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So, back in the day, the common wisdom was that you wanted to do all your credit card signups on the same day.  Supposedly, all the “hits” to your credit report took a whole day to post, so each application that you made only saw your credit inquiries (and not the other ones from the same day).  Thus was born the “App-o-Rama” or credit card “churn”.

As we understand more about how credit applications work, and as technology has improved, I question whether that strategy really provides any benefits.  Plus as I become more and more of a “veteran”, I already HAVE a lot of the cards that I actually want, so there aren’t that many new ones to get 🙂

July’s new card application – Chase IHG

ihgI decided to apply for the Chase IHG card.  There is a public offer that gives 60,000 IHG points after meeting $1,000 in spending in the first 3 months, but there’s a better way!

There’s a thread on Flyertalk that gives a link to an offer for 80,000 IHG points.  And clearly, 80,000 is more than 60,000! 🙂

The application page makes no mention of the signup bonus, but multiple people in the thread have confirmed getting the increased bonus.  I haven’t gotten my card or bonus yet, but I can confirm that the phone rep I talked to mentioned the 80K bonus.

Online application

Following the link in the Flyertalk thread, I filled out the online application, only to get the dreaded “Pending” page… They gave toll-free and reference numbers.  I wrote those down since I couldn’t call right then.

Reconsideration phone call

phoneiconIt wasn’t quite what I would typically call “reconsideration” – since I hadn’t really been denied.  They were mostly looking for more information.

I gave my reference number, and the customer service rep asked me a few questions.  Mostly just verification – where did I live, where did I live before that, what was my gross household annual income, etc.

She then mentioned that I have 4 accounts open with Chase, and couldn’t authorize any additional credit.  I don’t even want to write down in this post what my actual credit total is across my Chase cards because it’s such a ludicrous number.  Anyways, she offered to move some credit from my Southwest or Chase Freedom onto this new card, and we figured out a reasonable move.

Onto another department

As she processed the application, apparently it was “flagged” to go onto what I believe was the “Fraud Verification” department.  Before she transferred me, she mentioned that I had 8 recent credit inquiries and asked what they were about.

I gave 2 answers

  • Friends of mine had some credit cards and recommended them to me
  • I recently opened a Chase Freedom because I wanted to transfer my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to the new Freedom as it had no annual fee

I probably didn’t say them nearly as coherently as that as I was somewhat flustered by the question – I shall try to be better prepared next time.

Anyway, the fraud folks asked me a few questions concerning my Chase Southwest card.  First was the credit limit, which luckily I knew since I had just talked about it with the previous rep!  Then, she asked me what the due date was on the card.  That threw me, so I had to walk back to my computer and log in to check.

Bottom Line

That’s it!  I was approved and my card should arrive within the next 7-10 days.  As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I did ask what the terms of the signup bonus was, and confirmed that it offered 80,000 IHG points upon spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

I’ve had this card on my list of ones to get for awhile, but accelerated the process because we have an upcoming trip where we will likely stay at an IHG hotel.  I won’t get the 80,000 points in time for this trip, but I did pick up 15,000 points as part of the recent Daily Deal.  Some other benefits

  • PointBreaks!  Periodically IHG releases a list of hotels all around the world that you can reserve for only 5,000 points a night.  The current list goes through the end of July, so I’m hoping they release a new list in the next few weeks.
  • One Free night each year, with no category restrictions!  How about the Intercontinental Bora Bora (picture below).  You don’t get one the first year I believe, but you do on each anniversary, which I think is worth paying the $49 annual fee.
  • 10% rebate on Point redemptions.  So as you use those 80,000 points, you’ll actually get 8,000 points back.
  • Platinum Elite status, which from what I hear is not worth much, but it’s better than a kick in the face!

Unlike Hilton or Hyatt, you can use your free night even at places like the Intercontinental Bora Bora


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