My end of year App-No-Rama application spree. 147K and counting.

On Tuesday, while my wife lazily applied for just one card (and will ultimately net over 120,000 points), I went on a crazy App-No-Rama application spree.  The idea behind an App-No-Rama is to apply for multiple cards in one day from a single issuer.  By doing so, in many cases, multiple hard credit inquiries will be combined into one.  In this way, it’s possible to sign up for many cards with very little negative credit score impact.  Yes, your score will be impacted negatively because new cards will reduce your average age of credit, but that should be countered by the positive impact of larger combined credit lines on your report.

In some cases, there is no impact whatsoever to your credit report (other than the one hard inquiry).  When you sign up for business cards from certain banks, the new accounts are not added to your credit report.  These banks include: American Express (except for Canadian Amex), Bank of America, Chase, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.  See “Flying under 5/24” for more details.

In my case, there were a few personal Bank of America cards that I had my eye on, so I decided not to stick only with business cards.  In particular, I believe that the Amtrak 30K offer will be going away after December 31.  And, both the Amtrak card and the Virgin Atlantic card are currently on my Unbiased Top 10 Signup Bonuses list.  If you go one past the top 10, to number 11, you’ll also find the BOA issued Merrill+ 50K offer.

To get started, I visited my own Best Offers page, and jumped to the BOA (Bank of America) section.  I reviewed the BOA App Tips, then started the process…

best-offers-boa-sectionAmtrak 30K after $1K spend

All-righty then!  With my vague plan of signing up for as many BOA cards as possible, I began with the 30K Amtrak offer.  Instantly approved!

anr-boa-amtrak-30k-approved

Virgin Atlantic 75K after $12K spend + 2 authorized users

Next, I went for the Virgin Atlantic 75K offer.  Instantly approved!

anr-boa-vs-90k-approved

Merrill+ 50K after $3K spend

Rolling the dice… Can we make it three in a row for instant approval?  Doh!  Nope.  Application pending.  Hmm.  Maybe BOA has a limit of 2 instant approvals per day for personal card applications?

anr-boa-merrill-pending

Alaska 30K + $100 statement credit after $1K spend

I tried the Alaska card and it too went pending.  This appeared to be more evidence of a 2 card limit for instant approvals:

anr-boa-alaska-30k-pending

Amtrak 12K after $1K spend

Next I went for the no-fee Amtrak card.  The 15K offer had recently died, so I went for the 12K point offer.  Instantly approved!  I threw my “max 2 personal card instant approval” theory out the window.

anr-boa-amtrak-12k-approved

Alaska Business 30K after $1K spend

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, adding business cards to my application spree should have no negative impact on my credit, so I decided to add a few  I started with the Alaska 30K offer.  Instant approval!

anr-boa-alaska-biz-30k-approved

Travel Rewards for Business 25K after $1K spend

Encouraged by the Alaska business card instant approval, I figured I’d get at least one more instant business card approval.  Nope.  The Travel Rewards Business card application went pending:

anr-boa-travel-rewards-biz-pending

Cash Rewards for Business $200 after $500 spend

The same happened with the Cash Rewards for Business card.  Pending:

anr-boa-cash-rewards-biz-pending

Amtrak 30K and Virgin 75K

I decided to circle back to a couple of the personal cards that were previously instantly approved.  I applied again for the Amtrak 30K offer and the Virgin Atlantic 75K offer.  Would these be approved too?  Nope.  Both went pending.

anr-boa-vs-pending

Approved: 147K

In total, four cards were instantly approved:

  • Amtrak 30K after $1K spend
  • Virgin Atlantic 75K after $12K spend + add 2 authorized users
  • Amtrak 12K after $1K spend
  • Alaska Business card 30K after $1K spend

The instant approvals sum to 147,000 bonus points after $15K combined spend.

Pending: 210K + $300

I have six applications still pending:

  • Merrill+ 50K after $3K spend
  • Alaska personal card 30K + $100 after $1K spend
  • Travel Rewards for Business 25K after $1K spend
  • Cash Rewards for Business $200 after $500 spend
  • Amtrak 30K after $1K spend
  • Virgin Atlantic 75K after $12K spend + add 2 authorized users

My plan is to simply wait for decisions on all of these cards.  I’m sure some will be denied (most likely the second Amtrak and Virgin Atlantic cards).  If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll then call to try to reverse the decision.

