November 7, 2012
How I unintentionally got my third Ink Bold.
In September, I went to a local Chase branch to open a business checking account. At the end of the process, I was told that I was preapproved for one of several credit cards. The Ink Bold, with its 50,000 point sign-up bonus, was one of them. At that time, I already had two Ink Bold cards. One was the old card (which I call the “Ink Old”) which did not get 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, or anywhere else. The other was the newer Ink Bold that we all know and love. I had no plans to signup for yet another Ink Bold, but it was hard to resist.
I asked if I would qualify for the signup bonus and was told, yes – definitely. I asked if they would do a “hard pull” on my credit (which would temporarily lower my credit score by a few points) and the banker told me no – it would be a soft pull only. This was important to me because I wasn’t ready to do a new round of credit card signups just yet. A hard pull would be a problem, but a soft pull would be fine. I asked if he was sure. I had read that even when banks say you’re preapproved, they still do a hard credit pull, so I was skeptical. Yes, he said, he was sure, it would be a soft pull. OK, I said, let’s do it.
The next day, I received an alert from Credit Karma that Chase had issued a hard pull against my TransUnion credit report. Sigh.
I called the banker who had promised the soft pull. He apologized and said he had been told it would be a soft pull. I asked him to get the pull withdrawn. He said he would try, but he wasn’t sure it was possible. I told him that it was possible.
I knew it was possible to reverse a hard pull because of my previous Ink Bold application 6 months earlier…
My Prior Ink Bold Application
Last April, a 60K Ink Bold offer surfaced for a day or two. For a few months leading up to that point, I had been writing about awesome deals available to Ink Bold cardholders, but I had been unable to participate because I was still stuck with the Ink Old. So, when the 60K offer appeared, I applied immediately. A few hours later, I called the business reconsideration line to try to get my application approved on the spot. Instead, the opposite happened.
The analyst I spoke with said that it had been less than 6 months since I had applied for an Ink Bold (the aforementioned “Ink Old”) and so there was no way he could approve my application. I pointed out that the Ink Bold I had applied for was a new product that just happened to have the same name as the old one, but he was steadfast. I pointed out to him that it had been 5 months since my last application, but he was rigid about the 6 month rule. I told him that I wouldn’t have applied had I known that rule. To my surprise, he then offered to reverse the hard pull. And, he did (I double checked later).
The next day I called the reconsideration line again and spoke to a different analyst. This one never mentioned the 6 month rule. After various questions about my business, he told me I was approved. Success! I had managed to get an Ink Bold without a hard pull. Sweet.
Back to present time
A week after accidentally signing up for my third Ink Bold, I received a call from Chase asking about my application. It was basically the same call I would have had if I had proactively called their reconsideration line. They wanted to take credit away from one of my personal cards in order to free up a line for this one. Instead, I offered to cancel my Ink Old. Done. I was approved. I have since already received half of my signup bonus and I’m well on my way to the final 25K (which requires $10K spend in 3 months).
So far, my banker hasn’t had success in getting this latest hard pull reversed. The powers that be don’t seem inclined to return his calls. Oh well. I’m not sure it matters much anymore. I applied for and was approved for four new cards last week and I don’t plan on applying for many more anytime soon (see “My final credit card churn“).
How I qualified for 3 sign-up bonuses for the Ink Bold
It occurred to me, after writing all of the above, that some might wonder why I was able to get the Ink Bold sign-up bonus three times in a year. Let me explain. I signed up for my first two Ink Bold cards (which are business cards) as a sole proprietor. In both cases, I used my SSN as my Tax ID [for more information about using your SSN, see "How to sign up for the Ink Bold (or Ink Plus)"]. I qualified for the second sign-up bonus because Chase had changed the Ink Bold to a new product. They treated the new product almost like an entirely different card and they allowed new sign-up bonuses. By the time I applied for my third Ink Bold, I had an LLC and a business Tax ID. So, I used this information for the new application. Presumably, since this was a different business, with a different Tax ID, I qualified.
Theoretically, I could now also get a couple of Ink Plus cards to get those sign-up bonuses too. I doubt I’ll do so, but its good to know I could…