As both a late Christmas and early birthday present to myself, I decided to pull off an App-0-Rama.  Originally, this was scheduled for early December but I put it off because I was still trying to make the minimum spend requirements from my August App-o-Rama. I posted about my plan for this AoR back in […]

17
Jan

My January App-o-Rama Recap: 6 Cards and 340,000 Points

Posted By Trav
What better birthday present for a miles nerd than an App-o-Rama!

What better birthday present for a miles nerd than an App-o-Rama!

As both a late Christmas and early birthday present to myself, I decided to pull off an App-0-Rama.  Originally, this was scheduled for early December but I put it off because I was still trying to make the minimum spend requirements from my August App-o-Rama.

I posted about my plan for this AoR back in late November and I had a few tough decisions to make:

  • Do I go for the Chase British Airways card, the Chase Hyatt, or the Chase Priority Club?
  • Do I get the regular Citi Hilton Hhonors cards with no annual fee or the Citi Hilton Hhonors Reserve cards which gives 2 free weekend nights but has a $95 annual fee each?

After much deliberation, I decided on the British Airways card and the regular Citi Hilton Hhonors with no annual fee.

Here’s the chart for all the cards I applied for:

January 2013 AoR Chart

Click to enlarge

Overall, this AoR was pretty interesting for me for a few reasons.  First, at 7 cards applied for, it was the biggest AoR I’d ever done.

Second, I don’t usually apply for many hotel cards.  Personally, I prefer airline miles much more.  However, after my last two AoR’s, I’m running out of airline cards to get, and so I decided that this time I would put a major focus on earning a ton of Hilton points.

Why Hilton Points?

Hilton points are certainly not the most valuable hotel points on a per point basis (that would be Starwood points), but it is really easy to rack up a TON of them.

Also, they a special award charts for anyone who has at least Silver status (called the GLON award chart) or anyone with a Hilton American Express card (called the AXON award chart).  Since I have an Amex Hilton Hhonors card which gives me automatic Silver status, I can access both charts.

To better understand AXON and GLON, check out this awesome explanation from The Points Guy reader Tony.

These award charts can be super valuable because they give you 15%-25% off stays of longer than 4 nights or more.  This allows you to earn an awesome, long vacation at a top-notch Hilton property pretty easily.

For example, just from the Hilton points I earned during this AoR, I’m eyeing a 6 night stay at the Hilton Bora Bora.

First, let’s look at how I earned the Hilton points.

A BOATLOAD of Hilton Points

app-o-rama hilton points

Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines

BoA Hawaiian Airlines application link

This was the only card that I received instant approval for and it gives me 35,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles after spending $1,000 in 4 months.

I’ll be converting those 35k Hawaiian Airlines miles to 70k Hilton points.  Unfortunately, the $79 annual fee isn’t waived but 70k Hilton points is well worth the annual fee.

Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines

BoH Hawaiian Airlines application link

This card has exactly the same offer as the Bank of America card but because it is offered by the Bank of Hawaii instead of BoA, you can get both at the same time.

I was not originally approved for this card because the system saw that I had applied for the BoA card as well and, as a safety precaution, denied me.

However, it only took a 5 minute phone call to the BoH reconsideration line to get approved.  I simply explained that yes, I had meant to apply for both cards and that I’d like one of each to split my spending.

The rep was super friendly and helpful and had no problem approving me for this card as well.

Once again, I’ll be converting these 35k Hawaiian Airlines miles to 70k Hilton points.  The minimum spend is also $1,000 in 4 months and the annual fee of $79 is not waived.

All told, between the two Hawaiian Airlines cards, I earned 140k Hilton points for $168.

Using the AXON award chart, I could stay four nights at a Category 7 Hilton hotel (their highest level) for 145k points.  Considering that these hotels can run upwards of $600+ PER NIGHT, I’d say paying $168 is quite the steal!

