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Not too long ago, I’ve met the minimum spending requirements on my husband’s Capital One Venture X card. It actually happened way ahead of schedule thanks to all the expenses we had due to upcoming trip to Europe.
Anyway, it was time to pick my new victims, aka credit cards. That’s actually tougher than it sounds. We are either not eligible for some products, or meeting minimum spending is harder than I would like it to be. I’ve said many times that I prefer to keep things simple, so I don’t mess with manufactured spending or any other sketchy methods. So it basically comes down to organic spending or Plastiq.com
Applying for Alaska Air Visa credit card
As a general rule, Alaska miles are considered to be the most valuable currency in the hobby. In theory I agree, except it hasn’t been the case for me so far. But you never know, and there are no worthless miles as far as I’m concerned.
Since I had this card four years ago, I knew there was an excellent chance I could get the sign-up bonus again. There is never a guarantee, of course, but many things in this hobby require a leap of faith. Since the bonus is currently 60k miles after spending $3k in 90 days, I figured now is as good a time as any to apply. Approved! Application link (does not pay us commission).
One of the reasons I’ve decided to go for it is the recently announced partnership between Alaska Air and Air Tahiti Nui. Supposedly, Mileage Plan members should be able to redeem Alaska miles towards flights to Tahiti in a near future.
As some of you may know, my husband and I are planning to go on a Tahiti cruise next year, barring unforeseen occurrence (like poverty). So, these miles may come in handy. And even if we don’t end up going, I’ll use them somewhere eventually.
I really hope we do go back!
Applying for Chase United Explorer card
It’s been over 24 months since my husband got the sign-up bonus on Chase United Explorer card (our affiliate link). Even though he is over 5/24, there have been reports of some people getting approved for this product regardless. Out of all mileage currencies, United miles are probably the most useful (to me).
This program is not a good fit if you are looking to fly upfront, but for complicated Europe itineraries, it’s tough to beat. For example, I was able to book flights from Tampa to tiny Tivat airport in Montenegro for 33k miles per person. No fuel surcharges, just $22 in taxes. That’s an incredible deal.
And of course, nothing beats booking last-minute tickets from US to Belarus for my parents before the border was shut due to Covid pandemic. I literally used United miles on the very last flight to Minsk.
My dad is smiling because he didn’t have to live in Frankfurt airport for many months
Anyway, we applied, and it went to pending. I figured it would mean an eventual rejection. But! It’s been three weeks and no letter, nothing. When I call the automated line, it says the application is still being reviewed. My husband absolutely refuses to call Chase and check on it. So, we wait.
I would love to find out soon because then I would go ahead and apply for another card before our trip to Europe. We will be spending a lot of money regardless, and it would be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of new bonuses. I’ve said many times that sign-up offers is how you get ahead in this game if you are lazy like me.
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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.
I wonder if Chase is also affected by a worker shortage. My Aeroplan card took longer than a month to be approved!
@Nancy You are probably right about the worker shortage. Well, at least there is hope for us!
Took 2.5 weeks to get approved for Chase IHG Bus Premier. They did call to verify address and then approved.
@Wendy Thanks for your data point! I hope the same happens in our case.
I’ve applied for two Chase cards this year: the business United card and the Aeroplan personal card. Both went pending,likely because I have so many with Chase . After more than a week I got a call from Chase about the United card. They wanted to confirm some information and approved the card. The Aeroplan card was approved in about a week. Not cheering news in your situation but figured a couple of data points might provide some perspective.
@Christian Thanks for your data points. Chase hasn’t reached out to us so far, and I’m debating on asking my husband to call. I may wait another week. I really do want this card, but dread my husband’s reaction. He hates this sort of thing.
SARA PUGH says
this is very interesting since i’m trying to follow your lead in different cards to build a stash of points. Also i didnt know you could reduce a credit limit?! how does that work?
@Sara See my response to Tom’s comment. Reducing credit limit can help, for sure. Though if you only have a few credit cards at the moment, I wouldn’t bother. And banks use their own criteria for approvals anyway, so it’s hard to say what works and what doesn’t. That said, some like to see some spending on its existing cards (issued by the same bank) before approving you for new products. Barclays is one example.
Leana, your article didn’t mention if you looked online to see if the card was in your account. It will appear there before Chase bothers telling you. My wife’s recent application for the Chase Slate Edge went pending. She immediately (less than a minute after getting that message) logged on to her account. There the card was, before Chase bothered letting her know it was approved. Good luck.
@RNE That’s a good point that I forgot to mention. Yes, I have been checking his online profile every few days and so far, the card is not listed. It may still be approved, but it’s strange that it’s taking so long. I don’t recall Chase application still pending after three weeks. And my husband won’t call, so we are letting it play out at this point.
Similar issue with the Chase Sapphire card. Usually confirmed 10 secs after hitting the send button, but this time it came back it said it needed further review. Waited about 10-12 days and the card came in the mail the same day as a letter which showed that they reduced credit at a couple of other Chase cards to balance things out. I am not sure why they give so much credit for each card. In a heavy spend month maybe i spend $5k on a card. I don’t know why they give 23k credit. I don’t need that much, but I am not sure if it will hurt me if I tell them to reduce that so applying for a diff card would be easier (like in this case !)
Tom, your comment actually reminded me that I should have reduced my husband’s credit limit before applying, This may have been the main issue with delay in processing. But who knows? At this point all I can do is wait and see what happens.
Does that hurt your credit rating at all by doing calling Chase to reduce the credit ? I thought I read somewhere that if you called and reduced it, and hurts your credit rating, but if Chase does it by itself (like it did with me), then it doesn’t hurt my rating. But I am not sure if what I read is true. I don’t really need 23k credit on some of these cards – the max i need on any card would be 10k
@Tom It can potentially hurt your credit if you only have a few credit cards at the time. It affects your utilization ratio, or how much credit you are using in proportion to what’s available. As my husband and I have a ton of credit cards between us, the affect would be marginal at best. By the same token, reducing credit could potentially tip the scales in favor of approval, since Chase would technically be taking on a smaller risk. Btw, in the past I was able to reduce credit line by sending a secure message. Not sure if it still works.