Frequent flyer miles earned with credit cards is the second largest earnings source for mileage junkies. And signup bonuses can boost your mileage and hotel points inventory significantly if you are careful with your applications and have a game plan.
I’ve offered to help many of you increase you credit card sign up bonuses by reviewing your current inventory of cards and individual circumstances. We have had great success to date with many approvals for those that have emailed me. And a clear plan on how to continue to get cards approved.
But they don’t all go that way, as a recent story will bear out.
I made several suggestions to a reader about how to restructure his current cards and he followed my advice. He received a denial that did not appear to be warranted based on the information he had shared with me. Something was just not adding up.
I suggested using the credit score source (gofreecredit.com) you now see on the right hand side of the blog for a 7 day free trial. The company promised to provide a credit report and credit score free for seven days. Getting a free credit report can come from lots of sources, but I have not seen many that provide a free credit score as well. It is up to you, the subscriber, to cancel if you don’t want the service after the 7 day free trial.
As it turns out, there are things on this report that the reader was unaware of, that negatively effected his credit and the denial now made sense to all.
With the readers permission, here is his report on the credit service gofreecredit.com with the personal information removed:
“So far the website is completely as advertised. They did take my credit card info, but ensured that it would not be charged until the trial period is over. I plan to cancel on 9/17, so I’ll let you know how smooth that goes.”
As for the site, I had my credit report within minutes. Visually, it shows you the typical green check marks (month-by month) for accounts in good standing over the last 24 months. It shows negative activity with a red 30, 90, or 120 day red box. However, in my case it showed 6 consecutive months of 90 days late on an old student loan that I consolidated into one lump sum over 2 years ago. Someone looking at the report would conclude that I haven’t paid on that account for the past 6 months although the account is listed as closed and paid.
They charge $12.95 per month after the trial period.
The best feature of the site is that gives you a list of every creditor or collector with their phone #. This allowed me to contact the collection agency last night and question them on why they reported the debt after I had disputed it in writing within the 45 day limit.
I spoke with a younger representative and I had him on his heels. He could not give me a straight answer and repeatedly said I cannot comment on the situation at this time. I believe that they did receive my letter of dispute and someone dropped the ball and notified the credit reporting agency without merit. He took my number and called me back 15min later saying that he will have to get with a supervisor and review the case before he can make any comments about my situation. We’ll see what happens. If they admit fault, I am going to stick it to them.
I didn’t thank you yesterday, but I do appreciate all of your advice. Catching this early is the best thing that could’ve happened. I looked at my free annual report in July and this was not on there so this has happened in the last 30 days.
Keep up the good work and feel free to share the details on your blog, hopefully it will help some else out there. ”
With this new information, hopefully the situation can be corrected and move on with the plan we had laid out. I’m glad he took advantage.
Now because I’m still a little touchy about last week’s thrashing I took on Flyertalk for earning a few bucks on the blog ads, I remind you that we can proceed without you having a complete picture of your credit situation.
If you remember, I did suggest back in August (8/10-8/16) in the week long series about credit cards, that knowing your credit score and any possible hiccups sure makes it easier to get you headed on the right course. The choice to avail yourself of the free trial offered is entirely up to you.
It just makes sense to me, to know the cards I’m holding before asking for another pot of miles and points gold.
Let me know if I can help.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49