Citi Hilton Hhonors cards (x2)

Citi Hilton Hhonors application link

You know what is an even bigger steal though?  Getting a ton of Hilton points for free!

This is exactly what the Citi Hilton Hhonors card allows you to do.  Since it is a Citi card, you can get two of these cards if you apply for them at the same time.  This was an obvious choice for me.

The public offer is for 40k Hilton points per card, but there is an unpublished offer that offers 50k Hilton points per card.  It won’t mention the sign up bonus of 50k anywhere on the page, so it requires a little bit of faith, but many people have reported receiving the 50k with no problem.

I wasn’t instantly approved for either card and so I called up the Citi reconsideration line immediately.  I called two separate times (once for each card) and both times, they were able to approve me immediately and also confirmed that I’d be receiving the 50k bonus for each card.

Hooray!

The minimum spend for each one of these cards is $1,500 in 6 months, which is really easy to hit, even with getting 2 of them.

Also, there is NEVER an annual fee, meaning I’ll be able to keep these cards open forever and help boost my credit score without ever having to worry about paying for them.

With two Citi Hilton Hhonors cards, I pulled in another 100k Hilton points, completely free!

Tip:  If you do decide to apply for these cards, or any other Citi card, and want to get 2 of them, make sure to apply at the same time.  Also, if you don’t get instantly approved and need to call in to get approval, call in separately for each card.

While I was super pumped with all my Hilton points, I wasn’t stopping there.  I still had more cards to get!

Chase Ink Plus

Chase Ink Plus application link

I've been watching, and wanting, the Ink Plus since it first came out.

I’ve been watching, and wanting, the Ink Plus since it first came out.

I’d been eyeing this card since it came out and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Not only is the sign up bonus of 50k Chase points great, but the earning potential of this card is through the roof.

Using this card to buy gift cards at Office Depot, and then using those gift cards to pay my mortgage and student loan, could easily earn me an extra 120k Chase points per year!

Since I already have 7 other Chase cards, I knew I wouldn’t be instantly approved for this card.  No problem.

I needed to call and cancel my old Chase Ink Bold (the pre-Nov. 2011 version) so that I wouldn’t have to pay the annual fee and I figured I could simply transfer the credit line from that card to the Ink Plus.

I called up the Chase business reconsideration line and my plan worked perfectly.  They closed the Ink Bold and transferred the credit to my new Ink Plus.  Easy, easy, easy!

This card has the biggest minimum spend of all the ones I opened during this AoR, at $5,000 in 3 months, but I’ll be meeting that easily by buying gift cards to pay my “big bills”.  Also, the annual fee is waived for the first year.  Gotta love Chase!

Chase British Airways

Chase British Airways application link

Since the Ink Plus is a business card and this card is a personal card, I was able to get both at the same time even though they were both Chase cards.

One of the big questions I had when thinking about which cards to get in this AoR was whether to get the British Airways card, and the 50k point bonus, or to go for one of Chase’s hotel cards, like the Hyatt or Priority Club.

Ultimately, I decided to go for the British Airways cards because:

  • I already earned a bunch of Hilton points in this AoR

Again, because I have so many Chase cards, I never hold out any hope for an instant approval.  However, after getting the “your application is pending” message, I called Chase immediately.

As always, the representative was friendly and great and I was able to transfer some of the credit from my Marriott card (which I never use) to the BA card.  The whole process took less than 5 minutes and I was looking at another 50k Avios points!

The annual fee of $95 is not waived for this card, but 50k Avios points can get me a roundtrip ticket Buenos Aires.  $95 to get to Argentina and back?  Yes, please!

Barclays Frontier Airlines

Barclays Frontier Airlines application link

Interestingly enough, the card I care the least about is the card that I got denied for.  Yep, that’s right…I was able to get approved for 240,000 Hilton points worth of cards and also get approved for my 8th and 9th Chase cards and not a freakin’ Barclays card that offered, in essence, one domestic roundtrip ticket.

What a funny hobby this is!

