Over the last couple of years, Barclaycard has become quite a force in the credit card arena. The card they were most known for was the US Airways card. However, they have since added the all-around travel Arrival cards as well as some recent acquisitions like the Hawaiian Airline cards. These are in addition to the card that floats a nice, high bonus offer on a semi-regular basis now – the Lufthansa Miles and More card. Along with those cards are a host of other second-tier cards that may have some great value but not to everyone (cards like the Frontier card, Priceline card, Choice Hotels card and others).
Barclaycard used to be incredibly generous with their card applicants. People had been able to get multiple US Airways cards – some on the same day! But, that type of practice was not sustainable long-term as more people had extended credit with Barclaycard and, sure enough, they began to tighten up their approval process. Now, they have some of the tightest approvals of all issuers (except, maybe, Wells Fargo and US Bank). They certainly are more strict than the other big issuers – American Express, Chase, and Citi. With this degree of more intense approvals, it is a good thing to pick your Barclaycard wisely.
Pick Your Barclaycard Wisely
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So, which card should you choose and what should be your process for applying?
A Lot Of Inquiries
One of the top things that Barclaycard tends to turn down applications for is the amount of inquiries on your credit report. These inquiries are made whenever you fill out an application for a loan, credit card, mortgage – even a wireless phone contract. For those of us who apply for a lot of cards to receive the maximum amount of bonuses, there could be problems getting approved by Barclaycard with a high number of inquiries.
If there is a Barclaycard that you really want (something like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus), it may be wise to let at least 6 months pass since your last application to ensure that enough time has passed and their has been some quiet time on your credit report.
Enough Credit Already
Another thing that Barclaycard reps give as a reason for declining the app has to do with the fact that you already have enough credit with them. That’s right, even one card with an average credit line could be enough to prevent them from giving you another card.
The bad part is that they almost always will not allow you to reallocate credit line from a current account to your new application. All the other banks have no problem with this, but Barclaycard is particularly stingy in this area.
Not Using Your Existing Credit
The US Airways card is a popular card to get for the bonus and a great card to keep for the anniversary bonus. That translates to most customers sticking the card in the drawer and using other cards (like the Amex SPG that can give you a total of 1.25 US Airway miles when transferred to US Air in blocks of 20,000). So, when you make an application for a new Barclaycard product, you may be denied based on the fact that you do not use the card you already have.
A good thing to do is to get the card out of the door a few months before your new application and start spending on it. It may not even matter how much you put on it, but just the activity should help.
Now, which card should you apply for? Each Barclaycard product has different strengths. You need to pinpoint the one that will work the best with your point strategy. Two of the cards at the top of the Barclaycard pile are the US Airways Mastercard and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.
Application Link – US Airways Mastercard 40,000 Miles
If you have a need for American Airline/US Airway miles in the next year, then I would definitely say to prepare to apply for the US Airways card. It will give you 40,000 miles that will (eventually) become AA miles. But, you do not need to wait until then to make great use of them! Just by holding the card, you will get 5,000 miles off of US Airway awards – that is like getting another 5,000 miles (at least) in the sign-up bonus!
Application Link – Barclaycard Arrival Plus 40,000 Miles
However, if you are unsure of your needs with US Air/AA, I would prepare and target the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card. It will also give you 40,000 miles that can be redeemed for a straight $400 on a large variety of travel, as well as giving you a 10% rebate on all points spent.
But, maybe you are looking at one of the other Barclaycard products like the Hawaiian cards or the Lufthansa card. Those cards will require you to have a little more knowledge of their workings and their award potential, so make sure you know exactly what you are going to do with them before applying for one of them and using a precious Barclaycard application on it. To check out some of the other Barclaycard products, visit the Credit Card tab at the top to look at top offers and hotel cards.
What is your experience with Barclaycard? Have you been able to get a card recently and what did you get?