Is it time to get more strategic about credit card applications? 

In the past few months, we have seen a bunch of developments. We’ve seen greater restrictions, great new sign on bonuses, but, yet still, a new churnable credit cards. Is it time for a different strategy for credit card applications?

Greater Restrictions

Three of the big credit card issuers have made rather meaningful changes to how one receives bonuses, or whether one is approved at all.

The fact is, it is getting harder to churn sign-on bonuses.

Great New Cards and Sign On Bonuses

There have been some nice bonuses of late, although more importantly, is the growing competition in the premium card arena. Of note:

All indications point me toward the thought that this is not the end. We are still waiting to see what Citi will do with their devalued Prestige offering. I think we might also see a new Chase Business Card, as Doctor of Credit implies when he reports on the Chase Ink Preferred (link above). We might also see a new offering from American Express, although I anticipate it would be difficult to create a new offering without devaluing the Platinum cards.

New Churnable Credit Cards

Okie, we’re pretty weak here, I’ll admit, but there are a few churnable credit cards that may make sense.

So, yeah, the pickings may be slim here, but, for some, that may never have had a Delta AMEX (me!!!), there are other cards that are quite tempting.

Wrapping Up

My point in this post was my attempt at working out my own credit card strategy over the next 18 months. Normally, I work in 18 month timeframes, it seems like a reasonable balance between one and two years. Of course, 18 months used to be the magic number with Chase and Citi, that is changing to 24. So what is my conclusion? Given that my wife and I play the two player game, I might apply for cards, and let my wife sit on the sidelines–or vice versa, depending on her preference. The challenge here though, is the fact that there are some cards that just make too much sense to pass up, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, when it was briefly leaked, which both my wife and I were successful with. So, yeah, I’m not sure what I’ll do if another Chase Sapphire Reserve-like offer comes about, but, barring that, I’m thinking its going to be the two-player game.

What will you do? 


7 thoughts on “Is it time to get more strategic about credit card applications? 

    • @Craig – If you’re going to jump in, why not TYP, then BOFA? I think there may be some more lucrative offers coming. Is that prospect enough to hold off applying for CC’s now that may be churnable or ok on the lucrative side?

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  2. It might be smart to assume further tightening will occur during the next 24 months. I backed off on my churning speed 18 months ago, before 5/24 appeared. That left me in good shape to take advantage of the best current offers. Keeping some “headroom” in your plan helps when they lower the ceiling without notice.

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