Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Chase

Background: Early in January, I introduced the idea of challenging myself (and anyone foolish enough to join me) to earn a million points in one month. So, starting March 1, I’ll do everything I can to earn as many points as I can while keeping within my ethical boundaries. As a reminder, I don’t expect that a million points will have been credited to my account by March 31st: points often take quite a while to get credited. Instead, I’ll track all of the points that I expect, and I’ll declare victory if the expected total is over a million. Oh, and to keep things challenging, I will try to keep my net costs below $1,000.

Previous Million Mile Madness posts include:

 

Credit Card churn planning

In order to earn a million miles in a month, I plan to sign up for lots of credit cards with the best signup offers.  These won’t get me all the way to a million points, but they’ll go a long way.  First, though, I need to plan carefully.  In this post, I’ll discuss my thoughts and plans concerning Chase credit cards, and I’ll follow up in future posts with similar discussions about Amex, Citi, and others.

Current cards

With Chase, if you already have a particular credit card, you can’t get the same exact one again.  Even if you cancel the card, you are not eligible for another signup bonus if you get that card again.  Some say that you can get the bonus again if you wait two years after cancelling, but I don’t have personal experience with that, nor do I have time to wait two years for this challenge.  One area where that rule isn’t followed is with business cards.  In my experience, you can get another card and get the signup bonus again if you sign up with a different business.  In my case, I have two businesses, so I have successfully signed up (and received the bonus) for two Ink Bold cards.  Another case where the rule doesn’t hold is where there is a card with the same name, but it is considered a different product by Chase.  For example, there are two versions of the Sapphire Preferred card: one is a Visa and the other is a MasterCard.  While Chase doesn’t seem to like people to have both, they will award the bonus for each if you manage to convince them to give you a second card (or if you cancel the other card first).

Anyway, that was a long winded way of saying that its necessary for me to review the Chase cards I already have (or have recently cancelled) before planning a new churn. Here’s what I currently have:

  • Ink Bold, business 1
  • Ink Bold, business 2
  • Sapphire Preferred Visa
  • British Airways Visa
  • Marriott Premier Visa
  • Priority Club Visa

I also cancelled an Ink Bold card last year, but it was a prior generation of the current Ink Bold card and so is not relevant.  Of the cards listed, only one of the Ink Bold cards is due soon for its annual fee.

In order to get approved for new cards, its usually necessary to give up old Chase cards or let Chase move credit from one to another.  For this churn, I’m willing to give up the Ink Bold card that will soon be due for its annual fee.  I’m also willing to give up my Marriott card now that Marriott has severely devalued their program.  I used to highly value the category 5 free night certificate earned each year with this card, but now there are far fewer desirable category 5 properties.  See this post by LoyaltyLobby for details.  I also wouldn’t mind giving up my Sapphire Preferred card (since that will free me up to get the MasterCard version in the future) or my British Airways card.

My Plan

I would like to signup for the following offers:

  • United MileagePlus Explorer card 55K bonus + $50 statement credit
  • Freedom card, which offers 5X this quarter at gas stations, drug stores, and Starbucks for up to $1500 in spend.
  • Ink Plus 50K bonus after $5K spend, business 1
  • Ink Plus 50K bonus after $5K spend, business 2
 
United MileagePlus card

This FatWallet thread details how to get targeted for the United card offer.  I just tried it and it worked.  I’m hoping that it will still be available on March 1!

Freedom card

In my experience, Chase won’t usually approve two new personal cards in the same month, so my thought here is to downgrade an existing card to the Freedom rather than apply new.  That means giving up the 10K signup offer for the Freedom card, but I think its worth it to avoid a credit pull.  In the next few days I’ll call Chase and ask to downgrade one of my cards (probably the Sapphire Preferred).  That way, the Freedom card will be ready to go in March.  Plus, if the United card offer is no longer available in March, I’ll be well positioned to sign up for the Sapphire Preferred MasterCard.

