I recently applied for some credit cards and wanted to share my results.  I began sharing credit card application results a few months ago (see My Latest Credit Card Applications: Strategy and Results: Spring 2015) and will continue to do so each round.

I applied for the first two cards on the same day.  Both were planned for this application round.  The last two cards were not planned but I jumped on them when the sign up bonus was higher than usual.  Initially, I considered applying for a third card the same day as the first two but decided to hold off.  I prefer not to do huge app-o-ramas to be able to apply when there are higher than usual sign up bonuses.

Shortly after I applied for the first two planned cards, several credit cards started offering very high sign up bonuses.  So, I applied for the third card and a few days later I applied for the fourth card.  (I passed on the 100,000 sign up bonus for the Amex Platinum card as I signed up for the Ameriprise version a few months ago and I passed on the 75,000 Amex Business Rewards Gold but hopefully those will come around again in the next few months.)

Following are the cards I recently applied for and my results.  There are no affiliate links in this post.

1) Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card

Sign Up Bonus:  25,000 miles at sign up, $75 annual fee, $100 statement credit after spending $1000 in first three months.

Results:  Approved immediately.

Strategy:  I applied for my first Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card last round and waited 3 months to apply for a second one.   I plan to keep churning this credit card to build up my Alaska Airlines miles balance and use miles for various partner awards.  The great thing about this card is that I will earn a $25 dollar profit and the amount of spending required for the statement credit ($1000) is relatively low.

Since this card is churnable, I plan to apply for one at a time in future application rounds. I will probably cancel the first card or lower its credit line before applying for a third or fourth one to make sure I don’t run into any kind of limit (number of cards or credit line).

2) Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

Sign Up Bonus: 30,000 miles after spending $5,000 in 3 months.  Annual fee waived the first year.

Results:  Approved immediately.

Strategy: I applied for the business version of the SPG card while the sign up bonus was increased to 30,000 (it is now back down to 25,000 but is usually increased every summer) as I wanted to add to my Starpoints balance.  I like Starpoints because they can be used for free stays at SPG properties but I’m also open to transferring them to one of the many SPG airline transfer partners if needed for an award flight redemption.  I no longer have a personal SPG card.  I had one a few years ago but cancelled it after the first year (I was planning to churn it before Amex changed its policy on personal cards to one sign up bonus per lifetime).

Unlike Amex personal cards, Amex business cards can be churned every 12 months so I will probably cancel this card and reapply in the future.

3) Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 point bonus (bonus is usually 50,000) after $3,500 in spending during the first 3 months. Annual fee waived the first year.

Results:  Received message to call in for more information.  I called in and was approved with no questions.  Citi initially gave me only a $2,000 credit limit but the representative asked if I wanted to move some credit from one of my other accounts, which I did.

Strategy: I’ve had my eye on the Citi Thank You Premier for a while as I love the category bonuses (3x on travel) and wanted to start accumulating Thank You points. I considered applying for the Citi Thank You Premier on the same day as the prior two cards but chose to wait.  A few days after I applied for the first two cards, the sign up bonus for the Citi Thank You Premier went up from 50,000 to 60,000.  It was the first time I’d seen the sign up bonus at 60,000 so it was too tempting to resist.

4) Amex EveryDay Credit Card

Sign Up Bonus: 25,000 miles after spending $2,000 in 3 months.  No annual fee.

Results:  Approved immediately.

Strategy:  This was another unplanned application for me.  The Amex EveryDay Credit Card has been on my “credit cards to get eventually” list but I was not planning on applying for at least a few more months.  I was going to wait until a month or two before the annual fee came due on my Amex Premier Rewards and Amex Platinum cards so I don’t lose my Membership Rewards points in case I canceled those two cards.  When the sign up bonus increased to 25,000 from 10,000 I could not pass it up.  I decided not to wait as I did not know if the higher bonus would still be around in a few months.

Final Tally

All in all, this was a successful application round for me.   I will earn 140,000 points/miles with no annual fees the first year.  Actually, I will earn a $25 profit ($25 statement credit from my Alaska card).  Unless I receive a retention offer, I will probably cancel the first three cards before the second year fee kicks in (I am hoping Citi will give me a good retention offer on the Premier though).  I need to spend $11,500 in three months to meet my minimum requirements and will accomplish this primarily with manufactured spending (Bluebird and Redbird).

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