Credit Cards The Basics

Credit Card Applications – Rachel’s Round

Written by Charlie

It has been a few months since our last round of credit card applications so we went ahead today to apply for a round of cards for my wife, Rachel. Here is an update on the cards she applied for and the reasons for them. Please note: I do receive a commission for the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard and the Delta Gold American Express Card if you apply using my links and are approved.


It is normally understood that you should allow at least 90 days before credit card applications to ensure the greatest success in card approval. The exception is that you are able to apply for more than one card on one day since the credit card applications are not normally reported right away so the different banks are not aware of the amount of applications you are making at that one time when they pull your credit score.

Another good practice when making credit card applications is for the applicant to not make more than one application with the same bank for a consumer card. For example, it is not good to apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred (Chase consumer card) and a United MileagePlus Credit card (Chase consumer card) on the same day as the second application will be automatically declined due to the system checking for duplicate applications. However, you can apply for a consumer card and a business card from the same bank on the same day – for another example, it would be okay to apply for the Chase Hyatt Visa (Chase consumer card) and the Chase Ink Bold (Chase business card) on the same day. You still might need to call in to get the second card approved but the approvals are done from two separate departments.

When applying for credit cards, it is always good to have a goal in mind of what you are looking for in rewards from a card as well as what you can reasonably achieve with the spending thresholds in the set amount of time. The more cards you apply for, the more creative you will need to be with your applications as certain banks, like Chase, offer a bonus offer once in a lifetime. On the other hand, American Express will let you get the bonus again as long as you have not held that particular product within the previous 12 months (and that has to be at least 12 months so make sure you know the date you closed the account). As yet another example, Barclay Bank has been known to issue the same card to the same individual on the same day! One applicant once applied and was approved for US Airways Mastercards on the same day! So, it can begin to get interesting and fun when you are just looking to see what you can get and what cards you might be missing from your credit card portfolio.

One more thing – when applying, it is normally a good idea to start with the cards you want the most and then work down towards your “wildcards”. However, just because you receive a pending notice from a bank, or even a declined, does not mean you should stop your application round.

Rachel’s Credit Card Applications

Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard

Details: I wrote about this card earlier last month as an increased sign-up bonus on a card that had before just been an ordinary card. To read all about this card and what it offers, check out this post. To sum up, here are the chief details about this card:

  • Credit Card Applications40,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • 2x miles on all purchases
  • Can be used toward travel purchases on Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies as defined by the merchant category code
  • Additional benefits of the card include: no caps on earning or redeeming miles and no foreign transaction fees
  • Free Tripit Pro subscription ($49 value – review will be coming on this awesome tool)
  • o% Introductory APR on purchases made for the first 12 months
  • $89 Annual Fee (waived for the first year)
  • This offer is worth $440 – a great deal!

Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard – 40,000 Points after $1,000 in 3 months – Application Link (I receive a commission if you use this link)

Reason for application: We have some travel coming up as a family in the next many months and some of it is not the best for using miles (when the cost of the travel is causing the points to be worth less than 1 cent per point, I try to avoid using points for such redemptions). For situations such as this, this card is very ideal.

Result: Declined This was somewhat a surprise considering her excellent credit, but not a total surprise as Barclay Bank has been known as of late to decline cards when you have a card with them saying they see no reason to extend more credit to you. We will call and ask them to shift some of the credit over from her US Airways card for this application and request them to reconsider. If this was my application, I would have called right away, but Rachel does not like making these calls, so we will wait for the letter 🙂

Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature (American Airlines)

Credit Card ApplicationsDetails: This card is one of those cards where the link goes right to the application page without a landing page to show you what the offer is. So, by applying, you are basically trusting the experiences of the hundreds before you who have used these links that you will actually get some miles for the application. Rachel had actually applied for this card late last year but was denied because of some discrepancy with addresses and they never took action with the papers we sent them. I thought we would try again since this is a really good offer. For details on applying for this card and what the current application offer and link is, visit this Flyertalk thread. Here are the chief details about this card:

  • 50,000 American Airline miles after spending $2,500 in the first 4 months of card membership
  • $85 Annual Fee, waived for the first year

Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature – 50,000 Miles after $2,500 in 4 months – Application Link (I do not receive a commission for this)

Reason for application: I used 62,000 AA miles in January (because of a rebate, normally 67,500 miles) for my first class ticket on Cathay Pacific from JFK to Colombo, Sri Lanka. To fly business on that route would have cost 55,000 AA miles (so, basically what you would have after meeting the spend on this card). I had a fantastic time on this trip and would love to fly with them again. You can read about my review and experiences here. Also, due to the American Airlines/US Airways merger, at some point in the 3rd quarter of 2013, miles between the programs should become fluid. Rachel has 70,000 US Airways miles right now, so this will help to give her a healthy amount of combined miles in the new program.