Ink Plus cards

I don’t know if this will work, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to qualify for two Ink Plus cards on the same day.  The primary difference between the Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards is that the Bold cards are charge cards that have to be paid in full each month, whereas the Plus cards are credit cards in which you can run a balance from month to month.  I think it will be an easy argument to make that I want the ability to run a balance on my cards which is why I want the Plus cards (even though I don’t plan to actually use that feature…).  After applying for these cards, I’ll call Chase’s business reconsideration line.  In order to free up credit for these new cards, I’ll offer to cancel one of my old Ink Bold cards, and I’ll offer to cancel or move some credit from one of my personal cards (most likely the Marriott card).

For all of the above cards, once approved, I’ll ask Chase to rush the cards to me since I need them right away for planned purchases.

My hopeful tally

If I manage to sign up successfully for all of the cards listed above, I’ll qualify for signup bonuses totaling 155,000 United miles and Ultimate Rewards points.  Now look at the spend I hope to put on each card:

  • United card: Requires $1K spend = 1000 additional miles.
  • Ink Plus cards: Require $5K spend each.  If spend is entirely within 5X categories (e.g. office supplies, etc), then total would be 2 X 5000 X 5 = 50,000 additional points.  In future posts I’ll speak more to how I hope to achieve this.  You can get some ideas from this post.
  • Freedom card: If I spend $1500 within its 5X quarterly categories, then I’ll earn 1500 x 5 = 7500 additional points

So, all-in, I can earn up to 155,000 signup bonus miles & points plus 58,500 additional miles & points for a grand total of 213,500 miles & points all from Chase!

Reader Feedback

Please let me know what you think about the above plan.  Do you have other ideas or suggestions?

Related Posts & Pages

 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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63 Comments on "Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Chase"

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MilesAbound
Guest

Hi FM. Sounds a good plan, the only thing I am curious about within the confines of the challenge is how to get the cards, make the spend and have the statement close and get the miles to post all in the same month? If you activate the card on say 3/2/2013 I’d assume the first closing won’t be until 4/2/2013. I don’t know about Chase but with Citi bringing the closing date forward had unintended consequences and did not result in earlier posting.

Scott
Guest

You know what is ironic about this, didn’t you write a post not too long ago saying you were done churning credit cards? What happened?

Prabir
Guest

I have the Chase United Explorer card and Sapphire Preferred. I want to keep the Sapphire Preferred despite the annual fee. Is there something I can do to avoid the annual fee on the Explorer card or switch to a different Chase product?

Chris
Guest

Why the Freedom? 7500 points seems like a pittance compared with other offers, even when it affects the bonus on the other UR cards. Is there something big I’ve not seen?

Paul
Guest

I know you said you were done with Churning, but if we are talking four products from Chase alone, I smell one of the biggest CC Churns in History!

I think I’m really going to enjoy watching this MMM unfold. (Just had a logo Idea for Million Mile Madness – rock out the M-cubed)

Steve
Guest

@Chris – if he’s already getting a Chase personal (United), he won’t be able to get another Chase personal card. If he could, he should do Chase United AND Chase Sapphire Preferred MC, but that probably just won’t happen.

Don’t think of it as another application. Think of it as a way to get an extra 7500 points closer to the goal. it’s either get that 7500 points, or nothing.

Grant
Guest

Good luck Greg, I’m waiting for a few of my chase annual fees to come around too.

Ben L
Guest

Are you going to count any fees associated with rush delivery against your $1000 all-in total? Just being nit-picky 😀

Matt
Guest

Small nitpick – you say “I’ll qualify for signup bonuses totaling 155,000 Ultimate Rewards points.” However, the 55,000 from the United card are United miles, not UR points. Of course, the best use for UR points is typically transferring them to United miles, but again, it’s a small nitpick 😛

brian
Guest

Just an FYI if that method doesn’t work for the United Explorer card. One other way that I have found is to search for an award ticket and get to the point that it makes you sign in. AFTER you have signed in (but before you enter traveler info) there will be a link on that page to the 50k+5k and $50 statement offer. Good luck!

Geoff
Guest

I thought a CSP was needed to transfer the Freedom points to UR’s?

Kiddad
Guest

I’m not clear on how you can get two ink Plus business cards, let alone in the same churn. I can understand one, but what’s the justification for. Two of the same card for business purposes?

