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Buenos diás everyone. I’m not usually one for credit card App-O-Ramas, typically preferring to apply for credit cards one at a time when they have high bonuses, but at the end of January, I decided to throw caution to the wind and apply for five new credit cards in one day, from three banks: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Bank of America, and Chase.
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
I finally decided to jump on the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico 60,000 Avianca LifeMiles offer that Grant wrote about in December. Like Grant, I also got instantly approved with a large credit line.
I paid my annual fee in February and made purchases on the card in March and April, but my LifeMiles balance is still zero. I emailed customer service to ask about it but got an automatic reply to call for assistance – when I did so, the representative (who I could barely hear) just said it takes 6-8 weeks for miles to post and that I should keep an eye on my balance at lifemiles.com. I’ll also email LifeMiles customer support and see if they can check whether I might have a duplicate LifeMiles account.
Bank of America
This was the big one – since Bank of America combines credit inquiries and is known to approve multiple applications at once, I decided to apply for three cards: Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard, Merrill+ Rewards Visa Signature, and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature. I already had three Bank of America cards open at the time (Alaska Airlines, Spirit, and a Travel Rewards card that used to be a Virgin Atlantic card).
None of the cards were instantly approved, but a few days later, I checked online and the Merrill+ and Alaska Airlines credit cards were both approved. The Amtrak card approval came through a few days later. Bank of America gave me a $12,000 credit limit on the Alaska Airlines credit card, $5,000 on the Merrill+ credit card, and $1,600 on the Amtrak credit card. They also closed my Travel Rewards credit card without asking, but I wasn’t heartbroken – I hadn’t touched that credit card in ages.
Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard
I signed up for the Amtrak credit card with a targeted 30,000 point bonus after spending $1,000 (I may have received the offer since I used to have an Amtrak credit card from Chase). 30,000 Amtrak points is worth over $900 in train tickets when you factor in the 5% points rebate for holding the credit card – I’m sure I can find a use for that!
The card also comes with a free companion voucher valid for any paid Amtrak ticket and a complimentary one-class upgrade valid on most regional trains. Those certificates posted to my account about a week after I was approved for the card. Since I finished my spend in March, the 30,000 bonus points posted with my April statement. I also got bonus points for the card’s 2x travel category.
Merrill+ Visa Signature
I signed up for the Merrill+ credit card with a 50,000 point signup bonus (worth $500-$1,000 depending on how you redeem the points) after spending $3,000. I think the points showed up within a couple of days of meeting the spending requirement. Now I just have to find some $500 flights to maximize the value of the points – or some flights I want to book with Alaska or JetBlue. (I’m kicking myself because I just booked a ticket for $520 on American that would have been nearly perfect for this.)
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
I signed up for the Alaska Airlines credit card with a bonus offer of 30,000 miles and a $100 statement credit for spending $1,000 within 90 days. The $100 statement credit posted to my account two days after I hit $1,000 in spend:
And the miles posted when that statement closed, exactly two months after I was approved for the card:
I applied for the Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite card which comes with 3 free nights, a $300 travel credit, Priority Pass (including free authorized users), and a $100 discount when you book a ticket for 2 passengers on a domestic flight (Use Visa Infinite Credit Card to get $100 off Roundtrip Domestic Flights). I already had six personal cards and two business cards with Chase, so I wasn’t surprised when the application wasn’t immediately approved – or when it was denied a few days later.
After receiving this letter, I called the Chase reconsideration line and asked them if they could move credit from or close an existing Chase credit card in order to approve the Ritz Carlton credit card. They asked why there were so many recent inquiries on my credit report and ultimately refused to open the card. I got a second letter from them a few days later:
Looks like I need to cool my jets with Chase for a while.
Do you have any of these credit cards? Any recommendations for what I should do with them, or questions about this round of applications? Let me know in the comments.