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.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases