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Reader Josh writes in to ask:
Just curious about an application process. I tried the two browser trick for the Alaska Airlines credit card, but as soon as I opened another it kicked me out of the other application.So I completed one application and then immediately sent in another. I was approved for the first and then was pending on the other. I received a letter yesterday saying it was a duplicate and I would be denied the second card.Have you heard of this before and any tips for what I did wrong for future reference? Do I need to do one application in Google Chrome and one in Internet Explorer or something?
The infamous “two browser trick”
The two browser trick came into frequent flyer parlance around 2011, regarding Citibank. You could often get two of the Citi Hilton and Citi American Airlines credit cards on the same day, with just one credit pull. You opened up 2 different browser windows, opened up the application pages, and submitted them as close as possible to simultaneously.
It appears that this iteration of the two browser trick stopped working in early 2013.
Two browser trick back with Bank of America
But now…. the two browser trick is back! There are several reports of this working with several different Bank of America credit cards.
- PointsCentric got 2 Bank of America Alaska Airlines cards
- Not to be outdone, Daraius from Million Mile Secrets got FIVE(!) Alaska Airlines cards on the same day.
- Frequent Miler got 4 Virgin Atlantic cards at once. (as part of his insane plan to try and get 1.2 million Virgin Atlantic miles to spend a week on Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island)
Personally, when I did my last credit card churn, I only applied for one Alaska Airlines card (one for me, and one for my wife). So I have not personally used the two browser trick (but maybe next time). I get the feeling that this is one of those things that is not going to last very long. With people getting 4 and 5 at once, I’d imagine this loophole is going to get closed shortly. Oftentimes, only 1 is approved automatically and you’ll have to call in to get the others approved.
Sometimes the other applications get automatically closed as “duplicates”. I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?!?!? WHY WOULDN’T I WANT TO APPLY FOR 5 OF THE EXACT SAME CREDIT CARD ON THE SAME DAY?!!?
The Flyertalk thread has some good experiences from people who have used the two browser trick (or three browser trick or four browser trick or five browser trick or more!)
So, what happened to Josh?
Going back to the original reader question, my suspicion is that you DO need to either use separate browsers, or at the very least incognito or private sessions.
It was not clear if he called in to try and get the others approved, but it sounded like perhaps not. So in that case, the system probably will flag it as a duplicate. You still may be able to call in even after you get a “duplicate” letter, but it makes it easier to call right away. I know I say that most times you should just wait and not call reconsideration, but this is probably one time you should!