My accidental credit card application

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  I asked him to get the pull withdrawn.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…

Follow me on Twitter / Like me on Facebook / Find me on Google+

If you are new to collecting miles, click here for the free newsletter
If you are new to Frequent Miler, start here


  1. Lovin’ it! Except for the sleazy “yes, I am sure” banker part. As good as Chase products tend to be, I have nothing but mediocre experience at their branches and even worse experience with the phone reps.

  2. Do you have to pay to be notified of a hard pull through Credit Karma? I have an acct but have never received an email about hard pulls.

    • Mary: It’s free to get notifications from Credit Karma, but they only monitor one of the 3 credit bureaus (I think) so it depends on which one your bank pulls from as to whether Credit Karma will notify you. Also, within Credit Karma, make sure to go to “My Profile” and edit your credit monitoring preferences.

  3. I am an underwriter and I can tell you from experience, surprising as it sounds the hard pull was from the business checking account. I know, most people are shocked to find out that banks do a hard pull for a checking account, but most of the major banks do. After that initial hardpull for the checking account the system then screened that credit info for a possible approval on the Ink card. The application for the credit card was pre-approved (based on current credit data). ONce the app was submitted all that was needed was to verify the income was enough to support the approval. THere would (more than likely) not even have been a soft pull. The hard pull would have been the checking account. Something for all readers to be aware of with bank accounts. Even savings accounts at most banks will cause a hard pull.

  4. I signed on to Credit Karma today based on your link.

    I haven’t been great at monitoring my score before (though it has always been pretty good). I notice that I have a “C” rating for credit inquiries with 4 hard pulls from chase since January 11.

    I have applied for 3 chase cards recently (approved) – but why do they keep pulling? Don’t they know my history already – I am also a long standing bank customer with them.

    Any way to get these pulls removed? Thanks!

    • BH: My understanding is that they will always do a new hard pull when you apply for a credit card. I don’t think you can get them removed. They will drop off your report given a long enough time. After 90 days, they become much less important to your credit score anyway. Don’t worry too much about it. As long as your overall score is good you should be fine.

  5. My wife and I each have Ink Bold’s and I just got approved for an Ink Plus. With three cards at our disposal I’ve been thinking about the best strategy for their use. Since you’re way smarter than me, I wonder what your plan is for a three card arsenal?

    • Piecerate: I’ve been visiting OD once a week, each time with a different card. Bluebird makes it easy to use up the Vanilla. If I run into Bluebird limits, I plan to continue to load up my Mio and use it to pay taxes online.

  6. I applied for the Schwab bank for that “fee free ATM”, they also pulled my credit report. Since I did it online, there was no mention of it until I saw it in the credit report.

  7. As I am reading all these complex things you folks are talking about..I don’t even know the basic difference between Soft Pull and Hard Pull. Does anyone have a paragraph or a link about that? Gracias!

  8. Hi FM,
    Are you willing to share your experience on the costs and complexity of going from a sole proprietor business to a registered LLC? Any recommendations for others?

    • russell: I haven’t really had any trouble or complexity. My accountant setup the LLC for me for $50. Then, I went in person to Chase to open my business checking account (free with $2500 balance) and they got a Tax ID for me on the spot.

  9. Why do you say you could also sign up for Ink Plus and get that signup bonus too? I’ve had an Ink Bold for the past 2 months and would like the Ink Plus too (for the signup bonus) but the card’s Offer Terms says:

    “Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer or have received a similar bonus offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program, or for any bonus offer.”

    Is this not true? Can I get the Ink Plus bonus too?

    • Chris: the Ink Plus is considered a different product and so yes, you can get another signup offer. You could even get the Ink Cash and Ink Classic signup offers too. If you’re going for the Ink Plus, wait until next week to see if a better offer appears (as is expected).

  10. All Ink credit card applications are not working. It will let you fill out the application completely and upon submission it says: Offer Unavailable

    The information you requested is no longer available. Please visit to view additional offers and apply online. Please note the terms and conditions of these offers may vary.

    Note: Telephone and Internet offers may differ.

    I tried to apply directly through chase and it still gave me this error.

  11. @Pas, soft pull is better than a hard pull because it doesn’t effect your credit score. Hard pulls usually bring down your credit score by 2-5 points.

    • MileageUpdate: No, you definitely don’t need an EIN to open a biz cc. The idea being tossed around here, though, is that you may be able to get the signup bonus many times: once per EIN (plus once for your SSN)

  12. It may not have mattered in the end since you ended up getting all the cards you wanted, hard pull or not. But I am sure you got all the names/IDs and/or numbers of each person you had dealt with in these matters, yes? I mean, it would be good to have the one from 6 months ago who was able to reverse it for proof that this has occurred (you know how sometimes you do something and a company denies it was ever done before but you are holding a receipt or proof of it in your hand). YOu may need to call on that experience again.
    Also, you may wish to try to find out from sleazy Chase banker guy if he knows if the biz checking acct or the CC was what gained the pull. JeremyH says it could have come from the checking acct and I think I have seen a few pulls on my CC report that align with this possibility, so at the very least you might wish to get the banker guy to TELL you that.

    • marathon man: No, I wasn’t that smart. I don’t have the names of the Chase analysts. As to the “sleazy Chase banker” I’m inclined to believe that he was just misinformed. I like to assume the best in people. Regardless, I don’t think I can find out from him whether the hard pull was from the checking account or the credit card since he clearly doesn’t know.

  13. Great job here with this article. Unfortunately credit report errors are a fairly common occurrence. This is why I feel like I had so much success with disputing negative items on my credit report and getting them removed. This is also why it’s so important to monitor your credit report as well. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *