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Old 12-05-2012, 08:24 PM   #21
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Sorry, a bit off topic: I've had an AMEX Blue Cash card (straight with AMEX, no affinity links), and I'm thinking of getting a Fidelity AMEX card (2% back is better than I'm getting now). I'm wondering if there's a way the new card could be seen as a continuation of the old card's record for credit reporting purposes. The old AMEX card has been our main card for about 7 years with lots of charges to it, I'm thinking my credit score might take at least a small hit if I abandon it in favor of its cousin. Any opinions/experiences?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:46 PM   #22
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Sorry, a bit off topic: I've had an AMEX Blue Cash card (straight with AMEX, no affinity links), and I'm thinking of getting a Fidelity AMEX card (2% back is better than I'm getting now). I'm wondering if there's a way the new card could be seen as a continuation of the old card's record for credit reporting purposes. The old AMEX card has been our main card for about 7 years with lots of charges to it, I'm thinking my credit score might take at least a small hit if I abandon it in favor of its cousin. Any opinions/experiences?
Why not keep it? You could put a little on it each month to keep it alive. My Amex Blue Cash is my emergency card, which I had to use while traveling this year when my main card's details were stolen.

I have my Netflix charge of $8.95 auto-charged to it each month.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:36 PM   #23
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As for Citi, they seem to be the most relaxed about card churning for me personally. American Express you have to wait a full 366 days to churn and Chase seems to be about the same however since Chase has the vast majority of travel cards to pick and choose from I don't find this a huge problem. I normally keep 4 Chase cards going at all times.

Citi: I have had 6 City AA cards in a little over 2 years. I just canceled last week (had the cards a bit over 180 days) and applied and was approved for new cards this week so they are still allowing some churning in my personal experience.

Speaking of the 75K deal last year, my dad somehow managed to hit the jackpot with it. He thought the app wasn't going thru and applied several times for each card. They approved 2 times for both personal Visa and Amex and 1 business card. They actually honored it and he got 375K from that. He doesn't travel much so has been gifting most of the miles to family and even some to charity.

As for customer service, the absolute best, quickest and most helpful in my opinion goes to AMEX. Having said that, I have had no issues with any of the cards to be honest so really have no complaints though with any of them.

My FICO has been between 760-770 over the past few years, yes, you take a couple points hit each time you do a hard pull but it falls off in 3-6 months. I try not to do more than 3-4 hard pulls in a 6 month period and always do what the flyertalkers call an app-o-rama so they tend to combine hard pulls to cause less of a hit on your score. *** I do keep a couple of old cards open that I have had for 20 plus years. Closing them would cause me to take a really big hit to my score. They are fee free however, I just have to remember to charge something on them occasionally so they don't shut them down on me.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:58 AM   #24
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Why not keep it? You could put a little on it each month to keep it alive. My Amex Blue Cash is my emergency card, which I had to use while traveling this year when my main card's details were stolen.

I have my Netflix charge of $8.95 auto-charged to it each month.
We always keep a backup credit card or two on hand for exactly Alan's emergency.

And then we have a card "sequestered" - i.e. used for some recurring monthly charges but not otherwise carried with us in public so only a few vendors have the number. This way if one of our regular card numbers gets stolen/compromised we don't have to scramble to fix the monthly payments.

Both DH and I just signed up for the Amazon rewards card (Chase) that we plan to use only at Amazon and not carry with us. I hope it doesn't cause us problems. We buy a lot from Amazon.

We carry the Fidelity 2% Amex for most of our charges, it's easy to transfer the rewards. We carry the Costco Amex for gas (3%).
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:13 AM   #25
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We always keep a backup credit card or two on hand for exactly Alan's emergency.

