Million Mile Madness Day 1: Application day!

Background: Million Mile Madness is the fun and foolish quest to earn a million points in one month. Throughout March, I’ll do everything I can to earn as many points as I can while keeping within my ethical boundaries. 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. To keep things challenging, I will try to keep my net costs below $1,000.  In case you’re interested, all points earned and expenses incurred will be tracked via this Google Docs spreadsheetSee all Million Mile Madness posts (in reverse order), by clicking here.

Today is credit card churn day!

My plan today is to spend the day signing up for credit cards and calling reconsideration lines.  Below are the cards I plan to sign up for, in order.  The expected signup bonus for each card is listed in parentheses:

With the above plan, I could earn as many as 541,000 points & miles (not counting miles earned on spend).

In the post where I planned my Barclaycard card signups I said that I would also sign up for the NFL card ($400 bonus) and the Arrival World MasterCard ($220 or $440 bonus depending on which offer I get).  However, when I see all of the planned applications lined up, I’m less inclined to push my luck with these.  We’ll see how lucky I feel after I apply for all of the others.

Keep up with the results

As I go along, I’ll post results in the comments below and on Twitter.  I’ll also post a summary at the end of the day.

Reader Participation

Are you signing up for cards today?  If so, which ones?  Comment below with your results as well!

Learn about Million Mile Madness:

Last updated on February 23rd, 2016

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 »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Ryan from MA
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Ryan from MA

Today is my churn day too! Good luck!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Churn results so far:
Club Carlson cards (personal and business): pending
US Airways personal: received error message, but then I checked the app status online & found that I was approved!
US Airways business: pending. Site for checking status of biz cards doesn’t seem to work.

FrequentMiler
Guest

More results:
Amex PRG 50K offer: Instant Approval
Amex Platinum Mercedes 50K offer: Pending

FrequentMiler
Guest

More results:
Citi AA biz 50K: Pending
Citi TY Preferred 6K: Pending
Will call about pending apps later in the morning

FrequentMiler
Guest

More results:
Chase Ink Plus x 2: Pending
Chase UA card: Pending (Note: I found a link that might work for 55K here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20316800-post1654.html

Ben E
Guest
Ben E

How much do you have to spend in total to get your sign up bonuses on all of those cards?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Ryan from MA: Good luck to you too!
Ben E: I need to spend a lot! I haven’t added it all up yet.
Trajan81: Congrats!

Trajan81
Guest
Trajan81

Churning day.

Citi ThankYou Preferred (6k)
Citi AA Personal (50k)
Amex PRG (50k)
US Bank Club Carlson (85k)
Barclays US Air (35k)
Chase Sapphire Pref. MC (40k)
BOA/BOH Hawaiian (70k)

Approved for all but the BOA/BOH immediately. Figured would try to get at least one per providing bank. Aiming for around 500k total this month.

john
Guest
john

Looks like your applying for 11 cards? Do you think that’s somewhere near an optimal amount? What factors led you to choose that amount? (If you’ve talked about this recently, refer me back, I’ve read most, but not all your million mile related posts)

FrequentMiler
Guest

john: No, I don’t think its an optimal amount. I would prefer to be more concervative and do between 4 and 8 apps, but I’m extending myself this month due to the challenge. The factors that led me to each card are described in the individual posts listed above (e.g. Million Mile Madness, credit card planning: Chase).
dhammer53: I’ve updated this post with the min spend requirements. I listed the annual fees in each respective planning post. I’ll also add the annual fees to the tracking spreadsheet. Details about which cards I already have are in each respective planning post.

dhammer53
Guest
dhammer53

Can you tell us the cost of each card in your churn. Please list fee the first year + fee the second year.

I’m curious. Some of the above cards are major credit cards. I’m a churner and have the bulk of them. What about you?

yitzi
Guest
yitzi

Are you going to post a list of the UR mall updates?

Also, how come no prediction post this month?

FrequentMiler
Guest

yitzi: Too much going on! Please checkout Mommy Points post: http://boardingarea.com/mommypoints/2013/03/01/march-shopping-portal-payouts/

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Looks like a lot of calls to do today 🙂

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Not to worry, my club Carlson personal card took a few hours to get the conformaton email, business card took 3days to get the conformation email.
Spend? 3k on both the Carlson cards at 5x a dollar. Means you should end up with another 30k from making the min spend. In my opinion these are 100k cards.

