Plans for expanding my credit card collection

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Even though it seems like I have all of the best rewards card on the market, every now and then great offers appear for cards I don’t yet have.  That’s happening now and I’m nearly paralyzed with choices.  Which of the cards should I get?  Should I try to stay under 5/24?  Will I get approved for all of these cards?

Update 10/4/23: When this post was first published a couple of days ago, I concluded that I would apply next for the AA card and the Morgan Stanley Platinum card.  Since then, two things have changed my mind: 1) My JetBlue status match cleared and so I now need a JetBlue Business or Plus card to keep my Mosaic 3 status through 2024; and 2) Readers of this post reminded me of the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited 90K offers.  I really should do a round-robin referral again with my wife and son for a potential total of 390,000 super valuable points (I did this earlier in the year with the Ink Business Preferred 100K offer).  So, my new plan is to get the JetBlue card first, then Chase Ink, then AA, then Morgan Stanley.  I applied earlier today for the JetBlue Business card and the application is pending.  Since Barclays can be tough on approvals, I’ll wait to resolve this application before starting on any others.

Writing this post is my way to clear the fog.  As I start writing, I haven’t yet made any decisions, but I expect to have a plan in place by the end of the post.  Yes dear reader, I’m using you as a silent sounding board.  Actually, maybe you won’t be silent.  Once this is published, you’ll have a chance to reply with ideas and advice of your own.

a man holding up a credit card

Chase 5/24

No conversation about new cards is complete without considering 5/24.  I’m currently at 4/24, but two cards will roll off by December of this year (and so I’ll then be at 2/24 if I don’t sign up for new cards before then).

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.
Many business cards do not add to 5/24. Chase uses your personal credit report to determine how many cards you've opened in the past 24 months. However, most business credit cards are not routinely reported on personal credit reports. Even Chase's own business cards aren't routinely reported and therefore do not count towards your 5/24 total.  That is, if you are under 5/24 you can get approved for a Chase business card.  Once approved, that card will not worsen your 5/24 status.
More:According to Doctor of Credit, the following banks do not routinely report business accounts to the personal credit bureaus:
  • American Express (except for Canadian Amex)
  • Bank of America
  • Barclaycard
  • Capital One Spark Cash
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • FNBO
  • Navy Federal CU
  • PNC
  • US Bank
  • Wells Fargo

The following banks do report business cards on personal credit reports (and therefore do count towards 5/24):

Cards I’m considering signing up for now

Barclays Aviator Red 75K Offer

Card Offer
70K miles after 1st purchase and paying the annual fee within 90 days
$99 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: Up to 75K: 60K miles after first purchase and 15K after adding an authorized user and making one purchase on that card [Expired 2/24/24]

I’m interested in this offer for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a great offer with no spend requirement other than “first purchase” for the primary card and an authorized user.
  2. It’s an easy way to collect more AA miles which have become my favorite airline miles.
  3. I’d eventually like to get the Aviator Silver card (the single best AA card, in my opinion) and the only way to get it is to start with the Aviator Red card and later upgrade.

Morgan Stanley Platinum 125K Offer

Card Offer
125K points ⓘ Non-Affiliate
125K after $8K spend in first 6 months. Terms apply.
$695 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 125K points after 6k spend [Expired 11/8/23]

A few years ago I signed up for a Morgan Stanley Access Investing account so that I’d be eligible for the Morgan Stanley Platinum card (which requires having an investment account with Morgan Stanley).  By the time I was ready to sign up for the card, the offer had dropped and so I held off.  Now, the offer is at an all time high.  Unfortunately, Access Investing is no longer available to new applicants, but my account is still there and so I should be eligible for this card.  The great thing about this card compared to other Amex Platinum cards is that this one offers a free authorized user card.  That will be especially useful when Delta starts limiting Platinum cardholders to 6 Sky Club visits per year in 2025.

