What’s on my Mind: Tucson, Orange County, San Diego and my March App-O-Rama Results

Good morning everyone, happy Friday Thursday!  I’ve had a pretty busy week this week: Monday I was watching NCAA March Madness Final (bummer the Zags lost); Tuesday I went to see Bassem Youssef (the Egyptian Jon Stewart) speak at UC Berkeley; Wednesday I got $202 loge/mezzanine tickets to see Hamilton in SF; and tonight I am flying to Tucson for a wedding this weekend.  Even though I haven’t had much time to write this week, I have a few blog posts brewing in my mind.  Before I get to what’s on my mind, I wanted to share some travel plans for the rest of April.

  • Tucson, AZ (Friday-Sunday April  7-9) for a wedding.  Anyone have any recommendations for restaurants, bars, hikes, or other activities that are close to Tucson?
  • Orange County, CA (Friday-Sunday April 14-16) for Easter weekend.  I will do an OC miles and points meetup on Saturday afternoon, stay tuned for more details.
  • San Diego, CA (Saturday-Sunday April 29-30) for fun.  I am seeing my friend/writer Shelli and organizing a SD miles and points meetup on Saturday or Sunday, stay tuned for more details.

A few weeks ago, I wrote Which 10 Credit Cards am I Considering for my March App-O-Rama?  In that post, I shared the credit cards I was considering and you guys gave me some good feedback.  I don’t have all the credit cards in the mail, but I have a good idea of which credit cards were approved and which ones were denied.

I started my App-O-Rama by calling Wells Fargo and applied for the Wells Fargo Propel World AMEX Credit Card (40,000 points after spending $3,000 in 90 days).  I was instantly approved on the phone.

I then applied for the American Express SPG Business Credit Card (25,000 SPG points after spending $5,000 in 90 days and an additional 10,000 SPG points after spending $3,000 in 120 days) using my Travel with Grant EIN and was instantly approved.

After that, I called Bank of American and applied for the Bank of America MERRILL+ Credit Card (50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 90 days).  I thought I was approved for that credit card, so I then applied for a few more Bank of America credit cards.  Alaska Airlines personal (30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in 90 days) instantly approved.  Alaska Airlines business (30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in 90 days) instantly approved.  Better Balance Rewards (no real sign up bonus, but $25 bonus per quarter) instantly approved.  I was 3 for 3, so I wanted to keep going, so I applied for another Better Balance Rewards and was denied.  A few days later, the Bank of America credit cards started to arrive, along with the approval letters, and a denial letter for the MERRILL+ credit card, what?? I don’t want to call Bank of America to overturn the denial for fear that they will close the 3 other Bank of America credit cards I was approved for.

I then applied for the TD Bank Aeroplan Credit Card (25,000 miles after spending $1,000 in 90 days).  The website was not working properly, so I applied 2-3 times before the application was successfully submitted.  I called the reconsideration department and was approved for the credit card.  I asked if they could expedite the new credit card and they sent it via FedEx Next Day Air.

I then applied for the US Bank FlexPerks Gold AMEX Credit Card (30,000 FlexPoints after spending $2,000 in 120 days) and got a pending decision.  A few days ago, I received the denial letter and called the reconsideration department to see if there was anything I could do to get approved for that credit card.  The rep said I had too many open credit cards and unused credit lines, so she transferred me to the credit card customer service department and I closed my US Bank Korean Air Visa Signature Credit Card that I opened last year for 40,000 miles.  I then called back to the reconsideration department and the rep resubmitted my application for review.  I am cautiously optimistic about the approval.

I then applied for the Barclays Arrival Plus Credit Card (50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 90 days).  I got a pending decision and waited for a letter in the mail.  A few days ago, I got a call from the reconsideration department and they asked if I would be willing to move credit from existing Barclays credit cards and I said yes.  The credit card was approved over the phone.  I asked if I could have the credit card expedited to me, but she said that was only possible if I paid the $15 shipping fee.  No way!