And one more card…

I applied for one more card.  I purposely broke from the one-bank-only App-No-Rama process, and applied for a Chase card.  Why did I do it?  Which card did I apply for?  What was the outcome?

That story is for a future post…

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

60
Leave a Reply

avatar
30 Comment threads
30 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
30 Comment authors
Stephen HNick ReyesDaveGreg The Frequent MilerEric Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Mike
Guest
Mike

Love the risks you take! Articles like these are priceless!

kingofkingsforu
Guest
kingofkingsforu

Articles like this ruin the opportunity for others. Heard about MMS …alaska card spree ?

jcb
Guest
jcb

Meh I don’t think it’s the same. He tried the same card twice, the rest are all different. It is likely the apps will all go to different departments. People have been abusing BoA cards for years.

kingofkingsforu
Guest
kingofkingsforu

i agree with you. I am not telling people are not abusing BOA cards. But articles like this which publicize abusing BOA cards and encouraging others to do same will kill the deal.

Mike
Guest
Mike

R u a waste?

Jeffrey
Guest
Jeffrey

wtf??? lmao 🙂

Frank
Guest
Frank

Did you have any B of A cards before this appnorama? If which ones?

JP
Guest
JP

Applying for the same card twice? Didn’t know that worked??? That strategy deserves its own article I think.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

I did the Alaska Airlines Biz and Personal along with the Merrill a week or so ago. Did Alaska Biz first and that went pending. Did Alaska Personal next and that was auto approved. Did the Merrill 3rd and went pending.

Decided to call on the Merrill one and get a very unfriendly rep that denied me and wouldn’t give me a straight answer as to why. Left the Biz alone and it looks like it was approved.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Do boa business count towards 5/24?

Maury
Guest
Maury

I was turned down from B of A for a second Alaska card cause I already have one open.

jcb
Guest
jcb

Yea I think the advice is to close or PC first

JL100
Guest
JL100

Why are you concerned about your credit score? That is never going to be an issue. Seems to me other banks now basing applications on how many new accounts in a certain period of time, etc. I get the one hard pull but that doesn’t seem to even be an issue for anyone.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Relatively speaking, that’s a lot of spending for the Virgin Atlantic miles. Do you have sweet spots in mind that make them worth so much? Hope you’ll keep us posted on your spending-liquidating. Which Chase cards did you already have when the 5/24 axe fell, by the way?

Gisele
Guest
Gisele

This article made me feel like I was in Vegas watching your play the instant approval roulette! Well done. 🙂

Ben
Guest
Ben

Beautiful, the more I scrolled down, and kept seeing more applications, the closer to the ground my jaw got. Well done, sir.

Can I ask, does the order in which you applied indicate your valuation of the cards? If so, how was the Merrill w/ $3k spend behind the Amtrak 30k offer and the Virgin Atlantic offer w/ $12k spend needed?
Or did the order have more to do with thinking some cards would be easier to get after others?

Christian
Guest
Christian

No Asiana card?

DCJoe
Guest
DCJoe

FYI, it appears based on this:

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-america-credit-card-approvals-without-hard-pull/

That BofA basically opens a 30 day window for new applications without a new hard pull once you do your first application. Back in late November I went for the Alaska personal and Merrill+ cards on the same day, but couldn’t find the link for the 30K Amtrak card and gave up. Then I read the DoC post above, and found the 30K Amtrak link around 12/15, applied, approved with no new hard pull. Reading your post reminded that there is another Amtrak card, so just now applied for that one also, and approved again, no hard pull. So thanks for reminding me, and thanks to DoC for publicizing the 30 day BofA period.

Another FYI, here is a link for the Amtrak Platinum card (the no annual fee one) with a 15K bonus. This is from a reddit link dump about a month ago, where someone queried all the BofA link combinations.

https://secure.bankofamerica.com/applynow/initialize-workflow.go?requesttype=C&campaignid=4013689&productoffercode=T2

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/5bqp2l/just_parsed_through_350_available_boa_application/

Hank
Guest
Hank

Having been approved for 3 cards last week by BOA. @FM Do you know if I apply for the Amtrak now, I would still avoid another hard pull?

