This is the eighth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go. Previously Double Credit Card Miles with Business Cards.
Tomorrow, I am going to recommend the cards for your first applications. Here are the best practices for those applications.
1. Apply for no more than one personal card and one business card at a time from each bank.
The major issuing banks are Chase, Citi, American Express, Barclay’s, Bank of America, US Bank, and more. I have separate pages for the best offers from each, so you can pick the best personal and business card from each.
2. Space your applications out at least 91 days apart.
You may apply for more than one card on the same day. But I make that days that include credit card application(s) are 91+ days apart.
3. Call in.
If your application is not immediately approved, call the bank’s reconsideration line right away. Here are the relevant phone numbers from Million Mile Secrets:
If you have a relationship with the bank already–a business loan, a checking account–highlight it. “I’m a loyal [bank] customer. I already do my banking here, so I wanted to get a credit card you offered.”
If the agent says they cannot extend you more credit, and you already have credit cards from the bank, offer to close one or move some of your existing credit lines around. “I don’t need any more credit. I’d be happy to move over some of my Starwood card’s credit line to open this Delta card.”
If the agent says there is nothing he can do to approve you, politely thank him. You can call back and see if the next agent is more helpful if you wish.
4. Do not cancel a card for at least six months.
Many rewards cards have an annual fee to hold them. Usually it is waived for the first 12 months you have the card. If you want to cancel the card before an annual fee is due, that is common and fine. But make sure you hold a new card at least six months, preferably 11 months before canceling it. Doing otherwise is a red flag that you are an unprofitable customer who is just collecting sign up bonuses.
Continue to Best Current Credit Card Offers.