Currently, the only two cards I have with Barclays are two USAirways cards, one with a $5,000 credit limit and one with a measly $1,000 credit limit (don’t even ask me how this is possible).  And yet, when I called the Barclays representative, she simply said that I was denied because “Barclays had already offered me a sufficient amount of credit.”

Now, we can argue whether $6,000 of total credit is a sufficient amount (hint: it’s not), but I don’t even care about that.  I don’t ever use my Barclays cards, so I’m not looking for huge credit lines.  Instead, I want the sign up bonuses.

So I offered to transfer some of the credit from my $5,000 line to the new Frontier card, meaning they wouldn’t be giving me any more actual credit, just shifting it around, and she still wouldn’t budge.  She simply said there was no way for them to approve me, even after I mentioned to her that I had 13 other credit cards total with other lenders and never missed a payment.

I attempted to call back and get another representative, hoping that things would change, but to no avail.  I was told, firmly, that Barclays wouldn’t be giving me the card.

The biggest kick in the balls was that Barclays pulled ALL THREE credit bureaus, meaning I got a hard inquiry for each one and DIDN’T EVEN GET APPROVED!

Now that’s insult to injury!

I was more shocked than bummed about not getting approved.  After all, I had gotten approved for the 6 cards I wanted the most and I still have plenty of Southwest points and the Southwest Companion Pass for my domestic travel needs.

Meeting the Minimum Spend

meet the minimum spend January App-o-Rama

Meeting the minimum spend for this App-o-Rama won’t be too difficult, as most of the cards, with the exception of the Chase Ink Plus, have pretty small minimum spend requirements.

Here’s the chart of all the minimum spends:

App-o-Rama Minimum Spend Chart

Here’s my rough plan to meet the spends:

Chase Ink Plus- Since this is the heftiest minimum spend, I’m getting on this right away.  The day I got my card, I went and bought $1,500 worth of gift cards.  I’ll use this strictly for gift card purchases with a few small purchases thrown in just to be safe.  With $2,000 in gift cards a month (which I’ll use to pay my mortgage and student loans), I can easily hit this no problem.

Chase British Airways- I’ll use Amazon payments to send $1,000 to my sister in February.  This will take care of the BA card.

Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines- I’ll use my $1,000 Amazon payments limit in March to complete this spend.

Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines- I’ll use my $1,000 Amazon payments limit in April to complete this spend.

Through gift cards and Amazon Payments, I’ll have met the spend requirement on 4 of the cards and not even tapped in to my everyday spending.

Then, I’ll simply use my Citi Hilton cards for everyday purchases.  With only $3,000 total that I’d need to spend in 6 months, I can do this very easily.

Tip:  If you are planning on using Amazon Payments, I’d suggest using cards OTHER THAN Citi cards.  There have been some reports that Citi counts it as a cash advance, which will charge you a fee and probably not count against your minimum spend.

Final Word(s)

Even with getting denied for the Barclays card, I’m super happy with how this AoR turned out.

I’ve been able to amass enough Hilton points to take a truly epic vacation to a top-notch resort, something I rarely do.  Sometimes, it’s nice to spoil yourself (Heather wholeheartedly agrees with this statement).

In addition, I was able to add 50k to my stable of British Avios points, which now sits at about 170k.  If used right, Avios points can be super valuable.  170k is enough for Heather and I to fly roundtrip to both Buenos Aires and Ireland, two trips we plan on taking sometime this year.

And of course, adding the Ink Plus is a major, major coup.  Having the Ink Plus in addition to the Ink Bold I already have allows me to ramp up my gift card purchases and earn 5x per $1 spent on almost all my purchases.  That means an extra 200,000+ Chase points per year!

Have you pulled off an AoR recently?  If so, what cards did you get?  What cards are you planning on getting for your next App-o-Rama?  Let me know in the comments below!