DCJoe
Guest
DCJoe

Yes, you can! The data from Doctor of Credit supports the idea of a 30 days period where BofA looks back to your original hard pull.

jcb
Guest
jcb

So inspiring! What’s your min spend strategy these days? Visa GCs + money orders? Any chance you could share which banks to avoid with MOs?

Mark O
Guest
Mark O

Avoid banks with credit cards you want. Deposit into credit unions or firsttechfed.

DTSC
Guest
DTSC

How do you intend to meet all the required spending to get the bonuses? I have little trouble getting cards, but meeting the minimum spend is the problem.

Also, aren’t you paying a lot in annual fees?

sam
Guest
sam

Greg probably has some secret MS techniques which he is not sharing.. would be nice to find out though..:)

trackback

[…] I detailed my latest application spree.  I applied for 10 Bank of America cards.  Four were instantly approved and the rest are […]

Alex
Guest
Alex

When you canceled your boa cards how did you do it ? Did you have to call in ? Can you do it online ? Just asking because right now I have 3 Alaska airlines cards …. Thanks

trackback

[…] Another card I wanted was the Amtrak 30K offer which is set to expire on December 31st.  The bonus for that card is usually 20K, and so I wanted to get in on it before the offer dropped back down.  We actually travel on Amtrak now and then, so we know the points will be useful.  Points are worth up to 2.9 cents each, so we could theoretically get up to $870 worth of travel with the 30K bonus points.  One can argue that points are worth a bit less than 2.9 cents each because the point price is based on the full price of a ticket rather than a discounted AAA or student price.  On the other hand, the credit card automatically gives card holders a 5% rebate on points, so that partially makes up the difference.  Of course, while applying for the Amtrak card, I went ahead and added a few more Bank of America cards to my arsenal.  Read the story here: My end of year App-No-Rama application spree. 147K and counting. […]

Shari Margolin
Guest
Shari Margolin

Hi Greg! I also got approved for the Alaska card immediately and went to pending on the Merrill card. I got a decline letter today, but can’t seem to find a working reconsideration phone number and got bounced around for about an hour without ever getting to the right department when I called 877-721-9405. Various threads have said 888-221-6262 and 866-458-8805 are good numbers, but both of them seem to be dead. Any intel on a correct number to call? Thanks as always!

mac
Guest
mac

Can we get an update on the cards that went to pending? I’m guessing you may have been approved for some and declined for others. So, I’m really curious. Thanks in advance.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

The Alaska Business card (and many other BoA business cards) are managed by FIA. This is an entirely different creditor than BoA. FIA also consistently pulls from a different bureau than BoA. It is impossible for credit inquiries from BoA and FIA to be combined.

Please check your credit report and correct your post to reflect the number of credit inquiries that resulted from these applications. Were the FIA inquiries from your business cards applications combined into a single pull with FIA listed as the creditor?

trackback

[…] couple of weeks ago I reported my end of year application spree.  With a single card issuer, I started with one application, then did another, and another, etc.  […]

kleingordon
Guest
kleingordon

Any further updates, Greg? Considering a similar (smaller scale) BoA AoR soon.

trackback

[…] can sign up for as many 5/24-safe business cards as you want.  What you can’t do is go on a crazy application spree like I did recently, unless you restrict those applications to 5/24-safe […]

trackback

[…] my recent posts “My end of year App-No-Rama application spree. 147K and counting.” and the follow-ups “Chase IHG was the +1 at my application spree party” and […]

trackback

[…] My end of year App-No-Rama application spree. 147K and counting. – Going big with Bank of America during a recent round of applications. […]

Eric
Guest
Eric

Do your personal BoA card approvals count towards Chase 5/24 soyou’re now prohibited from any more Chase approvals for awhile?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Way to go toolbag – now boa has implemented limits. Apparently there is no such thing as slow, steady, and consistent. You’d rather redline and burn down the entire system for everyone. Hey but at least you got yours right?