Let’s be honest – Chase takes the throne for having some of the best points and miles-earning cards out there at the moment. It’s no surprise that many of us are attracted to their generous sign-up bonuses and down-right fantastic travel reward credit cards.
I first jumped on the Chase bandwagon in May of 2011, when I really had to re-evaluate my points strategies. I was spending an average of about $3,500 a month on my no-fee American Express card, and sadly, I wasn’t getting nearly as many points and miles as other cards on the market were offering. I sigh when I think about all of those potential miles that never found a home in my AwardWallet account.
The first Chase card I applied for was the British Airways Visa Signature Card when they had the 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus (instant approval) in May. Less than 6 months after that, I applied and was instantly approved for the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (offer now expired) Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card in November of 2011. Fast forward to February of this year, I decided to apply for the 60,000 Chase Continental MasterCard (now converted to the United MileagePlus® Explorer) that I was targeted for and was approved on the spot.
Despite the many “myths” and fears about applying too soon for Chase cards, I took my chances on April 12 and applied for the Hyatt Credit Card (at that time it was offered with a $75 statement credit) and the Chase Freedom® Visa with $200 cash back (now expired). Two Chase personal card applications in one day resulted in my first “pending” approval status for both cards.
The good news is that after logging into my Chase account today, I saw that I was approved for the Hyatt Credit Card, but I did not see any signs of the Chase Freedom® Visa… which brings me to my very first reconsideration call, yay. (sarcasm).
I called the Chase personal credit reconsideration line, and I knew it was going to be a good call when the operator on the other line cheerfully said, “Happy Almost Birthday!” (I’m turning the big 2-5 on April 19), when it came to verifying my personal details. He basically told me I was declined for the Freedom because I’ve simply applied for too many Chase cards in the past 12 months.
Since Chase initially gave me an insanely-high credit limit on my British Airways Visa Signature Card, I asked if I could move some of that credit around to fund the Freedom. After a 2-minute pause, I was approved. Bingo!
So why did I choose to apply for two Chase personal cards in one day?
- I recently took advantage of Hyatt’s Free 90-Day Platinum status offer, which is great because we have several Hyatt stays lined up when we head to Hawaii in June. Speaking of Hawaii, rooms are pretty darn expensive, especially in June, so I’ll use the 2 free nights that come with the card for 2 nights at the The Grand Hyatt Kauai (over $1000 for two nights). Plus, since my Hyatt Gold Passport account is now Platinum, we’ll receive 2 suite upgrades on paid nights (BTW: I got an awesome deal at the Hyatt Place Waikiki using Hyatt’s best rate guarantee: related post).
I’ve been dying to get the Chase Freedom® Visa for the longest time because it works wonderfully in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card. You can convert Chase Freedom points to your (or anyone elses’) Ultimate Rewards account. I also can not wait to take part in the quarterly bonuses with the Freedom. Granted there have been much higher application bonuses in the past with the Freedom, I do personally know that Chase is excellent with matching you to the better offer if one should become available within 90 days of your application.
Here’s a timeline of my Chase credit card applications and approvals:
- May 2011: Chase British Airways Visa – Instant
- November 2011: Chase Sapphire PreferredSM– Instant
- February 2012: Chase Continental OnePass MasterCard (was recently converted to the United MileagePlus® Explorer since the CO/UA merger) – Instant
- April 2012: Hyatt Credit Card – Pending Approval at first, then approved 5 days after application
- April 2012: Chase Freedom® Visa – Pending Approval at first, then approved after a short reconsideration call
So there it is – 5 active Chase personal cards within a 12 month period. Applying for credit cards, especially with Chase, seems to be a prime example of YMMV; everyone will have a different experience. Do understand that each credit inquiry could potentially knock 2-5 points off of your credit score. I frequently monitor my credit score for free with CreditSesame and CreditKarma, and I pay off my cards in full each month to stay in the “excellent” credit range.
Please feel free to share your experiences with applying with Chase as well!