Yesterday I detailed my latest application spree. I applied for 10 Bank of America cards. Four were instantly approved and the rest are pending. At the end of the post I mentioned that I had applied for one more card — a Chase card. Why did I do it? Which card did I apply for? What was the outcome? Here’s the story…
Almost two years ago I reported that my wife and I were considering cancelling our Chase IHG cards (see: Canceling my favorite cards). Of all of the cards out there with annual fees, the IHG card is probably the easiest to justify paying for year after year. For only $49 per year, the card offers IHG Platinum status, a 10% rebate on point awards, and a free anniversary night at any IHG hotel worldwide. The free night is redeemable at Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, some of which usually go for $1,000 or more per night. To be clear, I wouldn’t recommend using this card for spend — you can do much better with other cards. But, it’s a great card to keep in a drawer for its benefits.
The reason we were thinking of cancelling was that I wanted to line up our anniversary nights. Our card anniversary nights were almost exactly 6 months apart. I figured that it would be easier to manage free night expirations and plan weekend getaways if our anniversary nights were aligned. If we cancelled the cards and signed up later and at the same time, we would get new signup bonuses and align our free nights.
I cancelled my card, but my wife never cancelled hers. That was OK because I could still align our free nights by waiting until the right time to apply again. I should have waited two more weeks to align our dates perfectly, but I was a little concerned about the many new accounts that would soon appear on my credit report thanks to the new Bank of America cards. Chase has become increasingly stingy about credit card approvals for those with many new accounts on their credit reports. I knew that if I applied right away, Chase wouldn’t see those new accounts because they hadn’t yet been reported to the credit bureaus. So, I decided that having our cards aligned within 2 weeks was probably good enough.
As shown in the Chase Hotels section of my Best Offers page, the best current public offer for the IHG card is 60,000 points after $1K spend + 5,000 more for adding an authorized user. The info Best Offers page includes a note saying that the IHG card is believed to not be subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. That’s good because my Chase Private Client status appears to no longer be an effective workaround to that rule.
Also shown on the Best Offer page is a link: How to find the best IHG signup offer: 80K points plus $50. There are two tricks described in that post: 1) Logging into an IHG account with elite status leads to an 80K offer; and 2) Going through the steps of booking a hotel night at IHG.com can lead to an offer with a $50 statement credit. I somehow still had IHG Gold status, so I logged into my account and searched for a paid hotel night. The desired 80K offer with $50 statement credit showed up at the bottom of the search results:
After selecting a room, the same offer appeared again:
I applied, but didn’t get the hoped for instant approval. The application went pending:
Chase calls and approves
Later that evening I received a call from Phoenix, Arizona. It was a Chase analyst. He told me that the card would probably be approved after a few days if I wait for them to extend additional credit. Or, he could move credit from another card and approve the card on the spot. I chose the latter. Done. That was easy!