And then we have a card "sequestered" - i.e. used for some recurring monthly charges but not otherwise carried with us in public so only a few vendors have the number. This way if one of our regular card numbers gets stolen/compromised we don't have to scramble to fix the monthly payments.
Nice terminology

We also have a card "sequestered" that has all our monthly charges going to it, with the exception of the small monthly charge that keeps the backup card active.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:18 AM   #26
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Sarah in SC is absolutely correct. Other than the sign up bonuses, these cards aren't worth much. For everyday cards, they are mediocre.
I disagree, the chase ink ("premium") cards are great for everyday spend (via a prepaid "gift card" purchased at a fine seller of office supplies). I avg 1000 pts/day with no sign up bonuses. Looking to crank that up as well.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #27
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Sorry, a bit off topic: I've had an AMEX Blue Cash card (straight with AMEX, no affinity links), and I'm thinking of getting a Fidelity AMEX card (2% back is better than I'm getting now). I'm wondering if there's a way the new card could be seen as a continuation of the old card's record for credit reporting purposes. The old AMEX card has been our main card for about 7 years with lots of charges to it, I'm thinking my credit score might take at least a small hit if I abandon it in favor of its cousin. Any opinions/experiences?
We recently added the AMEX Hilton Reward card. AMEX had our card to us in less than a week. They also sent a nice letter advising, they had split our previous credit line (Costco AMEX) between the new card and existing card. If I wanted to change the split, just give them a call BUT NO additional credit would be approved ;-). Not really an issue for us but don't be surprised if you see the same parsing. Chase did the same when I added BA card a couple of years. They could care less how I wanted to split the credit and when I closed the old card (had a small annual fee), they had no problem moving the credit line to the remaining card.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #28
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Folks - Don't waste a chase app for 3% from Amazon. Use the chase apps to get big sign on bonuses.

Instead, find some old, unused citibank card, call them up and ask them to convert it to a forward card. The forward card gets 5X TYP for restaurants, movies, and BOOKSTORES. Amazon counts as a bookstore. TYP are a weird currency. If you get the TY Premier card you can redeem them for 1.33x for flights or 6.65%. The TY Premier has a crazy annual fee that kicks in during year two, so cancel at month 11. If you cancel though you need to clear out the points w/i 30 days.

You can also redeem for gift cards at a penny a point, sometimes 1.1 or 1.25 pennies per point, though you may need multiple citi TYP releationships (e.g. I have Forward and TY Pref). Finally you can cash out as a mortgage or student loan repayment and they will mail you a check made out in the financial institution's name for 1 penny per point. It might be that you don't actually have a mortgage, but rather a checking account at that financial institution (nudge-nudge). Either way, don't settle for 3% when you can get 5+%.

By converting a card you keep your old, long credit history and then leverage that credit score to fire off a dozen or so apps over the course of the year and harvest the bonuses.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #29
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Along the lines of "teach a man to fish," how do you find the best sign up bonuses? I travel a lot on United and stay at Marriotts, so I already have Chase cards for those names. A couple months ago I applied for a Barclays NFL card that had a $400 sign-up bonus, but I happened to stumble across that one at fatwallet.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:48 PM   #30
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Along the lines of "teach a man to fish," how do you find the best sign up bonuses? I travel a lot on United and stay at Marriotts, so I already have Chase cards for those names. A couple months ago I applied for a Barclays NFL card that had a $400 sign-up bonus, but I happened to stumble across that one at fatwallet.
Flyertalk, their Milesbuzz! forum has a master list of the best (with links that aren't always easy to find).

The special credit card offers master thread - FlyerTalk Forums

Also, any of the boarding area blogs will ping any major change in offers in hopes you will use their link. I used to follow million mile secrets, but I quickly grew tired of reading about his stupid "2nd honeymoon" in tahiti for the last 2 months.

Finally, as a fellow alms payer to overlord smisek, chase ultimate rewards is a transfer partner with UA. So, a sappire preferred or ink bold/plus will transfer 1:1. I particularly like the ink cards.