David
Guest

You mentioned that it is unlikely that you would get approved for 2 personal Chase cards, but I just recently applied for the Sapphire Preferred and the United Explorer card and got approved for both. I just had to call the reconsideration line to transfer some of credit from my Chase Freedom card. That could be a strategy to try first to get more points, before falling back on the Freedom card.

philly
Guest

FM,
Don’t say never on a 2nd Chase card & bonuses. I know someone who closed her Chase Sapphire Pref. less than a year ago & recently got approved for the exact same card, a Visa, and her 40K UR recently posted!!

steve
Guest

Fm, Looking forward to your methods in the Million Mile. I can also add another data point in support of David above of 2 personal credit cards from Chase. Last night I was approved for the Chase Marriott and also applied for MC version of Shaphire. All I had to do was call in and move around credit line and cancel an old card. Keep up the good work.

Victor
Guest

Just another data point, but I’ve applied for and received two personal cards from Chase twice. First time was the easy 100k BA offer over the summer (50k after first purchase & 50k after 1 year) and the Priority Club 80k. I just applied for and received (after calling the reconsideration line) the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred in MasterCard versions (I said I was evaluating Chase’s credit products for a potential retail banking move from BofA). I also have the United Explorer and had to transfer some credit from a couple cards to fund the Freedom and Explorer, but it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility to do two cards at a time multiple times.

hulagrrl210
Guest

I’m downgrading my Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom when the fee comes up as well. Good call!

Elizabeth
Guest

It is my understanding that since the Ink Bold is a charge card and has no credit limit, there is no credit line for Chase to move to a new card (such as Ink Plus which does require a credit line). I’m not sure if offering to close the Bold would be enough of a horse trade if it comes down to it.

Carlos
Guest

I thought there was a better offer than 55k+$50… if not could you please post the link I’m not finding that one.

Bam
Guest

Brian – I tried doing both, butneither worked for me. I am getting the 30K + 5K + $50. It may be because I only have 100 miles in my account.

Howard
Guest

Neither worked for me either on United. I transferred some UR points to it, so I may have to wait for a few days and see what happens.

kt
Guest

FM & Brian – Failed when trying both methods for United card…still getting 30K + 5K + $50 even though I transferred 10K UR points to United MileagePlus account few months ago.

ElTurk
Guest

After you maximize points earning getting gift cards, (using money, UR mall, Ink, etc.) and end up with a thousand bucks worth of useless gift cards, trade them for United Miles. You missed the 40% promo, but it should still get you about 330000 miles.

umc
Guest

@KT,howard, bam: Did you try to manually change the URL from 30k to 50k? Replace the “30” by “50” in the URL that showing the 30k+5k+$50 statement credit offer, then the offer will change to 50k+5k+$50. I did this a week ago, and it is still working for my spouse’s united account.

umc
Guest

@FM: I think you should have no problem getting 2 personal Chase cards at once. Both my spouse and I had done it before. For me, I had to call recon and moved some credit around, but my spouse got instant approvals for both cards applying back to back within minutes. My spouse even applied for 3rd personal Chase card on the 31st day after her last application. She had to call recon for the 3rd one to get it approved. I think the rule is 2 personal cards within 30 days.

Chris D.
Guest

@Steve re: Freedom card – Ah! Makes sense. I guess I skipped over that in the post, but that bit of info might change my next churn…thx!

RakSiam
Guest

I would like to get the UA Explorer card, but I already have a very old (20+ years) regular UA card. So I can never get an offer for the Explorer to show up. I like having the old card for longevity purposes though.

Gin
Guest

Did you use the same Ssn for the two business names?

Bruce
Guest

I thought you said you were not going to spend more than $1000 during this challenge? $5,000 for 50,000 points is $0.10/point, that’s very expensive points considering you can buy points from the airlines directly at about $0.02/point..! Think you might be missing the wood for the trees here.

MileageUpdate
Guest

Bruce I dont see where he is actually spending 5k. I see that FM is just manufacturing 5k in spend to get the 50k points. There is a diff in that maneuver.

webazoid
Guest

what cards do u already have? why not do AA 50k x 2 w/ personal and biz, since double browser for personal doens’t work consistently anymore?

