In case you haven’t realized it yet, in the world of credit card sign up bonuses there’s a friend we want to be sure we’re always appeasing.
That friend is Chase.
Why is it important to buddy up with Chase?
Well, because Chase is the credit card issuer who is and recently has offered some of the best credit card sign up bonuses.
- Once upon a time (now expired) there was the 100,000 British Airways offer. That was a Chase brand card.
- The current best credit card sign up bonus offer is the 50,000 ultimate rewards points offered by … Chase.
- Last month there was an opportunity (now expired) to earn 50,000 Southwest points. Want to guess the credit card brand? Yup. Chase.
- There was the 50,000 miles Continental offer in the Spring.
Basically, most of the offers that give you enough incentive to sign up have recently been from Chase. I’m expecting that the same might be true in the future.
Chase is like your rich buddy that you don’t want to damage your relationship with.
Two Key Tips for a Long Chase Friendship
1. Be sure that you’re not applying for cards too frequently. This is the most common reason why people are getting denied for new Chase accounts.
Here are the guidelines I use:
- First Chase card – Anytime!
- Second Chase card – 30-45 days after your first Chase card application. There is a good likelihood that you will initially be denied, and then you can call and ask for a reconsideration that often times is approved.
- Third Chase card – 60-90 days after your second Chase card approval.
This is the closest that I’ve been able to get approvals. Remember that sometimes you’ll be required to cancel your oldest card before they’ll give you a third card.
2. Keep spending on the card year round and consider the occasional annual fee.
I’ve mentioned before that typically I sign up for a card, meet the minimum spend requirements, and then put it in a safe for a year until it is time to cancel. I still do that with other credit card companies, but I’m changing my strategy with Chase.
Lately, Chase is getting more picky about multiple credit card applications. I had to push for my last application to be approved even though I have a very solid credit score.
My untested theory is that if your spending shows obvious churning tendencies then you will be less likely to be approved for future cards.
The key indicators that Chase would look for to identify you as a churner:
- Reaching a minimum spend and then not spending on the card any more.
- Cancelling the card after a year to avoid the annual fee (on multiple cards).
If those are the key indicators, I think it is best to avoid multiple cards that display the same pattern. This doesn’t mean I would pay the annual fee if I have one Chase card. Instead, it means if you’ve cancelled most of your cards within a year, perhaps you should spice things up by paying the annual fee on a card you really like.
As a result, here’s what I’m doing.
- Even after reaching the minimum spend requirement, I’m charging at least one purchase per month on the card. So long as there is activity on the card, I think that is a good sign.
- For about every three Chase brand credit cards, I’m planning to pay the annual fee to keep a card past its one year mark. Yes, that does mean I’ll be paying an annual fee, but if that choice keeps me in the good graces of Chase, then it’s worth the price.
Again, these are not proven theories.
This may simply be my paranoia. It is often impossible to know directly what works and doesn’t work, what helps and doesn’t help. However, I think these are solid suggestions for being sure you don’t get put on Chase’s black list.