I pulled my credit report and scores after my recent application binge. I got five of my original six applications approved, and was turned down on the last day of the Citi 75K frequent flier mile promo as a previous cardholder and was rejected by Capital One for the 100K frequent flier mile match because of too many recent inquiries.
All well and good. I can accept rejections, but Capital One really pi$$ed me off. They pulled my credit from all three agencies, placing inquiries on all three bureaus. Their offer, even if I was accepted, is not worth three pulls to me. I have stayed away from these guys in the past based on vague rumor and innuendo I have heard, and now this confirms to me:
No more Capital One for me.
I hope you all get your 100,000 frequent flier mile matches and spend the points wisely. Katy may still get an approval, but I learned my lesson.
They have the right, I’m sure, to pull as many times as they want, but it is too steep a price.
My scores changed as follows based on the recent app-o-rama:
- Transunion: 885 down to 848 with 2 pulls
- Experian: 881 down to 859 with 5 pulls
- Equifax: 869 down to 835 with 2 pulls
You’ll note nine new pulls for seven applications as Capital One decided to pull all three bureaus.
NOTE: My analysis this month also talks about other factors that are affecting my scores:
- Experian – None of your real estate accounts show a credit amount. Lenders may be able to better evaluate your creditworthiness if there is more information about your accounts on your credit report.
- TransUnion, Equifax – You have no real estate accounts that can be used in determining a credit score. A healthy balance of credit and loan accounts is key to achieving a high credit score. It is important to build a record of responsible credit use over time with different types of accounts.
- TransUnion, Experian, Equifax – “The available credit on your open revolving credit accounts is too low. Having credit available to you is a sign that you are able to manage your finances responsibly. Lenders usually like to see that consumers have a large amount of credit available to them.”
- TransUnion, Experian, Equifax – “The balances on your open accounts are too high in comparison to their credit limits. It is a good idea to use your accounts regularly, but remember to keep your balances low in comparison to your available credit limits. Having a high ratio of balances to credit limits on open accounts may be viewed negatively by lenders.”
- TransUnion, Experian, Equifax – “The sum of your bank credit card account balances is too high. High credit balances may be considered by lenders to be a negative factor when determining creditworthiness. Paying down your balance may improve your score.”
The last comment is the new one on my account, which is also attributing to the decline in my scores. They must have caught my balances at a high point as there are still no interest charges on my cards. I pay them all in full each month. I still believe credit inquiries costs 2-5 points per credit pull.
A good range on this VantageScore scale is 800, so I’m still well within that range for applications, but will be on hold until some of my inquiries fall off again in the recent one’s season for at least three months. I will not be taking out a real estate loan to improve my score (unless I can make an interest arbitrage play, doubted), but I may just get an open account (store charge card) to have that reason for negatively affecting my score removed.
I just got a Scorewatch check from my FICO, and my FICO score is still 750 even after the Capital One inquiries. I am canceling the service at the end of the three-month required membership.
It is a lifetime game: Andrew just told me that the first frequent flier program was in 1979 by Texas International Airlines, which was taken over in 1981 by American Airlines and the now famous AAdvantage program. That is more than half my lifetime, and credit card sign ups are still the easiest way to build up your account balances if you play the game within some reasonable guidelines.
Take Note: I expect another big offer to happen very shortly. Wait a day or two before doing applications if you are close to the magic 700 or 800 number or worried about your inquiries. I can’t say anymore, but I’m anxiously awaiting further details. I will do a separate post when I can.
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