DFW
Guest
DFW

Hopefully you froze your ICS report. I don’t know if any of your “readers” pointed this out. If you did not then you will have a hard time convincing the underwriter. Their system is too heavily reliant on the ICS check which is why both went to pending. Even if you started with them today, it doesn’t matter since you said your wife churned a couple of months ago in a blog. If she used the same address then your apps got flagged.

They will most likely ask you to reapply in 3 months.

Geoffrey
Guest

I’ll be shocked if you get all the Chase cards even after all the b.s. with the reconsideration line.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Too many pending apps.. Not looking good

Mike
Guest
Mike

Nothing here, as I am in the middle of buying a house and don’t want any credit dings on my mortage.

mileswhore
Guest
mileswhore

What’s an ICS report?

MaxM
Guest
MaxM

While I’m abstaining from a credit card churn, I wish you the best on conquering your Million Mile challenge this month! 🙂

FrequentMiler
Guest

MaxM: Thanks!
pas: I received a link via email from Citi to check the status. I haven’t tried Amex yet, so I don’t know.
The Miles Professor: Thanks. And, yes, I do!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Update:
After recon call with Chase Business, both Ink Plus cards have been approved! I asked to have them expedited and they say that they should arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Update:
After recon call with Chase for personal card, the UA MileagePlus card has been approved! Confirmed with CSR that the offer is for 50K plus 5K with secondary cardholder after $1K spend. Sweet! To apply, I used the link from FlyerTalk that I posted earlier

FrequentMiler
Guest

Update:
After recon call with Amex, I was approved for the Platinum Mercedes card! I called 866-314-0237, but was transferred to a different dept (I don’t know which one) once they saw which card I had applied for.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Update:
Citi approved the 50K AA Biz card. Regarding the TY Preferred the agent said that they have to wait 24 hours due to the other app just approved. Anyone ever heard that one before?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Just got first denial: Barclays wouldn’t approve US Airways biz card. Cited “8 inquiries just today”.

pas
Guest
pas

Whats the link to check Citi app status?

The Miles Professor
Guest

Good luck with your applications. I hope you have a good Vanilla reloads for Bluebird source 🙂

Sal
Guest
Sal

mileswhore, it’s another “quasi” credit bureau that US Bank uses. They generally will pull a report a few days after you apply, and they will see the 11+ inquiries on FM’s report from today, almost guaranteeing a denial

pas
Guest
pas

Amex recon line/system at 866-314-0237 has been down for last 2-3 days. Its been saying ‘Call back later’.
Know any alternate number or way to get pass this?

Sal
Guest
Sal

To clarify, Advanced Resolution Services (ARS) is the agency that handles the Visa side of ICS

Rob
Guest
Rob

That’s an awesome idea! Somehow it doesn’t seem crazy to me, just exciting.
What link are you using for the NFL signup bonus? I can’t seem to find one with the $400 bonus…

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I was initially denied my club carlson because of ARS. As I noted in the Club Carlson Visa flyertalk thread, I called in three times after denial, twice the day after and once more the next day and I was finally able to get US Bank to review my application themselves. Approved a couple of days later.

DaninSTL
Guest
DaninSTL

Seems like the card companies are leaning away from the instant approval automated results lately for me. My credit is high enough they should just be approved online but citi and chase always seem to either want to chat online or call me. Maybe they are lonely or something. I have had good success with the citi chat feature. If you hit the pending page, check back or call in page, wait a minute or so and the chat box should pop up. I prefer this method as you can think about your answers clearly before you answer and not sound odd on the phone.

allen
Guest
allen

@FM, so you never had a UA MileagePlus card before? I am surprised.. or you are applying for it the 2nd time?

FrequentMiler
Guest

allen: No, I’ve never had the UA card before.

DFW
Guest
DFW

Congrats on Chase success. You needed it 🙂 The hardest is going to be convincing US Bank and it looks like someone posted a glimmer of light example. My wife’s apps had the same issue last month. We had churned back in September and the common ICS tracks by address so we had way too many unfortunately. Recon several times resulted in additional pull on TU and still denial. If you are done with apps and care about INQs, freeze at least EX so someone doesnt backdoor multi INQs. EQ/TU can be B*ed.

