have a second.

Citi Exec AA approval

I was approved for the card a second time.

Now, the annual fee is steep at $450, but you get $200 worth of statement credits on any purchase the first year, which brings the annual fee to $250 in my valuation. Then considering that it will now get me access to American and US Airways lounges (which the Amex Platinum card will not after March 22, 2014), plus a historically high sign-up bonus it was worth it to me.

Application Result: Approved!

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Type: Personal
Current Bonus: 40,000 miles when you spend $10,000 in 6 months (there’s also another offer for 30,000 miles with no spending requirement)
Benefits: Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases. Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. Coach Companion Fare every year from $118 (USD) ($99, plus taxes and fees from $19). No mileage cap. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card
Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases
Annual Fee: $75 annual fee not waived

Why I Got It? Given all of Delta’s recent negative changes including a revenue-based mileage-earning scheme, new elite revenue requirements, and hacking away at elite benefits, I have decided to dump Delta. However, it’s still likely I’ll have to fly the airline and many of its partners fairly regularly. So with that in mind, I was looking around for partners to whom i could credit mileage, and Alaska seems to be the best choice given that MVP elites enjoy benefits on both Delta and American, Alaska has some amazing partners in both SkyTeam and Oneworld like Cathay Pacific and British Airways as well as Air France and Korean Air plus non-alliance partners like Emirates and Fiji Airways – all of whom you can not only redeem miles on but also accrue full mileage and elite-qualifying miles on. All in all, it makes a lot of sense to me, especially because after the experience of redeeming Alaska miles for a flight in Emirates first class in November, I’m hooked and want the miles to do so again.

Now, there is a lower offer with a lower spending requirement, but hitting the threshold is no problem for me, especially by maximizing Vanilla Reloads, so I’d rather have more miles off the bat.

Application Result: Approved!

So there you have it – about 20 minutes of work and I’m four cards and 230,000 points richer – which I plan to put toward some amazing future travel experiences, so stay tuned. As you can see I didn’t get an American Express card, because I’m waiting to get one of their new EveryDay cards in April and also the Business Platinum card at some point.

Good luck with your own credit card applications – there are some great offers out there at the moment including these, as well as the recently launched 40,000-point Platinum Card sign-up bonus from Amex – so if you have any application or credit card questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Pete

    Since the Chase Ink is now Visa, is that consider to be new product?

  • Have Child, Still Travel

    I am absolutely shocked that you got another Citi Executive card while still holding one open. Wow.
    Did AMEX try to offer you anything for keeping the Platinum Skymiles card open? My annual fee hits in May and I plan on canceling but I was curious if they have started offering any retentions since many people may be canceling now.

  • Justin

    Nice haul and congrats Bri. The Arrival card is my white whale. Barclays just doesn’t seem to like me when it comes to applying for that card. I have a couple of cards with them. I wonder if they’d convert the Barclaycard (which has zero benefit rewards wise) to an Arrival? I should probably call them.

  • Sam

    TPG- I have had 2 Citi and 3 Chase hard pulls since December 2013, with the last pulls Feb 8. Before that my last pull was in August with Chase. Is that considered a risk as I want to apply for the United Club card and Bank of America Alaska Card and the Club Carlson? Or should I wait. I was approved for Chase BA, Both SW Personals and one Business and 2 Citi Executive Cards with those 5 pulls. Chase and Citi both pull Equifax and Experian for those 5 pulls. Just wanted your thoughts. My score is 750 to 784. Thank you

  • Lance

    How long since your first citi exec card was opened? How long since you got the 100k bonus to post? You left this card open while applying for a second ?

  • tweetivism

    They offered me a free year at Citi on the Platinum AA when I tried to cancel after getting the Exec w/ the 100K mi signup bonus. The only reason I kept it was to make life easier on recurring billing that I forget to fix and the 10% mile bonus on redemption that the exec doesn’t offer.

  • Beavis

    You said Chase is willing to give you more credit for your future ventures, but then you said you are “at your limit” with Chase. So did they give you additional credit, or did you get approved by closing one of your other cards?

