Chasing 395,000 points

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In January, I recommended applying for Chase Ink cards before March (see: Credit card junkies: it’s time to apply for Chase Ink).  And, in February, I suggested applying for Chase co-branded cards before April (see: Chase calls an end to the game. Should we seek quick wins or long term benefits?).  Both recommendations were driven by the dreaded 5/24 rule…

Chase’s 5/24 rule

In the past year or so, Chase has frequently denied applications for certain cards (such as the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom) due to having opened 5 or more credit cards (with any bank) in the past 24 months.  That means that anyone who regularly signs up for credit cards in order to earn points & miles is likely to be denied when they try to sign up for these cards.  Currently, the 5/24 rule does not apply to co-branded cards (e.g. it does not apply to hotel or airline cards) and it does not apply to business cards. According to Doctor of Credit, though, the 5/24 rule will be applied to business cards beginning sometime this month (as I previously reported), and to co-branded cards sometime in April 2016.

Note that the 5/24 rule doesn’t seem to be set in stone. There are plenty of reports of people getting approved for new cards despite having opened 5 or more accounts in the past 24 months.  In fact, it happened recently for me: Chase Private Client and Sapphire Preferred 65K.

Pursuing 395,000 points

I don’t know whether the 5/24 rule is yet in place for Chase business cards, but yesterday I decided to take a chance and assume that it was not.  I also decided that it was time to jump on a couple of decent co-branded card offers…

Marriott Rewards Premier

Yesterday morning, my wife and I each applied for the Marriott Rewards Premier card.  The current offer is for 80,000 points after $3K spend plus 7,500 points for adding an authorized user.  I didn’t see any point in adding each other as authorized users (since that would increase the number of new accounts that Chase sees on our reports), so we each added our teenage son.  There are no minimum age requirements for authorized users.

My wife’s application was instantly approved:

Chasing 395,000 points Mrs Miler Marriott Approved

Can you find the wee bit of photo editing I performed?

My application was pending.  I called the recon number found on my Best Offers page and asked for an instant decision.  The agent put me on hold for a few minutes and then returned to the line to ask me if it was OK if they moved some of the credit line from one of my Freedom cards to the new Marriott card.  Yes, indeed.  Approved!

Point tally so far: 87,500 x 2 = 175,000 after a total of $6,000 spend

Chase Ink Plus

My wife and I each already have Chase Ink Plus cards for our businesses, but I have a second business (rental property) without any current cards.  So, I applied for the Chase Ink Plus card.  The current offer is for 60,000 points after $5K spend.

My application is pending:

Chasing 395,000 points Greg InkPlus Pending

In the post “How to get approved for the Chase Ink 60K offer” I recommended not calling for an instant decision.  So, with this one I’ll just wait and see what happens.  If I receive a denial, I can always call then.

Point tally so far: 175,000 after a total of $6,000 spend + 60,000 pending after $5K spend

Marriott Rewards Premier Business

My wife and I both applied for the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card.  The current offer for this card is for 80,000 points after $3K spend in 3 months.  Both applications went pending:

Chasing 395,000 points Mrs Miler Marriott Biz Pending

For my wife, we’ll just wait and see if she gets approved.  In the past this has always worked for her with Chase business applications.  For me, I couldn’t wait, so I called the business reconsideration line (found here) to ask for an instant decision.

The analyst asked me a number of questions about my business and then put me on hold.  When he returned to the line, he told me that the application looks good but that I would have to wait a few days for a decision.  I asked him if it would simplify things if I let him move $5,000 credit line from my Ink Plus card.  He said yes, that would help.  After another brief hold, he returned to the line and said that my application was denied due to too many recent requests for new credit.  I asked if I could appeal the decision.  To my surprise, he said yes – he would take another look.  A few minutes later he returned to the line and asked if I still wanted to move $5K credit line from my other business card.  I said yes and then he said yes – I was approved for another 80K point offer!

End of day point tally: 255,000 after a total of $9,000 spend + 140,000 pending after $8K spend

Summary

My wife and I each applied for two Marriott credit cards: personal and business, and I applied for the Chase Ink Plus business card as well.  Our Marriott personal card applications and my Marriott business card application were approved.  My Ink Plus and my wife’s Marriott business card application are still pending.

If we succeed in getting approved for all 5 cards, we will earn a total of 395,000 bonus points.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that we’ll have to spend $17,000 in the next 3 months to make this happen.  Luckily there are still a number of good options for increasing credit card spend.

Note that, in general, Marriott points are far less valuable than Ultimate Rewards points.  So, it’s not all that meaningful to add up the expected points into a single big number as I did here (395,000!).  However, I do see exciting potential for using Marriott points for Travel Packages, so I am eager to pick them up while the bonus offers are so high (see: Analysis of Marriott Travel Packages: 5 Night vs. 7 Night).

There were a couple of reasons we focused entirely on Chase applications.  Primarily, we wanted to get in these applications before the 5/24 rules settle in for business and co-branded cards.  Secondly, by applying only for Chase cards, we’ll each incur only a single hard credit inquiry on our reports.  With many banks, including Chase, multiple same day inquiries are known to be consolidated into one inquiry.  For easy reference, I’ve included this information in the “App Tips” table at the top of each bank section on the Best Offers page.

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