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Since I’ve accidentally found out a few months ago that as of August of this year I will be under 5/24 limit, I held back from applying for any new credit cards. Why? You guessed it: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
In fact, at the time it had an 80k points sign-up offer, and I thought that was fabulous. Then a few weeks ago, it was increased to 100k points. Wow.
On top of it, my husband could refer me and get an additional 20k UR points. I was basically counting down the days until the magical August 1st date. Turns out, that wasn’t necessary.
Chase now goes by the exact opening date of newly added accounts (maybe)
The conventional wisdom in the miles and points community states that you need to wait until the first day of a new month after 24 months have passed since you’ve opened your 5th credit card. To give an example, since my 5th card was opened on July 17th of 2019, I needed to wait until August 1st of 2021 to apply for CSP.
But I’m an impatient person, so I started looking for data points contrary to that rule. Apparently, according to the article on UScreditcardguide, within the last year Experian has changed the way it reports data, and now goes by the exact date of when your card was opened. That made me think that perhaps I could apply on July 19th and get approved after all.
I figured even if the application is denied, I could always call Chase on August 1st and plead my case. I like making those calls as much as having a root canal, but I thought since my credit history has been relatively pristine for the last 6 months, I would have a decent shot at success.
Someone may look at me and think that it would be prudent to just. wait. 11 days. I don’t disagree. But this 100k points offer may disappear tomorrow, so foolish or not, I decided to take a chance. Instant approval! To be clear, I can’t guarantee that you will have the same experience. This is just one data point, so keep that in mind. But hopefully it will help someone who has been on the fence.
What’s going on with Citi, y’all?
So, after my husband applied for CSP in March, we tried our luck with Citi Premier. Denied. I was shocked, and the email from Citi didn’t clarify things. It said to get an explanation, I needed to put in a password that consisted of combination of your birthday+pet name+ favorite color (I’m exaggerating, but it was some unholy formula). Anyway, I followed all the instructions, but it didn’t work.
My husband absolutely refuses to call reconsideration line, so I didn’t even ask. A few months later he applied again, and the same thing happened. He did have three newly added accounts within the previous six months, so I’m sure it was a factor.
Fast forward to yesterday. I figured if I apply right after CSP, surely I would have a decent chance at approval. Nope! Denied as well. This time the application was in my name, so I did call reconsideration line at 1-800-695-5171.
The credit analyst looked at my file and said that since there was another credit inquiry within the last five days, she would not be able to override the denial. Interesting. So, basically, my CSP application has ruined my chances with 80k points offer on Citi Premier.
I still don’t regret prioritizing CSP because it’s clearly a better offer. And there is no guarantee it would change the outcome anyway. But you may adjust your applications accordingly. Remember that Chase goes by newly added accounts, not inquiries. To be sure, inquiries do play a role in whether you will be approved or not, but it’s impossible to say to just what extent.
The credit analyst gave me advice to try again in a month or so, but not earlier. So, I might do just that. Then again, perhaps it makes more sense to try it in 8 days ( Citi application timing rule) on the off chance my other new accounts won’t yet be added to the credit report.
I don’t know if this new policy applies to all Citi credit cards. My guess is No? It’s bizarre that Citi went from a bank that approves anyone with a pulse to one that considers just one recent inquiry to be a deal breaker. Strange times we live in, comrades.
I did see a 2020 post on Miles to Memories blog that has mentioned a possible 3/60 Citi rule, but it looks like the situation has gotten even worse since then.
If you have any insights or tips on how I can maximize my chances at getting approved for Citi Premier, please share them in the comments. Update: see comment from reader Projectx
Throwing in AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard for a good measure
This is a product I recommend to just about anyone (as long as you prioritize giant offers, like the current one on CSP). For a $1 charge and a $99 annual fee, you will get 60k AAdvantage miles. There is absolutely no reason anyone should pass on it, even if you don’t like AAdvantage. Trust me, you never know when these miles may come in handy, and you can always burn them on hotels at a penny each. Non-affiliate application link
In the past few years, neither I or my husband could get approved for this card. Until now! We both got approved, and will hopefully soon be 120k AA miles richer. Like I said, this is as low as low-hanging fruit gets, and the card pays us no commission. Keep in mind, Barclays doesn’t like to see a lot of recent inquiries or newly added accounts. But clearly, two recent inquiries are not a deal breaker. Though I should mention that in my state Barclays usually pulls TransUnion, unlike Citi and Chase.
All in all, I’d say that’s a pretty nice haul. And honestly, 120k UR points are worth three respectable credit card bonuses in my book. The possibilities are endless. Well, they actually consist of transfers to Chase, Hyatt and Southwest, but you get the point (pun intended).
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.