Result: Approved She received an immediate pending notice but a screen popped up that she could chat online with a representative right away to review the application. Beautiful! After confirming some pieces of information with regard to our address, the rep cam back and approved her with a $4,000 credit line!

Gold Delta American Express

Credit Card ApplicationsDetails: This is the lowest of the three Delta American Express credit cards and not one that I normally apply for personally since I am always on the hunt for elite miles (which you get with the Platinum Delta card and Delta Reserve card). The two things that work well with this card is that there is no annual fee for the first year and you will receive 30,000 Delta Skymiles. I have written about this card before and you can read about it here.
Reason for application: It has been a while since Rachel has held a Delta card and we are always on the lookout for Skymiles (even though they are not as valuable as other mile currencies). They work perfectly for short-hauls as Pay with Miles or for rental cars (read how to secure rental vehicles at the cheapest rates here). Plus, her account is currently empty since my account has all of the Skymiles in it, so it makes it easier to use her Skymiles for things like Pay with Miles, rental cars, or hotels.

Result: Approved I was curious what would happen with this since she was actually denied for this card a couple of months ago. However, at the time, they were using her credit score from two months prior to the time of application and this was in the midst of a dispute with a bank about a technical error that resulted in late payments. However, no problems this time as she was approved instantly!

Club Carlson Credit Card

Details: I was excited about this card as I had written about before about the great award system. I have not applied for my next round of cards since then so she was the first in our family to try for it. Here is a summary of the details:

  • Credit Card Applications50,000 bonus points after first purchase – Great Value considering this is basically one night at the highest category hotel or 5 nights at the lowest
  • 35,000 additional points after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days – Again, great value. This makes for a total of 85,000 points!
  • Club Carlson Gold status – This is mid-tier status within the program and gives you many different bonus points plus early-checkin/late check-out + perks
  • 40,000 points each year after renewal – Another great value – 4 free nights at category 1 or 1 free night at category 4
  • 5 points per dollar on everyday spending – If you put $10,000 a year on this card, that is an additional 1 night at the highest category or 5 nights at a cat. 1
  • US Bank – Good and bad – they can be strict in their approval process which sometimes does not work well for those of us who apply for many cards, but good because it is yet another bank to spread your applications around so as not to burn out one bank!
  • Annual fee of $75 (for the Premier Rewards card) – If you are ok paying $75 for a top-notch hotel (anniversary bonus), then this is a great value yet again

Club Carlson Credit Card – 85,000 Points total after $2,500 in 90 days – Application Link (I do not receive a commission)

Reason for application: This was one card I really wanted, especially due to the number of fine Carlson hotels in Europe and we will be spending quite a bit of time there over the next year. As a result, this card was a no-brainer. I might even entertain thoughts of a redemption run in Dubai next year!

Result: Pending This was not a big surprise since US Bank can be quite strict. The company they use for verification reportedly uses phone numbers as part of their credit application process. So, we used her cell number (instead of mine, which we normally do). There are only a couple of cards tied to her number, so we will see if that works.

Chase Ink Bold

Details: I have this card and love it! There are many great things about this card (one of the best is that it feeds into the Ultimate Rewards system). We used a lot of UR points for our family’s upcoming business class tickets to Europe so having another way to bring in the UR points is always good here! I have reviewed this card before and you can read about it here. Here is a summary:

  • Credit Card Applications5x points per dollar spent at office supply stores, and cable, internet, landline, and wireless bills (up to the first $50,000 per year)
  • 2x points per dollar spent on gas and hotel accommodations (up to the first $50,000 per year)
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else with no limit on the points that can be earned
  • The annual fee ($95) is waived for the first year
  • Ability to add employee cards with different numbers to protect the account and provide for easy sorting of transactions
  • No foreign transaction fee (typically 3%)

Chase Ink Bold – 50,000 Points after $5,000 in 3 months – Application Link (I do not receive a commission)

Reason for application: This was Rachel’s first business card and I thought it would be a nice way to earn some more points. She does newborn photography so she would be able to use this to keep the business expenses separate and take advantage of nice point bonuses.

Result: Pending I was not surprised about this as most people find they are pending, especially for a first business card. Chase likes to talk over the business with the card applicant to ensure that there is some other income besides the listed business income (if it isn’t that much) and just to see that the applicant has a business plan or at least sounds confident about what they are doing. So, I am fairly certain this card will come through.


To sum up, Rachel received 1 Declined App, 2 Approvals, and 2 Pending. I will update with the final results next year when I know, including point totals and spending requirements.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.