(photos courtesy of mightymoosifer, newright, legonardo da Bricki, Gabbey Road J Walker)

 

 

 

 

29 thoughts on “My January App-o-Rama Recap: 6 Cards and 340,000 Points”

  1. jammer9050 says:

    Pulled off an AoR on 1/6 and got the following cards:

    US Barclays (#2)
    Citi AA Biz – 50k w/$3k spend in 4 months
    Citi Hilton – (approved for one, denied one even though I used 2 browser trick, what went wrong???) – 50k w/$1,500 spend in 6 months
    BoA Hawaiian – (converting to) 70k hilton w/$1k in 4 months, $79 annual fee
    BoH Hawaiian – same, $79 annual fee
    Amex Hilton Hhonors – 50k w/$750 in 3 months
    Chase Marriott – 50k points and 1 free night (in cat 1-4) w/$1k in 3 months (not sure why I did this one except that I was concentrating on hotel points and didn’t have a chase card in this AoR, they made me cancel my United explorer despite the fact that I only had 4 cards w/them, although all gotten w/in the past year)

    Total fees – $158
    Total haul – 50k AA points, 40k US Air, 240k Hilton, 50k marriott and 1 free night (cat 1-4)
    Denied – 2nd Citi Hilton (this one sticks in my craw)
    Total Spend – $8,250 w/various time limits up to 6 months, very very doable, in fact I have room for at least 1 or 2 more cards

    Thoughts on this AoR or any further cards that I should apply for?

    1. Trav says:

      @jammer9050- First off, I’d say CONGRATULATIONS and good job! That’s quite a nice AoR. You were able to rack up a ton of Hilton points, some nice miles with AA and USAirways (never hurts to have miles in good airlines) and also tag on a night or two at a Marriott. And all for only $158 in fees!

      I’m not sure why you were denied the second Citi Hilton. Have you called them up yet and tried to plead your case? Did you get instant approval for the first one? It might be hard to get them to give you the second, but…it’s worth a try.

      The only thing I may have done different was go for the Chase Hyatt card instead of the Marriott, but that’s just a personal preference. You’d have had to pay the annual fee of $79 but would have gotten 2 free nights at any Hyatt, which means you could really spoil yourself. That being said, I also have the Marriott and haven’t gotten the Hyatt before, so…you can’t really go wrong with choosing one or the other!

      Again, congrats and great job! When your next AoR comes around, be sure to shoot me a message and we can put together something that works best for you.

      1. jammer9050 says:

        Trav,

        The only reason I went for Marriott instead of Hyatt was bcs of the annual fee, I HATE paying anything for these cards. But seeing the cat 1-4 Marriott hotels, I almost wish I’d gotten the Hyatt instead…

        As for Citi, I tried to call them, they wouldn’t entertain any of my pleading. They said I applied for 2 cards and they couldn’t do anything about it, the computer automatically locks out their ability to approve it. I read somewhere, I think on millionmilesecrets, that sending a letter to their executive headquarters was the best way to try to get reconsidered. I sent them a letter and I’ve received a rejection letter since, although I don’t know if that’s the original rejection letter or a rejection letter from my letter, since I received a rejection letter from Chase for my Marriott even though they later approved me. Only time will tell I guess.

        I think I only have one more AoR left in the near future, I’m formulating a plan to buy an apartment within the next 2 years or so, although I live in NYC and they’re insanely expensive so who knows, but I want to give myself the option at least. We’ll talk in March/April, which is when I’ll be doing my next AoR.

        1. Trav says:

          @jammer9050- Yeah, the best way to attack Citi if they deny you on the phone is a letter, which I talk about in this post. However, they will often still deny you. They can be a tough nut to crack! At this point, just wait it out and see if that is the original denial letter and then maybe you’ll get a surprise in a week or two and get the card in the mail!

          Good luck in buying an apt. in NYC. Let’s hope you can find yourself a deal…pricey, pricey place!

