It’s been about 4 months since my last credit card application day where I make a game plan on where I wish to travel and rewards I am seeking, what bonuses are around then deciding on what cards I want. This process used to be simple when I first started RewardsCards.com there were less blogs around and less voices saying look at this card over here. Now there are more banks and credit unions and so many decisions to make as I try to narrow it down to 3 or 4 cards ever 4 months. Some bloggers call this an App-O-Rama or an App-Party but I just call it me sitting down with wine concentrating on what I can get out of each card for the next four months.
The process starts out a month or so before the decision day when I start setting aside the hottest offers on the market. I have made so many mistakes in the past where I would apply for a card I had not remembered applying for such as the American Express Starwood Card two years in a row. It came time that I made up a spreadsheet to detail what credit card company and specific card I had applied for, used for the spending at certain establishments, category promotions, or used for the bonus only. Those things update daily on this site so its always hard to keep track.
In January, I applied for 4 credit cards. One of them I was denied which was from Capital One being another Spark Business card but the 1.5X card vs. the 2X card that I had. I was applying it for another business name. the odd thing is that Capital One sends me a letter weekly to apply for this card with the same reservation number even though they told me in the denial letter I had too many inquires. Now that I have waited four months in this application last week I got approved instantly. I then thought right after ooops. I forgot to put the other companies name and used the same company of the card I already had at 2x earnings for Spark Cash. It worked fine I just hope I get my $500 bonus since they are different cards in terms of earnings and one of them has an annual fee.
The other card I applied for this January was for Virgin America a card that I wanted mainly for the flight cancelation but it does have a steep annual fee and only 15,000 points with required purchase. I then notice it went to 20,000 points just recently. Its horrible when you see this happen you miss out on earning 5,000 or so free points because you didn’t wait.
The first card that motivated me to get this app process this month started was the new Citi AT&T where you can get a new phone such as an iPhone 6 or Samsung S6 with no contract. Although I chickened out of that deal and thought I would just go for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card which would earn me 50,000 Thank You points after spending 3,000. I figured I would wait until closer to when the iPhones came out in September or August to do another app party and then apply for the AT&T Rewards Card. I also liked that you could earn 3X ThankYou Points on Travel including Gas. The 2X on points I could care less about as a card is worthless unless it gives 2X back when you have Capital One and Citibank giving that out on a few cards with every purchase.
Going back to January I had applied for a zero percent balance transfer offer to transfer money from a Slate card I had planned on closing. So you strategy has to keep in mind revolving credit as well as rewards cards that you just pay off monthly. I always keep a 0% interest card in my bag of tricks because I would rather have that money in investments.
It was time to apply for another Chase Credit Card so I decided I would go for the Hyatt Visa for the first time which gives you 2 free nights. I had to call the reconsideration line to get approved but that was simple enough. I basically asked them to transfer credit from one of my cards I was about to cancel anyway to the new line. I have four open Chase Cards for personal and one Chase Ink Business Card.
Wyndham rewards changed their program to only make it where you pay 15,000 points to stay at any hotel. That interested me in their credit cards and I applied for the one that only gave 12k points although the next day it came out with 15k points and then a 15k bonus after a $1,000 spend making it a total of 30k points or two free nights or so with no annual fee. This was heartbreaking after all the time I spent organizing and planning what cards I would apply for and this happened. I have tried to tell their customer service but they are not like Chase where they will change it for you at Barclaycard. It’s about as horrible customer service as the horrifying U.S. Bank.
In 4 Months…
Although I would have loved to have had the new United Explorer card 50k miles offer going on right now as it may not last long. The only bad thing it’s also with Chase so I could not be greedy. See more here: theexplorercard.com/50kAFWLTO?CELL=NV4.
In my next app event I plan on applying for a Fidelity Amex to load Serve. That is after converting my Bluebird to Serve. You can get 2x back and $50 bonus right now.
The Citi Prestige 50k was also tempting but it came with a $450 annual fee that I felt I would not get the full benefit out of this time around. You do get reimbursed 2 years for $250 but has $450 annual fee. creditcards.citicards.com/usc/thankyou/Prestige/2015/Mar/external/50k/default.htm
The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial for the Starwood Gold Benefits would have also been a great choice. Although they only give you $25,000 membership rewards after spending $3,000. Card App: ameriprise.com/cash-cards-and-lending/cards/platinum-card-from-american-express.asp
SPG Benefit: americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/benefits/detail/starwood-preferred-guest-gold/platinum
Another Card I have on my to do list is a card from what used to be RBS bank that gives 3% on groceries and a $100 bonus.
Other cards in the pipeline include the Starwood American Express Card for Business,
0% Possibly from myconsumers.org, wpcu.coop 0% BT card, Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (Chase), and the Alaska Airlines Business Card that has some great offerings right now!