This moth, I did my latest (and probably last for a while) round of credit card apps. I haven’t been as aggressive this year as last, but then again, the offers haven’t been as amazing. (The Capital One Venture and Chase’s British Airways offers were probably the biggest in terms of total opportunity. Both looked great at first brush, but compared to last year’s offers for those cards, they were inferior. Besides, since I already opened accounts previously, I wasn’t eligible.) Coming off my haul from January of 280k Hilton points (via 2 Hawaiian cards for myself and 2 for the missus) and 50k miles from the United MileagePlus card, here’s what April’s app-o-rama yielded.
- Applied for Alaska Airlines Visa – APPROVED
- Applied for US Airways Mastercard – APPROVED
- Applied for Hyatt Visa – APPROVED
- Applied for AA Platinum Visa – DENIED
I guess I’ll address the denial first. I actually applied for this at the last second (it was 11:45 p.m. on the same day I had applied for the other cards) and in my haste, I forgot that I needed to be patient for Citi’s AA cards. The general rule of thumb is to wait 18-20 months since your last successful application, and it’s definitely not been that long for me. Despite my attempts to get reconsidered, it was a no-go. I’ve marked my calendar appropriately, so next time I apply, it should be foolproof.
Now, onto the good stories.
Alaska Airlines Visa – This is actually my second Alaska card. It’s somewhat known for being one of the few churnable cards remaining. The offer wasn’t as good as the one for my first card (40k vs. 35k) but the great thing about this card is that the miles are awarded upon approval. Since Bank of America offers this card, and they also manage Hawaiian’s cards, they did notice that I last applied for a card in January and they asked why I needed another card so soon (I didn’t get an instant approval, and actually had to wait 24 hours before talking to a credit analyst for reconsideration). I gave an acceptable answer, and I was approved. Voila, a free 35k miles to my account.
US Airways Mastercard – Again, this is a card with a reputation for being churnable. The offer was (and continues to be) 40k miles after the first purchase. I had this card last year, but cancelled to position myself for a new churn. This version of the card is better, as I’ll get 10k miles each anniversary, so it actually will make sense to keep the card despite the annual fee. Also, this was the one card that I got instant approval for!
Hyatt Visa – There are no Hyatt points awarded here, but this is still a great card. If you don’t have status with Hyatt, you’ll get two free nights to use at ANY Hyatt hotel, including their awesome Park Hyatts in Tokyo and Maldives. If you’re a Platinum member, you get two free nights plus two upgrade certificates to use on paid reservations. (If you’re Diamond, you get two free suite nights.) Right now, there’s an offer to get trial Platinum status but I stupidly forgot to do that before I applied. However, I didn’t get an instant approval, and in between my application and when I did the reconsideration call (and got approved), I got the trial Platinum status. Hopefully I’ll get the two free nights and the upgrade certificates but if not, not a huge deal since I’m unlikely to be paying any nights at a Hyatt anyway.
I also got T-Bone a Gold Delta AMEX. The bonus isn’t anything to write home about (30k miles), but the minimum spend is only $500, and the miles will help her get closer to a level where she realistically has a chance for redeeming miles for something.
All in all, the haul was okay. Four cards, 105k miles total plus 2 free nights (at least). The best thing is that the most we have to put on these new cards is a couple of dollars over $500 to earn the full bonuses, which means I can continue to focus the vast majority of our spend on the SPG AMEX (let me refer you!) and Chase Sapphire. Still, compared to last year’s hauls, this round seems so bleh.
(The reason why this is likely my last churn for a while is that we’re considering a large purchase soon, so I need to keep my apps to a minimum. To be honest, I probably f’ed it up already, but better late than never, I suppose/hope.)