Background: Million Mile Madness is the fun and foolish quest to earn a million points in one month. Throughout March, I’ll do everything I can to earn as many points as I can while keeping within my ethical boundaries. I don’t expect that a million points will have been credited to my account by March 31st: points often take quite a while to get credited. Instead, I’ll track all of the points that I expect, and I’ll declare victory if the expected total is over a million. To keep things challenging, I will try to keep my net costs below $1,000. In case you’re interested, all points earned and expenses incurred will be tracked via this Google Docs spreadsheet. See all Million Mile Madness posts (in reverse order), by clicking here.
Today is credit card churn day!
My plan today is to spend the day signing up for credit cards and calling reconsideration lines. Below are the cards I plan to sign up for, in order. The expected signup bonus for each card is listed in parentheses:
- US Bank Club Carlson personal (85K bonus after $2.5K spend) and business (85K bonus after $2.5K spend) cards. For more details, see: Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: US Bank and others.
- Barclaycard US Airways personal (35K bonus after first use) and business (25K bonus after first use) cards. For more details, see: Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Barclaycard.
- American Express Platinum Mercedes card (50K bonus after $1K spend) and Premier Rewards Gold (50K bonus after $1K spend). For more details, see: Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: American Express.
- Citi AA business (50K bonus after $3K spend) and ThankYou Preferred (6K bonus after $300 spend). For more details, see: Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Citi.
- Chase Ink Plus business card (50K bonus after $5K spend) for each of two businesses, and either the United MileagePlus card (55K bonus after $1K spend) or the Sapphire Preferred MasterCard (40K bonus after $3K spend). For more details, see: Million Mile Madness, Credit card planning: Chase.
With the above plan, I could earn as many as 541,000 points & miles (not counting miles earned on spend).
In the post where I planned my Barclaycard card signups I said that I would also sign up for the NFL card ($400 bonus) and the Arrival World MasterCard ($220 or $440 bonus depending on which offer I get). However, when I see all of the planned applications lined up, I’m less inclined to push my luck with these. We’ll see how lucky I feel after I apply for all of the others.
Keep up with the results
As I go along, I’ll post results in the comments below and on Twitter. I’ll also post a summary at the end of the day.
Are you signing up for cards today? If so, which ones? Comment below with your results as well!
Learn about Million Mile Madness:
- A crazy million mile idea. Should I do it?
- Million Mile Madness, it’s on
- Million Mile Madness: Strategy
- Million Mile Madness: Preparing to buy & sell
- Million Mile Madness: Tracking points and expenses
Corridor: Sorry, I couldn’t help myself :). No, I’ve never frozen anything purposely
David: Yes I confirmed 5X TYP on the phone. The agent didn’t know the specific categories but said she did see the extra 4X points for certain purchases.
Steven: I can’t remember. I think it is a charge card, but I’m not sure. Anyone?
Is the Amex Gold card a charge card?
Did you confirm 5X on TYP card after approval either via phone or secured message?
=) I am from Illinois so I too freeze my ARS off when I go outside. I shouldn’t have left it that easy for you.
Very surprising on the US bank card. They usually are not thrilled with alot of inqs. I like the Flekperks cards myself. I will consider these on the next round
@FM- love it; freeze my ARS 🙂
My churn day is still a few weeks out. I am going to go for the SPG business, Citi AA Business, Citi MC x 2 (husband and I) and I am not sure what else quite yet. I would like to get another for him and leave 3 for me, but we will see.
Can anyone get the 50k personal Chase Explorer card link to work with the biz Explorer card? I was able to replicate the 50k personal offer, but not the biz.
PaulX: I don’t know
Update: The Club Carlson personal card was approved yesterday (received email) and the Citi TY Preferred was approved today (after phone call). Automated system says that Club Carlson business card is approved, but I’m not going to count that for certain until I hear from a person tomorrow (I’m concerned that the automated system may be reporting the results of my personal app).