Here are some of the reasons I’m interested in getting this card now:

  • Excellent welcome offer
  • Unlike the other Amex Platinum cards, this one doesn’t have the “family rule“.  In other words, even though I currently have other types of Platinum cards open, I can still get the welcome bonus for this one (if I’m approved and meet the spend requirements).
  • It’s the best Platinum card to keep long-term since it offers a free authorized user.  My wife and I would each get 6 Sky Club visits per year with this card (or we’d each get 12 visits if she also signs up for this card and adds me as an authorized user).

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card

Card Offer
75K miles + Companion Fare ⓘ Non-Affiliate
75K miles + Companion Fare ($99 fare + taxes) after $4K spend in 3 months (enter any random 6-digit number for referral code)
$95 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 70K after $4K in 3 months [Expired 4/23]

I applied for Alaska’s status match for disappointed Delta frequent flyers.  By getting an Alaska card before the end of the year, I should get matched all the way to Alaska’s top-tier MVP Gold 100K status and that status will remain active throughout 2024.

While I could sign up for the personal Alaska card, I’d prefer to get the business one since it won’t add to my Chase 5/24 count.

Reasons for getting the card now:

Reasons for waiting:

  • The current offer for the business card isn’t great.  I’d like to see 65K or 70K miles.
  • I’m not 100% sure that Alaska will accept my status match submission so it’s probably better to wait until the match goes through before applying.

JetBlue Business Card

Card Offer
Up to 60K Miles ⓘ Non-Affiliate
Up to 60K miles: 50K bonus miles after spending $4K in first 90 days + additional 10K miles after a purchase is made on an employee card in the first 90 days
$99 Annual Fee

My interest in the JetBlue card mirrors my interest in the Alaska card. I applied for JetBlue’s status match for disappointed Delta frequent flyers.  By getting a JetBlue card before the end of the year, My status match will remain active throughout 2024.

While I could sign up for the personal JetBlue card, I’d prefer to get the business one since it won’t add to my Chase 5/24 count.

Reasons for getting the card now:

Reasons for waiting:

  • The current offer for the business card is good, but not great.  I’d prefer not to have a $15K spend requirement to get the full bonus.
  • I’m not 100% sure that JetBlue will accept my status match submission so it’s probably better to wait until the match goes through before applying.

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

Card Offer
60K points ⓘ Affiliate
60K after $5,000 spend in 3 months
$199 Annual Fee
This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

This is a card that I’m interested in getting not so much for the card’s perks but because I’m a nerdy credit card collector.  Plus, since I also have the consumer Hyatt card, I could use the two cards together to more easily earn top-tier Hyatt elite status through credit card spend.

Reasons for getting the card now:

  • The current welcome bonus is higher than usual
  • I’m currently under 5/24 and so it might make sense to grab this now before things change.

Reasons for waiting:

  • I’ve signed up for a lot of Chase business cards recently (Ink Business Cash March 2023; United and IHG Business Cards May 2023; Ink Business Preferred July 2023).  I don’t know if Chase will keep approving my applications if I don’t slow down.
  • Rumors have surfaced again that Hyatt may bring an ultra-premium card to the market.  If that happens, there’s a good chance that I’d prefer to get that card over this one.
  • While the current offer is better than usual, it’s still not as good as the various Chase Ink offers.  When I’m ready to sign up for a new Chase business card it arguably makes more sense to sign up for another Ink card.

Decision Time

Altogether, I’m considering signing up for two Barclays card (Aviator Red and JetBlue Business), one Bank of America card (Alaska Business), one Amex card (Morgan Stanley Platinum), and one Chase card (World of Hyatt Business card).

The Aviator Red and Morgan Stanley Platinum cards are consumer cards that will add to my 5/24 count.  I’m at 4/24 now with two cards dropping off my 5/24 list by December.  If I add these two cards, I’ll remain at 4/24.  That’s good because I wouldn’t want to hit 5/24 before a new Hyatt card potentially surfaces.  I realize that a premium Hyatt card might not come to market at all, but if it does I want to be in position to pounce on it.

