My end of year App-No-Rama application spree. 147K and counting.

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On Tuesday, while my wife lazily applied for just one card (and will ultimately net over 120,000 points), I went on a crazy App-No-Rama application spree.  The idea behind an App-No-Rama is to apply for multiple cards in one day from a single issuer.  By doing so, in many cases, multiple hard credit inquiries will be combined into one.  In this way, it’s possible to sign up for many cards with very little negative credit score impact.  Yes, your score will be impacted negatively because new cards will reduce your average age of credit, but that should be countered by the positive impact of larger combined credit lines on your report.

In some cases, there is no impact whatsoever to your credit report (other than the one hard inquiry).  When you sign up for business cards from certain banks, the new accounts are not added to your credit report.  These banks include: American Express (except for Canadian Amex), Bank of America, Chase, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.  See “Flying under 5/24” for more details.

In my case, there were a few personal Bank of America cards that I had my eye on, so I decided not to stick only with business cards.  In particular, I believe that the Amtrak 30K offer will be going away after December 31.  And, both the Amtrak card and the Virgin Atlantic card are currently on my Unbiased Top 10 Signup Bonuses list.  If you go one past the top 10, to number 11, you’ll also find the BOA issued Merrill+ 50K offer.

To get started, I visited my own Best Offers page, and jumped to the BOA (Bank of America) section.  I reviewed the BOA App Tips, then started the process…

best-offers-boa-sectionAmtrak 30K after $1K spend

All-righty then!  With my vague plan of signing up for as many BOA cards as possible, I began with the 30K Amtrak offer.  Instantly approved!

anr-boa-amtrak-30k-approved

Virgin Atlantic 75K after $12K spend + 2 authorized users

Next, I went for the Virgin Atlantic 75K offer.  Instantly approved!

anr-boa-vs-90k-approved

Merrill+ 50K after $3K spend

Rolling the dice… Can we make it three in a row for instant approval?  Doh!  Nope.  Application pending.  Hmm.  Maybe BOA has a limit of 2 instant approvals per day for personal card applications?

anr-boa-merrill-pending

Alaska 30K + $100 statement credit after $1K spend

I tried the Alaska card and it too went pending.  This appeared to be more evidence of a 2 card limit for instant approvals:

anr-boa-alaska-30k-pending

Amtrak 12K after $1K spend

Next I went for the no-fee Amtrak card.  The 15K offer had recently died, so I went for the 12K point offer.  Instantly approved!  I threw my “max 2 personal card instant approval” theory out the window.

anr-boa-amtrak-12k-approved

Alaska Business 30K after $1K spend

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, adding business cards to my application spree should have no negative impact on my credit, so I decided to add a few  I started with the Alaska 30K offer.  Instant approval!

anr-boa-alaska-biz-30k-approved

Travel Rewards for Business 25K after $1K spend

Encouraged by the Alaska business card instant approval, I figured I’d get at least one more instant business card approval.  Nope.  The Travel Rewards Business card application went pending:

anr-boa-travel-rewards-biz-pending

Cash Rewards for Business $200 after $500 spend

The same happened with the Cash Rewards for Business card.  Pending:

anr-boa-cash-rewards-biz-pending

Amtrak 30K and Virgin 75K

I decided to circle back to a couple of the personal cards that were previously instantly approved.  I applied again for the Amtrak 30K offer and the Virgin Atlantic 75K offer.  Would these be approved too?  Nope.  Both went pending.

anr-boa-vs-pending

Approved: 147K

In total, four cards were instantly approved:

  • Amtrak 30K after $1K spend
  • Virgin Atlantic 75K after $12K spend + add 2 authorized users
  • Amtrak 12K after $1K spend
  • Alaska Business card 30K after $1K spend

The instant approvals sum to 147,000 bonus points after $15K combined spend.

Pending: 210K + $300

I have six applications still pending:

  • Merrill+ 50K after $3K spend
  • Alaska personal card 30K + $100 after $1K spend
  • Travel Rewards for Business 25K after $1K spend
  • Cash Rewards for Business $200 after $500 spend
  • Amtrak 30K after $1K spend
  • Virgin Atlantic 75K after $12K spend + add 2 authorized users

My plan is to simply wait for decisions on all of these cards.  I’m sure some will be denied (most likely the second Amtrak and Virgin Atlantic cards).  If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll then call to try to reverse the decision.

And one more card…

I applied for one more card.  I purposely broke from the one-bank-only App-No-Rama process, and applied for a Chase card.  Why did I do it?  Which card did I apply for?  What was the outcome?

That story is for a future post…

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