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It has been a while since I’ve done a round of credit card applications, though that changed yesterday when I applied for four credit cards. I applied for the following cards in the following order:
Current offer: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95
Why I applied:
I currently have the Ink Bold® Business Charge Card and have had the Chase Ink Plus in the past, though Chase recently rebranded both the Ink Plus and Ink Bold as Visas rather than MasterCards. Visa cards offer different perks and benefits than MasterCards, so these are effectively both new products.
I find the Ink Cards to be the best business credit cards out there given that they offer 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services; 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and on hotels. It’s worth noting that the Ink Plus is a credit card, while the Ink Bold is a charge card, though otherwise the cards offer the same benefits.
After submitting my application I received a “decision pending” message, so I called up Chase and after answering a few questions was approved on the spot.
Current offer: 20,000 points after spending $500 within three months
Annual fee: none
Why I applied:
This is a card I’ve always wanted though never got around to signing up for. Chase has many of the best credit card sign-up offers, so I never really prioritized the Freedom card.
However, they finally doubled the sign-up bonus to 20,000 points, so between that and the ability to earn 5x points in rotating categories, I figured it was time to finally pick up the card. By not having the card I wasn’t just missing out on the sign-up bonus (which admittedly isn’t huge), but more importantly missing out on 24,000 bonus points per year in the rotating quarterly categories.
Besides, since it’s a no annual fee card it’s great to keep long term, as the age of your accounts is one of the things factored into your overall credit score.
I again received a “decision pending” after submitting my application, and when I called up Chase they switched a small portion of my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit line to the Chase Freedom, and approved me instantly.
Current offer: 30,000 Mileage Plan miles upon account activation
Annual fee: $75
Why I applied:
While not a mega sign-up bonus by any stretch of the imagination, the Alaska Visa offers 30,000 miles upon account activation, and in my experience the miles post before you even receive the card. While the annual fee is $75 and isn’t waived the first year, I find the card really useful long term since you also get a $118 companion certificate.
As I live in Seattle and am an elite member with Alaska I fly them a ton already, and since the companion ticket is treated like any other revenue ticket in terms of upgrades and being able to earn miles, I value it immensely.
I was instantly approved online. This is actually my second “active” personal card, and I also have the business card. There doesn’t seem to be a need to cancel the previous card before applying for a new one.
Current offer: 35,000 Dividend Miles after the first purchase
Annual fee: $85, waived the first year
Why I applied:
It’s tough to beat 35,000 US Airways miles after the first purchase, and this is very much a “use it or lose it” offer, since the card will be going away after the merger.
When I applied I received an error message saying “due to technical issues” my application didn’t go through, which seems to be the norm when using this link. However, after calling they confirmed that the application was in fact received and approved instantly, and I also received an email a few minutes later confirming I had been approved
Overall, this round of applications wasn’t about the sign-up bonuses alone, but about planning for everyday spend and maximizing the available opportunities. Of the four cards the Ink Plus is the only product with a really impressive sign-up offer, but these are all cards I plan on keeping long-term, and each offer a specific value.