  2. Still thinking about if we want more credit cards. We are not big spenders and go on a months-long trip abroad during the summer. Do not want to accumulate foreign transaction fees. Getting more avios is a consideration, as we want to fly to S. America and Hawaii from the West Coast. We have to do some more reading.
    Thanks for all your information
    Karin

    1. Trav says:

      @Karin- No problem. Chase is pretty good with not having foreign transaction fees on most of their cards, so make sure to take a look at them and see which works best for you. If you’ve got questions, let me know!

  3. Mark says:

    How many inquiries did you get for this aor?

    1. Trav says:

      @Mark- As far as I know, I had 1 for each card with the exception of the Barclays Frontier, which pulled all 3 credit bureaus. So that would make it 9 inquiries. I’m still waiting to see if the Citi cards combined in to one inquiry though.

  4. Mike says:

    Hi, is it possible to have Credit Cards from USA if your living in Europa?

    1. Trav says:

      @Mike- If you are an American citizen living in Europe, then yes, it is possible for you to get US credit cards. If you are a European living in Europe, then no, you wouldn’t be able to get US credit cards. You need to be an American citizen or be working in the US or have some sort of ties here to get US credit cards.

  5. Mark says:

    My planned AoR was strikingly similar to yours. I also am targeting Hilton points, though I am not quite sure what are the two Citi Hilton cards that you can do with the 2-browser trick – I only see the Visa Signature and the Reserve card. I just read that Hilton cards are dropping there 6x on drugstores, which was my plan for Vanilla Reloads, so now the Ink card (while an extra step) is my way of getting multiple bonus points for Vanilla Reloads (or maybe I will just forget Vanilla all together and use the gift cards straight away). Also, I wanted to start building a stockpile of Avios points, as I currently have none, but I am already at my Chase credit limit and am planning on getting the Ink, so it might be a difficult sell to open two new cards and shuffle around my debt limits.

    So far, my AoR looks like this:

    *Barclay USAir [40k : 0] – this will be my 2nd time getting this card
    *Citi AA Business [50k : 3k/4mo]- I already have the Amex and the personal visa, so this nicely round out my AA miles account
    *Hawaiian Air BoA [35k : 1k/4mo] – to convert to 70k Hilton ($79 fee)
    *Hawaiian Air BoH [35k: 1k/4mo] – to convert to 70k Hilton ($79 fee)
    *Hilton AmEx [50k : 750/3mo] – no fee, which is nice
    *Citi Hilton [50k : 1.5k/6mo] x2
    *Delta Gold AmEx [30k : 500/3mo] – I have a few delta points and wouldn’t mind adding to it, though I know there have been short-lived deals of 70k signup miles and there is a Skymiles restructuring soon taking place, so I am not sure if this is worth including in my AoR now.
    *Ink [50k : 5k/3mo] – is it better to get the bold vs the plus? I figure I will use this to get gift cards, like you, though can gift cards be used to pay bills or rent similar to the Bluebird, or are they only usable for merchants that already take credit cards?

    Total: 460k
    Spend: 14.25k, but only 3.25k of everyday spending when factoring out gift cards and Amazon payments

    I would love to know your thoughts.

    1. Trav says:

      @Mark- Looks like a pretty full and complete AoR to me!

      Here are some of my thoughts to your questions:

      1. The Citi Hilton card that I did the two browser trick with was the Citi Hilton Hhonors card, also called the Visa Signature. It was a choice between that or the Reserve, and I opted for the “regular” Visa signature card because I didn’t want to pay the fees.

      2. You could possibly go for the Avios card since it is a Chase personal and the Ink card you are opening up is a business. As you said, you might have to shuffle around some credit limits from your other cards, but if you don’t mind doing that, then going for the BA card isn’t a bad call. Or, is there a Chase personal card you want to close? Then you can kill two birds with one stone.

