After December’s eight card 350K churn, I decided to go a little smaller this time around, only 5! Here are the cards I applied for, a description of why I signed up for each card, my results, and card details.
1)Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card - 50,000 Avios Offer
What & Why - I had heard rumblings that previous holders of this card were once again receiving the sign-up bonus if they met two requirements: 1)they were not current holders of the card and 2)they had last signed up for the card during the 100K promotions back in 2009 and 2010. Several members who signed up for the card in 2011 and were no longer holders were being approved but were NOT receiving the sign-up bonus. Well, I hadn’t had the card in well over a year and first signed up in 2010, meaning that I might get lucky and receive the bonus again. The 100K offer was over but the current 50k offer had a much simpler spending requirement of only $1000 within three months.
How - I applied online and was not automatically approved. I called Chase personal card reconsideration at 888-245-0625 and spoke to a nice representative. She noted that I had several cards currently with Chase and that they would be unable to extend me additional credit. I explained to her that I planned to be traveling much more often with British Airways and really needed the card. I asked if there was any way we could move credit from one of my other current cards. She asked me which card and I suggested my Chase Sapphire Preferred card which has a very high credit limit. Within a few minutes I was approved. I actually applied for this card out of sequence so that I could blog about whether the miles would post again. I’ve been waiting for them to post before writing this entry and they finally did yesterday! I used my current Avios number (the same that was on my profile before) and had no problem (interestingly enough, Chase still refers to the membership number in the application as your Executive Club account).
Card Details - BA offers amazing redemption opportunities on short-haul flights and points can be used for cheap awards on American Airlines award redemptions within North America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. Additionally, BA allows household accounts where up to 7 members residing at the same address can combine and pool their points together. NYC Dining Credits – MY FAVORITE NON MILEAGE PERK OF THE CARD! If you are in the NYC area there is another great reason to get the card, the MICHELIN $100 back dining offer. The offer usually appears at least once per year but has been offered twice per year at times. The offer itself completely offsets the $95 annual fee for the card. You can also book your tables online at opentable.com to earn those points as well. The card also has no foreign transaction fees and chip with signature technology. The current offer is for 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
2)United Mileage Plus Explorer Card - Up to 30,000 miles
What & Why - I last got this card while United and Continental were still in the process of merging. I wanted to be able to receive sign up bonuses for both the Continental and the United cards prior to the programs merging. The current public offer is only for 30,000 miles after $1000 spend in the first 3 months and 5,000 bonus miles after you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase with your card during the first 3 months, however you can up that offer to55,000 miles plus a potential additional 10,000 by following the link in this forum (refer to post 1654). The offers awards 50K after spending $1000 in 3 months, another 5K for adding an authorized user, and a final 10K for spending 25K on the card each year. I wanted to give the UA 55K trick a try and applied.
How - I really didn’t want to apply for any Chase cards on this churn and here I was applying for my second! I applied online using the detailed instructions provided in the links above, but I was not automatically approved. I called Chase personal card reconsideration at 888-245-0625 and spoke to another helpful representative. She noted that I had several cards currently with Chase and that I was just recently approved for a BA card. I explained once again that I planned to be traveling much more often on British Airways for my international travel but now also on United Airlines domestically and that I wanted the card to purchase those tickets and receive free checked bags. I asked if there was anyway we could move credit from one of my other current cards. Again, after a little adjusting of the credit limits, I was approved for the new card.
Card Details- There is no annual fee the first year, so the 55k miles are essentially free. The card also includes a free checked bag for each card members and a companion, priority boarding, warranty protection, and rental insurance.
2b) I had hoped to apply for my first Alaska Airlines card from Bank of America, however there were no special offers in all of Q1. In 2012, there was a 35K offer in February / March and then a 40K offer in June / July. I’ll keep waiting until a bigger offer than the standard 25K appears again…hopefully for the next churn.