Howard
Guest

@ umc

I even tried to manually paste in the 50k offer link suggested by people in fatwallet and still no go. It keeps redirecting me to 30k link, and people in FW are saying the same thing. Deal looks to be dead for United for now.

clayd333
Guest

FM, can you put a header at the top of your page and link all the MMM posts to that button? It will be helpful to x reference posts.

TIA!

DavidS
Guest

Hi FM, I know I’m a few days late to the game here, but you should try this strategy for the Freedom card, as long as (1) you drink coffee, and (2) frontloading purchases is kosher under the rules that you’ve set for yourself, which, if I remember correctly, it is. This’ll net 9900 points rather than 7500, but it depends on whether you can get the Chase “Exclusives” program up and running in time.

http://www.pointsonthedollar.com/when-youre-hooked-on-both-points-and-caffeine-this-happens/

tassojunior
Guest

I just got the AirTran and the Southwest personals from Chase on the same day (and a Southwest biz card next day). I’ve previously gotten 2 personals from them on the same day also. (I’m a little late getting my Companion Pass).

I’ve heard the best Sapphire switch is to call and ask that the Visa you hold be changed to a MC. Then later apply for a new Sapphire Visa. It would seem just applying for the MC fresh from the MC site would be better since one would be a prior cardholder in the first example but evidently people do this and get the bonus but have trouble applying for a MC if they hold the Visa.

Rajin
Guest

How aggressive are you planning on being with apps? I just finished a 18-app spree (keeping track here: http://paragonpoints.com) and I’m up to 600k so far just on sign-ups.

Bruce
Guest

Would like to the the “before” and “after” FICO credit scores for some of you folks… LoL. 18+ apps in any time-frame less than 3 years will surely tank credit scores. It’s not just the number of inquiries, but also the average age of open accounts will be reduced, and that has a big impact. How are you going to track the real costs? Credit scores not only impact lines of credit and the interest rate you pay but also things like auto and homeowners insurance and so forth. Pretty much all personal risk products are priced off your credit score.

Rajin
Guest

Bruce, we’ll see what happens, but I don’t expect any problems. I just closed a refi, so I’m good there. The inquiries will hurt my score about 20 points for the next 90 days, no big deal (dropped 747 to 729 so far.) In that range, my extra costs on insurance and interest is going to be be zero. The effect of the average age is going to be very blunted since I’ve been at this for awhile and have a large number of existing open, old accounts. Even if all my new accounts are approved, I can’t go below 2 years average age, so I don’t expect a score hit there.

Mike W
Guest

So I started following this and some of the other miles/points blogs a few months ago and I’m planning my first “app-o-rama” for next week. So far I just have an ink bold that I got three months ago and a chase marriot rewards card I cosigned for a few years ago. Credit score is 750. Any tips/ advice on the following plan? I want to get a priority club and British airways visa card as well as SPG. Anyone think there would be a problem with this, or there are any cards missing that would likely be approved? Thanks in advance

Cyclotron
Guest

Is it possible to get two personal cards AND a business card from Chase at the same time?

Andy F.
Guest

Hi FM, does citi treat buying Amex GC as cash advance?

trackback

[…] Plus – 50,000 United miles after $1000 spent plus a $50 statement credit using the link Frequent Miler mentions here. First year annual fee waived, then $95. Immediately […]

JR
Guest

Hi FM,

When you apply for 2 Ink Bold (or Ink Plus) cards under 2 business names, do you have to have 2 different tax ID? Can you use your SSN for 2 different business names?

Thanks.
JR

Piecerate
Guest

My wife and I just down graded our Visa Sapphire Prefereds to Freedom cards. No issues from the phone reps. Same account numbers and UR account. I also thought it was worth to save the hard pull and then apply for a Sapphire MasterCard down the road.

trackback

[…] Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Chase […]

trackback

[…] Chase Ink Plus business card (50K) for each of two businesses, and either the United MileagePlus card (55K) or the Sapphire Preferred MasterCard (40K).  For more details, see: Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Chase. […]

Wildcat
Guest

All
I am currently not a Chase customer and would like to apply for the Sapphire Preferred & United Explorer at the same time in branch. Should this be ok or likely to be declined after first ?

Also would I qualify for both bonuses ?

Thanks

WC