      3. I’ve never spent any time earning Delta miles, so my initial reaction to the 30k deal would be “eh, not worth it.” But for you, if you Delta miles already and want to top them off, it’s not a bad strategy. It’s really a personal preference of whether you want to wait around for another 70k deal to pop up at some point or if you just want to get the Delta miles now and use them sometime soon.

      4. It doesn’t really matter which Ink card you get since they are the same except that one is a charge card (Bold) and one is a credit card (Plus). My only suggestion would be that if you want to get both of them eventually, to get the Bold first. I’d do that because A) the Bold has been around longer, so if one is potentially going to be done away with (which I don’t think they will, but still), then they’d probably close the Bold first and B)I feel like its an easier case to call up and say you want a credit card (the Plus) in addition to a charge card (the Bold) then it is to do it the other way around. That way, if you already have the Bold and they ask you why you want the Plus, you can simply say because you want the flexibility of a credit card as well.

      5. Lastly, as far as Vanilla Reloads go, it looks like they are getting harder and harder to find and be able to buy with credit cards or gift cards. I’d take advantage of it while you can, but like you said, if it does go away, not all hope is lost. You can still do the easy route and just go straight gift cards with the Ink card and get 5x.

      Awesome job! Let us know how it goes.

      1. Mark says:

        That’s a really great point about the Bold! I also did not know they (ie Chase) separate personal and business when applying for multiple lines of credit. Since there is no card I would like to close just yet, I will have to move some credit around. Also, I just noticed Ken’s comment applies to me too (I have 3 Citi apps in the same AoR), so I will have to delay the Citi AA Business card for now. One last follow up on gift cards before I go ahead with this AoR: From my (limited) understanding, they function like credit cards, so merchants who don’t accept credit cards would also not accept gift cards as a form of payment. How do you use them to pay off rent, loans, bills, etc?

        Thanks for the support on this Trav! I’ll be sure to post when it’s completed.

        1. Trav says:

          @Mark- As far as I know, if a place won’t accept credit cards they won’t accept gift cards. However, the Visa gift cards that I get do say “debit” on them, so they technically should be treated as debit cards. Therefore, it is possible that a place would accept gift cards and not credit cards, but I’ve never seen it.

          Interestingly enough, I have seen it where a place accepts credit cards but NOT gift cards. At this point, I think the best bet is to find a local place that accepts what you are trying to use, and then just continue to frequent it. Of course, making nice with the cashier can’t hurt.

  6. Ken says:

    Citi only allows 2 apps in 60-65 days, so the 3rd app was automatically rejected. Nothing you can do except send a letter to Citi Exec and cross your fingers.

    1. Trav says:

      @Ken- You’re right, Citi does only allow 2 apps in that timeframe. I totally didn’t see that he had applied for the Citi business card as well. Good catch, thanks for the heads up!

      1. jammer9050 says:

        Oh ok, that makes sense, I thought that Citi biz was completely different than personal, didn’t realize that one affected the other. Thanks for the catch Ken.

  7. Brett says:

    Just curious but you said you had Chase cancel one of your Ink Bold cards from the past and that they just transferred the old credit from that card to your new Ink Bold that you applied for. Didnt they ask you why you are closing your old Ink Bold to just get a new one? It just sounds odd that they would do that. Please let us know what they said. thanks

    1. Trav says:

      @Brett- I’d be happy to explain. I had two Chase Ink Bold cards, one from pre-Nov. 2011 and one from after that. Chase rebranded the Ink Bold card in Nov. 2011 and so they allowed people who had one from before to get a new one. Therefore, I got to take advantage of it and get 2 Chase Ink Bold cards.

      However, the “old” Ink Bold didn’t have any value of me, so I was planning on closing it when the year anniversary came up in Nov. 2012. However, I decided to wait to close it until I applied for the Chase Ink PLUS, which is a completely different card. Then, when I got denied the Chase Ink Plus because I had enough credit with Chase, I simply called them up and asked that they move the credit line from the “old” Ink Bold to the Ink Plus and close the Ink Bold.

