So, you’re ready to move on the next step of mile and point earning, are you?
You’ve gotten your feet wet by applying for a card or two.
You’ve seen the benefits of all those miles and points.
And you’ve realized that opening credit cards doesn’t negatively impact your credit score if you are financially responsible.
But just like you don’t wed up with the first guy or gal you meet , you also shouldn’t jump in to bed with an app-o-rama without getting to know it.
Consider this your first date.
So, what is an app-o-rama?
An app-o-rama is the term used to describe signing up for multiple credit cards on the same day, usually at the same time.
This can effectively done by using different browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) on the same computer or even by using more than one computers.
Wait, isn’t that a “churn”?
An app-o-rama is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a “churn”.
If we are being precise, a churn is when you are able to sign up for the SAME card multiple times, thereby earning the sign up bonus connected with that card more than once.
An App-o-Rama is when you you sign up for DIFFERENT cards on the same day.
Churn= Same card, different days.
App-o-Rama= Different cards, same day.
Ok, so what exactly are the benefits of an app-o-rama? Couldn’t I just open each card up separately, at whatever time I feel like it?
Yes, you can open up cards “willy-nilly” and there is nothing wrong with that. However, an AOR can be beneficial for a few reasons:
- If you have too many recent inquiries on your credit report a company may deny you even though you have great credit. When you apply for so much credit in such a short time, you look desperate and it raises red flags as having a high potential at defaulting. If you apply for all the cards at the same time, they will not see the other inquiries on your credit report because they are all processing them at the same time.
- It makes it very easy to remember when the year anniversary is for each card. Remember, year anniversary=annual fee and if you are planning on closing the card before the fee, it is useful to have them all bunched at the same time for simplicities sake.
- Sometimes, if you apply for two different cards from the same lender the lender will consolidate the two different applications for two different cards in to one credit pull. This is a huge score!
- Your credit score will take minimal hit for each credit pull (2-5 points per pull) but it will rebound after about a month or two. Your credit can recover to it’s pre-AOR level fairly quickly if all the applications are lumped together at the same time.
Seems like an app-o-rama is just the one I’ve been looking for. Are there any downsides? Skeletons in the closet?
For me, the negatives of an AOR are outweighed by the positives, but there are some things to consider.
- First, if you are applying for multiple cards with a minimum spend requirement, you may have a hard time meeting the spend requirements (don’t forget to use Amazon Payments to help you). Never sign up for cards if you can’t make the minimum spend.
- Second, there is a slight risk that you will miss out on a big time deal if you do an AoR and then a new promotion is launched. Usually, you can average about 3-6 inquires every 90 days and be ok, but if you apply for 5 cards during an AoR and then the next week a new deal comes out, you may be denied if you apply for it due to “too many recent inquiries.”
Ok, so now I understand what an app-o-rama is and why it can be beneficial. I’m ready to take the plunge. Do you have any hints to make this long-term commitment last?
First, look at the promotions that make the most sense for you. Do you notice a pattern?
Yep, probably 3 or 4 of the top 5 are Chase cards.
Be forewarned: Most lenders will only approve you for one personal card at a time, so even though you probably want 5 different Chase cards, wittle it down to 1.
You will almost certainly get denied if you apply for more than 1 personal from Chase.
Then, look towards other lenders and see what else there is out there.
Pick an AmEx, throw in a Citi card, and maybe troll for a Barclays or Bank of America.
Biz It Up!
A lot of personal cards will have a similar sister card that is for businesses. This is great as an add-on to an AoR because it can double your miles and points in a hurry.
While most lenders will only allow you one personal card at a time, the caveat is that they will usually allow you one business card IN ADDITION to one personal.
If you’re thinking “but, I don’t have a business”, fear not.
Know the Bureaus
Different lenders pull different credit bureaus, which helps with the whole “too many inquiries” situation.
If you’ve applied for cards before, check your credit report and see what Citi, Chase, AmEx, etc. pulled. If you haven’t applied for many cards before, you use the credit pulls database at creditboards.com to give you a rough idea.
I’ve mentioned it above but it bears repeating: MAKE SURE YOU CAN MAKE THE MINIMUM SPEND ON EACH CARD.
Getting 5 cards is great, but if the cumulative minimum spend is $10,000 in 4 months and you can’t hit that, you are shooting yourself in the foot.
Not only are you not getting the points for that card, but you will also not be able to sign up for the card later.
If I’m getting a few cards with a fairly high minimum spend, I always look for some extras to add-on that have no minimum spend, meaning you’ll get the points after 1 purchase (McDonald’s $1 menu…I’m lovin’ it!)
Congrats, and good luck! May your relationship with the app-o-rama be a long and prosperous one!
What’s the biggest AoR you’ve ever done? What are some strategies you use when doing an AoR?