One card to rule them all - The Frequent Miler

note, vanilla reloads are no longer sold at office depot, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:29 PM   #31
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #32
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Wow. I'm a bit amazed at how complicated some people's credit card setups are.

We have one primary card - Costco Amex with the usual 1%/2%/3% kickbacks. We also have a Visa card for when the Amex isn't accepted. We have one other card as a backup which we don't normally use, but has one autopay setup on it so it stays active. Just in case.

We also have our credit locked, so we won't get any card offers sent to us.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:25 AM   #33
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Brewer, I also subscribe to rss feeds for Million Mile Secrets, View from the Wing, and Nomadic Matt's site. I pick up links to good offers there. To be honest, it isn't the stuff that comes in the mail that is any good, it is the links shared by folks like these that are the good ones. I get piddly offers in the mail.

Flyertalk is good, but it is just too huge for me to get into. I've only got bandwidth for the one-liners and can drill down deeper on certain offers when I need to there. But a great resource for sure.

Oh, and this is the thread I started a while back about Travel Hacking. So called Travel Hacking
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #34
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Wow. I'm a bit amazed at how complicated some people's credit card setups are......

......We also have our credit locked, so we won't get any card offers sent to us.
Not sure what is so complicated. I apply for free stuff. Take free trips. Get money for a few points off of my credit score. Save/earn thousands of dollars within a few months. And if your credit is locked, you're out of the game.

Best place for credit card games is fatwallet finance, IMO.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #35
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OK... I guess I will not be using Chase as my CC company much going forward...

.... at least their CC group is trying as hard as possible to kick me out
I also hate the constant changes to Chase award program, where I have to sign up every so often. But we got more then $290 back - deposited into checking to spend again this year. So we live with the pain until I find better offer.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #36
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I just signed up for Fidelity American Express to replace my other Amex card (blue Cash). It's good to keep things interesting and we have Fidelity account.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:19 PM   #37
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I also hate the constant changes to Chase award program, where I have to sign up every so often. But we got more then $290 back - deposited into checking to spend again this year. So we live with the pain until I find better offer.

I agree, but right now they are not the best in my wallet.... I will be using Cap One for almost all purchases except for the 5% categories on one of my Chase cards...

The card they just changed will likely not be used going forward as there is nothing special about it now....
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:30 PM   #38
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Not sure what is so complicated. I apply for free stuff. Take free trips. Get money for a few points off of my credit score. Save/earn thousands of dollars within a few months. And if your credit is locked, you're out of the game.

Best place for credit card games is fatwallet finance, IMO.
HawkeyeNFO,

I just signed up for 2 Southwest Plus Personal Cards from chase. 50k bonus points after $2k spend, $69 annual fee (1 for DW, one for me, both instantly approved). I found the working links at fatwallet from a poster named HawkeyeNFO oddly enough.. Hopefully that leads to some free flights for the family, or at the least some decent gift card rewards from walmart or amazon.

I'm curious - did you get a referral commission from those cards I signed up for? I have heard about huge commissions for bloggers who promote these cards but didn't know how easy it was to break into that game.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #39
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Nothing for me. People who do that are thrown out of Fatwallet. Did you consider applying for the business card as well?
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:51 AM   #40
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Nothing for me. People who do that are thrown out of Fatwallet. Did you consider applying for the business card as well?
Considered but didn't pull the trigger. A little over a year ago I tried to get the Premier personal and business for me and DW and was denied the business for both of us, but received the personal. Didn't want to push my luck with Chase since I have done a ton of Chase sign ups the last few years and they seem to be a fountain of neverending signup bonuses. I still haven't done any ink cards yet.

Also don't want to get too aggressive on the min. spending requirements. I can do $4000 total min spend in 3 months but much more would require "innovative" solutions or buying a bunch of gift cards or something to make it happen. I figure in 3-4 months there will be plenty of good pickings anyway and I can meet another set of min. spends at that time. Or the offers may get even sweeter like the previous no min spend on the SW cards from Chase.
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