Well, that didn’t go exactly as I expected.
And while I knew that this App-o-Rama might be a little tricky, even I was thrown for a loop by some of the decisions, both positive and negative.
Through it all, I’ve learned some valuable lessons, which I’ll share with you as well as telling you how it actually shook out.
So, how’d it go?
Since this AoR was such a doozy, I split it in to two parts. You can read Part 2 here.
Cards I Applied For
After debating between a number of cards (you can read all the merits and arguments for each one here), I finally settled on 5 different cards.
The lucky winners were:
- US Bank Club Carlson personal card
- Chase AirTran Airways A+ Rewards card
- Citi AAdvantage American Airlines Visa personal card
- Bank of America Virgin Atlantic American Express card
- American Express Business Rewards Gold card
- Barclays Arrival World Mastercard
My Initial Thoughts
Before applying, I thought the following about each card:
- The US Bank Club Carlson would be very hard to get because US Bank has been really strict with people who have applied for multiple credit cards recently (like me)!
- I’d probably be able to get the Chase AirTran card, but I’d have to call reconsideration and offer to close my Chase United Explorer card.
- I might have an issue getting the Citi/AAdvantage Visa because I’ve had it before. While some people are able to get it again after waiting 18 months, others aren’t, so I was a bit iffy.
- The BoA Virgin Atlantic shouldn’t be a problem, since I haven’t had trouble with them before.
- The American Express Business Gold should also be pretty easy, since I’ve always gotten instant approval from Amex.
- The Barclays Arrival might be a bit touchy, but I figured I’d offer to close one of my USAirways cards and that I’d get approved through the reconsideration line.
Boy, was I wrong on almost all accounts.
Since I’m an optimist, I’ll give you the good news today, and post the bad news in Part 2 tomorrow.
Chase AirTran Airways A+ Rewards card
Would you believe, that after having 10+ Chase cards in a year and a half, I got INSTANT APPROVAL for the AirTran card. No phone calls, nothing.
Just a “You’ve been approved, we’ll send you the card” message.
Never in a million years did I think that Chase would give me another card without me having to call them up and close a card, but hey, I’ll take it.
Status: Instant approval
Lesson learned: Sometimes good things happen, and Chase continues to be hands down my favorite lender.
Total haul: 32 AirTran credits (good for 2 roundtrip tickets)
BoA Virgin Atlantic
This is the only card that went as planned. I didn’t get instant approval, but when I called in 3 days later to check the status of my application, it had already been approved.
Not much else to report, other than that I’ll most likely transfer the 50k Virgin Atlantic miles to 100k Hilton points, which will help my quest to head to Bora Bora.
Status: Approved with no begging
Lesson learned: Bank of America seems to be pretty easy to deal with for me.
Total haul: 50k Virgin Atlantic miles —> 100k Hilton points
Citi AAdvantage American Airlines Visa Signature
I was a bit nervous about this one, since it was probably the card I wanted most out of the group.
Luckily, when I called up 3 days later to check my application status, the Citi representative was super nice and told me that all I’d need to do to get approved was transfer $4,000 from one of my Citi Hilton cards.
Done and done!
Amazingly, it seems like Citi has really stepped up their game in the reconsideration department, as this was completely painless. The rep was the one who actually suggested it, and it seems that they now have the power to approve you over the phone.
Guess it’s time to modify all those nasty things I said about them in my 6 Rules to Crush Your Reconsideration Phone Call post.
Status: Approved by moving credit limits around
Lesson learned: Citi’s reconsideration department has changed dramatically, and for the better.
Total haul: 50k American Airlines miles
US Bank Club Carlson Premier Visa Signature
There are a lot of horror stories out there about people getting denied and that once that happens, you have no chance with the reconsideration department.
Because of that, I decided to go only for the personal card and not both the personal and the business, but I wasn’t too optimistic.
Luckily, I was wrong. I was approved without ever having to call in!
One caveat though: I was approved for the Club Carlson Visa Platinum, the lower level version of the Premier Visa Signature I had applied for.
The biggest downside to this is that I received a 60k sign up bonus for the Platinum as opposed to the 85k offered by the Premier card.
I called in to reconsideration to try and plead my case for the Premier card and the better sign up bonus, but was turned down.
And while I was pretty bummed about losing out on the bigger sign up bonus, I was definitely happy to get approved at all, since US Bank is a tough nut to crack and this version still gives me the “buy 1 get 1″ benefits.
Status: Approved, but for a lower version and smaller sign up bonus.
Lesson learned: US Bank’s reconsideration line can’t make any changes. What you get is what you get.
Total haul: 60k Club Carlson points.
Ok, so far so good, but… to hear the ugly side of this AoR, head over to Part 2.