Corridor!: I live in Michigan, so yes of course I have experience freezing my ARS. I freeze my ARS every time I go outside
Interesting. Chase always pulls Transunion for me. On occasion, they would also pull Experian. I now freeze my Experian when applying for Chase cards and during the recon call. Once that is done, I unfreeze Experian and apply for the Citi and Amex Cards.
That being said, I was denied for the personal Club Carlson card. The reason in the letter is because of numerous recent applications using ssn. What is odd about that is they pulled Equifax for me. I had only one inquiry on my report and that was for a refi. As soon I applied for the card and got the pending message, I froze both Transunion and Experian. I was reading on Flyertalk, that I might need to freeze my ARS if I have to apply again in the future.
Do you have any experience freezing your ARS?
I applied for Club Carlson personal card two months ago and got it approved after asking for reconsideration. I could use some extra points for an upcoming trip. If I apply for a business card now, am I likely to get denied?
Hey, I know it’s a piddling amount of points but you can get 1000 Club Carlson points by “liking” them on Facebook. I saw it this morning on The Points Guy’s blog. Here’s the link:
@Elizabeth- Thanks for the insight! I will give a rest over the weekend then call in without canceling to see if they will move credit around to get me the pending card.
@greek2me – Don’t close a Citi card before calling back. When you close a Citi card, it takes a long time before that limit is available to new cards at Citi. Something in the 3-6 month range. You are much better off moving credit.
Thanks for the info. I think will do wife’s AOR on Monday and include the TYP and Club Carlson card for sure
@David- sorry, I did not ask him, as often the credit person approving you does not know the bonus terms you applied under. But I have a screenshot of the 5x terms as clearly spelled out on the app website, so given others and my past experience I am not worried about not getting those terms.
Did you get confirmation on TYP that it’s 5X for 1 year on those categories?
How was chase able to see that you applied for six cards? I didn’t think they could see that till the next day.
Corridor!: Apparently they can see the inquiries immediately.
@Trajan81- I did both as well, 1 hour apart. Did TYP, got message to call in with an app ID, got TYP approved after closing one card not used in months, but CSR said my CLs now at max they give 1 person, with that CL moved to new TYP. While that was going on I did AA pers app, got same message as with TYP. I may close one of my other cards first before calling back in a day or so, or just call in to see if will approve after moving CL around.
meant to say “instantly approved”
That is not what FM posted. We all know Barclays can deny or close accounts once they see too many new accounts. Here they denied FM for too many inquiries from *today*, meaning they pulled multiple Credit Bureau and not just TU which they normally do.
He may not have been instantly because of too many new accounts. That is a separate issue.
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I’m learning a lot today!
pas: I decided not to go for the NFL or ArrivalCard offers since they didn’t really represent more miles & points (just more money). I’ll go for those in the future if they’re still around.
@greek2me I was worried about what I had been reading as well in regards to 2 applications in 1 day leading to an issue but I figured what the heck and did it anyways….guess its one of those YMMV type deals.
Whoops, Elizabeth wrote that above as I was typing. I guess the repeating bears repeating!!
FM- It bears repeating, as you could end up with more pulls than the number of applications when calling the pathetic barclays recon, as they often pull 3 more times with the call (one for each bureau, that’s how they know all the other apps for today). I do suspect some of your others (citi, chase..) will consolidate.
Thanks for detailing this challenge!
RE: Barclays – I got denied for a card. They took issue with the “number of new accounts”. Just because a bank doesn’t pull TU doesn’t mean they don’t report to TU later.
I only have 4 hard pulls in TU, but I have 16 accounts that started reporting to TU in the last 2 years. It’s the latter that Barclays’ used as the reason to deny my application.
Barclays often pulls a second bureau if you call for recon. There is a report on FT today saying he had all 3 bureaus pulled for his Barclays US Air card (and that might have been for an instant approval). Recently Chase has started pulling 2 bureaus for some customers (including myself).
@DFW It happened to me before… first got denied on Barclays personal with TU only. Called to reconsider days later and found out being pulled all 3 bureaus during reconsideration.