David
Guest
David

FM,
Cant wait to hear your results on Citi TY Preferred(confirm 5X) and Club Carlson card. Those will be my most important cards for my next churn.

Grant
Guest
Grant

Good work FM, how many cards have been approved for so far? How many more do you have to go?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Grant: 6 out of 11 approved so far. On the phone with Citi currently. Then onto Barclays and US Bank for what are likely to be the most difficult calls (based on reader input)

stacey
Guest
stacey

I’m curious what you said with the Chase personal recon line that got them to approve you. I’ve had great luck with the Business recon line, but not with the personal recon line. Any advice? Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

stacey: Short version: They said “I see you’ve applied for 6 cards already today”. Me: “Yes. I don’t mind cancelling or moving credit from an existing card to get this one approved.” They: “You have a lot of credit on the BA card, how much would you like moved?” Me: “10K” They: “OK”

Wes
Guest
Wes

Two weeks ago, we(wife/I) did 10 cards, 9 apvd already banked 100K MR pts (MB wife, PG me), hilton surpass, citi hilton honors, marriott, club carlson visa (wife); Citi MC, Citi AMX, BA visa, Club Carlson, AMx PG (me) will bank 450K points.

FM good luck on your Churn–thanks for taking us along on your adventure–lessons to be learned.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Curious why they want to wait 24 hours. Perhaps they will do another pull of some sort?

Grant
Guest
Grant

@fm, no consistency with any of the reps on any of the recon calls. Hang up and call back?

Grant
Guest
Grant

after all the calls, will you have an update on all the closed cards and credit line moves to be approved for the cards? Like closed xyz card, moved $k to abc card?

stacey
Guest
stacey

Wow – I tried that exact dialogue before and the best they could offer was that they would notate my account on wanting to move credit from one card to another (and I eventually got approved)….but still I’m impressed you got them to approve on the spot since I’ve tried with at least 4 chase personal cards and can never get them to approve on the spot. They just say something like ‘it’s locked in our system and I can’t give an instant approval you’ll have to wait”. Nice work!

Greg Z
Guest
Greg Z

Wow FM, I can’t believe that Chase saw you applied for 6 cards today and still had no problem approving you!

That’s the first time I’ve heard the recon reps mention today’s apps.

Spgbus
Guest
Spgbus

Did you apply US Airways Biz in the order you list before? #4

FrequentMiler
Guest

Update: Club Carlson says that the system is fully automated and that I’ll receive a decision in a day or two, but that it currently “looks good”. I’m inclined to just wait it out.

Spgbus: I did the US Airways apps at the same time via two browsers. Yes, it was immediately after doing the two Club Carlson apps

Marc W
Guest
Marc W

I can’t get the UA 50k card app link to work. When i do it I only see the offer for 30k. How’d you get it to work?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Marc W: to get the 50K UA offer, carefully follow the instructions here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20316800-post1654.html

allen
Guest
allen

applied for Club Carlson personal/biz cards yesterday, both got approved. I did not apply for any cards since last March/April due to refinancing..
But i heard US Bank may shut you down if you spend big money at CVS.. any ideas?

Lively
Guest
Lively

I feel like I’m cheering someone who’s drinking 10 beers at one sitting! I would never do it….but go FM!

Chirag
Guest
Chirag

Even though I would never be able to do this, I am just so excited! Looking forward for the posts this month! 🙂

Mike
Guest
Mike

I know it’s a little late, but I think with the tough banks, it would be a good idea to apply for just those (so like 3-4 cards), call and get those approves, and THEN do the chase/citi apps since one are going to be easier. That way the first 4 don’t get the big red flag.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Mike: You’re absolutely right. That’s what I should have done! Lesson learned!
allen: I’m not sure

allen
Guest
allen

I also heard one can apply for citi AA biz card every 6 month? is it true? do i have to cancel the existing AA biz card before re-applying?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I am sure all other bloggers are here watching and reading these comments LOL…

john
Guest
john

Could you give the link to the United MileagePlus card (55K bonus after $1K spend? Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

john: to get the 50K UA offer, carefully follow the instructions here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20316800-post1654.html

JayBerns
Guest
JayBerns

How many credit pulls (per agency) are you expecting from today’s churn?