  • tm1128

    Was inexplicably denied for the Barclays Arrival card recently. I have excellent credit (790-800). Called the reconsideration line, 866-369-1283, TPG has posted. The auto message when I called said that the number is reserved by Barclays for future marketing purposes. Do you have another reconsideration #?

  • Sal

    You can really get 2 Chase Ink Plus Business cards, each under a separate LLC and get the points, AGAIN? wow! Did not know this…I’m getting another one!

  • shonuffharlem

    1) Does the Exec come with Priority Security as well as Priority Boarding, the Platinum does. 2) I actually complained to Citi about not having the 10% rebate from the Platinum on the Exec, got no where. Seems silly! Why remove those 2 benefits on a card that is $450 a year?

  • shonuffharlem

    TPG would have more experience, but one thing I love about Chase is their credit card reps are SUPER nice. Couldn’t you just ask them? They seemed to be well trained to sell you and also educated on the restrictions.

  • Peter_Gammons

    For the Chase ink card… Did you use your SSN or a new tax is number?

  • dee seiffer

    I’ve had the same problem with Barclays. They told me I was denied because I opened 6 new credit card accounts in the last year. My substitute for the Arrival card is the Capital One Venture card. You don’t get 10% of your points back, but it is otherwise almost identical.

  • tm1128

    Thanks. What phone # did you use to talk to them?

  • Roy H

    I had the same issue for getting an ink card last month..I moved credit from one of my other chase cards to this new one.

  • dee seiffer

    Woo Hoo… just got approved for the AA Citi 100K. With a kid living in Japan, those AA miles come in handy. $380 ($250 Citi Annual fee + $80 in Vanilla card fees + $50 AA fee) for a business class flight to Tokyo looks like a pretty good deal to me.

    Planning on a round of applications in April when the new Amex cards come out, but decided not to wait on this one.

    BTW – Congrats, Brian!!! Looking forward to seeing how you use all those miles.

  • Emmanuel Ruiz

    Congrats man! So plz tell me. How many total INQs’ in the last 2 yrs. did u have prior to these recent apps.? and in the last 3 months?

  • Daw4888

    Yes it is. I have had both the Ink and Ink Bold. A few months ago I canceled Ink, and applied for it again the next day. I had to call in and talk to the rep, but just tell them that you need the Visa to take advantage of the VIsa Savings Program, which isnt offered on the mastercard product.

  • Alex

    same question here. We did 2 ink bold, one with SSN and one with EID, then again for ink plus. But what about 2 biz with the same SSN?

  • dee seiffer

    Did you get a link to a page with your application status? There should be a phone number there. This is the number I just found on the application page 1-866-558-1107

  • fabio

    What a great strategy, that’s awesome! I am interested in applying in a new Citi card to accumulate more miles with AA. I currently have the Citi AA MC which I could close at any minute if I wanted to. Is there a time lag that I am supposed to wait before applying for a new Citi card or I can close it today and reapply for a new one tomorrow? Any thoughts?

  • dan

    Did you have to cancel the Citi Exec mastercard before re-applying or do you actually have 2 personal citi exec mastercards now?

  • Bill

    Hi – thanks for the info – I love that Air France partners with Alaska – from which ff accts can I transfer miles into the Alaska Air acct? Thanks!

  • AussieInSeattle

    Since I don’t travel a lot the Citi Card’s “extra” benefits (aadvantage club, etc) with the $450 fee is too much for me. The other citi cards have most of the same benefits as the $450 card. I just applied for the CitiBusiness (50k points) and Citi Personal (40k points) which both have $95 waived first years – so almost the same number of points for 21% of the cost ($190 over 2 years vs $900 over 2 years). Might be a better option for some others too?

  • in Seattle

    Do you mind sharing generally about how much of a hit your FICO score takes with 4 applications in one day?

  • Bob

    A $200 credit is given after spending the first $200 using the card, so that really makes the fee effectively ($450 – $200 = $250)

    I’ve read reports on other websites of people successfully cancelling the card right after meeting the spend requirement and obtaining the 100k aa points, and upon cancelling card getting the remaining $250 annual fee removed.