Something doesn’t add up with Barclays denial. They pull TU 90% of the time and the other apps pull EX. How did they see you applied for other cards? None of the other look to do TU pulls? Did it happen during recon? One more reason to freeze CRs BEFORE recons. Plenty of evidence they backdoor another bureau.
@Trajan81- thanks; very interesting you were able to get both approved today, as been reports that just as of the last day or two Citi would only take one app per day.
what credit bureau it pulls the inquiry from for the carlson credit card.
@greek2me They were the first 2 cards I applied for and was confirmed for both of them. As for the pulls, I’m not sure if it was consolidated.
What was the result of 2 personal Barclay cards? Did you get approved for NFL?
@Mike – where did you hear about US Bank and CVS purchases?
@Stacey, I have had the same luck with Chase as well, they see that I open alot of cards and as long as they don’t give me additional credit they are ok with moving credit around. This past Churn I closed a card to open a new one. My annual fee was coming up soon.
@FM I went for the US Air card as my first app and first call already had existing and was able to talk them into getting another one to separate my expenses. I know people say to not call back but I would try again on Monday.
@Trajan81- I am thinking of Citi AA pers and Citi TYP 6k today as well. Were you successfully in getting both? Do you know if they will consolidate into 1 pull or if they will be 2 separate pulls?
Sorry to hear about the Barclay US Biz card denial but I’m not surprised. I did a recent churn and got turned down for this card yet 3 cards I applied for a couple days later from other sources netted over 60k credit limits. Barclay and US Bank are tough. I’ve had bad luck with AMEX as well for some odd reason although my credit is good to excellent.
How many credit pulls (per agency) are you expecting from today’s churn?
JayBerns: the number of pulls that stay on my record depends on how many get consolidated. Worst case: 11 (for 11 apps). Best case: 4 (4 banks). I expect somewhere in between
DaninSTL: Thanks. Its no big deal. Just 25K bonus on that one.
Steven: I already called Barclays again and asked to speak with a supervisor. Still no luck. Too many inquiries plus too little business with them in the past.
Could you give the link to the United MileagePlus card (55K bonus after $1K spend? Thanks
john: to get the 50K UA offer, carefully follow the instructions here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20316800-post1654.html
I am sure all other bloggers are here watching and reading these comments LOL…
I also heard one can apply for citi AA biz card every 6 month? is it true? do i have to cancel the existing AA biz card before re-applying?
I know it’s a little late, but I think with the tough banks, it would be a good idea to apply for just those (so like 3-4 cards), call and get those approves, and THEN do the chase/citi apps since one are going to be easier. That way the first 4 don’t get the big red flag.
Mike: You’re absolutely right. That’s what I should have done! Lesson learned!
allen: I’m not sure
Even though I would never be able to do this, I am just so excited! Looking forward for the posts this month! 🙂
I feel like I’m cheering someone who’s drinking 10 beers at one sitting! I would never do it….but go FM!
applied for Club Carlson personal/biz cards yesterday, both got approved. I did not apply for any cards since last March/April due to refinancing..
But i heard US Bank may shut you down if you spend big money at CVS.. any ideas?
I can’t get the UA 50k card app link to work. When i do it I only see the offer for 30k. How’d you get it to work?
Marc W: to get the 50K UA offer, carefully follow the instructions here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20316800-post1654.html
Did you apply US Airways Biz in the order you list before? #4
Update: Club Carlson says that the system is fully automated and that I’ll receive a decision in a day or two, but that it currently “looks good”. I’m inclined to just wait it out.
Spgbus: I did the US Airways apps at the same time via two browsers. Yes, it was immediately after doing the two Club Carlson apps
Wow FM, I can’t believe that Chase saw you applied for 6 cards today and still had no problem approving you!
That’s the first time I’ve heard the recon reps mention today’s apps.
