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Old Mar 19, 12, 10:38 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Between the City of Angels and Navy Pier
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Platinum
Posts: 39
Current best deals for churning

Hi all,

I'm about to do my first churn, and wanted to get some advice. From browsing the forum and the current best deals thread, these are the cards that interest me:

United Explorer card (50k, no spend, no fee 1st year)
Southwest Rapid Rewards (50k, no spend, $69 fee)
Barclays USAir (40k on first use, no fee 1st year)
Chase Sapphire Preferred (50k, 3k spend in 3 months, no fee 1st year)
Citi AA (Visa + Amex) (50k + 50k)

I'm not sure how many cards I should apply for in my first churn. Some background:

My credit history is relatively short - about 4.5 years. FICO is ~760, pay balance in full every month. I use a chase freedom as my primary card and have a citi forward card (but never charge anything to it). I also have a store card that I never use, and I have a United Mileage Plus that I closed a few months ago (it was to get the 50k miles promotion).

Which cards should I go for?

Your help is much appreciated.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 11:43 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Chapel Hill, NC--
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I'll ask the same thing I always do... "What's your goal?" I assume flights... but where would you like to travel (and in which class)? It appears that you probably already have some UA miles and/or points at Chase... so the Sapphire might fit nicely into adding to those piles of points. All of the above are solid bonuses... do you spend much on credit cards?


I like the flexibility of the Sapphire Pref., but I also fly on United...so the new Chase UA card with a couple of lounge passes, free bags, and priority access is nice (as is primary rental car insurance). I consider these benefits to be much nicer than the AA cards, which are basically just a big bonus up front and not much else.

My personal take is that I wouldn't go wildly crazy on churns given your relatively brief credit history. (Not saying I wouldn't do a couple per year... but don't apply for 6 cards in the next year).
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Old Mar 20, 12, 1:11 am   #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiCityFlyer View Post
Hi all,


United Explorer card (50k, no spend, no fee 1st year)
Southwest Rapid Rewards (50k, no spend, $69 fee)
Barclays USAir (40k on first use, no fee 1st year)
Chase Sapphire Preferred (50k, 3k spend in 3 months, no fee 1st year)
Citi AA (Visa + Amex) (50k + 50k)


Your help is much appreciated.
You are applying for 3 Chase cards at once. That may be pushing it. I applied for 2 together and had to used the reconsideration line to get the 2nd card. It's good that you use Chase freedom as your primary card. I have a friend who also uses Chase Freedom as a primary card but doesn't have Chase checking. When he applied for a rewards card he got denied and Chase' argument was: you need to establish a relationship with us by opening a checking account. There maybe more to the story than my friend told me but just wanted to warn you.

How about applying for some Amex cards? Amex SPG or Amex Hilton?
Bank of America's Virgin Atlantic and Hawaiian airlines card also look promising.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 7:59 am   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Between the City of Angels and Navy Pier
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Platinum
Posts: 39
I'd be flying mostly domestically in economy class, with maybe a trip to mexico for spring break. I don't care too much about extra perks (lounge passes, priority check-in, etc) - I just want to fly for free. I've mainly been redeeming my Freedom points just for cashback...is there a better way to spend them?

I spend between 800-1.5k/month on my credit cards, but meeting spends isn't a huge problem for me as I can just make large purchases for friends and have them pay me back.

Can you downgrade the United Explorer, Southwest, and Citi AA cards? One of my main concerns is not having the inquiries affect my credit score too much. Preferably, every card I open should be downgrade-able so I don't have to close the account.

I can't find a working link to the BOA Virgin Atlantic App. The Hawaiian Air looks pretty good though...

Also, if I apply for the 2 personal Citi AAs, will that count as 1 credit pull or two (if i use the 2 browser trick)? How about if I apply for the 2 Hawaiian air ones?

Sapphire - Transunion/Chase
AAdvantage - Transunion/Citi
Explorer - Transunion(?)/Chase

Why are all the good cards Transunion/Chase....
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Old Mar 20, 12, 9:17 am   #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: UA,AA,BA,AS,HH,SPG,IHG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiCityFlyer View Post

Sapphire - Transunion/Chase
AAdvantage - Transunion/Citi
Explorer - Transunion(?)/Chase

Why are all the good cards Transunion/Chase....
Where are you getting that info? The database at creditboards shows that Citi pulls mostly Equifax, with a few entries for Experian. Most of the Chase entries are for Transunion, which surprised me.

(I'm assuming you're in IL)
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Old Mar 20, 12, 1:10 pm   #6
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: As many as I can!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiCityFlyer View Post

I can't find a working link to the BOA Virgin Atlantic App. The Hawaiian Air looks pretty good though...
If you want to fly domestically and Southwest services your local airport, the Southwest card can give you up to $833 worth of travel.

And if you get the business and personal card you will get 100K points out of the 110K points needed for a Companion Pass. This is quite easily one of the best travel perks available.

I do have a working link to the BOA Virgin Atlantic App on my blog (in the Hot Deals or Travel Credit Cards tab). And, no, it doesn't pay me a referral!
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Old Mar 20, 12, 3:16 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Between the City of Angels and Navy Pier
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Posts: 39
That's the problem - SW doesn't fly to O'Hare. Plus, there is an annual fee that I'd have to pay (along w/ 2 credit pulls)

I'm thinking the Citi 50K + 50K...giving me 100K AA miles with no annual fee first year and only 1 credit pull (correct me if I'm wrong) along with the United Explorer for 50K and the Chase Sapphire for 50K.

