For this second bunch of applications, I opted for three cards: Bank of America Alaska Airlines, Chase Sapphire, and Chase IHG Priority Club. Our scores were 760+ and all looked good.
We were both instantly approved for the BofA Alaska Card, my wife was instantly approved for Chase Sapphire, and from rest we were told we’d hear back in seven to 10 business days.
After about five days, I decided to give Chase a call and see what could be done. I called the not-so-super-secret 800 number (888-245-0625), which was answered by a human after two rings. I asked if he could inquire about the status of my applications. He said they were both declined on the basis that I already had a significant amount of available credit with Chase. He then asked me how much credit I was looking for. I indicated I was really looking for only $10k or so. His response was, well, ok then, we can make this happen if I’d be willing to re-assign my available credit across other cards. I gladly accepted. Five minutes later, he had reassigned available credit evenly across my existing Chase card and my two new ones and I was approved.
Was it really that easy? Did a rejection turn into an approval with a 10-minute phone call and minimal effort on my part? I went from two declines to two approvals and 50k + 40k points!
For my wife, it wasn’t as smooth, but it has a happy ending. She was declined and the person I spoke with indicated he was unable to approve her due to her “high credit utilization.” It appears as though they pulled her credit a day or two after me and I had foolishly let a couple of large balances post as statements to two cards on which she is an additional account holder. The accounts were opened in my name, but because she’s on as an additional authorized user it shows up on her credit report. (I wonder how many people don’t know that!)
Now, I pay my balances in full every month (unless I get a sweet 0% interest offer), but by allowing my statement to close and NOT paying off my balance early, the large balance posted and she suffered. So after 15 minutes of discussing the application with the agent, I came to the conclusion that all that needed to happen was that I needed to pay off the balance, have it post to my credit report, and ask Chase to reconsider. Fast forward a few weeks: balance paid off, statement closed with a $256.88 balance, contacted Chase — and she’s approved!
Sure, for my wife’s application I spent a little more time on the endeavor, but in the end it was my own fault. I shouldn’t have let that statement close with such a high balance (bad form, I know). So now we’re both three for three — a perfect application process. And the results: 80k from Alaska (plus two $99 companion vouchers), 100k from Chase Sapphire, and 80k Priority Club. Minimum spend isn’t an issue here like it is with other cards, so this is an easy one.
Now it’s time to try to bump the bonus on the Chase Priority Club card.
Thanks for all of your advice and detailed examples on how you do it: What cards you’re looking at, what cards you apply for, and what your exact process is to get through the hurdles. It really isn’t that hard. You just have to keep track of things!
25,000 MR Points, $200 Airline Incidental Credits, 1 Year Lounge Access
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