I applied for some credit cards this month and wanted to share my results.  I began sharing credit card application results last year and will continue to do so each round. This application round was unplanned so it is smaller than usual for me.

Following are the cards I applied for and my results.

1)  Chase Freedom Unlimited

Sign Up Bonus: 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $500 in 3 months plus 2,500 for adding an authorized user.  No annual fee.

Results:  Approved instantly after clicking on a selected for you offer on chase.com.

Strategy: Although I have been interested in the Chase Freedom Unlimited since it was introduced, I had no immediate plans to apply because I am way over 5/24.  However, a few weeks ago an offer appeared in my chase.com account that looked like a preapproval so I applied and was immediately approved.  These offers are a new way to bypass the Chase 5/24 rule if they appear in your chase.com account. (See related post: Log Into Your Chase Online Account, You Might Be Preapproved for Chase Cards Even If You Are Over 5/24 for more information.)

2) Alaska Airlines Visa Signature 

Results:  Pending then denied. Reason stated was that it was a duplicate application because I already have that card.

Strategy:   The Alaska Airlines Visa Signaturecard is churnable and I have been applying for a new personal Alaska card every 3-4 months since last spring and cancelling them before the annual fee is due. Since I applied for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, I decided to also apply for another Alaska card to see if I would be approved. I think because I was not automatically approved when my application was being reviewed they denied it since I did not wait 3 months since my last Alaska card to apply.  I don’t want to call attention to myself by calling the reconsideration line so I will just reapply again after the 3 month mark from my last card.

3) Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

Sign Up Bonus:  50,000 Hawaiian miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months.  $89 annual fee. (Tip: The official sign up bonus is 35,000 but you can find the 50,000 bonus by pretending to book a flight on hawaiianairlines.com right before you enter your credit card information.

Results:  Instantly approved.

Strategy:  The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard has not been on my radar mostly because I live in the Midwest and had no plans to visit Hawaii in the next few years. However, I was invited to a destination wedding in Hawaii so I have been researching what miles to use to get there.  I was originally going to use Delta miles round trip but I recently decided to consider Hawaiian.  Hawaiian is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards and SPG but then I read about this card and thought why use my Membership Rewards (which I can transfer to other airlines) when I can just earn 50,000 miles from one credit card sign up bonus.  I have not applied for a Barclays credit card in a long time (since the US Airways card) so I thought it would be fairly easy for me to be approved.

The wedding is in February and I am not sure if there will still be award availability when my miles post – I have not received my card yet so I am not sure when my statement closes and how soon I can receive the miles. Worse case scenario if I can’t find a good use on Hawaiian or a partner airline is that I convert my Hawaiian miles to Hilton HHonors points.

4) AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard

Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months.  Annual fee waived the first year.

Results:  I was approved automatically after cancelling an existing AA card whose annual fee was due.

Strategy: I was not planning on applying for another AA card because I was ineligible to earn a sign up bonus due to the 24 month language Citi cards usually have. Citi cards normally state “American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months”.  When an application link surfaced online without the 24 language I quickly applied for a card.

Final Tally

I will earn 117,500 miles/points for an annual fee of $89.  My minimum spending requirements are small so I won’t need to do too much manufactured spending (mostly Plastiq).

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