Will my credit be able to handle these 4 credit cards? (technically only 3 pulls)

I was actually looking on your site before I posted - good stuff

Edit: I looked on CB as well but must have typed something in wrong because I just checked and they're mostly Equifax for the Citi cards.
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Old Mar 20, 12, 4:16 pm   #8
Formerly known as gwhit21
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Based on the information in post #1 your credit will definitely be able to handle the 3 pulls on your credit.

The AA cards and Sapphire are the cards I always suggest first to people doing a churn. You will most likely have to make a reconsideration call on the Explorer, but well worth it.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 1:25 am   #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Between the City of Angels and Navy Pier
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Platinum
Posts: 39
Do you think there will be a better (75K) AA deal in the future? I feel like 50K is pretty standard for AA..
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Old Mar 21, 12, 4:04 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Long Beach
Programs: HHonors Diamond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiCityFlyer View Post
- I just want to fly for free. I've mainly been redeeming my Freedom points just for cashback...is there a better way to spend them?
(
Yes there is a much better way to spend freedom points. Do you have a balance of freedom points right now? if so you can apply for the chase sapphire prefered card 50k for 3k spend then you can transfer your extra freedom points to the UR points on your saphire prefered account. then take the combined points and transfer to united.
even if you dont get teh saphire prefered card right away, unless you are straped for cash i would just collect freedom pts, then get hte sapphire later to tranfer to united.
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Old Mar 21, 12, 8:56 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New york, NY, United States
Programs: AA, BA, UA, US Air, Spirit, Delta, PC Plat, SPG Gold, HHonors Gold, Club Carlson Gold, and more
Posts: 1,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by mintcilantro View Post
You are applying for 3 Chase cards at once. That may be pushing it. I applied for 2 together and had to used the reconsideration line to get the 2nd card. It's good that you use Chase freedom as your primary card. I have a friend who also uses Chase Freedom as a primary card but doesn't have Chase checking. When he applied for a rewards card he got denied and Chase' argument was: you need to establish a relationship with us by opening a checking account. There maybe more to the story than my friend told me but just wanted to warn you.

How about applying for some Amex cards? Amex SPG or Amex Hilton?
Bank of America's Virgin Atlantic and Hawaiian airlines card also look promising.
Pushing is an understatement. I don't think it's even possible to get three Chase cards simultaneously (someone with a different experience please tell me if I'm wrong). Two cards I did get, sometimes without calling.

Now to the question in hand. Considering your desired flying pattern, I'd do the following:

1. Chase SW
2. Chase Sapphire (because you already have Freedom, and it's a great card)
3. Barclays US Air (because they hit Transunion, because they will hold Grand Slam in the fall, and because it's a great card)
------------
STOP

You do not have a long credit history and you may have a problem with 6 cards app-o-rama. Citi AAdvantage cards are great, but Citi reportedly has been horrible with approving accounts with feweer accounts and shorter credit history as of late.

Go slow and you'll get there just in time.

In 3-4 months (provided everything goes smoothly this time, and you don't have interest in hotel points) apply for the following:

1. Chase Southwest Visa Biz (yes you can have it even without bona-fide business, and with 100,000 miles you'll almost have enough miles for a free companion ticket).
2,3. Both Citi AAdvantage cards.
--------------
STOP and give it a rest for the next 6 months, regardless of the outcome!

Hope it helps and good luck!
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Old Mar 22, 12, 6:57 am   #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: AA, SPG
Posts: 181
I just got the AA personal Citi (Visa) a week ago. I co-own a business so i blew through my $3k min spend to get the 50K points in 1 hour. I really want to get the SPG Amex for business (15-20K/month spending) but do i have to wait a certain amount of time so my credit isnt hurt? I have 3 other personal CC w/ 75% balance. Vehicle is paid in full this month, discover will be paid in full when i get my tax return? Or does SPG business not care if I already signed up for the AA
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Old Mar 22, 12, 7:15 am   #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnscout View Post

3. Barclays US Air (because they hit Transunion, because they will hold Grand Slam in the fall, and because it's a great card)
Not saying that OP shouldn't apply for the US Air card, but pulling Transunion is not a positive in this case, as Chase is also likely to pull TU for him.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 9:23 am   #14
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: AL
Programs: All of the Above
Posts: 1,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony3021990 View Post
I just got the AA personal Citi (Visa) a week ago. I co-own a business so i blew through my $3k min spend to get the 50K points in 1 hour. I really want to get the SPG Amex for business (15-20K/month spending) but do i have to wait a certain amount of time so my credit isnt hurt? I have 3 other personal CC w/ 75% balance. Vehicle is paid in full this month, discover will be paid in full when i get my tax return? Or does SPG business not care if I already signed up for the AA
I don't think you should be in the game till all your CC's have a $0 balance. The interest you'll pay will negate any miles earned. Yes, 75% balances most certainly hurt your score bad.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 7:46 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New york, NY, United States
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Posts: 1,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarif1 View Post
Not saying that OP shouldn't apply for the US Air card, but pulling Transunion is not a positive in this case, as Chase is also likely to pull TU for him.
Really? I'm not arguing, but according to the Credit Pull Database, Chase mostly pulls Experian in CA, especially the cards OP is interested in (I presume CA is where OP is from). You are correct, though, they they do pull Transunion, as well.

http://creditboards.com/forums/index...pp=creditpulls
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