Several months ago, Josh applied for a US Airways MasterCard as part of an App-O-Rama. The sign up bonus was solid (40,000 miles after first use of the card, plus 10,000 bonus miles at the 1-year mark on the account). Since US Airways miles can be used on United flights, we knew we would get good use out of them. However, one of the main reasons we included the card in this round of apps is that the issuing bank, Barclay’s, pulls Transunion.
What does that mean? A quick explanation: when you apply for a credit card, the bank checks your credit to make sure it is good enough to qualify for that particular card. Typically, if you’ve got good credit and pay your balance off in full every month, you can easily apply for several cards every 3-4 months or so (AKA an App-O-Rama). It is always prudent to spread your credit card applications across the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) because that way you limit your inquiries with any one credit bureau, therefore decreasing the odds that you will get denied for a credit card based on the dreaded “too many inquiries.” A well-crafted AOR takes into account a variety of different factors: diversity, usability, and number of bonus points, minimum spend required, and credit bureau used.
Which brings us back to the reason Josh included the US Airways card in his AOR: his Transunion account was a clean slate. Zero pulls. In other words, an easy application with no calls to the reconsideration line needed.
After putting some initial spend on the card, we shelved it for awhile. We had heard that this card gets better with age. Lo and behold, the rumors were true: Josh got a slick card in the mail yesterday titled “Plan Your Escape.” The details are that if he spends $750 a month on the card for the next three months, he will earn a bonus 15,000 miles. Nice.
Time to take this card off the shelf! If the rumors are true, the points have only just begun to roll in: there are numerous reports on Flyertalk that if you have the card but don’t use it frequently, Barclay’s tries to entice you with lucrative bonus offers each quarter. I will report back on if this proves true for Josh, but in the meantime, this card might be worth a look if you are planning an App-O-Rama of your own.
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