3)Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express – 25,000 offer AGAIN
What & Why – For years, the T&Cs on AMEX product applications stated that you could not receive any new cardmember bonus if you had the same card within the previous 24 months. For me this meant I churned an SPG personal and business account in alternating years, receiving the full bonus for one of the cards each year and having each of the cards every two years. In addition, I maintained my original SPG personal card as it is one of my oldest accounts. Now, I say full bonus above because AMEX generally awards points/miles for new cards in two ways:1)Bonus first purchase points/miles and 2)Bonus points/miles for spend in x months. The 24 month limit seemed to apply only to the first purchase points as several churners reported success receiving the points for spend in x months regardless of the time since they last had the card. All this changed in late August when the following updated language was noted within the T&Cs “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.” I decided to break from my SPG alternating application year sequence and apply for another SPG card to test the new language. I was just shy of the 12 month mark but included the card in the churn so that at least some of my credit pulls could be combined and I wouldn’t waste a separate pull on a bonus I might not receive. Well it worked, at 11 months and 23 days after receiving the same SPG personal bonus, I received both the 10,000 bonus Starpoints after first purchase and the 15,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
How – I applied online and and did not receive automatic approval. It was late on a Sunday though and I was not able to connect with the reconsideration line. When I went to call on Monday, the card was still pending. Key takeaways:
- I did not enter my SPG number and let a new membership number be assigned.
- I had 4 AMEX cards at the time and was asked to close one account and have the credit limit switched to the new SPG card (I was not forced to close the previous personal SPG card). Note that AMEX has a 4 card limit for personal and business cards. The limit does not apply to charge cards like the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card or the AMEX Platinum card.
- You can have more than one SPG card product (personal or business) as long as you don’t have more than 4 total cards.
- Your miles may vary and I’d recommend waiting until at least the 12 month mark before applying for an identical card.
Card Details- This new language is applicable for both the personal card and the business card. Both cards earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership. To be safe, several recommend not already having the same identical card product. Also, you may want to wait until Labor Day as last year SPG upped the sign-up bonuses to 30K on both cards during that time. These are the current best personal and business SPG offers.
4) Barclays US Airways Premier World MasterCard® – Trying for a 3rd card!
What & Why – I wrote a post back in February titled My Experience with the Barclays US Churn – Not as Easy as Advertised…but still doable, well I think I’ll be editing it as things have actually gotten a lot tougher since then. Most speculated that Barclays would get easier with their approvals for this card as it became clear that Citibank would most likely become the issuer for the new American. In that post, I used my family as guinea pigs and wrote “The good – you can definitely get another card and bonus. The bad – timing plays a role but the waiting periods vary based on individual and are uncertain.” Specifically for myself, I noted that
I first applied for the card in December 2011. I decided to wait the full year and obtain my retention bonus of 10k miles, my annual US Airways club pass, and the $99 annual companion ticket prior to canceling my card. Once the annual fee posted, I called Barclays and canceled my card but kept all the annual goodies. I re-applied two weeks later in December 2012 and was instantly approved. The bonus miles have already posted and I’m currently waiting and hoping for the 15K offer. My strategy is now to hold the card for six months (June 2013) and then re-apply without canceling the current card. If that doesn’t work I’ll cancel the card, wait another month or so, and the re-apply again.
How – Well, a lot has changed since then. I received the awesome 15K offer on my current card and another 1000 via a separate offer with my paper statement today so perhaps I’ve gotten greedy. I wrote that I was going to wait six months to apply for another personal card but instead I pulled the trigger at the four month mark, which according to several readers was plenty long enough (over the 91 day mark). I applied online and received the dreaded application pending message. I called the Barclays reconsideration line at 866-408-4064 and spoke with Tom. He informed me that I had been denied as I already had a US Airways identical product type. I explained to him why I needed another (and it was a very good excuse) and although he understood, he said that they were not allowed to approve me for the same exact product that I already had. He mentioned that I was welcome to apply for the business card instead. I decided to call back again (and again and again) for a total of 5 tries. I can sadly confirm that it seems that Barclays is no longer approving those who already have the card and are trying for another identical card. However, here’s the good news, you can apply risk free as the system does NOT pull your credit report if they identify you as a current cardmember. I was told by each representative that no hard pull was triggered for the application. As such, in my next churn I will apply for the card again (at that time I will have fulfilled the requirements to receive my additional 15K bonus and I’ll have the old card canceled).
Card Details – There are multiple application links for the US Airways cards. The standard offer is for 30K points after your first purchase with an annual fee of $89 no waived. However, there are non public links waiving the fee as well. See this post for full details.
Well, I guess this wasn’t the most successful churn, I’m still happy with the points earned and the ability to share some new data points on the BA, SPG, and US Airways cards! Additionally, my Barclays application resulted in no credit pull, leaving my TransUnion score untouched. Remember, to get your free Experian score from Credit Sesame as well as your free TransUnion score from CreditKarma prior to any churn. Also, be sure to track your spending requirements, which I do using a simple Excel sheet…
Happy Churning All, I’m off to get some Vanilla Reloads to hit my minimum spend!
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