With the Alaska and JetBlue cards, I’m going to wait to see what happens with my status match requests.  If I get approved for status matches, then I’ll look to sign up for those cards.  Since the current offers aren’t ideal, I think that waiting a bit is a good idea anyway.  I just need to have these cards open before the end of the year so that the airlines will extend my status matches into 2024.

So, that leaves three cards to consider immediately: Aviator Red, Morgan Stanley Platinum, and World of Hyatt Business.  Since I’m lukewarm regarding the Hyatt business card, I guess I’ll skip that one for now.

Based on all of the above, unless readers convince me otherwise, my next two credit card applications will be these:

What do you think?

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69 Comments
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homet

Greg,
I opened a MS access account but never funded it, changed mind on AMEX Plat at that time. Do you know if you need to fund the account to apply ?

Matt

Got approved for the AA card yesterday. If the offer lasts for a month, I’ll have my wife apply then. Would be great to have that many AA miles!
Then an Ink Cash for her.

Alex Z.

Just my 2 cents – last time I applied for Barclay card had to wait for over a month. Reconsideration calls didn’t help. For DP – it was Barclay AA Business, applied in November’22, my CS is over 800 and I had one Barclay card at that time and had to split the credit line to get second card.

Points Adventure

I really should do a round-robin referral again with my wife and son for a potential total of 390,000 super valuable points…

Greg, I woulda expected your family had maxed out the 200k per calendar year referral. You haven’t? That’s assuming the 200k/yr limit is per “PERSON”, not per card, e.g. if you have 4 Ink cards, you’re still limited to 200k/yr total, not 800k. Not sure if that’s the case tho. If 200k is per CARD, that really widens the floodgate given their current approval habits.

Dr. Jay

Thoughts about doing the AU for the 15k? I view this card as a 60k, as I don’t want to trade a 5/24 slot for my P2’s AU card for a mere 15k AA. (edit- I see Nick mention that no SSN is needed with Barclays. Thanks!)

Last edited 8 months ago by Dr. Jay
steven

Morgan Stanley Platinum 125K Offerwhere do i need to make an account for that>???
pls send link

cmx

almost the same list for me (less Hyatt)

ECR12

m

Last edited 8 months ago by ECR12
Goldentiger

Just applied for the Barclays AA AVIATOR 75k and the Barclays JetBlue Plus 70k for a total required spend of 1 transaction and $1k. Auto approved for the AA Aviator and manual approval for JetBlue plus by calling in for reconsideration.

David G

I’ve been wondering…and now seems a good time to ask…how many total cards to you have? Thanks

J S

42 (the universal answer)

Matt

J S, you win the thread.

Nathan

My list:
Morgan Stanley Platinum (already applied and approved for 125K)
Ink Business Preferred (never could meet $15K in 3 months, but $8K is doable)
Ink Business Unlimited for P2 (had been waiting for the 90K to hit referral links).
Aviator Red (though currently not sure if we would be approved, both have no AF Aviator cards)

Sam

wow this post was really spooky because I signed up for all those cards in the past year, in almost the exact same order!

Dr. McFrugal

HI Greg. Not sure why this reason is holding you back. If Hyatt does bring in the ultra-premium card, there’s no reason not to apply for it if you already have the Hyatt Business card. You can have both 🙂

Mushu_Pork

Love all of these “thinking out loud” posts. Definitely helps people learn the “logic” of having a game plan when applying for cards.

Biggie F

On the Chase Hyatt Business card … If you do get it, and don’t have access to this otherwise, be sure to use it to sign up for Hyatt Leverage. I find rates available through the corresponding corporate code to be lower than those I can find by other means, and with great last-minute cancellation options. Also, if you decide not to hold the card longer-term, the code is still yours for the using.

Frank

Great point. I have Hyatt Leverage for my business — costs me nothing and the rates are often the best available.