For those who are new, an app-o-rama means applying for multiple credit cards on the same day. This is usually done so that 1) multiple inquiries from the same bank will sometimes merge into one inquiry hard pull on your credit so that it minimizes the impact to your score and 2) the banks you are asking for credit do not see the inquiries from all the other banks you are asking for credit at the same time. After 91 days, you can apply for more credit as older inquiries cycle off your report. I explained in my last post which cards I was applying for this time around, and a little bit on why.
WARNING: this hobby is not for everyone. If you cannot use your credit responsibly and pay off your cards each month, interest on the cards will override ANY benefits you get. Don’t attempt this if you are not disciplined. I treat my cards like cash and pay them off either right before the statement hits or immediately after. If your credit score isn’t great I would not attempt this without researching the effects. However, scores in the upper 700’s don’t benefit you much as they increase. If you have a great score/history and don’t need a mortgage or loan any time soon, use your score to your advantage. This will negatively impact your average age of accounts. If your score is low and you are new to credit cards I’d definitely hold off and establish your credit/history some. See my post about traveling on your credit score for more information on this topic.
Going into this application round my credit scores ranged anywhere from 750-774 from various sources. They have been fluctuating as I have been playing with the utilization reported (more to come in another post). If you don’t know your credit score, Credit Karma (Transunion approximation score) and Credit Sesame (Experian approixmated score – NOTE: the Credit Sesame link is a personal referral link I benefit from if you sign up) are free ways to check. They provide free credit monitoring and will notify you of changes to your account, as well as give you a score approximation. They will also show you credit card offers, but it is usually best to check flyertalk.com forums or blogs to make sure you get the best possible offer out there. I use both free services, along with myfico.com’s Scorewatch for my real score from Equifax. To see your actual FICO score, you usually have to pay. The site myFICO offers a free 10 day score watch trial, but you are only eligible once.
Now on to the results…
I first applied for the U.S. Bank Club Carlson card as I have heard they are very tough to get approval if you have several inquiries. I was almost expecting this one to be declined, but Extra Pack of Peanuts recently was approved for this card so it gave me enough hope to apply. It was not the outcome I was expecting…Result: INSTANT APPROVAL!
Next, I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Mastercard. I had recently gotten two Chase cards, but I was fairly certain it would be okay. I applied and got “Application Pending”. I immediately called the Chase reconsideration hotline (if you aren’t sure what that means, Million Mile Secrets has a great post with info and phone numbers) and was told I needed to move some of the credit line off of my United card. I was completely fine with this, but as they were about to do it the system updated and I was approved with a new credit line! Result: Approved!
Next up, I applied for the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card (SPG). I’ve had good luck with Amex and it continued this round. Result: INSTANT APPROVAL!
Lastly, I applied for the Citi AAdvantage Gold Mastercard. I applied for this one last as I wasn’t entirely sure of my eligibility, as I had gotten the AAdvantage Platinum Amex and Visa back in November. I applied and got “Application Pending”. I called, and was told they needed to move credit line off of another account, similar to Chase’s response. But oddly enough, again as they were about to the system gave them approval for a new line. Maybe I call too quickly and should wait a little bit. Result: Approved!
I wasn’t expecting instant approvals, as I have applied for so many cards now and had to call for reconsideration in the past. I was even expecting the dreaded “too many inquiries” response. But I’m very pleased with the overall results, 4/4! Myfico.com and Credit Sesame have emailed me already with notification of inquiries on my report. For some reason at the same time my actual FICO score from myfico.com went up two points! I expect it to drop a little from here, but enjoyed that tiny rise when I was anticipating a drop.
Expect future posts on how I intend to use the bonuses as well as meet the minimum spending.