Wow – I tried that exact dialogue before and the best they could offer was that they would notate my account on wanting to move credit from one card to another (and I eventually got approved)….but still I’m impressed you got them to approve on the spot since I’ve tried with at least 4 chase personal cards and can never get them to approve on the spot. They just say something like ‘it’s locked in our system and I can’t give an instant approval you’ll have to wait”. Nice work!
after all the calls, will you have an update on all the closed cards and credit line moves to be approved for the cards? Like closed xyz card, moved $k to abc card?
@fm, no consistency with any of the reps on any of the recon calls. Hang up and call back?
Curious why they want to wait 24 hours. Perhaps they will do another pull of some sort?
Two weeks ago, we(wife/I) did 10 cards, 9 apvd already banked 100K MR pts (MB wife, PG me), hilton surpass, citi hilton honors, marriott, club carlson visa (wife); Citi MC, Citi AMX, BA visa, Club Carlson, AMx PG (me) will bank 450K points.
FM good luck on your Churn–thanks for taking us along on your adventure–lessons to be learned.
I’m curious what you said with the Chase personal recon line that got them to approve you. I’ve had great luck with the Business recon line, but not with the personal recon line. Any advice? Thanks!
stacey: Short version: They said “I see you’ve applied for 6 cards already today”. Me: “Yes. I don’t mind cancelling or moving credit from an existing card to get this one approved.” They: “You have a lot of credit on the BA card, how much would you like moved?” Me: “10K” They: “OK”
Good work FM, how many cards have been approved for so far? How many more do you have to go?
Grant: 6 out of 11 approved so far. On the phone with Citi currently. Then onto Barclays and US Bank for what are likely to be the most difficult calls (based on reader input)
Cant wait to hear your results on Citi TY Preferred(confirm 5X) and Club Carlson card. Those will be my most important cards for my next churn.
Congrats on Chase success. You needed it 🙂 The hardest is going to be convincing US Bank and it looks like someone posted a glimmer of light example. My wife’s apps had the same issue last month. We had churned back in September and the common ICS tracks by address so we had way too many unfortunately. Recon several times resulted in additional pull on TU and still denial. If you are done with apps and care about INQs, freeze at least EX so someone doesnt backdoor multi INQs. EQ/TU can be B*ed.
@FM, so you never had a UA MileagePlus card before? I am surprised.. or you are applying for it the 2nd time?
allen: No, I’ve never had the UA card before.
Seems like the card companies are leaning away from the instant approval automated results lately for me. My credit is high enough they should just be approved online but citi and chase always seem to either want to chat online or call me. Maybe they are lonely or something. I have had good success with the citi chat feature. If you hit the pending page, check back or call in page, wait a minute or so and the chat box should pop up. I prefer this method as you can think about your answers clearly before you answer and not sound odd on the phone.
I was initially denied my club carlson because of ARS. As I noted in the Club Carlson Visa flyertalk thread, I called in three times after denial, twice the day after and once more the next day and I was finally able to get US Bank to review my application themselves. Approved a couple of days later.
That’s an awesome idea! Somehow it doesn’t seem crazy to me, just exciting.
What link are you using for the NFL signup bonus? I can’t seem to find one with the $400 bonus…
To clarify, Advanced Resolution Services (ARS) is the agency that handles the Visa side of ICS
I just did this and it worked for me:
Cleared out cookies, logged into United account, there was a banner in my account offering the 50k and that I was pre approved.
Here is the landing page for 55k
Amex recon line/system at 866-314-0237 has been down for last 2-3 days. Its been saying ‘Call back later’.
Know any alternate number or way to get pass this?
mileswhore, it’s another “quasi” credit bureau that US Bank uses. They generally will pull a report a few days after you apply, and they will see the 11+ inquiries on FM’s report from today, almost guaranteeing a denial
Good luck with your applications. I hope you have a good Vanilla reloads for Bluebird source 🙂
Whats the link to check Citi app status?
While I’m abstaining from a credit card churn, I wish you the best on conquering your Million Mile challenge this month! 🙂
pas: I received a link via email from Citi to check the status. I haven’t tried Amex yet, so I don’t know.
The Miles Professor: Thanks. And, yes, I do!