  • Michael Paul

    That’s a lot of minimum spend to meet! Perhaps this has been answered elsewhere, but: how do you meet the minimum spend on each card so quickly? It seems maximizing Vanilla Reloads (with your BlueBird account, which then pays rent, car payment, etc.) is one approach. Are there others?

  • emanuel

    I got the as platinum card about 4 months ago. What are my chances of getting approved for the 100k offer. Should I cancel my platinum card?

  • Rick

    The minimum spend is chump change for him. He pulls a few hundred thousand dollars a year with the blog

  • Donovan Starks

    Getting ready for an App-O-Rama next week. Just got an EIN for my sole proprietorship eBay business. Should I include it on my apps for business cards or use only my SSN since I have not established any business credit?

  • andi

    so you didn’t have any of those before, sure…

  • Patrick Folger

    Besides the Admirals Club access why the AA card when you only get 2x on AA purchase and 1x on everything else? Thats a lot of money to spend to get the 100K miles and 10K elite status. Thats basically 10 miles per dollar to get the 100K. You could get close to that using AA eShopping mall and not have to use the AA card but use a card that gets 2x,3x,5x, etc …

  • Just post about points

    Stop taking selfies on twitter you tool!

  • thefrugalweds

    Awesome. Thank you for the tip on how to explain canceling the MC Ink and applying for the Visa Ink.

  • iahphx

    In response to the bloggers pitching the new Barclay’s Hawaiian card, I’ve been cautioning folks not to apply for too many (probably more than 2) Barclay’s cards. I’ve told them that Barclay’s does not operate like Chase. The bloggers don’t want to hear this, though, undoubtedly influenced by the commission structure.

  • Ke Sa

    I have 3 Barclay Cards, I’ve never been denied but I’m guessing I might if I apply for a 4th!

  • actuary0123

    It seems that Alaska offer is limited to Elite members of their mileage program or WA residents. I am nether. How can I get this offer?

  • Marilyn Gordon

    With two citi cards, do they allow you to merge points.

  • Peter_Gammons

    I’m disappointed he hasn’t come back to answer any of the questions that were asked below….

  • tweetivism

    I don’t know about about security and boarding, I assumed so? I’m AA platinum so it’s hard to tell what benefits blend. The only one I was able to identify was the rebate, and I think it’s total BS for a $450 card. But, they gave me the platinum free for the year so w/e, I’ll just have to remember to cancel next year and see if they extend me.

  • tweetivism

    So from their site it seems like you still get the security and boarding. I haven’t made use of the special VIP check in area at Miami yet, but, the way precheck lines have been I might next time I fly.

  • Amy

    When you cancel cards, do you wait for the annual fee due date? If not, and you cancel before it, do the companies prorate and return some of the annual fee to you?

  • mrfreemiles

    In my experience, Citibank has prorated a refund – I’m not sure about the others. I typically cancel before the fee hits or call a bank representative as they will sometimes offer to waive the fee or give bonus miles. Safe travels.

  • mrfreemiles

    I can confirm, the above process works. It is a quick turnaround but if you can swing it, it’s a good option. I also secure messaged Citi and asked them to push back my statement date (which they did), so you may be able to extend your time frame a couple weeks until the fee hits. From there, you have 30 days to cancel.
    In my case, I paid rent with my credit card, endured the 3% fee (since the $200 statement credit more than covered it) and was able to get the miles with the rent spending boost.

  • mrfreemiles

    When did you apply for the Citi card? And is it a regular or executive card? I’ll assume it’s a regular.
    Typically you want to space out Citi applications like so: no more than 1 app every 8 days or 2 apps every 65 days. But there’s one more caveat – since churning the same Citi AA Platinum Visa/World MC product stopped working last August, you now have to wait 12 to 24 months between applications of the same product (note this excludes the Executive card, so you can apply for the 100k offer while still). 18 months seems to work for most. Hope this helps.

  • Amy

    Thank you for replying mrfreemiles. I’ve asked tpg this 3 times and he’s never responded.

  • greenfrog

    hi admin, can you tell us how do you meet the minimum spending using business expenses? what business expenses can you spend?

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