      Since the Ink Plus and the “old” Ink Bold are different cards, with different perks, they were happy to do so.

      Even if you have a new Ink Bold and want an Ink Plus, you could tell them that you wanted a credit card (Ink Plus) in addition to a charge card (Ink Bold) and they will let you open the second one.

  8. Steve says:

    I just completed my first app o rama. Let me know how I did:

    B of A Hawaiian Airlines: 35k miles
    Citicards AMEX American Airlines: 25k miles
    Citicards VISA American Airlines: 30k miles
    AMEX Delta Personal: 30k miles
    AMEX Starwood Business: 25k starwood points
    Chase United: 35k miles
    Chase Ink Bold Business: 50k Ultimate Reward Points
    Chase Sapphire: 40k Ultimate Reward Points
    Capital One Venture: 10k miles

    Total take: 165k airline miles, 25k starwood points and 90k ultimate reward points = 280k miles & points.
    Total Fees up front: $79 for B of A Hawaiian Airlines card

    I already had 450k hilton points banked and I’m glad I didnt go that route due to the recent devaluation. The only snag I hit was that I initially applied for 5 chase cards on one day…rookie mistake as I didnt know the drill. I was only allowed to get one non-business card at first so I chose the united card as I had a flight coming up and wanted the free checked bag. 3 weeks later I called the reconsideration line and had them split my 20k limit into the United card and the Sapphire card.

    Overall I’m thrilled with my take but my credit score on credit karma has plunged from 780 to 718 as I quickly ran up these accounts to hit the minimum spends, which I will pay off shortly. I’m a little concerned on the long term hit this could have on my credit but everything I read said my credit would be ok.

    Curious your thoughts on my take and if I should be concerned about my credit long term.

    Thanks,
    Steve

    1. Ken says:

      @Steve – How did you get 3 Chase cards at once, and how did you get two AAdvantage cards now that the 2-Browser trick is dead? 9 cards is quite a haul!

      1. Steve Piekara says:

        @ Ken – As I stated in my initial post I was truly a rookie on my first App o rama and didnt really look into getting the best bonuses as opposed to just maximizing my points initially. Dumb looking back on it, but I know now how to operate.

        The app o rama was done probably about a month and a week or so ago initially but I just finished it as I just received my Chase Sapphire Preferred in the mail yesterday. I applied for 5 united cards on one day not realizing I could really only get one per bank. The cards I applied for were the United card, Marriott, Hyatt, Sapphire, and Ink Bold. I was rejected for pretty much all of the cards. I received rejection letters for all 4 personal cards saying that I applied for too many in one day. The business letter told me to call to verify my business info. I called the business line and was approved no problem for the Ink Bold even though I dont have a business. I said I travel a lot and want to put all my “business” expenses on one card. I then called the personal line and they told me I could choose one card but I could call back in 30 days and maybe get another card. I chose the United card as my wife and I were flying three weeks from the date of the app o rama and I wanted to get the free checked bag. I was able to get the free checked bag both ways even though I booked my flight on an old credit card. I did check in with my United credit card though.

        Last week, less than a month after my initial app o rama, I called the Chase personal line and explained that I was originally rejected for the Chase Sapphire card because I made a mistake and opened too many cards at once. She said they would open the account if I could split my United credit limit in half which I happily agreed to. I was surprised that she stated that I already had a business account with them as I didnt think she had access to them.

        In regards to your comment about the AAdvantage cards, I did the two brower trick yet it was about a month or so ago.

    2. Trav says:

      @Steve- Wow, I’m really surprised you were able to get 3 Chase cards (including 2 personal) on the same day. That’s a nice haul.

      A few questions/thoughts:

      1. Why did you decide to go with the 25k AA Amex and 30k AA Visa? There are offers out there for 50k Citi/AA Visa and at least 30k Citi/AA Amex. Still not bad, just wondering.

      2. I would recommend asking for a bump up to 55k United miles. Check out this post for how to do it (scroll about halfway down).

