Last fall, I decided to post about the credit cards I signed up for and how the application process went. Since my last post, I applied for 8 new credit cards from American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, and Chase. Here’s how the application process went.

Platinum Card from American Express

Right before Thanksgiving, I jumped on the leaked link for the American Express Platinum. Since I planned to meet the spending requirement organically, I wasn’t afraid of any claw-backs. However, my points have been frozen since I received the sign-up bonus on January 9th. I don’t need the points at the moment but I figured this would be resolved sooner. This screen is starting to get old!

American Express Points Frozen

On the plus side, Amex did not pull my credit to approve me for this card (I had applied for the SPG personal card earlier in the month).

Result: Instant approval

Bonus: 100,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Depending on how I redeem the points, it’s worth at least $1,000. Since I plan to transfer them when my points are unfrozen, it’ll definitely be worth more.

Amex EveryDay Credit Card

During the leaked Platinum link, there were several other links with better sign-up offers. I decided to apply for the EveryDay card with a 25,000 point bonus since it would keep my Membership Rewards points active when I inevitably close my Platinum card. Since I already opened two Amex credit cards in the past 90 days, I was automatically denied without a hard pull. Guess I’ll have to grab this card another time.

Result: Instant denial

Bonus: 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This is worth at least $250 but probably more.

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
IHG Rewards Card Bonus
Make sure to “dummy book” for a better offer

For about a month, I was receiving the 80,000 point offer when I logged into my IHG account. Since I’m way over 5/24, I decided this January was a good time to get this card. By dummy booking, I was also able to get the $50 statement credit to show up. This is a great card to keep since you get a free night each year for a low annual fee of $49. The fee is waived in the first year which sweetens the deal even more!

Result: Pending 7-10 days, approved after 2 days (did not call recon)

Bonus: 80,000 points and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. This is probably worth about $400 for the points alone, for a total of $450.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Barclaycard Arrival Plus Approval
It was exciting to see my denied application turn into this!

I closed my first Barclaycard Arrival Plus at the beginning of December and decided to apply again in January. I was automatically denied since I had the same product recently. Nothing a quick call to recon couldn’t fix! You can read how I churned the Barclaycard Arrival Plus so quickly here.

Result: Pending screen which turned out to be a denial with no credit pull. Approved after calling recon.

Bonus: 50,000 miles plus 5% miles back on redemptions worth $525

MERRILL+ Visa Signature (Bank of America)
Bank of America Pending
I couldn’t wait for the decision so I called immediately to push the application through

I applied for this card since the 50,000 point sign-up bonus can be worth as much as $1,000 in airfare if redeemed strategically. After getting a pending screen, I called Bank of America recon immediately. The agent said my application wasn’t “owned” yet so he was able to take it over and review my credit. He said I was doing a good job with payments and thanked me for having accounts with Bank of America. Then he said they couldn’t extend more credit but could move credit from another card to open this account.

Result: Pending screen. Approved after calling recon.

Bonus: 50,000 miles worth at least $500 in airfare but possibly up to $1,000.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature

I applied for this card on the same day as Merrill Lynch to combine hard pulls. Before applying, I noticed my Alaska Airlines account shows my last name with an apostrophe while my Bank of America account does not. If I was logged into my Bank of America account when applying (which had my name auto-populated without an apostrophe), there might be an issue matching my two accounts. I logged out and then applied so the spelling of my last name would match. After submitting the application, the system prompted me to verify information about my identity and employment. My application was then approved.

Note: Despite my best effort, the apostrophe in my last name on my existing Alaska Airlines account prevented a match with my Bank of America account and they issued me a new MileagePlan number. This was easily fixed by calling Alaska Airlines card services.

Result: Instant approval after answering some questions.

Bonus: 30,000 miles and $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. The $100 credit offsets the $75 annual fee. The points are worth at least $500 depending on how I spend them.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card
SPG Business card from American Express
Luckily this turned into an approval within ten minutes

American Express and Starwood have two big credit card promotions going on right now. Since I got the personal card last November, I had to jump on the business card offer. I was a bit nervous about having to spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, so I decided to use Plastiq. This knocked off over half of the spending requirement (Boston rent is high!). I think the fee is worth it in this instance to ensure I get the bonus. It will also prevent me from buying stuff I don’t need just to hit the requirement. After applying, I got a pending screen with a number to call. As I was dialing, I got an email saying I was approved! American Express did not pull my credit report to approve me for this card.

Result: Pending screen but approved without calling recon within ten minutes of applying.

Bonus: 25,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 points for spending another $3,000 by six months. The value can vary but is probably worth around $750.

Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard
Barclaycard Application Status
It took about four days for this screen to change despite being approved the same day I applied

This card is one of the best sign-up bonuses since you only have to make one purchase to get 40,000 American Airlines miles. Since there is an annual fee, you’re essentially buying the miles for $95. I got a pending screen so I called recon right away. They said that the account was already approved. Great news! For some reason, the card didn’t show up in my account for another 4 days.

Result: Pending screen that turned into an approval

Bonus: 40,000 miles after paying the $95 annual fee and making a purchase in the first 90 days. This is worth about $500 after deducting the annual fee.

Final Thoughts

My application strategy was mainly about jumping on good deals as they popped up. Since I’ve opened 14 credit cards since last August, I keep saying I’m going to slow down and then a new deal comes along! I’m definitely going to try to churn the Alaska Airlines card from Bank of America since their award booking options are so amazing. Otherwise, I’m not sure what’s in store for spring. Be sure to check back!

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