Last but not least, I applied for the Banco Popular Avianca Vuela Credit Card (60,000 Avianca LifeMiles on your first purchase with code AVSPWE).  I already have this credit card and got the 60,000 miles so I was trying to see if it were possible to get the same credit card (and sign up bonus again) but I got a denial letter in the mail.  I haven’t tried calling to get the credit card approved, but I think that is a long shot.  Has anyone gotten 2 of these credit cards?

It’s going to be a busy time for me to juggle these credit card sign up bonuses, targeted spending offers (10,000 JetBlue TrueBlue Points) and spending $10,000 on my 2 Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Credit Cards for the 2 free weekend nights.  My annual fees posted recently, so I am expecting the 2 free weekend nights to post to my account so I can use them at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica in September.  I also have a post on using my AMEX Business Platinum Charge Card to book my Icelandair tickets going through the AMEX Travel website.  I also booked an award ticket from San Francisco to La Paz, Bolivia using 45,000 Avianca LifeMiles for business class.  I have a post on that coming out soon.  So much to write but so little free time.  If you have any questions about anything written above, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day and weekend everyone!

30 thoughts on “What’s on my Mind: Tucson, Orange County, San Diego and my March App-O-Rama Results

  1. Ron

    Nice. I haven’t gotten up the nerve to do multiple cards at once yet. Though I’m starting to think it may be time.

    1. Grant Post author

      Don’t get more cards than you can handle (financially, meeting minimum spends, using rewards, etc.). Start slow and slowly ramp up the number of credit cards you get. I’m way over 5/24 with Chase so no more Chase cards for me in the near future.

    1. Grant Post author

      Dang, I didn’t even know that credit card existed. I tried to find the annual fee on the card but didn’t see it online. Looks like you can only apply for that credit card over the phone. Do you have this CC?

  2. Val

    Tuscon has this really cute and authentic little polish restuarant called Polish Cottage that I can recommend.

  3. John

    I’m trying to book an award travel from on Avianca from La Paz to SFO, but business class flight is 55k lifemiles. How did you find it for 45k lifemiles?

    1. Grant Post author

      Avianca has different tiers of award prices for economy and business class seats (low, medium and high). I must have found a low award price while you are looking at a medium award price.

  4. Rufus

    Exactly what happened to me. I called to try to get the Merrill + approve and they turn around and cancel my Alaska, and cash reward a couple days later. Actually, I had already put some spending on the Cash reward, and they still canceled it. WTF

  5. chrisflyer

    I’ll be home in San Diego the week of Apr 29-30! Reach out to me offline if you want help organizing the meetup.

  6. chrisflyer

    Do you know if it is still possible to get 2 Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Credit Cards? I’ve had one for a few years, and I’d like to get a second one(without canceling the first one) to get more free nights.

  7. harry

    My latest app-o-rama, from 3 weeks ago:
    1.SPG personal card 35K (already have biz) – Went pending, called next day and got approval
    2.Alaska biz 30K (already have personal) – Went pending, called next day and got approval
    3.$49 fee Comerica Virgin America (good for a few more Alaska miles, card will go away) – Approved INSTANTLY online
    4.MLife mastercard (no fee) – Went pending, waited 3 days, approved after verifying some identity questions

    FOUR FOR FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Frank

        You get automatic Pearl status with MLife, which isn’t much but it does include buffet passes. This could save a few bucks. It also gives you 10,000 points bonus (one time) after 1K spend. This can be used for free play and is basically a free $100 in slots.

        I’m still investigating as to how to get tier upgrade status. I’m not sure if spend will help trigger, and if so, what type of spend.

        If you get to 2nd highest tier, they give you a free cruze. For zero fee, i just had to try to get this card. it is a lesser-known bank so I think it requires excellent credit in order to get this card. I will never get rid of it as long as the fee remains $0.

  8. Pingback: Successful Credit Card Reconsideration Calls: Barclays Arrival Plus & US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express

  9. Pingback: My March App-O-Rama Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses Post

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