I just applied for the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. And for the first time in a very long time, I was automatically approved!
My inner miles nerd did somersaults when the auto-approval screen popped up.
If you’re new to this blog and/or the world of maximizing travel rewards, this is a big deal to me because I apply for more credit cards than the average joe and I typically get a pending response when I apply for a new one so the bank can evil eye me first. And for a long time I was shut out completely by Chase bank for being over what’s been dubbed the Chase 5/24 rule. The basic gist is that Chase denies applicants for their credit cards once they’ve opened five consumer credit cards in the prior 24 months. Read Why I Credit Card Fasted to learn a little more about my roots in this hobby, how that led me to get cut off from Chase, and how and why I decided to mend my relationship with them over the last year.
Chase is a finicky institution (I mean really, they all are these days) when it comes to credit card churning, so you have to handle them strategically if you want to pump as much value out of travel rewards cards as possible.
That’s why I wrote the Five Chase Cards to Apply For Series, identifying four different types of consumers/travelers and which five+ Chase cards they should open to maximize their sign up bonus earning potential.
- The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #1: The general top five combination.
- The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #2: Similar to Combo #1 but for those that don’t live/travel to cities served by Southwest.
- The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #3: For those that can’t open small business credit cards.
- The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Bonus Combo for Points Omnivores: For more serious card churners…those that collect any mile or point they can to get more travel.
I’m following the plan outlined in the fourth bonus combo, because I fall squarely in the points omnivore category.
I’m excited to earn the Ink Business Unlimited’s sign up bonus and transfer it to my Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred Ultimate Reward account, so I can then move the points from there to an airline loyalty program! Otherwise the bonus would be worth $500 cash back. $500 in cash is great, don’t get me wrong, but I can squeeze a lot more value out of those babies as airline miles.
Why the Auto-Approval?
I haven’t been automatically approved for a credit card since–I don’t know–2015?
So what gives?
Well, I have slowed down my rate of applications in the last year, partially due to my nine month credit card fast in 2018, and then health issues that kept me a little more grounded in 2019. When you’re not traveling as much, you think less about applying for new cards because you don’t feel the need to replenish balances. Less new credit card accounts is obviously, in the short term at least, better for your credit score and makes you appear less risky to a bank that’s evaluating your profile.
I’ve also started a new practice with Chase this year, that I personally think makes a big difference, after reading others’ experiences online and now especially that I’ve gotten automatically approved. I lowered the credit line of my United Explorer Business Card, which still had a pretty large credit limit available from when I opened it in March (when the sign up bonus was 75,000 United miles). I had at some point in the past already lowered the credit lines of my other existing Chase cards, so it was really just the large line on the United Business card that needed to be trimmed. The idea here is that Chase only wants to extend so much credit to each customer to limit their exposure, so your credit line should be proportionate to your income (consensus is not more than 50 to 60%).
That being said, don’t give up too much of your credit with Chase. There’s a balance to be had as you want some extra in case you need to offer to reallocate existing credit line to the new account as a last stab effort getting a denial reconsidered. My new approach is to leave at least one Chase card with a $10,000 credit line, as $5,000 is supposedly the minimum credit line on a Visa Signature card (and most Chase cards are Visa Signatures).
Other Helpful Chase Tips
Chase will always expedite delivery of your new card if you call and ask . You can reach customer service at 888-291-5079. I called myself to request expedition and have various times in the past. Now my Ink Business Unlimited will arrive in two to three business days as opposed to one to two weeks. That can be a game changer if you have a large expense coming up soon you want to put towards meeting your new card’s minimum spending requirement.
When I was on the phone with Chase requesting card expedition I went ahead and lowered the credit line on my new card down to $10,000, for the reasons explained above. It’s a smart habit to get into so you don’t have to do it later down the line and subsequently need to wait a period of time to apply for another card. That’s what happened to me this time… I had forgotten about the larger credit line on my United Business card, and then noticed it when I was ready to apply for the Ink Business Unlimited. So I waited two weeks to make sure Chase’s systems had caught up with the credit line decrease.