FrequentMiler
Guest

JayBerns: the number of pulls that stay on my record depends on how many get consolidated. Worst case: 11 (for 11 apps). Best case: 4 (4 banks). I expect somewhere in between
DaninSTL: Thanks. Its no big deal. Just 25K bonus on that one.
Steven: I already called Barclays again and asked to speak with a supervisor. Still no luck. Too many inquiries plus too little business with them in the past.

DaninSTL
Guest
DaninSTL

Sorry to hear about the Barclay US Biz card denial but I’m not surprised. I did a recent churn and got turned down for this card yet 3 cards I applied for a couple days later from other sources netted over 60k credit limits. Barclay and US Bank are tough. I’ve had bad luck with AMEX as well for some odd reason although my credit is good to excellent.

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

@Trajan81- I am thinking of Citi AA pers and Citi TYP 6k today as well. Were you successfully in getting both? Do you know if they will consolidate into 1 pull or if they will be 2 separate pulls?

Steven
Guest
Steven

@Stacey, I have had the same luck with Chase as well, they see that I open alot of cards and as long as they don’t give me additional credit they are ok with moving credit around. This past Churn I closed a card to open a new one. My annual fee was coming up soon.

@FM I went for the US Air card as my first app and first call already had existing and was able to talk them into getting another one to separate my expenses. I know people say to not call back but I would try again on Monday.

Steven
Guest
Steven

@Mike – where did you hear about US Bank and CVS purchases?

pas
Guest
pas

@FM,
What was the result of 2 personal Barclay cards? Did you get approved for NFL?

Trajan81
Guest
Trajan81

@greek2me They were the first 2 cards I applied for and was confirmed for both of them. As for the pulls, I’m not sure if it was consolidated.

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

FM,

what credit bureau it pulls the inquiry from for the carlson credit card.

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

@Trajan81- thanks; very interesting you were able to get both approved today, as been reports that just as of the last day or two Citi would only take one app per day.

DFW
Guest
DFW

Something doesn’t add up with Barclays denial. They pull TU 90% of the time and the other apps pull EX. How did they see you applied for other cards? None of the other look to do TU pulls? Did it happen during recon? One more reason to freeze CRs BEFORE recons. Plenty of evidence they backdoor another bureau.

Spgbus
Guest
Spgbus

@DFW It happened to me before… first got denied on Barclays personal with TU only. Called to reconsider days later and found out being pulled all 3 bureaus during reconsideration.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Barclays often pulls a second bureau if you call for recon. There is a report on FT today saying he had all 3 bureaus pulled for his Barclays US Air card (and that might have been for an instant approval). Recently Chase has started pulling 2 bureaus for some customers (including myself).

Steve
Guest
Steve

RE: Barclays – I got denied for a card. They took issue with the “number of new accounts”. Just because a bank doesn’t pull TU doesn’t mean they don’t report to TU later.
I only have 4 hard pulls in TU, but I have 16 accounts that started reporting to TU in the last 2 years. It’s the latter that Barclays’ used as the reason to deny my application.

J
Guest
J

FM- It bears repeating, as you could end up with more pulls than the number of applications when calling the pathetic barclays recon, as they often pull 3 more times with the call (one for each bureau, that’s how they know all the other apps for today). I do suspect some of your others (citi, chase..) will consolidate.

Thanks for detailing this challenge!

J
Guest
J

Whoops, Elizabeth wrote that above as I was typing. I guess the repeating bears repeating!!

Trajan81
Guest
Trajan81

@greek2me I was worried about what I had been reading as well in regards to 2 applications in 1 day leading to an issue but I figured what the heck and did it anyways….guess its one of those YMMV type deals.

DFW
Guest
DFW

@Steve

That is not what FM posted. We all know Barclays can deny or close accounts once they see too many new accounts. Here they denied FM for too many inquiries from *today*, meaning they pulled multiple Credit Bureau and not just TU which they normally do.

He may not have been instantly because of too many new accounts. That is a separate issue.

