I finally made a decision on our mortgage refinance and we just finished moving all of our insurance to a new carrier so we won’t need our credit scores anytime in the near future…

For long time readers, you know what that means; it’s time for a round of credit card applications to make some money! When I embark on a credit card application spree, I focus on just one us at a time. This one is specifically for my husband.

I figure if I’m putting hard inquiries on his credit report (which I did while shopping our mortgage), my goal is to maximize the earnings from it. In addition, if I bunch the inquiries together, they’ll all fall off at the same time in the future, which is convenient.

Here is the list of credit card applications currently in progress. They are listed in priority order, mainly to make the most money in sign up bonuses, but also to pick up some additional cards I’ve had my eye on.

Credit Card Application List

  1. Chase Sapphire Preferred. $400 sign up bonus. Most of you already took advantage of this one, but I was waiting on it for my husband while we were shopping our mortgage and insurance. Still a great sign up bonus.
  2. American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card. $250 sign up bonus. The annual fee is currently waived for the first year (we’ll cancel the card before the annual fee kicks in).
  3. Pen Fed Platinum VISA. I have a Penfed card, but it has a balance transfer for life, so I don’t use it for the gas. I figured it was time to sign up my husband so we could get the 5% on gas. (In case you are wondering, the current balance transfer for life on the Penfed cards is 4.99% for life, with 0 fee until the end of June). Also, if you don’t want the cash rewards version, you could get the platinum rewards version which has a $250 sign up bonus.
  4. Ink Cash Business Card. $200 sign up bonus. We decided to open a business credit card for one of our rentals that we’re doing some renovations with. 0% on a credit card always beats the bank rates, so I offered my husband’s credit to our partners.
  5. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. $250 sign up bonus. I’m not expecting a lot from Citi, since my husband has more Citi cards than I do, but I thought I’d give it a shot.
  6. Citi Dividend. $100 sign up bonus. This card also has the 5% rotating quarters. Whenever I apply for Citi cards, I usually hit them up for two!
  7. Chase Freedom MasterCard. $100 sign up bonus. Believe it or not, my husband doesn’t have this card staple. (I actually have 2, so I just removed him as an authorized user on mine before applying).
  8. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. $100 sign up bonus. I have the preferred version of this card, which I love, but that one has the annual fee, so I wanted to get a second card without the annual fee. This card also had a $25 referral bonus so that I could refer my husband.
  9. Priceline Visa. $50 sign up bonus. My husband has been struggling with his 2% cash back card since the places he shops often don’t take American Express. Our other 2% cards are in use for balance transfers so they aren’t available. My search turned up the Priceline card from Barclays as a possible 2% cash back alternative. Time to check it out.
  10. NASA Cash Rewards. If the Priceline card doesn’t work out, next on my list is the Nasa card from Nasa credit union. There’s some discrepancy about their 2% card, but I’m willing to give it a shot and report back.
  11. Slate from Chase. 0% for 15 months with no balance transfer fee. We already have a Slate cards, but I figured I would try my luck and see if we can pick up another one for the balance transfer option. This one is Chase application number 3 (which is pushing it with Chase), so I will hold off and make sure the first two get approved first before applying for this one.
  12. Discover More Card. 18 Month 0% Balance Transfer. Discover didn’t have any great signup bonuses, so I went for the balance transfer offer on this one. As long as I’m on an application spree, I wanted to throw something in from Discover.

More on My Application Spree

Travel Cards. You’ll notice I didn’t include travel credit cards this round. I did that on purpose. We’re going to be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary next year, so I’m thinking it will be appropriate to wait and scoop up all of the hotel and airline cards when we get a little closer to planning our trip. We haven’t decided where we’re going yet… any suggestions?

Rolling Applications. Years ago there was a benefit to applying all in one day before the inquiries showed up. That loophole doesn’t exist anymore, so I’m working through my list as he gets approved for each one. Once we start getting a few declined I’ll suspend the spree. Currently, I’m 2/3 of the way through the list, waiting on the approvals for the Chase Freedom and Blue Cash cards. Once I get those, I’ll start working on the last four in the list.

Overall Value

If we can qualify for all of the sign up bonuses, the income from the spree is: $1525 at the time of writing (some cards have updated their offers)! (Plus a few cheap balance transfers and some new cash back cards to try out.)



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Comments to Credit Card Application Spree to Maximize Sign Up Bonuses

  1. You suuuuure you don’t want to apply for the British Airways Visa card? I know it’s travel, but 100,000 miles is hard to pass up. (They are powerful because of their redemption ability on American Airlines. WAY more valuable than AAdvantage miles).
    You have to spend quite a bit in 12 months though to get the bonus. 50K up front, 25K after $10K in spending, another 25K after $20K in spending. (so $20K in 12 months = 100K miles). $95 annual fee is well worth it if you fly American.

    Jake T.

    • Jake,
      Oh it is so tempting!!! My only concern is that it’s another Chase card, and I’m going pretty heavy on Chase for him.

      But you are right, who wouldn’t love a surprise vacation??

      I might just add it, since they usually only roll it out once a year, and it might not coincide with my next application spree.

      For those of you wondering, here is the card Jake is talking about: British Airways 100,000 Mile Sign Up Bonus

      Madison

  2. Hey I love your website. I am curious as to how much this effects your credit card score and for how long? Also I know before you said you had like 80 credit cards. Do you open them and then close them and then reopen them again to get the points/rewards? Can you do that? Thanks :)

    Maggie

    • Hi Maggie,

      Believe it or not, once you have about 4 inquiries, the additional ones don’t matter very much for most score models.

      Here’s a helpful article where I covered the inquiries: How Much Do Credit Inquiries Really Matter?

      I’ll check my husband’s score when I’m done, but in the past, I don’t remember seeing much more than about a 20 point drop. (I don’t remember exactly because it didn’t have a huge impact.) It took a few months to recover; once the inquiries were six months old I noticed some improvement, and even more at the one year mark.

      Much more of our credit scores are based on the utilization from the balance transfers.

      As far as opening and closing. You bet! Especially with Citi and Chase!

      Madison

      • how long do i have to wait after i cancel to open another one for the points/bonus? Thanks so much :)

        Maggie


      • Maggie,
        I haven’t tested out set timeframes, but I usually wait a few months if it is the exact same card.

        Madison


      • By the way, which card are you thinking of trying to reapply for?

        Madison


  3. Very interesting cash back play with Priceline,I am still searching for a good replacement for Schwab, not liking the Capital One Venture annual fee, not liking Fidelity requiring redemptions of 5000 points (every $2500 spend).

    Rapid Travel Chai

    • I miss the Schwab card too! Hopefully, one day we’ll find one as good as our old Schwab cards…

      Madison


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