After recon call with Chase Business, both Ink Plus cards have been approved! I asked to have them expedited and they say that they should arrive on Monday or Tuesday.
After recon call with Chase for personal card, the UA MileagePlus card has been approved! Confirmed with CSR that the offer is for 50K plus 5K with secondary cardholder after $1K spend. Sweet! To apply, I used the link from FlyerTalk that I posted earlier
After recon call with Amex, I was approved for the Platinum Mercedes card! I called 866-314-0237, but was transferred to a different dept (I don’t know which one) once they saw which card I had applied for.
Citi approved the 50K AA Biz card. Regarding the TY Preferred the agent said that they have to wait 24 hours due to the other app just approved. Anyone ever heard that one before?
Just got first denial: Barclays wouldn’t approve US Airways biz card. Cited “8 inquiries just today”.
What’s an ICS report?
Nothing here, as I am in the middle of buying a house and don’t want any credit dings on my mortage.
Too many pending apps.. Not looking good
I’ll be shocked if you get all the Chase cards even after all the b.s. with the reconsideration line.
Hopefully you froze your ICS report. I don’t know if any of your “readers” pointed this out. If you did not then you will have a hard time convincing the underwriter. Their system is too heavily reliant on the ICS check which is why both went to pending. Even if you started with them today, it doesn’t matter since you said your wife churned a couple of months ago in a blog. If she used the same address then your apps got flagged.
They will most likely ask you to reapply in 3 months.
Not to worry, my club Carlson personal card took a few hours to get the conformaton email, business card took 3days to get the conformation email.
Spend? 3k on both the Carlson cards at 5x a dollar. Means you should end up with another 30k from making the min spend. In my opinion these are 100k cards.
Looks like a lot of calls to do today 🙂
Are you going to post a list of the UR mall updates?
Also, how come no prediction post this month?
yitzi: Too much going on! Please checkout Mommy Points post: http://boardingarea.com/mommypoints/2013/03/01/march-shopping-portal-payouts/
Can you tell us the cost of each card in your churn. Please list fee the first year + fee the second year.
I’m curious. Some of the above cards are major credit cards. I’m a churner and have the bulk of them. What about you?
Looks like your applying for 11 cards? Do you think that’s somewhere near an optimal amount? What factors led you to choose that amount? (If you’ve talked about this recently, refer me back, I’ve read most, but not all your million mile related posts)
john: No, I don’t think its an optimal amount. I would prefer to be more concervative and do between 4 and 8 apps, but I’m extending myself this month due to the challenge. The factors that led me to each card are described in the individual posts listed above (e.g. Million Mile Madness, credit card planning: Chase).
dhammer53: I’ve updated this post with the min spend requirements. I listed the annual fees in each respective planning post. I’ll also add the annual fees to the tracking spreadsheet. Details about which cards I already have are in each respective planning post.
Citi ThankYou Preferred (6k)
Citi AA Personal (50k)
Amex PRG (50k)
US Bank Club Carlson (85k)
Barclays US Air (35k)
Chase Sapphire Pref. MC (40k)
BOA/BOH Hawaiian (70k)
Approved for all but the BOA/BOH immediately. Figured would try to get at least one per providing bank. Aiming for around 500k total this month.
How much do you have to spend in total to get your sign up bonuses on all of those cards?
Ryan from MA: Good luck to you too!
Ben E: I need to spend a lot! I haven’t added it all up yet.
Today is my churn day too! Good luck!
Churn results so far:
Club Carlson cards (personal and business): pending
US Airways personal: received error message, but then I checked the app status online & found that I was approved!
US Airways business: pending. Site for checking status of biz cards doesn’t seem to work.
Amex PRG 50K offer: Instant Approval
Amex Platinum Mercedes 50K offer: Pending
Citi AA biz 50K: Pending
Citi TY Preferred 6K: Pending
Will call about pending apps later in the morning
Chase Ink Plus x 2: Pending
Chase UA card: Pending (Note: I found a link that might work for 55K here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20316800-post1654.html