Protecting My Credit and Traveling the World with Miles & Points PROOF.
Readers of the Noob know that earlier this month I applied for 4 rewards credit cards on the same day [here's the full blog post]. You also know that I do this quarterly in an effort to maximize my miles and points earning, all while protecting my credit (“My precious”). But I know there are some who still think that it’s too good to be true.
For those skeptics, here’s proof that your credit score can stay in excellent condition and you can travel the world by earning miles through rewards credit cards sign-up bonuses and with daily spending. My credit score before I applied for all four cards…
This is my CreditSesame report, which is my Experian credit report. All the banks recently pulled my Experian report, so this is the best screen shot to show y’all. I wasn’t expecting the Citi Biz and Bank of America Alaska card to pull Experian, but they did. As you can see, my credit is in excellent condition before my apps. In February, I applied for 3 other cards (the Ink Bold, the Citi AA biz, and the US Airways card from Barclays), so my credit score obviously bounced back from that, no problem. Also, in the last quarter of 2011, I applied for 3 additional rewards cards, refinanced my house (at the best interest rate possible), and took out 2 auto loans (at the best interest rates possible). But I didn’t take a screen shot before or after those apps, so I thought I would this time around.
Any credit score over 740 is considered excellent, so I’m rolling deep in the excellence.
If you aren’t monitoring your credit- foolishness. You can monitor your Experian report at CreditSesame.com for free (no credit card required). I pay to have all 3 of my bureaus monitored through my banks, and I always suggest that to serious app party throwers.
How does Multiple Apps protect my Credit?
I have written about this many times, but I still get the questions. Lets tip toe our way through it again.
When you apply for a rewards credit card, the bank backing that specific card will do what is called an “inquiry” on your credit score. This initial inquiry on your credit score to see if you are credit worthy will result in a 2-5 point ding on your credit report. Your score will easily recover from this initial ding, but by keeping all the negative impact on your credit score to one day, it allows your credit score to bounce back nicely. If you spread out your apps over a 3 month period, your credit score would consistently be going up and down. I prefer to take only one dip.
Another advantage is by keeping your inquiries to one day, you are hiding the multiple applications from the banks. Say I apply for a Chase, Amex and Citi card on the same day… Citi isn’t going to see that I just applied for an Amex, and vice versa. This means the banks are seeing your best credit score at the time of your application.
By waiting 90-95 days in between apps, I’m increasing the odds of my approval rate. This seems to be the sweet spot in not getting denied for a rewards card for having “too many recent inquiries”. This also offers a structure and organization for my applications. If a great one day offer comes along, I will jump on it, but I will reset my 90-95 day cycle.
If you are new to the game and aren’t comfortable doing multiple apps on one day- no worries. Even this Noob started out with 1 card. Go at your own pace and with what you feel comfortable with.
Oh the miles, oh the points… I love big miles paydays. Doing multiple apps on a single day makes me feel like a man. For my recent app partay, I applied for the United Explorer, Hyatt Visa, Citi AA Biz, and the Alaska Airlines Visa. Talk about a mix bag. But I earned 130,000 Airline miles, a $99 companion pass, $200 in statement credits, 5 lounge passes, and 2 Suite Nights (I applied as a Diamond) at a Hyatt! Now this is even a pretty modest app party and not one of my finest paydays, but one that still got me feeling all giddy in side.
I will be using my United miles from the Explorer (topping off my United account with my Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold earnings) to go to Italy & Croatia in September. The question is, “business class or first?” Oh, the decisions. I’ll be storing my 50,000 AAdvantage miles from my Citi Business card for a rainy day. And the two Suites nights I got from Hyatt will come in handy in Europe when I’m not staying at a B&B.
All you noobies out there on the fence, get in the game! There is sooo much value out there, and you can take advantage of these offers and still keep your credit in tip top shape. I’ll be posting my Experian score monthly, so stay tuned as my credit score dips from 788 only to bounce right back up. It’s a beautiful thing that I can travel classy for pennies to places like Swizterland, Italy, France, and Mexico all while keeping my credit in excellent condition.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to email me. I don’t bite.
Ps. If you need help deciding on the best rewards card for you, Click Here.
Pps. If you aren’t up to date on the latest, check out rewards card quickies.
— Noob Master