DFW
Guest
DFW

meant to say “instantly approved”

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

@Trajan81- I did both as well, 1 hour apart. Did TYP, got message to call in with an app ID, got TYP approved after closing one card not used in months, but CSR said my CLs now at max they give 1 person, with that CL moved to new TYP. While that was going on I did AA pers app, got same message as with TYP. I may close one of my other cards first before calling back in a day or so, or just call in to see if will approve after moving CL around.

Corridor!
Guest
Corridor!

How was chase able to see that you applied for six cards? I didn’t think they could see that till the next day.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Corridor!: Apparently they can see the inquiries immediately.

David
Guest
David

@Greek2me,

Did you get confirmation on TYP that it’s 5X for 1 year on those categories?

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

@David- sorry, I did not ask him, as often the credit person approving you does not know the bonus terms you applied under. But I have a screenshot of the 5x terms as clearly spelled out on the app website, so given others and my past experience I am not worried about not getting those terms.

David
Guest
David

@greek2me
Thanks for the info. I think will do wife’s AOR on Monday and include the TYP and Club Carlson card for sure

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

@greek2me – Don’t close a Citi card before calling back. When you close a Citi card, it takes a long time before that limit is available to new cards at Citi. Something in the 3-6 month range. You are much better off moving credit.

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

@Elizabeth- Thanks for the insight! I will give a rest over the weekend then call in without canceling to see if they will move credit around to get me the pending card.

ZekeNix
Guest
ZekeNix

Hey, I know it’s a piddling amount of points but you can get 1000 Club Carlson points by “liking” them on Facebook. I saw it this morning on The Points Guy’s blog. Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/clubcarlson/app_457009351020168

PaulX
Guest
PaulX

I applied for Club Carlson personal card two months ago and got it approved after asking for reconsideration. I could use some extra points for an upcoming trip. If I apply for a business card now, am I likely to get denied?

Corridor!
Guest
Corridor!

Interesting. Chase always pulls Transunion for me. On occasion, they would also pull Experian. I now freeze my Experian when applying for Chase cards and during the recon call. Once that is done, I unfreeze Experian and apply for the Citi and Amex Cards.

That being said, I was denied for the personal Club Carlson card. The reason in the letter is because of numerous recent applications using ssn. What is odd about that is they pulled Equifax for me. I had only one inquiry on my report and that was for a refi. As soon I applied for the card and got the pending message, I froze both Transunion and Experian. I was reading on Flyertalk, that I might need to freeze my ARS if I have to apply again in the future.

Do you have any experience freezing your ARS?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Corridor!: I live in Michigan, so yes of course I have experience freezing my ARS. I freeze my ARS every time I go outside

Chimmy
Guest
Chimmy

Good luck!

FrequentMiler
Guest

ZekeNix: thanks
PaulX: I don’t know
Chimmy: thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Update: The Club Carlson personal card was approved yesterday (received email) and the Citi TY Preferred was approved today (after phone call). Automated system says that Club Carlson business card is approved, but I’m not going to count that for certain until I hear from a person tomorrow (I’m concerned that the automated system may be reporting the results of my personal app).

mileswhore
Guest
mileswhore

Can anyone get the 50k personal Chase Explorer card link to work with the biz Explorer card? I was able to replicate the 50k personal offer, but not the biz.

Mile Bucket
Guest

My churn day is still a few weeks out. I am going to go for the SPG business, Citi AA Business, Citi MC x 2 (husband and I) and I am not sure what else quite yet. I would like to get another for him and leave 3 for me, but we will see.

greek2me
Guest
greek2me

@FM- love it; freeze my ARS 🙂

robertw
Guest
robertw

Very surprising on the US bank card. They usually are not thrilled with alot of inqs. I like the Flekperks cards myself. I will consider these on the next round

Corridor!
Guest
Corridor!

=) I am from Illinois so I too freeze my ARS off when I go outside. I shouldn’t have left it that easy for you.

David
Guest
David

@FM,

Did you confirm 5X on TYP card after approval either via phone or secured message?

Steven
Guest
Steven

Is the Amex Gold card a charge card?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Corridor: Sorry, I couldn’t help myself :). No, I’ve never frozen anything purposely
David: Yes I confirmed 5X TYP on the phone. The agent didn’t know the specific categories but said she did see the extra 4X points for certain purchases.
Steven: I can’t remember. I think it is a charge card, but I’m not sure. Anyone?