Don’t Disrupt your App-O-Rama Schedule by Applying for the Chase Ink Plus Credit Card #Rant
Honestly, you could replace “Chase Ink Plus” with any other credit card and the argument would still be valid. Every few weeks, a large credit card sign up bonus comes out and the entire blogosphere goes crazy! Let me refresh your memory:
- Chase United MileagePlus – 50,000 United Airlines miles
- American Express SPG – 30,000 SPG Points
- Chase Ink Bold/Plus – 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points
- Chase Freedom – 20,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points
- Citi American Airlines Executive – 100,000 American Airlines miles
- And so on and so on…
So what’s my point? Most of the credit cards above have increased sign up bonuses for several weeks, if not months. I was approved for every card on the above list, even though I did not apply as soon as the increased sign up bonus came out. Let me say this again, just because a credit card has recently raised the sign up bonus, doesn’t mean you should go and apply for the card as soon as possible.
Let me explain…
I look at credit card sign up bonuses and the miles and points game as a long-term strategy. Applying for every new sign up bonus is great in the short-term (lots of miles and “free” trips), but may negatively affect your long-term chances for success (such as getting denied new credit cards for having too many recent credit inquiries, having too many new accounts open, not having a long enough credit history, etc.)
I’m not going to lie, I am a big fan of app-o-ramas, whereby I apply for several credits cards from several banks on the same day (I don’t recommend this strategy for everyone, especially beginners). I space out my app-o-ramas every 3 months and try to time the applications so that I apply for new credit cards around the same time that old credit card annual fees are about to post. That way, I can avoid paying annual fees on credit cards I no longer need/use and get approved for new cards that I want*.
*Most credit cards I apply for do have large sign up bonuses or rewarding shopping categories.
With that said, here is my personal app-o-rama strategy:
- First, I figure out what my next app-o-rama date is (usually I just add 3 months to the date of my last app-o-rama).
- Then I determine which credit cards I would apply for if my app-o-rama was tomorrow.
- I then write down the name of the credit card, the sign up bonus, and the minimum spend requirements for each credit card on my app-o-rama list.
- Throughout the weeks/months leading up to my app-o-rama date, I evaluate new credit cards or increased sign up bonuses that come out.
- I check to see if the new credit card application end date falls after my app-o-rama date.
- Then I determine if the new credit card is worth adding or replacing a card on my app-o-rama list.
- Lastly, I wait until my app-o-rama date to apply for new credit card. I recommend applying early in the morning on a weekday, preferably Monday, and then I do any necessary reconsideration calls immediately after I apply (the sooner I call, the less time they have to deny my application).
To repeat one last time: do not break your app-o-rama schedule to apply for a credit card with an increased sign up bonus. Most offers are around for at least a few weeks, if not months, and some offers return shortly after their sign up bonus disappears. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.