Applying For 4 Credit Cards At A Time
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When I audited my wallet back in December deciding what to cancel and what to keep, I identified options for my next round of applications. It had definitely been at least 3 months since I’d applied for credit cards, closer to 6 months. In the past, I’d successfully applied for three at a time, but never more. However, I couldn’t narrow down my choices for this round.
So I decided to go for it and apply for all of the following:
- Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa offering 85,000 points for $2,500 in spend in 90 days. The free night for every award stay of 2+ nights would be particularly useful since I’ll be staying at a Radisson for a wedding in a couple of months, basically getting me $400 in hotel rooms for only 40,000 points.
- Chase Ink Plus Visa with 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points bonus for $5,000 in spend 3 months. You can never have too many Ultimate Rewards points!
- Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa with 2 free nights after $2500 in spend and Hilton Gold status My Hilton status was finally expiring in February and I have several trips coming up where the free night will potentially save a lot of money or points.
- Chase Hyatt Visa with 2 free nights plus a $100 statement credit after $1000 spend in 3 months. Because I’m a Diamond through February thanks to the StarMegaDo4, those 2 free nights become free suite nights, perfect for my upcoming trip to Singapore.
I’m no expert, I just follow the advice of other smarter people. View from the Wing has some good posts on this. But the basics is that you open 4 browser windows, preferably in different browsers if you’re applying for multiple cards from the same company (although I hear his might now be dead), fill out all the information and hit submit within minutes of each other. This prevents the pulls on your credit from showing up when they’re evaluating your application, improving your chances.
How did it go?
I was approved for the Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa right away. It arrived within a week and I had no problem cancelling my previous reservation for one night of the wedding weekend and turning it into two nights. The website automatically recognized the free night bonus, so it was just a matter of rebooking.
The Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa took longer for approval, but I had the card within 2-3 weeks, and thanks to my Bluebird account, hit minimum spend within a week. The free nights took a little while longer to credit but showed up.
The Chase Cards were more problematic. Both required additional evaluation, and even though I know I have excellent credit, it still hurts and worries me when I’m turned down..
I received a letter in the mail before I left for the holidays letting me know my application for the Chase Ink Plus has been denied because I had too many lines of credit with Chase. I called the re-evaluation line and offered to cancel one of the United Credit Cards that I hadn’t used in years. They asked additional information about my business (which is just my personal income) and approved me on the phone.
When I returned home I still hadn’t heard anything from them about the Hyatt Card so I called them to ask the status of my application and was told it was still under evaluation. The person I was talking to said he couldn’t re-evaluate my application until a decision was made. So I called back two days later and was told I’d been turned down because I had too many lines of credit with them.
I offered to cancel the other United Visa I hadn’t used in years, and they re-evaluated my application on the spot, and I was approved. My card was supposed to arrive within a week, but arrived within two days in a very impressive box (although not as great as my Mileage Plus Club Card). Three hours after getting the card I’d hit minimum spend thanks to Vanilla Reload Cards and my Bluebird account.
With my trip to Singapore coming up in February, I was very anxious to know when my two free suite nights would credit. Everyone was telling me they credited quickly, but not in the two day turnaround I’d been hoping for. They did credit within a week though!
If you’re new to the credit card scene and interested in maximizing your credit card bonuses, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- It’s not worth it if you need to carry a balance
- Make sure you can hit the minimum spend on all the cards you’re applying for within the time frame. Otherwise it’s not worth doing multiple cards at once.
- Applying/having multiple cards only affects your credit score in the short term, and long term can actually enhance it by increasing your available credit. So if you’re not going for a mortgage, refinance, or any other big loan within a year, you’re safe.
- Getting rejected doesn’t imply your credit is bad. And if you know your credit is good, you can always ask them to re-assess your application.
- Don’t forget to keep track of when to cancel if you’re not planning on keeping all the cards. Don’t cancel immediately after you get your bonus, but do cancel before the annual fee comes due.
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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.
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