      3. Noticed you want for the SPG business and not personal card. Are you planning on getting the personal one later?

      4. Personally, I wouldn’t have went for the Cap 1 card and only 10k signup, but I’m not much of a fan of Cap 1 points.

      Overall, I’d say you did a good job. Lots of points in a variety of airlines. A nice chunk with United and AA. Where do you plan on going next?

      As for your credit, just continue to monitor it. That is a lot of new credit at once, so make sure you don’t apply for anything else until it jumps back up to a level you are comfortable with.

      Congrats, and if you ever have any questions, let me know!

      1. Steve says:

        @ Trav –

        1. At the time that was the best offer. My app o rama was officially a month or so ago and that was what was being offered. I just completed it yesterday technically when I received my Chase Sapphire Preferred. See my previous comment to Ken.

        2. Thanks for the United info. Very helpful.

        3. I already had the SPG Personal and it was a primary card of mine besides the Hilton AMEX (non Surpass). Since my app o rama I havent used the SPG card as I had to hit all of the minimum spends. Plus my annual fee is coming up and I want to see if they will give me a credit. Last year they gave me a $50 statement credit which offest some of it so I kept the card and continued to use it.

        4. Why are you not a fan of cap one points? 2% back isnt bad on everything. Curious to know what you prefer as your primary card. Also what are your thoughts on Hilton now due to the devaluation?

        No flights planned yet as we have a one year old baby at home. We took him to Scottsdale a few weeks ago, but it messed his schedule up and we are still getting him back on track. Still worth traveling, but we cant do anything crazy. It stinks cause we have a ton of great miles/hotel points now and dont feel comfortable leaving without him yet. Our goal is to visit every US State and we are only on #28. Odds are our vacations will be driving trips as we still have a few states close by we can hit with a road trip!

        Great post and keep up the good work!

        Another rookie mistake I made was stocking up without a real “plan” to use these points. I never thought these companies devalue points so often (hilton recently and SPG) and now I feel like I kind of pissed away a good opportunity. We are in the NJ area so any advice on cool Hilton/SPG properties for a quick weekend getaway would be appreciated! OC MD has a great hilton property that we hit for 4 nights using AXON7. 145k points is worth it but I still have to book another 250k by March 28th before the devaluation!

        1. Trav says:

          @Steve- I guess I’ve just never given Cap1 points a chance. 2% isn’t bad, but what I prefer to do is either earn Chase points or SPG points and then use them for trips that would cost a lot of money, such as long international trips with stopovers or open jaws. Also, I prefer to travel one-way a lot of times, and the price to buy tickets one-way is super expensive. However, with United or AA, you can book one-way for half the number of a roundtrip ticket. Cap1 points wouldn’t be good for this option because they are tied to the actual price of the ticket.

          As far as Hilton and the devaluation, well, my response is that if you want to take a trip to a top end property, book it before March 28th. It’s not so bad for the midrange properties, but I definitely consider Hilton points the least valuable hotel points out there (but they are the easiest to earn, so it does balance out somewhat).

          Having a 1 year old would be tough to travel with…but remember, you can always use your points to book travel for other people. If you can’t use them all, maybe you can book special trips for friends or family to come see you! Just something to keep in mind.

      2. Steve says:

        No luck on the banner ad but I will definitely send them an email! Thanks for the United help.

        1. Steve says:

          One more thing, all of the points have been funded except for the Sapphire Preferred as I just received the card and SPG still owes me 15k points as I just hit the $5k spend last week.

  9. Steve says:

    Thanks for your tip regarding the United bonus! I asked for an extra 20k to bring my total bonus up from 35k (30 +5k for the additional card). They wrote back in less than 2 days and will be crediting my next statement. They didnt address the 10k bonus miles after spending 10k, but I’m not going to push it. Thanks Trav!

    1. Trav says:

      @Steve- Great, glad to see that “bumping the bonus” still works for the United card.

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